Dork Geek Nerd

"Rational romantic mystic cynical idealist"

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Movie review: "Pride And Glory" (2008)

The gist: Apparently the world did need another New York City cop yarn... When four police officers on a drug bust are ambushed and shot dead, the sole concern of Chief Detective Francis Tierney (John Voight) is to bring in the ringleader. He guilts his troubled, instinctively brilliant younger son Ray (Edward Norton) into joining the investigating task force, but signs soon point to a conspiracy that may involve his heir Francis Jr (Noah Emmerich) and son-in-law Jimmy Egan (Colin Farrell). Needless to say, conflicting loyalties to family and force are tested.

Selling points: Voight, Norton, Emmerich and Farrell are ably supported. Jennifer Ehle is convincing and appropriately upsetting as Francis Jr's cancer-stricken wife Abby, while John Ortiz gives a tragic soul to the disgraced Sandy. Amid the many cliches, such as the outsider living on a boat on the docks, are scenes you definitely haven't seen. The horrific interrogation involving a hot iron will be burnt into your memory.

It's kinda like: What director and writer Gavin O'Connor and producer Greg O'Connor witnessed growing up with an NYC detective for a father - not the internal corruption, but, as Gavin made clear to "Variety" mag, the type of man who rises above it.

Final word: Good cop/wicked cop.

[Australian cinema release date: February 5, 2009]

Phantasmal images

SC lent me the four Bloodhound Gang albums and 1995's "Use Your Fingers" went into the carousel today, while I ground out an illusory profit on the 2006 Xbox poker title "Stacked With Daniel Negreanu". Detectable influences included the Beastie Boys, House Of Pain, De La Soul (mainly the interludes) and, um, Kim Wilde. Fly couplets and overweight beats - is that the parlance of the streets? :-)

Also demanding and getting my attention in the past 24 hours were the live telecasts of the Qantas Wobblies and Newcastle United Jets games, "Fables #11: War And Pieces" (2008) by Willingham/Buckingham/etc., "Doctor Who: Wishing Well" (2007) by Trevor Baxendale, "T/S/J/A: Whatever Happened To Sarah Jane?" on Nickelodeon (plugging the gap in my Series 1 knowledge) and - roll to disbelieve - cooking.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Shuffle, cut, deal

AP hosted a ripper of a poker night with endless iTunes and ale, premium pizza and an all-round happy vibe. T'other combatants were SK, DL, BW, LPO, PB and me. Typically, I placed third in the Hold 'Em tourney, which meant I was refunded my $20 stake. PB beat SK (aka "The Bridesmaid") heads-up to scoop the big bucks and gain possession of the League Of Ordinary Gentlemen trophy until we reconvene. During the dealer's choice period, I introduced the lads to Omaha. It's fundamentally the same as Texas except you have four face-down cards and must use exactly two of those and three from the middle to make your hand. They were non-plussed. There was more of the variant Guts than usual, though no brave/foolhardy gambler lost too heavily. At the mutually agreeable finishing time of 1am, I had $17 in chips - for an overall loss of $3 in 5-6 hours. Yes, I play tight.

BW dropped LPO and I in the city near Paddy Maguire's. Although tired, I agreed to go for "a quick one". It ended up being two slow ones as we played doubles pool against strangers, winning control of a table then losing it again by a single blasted ball. Our success was entirely due to LPO, who I suspect may have honed his game while at university. Now beyond tired, I said seeya later, hurried through the drizzle to Elizabeth St and caught a bus.

Arose from my slumber at midday, just in time for "WWE RAW" and the return of Goldust. A fellow mid-carder.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A funeral and a wake

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

"A/N/T/M" & "A/N/T/M"

I was sad to bid goofily gorgeous Hannah from Alaska adieu on "America's Next Top Model" (Cycle 11), but she did bomb the blindfolded catwalking, looking like a drunk driver trying to tread a straight line for an intimidating highway patrolman.

Contemporaneously, I was annoyed to learn Sarah Murdoch is being parachuted in to host the superior "Australia's Next Top Model" from Cycle 5. An elaborate deal's been cut and she'll also be co-executive producing blah blah blah. Charlotte Dawson deserved the job.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Movie review: "Twilight" (2008)

The gist: Forks, Washington has perpetually grey skies and dense green woodlands. The locals are a friendly, multi-culti bunch - well, apart from the suspiciously pale and aloof Cullens. When teenager Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) comes to live with her dad, she manages what no girl in school has done before and catches the intense gaze of Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson). Does he wanna kiss her or kill her? Turns out it's a bit of both.

Selling points: Transfuses new blood into the classic vampire love story without resorting to excess FX or painfully hip dialogue. The dreamy romantic stuff is balanced by just the right amount of mystery, rivalry and action; the standout sequence being the supernatural baseball game. While not all the humour is intentional - Mr Cullen looks like he showers with talc - the dry wit of Bella's father Charlie (Billy Burke) will grow on you.

It’s kinda like: The stranger-in-a-strange-town atmosphere of 1987's "The Lost Boys". The headstrong innocence of Jennifer Connelly as Sarah in 1986's "Labyrinth". The vaguely clownish hair and make-up of early era Split Enz. And the potentially tragic romance between TV's Buffy and Angel.

Final word: For the emo and the emo at heart.

[Australian cinema release date: December 11]

Monday, November 24, 2008


Received a letter from Star City explaining that their upgraded computer system won't accept membership card PINs beginning with "0" and asking me to pop in and change mine. It seemed a valid excuse for a return tram ride, discount fish'n'chip supper and some Texas Hold 'Em spectating (the APPT Grand Final kicks off hereabouts on December 2). There were no complimentary copies of "Bluff" remaining on the rack, so I had to settle for "Casino Magazine", a brand-packed ode to luxury indistinguishable from virtually any airline or hotel publication.

Back at my flat sweet flat, the cable box wasn't responding, meaning no Colts @ Chargers and no chance to see Coach Dungy's boys avenge that dreadful 21-23 defeat we should have prevented in 2007. I phoned Foxtel, pressed about four buttons, the automated operator performed a remote reboot and, within a minute, I had my NFL. Easy-peasy. I bet it can cope with numbers that start with "0", too.

PS. 23-20 our way, baby!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Adapt and survive

Across the road from the laundrette, a pied currawong flew by me with a fat mouse in its beak. I knew they dined on chicks from other birds' nests - they're notorious for it - but I wasn't aware they also scoffed rodents. Maybe it was just mega-hungry.

AH burnt me the opening eps of reality show "The Paper". MTV online wouldn't let me watch the rest because I'm outside the Yoo Ess Ay. Pasting the links into Google's translator circumvented that restriction. Only recommended if you're desperate!


Tried the translate trick with "The Hills" (4.15) and it failed, so don't get too excited. Yes, I could download these addictive dramas from a pirate site or install software to mask my IP address, but (a) I don't fully trust either of those options, and (b) where's the mental challenge?

Happy 45th birthday, "Doctor Who"!

I raise my cup of Rooibos tea (it's like a bloody winter's day here) to the thousands of enthusiastic contributors to the program over the years.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Planets in rotation

Frickin' windy - it'd blow a dog off a chain, as my father would say. Once the essential chores were done, I confined myself to quarters and unlocking minor achievements. (That ain't a euphemism, filthsters.) Season three of "Robot Chicken" - in DVD emporiums December 3 - is the crudest and cruelest yet. The "Bob The Builder" and nativity scene skits made me laugh so hard I teleported five feet to the left. Luckily, it wasn't into a wall. On DQ's recommendations plural, I picked up AC/DC's "Black Ice" from Sanity. That'll get a spin as soon as I tire of the Gunners, which may not be for a while (current fave: track #6 - "There Was A Time"). PG reminded me of the new Sultry Sally potato crisps range with the '50s pin-up logo, so I threw a bag of salt & vinegar into my grocery basket. They're skins'n'all speckly, healthily dry, but the flavour's a tad weak. I've seen Fighting Fantasy #57 "Magehunter" sell for US$40 on eBay. Mine was AUD$4 at a book exchange in the Hunter Valley I won't disclose. It has an Arabian setting, the finest background rules and regulations of the range (excluding Steve Jackson's "Sorcery!" series), an extremely complicated structure, a 10-beast battle...and I'm buggered if I could solve it in three goes. "Scarfies" (1999) is a New Zealand black comedy about five Otago Uni students and rugger fans who find a potentially deadly secret locked in the basement of their squat. It's a piece of low-budget brilliance and well worth the small gold coin I paid Go-Lo. Searching for lighter fare on my "unread" shelf, I pulled out YA adventure "The Flight Of The Silver Turtle" (2005) by John Fardell, the brains behind the two consistently best strips* in "Viz" magazine, viz. "The Critics" and "The Modern Parents". Thus far, "T/F/O/T/S/T" isn't up to the standard of its predecessor, "The 7 Professors Of The Far North"; the admittedly necessary refamiliarising with multiple characters feels like treading water. My comment on Australia losing the Rugby League World Cup: ultimately, a positive. Firstly, it proves the competition wasn't a one-horse race. Secondly, it's reignited Trans-Tasman rivalry - payback's bound to be a bitch!

*"Jack Black And His Dog Silver" runs a close third.


Our company Christmas party was held in a massive function room at The Ivy, a posers' palace I'd normally avoid like an ebola victim. Cool decor, I gotta say - imagine a hangar with zebra-print carpet and chandeliers, stairs descending and a balcony at opposite ends, and a bar and sizeable stage halfway along the sides.

We were entertained by a dance outfit I believe was The Potbelleez (don't launch legal proceedings if it wasn't), fed mountains of finger food including those awesome mini-hamburgers on sticks and rendered insensible with a river of alcohol...that was suddenly, disappointingly dammed at 11.30pm.

The theme of the evening was "Gettin' Wiggy Wit' It" and everyone had been asked to wear a hairpiece. My sister AK kindly provided mine - a mop top of thin black braids - and it was a hit. No-one else among hundreds of employees had the same wig and several people told me they preferred it to my real hair (cut short to hide beneath). Thanks, guys. All colours and shapes of fake 'do were present, with a few flamboyant souls taking it to the next level, eg. SC's pirate captain combo of tri-cornered hat and white ponytail.

As tends to happens at these annual beanos, surprising things were blurted and mildly embarrassing deeds were done. I was gonna detail a couple that involved me directly, while leaving the participants anonymous, but you kinda had to be there. There'll be enough red faces when the 85,734,862 candid snaps are uploaded to our shared drives on Monday morning :-)

When the free Beck's beer ran dry at The Ivy, I kicked on briefly to Hermann's Bar, site of the "Chinese Democracy" launch party. Drank a not-free Beck's, had a chinwag with LC (who initially didn't recognise me in the wig), purchased a copy of the new Guns N' Roses CD - now on repeat on my stereo - and headed home to crash.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Movie review: "Igor" (2008)

The gist: In the permanently cloud-darkened land of Malaria, the economy is based on inventing terrifying creatures, then blackmailing the rest of the world so they pay you not to unleash 'em. Consequently, evil scientists are like rock stars, and each has an identical hunchbacked, slurring assistant to handle the menial tasks like throwing switches. But one of these downtrodden Igors has had a gutful and builds a scary monster of his own.

Selling points: Stitch together various existing horror/sci-fi concepts and show biz cliches ("Annie"?), zap it with a bolt of creative lightning and – THAKOOM! – an original fairytale is brought to life. You know what's really spooky, but? How much the male inhabitants of Malaria sound like famous funny buggers John Cusack, Steve Buscemi, John Cleese, Eddie Izzard, Jay Leno, Arsenio Hall...

It's kinda like: The adorably gruesome style of animation is closest to Tim Burton's "The Nightmare Before Christmas" (1993) and "Corpse Bride" (2005). Timbo wasn't involved with this flick, however, so let's file it under "flattering imitation". And it'd be remiss not to send a shout out to MC Mary Shelley, whose 1818 club anthem "Frankenstein" has been inspiring funky remixes ever since.

Final word: a good way.

[Australian cinema release date: January 8, 2009]

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Expositional dialogue

Remember I contacted three long-lost pals on School Friends? Then you'll also recall nothing came of it. That changed yesterday when I got nicely pickled with CS2* at Paddy Maguire's in Haymarket. Over six or seven hours and 10 or 12 schooners, we reminisced about St Michael's, San Clemente and St Francis Xavier's, traded anecdotes about our differing tertiary experiences and careers, and compared sporting teams, rock concerts, etc. Like at least 50% of my acquaintances, he now makes his living in IT - while playing guitar in bands as a hobby, with some success. Chatting took a backseat when a talented Kiwi singer/keyboardist chick began wowing us with her enormous pop repertoire. Then we were singing along and yelling out requests with the rest of the patrons. Not to mention playing "Guess The Track" (I did OK for a while...). The muso babe nicknamed me "Happy Hat" because apparently I was smiling a lot, and two women made me dance with them to Womack & Womack's "Teardrops" - although, in my case, it was more of an inebriated shuffle. As spur-of-the-moment reunions go, it was memorable. I'm sure I'll catch up with CS2 again in the future.

*He can't be CS 'cos those intitials already refer to a workmate of mine.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Science and history

At the public lecture "Nuclear Power: The Choice We Have To Make", given by Dr Ziggy Switkowski, an aboriginal bloke used the Q&A session to air a legitimate grievance about communities being moved off their traditional lands by mining. Unfortunately for his cause, he discredited himself by becoming abusive and shouting down the unfailingly diplomatic ZS's attempt at a reasoned response. The protestor's ejection from the building by a security guard was as inevitable as this country adopting nuclear energy. Like it or not.

The four-episode historical series "Terry Jones' Barbarians" (2006) is chockers with revelations disproving enduring Roman falsehoods about the Celts, Germans, Goths, Vandals, etc. being unsophisticated cultures and threats that had to be dealt with militarily. It paints a convincing portrait of the Romans as the truly ignorant empire, fabricating excuses to commit genocide whenever funds grew scarce. My sole quibble is that, in ep. three, the "Claw Of Archimedes" war machine is discussed as fact when its existence is still disputed.

Mark your calendars: December 3, 8.30pm, ABC1 - "Wallace And Gromit: A Matter Of Loaf And Death".

Monday, November 17, 2008


This afternoon, I beheld US porn star Jesse Jane in the flesh - literal sense - by peeping in at a fellow mag's photo shoot. In other news, my McKenzie's Coarse Milled Black Pepper remains pepper-tastic a remarkable 26 months past its use-by date.

Have you ogled any starkers adult entertainers or cooked with any expired seasonings lately, readers?

Sunday, November 16, 2008


I was at the international terminal at 7am to welcome my mother, returning from a month in the Land Of The Rising No. Of Grandchildren. While those around me abandoned manners and concepts of personal space to jockey for vantage points, I admired a line of pretty Etihad air hostesses in their decorous designer uniforms. (The Emirates ladies have a slight edge.) It was 9 by the time I got Mum to her train, so I decided to grab a semi-greasy breakfast and wander the city until Kino opened for business. In the park opposite the station, an elderly Chinese woman was doing a kung-fu pattern* with a red fan. No doubt there were deadly applications behind the fluid motions. There always are. Wander, wander, wander. Entered the bookshop on the stroke of 10 and found, in the comics section, "Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season Eight, Volume Three - Wolves At The Gate" (2008) by Goddard/Jeanty/Whedon - score! Coincidentally, it contains a "Japanese vampire goth gang", to quote Xander.

*In karate, they'd call it a kata.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Senoritas and margaritas

Warning: body copy may not do justice to evocative heading.

"C'mon, Jets!" I said. "C'mon, Sydney!" said CM and AM. But the Newcastle girls, led by Matildas veteran Cheryl Salisbury, couldn't be separated from their local opponents in today's W-League (female equivalent of the A-League) fixture at Campbelltown. After a heavily defensive 45 minutes, it was 0-0; following a second half with several exciting chances on both sides, 1-1. Can't complain about that - especially when entry was free.

Phase two of our operation was the Baja Cantina, a Mexican restaurant in Glebe known for its generous portions. I reckon Quatchi, the cute sasquatch mascot of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, woulda been holding his hairy belly and groaning if he consumed the amount of corn chips, fried calamari with spicy green sauce (and mixed leaves), beef chimichanga (also with salad), Tecate beer and strawberry margaritas that I did. Don't be greedy, Quatchi!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Quality will out

Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyricist Alan Ayckbourn deserve every gold piece in their Gringotts vaults for the wonderfully witty and whistle-able songs in the stage musical "By Jeeves". They lend even a modest production, such as the one I saw earlier at the Genesian Theatre, a touch of West End glamour. That's not a backhanded criticism of the cast (or musicians or technical folk), who for the most part did a very good job. I'm simply saying that ALW and AA's tremendously engaging numbers made me forget I was in an audience of 50 in a converted church that could do with a bit more, er, converting. Of course, "By Jeeves" wouldn't exist without the genius of PG Wodehouse, who gave us the comic duo of trouble-prone young gent Bertie Wooster and his unflappable, day-saving butler Jeeves in the first place. So a posthumous hurrah for him. The last thing worth mentioning - and I have no idea whether it was an innovation unique to this staging - is that the actors ushered us to our seats in costume and in character. It was certainly in keeping with the layered plot...which I refuse to spoil. Amazon UK has the CD.

Cake, meet icing: In January-February 2009, the Genesian is hosting "Noises Off" by Michael "Addster's favourite playwright" Frayn.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Aussie thirtysomethings

Previewed the doco "American Teen" with AH and his mate B. I won't be writing it up in detail here, but I do recommend it - senior year at Warsaw Community High School, Indiana makes for quite the saga. As for critics suggesting it's scripted...I prefer to give the benefit of the doubt to clever editing of bulk footage. I don't deny the natural tendency to perform for a camera.

Movie review: "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa" (2008)

The gist: Typical cartoon insanity transports Central Park Zoo's Alex the lion (Ben Stiller), Gloria the hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith), Marty the zebra (Chris Rock) and Melman the giraffe (David Schwimmer) to the African wild. But when the joy of finally being among their own species wears off, the New York animals yearn to be appreciated for their individuality and friendships are tested. Alex has it the hardest – reunited with the parents he lost as a cub, only to shame them because his extraordinary dancing talent is useless in a scrap.

Selling points: Visually stunning. Besides the celebs mentioned above, there's voice acting from Sacha Baron Cohen, Bernie Mac (in one of his last roles), Alec Baldwin and Black Eyed Peas frontman, who had a hand in the music as well. Character-wise, idiotic lemur King Julien and his servant Maurice return, as do those light-flippered penguins, stealing equipment and scenes with military precision.

It's kinda like: Seen "The Lion King" (1994), the original "Madagascar" (2005) and "Happy Feet" (2006)? Then you've effectively seen this.

Final word: Escapism that's harmless but far from charmless.

[Australian cinema release date: December 18]

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

He said, she said

Met my former colleague AZ, recently relocated from Melbourne, for a Taiwanese meal at Mother Chu's Vegetarian Kitchen. Conversation came easily and extended well beyond the emptying of plates, right up to the point where our paths diverged again.

Movie review: "Defiance" (2008)

The gist: Belarus, 1941 – when most of his family and many neighbouring Jewish farmers are massacred by Nazi collaborators, Tuvia Bielski (Daniel Craig) exacts a bloody revenge before fleeing deep into an immense forest with his brothers Zus (Liev Schreiber) and Asael (Jamie Bell), plus a few other escapees. Word spreads to the ghettos and their band swells to the size of a village, making subsistence much tougher and resulting in power struggles. The Bielskis' tribe eventually attracts the attention of the Russian Army and renewed interest from the German forces...

Selling points: Yet another astonishing story of survival from WW2 – and one for which the heroes who lived through the hails of bullets and bombs, freezing winters, food shortages and outbreaks of disease have sought no recognition. On a pervy note, the squalor of the camp can't diminish the luminous beauty of Asael's young bride Chaya, as played by Oz actress Mia Wasikowska (the main gal in Tim Burton's "Alice In Wonderland", due 2010).

It's kinda like: History. However, it's been suggested the amount of combat between Jewish partisans and enemy troops has been exaggerated. The accents were probably more believable back then, too – I'm looking at you, Mr Craig.

Final word: The Brothers Grimmer.

[Australian cinema release date: February 19, 2009]

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ferchrissake, it's called a McChicken!

Ever seen someone argue with a McDonald's operator, then the manager, that they want a chicken Big Mac? I have.

Movie review: "The Class" (2008)

The gist: At an ethnically diverse, inner-city high school, François teaches textbook French to streetwise students who repeatedly question its relevance. He allows them to challenge his statements and each other's, but insists they explain their reasons and open themselves to criticism. It's a dangerous game. The amount of friction in the classroom means spirited discussions can quickly descend into personal attacks, forcing François to play the authority card. When things go too far, the teacher's career and future of one of his charges hang in the balance.

Selling points: Intensity – the home lives of the characters are never shown, only their uneasy time together; the closest we get to a respite is the staff-room scenes. Realism – it's semi-autobiographical and the kids are actual students, not actors. Quality – otherwise it wouldn't have won the Cannes Film Festival's top honour, the Golden Palm. Depth – although the 130-minute duration may be a negative if you can't get past the subtitles. Shock – ultimately, François must confront an educator's worst nightmare, and it doesn't involve sex or violence.

It's nothing like: "Dead Poets Society".

Final word: Scenes from the class struggle.

[Australian cinema release date: January 22, 2009]

Monday, November 10, 2008

Train lit.

What better way to start the week than with John Wyndham's 1957 sci-fi humdinger "The Midwich Cuckoos"?

Sunday, November 09, 2008


New Zealand 36 - England 24. Newie continues to be a testing ground, with Warabrook Woolworths presently a plastic bag-free store. Calzaghe on points. Commenced re-reading the beautest graphic novel ever: "From Hell" (1989,99) by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell. Forget the so-so cinematic adaptation, the source material is dark genius.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Around the world in five tins

I acquired the toasted tuna sandwich habit from my Uncle J., while I was working in his TAB (foreigners: betting shop) in Darwin. In the intervening years, I've tried 74.96% of tinned tunas on the market without finding a superior brand to John West or a finer variety than lemon pepper. But the fishy quest goes on. I was moderately excited when I saw Coles had put out five newies named after countries and with appropriate flavourings: Italian (tomato and basil), Japanese (soy, ginger and wasabi), Mexican (tomato, jalapeno, red kidney beans and sweet corn), Moroccan (tomato, mint and cumin) and Spanish (tomato, green olive and lemon). Alas and alack, they don't taste anywhere near as delicious as they sound. Those that contain tomato are unpleasantly sour, whereas those that don't are bland - mere filler rather than half of a killer combination. Leave them on the shelf, fellow questers.

As promised

The 10 zines wot I got from the fair:

* "Applicant"
* "Bizarrism"
* "BP Jr" (it stands for "Betty Paginated")
* "Nicola Hardy Is Updating Her Status And Dreaming About Car Accidents"
* "Scrabble Freaks"
* "Sprak!"
* "Urinal Gum"
* "Weekly Inzine"
* "Westside 08"
* "The Zinester Guide To Melbourne CBD"

I should also have grabbed "Mixtape".

Movie review: "Heart Of An Empire" (2007)

The gist: Average American fella Albin Johnson dug dressing up as a Stormtrooper so much, he created a web site for like-minded fans that grew and grew until it became a global network with thousands of members – the 501st Legion. So whaddaya do when you're decked out in your perfect replica armour? For these men and women, the answer is making public appearances to entertain while raising money for charities.

Selling points: Will appeal to members of the 501st, "Star Wars" enthusiasts, cosplayers and parents. That last broad category because of the hospital visits the groups make to cheer up sick kids (Darth Vader's a master at colouring in) and the tragedy suffered by their father-of-two founder that elevates a peek at an obscure subculture into a moving experience.

It's kinda like: Hmm..."Trekkies" (1997) and "Trekkies 2" (2004), I suppose. Though I doubt anybody walked away from either of them thinking, "Y'know, those people are heroes."

Final word: Good guys wear white.

[Australian DVD release date: out now]

And then and then and then...

A reconstruction of events.


Watched a sextet of DVDs:

* "Rodney Rude Goes The Growl" (2008) - Final live tour by the filthy, home-grown stand-up legend who I've been following since junior high.
* "Dan Cruickshank's Raiders Of The Lost Art" (2003?) - Investigation into the suspicious looting of the National Museum Of Iraq in Baghdad.
* "Slammed!" (2001) - Cheesy yet likeable pro-wrestling comedy that plays things kayfabe. The matches are so real they don't need refs! :-)
* "Wife Eater" (2003) - Relatively tame hentai with a poor original script, poor dubbing or both. When in doubt, paraphrase previous sentence.
* "Heart Of An Empire" - Review pending.
* "The Shape Of Things" (2003) - I prefer NIDA's take on this confronting drama, despite the flick being helmed (and tweaked) by writer Neil LaBute. Neat extras.

Thanks to LA, DL, Go-Lo's $2 range, the publisher (what must he think of me?), CS and Amazon US, respectively, for that lot.


Sat on the north hill at EnergyAustralia Stadium in Newcastle as my Jets were defeated 0-3 by Queensland Roar in the National Youth League and 1-2 in the A-League. We had a goal disallowed, too. Crowd of 10,500. Stayed with Dad, who does a mean lamb stew. Drank red wine and caught a replay of the Vic Darchinyan fight. I read "The Pirates! In An Adventure With Napoleon" (2008) by Gideon Defoe, fourth in the comedy series worthy of comparison to Adams/Pratchett.


Viddied "When Feeling Japan" photos in Kinokuniya window gallery. Attended a preview screening of "The Class" at Paramount - review pending. Commenced re-reading the second-beautest graphic novel ever: "Watchmen" (1986-87) by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons.


Drawing a blank. Just imagine a thrilling escapade and drop me into it.


Between every task, I was checking the US election coverage on America chose correctly. P/S of "Defiance" at Roadshow - review pending. At the sushi bar, the ingredients listed on the side of my fruit juice bottle included "natural apple and pear aroma". Since when are we adding smells to beverages?


Scored a "Secret Diary Of A Call Girl" boxed set signed by leading lady Billie Piper! Celebrated by getting drunk. Nah, I just felt like it.

Me [holding a sixpack of imported German Bitburger beer]: "Are these really only $10?"
Bloke at counter: "Yep. It's expired, but I guarantee it still tastes great."
Me: "Bargain."

Had my annual squiz at the School Friends web site. Contacted three long-lost pals who'd printed their e-mail addresses and offered to catch up for an ale when they're in Sydney. One message bounced, one dude wasn't that interested and the third didn't reply. Probably for the best.


Devoured a Domino's Super Lot pizza - thumbs up! Ripped through some weekend housework. Currently composing this rubbish. Might get to "Fullmetal Alchemist #17" manga if I'm lucky.

...and then...


Back to Newie's EnergyAustralia, where I'll be joined by PG, DG and GH for the Rugby League World Cup clash between EnZud and Pomgolia. Staying with my father again.

...and then...


We'll be glued to the Joe Calzaghe/Roy Jones Jr bout. If you know anything at all about boxing, you'll understand why. I predict alcohol and savoury snacks.