They go out for lunch, to the pub across the road. He orders the bruschetta because it is the cheapest thing on the menu and because the menu said it had fetta cheese on it. When it arrives, however, there is no fetta, just tomato. The person next to him has ordered the bruschetta too. "Isn't this supposed to have fetta on it?" he says, leaning close to his neighbour. "I'm not sure" says the neighbour, leaning away, already eating.
He's not great at these big group lunches. Well, he's ok at the eating part, not so good at the conversation part. His sentences barge in to the middle of things, flinging their arms around, instead of waiting politely in the wings for someone to introduce them to the rest of the conversation. Someone is talking about the weather. He loads up his fork with fetta-less bruschetta and says "You know that thing about Australia's seasons being all wrong?" The table looks at him blankly. "Well, we've taken on the three European seasons, but it doesn't really fit with our climate. The indigenous populations had more like six seasons, and their start and finish dates aren't fixed. They change each year, depending on the arrival of certain plants and animals."
Small pieces of tomato are leaping off his fork while he isn't watching.
"So I was thinking how much the advertising industry would love it if we had two more seasons. They could have an end of season sale every couple of weeks, almost."
There is a silence and then someone says "Hurry in for the Myer Sprummer sale."
"Yes" he says "Exactly. Sprummer."
The person aacross from him says "What about 'Autner'? New Autner stock now in store."
"Autner and Sprummer. I love it." he says. He looks at his fork. There's nothing on it.
When it comes to pay the bill he says to his neighbour "I think we should pay less because of the cheese thing."
"What cheese thing?" says the neighbour.
"Well exactly." he says "There was no cheese. Our bruschetta didn't have any fetta even though it said on the menu that it would. I know that traditionally bruschetta has just tomatoes, but I'm just going by what we were promised by the menu's description. We should get a discount."
"Mmmm" says the neighbour, and puts her six dollars on the saucer.
Went to the Melbourne International Film Festival Opening Night last night. This morning I read over my entry from last year's MIFF opening, and noted many similarities.
Arrive 7:15. Am horror struck by red carpet and photographers waiting for minor celebrities to arrive, so put head down and barge through, trying to look like famous director who doesn't want to be bothered, but looking, instead, like a Nobody, embarrassed about being on red carpet. Thieu is inside, wearing a suit and looking handsome. He says "There's a side door, you know. You didn't have to walk down the red carpet." Feel momentarily horror-struck at own audacity, but then decide I do not care.
La Spin arrives. We purchase champagne and eat green tea ice-cream (no choc-tops this year.) Meet up with G.
Thieu disappointed by decided lack of minor celebrities.
Go in to theatre. Sit next to the woman I shared a house with, ten years ago, in London. Remark on how this seems to be an annual occurrance for us.
First film is Adam Elliot's Harvie Crumpet- a claymation, which is very appealling. Narrated by Geoffrey Rush.
Second film is Japanese Story, which I personally thought had a few script issues. Very depressing, with the second half involving much crying. We came out feeling depressed and in need of refreshment.
Run across to post party at the forum. They made us queue in the rain. We were unhappy.
Lots of drinks, but a worrying lack of food. We become obsessed with food. It seems that everyone around us is eating. Where is it coming from? I spot a tray with one remaining piece of sushi on it, and Thieu watches sympathetically as a man picks up the last piece just before I arrive to claim my prize.
Minor celebrity spotting is thin on the ground, but we do see Kamal. Is Kamal the ultimate b-grade celebrity, I ask. No, says La Spin, Bert Newton is. But I'm not so sure.
Start to get tired. It's 2 am. I'm getting up 4 hours. We go home.
Set alarm for 6.
Wake at 6 and reset alarm for 7.
Do not walk to work, but catch tram as weather is foul.
Even though I have been having difficulties drawing in sketchbooks recently, preferring the backs of computer print-outs, I couldn't resist buying the new three-for-ten-bucks moleskine soft cover notebooks that are currently available. I drew this guy in one of them and it felt ok. I have a hard cover moleskine sketchbook which I've never drawn anything in as it's too nice to be sullied with bad drawings, but the soft cover ones seem less intimidating.
Firstly, a morning lost in search of a workshop at RMIT that seemed to have vanished off the face of the earth. Then arriving at work to discover that I had the dates wrong. Thus, no time for frivilous blogging
Yes, he was the bass player. He's done lots of things, including many character voices for the Simpsons, like Smithers, Mr Burns and Ned Flanders.
So what did he talk about?
Lots of stuff. A bit about how much he hates Fox studios, which was interesting. Apparently one of the execs once said that he could walk into any University in the country and find a replacement cast who were just as good.
Yes. I think the exec has subsequently apologised.
What else did he say?
He talked about being a child actor on the "Jack Benny" show and how he learned alot from Benny about comic timing and also about being generous to less experienced cast members.
In what way?
By praising them, encouraging them. He said he remembers that the first time he made Benny laugh he felt incredibly encouraged.
Did he have any tips on how to write funny stuff?
Well, he said what you'd expect- that there's no formula and that if you are attempting to think about what makes something work then it's inevitably going to fail.
So no tips?
Well, he did say presenting things in "threes" is funny. And words with "k" in them.
Yes, he did actually mention that chicken is a funny word.