Thursday, July 29, 2004
Job Fair advert for porn starsOyez oyez! Calling wannabe porn stars! No previous experience required ... just be ready to be nude and "serious about acting and passionate about the movie industry."
Good old Hong Kong.
More MarthaAlways enjoy Tina Brown's snappy reportage, and Martha Stewart is right on her beat.
Oh and look - an Apologist site ... I wonder who to send that link to?
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
57 Ways to Chuff your LoverTeresa Heinz Kerry looks like Jill Clayburgh, so she is ultra OK in my book.
She is clearly a good thing, adequately peppery, and can handle herself.
I look forward to watching her lay waste to the reptile press and any other puny muckrakers who try to go to town over that book or anything else that comes up. And it will.
Tuesday, July 27, 2004
PhilhelleneAs the Olympics loom, so my excitement mounts over the sheer will-they-won't-they? drama of having the city in a fit state to actually hold the plonking knees-up.
Patriotism: Speaking of knees-ups, I reach for the ouzo just thinking of yon Spiros or Theodoros at the business end of a Patriot.
Dept of Plus ça change: I wondered when word would leak out on the price gouging.
PS: To show no hard feelings against Johnny Greek, check out this even grimmer tale of the frog auteur to whose book signing no one came ... ugh.
Sunday, July 25, 2004
But I need something British, something stringing a few words together.
My eye is caught by The Politician's Wife and something about the baleful expression of the actress on the cover.
On the way out, I spot Bend It Like Beckham, which I've always intended to see again, if only for the wonderful wedding entertainers.
I am not disappointed: The Pol's Wife is a marvelous Brit/PBS concoction, a 'how and when will she do it' study of a vengeful spouse whose immoral politician hubby has it coming to him. Not that most of us wouldn't with Minnie Driver as the bird on the side.
Beckham as marvelous as I remember it, although a little disconcerting watching the now over-famous Keira Knightley in the role of Jules instead of that rather charming and jaw-y wraith I so took to the first time round.
Parminder Nagra as Jesminder 'Jess' is really quite a cutie and I wish we'd see more of the handsome Jonathan Rhys-Meyers as coach Joe. We need blokes like that who can turn on a cruel visage.
Reason I harp on Ms Stevenson is that no sooner am I admiring her steely resolve and cut-glass Tory accent as the dutiful wife than I'm meeting her again as Jules' daft mum with the push-up bra and horror that he little gal might be lesbian.
An actress totally unknown to me appearing in both DVDs I take out. Not bad.
Celluloid wedding-wise: There's something about Indian weddings that enables the actors to appear graceful and completely natural; there's definitely something classy about the bands they hire. I must now re-view Monsoon Wedding, if only for that sensuous dance by whoever that chickadee is and the killer soundtrack she gyrated to.
Beijing Blog BlocksIt used to be genuine gerontocrats who blocked progress and kept the proles under, but that lot are dying off and a new breed of young fogeys are stepping into the breach.
No less zealous, it seems, and ingenious in their excuses for saving the populace from those naughty running dog web sites.
Toll of a Mickey FinnI worry so much about the sensible G falling for some saloon bar cad's villainy.
I must play this cautionary tale to her.
Plogging the Gap: Effective YetiI rather like this oddly-nicked defective yeti cove. Don't understand half what he writes about, mind you, but he seems a decent God-fearing soul.
Witty little piece on plogging caught my eye that I thought would be smart to link to ... give the impression I read these savvy auteurs.
As the Yetis says,
"I worked at [blankety blank on account of my own NDA] for a few years but then they made me put all my belongings in a cardboard box and had security escort me from the building. Hah hah, true story! You might think that would make me bitter -- what with them giving me the heave-ho and now using my work as part of a marking campaign -- and you might further speculate that I would use this opportunity to speak directly to Amazon consumers by badmouthing the company. But you'd be wrong, because I still own Amazon stock."
Is that really 'marking', or 'marketing'?
Friday, July 23, 2004
Steph's birthday Saturday and she has told me what she wants: a copy of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Apparently, on our very first date, I urged her to check out this classic Pirsig.
He shall have music ...Impeccable timing: just when I can ill-afford such luxuries, my fattest order with BMG rolls in:
- Best of Carly Simon
- Best of Ray Charles
- Very Best of JJ Cale
- Ken Burns' Lester Young
- Elton John's Yellow Brick Road
- Cream of Eric Clapton
- Best buy of the lot, Milt Jackson and John Coltrane in bags and trane
By the by, I have gone right off seeing Clapton in concert now: the JJ Cale album brings resoundingly home how much EC ripped off Cale with pale, inadequate covers. I should have gone to Italy after all.
Thursday, July 22, 2004
Revenge of DiI love to think of Princess Diana plotting the downfall of those tourists at her memorial fountain, but I suspect her venom might have been intended for lover James 'Rat' Hewitt who seems to have got himself busted for cocaine.
Not that I'm any Lynne Trusse, but at first reading of the paragraph about
"Hewitt, 46, was arrested in the street near his home in Chelsea, west London, along with TV presenter Alison Bell, 37, a former girlfriend of the Earl of Wessex, who he has been seeing for three months", I thought "Bloody hell, not just a junkie but a poove, to boot!".
How does one punctuate it so that Hewers doesnt sound as if it's Wessex he's been rogering? Remove the comma?
ASBOThe fogeys among us - particuarly those returning from abroad after any length of time - spotted it long ago, the complete collapse of any manners or discipline among the grubby Brit youth, and the accompanying simpering accommodation by the correctitude-ridden "authorities".
“Anti-Social Behaviour Order” almost sounds like one of those decorations of merit into which Blair and his yobs are trying to put the boot.
9/11 latestIn fact, I'm paying no attention to whatever new stuff they think they've come with on this dread topic ... I consult the Telegraph during my ablutions and that is that for the day.
Of far more drama and immediate concern is whether Big Brother's Mich and Stu had it off ... er ... again.
Django ReinhardtSpeaking of the incomparable Belgian guitar wizard - whose partner Stephane Grapelli was a close friend of the family via brother Pete, here is an unglamorous but definitive site which I mischievously match to the sort of thing I utterly loathe - tributes to heroic folks like limbless surfers or tongue-less wine tasters or blind racing drivers or, as in this case, the 'Fingerless Fiddler'.
Of course, having writ thus, I shall catch my hand in a ferry lanyard, lose all fingers of my left hand and be forced to be similarly heroic.
Sacha Distel, RIPI seem to be going thru a francophile stage, or at least writing about the frogs.
No one will know of Sacha Distel these days, but back in 1960 I rather envied him for hooking up with Brigitte Bardot, the galactic sexpot of the time. (Zut alors! In kitting my reference with a link, I've just seen la BB's dates: wait til it gets out that my best wanks were over a pout n cleavage born 1934. I feel like some remnant of l'ancien régime).
Anyway, I'd moved to a new school and a new smoothie guitar teacher whose first words were, "Did you catch the Palladium show last night on the tele?" I had not. "Not bad - Distel was on, playing a piece by Reinhardt."
Playboy Sacha D playing a Django R piece? Surely not, I thought? I didn't mind him having those odious gallic looks that pull every bit of crumpet around, but to also star on the guitar ... de trop.
But he did, and I went on to buy many of his albums and, in 1967, even brave Parisian rioters to hear him in concert.
The OlympicsI have no real interest in the August Olympics in Athens but my Corfu-dwelling mama sends me updates on what sounds to a promising photo-finish.
Acording to mama up to a week or so back, it was typical Greek to leave everything to the last minute, but the Games would be safe. Now she is sounding less likely.
- If the Greeks can't raise tourism figures in this of all years, when can they?
- Are guns in or out? YES - or - NO?
- With security up to $1.5B, I'd start looking askance if I was some of the participating nations
- As mama says, always in the nick of time ... good example is the Village
- FInally, what better definition of the Games than the gambling farce?
Wednesday, July 21, 2004
NightcapThe two big French pop chanteurs of late 1960s France were Johnny Halliday and Jacques Dutronc.
Both seem to have made into the movies with aplomb.
Halliday has now totally lost his golden pretty boy looks and makes a damn'd good villain, as in L'Homme du Train.
And last night I watched Merci pour le Chocolat with the utterly beguiling Isabelle Huppert and JD as her concert pianist husband. It doesn't actually go anywhere, which is Chabrol's forte, but the pace and language is pure joy to chug along with and Huppert's freckles and clean features distract from anything else going on at the time.
During my time in Tours, I virtually lived with a blonde Welsh girl (galloise, as the locals called her) and our sex life also chugged along quite nicely. One night, feeling my ardour waning, I conjured up the image of the aloof Ms Huppert and found myself instantly afire with uncharacteristic vigour and ferocity. When it was over and breath caught, Wendy said "Gosh, who were you thinking of?"
Customer ServiceDuring my mid-1990s PR jaunt in Hong Kong, I had a contract with the Hongkong Bank (in my youth, the more sonorous Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corporation) to write their rep training manuals and advise on "customer service".
Every now and then some fresh and keen newbie would arrive from the UK and show their mettle by picking on some phrase or other. At first, my client manager would worry about losing face, but after sitting in with me on a few of these confrontations and watching my measured demolition of these upstarts, she relaxed and came to enjoyed it for the sport it was.
Often, customers' letters would come attached to originals from some Bank office, in which case I would make helpful corrections to spelling or grammar - extrodinary, similer, ocasion, etc - and pass it up the chain.
Now I see that HSBC have been outed for the sort of weasel service that is probably common everywhere and will be more and more exposed as the attitude shows the thru the fabric of today's CS wiles.
Monday, July 19, 2004
Paul Foot RIPA mere eight years' headstart on me.
Helluva good pal when I was causing mischief in the London book biz of the 1970s. Time to crack open that bottle of p-eaty Ardbeg and mingle tears with toast.
Quite rightly, the Grauniad runs a suitable article and I must look out for more.
Ms Veirs recommendsStill I can't seem to tire of the divine Laura Veirs.
In her web site reports from the front, La V recommends one Joanna Newsom's Milk-Eyed Mender.
I listen to snippets online and she sounds like an 11-yr old with a decent band behind her. Rather more of an acquired taste than I'm using to caving in to, but I do and order it.
Meanwhile, Jolie Holland in interview on 99.4 FM. Nice twangy accent and feisty 'tude. Her studio rendering of 'Morphine' is if anything better than the album's.
I have ripped a copy of Veirs and Holland for Steph but refuse to do more for my pals: they must fork out the dosh and keep such talent solvent to keep making their music.
Saturday, July 17, 2004
If you want to read the whole Butler Review, you can download all 216 pages of it from the official website and give it your full attention.
The site is not a patch on the Hutton enquiry site, which includes all sorts of fascinating transcripts and facsimiles.
You can see Mr Blair's full response and the dossier that caused all the trouble.
Don't be fooled by this site put up by some jolly prankster to mislead us -- although it does have some good jokes in it. It includes a 'spot the WMD' game and a link labelled 'Evidence that Saddam had WMD' that takes you straight to the Flat Earth Society ...
Tutoring DonMy darling Georgina at West Washington Univ points me to the clever donnish web site of one of her young and more erudite tutors.
In his chat about "academic interests", Don A talks of being "emerged" in a work? Does he mean "immersed"?
Not daring to offend G, I say nowt.
Media mongrelizing divorce
Lovely saucy gossip, and who better to tell it than energetic Ron Liddle?
Tuesday, July 13, 2004
Sunshine blazing outside but here in my cubicle the aircon is perfect. I lean back and close my eyes: a grecian breeze flows over my cheek. I could be in Nissaki. When I open them again, I persuade myself, there will be a carafe of krassi hima and one of Agathi's salads.
Where is my crack'd volume of Ovid?
Where is the bowl of olives and poolside backgammon set? At the next footstep, if I sit up straight and turn slowly, will it be my father emerging for our evening tourney?
i must beware smugness over the cool unknowns whose names i seem to be spouting of late, as if i personally discovered them.
First laura veirs, then jolie holland, and now tucker martine.
it might be wise for me to check out a few more articles and albums before i start dropping his name, but i'm already hearing it muttered around the mirabeau drinkery and fremont's dusty strings practice room.
"Moody as all git out"
interesting: it's usually impossible for me to acknowledge anyone else's stylistic tricks unless they've passed some other test of mine.
But here's a phrase that just leapt out at me. probably common as muck and used by everyone, but here it describes a band's jamming as it sounded to some bird and her blog.
Moody as all git out.
Nice. And I just know I'll use it at Seabold or down the Harbor pub, or just shove in a song and bask in approval forever.
And on the same page, from musings on Spider-Man 2, in what context I now forget, "Not enough merely to suspend disbelief - you have to string it up by its ankles and slap it around a bit."
I actually walked out on Tobey *and* Will F in the same 2 hours, having tired of Anchorman fairly quickly (despite the juicy Christina A. Did I hear that she once dabble in porn?) and the Spider (ditto Kirsten D) around the time that the excellent Al Molina waxed conscience-stricken. Anyway, he'll always be the prissy Comte de Reynaud in Chocolat for me, so perhaps I was doomed here.
Monday, July 12, 2004
Cree-ay O LooCrier au loup (fr), cry wolf.
I can't over-emphasise my contempt and impatience for this Homeland Security farce. Is there anyone in the land who doesn't guess the sequence of events and guesswork?
- Stolid unprepossessing Tom Ridge lashing his team on to pin the tail on the terrorizing donkey and come up with a random date and alert that - Allah permitting - somehow magically coincides with one of our enemies' actions.
- Equally desperate computing of which leg we're all meant to be teetering on and which convincing variation of weave and hue of wolly hood to have covering our peepers when Alfred Q actually strikes.
- The total shame and embarrassment as we lumber, wog-whipped, from one duff lupine spotting to another.
By early September, my treatment was said to be at its most debilitating and I wish to God I'd had the chance to pass by one of these dogs.
As a side note, I'd been told my treatment was "aggressive" but had no idea what that actually meant. I attenended at the same time as a fit and foul-mouthed young man whose sweet wife brought himin each day.
By Sept, he was being wheeled in a wheel-chair, cussing and fuming.
His wife confided that the hardest part was rousing him from his bed to make the journey. So what grade of treatment was I getting? I had no idea, but I asked when I went under the zapper.
"You don't have a coding. We're throwing everything at you. Your coding is 'full', if you want to know.
Wednesday, July 07, 2004
How I should have done it
Man, that's commitment to the sauce. Hats off to the dude.
Of course, there's always September when I turn up to report.
MAKE THE PIE HIGHER
I think we all agree, the past is over.
This is still a dangerous world.
It's a world of madmen and uncertainty
And potential mental losses.
Rarely is the question asked
Is our children learning?
Will the highways of the Internet
Become more few?
How many hands have I shaked?
They misunderestimate me.
I am a pitbull on the pantleg of opportunity.
I know that the human being
And the fish can coexist.
Families is where our nation finds hope, Where our wings take dream.
Put food on your family!
Knock down the tollbooth!
Make the pie higher!
Make the pie higher!
Friday, July 02, 2004
- the grauniad runs a counterblast to that New Yorker review of the truss punctuation book.
- good old hong kong refusing to cave in
- and my dear old pal chris hitchens sniping at mike moore.
- brando dead. i'm not sure i've seen any of his classics. missouri breaks and apocalypse now are the only ones i remember. never quite made it to the godfather; subject always bored me.
To the Lynwood cenema to see the 7:15pm showing of Moore's work. Car park packed. I was probably in the last 10 to have seats, but still they kept coming in.
A loud audience, v pro MM. Laughter, not much jeering but definite snuffles for the woman who lost her son and went to DC and vented her hate on Bush.
What a very creepy nasty thicko that Bush fellah is, to be sure. And he isnt surrounded by a particularly savoury lot, either.
A sobering silencing film that I hope has legs til this election. Does not Bush deserve some Baghdad-crippled youth to wheel himself up to his lectern, whip from under his wheelchair some effective gun and, er, sort of drill him? Anything to rid our screens of that squinty furtive look and that sinister beaky nose. I've not seen much point of other attempts on various presidents, but this berk seems an obvious candidate.
Applause at the end. Outside, a line right round the block.
I drive back via Safeway who seem to be training up a pack of new servers. Te strike must be coming.
I buy pizza and Friday luncheon and toss in a beer with which to toast the movie's success and dull my sadness and anger.
Thursday, July 01, 2004
hong kong freedom t-shirt
hong kong demo! good for them.
i have written to louisa for as many designs of t-shirts as they are selling.
reading & dining
to hear james marcus read from his amazonia, count the 'zoners, and dine après.
carla is late so we sip our leitgeist-eamin' coffes as we walk to the bkshop. as usual when i urge promptness, there is bags of room.
marcus reads well and is as pleasant as his style. we get our copies signed and i get jm to draw his old man in mine, which gets a real smile as he comments i am the first to ask him to do that.
dinner at mitchelli, served not v good food by a truculent waiter who annoys us both. i talk too much and leave most of it; carla also talks but finishes everthing.
as C is freshening, the waiter asks, Out clubbin' now? over which i can disappoint him with a 'no, back to our respective homes'. i should have said 'beds'.
as we walk to the ferry, i tell C that he probably hoped to have been the cupid to a passionate end to the soiree. she smiles.
we say good night and i am consumed with sadness and longing.
next morning as i wait for the shuttle where we said our farewells, it is filled with a lightness and wellbeing.