February 2009

  • 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, $options) in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 744.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 607.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($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.

The Muse

Dear writers who have writing to do,

 

Here are 20 easy steps towards getting started:

 

1. Get yourself some writing juice. Perhaps a cup of tea.

2. In order to write, you must know what you think. Read the paper.

3. Contemplate the nine letter word. You're a writer. Should take no time at all - and it's good for you!

4. I know, right? Me neither.

5. Refocus. Perhaps a cup of tea.

6. While the kettle boils, do one of your other tasks so as to save time. Unpack the dishwasher.

7. At this point, most good writers will become unnecessarily obsessed with cleaning the front of the dishwasher until they have broken out into a fine sweat and are squatting on the floor surrounded by outcrops of cleaning equipment, soaps, and, mysteriously, a spork.

8. Spork is a good word. Note that down.

9. Now. That tea we had on the boil. What of that?

10. Better check for inspiring news items. Hang on, who's in Paris with Jennifer Aniston?

11. What is that noise? Investigate.

12. Return from laundry having completed new load of washing, batch of ironing, and levelling of dryer so as to avoid any more annoying thumping sounds in Pristine Writing Environment.

13. Seriously though, you have to have your finger on the pulse. Check facebook.

14. Perhaps a coffee.

15. Girl in coffee shop = new best friend. Important to gain new and interesting perspectives on life for purposes of writing things completely unrelated to coffee girls, Jennifer Aniston, or Facebook statuses.

16. Investigate whether statuses has a more elegant plural. Discover, dismayingly, that statuses is in fact correct, rather than the much more obvious and literary stati. Consider working this idea into something. Consider what that something might be. Have another cup of tea.

17. Clean entire house. There. That feels better. Now we have a good working environment in which to write... what exactly?

18. Now... only when it is several hours before your deadline, mind racing, talking aloud to yourself, skipping meals and refusing to answer the telephone: start writing.

19. Feels good doesn't it. AND you have a clean dishwasher.

20. Adopt attitude of superiority and pride in reaching deadline with seconds to spare. Celebrate like giggling schoolgirl. Repeat.

Artists Are Everywhere

Every now and then I gets to wondering: exactly what percentage of the world is made up of those of us purporting to be in "the arts"?

 

Purporting to be in the arts being the only prerequisite for being in the arts, I would suggest the percentage of artists (and bear in mind I can't count due to the fact that I'm in the arts) is a figure that would reach into the... manys.

 

This is simultaneously inspiring and a little humbling (bordering, if I'm honest, on depressing) when everyone you know and everyone they know is in pre-production, post-production, novelisation, and/or development.

 

But here's why I mention this: I detect interlopers.

 

At this point I would like to address those of you who have had steady jobs for the past five years. You know, jobs with suits and business cards and salary packages and after work drinks. Now, I know times are tough. I know that. I read the papers. I know some of you are losing your jobs. I know some of you have been given a nice package and told to come back later and it must be scary and some of you have kids and houses and the Beast That Dare Not Speak Its Name in the arts world: adult responsibilities, and that sucks for all of you.

 

Having said that, could I please beg of you: do not join the arts world. Please. I know it looks fun. I know it's swanning about with Moleskenes and coffees and looking frenzied just before deadlines. I know it doesn't involve staff meetings and that must appeal, I realise that, I've been to staff meetings myself.

 

However, know this: there are too many of us. Far too many. Someone pointed at a celebrant at the wedding I was at last week and told me she was a casting director, the woman next to her was an actor, the man next to her was a cartoonist, and the one in the striped suit was a director. The one in the striped suit, for future reference, is usually the director. But I digress.

 

I like my artist friends but I also like the other ones. The ones whose jobs I don't understand. The ones whose lives I peer into with wide eyed astonishment: you MAKE YOUR OWN PASTA? You went to WHERE on your holiday? You like Packed to the Rafters? I like those friends and their mysterious salmon-pink-shirted cufflinked high-heeled world. It's their world but I like to watch it and learn from it.

 

But there are enough of us. Look around you. Artists are everywhere. We serve you drinks, we thank you for calling and ask if you have any other banking needs, we read Russian novels on public transport. I know it's tempting to take that leap of faith to join us but please... I beg you... don't make me the majority. My marginalised nobody-understands don't-patronise-me attitude is the only thing I have.

 

Please don't take that away from me.

 

 

Aussies snubbed at Oscars

 

Well, another year, another Oscars snub. Why Standing There Productions is not choking back tears and thanking the church in East Brunwsick for letting us use their urn I cannot understand.

 

Obviously the Academy just doesn't recognise quality.

 

Pfft.

 

 

Reading

Standing There Productions has a thousand deadlines at the moment so we're less exciting than, say, cabbage, although rumour is rife that we might all be in the State again soon, which will be good for Melbourne's coffee-based economy.

 

In the meantime, if you like reading, or if you like lists, go here. It's addictive.

Writing, and times like these

I doubt there's anyone who isn't aware of the Victorian bushfires at the moment.

 

In fact, there's so much being said about them now, four days after they started, that media coverage is creeping away from reportage into, well, a story on its own.

 

 

Still, most of us know people directly affected by this, and most of us want to do or say something, but most of us feel completely ill-equipped and useless and don't want to presume to speak words that others have the misfortune of being the rightful authors of.

 

So I'll turn the words over to the people who know what they're talking about and know how to help.

 

Most people have already given money to the appeal but if you haven't and you would like to, go here.

If you don't have money, you can donate blood.

If you don't have money or blood, you can donate old phone chargers.

You can help transport injured wildlife.

You can now donate stuff, rather than money here.

Like a bit of a jig?

Near Myrtleford?

Got a spare room?

Want to keep up on these updates? Go here.

Other people who stand there

So look, we're getting a bit hysterical over here about the heat. Apparently, tomorrow is the worst day in history, and it HASN'T EVEN HAPPENED YET. Worst day in history! That includes last week when I totally missed out on tickets to an Ani Difranco concert. It includes the time my hard drive exploded. It includes the time I tried to prove how cool I was at my new school by winning a swimming race and only realised AT THE END that I had been doing the wrong stroke for 400 metres. Yeesh. Tomorrow is going to be BAD!

 

It is times like these when one is best suited to consider perspectives other than the perspective from which one swelters.

 

Here are some perspectives I am quite pleased to consider:

1. Chris Buchannan's perspective. Chris Buchannan, who played Robin, the press secretary in Greatness Thrust Upon Them, our comedy festival show last year, is in a musical at the moment. That musical is called, almost obscenely, Zanna Don't. They had me at highlarious bastardisation of well-known pop culture reference. Seriously though, Chris is brilliant. I'm seeing it next week.

 

2. Nick Jaffe's perspective. Standing There long-time friend and collaborator Nick Jaffe had his goodbye drinks last night. He's the ridiculously adventurous one who sails solo in a tiny boat, around the world, in the big, big ocean. Good luck Nick! You'll be missed. Again.

 

3. My friend. Goes by the name of Scottish Phil. This is in order to distinguish him from all other Phils in the world. The great thing about the name Scottish Phil? Scottish Phil lives in America. Scottish Phil emailed me in response to my complaints of heat. Apparently it's NEGATIVE 20 DEGREES CELCIUS where he lives, with ten inches of snow. Ten inches! My eyebrows would be peering over the top.

 

4. My other friend. Goes by the name Boss Of Everything. I'm not even kidding. Of everything. She's currently the boss of what my childhood next door neighbour used to call Horse Piddle. The Royal Women's Horse Piddle. What with her being royal and all. She's having, and I've thought about this and I think it works, an extraordinarily ordinary time. I hope she gets better. Right after the worst day in history, which would be well spent in Horse Piddle, since it has what my sister and I used to call coolth.

 

5. Robin Geradts-Gill. He works with us on lots of stuff and is generally quite the contemporary gentleman. His band, The Little Stevies, are launching their album. Keep an eye out for it. Their single, Sunshower, which was shot by our very own Stewart Thorn, is here.

 

6. People who are not me. Last night, I went to a Leonard Cohen concert. This is code for: tomorrow might be the worst day in history but yesterday was pretty close to the best. L Cohen reminded his audience last night (me and four or five thousand others) that we are, simply put, lucky. Through no genius of our own, we live in a peaceful country, we listen to music, we watch film, we read, we run about on sporting fields and attach enormous importance to it, we think what we want to think and sometimes we say it, and we're allowed to, and that's extremely lucky. I'm going to try and get through the worst day in history, with that in mind.