BEDA #6: Shoes in the Sky">BEDA #6: Shoes in the Sky

When I was out rid­ing my bike yes­ter­day I came across this sight:


Not that I believe the old myth that says a pair of shoes flung over pow­er­lines indi­cates the res­i­dence of drug deal­ers but there sure are a lot of shoes up there. Should some­one call the Feds?

BEDA #5: Underwear Shopping">BEDA #5: Underwear Shopping

I’m fairly sure I’m not in denial about under­wear shopping.

I walk casu­ally past the K-Mart and stall when I see the 25% Off Under­wear sign. I stop and rub my chin so as to give the impres­sion that this is the first I have known of this sale. I check the time on my phone and shrug my shoul­ders as if to say ‘I sup­pose I have time for an impulse K-Mart visit’. I walk in.

I search through the isles of the Out­door Fur­ni­ture and am sur­prised to sud­denly find myself on the edge of the Mens Under­wear sec­tion. ‘While I’m here I might as well have a look,’ I say in the body lan­guage of my swag­ger towards the underwears.

As I pass the sale under­wears I run my eyes over them all with­out actu­ally stop­ping. There is not much time to peruse since I am impulse shop­ping. The only thing I am check­ing for is the top rim of elas­tic of the under­wears — the part that the gen­eral pub­lic might see should I bend over one day or wear my pants slightly too low. I reach out and grab two under­wears with waist elas­tics that I deem to be ade­quate in appear­ance and I hus­tle back to the Out­door Furniture.

In the line for the check­out I check my shop­ping list which has ‘Gro­ceries’ writ­ten at the top of it. Clearly, my K-Mart trip has been a slight detour to buy my brother some new under­wears. I grab a small tin of mints from the candy stand and strate­gi­cally place them on top of my pile of goods, con­ceal­ing the under­wears from the naked eye. The check­out girl processes my items and I give her a smile that says ‘My wife asked me to buy these to clean the shower with.’ She looks at my bare ring fin­ger as I sign the receipt but to her credit she says noth­ing but ‘Have a nice day’. I shove my goods into my back­pack and walk out like I am very dis­ap­pointed that I didn’t find any­thing to buy at K-Mart.

I’m fairly sure I’m not in denial about under­wear shopping.

BEDA #4: Freaks and Geeks and me">BEDA #4: Freaks and Geeks and me

I think the time has come for me to gush about Freaks and Geeks. Freaks and Geeks was a TV show made for NBC in 1999–2000 about the ‘freaks’ and ‘geeks’ at an Amer­i­can high school in 1980. The show was pro­duced by Paul Feig and Judd Apa­tow (Knocked Up, Super­bad and The 40 Year-Old Vir­gin) and much of it was based on Paul Feig’s own humil­i­at­ing high school expe­ri­ences. But Freaks and Geeks (despite it’s off-putting name) is a killer show. At a Freaks and Geeks reunion panel last year Pat­ton Oswalt called it ‘the best 18-hour indie film ever made’. The con­cept isn’t new or even close to orig­i­nal but the writ­ing and act­ing make it com­pul­sory viewing.


The freaks – an older group of kids who would be regarded as ‘alter­na­tive’ these days – are headed up by a cool kid called Daniel (James Franco), but it’s mostly through the eyes of Lind­say (Linda Cardellini) that we view the world of freaks. Linda Cardellini plays Lind­say as the independent-minded girl bal­anc­ing her recently-new world of boys, drugs and ‘freaks’ with her old world of school, home life and Math­lete friends. How­ever I think it’s the ‘geeks’ that give the show its sparkle. Sam (John Fran­cis Daley), Neal (Samm Levine) and Bill (Mar­tin Starr) are the geeks in ques­tion and they were all so close to the ages they play when the show was made that you get the result that the British drama Skins har­nesses so effec­tively: tal­ented young actors play­ing young peo­ple, which leads to an amaz­ingly acted, pro­duced and believ­able tele­vi­sion production.

Whilst the show is often very cute and funny (like when the geeks switch the freaks’ keg of beer with a non-alcoholic keg at a party and every­one still gets drunk on the placebo effect) there’s a lot more going on that. One episode fea­tures a plot that sees Bill hos­pi­talised when some kids put peanuts in his sand­wich to see if he really is aller­gic like he says. As he lies uncon­scious in hos­pi­tal we get a short scene between Bill’s and Sam’s moth­ers where Bill’s mother won­ders if her heavy drink­ing whilst preg­nant with Bill is the rea­son that he is the way he is. Pretty intel­li­gent stuff for a show that, on the sur­face, appears to be just another high school dramedy.

There is no DVD release of Freaks and Geeks in Aus­tralia but you know how to get it. And I highly rec­om­mend putting a cou­ple of days aside to watch this stun­ning show. OK. Gush over.

BEDA #3: My Skillz Part One">BEDA #3: My Skillz Part One

When I went to see an unor­gan­ised Janeane Garo­falo at the Mel­bourne Com­edy Fes­ti­val tonight — and sat in a crowded room full of peo­ple — I realised one of my great­est skills in life is fold­ing my legs away to let peo­ple walk to/from their seat. It doesn’t mat­ter if I’m sit­ting in the Mel­bourne Town Hall, a uni­ver­sity lec­ture the­atre or the tightly-rowed Dock­lands Sta­dium (or Eti­had Sta­dium as my lawyer tells me to call it) I am a plea­sure to pass on your way to the toilets.

The fact that my legs make up the same amount of my body that water does (a lot) means that to fold them away under­neath my chair is no mean feat. Whilst peo­ple around me per­form mean feats and don’t even strive to fold their legs away (can I use ‘strive’ as a metaphor if we’re talk­ing about legs?) I want noth­ing more than the person-in-transit to pass me with absolute ease.

In fact, watch­ing me fold away my legs would be like see­ing a large piece of butcher’s paper being made into a beau­ti­ful, tiny origami swan. Which actu­ally sounds much more impres­sive than bend­ing your legs back. Maybe I should try to learn that skill and get a job in a fish ‘n’ chip shop. Just imag­ine the look on your Dad’s face when he comes into the shop on a Fri­day night and I serve him his seafood pack on the back of a paper crane.

BEDA #2: The 5 Avenues of Online Conversations">BEDA #2: The 5 Avenues of Online Conversations

As the title of my upcom­ing book is The Great­est Blog­ger in the World I have started to be asked ques­tions like, ‘Do you think you’re the great­est blog­ger in the world?’ and ‘What’s it like hav­ing a blog and talk­ing online?’ Firstly, I am not, will never be, don’t want to be, can’t think of any­thing worse than being known as the great­est blog­ger in the world. So, no. And sec­ondly, at the risk of talk­ing about talk­ing and never say­ing any­thing new or real I’d like to talk about talk­ing. They say that there are five lev­els of conversation:

1. The Weather.

It’s start­ing to look like rain”.

2. A topic.

I catch rain in my water tank.”

Water tanks are cool.”

Yeah, way cool.”

3. Ener­getic conversations.

I can’t believe our fathers both sold water tanks back in the 60s!”

Life was pretty strange with a water tank sales­man for a dad!”

Tell about it.”


4. Mean­ing­ful

So I just don’t know any­more if my father loved me then or loves me now.”

All because of the tanks?”

5. Mean­ing of life-ful

Yeah, all because of the tanks. Is this how life is sup­posed to be? I feel like I’m doing it all wrong. Or maybe Dad did it all wrong.”

I think it all depends on how you look at it. Is the water tank of your life half-full or half-empty?”

As more and more online social net­work­ing sites are used (and more and more arti­cles called ‘So What Is This Twit­ter Thing Any­way?’ get pub­lished in week­end news­pa­pers) eti­quettes and ‘appro­pri­ate behav­iours’ for these sites become more evi­dent. For exam­ple, it’s not really cool to post some­thing like ‘Andrew just got dumped and is very sad. I hate you Rebecca!’ on Face­book or Twit­ter. These sites are for flip­pancy, pho­tos and gen­eral news and info. How­ever this is not to say that all types of con­ver­sa­tions can­not hap­pen online (I lose 2 writ­ing points here for my dou­ble neg­a­tive). Which brings me to my Five Avenues of Online Conversations:

1. The weather

The weather and related small talk can hap­pen pretty much any­where online. Although bor­ing con­ver­sa­tions may raise ires if you’re IM–ing.

2. A topic

Per­fect for book­mark­ing — Digg, deli­cious, etc as well as the Twitterbook.

3. Ener­getic conversations.

You could do these on Face­book or Twit­ter but peo­ple are going to get annoyed at see­ing a con­ver­sa­tion going back and forth between you and your friend. You’ll call it ener­getic, they’ll call it inane. Email or Direct Mes­sage it the way to do Level 3. Also, blogging.

4. Mean­ing­ful

Email or Direct Mes­sage, but really IM is the best course for this. And any insight­ful blogging.

5. Mean­ing of life-ful

IM. It’s the only way to ‘talk deep’ online.

My lists and rant­i­ngs are, in them­selves, flip­pant and not to be taken too seri­ously. The only real impor­tant thing to say is that any type of con­ver­sa­tion can take place online. Talk­ing online is not a sixth, dif­fer­ent level of con­vers­ing. Unless you think that shar­ing links to silly things is a supe­rior level of com­mu­ni­ca­tion that can ONLY take place online and is there­fore a sixth (and quite beau­ti­ful) level of com­mu­ni­ca­tion in itself.

Pages: Prev 1 2 3 ...12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Next