Around the time that Lord of the Rings was showing at the cinema there was a lot of press about the multi-talented Viggo Mortensen. Here was an actor who was also a painter (those paintings in A Perfect Murder were his own), photographer, publisher, poet and musician, conversant in English, Spanish, French, Danish and Italian. What could Mister Viggo Renaissance Man Mortensen not do! It was one thing to learn about how he performed his own stunts, but when we heard that he was perfecting his Elvish for an awards night speech it was almost too much to bear and my friend and I were reduced to a fit of the giggles. But out of it a word was born—viggoing—a noun to describe any pursuit of personal academic and creative betterment for its own sake. So, when my friend asks ‘are you viggoing this week?’, she wants to know if I am spending any of my leisure time improving my mind and becoming more accomplished in the arts. So I might reply: ‘Yes, ukulele lesson tonight, Spanish language and history tomorrow, and by the end of the week I would like to have mastered the onion-skin binding technique.’ And if I were to enquire about her viggoing, she might say: ‘I’m in a play, which I am also directing, and rehearsals start this week, and on the weekend I am teaching myself how to spin my own wool (before dying it with dyes derived from plants in my garden) and knitting a Fair Isle cardigan’. For example.
This pizza man could well be holding up an artist’s palette, but then again, maybe he is! He certainly looks proud enough of his work. Some years ago I worked just around the corner from this Italian restaurant and enjoyed many a good lunch there — brief respite from the awfulness of the job — but I had forgotten about this man. Recently I happened upon him again, pleased to see he is still there. And everyone loves a good pizza, so here, in alphabetical order because there is no other way to rank them, is my top five.
- Frankie’s, Mendocino, California
- Kings View Cafe, Kapaau, Hawaii
- La Disfida, Haberfield, NSW
- Pizza Cafe at the Grand, Mildura, NSW
- Pizzeria Due, Chicago, Illinois
This is a little off typographic topic, but I saw Radiohead this week and there’s no space in my head for anything else. I have been trying to think of a way to turn it around, work in something about type branding, album art or graphic design, but really I just want to say I saw Radiohead. Twice. I once dared to voice the opinion that, finally, here was a band better than The Beatles. I was met with stony silence and I’m still not sure if the person in earshot agreed with me or couldn’t believe what they were hearing. Radiohead this week has reminded me that I have seen some outstanding live performances over the years, so here, in chronological order with the most recent first, is my top five.
- Radiohead Sydney Entertainment Centre, and if I want to get specific the first show has the edge over the second
- Herbie Hancock and band, Sydney Opera House
- Elvis Costello solo show, Enmore Theatre Sydney
- John Lee Hooker Paramount Theatre Seattle
- Public Image Ltd Hordern Pavilion Sydney