Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Conscious Uncoupling: Kitchen Edition

It is with a heart full of sadness that I have decided to separate. I have come to the conclusion that while I love Gwyneth, we have grown apart. Much like Chris Martin, I have moved on to a hot new piece – no, not J-Law, but Paleo Pete Evans.

I will be trading lentil meatballs for maca balls. Giving up agave.  My kitchen will be cultured. No, I'm not hanging fine art. It’s all about fermenting and no, I’m not talking about my ovaries. 

Sauerkraut and kimchi in da house! But we will always share a love of kale chips.

It all started with activated nuts. They made fun of My Pete, but I knew he was a visionary. Activating nuts just means soaking them so they’re easier to digest. They mocked you, Pete, but I knew you were ahead of your time. And now the “sheeple” have finally seen the light. Funny that.

But Gwyneth and I do share a lot of history. I’ve loved her since I watched Emma and thought she was British (um, hello, that’s even pre-Brad Pitt).  I will continue to read Goop and covet $2500 Michael Kors capes and face serums made from goat sperm.  

Don’t worry, homegirl, like your latest cookbook, It’s All Good between us. And I totally get why you’re boinking that nerdy guy from Glee. Writers are hot.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Dear Fake Celebrity Couples - Stop It!

Fake celebrity relationships are nothing new, but there have been a couple of celeb hookups recently that have made me think "What the actual fark?"

The first one was Zac Efron and Michelle Rodriguez. They were spotted in Ibiza making out like teenagers. Michelle was macking on Cara Delevingne only months ago. The interesting thing about this one is that it isn't a set-up by a Hollywood PR team, it's just two crazy kids looking for attention. Working as Zac Efron's publicist must be exhausting enough with all of his rehab stints, brushes with the law and accidents (breaking his jaw after slipping in a puddle *ahem*) and now this. Bottom line - not buying it.

The second head-scratcher was Joe Manganiello and Sofia Vergara. What the what? This one is more traditional. Sofia's ex-fiance was a douche bag and instead of the media focusing on their messy split, they're now talking about her "hot new romance." Well played, PR team. They both are repped by the same agency, so it's a win-win for everyone.

The other romance that everyone's been talking about is George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin. Maybe I'm a cynic, but I find it hard to believe that George finally met his match and that they're rushing to the altar because they're madly in love.

There are generally four types of FCR's (Fake Celebrity Relationships).

The Business Arrangement: It's all about building and strengthening your brand. We're looking at you Jay-Z and Beyonce. And who can forget the two biggest fame whores on the planet. Kim and Kanye = Ka-ching.

The Beard: (Please note all of these relationships are ALLEGEDLY beard-y) John Travolta and Kelly Preston. George Clooney and Amal. Suki Waterhouse and Bradley Cooper. Ryan Seacrest and anyone. Jake Gyllenhaal and anyone. I don't know cause I'm not in their bedrooms and technically it's none of my bid-ness. I'm just sayin'...

The Showmance: Sometimes you have a project to promote. Say for instance there's a movie (Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughan, Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens). Or a TV show (Lea Michele and Cory Monteith). Anyone on Big Brother.

The Grey Area: I also believe there's a category were there are some blurred lines. Take Tom and Katie. I have no doubt Kate was rapt when she was cast as the new Mrs. Cruise. The same goes for Nicole. And then things went pear-shaped and she was kicked to the curb. Sometimes a girl just needs to raise her profile (anyone remember Delta Goodrem and Joe Jonas?)

Social media has changed everything. Celebs are over-sharing and Tweeting and Instagramming constantly. But it's also made everyone a little more savvy. Gone are the days when the public could be spoon fed celebrity news, "Stars they're just like us!" At least in a fake romance we can find out who the good actors are by how convincingly they play the part.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Celebrity Designer Diet - Plankton Drops!

I'm a sucker for a celebrity diet. De-toxing, juicing, cleansing. I love it all. And if Gwyneth has done it, then I'm totally on board. I just read an interview for one of those "what I eat during the day" features and it even made me, who's willing to try anything, stop and say what. the. actual. f*ck.

I first discovered Kelly Wearstler on Top Design a few years ago, a reality show hosted by English model and designer India Hicks (who, incidentally, has my dream life in the Caribbean). Kelly was one of the judges and ridiculously glamourous.

She recently did an interview with bon appetit magazine where she talked about her daily food intake. Let's take a little look-see:

Breakfast: I go to Barry’s Bootcamp at 5:30 a.m., seven days a week. It’s me and a bunch of Hollywood hot-shots. I drink water mixed with Miracle Reds or Miracle Greens, with drops of plankton. Later in the day, I drink water with lemon, and alkaline water with cayenne extract.

Lunch: By noon, I get a kale, spinach, lemon, ginger, and E3Live juice.

BA: What about real, solid food?

KW: Besides almonds or granola, I don’t eat a lot during the day–juicing is what gives me energy.

And people thought Pete Evans and his activated almonds were extreme. (For the record I think Paleo Pete is spot-on with his nutritional advice and ahead of the curve.)

Kelly does admit to eating whole-wheat pizza every Friday. What?! Wheat? Carbs? CHEESE?? She doesn't confirm whether or not she actually digests it. 

Kells has also launched a line of designer sunglasses for US$555 under the name of Anorexxxy. Of course she has. 

And then there's the last line of the interview where she reveals that she only sleeps in a Cosabella thong and when she takes off her robe and her husband expresses interest in having sex she says, "Sorrrry!" 

What's the point of working out seven days a week to have a banging body and then not, um, bang? Poor bastard.

Anyhoo, not my problem. Please excuse me, while I go investigate where I can purchase plankton drops.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Oscar Post-Mortem: The Five Highlights and Lowlights

Is it me or do the Academy Awards get a little more "meh" each year? Somehow I was able to eek out a few memorable (mostly cringe-worthy) moments from this epically long broadcast, so let's cut to the chase:

1) Adele Dazeem: I think we can all agree that John Travolta provided the best nugget of gold last night by introducing Idina Menzel as "Adele Dazeem." Huh? I have three issues with this. First of all, did he not go to the rehearsal? Apparently not. Second of all -  you have ONE thing to do at the Oscars and you don't double-check the name of the person you're introducing? And thirdly, I'm questioning all of the gay rumours. What gay man doesn't know Elphaba from Wicked??

2) Jocelyn Wildenstein Kim Novak: I actually thought she'd had a stroke or something and I was Googling her like the rest of the planet to see what the hell was going on. It turns out she's 81 and bi-polar, blah, blah, blah. [Insert your own "Frozen" plastic surgery joke here]. But the bottom line is she did a better job presenting than Travolta.

3) Speeches: The winners were completely predictable but there were a few lovely speeches - Lupita Nyong'o, Jordan Catalan'o, Matthew McConaughey's crazy Southern Baptist sermon and Our Cate. Did anyone else think she dissed Sandy Bullock? What was that, "I could watch you til the end of time in Gravity...and I felt like I did." I felt the same way. Sandy laughed and looked kind of shocked. But Our Cate is the Oscar Golden Girl and people would rather be pissed off with Ellen for the one slightly edgy joke she told about Liza Minnelli being a dude impersonating Liza Minnelli.

4) Script Fight! John Ridley won for Best Adapted Screenplay for 12 Years a Slave and refused to thank director Steve McQueen, who was also part of the process, but was refused a screenwriting credit. Apparently things got so bad Brad Pitt, who is a producer on the film, was called in to mediate. The Real Housewives of the Writers' Guild of America!

5) Happy: Even my cold, cynical lump of coal for a heart beat a little faster and my toes were tapping  when Pharrell was singing Happy.

And now for the worst part of the evening...

1) Ellen: The goddess of menopausal soccer moms the world over. Ellen's...nice. For a comedian she's just not funny. And you need to be funny to host the Oscars. And she had a TEAM of writers! Her jokes were just lame. I like Billy Crystal's movie mash-up opening number - it's usually hilarious. A little edge would be nice. Not Seth Macfarlane's "We Saw Your Boobs" but something, ANYTHING. Just call Tina and Amy already.

2) Bette Midler: Seriously? Maybe if she sang Wind Beneath My Wings DURING the dead people segment but after we just sat through the montage listening to the Somewhere in Time theme? Stop it.

3) Soooo Predictable: Is it too much to ask for just ONE upset to screw up everyone's office Oscar pool?

4) I have the sh*ts with Channel Nine - Part One: No red carpet. I don't get the E! channel, so I have no glam cam, no Fashion Police and no red carpet round-up. And that's all that anyone really cares about. I swear they normally have a little pre-show before the telecast. What is Richard Wilkin's getting paid for??

5) I have the sh*ts with Channel Nine - Part Two: The ceremony is re-broadcast at 10:00pm. Which means it finishes around 2am-ish. On a school night. Thank God I taped it during the live broadcast earlier in the afternoon and fast-forwarded through most of it. I have a theory that Australian television schedulers are on crack.

Rant over. What did you think were the hits and misses this year? Until next year mah chickipeas.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Real Housewives of Melbourne Review

The Real Housefraus of Melboring had their debut last night and I have to say they did not disappoint. My biggest fear about the Aussie version of the franchise was that they would be too self-conscious and not put themselves out there. Everyone would be on their best behaviour and it would all be a bit boring. But my fears were soon put to rest - these beyotches are anything but boring.

DISCLAIMER: I have to say the snarkiness that comes with a review of a show like this feels a bit raw at the moment after the death of Charlotte Dawson. It's all in good fun and just a bit of a laugh. With that said, let's meet our contestants!

Lydia: This Catherine Zeta Jones/Carlton from RHOBH cross was the first cab off the rank. She seems to be having the most sex out of anyone in the group, which as it turns out, she is contractually obliged to do. She has a "conjugal rights contract" with her husband which guarantees him nookie. So what does she get?? A Porsche Carrerra, snow house in Thredbo, exotic holidays and her own plane. She must be really good at conjugating. And here I thought conjugating that was just for verbs.

Gina: This self-confessed "ultimate drag queen" scares me. You would not want to meet her in a dark alley. She's ballsy (perhaps literally, I think she may actually be a dude) and built like a linebacker. I've heard she's actually really pretty in person. I'd love to see her without the back-combed hair, gaudy eyeliner and too tight dresses. Definitely one of the stars of the show.

Andrea: The plastic surgery princess who "lives in Toorak, shops in Toorak and works in Toorak." Ok, we get it, you're in the Toorak bubble. Probably my least favourite Housefrau. A bit meh.

Janet: The property developer who never washes her own hair. (Hey, if I had money I would pay a pack of gays to wash my hair and fawn over me, too). She's the one I would most want to hang out with and drink some Veuve. A girl's girl who is back on the dating scene after her geriatric love rat husband got hopped-up on Viagra and cheated on her. Bless.

Jackie: How much time have you got? Jackie is married to Silverchair's Ben Gillies, which you will learn within two seconds of meeting her. So, of course I've heard of Silverchair, but couldn't tell you a single song that they sing. To me Silverchair is "the band with Daniel Johns, the dude who was married to Natalie Imbruglia." And as far as Ben looking like Johnny Effing Depp, erm, maybe if I didn't have my contacts in and saw him across the room. Jackie is a psychic complete with crystals, angel cards, "automatic writing" and channelling. And I have to say for the record, I'm totally into all of that stuff. What can I say - I'm a woo woo girl. Jackie and Gina are the best part of the show.

Chyka: For some reason I really want to call her Chikungunya, that disease you get from mosquitoes when you go to Bali. I have to say I was a bit confused by her relationship. Her hubby is HOT. I definitely get a Hugh Jackman/Deborra-Lee Furness vibe from these two. They've been together for 23 years and have two spawn. Whatever their deal is, it seems to be working.

SO, those are the lay-deez in a nutshell. Can't wait to tune in next week for Jackie and Gina's "Angels and Demons" showdown.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Meeting Markus Zusak - The Book Thief

I normally wouldn't read something like The Book Thief, but Markus Zusak and I share the same literary agent and she mentioned him to me during a meeting. I wanted to be in the loop, so, like everyone else on the planet, I picked up a copy of his book.

As Markus himself says, "It's set in war time Germany, it's narrated by Death, almost everybody dies, and it's 580 pages - you'll love it."

At times I've felt like Death has been narrating MY life after losing my mom, dad, a close friend, three out of four grandparents, having had a miscarriage and losing my beloved dog.

But I loved the book and powered through it in a few days. I was thrilled to get the chance to meet Markus in person recently. Markus is a friend of a friend and I was invited to a special screening/booksigning.

The place was packed, so I didn't get as much quality time as I would have liked. I had to make every minute count. When I was "presented" to him my opening line was an enthusiastic, "I'm an author as well!"

I saw a look of terror ever-so-briefly cross his face. I'm sure he gets this all the time from writer groupies and hangers on. I'm sure he was waiting for me to pull out my manuscript and ask him if he could help me get published. I had to do damage control - stat.

"We have the same agent!" I said hopefully.

His face relaxed. I wasn't a nutter after all. We had a lovely conversation and he posed for a happy snap.

As someone who has written both a novel and adapted it as a screenplay, I thought it was interesting that he didn't write the film version of his book. To me that would be like having a surrogate carry your child. Sure, I'd do it as a last resort, but ideally I would want to carry my own baby so I could control everything.

But he's said writing the book had wrung him dry and that it was time for someone else to carry the torch and follow through with their vision.

Hopefully I'll get the chance to have another conversation with Markus. He's a true inspiration and made sure he signed every person's book at the event - over four hours of signing! I'm just hoping some of his bestselling author juju rubbed off on me...

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

I’d Like a Do-Over, Please…

I’m getting married – and this time it doesn’t involve a green card!

Some of you may recall my first marriage. It didn’t have a happy ending. Actually, it probably had many, MANY happy endings, just none of them involving me.

So why, why, why, would I even consider crossing over to the dark side again?  Because of a perfect storm consisting of three people – Angelica Huston, Vera Wang and my partner David.

Angelica: I was reading about Angelica’s new memoir and someone asked her why she married her husband Robert Graham after being with notorious womaniser Jack Nicholson for decades and never tying the knot. She said something along the lines of, “Because he called when he said he would call. He did what he said he was going to do.” He was solid. He was reliable. He was a grown-up. And then I had my light bulb moment. I had been avoiding getting married because of my experience with my ex-husband and not basing my decision on my current partner.

Vera: I recently finished a writing project that I’ve been working on for YEARS. I had time on my hands. I started tiptoeing around wedding websites just to see what was out there. I knew I didn't want to spend gazillions on a wedding and there was no way I could possibly find the dress of my dreams with my budget. And then I saw it. The gown that made me gasp. I was on a website for “pre-loved” dresses and it was a Vera Wang worthy of Carolyn Bessette Kennedy herself.

A young bride had gone to New York, found the ultimate dress in the Vera Wang salon and then flew back to Sydney. She showed it to her mother, who forbid her to wear it at her wedding because it was “too sexy.” So she bought a $20,000 Oscar De la Renta ball gown instead. And Vera was set free at one-fourth of her retail price. Come to mama…

David: And let’s not forget the groom – quite possibly the kindest and most amazing man on the planet. He encouraged me to do “the script thing” and then “the book thing” and now “the blog thing.” Every day he tells me how proud he is of what I’m doing. Plus he buys me countless pub meals, bottles of wine and never says no when I ask for fifty bucks and promise to pay him back when the book gets published, script gets sold, or when I get a “real job” again.

So Chickipeas, that's it in a nutshell.  The wedding isn’t going to be a schlock-fest with hearts and Celine Dion songs and poems about soul mates. But it will be a super-cool party overlooking the Opera House with all of my friends and I get to take home a new husband. SO much better than a gift bag.