Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Australia - The LGR Interview Series Heads to the Land Down Under!

The LG Report's Interview Series once again ventures overseas, this time to visit with Cate in Australia.  She's the author of the very cool blog "I'll Think Of A Title Later." (that's a live link folks, handle with care...)

So let's get on with it mate! (LG is adopting his Crocodile Dundee-inspired accent for this one.)

The LG Report:  Cate, thanks for visiting with us today at The LG Report.  As you may know, here in the United States, we refer to Australia as “The Land Down Under.”  Do you call America “The Land Up Top?”  And which do you prefer, being down under or on top?   Geographically, of course.

Cate: United States? Is that what US stands for? I thought it was just “Us” as in “Us Versus the Rest of the World” or “Us Whom the Universe Revolves Around”. Well, you learn something new every day. We call you “The Idiots Over There.”  I’m kidding.  Maybe.  Mostly you’re just “The Yanks” or “The Screamers” – this is based on what we know of Americans, our main reference being Ellen and Oprah show audiences.

And for the record, I love being down under. Geographically, of course.

The LG Report:  You were born, raised and still live in Adelaide (or its suburbs, we couldn’t be bothered doing all that much research into the issue, yawn…), which ranks as one of The Economist’s "Top 10 Most Livable Cities" in the world.  An Australian tourism website says this about Adelaide:

Whether you want to party or relax on your next holiday, South Australia's capital city has it all. With spacious boulevards and vibrant inner-city districts, sophisticated architecture and lush gardens, plenty of accommodation to choose from, Adelaide is the perfect venue for all sorts of holiday activities - big or small.

Can you give us your own “Insider’s” description of Adelaide in one or two paragraphs?

Cate:  Your researcher was probably too busy watching Ellen.

Adelaide is the perfect weather city. We don’t get the humidity and storms that Sydney and Brisbane do, nor the cold wet Melbourne months, nor the excessive heatwaves of Perth. It’s also the perfect size, not the rat-race of the bigger cities. We don’t have the big theme parks or giant bridge and harbour that draws busloads of annoying tourists from all over the world, but we have beautiful beaches, stunning scenery, world class wine regions, internationally acclaimed cabaret and entertainment festivals, and two pandas at the zoo.

We are commonly known as “The City of Churches”, “The Festival City”, “The Wine State” or “The Place Where the Bodies in the Barrels Murders Happened.”  Oh, guess I shouldn’t have told you that last one. [Editor's Note: We didn't know what Cate was referring to either, but click THIS LINK  for more info on the murders.  They'll be referenced again below, so it might be worth your time.  We found it curious that Cate knew a lot of details about the murders that had not previously been revealed to the public...hmm...] 

The #1 grossing film in Australian history.
The LG Report:  Here in America we have a very accurate view of life in Australia.  We understand, for instance, that you people spend a lot of time throwing shrimp on the barbie (we know that our written accent is impressive.)  We also are aware that you spend a lot of time boxing kangaroos.  What’s your personal record in boxing matches against kangaroos? 

Cate: We used to throw shrimps on the barbie, but the Little Persons Union lodged a complaint and got it banned.  

Boxing kangaroos is a daily battle, I have no idea what my record is, but we have to be prepared at all times. Because you know thousands of kangaroos just roam the streets here, right?

The LG Report:  How did you get the nickname “Chook?”  We don’t know what that means (if anything) in your country, but from the context in which it appeared in your blog, we gather that it’s not flattering.  Can you also explain what it would mean?   Please don’t be a chook about this.   

Cate: I think being the youngest of four children, and my parents were getting on a bit in age, they just couldn’t remember my name. We had a chook shed with a couple of chickens in it which I used to love feeding and collecting eggs from, so I think I just became one of them, I was Chook. Makes me kinda glad we didn’t have a pet pig.

The LG Report:  Who’s your favourite (yes, we’re spelling that word your way to be polite to our guests) American and why? 

Cate: George Clooney. You really need to ask why?  For his humanitarian work, of course.  He does do humanitarian work, doesn’t he?
Little-known fact: This is is the official flag of Australia.

The LG Report:  Your blog is very funny.  We love the tag line that says “My soul was removed to make room for all of this sarcasm.”  What does your family think of your blogging? 

Cate: My husband and kids know I have a blog, but they don’t read it, they have seen maybe half a dozen posts. The rest of the extended family has no idea and I’d rather keep it that way so I can keep writing about them. But if they knew I’m sure they’d be….. thrilled. Maybe pleased. Okay, perhaps a little annoyed. Let’s face it, they’d slaughter me.

The LG Report: The spelling of your first name is a bit unusual.  Cate Blanchett also spells Kate with a “C.”  Of course, you may say that other people are spelling “Cate” with a “K.” Are you related to Cate Blanchett?  It is our understanding that nobody has ever seen the two of you in a room together at the same time.  Also, do you have any shrimp on the barbie at the moment and could we bum a few off you? 

Cate: I spell Cate with a C because my full name is Cathryn with a C. Unlike the new Duchess of Cambridge (the skinny chick who married Prince William) who is a Catherine but spells Kate with a K, I have remained true to my initial. You will also note that Chook starts with a C.
This is how Australia appears from space.
As for my connection to Ms Blanchett, that remains a matter of National Security. We can’t be seen together. The restraining order hasn’t expired yet.

The LG Report:  If you were advising a tourist who has never been to Australia on what to see and do in your country, what would be your #1 recommendation for them?  If they could only do one thing, what should it be?

Cate:  Well, there are these barrels I’d like to show you, you can even climb inside one if you like…. No?

Okay, I have to grudgingly say Sydney. The Harbour, the bridge, the whole shebang.  It is truly breathtaking.  I couldn’t live in Sydney, way too expensive and busy for me, but it really is the one ‘must-see’ for a tourist.

Stay away if Cate invites you in.
The LG Report:  Adelaide is sometimes called “The Learning City.”  We learned that recently.  Therefore, it is already helping people learn new things.  If you could learn one skill, including how to fluently speak a particular language or play a specific instrument, what would it be and why?   [Note: We ask this because we want to see how different the average Australian’s ideas are from the average Americans.  Of course, we don’t know how an average American would answer this question since all of the readers of The LG Report are so far above average, but please answer anyway…]

Cate: I think we like to call ourselves the “Learning City” on websites so we can charge foreign students exorbitant amounts of money to come and study here, but that’s just between you and me.  I would like to learn to operate my DVD player /laptop/computer/phone/camera correctly.  Oh, and play the drums.

The LG Report:  What one post would you suggest to a new visitor to your blog to give them a good flavour (again with the Australian/British/Canadian spelling, you’re welcome…) of what your writing is all about?  

Cate:  Diary of a Narcissistic Blogger  is a tongue-in-cheek look at bloggers in general, which gives a pretty good idea of what I’m about (Click here to read.)  And From Nappies to Nikes: Thanks For The Mammaries is more of a sarcastic glimpse at my life as a wife and mother (Click here to read.)

Okay, I know that’s two, but I’m Australian, I don’t follow instructions well, the boxing kangaroos have damaged my brain.

The LG Report:  In one or two sentences, can you explain what the heck Australian Rules Football is all about? It’s a mystery to Americans. 

An Australian Rules Football team in uniform.
Cate:  There’s these really sexy guys with really gorgeous bodies wearing shorts – and NO padding and NO helmets – and they run around chasing a ball and tackling each other and getting all hot and sweaty and their muscles are gleaming…. What was I supposed to be talking about again?

The LG Report:  We know that Australians enjoy their fill of American movies from Hollywood.  Thus, we assume that you’re familiar with American movie stars like George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise (if you’re thinking that LG looks like a cross between all of these fellows, you’re not alone…)  Is it true that the recent Mark Wahlberg film “The Fighter” is being re-made for Australian audiences with a kangaroo in the lead role?   

Cate:  Noooooo, we want Mark Wahlberg, the kangaroo can have Christian Bale’s role though.  Or maybe Amy Adams, she had a brawling scene, didn’t she?
LG accepting the Nobel Prize for Blogging.

By the way LG, you need to check your reflection again, I think your mirror might be cracked.  Just saying.

The LG Report: Cate, we’d like to sincerely thank you for participating in today’s interview.  We particularly appreciate your indulgence because we know it must be difficult to type with the keyboard above your head as it must be there “down under” in Australia.   In closing, if you could convey one message to Americans and all peoples of the world from Australians across your great nation, what would it be?  You, Cate, are, for our purposes, the Official Spokesperson for All of Australia.  What do you have to say?

Cate: It must suck to be you and not me.

Seriously though, thanks for having me, and if anyone ever visits Adelaide, please look me up. I have a lovely barrel you can sleep in.


Thanks again for playing along Cate, we love your MOST EXCELLENT BLOG  and encourage all our readers to check it out for a hilarious look at life Down Under.  And in Australia too!  

Thanks again for being such a good sport and remember to keep moving your feet when boxing those kangaroos, they can be tricky!  


  1. LG, your questions are so smart...for instance, do people down under refer to the US as the people on top. And then she lobeys that back with a clever answer herself. This was brilliant! Loved it. It was very clever...wait, I already said clever...see, I am no good at commenting with content. Let me just say that I love your interviews, they are extremely funny, always well phrased, and always make me want to visit the interviewee. I'm off to do so now! Oh, and by the way Laz, you have great tits! xoxox

  2. Another wonderfully instructive interview, but coming from Australia's famously recognisable "Learning City", I wouldn't have expected anything less. I'm so glad to see you polished up your own knowledge base before conducting this would have been mightily embarrassing, as an American, for you to be shown up by an Australian. You really should have done more research on those barrels though! She really showed you up there!

  3. Another great interview! Great questions, and Cate really held her own with her answers! Very witty!

  4. The Screamers, excellent. You should have asked Cate why Australia is so full of insanely posionous snakes, insects and fish.


  6. Very funny interview!

    As an aside, I really think Kate's new title should be Duchess of Kambridge. Just to keep messing with us.

  7. I never tire of your should have your own tv series LG. Another great one...I learned all about Oz from series like 'Skippy the kangaroo', 'Neighbours' and 'Home and Away'so now I shall wander off down under and meet the lady in question...I don't want to be a galah and miss out on any fun do I?

  8. Australians that are funny are even MORE funny because they are Australians. Definitely going to check out her blog. This one was ALMOST as good as Betty's. Especially the whole boxing kangaroos bit.

    Next vacation: Adelaide

  9. Whoa, haha. That Australian Rules Football picture looks like a scene straight from Castro Street in San Francisco.

  10. The barrels are only in South Australia - the rest of the country is barrel free I promise.

    Cate rocks!

  11. Nice article - Cate's blog is a delight. And, by the way, no one in Australia actually drinks Fosters. We export it so we don't have to ;)

  12. My blog is anonymous since I have a mental health issues. You share my real initials. I'm wondering if I'm closer to discovering the true identity of myself?


The LG Report appreciates all comments, thanks for taking the time; Karma will probably award you a winning lotter ticket or something. The "or something" being more likely. But thanks again!