Does Zooey Deschanel fantasise about herself when she can’t sleep?

500full-zooey-deschanelIt’s 3.43am and contrary to my earlier predictions this evening, I’m apparently still wide awake.  I’ve tried all the obvious remedies – warm milk, reading, valium and sweet, sweet dreams of my eternal girl crush Zooey… all to no effect.

This is not a new phenomenon to me.  Usually it succeeds a hatred for my job, distress about a best friend who didn’t live up to promises made, or panic about an ever increasing credit card bill.  This time, I can’t really lay claim to major concerns on any of those fronts.  Life is good (credit card debt notwitstanding).  Work is, you know, ok.  An previously undeveloped friendship has magically worked its way into real connection and I no longer feel the gaping hole of my formerly disappearing BFF.  Husband is funny, charming and keeping the home fires burning (*snigger *).   I’m creatively inspired and excited for what seems to be a promising venture.

Perhaps therein lies the clanger.  Today I inadvertantly did the most mortifyingly embarrassing thing through sheer stupidity.  The sun was out and mother had lent me her convertible for a few days.  What is a girl to do?  Get in the damn thing and drive of course!  I wandered here and there, lapping up the luxury of a warm winters day on my seasonably pale visage (all hail tinted moisturiser!).  As someone who works from home the sun is a foreigner to me.  I’m daily cloistered in a cool garret with a candle melting fat drips of  wax as I toil and a thin worsted blanket loosely covering my shoulders to keep the cold from bruising my bones.  Ok I exaggerate.  It’s a lovely desk with a pretty view of a vast, hulking, deciduous green tree and central heating. And I wear my PJs and slippers to work.  Whatever.  The point is, to spend an hour or two drenching myself in the sun is unusual.  

Notice how long I’ve avoided getting to the actual point?   Yeah well.  I managed to completely and utterly lose track of myself and forgot a 3pm appointment which was really important to me.  To do with aforementioned future creative endeavours.  Till I got a politely innocuous sms at 3.30 reminding me where I was supposed to be.  At that point, I would like to have flayed the golden warmth from my face and arms and return to my cold garret in shame.  I of course was in Manly  so still obscenely far from where I should have been – in Rose Bay.  Mortification complete.  Did I mention I had already postponed this meeting from the previous day so I could frivolously see some ridiculous baby elephant?  Which didn’t eventuate after much waiting around.

So here I sit, vainly (god, please let me be wrong) hoping that this last ditch effort to expunge my embarrassment from my brain by sharing with others in writing will, at last, help me get to sleep.  Writing as therapy and all that.

4.04am.

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What’s Stranger Than a Midget

Beer Guard DogWalking to work has been an interesting experience.   Ah, Sydney… the sights, the smells… the excitement… and the weird things you see.

Monday

Kent St.  A beer truck is being unloaded by a couple of big,  sweaty blokes.  Sitting on top of the 6-foot-high stack of beer cartons is a guard dog.  A teeny, little 1-year-old miniature poodle.  What the hell is that little tyke gonna protect them from?  Midgets?

Cute?  Indubitably.  Tough & scary?  No.

Arf.

Tuesday

Speaking of midgets, saw one.  Ok that’s pretty unusual in itself sure… but this one was driving a car down Sussex street.   Stretchin’ his little legs out and pointing his little tippie-toes as far as he possibly can every time he has to brake… or accelerate.  Bless!

Wednesday

Still speaking of midgets… what could be stranger than a midget I hear you ask?  Well… picture a small chinese woman.  And by chinese, I don’t mean ‘asian’ – I can tell the bloody difference you know – I mean FROM CHINA.

So, small chinese woman.  Imagine her, really, right now, close your eyes if you really need to, just start imagining ok.   Black hair, indeterminate age, barely 5 feet tall and just generally all-round small.  So got a picture in your head?    Good.

Now, put DD cup boobs on that sucker.  I kid you not.  How does she stay vertical?  Walking down Kent Street with nary a care in the world.  Except her gigantic DD boobs of course.

Thursday

Sighted a woman power-walking her way down George St.  Clearly she neglected to properly check the mirror as she walked out the door because she’s wearing her shirt inside out.  Bless her little oblivious socks.  It’s a long way from one end of George St to another and there are MANY MANY people along the way.  Hopefully one of them will be kind enough to actually let her know rather than point and laugh as I’m doing.

Crap.  Just realised.  The woman in question is me.

And no.  Noone let me know.  Realised after I got to work and looked in the mirror in the bathrooms.

People are scum*!

*Burgess, A. K., 2008, London.

Falling Over is Always Funny

hahaSome things are so funny they make snot come out your nose.  Actually, that’s not accurate.  Somethings are so funny TO ME that they make snot come out of MY nose.  Yet other people are either indifferent or, more commonly, mortally offended.  I do understand, really I do.

I get that some people feel sympathy when, say, a person who is carrying a heavy box in the middle of an overcrowded (overcrowded in the way it only gets 4 days before xmas) JB HiFi store, happens to knock over an entire display case of DVDs, then stumble and fall face first into the ensuing mess.  I do not.  Feel sympathy that is.  For me, it’s a snot fest.

Frankly, I’m just glad it’s not me making a complete blithering idiot of myself – because, god knows, it so easily could be me.  Those who rush to help are those picture perfect types with nary a hair out of place… they would never be so graceless.  I however would.. very easily.  And so, I must laugh.

Recently, our very beloved family dog went completely blind.  It’s terrible, horrible.  I cried… well, to be entirely tasteless, I cried my eyes out… other, less easily amused souls, just cried dreadfully.   But I digress, let me tell you how we realised that he’d gone blind.

Mum & Dad took him for a walk in the park and noticed that he was very tentative – usually he’s like a glo-stick-waving-pill-poppinig-20-year-old – a little manic but very entertaining to watch.  Then he bumped into a couple of trees and they started to get a bit concerned. So mum called him; he turned and ran straight towards her voice.  As opposed to say, following the path.  Unfortunately there was a little creek in between them – he missed the bridge and ran straight off the edge into the creek.

I will reiterate – it’s nothing to laugh about… it’s a devestating thing to happen to a young dog… but even as I’m writing it, I get the giggles.  My mother would be furious… literally psychotically furious with me.   I just can’t help myself, I keep picturing him running straight off the edge  – coyote style (of Roadrunner fame) – suspended in mid-air…until that moment when he looks down and realises he’s screwed up. Meep meep!!!!

I suppose I owe a lot to Schadenfreude, me old mate.  He keeps me in stitches.

A Fistful of Dollars

I make pretty damn good money and so does Matt.  By all rights we should be laughing it up in Monaco with a bottle of Cristal 1990 Krug in one hand and a Goldvish in the other.  And yet, we are always so damn poor!  It’s absurd and I want my money back!  Pun intended.

Last month, courtesy of 2 weeks unpaid holiday in New York, we managed to get down to our last $50 – with 10 days to go before our next payday.  So we economised somewhat.  We “indulged” by adding frozen peas to our 2-minute noodles.  We finagled invites to other people’s houses for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  We walked, we did not drive.  No toilet paper? Find a bloody newspaper mate! And stop whining about how it scratches.  Cheese on your toasted sandwich?  Luxury!  It’s vegemite sans butter again I’m afraid.  Oh, we’re a little late in paying our bill?  Sorry complete oversight, we’ll fix that up right away [well, in 10-12 days]…

This month it’s gonna be caviar and roses I tell you.  Or we’ll be paying off those bills we ignored last month that have now accumulated into a something akin to Rosie O’Donnell’s arse.  Large, pushy and not very fucking funny. 

Of course we did still manage to drum up $80 to pay the cleaner.  I mean really!  We can’t live in a pigsty can we?

Mind the Gear Stick, Love

My first car was a 1989 lime green Honda Civic given to me by my parents when I was 17, before I even had my licence.  Yes I know you’re all groaning because mummy and daddy gave me, what was at the time, a reasonably newish car.  Trust me, it was as comfortable as driving a Model-T round Le Mons for 24 hours and I’m sure Dad got it for free – or near to.  It had air-conditioning which didn’t work and the tape deck, yes tape deck, had a sticky play button, which meant  I could only listen to tapes SOME of the time.  Car is so green and little that everyone calls it “the aphid”.

Day One.  Still on my L’s.  Dad takes me for a burn around downtown Winston Hills where a half-blind woman, with all the steadiness of an angsty teen who’s just sucked down a quarter of gorilla biscuits, obliviously pulls out of her parking space directly into my lane.  And me.  Well, my passenger door. Ace.  Dad’s worried that it freaked me out and I might be upset – I’m just pissed at the old bag… and so begins a life-long hostility for anyone over the age of 60 behind the wheel.

Day Five-teen.  Got licence.  Terrified of driving alone but unwilling to admit that to a soul including self.  Faining excitement, I get in the car and drive off, merrily waving goodbye to mum and dad.  I make it about half a klick down the road, pull over into an empty car park and sit there for about an hour reading a book.  At which point it’s been a respectable enough length of time to head back home and tell everyone what fun I had.

Day Ninety Five.  New boyfriend.  He has a car too but his is much crappier so we take mine everywhere.  By which I mean, we take it everywhere we can find that has some semblance of privacy in order to shag madly.  We’re young, our parents are christians, it’s first love and for both of us, our first sexual foray – the front seat of an ’89 Honda Civic parked in the back streets of Eastwood is the best we can hope for.

Day Three Hundred and Sixteen. Picking up Andrew from his place.  Approaching traffic lights at a brisk pace when I belatedly realise the light is red.  Gracefully slide into a very tidy 360 in the centre of the intersection, barely scraping the mudflaps of an oversized semi trailer. Nice!  Andrew tells me “I’m a bit of a crazy driver but I do seem to be in control most of the time”.  I take it as a compliment.

Day Eight Hundred and Twenty Three.  Sharing an aging fibro 3-room house in the suburbs with an old friend from school.  Can’t afford rego.  Again.  Lime green paint is now a muted beige in places.  Most panels are more putty than metal.  Car dismally succumbs to rust in the front driveway. RIP.

Bring Back… Summer Holidays

When you are 10, summer holidays stretch on forever.  Everything shimmers.  Even the boredom.  There’s nothing on TV but Days of Our Lives and Huey, with his bronchial chuckle, cooking up a fatty, caloric mound of chicken & sauce. 

You’ve long ago read everything you borrowed from the library.  You sneakily polished off Dad’s sci-fi books, the ones you aren’t supposed to read because they’re too grown up with their topless aliens and leprotic humans, copulating and spawning freak babies… you’ve even, in your desparation, read the back of all the shampoo bottles – twice.  And if you even say “mu-“, let alone “muuuu-uum”, one more time you’re absolutely certain to cop a wooden spoon fair across the leg (clearly, long before ‘summer fun activities’ became de rigueur and a deserved thwak became passe).

A viscous slick of sweat runs down your back.   The air is stifling and thick with heat.  It’s hot.  The piercing wail of the sun hits you upside the head, like that moment when you have one more mouthful of tequila, you know, the one too many.

You sit in the fork of a tree eating sticky half-frozen oranges and dreaming of a grown-up life.  Imagine being able to do whatever you want.  Not being told what to do.  Never being bored.  Never waiting around.  Imagine being rich.  Living in a big house with a double-bed and modular lounge.  Imagine putting on make-up and going out to a restaurant, eating souffle and drinking champagne.   This is the adult-life you imagine that YOU will have. 

The heat of the day is still clinging to you when Dad finally comes home and succumbs to your pleading for a swim at Nana’s.  You pack into the car, sweat running down your neck, your back and onto the vinyl so you can slip around and along the back seat like a stubby water slide.   You refuse to allow the air-conditioner to be turned on and all windows must remain closed so that when you get to Nana’s you’re practically fainting from heatstroke but the water feels jarringly, teeth-achingly cold.  

You keep your head underwater and listen to the muffled sounds.  Water slapping, neighbours yelling, magpies growling.  Just like every movie ever made about kids on school holidays.  That glow and glisten.  That squeal and squelch. 

This moment.  This is the highlight.  This is the break in the agony of the summer.  It’s as good as it gets.  Tomorrow will be the same long, stretching boredom.

Torturous summer holidays are gone forever.  But nothing really changes.  You know that slow burn on a Friday afternoon from about 2 o’clock… when the day just won’t end?  Instead of 6 weeks or 8 weeks or even a day, now it’s compressed into an excruciating couple of hours.  When all you can think about is a glass of champagne and a bloody souffle!

Double-dogging Dare #1 – Become a TV Producer in NY

One of you soft-cocks finally gave me a dare which I completed, if I do say so myself, with great success…

Matt and I were in New York recently – he was there for a conference and I was on holiday! So, I crashed a couple of industry parties… I’m not a TV type, I’m an IT nerd but I have gleaned enough knowledge over the years from my husband and all of our TV-type friends to, well, bullshit my way through it…

So, here I am, imbibing illicitly-gained cocktails, eating unethically obtained finger-food and rubbing shoulders with a number of Abercrombie & Fitch mid-level TV flunkies in New York. At this point, Matt decides to make it interesting… he dares me to see if I can do what all the other loser-Aussies and Kiwi’s are desparately flailing around doing and try to get myself a job in NY – as a producer. No showreel in hand. No business card. No experience for that matter. Just me and my ability to bullshit.

Never one to turn down an absurdly pointless challenge, I build myself a promo-producer persona. I’ve been free-lancing around Sydney for 6 years or so. Prior to that I worked at Channel (Insert Channel Number here – depending on who I’m talking to at the time) for 4 years. And before that ABC – a public government-run station. Last year or so has been really focussed on switching to digital in Australia which is interesting and brings it’s own set of challenges in terms of re-educating the audience, finding the real selling point for your audience and so on. You get the picture…

I start quietly by just talking to the people who happen to sit down on the couches next to me.  This is pretty slow going and I can only sit still for so long after all because at this point, I’ve had enough vodka to shame David Hasselhoff. So I grab Glenn (he knows EVERYBODY) and we do a circuit of the room.  Glenn points out a few power-house people to me and so off I go!

I’m like a machine… I work that room like Lindsay Lohan works an ounce of blow.  I’m charming, witty, knowledgeable, interested and so damn creative it blows my mind! Boom! And, most importantly, I’m not afraid to flash a bit of boob should the situation call for it.

But how does one measure success in this type of dare?  Clearly I’m not actually going to be offered a job on the back of one booze-sodden clutch in a dark cocktail bar… so the agreed upon measure?  Business cards baby!

  • Cherine Anderson, VP Marketing & Business Development, Push Creative
  • Jonathan Block-Verk, President, Promax|BDA
  • Charlie Mawer, Executive Creative Director, Red Bee Media
  • Reemah Sakaan, Head of Marketing, BBC
  • Martin Poole, Director, Sway Media
  • Charley Holland, Chief Squirrel, The Charley Holland Agency (to be frank, this one doesn’t count because he knows my true identity)
  • I don’t have photo or video evidence of completion of this dare (as per the double-dog dare rules) however I do have the business cards and several witnesses. I’m hoping that will suffice.

    So if any of you promo producers out there are looking for a job in New York, come see me! I’ve got contacts coming out of my arse!

    And please, please… SOMEONE give me another dare!