Xmas 2014 - Not Normal

It hasn't been a Normal One this year, at all. But we were together and we ate things with faces and things that came out of things with faces and even a few things that the things with faces like to eat. We laughed, drank and loved. Love to your family* from mine. I hope you're as lucky. f xxx

*except if you've got a shit family.

Handbag Hero & My 2nd Favourite $85 Million Home

The word, Hero is thrown around so liberally these days that when someone comes along that is truly deserving of all my love and adoration, it seems trite to call him my new hero.

Here's my new hero. Bruce Makowsky. Love child of Bill Hunter and Chas Bono. Brucie &  his wife, Kathy Van Zeeland, spent 30 years making handbags [a great review of same!] and shoes, which they flogged on QVC with the zeal of Pontius Pilate having a whack at Jeebus. They sold the business in 2008 to Hong Kong-based trading company Li & Fung Ltd for $495 million. The ultimate flog.

So, what's lil Chaz been up to? Well, now he flips houses. Big houses. Like, really, proper big houses, filled to the brim with gold plated tack.

“There was a void of homes for super-wealthy people, and that’s why I did it,” Makowsky said while sitting near the curved 54-foot (16-meter) glass wall that slides open to an infinity pool with iPad-controlled fountains. “I don’t think there’s anybody who’s served up $85 million-to-$100 million homes at this level for somebody to step into and buy.” 

When you see a hole in the market...

“Clearly, the buyer that I’m trying to attract is a very narrow group of people,” Makowsky said during a tour of his latest project. A two-story, 22,300-square-foot Beverly Hills home.

According to Makowsky led an hour-long tour of the house - all the while citing prices and brands of furniture and fixtures, speaking in the patter that made him a QVC star. And in the manner of the gauche, nouveau riché.  Bloomberg reports, A 24-person dining-room table has place settings by Roberto Cavalli priced at $3,700 each, and the living room has 10 chairs designed by Bentley Motors that cost $56,000 apiece. A climate-controlled wine cellar is stocked with Dom Perignon and Perrier-Jouet champagne along with Cohiba and Montecristo cigars. Fifty-six-thousand dollar dining chairs. For one chair. $56k. 

Ponderously, Makowsky keeps talking, “I want every detail inside of the house to be as good as the view,” he said. “I will tell you because I’m not going to sell you.” that doesn't even make gramatical sense?! Could he get, stupider?  Oh, you know he can! “People are really starting to care what their house looks like more than ever -- the really wealthy people.”  If there's one thing I've ever said about poor people it's that they just don't give two kinds of beige shit what sort of aesthetic display their domiciles project. This is why poor people can't nor should have nice things. [For the record, if you paid less than 40mil for your little brick veneer quib, you fall in to poor people category.  Shame on you.]

So, who bought the white mess up on Hillcrest with the $130,000 'candy wall' filled with $70,000 worth of jellybeans, chokkies and other cavity makers? Who wants a house with eight bedrooms and 15 bathrooms, each of the latter equipped with a $5,600 shitter for a total toilet acquisition cost of $84,000?  Was it Jay Z and Beyonce? We know they inspected the property more than once? Was it Larry Ellison - co-founder of Oracle and giant boat haver?  

Nope! T'was 35-year-old Swedish billionaire Markus “Notch” Persson. The Minecraft dude. Yup, the Minecraft dude. He paid $70,000,000. Suck it, Makowsky, $15,000,000 under asking. Way to cave in, dude!

Viva la Ostentacious Wealth!


A Xmas Gift Guide For Sensibly Priced Purchases [Billionaires Edition]

Tis the season to get over your head in hock. It's what the Baby Cheezels had in mind as forced his way out of his virgin mother in that animal stall. (He had a head like a pencil when he was born - the paintings don't often depict that.) But for the select few, money is not even an object.  No object. So today's blog is for them. Let me take the guess work out of gift giving this season.

Rapscallion Uncle Billionaire With No Dependants. Ensure you place as No.1 on Uncle's list with this Tanqueray No. Ten Imperial Shaker by Jason Crawley aka Jason Von Wank-Atron V. "Recreated from a nineteenth-century drawing under the meticulous guidance of spirits impresario Jason Crawley, the 5 foot-tall, 130kg Imperial Shaker oozes authenticity, from its cast iron, brass, copper, and silver materials to the elliptical shake (versus a pedestrian up-and-down shake) created by the crank." I don't need to remind you people how Uncle hates it when you mix his cocktail with your human hands. Urgh. What are we, animals? Even that chimp that ripped that nice lady's face off with his bare primate hands understands mixolgy requires bespoke machinery. Price $35,000 US Don't worry, it comes with a one-year supply of Tanqueray No. Ten (not to exceed four cases). Four stainless steel custom-machined shakers and a personal cocktail education session, for up to 20 guests, with Tanqueray Ambassador Rachel Ford. Phew! (video here)

You copped Bill Gates in the Billionaires Secret Santa didn't you? Fear not, I have the answer! For the gadget geek who has everything — the world’s most expensive USB stick. It's studded with diamonds, rubies and sapphires and has a storage capacity of 32GB. Yes, 32. The Magic Mushroom USB key is an incredible gem-studded case to carry out the secret files in style, "and it also reminds us that high-technology and luxury forms an excellent duo." Well, yes. Ok, I guess it does? Hmm, now that you mention it, fungus that grows in horseshit and Bill's holiday snaps does go hand in hand. Larry Ellison is going to be SO jelly! Mohamed Shawesh, the creator and co-founder of Shawish jewelry says, "To associate the mushroom design with a USB key, which is today the symbol of excellence of youth, makes a lot of sense." You had me co-founder, Mohamed. Price - $36,900 US

Trying to buy back your teenage daughter's love - this is the gift for her. Vanity Fair Academy Awards® Experience! Lights! Camera! Cocaine galore! Briffanyy and a very special guest (she'll probably insist on taking that toothy kid from up the road, Appletini Martin-Forbes) are cordially invited to play the part of Hollywood royalty during the film industry's most celebrated weekend. The star treatment begins Friday at the luxe Peninsula Beverly Hills Hotel—their home for the next three nights. Saturday's agenda is packed with special excursions, drinks (Shirley Temples) at the famous Sunset Tower, and dinner at celeb favorite Chateau Marmont. Oscar® day kicks off with pre-party spa pampering and culminates with entrée to the night's most coveted event: The Vanity Fair Party... wait? What?! I'm pretty sure she's going to expect tickets to the Oscars®!? No? Ok, so, The Vanity Fair Party where she'll mix, mingle, and revel with silver-screen legends past and present. Hair, makeup, wardrobe styling by Neiman Marcus Style Advisor Catherine Bloom (gift card, $5000), and jewelry (on loan only!) are all provided for this once-in-a-lifetime evening. But no Oscars® tickets? Oookay. Still it's just your homely first ex-wife's kid. Price - $425,000 (not a typo!) 

You know who works tirelessly for you? Without complaint (in English)? Consuela. She's been with the family for 40 years, her mother worked for your father. Why not splurge this year and show her how much you care? Go no further than this 24k gold-plated vacuum cleaner. It'll make her carpets look like a million dollars! Or it should, cause that's how much it costs.  But for that (£625,000) it can be customised with a hand-sewn outer bag in the material of your choice. (video here) Perhaps the skin of poor people's children? Yes, it's heavy. Yes, it's shiny. Yes, it really does suck. Mr Howell, you ol' softy. Imagine her face, "Ah Consuela, Merry Xmas or Feliz Navida or whatever it is your children are crying at the kitchen door." (If you were a documented worker, I'd have splurged for the solid gold model). Price $1,000,000 US OR $999,999 when you enter this Code GV62711 *(also, not a typo)

Xmas, it's like a birthday you share with the world. And everyone in it.

Just, some of them are getting waaaaay better stuff that you. Thanks Mary, thanks for spurting forth that boy child who inspired mass delusions of grandeur. 

Merry. Socks and undies for you all!



The Xmas Tree Goes Up When I Say It Goes Up. Not Now, Damnit!

The Thanksgiving food was not even completely cleared from the bench, table or faces of the children when Spike asked about the Xmas tree.

So, are we having a real tree or a fake one?

Ask me when it's Xmas time, dude.

I was having a small bout of diabetes, which was very much self-inflicted. This year, as well as the pumpkin cheesecake, I made Ben a dark chocolate salted caramel pie thingy that seriously could be used to kill things that are allergic to dark chocolate, salted caramel pie thingys. I'm getting a sugar coma just looking at it. Holy shit. And the kid wants to talk about the friggen Xmas tree?!

It's one of the perks of being married to a Yank. The Thanksgiving buffer. You can go to the shops in October without fear of coping a bauble in the eye. They've got Halloween to deal with. No Yuletides, instead you get ghouls by the pound and you will get caught in a fake spider web... it better be fake... Holy sacks-of-tainted-candy day, it better be fake?!

After the Witch Bits (TM) and Lolly Cauldrens have been put away, you're still safe. No Jolly Ol' St. Nick slipping into ShapeWear to shove himself down your chimney. Nor are there any Rudolphs - Nureyev or Gin Blossom-Nosed. Nope, you are greeted by great honking gobblers and Pilgrims as far as the eye can see. No Bing Crosby songs to murder in a lift, but you can while away the hours calling the Butterball Turkey Hotline for help with all your most intimate Meleagris needs. "Can you eat the snood?"

So, can we do the tree now?

Dude! I'm having a caloric collapshun here! It's STILL November - and I've still got smallpox soaked blankets to hand out to complete my genocide of an indigenous people tryptic.

Child looks at mother like she's poo'd on the festive floor.

Engages mild-whine mode.

But we ALWAYS put up the tree on Thanksgiving! I'm serious!

I just don't have an answer for that. Not one that doesn't begin with the phrase, "Oh ferfuckssake!" He's adament. ON Thanksgiving. Tree, now! Family traditon of decades standing. I didn't know kids could suffer from delusions of grandeur...

Can we look at that dark chocolate, salted caramel pie thingy again? Holy crap, I'm getting contact high.

It's not Xmas til Bill Murray says so.  The PLASTIC tree can probably go up this weekend. 3 weeks out. The box of lights can be untangled and the broken ornaments can be tossed.  It's December. Everyone breaath...

I give it 4 weeks til we start seeing Easter Hot Cross Buns in Woolies. 


[obnoxious link removed because it wont allow you to turn off auto play.  thanks Ellen!  Google, Bill Murray, Xmas]



The Time I Played Dallas Brooks Hall And Rolf Harris Didn't Offer To Sign My Chest

Comedy incubates some interesting souls.  Awkward, needy, fragile maniacs. I've made the best friend of my life, in this world. It's where I met Ben. Like any good sub-culture, we have some stories. 

I've just spent an indulgently blissful few days with one of my oldest and favouritest. Doug [Stanhope] has provided me with some of the best stories of my life. Some of the deepest laughs and hands down, the wildest experiences! We haven't been in the same time zone or hemisphere for what seems like, a thousand years, so this past week has been unmitigated joy. Doug has been touring Australia. Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide. I got to open for him in Melbourne at Dallas Brooks Hall. The last time I was there, I was 11 and my parents took me to see Rolf Harris. It's ok though, I was in a plaster cast from my chin to my top of my thighs. My parents - intuitives? Time travellers? Suspicious old hippies? Rolf offered to sign my cast - there's a photo somewhere of him signing my pre-pubescent chest. (As soon as I find it, I'll throw it up here and on Doug's twitter feed.) 

This past week has been one of sliding into an old friendship, picking up old stories, kicking them around and remembering. My friendship with Doug pre-dates our lives with our partners. A history that's mucky and hilarious. Sitting around, shooting the shit, drinking cocktails and filling in details for each other. Details forgotten by the passing of time or simple, self preservation "Ohmygod I forgot about that!" "Oh shit, you were there for that?" "I said I'm sorry. I thought it would grow back..." it has been too, too, too much fun. 

My parents have had the same stalwart group of friends since their 20's. They still get together occasionally and pretend it's the 70's. Eating and laughing. Drinking to excess, listening to shit music. I recall many a night from my childhood, being piled on a bed with the 'other kids' like discarded girl children in a Bejing orphanage while our parents, 'partied'. Being woken at 3am, driven home by what positively-was a parent waaaay over the National Blood Alcohol Limit. Now when they get together to punish their livers the conversations are about their grandchildren and their mis-spent retirement plans all yelled at a level which compensates for the hearing damaged by the decades of shit music. When they're together, they don't quite seem like a bunch of geriatrics sharing stories of youthful bad behaviour. Reminding each other of the details of stories long forgotten by the passing of time or simple, self preservation. They grew up together in the 60's and 70's.  I shudder to think what they got up to.

Just as my kids will go in to years of therapy from reading my blogs. Seeing photos of their mother, sitting in a kiddy pool filled with dildos and beer cars from those times she went to Death Valley with Daddy, Uncle Doug and a bunch of other drug-taking, self indulgent, hilarious comedians. The stories about finding a hotel manager to break into another friend's room cause "no one had seen him since the night before and he did leave with woman who might have been a hooker. He's probably dead." [How are you, Rouse?! I miss you, too!] The footage of stand up gigs, back when they played to rooms of 60 disinterested punters to the sold out theatres of a couple of thousand, all baying [Doug's] name. Scream-laughed memories of unchristianful christmases spent drinking Appletinis, watching Badder Santa and Leaving Las Vegas in a beach house in Playa del Rey. In-jokes passed around a party about the time repugnant sub-human Girls Gone Wild honcho Joe Francis invited himself over but sent a body guard ahead to 'sweep the scene' for trouble, first. The parties. The substances. The situations. The people. 

Good luck, boys! My hope for your future is that you make inveterate friends that will shape your lives into a mental pretzel of abundant love, belonging and laughs. I've been lucky. Stupendously lucky.

My best friends have come from comedy. Thanks Doug. Linda. Adam. Ben! And the rest of you. Thanks. 



I did Doug's podcast while he was here. It gets pretty intense. Make sure you're following him. Twitter. Facebook. Web

I'm doing the regular open mic thing around Melbourne town. My twitter is here. And Linda and I are getting ready to throw ourselves at MICF again. Miss Itchy's twitter and web here and there.