Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Travel list - your help is needed

When travelling, I invariably forget to pack something important. Last time it was my glasses! This time (I am off to Scotland, London and Croatia next week) I have decided to be uncharacteristically organized and make a packing list. If you think I have forgotten anything, please comment!!

Things for cabin luggage:

passport (in jeans pocket in waterproof bag).
Copies of all travel tickets, accommodation details, travel insurance, photocopy of passport in waterproof pouch
All medication
Glasses with glass case
Glasses cleaner
Small hand towel
USB stick with conference talk
Mobile phone including Kat's number
Empty water bottle

(Buy small nasal spray, small toothpaste and small deodorant at airport)

Things for main luggage:

Contact Lenses
Razor and spare razor blades
Shaving cream
Misc. toiletries
AJC promotion material for conference
Printed out copy of talk and paper
Nasal spray
Shampoo and conditioner
Mobile phone recharger
Coversion plug (can buy in UK if I cant find it).

Togs and goggles
Waterproof jacket
Shorts (maybe buy new shorts in UK)
Clothes (socks, underwear, tshirts)
Plastic bags
1 Small satchel of laundry powder

To do before I go:

Photocopy passport and travel documents and leave with friend.
Attach talk pdf to yahoo email.
Book airport shuttle to auckland

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Review of The Fame

I am really into Lady Ga Ga at the moment. It's been a while since I have been so excited by a pop star. (Okay, so there was that obsession with Britney a few months ago; I am always into one diva or another.) But I really think it has been a while since someone as exciting and provoking as Ga Ga has been on the charts.

What strikes me most about Ga Ga is her self-identity as an artist and the extremes to which she is prepared to push this identity. There's nothing more that irks me than celebrities who try too hard to be "down-to-earth" in interviews. Not so Ga Ga - on Rove she appeared with a one-foot cone of fake hair on her head, and answered his questions in a highly abstract and somewhat detached manner. Rove was actually watchable for a change.

Indeed, Ga Ga's whole life is a performance. She travels around in a bus called "Haus of Ga Ga" with a small army of creatives. Every interview contains an extreme or unexpected opinion. Is she joking or is she for real when she says "I would die without fame"? As with all the best camp irony, the answer is unclear.

One the surface "The Fame" seems lyrically out of date. It seems all so very Paris Hilton who is so a couple of years ago now. However I think there is a very sophisticated irony at play - as complex perhaps as Andy Warhol's exploration of fame. Indeed Ga Ga openly models herself on Warhol, with her self-penned nickname "Candy Warhol". The film clip for "Paparazzi" is possibly her most amazing yet - it manages to be provoking - how long has it been since a video clip was provoking?
Madonna 20 years ago?

Ga Ga has a voice that is similar sometimes to Christina Aguilera - but she can use it a more clever way. The contrast in Poker Face between a robotic rap and Aguilera-style warbling helps make it one of the most original pop-anthems in recent years. Ga Ga has a high-fashion edginess that makes Gwen Stefani look staid and conservative. Her lyrics have the catchiness of some of Madonna's best, but are wittier and slicker than anything Madonna was written in years. One of the most impressive efforts of The Fame is that Ga Ga has managed to do something Madonna has failed to do for quite a while - sell dance music to the U.S. public.

Like Madonna, Ga Ga creates as much noise off her albums as on them. Like Madonna, the music is what is best about Lady Ga Ga.

Monday, June 8, 2009

On intellect

Had a much needed talk with G on the weekend. The most important sentences we exchanged were:

Me: "I can't really imagine us as a couple. Can you?"
G: "No, not really."

We discussed reasons why, and one that G gave was that he felt intimidated by my intellect.

Sigh - it can indeed be lonely sometimes at my end of the bell curve.

I like to think though that intellect is as much an attitude as a question of brute mental capabilities. Intellect is a certain curiosity about the world, a pondering of why rather than just what, an ability to ask a question when you don't know something rather than being afraid of your own ignorance.

Perhaps intellect is a personality type as well - I think so, and I think that's mostly why it would probably never work with G.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Wonder Woman

I have to say of all the fictional role models I had growing up, wonder woman would have to be the most influential. She taught me to run like a girl, to respond to criticism with a sweet smile, that I could be strong without sacrificing my femininity, and that my day job wearing glasses could be a convenient disguise for my super powers.

The theme tune lyrics are below.

Wonder Woman by Norman Gimbel and Charles Fox - Wonder Woman Lyrics

Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman.
All the world's waiting for you,
and the power you possess.

In your satin tights,
Fighting for your rights
And the old Red, White and Blue.

Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman.
Now the world is ready for you,
and the wonders you can do.

Make a hawk a dove,
Stop a war with love,
Make a liar tell the truth.

Wonder Woman,
Get us out from under, Wonder Woman.
All our hopes are pinned on you.
And the magic that you do.

Stop a bullet cold,
Make the Axis fall,
Change their minds, and change the world.

Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman.
You're a wonder, Wonder Woman.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

I gotta new friend

to quote Degrassi Junior High.

My new friend A is about 60, had a stroke a few years ago and still gets regular Brazilian waxes.
A is kind of what I imagine Busty to be like 30 years from now.

It is superfluous to add that she is very entertaining.

We met at my Scrabble club and she delights in saying inappropriate things, at which I am the only person who usually laughs, which makes me laugh even more.

I was telling everyone at Scrabble about a dream I had in which a cat came onto my bed and tried to strangle me.

"Well, I sleep with three pussies every night," A replied.

A's flatmate is a pothead drifter D who she bosses about no end.

A and I rented an apartment together down in Chch (that is gay for Christchurch) last weekend for the scrabble nationals, at which I mistakenly thought "bea", "ows", "zeff" and "gnomed" were all legitimate words.

I have started to join A and D and S (who is amongst many things a tranny) at weekly quiz nights at Club Cossie, which is like an RSL in Australia. Like most things in Hamilton, the quiz night is kind of a pissweak version of a what you would get in a city. (Other examples include pissweak Karaoke - yep if you thought all Karaoke was pissweak, wait til you see Hamilton karaoke, pissweak restaurants, a pissweak gaybar and some occasional very pissweak orchestras playing the StarWars theme.) There is only one round, and the quiz is printed out a bit of paper which you hand in, while seniors harrang you to buy raffle tickets for a meat tray.

With a few more pals like A, though, I may eventually become quite attached to the pissweakedness of Hamiltron.

Let's have some fun this beat is sick

I think I will be quoting Lady Ga Ga lyrics for some time on my blog.

I was espousing her to J in Sydney on Skype last night when he said with not altogether mock acridity:

"Yeah, I get it, I get it. She's your diva at the moment."

J then quoted some incoherent whispered Mariah lyrics back at me.

The tension that arises from our different choices of diva is the basis of my friendship with J.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Leave Susan Boyle the fuck alone!!!!!!

Hmm I am noticing more exclamation marks in my posts and less apostrophes.

I saw this really fucked quiz show on cable from the UK called "Eggheads". There is basically a team of eggheads who get challenged in quizzes each week by another team who is extremely unlikely to ever beat them, such as a womens rugby team.

The eggheads openly smirk and chortle at the incorrect answers of their opposition.

Yer up ya selves, eggheads!!!!

groove slam work it back

I am once again reminded why I am single - dating makes me psycho!!!!

(Cue the screeching violins.)

Not that I am dating anyone, but just the thought sends me on the edge of a deep ravine with padded walls.

In a brief moment of sanity, I realized when I said to myself, "I feel like I am going crazy" I was engaging in emotive reasoning.

God bless that cognitive behavioural therapy I had ten years ago.