31 December, 2006

munkey's-eye view: 2006 wrap-up

What a year it's been! (Imagine that in Mike Munroe's voice, with Megan Gale standing nearby. It's much more impressive that way.) Let's take a look at mindlessmunkey's pop-cultural highlights of 2006... because I know you're all so interested.



A late entrant has trounced the field to take my (not at all) coveted Album Of The Year prize:

Joanna Newsom's "Ys"
(which apparently is not pronounced "Whys", but is pronounced "E e s". Whodathunk?)

Fucking breathtaking genius. Five Stars, etc.

Now... for many years I was obsessed with music magazines, especially the British ones. Uncut, Q, NME, I would peruse them all and buy all I could afford (in recent years this has dropped from several a month, to a few a year). Particularly exciting to me was always the end-of-year review issue, when the publications would proclaim their top albums, and provide a CD sampler of the best tracks from the year.

Recently, increasingly, this has not been sufficient. My own musical taste overlaps considerably with many of the mags... but just not enough. So, in my usual obsessive-compulsive about trivial things way, I have begun meticulously creating my own end-of-year Best Of compilations.

The track must be from a record that was released in 2006 (duh).
No artist may be represented more than once (although, for example, a band and one of its members' side projects could both be included).
Running order is not based on favouritism, but on flow of songs and listenability.
The compilation must fit on a standard 80 minute CD. (For this reason, and because we want to cram on as many artists as possible, tracks are not necessarily the best tracks - as the best tracks are often over 10 minutes long (I'm looking at you, Ms Newsom) - but stand as representatives of the best albums/artists of the year. It's always a challenge to get as close to 80 minutes as possible without going over; this year's is 79'25". Awesome.)
Obviously I have not even nearly heard every record released this year. Things will be missed. It hurts me more than it hurts you.

So without further ado, here is mindlessmunkey's Best Of 2006:

01 - ONE CROWDED HOUR - Augie March
02 - SEX CHANGES - The Dresden Dolls
04 - SUMMERSONG - The Decemberists
06 - OUR SWORDS - Band of Horses
07 - LOVE COMES TO ME - Bonnie 'Prince' Billy
08 - THE BLUES ARE STILL BLUE - Belle & Sebastian
09 - HARROWDOWN HILL - Thom Yorke
10 - BANDITS - Midlake
11 - THE GREATEST - Cat Power
13 - THE MISTRESS WITCH FROM McCLURE (or, The Mind That Knows Itself) - Sufjan Stevens
14 - NOTHING IN MY WAY - Keane
15 - LONG WAY HOME - Tom Waits
17 - ROUGH GEM - Islands
18 - STEADY AS SHE GOES - The Raconteurs
19 - BEEN SO LONG - Vetiver
20 - COSMIA - Joanna Newsom



I've been a good boy, and have been reading almost constantly this year, but
I am so bad at remembering what I've read... I really should keep some kind of reading diary. I know I popped my Chuck Palahniuk cherry. And I finally got up to date with Harry Potter...

But I think, off the top of my head, the Best Book I Read This Year would have to be out of "The God Of Small Things" by Arundhati Roy, or "The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas" by John Boyne. Completely different, but both wonderful.



As usual, I didn't get to the movies anywhere near as much as I should have.

The Best Film I Saw This Year was probably "Downfall" on DVD. At the movies - though neither is anywhere close to a perfect film - I enjoyed the sheer audacity of "Brothers Of The Head", while "Little Miss Sunshine" is simply the most fun I've had in a cinema, maybe ever.


So there you have it, lovers and dreamers. That was my 2006 (with regard to entertainment anyway). How was yours?


24 December, 2006

...and to all a good night


Just dropping by to wish everyone a FANTASTIC CHRISTMAS!

Here are my Christmas presents, all wrapped and ready a whole day early. How organised am I ?!
(Answer: Just exactly organised enough to survive, and no more.)

Have a great one, lovers and dreamers. Make sure you get drunk and eat lots of rich unhealthy food.

See you on the other side!


20 December, 2006

december the fucking 20th already?! how did that happen?!

Well, dear readers, you will be pleased to know that the show-business madness and the house-hunting madness have both come to an end, making room for the pre-Christmas madness to truly take flight. Shall I tell you how it all went?!

The show was fantastic. The Gods of health wreaked some havoc, with lurgees attacking several members of the cast - including myself. My throat and lungs decided they simply were not playing anymore, and sat around huffily flinging phlegm at each other for several days. Consequently, I sounded absolutely shit-house on a couple of the nights. However, I managed to drag myself up to scratch again for the final night, when all my peeps were there to cheer me on. Go and see the production photos here. GO, I SAY!

Byron was here for the weekend just gone... during which time we signed the lease on our new place. Feel the relief, people! After inspecting about thirty places, many of them vile, over the course of a full month, and getting our application knocked back at least ten times, WE FINALLY GOT A LOVELY PLACE. We move in on the 6th of January. Much hurrah.

Oh! Oh! And Byron also presented me with his Christmas present for me:
Yes, lovers and dreamers, it's a full-size Ernie puppet. I always said that if I was to marry a Muppet, it would be Ernie. But now I think that I shall marry Byron instead. Much more satisfactory.

Let's see, what else? Ah yes... last weekend we also had our annual Christmas Party / Feast / Carol-Singing shebang hosted as always by the extraordinary Lady Lili (who even gave us Christmas Hat Activities! Check it the fuck out!).

So yes - now I guess I'm feeling a bit flat. There's always a bit of a post-show lull, when you've spent months building up to this big spectacular event, which ends on a massive high... and then it's suddenly over. No cooling-off perdiod, no gradual decline. Just over. It feels mighty strange to be sitting alone at home in the evening, instead of rushing into the city, getting into costume and doing warm-ups with the cast. To be honest, it's a bit lonely and empty.

HOWEVER, let's not get gloomy. There is much happening. The Christmas Cheer is flowing heartily, as is the Christmas freaking-out-ness. The insanity of the last month or so has meant I now find myself less than a week out from the Big Day ( ! ) with barely a present purchased. Yikes. Never mind, it will all be okay. If you see a very cross-looking munkey scarpering frantically amidst the late-night shoppers over the next few days, chances are it'll be me. Come and say hi!

Alrighty... that's enough typing for today.


07 December, 2006

it's time to play the music, it's time to light the lights...

That's right, lovers and dreamers, after months of hard work, IT'S FINALLY HAPPENING...

Do come along - not only to support quality non-professional theatre, not only to see munkey being all vengeful and Mexican, but for a goshdarn rollicking evening of music-theatre fun.

The show runs from tonight 'til Saturday the 16th (every night except Sunday and Monday) at 8pm. Be there or be, you know... uncool.

Labels: ,

06 December, 2006

let's take another look...

Last night, after a very long, but rather successful tech-run of the show, I stumbled home in a taxi tired but happy, only to immediately be disturbed by the absurdly abrasive buzzing of my apartment's intercom. Several moments' confusion and crankiness ensued; I assmued it was one of the druggy acquaintances of Mr Mentally Disturbed who lives across the hall. Finally I opened my window and peered down to the building's doorway - and who should I see there? My friend Mr David with a special delivery: Mr Byron.

Oh my God, my long-distance boyfriend from Sydney was suddenly (and completely unexpectedly) standing outside my flat! Upon hearing of my extremely down-in-the-dumps mood - and desperate need of a hug - yesterday morning, he promptly booked a flight to spend the night with me. How brilliant is that?! How insanely do I love this crazy wonderful man?! There are no words.

So, now that I've vented, rested, generally got over myself, and been thouroughly reminded that I am much-loved, let us re-address some issues...

The musical is going to be great. The show is extremely technically complicated -
of course the first run-through in the theatre, and the tech run, will be drawn-out and arduous affairs. And dammit it's ridiculous to expect a performance to hit its stride properly during stop-start runs. The cast and crew all know what they're doing, and now we're ready to put it all together.

Patermunkey and I have worked out a time to convene at the familial home and do the Christmas Tree thang. The tradition continues (hopefully including the customary groaning at the crackly old Mario Lanza Christmas Carols LP that matermunkey always insited on playing).

I am applying for the job. Who knows whether I'll get it... whatever will be will be, and all that guff.

We will find a house. Oh yes, we will. We have at least another month before I get kicked out of my place, so it's far from panic time yet.

The fires continue to burn. There is a very light rain bank crossing the Highlands right now. It's not much, but hopefully it might help a little - at least to slow them down? I really know very little about how bushfires work. I suppose this is just a wait-and-see / hope-for-the-best situation.

So overall, I'm feeling a lot more on top of everything than I was yesterday. I don't expect things to settle down any time soon... but I know it'll all be okay.

Bring it on etc!


05 December, 2006

call that emo? i'll show you emo!

I have burst into tears twice in the last twelve hours.

The musical has entered the "I'm not good enough to play this part, I'm going to let everyone down and I hate myself" phase.

My Dad and sister are going to decorate the family Christmas tree without me, for the first time ever, because apparently they can't make time on the one day this fortnight that I'm free.

A potential job opportunity that I've been interested in for ages has just opened up again, but I honestly don't know if I can handle the stress of applying. Rejection or acceptance (leading to more chaos and another leap into unknown territory) might be more than I can face right now.

It's starting to seem like my boyfriend and I will never find a house; he will have to stay in Sydney forever, and I will simply be homeless.

The place I love most in the world is currently virtually surrounded by bushfires.

Hold me.



Several people have made me feel exponentially better in the little while since I posted the above rant. It is really lovely to have peeps to check in on you when you're feeling overwhelmed. Thanks so much.

As a postscript / disclaimer: Please don't take the above melodrama to mean I'm reaching for the razor blades or pouring myself a hearty mug of industrial bleach. I think ultimately I just needed a big vent and a bit of a sook, in order to unload some internal crap, before I could venture forth and tackle the obstacles before me... which is what I'm now planning to do (with a little help from my friends etc).

Thanks again. Much love.