Jan. 20th, 2017

mockturle06: (Sherlock)

There’s probably a sad cockatoo, sitting in a sad gum tree, missing his morning tea.

I know, don’t feed the birds, but that ship had sailed (I didn’t teach him how to rattle a door knob, or the joys of biscuits) but I’d been working home/being home a lot lately, and, well, I miss that. I miss the company. And, he, no doubt, misses the free feed.

The possum is his fine frisky self again, in case you were wondering. Something must have been in fruit just that little bit too far, as there were many, many walks of shame in the morning (most spectacularly on 25 December, I swear the wee rascal was out gorging himself on the ‘reindeer carrots’ a local supermarket had insisted on marketing). Had to hit him with the Chris Pine last night, because he was being really thumpity bumpity noisy. Yep, the infamous ‘I Will survive’ clip. I did warn him. I wasn’t messing about. Did the trick though, one possum free night (thank you, Chris, keep rocking).

So, what did I do on my not-holiday? (Well, it should have been sick leave but we’re having yet another effing restructure so I took it as rec leave instead, because yikes). Not a lot, truth be told. A lot of sweating into the couch (thanks, month-long heatwave), not a lot of fic writing as hoped (too much headache, but no doubt the universe approves, even though my muse is ever so chatty, and foul-mouthed, and I love him, the impatient little cranky-pants).

Mainly, as it was too hot for dvds (dammit) or laptops (and Himself had hoovered up all the bandwidth anyways) I was reading books, and old favourites, as I remembered the last time I’d hurt my head this badly, it lasted for ten years, and most of what I’m hitting now is from that time, when I used to hang off my bed upside down because the light was better and I couldn’t bear to have my head touch a pillow. Douglas Adams kept me halfway sane then, so I asked it of him again.

I know some folks frown at me re-reading favourite books, to which I say, firstly, favourite and old familiar friend of comfort. Secondly, you can never read the same book twice, the way the old saying goes you can never enter the same river twice. I am not twelve or fourteen or fifteen or whatever anymore (oh, so not), so I’m not the same person, so I’m reading different things, taking different meanings, getting jokes and references that floated past me before, by way of being an ignorant, untravelled child (at least I know what a Pizza Express is now).

So I read a couple of Dirk Gently books, mainly because I was excited by the new series and I adore Samuel Barnett (such a sweetie at the NT stage door that time) but it left me cold. So, back to the books. Which made me wonder why so many books I’m reading have Thor in them, just because, often for no really adequately explained reason, and is it because I was born on his day, I really have a thing for Norse gods (don’t answer that) or is he popping up in my books like a viral meme and I can expect the Asgard boys at the Netherfield ball the next time I crack open Pride and Prejudice?

Also, why do Sherlock, Doctor Who and Lucifer all feature extensive quotes from the Dirk Gently books, but of the actual Dirk Gently series, nada? Just curious. It’s the sort of question best put to Dirk himself really, I’m sure it’s all connected, somehow.

Also been hitting the Le Carre (which makes my post US election Twitter even more scary, since Our Kind of Traitor is very, shall we say, foretelling). And the Agatha, because nothing is as cosy as a nice murder or three. Does anyone ever wonder that Dame Agatha spent most of her time on train trips, at dinner parties or faffing about on her husband’s archaeological digs thinking up exotic ways to kill people? Just asking.

Imagine sitting across the train carriage from Agatha, and her beady eye falls upon you, and you just know she’s measuring you for a coffin. I, of course, would never do that.

Articles of interest from the Interwebs: https://plus.google.com/u/0/113197665355692280218/posts


 

mockturle06: (Sherlock)

So I finally watched the less than lauded Sherlock episode, possibly the last ever, and if the mission was, somewhat oddly for a commercial enterprise, to leave us not wanting any more today, thank you, then mission accomplished?

I wasn’t as outraged as some, but then I knew where it was going the moment I saw the sword come out of the umbrella (fancy yourself Steed? Think again). As Himself remarked, about halfway through you were thinking Emma would have figured it out by now, and (and he really should have popped in a pipe or started pointing with it as he carried on with his comments) if they had to rip off The Avengers, why chose two episodes of the colour series not held in terribly high esteem by the fans (House That Jack Built, Superlative Seven) when there are much better bland and white episodes to dabble with.

I know, everyone’s a critic these days. Everything is so damn derivative. When I was trying (and failing) to write as a kid, I hated myself for how derivative I was. If I accidentally borrowed a scene from a film I’d seen six years before I’d rip myself for it, for months. Now, well, anything goes (not me, of course, I just edit articles about dog shit, yes, really).

Take La La Land (please). Look, I was in Canberra on a Friday night, so bored and alone goes without saying, and the telly and interwebs at the hotel didn’t work, but I was curious as to what all the fuss was about. I remain so. Bold choice, staging a musical with leads who can’t sing or dance. And they really don’t know how to sing at all – I seem to have had more training just for a school choir in a poor suburb (they always think choirs are so improving for impoverished urchins). Charmless, too (Ryan Reynolds was totally robbed). But the fact that the whole thing was a badly stuck together mashup of Singing In the Rain and Funny Face? As a fan of both those films, I have to say ‘hey, now’.

Then again, Rogue One wasn’t entirely shiny and new either, slamming somewhat haphazardly between reprising scenes from Star Wars with the sort of dogged devotion one used to only find in fan films, you know, the really humourless ones, and those old WWII films they used to always screen on Channel Ten (Dirty Dozen et al).

Again, and it might just be me being old, grumpy and permanently concussed, but I didn’t dig that as much as I’d hoped. Maybe I didn’t have enough red wine. The Dendy Canberra brought in two enormous art house sized glasses of red (I’d forgotten I was in an art house theatre, they give you enormous glasses that hold half a bottle instead of the usual tiny capful, so it was a very rosy viewing) and so, despite all my misgivings, I was actually enjoying La La Land, though the next morning there was a lot of regret and what-did-I-do humiliation.

Speaking of red wine, lil Chris Pine should ease up on it a touch, if some recent interviews are any indication. Either that or he’s letting his freak flag fly, which is equal parts adorable and alarming, depending on my mood (sometimes I get distressingly maternal and wish he’d smarten himself up).

My plan to watch all the dvds in my Twelve Days of Chris festival never happened because of a heatwave/concussion nexus of please just let me die, but there were a few of the standard staples on telly (Star Trek, Jack Ryan, etc.), so I did get a Chris fix. And fix is the right word. I don’t know why I decided that Chris Pine was going to be the opiate du jour of this mass, but it works, mostly, and unlike his British brethren (Tom Hardy, Benedict Cumberbatch, etc.), far more likely to be somewhere on the schedule (unless, of course, they’re in the same movie as young Chris). I mean, I’ve obsessed before, ahem, once or twice, over a jolly little actor, but it’s never been the three films daily scheduling that some Pine Nut at Foxtel manages to schedule. So it’s a steady drip feed, which I suppose keeps me slightly sane.

Harder after yesterday (I’m going to need something special, Chris). Well, it’s this whole week, really. Back at work, heatwave, over an hour’s wait just to get on a crowded bus. I fainted on Monday and caught my hip on the shower stall. I fainted again yesterday while holding a cup of peppermint tea (which I’d only fetched because poorly) and ended up dripping with peppermint tea. At least I don’t have any meetings, thinks I, gazing down at myself sopping self. Oh yeah, I suddenly do, to be told I gotta apply for my own job, and I can’t even manage a cup of tea without passing out. Fine, ok. Even better, the job I was doing that afternoon took me to my old site (what have they done) and I saw the project I was working on two years ago finally got up and done. It made me sad. And dripping with tea. And soon to be redundant. Again.

So, you know what? Not going to apologise for the Chris Pine and red wine. I need all the help and comfort I can get, and it’s just a flickering screen and a few tannins, so be it.

The one thing film did cheer me up over the last couple of weeks was Fantastic Beasts. Not a Harry Potter fan, at all, but it had Colin and Eddie in it and was set in a version of 1920s New York so I went along expecting Bedknobs and Broomsticks and it kinda was, but with an odd dollop of Peaky Blinders thrown in as well, which was startling but pleasing. My goodness but Crooks Like Us has a very long tail these days. I mean, I’ve loved that book since forever (signed, my copy, been to two author talks) and I know it off by heart, so when I see it clearly being used as a reference on a film set, which it is these days, so often, I can giggle when I see a gaggle of men on film, like oh there’s p43 and p27 standing with Mr p73. So that was funny.

But I liked the film, it made some pointed anti-Trump speeches (good old JK), most of the characters were kind of sweet, and yeah. I was only a bit sad walking home because I missed my friend (I have hardly any friends, so I miss the few good ones I’ve lost along the way).

Articles of interest from the Interwebs: https://plus.google.com/u/0/113197665355692280218/posts

mockturle06: (Sherlock)

Anyhoo, the exhibitions. First stop was Nude at the Art Gallery of NSW (and stop sniggering up the back). That was okay. Actually, I kinda loved it, the first few rooms anyway because it had a few nice pieces from the Tate (it was all from the Tate) , including a few I confused myself as having seen recently before remembering, oh yeah, back in ’15, in situ. Love the lush high Victoriana. I know it’s uncool, but I can’t help myself. I love a fine bit of vaguely homoerotic classicism on a summer’s day. I love a Fred Leighton (Have you seen his house? If that’s the house, imagine what the parties must have been like?).

Then we moved onto Modernism, and that was pretty cool, too (though you have to ignore the cultural misappropriation of all that African and Islander imagery). Abstraction, not so much. Here, women are just reduced to the Republican ideal of a woman: all fanny and no head (see also that Chris Pine photo, tsk).

Finally got to see The Kiss, and that was a bit meh, mainly because they had it positioned wrong and the proportions were all off. And I did snigger, at the David Hockney, which was such a bad look, because I do really love them, but the line drawings of the blond and the brunette in bed with their 1966 aesthetic was so much like a certain tumblr feed o’mine I couldn’t help myself, dammit. So much like that series of Academy drawings I can’t even.

Also got to see some OMFG surviving examples of Turner’s hardcore hand drawn porn. Oh, to have seen Ruskin, the world’s greatest prude, discovering his worshipped hero’s secret smut stash of shame, oh, to have seen his little face, heh heh heh.

The modern stuff was meh meh meh, though I did finally see a Freud I didn’t loathe, and they had Bacon.

Also popped in to Manifesto again (with all the angry Cates), and then a small room of Japanese art, containing a wall of blinking numbers by Tatsuo Miyajima, which had me entranced.

So it was over to the MCA for the Tatsuo Miyajima exhibition, which was quite wonderful. Who knew you could make numbers so pretty, or mean so much, or nothing. Loved the goldfish pond one, and the rooms of blue and red. The train set with the coal was upsetting though.

more: The Canberra Exhibition Expedition )

Bail up!

Jan. 20th, 2017 09:30 am
mockturle06: (Sherlock)

These photos of James McAvoy and Chris Pine turned up in my tumblr feed and I always thought it looked like they were staring in a live-action version of some 70s Japanese animation I used to absolutely adore as a kid.

Ah, if wishes were 60s sports cars, eh?

So, nothing else happening, except for me trying to find an ensemble that I can wear on a protest march, to a gallery, to sit in a park with, and then diner and a concert at the Opera House. Because I cannae be arsed travelling the old 51km there and back again to change. Oh, and I’ve got my period, too. So, yep, extreme wardrobe challenge. Dammit, I have this amazingly stupid red dress I’d bought to wear to an Amanda Palmer show, what, jeez, years and years ago now, when I had money, and every fucking time, no, you’re wearing the black, darling. Every. Fucking. Time. I’m gonna have to give it away, as new. Maybe Amanda would like it? Or could find it a worthy home. I should ask.

So I mentioned family history before. Mine contains much that is inaccurate and apocryphal, mainly because none of them could tell the truth to save their lives. Professionally, even. And I’m not just talking about the convicts. There’s the dude who allegedly wrote for travel magazines but only ever had one article published and always seem to be in places just before it kicked off. Hmmm. And the cold war pair whose files are sealed and who died, allegedly, in a locked room.

Then there’s the notorious Reverend Hay, and that’s the appellation that accompanies him around the globe (there’s a HBO series in his biography, if only I could get Russell Crowe interested in playing a boozy, brawling whore-running preacher who was pretty much run out of towns from Scotland to New Zealand with flaming torches).

I also love it when historical personages make guest cameos, like the time one of the family was hauled up for renting premises to the notorious Kate Kelly, and the general rowdiness that ensued. It sounds like Kate was basically running a Ned Kelly fan con, with the usual fake artefacts and peripherally involved speakers (the main players all being dead, natch), re-enatcments and the like.

Not that she’s the only alleged bushranger to cross the family tree, but then Oz was so small then, so there were always the crossing paths with Ben Hall and the various Captains, the whole Robbery Under Arms thang. Hell, my folks were cattle duffers running up and down the old track from Queensland to Victoria, all very Shelby-like dodgy, including my grandfather, who was a very dodgy boy indeed. Which is why, though I’m related to the squattocracy by many no doubt regretted marriages, I’m not part of it. Too much dodgy blood, shall we say.

Still, it would have been fun, had I had to move out west (always still a possibly) to reveal that I might be scum, but I’m still a lesser sept of these familes. You may kneel, and fetch me some tea, milk, no sugar.

At least I like to imagine the look on a certain snobs face who wanted to belong to the squattocracy when they found out I was one. Yes, you pillock, these towns and rivers, we named them.

Mind you, a millennia ago my ancestors owned most of south-eastern England, until some Cnut took it away from them. Damn and blast. Don’t suppose I could make a land rights appeal? I have a spiritual connection, I watch Grantchester. No, didn’t think so.

Sorry, felling put upon, having a ‘just you wait, Henry Higgins’ moment, again. Sadly, even my best behaviour isn’t up to the standards of certain snobs who went to better schools than I.

But blood is blood, and I can’t help it if Aunt Polly sometimes peeks out. I am, after all, the girl who got up and walked off after being sent flying by a 4WD.

Dad used to call her Boudica (and, turns out, he was right). I mean, I’ll take a hell of a lot of shit, and then I won’t. And it’s a thing. My grandmother and Aunt both broke doors in fits of pique, and I finally did the same, the day I was retrenched. (You’d think, then, that the menfolk were bad carpenters, as well as being especially annoying, and my grandfather was slapdash at best, but on the other side, they ran a big furniture shop in Aberdeen, they made furniture for that little shack called Balmoral, for fek’s sake).

And then there’s the story my Uncle told me of the time my grandmother just threw my grandfather’s old coat in the kitchen stove fire because it was tatty and she was tired of it, without checking the pockets, which were full of shotgun shells. So there’s the family, face down on the grass outside the house, counting off the shots exploding in the kitchen.

So, reckless, crazy and mercurial and not to be crossed on all sides of my family. Sorry if that offends, but, you know, born that way.

But also smart, and not book learning smart, but cunning smart (though it skipped my maternal uncle and brother who couldn’t find their way out of a wet paper bag if you showed them the hole).

Back to bushrangers, if you remember the Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith, well, loosely based on events and there’s an old family story that one of my great or great-great grandmothers (not so many as you’d expect because we’re late marriers and breeders) answered the door to, well, we’ll call him Jimmy because I can’t remember his real name or tribal name. Calmly as you please she invites him in and gives him the whole tea and cake on china service, as though it were the local vicar, and Jimmy is so pleased and grateful he bids her goodbye and goes on to massacre the next farmstead along instead.

I tried looking it up when I was at uni and the story and history matched enough to rate it plausible. Anyway, the moral of the story is always use best china for serial killers, they appreciate the finer touches.

And that’s the sort of manners that are important.

Articles of interest from the Interwebs: https://plus.google.com/u/0/113197665355692280218/posts

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