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.

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

[Pro Talent Sites] Christine Moffat, Actor.

Image via Pro Talent Sites.

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.

Related: Another City, Not My Own by Dominick Dunne Review.

Images via Big Fib, Tesco, Gabrielle Luthy.

*Updated 04/03/11.

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.

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.”

Related: The Internet is For Porn.

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

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 Scarlett Woman 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 see my favourite Wordsmith Laner isn’t, though!

Related: My Inspiration Has Run Dry…

Sarah Ayoub of Wordsmith Lane Profile.

Elsewhere: [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.

TV: Glee “Silly Love Songs” Review.

 

Last night’s episode of Glee had some semblance of a storyline, unlike most of its companion episodes this year.

Santana was ousted by the glee club as a bitch, Puck serenaded Lauren, who refused to be wooed by his misogynistic rendition of  “Fat Bottomed Girls”, and Finn attempted to court Quinn at his Valentine’s Day kissing booth.

By far the best song of the night was Artie and Mike’s collaboration on Michael Jackson’s “P.Y.T.”, which I have taken the liberty of embedding below.

Another key story arc was Kurt’s continued infatuation with Blaine, who serenades another man with Robin Thicke’s “When I Get You Alone” (again, below), another standout. Not to worry; although Blaine is rebuffed by his love interest, and Kurt confesses his feelings for his, the two are back being besties before the night’s through.

Don’t you just love how life on Glee comes packaged up nicely with a pretty ribbon on top after forty minutes…?

Related: The Underlying Message in Glee‘s “Furt” Episode.

The (Belated) Underlying Message in Glee’s “Never Been Kissed” Episode.

The Underlying Message in Glee’s “The Rocky Horror Glee Show” Episode.

The Underlying Message in Glee’s “Duets” Episode.

The Underlying Message in Glee’s “Grilled Cheesus” Episode.

The Underlying Message in Glee’s “Britney/Brittany” Episode.

Images via Shulman Says, Soul88, TV Hamster.

The Beauty Myth.

From “How Yoga Makes You Pretty—Part 1” by Melanie Klein at Elephant Journal:

“We’ve been told that ‘pretty’ is the magical elixir for everything that ails us. If we’re pretty we’re bound to be happier than people who aren’t pretty. If we’re pretty, we’ll never be lonely; we’ll have more Facebook friend requests; we’ll go on more dates; we’ll find true love (or just get laid more often); we’ll be popular. If we’re pretty, we’ll be successful; we’ll get a better job; we’ll get rewarded with countless promotions; our paychecks will be bigger.  In short, ‘pretty,’ something Naomi Wolf refers to as a form of cultural currency in the feminist classic The Beauty Myth, will buy us love, power and influence. And, in the end, ‘pretty’ will make us feel good.”

Related: Is There Really a Beauty Myth?

Elsewhere: [Elephant Journal] How Yoga Makes You Pretty—Part 1.

My Inspiration Has Run Dry…

Lately I’ve been feeling a bit disillusioned by writing.

Not by this blog, as I’m coming up with new ideas each day and don’t know what I would do without it.

But I set a goal for myself in 2011 (yes, just one); to break into the freelance market.

I thought I had an idea in very early January for an article for Jezebel, however that didn’t come to fruition, and my inspiration has been dried up ever since.

In order to make my “career” as a writer viable, I need to start getting freelance work. I know it’ll be a few years yet til I can completely subsist on freelancing alone, and even then I hope to be working on my own business (I thought I knew what I wanted to sell but, low and behold, I’m having a bit of an existential crisis in that department, too!).

But there’s a line between what I write about on this blog and what people want to read in magazines.

And then there’s the matter of being motivated enough to do the investigation required to pitch and properly publish a magazine-quality article, as opposed to the maximum of one hour’s research that goes into one of my blog posts.

AND THEN there’s the fact that I have no freelancing experience whatsoever, and it’s hard to break into that market without it. Online presence will only take you so far…

I’m not always this down on myself, but it comes and goes, you know? I’m going to work on two pitches this week to two mainstream publications and see how I go. I’m not expecting anything, but at the very least I’ll get some feedback, and at the most, I can retrieve that elusive and much needed inspiration…

Any other suggestions as to how to get it back?

Elsewhere: [Musings of an Inappropriate Woman] Hola 2009: Meditations on a New Year.

Image via Empire Online.

On the (Rest of the) Net.

 

Eight-year-old yellow wunderkind Lisa Simpson has her own book club.

Sarah Ayoub addresses Eddie Maguire’s racist comments in The Sydney Morning Herald.

Paula Joye at Girl with a Satchel on declining mag circulation.

How Hugh Hefner got his groove back at The New York Times.

I never thought there was a “link between autism and vaccinations” until my sister told me the story of how her boyfriend’s brother went from normal, happy and healthy baby to severely disabled after a vaccination. That made me think differently. This article will challenge your beliefs either way.

If “at least 40% of your diet consists of pre-packaged food”, “you don’t sleep enough for proper brain function” and “your boss knows you’re gullible”, you most likely work a 16-hour workday.

On stripping (take two):

“… the brotherly succor would partially exist in the form of shared ambivalence. I would venture to say that this how a majority of men feel about strippers… Do I enjoy strippers? Not really. Do I frequent tithouses often? No. Nor have I any close friends who do… I think men would be willing to renounce strippers if women renounced the Sex and the City franchise. I mean cut all cords. Shit’s gotten out of hand. No reruns. None of the third-wave dime store psychology. A complete effacement out of pop culture. You’re not even allowed hearken back to the simpler days when it meant something to you. Do we have a deal?”

Speaking of Sex & the City, is there a double standard between the second movie and lad flick Get Him to the Greek?

Is it possible to be a feminist and like fashion, too?

“I still get thrilled and impressed by bold, lovely, and often expensive fashion. And I still feel like I’m a person of worth, whether I’m wearing vintage Chanel or ‘vintage’ sweatpants. But I can’t seem to reconcile these two (competing?) impulses; on the one hand, a value in ‘art for art’s sake[’], beauty, style, and other intangibles; on the other, an investment in valuing substance over style, actions over appearances, and real justice over flamboyant showmanship.”

“What Your Favourite Magazine Says About You (Part II).”

Zoë Foster espouses the benefits of the “Better Man, Better Dan” theory.

 

Images via The Lisa Simpson Book Club, The Frisky.

TV: The Underlying Message in Grey’s Anatomy’s “Superfreak” Episode.

 

Every episode of Grey’s Anatomy carries an “underlying meaning”.

There’s a patient who underwent botched leg-lengthening surgery in Hong Kong juxtaposed with the ability to stand tall and proud. Meredith’s traumatic childhood leads her to defend a small child who shot her dad 17 times to protect her and her mother. And when Addison’s brother, Archer, contracts parasites in the brain, his illness is used as a metaphor for toxic people “sucking the life out of you”.

Last’s night’s “Superfreak” was no exception, paralleling the super-freakyness of a patient with human papillomavirus, which caused his body to grow warts or horns that resemble bark or tree roots, with April’s virginity.

I found this a very hard episode to watch, and scratched myself like crazy after seeing the patient’s condition, which was a similar reaction to Lexi Grey’s. The most disturbing part of the case was when A SPIDER CRAWLED OUT OF THE PATIENT’S LIMB, a phenomenon that made Dr. Bailey “scream like a little baby bitch”, making Lexi feel better.

The other “superfreaky” patient belonged to Meredith and April, who was a 27-year-old virgin with a condom lodged in her lung after practicing oral sex on a banana in preparation for her wedding night. While April thought it was romantic and idealistic and defended her patient, the other Seattle Grace staff ridiculed the patient. A roll-call of everyone’s first times followed, with April claiming hers was on the beach and was very romantic. Much like Steve Carell’s character in The 40-Year-Old Virgin when he compares the feel of women’s breasts to bags of sand, April’s colleagues catch her in a lie, and vilify her for being a 28-year-old virgin. (Now that this has come out, we all just know she’s gonna lose it before the season is over. So cliché.)

But as Meredith says in her voiceover at the conclusion of the episode, even freaks can’t wait for love forever.

Related: Top 10 TV Moments of the Year.

Gun Shot Wound to the Head: Grey’s Anatomy Season Final.

Images via YouTube and Megavideo.