James and Miranda and looks and stuff

Image: Eva Rinaldi (CC)

Image: Eva Rinaldi (CC)

Some things are destined to go together, like meat pies and sauce, or pokies and misery. Some things are so closely connected that it’s even hard to think of one without the other, like Boonie and his moustache, or Elvis and cheeseburgers, or André Rieu and nausea.

In the same way, billionaires and supermodels are drawn inexorably to one another, much as the media is drawn inexorably to another billionaire, Clive Palmer. Some billionaires get supermodels, while others get hundreds of animatronic dinosaurs – and I think it’s clear which offers the more fulfilling relationship.

So it made all kinds of sense when I read that James Packer was dating Miranda Kerr. It might just be the perfect match. After all, they undoubtedly have a great many interests in common, like Miranda Kerr, bikinis, and Miranda Kerr in bikinis. Continue Reading →

The dos and don’ts of office Christmas parties

xmaspartyThe silly season is upon us, and of course there are few sillier things you can do than getting together with all the people you work with and becoming so intoxicated that you lose your judgement, and potentially your job.

So how can you have a great time with your colleagues, impress the bosses on whose preference your advancement depends, and keep the underlings who’d just love to take your place the moment you slip nice and downtrodden like they’re supposed to be? This guide has all the answers. Continue Reading →

How is Adam Levine the sexiest man alive?

400px-AdamLevine2011Adam Levine is the Sexiest Man Alive, according to no less a source than People magazine. I know, right? Adam Levine. Not only sexy, but sexiest. I haven’t been this surprised since I discovered Clive Palmer was actually going ahead with the Titanic II.

If you’ve ever listened to the music of the bizarrely-named Maroon 5 – as opposed to Maroon 8, which would be Queensland’s state of origin winning streak, which I don’t like to talk about – he’s the guy with the voice so high that playing his music to dogs makes them hump the nearest available leg. And who knows – judging by the vote, perhaps it has that effect on humans, too?

Continue Reading →

We are all in love with our selfies

20131121-181332.jpgWhen I discovered that the expert lexicographers of the Oxford Dictionary had chosen ”selfie” as the word of 2013, as the best possible distillation of all the accomplishments by the six billion inhabitants of planet Earth, as the sum total of all of the staggering scientific discoveries and provocative, ingenious artworks, of all the dizzying glory of capitalism and touching altruism of the charitable; when I learned that all of this splendour could apparently best be represented by hastily-taken, poorly-composed, crassly narcissistic photos of ourselves, I wanted to punch myself repeatedly in the face.

And then take a photo of it for Instagram, because I too live in 2013.

Continue Reading →

I was a good reader in kindergarten

20090128_worker_beeI am a good reader. I know what lots of long words mean. Words that you wouldn’t necessarily expect me to know, I do, in fact, know. And I can read pretty quickly, too. Because, as I mentioned, I am a good reader.

At one point in my life, it would have been extremely important to me that you knew what an excellent reader I was. I was reminded of this last week, when I attended the final of the NSW Premier’s Spelling Bee and ran into Barbara Ryan, one of my old kindergarten teachers from North Sydney Demonstration School who now teaches at St Ives North.

After we figured out the connection, she recounted a story that has had me laughing and wincing ever since. Apparently when I arrived at kindy, she gave me a standard-issue reader, and asked me whether I read books.

My reply was “I don’t read books, I read encyclopaedias.” Continue Reading →

Dating sucks. Just ask Stephen Merchant.

stephen-merchant-shines-as-desperate-casanova-in-hbo-comedy-hello-ladiesDating is hell, and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. If you don’t believe me, remember Sex & The City, a warts-and-all portrait of the relentless New York dating scene that seemed to me exactly like the deepest pit of Hades, only with better footwear. I assume Manolo also produces a cloven-hoof range for the afterlife.

I’ve never been able to understand those serial daters who flit from romance to romance like bumblebees buzzing from petal to petal, spreading STIs in lieu of pollen. It’s hard enough trying to find someone who’s single, tolerably nice and over their last failed relationship/s, let alone facing the near-impossible challenge of trying to convince them that their lives would be improved with you in it. Continue Reading →

Here’s what you’ll find if you hack into my email

The American government knows absolutely everything about you. Let’s just all conclude this now, shall we, instead of letting that harrowing realisation dawn on us gradually, with every fresh document leaked by Edward Snowden? It’ll save us all time if we just imagine that everything which passes through our in and outboxes is BCCed barack@whitehouse.gov.

I assume this post is getting scooped up by some kind of NSA auto-web-searching drone, by the way, so – hello, spooks! I’m extremely harmless. But you’ve probably already concluded that. Continue Reading →

Scenes from a mall

You know that famous MC Escher engravings of staircases that wend up and up and then turn downwards and then winds around and then somehow, perplexingly, ends up exactly where they started?

Well, if you made those stairs ramps, surrounded them with a branch of every bland chain store you’ve bypassed while wandering through other malls (I’m looking at you, but not kikki.K and Dust. And The Reject Shop, couldn’t you have at least tried?) and filled the hole in the middle with a strange sculpture of a wireframe globe atop a huge multi-tiered wedding cake, you would have the exact architectural plan for the Macquarie Centre. Continue Reading →

A star is trying to kill me

starWhy do we never do the things we know we’re supposed to do?

We all know we shouldn’t eat food that’s high in fat and sugar, but we still regularly shovel deep fried rubbish down our gullets, and junk food is so popular that nowadays lots of trendy restaurants and pubs do an upmarket version where suckers pay upwards of fifteen bucks for a hot dog.

We all know we shouldn’t smoke, but clustered around the entrance of just about every office building in every Australian CBD you can see people puffing away, spending a fortune on contracting cancer.

And we all know we shouldn’t drink, but visit any pub on a Friday or Saturday night, and you’ll see that this message hasn’t exactly sunk in either. Continue Reading →

I am a wine ignoramus

vinoNothing makes me feel like more of an idiot than a conversation with a sommelier. In my work I sometimes get to chat with astronomers, and even when they talk about things like dark matter and the expanding universe, I feel more in my element than when someone is patronisingly guiding me through a wine list.

You’ve no doubt spoken to one if you’ve ever visited a restaurant that’s either genuinely fancy or has tickets on itself – sommeliers are those waiters who’ve done some kind of TAFE course in wine who turn up to your table and make you feel inadequate.

Their job has no English word – the wine-snob industry prefers just to use the French term, which I would argue speaks volumes about their profession. Continue Reading →

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