Most will agree 2016 has been a pretty crummy year. It’s hard not to be disappointed in humanity, or at least the small pockets who happen to be in influential districts, what with Brexit and Trump and Turnbull and Woolworths Home Brand garlic bread no longer coming pre-wrapped in foil. Not to mention the many celebrated people leaving us (although I just did).
President Trump? I still can’t believe it. When I’m an old dude in the 2060s driving across America one last time, I’m going to stop at a gas station and see a display stand with those commemorative plates with all the presidents’ faces on them and one of those faces will be Donald Trump. How gridlocked and unrepresentative does the USA’s political system have to get before they actually do something about it? I suspect we’ll find out in the next couple of years. Hopefully without a nuclear war.
Closer to home, it’s also been a bad year for my family, with my sister Alice passing away in July from a degenerative genetic condition aged 27. It’s the worst thing I’ve ever experienced. It’s also especially difficult as my brother Luke has the same condition and he is slowly getting worse. I’d like to write some more things about these events some day, but not today. Though I will say I’m very lucky to have the love and support of my family, especially my Mum, my sister Hannah and my partner Annika.
One aspect of 2016 that hasn’t been shit has been the ole media career. I was back at the ABC writing for season 6 of Shaun Micallef’s Mad as Hell. And season 5 won the Logie for Most Outstanding Comedy, which was swell. Such a great team and an honour to again be part of it.
I also made my on screen non-gorilla costume debut in a desk segment, playing the role of lobotomised Young Liberal Oscar Curtain-Pelmet:
It was the part I was born to play.
FYI, here was the gorilla suit one:
I was also a nun.
After Mad as Hell I put my 31 Questions experienced to good use and started writing for another TV game show, the title of which I’m not allowed to say. But you can probably work it out.
You can tell when I have plenty of writing work because the blog entries decrease in frequency. I mean, look at the last thing I posted. It was 7 months ago! You’re unlikely to see too many (if any) posts like 10 Years of Corollas or Burger Heaven – The spam is better at Hungry Jack’s when paid writing work is on offer.
I’ve also continued the fine radio panelling for Crocmedia. Coming up on 5 years now I’ve been working there. It’s a great job and exciting times are ahead with the move from South Yarra to new studios in South Melbourne, as well as the new AFL radio rights deal, meaning more games and more affiliate stations. It’s quite unusual for a media company to actually be expanding these days, so I feel extremely lucky (especially as I’ve experienced the other side of the coin first hand with SAFM in 2008 and then MTR in 2012).
This is the first time I’ve had consistent radio and TV work all year round. Even though it was bloody hard, I don’t regret moving from Adelaide to Melbourne for a second. For the first time, I actually feel valued as a writer, comedian, broadcaster, whatever you want to call it is that I do.
Let’s see, what else?
Earlier in the year I did my first solo show in a comedy festival. Read about it here (or just scroll down to the previous post from 7 months ago). I’m glad I did it, but I gotta say, as soon as the last show was over, it’s like that bit in The Simpsons where Homer’s brain floats out of his head, except I’m the brain and Homer’s head is stand-up.
The thought of doing it again, of putting in all the work to make it good and then hanging out at an open mic night, sweating bullets for 4 hours waiting to go on for 5 minutes doesn’t really do it for me. It never really has, to be honest. What does however, is this:
Made 2 more VHS Revue episodes and I discovered a new cache of tapes, so there’s a couple more on the horizon for 2017. I’m also still working on that other Adelaide-based webseries project, codename “GAA”. But it’s still early days (even though I mentioned it in my last end of year post). We’ve done a bunch of test shoots, and hopefully we’ll have something to show early next year. It’s a lot of fun.
Annika and I have had some great trips this year. When we were both in Sweden this time last year, we took a train to Gothenburg for the day. Although most people from Stockholm seem to regard Gothenburg as the Geelong of Sweden, I enjoyed it very much. Especially their impressive Museum of Art:
We also took a budget flight to London for a few days. As someone from “The Commonwealth”, it’s somewhat of a right of passage to visit the mother country. Fascinating place. I’d never been there before, and yet it was all strangely familiar. There were parts of it where if I wasn’t paying attention to the tiny details, I could have been in some other Australian city. I thought too of my Dad who was there in the late ‘70s, and my Grandfather who was there during the war. It’s a special place. I can’t see Brexit making it better.
Back in the southern hemisphere, we went to Sydney. Annika had never been. Great place to visit. Still glad I don’t live there. It’s just so hard to get around. Na, who needs it.
Great photos though:
The last couple of months have all been about moving house. We’d outgrown that beautiful one-bedroom place in Hawthorn and with two of my workplaces moving to the Southbank/South Melbourne area next year, it seemed the right time to move. We found a great two-storey three-bedroom place in South Yarra. Check out those ‘80s bricks!
After the chaos and stress of the actual moving was behind us, it’s turned out to be a great decision. We each have our own office now and a DINING ROOM TABLE! This is an extraordinary concept. It’s closer to both our workplaces and I’m walking more and driving less, which is good for everybody. Particularly my ass.
Still a few issues I’m hoping to solve soon. Moths and spiders seem to keep finding ways inside and the sun hitting the glass in the afternoon is a problem I’m hoping some shade cloth can fix. But we’ll get there.
I’m seeing out the year in Adelaide with family and friends. Missed Christmas in Adelaide last year so it’s been a while. I love it here this time of year. Barbecues, short pants, driving around the suburbs with the windows down, walking barefoot on the grass and swimming in the ocean.
And so for the most part, this year can get fucked. I’ve said every year since 2004 has been better than the last for me (although 2008 only just). I think 2016 is where that stopped. Hopefully it’s just a small flat bit on a very long, upward journey for all of us.
Merry Christmas and all that.