Event Preview: Really Nice Day Cabaret.

If you see one thing this weekend, make it Christine Moffat as the slightly-psychotic Kitty Day in Really Nice Day.

Showing from this Thursday 3rd March to Sunday 8th March at The Butterfly Club in South Melbourne, the show deals with the love of Kitty’s life leaving her. All she wants is someone to sympathise with her; a friend. So she went out and strapped one to her piano, and thus, Really Nice Day was born.

Featuring songs from Elvis Costello, The Whitlams and Moffat’s own compositions, it should be a rip-roaring good night.

And remember, silence is golden, but duct tape is silver.

Tickets available from The Butterfly Club,  $18–$22. Stay tuned for a review just in time for the weekend.

[The Butterfly Club] Christine Moffat in Really Nice Day.

[Pro Talent Sites] Christine Moffat, Actor.

Image via Pro Talent Sites.

Event: Come On Barbie, Let’s Go Party!

Last Friday night, I was fortunate enough to be invited to my friend Lana’s Barbie themed birthday bash. (And rightly so, seeing as I was the one who came up with the theme ;)).

With so many options to choose from (how many incarnations has Barbie had? Let me count the ways…), you wouldn’t think it would be so hard to come up with a costume idea. But you know me; I take pride in coming up with left-of-centre—or at least original—get-ups.

So imagine my excitement when I realised I could go as a Barbie that didn’t have to wear a blonde wig: Lene from Aqua. Or more specifically, Lene as the title character from the band’s 1997 hit, “Barbie Girl”.

I’m a sucker for a group costume, so I enlisted the help of my friends Eddie and Andrew (the latter of whom I had to evict from the group as we couldn’t find a fourth member, nor pink and yellow men’s suits at a cheap price), and numerous eBay purchases, some shaving cream and a permanent marker later, we we’re ready to party. Come on, Barbie…

The full costume, before the wind machine at the club blew my flower away :(.

Barbie & Ken.

Original Barbie. And it looks so life-like, too!

Birthday girl Lana looks very impressed by my muscles. Or maybe it’s the handiwork my sister and her friend did with some permanent marker when I managed to affix my faux tattoo incorrectly!

One Ken, two Kens, three Kens, four! (I apologise for the dismal quality of these pics; ahh, the miracle of Microsoft Paint.)

Feminists in arms, take two.

Scuba Steve. Oh, I’m sorry—Malibu Beach Ken.

Me and the birthday girl, Magician Barbie.

I was responsible for some of this… namely the cut above Eddie’s right ear!

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] ‘Tis the Season…

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Bad Taste Foxymorons.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Getting Our Pirate On, Christmas Party Style.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] The Witching Hour: Halloween/My Birthday at Witches in Britches Cabaret.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] In Defence of Barbie.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Forget Computer Engineer Barbie: Barbie as Sociopath.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] I’m a Barbie Girl, in a Gaga World.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Valley of the Dolls.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Extreme Makeover: Barbie Edition.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Prime Minister Barbie.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Newspaper Clipping of the Week: First World Problems.

Event: Armistead Maupin in Conversation with Noni Hazlehurst.

“It Gets Better”. “We R Who We R”. Proposition 8. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell*.

It’s hard to believe it’s 2011 and we are still having these arguments about sexual orientation and whether it’s a choice.

Armistead Maupin, writer of the Tales of the City series, spoke about these things last night at the Athenaeum Theatre on Collins Street to promote his latest installment, Mary Ann in Autumn, which brought a man in the same row as me to tears.

For those of you not familiar with Maupin (and so many people seem to be unfamiliar with the works of my favourite authors. Dominick Dunne, anyone?), here’s a quick refresher, much of which Maupin went into detail on the night:

Tales of the City was spawned from a newspaper column he wrote for the San Francisco Chronicle in the late 1970s, when homosexuality was still illegal and regarded as a mental illness; but not to worry, Maupin was in the closet at that point.

The Tales deal with a bunch of much loved characters who are dealing with life, love and sex interspersed with murder mysteries, AIDS and adoptions in 1970s San Fran. Some are gay, some are straight, one is transgendered, which was quite a feat for that time, especially for something that was to be published in a newspaper.

Maupin laughed about his far-right, homophobic editor at the Chronicle, who insisted his characters be categorized into columns: heterosexual and homosexual. Aren’t we glad we don’t do that anymore (insert sarcasm here)?

Hazlehurst marvelled at the fact that we still have so many “dumb people” in this day and age, and mentioned Sarah Palin by name, which drew a cheer from the audience. Maupin revealed that he was a Republican back in the day, and that Republican ideals often go hand in hand with being closeted: “If I was right winged and gay, my father might love me,” was his rationale at that time.

On that, Maupin spoke of his coming out to his best girlfriend, Jan, who told him, “big fucking deal,” a quote which Tales of the City fans will recognise throughout the books. Maupin said that was a turning point in his life and love of San Francisco, as he realised that people in that city “really didn’t care”. (Jan also called Maupin “Babycakes”, which is a term of endearment between the two main characters, Mary Ann Singleton and Michael Tolliver, and the title of the fourth book in the series.)

Hazlehurst took issue with Maupin being called a “gay writer”, because really, he “writes about human beings” with both good and bad qualities. “Whole people”, if you will. Maupin said he inserts parts of his own personality into his characters: Michael Tolliver is who he wants to be, and Mary Ann encompasses his “less acceptable” qualities.

He signed off with an anecdote from his sister’s mother-in-law which, much to his sister’s chagrin, made it into Maybe the Moon: One of the characters visits the gynaecologist with a bag over her head, to—ahem—lessen her embarrassment. When Maupin did a reading of the book in his hometown, his sister came along to the event… with her mother-in-law, who remarked, “See? Other people do it too!” Oh, the ignorance! Or as Maupin likes to call it, radio station K-FUCKED. You know, the voice in your head constantly tearing you down, only to build you back up again.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Book Review: Another City, Not My Own by Dominick Dunne.

Images via Big Fib, Tesco, Gabrielle Luthy.

*Updated 04/03/11.

Mag Cover of the Week.

Dumb blonde no more!

Jessica Simpson is the buzz of New York (Magazine and Fashion Week) as her clothing, fragrance, shoe and God-knows-what-else empire reaches close to $1 billion in revenue. She’s come a long way since her infamous “is it chicken or fish?” days, though New York has no qualms about bringing it up in their cover line: “I’m making a billion dollars off… CLOTHES?!”.

Image via Girl with a Satchel.

On the (Rest of the) Net.

“A Brief History of the Bump Watch.”

And for any preggo Early Bird’s out there, this one’s also for you: “What You NEVER, Not in a Million Years, Expect When You’re Expecting”.

Dodai Stewart discovers the benefits of jeggings.

In the wake of St. Kilda’s most recent sex scandal (Ricky Nixon and the same underage girl who released damaging nude photos of St. Kilda players Nick Riewoldt and Nick Dal Santo in December, for those of you who have been under a rock the last week or so), Hawthorn’s Lance Franklin has released a sexist line of t-shirts.

Also with the St. Kilda Schoolgirl Scandal, Round 2, Mia Freedman writes:

“… I think it’s extremely interesting how she is indeed redressing the power imbalance between a 17-year-old girl and high profile AFL players and managers. She’s using social media and traditional media in ways that have been both surprising and disturbing to watch.”

Freedman shares her views on Justin Bieber’s recent abortion comments, as well. More on this to come next week.

For all the single ladies (put your hands up!), “10 More Reasons You’re Not Married”, which include such gems as “you’re not good enough at fellatio or you’re too good at fellatio,” “you are too fat or too skinny” and “you want children too much and/or not enough”. It seems we can’t (or can) win.

Guest Girl with a Satchel blogger, Georgie Carroll of Frangipani Princess, talks teen magazines. “… My favourite day of the month is still when the newest issues hit the stand”; mine too.

On femme fatales.

Jenna Sauers attends a Fashion Week PETA party and “talks about animals with Tim Gunn”. Interesting stuff.

Are Lady Gaga and Rihanna really original, or “stealing other artists’ work”?

Are you a fan of kangaroo meat? Read this; it might change your mind:

“Like the seal trade, it’s brutal, but it happens away from our view, at night in the bush. According to the law, adult kangaroos should be killed by a single shot to the brain.  But in reality, many are injured in the neck or the body, and flee into the bush where they die slowly and painfully.

“What’s even less known is the terrible fate of joeys, just like the one Ray waded into turbulent flood waters to save: over a million a year are killed each year along with their mothers. How? The hunter stomps on the pouch joey’s head, or bludgeons him or her with a metal pipe.  This is enough to make you think twice about ever putting roo on the menu. The young outside the pouch are shot through the heart or head.”

Images via Romantic Dreaming, Juciytings.

On the Net: It’s Hip(ster) to be a Mermaid.

Disney’s been done by Mean Girls, Stockholm syndrome sufferers and fashion mags. Now, the new frontier of hipsterism has ventured under the sea into Ariel’s world.

Who would’ve thunk it that the bubbly ranga mermaid would serve as a spokeswoman for the hipster way?

[Hipster Ariel] Homepage.

[Buzzfeed] The Best of Hipster Little Mermaid.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] The Little Mermaid: Part of Glee‘s World?

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Mean Girls 3: The Disney Princess Version.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Beauty & the Bestiality Take 2: Advice from Belle.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Disney Does Designers… Elle Style.

Images via Hipster Ariel, Buzzfeed.

On the Net/Magazines: He’s Just Not That Into You… He’s Into Porn.

From “He’s Just Not That Into Anyone” by Davy Rothbart in New York Magazine’s porn issue:

“There is no glory in trying to make love to men who only know how to fuck—man after man after man after man raised on porn.”

[New York Magazine] He’s Just Not That Into Anyone.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] The Internet is For Porn, Porn, Porn.

Images via Pop on the Pop, MySpace, Giant Bomb.

On the Net: Do Gentlemen Prefer Blondes?

That was the question asked by these non-blondes picketing outside the premiere of Marilyn Monroe’s (not to mention Jane Russell’s) movie, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

The answer may be “yes” to some men, but we all know they marry brunettes. Oh, snap!

[Jezebel] Brunettes, Redheads Picket “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Blondes Have More Fun—And They’re Magical!—In Tangled.

Image via Jezebel.

Newspaper Clipping of the Week.

Sarah Wilson’s “A Better Life” column in this week’s Sunday Life deals with her “First World problems”, popularised by fellow former Cosmopolitan editor Mia Freedman on her MamaMia blog:

“There you are, having some First World, self-righteous, control-freakish throwdown—your latte arrives cold and made with non-decaffeinated beans, you have under-thigh burn because one of the kids left the heated car seat on high—and someone mentions their baby has cancer. Or that they’re bankrupt. It makes you pull your head in. And get perspective.”

I had some similar First World problems last Wednesday; I forgot take my hairbrush to work, so I had no way of taming my tresses before going to see Hairspray that night. I also got to work especially early to get some blogging-related work done, and the internet was down, so I wasted half an hour that could have been spent sleeping. Or jogging. Or retrieving said hairbrush.

And don’t you worry; I made damn sure everyone knew about “the worst day of my life”. (Actually, the worst day of my life was the day I moved to Sydney. Funnily enough, I can’t remember the best…)

This is not to mention the crisis that followed on Friday night when I fucked up the application of a faux-tattoo for a costume party (stay tuned for more on this next week). Luckily, I was able to commandeer the permanent marker-on-skin skills of my sister and her friend

But considering the apocalyptic events happening around the world—uprisings in Egypt and Libya; flood after cyclone after flood in Queensland and Victoria, and now Christchurch’s earthquake; WikiLeaks and the can of political relations worms that scandal opened—there’s really nothing for me—nor Wilson—to worry about.

You can read the full article here.

[Sarah Wilson] A Reality Check with Nick Vujicic (And a Lesson in Helping Others).

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Julian Assange: Modern Day Outlaw.

On the Net: Sarah Ayoub’s Wordsmith Workaholism.

Following on from Monday morning’s post, where I lamented my lack of inspiration, Sarah Ayoub at Wordsmith Lane talks about productivity and the chore of writing in her post, “A Perfect Weekend for Me & a Present for You”:

“It’s hard to be motivated when everything about you is a chore…”

I don’t feel like everything about me is a chore; in fact, I have been getting in a lot of downtime lately and I’ve been able to get through almost all six seasons of Grey’s Anatomy in about a month and a half (more to come on that next month).

But I addressed this notion in an interview with Ayoub here on The Early Bird Catches the Worm last year:

“How do you balance all your commitments?

“I don’t. Something always gives out, like nights in front of the TV or deadlines for my thesis. I don’t have the time management thing down pat yet, and considering the size of my family, I don’t have a lot of time to myself either. I am hoping things will settle down a little after the wedding.

“… Do you find sometimes it’s a chore to churn out articles, book reviews and the like, as previously you would do those things for pleasure?

“I guess my readers can tell when I do something for pleasure because I gush about it, whether it’s a book or make-up and I do think I come across as fairly honest. If it’s not something I am interested in, it doesn’t get a review. Just a mention that it’s out and what it’s supposed to be about. I definitely think I should perhaps cut down to blogging about quality though. I really need to prioritise, as the blog doesn’t really provide a return investment for me at this stage, and there are some more pressing things to worry about, like my thesis, my freelancing and definitely my novel.”

Rachel Hills is also another blogger who writes on workaholism, and you can find her most poignant post here.

There’s a difference between not being motivated enough, and being too busy with work, social life and whatnot, and I seem to be languishing somewhere in the middle…

Glad to my favourite Wordsmith Laner isn’t, though!

[Wordsmith Lane] A Perfect Weekend for Me & a Present for You.

[Wordsmith Lane] A Great Piece of Writing… And My Personal Thoughts.

[Musings of an Inappropriate Woman] My Name’s Rachel, and I’m a Workaholic. And I Think the Internet May Have Something to Do With It.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] My Inspiration Has Run Dry…

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Blogger Profile: Sarah Ayoub of Wordsmith Lane.