Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Dear Frances Gibson

OK well, I would wake up most days and tell De Campo there isn’t a cloud in the sky and she would say yes there are, just look over there and to the West there would be lots of them. Holding hands in the ocean on our last day, I said look honey, it’s just you and me out here and five seconds later, she was covered in jellyfish stings. Luckily we met some heart of gold locals who ran a bar up the road and helped De Campo get well medicated. We tried most of their booze and got beautifully drunk. They cooked us a dinner of prawns and delicious red curry. After dinner we went inside a straw-hut, style bar played pool, listened to ZZ Top and met a little puppy named Poo-Poo, who was busy torturing a frog.

The next day we flew to Bangkok. The marketplace was profoundly exotic and pestilent. Miniature turtles for fifty cents and baby vultures at huge discounts. We bought four of each (with the intention of cross-breeding them) plus a fruit bowl, some salad forks, a pepper grinder and some brilliant three dollar t-shirts.

I returned to work yesterday to find out my ‘out of office assistant’ was out of its head: “I am away from 14 August - 28 August. I will be back in the office answering messages on March 6.” HA, I wish.

On my way to work this morning, thinking about how gruelling it is to be back there, I caught an amusingly hostile cab exit as I transferred trams at the corner of Collins and Spring. The cab was on a slope and at an awkward angle causing the door to heavily swing back into the passenger, a horrid young lady, who repeatedly kicked the door causing it to swing back nailing her harder and infuriating her more each time. Forced down she held out her foot to steady the door and once under control, she clumsily staggered to her feet. Eager to get the last word, she kicked the door several more times, and to the joy of everyone watching this rude display the door responding by giving her a most forceful bash, knocking her back into the seat. I felt sorry for the cab driver who at this point probably thought he was stuck with this revolting creature. After I heard her scream in agonising defeat, I turned the heavenly Camera Obscura up on my IPOD and scooted away in a fit of giggles at such welcome suffering.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Greetings from Thailand

I tried to fly from Melbourne to Bangkok with an expired passport, a crime punishable by international aviation law. The next day I went to the US Consulate and finagled a new one (the pitiful look on my new passport photo could only mean one thing: I auditioned for Everybody Loves Raymond and lost out to the turd who plays his brother) while De Campo drank to much coffee and revised the flight itinerary.

We flew to Bangkok later that night. The flight was terrible. The legroom we scored with emergency exit seats were occupied by a continuous flow of filthy, abusive drunks and lumbering, mad mothers burping their beastly little beauty pageant hopefuls.

It was then that it occured to me I have unwittingly opted for a path not dissimilar to the suspected murderer of Jon Benet Ramsay.

Our secluded resort is located on a mountain on the Island of Phuket overlooking Kamala Beach, a quiet village ten kilometers away from the buzzing markets and nightlife of Patong. We taxi around in buggies that look like oversized dog kennels. We visit Patong often to try on pants we're having made in cashmere for dirt cheap or dine on roast duck curry as the sun goes down. At night the streets of Patong are inhabited by transsexuals who climb upon tables inside open air bars and try to sell you imitaion watches.

I spent the first couple of days in bed trembling feverishly and subsisting on Robitussin and the odd kernel of popcorn.

There are literally no flies here whatsoever. Every attempt on my part to befriend a family of frogs who live in the pond outside the palatial living quarters has been met with a croak of indifference.

Locals are loquacious, hospitable; hostile if they're trying to sell you something and they can't make drinks worth a damn. An afternoon devoted to the swim up bar exposed the pool boys total incompetence at making five dollar cocktails. A piss poor Margarita was the final straw. "More salt?" Wilmer Valderrama asked cluelessly.

Restauranteurs seem to have bottled the Tsunami that hit here in December of 2004 and then implanted our meals with it because invariably five hours after eating, the turmoil begins.

There is also ample romance over and above the indigestion.

Your fragile foreign correspondent,

Thursday, August 10, 2006


Dining out in Richmond the other night, Nick Lachey brushed past just as I was savouring an ultra-crispy salt and pepper squid ring with part of it hanging out of my mouth like a Neanderthal. Carnie, a work colleague in leotards, was just in the middle of telling me about the modern dance routine she was teaching later to a J-LO CD when I saw her face turn white and her jaw drop like a stone. An entourage followed, which included a bodyguard who looked like this! For those unaware, Nick was married to this goofy pop singer who upon discovering she was pregnant with his baby said “he put his purple-headed yogurt slinger in my fuzzy taco and now there’s, like, a baby in my tummy tum tum tum.”

Due to the lack of strippers and body shots on the premises, they ordered squid and generally behaved themselves.

Monday, August 07, 2006

in The Case of The Polka-Dot Scarf

Ever ransacked the house for your girlfriend’s silk scarf only to have it turn up in the vacuum bag months later? TOTALLY!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

TV Eye on Entourage

Jeremy Piven is the greatest character actor of our generation. My Bill Walton-esque over the top comment has merit. For the most part of his career, he has been typecast as the nebbishly nefarious Dean of fictious universities from roles in "PCU" all the way up to "Old School". Tirelessly attempting to get are wanton stars expelled for infantile indiscrestions. Name another actor who has played the dean of another fictious university? You can't. The only actor who has been so callously typecast would be Ray Liotta as "Shoeless" Joe Jackson. I believe he played him in "Eight Men Out" and "Field Of Dreams". Ahh.. "Field Of Dreams" where Kevin Costner immortally uttered the words 'What do you mean I can't play? It's my corn!'. Back to Piven. He has shed his schlub mode. His acting transformation has gone from stints playing George Costanza in the Seinfeld within a Seinfeld, grey sweatpants and all, to the most power hungry demonically cool Republican (my oxymoron du juor) since Chuck Sheen and Michael Douglas decided to see how many yachts they could water-ski behind while simultaneously wooing Daryl Hannah (circa when she was dating John-John Kennedy as opposed to her recent bizarre tree climbing incident). 'Hug it out bitch' is now a national catch phrase due to Piven.

Mark Wahlberg is the executive producer of HBO's "Entourage". The show is based on him and his posse coming up in Hollywood, presumably this is after the fall of the Funky Bunch. Kevin Dillon plays the role of Johnny "Drama" Chase in what I assume is based on Donnie Wahlberg (brillant as always in "Saw II"). If it weren't for Piven, Dillon would steal every scene. I have come to the conclusion that Matt Dillon is the black sheep of the family, I don't care if he was nominated for an oscar in the contrived "Crash". With Kevin Dillon, I actually care if he gets calf implants.

The numerous cameos of Hollywood stars playing themselves is the most brillant aspect of "Entourage". Highlights include: James Woods, playing a visibly toned down version of himself, smashing in the security surveillance camera in order to procur tickets for the James Cameron directed Aquaman premier. Gary Busey, at his own museum curated art exhibit, chasing down entourage member Turtle for 50k for an art installation that he accidently knocked over. The fact can be argued that Busey is not cognizant of the fact that he is on the set of a TV show as opposed to actually be at MOMA. This begs the question, putting acting talent aside, is Gary Busey Nick Nolte's alter Ego, or is Nick Nolte Gary Busey's alter ego? Slip yourself some Rophynol and trip on that for awhile. My favorite cameo has to be the venerable Bob Saget lugubriously laying around the pool with hookers and offering 100k to sleep with the Heidi Fleiss like madame and being rebuffed on his proposition. With this role and his joke telling on the "Aristocrats", Robert Saget has endearingly embraced a new pery persona. It fits. I am now actually anticipating his "Full House" reunion show with the barely legal Olsen twins. How many knowing furtive fondles will Saget cop on the Thanksgiving reunion show? Entourage is easliy the best show on TV thet does not star Scott Baio.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

An island of great complexity

"Why would anyone want to name a song 'Pink Cookies in a Plastic Bag Getting Crushed by Buildings?'"