mockturle06: (Sherlock)

I should have waited before posting yesterday, but I will post my rebuttal to myself here.

I’m still annoyed that I found Wonder Woman such a less than transformative cinema experience, as everyone else seems to be leaving the cinema reeling in a religious fervour.

Maybe I’ve seen too many WWI films? I saw my first at a very impressionable age, and after that, well, you know (The Trench, A Bear Named Winnie, Beneath Hill 60, War Horse, Anzacs, Birdsong, Gallipoli, Parade's End, Wings, Reilly, Ace of Spies, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, Deadline Gallipoli, Downton Abbey, 1915 – and that’s not even counting the shows that reference it, like Peaky Blinders, Boardwalk Empire and Doctor Who). I may be over-familiar with the genre. I may have seen it done better, more emotionally involving, bleaker, more pointlessly heroic and self-sacrificing, more heartbreaking, elsewhere.

But I still find the structure difficult, too hasty an edit for my taste – perhaps too used to the return to luxurious tv series that once again take the time to indulge in long tracking shots and leisurely getting from point to point. The jump cut from location to location, now she’s on a train, a boat, a horse, on foot – it made me think there should be Angie Tribeca style credits over the top of every scene change.

I mean, come on, it was a bit ridiculous. Assuming, from dear Steve’s intel, that Themyscira is within Fokker distance just off The Dardanelles, then there’s no way, even in a superhero film, that the journey from somewhere off the coast of Turkey to right up the Thames can be covered in the space of one night, by sail. I mean, come on. Please, if you’re doing a film with supernatural elements, you’ve got to keep it real to sell it. And keeping it real means no EasyJet in 1918 (and even then…).

I’m sorry, it annoys me and throws me out of the movie. Ditto Steve’s I don’t have bucks to buy my mates beer but I can afford to buy my new honey a wardrobe? Priorities, I guess.  And, also, the whole ‘I can’t move in these clothes’ bit? Fuck that. Go watch some film of real Edwardian ladies running across roads and leaping onto trams. They were pretty damn nimble (and I assume, like women through the ages, they compensated for corsets and learnt to do everything they had to do in them).

And Dr Maru? Never did learn what her deal was, aside from job description: mad scientist. And I will harp on about the scars = evil, because, man, back in the day, there was a lot of criticism about Goldeneye being so lazy as to depict Alec’s wickedness with some dribbled wax on Sean Bean’s lovely face as a means of obvious signalling, and there were whole essays on the ye olde trope of using deformity as an outward indicator of inner unwellness, and how this was problematic from a discriminatory point of view (not every ugly person enjoys murder), but also, just really lazy and old. And this, dear reader, was in 1996. So no pass there.

But, still. Maybe I’m just old and bitter. Maybe if I’d been allowed to keep my Wonder Woman dolly as a child I wouldn’t be so twisted up now. Maybe I just wanted more WWI, less cgi smackdown.

That said, Pine was mighty fine. He did everything that was asked of him; brave, funny, flirty, chivalrous, a little bit damaged, heroic, self-sacrificing. The perfect WWI bronze, come albeit briefly, to life (almost, to my eyes, as much as immortal as Diana, in his doomed hero way, but I think you have to have grown up with Anzac Day and associated art to get that interpretation).

Maybe I’ll go see it just one more time. Just to make absolutely sure I don’t like it.

I dunno, I’m just out of step with everyone. Unlike the rest of the universe, I really loved Chris in Beyond. His Existential Crisis Kirk, really spoke to me, but maybe that’s just me.

Maybe I’m just sad, in all senses of the word. Right now my own discovery is just how seriously everyone hates me. Not just thinking it, but actual proof, in word and deed.

Aside from the ice pick vicious emails and public humiliations at work, there was the bus stop thing. Now I always make a point of holding the bus if I see someone coming, and if the bus driver doesn’t seem like the compassionate type, I’ll stand against the door so it can’t close while I fish for the pass I’ve just misplaced (the bus can’t move with the door open, it’s a thing that’s annoying if the door gets jammed).

But when I’m running for the bus? It was the day after my very miserable day so I was five minutes late because I didn’t want to get out of bed, ever, but the bus was ten minutes early. They saw me, the people at the stop, their faces turned towards me as I ran up the side of the bus. Everyone saw me, but the driver shut the doors in my face and took off. Nobody cared enough to hold the bus for two more seconds.

Then there was being actually hit by a car, on purpose, while walking home from seeing Twelfth Night. I was walking down the lane, which is a dunny lane, a nightsoil truck access lane, because my suburb didn’t get sewerage until the late 70s, and these days it’s used for parking cars and a short-cut to the shops. It is not a proper road to scream down in a hoon-mobile.

Anyways, I was walking past some parked and parking cars when this car comes roaring down, and there’s no room, so he’s supposed to wait until I clear the cars because there’s nowhere for me to go (it’s a very narrow back alley). But no, he just runs forward, slams right into me with two very loud thumps and sends me spinning into the fence and speeds off, just taillights while I peel myself off the fence palings (I did report it to the police but they couldn’t care less, I don’t matter).

So now I’ve got a really bad shoulder from where he side-swiped me. And, weirdly, my concussion headache is back (maybe because now I’m sleeping on my bad side because both sides are now bad, maybe I ought to try sleeping hanging from the ceiling).

So, yeah, aside from being in pain ever since, it’s nice to know people hate me so much they want to run me down. And leave me stranded in the dark and the rain. And get me sacked. Yeah, everything is just peachy.

Never mind the house leaking buckets (not the old leaks, these were new leaks in new places, joy) and me not keeping up with the housework because I’m really not well. Being hit by a 4WD, twice, will do that to you (age might weary her, but 4WDs certainly will).

On the plus side, I did get home in time to see Fargo and Young Pope. (But aren’t they on really late? Yes, they are, but 14 hour days with no OT pay and meeting deadlines with most of the systems down doesn’t mean a jot as far as my failings go these days).

Those boys, my boys, still manage to surprise me, move me, delight me, worry me, intrigue me and entertain me with their gurning and cavorting on screen. At least I’m loyal (well, for me, anyway). Let’s not think how long I’ve been a fan of Ewan and Jude. It’s pleasing that they’re still turning in top notch performances, and, as seems hardly surprising, they’re on tv. I’ve always preferred Ewan’s tv work; his performance in Dennis Potter’s Lipstick on Your Collar remains a highlight.  

Yup, tv is where it’s at these days, and I don’t mind a bit. Give me character and characters. Give me lush locations. Give me backstory, motivation, goals and desires. Give me a journey. Give me people to know and care about, even if they’re dicks (aren’t we all?).

And for pity’s sake, give a world I can live in (because I don’t like this one very much).

Oh, don’t go on about resilience – that’s crap. Why should I have to be resilient about being run down or being bullied at work? That’s hardly my issue. Maybe, probably, I did something to deserve it, but sometimes people are just mean.

And mindfulness? That’s for nice folks with nice lives. Trust me, you don’t want to be in the moment in my bus, overcrowded, stuck in traffic, crawling home with a screaming baby somewhere and a guy digging snot out of his nose and wiping it on his jeans sitting next to you. You don’t want to be in the moment on a 35 hour flight in economy. You don’t want to be in the moment at the Birmingham bus interchange, in February, for four hours, because you missed your connection, the toilet is 75p and you can’t fit your bag through the turnstile. You don’t want to be in the moment listening to the neighbours hammer whatever they’re hammering this time. You don’t want to be in the moment, standing the rain, not sure if it’s rainwater or blood running down your arm, barely able to see headlights from the concussion, waiting over an hour for a bus to take you home after you’ve been hit by a car. You don’t want to be in the moment sitting in the dark and rain in the middle of winter, waiting for the last bus home, outside a hospital, cold and hungry and all lone. You don’t want to be in the moment when there’s nothing to eat but stale bread. Or the pain from endometriosis is in its tenth hour and you can’t stop throwing up. Or you’re being made an example of in front of everyone. Or you’re being beaten up (or worse). Or you’re waiting for food that will never come in a restaurant. Or being stuck down in a basement with nothing but files. Or scrubbing out the bathroom. Or ironing.

So yes. Give me good telly, or a good book (I’m reading a Rebus on the side, because I find it comforting and fun). Just give me a break.

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: (Chris)

‘The earth had been pulverised, blown and blasted out of all semblance of what it once was. Not a blade of grass, not a tree or bush showed the slightest sign of life. The area was a jumble of tremendous craters and shell-holes... piles of swollen bodies of horses and mules... a wrecked tank here and there... filthy, putrid lakes and mires...screaming, blasting shells were falling about us. We ran, we gasped our way through this hell.’Private Bert Bishop, 55th battalion

This week, aside from seeing photos of what I missed re that Jude Law play I couldn’t get to see, the lesson appears to be those that don’t know history are doomed to make American-made films about it and then make me watch them. Yikes.

First there’s this interview with Patty Jenkins this week, of all weeks, where she’s talking about the Wonder Woman film: ‘I thought the First World War was especially exciting. Most of our society doesn’t know anything about WWI, which was such an interesting war.’

Only if you’re a cloth-eared American, dear. Yesterday, thousands of people attended pre-dawn services at memorials across Australia, New Zealand and the world, honouring the fallen and injured in all wars, but especially the 102nd anniversary of the ill-fated Gallipoli landings.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports on the march in Sydney yesterday: ‘An estimated 100,000 people lined the heavily-barricaded streets from near Wynyard to Hyde Park to honour the 120,000 Australians and New Zealanders who have lost their lives in wars in the past 120 years.’

Americans might not know or care, but it’s a big deal here. The Australian War Memorial states that 'from a population of fewer than five million, 416,809 men enlisted, of which over 60,000 were killed and 156,000 wounded, gassed, or taken prisoner.'

In human terms, no-one in Australia was untouched by grief in the aftermath. In cultural terms, precious few Australians are entirely unaware of WWI.

The sadly late, forever great John Clarke summed it up in an episode of The Games, when asked by an insensitive type why Gallipoli was a thing, pointing out it was a massive military failure. ‘I know,’ says John Clarke, quietly but bluntly. ‘That’s why I have no great-uncles.’

And that sums it up. That’s why I was there yesterday morning, for the great-uncles and for all the other cousins and branches of the family that were struck from existence in Ypres and Passchendaele and all the other muddy pits of horror.

It’s never not moving or meaningful, these memorials. I choke up every time. Me. But it’s our thing, and why should I expect the Americans to know, care or understand? Or take it seriously or show any sensitivity?

Maybe if Americans, in general, paid just a little more attention to history (and other cultures) they might a) make better movies and b) stop electing Nazis (well, they did elect he-who-shall-not-be-named as their representative, so, you know, ceding of the high ground there, chaps).

Meanwhile, from the near weekly ‘what fresh fuckery is this’ Chris Pine files, I read that he’s going to be playing Robert the Bruce now.

What and the fuck now? Were there no Scottish actors available? And it’s for Netflix, so I’m sure it’ll be all perfectly fine (rolls eyes and imagines biscuit tin lid brought to life). I do hope that it turns out okay, as the Scots are such a gentle and forgiving race. I mean, you’ve seen Trainspotting 2, right?

I wonder where they’ll film it. Please not the ancestral lands, they’ve suffered enough.

Ah well, I guess I’ll just have to sit tight and bite down hard the way I do when Outlander diddles with my clansmen (and the ’45). How bad could it be? I’m sure such an important part of Scottish history and culture will be treated with sense and sensitivity (she says, thinking only of The Goodies).

Ack. Why can’t he be a nice boy and do a Broadway play and read bedtime stories like Chris Evans? But no. Why must I absolutely adore the train-wreck that is Chris Pine, and not someone sensible and caring like Chris Evans? It’s always the bad boys, isn’t it (let me tell you about my great-x-n grandmother who was transported for the love of a bad boy).

Not that young Christopher is a bad boy as such. He’s just gleefully erratic. One never knows what he’ll do next these days. Like play a Scottish king (what, he couldn’t be bothered with a run at Macbeth?). Ah well, it’ll be interesting, at least, to see what he does. Always that. Because I do adore him, the little dear. Bold choice, darling. Very bold.

Meanwhile Tom Hardy is entirely unsurprising in being surprising. Even if the story isn’t true, and I dearly hope it is true, no-one on the entire planet, not one, spoke up and said they wouldn’t believe a tale about Tom Hardy collaring a bike thief. It’s just the kind of hijinks Tom Hardy gets up to (when he’s not reading children’s bedtime stories). It’s the sort of crazy thing we expect from Tom Hardy. And we love him for it.

So the windmills of my mind were flaming wrecks like Catherine Wheel fireworks or a bit of Acme kit after I read all that yesterday evening when I finally got online. The laptop decided to start working again. It could probably smell other laptops on me, as I made no secret of looking for a new one. My grandfather used to lean an axe against a tree to ‘encourage’ it, and I do the same with my tech. It works more than it ought in a sensible, rule-abiding universe.

I was going to see Warhol today but it’s just been/being one of those days of feverish running about and getting nowhere fast. Love those kind of days. And I have been feverish. Only really decided to go to the dawn service (one has to commit to a walk) because I was up with a fever and a cockroach landed in my face (it was after my leftover chocolate).

Yes, a cockroach. It could smell my half-eaten freckled egg and it wanted. It’s Australia. As much as my new chum colleagues might recoil in horror, a large brown cockroach in the face is nothing, nothing, especially when one foolishly leaves the sugary goodies unsecured. At least it wasn’t a huntsman spider, is all I’m saying.

My pics: https://www.instagram.com/mockturtle06/

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

mockturle06: (Chris)

For a very brief window, due to a random rearrangement of desks, I am working with folks who can sing the Jetsons’ theme song, quote Are You Being Served and The HitchHiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, appreciate Tom Hiddleston and know the difference between Godzilla and a dinosaur.

Sweet. Do you have any idea what a joy and relief it is to have someone not only get your jokes, but sling it back? To get your pop culture references instead of thinking you’re just making weird random outbursts because you’re mentally ill (well, probably, but also quoting Hanna Barbera).

Or maybe it’s just the leftover crème eggs I bought (there’s still like four left, oh dear) when I’ve nothing else to eat. Gotta go clean and lay off the crème. Maybe the sugar high is making me silly. But I’m not solely responsible for the chocolate eggs disappearing. At first the cleaner was blamed, but I pointed out that, despite my overtures at friendly (I’m always working back late at festive times with leftover chocolate) the cleaner keeps behaving like I’m trying to poison her.

‘Well, that’s stupid’, dismisses my colleague. ‘Who’d clean up the mess?’

Man, I’m gonna miss it when we rotate again and the straights are back.

Maybe I’m just being silly because it’s been a hard month, you know, double family tragedy (on top of the anniversary of another), the house falling apart around my ears (though I got the new very silly curtains up and I like them and not seeing the neighbours is very soothing), not seeing Jude Law live on stage in London (I had a ticket) and dealing with yet another restructure and crazy deadlines, half-baked jobs and having high profile projects taken away from me. You know, stuff.

So, anyways, we were talking Hiddles because Night Manager is finally screening out here, and I’d gone and seen the big monkey fillum last week.

I don’t know, I have a childish thing for big monkey films that I’ve not quite grown out of, and besides, I remember the withering judgement that greeted my choice of seeing Godzilla vs King Kong on the big screen once in my yoof, but what film are they remaking now, huh? Not your black and white arty farty films, no sir. No, we’ve got Shakespearian actor, Eton educated young Hiddles running about slicing and dicing pterodactyls in a King Kong movie. Ah, this is where a fancy education will get ya. If he shows up being all broody and serious and I coulda so been 007 in G v K 2.0, my life will be complete, or, at the very least, I’ll be ticking off a very silly box I never thought would ever be ticked. Heh.

As for the film, the whole South east Asian War Film Heart of Darkness aesthetic was very, very silly, and it got a bit Land of the Lost there for a while, and I would have preferred rampaging Skeleton Men (Danger Island) to the noble natives thang (but I guess not) and I was horribly cheated on the promised big spiders and I have a better, wilder, far more dangerous jungle past the Hills Hoist (weeding eludes me) than the Capability Brown park-scapes they strolled through, but yeah, it was an ok popcorn film.

Anything it might have had to say on war, the environment, politics, or anything, really, was flimsy at best, and lost under the wash of the monster mash. I think maybe there was a version that might have said something, at some time, but not anymore. Clearly the test audience of man-babies wanted more monkey eating octopus, less ruminations on geopolitics or the follies of getting involved in land wars in Asia (<- Princess Bride reference).

As for my own jungle, yeah, well. It was perfect weather on the weekend and despite a cracking headache I made it as far as the back door, where I found an enormous (and deadly) red back spider jealously in possession of my left wellie. If I was looking for an excuse, and I was, that was as good as any. Besides, I worked myself into throwing up the weekend before, and the green bin was full. What I really need is a flame thrower, and Tom Hiddleston on standby, armed with sword.

I went out to an actual screening of Doctor Who. I wasn’t going to, but come the long weekend and the cable and internet went out, as it must, and they said it’d be out until late Sunday night at best so no telly and no streaming so screening it was. Of course, the cable and interwebs came back on by Saturday night but I’d already bought the tickets by then, and it wasn’t a bad day out, though hella crowded as everyone in Sydney had woken up with one thought in their head: go to Circular Quay. Yikes.

Had burgers, strolled, or rather scrambled, through the markets. Sampled the malbec at the Dendy. Shrug.

Just so you know, I’ve been sampling malbecs across Sydney, and the best is at Event cinemas in George St. No, really, and their rose is the best, too. Second is the Opera Bar (ditto with their rose). Next is Toni and Guy in Park St (yes, really). Then it’s the Dendy entry (somewhat stale and disappointing) and, at a distant fifth, the Bar at the End of the Wharf, Hickson Rd (but the view, oh the view). Riverside doesn’t even do malbec, and their reds are always sticky and warm and give me migraines. All in the name of art, you understand, my user testing.

So, Doctor Who. Shrug. It was a rehash of much I’ve seen before (but that’s what I get for being a lifelong fan). I didn’t mind it, but I didn’t emerge from the screening thrilled, moved or in any way affected by it. Sigh.

Didn’t even try the wine at the Belvoir. Went straight for a beer (oh dear, not that brand) to wash down the veggie roll (all they offer) as a pre-show snack (and my sole sustenance for the day) before I went to see the return of The Dog/The Cat.

I adored this the last time I saw it in the Downstairs. This was Upstairs and last time I thought the dog part was far, far funnier, but this time the cat part was funnier, if sillier (this is where the rapping cat from my tweet comes in). The crack about Battlestar Galactica still has me in stitches, though. Ditto the cat’s expression, me.

Xavier Samuel has really honed and owned his cat (last time the joke seemed to be more that he was in the cat suit, this time he lived it) but I still like his Ben in the first act, endlessly pulling tinnies out of nowhere (again, way funnier in the smaller space, because they really appeared out of nowhere).

Benedict Hardie’s roles seem to have been beefed up, or maybe that was my perception. He does arrogant city douche rather too well, but that was funny, too, in a brittle American humour look how awful and unaware he is kind of way

It’d actually be ideal for a small American stage, despite how Oz the dog act (ahem) is, because the second act, with the cat, is very American in its sensibilities and style.

Anyway, I still love it, it’s still laugh out loud cringe at the too familiar funny.

Surreal and still screamingly funny was the Popular Mechanicals over at the STC. Originally a Belvoir production (and it still had Belvoir stamped all over it), one could try and claim that it’s like Stoppard in that it shifts the focus to some minor Shakespeare players, in this case, the mechanicals from Midsummer, but, really, it’s a direct descendant of an Aunty Jack sketch, complete with blustery fart jokes.

There are many theatre jokes, as our amateur thespians scramble to replace their leading man at the last minute (Bottom being famously indisposed), including a boozy old ham who could stand in for any old theatre luvvie you care to think of.

But, really, for all the prefect comic timing, perfect costumes and large performances, the pièce de résistance was the rubber chicken Busby Berkeley sequence, which had me doubled over with laughter it was so absurd and so perfectly staged.

Go for the jokes, stay for the rubber chickens.

I loved that, I really loved it. And I needed silly and it was very silly. Seeing such Oz humour was rather bittersweet, too, as it was the day John Clarke died (yes, I know he was a Kiwi but has anyone been such a part of Australian life?).

Okay, so here comes the Pine update. Much like the crème eggs, I was trying to go clean. Much like the crème eggs, I failed.

It all started last week, when in the middle of doing eight, yes, eight, really super urgent high level jobs my pals in another time zone started beeping me about a Pine sighting in Angie Tribeca. I was thrilled to hear it, but it was a bit of a tangle tracking down Angie Tribeca (Stan has it) and juggling everything else (literally, dropping my phone several times as I was typing as well) and I think I accidentally posted about Pine on my Twitter feed instead of DM-ing my mates, but that’s life with me, all thumbs.

So I duly streamed the Angie Tribeca episode my caring and sharing friends had alerted me to. I’d never seen the show before, or heard of it, tucked away on Stan as it is (a local streaming service, but my fave, more Goulds Bookshop in choices, which is my aesthetic, than Netflix which is like Blockbuster way too much in library or lack thereof).

It’s an odd show, and exactly the sort of show I would have loved in my teens (in fact I pretty much wrote something like it verbatim in my teens, the same notebook that has the modern version of Holmes, oy, such a notebook, I was on fire, but dismissed, and other people get to make these shows instead). So maybe it was just the huh factor, or maybe I’d made myself grow up and try to like more sophisticated fare (as if, rubber chickens, big monkey), or maybe it was 1.30am in the morning, but it was a bit too hard edged silly, but it was only my first go, and Pine was doing whatever the hell he was doing, but you know, whatever, right? He said he had fun, and that’s the main thing.

Frankly, I was disappointed they killed off Timothy Omundson, because I adore him (forever high-scoring because of Galavant). But hey, at least I saw it, and ogled the Pine and only hours after the US screening, oh such times as these. Shortly afterwards it was red lights all round as a router up the road went out (so the recorded message said).

Other Pine included People Like Us, which he’s kind of adorable in (and I could watch on the digital bunny ears, being screened at midnight on a local channel – I was up and unwell) and I sort of worked through a repeat of Finest Hours (cable and internet back on by then, so I was catching up). I’ve seen that enough to know when to look up. He’s so sweet in that. Ah, I miss young puppy-ish Pine.

Also finally finished S1 of Preacher (also streaming on Stan). Forever disappointed I couldn’t get a ticket to see Dominic Cooper in Phèdre when I was in London, or the NT Live screening later (and grouching again over missing Jude Law live on stage), but never mind, he lurks in my DVD collection and now he’s playing Jesse Custer, of all the characters on my bookshelf, and doing a damn fine job of it. I think they caught the essential essence of Preacher, with its 90s dry, dark, gross-out humour, just perfectly fine (although much like Angie Tribeca, I’m not quite there anymore, but I did appreciate it).

To be honest, to see such a faithful adaptation of a beloved book is such a rare and beautiful thing, it was fun just to savour the authenticity and the sure touch of folks who knew what they were doing. It was Preacher. In this age of re-imagined reboots, that’s pretty darn fucking amazing.

And I don’t know why I found some stuff confronting, considering what I submit to in the theatre (fake vomit, rubber chickens, Xavier in that cat suit). I must be getting old, or something. Or maybe watching on my phone is an even more intimate space than front row at the Belvoir. Whatever. They did Preacher. They pulled it off. Yay.

Yes, I know this post is all about actors. Well, trying to see them in the theatre, or at cons, is my version of twitching, only with luvvies (which is why I fume when I have to stay back at work, like punishment, when a rare and elusive blue-eyed bird has alighted only two blocks away – arrrgh).

Meanwhile, I’m wearing a very loud dress today, mainly because I’m acting out (no Jude Law in London), possibly because I was watching stuff from the 60s last night (it screams ‘68, much like that outfit we saw in the markets that was wearing 1984 on its rolled up red vinyl sleeve).

At least I haven’t covered it in tea, so far, like yesterday: perfume allergies, aspirated tea, favourite top ruined. I had to run across to the shops and try and find something that was both cheap and close to my size (it’s all skinny little girls down this end of town, and that ain’t me). I found one jumper, and at first I didn’t like it, but because it was smaller than I usually wear it clung in all the right places, and it has these weird ridiculous 17thC Dutch collars, but I’ve kind of fallen in love with them, too.

Maybe that’s why I’m dressed like a fruit salad today, because I was all Puritan black and white collars yesterday. Puritan, me, ha! Now that’s just silly.

Items of note: https://plus.google.com/u/0/113197665355692280218/posts (warning: may contain Pine)


mockturle06: (Chris)

This morning I tripped and fell in the utter blackness right into the lavender bush. I always looked like I’ve been dragged through brambles backwards, but at least today I smell nice.

Sunday was spent, on the one day this month it didn’t rain for an 8 hour period, desperately processing loads and loads and loads of washing. I couldn’t get the bloodstains out of my Spandau Ballet t-shirt, which is sad, because I both own a Spandau Ballet t-shirt (but they’re great live) and I bled all over it, and stained it forever (well, I could probably try soaking it in a bucket but there wasn’t time). I bled because the other week I was having such a bad period and I was in so much pain I gave myself second-degree burns with my dangerous hot water bottle and never even noticed it on top of everything else, so my whole back has been a bloody pus-filled mess ever since. Yay. I’ve just about run out of black shirts to wear to work (not goth, just bleeding, which I suppose is pretty goth).

Anyways, when not washing I was watching the Chris Pine double feature on Foxtel. Because. It was Star Trek anyway, which is my happy place. I don’t know why because that film has plot holes that could suck down an entire galaxy, never mind a planet, but there it is. But it makes me happy watching the wee space twink (as he was), so I don’t care what you think.

The other was the regrettable This Means War starring noted children’s television entertainer, Tom Hardy. Well, he dropped another bedtime story this weekend, didn’t he, and some pics of him filming Peaky Blinders, and looking just stunning with his pal Cillian, and bless Peaky Blinders for their complete lack of pointless retooling, at least from the photos I saw.

I could have watched it all on DVD, but I’m too lazy, and it was there, like an excuse to view, right then, bugger doing anything more worthy or important.

Ah, don’t mock my DVDs. We have no decent broadband, so I have my DVDs. Our local streaming companies are very limited library-wise, so I have my DVDs. When they remove films I like, I have my DVDs. When they delete files from my library, even though I paid for them, I have my DVDs. Don’t mock the DVD.

Besides. I remain amused by my stack-o-Pine, that is rather like the pile of Fassbender I used to have circa 2005 when he was doing all those TV series I loved him in that he pretends he was never in these days. The spines of my DVDs show a rake’s progress of young Pine.

I worry about him these days. In the last six months I’ve seen like 27 different personalities, all with their own haircut and wardrobe, like that McAvoy film, and only one of which I’ve been able to link to a film role. I do hope the rest are related to our boy being suddenly all method and indulging in some performance, rehearsal, performance art project or whatever I don’t know about, because otherwise I worry.

The only other people I’ve ever known to try out a different personality every other week are all dead now. So I worry. And I hope it’s just performance. And because I can’t sit the boy down with a cup of tea and a Tim Tam and ask him if he’s ok, I hope his friends will. Because, seriously, none of the other actors I like are like this, even the terribly arty British ones. I mean, sure, they change for roles and the odd OTT fashion mag shoot (like Ewan shaving his hair for Fargo), but they snap back to their normal selves in-between times. I haven’t seen Pine look like himself since, well, since before Anton died (see the first Beyond press appearances, compared to everything that has come after). And that worries me.

So I hope it’s all performance, because otherwise, you won’t hear the crash, it’ll just be silence.

But hey, I’m just reading it totally wrong and being way, way oversensitive, because, you know, I lost a lot of people I loved, back in the day (because I was young, ignorant and careless). But I worry. Because it’s a different personality every other week. I do hope there’s a crap art performance reason for it. Somebody tell me he’s fine, he’s happy and it’s all just his art. I’m sure it is (and I’m just the one being melodramatic). It’ll all make perfect sense in the end. I’m sure of it. I hope for it.

Maybe I’m just tired. Last week broke me. The house is falling apart around my ears and a month of rain has not helped – huge puddles everywhere inside, running down the walls, dripping from the curling ceiling. Would that I’d been paid my 300+ hours of unpaid overtime, but it went unpaid, so no money for fixes. I have to fix the front door now because it got stuck and instead of leaving it like a normal person and exiting through the other door, Himself put his foot through it in a temper, so now I have to pay for a new door, too, somehow.

Good thing I’d already given up on seeing Jude Law on stage in London (I had a ticket). Besides, my Aunt’s just had a serious stroke so I wouldn’t be welcome as an added distraction anyway (I sent two care packages, and, oh man, they don’t make it easy for you to post stuff these days, that also broke me).

Oh, and work, aside from the joy of doing nine versions of an interactive accessible form and the client decided to stick with their 90s PDF instead, and that’s just one job that went nowhere last week, I have to reapply for my job and my boss hates me so we know in this round of musical chairs once again they’ll keep the pretty thin girls who do nothing all day and get rid of the tubby bad diet, bad sleeping 300+ hours of unpaid OT grumpy old cow, and does anyone ever think I might be grumpy because of the 300+ of unpaid OT and the impact it has on my sleep and mealtimes, working 6am to 11pm, with no breaks or meals, just to make ridiculous and arbitrary deadlines that the pretty girls won’t do and don’t have to, because they’re pretty? So there’s that.

Which is a pity because I really believe in the work that we’re trying to do. I really believe in trying to make information accessible (which is why the client clinging to their 90s PDF is so maddening). I mean, I watched The Green Death when I was a wee thing, and now I’m working in an environmental portfolio. But you know, with the politics these days, it’s not a good place to be. So there’s that, too.

The only bright spot in this bleakest of months (rain, nonstop), has been, of all things, a Disney Prince, in the form of Dan Stevens. If I wasn’t enjoying Legion so much (I adore the Prisoner/Avengers/Jason King/UFO aesthetic), it’d just be Beauty and the Beast, which was fine. I’d not seen the cartoon, but any opportunity to see my Brit boys get their screaming panto on.

And when I saw it at the State, that frou-frou of a palace, at the non-premier, with the bubbly and the dancers dressed as candelabra and being given a rose and a goody bag, and having the crowd so into it they all whooped and cheered and sang along and it was really great, seeing that way. I really loved them for roaring with approval when Le Fou got his man at the end. That was nice (and why all the controversy, has Beauty and the Beast ever not had a queer reading?). And Dan was still Dan under the CGI, and Ewan gave me my money’s worth, so it wasn’t a waste of time. And it made me forget my troubles while the screen flickered, and that’s all I can ask of these magical creatures we call actors.

I did manage to get through Saturday, which involved another Aunt (it’s all a bit Wooster, as if things weren’t topsy turvy enough) and her big birthday party with the rellos I never ever see (because they think I’m gay) and it was in a religious retirement home and they’re all hard-core god-botherers and they drink Coopers beer without shame (both are pro-religion, anti-equality) and yet they were all off to see Beauty and the Beast (written by gays, performed by gays).

Sucking up that amount of hypocrisy does bad things to my liver, I can tell you. Or maybe it was the prawns. Or the cheese. Whatever, it was more of something to be endured than enjoyed. There was a mighty fine bottle of Di Bortoli Yarra valley merlot that I demolished, so I’m pretty sure I’m free from invites for the next decade. Mission accomplished.

Haven’t been to the theatre much, but I saw a rather disappointing screening of the RSC’s The Tempest. I was so looking forward to my favourite Simon Russell Beale as Prospero, but he seemed to just phone it in that day. Maybe it was the cameras, or the real-time digital effects, or it was a wet weekend and I wasn’t feeling fab. Either way, shrug.

Much better, and far more effecting, was the screening of the Donmar’s production of George Bernard Shaw’s Saint Joan, with a revelatory Gemma Arterton in the lead (I never knew she could do that).

I care nothing for religion, and this play had a fair bit to say on the matter, as you might imagine, but the gender issues, the whole woman versus the established patriarchy, the power games between the rich, the entitled, the powerful and those who set themselves up as gate-keepers (and how these things are often opposing forces rather than interchangeable titles), well, that was all entirely relevant and current and electric (and they didn’t even need the conceit of the fake Newsnight broadcasts to hammer than one home).

Had I seen it last year, before all the shit hit the fan, it would have merely been good. Now, with all that is going on in the world – and how fucking depressing that a play about medieval persecution is so now – it was one wild ride. I hope you saw it. Weeks later, I’m still thinking about, often. It got under my skin, because it was so on point, and so visceral. That’s proper theatre: timely, thought-provoking, commenting on the real world and gut-wrenching. Even just watching the screening, the punches landed.

The only other thing that have given me joy recently is Preacher. It is taking me forever and a day to get through this (limited bandwidth plus a month of wet weekends, and every man and his dog hogging my .0004kps connection, does not make for streaming fun).

My main lark is that, however many liberties they may take with the source material, for better or worse (and I really dug the comic in my misspent yoof), Cassidy is still Cassidy. I always knew Cassidy was the sort of character who wouldn’t stand for any actor trying to bring his interpretation to the screen. No, Cassidy is having none of that shite. He is what he is and that’s an end to it

From the photos Dominic posts from set, Joe Gilgun seems to be either the most method actor ever (take note, Pine) or they simply managed to employ an actor who is Cassidy, 24/7. It amuses me greatly. Because I have long adored Cassidy. He’s scruffy, a vampire and, well, Irish, and I always think it’s the being Irish that gets him in trouble far more than being a vampire, which amuses me further still.

So I’m loving that, what I’ve seen of it (though it gave me a moment of difficulty to press pause mid flailing entrails and answer a call from a prospective employer, because I was watching it on my phone at the time, because at least I can use 3G to fill in the wifi lags, at great expense).

Hey, the mashed spud brain still knows all the lyrics to The Models I Hear Motion. They were playing it in Coles while I shopped in the wee hours.

I’m impressed, because there’s precious little I remember these days. A few flashes of Yeti and Cybermen from Doctor Who. Admiring my stack of Fassbender DVDs like Smaug and his pile of gold. Posting on a Life on Mars board once. Watching a dumb film while flying across the orange part of Oz. Don’t remember a second of the holiday I was coming back from, but I remember that. What film? Please don’t ask. Who was in it? Who do you think?

So, buried somewhere my Models discography is still intact. Yay?

Mind you, last week Coles were playing Bucks Fizz. I figured if I throttled any deserving arseholes that day I could cite mitigating circumstances, having been unduly provoked. Because Bucks Fizz.

And finally, the word of today is: amplexus (when two frogs like each other very much…)

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

mockturle06: (Dean sad)

The other day there was a lot about Kurt Cobain’s non-birthday. It was more about me feeling old and tired, than any distress amongst his surviving nearest and dearest.

And at least the man had the dark good fortune to leave his legacy intact. Age shall not weary him, enfeeble him or cause him to make embarrassing tweets or indulge in humiliating comebacks, reality shows, reunion tours or misguided acoustic solo albums of spoken-word poetry. None of that. Just the pure vision of a doomed Romance-age poet. Beautiful.

Yes, I’m being dreadful, but which has more value? Unblemished art or, say, the sad, staggering degeneration of a David Cassidy? (Who was never in same league, but for comparison). I mean, which would you rather, blowing your own face off or appearing in I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. There are indeed, it seems, many fates far worse than death.

And if you think I don’t know real pain, hey, my Dad killed himself and the worst and most difficult project I’m working on right now is pretty much the digital equivalent of what happened to all his actual papers: burying them in landfill. So no comments about taking dead dads lightly. No, it’s my own pain that makes me such a bitch about it.

So yeah, getting old sucks, and at least when you’re dead you don’t know what happens to the shit you leave behind.

Oh yes, cheery mood. I thought going to the school reunion would throw some light on the skittering cockroaches of my mind, but instead it’s sent me spiralling down the rabbit hole of existential bleakness.

But first, Trainspotting 2. Oh yeah, it’s all about getting old and still being as much a loser as you ever were. If there’s a theme this year, it’s constantly being reminded that all my dreams will never happen now. Like that Marianne Faithfull song, I know now that I’ll never ride through Paris in a sports car with the warm wind in my hair, etc., etc.

Which is pretty much T2 in a nutshell. One could blame poverty and society (or lack thereof), being perpetual outsiders, but, pretty much, they’re a bunch of nothing losers making the same mistakes they always make and everything changes and nothing changes and nobody ever wins. Or something like that.

But damn, it was funny, and stylish, if gritty Scottish squalor could ever be called stylish (and funny how they’re knocking all those slum towers down when they’re just starting to throw them up where I live, developers, eh?). And if Ewan was worried he couldn’t ‘be’ Renton again, let me reassure him, he was Renton again, completely and utterly. It was brilliant.

And as for Robert Carlyle as Begbie – hee (I was hoping to have some distance between watching the delirious return of that mad bastard Begbie and Once Upon A Time, but no, EvilChannelSeven decided to whack on several episodes I hadn’t seen all at once on Sunday and I only caught them because I was hungover and looking for no more energetic activity that lying glassy-eyed in front of the goggle box).

So I liked that, I really did. And I saw it for free, because I won tickets, so that was a small spark of light in my otherwise bleak and run-down existence.

So I thought it was cute to watch a film about old friends who were really anything but, sadly trying to re-run/reboot/relive their youth and failing most terribly, and then go off to the school reunion. Uh huh. I just sat in the corner while everyone caught up on their many husbands (quite the partner exchange going on there, I should write a HBO show) and kids and dogs. But hey, at least a lot of them have quite interesting careers, which is something considering we were never expected to amount to much (working class government school, see comments re grit and squalor, above). But hey, to those princesses I have to work with, if you think I’m too loud and a bit rough around the edges, meet my classmates. I’m the quiet one, dammit.

At the time I didn’t think it was too bad, and one dear chum I’d known since kindy introduced me to expresso martinis  - and I still don’t know whether to thank her or smack her because I think I’m still suffering the hangover. Oy.

It was just afterwards, I was all rippled like a pool into which many stones had been chucked, and one of the former bullies I’d hoped to face and put behind me pursued me on Facebook all Sunday until I deleted the app. Again.

She was all ‘you didn’t talk to me, didn’t you remember me?’

What I thought was, to paraphrase Willow from BTVS, she made my life a living hell for four years and I hated her with a fiery passion. What I actually mumbled in reply was the usual lie about old age shredding my memory (less of a lie these days but it’s more serious head injury than age).

Come Monday and I’m being picked on from all quarters, and I’ve just about had enough. Stayed home on Tuesday to deal with a whole pile of issues that had been dumped on me, but it was mainly so I could curl up and cry. I didn’t, but I wanted to.

At least there was Chris Pine on the telly this week. My drug of choice (and less painful than an expresso martini, though it did, at the time, make watching Star Trek, yes, again, almost as transportive as watching it high on hospital grade anaesthetic, which sums up my 2016, pretty much). The dear boy. Chris, if you’re ever looking for a reason to get up and go to work on a wet Wednesday, keeping me out of the knife drawer should do in a pinch. My little slice of California sunshine.

Though last night I wallowed in Penny Dreadful repeats, because sad and gothic and doomed and oh, I’m probably going to start reading those thick Victorian novels again. And bad me, watching that second to last scene at the graveside all wrong. No, I must not, never mind that Timothy Dalton was being his most Bryonic since playing Heathcliffe or Rochester, both of which I saw as a schoolgirl in pigtails, so you can’t imagine how much it moved me, or set the standard. And Josh Harnett, whom I loathed as the most typical of cheesy Yank actors, was giving it his very best Bryonic, too, and almost nailing it, and so, love.

Then of course Rory walked in and stole the show, but that’s what he does (and why I always think the ‘film’ he was in was way better than Spectre, because the B Team/Scooby Gang looked like they were in a way more interesting film that was happening off-screen, let’s be honest here).

But no, must not, no new fandoms, must not dump current fic the way I dumped my MUNCLE one like a red hot stone (but it was basically such an, er, um, homage, and why, I’ll never know, to This Means War that the subsequent Chris Pine flail that caught me entirely off guard really should have been no surprise at all as it seems my subconscious was leaning that way long before my eyeballs caught up, and it was more the, er, um, optional ending on the DVD anyway, plot-what-plot-wise. Ahem, and I’d love to ask Chris if he was playing it that way through the rest of the flick, because, well, gosh).

Pity, because I did have fun scribbling most of the first MUNCLE one, which also owed a lot to The Champions and The Thunderbirds, damn my magpie brain. The second wallowed in Le Carre inspired ennui until I happily gave it up for a new/old toy.

Besides, I like my current fic, even if there are more daddy issues than Hamlet and Oedipus combined. Poor wee abandoned pup (read a great article on daddy issues in Hollywood).

There’s an awful lot of T2 riffs there, too, which my subconscious did pick up on a good 48 hours before the rest of me did, before I’d even seen the damn film (sometimes I think subby should drive the car, it seems to know the truth way before I do, but then it has, as they said in that episode of Doctor Who, all it needs to see clearly, it is both clever and unloved).

Mind you, I have thrown in a lot of Frankenstein, Dracula and Heart of Darkness riffs, that I can see myself stumbling towards Penny Dreadful, even now (my always abandoned fics are always like this, morphing into the next obsession before I’ve even got there).

Which isn’t to say I abandon the fics because I lose interest. No. Yesterday I wanted desperately to write, but was at the beck and call of others from 4am to 11pm, so no, no writing. Sunday, I did try, but ended up with, no, not the dull ache of a hangover, that I can cope with, just, but the red hot needles of my old concussion headache, and I’ll never know why an hour or so of scribbling in a notebook sends me wild with pain, but it does. It’s not helping or making me happy, I can tell you that.

I have over 300 pages of plotiness sloshing about in my battered old noggin, and I’ll never get it all down, especially the dialogue which goes from 40s film snappy in my head, which is ideal, to 90s tv soupy, which is bad, when I finally, finally get a chance to touch pen to paper, which is very, very rare. (What I need is a non-judgemental secretary who will work all hours for free – yeah, right).

So I get upset and frustrated, especially as my muse is really funny, and he needs to keep that snap that he has in my head while I’m travelling home, all bitter and twisted, on the bus (no, I can’t write on the bus, I’m usually strap-hanging and the roads so bad and the drivers so crazy if I do have a seat I’m hanging on with white knuckles because I usually don’t get a seat until near the end of the line, and it’s a race to go off shift for Mr Bus Driver, passengers, traffic and the laws of physics be damned). 

So the one last hobby I’ve tried to keep, all others sacrificed to the great god of duty and doing endless shit for other people, all the time, is barely registering a pulse these days.

My next book to read will probably be re-reading the Princess Bride (though it’s been so long it’ll be as new), if I ever finish the dreary Hornblower, if for no other reason than certain characters in my never-to-be-finished fic riffing on ‘as you wish’, which is cute. Derivative, but cute. No, I can’t change it, they do what they like and I’m not allowed to interfere at all or they’ll slam the door on me and I’ll be banned from my own little imaginary world. Yes, even the imaginary characters in my head make me their bitch, such is my miserable existence.

But enough about that. Watching tv while lonely and sad (and sometimes tipsy) always leads down to the path of ruination, wasted lives and truly awful fic.

One outlier to this saga of death and decay was also seeing Hidden Figures. It’s being sold as a chick flick here, which is odd, as it’s all about maths and spaceships, usually such a male prerogative, but I suppose that’s the point. A chick flick about maths, whoda thunk it. Why, they even had a few conversations that didn’t revolve around men – gasp.

So it wasn’t quite as mawkish as I’d feared for an American can-do film, and it was such an Obama-era film that I wanted to cry, but it was pretty damn formulaic in structure, but for a film about maths chicks, I’ll take it. And it would have been a touch more suspenseful if I’d not been familiar with the mission, but I’ll allow that too (it was a bit like watching Macbeth and thinking maybe this time it won’t play out the same way). So it was pretty much by the numbers (heh) but performed with such verve, I couldn’t help but like it.

The one thing that really struck home was the long dashes to the loo. I once worked in a Victorian building that had fancy loos for the chaps, but the ladies had to use a near heritage-aged demountable set up in the loading dock/courtyard, because women neither worked nor peed when that building went up. So I’m used to lengthy dunny runs in all weathers. And this was in 2007.

So that rang true. Alas, no forward thinking Costner-like manager came around and co-opted one of the gentlemen’s lavatories for us girl-types, so it was always coming back soaked if one had dashed off sans brolly. The life of a working girl in a man’s world, eh? (Don’t even talk to me about potty parity).

And I do feel for their challenges. I’ve been called a monkey with a university degree, to my face, just for being poor and the undeserving recipient of an over-generous state education.

I do wish I didn’t look like my maternal grandmothers (especially now), and much more like my Viking paternal ancestors, so I could properly look the part when I’ve a mind to rip someone’s head off, because they’re well past deserving it. All my cousins are proper little Vikings, all blond and ginger terrors.

I do wish I didn’t look like I do. I wish my Dad had bought the house in Bondi, so no one would ever sneer at my postcode origins. I wish I was normal and could talk to people.

I don’t particularly wish I had my school chums lives. It seems all about partner-swapping, sex, pay checks and vet bills. I know I live too much in my own head for that (mainly because I was trained to do so from a lifetime of bullying).

And I know, despite being cut of plain cloth, I set my standards way too high (yet quite rightly decided I’d rather die a spinster than live with a gamer, but you all know what they’re like now, right?) and I know I want the moon and the stars, and a dream man not afraid of red velvet dinner jackets – heh.

Ah well, and I really should tell Katy Manning this, Green Death was, and remains, a favourite story of mine from childhood, and, in a way, I am still fighting that fight for the environment. It’s pretty much the only reason I stay put with the long hours and lousy pay. The good fight. There is a purpose (even if the politics and pettiness are maddening).

I just wish I had time for a wee bit of fic. But come 11 pm and I’m too knackered. And yes, watching telly on Sunday arvo was a waste of time, but that was only after the headache from hell and being hounded by an old nightmare on social media. Maybe I should stop fussing about the right time, and write at the wrong time. Maybe I should get a better cheap PC and try out some speech recognition software. I could mutter to myself like Auntie Rotter, wouldn’t that be…just too weird.

So that’s my so-called life at the moment: no riding through Paris, in a sports car, with the warm wind in my hair. These days I’m lucky if I can just manage to catch a ramshackle old bus.

Stuff I found on the interwebs: https://plus.google.com/u/0/113197665355692280218

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)

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: (Dean)
So I did see Hell or High Water last night (always a close run thing given my unexpected deadlines in this 24-hour news cycle life we lead now).

Oh boy, golly and gosh (and please don't show CWP my original tweet, I was having a fit of the vapours).

So yes, I should have said Hell or High Water was a jagged pic of the souring of the American dream and not just CP being gorgeous. Chris Pine was gorgeous though. How did no one notice those blue eyes? Should have put an APB out on those eyes. Bank robber with the bluest of blue eyes, ever.

It was a perfectly judged and understated, very quiet performance, and I loved him dearly for it. I have faith in him as an actor again, a damn fine actor.

Because I wasn't sure, knowing he went from this straight to Trek, if it was because the role, as written, required Kirk to looked tired and as if he was just phoning it in, or if Chris was just tired and phoning it in. Maybe both, I dunno. Not that I mind angsty, miserable Kirk (it makes for much angsty teenaged fic, all There Is a Light That Never Goes Out), but still.

But I loved Hell or High Water. It is one of those classic old noirish westerns where you want the bank robbers to win because the world ain't fair or right. And a Nick Cave soundtrack. Bonus. Proper.

And man, I am missing Justified so bad right now. I would not have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, but I think Chris actually out-did Timothy Olyphant's Raylan Givens for sleek, bruised cool, and that is saying something, because, man, does Raylan make me go weak at the knees, still, so you can imagine what that last scene did for me. (Still, it'd make me the second person in my family tree to spontaneously combust, not the first). I like my boy being all intense and more than a bit bad and dangerous.

Not that I don't love him being all gosh darn sweet and heroic - how many times have I watched The Finest Hour now? Love the accent. Pretty spot on with accents (except British, ouch).

So, yes, great film about the current American dystopia. How the west was lost? And how dumb is the SMH saying we should look to US re housing when I've just seen a film about brothers robbing banks to save the farm. Seriously. No one should be looking to America as anything but a horrible warning, not a shining example.

Speaking of hard times, ran into my favourite Big Issue seller on way to Quay (I walked across town, yay me). He's doing it tough too since they sacked three whole towers of government workers (including me) over the last couple of years (they switched out the lights just the other month).

It's not just the government employees who lost their jobs. The coffee shop, sandwich shops and newsagent are gone, too.

I told him the survivors are down the skanky end of town. There's only a few here from my old offices that made it, so I didn't do too bad, coming through some extreme elimination rounds. Of course it's only because I'm easily pushed into working long days for no pay, but still, I get paid for half the time I work, which is better than none.

And it's good to have a few old mates here - startled a co-worker down at the coffee shop when I was hugged from behind. Oh, that was just the Head of X I explained, to her further astonishment. I knew Y when we were girls together in Dept Z (and bless her, she still treats me like we're still girls together on that old floor). That's nice.

But, yes, basically, saw Hell and High Water, it was amazingly good and Chris Pine was totally rocking that porn 'tache (which means he can't play a Qantas pilot anytime soon). That was some mighty fine Pine.
mockturle06: (mr flibble)
Angry possums can move really fast. I had the territorial Ms Possum growling and hissing at me through the crawl space in the bathroom, and I told her to rack off. Later, still pitch black, I went out to fill the seed tray for the forever annoyed at me parrots when a very large and growling possum raced across the yard, up the macadamia tree, shaking it like a thing possed, leaping from that to the shed to the house to lean over the gutter and snarl at me, before flicking her furry tail and scuttling off over the laundry.

So, nobody's ever been killed by a possum, right? She really does not like me, especially this week. Been home with the wotsits for a couple of days, real bad, and she's been snarling at me through the bookcase, even when I didn't have the tv on. Does not like me at all (adores Himself though, the coquette).
warning: contains dairy products and traces of nuts )
mockturle06: (Avengers)
Before I get dragged down by today, I have to tell you about last night. Rotten day, but, oh, the night. Ended up at The Spiegeltent in Hyde Park (our one, not their one) to see the one and only Amanda Palmer, who only just made it, having been snowed in oop north. For a girl who just got off the plane she was rather glam and very nice. She even came out to sign the merch, barefoot and in a yellow silk dressing gown. Gotta love her.

It was grand, too. Himself even broke out the red velvet jacket (how very Pertwee of him), the one that stopped traffic in London, but which I'd not yet seen, and the red embroidered waistcoat (whereas I was making do with my M&S dress, the one I loved but was put down so thoroughly at that other place, being told that if she wore it, the little miss, it'd be much too much and attention grabbing with her good figure and posh shoes and perfect hair, but scruffy old dowdy me dressed it down so much it was barely noticeable and very ordinary. Thanks for that).

So, red velvet, circus tent (eventually, and fie and fie on that ridiculous old woman who let an entire bus load of people in front of us in the queue, who'd never even heard of AP and would be better off sticking to box seats at the opera, harumph, but at least I could bitch and moan and talk Sherlock and Who and Hobbit with the girls I was squashed into behind me) and Amanda Palmer. On stage. At last. (well, it seems an age though it really isn't).

In she walked, just in yellow silk, ukulele in hand, to knock us back in our seats for a (mostly) one woman show with just a keyboard and the ukulele. What a set! What a performance! Sad songs to break the heart, silly songs to smile over, lots of Australian songs from her Australian set (she does seem to love it here). Himself hurf derfing over the Vegemite song, me nearly breaking down during the really downer song.

It was just a magical moment. Back in time for tea and Jack Whitehall on the telly. Ok, that was the best birthday treat ever.
more: magic, rubber ducks, dwarves and dragons )
mockturle06: (Dean)
Well, it wasn't a disaster in the rational scheme of things, but it did feel like a rolling comedy of unfunny errors. Having to change the dates was my fault. Everything that happened after? Well, that was probably my fault, too.

Decided to go down to Melbs to see the world's most miserable and depressing Monet show. Seriously. It was just (as always, never the good stuff) the last works of the last years, when he was mostly blind and distressed over WWI. I've always wondered why the five hundred (or seems like) paintings of his pond, and now I know. World War One was raging outside, pretty much on his doorstep, and instead of engaging I guess he retreated, which is a valid response, imho. Especially when you're old and tired. I can see it now. It's all too horrible to deal with, lookit, waterlilies, so tranquil, so constant. I get it, but it's effing sad.

Then it all gets smeary and ugly as he seems to just melt and bleed all over the canvasses. Pretty awful, I thought, watching the man disintergrate before my eyes, canvas by canvas. Like I said, a wretched exhibition.

Much better was the accompanying Australians In Paris exhibition, because all Australian artists between about 1880 and WWI had to go to Paris. And so they did. So here are the usual suspects (Condor, Preston, Ramsay, Fox, etc) painting in France instead of what are now outer suburbs of Melbourne (then, rolling hills of semi-rural wilderness). I liked. Because it was my usual crew of favourites, and whle I prefer their Oz paintings (because the light is right, I can never get over the dimmer ASA 100 light in Europe, even though I know it's true) I didn't mind the odd peasant, the obligatory haystacks, and those wonderful, wonderful flower gardens and Chinese lanterned parties. Why do Parisian parks always look so good on canvas, and are so drab in reality?

So, that was fun, and surprisingly well attended. Put on some Aussies and no one will go (cultural cringe), but mention Paris, and you'll scoop up a few punters. It's a shame they're not more highly esteemed or well known (I was the only one who didn't need to read the bios, and I got some odd looks cause I didn't) in their home country (as opposed to country of origin, the question of what qualifies an artist as 'Australian' is vexed, but as an art historian put it bluntly 'if they've pissed here, they're Australian', which is the test I use for the British Actors list, if you're interested) because those Aussies, they were mixing with Monet, Van Gough, Toulouse-Lautrec, etc. Right in it, in other words. As you'd expect from an Australian abroad - grin.

The other exhibition I saw was the Hollywood Costume one at ACMI, a cut down version of the V&A exhibition. I assume it was cut down as it only went for one room, and I remember reading quite a few key pieces did not travel. I think it was my abiding fed up-ness, and the crowds, because even though I saw Audrey's black dress from Breakfast at Tiffanys, Marilyn's infamous rayon-y thing, Tippi's green dress from The Birds, Kim Novak's green dress from Vertigo, I was all very meh, especially as it was mostly Depp, Di Niro and Streep, actors I do not care for.

One thing that did bemuse me, and I'm sure there must be a proper term was it, was the period costume paradox. That is, when a designer tries to evoke another age, they tend to scream the era in which their outfit was made. Thus the very Thirties outfits for Cleopatra, the oh so Sixties dress for Camelot, and Sean Young's Oh My God It's The 80s dress from Bladeruuner that was supposed to be evoking the 40s.
more: monkey god and godot )
mockturle06: (Fassbender)
I came home with glitter in my cleavage. Well, that's what happens when you go off to do the most anti-rugby things one can possibly do. I'm afraid I'm not a very good bogan.

So, work, horrid, blah, blah, blah. Off to give the course a miss (and I didn't miss it a bit) to see Star Trek first. Hmmm.
more: there was supposed to be an earth shattering kaboom )

fog horned

Jun. 6th, 2013 05:13 pm
mockturle06: (merlin arthur)
It's a cold, dark and wet morning and I have a little punnet of instant oats in my desk drawer. Huzzah. Carrying the thin plastic tub of boiling water all the way back to my desk was a bit Kung Fu, though. It was very Kung Fu, actually (ouch ouch ouch hot hot hot burny burny).

Meanwhile, I went and saw a play, yay, and did some courses (epic fail).
more: twits and twats )
mockturle06: (Avengers)
Okay, so the holiday is now officially over. One last wish, before I settle down to the daily misery that is my new office. You see, I was watching the Hobbit on the plane on the way back (or one of the planes, anyway) and I wished that I could see Richard Armitage.

Wish granted. I did see him, on Wednesday night, at the Popcorn Taxi Q&A.
more: the cat's meow, apples and oranges, and the big bunny )
mockturle06: (Fassbender)
Bless the Google doodle. They've had some beauts lately, and it is so often one of the few things to raise a smile these days, which is terrible, but the world is a much meaner place these days.

Nobody has time for meandering eccentrics these days, it's A Type arseholes, and isn't it grand. Just look at all those bankers and hedge fund managers, all those disgraced and/or arrested so called sporting heroes. Those so called sportsmen make this cynic smile bitterly, as recent press would seem to prove that this type are the same poisonous violent bullies they always were in the schoolyard.

With all these bullies roaming about, it's no wonder it's so difficult for those who don't fit the narrow deinition of acceptable these days. Sigh. Sometimes I think Wllie Loman in Death of a Salesman isn't the isolated incident of a loser who couldn't cut it, but the canary in the coalmine.

There should be more to life than screwing over the other guy. There should be.

Oh, apparently it's not just my imagination. It's in the water: Anti-anxiety drug in water makes fish fearless.

Anyways, went off to Canberra to see the TOULOUSE-LAUTREC: PARIS AND THE MOULIN ROUGE exhibition at the NGA, as part of my running away from home thing.
more: decadence for art's sake )
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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