Congrats are in order!
Our good friend Benedict, senior producer of Final Draft, is just about to finish his PhD in History-- and he just got his dream job! He's going to be a historian for the New Zealand government.
The only bad news is that they're not going to let him work from Sydney (*scoff!*), which means that he and his partner – you might recall the beautiful Monika from the camping post – will be moving very far away. Very soon. Not one, not two, but three of the loveliest people I've met in Sydney will suddenly be gone. And I'll only get to know the third one for about 8 weeks.
It's a little heartbreaking. But it's good for Ben, and nothing is better than watching good people and good friends live their dreams. And we're having fun with them while we can-- last night, we went to see Where the Wild Things Are. It's a beautiful movie I can't really recommend enough; it was wonderful. I can find no flaws. And it really has a lot to say about public works during a depression.
Go watch it. Then you'll get how hilarious that is. It might be the funniest thing I've said in years. Which is sad in another way.
We also saw The Informant this weekend, with Paul and Edwina. Paul is a fellow contributer to Final Draft. The Informant is a movie about a real-life executive named Mark Whitacre at Archer Daniel Midland who co-operated with the FBI to record and uncover a worldwide price-fixing conspiracy. Kurt Eichenwald wrote a book about it first, and then This American Life did an awesome hour based on the same story, called The Fix Is In. Soderbergh directed The Informant, and I was disappointed. Soderbergh hasn't really been coming through lately – even Che 1&2 weren't good enough. TAL presented the story in a straightforward, dramatic way, but the movie presents it as a sort of zany comedy, and it kind of falls flat. It's such an interesting story, such a strange person at the centre, but they don't really make it funny enough to work, and a lot of the drama is gone. I like the radio hour better.
Aaron and Portia have a friend, Kat, who is an actor, and we went with them to see her new play Sydney Ghost Stories. It was at the Old Fitzroy Theatre in Darlinghurst. That's right, we went to Darlinghurst twice in one week– I think doing this walking tour helped us get over our resistance to King's Cross. And I'm glad it did, because the Old Fitz is awesome; it's an ordinary bar with good beer that runs a theatre in the basement. You can take your beer into the play, and stick around for more drinks after the show. It's a little bit genius. I don't often enjoy plays and theatre in general, but this place makes it enjoyable. And the play was good, too, so that didn't hurt.
Weeks ago, I asked my sister to send me my copy of Save Me the Waltz, by Zelda Fitzgerald. I wanted to compare it to Tender Is the Night, by F. Scott, for the radio show. It's an old copy, bought used when Save Me the Waltz was out-of-print and really hard to find.
When I started reading it, the pages started crumbling. I was too scared to keep reading it.
I decided to re-bind it, to make the book readable and durable again. I used a vintage Art Deco wall paper for the cover background, laid out the signatures and bound the book by hand.
I love saving an old book like this; now I can read it for years-- but I might not get the radio piece in by deadline.