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A Musical Kind Of Guy

“I sure do”.

That’s the answer I give to people when they ask me if I like Glee.  Actually that’s a bit of a little bitty lie. I actually love Glee.

And Wicked.

And Les Miserables.

And Grease.

And Rock of Ages.

And Hairspray.

And a heap more musicals.

And now I love SMASH.

My friends often joke about me being gay to enjoy such shows.

Well I am 100% straight. I like girls as much as the straight guy next to me. Hmmmmm, girls. How you doin?

I also happen to love me a good musical.  And that musical can be on the big screen,  the small screen or even live on stage.

I don’t care what people think.

I am a loud and proud musical kind of guy!

I’ve even got my own idea for a musical movie or stage show!  I just need a lyricist to help me write it. Know of anyone?

My latest love is SMASH and even though CBS has axed the show after only two seasons, I have really enjoyed the musical within a TV show format.  This weekend my girls and I have been singing ‘Broadway, Here I Come” by Jeremy Jordan from Season 2.

This is the clip from the show which picks up the song half way through when the star of the show, Karen Cartwright (Katharine McPhee) stumbles upon a bartender, Jimmy Collins (Jeremy Jordan) singing one of his own songs for a musical he is writing.  It’s called Broadway, Here I Come, about, you guessed it, someone with a dream of making it big on Broadway.  It’s a great song and can be used as a metaphor in just about anything to do in life that needs a focus to succeed.  Take a listen below to the clip from the show and then at the end of this post, is the full vocal version which is bloody awesome.

So tease me all you want. It’s ok.  Straight men can love musicals too! Try telling me I can’t!  Go on, I dare ya! Or how about you let go of the stereotype that only gay guys can enjoy this stuff and get your feet a tapping and your voice a singing, because folks, there’s joy in these songs and shows, and we can never have too much joy in the world.  It does make the world a better place.

What is your favourite musical?  Have you watched SMASH? Did you enjoy it or happy to see it go?

Lara’s Disappearing Trick

She’s a clever one!

 

 

The Best Job Ever

I’ve always been a worker.  I’ve been working since I was 10.  In that time I have had plenty of jobs.  I wonder what was my best job ever.  Let’s take a look and see.

Aged 10 – Record Store – Back in the early 80’s there were record stores everywhere and my job was to hand write labels to put in the record machine.  I had pretty neat writing for a kid.  I think that job lasted a few weeks.  I got it by going in and asking if they had any jobs going.  To my surprise I got one.  It would never happen today.  So was this the best job ever?

Nope.  Not even close.  Next.

Aged 10 – Paper Round –  I walked around the streets of Milton in Brisbane way before Park Rd became trendy, selling newspapers and magazines.  I met some interesting characters but selling Playboy and Penthouse at the age of 10 was funny.  If I was a few years older I am sure I would have ‘read the articles’ during the paper run.  So was this my best job ever?

Nope.  Next.

Aged 11 – Taxi Phone Operator – I had to leave my job as a paper boy as we moved from Brisbane to Bowen.  There I became great friends with our neighbours who happened to own a taxi in the small North Queensland town.  I did this job for a few months but working from 5pm to 10pm 3 -4 days a week was hard work for an 11 year old boy still at school.  I earnt $12 a shift which was so much money and bought some great Lego pieces at the time.  Was this the best job ever?

Nope.  Next.

Aged 14 –  Donut King – It started off just as a cleaners job cleaning the store after the store closed.  After a couple of months they asked me if I wanted to help make the donuts early in the morning.  I said sure but hated it after repeatedly burning my fingers on the hot dough.  The best part of this job was being told to hire a friend to help.  So at age 14 I had my first employee reporting to me.  So with an ample supply of free donuts, was this the best job ever?

Nup! No way.

Aged 15 – Coles – I started out at Coles in Grade 10 and fulfilled plenty of roles from checkout chick, trolley boy, parcel pick up and floor staff.  I worked every Thursday night and Saturday mornings and earnt a little bit of pocket money.  Best memory was making out with a female colleague in the huge cool room.  Worst memory was being asked why my till was down over $150 one day. I don’t know! Honestly.  I worked at Coles for 2 years and my school formal date for Year 12 worked there too. Can’t remember her name to save my life but I enjoyed working there.  Surely with the cool room liaison with the girl this would make this my best job ever?

Not even close.

Aged 17 – Australian Regular Army – I’ve written about this extensively on this blog. For those late to the party it was a hard time for me and a time I wish I had have better handled.  When I look back I see that it actually was a pretty good time and I wish I could have a do over.  Obviously this isn’t my best job ever.  Or is it?

Don’t be silly, Billy.

Aged 18 – Pizza Delivery Driver – I repeated year 12 in 1991 and got a part time job delivering pizza.  It was a great job.  Sitting on your bum listening to your radio.  Delivering pizza to hot chicks.  The social life with the other staff was always good fun with plenty of parties and sporting days and poker nights always being organised.  So was this the best job ever?

Nope!  It was fun but not the best job ever.

Aged 19 – Store Manager for Silvio’s/Domino’s –  Oh this was fun.  Working from 3pm to 11pm up to 7 days a week was great.  It left the days free for golf and the beach.  Free pizza.  Free videos from the video shop next door.  Food swaps with Hungry Jacks.  Working with fun people.  It was a fun time and I learnt a lot.  This surely must be the best job ever?

No way, Jose!

Aged 21 – Operations Trainer for Silvio’s/Domino’s –  This is when I got to really start travelling.  I opened new stores in Cairns, Townsville, Launceston and spent 6 months in Darwin.  It was great fun.  I remember going to the Pickled Parrot piano bar in Darwin just about every night and singing along with the husband/wife duo.  Eating watermelon in June in the backyard wearing only boxers.  Going to Litchfield National Park, driving on roads with no speed limits.  It was a hoot.  So was this the best job ever.

Close but no cigar.

Aged 24 – Paging Operator and Sales Rep for Hutchison Telecoms – After burning out in the pizza game, I wanted something which was easy and I had zero responsibility bar turning up for work.  When I found out I was going to be one of 4 blokes in a sea of 150 female operators I knew I was in for some fun.  As it turned out, this is where I met my future wife.  But was this the best job ever?

It was fun, but no, not even close.

Aged 27 – Store Manager – Domino’s –  After 3 years out, the lure of the pizza game pulled me back in and this time I moved to Adelaide with my family to help start up the new pizza market down there.  Was this the best job ever?

Nope!  Next.

Aged 29 – Franchise Consultant, Domino’s –  After a couple of years in Adelaide, I was asked to go to Sydney with Domino’s and being the loyal servant I was, off we went.  This was followed by another stint in Adelaide and one in Melbourne before coming back to Brisbane where I stayed until 2010.  I got to travel a lot during this time looking after Western Australia, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria.  I went to small towns like Port Augusta, Broome in Australia’s north west.  Katherine in the Northern Territory.  Kununurra in the far western north on Australia.  Broken Hill and a thousand other small towns and areas of outback Australia.  I spent two weeks in Dunedin in the middle of winter which was my first (and only) overseas trip.  I met some amazing people and made some life long friends.  So was this the best job ever?  Surely it must be?

Nope!

Aged 33 – Producer, The Sunday Roast on 5AA – This was just something I did on Sunday mornings producing this sports radio show hosted by ex Adelaide Crows AFL Footballer, Steven Rowe.  It was great setting up interviews with sports stars from all different sporting codes across Australia.  This job gave me a money can’t buy, all access AFL Media Pass which allowed me to gain free entry to any AFL game across the country and sit in the media room which was catered with free drinks and food.  In the year that I did this job, I saw my beloved Brisbane Lions play at AAMI Stadium, Docklands, The MCG, Subiaco and of course The Gabba and it didn’t cost me a cent.  Unfortunately it was also the year after our 4th consecutive grand final and we didn’t win a lot of games.  So this had to be the best job ever right?

Close.  So very close but no.

Aged 37 – Current job – This will remain confidential to protect my identity though some of you reading this will already know it – It’s pretty similar to my Domino’s role but is this the best job ever?

No way.

Well by now you are surely confused.  I’ve listed every job I have ever had from I was 10 years of age to now and not one of them is my favourite job.  I wonder what that could be.  Oh hang on, I missed one.

Aged 25 to current – DADDY –   It’s a job that doesn’t pay me a cent but I get the most satisfaction out of it.  It doesn’t cause me any stress unlike other jobs.  It gives me daily satisfaction and bonuses that cannot be measured in dollars and cents.  It makes me smile every single day and makes me laugh more than any Seinfeld rerun ever will.  The job satisfaction I get from being a Daddy makes me want to turn up and do it all again tomorrow.  It makes my hair stand up on end when I see a photo of a special memory or when I hear my girls laugh together.  It gives me immense pride when I read their report cards or see them master a new challenge.

In fact being a daddy is not a job at all.  It is an honour and a privilege and one I absolutely love doing.  It is the thing I love doing most and one I will cherish for the rest of my life.

It’s great being a daddy.

Planking

Planking is the new craze sweeping across Australia which sees people lying flat on their stomachs with their arms by their sides pointing their hands and feet.  Usually someone takes a photo and posts it on the social networking sites, such as this Facebook Page which at the time of writing has over 102,000 people who have ‘Liked’ the page.

I gotta admit it when I first saw a story on planking on the Channel 10 news I was laughing out loud at some of the pics they were showing.  The creativity of some of the plankers was great and very inventive. 

Later that day I took a couple of photos of my kids in planking positions.  Here they are.

The Single Plank

 
 

The Double Plank

As you can see, both planks are very safe.

Then someone had to take it to the next level and he fell from a 7th floor balcony and died.  This happened yesterday.  What a tragic way to die.  Apparantly there was alcohol involved.  Planking or not, heights and alcohol and stupidity are never a good mix, let alone trying to lie flat on the narrow ledge of a balcony railing.

There has been outrage since with even the Aussie Prime Minister speaking out against the new ‘sport’. 

Just hang on a second.  There are always going to be a small amount of people who will take activities like this to the extreme but for the vast majority they are going to be safe while doing it.  Let natural selection take care of the others.  If they are that stupid to go to the extreme and put their lives in danger all for a photo then that is their choice.

My kids and I had a laugh on Friday when we took the planking pictures but since the accident yesterday, I have explained that they need to be safe if they decide to do more planking.  

So my advice is plank away but do it safely.  It should be some harmless fun and hopefully the fun police will let it remain that way.

So how about you?  Is planking some harmless fun or do you think it is stupid?  What is the best planking photos you have seen?

 

 

 

Why I love Glee!

Lea Michele

Lea Michele The undoubted star of the show. She plays Rachel, the daughter of two gay dads who wants to be a star. The scoop is, that while Rachel will eventually get there, Lea already is. This girl can sing. With a voice as powerful as anyone I have ever heard she can handle any style of music. She is also very cute! Big nose and all.

The Songs

The producers have been very smart in choosing a mix of songs from many different decades. The safe option here would have just chosen songs from Beyonce (Single Ladies) and Lily Allen (Smile), they have also chosen artists like Neil Diamond (Sweet Caroline), Van Halen (Jump), Billy Idol (Dancing with Myself) and Queen (Somebody to Love). It was important though that they captured the audience in the very first episode and they did this with the upbeat and uplifting, Don’t Stop Believing from Journey. As soon as this first episode ended with Don’t Stop Believing, I was hooked! With 2 number 1 Soundtrack Albums, you can also listen to the Glee Soundtrack in your car and iPod.

Jane Lynch

Jane Lynch plays Cheerios Coach, Sue Sylvester. She lives for seeing her cheerleaders win competitions….at any costs. When the Glee Club is formed and her funding is reduced to accomodate them, she commences a campaign to destroy the Glee Club and the measures she takes and the sharp wit of her tongue is must watch TV. One of the best characters to grace the small screen in many years.

Kristin Chenowith

The Great Guest Stars

Including Josh Groban and Kristen Chenowith with Chenowith stealing the show with 3 great numbers in one episode. The next 9 episodes due to air from April, 2010 is rumoured to include Olivia Newton-John, Madonna and Neil Patrick Harris to name a few.

Chris Colfer

He plays ‘just out of the closet’, Kurt Hummel. While I am not one to usually enjoy watching gay characters on TV, Kurt’s character is so over the top camp, it is hard to resist his journey of self discovery. When he finally ‘came out’ to his father it was a great moment. Kurt’s greatest episode was the “Single Ladies” episode where Kurt, trying to prove his masculinity to his father, joins the football team – “My name is Kurt and I am here to audition for the role of kicker!” Seeing the entire William McGinley High School Football team dancing to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” was one of the great scenes of the series.

Chris Colfer

Mash-Ups A mash-up is the combination of 2 songs in one. Some of the great examples included is the mash-up of Bon Jovi’s, “It’s My Life” and Usher’s “Confessions” into one upbeat song. It’s catchy.

The Choreography Some of the best dance numbers ever seen on TV. Seeing these kids sing “Proud Mary” in wheel chairs to support the character, Artie, who is wheel chair bound, was brilliant. High energy in most dance numbers but also great for the slow numbers too. “Jump” is a personal favourite in Episode 12.

The Overall Cast The producers set out to find the best cast possible by hitting the theatres and finding the guys who can sing and dance and act. Casting a relative bunch of unknowns was also a master stroke as we are introduced to a bunch of fresh faced young performers (ok most are in their 20’s) who are all genuinely excited about the show and this is demonstrated each week in their performances.

Glee is not the most perfect show ever made. Far from it. There are some plot holes and some more character development is required, but it is simple, plain old, let your hair down FUN! I love it.

So that is why I love Glee plus a thousand other reasons. Do you watch it? What is your favourite number so far? Who is your favourite character and why?