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.

White rice

May. 17th, 2017 07:58 am
mockturle06: (Chris)

I must have looked at my calendar and thought, yay, two weeks without any engagements. I know, I’ll be sick!

At least, that’s what it feels like. I think it’s just a lurgy I picked up in Melbourne, but as I’ve not had a proper, decent make me feel entirely wretched cold for a couple of years now (that dose of flu/whooping cough/tonsillitis that damn nearly killed me several years ago gifted me with an immunity to everything, until now) so I’m taking it like a grizzling toddler/adult male.

Still, it’s been an excuse to stay close to the telly. Oh yes, Pine. But first, I did see a play last week.

STC’s Talk, at the Opera House, was very funny, oddly timely and a bit old hat (it’s been in production for years), somewhat farcical about serious matters (but so was MASH). It wasn’t quite what I thought it was going to be, more an essay on modern media in general, rather than an examination of a shock jock.

It was oddly visceral in charting the decline of the traditional media structure, and I saw it days before Mark Colvin died, but after the Sydney Morning Herald sackings. Oddly, the original number of sacked journos in the play was 50, but, as discussed in the Q&A after the show, they knocked it down to 25, which they still thought high. Turns out 115 was the number. So that was shockingly relevant.

What was quaint was shifting the blame for all this onto feckless Millennial bloggers, rather than the entirely more sinister psyops strategy we know it is now.

Reading that Guardian article reminded me of the tactics described by Fleming, yes, Fleming, in From Russia With Love, and I’m not sure whether Fleming was describing Russian psyops or inventing them, but either way, the blueprint is there. Ditto some of the early Le Carres, should you require corroboration, and if you still don’t believe this stuff can happen, go read Philby’s piece, which can be summed up as a smug ‘too easy’. Or read today’s headlines. Whichever.

But I digress. Basically, I was there to see John Waters on stage (because I still have a thing for Sergeant McKellar, for shame), and anything written by Jonathan Biggins is likely to be very witty, local and topical, and it was. Even the sets were a hoot, with the stark (and entirely accurate) contrast between the ABC and Newscorp press rooms. It was a bit slapstick, more than a bit (too much Revue creeping in), but it certainly hit the mark about the message, even if it did hammer it home with all the subtlety of a shock jock.

So that’s me, supporting the yartz, local thespians and new works. Job done and it wasn’t that painful (see, new works don’t have to be distressingly awful).

So, the Pine. Basically, the screening, at last, a week later, of a very cut down version of his SNL episode, featuring only three skits that had Mr Pine in them (and no music, no monologue, no dance off, but luckily I have friends). Um, what to say? Well, the kid can sing, and sing he did, but I was hoping for more funny, but I guess the called off at the last-minute writer’s strike might have played into that a bit? Maybe? Or did Chris just want to sing his little heart out, bless. (Had I seen the monologue I could have comments about TPTB fascination with white guys called Chris, but I didn’t, so I don’t).

Either way, what I saw wasn’t that funny, but maybe I was annoyed at knowing, from Tumblr, that I was missing out on huge, huge chunks of the show, and 6am is never my optimum viewing time (who am I kidding, I was missing the Thunderbirds) but hey, at least it was Chris on telly. Foxtel also slapped on Star Trek, Star Trek: Beyond and Finest Hours for my viewing pleasure. I was going to hit the tottering pile of dvds, but the cold was running riot by then, and I was too grumpy and wheezy for anything, really.

What I did watch, while sulking, was this woeful piece of MST3K bait called The Five Golden Dragons, a British-German coproduction from 1967 (oh yeah, baby) and set in oh so British Hong Kong, with Christopher Lee slumming it as one of the, well, it’s hardly a spoiler now, is it, bad guys. Oh, it was so awful, despite my existential misery I was screeching with laughter. Especially the tight close-up reaction shot from the really bad dragon mask. Oh my, yes. What a…gem.

This is what Chris should have done on SNL. If he wants to play a spy, play a 1967 playboy one with hokey exoticism and lashings of camp (oh, this film is so…well, you’ll see, in a subtext rapidly becoming text kinda way). (I swear I could have written funnier sketches, I can be funny, why, just yesterday I was asking why these birds were called oystercatchers, as it didn’t seem to me that oysters needed that much catching).

Anyways, since I discovered cheap chop-socky can make me smile, I decided it was time to dive into the limp noodle fest that is Iron Fist, with Daisy no less as an ineffectual simpering villain (so far at least, I’ve got four or five episodes to go). Because I always wallow in the MCU when I’m poorly. It’s tradition.

Iron Fist isn’t at all great, but it’s not as bad as the reviews said, and the whole white-washing/white saviour thing was kind of inherent/inherited in the text, so it’s unfortunate, and TPTB could have done more to address the post-colonial elephant in the room, but they didn’t, and suffered a critical panning as they probably deserved, but it could have been worse (see The Five Golden Dragons).

Actually, Iron Fist could have done with a lot more camp and really silly dragon masks. You know, play up, not play down the woeful historical baggage that drags on it like a boat anchor. That and the most underwhelming, whiny white man-baby rich bitch protagonist, but I guess that’s very now (at least he's not called Chris).

Basically, I didn’t mind it, it’ll do while I’m unwell and grumpy, but it could do with an infusion of Fu Manchu. Go completely Danger 5, go Monkey, go The Samurai. Ah, I guess I grew up with this stuff more than the American white boys making Iron Fist. Would it kill them to give me some Big Trouble in Little China? That should have been their reference. Can I at least have a mesmerist and a giant rat?

I’d ask that TPTB could, for once, not make it all about some rich white princeling with daddy issues, but again, very now. Destiny and daddy issues. Seriously, can somebody put these tropes to bed? Tuck them in with a story and some warm milk?

In other news. the shirt I’m wearing today, while vaguely a Margaret Preston-y print, is fashionably rumpled, because I so didn’t do any ironing on the weekend (see grumpy, sulking, above).

Besides, I can’t iron and hold my phone up at the same time, which the only device that will stream anything right now. My laptop crashes even on iView, and my poor tablet can’t even open up Tumblr with any success. Ah, to be stranded in the country with the 51st slowest internet speeds in the world (NYT). Yes, people in countries where the main form of transport is a goat have a better chance of viewing YouTube trailers than me. Not that I’m bitter or fed up or anything.

In case you were wondering why I still rely on cable and dvd for my viewing choices. Besides, occasionally they cough up charming surprises like The Five Golden Dragons. I should have never have sought out a classic like that on my own (because I have some shred of sanity left). But I was sick, it was on telly. Bliss. Doing it old school.

And yes, it was a dreadfully sexist, racist film but it was 1967 and a British/German production so it is what it is, I was just there for the cringing silly. And besides, like campy fat old white guys with criminal connections really rule the world…that would be silly.

But yes, I realise it’s all a bit wrong, but one can no more argue that it’s not very nice to be racist and sexist with white dudes from 1967 than one can with conservatives today. I wonder what the world would be like if sad old fat ugly nasty petty rich white dudes didn’t put everyone else down.

Ah well, it’s the world I live in. It kinda sucks. But I have (Pine enabling and Olympus de-yellowing) friends, and most folks at work aren’t dicks. So there’s that. I could do without this cold though. Who needs to feel more miserable?

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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.

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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.

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mockturle06: (Avengers)

I was going to say no weeds or household chores were hurt in the making of this post, but I did have a bit of a hack at the jungle on Sunday, and I was bitten by four spiders, or one spider four times, I wasn’t really keeping track.

And I ended up having to do the washing after all, despite the BOM promising a day of clouds and showers. I had my playlist all worked out in my head and I then woke to blue skies and sunshine. I felt abused.

Never did get near that playlist because my phone played up properly, my laptop went bung and my old tablet, the last refuge of a scoundrel, had 500 updates to process, as I’d been using phone and laptop instead of late. Just not my day.

Saturday was better. Didn’t go to the science march, I know, I know, but I wasn’t sure if I should (job politics) and besides, I’d already arranged a pilgrimage to Beatdisc on Record Shop Day, thence (look, I saved and reused one of those thences I edited out from my arcane documents) to see the NT Live screening of Hedda Gabler.

Missed the rush at the record shop, and there was still plenty of, I was going to say cool stuff, but that would not be strictly true. More a collection of items of curiosity to enthral and amaze. I certainly found a few things that made my inner teen squee. Though at the till later the record shop dude took one look at the purchase I’d but on top and pronounced that the store was a scared space and there was no judgement there. Then he saw the purchases I’d been hiding underneath. Silence. Scanner boops. More silence.

Oh dear. Well, one was a joke purchase because I’d previously referenced the band when reading a dry technical glossary and said it all sounded like new wave album titles and I could see the vinyl onesies already. Then, when I went to the Belvoir to see The Dog/The Cat, that very band started playing on the tannoy as I sat down in the bar/foyer. So when I found their vinyl offering in the very cheap pile, well, I figured I ought to, since it was obviously meta meme of the week. One has to just go with it, you know?

So, onto Hedda Gabler. I do not like the play, because Hedda is a flaming hellbeast of a mega-bitch who destroys other people out of boredom and deserves everything she gets, vacuous she-demon that she is. But it’s one of those plays actors and directors love more than the audience, I think (I’ve yet to meet anyone who has ever seen a version say they liked it, quite the opposite) so it’s frequently staged, and with actors worth seeing. So I go.

And I adore Ruth Wilson, I’ll see anything she’s in, even this, and she almost made me feel sorry for Hedda. Almost. Yes, very artistic, turning the blinds into nourish prison bars to represent how trapped she was, but she did it to herself, for no reason. That’s the problem with staging it in the modern day – why doesn’t she just leave? In the era in which it was written there were less options for women (no jobs, bank accounts or property) but now, it’s not good, but it’s not impossible. Why make such a mess?

Ah well, it’s always easier to be on the outside looking in. The Sarah McLachlan interludes (I think it was SM) were more amusing than intended because I’d only just been thinking of the big Buffy finale that week and humming Sarah McLachlan to myself, so it was a bit meta to see the histrionics to the old Sarah McLachlan tunes, it was like seeing someone else make the same creative choices, and wondering if I should, too (yes, probably, it’s all very Hedda in my head world).

So I liked that, and I liked how Ruth made her so manipulative and more than a bit mad.

There was a line when Kyle Soller walks on about how his aunt is pleased to see him alive and well. I seconded that, as I kind of loved him in Poldark. He seemed to be using something near his native accent here, but it kind of worked, and is still playing the good-hearted and clueless cuckold, but hey, that’s his thing and he did it well. Often the role is played as deserving of betrayal, but here he was simply a man-boy well out of his depth, and there was a sweetness and naiveté there that engendered sympathy. He’d simply tied himself to the tail of a hellcat out of bedazzlement and a sort of wishful thinking, and didn’t really deserve everything that happened. Anyways, I love Kyle.

And Rafe Spall. Oh my. I know I’ve not been keeping up with my British telly since it all moved to the premium channels, but since when did Rafe turn from young oik to hot stuff? Because, man, hot sex on a stick. I know the judge is supposed to be mad, bad and dangerous, an apex predator, but, man, sign me up. He stalked and swaggered about the set in a very sharp suit, and the scene where he throws Hedda about and spits tomato juice all over her, that gave me very confusing feelings. Whimper.

Oh yes, those boys. Poor Kyle wrestling noodles every night and Rafe rinsing and spitting the tomato juice. Every night, and twice with matinees. Properly actorly stuff, boys. I applaud your commitment.

So, even though I don’t like the play and loathe the character, and setting it in contemporary times made it just look like one of those HBO shows of rich people behaving badly (if it was Midsomer or Lewis there’d have been a nice juicy murder before the last act), the performances were stunning, so well worth the ticket.

And besides, I rounded off the day with yum cha and bad 80s vinyl. My idea of a grand day out.

Oh, one last bit about The Dog/The Cat, what with all the tech going whizz fizz this week I didn’t notice, but Lally Katz, who wrote The Cat, liked my tweet about liking their Battlestar Galactica joke.

Oh my, I must remember that some people find and read my posts (usually I work to the sound of silence and presume I’m just talking to myself in an empty room).

Ian Rankin also liked my tweet about Beatdisc, the local vinyl emporium, so my likes page is worth printing and framing right now. Squee.

Sorry, just had to share with someone, somewhere, anyone. Because squee.

Sunday we made eggs ala Sir Ian McKellen, which, by the way, is now the go-to recipe, and I was thinking how I’d collected recipes posted by Ian McKellen, Tom Hiddleston and Hugh Jackman. All Marvel boys, I noted, and I’d seen them all on stage, more than once.  That’s the Marvel universe, proper theatre actors who can cook.

The DC boys? I’ve never seen any one of them on stage, I don’t think many have ever been on stage, ever anyway, and I’ve never seen a recipe posted. Can’t act, can’t cook. I think I might have put my finger on the reason why Marvel films are way better than DC. Get you a man who can do both.

I know, I shouldn’t write stuff like that, you never know who might see it, but no-one ever reads this, and the point still stands, the Marvel boys have way, way more theatre creds than the DC boys (do they have any?) and I have lost count of the number of Marvel actors I’ve seen on stage (Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Benedict Cumberbatch, David Tennant, Cate Blanchett, Rose Byrne, Chiwetel Ejiofor, David Wenham, William Hurt, Elizabeth Debicki…). DC actors: 0.

I mean, sure, the DC boys can fill out a t-shirt, but hasn’t the genre moved on from the 80s? (Any DC actor who does have theatre creds gets a pass but I can’t recall hearing of any appearing on stage in London or New York, so, you know).

In fairness, TV DC does fare better, with the casts of Preacher and the Arrowverse, although, Preacher aside, that’s mainly musicals (she sniffs). Not sure if Lucifer’s Tom Ellis has ever strut the boards (but Lucifer is back on telly and so far so fun).

And anyway, I’m allowed to be pissy and grizzly. Today is the day I was supposed to see Jude Law live on stage in Obsession at the Barbican. And I’m not. I had third row – whimper. I’d hoped I’d be better from being hit by the car, but nope, and the double family tragedy means no visits, and the house repairs mean no money, so, nope. NT Live it is, then. At least there’s that. Thank fuck there’s that. But you know – pout (even if it did promise to be entirely the sort of Euro-theatre I’m not that keen on). I’m missing Jude, dammit.

I’ve never seen a recipe from Jude, but I’m sure if I asked nicely. It’s the nicely part that will always trip me up. Ah well, maybe that’s why I hate Hedda. Takes one to know one.

The wonderful world of weird: https://plus.google.com/u/0/113197665355692280218/posts (warning: contains ivory dildos and Pine)

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: (Sherlock)

This week everyone has been so kind, surprisingly so. Indulgent, even. So I refuse to be a brat and ask why no-one was this supportive ten or twenty years ago when I needed this kindness more, and just accept and wallow in the kindness I have now, and thank my lucky stars I’m surrounded by much nicer and kinder people these days.

So something has gone right for me. I think I made the right choice turning down that job I accidentally got. They even offered me more money, but it wasn’t that much more (like only the price of a decent sandwich, I’m not that hot), and I think, right now, sticking where I can, for as long as I can, surrounded by people being as good as they can be (we all have off days), is the right choice for me.

So, as you might expect, it’s all been comfort food (and I can’t tell you how disturbing the diet has been, but yum) and comfort telly.

Doctor Who has been my go-to for troubling times since I was three or four years old. For some long-forgotten and astonishingly disturbing reason I decided at a very young age that this fictional mad bastard in a box was a comforting, reassuring and protective presence. Even weirder, I still find the Doctor a comforting presence, and I don’t know whether it’s just familiarity or habit, or the result of too many nights as a tiny child scared of the dark praying that the Doctor would save me. Whatever, entirely silly and unsound, but there it is, the Doctor is my touchstone, my safe place, and, dammit, it works.

I mean it. I’ve had some long dark nights, and every time, if I can find the Doctor on telly (or somewhere), he makes the shadows go away, just for a bit. That’s real magic, that is. I know it’s not real, but I’ll take the placebo, thanks. Watching Doctor Who makes me feel better, for a bit, and that’s enough.

Maybe that’s why the Doctor is so special, because so many of us remember being a child, and afraid of the dark, and those tiny whispers, hoping to be brave in the face of monsters.

And man, there have been some monsters this week. The kind that can’t be banished but just have to be lived with. Any respite is welcome.

Cute enough, one episode was the Robin Hood one, so I had two heroes for the price of one. Double my champions.

And of course Foxtel screened Star Trek again, and who was I to say no. I wasn’t going to, but I did, and my innocent wee babies (as they were when they made that) made me happy, for a bit.

I didn’t think Chris Pine could be a comforting presence any more, but he was. Not that I don’t love that peculiar boy and his own particular brand of peculiarity. Oh no, don’t take the lack of posts as a sign of that, it’s just that the posts that used to drop into my feed like rain have all dried up, so there’s nowt to share.

Perhaps he’s been a little too peculiar for some. I’m all art for art’s sake, but perhaps a modicum of sense or sensibility is required when one’s pay cheque is determined by the number of likes. I mean, go nuts, young man, but we don’t want to end up like Shia LeBeouf now, do we? Don’t be Shia LeBeouf.

If he’s kicking against the roles he’s being offered lately, then either don’t take ‘em or make your own, be your own art project if you must, have fun, but don’t go too far. I mean, it’s all fun and games until somebody gets hurt (that’s my only worry, and, you know, I worry).

That said, I have a sticky soft spot for that crazy boy and his shenanigans. I mean, you can go too far the other way, and lose out because you’re too slick and smug and manufactured, ain’t that right, Tom Hiddleston? So don’t be Tom Hiddleston, either.

Nobody wants to be Tom Hiddleston (and damn, because that beautiful boy I saw in Othello was so damn sweet and full of promise).

So go your own way, my dear, it’s amusing to watch from a distance, just don’t get lost, okay?

Whatever, what would I know, stuck in a crumbling life, with crumbling dreams. But hey, like my tag line says, if you can’t be a good example, be a horrible warning.

And I just don’t know why I like the Pine so much, but with my penchant for the Doctor, and Sherlock and the like, maybe I just like the floridly eccentric. Maybe, oh nos, I like people like me. The freaks, geeks and losers.

Because, and I’m being honest here, nothing scares me more than normal, boring people. People like my local rellies (not my nutty northern ones). People who only talk about painting their back deck. People who won’t eat things for a dare. Who won’t be with people who don’t share their rigid beliefs or hold to their strict codes of behaviour. Those people terrify me. And, I think one can say this these days, they’re everything that’s wrong with the world.

Nah, give me the weirdos any day. Even if they break my heart. Because what’s life without cuts and bruises along the way? You can’t make wine without smashing grapes (I know it’s supposed to be eggs/omelettes, but I could really use a drink right now). It’s been that sort of a week.

Meanwhile, I’m going to have to take up walking every lunchtime from next week if I keep up with the comfort food (oy) but I figure (what figure?) now is not the week to let my sugar levels drop. Maybe I could take my camera. I haven’t done that in ages (usually it’s wall-to-wall midday meetings).

I wonder if the war memorial is open – it’s been closed since 2015 and the reflection pool dug up. I know, WTF, right? I wanted to see Rayner Hoff’s Sacrifice again, because it was referenced, and it made me want to see it again. It’s a beautiful, heartbreaking, highly charged sculpture, and I’m not just talking all the cultural, social and historical meanings piled upon it. If you see it, you’ll know what I’m talking about, maybe. Doomed youth, is there anything more romantic or tragic?

You’d think I wouldn’t talk that way after this week, horrid week, but nothing stops me being overly gothic in my fancies. If anything, it makes them worse. Shameful, but there it is. I am what I am.

I did say freak/geek/loser, right? With an unhealthy obsession with Chris Pine. And an innumerable number of Tardises (WTF is the plural) hiding in her bedroom (including a tiny one pictured on a teapot).

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

mockturle06: (Dean sad)

This was going to be an attempt at a cheery post for once, but no. I’ve just had a call (and messages) that my beloved and dearest and so like me it was very funny cousin Catherine has died abruptly, and no one knows if this will finish off my Aunt, her mother, who had the stroke, because Catherine was her favourite, and I am just so upset right now. So very fucking upset (but thank you John, who called, because talking helped).

Anyway, after a long Friday of office fuckwitery (I wish I could tell you what my clients did next, but I can’t, but let’s just say it’ll be one spectacular screw-up I’ll be airing as a grievance for months/years to come) I was in a mood for nasty.

And nothing is nastier than Richard III (though I am a badge-wearing Ricardian). I went to see the Bell Shakespeare Company performance of R3 at the Opera House with Kate Mulvany as Richard, in the role she was actually born to play (she rips off her shirt in one scene, no FX required, very brave).

I knew she’d be damn good, so I was looking forward to it. What I got was a performance so fucking on point and pin you to your seat amazing that everyone else can just go home now – R3 is done. We couldn’t leapt to our feet cheering quick enough come the curtain call.

This was the first post-Trump R3 production, and it was interesting. Instead of setting it in WWII as most have, this was very Weimar Republic, with the rest of the characters just clueless as to what was going on until hit by an axe. Last year, in other words.

And Richard, instead of a moody, misunderstood post-Columbine boy who was just never given a chance, Kate’s R3 was evil, winking, leering, manipulative, ruthless and unapologetic going for it game-player who just didn’t give a shit about anyone or anything but what he needed to get the crown. Welcome to the brave new world of evil for evil’s sake.

And yet, no matter how vile Kate’s R3 was, and, in the age of Trump, there was licence to be pretty damn vile, the grinning and winking still had us onside and complicit in this awful play. Yeah, nothing like real life, as we stand half amused that it could be that shockingly awful, gasping, and doing nothing.

It was great. So fucking amazing. I’ve never seen better. And I’d had a nice-ish dinner at the Opera Bar beforehand.

So I woke to Saturday, all sunny and feeling like I’d turned a corner and all was right with the world. It wasn’t to last.

Sunday brought more rain and a nasty head cold that has lodged itself in my ears to fester, as they often do. So I really felt quite awful and feverish all day, just enough to be irksome.

Monday comes, pitch black and lashing with rain and dreadful news.

mockturle06: (mr flibble)

I’ve had two job offers. On paper, I’m brilliant. In real life, not so much.

Managed to lock myself out of the house last night, while the city was being lashed with the wash of Cyclone Debbie. Sheer brilliance. By luck, because it was lashing down, I’d dumped my bag in the laundry while I faffed about, so I had my phone and my book, and my old fold out chair from when I used to sit on the back deck before the Bad Neighbours. And it was dry and solid because the laundry used to be the outdoor loo, there’s even a light to read by.

Unfortunately before I chilled and settled I sent off a testy IM to Himself about being stuck in the laundry so he made a big announcement, left whatever fancy art wine and cheese do he was at and caught a taxi home to rescue me. It was sweet, but I’m never living it down and I’m basically his bitch for the rest of the year.

Still, being dry and inside watching the Legion finale was better than trying to read my Buchan in a howling gale in the laundry - the gap under the door was letting in some water and a bitey draft, must fix that.

Legion was, well, I just really like it. It has no plot to speak of, so I shouldn’t, but it picks up the insanity of the Prisoner, the nuttiness of all those ITC shows I loved (Avengers, Department S, etc.) and the bent reality of Life on Mars (they keep citing cable shows, but Life on Mars was doing this over ten years ago, people) and the general UFO aesthetic. And Dan Stevens, who manages to walk a fine line between campy and menacing.

Oh, and I also picked up two Dan Stevens glossy mags today, which made me happy. Not that I ever get to scan my stash these days, and definitely not in a leaking lounge room, but hey, it’s the small things. It keeps my mind off my rotting carpets and uncertain job sitch.

At least I’m not the only one suffering bad 70s reno syndrome. I know several folks in the same actual boat, brothers and sisters in buckets and bailing. I think, I know, we’re all so over it we’d happily round up all surviving purveyors of badly done 70s renovations (certification my arse) and drive them over The Gap with pitchforks. Not too harsh at all for the intergenerational misery and economic hardship they’ve caused with their carelessness. Not to mention actual safety issues (me sloshing about in a swill of lead and asbestos, for starters). Bastards.

Meanwhile, there’s been an explanation, of sorts for the boy’s extreme haircut (I’ve copied several news reports to my blog). It’s pretty much he’s just a mad bastard, thanks for asking.

I’m not sure I entirely buy the ‘just bored’ excuse though, as it was the perfect hair to wear when flying about in fighter planes like he was the other day (the life of a celebrity, eh), so I’m kind of hoping something is up, but either way, he’s letting his freak flag fly and I’m happy if he’s happy. I do miss the Jack Lord look he was rocking though, that was a fave.

I’m just envious, I guess, because what’s charming eccentricity for the blessed, is certifiable deficiency and deviance for the rest of us. But it was ever thus. There are always two rules for everything.

Even for infanticide, as it’s always a medical condition for rich folks and murder if you’re poor. I know, a bit heavy, but nowhere is the dollars for diagnosis so stark as in cases of infanticide (and I saw enough in my time as a coroner’s clerk).

I know, I need to lighten up. At least I know now I’m not the only one bumbling about like a lunatic. This latest restructure has us all shook, like dropping things, forgetting things, walking into walls, doors and buses. They’re targeting folks for termination, which is, I’ve learnt, way worse than the arbitrary red crosses on a floor plan that I was hit with last time. Really, last time it was so very ‘those six desks there, sacked, those two desks, keep, those six desks, gone, those two, stay’, and so on. Except I know the two keepers are gone now because, oh man, so not the shoulders you would have wanted to load the work of a half dozen ex-employees onto.

So last time it was so damn arbitrary I knew there was nothing I could have done better. This, though, being picked off like characters in a horror film. It’s awful.

So I should take those job offers, and yet, and yet, I have eggs. I got another box of eggs from the farmers market that is our office kitchen. I think I might cling on until I’m prised off. Because despite a few bad apples, I like most of what I do, and the people I do it with. And, hey, at least the CV is working. I should be able to get a temp position with an agency when the crosshairs fall on me. Maybe. I don’t know. It’s all so uncertain and awful.

Which may explain why I spent hours last night in the laundry. Or I’m just a lunatic. Whatever.

mockturle06: (Avengers)

Well, yesterday was weird.

It kind of started and ended in a fluster, all my own doing, as always. First of all, in a flying panic, running late and not having slept in a week, while transferring my bits from ye olde battered work bag to a slightly less dinged handbag for interview purposes, I left my aging, over-heating Samsung piece of shite nestling in my ancient quilt of many stains (more blood than coffee, sad to say), so that was fun. Miraculously, it was perfectly fine and wondering what the deal was when I clutched it to my bossum some 19 hours later.

Mind you, this meant I showed up to my interview and my hair appointment at the wrongs times, because I’d left all that fiddly detail to my calendar. That’ll learn me. At least I was early, and folks thought me mostly…quaint. Yes, we’ll go with ‘quaint’.

The interview, well, I only started doing these for practice as I’ll be applying for my own job again, but another manager in another department submitted my name to a very good recruiting form, so, first, thanks for the respect and support, but what the hell do they know that I don’t? Then, yesterday, two more people got the chop, and one had been there longer than I have. So, you know, shit got real fast.

And I kind of fell backwards into that interview, showing up half an hour early, and being so tired I accidentally answered with the truth when they asked me how I’d deal with a curly problem I’d only dealt with last week. I actually admitted to a sneaky work around, and their eyes gleamed. So, I dunno. More money, I can’t say less security (it’s a very short-term contract but since I get turfed out of my ‘permanent’ roles every 18 months, that’s moot these days) and it’s not as interesting as some of the content I work with now is (though I fairly nearly nodded off over that 40 pager yesterday because policy regs). I dunno, but I’m gonna have to decide. Maybe. I dunno if I’ll get it. I may know how to run rings around immovable objects (aka IT departments) but I’m still ‘quaint’.

The hair? I so cannot afford it but it’s part of being interview ready, so it’s a work expense and therefore a necessary, not a luxury. They did slap on a free treatment though, because I was being quaint (and I’d earned the points and they thought yesterday was the day I should redeem them, because, quaint).

The good parts of the day was being able to drop some tidy tricks on some appreciative colleagues, who don’t, as yet, mind the ‘quaint’, sneaking off for a much needed sandwich. Trying not to eat but sometimes the concussion headache demands food, or rather if I starve myself I make it worse, so that’s why I’m trying to do more walking, when I can.

Alas, due to many meetings yesterday (hence the extreme pleasure of a covert sandwich), no lunchtime walkies as planned, but I did have to trot up to the interview and back. I only remembered where the interview was because I’d been looking it up the day before and had accidentally typed I Oxford Street, instead of one, and I thought that’d be the name of the self-indulgent one-hander play I was going to write and debut at the downstairs theatre at the Belvoir. As if. (I’d cut my own hands off before I ever wrote anything about inner city wankers – gimme starship captains any day).

Which brings me to the last surprise of the day. On the way up to my somewhat unscheduled hair appointment I dropped in on one of the last newsagents in the city and there it was, a magazine that had come out six months ago, that I’d wanted but despaired of ever getting a copy, just sitting there. Battered, sure, but it had to go in the interview bag anyway. And, at last, I had it, and it made me happy.

Sure it’s just a magazine, now cluttering up the top of the bookshelf, and it means nothing and I should care more about real things, and real problems, but it was pretty, and humans like pretty things. Hell, even Neanderthals were buried with a handful of their favourite pretty things. And it made me happy, just for a bit, to gaze upon the pretty, in proper print resolution.

So that was a brief respite, and, well, for me, it was like a peek of sunlight after a month of wet weekends (March, much?). I do like my pretty things.

Quaint? You bet. But at least I got through the day, with the grace of a flailing hippo, but I got through it. And I got a treat. Like I said, weird day.

Today promises tempests though, of every kind. I worry that quaint won’t cut it.

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

mockturle06: (Dean sad)

I am my own worst enemy. Nobody could ever hate me or sabotage me or simply just screw up my life and make things difficult the way I do.

Today I have a job interview, a big meeting, a walk and a hair appointment and I’ve left my bloody phone at home. Twas to be expected I suppose, with a last minute bag change, chronic insomnia (or disturbed sleep via angry possums) and me having a really bad concussion week: face still going numb, still with the dizzies, the nausea, the falling into things and dropping things. Which is probably what happened to the phone. I hope. It’s only an ancient Samsung, what could possibly go wrong with it nestled in the folds of my hastily thrown aside quilt?

Then there was trying to buy a boxcutter in Coles, queue sirens and questions. Why? Because I want to cut up boxes, that’s why. Himself spends all his money on Ebay then tosses the boxes behind the rotten front door to rot and I mean to have at them. Meant to get at them last night but I had a very long and difficult day at work and then the bus caught on fire, so, you know, late.

I am a stupid and selfish child. Who cares about nothing but what on TV. True, that, but in my defence, between my allergy to washing powder and washing a month’s worth of crap and pegging up a month’s worth of socks with my concussion, I was good for little else but sitting on the couch and letting what’s left of my brain dribble out of my now deaf ear. If I’ve got to go, I’m going out watching the Pine, and that’s that, as far as I’m concerned.

I care about things that aren’t important. This is true. But I have no control over the things that are important. None.

Ever since that new manager showed up, life has been an unendurable hell of long hours, no OT and snide comments. And now we’re having another restructure and I’ve got to apply for my own job. Again. Hence all the job hunting (and not getting).

I can’t do anything to help about my Aunt’s stroke because I can’t afford a plane ticket. It’s fallen all to my cousin, the eldest, to manage everything and I want to help, because I remember how fucking awful it was for me, with no help, or support or relief and work and managers and rellos being just officious, judgemental and making even more demands on me and having not one person willing to buy me some food or pick me up from the hospital on a cold, dark, wet night.

So I want to be there, but I can’t. And it must be hard, because she never had a warm relationship with her mum, and she had a kid out of wedlock and she was in the car crash that killed her father so she’s always been on the outer, which I suppose is why we’ve always shared long letters, since I was a kid. I love her to bits and I want to scream that I can’t help.

So I tried posting some tea and biscuits. It’s not much, but the folks I talked to said they’d much prefer Tim Tams to a hug, so I thought it’d do. The first time I tried I was told I wasn’t allowed post tea and biscuits to the UK, possibly under the Sending Coals To Newcastle Act. They said organic matter was verboten, which is a bit of a stretch, definition wise, for Tim tams, but there was no posting to be done that day.

The next day I tried again. This time I was in trouble because I didn’t know her phone number. I’ve never had it. It’s always been letters, and now Facebook. Growing up, phoning the UK cost a month’s wage, so it was just never done. Never even thought of. Even phoning my Aunt from a UK landline felt weird and wrong and she’d hang up almost instantly out of frugal habit.

So I had to look up the white pages and return for a third try. Well, they accepted the parcel at least, but I’ve no guarantee it’s ever going to get there. They don’t make it easy to try and be kind these days.

I judge other people when I’ve no right even existing. What would I know about other people? According to what I read yesterday I ought to, as my mother always said, be locked up and have the key thrown away. I am a mess. A fat, ugly, old, miserable, about to be unemployed, everyone hates me, useless, exhausted, broken down mess.

But hey. I’ve got that job interview (and I’m deaf in one ear and I haven’t slept in days). Just look at me in the mirror. Yeah, I want to punch myself in face, too. Loser. I deserve everything I get. It’s all my fault. I don’t try hard enough. I’ve been a waste of space since the day I was born. A nuisance to all. I should just shut the fuck up right now.

PS. Richard 3 tomorrow. Pissed off and bitter freaks UNITE!

More stuff I found interesting: https://plus.google.com/u/0/113197665355692280218

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: (mr flibble)

As I wrote in my Twitter feed (what, you’re not following? The wit, the pearls, the absolute gems, I tell you), it was recycling day today, which meant I had to run the gauntlet of two garbage trucks with their grabby robot arms (which would be nervous making enough if I’d not grown up watching Doctor Who) snatching at bins as I duck and weave in the blackness on my way to the bus stop.

Ah, and they are indeed the bins of social shame. Not just for the ‘who put that in there’ kind of thing that’ll get you’re a fine from the council, usually because some neighbourhood miscreant has done a midnight fling of old nappies into your carefully washed and folded recycling, but the audible evidence of personal vices. Or, to put it bluntly, one can get an estimate of the average alcohol consumption of each household by the din caused by the smash and crash of many empties being flung into the trucks.

I mean, I thought the house next to the bus stop had an eyebrow raising number of empties in the mix, but the house on the corner is either running a speakeasy out of their lounge room or someone needs to ask if they’re ok, because, seriously, dudes. That was quite the protracted smash and crash. It just went on and on and on. One can at least ope there were a few Chinese takeaway containers in the mix.

Yes, I’m being judgemental and mean, still, and I can’t seem to help it. I mean, I read about personality changes being a symptom, but man, this is weird. Weirder still is that I know this is going to win me a lot of friends, not, and I’m finding it hard to care. Ah well I was always far too sensitive and emotional.

Okay, that was so weird. Just spent four days away, or struggling to be me, or suffering what the Victorians call a brain fever. Probably just the concussion giving me another whack. One minute I was at work and getting it done, the next writhing on the bed shaking and suffering such fever dreams that even the makers of Legion would have dismissed as too far out there.

Then I had a couple of days of still being woogy and needing to have post-it notes everywhere like Dean in that episode of Supernatural where he got hexed (I know, not narrowing it down). I really felt for the poor boy, though killing the witch that hexed me wasn’t really an option for me.

Or maybe it was. Some real mean girl posts (don’t know why but these episodes make me really mean and cranky) some mad as fuck dreams and a couple of thunderstorms and I’m a bit better. At least in a sitting up at my desk remembering my passwords kinda way.

Bit better than yesterday, when following the slender plots of 70s and 80s cop shows was a struggle. No, I’m not telling you which shows but I found them on a channel up the back of the dial, as it were, and as I wasn’t up for reading and the worksite next door ruled out sleeping and I was feeling all unhappy I thought maybe a wallow in the past might help. Oddly, it did.

And at least I was home, with the telly on again, on Monday when I had two building sites going at it hammer and tongs, and trucks, and I got to see the Oscars fiasco, and that delighted my feverish wicked heart no end, just because, like a vogon, I didn’t see why anyone else should have a good time, and seeing skinny blonde girls humiliated never gets old (especially as it so rarely happens, they get everything they want in life, people love them).

I know, I shouldn’t be mean, but I was feeling awful and the schadenfreude of seeing that film, where the untalented and arrogant white guy never stops telling everyone how things should be, actually get kicked off the stage, there was beauty in that. Cruel, yes, but rather deserved in their insufferable smugness and presumption of destiny.

And as for the dude who messed up the envelopes, man, I wouldn’t want to be him, but watching the whole thing play out in the media, it treads a fine line between blood sport and there but for the grace of, you know? Usually I’d be way more sympathetic, but eh, shrug.

And still with the crazed fever dreams, but points for incorporating Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe into the mix, surely. I know, what the? My head is a perfect bubble and squeak of places I’ve been, things I’ve seen, not this week but years, even decades ago, all mixed up and set to simmer. I couldn’t even tell you which library I was dreaming I was in, as it was the National Library of Victoria, the State Library of NSW, the British Library and maybe even the Bodleian, all jumbled up Escher style. I was looking for a book that was straight of some of the lurid stuff I’ve been watching/reading and then I was trying to get to the park, and I kept getting messed about on the way. Needless to say, I never made it.

mockturle06: (Chris)

I forgot to mention in my review of The Finest Hours that Chris Pine must be a real little trouper, as he must have taken a bucket of cold water to the face for days while filming that. The dear boy.

So I suppose if he can put up with that, I can put up with this, though, like Renton in Trainspotting, I’m really feeling the ‘thirty more years of this’ ennui.

You might have noticed I’d not reviewed Newton’s Law, despite being a Toby Schmitz fangirl. There’s a reason for that. Oh dear. It’s such a bad 80s lawyer show, and it’s really kind of awful. Pedestrian scripts of limp mediocracy and acting straight out of an Aldi ad. Oh dearie me.

Not that I was watching it properly, or uninterrupted, but, yikes. Legion was a bit of a drag, too, a bit too realistically like a fever dream for me to really enjoy it.

And I was really looking forward to last night. I was supposed to have most of the night to myself so I tried to leave early (didn’t, but tried), but I blew past the shops to catch the bus and the sun was still up when I opened the back door, just. Okay, kissing the rooftops, but, you know. Not pitch dark yet (soon I’ll be going out in the black and coming back in the black again).

Instead of making dinner, I thought I’d order in Thai, and, as MenuLog have been sending me ‘are you dead’ emails, I thought I could tender those in court as proof that takeaway is a sometimes treat, and not eaten every night as we who live in the outer commuter belt are always accused of doing (usually because I’m commuting when I should be cooking). I thought it could be a treat.

What I wanted to do was wriggle into the corner for an hour, just one hour, and try and write something, anything, on the cheap nasty PC I’ve had for a year and have never actually used for typing yet. The keyboard is pretty bad, as it turned out.

So I decided to order Penang curry, and settled down to type away, the reviews in the previous post, and it was kind of nice. Just me and my cheap, nasty PC.

And I’d timed it so perfectly that Himself and the delivery guy arrived at the gate at the same time, and the curry was good, and I offered to wash up by myself, so I don’t know where I went wrong. But I did.

Much like a scene from Legion, I ended up with the contents of the fridge hurled at me. My milk, my marmalade jar smashed to the floor, my near empty packet of Tim Tams, my left-over rice. In fact, the only things I have in the fridge. At the time it just looked like everything in the fridge being thrown about, but no, just my stuff. I read once in an article on domestic violence that if it’s only your stuff that is damaged or destroyed, then the seemingly random violence isn’t quite as random as it appears. Whatever.

I still don’t know where I went wrong. I said I’d wash the dishes and asked if there was room in the fridge for my leftovers and suddenly my milk and Tim Tams are bouncing across the floor (the marmalade didn’t bounce). I’m fairly sure I’d remember saying or doing anything that’d make a Penang curry worth a face full of fridge contents.

So it’s midnight and I’m showering glass and marmalade off myself (I ate the Tim Tam). And I have to get up at 4am and do it all over again. I think of Chris Pine taking bucket after bucket in the face making The Finest Hours, and I button up my big girl’s blouse and get on with it. This, you see, is why I need Chris Pine in my life. Just something, anything, to take me out of myself. I need a reason to keep going, and staggering from film release to TV show to theatre ticket seem to be it for me.

Meanwhile at work I get blasted for letting a colon slip through because I’ve had no sleep and it’s still in the style guide so basically I’m offending against rules I haven’t been told about and an email smack down isn’t enough, no, I get a bent over the desk verbal follow up, too.

Other people decide they don’t like the heading styles in the template and it’s all that’s okay, I’ll change it for you, anything for you. I miss stray punctuation and I’m in the stocks wearing cabbage leaves. It’s always one, harsh, brutal law of made up on the day rules I’ve never been told about for me, and red carpets and free gifts for everybody else.

That Renton feeling, thirty more years of this? Yeah, I’ve got that now.

And I’m only telling you this so that if you read my previous whine about not being able to write because of other people’s shit, this is what I’m talking about.
mockturle06: (Chris)
 I realise I’ve not yet reviewed any of young Christopher’s fillums here. 

Am I ashamed and embarrassed, a little, yes. Somewhat.
 
A lifetime’s worth of anglophilia means I usually prefer my actors with solid and lustrous theatre credentials that include Shakespeare, Ibsen, Chekhov, Stoppard, Pinter, Williams, Beckett and the like, and even my favourite Oz actors can manage that (saw Toby Schmitz from Black Sails doing both Stoppard and Shakespeare, David Wenham from Iron Fist doing Ibsen, Hugo Weaving doing Beckett, and even Damon Herriman from Justified doing Mamet). 
 
So yes, I am, I must now admit it, a dreadful snob. 
 
Compound that with his early roles as Disney princess/non-threatening boyfriend, and, well, did I mention that I’m a dreadful snob? Not that I haven’t seen Princess Diaries 2, but I was on a plane, for days, and it had Julie Andrews in it. 
 
But the boy isn’t just a pretty face, and he seems to have a solid work ethic – certainly I’ve yet to see him phone in a performance of rely on a bag of shticky tricks (hello Benedict), and I usually like his choices. Sometimes they can seem a bit mechanical and precise, like count three beats, turn and smile, but maybe that’s because I’ve seen them so often (thank you Foxtel and the Pine Nut in programing). And he’s diverse enough to pop up all over the genre cable movie channels, so that’s something (I’m not keen on niche actors, I like my boys versatile). 
 
Countless regrettable YouTube videos demonstrate the lad is not afraid of making a complete and utter tit of himself on camera, which shows a bracing lack of preciousness for a Hollywood boy, and I’m not just talking about the interviews, either, which seem to fall into Chris Pine is so bored he’s losing the will to live, Chris Pine is a lunatic and needs to rest now or Chris Pine is quite possibly very drunk/hungover (I blame PR for those, never schedule promo interviews the morning after the night before). 
 
So, Z for Zachariah, which I tend to think of as the radiation film so soundly mocked in Mamet’s Speed the Plow. Well, it is, rather. Rather a lot. It’s a quiet film, lovely to look at (and I’m talking the NZ scenery here, not Mr Pine, though this is pretty much peak Pine, right here), suitably bleak and mumbly, existential without ever delving deep, and pivoting upon, not so much the end of the world, as more of a jealous Othello vibe (and I saw Chiwetel as Othello at the Donmar, years ago). Apparently, there will be no threesomes at the end of everything (don’t tell my school chums that, see previous post).
 
It was kind of Beckett-y, and I think I was supposed to be getting some Eden references , but I’m a bloody heathen, so nope. And it was a bit kitchen-sinky for a post-apocalypse film - surprisingly lacking in zombies and car chases. Like I said, Beckett-y. 
 
CP is darn pretty, and that’s actually a plot point, as it makes him an immediate threat to the not-at-all cosy domestic arrangements he’d stumbled into. He’s a bit shady, and may have done some pretty dark deeds to survive, or maybe not, he’s certainly not as overtly violent as CE, and there’s a real sweetness to his ever so brief and budding relationship with Margot’s character. They actually talk, unlike CE, who, like all scientists (trust me, I work with enough of them) who just bosses and bullies. 
 
And the not very ambiguous last scene of his, when Caleb knows he’s in danger, shall we say, it’s a heartbreaker, every time. The look on his little face. Poor possum. 
 
So that’s that. The radiation film, where three’s a crowd. 
 
The Finest Hours is a Disney flick, so you’ll never hear anything stronger than ‘damn’, which is hilarious, with all the merchant navy men and coast guard crew all thinking they’re going to die. But no swearing. Keeping it tidy in the face of almost certain death, now that really is the finest hour (cue Sandra Dee here, as it’s set in the 50s anyhow). 
 
Oh, but CP is so adorably dorky in this. I was in love with Bernie before he even got out of the car. There’s such a lot of bashful stammering, a real Jimmy Stewart-like performance. And that’s not a bad thing.
 
The flick also features firm favourites Holliday Grainger, Aussies Eric Bana and Keiynan Lonsdale, Ben Foster, and Graham McTavish, so that’s kinda neat. 
 
So it’s your basic Thunderbirds plot, sinking tanker in the middle of a massive storm, and our heroes have to get out on the world’s tiniest boat, through some rough CGI seas that remind me of catching the Manly ferry through the heads in inclement weather, and try and rescue three times the number of people that will actually fir on their tiny little boat (I spot a flaw in their plan here, but I guess that’s where the heroics come in). They actually cite the maximum number of passengers at this point, to my great amusement, but sweet little rule abiding Bernie, having just about drowned in CGI seas, is 100% done with rules and regulations and backchat and snipping and sniping and all those sharp comments about the last attempted rescue that failed, and, after the hissy fit that has clearly been a very long time coming, he disobeys a direct order and steers his tiny, overloaded little boat back to shore, which, for dramatic purposes, has been blacked out by the storm.
 
It’s a pity the storm effects are a bit wooby (the script was writing cheques the digital department couldn’t cash) as I’ve seen some storms like that out here, you know, the one last year that started to sail someone’s pool off to New Zealand, or the one maybe ten years back where the tanker, an actual tanker, ended up on a Newcastle beach. So I don’t doubt the storm, just the Turner-esque soft-focus CGI rendering of it.  I mean it’s cute that the art department were clearly referencing Turner’s Snow Storm - Steam-Boat off a Harbour’s Mouth, but maybe a little more realism wouldn’t have gone astray in providing some real peril.
 
That said, I do like this film, I like that it’s based on a real story (don’t know why, just do, usually I like my fiction fictional) and I like CP in this, and his ‘be one with the waves’ moments. He’s sweet, and f-knows, I could do with some sweet in my life. 
 
He's sweet in Hell or High Water, too, even though he's running around robbing banks. Did you know you can only rob banks during business hours - out of business hours it's just plain burglary? Of all the trivia I've picked up from QI, that has to be the most useless, but hey, I'm using it now.
 
So you know the drill by now, also starring Ben Foster and a scene-stealing Jeff Bridges. It's by the same dude who did Young Adam (yes, which I saw because of Ewan) and I liked it enough I guess to recognise the guy's work without having to resort to IMDB. 
 
And it's a perfect western. Absolutely perfect. Now you know I've a bit of a thing for westerns, they're just a genre I grew up with, and I love a neo-western (hello Justified, Supernatural, and hell, even Game of Thrones and Peaky Blinders count these days). And let me tell you, this was perfection. Not a shot, not a moment, not a note out of place (I have the soundtrack on vinyl). 
 
And Chris, it's too damn bad nobody decided to give Chris a nod because it's a great piece of low-down tightly wound thousand yard stare acting. I guess it just wasn't showy enough but Chris has never been a showboating actor, he's always whatever the role needs, no less and no more. Like I said, precise in his choices. He just lives Toby Howard the entire time he's on screen and he doesn't have to scream and howl his pain, it's there in every downcast look, every flinch, every silence. 
 
Toby is the heart and soul of the film, he's the one who sets it in motion, and he's pretty much the one who ends it, too, with that magnificent showdown, or rather stare down, and ooh, just the way he leans there with the rifle resting against his thigh, I could watch that all day, no lie. 
 
He's a broken man, but there's steel there, too, and he just doesn't give up. He might not show his scars so easily, but you can tell he's had it just as hard as his brother. It it shows, just in the way he stands, all hunched shoulders and tight. It's a really finely calibrated performance. Another lost boy (see also T2, previous post).
 
The film is great too, the story I mean, all the comments on how the west was won, and lost, land rights, poverty, the insane lack of law and order (the bank customers being more heavily armed than the bandits) and the dark humour. It was very much of the same cloth as Justified, and I have no problem with that. Not one little bit.
 
And Chris, if ever there was a man who could rock a saggy porn 'tache and look like he hadn't bathed in a week and still make me want to jump his bones in the worst way, well, I never thought it'd be Chris, but there you are. Who knew my clean-cut honey could be all gritty and sweaty and oh, yeah. 
 
And it's a damn shame he didn't get more kudos and encouragement for doing this. And I'm sorry I don't give the boy the respect he deserves, especially when some of my lauded Brit boys have become caricatures of themselves (hello, Benedict), or making regrettable life choices (hello, Tom). Lately Benedict seems to have gone the full Widow Twankey pantomime, twirling about in his roles, the subtle shades of performances like the one in Stuart a long distant memory, not to mention both he and Eddie playing wizards decades before I ever expected it of them. Oh dear. 
 
So, yeah, giving Chris some love, and there are worse things than being a Disney princess (or crushing on one). And I haven't even mentioned the space movies yet, but taking such a beyond well known role and making it his own, well, that's stylish, that is.
 
So there are a few Chris Pine films that aren't too shabby. (Notice I didn't mention Bottle Shock. I hope someone burnt that hideous fright wig but I suspect one didn't have to get too close to an open flame for that to happen). He does a half decent spy, too. I'd love to see him as Felix, James Bond's BFF, but I guess I never will (but stranger things can happen, never expected to see Hiddleston, after Shakespeare and Chekhov, in a giant monkey movie).
 
And I'm looking forward to seeing him in Wonder Woman (with Spud!), even though I suspect dearest Steve is going to get fridged so bad. And I'm also curious to see how he manages the quatum leaping deadbeat dad in a Wrinkle in Time, too. That was one of my books as a kid, as was Wonder Woman, so, you know, it's important. (Between those roles and Star Trek he's pretty much hit all my childhood fancies, so it was kind of inevitable that Chris Pine would cross my line of sight, sooner or later).
 
Sorry, but I don't have much else going on right now, which is probably a good thing...
 

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