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Monday, May 31, 2010

Eurovision 2010

This post originally appeared on my blog at TheCompleteFirstSeason.com. Please go over there and read some of the other funny things me and my friends have been writing about.

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Eurovision.


It evokes so many images and sounds in your mind. And it happened again last night.

In this day and age of Twitter – and the internet generally – the slogan for this year’s show “Share The Moment” seemed pretty appropriate. I spent the evening at a party which got pretty out of control if I may say so – baklava AND Jarlsberg cheese? On a school night? Heyoo! - but I had my phone and logged in Twitter account by my side to share my thoughts on each act. (I’ve added a few extra thoughts which the brevity of Twitter prevented me from providing.)

Overall the show was pretty slickly produced. From the Spanish real estate agent/serial pest Jimmy Jump ruining (even moreso) Spain’s act to a mid-show flash mob across Europe that was possibly the coolest thing I have ever seen on Eurovision, I had a ball. I also had a Vodka Cruiser but I swear that was an accident. But what’s a Eurovision night without everyone suffering a little embarrassment?

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Oh, Fiddlin’ Norwegian Zac Efron’s back with his eye brows and all. Some hat kickin’ fiddlin’ to kick off the show. I suspect we’ll see at least one more fiddle before the end of the show.

This year’s hosts are Norwegian Josh Thomas and Scary Spice.

Azerbaijan. Stupid song name, lovely ladies. A bit Ricki-Lee/Holly Valance with supporting interpretive dance by Orlando Bloom, who may just be a roadie who went on to move some set then covered with some dancing. Lovely arm choreo there.



Spain. I drew Spain in the sweep at our party. Don’t let me down, Leo Sayer Circus Troupe. I already have a wooden spoon at home… YES! BRILLIANT. (The stage crasher, not the Sayer twins)



The Norwegian act is possibly the most charming stalker a lady will ever have. Smooth.



Moldova’s also on the fiddlin’ bandwagon I see. The dude’s fiddlin’ a neon violin while standing on a lazy susan. Unabashed Eurovision. And has that saxophone been AutoTuned? It’s got the same kind of timbre as the sax from Guru Josh’s Infinity. Remember that one? No? Well, it does.



Would have loved to have seen the stage crasher in Cyprus’s act. Jump on stage and just suddenly fall asleep like he’d just entered the city limits of the Village Of The Damned.



Well… at least, the dog backstage loved Bosnia & Herzegovina. Gave that chick a high ten.



Belgium. This dude – Tom Dice - is lovely. Me and My Guitar. Awwww. James Taylor is now allowed to steal one of Tom Dice’s other song titles. It’s actually a good song too.



Serbia, what gives man? You just totally killed the feel good mood. Why does Eurovision ruin the nice pretty numbers by following them with hilariously ridiculous shit not out of place in 1992?



Okay Eurovision. You’ve acknowledged Australia is watching. Now let us enter the damn thing.

Ah Belarus. For a minute there, I didn’t think you didn’t understand what Eurovision was about. Then you grew shiny wings.



Ireland. What the hell is this? The Rose? I was waiting for a disco beat to kick in and I got a recorder.



Greece. YES. They’ve sold me on the title alone - ‘Opa!’ I mean, Greece could just call their song ‘Song’ and it would still be brilliant fun. One of the Greek dancers was wearing Kylie Minogue’s loose, sideboob exposing gown from the Can’t Get You Out Of My Head video. AND THE DRUMS SHOOT FIRE. But is that FIDDLER I see?? This is the frontrunner so far as far as I’m concerned.



United Kingdom. … uh … you’ve … you’ve got some sturdy looking boxes there… ? … … you… you can’t walk on them and… and everything… … good on you … sorry, just accentuating the positive. You were awful.



Apparently Georgia owns sewing machines but no buttons.



Turkey. They should have loaned the Georgian dancers some duct tape to hold their clothes together. You can spare it, can’t you Turkish Linkin Park? Hey – the Stig got HOT. Robot striptease!



Albania’s also jumped on the fiddle bandwagon as well and ripped off Blondie while they’re at it. You can sing “Call Me” over the top of it. The Albanian fiddler looks like what would happen if Tim Burton and Andre Rieu had a child together.



Iceland. When you call your song “Je ne sais quoi”, you’re setting yourself up to fail, like when they called that horrible Bette Midler movie “Isn’t She Great”. They were admittedly creative in their use of the big red curtains that keep disappearing from act to act.



Ukraine - she’s wearing a black hood. She’s a bit like an emo Shakira if Shakira didn’t dance. I could hear this on the soundtrack of Ukrainian Twilight, with her as the frontwoman of Ukrainian Evanescence.



Is the World Cup being held in France this year or something? No reason…


Romania. I’m all for see-through Siamese Casio keyboards, choreographed fire, catsuits and big words in lights. You go, Sha-romania Twain! You rhyme ‘fire’ with ‘higher’! Elvis did that too! You’re like Elvis!


Russia. Snow. Scarves. Picture. Hand. Wind. Bland. If you’re going to follow James Blunt’s lead, please jump off the snowy cliff too. And what's with Johnny Depp interrupting with the deadpan news?



I think Armenia has the vote of every heterosexual male in Europe tonight.



Iceland have a model volcano in the green room? Poor form. Too soon. That’s like Roman Polanski taking a 13-year-old date to next year's Oscars.


The German girl – Lena – is loving this and I’m loving it too. She’s kinda dorky and having fun. :D How catchy is this??



Portugal. Why is there a candle on the piano? You’re in a stadium. There are lights everywhere. There is a wall of flashing lights behind you that would seem out of place in a Justin Timberlake or U2 video. The candle’s not fooling anyone about a mood you’re trying to set. Nobody’s looking at that candle but me. WHY AM I THE ONLY ONE DISTRACTED BY THAT CANDLE.



Israel. Ouch. Was warned it would be another power ballad but ouch. BUM NOTES. Thanks for the heads up, Julia (Zemiro). I expect at least two big swirly American Idol style camera swoops.



Denmark here , with the theme song from the 1993 season of the rugby league. Seriously. Try singing Simply The Best over the top of it. Take it away, Sting.



That was some masterful one take stuff, Norwegian Neil Patrick Harris. Of Michel Gondry video quality. *Ahem*

Flash mob! Check out security post-Jimmy Jump lay into potential boneheaders.

No way! Europe wide flash mob! Brilliant. Go lone guy in the middle of the North Sea!



Very happy with the winner. What an adorably cute dork! Why wouldn’t Fiddlin' Norwegian Zac Eyebrow kiss her? How popular would their kids be?

How good was it when Belarus came from behind at the end and smashed the UK into last place? Goosebumps. Like, watching Cool Runnings for the first time goosebumps.



Ugh. I tweeted way too much last night. Have a twangover.

Woke up naked & handcuffed to the Greek Club, phone in hand. Thanks Eurovision.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Unanswered Lost Questions (SPOILERS)

WARNING.

SPOILERS.

Seriously don't look at this page if you haven't seen the Lost finale and you still want to.

Seriously.

Last chance.

Here is a flipbook my sister made and left for me knowing I had just seen the Lost finale.

You can let go now.













Sunday, May 23, 2010

License and Peppermints

This post originally appeared on my blog at TheCompleteFirstSeason.com. Please go over there and read some of the other funny things me and my friends have been writing about.

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My name is James. I am 26 years old and I cannot drive a car.

What do you want me to say?

Some people never learned how to swim, some people never learned to read, some people never learned how to spell. I never learned how to dryve.

I grew up in a house which was in close proximity to two regular bus lines (not counting the school bus) and an even more regular train line – I had plentiful public transport available to me, there was never a need to get the license. I think there’s a window in your late teens/early 20’s where you have the time and less commitment to work on it. I missed that window, so I now try and get in practice when I can. To take the tagline from The 40-Year-Old Virgin and make a sex-car analogy The Fast Show’s Swiss Toni might be proud of, “the longer you wait, the harder it gets”.

The sight of a blue-bordered, laminated license in which the person in the photo has a well receded hairline and a birthyear earlier than the debut of Home And Away might seem odd to some nowadays. Some who know me feel the need to question me week after week after week, with the compulsive repetition of an internet gambler continually clicking ‘refresh’ on a sports results website, expecting the scores to change.

“Have you got your license yet?”
No. I’m working on it.
“Have you got your license yet?”
No. I’m working on it. I’ve been busy.
“Have you got you lic-“
*POW*
“… ah you go’ you lysin yeh?”
No, Kevin.
“Oh ay.”
How’s the chin, Kevin?
“ Behher.”

It’s my Groundhog Day. I sympathize with movie stars on press junkets who have to continually answer the same boring questions over and over. Yes, Clooney is amazing to work with. Yes, he’s a prankster. No, I don’t have my license yet, Kevin.

I’m just not a natural driver, it’s just hard work for me. You know the bumper cars? You know there was always one kid who could never get it to go even though it was a simple case of pressing down a pedal? See my thumbs pointin’ this-a-way? Yes? Get away from my window, it’s alarmed.

Though it is something I am working on when I can, I take solace in the fact that I’m not the only late driving bloomer. For example…

  • Oscar-nominated perpetual hottie / ranga Julianne Moore didn’t get her driving license till she was 27.
  • John Lennon didn’t learn to drive until he was 29, had an accident then never drove again – an actual car accident I mean; not the gunshot-to-the-back accident. Although it certainly prevented him from driving again.
  • Apparently, Ricky Gervais can’t drive, and he doesn’t need to as he drifts from location to location on a cloud of self-satisfaction, looking a bit like Lakitu from the Super Mario Brothers games, dropping spiny creatures upon the rest of us from a fishing line.

(L-R) Julianne Moore, John Lennon, Lakitu Gervais

I wish getting my driving license was as easy as it was to get my pen license in grade 4. Oh, the pen license. Why can’t my calligraphy skill level then be my car-ligraphy skill level now? Or my pun skill level. (Punmanship? Booya. Ready for my pun license now, Miss Mac.)

Then again, getting your pen license wasn’t exactly the same.

  • You didn’t have to take overpriced writing lessons.
  • You didn’t have to get practice writing at night.
  • You didn’t have to get practice writing in the wet.
  • You didn’t have to always hold your pen at 10 and 2.
  • If you were under 25, you didn’t have to rack up 100 hours of writing before going for the license.
  • You didn’t have to practice the manoeuvre of “parallel reverse punctuation”.
  • If you accidentally wrote in red pen too quickly, you wouldn’t get caught by a “red write camera”.
  • You didn’t have a middle-aged writing instructor named Geoff with golden-capped false front teeth, who would be standing by with their own pen poised at the ready, just in case you put too much of a curl on the lower case q and they had to take over with some “evasive writing” tactics.

Although, I guess, if you hit the margins at the side of the page, that did warrant an automatic failure.

So yes – I am working on it. It will happen. It will happen soon.

Then – and only then – will I start thinking about taking swimming lessons.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Golden Globes Dream

I dreamed I was in the front row at the Golden Globes.

I was in New York. For once, they were in New York.

From my hotel window, I could see a long line of tiny yellow taxi cabs slowly dropping people at the event. Somewhere along the line there was a giant taxi. I took a picture of the fleet of tiny cabs (and the one large one) on my phone.

Then we were inside. We were in the front row. In a surprise upset, Luke Wilson (although he referred to himself as ‘Zack’) won the award for best supporting actor. He won over Clooney and an old man who everyone thought was long overdue. It may have been Christopher Plummer. He looked disappointed. So did others. But they applauded nonetheless. This is the first nomination and win for Zack Wilson.

Luke nee Zack Wilson gave a ten minute acceptance speech which alternated between heartfelt sentiment, standup comedy and magic tricks. While some of the audience was frustrated by this, he nonetheless received a standing ovation, led by Will Smith, who sat further along the front row. Will Smith likes things that are unconventional and this was unconventional.

In the ad break, people got up and mingled. Tom Hanks asked Edward Norton why he wasn’t following him on Twitter.

I took a picture of the empty stage from where I sat. People won’t believe I was here. I don’t believe I’m here.

And then.

I became conscious of the fact it was a dream and woke up.

It was 4AM.


I can sleep more. I need to know who wins Best Picture.


I went back to sleep and in one of those rare crazy things,
I continued the dream.

A musical number was introduced to welcome rising young stars to Hollywood. A musical medley of songs, featuring a performance by twenty young-uns, including Zac Efron and a girl they announced as Blake Lively. I don’t think was really her. I don’t know what Blake Lively looks like, I only know the name. I thought she might be a Cylon. But that means there never was a Blake Lively. Only the Blake Lively Cylon.

Bert and Ernie – or at least two men in Bert and Ernie costumes – started singing a slowed down, almost lounge version of Amy Winehouse’s ‘Rehab’. I questioned whether the man in the Ernie suit was singing both parts in different voices and simply didn’t move his mouth when “Bert” sang.

I took photos on my phone still, to prove to people I was there. “When I come out of the dream, the photos will be there on my phone. Like Nancy pulling Freddy Krueger’s hat out of the dream world. I can do this.” I was mindful of the flash. Nothing looks more wannabe than the flash of a camera phone at the Golden Globes. Who was this guy? Who is he? Some contest winner. You should not be here. Oh but I am here, Clint Eastwood. I am here. I have the pictures to prove it.

I left the room to get a Pepsi from the milkbar next door to the theatre. On leaving they took my ticket.

“How will I get back in?” I asked the man in the booth.

“We have to take your ticket, sir” he replied, with the enthusiasm of a flight attendant. “You can buy a souvenir ticket from the gift shop.”

I declined. I had my phone. I had my souvenir. I had my proof I was there.

I walked out onto the street. The tiny cabs were even smaller on the street level.

I asked the girl at the milkbar for a Pepsi.

I woke up again. There was no Freddy Krueger hat in my hand, there were no pictures on my phone.

It was 6AM. Sunday.