Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Renaissance emo perhaps?

Ok there's just time for a BL update before I have to get ready for work. And because of choir I can only comment on the time up until ELIMINATION.
The Blue Team came into the elimination room. Cameron had been there MANY TIMES BEFORE with the Reds but for the other Blues it was a WHOLE NEW EXPERIENCE. Ajay had her SERIOUS face on (although I don't think she has any other kind of face) and told them it was TIME TO CUT THE FAT and then start SERVING up their votes. Oh the WITTY WORDPLAY kills me every time.
Anyway, it ended up that Julie voted last and it was even between Teresa and Tiffany. Julie was keeping her PROMISE to Bob that she would look after Tiffany so she SADLY voted for Teresa. CRYING ALL ROUND. I will miss Teresa. She was sensible and good value. And then I had to run out the door so as not to be LATE for choir.

That was all the TV there was last night. However, choir is really coming along. Even the dreaded ladies Blue Bird set piece, is starting to sound like something resembling the song. But it's Fields of Gold that is the highlight. Apparently at our concert on Sunday we brought tears to some people's eyes. In a good way. Obviously. And I think the madrigals are sounding pretty good also. Delightfully light in one (fa la la la la la) , and then heartsick in the other, as is required by the words ("Ah me I die if such they will is" etc etc, Renaissance emo perhaps?) I never know if I'm using that little word correctly.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Teamwork and stabbing each other in the back

Well according to my mother (who is the family Agatha Christie expert), last week's Mrs McGinty's Dead episode of Poirot was surprisingly accurate. Given that I haven't read Cat Among(st?) the Pigeons I probably can't make that observation this morning. Still Poirot did his fussy little observing at a girls' school where the teachers kept getting knocked off. It was all very complicated. I was tired so by the time it got to the end when Poirot gathered everyone together in the drawing room to do the big reveal, I was getting very impatient to go to bed. Still I stuck it through and we all guessed it was the innocent secretary. However, this scene was inordinately long and laborious, and an exact replica of the final scene in last's weeks tale.

The BIGGER news of the evening was that although the Blue Team won the MUD Challenge, the Red team won the weigh in, but in an UNEXPECTED TWIST, Cameron who swapped with Andrew from Red to Blue was the week's BIGGEST LOSER. According to Cameron IT'S ALL IN THE MIND. Words of wisdom from Mr Whiney. In the weigh in room Ajay had clearly spent a BIG amount of time with the hair straightener. Anyway, that's incidental to the fact that now the Blues will have to ELIMINATE ONE OF THEIR OWN. SLOW DRAMA TO FOLLOW TONIGHT. The ads are suggesting it will be Teresa. I hope not. It's time to go and get a haircut in the real world Cameron. Oh...and nearly forgot up on the ISLAND HIDEAWAY with the Commando Bob and Nathan had their own little SURPRISE weigh-in. They had lost virtually NO WEIGHT. SHOCK.

In other news I set one of my classes homework to watch The Biggest Loser after we started our group assessment last week. The conversation went like this.
Wendy: Who watches the biggest loser? What's it all about?
Student 1: Teamwork
Student 2: Teamwork and stabbing each other in the back
Wendy: That's right, but we're going to have the teamwork without stabbing each other in the back
Cue much hilarity.

Well, perhaps you had to be there.

And finally, I am wearing my new orange shoes today. It's very exciting.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Watch, Listen and Singalong: Part 18: Please can that be me one day?

Except for the fact this stops suddenly at the end, this is such a beautiful version of this song. The live violin which adds a little something extra. Please can that be me one day?

Perfect for Sunday morning.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Rebus, dear Rebus

OOOOH....it was challenge night on The Biggest Loser. And, for want of a better description, it was the MUD CHALLENGE. Red against Blue for the first time since the big swap-a-rooni. Poor Cameron was totally out of his depth (haha) and lost in the first round. Finally it came down to Nathan and Sean. And then .....we have to wait until Sunday night weigh-in to see who WINS the challenge. I CAN'T WAIT.

Anyway, apart from anything else the mud reminded me of this.

Rebus, dear Rebus. The only reason I am watching you now is because there's nothing on any other channel and I couldn't be bothered choosing a DVD. I don't know what book this was supposed to be adapted from. It rang no bells at all for me. If anyone out there in Spiralling Shape land knows please do tell. One last chance next week Rebus, and then I'm giving up on you for good.

On the 28th of March my credit card bought for me...

three black skirts
two short sleeved cardigans
two pairs of shoes
one silver ring
one gaudy bracelet
one black headscarf

In my defence, let me say that none of the skirts were full price, all marked down. One was 14.95 instead of 89.95. What a bargain!! And all are to wear to the Eisteddfod over Easter to play in. One of the cardigans was also marked down 69.95 to 14.95. The first pair of shoes were full price which meant I could pick something for half price from the bargain table. Now, who can resist that? So I got some black sandal thingies. I paid for the bracelet and because that meant I had ten stamps on my little loyalty card I got the headscarf for free.

As for the silver ring, that was an impulse buy which was very naughty and totally indulgent, but it's filigree which I also have trouble resisting.

And hey, it's Saturday...let's go shopping!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Watch, Listen and Singalong: Part 17: Mature, beautiful songwriting

My how they grew up. From Pearl Jam imitators at 13 to mature beautiful songwriting from Daniel Johns. I love this song.

and now to work.

A pause in between each one

(To be read in the manner of Ajay's delivery of her lines. Slowly, with short, fairly simple sentences. And a pause in between each one).

Sharif took THE WALK.
The red team got to CHOOSE someone to swap with the blue team
For once they were not STUPID.
They chose to take ANDREW and finally give away CAMERON.
Meanwhile, up at the Survivor Island, the Commando made Nathan and Bob carry a BIG ROPE up to the top of a hill.
Nathan let out a ROAR. I cringed.
Bob looked EXHAUSTED. I felt sorry for him.
Tonight...a challenge made of MUD.

Then I started watching Bondi Vet, but the dog having trouble birthing her puppies was a bit much. So I switched off. Even the promise of playful Labrador puppies wasn't enough to keep this on.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Modern dating charlatans and charades

Well last night I watched Maggie and Simon cook all manner of things I never want to eat. I'm not enthused about the idea of kangaroo and I don't like seafood (except for fish and chips) so the cockles were less than appealing. Don't get me wrong I quite enjoy Maggie and Simon for their odd couple style. But once, just once, I want them to show us a dish that fails, something that tastes yuck, that they spit back into their hands in disgust. Please.....

And then, came 7pm. BL time everyone. Start jogging. Bob and Nathan were helicoptered to Fitzroy Island with the Commando. He did a LOT of SHOUTING. They had to carry five weeks of supplies to their BEACH CABIN. It was shabby surfer CHIC this time, instead of five star luxury. Bob looked VERY TIRED. GO BOB....you can do it. Meanwhile back at the ranch, Cameron spent most of the hour CRYING. PLEASE STOP THIS CAMERON. It's very annoying. His WIFE arrived. It was like Jack Sprat and his wife except the other way round. Also visiting was his OTHER DAUGHTER. She looked nothing like either of them. ANYWAY, we had to endure lots of whiny commentary from Cameron as he and his wife had a ROMANTIC dinner of what looked like a platter of WATERMELON. Also Sharif dobbed in Cam and Sam for their POOR NUTRITIONAL CHOICES. Michelle got MAD AT THEM. And then everyone trained with two members of the Sydney Swans, one of whom was BIG BARRY HALL, the other of which I did not know and can't REMEMBER their name. Oh and the temptation was eating fortune cookies. BORING. That will not prevent me from TUNING IN this evening.

Then I watched the Lawrence Leung: Choose your own adventure. Lawrence plays himself as a nerd/geek guy. (I don't know if I'm spelling Lawrence correctly but can't be bothered to look it up. Apologies Lawrence). This adventure involved Lawrence trying to track down the girl he had a crush on in Grade 3. It was sweet and gentle, yet incisively critical of modern dating charlatans and charades. Those American dating experts were creepy and scary. Angela, the girl in question was a good sport when confronted by Lawrence and his guitar, singing her a love song. Lawrence's parents were cute as well, telling him like it is. Next week Lawrence becomes a rock star. I, for one, am looking forward to that.

Watch, Listen and Singalong: Part 17: Shimmering Sun

It's impossible to pick a favourite Beatles song. But this was my "first" favourite. I can remember the first time I heard it I was Christmas shopping in Bourbong street here in Bundaberg and my brother and I went to a shop that was upstairs off from the street. We were in our late teens. And in the shop they were playing this song. I didn't know it was by the Beatles, I didn't know what it was called. Basically, like Manuel, I knew nothing. Except that I'd never heard anything like it before. So shimmering and beautiful. In the meantime I had asked for Abbey Road for Christmas. When I got it I could not believe that this song was on there. There's probably a word for such an occurrence. Coincidence, serendipity, whatever. I still love it. And it's one of the reasons my cat is named Harrison.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Watch, Listen and Singalong: Part 16: the other Elvis

This is a post that doesn't mention TBL (well except for that once)

In my next life, if I am very very good, I am coming back as a back up harmony singer.

But this is the one album i actually own (iTunes not counted). I listened to it a lot when I was young and at uni studying music. Costello and the Brodsky quartet "The Juliet Letters". He's got quite a vocal range.

Let me say just one word: COMMANDO

Well TBL delivered the lot last night. Excitement, suspense, tears, laughter, anger. I'm trying hard to think of another program that's doing that at the moment and I can't. So all you BL disbelievers out there it's time to get on board in the lead up to the finale. I reckon about two thirds of the way through is the best time to join these so called reality programs. They've eliminated the boring ones, the characters have revealed enough of their personalities for you to decide who to cheer for. And there's twists galore. Let me say just one word for all the fans out there: COMMANDO.

Yes the Commando is back in his big black HUMMER and he has whisked Nathan and Bob back to Fitzroy island. They are in SECRET TRAINING for the rest of the game and one of them will be a FINALIST. At this revelation I actually got goosebumps, which either I means I'm a little pathetic, or this was genuinely exciting television.

You see Nathan was eliminated by his Red team, which was GOOD. Because I don't really like Nathan and his manipulative style of playing the GAME. So Phew! But then in the BIGGEST TWIST EVER (I don't know if Ajay said these words but if she didn't she should have) Nathan got a LETTER, which said he had to choose someone to be eliminated with him. Would it be Meghan, who had cast the DECIDING VOTE against him? Would it be Sean who was the BIGGEST THREAT against Nathan's little big brother Andrew? Or would it be Bob, who is my absolute favourite and the Biggest of all Biggest Losers in BIGGEST LOSER HISTORY (a history book btw that I am yet to find on our library catalogue. Perhaps you have to be at a sandstone uni for your library to stock this kind of high quality history book).

So we all lined up in the BIG GYM. Nathan stood on the BIG SCALES. And he chose BIG BOB. BIG SADNESS. Everyone cried and hugged (Bob not Nathan. I think they were all pleased to see the back of Nathan). Tiffany was the saddest of all. Go Tiffany! You are now my favourite after Julie.

BUT.....(da, da daaaaa....cue evil villain theme music) little does the house know that Bob and Nathan were met by the Commando in his Hummer and taken back to Fitzroy island, thereby remaining IN THE GAME. They got to watch a Pauline Hanson style video of Ajay telling them the story with her usual ponderous delivery. And they got into the BIGGEST LOSER HELICOPTER. I'm telling you, TBL has it all. And then they are back at Camp Survivor Biggest Loser apparently. It's got the firestick thingies and everything.

Back at the house Michelle was VERY ANGRY at the red team for eliminating their strongest player. Still CAM remains. Blah. And she told them so and then whipped their butts in training. She thinks they are STUPID. I think she may be right.
Meanwhile in blue training, Shannan was INSPIRING his team towards POSITIVE thoughts for the future, especially Tiffany who was still very SAD.

Go Bob...you have the most weight to loser in your island hideout. And I don't want Nathan in the final.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My contribution to Ada Lovelace Day: Alison Ruth

Here's my contribution to Ada Lovelace Day, a day of which I was previously unaware but thanks to The Memes of Production I signed up for something, so better follow through with a post.

Once upon a time there was a very young and naive Phd student. She had just completed an honours thesis and made the decision to study further into her much loved area of television. When she rocked up to her little regional university campus on the first day of her scholarship she was presented with a desk in a shared office and a strange looking computer which turned out to be a very very old Mac that the School of Humanities had decided they would kindly bestow upon her. Once she worked out how to turn it on she was more or less stumped, having used a PC up until that point. Lucky for her, also on the campus was a continuing PhD student and Mac afficionado named Alison Ruth. At first the young student found Alison all a bit scary. She was, as they say, "full on". She wore a lot of purple, sometimes shaved her head in the summer and seemed to know a lot about all things technical. What's more she had thrown off the chains of patriarchy by having no surname. After about six months of struggling away on her crappy old Mac the little PhD student plucked up the courage to speak to Alison Ruth about her computer. It was from Alison that she learned of the wonders of all things Apple. It was also from Alison that she was first introduced to Google. For a while as students together, we shared an office. We would console each other regarding the disastrous body odour of our fellow researcher, an Englishman. We would also take turns in going up to the local shopping centre to get kebabs for lunch. When Alison went away I sometimes fed her cat. And when she moved to Brisbane she entrusted me with two of her figs in pots (now unfortunately no more). Alison was writing a PhD about online technologies and teaching which she eventually has finished with flying colours at Griffith and is now very respectably employed there. She writes her own blog, Vicarious Conversations and has invented the term "flitteracy" which this little now-finished PhD student thinks is fantastic in terms of describing how we engage with online technologies. Alison has recently been recognised for her excellence in teaching others about technology and other stuff. She still likes purple as you will see if you check out her blog.

Nathan: The Tribe has spoken (oops wrong show)

Only a small amount of TV last night due to BIG choir rehearsal. But I did allow myself to be five minutes late for practice so I could see who was going to ELIMINATED from THE BIGGEST LOSER. It was touch and go there and all came down to MEGHAN's VOTE. Would it be Cam, the one who tears up at the drop of a dumbell, and has lost little NUMBERS every week? Or would it be Nathan, the BIG BOOFY FELLA who has lost a lot of BIG NUMBERS, but seems like he would be real BIG BOSSY PAIN to have around. My disloyalties were torn between the two because I would like to see them both gone. The TENSION, the DRAMA, the VERY SLOW EXPLANATIONS from Ajay of the voting procedure as it progressed up the line of LOSERS. In the end, Nathan was shown the BIG DOOR and BIG HALLWAY, because he got the most votes under the BIG SERVING PLATTERS.

Excellent! (says she in the manner of Mr Burns rubbing his hands together in a manipulative and evil manner).

UPDATE EXCITEMENT: See where going out and being involved in community music making gets you. Behind with Biggest loser that's where. Apparently, (thanks to coffee with my mother this morning) Nathan then received a LETTER (not sure whether it was a BIG LETTER) that told him he must choose someone else from EITHER TEAM to be ELIMINATED with HIM. Oh the AGONY.

Monday, March 23, 2009

a great amount of man crying

Well here's something I discovered that may help all you Biggest Loser "fans" (if this is indeed the correct term for those of us now hopelessly addicted to this season of TBL). It can be very successfully watched with the mute button on.
A note on etiquette first. If you have a visitor for dinner but your favourite weigh in moment of TBL week coincides with their visit, do not DESPAIR. Just turn the TV on with the sound OFF, so you can surreptiously glance at the TV everytime someone stands on the BIG SCALES. No-one gets hurt and you still get to enjoy the jubiliation and humiliation without actually having to HEAR it. So here's what I observed. Sharif lost a LOT of weight. There was a great amount of MAN CRYING at the end from both Cam (to be expected) and NATHAN(somewhat unusual, here is where sound would have been useful) but no doubt if this was an IMPORTANT moment, it will be replayed AD INFINITUM over the next week, so I can find out about it THEN. Also, my favourite buddy on the blue team Bob seemed to be making a BIG SPEECH. So I'm not sure what that was ABOUT. It looks like RED TEAM is going to the ELIMINATION ROOM. Please, please, please, please vote out CAM. Enough with the crying and the wussiness already. BE A MAN.
(N.B. It's quite possible my reading of TBL is all WRONG and sound may indeed be essential to the television watching experience. Still an interesting EXPERIMENT like the OLDEN DAYS. Except that TV always had sound. I may thinking of that other picture technology - FILM).

Poirot returns to prime time. Mrs McGinty was dead apparently. Now I'm not sure if I've read this book or not but it seems to be that the plot they conjured was confusing, but nevertheless a good excuse for David Suchet to his eccentric thang as Poirot with the cups of hot chocolate and the eye for detail. Also Zoe Wanamaker has fabulous hair and a great voice, both of which were getting out of control at times. It's also a good opportunity to dream about how nice it would be to live in an English village where everything is pretty and green, and the houses are beautifully furnished in period antiques. So the beginning was interesting where Poirot arrived in the village of Broadhinny to investigate a murder, so as to save an innocent man on death row. And the final scene where he gathered all the main players together and revealed his all round cleverness in detecting was fun as well. But you could have walked away for the middle hour or so to do other things. As I did. Several times. I've decided that to watch these so called adaptations of detective fiction (Rebus, Agatha Christie, Bones etc) you actually have to forget you've ever read the book, because nobody's interested in translating them with any accuracy to the screen. I'm definitely no expert on detective fiction but they just seem to grasp on to the figure of the detective as the central characters and then develop some half-baked plot around them. So they're really character pieces first, and mysteries second. Thoughts?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

my one and only post on the qld election (except for those ones about the borg bus)

When I was growing up through my impressionable teen years, my mother worked in the electorate office of our local federal member. This meant I became involved in the fringes of local ALP politics (which let me tell you are rough and tumble, with enough Machiavellian maneouvring to satisfy even the most ardent political pundit....except on a very small scale). Anyway for a number of years I would volunteer to give out how to votes at various booths around town for federal and state elections, except when the local branches lost their senses and preselected absolutely rubbish candidates who no one in their right mind could support. This happens more often than you'd imagine.

When I was in my late teens and early twenties it was exciting to stand at the gates of the local school and watch democracy in action as you offered your how-to-vote to someone. But then at some point, (I think it was the failed republican referendum), I started to lose interest. I saw the how-to-vote process as a waste of time. People have either made up their minds before they get there, or they don't care and write the extra box for mickey mouse or elvis on the bottom of the ballot paper. (I have scrutineered once as well).

Mum has drifted away from it as well but did stand up the road at the local school for two hours today and I dropped her off and picked her up. This was a joint booth...i.e. you could vote for either Bundaberg or Burnett there. So everyone who walked in had to be asked "Bundaberg or Burnett" which was painfully repetitive and also revealed the astonishing lack of interest of the majority of voters, in that they had no clue which electorate they lived in. She likes it still I think, but only because she was chatting away to the LNP lady who just lives up the road. They were having a lovely conversation when I got there. And as Mum later told me, when the LNP lady had to go and get something out her car, Mum gave her flyers out as well, which must have been confusing for the potential voters.

Anyway, I hold no great hope that tomorrow we won't wake up to a whole new alien nation under the regime of Premier Borg. I imagine here it will be business as usual with our LNP sitting members retained, although it would be nice to think otherwise.If Anna Bligh gets through it will be a miracle, not quite in the manner of Keating's "one for the true believers", but perhaps getting close.

I have volunteered to sell programs at the theatre tonight and then will probably stay on and watch the play. This means missing my favourite part of all elections, the election coverages and Antony Green. Though I'm sure I will hear who wins soon enough.

Upside down Miss Jane

Only half an hour of Loser last night. Still, it was long enough for a little excitement. Firstly, training competition between the two teams. I felt sorry for Tiffany having to run on the treadmill. In fact I feel sorry for anyone having to run on a treadmill. I don't do running. Except in emergencies. Then there was a rowing challenge between Sharif and Andrew and finally a bench press challenge between bully boy brothers Nathan and Andrew. Nathan is STRONG and he WHIPPED Andrew's behind. And then everyone went OUTSIDE into the parade ground to be led to the week's CHALLENGE. It took a LONG TIME for Ajay to explain the RULES. This was a little BORING. Basically the challenge was product placement for Burgen bread, and involved team trivia plus team strength. Why the red team picked Cameron to answer the trivia is anybody's guess. However, CLIFFHANGER, we do not see who wins until Sunday night's weigh in. Perhaps the REDS make a COMEBACK. I for one will be tuning in. And if like Sue you are now watching Loser in an interactive manner here is an example of just how your "Hurry Up" should sound.

Mr Squiggle...the man from the moon. Upside down, Miss Jane, upside down.

Rebus, Rebus, Rebus, Rebus. Why do I continue to watch Rebus in the vain hope that it will bear some resemblance to Ian Rankin's crime novels? Here supposedly was Resurrection Men. The only bit that seemed vaguely familiar was that Rebus was undercover at bad cop school. I don't remember the fire, or the whole art world/drug/ money laundering scam. But then I haven't read the book for two years. Perhaps it was a perfect adaptaton. But it didn't seem like it. There's another one on next Friday and I imagine I will watch that as well with the same bewilderment that characterised this viewing experience. Ken Stott is adequately rumpled and aging, but more backstory and explanation of Siobhan would be nice. In the books she has many more dimensions than we see on the screen. Pleasing to see the woman from The House of Eliot turn out to the baddie.

Friday, March 20, 2009


When you have mouth full of potato and your brain thinks "strolling" but your mouth goes for "ambling"...out comes a new word "strambling". Examples:

I strambled down the street looking for a good cup of coffee.

We went for a lovely stramble along the seashore.

Strambling through the forest we came upon a shining lake.

It's very versatile.

Can't anyone do anything by themselves anymore?

Sadly, I only got in the first twenty minutes of THE BIGGEST LOSER last night. So I saw Michelle make Sharif PAY for playing TEMPTATION. That was GOOD...he was sweating up a STORM and nearly THREW UP. That would have been GROSS but excellent TELEVISION. Big CAM was finally doing some HARD TRAINING. While over in the blue team training I marvelled at Shannan's ability to jump over the witches hats. That's impressive fitness. So I didn't get to see Sharif take THE WALK...but I believe then he was going to do in his former partner, now on the blue team, whose name momentarily escapes me. At least that's what the forecasting made it look like...and I'll be lining up tonight at 7 to see what happened, if anything. Please nobody spoil it for me. I'm even resisting going on to the website.

I have decided that Q and A is quite a dull program in spite of it's worthiness. Tony Abbott needs give up on his little fringe and go bald with grace and good humour. Kate Ellis on the other hand, has a lot of hair and was wearing a very pretty blue top. Bettina Arndt looked scary in pseudo animal print fur collar coat thingy. And I expected the "rebel priest" to be a lot more interesting than he was. Although maybe after 10 when I turned it off he and Tony had a High Noon standoff over Catholicism. I dunno.

Then I tried to think of programs that weren't panel shows. I think I've raved on about this before. Rove has a panel, Einstein Factor has a panel, The New inventors has a panel, Insiders and Offsiders have panels, The View has a panel, Spicks and Specks and Rockwiz have two panels, The news on any channel has a panel, the talent shows all have panels, Good News Week has a panel. And then there's all the jolly teams, and group programs - loser of course, survivor, amazing race, backyard domestic better gardening australia. The cook and the chef is a little team of two, Can we help (back to panels), the Collectors (panel), The Chaser, Top Gear, Iron Chef, all those forensic scientist, psychological crime shows - gangs, teams and forces. And sitcoms (such as they are) - family and faux family groups and gangs and teams.

Can't anyone do anything by themselves any more? There's Oprah I guess. I'm just wondering....and welcome suggestions because it's slightly worrying me

Thursday, March 19, 2009

thanks to our SAPPS this evening or why Wendy doesn't enjoy the Gruen Transfer

Ok from now until it finishes you can probably expect a regular Biggest Loser update. I am totally hooked and can't wait to see who wins. Please also realise that this program requires the hyperbole in my capitalised descriptions of it. Because, in the context of BIGGEST LOSER HISTORY, these things are VERY IMPORTANT. The capitals also give a sense of the ponderous, plodding, repetitious character of the program. The rule is someone says something, and then at least one other person repeats it in their own words. Firstly there was TEMPTATION. Example:

Ajay: Hello everyone
Everyone: Hi Ajay
A: Welcome to a very important Temptation
(flashback outside to let's say Sharif: "We knew temptation was going to be really important this week)
A: Temptation is really important this week, because with it comes immunity and the power of the walk
(flashback outside to let's say Bob: "Immunity was up for grabs and we all knew that the further the game goes on, the power of the walk can be even more important)

etc etc you get the idea.

Each contestant was presented with their all time favourite food. ("We all sat down and the waitress started bringing out our favourite meals"). If they ate it all they would win IMMUNITY and the POWER OF THE WALK. Sharif scarfed his down in 15 minutes and won. I'll spare you further recapping of the recapping.

It was also VERY EXCITING last night because the TOP THREE from 2008 returned to give advice to the current losers. Sam, Alison and Cosi. Of the three of them, I think Cosi hadn't quite managed to maintain his top three weight, but it was AMAZING how good Sam and Alison still looked. Of course there was the obligatory oohing and aaahing from the current contestants. And then Alison manipulated the girls through a crying, emotional scene in front of the mirror which was a little cringe making, but still enjoyable in a sad, voyeuristic way. One of the joys of reality TV actually.

And then they left. And everyone was a little bit sad. Even Shannan and Michelle. Oh and there may have been some training in there too somewhere. And I'm not sure why the fighting between the reds and emazon has to remain a secret. If anyone knows please advise.

Feeling a bit un-Australian actually because everyone seems to love The Gruen Transfer but I. I tried it when it first appeared and gave up. But, with an open mind I gave it another go last night. Verdict (and these are purely my own opinions, please feel free to enjoy The Gruen Transfer):

1. I don't find Wil Anderson hilarious, witty, funny, or even mildly amusing. He strikes me as smug, and a little bit try hard. Perhaps it's like the Beatles and the Stones. You either like Adam Hills or Wil Anderson but you can't like them both. The same goes for Peter Berner and James O'Louglin.
2. This means that for me, the central point of the show which should be the host who draws everything together and controls the conversation, is a little bit of a black hole.
3. Do they change the panel members? I hope so. Because the guy to the left of Wil (as you are looking at the TV screen) was just trying too hard to be a smarty-pants devil's advocate.
4. The best one was the older man on the far right of the screen.
5. I've marked a number of cultural studies essays about TV and other advertising. I don't know that I need to also watch others discuss it on the telly. Or if I am going to watch this I want the people discussing to say interesting, intelligent things that I wouldn't have thought of myself.
6. I was bored with the discussion of Australian tourism advertising campaigns.
7. There's a reason why the remote has a mute button...for the ads.
8. Is this the best we really can manage for light entertainment/comedy at the ABC. Remember The Big Gig, Good news week (when it was funny and only went for half an hour) remember the Late Show, remember Club Buggery? And many others that I can't remember.
9. Please Mr Anderson do not steal the term "brains trust" again as I heard you do last night. Or else there may be a dust up between Barry Jones and yourself and my money's on Barry. Think of your own term for your special advertising panel people. Here's one: SAPP (As in: "Thank to our SAPPS this evening" - special advertising panel people).
10. I don't find Wil Anderson hilarious, witty, funny or even mildly amusing. However, it does seem that the recapping of the Biggest Loser is catching.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Watch, Listen and Singalong: Part 10: skating past Rod Stewart

This is what happens when you see an ad for House starring Hugh Laurie, a program I tried for a while, but found less than compelling. However, I started thinking about Laurie's career pre Emmy award winning, cranky-genius doctor. He was in a movie called Peter's Friends. I can't remember anything about it except that in it he sang this song. And since then it has been one of my all time favourites toons. So searching through you tube for a Hugh's version (which surprisingly was not found) I passed by Michael Buble's overly mannered jazzy take, ignored the zillion people doing covers of Frank Sinatra singing it, briefly flirted with Tony Bennett's version, skated past Rod Stewart and then hit on this.

When musicals were musicals.

the purpose of sticky date pudding

The Biggest Loser: Well!... Trainer Michelle gave Cam a fantastic telling off, when she saw the reds had voted off Amanda and he, with his wussy, whingy ways, had surivived the elimination. That was enjoyable. Apparently Nathan and Andrew, the bully boys now split between blue and red are from Hervey Bay. That's near here. I'm almost famous. I'm sad I didn't know that, but happy because that fact means I don't read the New Idea. But then, it got boring with a trip to THE WAREHOUSE. Yes, it was time for capitalised high drama. And then, even worse, there was some convoluted test where the red team had to fight some scary looking woman for their week's food. It was all getting too complicated and little bit like pub jelly wrestling for me so I turned off. But, never fear, dear readers I'm getting ready for tonight's episode. Oh, and the blue team have to eat microwave food or some such all week. I think I'd like that actually. As long as there was microwave sticky date pudding. Which I doubt there is...on The Biggest Loser. Unless it's 99% fat free and dehydrated into a diet shake. And this, would defeat the entire purpose of sticky date pudding, which is in fact, the stickiness combined with the dateness.

The Doctor: As I have already commented over at Circulating Library, I liked this episode from the get go because it was about TV. Because who doesn't love the myths of television's evil, life-sucking power, writ large in a plot on a television program? I did find Rose's outfit a little over the top and, like Catriona, I was a little unsure about the Doctor's hair. And, why stopping now dear ABC1? This doesn't seem to be the end of the series. Is it so absolutely vital that were are offered one of those fakey looking documentaries about lost ancient cities? I think not. Disappointed. Very disappointed.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

the morals of coffee

Well, I raced home thinking I was late for my first piano student. I was not. But then remembered I had promised to ring another music teacher to get my student some more practice theory papers. So in 10 minutes I made this call while at the same time making a plunger of coffee. Do not try this at home. In my rush to get off the phone and get the coffee made I knocked the plunger off the bench and coffee went from one end of the kitchen to the other, half way up the fridge and pantry door and all the way to the window blinds. So then, I was madly trying to clean the mess up with an old towel (paper towels weren't going to cut it), rub some moisturiser into my very mildly burnt toes, and, of course make another plunger of coffee (in my second best plunger). I also found time to put the kitchen mat in the washing machine. (Note to self, go and turn it on now to wash. Don't leave it there all week). This time it worked and I made it in the nick of time before my student arrived.

Well, actually the first five minutes of the lesson consisted of me yelling out, "Start your scales" while I finished making the coffee. She was very good. And then, my second little student arrived. Her parents own my favourite ever coffee place in town. And guess what, she had brought me a free takeaway latte and a green st patrick's day cake.

What's the moral of this story?
Don't rush when you're making coffee.
Don't try to do too many things at once.
If at first you don't succeed with making coffee, forget it, because coffee will always appear from whence you least expect it.

(I'm sure I haven't used whence correctly there, but don't really care because it's a nice, yet underused, word, and seems peculiarly suitable for morals).
And here is a picture of the cake just to make you drool.

I'm saving it for later.

Be afraid of my writerly wrath Red Team

According to sources (i.e. my mother) the red team voted off AMANDA...instead of Cam. Wrong, wrong, wrong. This is the soppy side of me baring all now on the blog. But I wanted to see her lose all that weight. Plus Cam annoys me with his attention-seeking behaviour.

Red team I am extremely disappointed in all of you, and distinctly unamused (in the manner of Queen Victoria). Be afraid of my writerly wrath in the weeks to come.

(Meanwhile over at the Parish Hall supper room last night, the set piece for the chief choral is starting to sound really good, in spite of the fact that is an old fashioned, traditional choral song from sixty years ago with words by Coleridge Taylor. It's grown on me. Of course that action wasn't on the telly. I'm just sharing with you all because that's the kind of lovely person I am).

My, I have to get that self-directed sarcasm under control I think.

Monday, March 16, 2009

just misplaced at the moment

I seem to have misplaced my little filigree ceylon sapphire ring. It was the ring I wear every single day and I can't find it anywhere. My right hand feels weird without it. I take it off every night and put it in the same place...it just wasn't there this morning and because I was in a hurry I left without it. I've turned the dressing table upside down. However, I'm not calling it lost yet...it's got to be in the house somewhere..but where?

I know I wore it yesterday.

Once I misplaced my esprit silver watch. Two years later when I was selling my car I was cleaning out the boot and found it under the carpet that covers the spare tyre. I don't really want to wait two years for this ring to turn up again.

UPDATE: Crisis averted. I found it, hiding under a big ugly brooch (that I never pick up or move) in the wrong tray of trinkets. My hands are now back to normal, with the right hand weighted as it should be. You see I had just been down to pick up my resized new ring, and then when I couldn't find my old favourite, I was imagining fate working against me somehow. You know, that Wendy was only allowed one nice ring so the universe had conspired to remove the other from this world.

In other words, I was being a nitwit.

Getting good numbers/ Postmodern lite Austen

The Biggest Loser...weigh in night. Poor, poor red team. What went wrong? All such little "numbers". (apparently it's not about losing weight, rather it's about "getting good numbers"). Anyway with the exception of Amanda who lost a very impressive 6.4 and was the biggest loser they were cactus. Therefore tis to the elimination room they go, Heigh ho...please vote off Cam...he's a wussy pain who doesn't try and I think his daughter Sammy would have a better chance without him hanging about bringing her down. Producers and directors please note, opera singing is not required here. If we want a talent quest we'll stay tuned to the dancin' show or wait for idol, or that other awful thing with danni minogue that's on channel 7 that I refuse to watch.

Lost in Austen: Part 2: Ok so this is probably more like what I expected last week, with heroine Amanda Price going back to modern London to find Lizzie. Lindsay Duncan did a lovely evil turn as Lady Catherine, and it was interesting to find so many of the characters turning against the book (i.e. Wickham good, Georgiana bad)...Mr Collins' three brothers were suitably revolting as one would expect though. Tinkler.hah! But in the end I found myself worrying about the space-time continuum disruption (Back to the Future style) with Amanda staying with Darcy and Lizzie going back to Hammersmith (i.e. London). Although I guess this was different because Back to the Future wasn't travelling between a book and the real world. And the annulment between Collins and Jane seemed a little too easily organised. Does Lady Catherine have such power? I know Austen is all about the happy endings, but it didn't seem right to me. I think I would have preferred a poignant ending with Amanda returning to London (but then maybe meeting a modern Darcy lookalike in an epilogue type scene...oops cliche alert) and Lizzie staying with Darcy. And in the world of the TV program what would the implications for the actual book of Pride and Prejudice? Is it rewritten? Or am I overthinking a piece of Austen fluff that seemed to be wholly inspired by our supposed ongoing infatuation with Colin Firth's Darcy? Postmodern lite I think.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Wendy's Week of TV: Part 35: The finale

When I first started my weekly TV update I was very diligent in writing part of it every day and then posting the whole thing at the end of the week. Now I find myself getting to Saturday or Sunday and trying to remember the details of just what I watched during the week...and often failing to do so. So I have decided that as I have reached Part 35 which matches my age Wendy's Week of TV will go into retirement, to be replaced by What Wendy Watched...in the hope that my writing about TV will be more timely and have some hope of being a little bit more substantial (for myself at least if not for anyone else).

But for this week....

Sunday: Sundays at the moment present a big evening of TV. Firstly Einstein Factor, which was its usual amusing, inoffensive half an hour. Then quickly switch to The Biggest Loser to see the weekly weigh ins. Excitement and relief as Holly and Mel fell below the YELLOW LINE and were voted off the following evening. Thank goodness. Go home and whinge girls. Megan and Julie were safe. But twists and turns aplenty as the week progressed whereby the end of the week saw the couples SPLIT UP....AAGGH...into the usual Red and Blue teams that we know and love so well. And then a punishing racetrack challenge. Nathan still believes he is manipulating everyone according to his own secret plans. I await the day we see him fall on his face. Although he is a strong player so may make it through to the end. Crossing fingers for not. I'm going for Bob...although because he is consistently the biggest loser, and the biggest loser in BIGGEST LOSER HISTORY (capitals essential here to match the overdone dramatic hyperbole of the program) the minute he has a bad week and falls below the YELLOW LINE...he'll be out of there because he is the biggest threat. Ooooh I'm getting excited already about tonight to see who loses the weigh in.
And then I watched Lost in Austen. I'm reserving my judgement somewhat until I see how it's all resolved this evening. The heroine Amanda finds a portal in her bathroom into her favourite book Pride and Prejudice whereby she and Elizabeth swap places. Naturally, Amanda's presence in the world of the book causes all sorts of problems and scrapes with the plot no longer unfolding as it should. Interesting to see a different take on Mrs Bennett from Alex Kingston. Anyway Amanda's trying her best to get things back on track but having great difficulty controlling the events around her. I thought there'd be more back and forth between the two worlds but clearly no...unless that's in tonight's finale. Did any viewers of the masculine gender watch and identify I wonder...or is this strictly girls only TV for those of us who swooned over Colin Firth all those years ago. Don't like to stereotype and generalise of course, just wondering. It was mildy entertaining. However, nowhere did I laugh out loud, so I believe Graeme Blundell's write up in the previous week's Australian to be more than a little over the top.

Monday: Choir...that's not on the telly. That's me going out to choir.

Tuesday: The Doctor defeated the cybermen. Well Mickey did really. Hurrah! Sadness, Mickey's staying behind in parallel London. Didn't feel sorry for Rose. Lesson: you can't have your cake and eat it too (or some such other inane cliche).

Wednesday: Spicks and Specks...as usual. Again same dna as the Einstein Factor here...amusing and mostly inoffensive. Without the gutsy rockin' style of Rockwiz.

Friday: Raising Helen. Why Wendy, I hear you ask, did you waste two and half hours of your life on this second rate Kate Hudson ve-hic-le? John Corbett is the answer to that. You know Chris in the Morning from Northern Exposure. I wondered how they managed to make such a mediocre movie and attract some really good actors to the project - Helen Mirren, Hector Elizondo, Joan Cusack. Still it was interesting to see Abigail Breslin before she got all Little Miss Sunshine famous. And her brother was played by her actual brother Spencer Breslin. And the eldest rebellious sister was someone whose name I believe I should know because she might be on Heroes? Not sure and not going waste internet time looking it up. Still, there could have been worse ways to spend a Friday evening. One of those movies you are glad you didn't pay money to see at the cinema or rent on video. Also one of those movies where you knew how it was going to end up after 20 minutes..but kept watching anyway.

Saturday: Gilmore Girls: I wouldn't say I'm a hardcore Gilmore Girls fan. That is, I don't own any DVDs, have never rented any out, but when it's surprisingly on the TV I will watch it if I'm free. Because it's like a fairytale, where everyone is beautiful or rich, or goodlooking, or quirky, or some combination of those qualities. It's zippy and fun. There are plenty of worse things I could be watching while I was eating my lunch. It's like Anne of Green Gables but in the 21st century.

">New Tricks: Brian (Alun Armstrong) is now definitely my favourite of the three. The scene where he was explaining how he'd put all his military band marches from LP into mp3s on his computer was great. And then he demonstrated with Colonel Bogey. Of course that was nothing to do with the plot which I only vaguely followed. Still, guest appearance from Stephen Berkoff as a "villain" was a treat.

Rockwiz: Was a repeat...Although it took about 15 minutes (until the point when the Hothouse Flowers man appeared for me to realise this). Still I watched it again. I was thinking that may mean I was little sad. But then when I got to the end decided that it was all worth it for the version of Across the Universe that he and the woman (whose name I shamefully can't remember either) sang together. It was very beautiful and John Lennon may have liked it too.

So on that Beatles note (and there are few better notes than those)...we leave Wendy's Week of TV. And Wendy is going to try and new writing about TV experiment. Stay tuned to the Spiralling Shape for What Wendy Watched.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Saturday shop-a-thon

Home from the Saturday shop-a-thon with a number of bargains and specials. Of course, there was the obligatory grocery shopping. Enough said...that doesn't actually count as shopping.

But apart from that there was the beautiful Indulge breakfast...poached eggs, mushrooms, toast and decaf skinny latte. So yummy.
Then there was a hike up the main street to the jewellers where I got my new ring off layby. It is a curious swirl of gold and white gold. Unfortunately, I have to wait all the way until Monday afternoon to pick it up as it needed resizing.
Then a cursory stop at the Dymocks bargain table...where for about 5.95 each I picked up Richard Florida's The Rise of the Creative Class (at least I think that's the title and I'm too lazy to get up, walk into my bedroom and check exactly), Pamela Stephenson's biography of Billy Connolly and Carmel Bird's book on how to write a memoir. I'm not planning to write a memoir any time soon but it looked interesting.
Oh...and I forgot Target...A red T-shirt with a big butterfly on it plus those socket things...because Monday's lecture requires I wear my green sneakers and I don't want to have to wear socks as well.

Eyebrows then...neat and tidy after a very small amount of pain. And then final pitstop in Katies where everything they want to get rid of from their summer stock is on special. The best time to buy. Work clothes...and a skirt..the kind I can never resist...oh and a summer scarfy thing in all different colours.

I'm not allowed to go into any more shops....for the rest of the day anyway. I think I was overcompensating for last week when I had no weekend at all.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

jobs for Thursday

I'm not going into work this morning, having decided that I'm owed some time at home after having spent most of Saturday in there. But am I lolling on the lounge, reading a novel and sipping coffee? Well, no actually. I know some people scoff at the phrase "working from home" but look at what's been accomplished by me in the last two hours!

What with sleeping in for half an hour, showering and breakfast, deciding what shirt to wear, washing up from breakfast, setting up iTunes for the morning, reading the news and other regular sites, checking lolcats, checking home and work emails, mucking about on Facebook and Twitter....it's just been go, go, go.

So as you can clearly see, I've had a very busy morning to this point. But seriously folks I am now about to start actual jobs. Firstly, read and review a paper... a job that has been consistently pushed to the bottom of the "to do" list for the last three weeks. This must be accomplished today. Then I have to finalise the Eisteddfod program. With the lower number of entries this year (annoying and disappointing!) we can make it a couple of sessions shorter, so this means some jigsaw puzzle operations on the draft we did up a month or so ago. Why lower number of entries i hear you ask? (well maybe I don't hear you but I'm going to tell you anyway). Two and half days of our competition is school based section - choirs, concert bands, string orchestras and small ensembles. Usually these sections are packed. For instance last year we had to split the Primary School Age Small ensemble (3-9 instruments) into three sections because with 36 entries we would have died of boredom listening to them all at once. This year there are 10. Apparently, it's largely to do with the standardised 3. 5. 7 literacy and numeracy testing that occurs in mid May. As a committee we had been made aware of this last year and moved our Eisteddfod dates so they didn't clash with the week of the testing. But, no, that wasn't enough to avoid fallout. Because the principals of schools in the area got together and decided that it was far more important for students to suffer through endless practice tests than it was for them to have a well rounded education involving not only, literacy and numeracy, but also music. So basically, they chose not to enter. I've been told that there are some schools that are doing nothing but English and Maths until those tests are over. Something is wrong with this methinks. Anyway I'm not the minister for education so I'll leave that where it lies.

I also have to check through the list of our usual Eisteddfod volunteers and mark them off for particular jobs. For every session of the Eisteddfod requires at least 5-6 volunteers to do things like announcing, scribing for adjudicators, selling tickets, writing certificates and recording marks etc. It gets more difficult every year to find people willing to give their time. And this year with running concurrent sessions it may prove slightly more challenging to fill all places.

So if I get those three things done I will be happy. It all has to happen before 11:30 as I have a hair cut (hurrah!...shaggy dog fringe becoming a little bit much) and then heigh-ho...it's off to actual work I go.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

So Wendy...how's your cyclone survival kit?

Well we've all just been so excited up in these parts because of the potential visit from our very own Cyclone Hamish. (*sarcasm alert...cue sirens*). So far Hamish has turned out to be a fizzer. Even when they were mentioning Bundaberg on the warnings and watches there was only a little bit of rain, and some wind, but nothing out of the ordinary. Still people were getting together cyclone survival kits. My effort consisted of putting a bucket away that was in the back yard from weeding, filling up two water jugs (instead of the usual one) in the fridge and making sure I had some candles. I did find a torch but it was devoid of batteries. And all radios are dependent on electricity in this house so I think Wendy fails the cyclone survival kit test. Plus I figure if a cyclone really did hit, all the cyclone survival kits in the world, might not make that much difference. Example...cyclone tracy.

The cyclone however, did prove a very useful example for teaching thinking strategies in my Monday morning lecture. Because it was a common topic to all the students, they could interact easily and everything went smoothly.

Apart from that, I was awake at three thirty last night for about hour having fantastic ideas for next Monday's role play that I have encouraged/coaxed/forced our teaching team to engage in for the students. I hope it's going to be fun. For us, anyway, even if not the students. I just have to finish writing it. Having fantastic ideas in the middle of the night is pretty unusual for me. Even more unusual was that I remembered them this morning when I woke up. There's something strange afoot...perhaps it's connected to the cyclone.

Monday, March 9, 2009

the weekend...no naps and no shopping

The weekend disappeared in a puff of smoke. Saturday I spent at work with the External STEPS students in our area, running an orientation day and then Sunday afternoon was extra choir for the Queensland Eisteddfod at Easter. So, sadly there were no naps and no shopping (except for the bare essentials on Sunday morning). Our choir pieces are coming together quite well with still some time up our sleeve. I will probably sing in the madrigal section (because no accompaniment needed) and am singing alto part in the Small Vocal Ensemble. There's about 10 of us and we are singing this lovely setting of "Were you there?"


And in fact there are two members of our choir singing in this recording. Pity you can't see them (I'm not much for the images chosen here I have to say)...but it's very beautiful to listen to.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Wendy's Week of TV: Part 34

The Einstein Factor:...young man with Doctor Who was back as it was some kind of final. He didn't do very well, particularly on the general knowledge. I've forgotten who won, but Barry Jones was on the panel so all was well Einstein-wise.
Cranford: Long story short...everyone lived mostly happily ever after. Except Mr Carter who died. And we had the obligatory wedding scene where everyone lines the path into the church and throws rice at the happy couple...a la Sense and Sensibility/Pride and Prejudice.

Tuesday: I finished watching the motown documentary which was a nice way to spend the evening. And of course Biggest Loser...see below.

Wednesday: Spicks and Specks...John Wood...really? At the risk of offending any Blue Heelers' fans out there he's really not that interesting. Still they guy on the Hammond organ for the name that tune round (or whatever they call it was) was good.

Thursday: More Loser.

Saturday: New Tricks...I'd seen this supernatural, witch-themed episode before,but it was good to watch it again. Some nice contrast here between the characters of the three oldies. But it was all a little implausible I have to say, in comparison to other episodes.
And then there was a Doctor Who three episode marathon on DVD...the last three episodes of Martha leading up to "The Last of the Timelords". The Master was suitably crazy evil, but the little shrivelled Doctor was a bit creepy. Still The Master got his just desserts....or did he?

Sunday: Just finished watching Slumdog Millionaire...in my own home. (Nudge, nudge, wink, wink say no more). Hmmmm...what did I think? Well it was all very slick and professional. And we clearly saw the journey of India through the journeys of the three children. But in the end the most interesting thing about it for me was that it was a film about television, and the power of the technology to provide a collective, national experience as well as the production of contemporary fame and celebrity. I'm pretty sure though that's not why it was Ocscar nominated...I think that was because it was basically an old fashioned Hollywood romance/drama/poor boy makes good and they all live happily ever after kind of film, just set in India. So the touch of the "exotic" in the setting was arguably what sets it apart. I'm sure someone will write lots about colonialism/postcolonialism with regard this film but it isn't going to be me.

Biggest Loser update: I preface my BL update with the advice that I didn't get to watch it every night, missing the all important Friday when the purple team CAME BACK. Drama....You know the team where the woman is the epitome of the walking wounded. (If I'm mistaken please advise). Apart from that, Nathan and Andrew (or the bully boys as my mother likes to think of them) won the "one against all" weigh in by the skin of their teeth. If anyone can tell me why one of them is on crutches that would appreciated as I missed this the first time around. And surprisingly I have missed any explanation in the regular nightly recaps of the previous episodes. The whingy yellow girls survive another week. And despite being the week's biggest losers the green boys were voted out. Surprise, surprise, (they were the biggest threats after all). And lovely mother and daughter in dark blue got a day out with their family. The challenges were less stupid than the previous week...although Shannon getting his team pull a car was mildly fascinating. And the temptation where they could choose to drink three litres of milk was a little bit gross. Especially because it was banana and strawberry flavoured. The only things that are good banana-flavoured are actual bananas. Weigh-in tonight... I can't "wait"....(comedy Wendy strikes again). "Wait" (weight)...geddit.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Watch, Listen and Singalong: Part 15: The joke was on me after all

As promised I have been trawling youtube...again. My proper TV posts will return over the weekend.

Here's a display of my inner dorkiness. As a teenager I remember watching a concert that the Bee Gees performed at the Melbourne Tennis Centre. It was broadcast on the telly and hosted by, of all people, Craig MacLachlan (if my memory serves me correctly...which of course it sometimes doesn't). But I was especially taken with the songs of their pre-disco era. The beautiful harmonies, the perfect blend of voices and in particular, the strange tremulous quality of Robin's voice which you can hear here in I Started a Joke.

Enjoy, or alternatively, just sit there and think what an absolute dag I am. It's up to you.

I choose the former.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

hilarious joke for Friday afternoon

Q: When is a Friday not a Friday?

A: When you have to come to work on Saturday as well.

What a hilarious comedian I am. I made it up all by myself too. Can you believe it?

Can I colour you all impressed at my fine wit and humour?

What do you mean...No?

I think the joke is on me actually.

(now I'm thinking about the Bee Gees...off to youtube later...watch this space)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Watch, Listen and Singalong: Part 14: Wilco Wednesday

A bit of a dodgy clip but a rollicking song nonetheless from the Billy Bragg, Wilco, Woody Guthrie project. It makes me smile every time I hear it.

This is a cute beginning to a song from my favourite Wilco album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Heavy Metal Drummer just one of many fabulous songs from an atmospheric album. I just love the whole thing. The documentary that traces the difficulties surrounding the release of the album is one of my favourite music documentaries also. That and Standing in the Shadows of Motown - which should be compulsory viewing, even if only for the Montell Jordan, Chaka Khan duet on Ain't No Mountain High Enough which is superb.

And this is a beautiful song, again from the Bragg, Wilco, Guthrie project Mermaid Avenue. Arguably this is the biggest "hit" from that album. But it's packed with gems. I particularly love the slow ballad "An Unwelcome Guest". If you've never heard it, "do yourself a favour". Hmmm...what a good catchphrase for a music journalist. Particularly one who wears a big hat.

Monday, March 2, 2009

"have you been to the motor vehicle bureau lately?: it's a leper colony down there"

This mildly obscure Seinfeld quote describes my afternoon. On Saturday I made the unpleasant discovery that my license had expired two weeks ago without me noticing. Not a peep from Queensland Transport...even though I had changed my address with them not so long ago. Aren't you supposed to get a letter or something. And, then I discovered that once it's expired you can't renew on line. So, not wanting me to be booked for unlicensed driving my friend Anne offered to take me down there after work. (even though I had been blithely driving all round town...as a potential criminal). Just in case they asked me, how I got there we went in her car. I needn't have worried. The line was out the door and the staff were tearing their hair out. There was a friendly yellow note stuck to each window advising that a new computer system had been installed and could cause some delays. And everywhere you turned there were gawky boys in their school uniforms, accompanied by their hassled mothers trying for learner's permits (the boys, not the mothers). To this add in various other people of differing degrees of scariness.

Let me just say, that it wasn't very user friendly. First my slightly snarky service person sent me away to fill in the form. And then, I had to endure the cranky looks of the never-ending queue as I jumped back in (as she had told me too). It sort of surprised the guy who was already at the window, but I just threw my hands in the hair and said "She told me to come back and stand here!". And we had a little laugh about that.

And then the obligatory awful photo moment. And I paid for five years so I don't have go back again any time soon.

So while not quite the leper colony that Jerry describes to Elaine in convincing her that the bulk of the population is undateable, it certainly is an interesting place to while away 45 minutes.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

the merits of frozen broccoli

I have succumbed to the merits of frozen broccoli.
1. It doesn't cost 12.99 a kilo (thank you Olsen's Corner Foodworks that is daylight broccoli robbery to which I refuse to stand and deliver).
2. You don't discover it already going yellow in the crisper three days after you've bought it, at which time you throw it away. Rather, it lasts forever, frozen in time, like when Han Solo was cryogenically frozen in one of the Star Wars, which one I can't remember but it may have been Empire Strikes back. And then, a little bit of hot water and hey presto, it's brought back to green freshness. The broccoli...not Han Solo. How did they unfreeze him? It's been quite some time since I watched those movies.
3. It's already cut into florets. Thus making the cooking process extremely time efficient and safer for those of you like me who are a bit hopeless with knives.

Wendy's Week of TV: Part 33

Work has been absolutely flat out this week, what with Term starting tomorrow and everything. So my television watching has been a little random, a little distracted (although I think it's Cubitt that argues this is typical TV viewer, i prefer to give it my full attention), and just basically a little of the usual stuff.

Sunday: The Einstein Factor
Some young fella had picked Doctor Who as his special subject. Only the new series though, so his fandom is questionable. However, as he did look about 12 he probably wasn't around to watch the older series. And I'm not really qualified to ascertain degrees of Doctor Who fandom. I can't remember who won. But I do know that I don't like the changes to round two where the contestants only get to pick from the board once and then the Brains Trust get to pick one. This was the most interesting round, because you could join in. Just like trivia night in your own lounge room.

The Biggest Loser: Weigh -In Shock...the biggest one (purple lady with arm in sling and DVT) lost the littlest amount. If my memory serves me correctly (even though I am not the Iron Chef) it was .7 of a kilogram. The tension, the drama, the crying, the unbearable wait until Monday to see who got voted out. It's just all so exciting. Wendy's jumping up and down...in an ironic, mildly sarcastic mode of excitement.

Cranford: Poor Doctor Harrison...all these women thinking they were going to marry him and he only had eyes for the vicar's daughter. What's to do now that she's been whisked away from him? I couldn't stand to wait until tonight so very naughtily looked up the final episode on Wikipedia. Drama awaits us my friends with the coming of the evil railway. But a smidge of romance as well.

Tuesday: Biggest Loser return...WHAT?...they voted off Mr and Mrs Purple of the small weight loss and kept those whingey yellow sisters. I cannot believe it. Stupid!! And now it's Nathan and Andrew the big, boofy brothers against the world (well the rest of the contestants anyway). And I may as well as continue with the rest of the week here because I watched it intermittently. That challenge with the beam across the pool and the balloons looked blinking difficult. And the warehouse with the choice of takeaway food or 5dollars a day was a doozy little twist as well. Weigh in tonight!!! Tune in at 7 everyone for all the crying and over-sized scales you can possibly wish for.

Wednesday: The New Inventors.
To be fair I was only half listening to it while I did some marking. but it sounded boring. I'm sure there were some worthy inventions. However, worthy does not always make for interesting television.
Spicks and Specks: Better guests thank you ABC. Soul singer lady was excellent.
Chandon Pictures: Actually I declined the ABC's kind offer to watch Chandon Pictures and turned the television off. I know...it happens sometimes.

Thursday: Nothing doing on the actual TV so watched an old Doctor Who, Gridlock with Martha, the return of the big face and cat nun. As well as Ardal O'Hanlon for all Father Ted fans as a cat person stuck in the underground traffic. Very good.

Friday: Again, nothing on the TV, so borrowed a DVD. Burn After Reading. What the hell the fuss was about here I have no idea. Unlike Kerrie Murphy in yesterday's review in The Australian, I though Brad Pitt' gym junkie Chad was the most interesting character and he got killed off halfway through. I didn't understand the point of George Clooney's character. France McDormand grew on me. And John Malkovich did his usual schtick. I only kept watching to see if it got better. All in all, verdict, just a little bit dull.It reminded me of the time I was swayed by the glowing reviews for Get Shorty and went to the movies to see it. It's not that it was boring. It was like it was nothing, not funny, not scary, not dramatic, just...stuff happening.

Saturday: New Tricks. Now I know I'm probably not in the prime demographic for this show about old coppers, but it's amusing, smart and has some great actors. My favourite is Alun Armstrong's slightly off-kilter Brian. It's in repeats but still beats anything else on offer at this time.

Rockwiz: Some musical amusement before bed. Good.

An autumnal poem

To Autumn: John Keats

SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees, 5
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease, 10
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.


Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind; 15
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook; 20
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.


Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day, 25
And touch the stubble plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn; 30
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

Alright then Keats...why is it going to be 30 plus degrees here today. Clearly you know nothing about Autumn at all.

This is one of my favourite poems though.