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.  



The Power Of Thetans Compels You... To Say Totes Awks Stuff, Dude.

Today's been one of 'those' days. A Shit-Me-Not Day. Nothing worth getting truly shitty about. Car trouble. Expensive car trouble. Christing Shit Baby Insurance Companies and their arse fisting loopholes. Not getting the exact right contract we were after. And, I bit my tongue over toast at breakfast time.  That kind of day. No one lost a limb. No one shat on the clean floor. But still. One of those fuck-off-and-wither-in-a-hole days. 

Then I read this New York Times article.

Jaden and Willow Smith on Prana Energy, Time and Why School is Overrated

One of the gifts of being young is that particular blend of self-confidence and self-consciousness. Jaden and Willow Smith have managed to turn this form of heady teenage introspection into expression instead of ennui. Willow, the 14-year-old musician whose debut single, “Whip My Hair,” went platinum when she was not yet a teenager, explains that the gift of life is “looking at nature and being, like, ‘Wow, I am so lucky to have a body and to breathe and to be able to look at this.’ ” To which her older brother Jaden, a 16-year-old actor and musician, adds: “And the huge, terrible thing the world would be missing by not expressing yourself.” To that end, both Jaden and Willow, the children of Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith, released new albums this month... [read it in it's FULL glorious glory, here.]

It's a comedy gift, sloppily wrapped by a comedy god who was obviously laughing too hard as she listened to Jaden's phat beats. The kid rhymes;

I'll be at Heaven's Gate with a crowbar pryin'
while they're screaming don't let this guy in.
Feeling sorry for myself,
Catcher in the Rye'n.

Catcher in the Rye-ing indeedy. It goes on. And on. Filled with the glorious inanities of teenage kids who think they have all of Life's Lessons understood and dissected ready for tomorrow's youth. It's too late for us Olds. The universe isn't for us, anyway.

JADEN: Right, because you have to live. There’s a theoretical physicist inside all of our minds, and you can talk and talk, but it’s living.

But. They're kids.

They're only 14 and 16. Had the New York Times come to me when I was 14 or 16. Ok, forget the NY Times. If the Herald Sun had... ok, shaddap. If the Local South Eastern Leader had a slow news day and had sought out the mystical thoughts of 14yo fahey - they would have got a lot of talk about ponies and how Tracy Merrick was a shit person, "cause HER horse was wasting away in Brunnells paddock and she never even went up there to check on it and it's coat fell off last week, but Melanie and I got under the fence and fixed it for her and we could see how hungry it was and she didn't even deserve a horse and I wanted a horse but I didn't have a horse and if I had her horse I would feed it EVERY day. Like, every single day..." 

WILLOW: And the feeling of being like, this is a fragment of a holographic reality that a higher consciousness made. 

Yeah, Wills. Sure. Shit. I bet Willow's got a pony.

The children of celebrities - why do we even give a shit? "The human being is hardwired to worship something, and traditionally that's been a religious figure," says Jim Houran, a New York-based psychologist and expert in celebrity culture. Yes, I'm not about to let that one just slide through the keeper, Jim Houran is an expert in Celebrity Culture. Moving on... Jim says, "But now, more and more people are turning away from organized religion and it's being replaced with something and to me that's these more secularized saints and gods that we call celebrities."

JADEN: She gets in the booth and just starts singing.

There has to be a limit to how much attention the offspring of Sprung Ups get. Surely? "There does seem to be a fine line between functional and dysfunctional interest in celebrities," says Houran. No shit, Sherlock? "We are in a media- and entertainment-saturated society so you can't get away from it. It's just part of our culture now," Houran says.

Yet, I still feel curiously uncomfortable making fun of a couple of oddly sheltered children who live an incessantly unrealistic life. But then they say this. 

WILLOW: That’s what I do with novels. There’re no novels that I like to read so I write my own novels, and then I read them again, and it’s the best thing.

JADEN: Willow’s been writing her own novels since she was 6.

You can't walk away from a sentence like that. You can't! It's against the comedy law. I checked!

Of course, the real villians here are Will Smith and his thin wide bride, Jada Pinkett Smith. But somehow I just imagine there's a phone ringing in the Pinkett Smith house today and Grand Poobah Tom Cruise is at the other end of the line - "You can't handle your progeny!"

The Pink Smith's have been in the news before with their own special type of parenting views.

“We don’t do punishment,” Will said. “The way that we deal with our kids is, they are responsible for their lives. Out concept is, as young as possible, give them as much control over their lives as possible and the concept of punishment, our experience has been – it has a little too much of a negative quality."

That's the joy of celebrity. If you put stupid shit out there, people are going to copy and paste it in to their blogs and judge you. Like Judgey McJudgenstein. I'll feel smug for a moment. Then I'll remember all the cool stuff you've got. Pff. 

I'll leave the last word to Jaden. 

JADEN: You never learn anything in school. Think about how many car accidents happen every day. Driver’s ed? What’s up? I still haven’t been to driver’s ed because if everybody I know has been in an accident, I can’t see how driver’s ed is really helping them out.

Dude went and said a mouthful. 

I bet he never has to worry about paying for the drive train on HIS Cube. 

Fuck you, Jaden. You suck!  And yer sister, too!




Saying Goodbye To A Friend

Richard was about 9 feet tall. Kind. So kind. Generous, funny, passionate. He was just a man you really wanted to be around and he had a laugh which could rock your world. 

And boy. Outrageously handsome. I can't stress that enough. He was ri-dic-ulously beautiful. Inside and out. I'm mostly talking about the outside here. Wow. I mean, just LOOK at that face! >

We said goodbye for now, to our friend yesterday. Our hearts aching and angry denial bubbling as waves of thankful joy to know that he was ever even in our lives in the first place. I say this as someone so utterly on his periphery I can't even fathom how his family, his beloved Lee, and his close lifelong friends are even able to stand upright and go on. Such was the measure of this man that knowing him even just a little bit was enough to feel the punch to the chest when I heard the news.

Handsome, tall, impossibly perfect Richard was struck by Guillain-Barrè syndrome. This rare illness strikes between two and eight people in every 100,000, regardless of gender or age. Richard was 41.

Estimates vary, but around nine out of 10 people with Guillain-Barrè syndrome survive and approximately 75 to 90 per cent recover completely. Around 10 to 15 per cent will be troubled by some form of permanent disability. It can take anywhere from six months to two years or more to fully recover. 9 in 10 recover. 9 in 10. It's so wretchedly, shittingly unfair. 

I met Richard at Joe's Garage in Brunswick St, Fitzroy. Adam [Richard] and I went in for a coffee one day. We saw Richard at the bar and went back almost every single day for the next 3 years, straight. Actually, now that I think about it. Adam probably already knew there was something very pretty inside Joe's when he took me there. Yes. That's a much more reliable memory. :-)  Joe's was our place. It's where we met. Any excuse to meet. Much of Melbourne's late 90's comedy genesis happened in that bar, staring at that pretty man.  Wil Anderson. Justin Hamilton, Geraldine Quinn. Corinne Grant. Adam and I. It's where we wrote.  It's where we drowned our sorrows and celebrated our successes. It's where we went to flirt with Richard and eat food which wasn't always great and drink coffee which was often burnt. The constant at Joe's, our waiter was ALWAYS a handsome beacon of joy. I never saw him unhappy. 

We became friends with Richard. He encouraged our outrageous behaviour. He enabled our drinking and he supplemented our [at the time] meager incomes with "Oh this is left over" and "I accidentally poured this" and "I thought you ordered this?!"

For a while there Joe's did 'free bread'. Bread they baked on premises. It was heavenly delish. Richard would see us coming and bring extra bread and extra butter to our table. (Remind me again, how did we get fat?) We'd regularly sit there from our 11am breakfast til Richard came over, "So, I'm guessing you'll want to know the dinner specials?" Some nights we'd drunkenly leave, get on a tram and head down to the other end of Brunswick Street to the Italian joint for their "lemon meringue pie- without the meringue please." (it was very, very, very good) then we'd get back on the tram and sneak back in to Joe's for lock up. Someone would crank the music, Richard would dance around like... well... nope, there's nothing to compare it to. He'd dance around like a total Richard. Glorious! Or he'd sing, that massive baritone voice belting out of his perfect pie hole. And we'd drink! The next day? Repeat. The next day? Repeat. Next? Repeat. Repeat. Repeat! 

One particularly busy night in Joe's - it was ALWAYS busy in Joe's - Adam and I were at our table, we'd been there for hours and were not showing signs of going home any time soon. We were very possibly being loud and hilarious. Richard came over to our table with a baby's highchair "Ohmygod! is he trying to kick us out!?" He returned with a beautiful loaf of bread wrapped in a checked tea-towel and he stuck it in the highchair. "There's your bread baby." he poked two marshmallows in it for eyes and walked away. We squealed with delight, caved a hole in it's face for a mouth and we berated and yelled at our baby (as we slowly ate him) for the rest of the night. 

I still can't look at a loaf of bread in a highchair without thinking of you Ricky. I'm 9 out of 10 furious you're not here to play with any more and 10 out of 10 thankful you ever were in the first place. Rest easy. Dance stupidly and laugh always.  You are SO loved. 

Thank you. 



My First Week Living In Los Angeles [with Doug Stanhope]

My friend Doug [Stanhope] is finally coming to my home town. I've known Doug for about 22 years. He's my generation's comic. There's no one else like Doug. Prolific. Invective. Mercifully merciless.  

I have a million "Doug" stories. Like everyone else who's had the joy of swimming in his orbit - we've all got stories. The Death Valley Parties. When He Talked Hot Neighbour Chick Into Leaving Him Her Car Keys And He Painted Her SUV Purple AND Made A Mixed Tape Of Songs That Contained The Word Purple While She Away. He drove it around to where were living and parked it out front, giggling maniacally as the stereo cranked, Purple Rain. The time we Woke Up To Find A Local Cafe Sign In The House After A Drunken Walk Home and he was genuinely perplexed. The Day After in Playa When Two Girls Stripped Naked To Answer The Door When The Booze Delivery Man Arrived. The poor guy was so flustered he handed over the delivery, the change, all his tips AND his car keys before walking away with a story he knew NO ONE would believe (he had to come back for his car keys). Crossing The Mexican Border With A Wheelchair Andy Had Swapped It's Disabled Owner For a Bottle Of Jägermeister. Fair and square. She need Jäger and Andy needed a wheelchair.  The New Years parties in Bisbee. I came home pregnant from one of those... you get the picture.

One story I was reminded of recently was when I first moved to LA. Ben and I were relocating from Denver to Los Angeles and I went ahead to get things organised. Doug was working on the Man Show [some say, his Magnum Opus] at the time so he handed over his house keys and said, "Me and Andy [Andrist] are staying on The Lot - just help yourself. See you on the weekend." The house that Doug had a the time was a little bungalow in Venice - a little two bedroom shack and a smaller bungalow next door that he used for an 'office'. The little house had an enclosed front yard filled with a BBQ, a giant palm tree, even gianter ashtrays and various oversized TV set props. The office next door had a covered porch and low brick fence. Doug let Patti - a homeless woman stay on the porch.  Occassionally her boyfriend, Van would stay too. That way they were under cover, technically off the streets and hopefully, a bit safer. 

Doug and Andy came home on the weekend and the three of us sat around drinking, laughing and watching movies. It was late. Patti had been wandering in and out of the house during the day. Slightly more agitated that normal. Doug thought that the violent movie we were watching was perhaps not appropriate for Patti [or minors] so he asked her to go 'home'. She stomped through the kitchen and left. A little while later we heard Van screaming. "Patti! Stop it! You're hurting me!" 

All three of us ran to the front yard. Doug was on the phone, he covered the mouth piece and yelled, "Patti!" and to us, "This is why we can't have nice things." Andy leapt up on the [6ft] fence and because he's Andy, then jumped over it - in to the fight. "Put the knife down, Patti!" Doug hung up his call and punched 911 into his phone.

Doug and I, not being Andys at all, went back in to the bungalow and out the front door to get around to the house next door to watch out for Andy. We could hear Van pleading for help, Patti screaming and Andy yelling at her to, "drop the fucken knife, Patti!" Doug handed me his phone, switched his cigarette to the other hand and picked up a chair that was on the front porch. He used that to 'trap' Patti while Andy kicked the knife away. Van was bleeding so I ran back inside and got some towels.

Chaos. Utter chaos. I could hear the boys joking, Patti yelling and Van questioning, "Why would you do that to me Patti? Why? I love you, Patti. I love you." I handed Andy the towels. He pressed them over Van's stomach wound. "Am I doing right? You used to be a nurse. Am I doing this right?" I looked at Van's ashen face, "How are yo, Buddy?" He looked up at me, "I'm so confused." I looked at Andy, "Yup, you're doing it right."

Doug's phone rang in my hand. He was still holding Patti down with the chair, so I answered it. 


"This is the LAPD." said the gruff voice. "I understand a black man has stabbed a white woman."

I was incensed! "Actually" I mustered ALL my indignation, "a white woman has stabbed a black man!"

"No ma'am, that's not how it happens. The report I have here says a black man stabbed a white woman. Has the man been subdued yet?"

"Are you shitting me?! I'm telling you... wow. Ok, what the hell is YOUR name?!" I spat. 

The gruff voice chuckled, "It's [Dave] Attell. Stanhope still alive?"

"You hilarious asshole."

"Heh, just get him to call me back later."

The wailing sirens pulled up out front, blue and red lights splashing all over the front of the house. The actual not-as-racist-as-Dave-Attell LAPD had arrived, guns a blazin'! "Where's the knife?"  Lights. Sirens. Sensory overload. Paramedics arrived. The cops put up actual police tape across the front of both little houses (it stayed, pride of place, in Doug's front yard untll he moved. It might even have been listed for sale in one of the eBay yard sales?!) The cops took Patti away, the ambos took, Van. 

I'd been living in LA for a whole 3 days and I was standing in my friend's front yard next to a very large sign that read, "Make Me Hard", giving my first deposition to a very nice boy in very dark blue. 

After the dust settled, the three of us went back inside. Doug walked into the kitchen to get everyone another beer. He looked at the knife block, "Oh shit, she used one of my good steak knives!" 

Doug's probably forgotten this incident by now. For him, it's just one of the thousands of nights he's had that ended with a good story. That sums up my friend. I love him and I'm looking forward to a nice normal night with him, Bingo and Hennigan when they land. It'll be a first. 


Melb tix available here

Doug's twitter


101 Exercise Tips For Busy Mums

I joined the gym. Don't get giddy, it was about 3 years ago. i joined because I noticed they had "FREE" CHILDCARE! Well, free after your 50 Shekels for the gym membership. Still. Worth it!

I rocked up with my littlest tacker under my arm that first day, handed him over to the nice lady singing French lullabies and turned to bolt!

"Excuse me." Said the other nice lady. "Where will you be?" I recognise now that what she was asking me was, "Exactly where in the very large, multi floor premises will you be incase we need to come find you." My answer to her was a very confident [and still accurate]. "I'll be in my car making phone calls and eating cake!"  No one stopped me.

Best work out ever! I needed a massage and a steam afterwards to rest my telephone holding elbow. Beginner's mistake. It's ok, I've since become quite proficient. Now i use the speaker phone. 

The gym I go to is filled with oddest collection of [mostly] women. Quite a lot of fatties. Not hiding in the corner, but definitely plugged in to the Cooking Channels. The regular assortment of mothers who had the same Free Childcare Idea I had. They wear the same expression. I Dont Want To Be Here But I Don't Want To Be At Home Wiping Jam Off Surfaces While Ellen Dances And Gives Away Free Shit To Her Studio Audience More. I offer to high five them. 

My favourite group are the older ladies. There's a lot of them. 60's. 70's. 80's. It's their social club. They're 99% hilarious. Calling out to each other from the hip abductor. "Graham'd have a heart attack if he could see me on this!" "Someone spot me? I need to make sure I don't leave my uterus on the floor when I'm done."  "Is it drink o'clock yet?" 

There's not too many Lululemon wearing freaks. You know Lululemon? They sell $100 yoga pants (they'd want to bend me themselves for that price!) and $299 tracky tops. If you wanna spend $500 on workout gear, knock yourself out. I mean, get a grip but if you want it and can see no better use for the money, go crazy. The reason you should avoid Lululemon is because their founder, Chip Shitnacks Wilson is a freak! Amongst the more cogent beliefs he espouses include; favouring child labour, "[Canada] is a place for 12- and 13-year-old street youths to find work in local factories as an alternative to collecting handouts."  Then there's his scorn for the Japanese and his perceived view that they can't speak English properly. It's called 'Lululemon' because he thinks Japanese people can't say the letter 'L.'  He told Canada's National Post Business Magazine, "It's funny to watch them try and say it." Yeah. His [unsurprising at this point] love of Ayn Rand and her tome, Atlas Shrugged "naked pursuit of self-interest should be society's highest ambition." Oh, then there's his opinion on how The Pill created a generation of "divorce-shattered women now seeking empowerment through yoga".

Blah blah blech! Repugnant shithead. Still want those 300 buck see-through leggings everyone can see your episiotomy scar in when you're downward-dogging? 

What's my point? Oh yeah - the gym isn't the most awful place I've ever been. I drop the kids off at school and head over. I don't use the crèche or "Kid Gym" as Mo called it, any more. I scan my memebership tag, head into the cardio room where I'm universally known as the Swearing Lady. Then do some weights, head into the machine room, have a laugh at/with the Old Ducks and then I get the wet frig outta there!

I'd rather be in my car, chatting to friends, eating cake - but I'd also like to be able to breath while I walk up a slight incline. Pffff! Apparently I'm not 22 any more?! Outrageous!

Well, I'm gonna take off my maternity tracky pants and t.shirt, kick my Puma's off [don't even get me started on the Nike sweat shop/child labour rant - just see Lululemon chat and consider it done] and have a shower. 

Any one want some leftover car cake?

Til Friday! x

(these blogs are going to be more frequent. writing is good. it makes things funner. plus. words. yes. unsubscribing is easy - just click and you're gone. i hope you wont though. instead, stay. read. chuckle. share. comment. thanks!)