mockturle06: (Lewis)

So, Melbourne. It was just a week away, me trying to cheer myself up, a consolation prize to myself, because I can’t afford overseas holidays any more.

Also, tiny bit inconvenient, with the family situation and all. You know, that line in Hamlet, ‘When sorrows come, they come not single spies. But in battalions’, I always thought it was over-egging the plot a touch by having misery upon misery, but as my family has taken a turn for the gothic, it really does go like that, I’ve discovered.

Anyway, much like my anglophile trip to NYC (saw James Corden and Andrew Garfield on stage, and an exhibition on Mary Shelley, and I went to the cloisters to see the Lewis chessmen, etc.) I decided to do a faux-euro trip to Melbourne, seeing European art in galleries and sitting in French, Italian and Greek cafes. Catching trams. Stuff I can’t do here.  It sounds stupid and pathetic, and it is, but my Italian colleague gave my valiant attempt the thumbs up for trying, so there’s that.

So I went and saw the Van Gogh exhibition at the NGV. I wanted to see some VVG in Europe, so this would have to do. Maybe that’s why I was disappointed. I mean, I know they usually only send us the stuff they don’t care if it drops into the Indian Ocean, and quite right, too, (irreplaceable plant specimens from France destroyed in Australian quarantine blunder) but this was stuff they didn’t care if it fell down a volcano. Early juvenilia sketches and depressing scenes from when he was locked up in the loony bin. Exciting if you were a scholar, but it really wasn’t…there wasn’t anything to show you why people make a fuss about the man. So I was angry, because it’s crap shows like this that made me take a lifetime to understand why Vincent is considered a big deal. Because these muddy sketches in no way demonstrate it.

Also, it was far too crowded to properly look or consider, as each painting was surrounded by a deep scrum of tourists. Which was also annoying as I’ve had rooms full of Van Gogh to myself overseas (and I have the photos to prove it). Why should I have to pay a mighty fee to be jostled like I’m on my peak-hour bus, all to see a work nowhere near as luminous as the ones I’ve had all to myself to admire overseas?

Ah, well, if it was the bliss of solitary contemplation of great art I was after, I was right in my choice of the Hellenic Museum. The ticket price was off-putting to the same noisy tourists, so I had a room of ancient masterpieces all to myself to swoon over. And swoon I did. It was just a tiny room, with only a handful of statues, cups and the odd bit of bling to consider, but I prefer that, just one piece, one on one, to look, to study, to contemplate. To imagine if this was something the artist laboured over in tears, or something he knocked off before lunch? Ah, there was a lovely old pot I saw once at the Ian Potter museum that had clearly been started before lunch, but finished afterwards, because the careful lines became noticeably wobbly and skewed after a bit. So, that was me, chillin’ with Aphrodite, Paris and Hercules. Loved that.

And I loved the Love exhibition at the NGV. This one was free, uncrowded and full of treasures and delights from the NGV’s Europhile collection. The only time I grew cranky here was my outrage on the part of Aphrodite, whose statue was broken apart and stuck back together with plaster by so-called Edwardian gentlemen to better emulate their fashionable ideas of beauty. Yep, being a goddess wasn’t good enough. So they hacked her to bits and glued her back together like rough-handling Pygmalions. Because blokes.

The other one was my favourite print of Regency era dancers, arms upright and curved, no sharp-angled elbows akimbo like you see so often in period bonnet-pieces. I used to be (still am, a bit) an extreme nerd for that period and it annoys me when they don’t get the details right when it’s so easy to just look at the print and there it is, you can see how they danced, no need to guess.

Yes, you might have noticed that I don’t like huge liberties taken with history. Mainly because it’s just lazy and sloppy, but also because it’s unfair (as I don’t have access to see the real deal, be it costumes, mode or location), and it’s also bloody dangerous (to put misinformation out there).

Especially when folks take most of their history from the screen these days. Not just dangerous, but rude and insulting, too. Like, because America erases Australian forces from every single war film, despite having served alongside American troops for a hundred years, I get ignorant comments from so-called friends like ‘oh, were you guys in WWII?’ and if we hadn’t been on the freeway right then I’d have told her to pull over so I could get out. Harumph.

But enough about that. Back to love, and this exhibition covered it, from the sublime and the pious to the darn silly, filthy, dirty and dangerous, from Pamela (ah, to think I’ll never see the full set of Pamelas) to the cards pointing out the lewd imagery within symbols to cads and trollops and sweet pics of people and their pets. Love in all its forms and guises, good and bad, love gone bad and outright misogyny and yet also innocence and sacrifice. Fashions, flirting and faith. 

It was a small and eclectic collection and I loved it. Again, because it was small and uncrowded I had time to pause and consider, admire and appreciate.

Pausing even more (I’m old, and my knees are gone) in a café crawl across Melbourne, but they have so many, and they’re so nice, and kitted out to an almost but not quite Euro-Disney way, like super concentrated Euro café vibes, but that’s exactly what I wanted and needed. Unfortunately, one is paying for the vibe, because the food was awful, but, as I reminded myself, that was authentic, too (I did break down and go the nasi lemak at the Malaysian café round the corner, on my last day).  Still, I got to curl into various corners with my increasingly battered Rebus book, and order a coffee or three.

Trawling around Fitzroy was a bust. I thought it was because I was doing it sober and in daylight, but the problem was I was doing it years too late. All the cool ugly-beanie people have been priced out (they’re even being shifted/shafted out of Reservoir, so I hear now) and it was all ladies-who-lunch.

Who alas spoiled what had been shaping up to be a good time in a heartfelt parody of a French café, with their reeking perfume and painted faces and they went on and on like the real housewives of Melbourne over whose husband was cheating and/or beating. It was so horrifying it made me happy to be ugly and alone and forget my shameful tears earlier in the week. Good lesson. 

Theatre was ripe, but I’d seen most of the shows already in Sydney, so I saw The Book of Mormon, because it’s supposed to be a big deal. I didn’t mind it. I was just there mainly because I love Melbourne’s old theatres, though I loved it slightly less when the queue for the loo stretched out into the road (male-designed architecture vs women’s anatomy and fashion – discuss).

I had a wildly overpriced cocktail and spotted friends of my happy-clappy rellos sitting in the row in front of me – mutually busted, but oddly I get on better with them than the rellos so it wasn’t as awkward a meeting as it might have been.

That wasn’t the night I ended up in Little Bourke Street, though. Meant to, but decided on a burger and a night in front of the box watching Jude Law instead. Because Jude (and as I was missing him live on stage, watching the SBS screening of Young Pope would have to suffice).

Between Young Pope and Book of Mormon there was a lot of faith-based viewing going on, but there’s no escaping it these days, even if I take it no more seriously than a statue of Hercules. Besides, both kind of offered insights into the psychology of believers, scary and unsound as it appears to me. Sorry, I’m a rational humanist and will be until the day I die.

But anyway, yes, Little Bourke Street, in the rain, with all the neon dragons flickering in the puddles and bike couriers flashing up and down. Yep, totally a Blade Runner vibe there, damn shame I didn’t have my camera on me. The gongbao chicken was pretty great, too, though I had to settle for Tsing Tao to wash it down with.

Ah yes, my great White Rabbit crawl across Melbourne. I just cannot get dark ale in Sydney. They sell me these funky pale ales that always taste like possum pee. I lurve White Rabbit. They had it at Jackson and Young, in Chloe’s bar, where the famous/infamous painting of Chloe resides. It’s a landmark. It’s a lovely pub, too. Shabby genteel.

I also popped into the Melbourne Museum to see the WWI: Love & Sorrow exhibition. This was so distressing, and I was still fuming over Patty Jenkins’ comments about no-one knowing about WWI.  She meant Americans, though, as Mechad explained at the con, they don’t do remembrances there (he’d seen an ANZAC day service and was still affected). We do two a year, once on ANZAC day (25 April) when we wear rosemary for remembrance, lest we forget, and once on Armistice Day (11 November) when we wear poppies. We will remember them.

So I get there and there’s a packet of tiny souvenir playing cards like my Great Uncle had. I just reeled on from that, past the photos, drawings and casts of men without limbs and faces missing, past the letter from a child to her daddy, and the telegram that arrived instead, past the story of the soldier who came home, drank and beat his wife, then drowned himself. Past the wife who sent baby shoes to her husband from their newborn son, only to have them returned, unopened. Past the mother who waited two years to find out what happened to her son who was MIA, and when finally told he’d been blown to bits, drowned herself in the dam on the family farm. Past the mower that belonged to a blind soldier, who tended his garden by way of guide lines.

We remember them. I don’t know what the Americans do. Make cute adventure films sans ANZACs, I should guess.

So then I rambled about through the anatomy wing, where there were cases upon cases of 18th and 19th century bone saws, which is why most people (unless you make American movies) know that’s where the slang term ‘sawbones’ comes from.

Also hit the dinosaurs (just casts, but they’re always visually so cool) and the geology section (I’m from a family of geologists so I still know my igneous from my metamorphic). Zipped through the ocean and wilderness sections, because it was too much like work (my brain started pulling up work files, so no).

Café trawl was ok, I found a few nooks to hide in, and most made an effort with atmosphere. Weirdly, almost entirely staffed by French waiters, to add to the authenticity of the experience. I don’t know what France is doing for waiters. Maybe they’re all Australian? I never did get back to the café that had the absinthe, though, damn.

The con was more fun than I was expecting. Caught the 57 tram out to the showgrounds every day, past delightful but soon to be demolished heritage buildings, and Jude Law glaring at me from various posters, just to remind me I didn’t go see him in London. It wasn’t at all as bad as the set up in Sydney or that awful one at the Gold Coast, so I zipped from building to building, using and abusing the priority pass I’d bought (just because I thought I’d be way more concussed than I was) so I didn’t have to queue quite so much. There was still queueing though.

Ok, highlights: Me, making Tom Hopper nearly cry by questioning Billy’s actions in the last couple of seasons of Black Sails. Billy’s been hurt and betrayed by those he trusted most, poor wee orphan, and I ought to know that. Consider myself told. Pretty young Mr Hopper also seemed confused why his costumes never included sleeves. I didn’t burst his bubble on that one.

Natalie Dormer revealed herself to be a hardcore history nerd and passionate advocate for Anne Boleyn (all those uncharacteristic talky bits in the Tudors were her idea). So I kind of love her now.

Mehcad Brooks was a total sweetie, talking to all his fans at eye-level, and being very gentle with the tweenie Supergirl fans. It sounds creepy but it was really just him being a really nice guy. Cory Michael Smith from Gotham just about ran off with my passport, because he wouldn’t, couldn’t believe it. And the pic I got with Lee Majors was as awful as always, but the squee going on there could power my laptop for several hours (childhood hero). Besides, he’s pretty much the last of the TV cowboys (Big Valley) and, you know, living history. I honestly didn’t mind him letting a little light onto the magic of my childhood shows. As always, the never meet your heroes edict applied to Buffy more than any other show I’ve ever been a fan of (besides Trek in its many incarnations) but there always has to be one.

Oh and the swishy dress with the huge petticoats I bought on a whim was worth it for the smile it evoked from young Mr Mitchell. Well, that and he was desperate for a signing. That, too, but, oh, such a smile. I shall remember that smile.

That was Melbourne: food, coffee, history and squee.

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

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

mockturle06: merlin in a hat (Default)

Last night, for some reason, I dreamt I was trying to watch Soldier Soldier on TV, but even in my dreams the universe places 999 obstacles twixt me and destination couch. I’m only really bemused because dear old subconscious had picked up on the fact that I’d seen a splendid number of chaps with Soldier Soldier on their CV, even though I’d not really noted it, in shows as far flung as Turn, Grimm and Game of Thrones.

Sharpe is also making a strong showing this week, guest cast wise, but clearly the subby only has room for one lot of squaddies at the moment.

I hardly blame it. I’m surprised the old noggin is working at all. It certainly hasn’t been up to factory specs this week. In fact today is the first day I’ve been coordinated enough to attempt to tell you about it.

Last week, in a rare early mark (that is, only leaving an hour late) after an entire zoo of a week, I managed to get a seat on the bus, but my smug was short-lived as the lunatic driver (can they not hire anyone who can actually drive these days?) lurched to a sudden stopped and I had a seven kilo bag swung in my face at about 70kph (okay, maybe 5kg at 50kph, but still). It rang my bell good and hard. Damn nearly broke my nose and glasses and I saw stars and I though a smashed up noggin and nose that still feels stunned and squishy and not right was the worst of it. Although I felt ill, that’s nothing unusual given the overcrowded bus and bad driving of the madman behind the wheel. But when I tried to get off the bus, and for hilarity’s sake there was a cop car lurking on the corner, but clearly they must have had bigger fish to fry, I staggered, fell over several times, threw up all the way home and all night, and am still suffering the mad swirls five days later (and as for my 12 hour work day on Monday where I was not at all right but nevertheless left to manage a late running urgent media job, let us just shake our tender heads and say no more about it).

I’m fairly sure I’ve concussed the old noggin, which is weird because I’ve had my bell run before, but they copped me right on the spot, and so, not good. No, no medical attention, no money to do so, have to pay for flood damage and Himself’s bills. Yeah, well, if I keel over it won’t be my problem anymore (I’m really beginning to understand my father’s mindset, what he was thinking marrying that ludicrous fairy tale awful woman I’ll never know).

Meanwhile, speaking of always being smacked in the head, I finally finished Daredevil (there’s something to be said for a soaking wet Saturday and a complete inability to sit up, let alone stand up). I liked. I liked a lot. Typically, because either I’m a girl or weird or both, I liked Nelson Vs Murdock best, because of all the flashbacks to the buddy and sore tried bromance of Foggy and Matt. Reviews I’ve read have not been kind, and anyone who doesn’t get how betrayed Foggy is, and how for years he’s helped where he didn’t have to, how he was made an utter fool of, and lied to, well, clearly they’ve not had enough one-sided friendships to wince the way I did. Poor Foggy.

I also really like the way Foggy has been made less the 2D idiot sidekick, as he did suffer a rather dreadful case of the Watsons in previous versions (that is, as in some versions of Holmes and Watson where Watson is portrayed with an IQ of less than 70 and more likely to stick his foot in a bucket than find a clue – see Kate Beaton’s comic). So Foggy not being a legal idiot and having hurt feelings was a big improvement.


More... )
mockturle06: (Avengers)

Last night, for some reason, I dreamt I was trying to watch Soldier Soldier on TV, but even in my dreams the universe places 999 obstacles twixt me and destination couch.  I’m only really bemused because dear old subconscious had picked up on the fact that I’d seen a splendid number of chaps with Soldier Soldier on their CV, even though I’d not really noted it, in shows as far flung as Turn, Grimm and Game of Thrones.

Sharpe is also making a strong showing this week, guest cast wise, but clearly the subby only has room for one lot of squaddies at the moment.

I hardly blame it. I’m surprised the old noggin is working at all. It certainly hasn’t been up to factory specs this week. In fact today is the first day I’ve been coordinated enough to attempt to tell you about it.

Last week, in a rare early mark (that is, only leaving an hour late) after an entire zoo of a week, I managed to get a seat on the bus, but my smug was short-lived as the lunatic driver (can they not hire anyone who can actually drive these days?) lurched to a sudden stopped and I had a seven kilo bag swung in my face at about 70kph (okay, maybe 5kg at 50kph, but still). It rang my bell good and hard. Damn nearly broke my nose and glasses and I saw stars and I though a smashed up noggin and nose that still feels stunned and squishy and not right was the worst of it. Although I felt ill, that’s nothing unusual given the overcrowded bus and bad driving of the madman behind the wheel. But when I tried to get off the bus, and for hilarity’s sake there was a cop car lurking on the corner, but clearly they must have had bigger fish to fry, I staggered, fell over several times, threw up all the way home and all night, and am still suffering the mad swirls five days later (and as for my 12 hour work day on Monday where I was not at all right but nevertheless left to manage a late running urgent media job, let us just shake our tender heads and say no more about it).

I’m fairly sure I’ve concussed the old noggin, which is weird because I’ve had my bell run before, but they copped me right on the spot, and so, not good.  No, no medical attention, no money to do so, have to pay for flood damage and Himself’s bills. Yeah, well, if I keel over it won’t be my problem anymore (I’m really beginning to understand my father’s mindset, what he was thinking marrying that ludicrous fairy tale awful woman I’ll never know).

Meanwhile, speaking of always being smacked in the head, I finally finished Daredevil (there’s something to be said for a soaking wet Saturday and a complete inability to sit up, let alone stand up).  I liked. I liked a lot. Typically, because either I’m a girl or weird or both,  I liked Nelson Vs Murdock best, because of all the flashbacks to the buddy and sore tried bromance of Foggy and Matt. Reviews I’ve read have not been kind, and anyone who doesn’t get how betrayed Foggy is, and how for years he’s helped where he didn’t have to, how he was made an utter fool of, and lied to, well, clearly they’ve not had enough one-sided friendships to wince the way I did. Poor Foggy.

I also really like the way Foggy has been made less the 2D idiot sidekick, as he did suffer a rather dreadful case of the Watsons in previous versions (that is, as in some versions of Holmes and Watson where Watson is portrayed with an IQ of less than 70 and more likely to stick his foot in a bucket than find a clue – see Kate Beaton’s comic).  So Foggy not being a legal idiot and having hurt feelings was a big improvement.
mockturle06: (Dean)
This morning I woke to the news that both Homer Simpson and William Shakespeare were now following me on Twitter. The very idea of it just made me smile. Clearly I preach to a broad church - smirk.
I think it was just cause I posted an article on Simpsons quotes as memes (thus telling the age of writer and reader, and a tweet on going to see the STC briefing for the Scottish play. Alas, I was really tired and kind of fed up so I don't think I got as much out of it as I usually do, but Hugo Weaving was there, right in front of me, and that has to count for something.

What can I say, the moment I realised I was in for another extreme re-imagining of Shakespeare, my heart just sank and everything else was just mechanical listening, though the ghost story was cool (well, somebody had to ask about the 'curse' and at least it wasn't me).
more: full of sound and fury, signifying nothing )
mockturle06: (Dean sad)
The biggest worry, for me, of course, was the extreme likihood of me flipping a feminine hygiene product out of my bag and into the lap of the King Slayer as I fumbled and flustered upon approach (I have form in this area, sad to say). Fortunately events conspired to make this scenario impossible. Ah, well.

So that was Sunday, all effed up, and I was so unwell, too. Should have stayed on the couch wrapped up in fluffy dressing gown, with a nice hot cup of tea and a Smash marathon on the telly. In my heart of hearts I knew it was the one true plan for Sunday. Everything else was stuff up city.

Still, it wasn't all bad. I did buy myself a replica leather flying helmet, just like I've always wanted. And I owned all of, what, ten seconds. Then Himself put it on, and it seems I'd bought Himself a replica leather flying helmet (and goggles), just like he's always wanted. Le sigh.

At least Friday was kinda cool. The usual departure lounge cake at work, then I took my time in lieu and bunked off early to the con (who does cons on a work day?) and queued up for ages, but I did see John Barrowman and Stan Lee, both very amusing.

I think the highlights were Stan Lee correcting everyone's grammar (in between being the coolest grandpa you never had) and John's shitty cat story (made perfect by Scott hovering nearby, thus I could turn to see his reaction to everything John said, much pained face palming, tee hee).

John was bouncing all over the place, and yes, Stan Lee's patter was well rehearesed and polished, but as I heard him answer the same question three times in the weekend, never once telling the person he'd already answered that, I can understand why he has his routine down. And yes, there aren't too many people around left to refute Stan's versions of events, but who cares. He was funny, the way old New York guys of a certain era were (we'll never see his like again) and he's body of work is massively impressive, so three cheers for Stan the man. He was sweet, joyful, excited and seemingly happy to tell the origin stories, and I did so love the bitchy asides at editorial or creative decisions by others he's still not happy about. Heh. (Holds a grudge, old Stan).

The queue for autographs was less fun, three very cold and crampy hours. Hey, I wonder if my unused tokens will ever be collector items? I doubt it, but I'm saving them in any case.

I also finally saw, and met, young Jamie Bamber (he of Hornblower fame) and he was really sweet when I told him I'd once seen him on stage in Liverpool, of all places.

Michael Rosenbaum, late of Smallville, and precious little else, was really fun, doing his own thing, wandering amongst the crowd, winding up the con organisers (I think I enjoyed that almost as much as young Rosenbaum did).
more: boys will be boys )
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: (Dean)
I kept seeing Cleaver come out when Gogo got going, I said. Oh, many times, affirmed Himself.

Despite a stupid week/month and stupid weather, we were off to see Godot. in what was, frankly, the best production I've seen, and will probably ever see of it.

It had everything I could ever want, including, and especially, a cast of four absolute faves: Hugo Weaving, Richard Roxburgh, Luke Mullins and Philip Quast. Quast was a most theatrical Pozzo, and Luke's aptly named Lucky entirely stole the show from Hugo and Rox, which is no mean feat, as the two boys were on top form, clowning about, completely owning the stage while portraying such lost, almost ghostly souls, and there was a real affection there, which I think make for the best Didi and Gogos. The history the actors can draw on really helps sell the sady adorable co-dependence of our two heroes.

Despite the much reported troubles with the production, I think, personally, it was all the better of it, the cast having been made to wait for a director that never arrived (that particular irony not lost on anyone), I think, saved them from overthinking it and filling the blank empty spaces with too much trickery. (I know I'm not normally one for bare empty spaces, but it's Beckett, it's required - what I object to is staging high Victorian drama as post-Beckett bleakness, it's not appropriate and not clever).
more: in like flynn )

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