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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My 10 cents and my nude picture.

I once posed nude for a "healthy body image" campaign. 

Here is the picture:

Yes, fairly tame compared to the St Kilda boys but I knew full well that after I posed for this shot other people were going to see it. I think that can be assumed of any photo taken. 

After I had taken in ALL the available [visual] information on the "St Kilda nude photo scandal" I have to say the one thing that stuck with me was the fact that the boys posed for the shots in the first place and are now crying foul that they have seen the light of day. That and the lack of pubic hair... (Did anyone else find that a little confronting?)

Nick Riewoldt is now bleating about how he asked that the photo be deleted HOWEVER he obviously did not make sure of this. Also, for those of you who have seen the shot - it's not like he has his wang covered with one hand while trying to block the lens with the other. Boyfriend is working his angles - AKA posing. 

This "school girl" as she is disturbingly referred to in the press has been called everything from a "trouble making slut" to a "lost little girl". I think one thing's for sure ladies and gentlemen; meet your January Zoo Weekly cover girl.

Some people are asking why? Why is she trying to deliberately destroy these young mens lives? To them I say: SERIOUSLY?! Has she not been clear enough? Let me break it down for you all.

Here is a series of the "school girl's" tweets from a month ago, you can actually see the flames of revenge grow from glowing embers into a full blown inferno.. 

Remember, this is the same girl who claimed to have fallen pregnant to an un-named St Kilda player earlier this year. The tweets are obviously aimed at the player she had the alleged affair with. She is also clearly upset with how the club and the AFL handled the situation - THIS is a woman scorned:

"I need you to be here for me, I need you to be a part of this, I need you to keep my last ray of hope alive."

"Don't put me through this again, If anything... do it for bubs."

"Last Night... Well, What can I say? Absolutely shattered at the consequences... Ciao Ciao Life Plan.. x.."

"It's safe to say that if this goes through; My life will be a mess and not worth living. I'm awaiting judgement day.."

"As if you have a new girlfriend, then you call me and say you love me.. What the ? A tad confused .."

"I feel strange, I'm used to being the one in control and the one that's manipulating you, not the other way round.."

"HA. But, I WILL take you down, you know I will... I've got nothing to lose, unlike you. It's ON."

"Now it's getting interesting.... come get me fucker... Oh how I can't wait for next month."

You know how this ended... She posted the pictures and here we all are.

I do not wish to say much more on this topic, every man and his dog has had their go. I do wish to make the following points.

1. If she did in fact lose her baby as she claims them I am truly sorry for her loss and hope she has some kind of a support network around her. 

2. Those boys should never have posed for the shots if they were not happy with the possibility of them getting out.

3. Nick Riewoldt blaming Sam Gilbert is a cop out. He could have shown leadership and accepted some responsibility.

4. The footballers are not the only ones to blame. This girl has displayed behavior that is down right predatory.

5. When you break it down it's just a bit embarrassing for the boys. They'll move on and probably be able to laugh about it all in time. I get the feeling this is a deep scar for this young girl, one that may never heal. 

6. The AFL has a very long way to go to repair and grow it's relationship with the ladies.

Keep it in your pants if you don't want your Grandmother to see it kids.


Em x

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

How I was almost arrested at the dry cleaners.

A few hours ago I tweeted this:

"So, how's your morning been? What's that? Oh, yes the dry cleaner tried to have me arrested. No biggie. JESUS what a day."

 I thought a mini blog was in order to explain myself.

Today I found myself being held against my will inside a dry cleaners.

Not a sentence I expected to have to type, ever in my life. EVER.

I have been going to this dry cleaner for the past year. They are a Vietnamese couple, you pay cash up front and they operate on a fairly dodgy hand written receipt system. 
The cash register is a throw back from colonial times and they prefer to grunt instead of speak. Why do I go there? They do a bloody great job and it's cheaper than anywhere else I've been to.

A week ago I had dropped off 3 of my most sparkly dresses and 4 black jackets with various tassels, studs and leather trimmings. These are the staples of my wardrobe as you can well imagine. It is what I call the "nucleus" clean, all the most important and utilized items put in together for an en mass sprucing. 

I now realise this was a mistake when I was faced with never seeing them again. What was I thinking?! The royal family never fly together just in case the plane goes down. The President and the Vice president travel on seperate planes for the same reason... You always have a spare around just in case. I should have only put half of the nucleus in. 

The man who works there gestured at the receipt book and I was forced to admit that I had, in fact lost the 10cmx10cm piece of paper he'd given me the week earlier. My dresses happened to be hanging just to the left of the counter. I said "Look they're just there, if you call the number on the receipt my phone will ring and you'll see they're mine" he shook his head and told me to get out. 

I said- "Can I show you some I.D to prove it's me."
He said: - " Drivers Licence"
I then produce my WA license as I am waiting for my VIC one to come.
He said: "This is fake. I not trust this. Must be Victorian"

I then produced the following:
Medicare card.
Credit cards.
Working with children card.
All of these cards baring my name and/or my resemblance. 

He still refused to hand over the dresses and press some sort of button that alerted the two women working out the back. They came rushing up to the counter demanding to know what was going on. 
I again tried to explain that I had lost the ticket but if SOMEONE would just ring the number on the receipt hanging on the dresses my phone would ring or perhaps they would like to peruse the 55 other forms of ID I had produced. 

Woman number one said: "We not trust anything but a Victorian license. You find someone with a Victorian license to sign for you."

I said I would not be doing that. I explained that I had already paid, I have more than enough ID here to prove it's me and that I was taking my dresses and leaving... I grabbed them off the hanger and headed for the door.


Next thing I knew the man has got me in some sort of head lock and woman number one has jumped across the counter and locked the door. Woman number 2, with the skills of a Ninja -managed to wrench the clothes from my hands. She then screamed something in Vietnamese which was obviously along the lines of "call the police."

Cut to me standing in the corner shaking with no escape and 3 crazed lunatics shouting at me and calling me a thief!

The police were on their way and I had heard them tell them I was "violent" and an "angry person." Really?! Only one person had been placed in a head lock and it wasn't any of the 3 small shouty people who stood before me.

I managed to stop shaking long enough to call Scotty. The conversation went something like this:

Scotty: "Hello"

Me: "(Hiccup, sob)...I'm being held captive at the dry cleaners, they've called the police they say I am trying to steal my own clothes. Can you please come, and please bring your Victorian drivers license"

Scotty: "Right, (deep sigh) I'll be there soon."

The fact Scotty didn't even question it or sound remotely surprised probably looks pretty bad but I can honestly say this have never happened before.. Ok, so once I took on a woman who punched a bank teller in front of me but other than that my record is clean!

The police were taking their sweet time, I guess I wasn't considered that dangerous a criminal in my leopard print maxi dress with my bewildered 3 yr old child (yes Odette was there) sitting on my hip. 

Scotty arrived to find me crumpled in the corner with Odie stroking my hair, bless her she knows the drill. He knocked on the door and surprisingly they let him in. He produced the much sort after "Victorian drivers license" and my clothes were handed over... JUST LIKE THAT.

I informed them all I would not be returning there ever and to expect a visit from the police as I was pressing charges for assault... Of course I will never follow through with that but it felt really good saying it.

I am still a bit disturbed over the whole incident but I do have my vintage Chanel sequined jacket back so alls well that ends well. 

E x

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Radioleaks and how to win a prize pack!

Radio had little meaning to me until I was introduced to Tony Martin and Mick Molloy. I was 15 when they started doing drive time. I was hormonal, a bit angry and pretty much hated everything (except Dawson's Creek) when I first heard: "Now it's time for the adventures of Blimpy the Lactose-Intolerant Cat. He's not very well, he's leaking a smell. We should put him out but, it wouldn't be fair. 'Cause he's just a normal cat..... with the shits!" It's fair to say The Martin Molloy show rocked my Dawson's Creek loving world. 

With segments like "Girlie Man" who shopped at Portmans and loved fake tan and the aforementioned Blimpy, radio suddenly stopped being background noise. It became a genuine source of joy, and above all, really good poo jokes. Now I'm afraid with the departure of Hamish and Andy radio is in danger of becoming bland, background noise once more.

When the boys finished up last week a huge gaping hole was created in the radio landscape. I, like a lot of poeple were left wondering what was next? Teams like this rarely come along and for a radio nerd like me it caused a little bit of panic. You see, I want people to love radio as much as I do! I am some sort of self appointed ambassador and radio is my wayward daughter...

Anyway, I thought this week I'd take you on a small tour behind the curtain of the radio world. Inspired by Julian Assange (topical), I thought I'd share with you a little of it's seedy underbelly, some of my experiences and assist you all in winning a prize pack!!!

I wish to start by saying as a performer, how much I love radio. It's instant, you can't be edited and you and only YOU are in control. Also, it's very personal. People chose to let you into their lives on a daily basis, I always felt very humbled by that. The five years I spent on radio were the most challenging and rewarding of my professional life so far.

I am not here to give away all of radio's secrets as I do wish to return to that medium one day, it's kind of like the "magicians alliance" - certain things should be kept quiet to maintain the mystique.

So here is my watered down version of Radioleaks.

In relation to breakfast radio - the listener is king. You lot wield a vast amount of power, we live and die by the ratings. One day an un-assuming little media survey book may arrive at your house. Our careers hang on that book and the boxes you tick. The ratings come out 8 times a year and in fact, one came out today. Only those who work in radio truly care however should you ever wonder how your favorite radio team are really going, all the results are widely available on the internet. 

The two main players at any radio station are:

1. General Manager - Has the final say on hiring and firing. Oversees the stations finances, sales, promotions and client integration. Manages "talent" expectations. Essentially GOD.

2. Content Director - Everything you hear on air this person is in charge of.

A very special mention will go to the hardest working, most under paid and least appreciated person at any radio station - the Breakfast show and Afternoon show producers. They are the heart and soul of the show. They take the ideas from the white board and make them a reality, then the on air talent take all the glory.

When you first start out on a new radio show every show is to be treated like a first date, you're courting a new audience. The poo and fart jokes must be kept to a minimum and the "re-set" technique is heavily employed. 
Every time we spoke about something in our personal lives we were trained to always "re-set". That is, I couldn't just say "Marchella came home from school with a penis pen" I had to ALWAYS say "Marchella MY DAUGHTER came home from school with a penis pen."  For a very long time people thought my husbands actual name was "Scotty my-partner". The re-set became second nature, I found myself doing it in everyday life. When I introduced people I would unconsciously re-set each of their lives for the other. A proud moment for me came 2 years in when my then boss said "Em, you no longer have to refer to Scotty as your partner. Market research shows it now has traction".  Woo hoo!

The good news for you is that most show are heavily reliant on good quality callers. If you wish to become a much loved and relied upon "regular caller" it's quite easy. Listen for the call out on a phone topic. The early phone topics are the ones that struggle the most. I suggest you start here, only a handful of people are your competition and they are usually a little off the pace. The show's producer will answer your call, you have about 10 seconds to impress them. How do you do this? Take your voice up an octave on what it normally is and smile A LOT. Seriously, the word "vibey" gets bandied around as the main attribute a good caller needs to have. Be ready with your story, sound happy, get it out quickly and you will be welcomed back time and time again with open arms with many a Delta Goodrem CD pack to be enjoyed.

Another thing I can tell you is that there is a check list of "stunts" that seems to be mandatory if you take part in a radio show.

1. Drinking your own Urine.
2. Setting yourself or your co-host on fire.
3. Drinking breast milk.
4. Jumping out of a plane/bungee jumping/ab sailing 
5. Lie detectors (Although Kyle Sandilands pretty much ended that for everyone.) 
6. Some sort of dangerous animal in studio.
7. Facing a phobia live on air.
8. Public nudity.
9. Listener Wedding.
10. Piercing some part of your body.

Every time it was suggested that I to do one of these (which usually coincided with a dip in the ratings) I would end up in a lengthy battle with the content director. I would always argue that it was lazy radio, that people could see through it and know we were just desperately trying to get publicity and ratings. I was worried we'd become "Stunt FM" - It was a battle I seldom won. However, I am proud to say I NEVER drank urine or breast milk on air, I have no comment on the rest of the list.

Sometimes you get to use your powers for good and not just commercial gain. We came up with the pap smear express which actually helped to save at least 2 women's lives. We were able to highlight post natal depression and help those who genuinely needed it. I was always overwhelmed by how generous the public were when it came to helping their fellow man, for the most part people are good. 

It's a hard balance though, sincerity and satire.. The two are not happy bed fellows by any stretch of the imagination. It is possible to have a show purely based on comedy but you couldn't just have a "helping the community" show because, well - it's depressing. We were always torn on how to combine the meaningful with the comedy.. 

Each week we would do what we called a "rescue". The station would help out a family/individual who was going through a tough time. We didn't always get these right, and many questioned their place in the show entirely. You would have heard these on air. The host's tone changes and the emotive music begins...On one horrific occasion a man who'd lost his wife in a house fire was on hold waiting to speak to us and we realised we were playing a song called "dead and gone" there was nothing we could do. It was THE longest 3:30 sec of my life. The worst, by far, was giving a woman who had cancer, tickets to a Beyonce concert with thanks to a HAIR LOSS company... 

Nothing is truly "live" we had a 10 second delay and also, a dump button. A highlight for us was when someone would accidentally dropped a C-bomb or F-bomb... Thanks to the dump button-you will, in theory, never hear that. After the Kyle Sandilands lie detector debacle things became very sanitized and controlled. Every time a slightly risque topic was suggested in the months to follow my boss would just shake his head and solemnly say "Kyle".... Yep, nuff said.

But enough of the secret stuff... I've only just still got my foot in the door as it is.

What is next for the beast I love? 

I have some suggestions!

Brave new content directors and show producers who haven't come up through the system. NEW BLOOD.
A return to well written sketches.
Bring back the radio play.
Live studio audiences.
A house band. 
Less dumbing down of content.
Smart, articulate, challenging and entertaining people on air.
Smarter and more effective integration of ads.
Less focus on getting web hits and more focus on what people are listening to IN THE MOMENT.

One of the saddest moments of my life was the last Martin Molloy show. Hearing serious news reader Jim Waley manipulated to say "Crazy lesbians full of beans" to the tune of a Prodigy song and then Rob Sitch's un-mistakable nasal tones declaring "Tony Martin and Mick Molloy have left the building" was very disappointing.
I felt much the same way when Hamish and Andy signed off for the final time.

Who will save us from more mediocrity now? 

I have some suggestions!

Sam Mac
Ed Kavalee
Sam Pang
Ryan Shelton
Tom Ballard
Dave Thornton
Paul Verhoeven
Hannah Gadsby
Dan Burt
Scott Doolie
Aleisha McCormack
Rebel Wilson

Thanks for indulging this radio nerd. All I ask is that you demand more from your radio announcers and the stations they belong to. Because in the immortal words of Rachel Hunter: "Yor werth et"

Have a fantastical week.

E x

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A confession of sorts.

I think, un-intentionally, I have created a safe place for all of you to come and feel better about yourselves.

I imagine you must read how out-of-control, irrational, pathetic and flawed I sometimes am and think to yourselves "Jesus, I thought I had problems"... This is a public service I am happy to provide AND today is another such example of me falling on my sword. Get ready to love yourselves sick.

There is a very clear marker I have in my life that indicates how I am traveling. Where I am at mentally, spiritually and physically. For some of you this marker may be alcohol, chocolate or perhaps a lover. For me? It's Twilight.

Yep, go on JUDGE ME. I have transcended embarrassment over this one. Yes. There is a direct correlation between the amount of times I watch Twilight/New Moon or read the series and how I am getting along in life. What I am trying to say is: I love Twilight.

At first I resisted the Twilight saga. I'll admit, it was hard. I have had a love of fantasy novels and movies my entire life.
I grew up on The Never Ending story, The dark Crystal, Labyrinth, The Princess Bride, Flight of the Navigator, Xanadu, The Wizard of Oz, Willow, Edward scissor hands, Beetle juice, Star wars - you get the idea. I also obsessively played Zelda on my Nintendo and had a disturbing collection of unicorns and care bears.

For a fantasy nerd (Ferd) like me Twilight was a given. Alas, I let the more intelligent, highbrow literature loving friends of mine shame me into looking down on it like everyone else with a mild intelligence level or who was over the age of 16 did.

I would feign boredom when the young kids who worked at the radio station would pledge their allegiance to either team Jacob or team Edward and ignored the release of the first Twilight movie all together. It was on a flight between Dubai and Rome that in a weakened state I gave into watching the movie and since then, things have never been the same.

Fear not, for those of you who hate Twilight I am certainly not going to delve into the story line, which team I am on, or even mention the fact that I have pre-ordered Eclipse on DVD.
I am also completely aware the books are written by a 35+ year old Mormon woman living out her repressed sexual fantasies through her teenage fictional characters.

The main character Bella is a shit house role model for young girls. She requires CONSTANT supervision as she repeatedly lands herself in near death experiences and finds it endearing that her vampire boyfriend likes to position himself inches away from her face staring maniacally at her while she sleeps. I am well aware the text is not comparable to Austin or Bronte or even Enid Blighton however I DON'T CARE.

I watch it and read it so my brain can rest. It takes little to no effort to submerse myself in and as I am a romantic at heart it really is one of the greatest love stories I have ever been involved in. Edward says things to Bella that I think deep down a lot of us yearn to hear. Even though she is needy, clumsy, plain looking and of mediocre intelligence the glorious creature that is Edward loves her unconditionally for who she is on the inside. Trite yes but I feel something a lot of us can relate to. The fantasy that the goddess/god we have lusted after could look past our perceived imperfections and see our pure hearts and amazing intentions... or something like that.

When I'm feeling neglected by my Husband - I turn to Twilight.
When there is nothing on TV - I turn to Twilight
When I miss out on jobs -I turn to Twilight.
When I'm feeling flat - I spend the day in bed watching Twilight.

I've noticed lately I have been watching it a lot and have been dipping in and out of the books again.
It forced me to look at the reasons why. As I mentioned before, the amount I read and watch it directly correlates with the status of my life.  Twilight not only helps me escape it also forces me to address why I need to escape. BRILLIANT!

The moral of the story this week is as follows - If there is something you love that those around you mock you for, hold your head up high and tell them to feck off. I am surrounded by intelligent, hipster, self important, New Yorker reading, multiple degree holding wankers (friends that I love dearly) who take themselves far too seriously. I have let go of my attachment to what they think of my reading habits and instead of hiding my copy of "Breaking Dawn" inside my "Book of Longing" by Leonard Cohen (which by the way is an excellent book, some of the most beautiful poems I have ever had the pleasure of reading) I proudly bandy it around openly proclaiming my love for it.

My point is, love what you love no matter how daggy, low brow, cheap, tragic or embarrassing others may judge it to be. Who cares what they think anyway? I don't. I know that I have the love of a good man to keep me going.. Edward Cullen.

Be proud this week darlings.

E x