mockturle06: (Chris)

I wish I was of that generation that get a ribbon just for showing up. I could use a round of applause for just being upright and breathing right now.

Nothing is ever my finest hour, but I seem to be prat-falling into mess after mess of late, and, as I’m honestly surprised, none of it is deliberate on my part (OMFG, if I could stop effing up for five consecutive seconds, I’d buy myself a chocolate).

I’m going to try and explain my latest misery as a turbid mix of my very own and limitless incompetence, and work insecurity engendering a savagery in people I’d liked and respected – though clearly the opposite did not apply. At all. In any case, I’m upset to the point of unbearable despair.

Which is the mood I lumped with me, like a heavy, awkward burden, to two Wonder Woman screenings. Not two because of Mr Pine. Two because everyone in the planet was going nuts over this film and I hated it, so I thought, that can’t be right.

So let’s blame it on the rest of my life, intruding even in the cinema, as it must (I’d bought a Gold Class ticket, because it was Wonder Woman, but, of course, my order never arrived so I ended up with a movie length drink, i.e., huge, on an empty stomach, so basically I was just angry drunk for most of it). I was crying, not in joy, but in misery. I did not like it at all. I hated it. It jumped about to the point of making no sense, more like an extended trailer than any sort of narrative, the characters were flat, bitty and trite, the lauded colour was washed-out awful and of course, the only reference to nearly 10% of the Oz population being there were the Hurley photos they ripped off, including a couple that Bean tore him a new one over, being a bit fake, oh dear).

But the rest of the world was falling over themselves in glee, so I knew something had to be wrong, and that something was me. So I went and saw it again. Cattle class this time, stone-cold sober, with some morsel of food in my belly. Ok, the screen was better. That helped. Ditto having my row to myself (because I’m an angry loner).

Like most women of a certain age, I’ve waited all my life for a Wonder Woman film. And Gal did a good job in the role, nothing she did caught me as a sour note. And Pine was fine, perfectly handsome, heroic, charming and funny, just a little bit vulnerable and exceedingly doomed, all done up in period garb. My usual catnip. He was Cary Grant, Errol Flynn, Harrison Ford and my floppy haired Merchant Ivory boys all rolled into one perfect package (oh yes, the package, points for obvious ogling scenes).

But the skip-jump plot (and suddenly they were in Belgium, and, btw, Poirot has more to say about the war in Belgium than this lot) and my Ewen (Spud!) as minor comic relief, all the other characters like bit part provincials in a Shakespeare play (only with less telling dialogue) and the moustache twirling really so obvious they were announced in the pre-show ads villains – it still seemed spectacle over substance. Ok, obviously one of those films where I’ll have to read the novelisation if I want backstory (if I could be bothered). Ok, yes, superhero film pitched at nine-year olds, don’t go expecting layers or characterisation.

But still, but still. Even as a kiddie’s movie, look, Doctor Who is a kid’s show but it still manages plots with a bit of grit and purpose and meaning ­ in case you missed the colonisation, war, Brexit, cruelty, cowardice, greed and sacrifice riffs in last week’s fantastic episode. Oh my gosh, I loved that. Victorian soldiers on Mars. Victorian soldiers recreating The defence of Rorke's Drift (1879) on Mars. With Ice Warriors. And Alpha Centauri, for that hit of pure childhood nostalgia, because who doesn’t love a giant one-eyed monster? (No, not talking about the pool scene in Wonder Woman).

So I’m going to blame my lack of engagement on my greed and hollow emptiness, I wanted more than that film could give. Still, Mr Pine was perfect, and justifiably lauded for his light touch and comic timing. And there were moments I liked, vignettes, bits here and there (which is my main problem, it seemed more a string of scenes than a journey).

Maybe I’m just jaded. I knew dear old Steve was going to be fridged big-time to give our heroine that motivational push. And I knew Ares was going to be a backroom politician, not a general, because everyone knows who the real bad guys were in WWI. And as for the poisonous villainess with the facial scars as an outward depiction of her no-goodness, can you say trope? How progressive (unless they were applying a homage to tropes older than WWI and the history of film).  And the mixed ragtag band of dodgy brothers? Well, that was astounding, too, if you’ve never seen any Kurosawa films or any of the umpteen westerns and war films that riffed on them. I’ve seen music videos with more depth and character (and originality).

Ah, well, maybe I should see it one more time. There were bits I liked (no, not just Pine’s bits). Some bits oddly reminded me of Doctor Who, the second series with Rose, and not just the end of Christmas Invasion, with the not-snow. Lookit, it’s raining Steve! Little bits of Steve (no, not that bit). Oh, don’t tell me it’s ash of Ares, he’s just taking a nap because he’s got a lot to do in the 30s onwards.

Never mind. Happiness is flipping around the channels and finding Mrs Peel clutching a stuffed crocodile under her arm. Bliss. Classy British silly, all primary colours and silly villains (but at least I understood their motivations, no matter how off-kilter), a real trippy version of Le Carre – whom I’m reading at the moment, A Small town In Germany, because I don’t have enough things with EU-centric plots in my life right now (being sarcastic here). And besides, sword-fighting young cad Anthony Valentine in one episode? Yes, please.

The Avengers make me happy.  Doctor Who, when it’s good, makes me happy. There was a Buffy marathon on a wet long weekend. That made me happy. (I know, but it’s been so long since cable have bothered with a Buffy marathon, and I’m ever so nostalgic these days).

Seeing the NT Live screening of Twelfth Night made me happy.  I mean, Tamsin Grieg as Malvolia, and honestly, why the fuss, it was just one more gender-bend in a fairly gender-fluid play. It was very funny, but, as revealed in the last act, the jokes were cruel and got out of hand, and we never do get to find out if Malvolio/Malvolia gets their revenge, and how (not there’s an idea worth taking up, never mind rehashing films from five years ago). Still, the performances were just on the right side of arch (okay, some teetered alarmingly into panto) and there’s a lot about disguise, gender, roles and identity as costumes assumed and cast off, all going on.  It’s all very transgressive and queer-baiting, with dick jokes, but also grief and loss and humiliations galore.

Maybe I identified with Malvolia too much. I seem to be set up to be torn asunder myself of late, and no doubt I have brought it upon myself, just as much as Malvolia did.

Other theatre included Mr Burns at the Belvoir. The Simpsons as post-apocalyptic passion play. That’s pretty much it. Lots of Simpsons jokes, some comments on popular culture as the new religion. I was sitting in the front row and ended up bruised from a flying recliner chair. Still, Mitchell Butel, who is fast becoming a favourite (that hasn’t been snapped up by Hollywood yet) didn’t hold back in the last act, and nor could he or should he.

I was amused. The hardest thing was squirming in the first act when they tried to remember lines from Simpsons episodes, and not yelling them out. Oh, the strain to remain silent, it almost hurt.

I also went and saw Vivid. Well, a bit of it, anyway. We went round the Opera House and through the gardens. To be honest, I usually love Vivid, but I’ve found it to be a bit meh this year. Nothing has really caught my imagination, made me stand still and pay attention. Nothing was really wonderous, magical or pretty.

Sums up my life right now. I seem to be tired of pretty lights and pretty Pine. Tired of life? Far more than is healthy. Maybe it’s just winter. Not that it’s really winter any more. It’s just damp and dark.

But I’m not happy. And pretty Pine and purple flowers will not make me stop messing up, dropping the ball, or whatever I’m doing or not doing to make my life the cesspool it is. Save Steve, send me up on that plane. I’m sure as hell not doing anything useful right now (and no one would care).
mockturle06: (Lewis)

I was interested to read that Patty Jenkins was leaning on John Singer Sargent as one of the main visual influences of the film (again, completely ignoring the photographs of Australian Frank Hurley which the film apes so convincingly – has anyone told them that those photos were composites?).

Well, I don’t mind if she’s referenced Singer Sargent as well. He’s one of my favourite artists (I last saw a work of his in the touring Scottish National Gallery exhibition). 

I do remember that time I tried to find the Singer Sargents at the Met in New York, and was finally directed to the basement, and there they were, on a rack you had to pull out so you could only see half the painting in dim light. Okay, so I’d flown all the way from Sydney, I hadn’t even checked into my hotel yet, I hadn’t eaten or slept in over 24 hours, so I lost it. Completely lost it, demanding to know, out loud, what the fuck they thought they were doing keeping a highly revered American artist in the basement when I’d flown all that way to see him in situ, as it were, instead of paying $40 for the privilege of peeking over a scrum of desperate masses like I do at home.

These days I’d get shot for a meltown like that, but by the end of my rallying cry most folks were nodding and agreeing with me. I like to think it was my small part I played in bring Singer Sargent out of the basement and back on the walls.

Certainly I can’t think of a time, except maybe the mid-20th century, when Singer Sargent wasn’t a big deal here. Patty Jenkins will hate this (in her strident airbrushing out of Oz influences) but there was never a painter more influential, especially maybe Whistler, than Singer Sargent on his contemporary Australian artists.  I’m talking Rupert Bunny, Hugh Ramsay and E Phillips Fox, just off the top of my head, but you could probably count the entire Heidelberg camp, if you wanted to, and not be wrong. I’m totally on board with the Singer Sargent style. Probably because I see so many ‘in the style of’ works on the walls of local galleries. Like I said, a big deal. Here, at least.

Anyways, enough of that. Back to the mean streets of Edinburgh, or rather, the city where I live, and the city where I work. In both locales I was lucky enough to have tickets to a talk by Ian Rankin as part of the Sydney Writers’ Festival (some wag pointed out that it’s sometime misprinted as the Sydney Writer’s Festival, as in a writer, who lives in Sydney, who is feeling a bit festive).

So I went to see Mr Rankin, author of my beloved Rebus books, and they are beloved by me now. The tipping point happened when I was retrenched, and by some luck I’d bought a whole pile second-hand from an Amnesty stall at the fete only weeks earlier. So, alone, fucking miserable, terrified by hourly thunderstorms, I sat and worked my way through several Rebus books, and it kept me together, just. So Rebus, somewhat ridiculously, is where I go when I’m flat out miserable. Small surprise I’ve been keeping company with Rebus lately, a lot.

Maybe it reminds me of the Scottish books my grandmother used to send me via brown paper parcel when I was a child. Mythical Edinburgh is my safe place, my childhood space. Even Rebus’ Edinburgh.

The City Recital Hall was the locale for the first talk. It was ok, though crowded and snobby, and the cloakroom guy was a real fascist (after letting me breeze through on Wednesday) – it wasn’t for nothing the cloakroom line was longer than the book-signing line at the end of the evening.

Mr Rankin was very funny, but the ‘host’ kept cutting across him and interrupting anecdotes, which really started to annoy me, but there was nothing to be done. I did get to hear about the Belle and Sebastian story.

Maybe I was just tired, it had been a very long and frustrating day, and I’d had to run across town to get there.

Saturday and Mr Rankin was appearing in my very own hometown, which thrilled me no end as I’d been muttering to myself about having to miss the Rebus-fest in Scotland.

It was supposed to be a perfect day, but these things never are – my favourite restaurant let me down really badly – it was bloody awful. But I did get my usual glass of flat sticky wine at Riverside, and they had political cartoons on display on the walls for my pre-show entertainments and the seats I bought were top notch front and centre.

Of course I’d left my camera behind after the hullabaloo at the recital hall on Friday, never mind that it had been the first night of Vivid as well, so of course we were allowed to take photos this time. This is my life. At least I’d remembered to bring an armful of books to be signed, though, as I lamented on Twitter, I’ll not be able to read them on the bus anymore because they’re all signed now and they’ll get rooned if I try.

This, I felt, was a much better talk. More die-hard fans, better host, better questions. I enjoyed it very much, and it’s fun to hear about the influences and circumstances behind the stories and characters. He even teased there may be a Siobhan Clarke book one day – I hope so, as Shiv is a fave (even though she hates people calling her Shiv).

So, I met Ian Rankin, favourite living author (there’s only a handful now), and got my old battered books signed on my home turf. A moment of squee, there, then.

Obligatory Chris Pine reference: well, I did waste some precious time trawling around Tumblr. He was looking very dashing and being quite funny at the various premieres and promo interviews, more funny and dashing than he’s been in a while. So I was happy. The faux Victorian/Edwardian suit he wore at the LA premiere gave me the vapours, and I liked the pinstripe, too, though I still can’t see a pinstripe suit like that without going to the G Addams place (which isn’t a bad place as far as I’m concerned but probably not what he was shooting for). In any case, I wasn’t short of Pine pics for ogling over.

I was very lazy (or completely burnt out, take your pick) but Sunday did prove to be the premium washing day, if only for when the neighbourhood cat, who usually gives no fucks, decided he did not like the large shirts blowing and flapping and twisting towards him in the wind with their empty sleeves reaching for him. The unhappy kitty pretty much commando crawled all the way to the safety of under the house. I fell about giggling, so I’m in the doghouse again.

Of course, this means the new evil neighbours must be having a go at him when I’m not there (my yard is usually a sanctuary where all the neighbourhood cats and lizards and birds, etc. come to sun themselves - sometimes it looks like a battlefield with sleeping animals strewn across it) like I know they’ve been having a go at my parrots. Harumph. So yeah, sorry, cat.

That poor much put upon cat. I do not know why he keeps trying to be my cat. One, I’m a dog person. Two, I’m allergic. Three, I’m night blind so I keep tripping over him in the dark, and four, that time I accidentally locked him in the laundry and he’s damn lucky I forgot something that day (I’ve since learnt to check for cats that aren’t mine curled up on the washer before shutting the door). Took him several months to forgive me for that one, and I can’t blame him. Didn’t stop him curling up on the patio seat though, I just got the evil eye as I went past.

Anyway, that was the weekend. Not much pop productive wise, but I got my books signed. That made me happy.

My links: https://plus.google.com/u/0/113197665355692280218/posts

mockturle06: (Avengers)

Well, my ovaries have good and proper exploded. It was the full Edwardian drag what done it, which I have a decided thing for, and then, yikes, the floppy blonde hair. I was gone. Gone.

I blame it on far too much Merchant Ivory at a tender age. Yes I do (and as if it wasn’t bad enough, the Guardian decided to get all retrospective over Merchant Ivory and their floppy-haired Edwardian chaps).

But, you know, lawks. If I’m like this now with just the pre-publicity, what am I going to be like when I see the damn film. Well, the complete lack of ANZACs should keep me suitably thin-lipped and dry of eye and dry of seat. So far it looks like the only Australian referenced in the whole damn enterprise is Frank Hurley and his WWI photos.  Like really referenced, like rip-off, like they better hope they’re out of copyright.

But anyway, short story: too much drooling over the Pine and boom, my second period in two weeks, because one wasn’t enough? I thought going crone meant less, not more. I’m gonna be a hollowed out husk at the end of it.

So, aside from the full Edwardian (swoon), there were repeats of Beyond and a brief appearance in Angie Tribeca (père et fils, actually, and my second Pine Snr sighting that week – I really need to get out more).

But that wasn’t my only Chris, oh no. I cheated and saw Guardians of the Galaxy. One of those other Chrises.

Meant to go last week but I had the dreaded lurgy, but I crawled off to see it on the weekend, dosed to the gills on borrowed Codral (I haven’t had it in years, so I’m still coming down). So, maybe it’s the Codral talking, that is, critical faculties not at full strength, but I kinda loved it.

Okay, yes, another decided entry in the sad man-child with massive daddy issues genre (the bit where he played catch with his dad was cringe-inducing) but hey, if films are still being made by a generation with abandonment issues, at least it had something to say about love and friendship and bonds that are stronger than blood (especially as blood kin are always proving perilously duplicitous – see also Lucifer). I do wonder what films from the helicopter parent generation are going to be like. More stifling, less hanging the kids out to dry, I suspect.

I could be crueller, but having been ‘raised’ by biological units with less instincts than reptiles or rocks, or, as Victor Hugo so accurately put it, she was a mother only by accident of biology, I kind of get where they were coming from (alas my surrogate mum met the end I might have wished on others) re the absent and abusive parentals.

But it was funny, the soundtrack rocked, the aesthetics were on point (especially the end credits) and Baby Groot stole the movie (should the flesh and blood actors be worried)?

What I really loved was that the big space battles were not endless, mindless minutes of stuff being mashed, but happening hilariously off-screen, in the background, and/or in between bickering. You know, back to being a means to an end, part of the narrative, not an entire reel of mind-numbing first-person player, for which I care not. That was clever and funny, and, gosh darn it, fresh and funny. More, please.

Finally, a film that was more about characters than explosions. Well done. More like this please.

I’ve also had the good fortune, via an email and a $20 ticket, to see and hear Ian Rankin read from A Clockwork Orange, talk about his early influences, being very funny, and then, then I got my book signed. Squee!

If that wasn’t enough, I managed to go to the talk, get my book, line up, get my book signed, get my big work bag back, walk blocks to bus stop, get on a bus and get home only 40 minutes after Himself who left the city over three hours before me. No, no wormholes or time-travel, it’s just that after 7-8pm the roads finally clear and zoom!

I was actually very thrilled to the point of, my colleagues accused me of, blushing, as I’d intended to see a talk by Mr Rankin in the UK, but that fell through, of course, so to see him out here for the Writers’ Festival, well, wishes do come true (yep, wish for Ian Rankin granted, others, not so much, but the universe knows which would cheer me up most).

It was also a good, if brief night, because I ended up sitting next to this retired lady (never did ask her name, I’m shocking) both in the foyer and in the auditorium (and my seat bought on spec was bloody marvellous) and we were chatting and she asked me what I did and declared it ‘useful’. Ah, some much needed validation at last.

The other talks were interesting (I have whole new uses for ‘oscillating’) and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

So, there I was, drinking French wine, listening to great authors, while Himself was strap-hanging on a dangerously over-crowded bus for hours. Ooops. Needless to say, tea wasn’t that much further on from having a tin of beans lobbed at my head. Ah well, seeing Ian was the only good thing this week.

Badness was waking up to being violently unwell, during a violent thunderstorm, and reading Roger Moore had died. My Saint, my Maverick, my Persuader, my Bond. My hero. I’ve adored Roger Moore since I was a child. I snuck in the theatre to see Moonraker (I never sneak).

I was, quite simply, besotted with the man. And, to my great relief, he seemed so sweet and wickedly funny on Twitter (his quiet on Twitter had me worried, I wasn’t wrong to worry). To my further relief, most media reports have been tributes, relating fan love for the man, his good deeds and cheeky wit, and his fine turn as a knitwear model. Really, I couldn’t ask for anything else. Vale Roger, my beloved TV idol.

I’m so very, constantly on the verge of tears sad, but also still full of my love for that man. Last night they played Live and Let Die on telly. Roger Moore, immortal, forever dashing.

I think I was oddly happy, too, to discover so many I follow on social media were massive Persuaders fans (points awarded). I loved that showed. And I adored Maverick. But my favourite would have to be The Saint. I don’t know why, but that suave crime-fighting (later, in the silly 60s, giant monster ant fighting) international man of mystery really took my breath away.

Depending on what age I was at the time of viewing, it was either about the clothes and the cars, the grittier black and white episodes where he was more anti-hero with a conscience, more of a crook than a playboy with a heart of gold, or it was the wacky full colour mid-sixties episodes where the previous too cool Simon Templar became a cardigan wearing grump complaining about pop music and teenagers. And I still loved him. There’s a Saint episode for every occasion, if you want black and white noir and Soho nightclubs, go early. If you want giant ants roaming the Welsh hillsides or brainwashed teenagers, go late. I loved that show. I loved Roger.

The Persuaders, well that just seems just get camper with every viewing. I don’t know what they were thinking, but the series is thoroughly enjoyable. Seriously, some episodes feel like Roger and Tony have taken some time out from their holiday to stumble in front of a camera, but the results are joyous.

Maverick I came to late, only having seen the show when Fox Classics played it a few years back now, but I was hooked. Some of the greatest episodes ever committed to film are contained within Maverick, in my opinion. Sadly not many of them were Roger’s, but he had a few crackers, and I still want to know what he did to get a fire hose in the face in one episode because he breaks character and it’s so obviously unscripted but delightfully silly.

Bond, well, technically he was my Bond, but my Dad always preferred Connery (even if he was a lowlander), but Live and Let Die and the Man With The Golden Gun, total faves. I never did get that Saint film I wanted, but as far as I was concerned, the Bond films were near enough.

Oh man, it was such a joy to watch him last night. At least he’s not gone, gone. He’s still there, taking up shelves of my bookcases (dvds,  memorabilia). He’s there, on my playlists. Immortal. Beloved.

But it hurt. And he is gone. No more zingers on Twitter – damn, I’ll miss that. It made me love him so much more, as if that were possible.

Ah, why must you make me live in a world without heroes.

mockturle06: (lom tea)

Well, I’ve put my money where my mouth is, I’ve re-subscribed to a few non-Murdoch (never ever) papers in these troubling times. I’d only unsubbed during that pesky re-trenched bubble and subsequent massive pay-cut so I’d been surviving on Google, multiple devices and RSS feeds and that worked pretty well, but I figure it’s time to stop gaming the system and get serious and support a free press (who, ironically, demand my money).

Mind you, I could only subscribe to the two foreign journals that have actual offices here. Others don’t seem to get what the WWW stands for. They’re all ‘this is a local paper for local people’. Well, good luck with that.

Maybe those two august journals have offices here because they don’t insist on a local postcode and phone number in their subscription process, and, weirdly, seem to have a lot of Oz subscribers as a result, and somehow think its worthwhile building on that subscriber base. Funny, that.

Anyway, that’s me trying to do the right thing (and failing wildly, as always).

I’ve just found out there are several showers in the building. That would have been useful to know during the two months of heatwave hell, because, trust me, in 46C and 80% humidity I’ve got sweat rolling down my face from just brushing my hair. Icky sticky.

It’s been pretty awful, but it was the right decision on the worst day to go to Tropfest. Mainly because it was happening in my home town and not miles and miles away in those rarefied nice places, and I wanted to enjoy the novelty of a short commute, I wanted desperately to support the concept of cultural events out west, and Sam Neill was going to be there.

Sam Neill. My hero. In my home town. Unbelievable. But there he was (later teasing that we all thought we were going to die in the heat, but we came anyway). The heat was pretty dire, but when the sun set the breeze came up and the park is nice (for now) and it was way cooler sitting in the park sipping real lemonade than sweating on the couch in a stuffy, cheap, nasty, badly made worker’s hovel.

And the films were great, really great. Lots of dark humour, lots of sad, lots of funny, lots of weird. My favourites were the one with the jelly, the serial killer’s dog (that dog is a way better actor than most I’ve seen, I kid you not), and dearest Matt Day’s winning film that combined euthanasia with local property prices. Heh. I also liked Olga’s story. Alas I missed the first film, which was held to be really good, but it couldn’t be helped (it might have been close by but they sure didn’t put on any extra buses to facilitate the short commute).

Got home in under 20 minutes – unbelievable. Took me nearly three hours to get home from the old Hordern Pavillion.

Oh yes, I went off to see the B52s and Simple Minds. Not exactly the most complimentary bill, but I’m not complaining as I love both bands.

And yes, you’d think I’d have had enough of bright yellow beehives and hot pink kaftans of late (guess what I found on Netflix) but no. And I love the space songs. Space and sex, sex and space. They even played Planet Clare, which made me happy.

And then there were Jim and Charlie. Simple Minds. My boys. Foolishly, instead of sitting sedately up the back I’d run into an old pal and we’d run up the front like loons. So I was hanging off the rail, singing and dancing (to Jim’s bemusement). I loved it, loved, loved it, but I always do. They always do a great show, always play the faves (well, not all the faves, but it’ll do, certainly that visa troubling song was missing from the playlist).

Alas, because of the heat and the fact that they’d confiscated my water bottle upon entrance, I really felt oogy during the last encore (and it was New Gold Dream, dammit) and Jim saw me wilt and sassed me, making sleepy-time gestures. Well, okay, better he thinks I was up past my bedtime than trying very hard not to hurl, but, seriously. I finally get up the front at a Simple Minds gig and I get sassed by Jim. Oy.

It wasn’t quite just the heat, though. I had to buy two packs of Advil, three packs of Libra, two packs of Messina Gelato flavoured Tim Tams, a box of Twinings Irish Breakfast tea and a Chris Pine DVD. This may have been the most menstral shopping basket I’ve ever had in my life.

Well, at least I got it in there. It caught me by surprise, being a week early, so I couldn’t take time off, and I had to miss Suzi quarto at the Opera House (wail!) because it hurt more than being slammed by a 4WD, and it just wasn’t fun.

So I ended up spending Valentine’s Day, not rocking out at the Opera House, but like I always knew I would (and tried so hard to avoid): crouched over in bed weeping, drinking whiskey, with a fistful of Tim Tams and Chris Pine on the telly. Ah well, at least there was Chris and his dopey grin and bright blue eyes. Saved me from completely losing my mind (or what’s left of it, anyway).

And there was Tom Hardy reading bedtime stories on the BBC. Tom Hardy, national treasure and children’s TV presenter. How did this happen again? With Taboo on at the same time? Versatile boy.

Yes, we always knew I would end up like this. At home, alone, with the remote and a half eaten packet of Tim Tams. Sigh.

The cats knew it. Ever since my birthday they’ve been hanging around the door like ‘hello, we heard there was an elderly spinster in residence’. Fuck off.

Sooty was all over me like a rash yesterday, an actual rash as I’m mighty allergic (double fuck off). I wish he’d go back to just glaring at me suspiciously from the bushes or the top of the fence, but no, he thinks we’re best pals ever since I chucked him that pressed processed lump of alleged turkey alleged meat Himself left in the fridge for me while he was off for another week in Melbourne. Since the cat was starving and I’d decided I’d rather starve I just heaved it out the door, figuring that at least one of us could be happy. One of us was.

So now I have a bloody black cat for a familiar. That’s all I need. I already have a reputation, I don’t need to be seen in the front yard, broomstick in hand, black cat at my feet, bird on my shoulder.

I’ve lost the Captain, but I’ve got Mr Goldstein now, the cockatoo who comes around for morning tea when I’m home (which I have been, a lot, as work has been generous with the telecommuting while I’ve been recovering from my pedestrian antics).

Why Mr Goldstein? Because the other week, dozing with a fever, I dreamt I was being paged and that a Mr Goldstein was waiting for me at the desk. I work up and I was still being paged by Mr Goldstein, and he was waiting for me, on the back rail. So he answers to Mr Goldstein (frankly, he’ll answer to anything if there’s a biscuit involved) and he looks like a Mr Goldstein the way he nods and scowls, so Mr Goldstein he is.

Yes, I’m insane, you’re only just getting that now?

What else? Well, telly, obviously. Legion looks pretty damn interesting if nothing else (and I’m familiar with the source material and Mr Stevens so they kinda had me already) and I just love the funky Prisoner/Clockwork Orange/TC aesthetic they’ve got going on. It’s very trippy but I don’t mind, kind of a Life On Mars riff, which makes me nostalgic (these days when you watch Life on Mars you laugh at the primitive technology and Sam hasn’t even been hit by the car yet, ouch). So I’m going to stick with that until I get bored and pissed off (and even then they’ll probably keep me hanging around if they hook it into the MCU proper).

Yeah, part of that ‘life’s too short’ thing I’ve got going on now, no more crap films, no matter who’s in it, no more rubbish TV shows, no matter the critical buzz and never, ever any book reviewed in the paper. But yes, I astonish myself now with how ruthlessly I can hang up on shows I adored for one or two seasons, before they were re-tooled or re-cast beyond all recognition, before they went off the rails, or, in a few cases, offended me mightily with their sexism, racism, fascism or whatever extreme point of view the gamer-bots in the writers room think are cool this week.

Yeah, life’s way too short for that stuff, and, as there’s so much telly these days, one can simply jump to the next thing, even if it’s a show from a few years or decades ago, or a shiny new toy.

And besides, finally, after a lifetime of being told what to do, I’ve finally figured out what I actually like and don’t like. I know my tropes, which boxes I like to have tickled, and I’m reasonably okay these days at sniffing out stuff I like, bugger the rest of the universe, and I don’t care if I exist in a fandom bubble of one. It’s better that way (though I swear I can have fandom wars with myself, just you watch me).

Still reading Hornblower and oh, how I want to tip him over the rails, as he is the most awful character, but I persevere (I know, after the speech above, right), because I’m just using it to spark ideas (that I will never get around to writing down) and for fek’s sake can somebody please find someone for Bush to love. I’m begging you. It’s so dysfunctional it breaks my heart, every damn page.

But enough of that. I’m just living off scraps of Dan Stevens and Chris Pine right now. And Tim Tams. No good can ever come of this.

Stuff I found of interest: https://plus.google.com/u/0/113197665355692280218/posts
 

mockturle06: (Avengers)

Briefly, what I did do: hugged a giant glittery clitoris. What I didn’t do: anything constructive.

Ok, so, last Saturday. Didn’t see Nick Cave (I’ve been leaving ticket buying to the very last minute and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, I just never know if I’m going to wake up bedridden or not).

I did see Amanda Palmer (and Neil Gaiman).

But first, the wimmins march. What was it good for? For learning, in an empirical way, that I’m not the only person in this anonymous city who is concerned about recent events. What I hoped to achieve? Nothing except a good showing to demonstrate that we, the people, hold a strong and different opinion to the wizened old men in power.

Also, it was fun, if hot, and marchers have always, always been on the right side of history (look at the Chartist movement) – unless you’re that 1% we’re protesting about. And, you know, I’ve got a tradition to hold up. From Swing Rioters to mutineers to revolutionaries to ratbags, I come from a long line of front-line socially conscious folk. So, you know, these were my people. In pink hats. Deal with it.

After the march, as I was a touch unwell, I found my favourite old oak (?) tree in the gardens and collapsed under its spreading branches and read a Hornblower novel (I’d popped into Kinokuniya on the way and picked up some Hornblowers and Aubrey/Maturins, thus reaching a new level in naval gazing, ahem). I’d intended to write, but alas, was a touch too touched by the sun for that (and my alone time had been whittled down by a third).

Actually, it’s frankly annoying that I have had a lot of spare time, like yesterday, and I want to spend it scribbling, because I need to spend it scribbling, but I can’t, because after an hour or so the headaches are so bad my head feels like one of those magic cabinets with all the swords sticking out of it.

It drives me to tears and my muse is on fire and I can’t keep up and when I do find an hour I have to myself and I’m not cross-eyed in pain, I can’t remember all those wonderful scenes that played out in my head. Could have been my best ever, but will never be finished because I just can’t manage it.

Which is a damn shame because my grumpy, forever calling a spade a fucking shovel, muse is so funny, and he breaks my heart.

Anyway, Amanda Fucking Palmer. Live at the Opera House, with the usual staged managed chaos that can make such a huge space feel so intimate. The seats weren’t great but weren’t bad (we were practically on top of the piano, but that meant we spent half the time just looking at Amanda’s magnificent shoulders.

It was funny, it was sad, there was a lot about the march, Brendan was wonderful (and funny and sad), Neil came on and read a Leonard Cohen protest song, and then there was the Glitoris. It was, as stated, a giant glittery clitoris, and made such an impression it got a write up in the Guardian. After the show, folks, including me, lined up to meet Amanda and have their photo taken with the Glitoris. As you do.

So that was Saturday. Pretty much been wobbly afterwards (too much sun, too much big day), and I didn’t even do anything for Burns Night, and Oz Day is usually just Burns Night recovery day (since I’m not allowed to mention my ancestors) and I was going to go to the park to see what was going on (they promised music, balloons, vintage cars and cooked meats, which is usually enough to get me out the door), but, alas, no, I just slobbed it instead (too much hot weather, too much concussion, too much that time of the month).

I did finish my Hornblower book, though. It wasn’t bad. Hornblower’s a massive dick, though. Total and utter dick (the way he treats women and his besties, for a start). Heaven help any character based on him, she says, coughing into her hand. (Ioan, I’m thinking, was far too sweet a boy to be playing Hornblower). And, no, I’d never read them before, couldn’t find them, until now (thank you, Kinokuniya).

Obligatory Chris Pine mention? Well, they had Star Trek: Into Darkness on telly on Monday, which I watched, instead of going out (was somewhat invalided, anyways), and besides, it had all my boys in it, or, you know, Chris, Karl and Benedict being, well, Benedict. Or, as some wag referenced on tumblr, it featured god’s perfect idiot, a British villain, a moody teen, a gratuitous cameo, a CGI character, etc.

Not that it’s a cliché at all, she says, sarcastically. It’s a total mess of a film. It starts out being a spy film, they throw Khan in there for no reason and nothing makes sense after that, and those boys have so not earnt their KHAN! moment so they should really can the Khan, if you know what I mean (I’ve sooo jumped ship) and don’t even get me started on the white-washing or why all movie villains are British posh boys (actually, that does make sense, we loathe those 1% Hooray Henrys). But, boys, pretty. I’m so shallow.

So I pretty much missed the entire Sydney Festival this year. Couldn’t be helped (though it would have helped if Neil and Amanda and others would stop Instagramming their festival fun, I feel so stay-at-home frumpy). Alas, it’s not a tickets at the last minute kind of thing, and just rocking out once a week is killing me (but brave, brave me for trying despite being so old and wretched and wrecked, yes?).

I could say something about World/US politics, but where does one start? I do know that after a century of tremendous bluster in all their fillums and tv about how they were going to stand up for what’s right, blah, blah, blah, the only resistance to a tyrant they can actually muster is a teen mag and a park ranger. Shame on you.

News from the world: https://plus.google.com/u/0/113197665355692280218/posts

mockturle06: (Sherlock)

Real shame the markets at Hyde Park Barracks were rained out last night. I'd been looking forward to that all year, because last year was so unexpectedly fun and I'd run into some dear friends. This year it was sitting on a bench under a tree, mostly sheltered from the wall of rain, eating oysters and drinking gin. Oh yeah, that East Ender ancestry is showing its petticoats again.

So it was fun, but not super amazing fun, though the desperate store holders were all chatty and sweet, and I did come home loaded with pies, chutney and cordials. Now I'll have to cook a dinosaur-sized turkey as I seem to be anticipating an unhealthy amount of leftover sandwiches.

This year, thanks to be hit by that 4WD, I've successfully pleaded my case for not working over the break (I have a note) so I'm looking forward to leftovers, gin cocktails, and good books.

Which is why I've had to go buy a couple of new editions of old beloved books because they're so damn old (35+) that they're almost too fragile to open, let alone bouncing around on the commute or whatever. Ouch.

more: beloved old books and heroes of yore )
mockturle06: (Dean)
So many crazy deadlines, and only a few of them self inflicted, and I'm up to my eyeballs in disposal schedules (clearing out room and desk). Oh well, at least I'm not as bad as Diddums, who had his first month of working a five day week, like, ever, and forgot to make tea with teabags. Okay, yeah, I did the same the other week, but I hadn't slept in six weeks then (and I work F/T and go out lots). Had my first weekend home since mid Jan and I figure I got some stuff done. More to do, but I figure if I get anything done, I'm doing well.

It was my turn to do the shopping and cooking last night, and despite a broken shoe and several heavy textbooks in my bag, I reckon I did okay, and tea made me so happy I slept like a baby. I bet Diddums wasn't happy because it was so heavy on the dairy, but this is what happens when you make a mad hormonal woman do the shopping. I made fettuccine with smoked salmon, mascarpone and cracked pepper. So wrong and so right. I liked it.

There was fruit to follow, too, and more dairy, with a dollop of King Island yoghurt. Heh. Well, I slept the soundest sleep I've had in a year, so I was very happy.

Yeah, I know, I'm going to have to work it off, but all this packing of groceries/books/stuff across town and back again sans automobile should do it, and if it doesn't, what's the point of it? It's not like I don't go through several pairs of shoes a month. Either the Chinese are making really shoddy shoes these days, or we must admit that I do actually wear through quite a bit of rubber, despite appearances to the contrary.
more: American tv, American theater (sic) )
mockturle06: (mr flibble)
The big yellow rubby ducky has gone from Darling Harbour. Weep. I'm quite and surprisingly verklempt about it, the vanishing of a rather large and foolish yellow duck, but the sight of its big round yellow head every morning gave me a smile, especially this week, when I've had little to smile about.

Monday was a disaster from start to finish, especially when I realised, several hours into my morning commute, that I'd hadn't zipped the back of my dress all the way up. I've finally failed dressing myself in the morning. In my defence, it was cracking early and I was desperately unwell, but still, as I've learnt from bitter experience, there's no excuse.
more: ducks and demons )

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