September 2006

  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 906.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 744.
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  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 607.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_boolean_operator.inc on line 159.
  • warning: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/modules/node/views_handler_argument_dates_various.inc on line 72.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_style_default.inc on line 24.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 134.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 134.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/themes/STP/node.tpl.php on line 7.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/themes/STP/node.tpl.php on line 7.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/themes/STP/node.tpl.php on line 7.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/themes/STP/node.tpl.php on line 7.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/themes/STP/node.tpl.php on line 7.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/themes/STP/node.tpl.php on line 7.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/themes/STP/node.tpl.php on line 7.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/themes/STP/node.tpl.php on line 7.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/themes/STP/node.tpl.php on line 7.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/themes/STP/node.tpl.php on line 7.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/themes/STP/node.tpl.php on line 7.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/themes/STP/node.tpl.php on line 7.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/themes/STP/node.tpl.php on line 7.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/themes/STP/node.tpl.php on line 7.

Trying to understand boring stuff

I have to confess that I haven't exactly followed the AWB story, except that it has apparently cost tens of millions of dollars and it sounds mega boring (I mean, "wheat" and "Iraq" are not the most entertaining words to google, are they?).

But a couple of emails were read out in court today discussing how AWB money was being spent. One of the emails detailed how trenches were being built in order to "bury the Kurds under the cement". Oddly, nobody can remember ever seeing such an email (I know I'd probably forget that kind of thing). Despite the fact that one bloke burst into tears and had to be comforted by his wife, pretty much everyone else appears to be attending court in a fog of amnesia.

It will be interesting to see if the AWB folk suddenly start remembering things when they're threatened with charges of terrorism. If you search "terror" and "wheat" and "Iraq" and "links to Government" on google, it gets a bit more interesting, is all I'm saying.

Also announced today (and also something that would usually bore the pants right off me) is the fact that Australians owe a trillion dollars in personal debts (credit cards and houses and stuff). Being a bit mathematically retarded, I kind of don't really know if a trillion is a lot. I mean I know it's a lot for, you know, an icecream. Or rollerskates. But is it a lot for household debt?

Well apparently it is. Apparently it's our GDP. Apparently we OWE our own GDP.

Good on us.

Anyhoo, that's my attempt to comprehend two of the more dense stories in the news today. I'll leave you to struggle on without me on matters such as what Kylie's "vowing" to wear in her upcoming concert, or how "worrying" it might be that sport is being played in one State rather than in the other.

I do, however, feel compelled (against my better judgement and might I say everything I stand for) to whoop enthusiastically along the following lines: "Go Swans!"

(It's not me. It's Rita. It was that, or change the colours on the entire website to red and white. I've done what I can and I will struggle to regain my dignity in the coming weeks).

Have a good weekend, Rits.

Getting the hell out of this hell hole

I'm skipping town this evening. Cramming a big heap of comfortable tracksuit pants into the back of the car and going away to write.

Obviously I will take a laptop, but I will not take series one through to seven of The West Wing.

I will not take Scrubs. Or Sports Night. Or Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip. I will not take Press Gang series one through to four.

I will take possibly a nice fountain pen and a diary and a laptop and tracksuit pants. And possibly some books, but nothing too interesting. Boring books. I will take boring books.

I will be going for strictly regimented walks along the beach, and I will be drinking cups of tea only when I am two paragraphs into whatever it is I am writing (the prospect that I might write two paragraphs is almost unbearably delicious). Anthony Lane can do it, so can I.

Meanwhile, if anyone is remotely as jaded as I am about the state of the media at the moment, keep your eye on this. The idea is, it's people-driven journalism. We tell them what to write about. It's actual democracy!

Paragraphs

When you write, it's sitting down and getting yourself into the headspace that is actually the most difficult part. Many writers obviously don't bother to do this, which I know because I read The Age online in the mornings. The Age online has a system for posting their stories. First, they post a version riddled with mistakes, typos, spelling errors, repeated paragraphs, and incomplete headlines. Then, four or five hours later, they replace these mistakes. Often with new mistakes.

It's fun for a pedant like me to watch. The other day, there was a headline that said "Vizard Account Found Alive".

Presumably this newsworthy discovery was made at about the same time Vizard's accountant was found alive, but I only know that because the Herald Sun has better sub-editors.

Anyway, the point of this is that this is an article about my favourite film reviewer, Anthony Lane, who writes like a dream and who makes me laugh even if I'm reading about The Lord of the Rings, and reading about the Lord of the Rings usually makes me want to scratch my skin off.

The article is about writing. Lane doesn't allow himself a cup of tea until TWO PARAGRAPHS IN to whatever it is he's writing. This terrifies both me and (presumably) the extended family of Earl Grey. Nevertheless, this is an interesting article and also highlights how excellent The New Yorker is. The fact-checkers can pull an article out of an issue on the basis that a comma is missing.

Imagine if The Age had standards like that. Possibly Vizard's account would still not be found.

Productions

So I'm going to visit the Standing There Productions baby today.

When we shot our short film, I Could Be Anybody , we asked some friends to come and do the shagging scene.

They happily obliged and nine months later... well, let's just say this could quite possibly be Standing There Productions' greatest production yet.

His name is Jasper and I already like him even though I haven't been properly introduced. He is unlike any of the other Standing There Productions in that he:

* Is more than two hours long
* Is not verbose and inclined towards political debate
* Has a strong story arc
* Has government funding (actually this is possibly untrue, but it makes the point to all those government arts funding bodies reading this that their absence has been noticed)

And of course he is adorable and perfectly formed.

My internet is down again today because of the wind blowing over a whole lot of (internet towers? phone lines? ADSL trees?)... I dunno. As a result, nerds all over the country are crammed onto the dial-up system and several emails and posts on this here website have been snatched from the screen, only to be replaced by infuriating messages about SYSTEM FAILURE and so on.

So anyway my point is the internet had better start behaving itself. That is all.

Aerobics

Hello weirdly warm day.

Hello draft two of script.

Hello procrastination.

Check out this, ladies. You can sign up for free emails telling you how to "be your best with men". Check out the testimonial on the top. After making herself "less available" to her boyfriend, one woman's boyfriend responded by proposing!

How wonderful!

Aren't grown-ups sophisticated?

In other news, I officially dislike Anais Ninn, for reasons not unrelated to my disdain for the above link. Somewhere in Brunswick there is some heartfelt grafitti that declares something along the lines of "I want to love like Anais Ninn - passionately but on the surface of things", which of course means nothing, but which helps to clarify my position in relation to flowery, over-written sentences about women not quite understanding their own sexuality. I've decided to read back-issues of The New Yorker for a while.

That's my fairly grumpy update. I've been going to gym classes and my bones hurt. Most interesting to me that human beings pay money to be shouted at by other (considerably fitter) human beings until they can barely breathe and are desperate for a donught.

Speaking of which... I think a morning coffee is in order.

Fair Dinkum

So there's a reason I've been missing, apart from the internet being down and the sun being out.

I've been missing because I've been uninspired. When the newspapers are full of this, this and this, it's very easy to think you're living in some kind of darkly comic novel.

Honestly, there's a bunch of blokes failing to recall whether they raped and killed a woman and took photographs of it, there are two political leaders (from either side of the vast political spectrum) claiming that migrants should sit an exam in English language* and Australian history, and one of the most watched "journalists" in the country is going to court over a child from a region that Australia has been trying to pretend doesn't even exist.

How genuinely dysfunctional.

So anyway, for once in my life I decided this evening that I had to disengage. I needed to not think about politics, or the media, or thugs, or the fact that John Howard wants people to learn about Australian history (which incidentally I thought we weren't supposed to remember) and then of course there's the fact that the opposition leader has put himself in the almost impossible position of being legitimately accused of racism by Amanda Vanstone.

So, in order to disengage, I decided to go and see a very brainless but potentially enjoyable film, the new Jack Black film.

Anyway, half way through, a group of people turned around to ask the couple behind them to please remove their feet from the backs of their seats.

So the people who were asked to take their feet off the seats told the other people to (and I'm editing this for all the under twelves) shut up, go away, leave them alone, and "Go home" because "You're not in China anymore, mate".

This impressive display demonstrated a fine understanding of Australian history (Chinese history not being relevant in Australia until the gold rush), a fantastic command of the language (although sadly not the use of the word "dinkum"), and even a reference to the "essential Australian value" of mateship ("You're not in China anymore, mate").

There was then a stand up screeching monologue wherein it was determined that some of the people in the cinema were "Asians" and that the two loud-shouty-type-racist-people "had paid good money" to be sitting in the film racially vilifying other persons. All of this screaming was happening during Jack Black's leaping around doing accents in tight lycra pants, and it resulted eventually in an almost-physical fight.

Since my disengaging tactic hadn't worked thus far, I decided to alert the very startled (twelve-year-old) manager to what was going on, and to his credit he did attempt to stop the madness, with the result that the loud shouting (from the non-Asian contingent) continued until after the movie. When I left, the manager was offering to arrange a safety escort (presumably in order to protect the Asians on their way back home to China).

Thankfully, I can report that when the lights came up, the entire cinema turned to the couple of - what's the fair dinkum English expression here - dickwits involved, and collectively greased them off or loudly commented (I saw several people complaining after I did). So, I'm not disengaging anymore. It doesn't work.

I've got no idea what the Jack Black film was like. It was the first film I'd attended since the Melbourne International Film Festival, which was largely "Asian" and some of the films from which have now gone back home to China.

FanTAStic day for Australia.

* Very interesting to me that a plan aimed at teaching English properly should be entitled the "fair dinkum" test. Doesn't it just roll off the tongue? Such excellent expression would make the proudest wordsmith blush.

Hey La, Hey La

My boyfriend's back. Yay internet. How I missed you.

Since not having the internet at home, I have done the following:

1. Cleaned (nay, scrubbed) the bathroom.
2. Cleaned and organised and recategorised everything in my bedroom/office.
3. Done the gardening.
4. Carefully followed the instructions on the hard rubbish collection notice, rather than sneaking out on the night before the collection and stuffing unauthorised materials into other people's neatly presented bundles of twigs and broken desk chairs.
5. Read half of John Banville's book and finished Alan Bennett's.
6. Enjoyed the sunshine, including a rather comical attempt at swimming laps this afternoon (was there ever a Mr Bean episode involving an effort on his part to get fit? If not, there should have been. So much potential in lane ropes, sullen pool attendants, surprising changeroom encounters etc).
7. Almost entirely finished a first draft of something.

Of course, my social life and knowledge of the outside world have both rather collapsed, but it could be said that the former of these wasn't particularly robust to begin with, and the latter was bordering on obsessive. It is therefore with every good intention that I hereby declare I shall only use the internet when I need it.

Possibly doing a YouTube search of "funny animals" qualifies. Perhaps it doesn't. I'll be the judge of that.

Ye Olden Days

Today, my wireless internet died, my phone credit ran out, and the key to my house went missing so I couldn't leave for so much as a cup of coffee in the sunshine.

Essentially, I was locked inside the house and unable to contact anyone in any way except possibly morse code, which I couldn't learn because I didn't have the internet.

I got so much work done.

Someone has GOT to fix this untenable situation.

Book in the bath

So I'm reading Alan Bennett again.

Anais Ninn and Dostoevsky are driving me crazy. They're like two teenage kids in the back seat of the car whinging about how they're depressed and wearing too much eye makeup and colouring their fingernails in with permanent markers.

Alan Bennett, on the other hand, sits next to you and says hilarious things about people you both know.

Anyway, I was reading Alan in the bath and I chucked in a lurid pink bath bomb. Now, from about the water level (my belly button) down to my toes, is a light tinge of pink.

Two tone reading. Nice.

Fungus

It relaxes me that the Melbourne Royal Botanic Gardens' website has a "FUNGUS OF THE MONTH" section.

Check out this month's fungus! It's from East Gippsland, as are Patties Pies and Rita.

It's late, and my head still feels like it's rolling around in a jar.

Concussed Writing

So they say that some of the symptoms of concussion (see below) are:

Irritability ("snapping" at the smallest thing)

Bad memory

Lack of co-ordination (walking into things, knocking things over)

Tiredness

Inability to concentrate

This is a great relief in terms of helping to explain my experiences trying to write this morning, although it doesn't explain the other 364 days.

A sporting injury

This is my second (or third) sporting update in as many days. Unusual.

If this one makes no sense, however, it is because I am concussed.

This afternoon, turning my head back over my shoulder to discover that the tram I was about to catch was rapidly approaching the stop, I accelerated (with great force) into a telephone pole, face first.

It was ludicrously painful. For a while, I held my soaking face (tears were pouring down my face, blood was flooding from my nose) and tried to regain my composure. As far as sporting injuries go, sprinting into a pole in front of a park full of picnicking Young People (Edinburgh Gardens) is really not the most heroic way to bruise.

After my embarassment died down, my fear set in. I've looked up "concussion" on the web, and it says that if one pupil is bigger than the other and you have a headache and feel dizzy and your eyes hurt... you're concussed. Anyway so I looked in the mirror and I have one TEENSY pupil and one MASSIVE pupil that has staged a coup over the rest of my eye.

I'm convinced I'm in extreme danger of expiring overnight from a sporting injury caused by my being late. What a fitting way to go.

Important Sporting News

Anyone who knew me three years ago will surely not forget the "mysterious illness" I contracted when I was directing rehearsals of the Standing There Productions stage show, People Watching.

If you remember that, then you will also remember the relentless hilarity that ensued when the mysterious illness was given a name.

Now, it isn't often that my ears prick up during the sport (frisbee not being a televised event). It is, however, with enormous sympathy that I note the slap face epidemic in the Crows AFL team.

Slap face. Slapped cheek. Red face. The baby disease. I TOLD YOU I WASN'T MAKING IT UP!

(By the way, slap face really does suck. Not only are you hot and itchy and tired and sick, but everyone thinks you've been punched in the face. Slightly more acceptable if you're a footballer, I imagine, than an aspiring writer/director who looks pasty at the best of times).

YIPPEEEEEEE!!!!!

May I take this opportunity to welcome...

FRISBEE SEASON!

You little bloody ripper.

Anyone looking for me, I'll be somewhere green.