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: (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: merlin in a hat (Default)

So, the comic con rolled into town. I think it was worth it just to see the locals on the local bus, staring bug eyed at young folks in full gear.

I know, I’m old enough to know better, way too old to go (and oh, how often was I told this, to my face, by unkind young ruffians), hell, I’m even getting older than nearly all of the guests, and that includes the ones with credits from the 70s, but still, why should there be an age limit on comic cons and rock concerts? It seems so unfair.  Especially as I’ve not yet stopped listening to music or watching genre films and TV (and these days, it’s damn difficult to avoid the MCU everywhere you turn).

Anyways, I took my very hard won and hard fought for time in lieu and skipped off early. Everyone at work was saying it was wet and damp and perfect Burger Friday weather. So I did that first (there’s a place nearby that is the Shake Shack in all but name). Then onto a train where I found an umbrella. It’s not stealing per se if it’s abandoned, and I figured I’d have need of it (I did) and it was very nice, wooden handle and all, and it went with the bright orange coat (since ruined by grubby trains and buses).

I swear I saw a well-known ex pollie on the train, with his entourage, swear I did (doing his man of the people thing or they’ve cut back on perks for ex pollies, either or). And then off into the crush.

Well, I thought it was a crush then, foolish naif that I was. As Jason Isaacs said, his panel was pretty much seven people reading their phones. And me, Jason, adoring me, up the back, adoring. Ah well.

It was mainly Potter talk (yawn….) but later I made him swear when I mentioned the dog in Case Histories (I’d read interviews, I knew he’d rise up and take a bite, but not that much, oy), after I’d nearly made him weep by presenting him with some non-Potter themed merch to sign (my Case Histories dvd cover, because it was still on the bedside table, yes, I am that lazy/disorganised).

The Nathan Fillion panels were an outright crush, but worth it, even though what you see is pretty much what you get, because he’s funny. Oy, the line, and in the rain, too. (I loved that he followed up on some stories/questions via Twitter later, with additional info – spot the might have been teacher – he’d have been a great teacher).

I was bemused by the number of Castle fans (finally, some people older than me) who were all huffy at all the Firefly questions. Clearly Nathan needs to do two events, as it seems ne’er the twain with the old fanbase.

I will skip over the meh panels (including a Flash one, to my disappointment) and stick with the wonderful Kevin McNally, and huzzah for your mature British thespian and his well-honed stories of ‘the time when…’. I do love a story and British character actors are the absolute best, all that time spent sitting around on set yarning away.

So tales of hangovers and pirates. I did ask if he felt any pressure in playing a real person in Turn and he said he had no idea his character was based on a real person, so no. Well, that answered that.

Elizabeth Henstridge (of SHIELD) was also entertaining, despite her youth, because she’s a British actress and I promised Himself she was more likely to tell hangover stories than any American actor. Heh, I should have put money on it. I would have high-fived Himself if he’d not been sitting six rows away (did I mention the crush?). Not much in the way of sneaky spoilers, but I found her charming, and much more self-assured than many of her peers.

Turn-about being fair play, I was dragged into the Futurama panels, and I’m sure the boys doing the silly voices would have been laugh-a-minute if I’d heard a single word – the acoustics in the tin sheds were atrocious, but whatever. It was so cold in those tin sheds that Billy West had to grab a jumper from the audience. That cold.

Junk wise, I tried to be good, but I’d let Himself go wandering while I queued and queued and queued some more and he came back with UNCLE, Big Valley, Bonanza and Adam 12 comics, as well as a Tardis cake tin and a new flying helmet (don’t ask). I found an old Rawhide covered TV mag, and a tiny fake fish in a tiny jar, which I have on my desk, because it bemuses me (it jiggles when I bump the desk).

So that was three days at the con. I could have spent my life doing better things, like washing socks and cleaning leaves out of the gutter, but nope, I did that.

I did, however, discover what was giving the worst allergic reaction ever. It was Heston’s tomato sauce that was turning me beetroot from head to foot like some kid from Charlie and the Chocolate factory (and ironic considering how Wonka-like Heston’s media image is), with a rash so bad it left scars. So, no more going near anything branded Heston for the rest of the year, if ever. Ouch.

Caught up with some friends, who were pleased I managed to bounce into a good job (and at my age, that wasn’t easy, let me tell you). It’s easy to forget how close I can to ruination. Well, the trip to Melbourne and the con are the first big things I’ve done in a year. Glad I id Melbourne, it made me happy.

Unhappy is waking up to find my feed full of Steed. Vale Patrick Macnee, whom, as you might be aware of, was one of my lifelong heroes, he of The Avengers. Why, just last week, when I found that oh so Steed umbrella, twirling it as I walked along in my Emma homage orange coat and boots. He was, and will remain, such a part of my pop culture life.

mockturle06: (Avengers)
It's supposed to be super hot today, and I'm still cosplaying the Crimson Horror from last week. Well, of course I forgot my sunscreen when off to Sculpture by the Sea. Remembered the hat, but not the sunscreen. No worries, I'll pick some up on the way, right? Nope. None to be had, for love nor money. So, ignoring my sizzling skin (where my 90% redheaded DNA will out) I trooped around the cliffs in bright sunshine.

It was quite nice, despite the difficulties in getting there (the promised public transport was a lie), and while a good two thirds of the show were same old, same old (a frequent complaint I overheard, and not just on the day), and, really, a couple of artists need to try stepping outside their comfort zone. I don't know why, but sculpture seems to be the most samey of the arts, and the one branch of the arts where you don't want samey. Especially in a forum like Sculpture by the Sea. It should be big, loud, silly and surprising because it's a walking picnic, with art. No message, no metaphysics, just something that delights the senses, full of whimsy. Not too big an ask, is it?

There was some cute, like the papier-mâché bugs on the cliff wall, and creepy, like the enormous faceless brass babies climbing up the hill - good use of site. I just loathe artists who don't take into account the site. It's like doing a Tropfest film without the theme item, in other words, pointless and lazy and speaks of trying to shoehorn something they had lying around in the back of the garage into the exhibition with no sense of context. It's Sculpture by the Sea, everyone should know what to expect, and what's expected. I always like the ones that make the fact that they're on the ocean walk as part of the art experience somehow, whether it's reflections, tones or cheesy seaside imagery (cheesy is allowed, what part of seaside picnic with art do some of these serious beret wearers not get?).
more: photos within )
mockturle06: (Dean sad)
A friend was still bemused at my great disappointment at having braved cyclonic winds on Monday (Auntie Em! Auntie Em!) on various errands, and bringing back some bananas to take into work, the weather still so fiesty it blew several branches in through the door after me, I went and done forgot them. I thought 'I'm feeling a touch peckish, I'll go get that banana I...left on the kitchen table'. Apparently my disappointed face is still giving her mirth at the memory of it nearly a week later.

I did make some friends here. I'll miss 'em when I'm gone. Yep, they finally, finally, finally gave me my exit date. Shit just got real. I told another friend and they burst into tears. It's not too good.

So yesterday I just hit a wall, couldn't write a job app, though researching some of the jazzy jargon they used in the ad wasn't entirely a waste of time, I just couldn't get it going, aside from the old routine jobs that I apparently can do sleepwalking. Ah, I'll miss that, knowing the job so well I can do it on low battery power if need be.

So I took myself off early and went to see the exhibition of prints at the art gallery I'd nearly missed. Oh my gosh, that was excellent, an amazingly cool selection and all hits, no misses. I mean, I've been to print exhibitions before but they tend to err overly on the side of architectural plans or be way too baroque and there's a limit to the number of cherubs I can endure. But this was great. The span from 1500 to 1900 meant every half dozen or so prints (it's a local gallery, our exhibitions are tiny and could fit in the loo of an international gallery) you were onto another century, but I liked that, because I was on the clock and I was very much in the mood for a general oversight rather than in-depth examination, and it was entertaining without being exhausting, and, as I was very satisfied to see, essayed the passing fashions and issues (even if that wasn't the intent) in ways other disappointing exhibitions I've been to this year have really not.
more: Hammer horror )
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: merlin in a hat (skeet)

Briefly...

more: mosquitos, dragons, tentacles and dead poets )

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