Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Public displays of grooming

Adjusting your hair seems to be acceptable, for example when people come inside after being outside and they flatten it down, doing it with the compulsion of an 18 year old cheerleader or Kevin Rudd become awkward for everyone. Pulling out a bottle of Evian water and shampoo to wash your hair in the kitchen sink over morning tea is a definite no-no!

Other public displays of grooming (PDG) that vary in their acceptability include maintaining ones nails. Scratching off a little dirt from on top or underneath of finger nails sure, if you are subtle about it. It is not acceptable to start scrapping out a build-up of grime and gunk from every nail. Neither is as full manicure. It is never alright to be doing any PDG involving toe nails.

Never chew your nails. Never chew your nails and then leave the off cuts on the desk. Never. This includes toe nails!

Picking your nose, it is the eternal question immortalised in Seinfeld was it a pick or a scratch. In the privacy of you your own home go elbow deep, but in public the cuticle is the depth marker. If the cuticle is still exposed to the open air then it is a scratch. Of course fake nails can distort this rule, in which can the tip of the actual finger may now be the indicator.

Also, the three-strikes you’re out rule should apply. If there have been three attempts to remove the nasal irritation and it persists then it is time to stop the PDG, find a private space and go your hardest.

When it goes to make up, it is simple. Touching up existing lipstick/gloss is acceptable PDG. Foundation, blush, eye make up – any other make up really, it is time to head to a bathroom.

Ears, rubbing/wiping back of the ear fine, the fleshy part of the front of the ear, sure. However there should never ever be PDG inside the ear canal. Unlike the nose there is no acceptable depth of penetration. Using a key or a pen lid, despite evidence to the contrary does not make the ear PDG better.

Underwear, always needs to be adjusted. It rides up, twists and slips. We get it. Here are some basic but important rules to which everyone should abide. Tip of the finger under the edge of the elastic only. No digging. No cupping. No breaking stride to effect the manoeuvre. Again the three strikes you’re out rule needs to be strictly enforced.

Having commenced with a discussion about hair, this piece will be bookended by more PDG rules relating hair. This time related to plucking.
Nose hair. No.
Ear hair. No
Neck hair. No.
Butt hair. NO – I can’t believe this needs to be stated. In fact extend this rule to any part of the body that would be described to a child as the “private parts”.
Freakishly long hair growing from an eyebrow, mole, or limb. Yes, because that is funny for everyone.



Friday, May 1, 2015

Back Pain is Chronic

Chronic back pain is more than just a pain in the neck, though it can lead to that too, it is debilitating.

For 13 months now I have suffered sometimes excruciating back pain, as the muscles in my lumbar region and up my spine go into uncontrollable spasm. By uncontrollable it should be noted that certain prescribed medications control it quite nicely.

Without medication the back pain prevents me from sitting on many seats and stools, the seats on which I can sit down often leave me unable to stand again at the end of the sitting period.

Sitting down is difficult and according to my medical team – yes I now have a team whose children’s university education I am funding – sitting down also adds to the problems in my back.

Laying down provides great relief to the pain caused by sitting. The medication also makes laying down a preferred option, The label warning “may cause drowsiness” is like the ABC show no bias way of saying “will send you to sleep for approximately 10 hours.” Whilst the laying down reduces the pain apparently it adds to the problems causing the pain in the first place.  In short the medication eases the pain enough so that you can sleep but the sleep causes more pain so you can’t get up again.

Standing gives relief to the pain in the arse, back and neck that is sitting down.  Standing up all day is exhausting. As we have witnessed with the on-going injuries to Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke serious back problems can lead to issues and injuries with the hamstrings. Standing becomes increasingly difficult and painful as the hamstrings progressively tighten.

My medical team strongly recommend walking, preferably uphill or up stairs. Back muscles in spasm that prevent you from standing up straight paired with tightening hamstrings that  prevent the legs bending as they should and medication that causes me to sleep before I can even finish tie-ing my shoelaces makes walking difficult.

In summary, sitting is agony, standing painful and laying down injury inducing. I am hoping Bunnings sells a hoist system. Not that I can get there to buy it.


Monday, April 27, 2015

Toothpaste is only mint flavoured

image source: earth911.com
Toothpaste, guaranteed to ruin the flavour of any food or beverage for the nest 30 -45 minutes, the only natural enemy of orange juice.  For some reason it only comes in mint flavoured

With all of the diversity in products why not branch out in flavours. Chocolate flavoured for singles and romantics, ice cream flavoured for children, kale for hipsters,  skinny cafĂ© latte with a shot of hazelnut for Melbourne’s office workers and bitter regret for the elderly.

Toothpaste comes in different size, shapes and colours including striped. Toothpaste is now branching out just like Tim Tams.

As a child there was only one type of Tim Tam biscuit now there are ten flavours including 5 “limited edition” flavours. I suspect that they are limited to the number of packets they can sell.

In the same way Toothpaste has gone beyond the childhood novelty of a green or blue gel instead of the traditional white paste. Now there are so many choices; hydro peroxide, baking soda, sugar neutraliser, sensitive, antibacterial, stain removing, breath freshening, enamel strengthening, micro cleansing and cavity prevention.

According to toothpaste manufacturers websites, each of the toothpaste products are clinically proven to prevent cavities, gum disease and bad breath as well as whiten teeth. If they all have the same clinically proven benefits, then it might suggest that they are, in fact, all the same.

Surely if the technology has in fact improved, as the clinically proven result imply, then surely for the medical benefit of all consumers then any previous recipes should be taken off the market.

Does your choice of toothbrush affect the type of toothpaste that should be used? If my toothbrush has built in plaque removing and whitening features do I still need these recipes in my toothpaste?

With different length bristles, built in tongue cleaners, gum massagers and cheek scrapers brush head that are angled, zigzagged, layered, inlayed with charcoal built in floss and finger and thumb grips that are now ribbed for her pleasure a consumer need a doctorate in physical, chemistry and biology to make their dental hygiene purchases

What dental cleaning products should vegans choose?

With all of these choices it is worth remembering that scientific studies have suggested that gnawing of certain would be just as effective, if not more so, than the no longer humble toothbrush and toothpaste.







Friday, April 10, 2015

Obituary - Richie Benaud in 222 words

source: abc.net.au
Richie Benaud was the embodiment of Australian sporting culture. A champion of the game of cricket during his paying career and a champion for the game in the commentary box.

The voice of summer.

He was respected and loved by everyone from MCC Members, to the last drunken yobbo I the outer, Ritchie Benaud was cricket.

I did not see him play but his record shows he changed the game as an aggressive all rounder and extraordinarily successful captain. Leading the on-air commentary of World Series Cricket he told the world about the biggest changes in the history of the sport.

It was Benaud’s dulcet tones that brought limited-overs cricket to the world, explaining the rules and nuances of the game to everyone.

With perpetual debates about “what is Australian culture?” One simple answer is “Richie Benaud”. Hard working, loves summer, loves sport, fiercely competitive on the field, a great mate off it, with a great sense of humour.

Richie has won many awards for his playing and broadcasting around the world. The greatest accolade is that he is known the everywhere as “Richie”. Before PR managers, personal brands, and social media he was known simply as Richie. He was everyone’s mate.

To his wife Daphne, I want to thankyou for graciously sharing Richie with the world for more than 60 years.




Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2015 - In Pictures

I performed my fourth solo show "A Freak By Any Other Name". Highlights include a sell out show and an international show with friends streaming the show live from Denver Colorado.

Yes they are jazz hands

Mum and Dad front and centre

Opening song

Stand Up In The Attik

Downstairs Lounge @ Grand Mercure

One of them is a couch

stand up

Poster on the Information Booth

A love poem


"Leggings are not pants"

Let's talk about Easter

"Don't Pity Me"

Opening night audience

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Melbourne International Comedy Festival - Off Stage 5

The Comedy Festival, and my season starts in 2 days time as I write this. Nerves, excitement and fear are almost overwhelming – in equal measure. Ticket sales are ticking along nicely. Opening night is sold out and the second night there are only 10 tickets remaining. As long as there are tickets available then there is always room for improvement. Ticket sales adds a lot of anxiety even though it is one aspect of which performers have little control, if any.

Having tested material in pubs and clubs around Melbourne throughout the first part of 2015, I know it works. It generates laughs. At the right spots. Laugh with me, laugh at me, it does not really matter as long as there are laughs. A 50 minute solo show is a different kettle of fish.

The risk is it stinks like a kettle of fish.

It is all me, no other acts no MC. Just me beginning to end. My jokes, my audience interaction my musical ability.

The pay off is a lot of laughs, audiences telling their friends leading to more ticket sales. Intrinsically the reward is simply being acknowledged, all of the work being validated.

Issues of memory haunt me in my preparation. Will I be able to remember all of the show? Will my memory fail me mid line in a song?

And then there are the unknowns, broken guitar strings, losing my voice, drunk audience members, power failure, Russian air raid. Reviews. Some of these contingency plans can be developed others not so much. All of them add to the stress in the lead up to putting on a show.

The culmination of the nerves, excitement and fear is energy. Twitchiness, incredibly short attention span and irritability which all in turn lead to highly irregular and disrupted sleep patterns.


To complete the vicious cycle sleep becomes something else to worry about. It would be awkward to fall asleep during my own show.