Friday night drinks? Meet me at:

SPQR on Ponsonby Rd ... a time-tested favourite; consistently great food and the best service in our fair city.

Where I'll be wearing my new:

Wide grin, thanks to the Vmoto Emax scooter I'm riding around on.


And this weekend I'm planning on:

Working at the Auckland Arts Festival, where I'm lucky enough to see some jaw-droppingly amazing international and local theatre.

But first I'll need to refuel at my favourite cafe:

Deus ex Machina on Wellesley St ... motorcycles, surfboards and shelves of tomes on pop culture. What more could you want?

Saturday evening. If my dreams came true there would be a gig by:

Freddie Mercury, Maynard James Keenan [from Tool] and Elton John singing one another's songs.

But if there's nothing else doing I'll probably just:

Go to Longroom.


On my stereo/headphones right now is:

The first albums by Rage Against the Machine and Wu-Tang Clan. I revisit them every few years and hammer them senseless.

The books I can't put down are:

The Corrections, Frankenstein, A Fraction of the Whole, Stuff White People Like.

The TV show I take the phone off the hook for:


, Sunday nights on Prime. Is there anyone in existence better than Sir David Attenborough?

The movie I've been dying to see:


It's a modern-day western set in Canterbury, centering on a rugby team and starring a host of brilliant New Zealand actors. Due for release later this year.

A non-cooking Monday night means takeaways from:

McDonalds ... in for a penny, in for a pound.

Or a splash-out Wednesday night restaurant would be:

Chim-Choo-Ree on Victoria St, Hamilton. Worth going to Hamilton for. Seriously.


Ben Barrington plays Olaf in The Almighty Johnsons, Mondays, 9.30pm, TV3.