It's a completely cool, multi-purpose blog.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

I'm just a voice in your earpiece

I’m in shock. I move to a new job and I find that I’m actually expected to do some work here. Real, difficult, demanding work. The cheek of it! Sydney Uni is proving a good place to be so far. I’ve experienced the usual newbie avalanche of information, and it’s hard to tell straight away what’s important and what isn’t. I’m feeling a lot happier now than I was a week ago - when I was in a bit of a panic – and things are looking good.

Beth is getting harder and harder to leave behind every morning. She is really good fun at the moment, crawling around the place and eating everything she can pick up. I wonder why we bother sterilising her milk bottles when she happily whacks a doorstop in her mouth, but that’s what the books tell us to do, so that’s what we do.

We went and saw Anthony and the Johnsons on Sunday – sublime, and I can’t wait to see what he does next. Allow me a brief brag; if you will. Look at what I said a year ago about the guy. You hadn’t heard of him then, had you? And I was right, wasn’t I? Call me Pop Nostradamus.

A few more films (The Double Life of Veronique was disappointing Euro-artwank from the usually masterly Kieslowski, Fat City is an ace bit of 70s pessimism) and 2 tremendous albums have kept me entertained this week (Dennis Wilson’s Pacific Ocean Blue and the Arctic Monkeys one). The real excitement, though, is coming up. Tonight it’s the Tiger Lilies at the Sydney Opera House, and next week is:

Tuesday – Franz Ferdinand at the Enmore Theatre
Wednesday – Franz Ferdinand at the Enmore Theatre
Thursday – The Big Day Out featuring, er, Franz Ferdinand. Although I may miss them ‘cos they clash with MIA.
Friday – Lay in bed moaning

I’m so lucky, lucky, LUCKY!

Oh, and for those of you who know our lovely mates Mark and Tanya you’ll be pleased to know that this week they begat a boy called Oliver. I’ve yet to meet him, but apparently all is well and he’s very cute.

What’s wrong with a little destruction?

ps Chic Murray - genius

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Brett Anderson must've been off his noggin

I added some more Beth photos to Flickr. How cute is that?

A night in on my own, what else to do but watch, er, 4 movies. Well, they were pretty short, and all are in the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die book..

Dog Star Man – A terrible, pretentious, acid-fried experimental film from the 60s. Mercifully short.

Tabu – “Noble savage” exotica from the early 30s. It started life as a doco, but they added the plot from the peerless Sunrise to appeal to audiences. They shouldn’t have bothered – the visuals are ravishing but the storyline is a distraction.

Halloween – Surprisingly unscary, but with one or two good moments.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula – I actually walked out of this at the cinema (trust me, I was having a baaaad day), but I loved it this time around. Keanu is terrible of course, but the other performances are huge fun (Tom Waits!) and the visuals are spectacular.

M’s bringing Beth back from Avoca tonight. Best all round, really.

Monday, January 09, 2006

You have offended my family and you have offended the Shaolin Temple

More filmtastic shenanigans:

Ben Hur – I can’t believe I hadn’t seen this before. S’very good, and the chariot race bit is awesome, although there are sections t with a definite whiff of gorgonzola.

Enter the Dragon – I don’t get the Bruce Lee thing at all. The better-than-average fights did little to redeem the dreadful plot and dialogue, and the whole thing is riddled with racial and sexual stereotypes that were outmoded even in 1973.

Irma La Douce – I absolutely adore The Apartment, and this was put together by the same team. The early scenes, with Jack Lemmon as an innocent cop in the red light district, are brilliant, but it sags with a big plot development halfway through and is tedious thereafter.

The Sydney Festival 2006 is now underway. The new Robert LePage show, The Andersen Project, is brilliant, although it’s a little too similar to his earlier Far Side of the Moon. We saw it with Jen and Andrew, neither of whom had seen a LePage before and were therefore blown away. A lovely bonus was winning a pair of tix for All Wear Bowlers, which was an entertaining riff on Godot and Laurel & Hardy – a kind of existentialist slapstick. A nice bit of sample dialogue:

“What are you worried about?”
“The Void.”
“Whatever do you mean?”

PS You may wondering about our daughter. Where did I see her last? Oh yes, she’s up at Avoca being looked after by the grandparents Player. M’s back up with them tonight, so…guess I’ll watch a video.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Walkabout's good, but

Well I finished watching The 10 Commandments and then watched Performance - both films of brilliant moments undermined by an irrredeemable silliness. Worth seeing for the Red Sea sequence and James Fox's performance respectively.

Fox to Mick Jagger: "You're a comical little geezer. You'll look funny when you're fifty"

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

No.11: Thou shalt not leave your mobile switched on while in the library

Just thought I'd bring this to your attention. Damn straight.

M's up at Avoca with Beth, so last night I watched a bit of Soviet film experimentation from 1929 (no, really) and half of the ever-so-slightly preposterous The 10 Commandments. Yup, I'm up to number five.

I am currently reading Julian Barnes' Flaubert's Parrot, about 20 years after everybody else. Oh well, it's not like I've got roung to Midnight's Children yet either.

Yip yip xx

Monday, January 02, 2006

Too darn hot

As he emerges blinking into the dazzling light of the new year, Tom peers around him…behold! The same old shit!

Well, not entirely. I am after all in a new job as of today, Faculty Liaison Librarian at the University of Sydney. First impressions are good; friendly staff, well-equipped library, attractive campus and so on. Now I have to get my head around the various policies and procedures, and get clued up on my specialist areas of sports science and occupational therapy.

Christmas and New Year were, predictably, marvellous. My sister Amy and her husband James arrived safely on Dec 22nd and stuck around for a couple of weeks. They enjoyed getting to know Beth and spending Christmas with the Player clan, as well as taking in the New Year fireworks on Sydney Harbour.

They also very kindly took us on a 3-day houseboat trip on the beautiful Hawkesbury River. It’s one of those things that you always think “I must get round to that sometime”, so to actually do it was a real treat. The heat was a problem for Beth at first, until we developed a technique of filling up a plastic dive tub with river water and plonking her in it on the bow of the boat.

In fact the weather here has been ridiculous – on New Year’s Day it was 44 FRIGGIN’ DEGREES! That’s the second hottest Sydney day on record, way way too hot for a pathetic pom like me. Thank Jehovah for a cool swimming pool and air con on max.

Beth is coping with her usual aplomb, and can now officially be said to be crawling. She is extremely intent on getting around the place and causing mischief, so I reckon she’s going to be a real handful from now on.

Arts-wise it’s obviously been a bit quiet. I’ve read a few bits, including the splendid The Line of Beauty and the charming The Silent Traveller in London, plus some Wodehouse stuff. Virtually no film action except A Town Like Alice (v good) but a change is gonna come now I have access to these university libraries – woohoo!

Great beard of Zeus!