The other day there was a lot about Kurt Cobain’s non-birthday. It was more about me feeling old and tired, than any distress amongst his surviving nearest and dearest.
And at least the man had the dark good fortune to leave his legacy intact. Age shall not weary him, enfeeble him or cause him to make embarrassing tweets or indulge in humiliating comebacks, reality shows, reunion tours or misguided acoustic solo albums of spoken-word poetry. None of that. Just the pure vision of a doomed Romance-age poet. Beautiful.
Yes, I’m being dreadful, but which has more value? Unblemished art or, say, the sad, staggering degeneration of a David Cassidy? (Who was never in same league, but for comparison). I mean, which would you rather, blowing your own face off or appearing in I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. There are indeed, it seems, many fates far worse than death.
And if you think I don’t know real pain, hey, my Dad killed himself and the worst and most difficult project I’m working on right now is pretty much the digital equivalent of what happened to all his actual papers: burying them in landfill. So no comments about taking dead dads lightly. No, it’s my own pain that makes me such a bitch about it.
So yeah, getting old sucks, and at least when you’re dead you don’t know what happens to the shit you leave behind.
Oh yes, cheery mood. I thought going to the school reunion would throw some light on the skittering cockroaches of my mind, but instead it’s sent me spiralling down the rabbit hole of existential bleakness.
But first, Trainspotting 2. Oh yeah, it’s all about getting old and still being as much a loser as you ever were. If there’s a theme this year, it’s constantly being reminded that all my dreams will never happen now. Like that Marianne Faithfull song, I know now that I’ll never ride through Paris in a sports car with the warm wind in my hair, etc., etc.
Which is pretty much T2 in a nutshell. One could blame poverty and society (or lack thereof), being perpetual outsiders, but, pretty much, they’re a bunch of nothing losers making the same mistakes they always make and everything changes and nothing changes and nobody ever wins. Or something like that.
But damn, it was funny, and stylish, if gritty Scottish squalor could ever be called stylish (and funny how they’re knocking all those slum towers down when they’re just starting to throw them up where I live, developers, eh?). And if Ewan was worried he couldn’t ‘be’ Renton again, let me reassure him, he was Renton again, completely and utterly. It was brilliant.
And as for Robert Carlyle as Begbie – hee (I was hoping to have some distance between watching the delirious return of that mad bastard Begbie and Once Upon A Time, but no, EvilChannelSeven decided to whack on several episodes I hadn’t seen all at once on Sunday and I only caught them because I was hungover and looking for no more energetic activity that lying glassy-eyed in front of the goggle box).
So I liked that, I really did. And I saw it for free, because I won tickets, so that was a small spark of light in my otherwise bleak and run-down existence.
So I thought it was cute to watch a film about old friends who were really anything but, sadly trying to re-run/reboot/relive their youth and failing most terribly, and then go off to the school reunion. Uh huh. I just sat in the corner while everyone caught up on their many husbands (quite the partner exchange going on there, I should write a HBO show) and kids and dogs. But hey, at least a lot of them have quite interesting careers, which is something considering we were never expected to amount to much (working class government school, see comments re grit and squalor, above). But hey, to those princesses I have to work with, if you think I’m too loud and a bit rough around the edges, meet my classmates. I’m the quiet one, dammit.
At the time I didn’t think it was too bad, and one dear chum I’d known since kindy introduced me to expresso martinis - and I still don’t know whether to thank her or smack her because I think I’m still suffering the hangover. Oy.
It was just afterwards, I was all rippled like a pool into which many stones had been chucked, and one of the former bullies I’d hoped to face and put behind me pursued me on Facebook all Sunday until I deleted the app. Again.
She was all ‘you didn’t talk to me, didn’t you remember me?’
What I thought was, to paraphrase Willow from BTVS, she made my life a living hell for four years and I hated her with a fiery passion. What I actually mumbled in reply was the usual lie about old age shredding my memory (less of a lie these days but it’s more serious head injury than age).
Come Monday and I’m being picked on from all quarters, and I’ve just about had enough. Stayed home on Tuesday to deal with a whole pile of issues that had been dumped on me, but it was mainly so I could curl up and cry. I didn’t, but I wanted to.
At least there was Chris Pine on the telly this week. My drug of choice (and less painful than an expresso martini, though it did, at the time, make watching Star Trek, yes, again, almost as transportive as watching it high on hospital grade anaesthetic, which sums up my 2016, pretty much). The dear boy. Chris, if you’re ever looking for a reason to get up and go to work on a wet Wednesday, keeping me out of the knife drawer should do in a pinch. My little slice of California sunshine.
Though last night I wallowed in Penny Dreadful repeats, because sad and gothic and doomed and oh, I’m probably going to start reading those thick Victorian novels again. And bad me, watching that second to last scene at the graveside all wrong. No, I must not, never mind that Timothy Dalton was being his most Bryonic since playing Heathcliffe or Rochester, both of which I saw as a schoolgirl in pigtails, so you can’t imagine how much it moved me, or set the standard. And Josh Harnett, whom I loathed as the most typical of cheesy Yank actors, was giving it his very best Bryonic, too, and almost nailing it, and so, love.
Then of course Rory walked in and stole the show, but that’s what he does (and why I always think the ‘film’ he was in was way better than Spectre, because the B Team/Scooby Gang looked like they were in a way more interesting film that was happening off-screen, let’s be honest here).
But no, must not, no new fandoms, must not dump current fic the way I dumped my MUNCLE one like a red hot stone (but it was basically such an, er, um, homage, and why, I’ll never know, to This Means War that the subsequent Chris Pine flail that caught me entirely off guard really should have been no surprise at all as it seems my subconscious was leaning that way long before my eyeballs caught up, and it was more the, er, um, optional ending on the DVD anyway, plot-what-plot-wise. Ahem, and I’d love to ask Chris if he was playing it that way through the rest of the flick, because, well, gosh).
Pity, because I did have fun scribbling most of the first MUNCLE one, which also owed a lot to The Champions and The Thunderbirds, damn my magpie brain. The second wallowed in Le Carre inspired ennui until I happily gave it up for a new/old toy.
Besides, I like my current fic, even if there are more daddy issues than Hamlet and Oedipus combined. Poor wee abandoned pup (read a great article on daddy issues in Hollywood).
There’s an awful lot of T2 riffs there, too, which my subconscious did pick up on a good 48 hours before the rest of me did, before I’d even seen the damn film (sometimes I think subby should drive the car, it seems to know the truth way before I do, but then it has, as they said in that episode of Doctor Who, all it needs to see clearly, it is both clever and unloved).
Mind you, I have thrown in a lot of Frankenstein, Dracula and Heart of Darkness riffs, that I can see myself stumbling towards Penny Dreadful, even now (my always abandoned fics are always like this, morphing into the next obsession before I’ve even got there).
Which isn’t to say I abandon the fics because I lose interest. No. Yesterday I wanted desperately to write, but was at the beck and call of others from 4am to 11pm, so no, no writing. Sunday, I did try, but ended up with, no, not the dull ache of a hangover, that I can cope with, just, but the red hot needles of my old concussion headache, and I’ll never know why an hour or so of scribbling in a notebook sends me wild with pain, but it does. It’s not helping or making me happy, I can tell you that.
I have over 300 pages of plotiness sloshing about in my battered old noggin, and I’ll never get it all down, especially the dialogue which goes from 40s film snappy in my head, which is ideal, to 90s tv soupy, which is bad, when I finally, finally get a chance to touch pen to paper, which is very, very rare. (What I need is a non-judgemental secretary who will work all hours for free – yeah, right).
So I get upset and frustrated, especially as my muse is really funny, and he needs to keep that snap that he has in my head while I’m travelling home, all bitter and twisted, on the bus (no, I can’t write on the bus, I’m usually strap-hanging and the roads so bad and the drivers so crazy if I do have a seat I’m hanging on with white knuckles because I usually don’t get a seat until near the end of the line, and it’s a race to go off shift for Mr Bus Driver, passengers, traffic and the laws of physics be damned).
So the one last hobby I’ve tried to keep, all others sacrificed to the great god of duty and doing endless shit for other people, all the time, is barely registering a pulse these days.
My next book to read will probably be re-reading the Princess Bride (though it’s been so long it’ll be as new), if I ever finish the dreary Hornblower, if for no other reason than certain characters in my never-to-be-finished fic riffing on ‘as you wish’, which is cute. Derivative, but cute. No, I can’t change it, they do what they like and I’m not allowed to interfere at all or they’ll slam the door on me and I’ll be banned from my own little imaginary world. Yes, even the imaginary characters in my head make me their bitch, such is my miserable existence.
But enough about that. Watching tv while lonely and sad (and sometimes tipsy) always leads down to the path of ruination, wasted lives and truly awful fic.
One outlier to this saga of death and decay was also seeing Hidden Figures. It’s being sold as a chick flick here, which is odd, as it’s all about maths and spaceships, usually such a male prerogative, but I suppose that’s the point. A chick flick about maths, whoda thunk it. Why, they even had a few conversations that didn’t revolve around men – gasp.
So it wasn’t quite as mawkish as I’d feared for an American can-do film, and it was such an Obama-era film that I wanted to cry, but it was pretty damn formulaic in structure, but for a film about maths chicks, I’ll take it. And it would have been a touch more suspenseful if I’d not been familiar with the mission, but I’ll allow that too (it was a bit like watching Macbeth and thinking maybe this time it won’t play out the same way). So it was pretty much by the numbers (heh) but performed with such verve, I couldn’t help but like it.
The one thing that really struck home was the long dashes to the loo. I once worked in a Victorian building that had fancy loos for the chaps, but the ladies had to use a near heritage-aged demountable set up in the loading dock/courtyard, because women neither worked nor peed when that building went up. So I’m used to lengthy dunny runs in all weathers. And this was in 2007.
So that rang true. Alas, no forward thinking Costner-like manager came around and co-opted one of the gentlemen’s lavatories for us girl-types, so it was always coming back soaked if one had dashed off sans brolly. The life of a working girl in a man’s world, eh? (Don’t even talk to me about potty parity).
And I do feel for their challenges. I’ve been called a monkey with a university degree, to my face, just for being poor and the undeserving recipient of an over-generous state education.
I do wish I didn’t look like my maternal grandmothers (especially now), and much more like my Viking paternal ancestors, so I could properly look the part when I’ve a mind to rip someone’s head off, because they’re well past deserving it. All my cousins are proper little Vikings, all blond and ginger terrors.
I do wish I didn’t look like I do. I wish my Dad had bought the house in Bondi, so no one would ever sneer at my postcode origins. I wish I was normal and could talk to people.
I don’t particularly wish I had my school chums lives. It seems all about partner-swapping, sex, pay checks and vet bills. I know I live too much in my own head for that (mainly because I was trained to do so from a lifetime of bullying).
And I know, despite being cut of plain cloth, I set my standards way too high (yet quite rightly decided I’d rather die a spinster than live with a gamer, but you all know what they’re like now, right?) and I know I want the moon and the stars, and a dream man not afraid of red velvet dinner jackets – heh.
Ah well, and I really should tell Katy Manning this, Green Death was, and remains, a favourite story of mine from childhood, and, in a way, I am still fighting that fight for the environment. It’s pretty much the only reason I stay put with the long hours and lousy pay. The good fight. There is a purpose (even if the politics and pettiness are maddening).
I just wish I had time for a wee bit of fic. But come 11 pm and I’m too knackered. And yes, watching telly on Sunday arvo was a waste of time, but that was only after the headache from hell and being hounded by an old nightmare on social media. Maybe I should stop fussing about the right time, and write at the wrong time. Maybe I should get a better cheap PC and try out some speech recognition software. I could mutter to myself like Auntie Rotter, wouldn’t that be…just too weird.
So that’s my so-called life at the moment: no riding through Paris, in a sports car, with the warm wind in my hair. These days I’m lucky if I can just manage to catch a ramshackle old bus.
Stuff I found on the interwebs: https://plus.google.com/u/0/
Well, I’ve put my money where my mouth is, I’ve re-subscribed to a few non-Murdoch (never ever) papers in these troubling times. I’d only unsubbed during that pesky re-trenched bubble and subsequent massive pay-cut so I’d been surviving on Google, multiple devices and RSS feeds and that worked pretty well, but I figure it’s time to stop gaming the system and get serious and support a free press (who, ironically, demand my money).
Mind you, I could only subscribe to the two foreign journals that have actual offices here. Others don’t seem to get what the WWW stands for. They’re all ‘this is a local paper for local people’. Well, good luck with that.
Maybe those two august journals have offices here because they don’t insist on a local postcode and phone number in their subscription process, and, weirdly, seem to have a lot of Oz subscribers as a result, and somehow think its worthwhile building on that subscriber base. Funny, that.
Anyway, that’s me trying to do the right thing (and failing wildly, as always).
I’ve just found out there are several showers in the building. That would have been useful to know during the two months of heatwave hell, because, trust me, in 46C and 80% humidity I’ve got sweat rolling down my face from just brushing my hair. Icky sticky.
It’s been pretty awful, but it was the right decision on the worst day to go to Tropfest. Mainly because it was happening in my home town and not miles and miles away in those rarefied nice places, and I wanted to enjoy the novelty of a short commute, I wanted desperately to support the concept of cultural events out west, and Sam Neill was going to be there.
Sam Neill. My hero. In my home town. Unbelievable. But there he was (later teasing that we all thought we were going to die in the heat, but we came anyway). The heat was pretty dire, but when the sun set the breeze came up and the park is nice (for now) and it was way cooler sitting in the park sipping real lemonade than sweating on the couch in a stuffy, cheap, nasty, badly made worker’s hovel.
And the films were great, really great. Lots of dark humour, lots of sad, lots of funny, lots of weird. My favourites were the one with the jelly, the serial killer’s dog (that dog is a way better actor than most I’ve seen, I kid you not), and dearest Matt Day’s winning film that combined euthanasia with local property prices. Heh. I also liked Olga’s story. Alas I missed the first film, which was held to be really good, but it couldn’t be helped (it might have been close by but they sure didn’t put on any extra buses to facilitate the short commute).
Got home in under 20 minutes – unbelievable. Took me nearly three hours to get home from the old Hordern Pavillion.
Oh yes, I went off to see the B52s and Simple Minds. Not exactly the most complimentary bill, but I’m not complaining as I love both bands.
And yes, you’d think I’d have had enough of bright yellow beehives and hot pink kaftans of late (guess what I found on Netflix) but no. And I love the space songs. Space and sex, sex and space. They even played Planet Clare, which made me happy.
And then there were Jim and Charlie. Simple Minds. My boys. Foolishly, instead of sitting sedately up the back I’d run into an old pal and we’d run up the front like loons. So I was hanging off the rail, singing and dancing (to Jim’s bemusement). I loved it, loved, loved it, but I always do. They always do a great show, always play the faves (well, not all the faves, but it’ll do, certainly that visa troubling song was missing from the playlist).
Alas, because of the heat and the fact that they’d confiscated my water bottle upon entrance, I really felt oogy during the last encore (and it was New Gold Dream, dammit) and Jim saw me wilt and sassed me, making sleepy-time gestures. Well, okay, better he thinks I was up past my bedtime than trying very hard not to hurl, but, seriously. I finally get up the front at a Simple Minds gig and I get sassed by Jim. Oy.
It wasn’t quite just the heat, though. I had to buy two packs of Advil, three packs of Libra, two packs of Messina Gelato flavoured Tim Tams, a box of Twinings Irish Breakfast tea and a Chris Pine DVD. This may have been the most menstral shopping basket I’ve ever had in my life.
Well, at least I got it in there. It caught me by surprise, being a week early, so I couldn’t take time off, and I had to miss Suzi quarto at the Opera House (wail!) because it hurt more than being slammed by a 4WD, and it just wasn’t fun.
So I ended up spending Valentine’s Day, not rocking out at the Opera House, but like I always knew I would (and tried so hard to avoid): crouched over in bed weeping, drinking whiskey, with a fistful of Tim Tams and Chris Pine on the telly. Ah well, at least there was Chris and his dopey grin and bright blue eyes. Saved me from completely losing my mind (or what’s left of it, anyway).
And there was Tom Hardy reading bedtime stories on the BBC. Tom Hardy, national treasure and children’s TV presenter. How did this happen again? With Taboo on at the same time? Versatile boy.
Yes, we always knew I would end up like this. At home, alone, with the remote and a half eaten packet of Tim Tams. Sigh.
The cats knew it. Ever since my birthday they’ve been hanging around the door like ‘hello, we heard there was an elderly spinster in residence’. Fuck off.
Sooty was all over me like a rash yesterday, an actual rash as I’m mighty allergic (double fuck off). I wish he’d go back to just glaring at me suspiciously from the bushes or the top of the fence, but no, he thinks we’re best pals ever since I chucked him that pressed processed lump of alleged turkey alleged meat Himself left in the fridge for me while he was off for another week in Melbourne. Since the cat was starving and I’d decided I’d rather starve I just heaved it out the door, figuring that at least one of us could be happy. One of us was.
So now I have a bloody black cat for a familiar. That’s all I need. I already have a reputation, I don’t need to be seen in the front yard, broomstick in hand, black cat at my feet, bird on my shoulder.
I’ve lost the Captain, but I’ve got Mr Goldstein now, the cockatoo who comes around for morning tea when I’m home (which I have been, a lot, as work has been generous with the telecommuting while I’ve been recovering from my pedestrian antics).
Why Mr Goldstein? Because the other week, dozing with a fever, I dreamt I was being paged and that a Mr Goldstein was waiting for me at the desk. I work up and I was still being paged by Mr Goldstein, and he was waiting for me, on the back rail. So he answers to Mr Goldstein (frankly, he’ll answer to anything if there’s a biscuit involved) and he looks like a Mr Goldstein the way he nods and scowls, so Mr Goldstein he is.
Yes, I’m insane, you’re only just getting that now?
What else? Well, telly, obviously. Legion looks pretty damn interesting if nothing else (and I’m familiar with the source material and Mr Stevens so they kinda had me already) and I just love the funky Prisoner/Clockwork Orange/TC aesthetic they’ve got going on. It’s very trippy but I don’t mind, kind of a Life On Mars riff, which makes me nostalgic (these days when you watch Life on Mars you laugh at the primitive technology and Sam hasn’t even been hit by the car yet, ouch). So I’m going to stick with that until I get bored and pissed off (and even then they’ll probably keep me hanging around if they hook it into the MCU proper).
Yeah, part of that ‘life’s too short’ thing I’ve got going on now, no more crap films, no matter who’s in it, no more rubbish TV shows, no matter the critical buzz and never, ever any book reviewed in the paper. But yes, I astonish myself now with how ruthlessly I can hang up on shows I adored for one or two seasons, before they were re-tooled or re-cast beyond all recognition, before they went off the rails, or, in a few cases, offended me mightily with their sexism, racism, fascism or whatever extreme point of view the gamer-bots in the writers room think are cool this week.
Yeah, life’s way too short for that stuff, and, as there’s so much telly these days, one can simply jump to the next thing, even if it’s a show from a few years or decades ago, or a shiny new toy.
And besides, finally, after a lifetime of being told what to do, I’ve finally figured out what I actually like and don’t like. I know my tropes, which boxes I like to have tickled, and I’m reasonably okay these days at sniffing out stuff I like, bugger the rest of the universe, and I don’t care if I exist in a fandom bubble of one. It’s better that way (though I swear I can have fandom wars with myself, just you watch me).
Still reading Hornblower and oh, how I want to tip him over the rails, as he is the most awful character, but I persevere (I know, after the speech above, right), because I’m just using it to spark ideas (that I will never get around to writing down) and for fek’s sake can somebody please find someone for Bush to love. I’m begging you. It’s so dysfunctional it breaks my heart, every damn page.
But enough of that. I’m just living off scraps of Dan Stevens and Chris Pine right now. And Tim Tams. No good can ever come of this.
Stuff I found of interest: https://plus.google.com/u/0/
I had a response to the family history post last week, which is better than the sound of crickets that usually greets my posts (not that I’d had time to post much but I’m having my own upheavals here and I’m treating this writing as therapeutic, as I need to get back into the swing and get some shit off my chest).
So…alas, those promised news reports of yore on the rollicking mighty Reverend Hay were not forwarded at present (and the Trove search engine isn’t the most refined of beasts), so you’ll have to wait for his exploits.
I can tell you about MacRobert’s Reply. Basically, Lady MacRobert, who was already widowed, lost her three sons in WWII. So she up and donated £25,000 to buy an aircraft, called ‘MacRobert’s Reply’ to give some back to those Nazi bastards. Because, Scottish.
My family: hardcore Nazi punchers.
I think there’s also a back-story involving Aston-Martin, and the start-up thereof, but I can’t remember all the details (or find the relevant links, my researcher needs to go stand in the naughty corner).
Then there’s the judge and the lord, but we don’t talk about them, because it’s all too shameful. No, it really is.
I could try and tell you the story my grandmother told me, when I was a child, of the time the river flooded, and it came up to the door. Then it came spilling under the old wooden door, and they tried to sweep it back out (this was just a redneck hovel, or so I’ve always imagined). But the water kept rising, so they stood on the chairs, and then they had to get up on the table, but still it kept rising. Finally they had to swim out of a window and climb on the roof, and they had nowhere else to go (this was over a hundred years ago in about 1913 so there were no choppers to airlift them out, they were on their own). The water came up and up and up until it was right up to the roof. And then it started going down again (well, obviously, otherwise I wouldn’t be here typing this).
I presume, from what I know about floodwaters now, that it took a while to clear, and the old homestead was knee-deep in mud.
Mind you, my Scottish uncle now has his very own flood story, as their house flooded up to the first floor last year. I can’t find the link now (sorry), but there was video posted on the old Press & Journal pages of my Uncle’s car floating off down the street. I’d been rollicking around the Aberdeenshire hills in that very car only a couple of months beforehand, so it was somewhat shocking to see via grainy web page footage. (Still, my archivist’s advice on how to try and rescue water damaged photos has earned us a spot in the good books, for now, which is a very rare and precious thing indeed).
I wish I could tell you about my grandmother’s favourite brother, who came back from the war (WWI, the great war, the war to end all wars) and just sat on a park bench, until he died, very shortly afterwards, and all he would do was play with a little hand held mechanical poker machine, that she still had and showed me (I can’t even find one on Google, so no wonder it got stoled, being very rare), over and over again. Flick, spin, three hearts. Over and over, until he died.
War is totally fucked, and you know what, my grandmother should be counted amongst the wounded, because she lost her favourite brother, slowly, and horribly, too, right in front of her, without being able to do a damn thing about it.
Which is probably why I’m a bit touchy about the addled war vert trope so beloved of TV shows. It’s no fun if they’re family. Even at a distance, that story upset me then, when I first heard it as a child, and upsets me even more now, knowing the shit that poor fucker must have been through.
She also lost a brother to blood poisoning, but I can’t remember the details. I can tell you science is important, because we don’t want to go back to shit like that.
I’d like to end up with a funny story, only I can’t remember exactly why my ancestor whacked somebody over the head with a guitar (and was done for GBH way back when which is how I come to know about it), smashing said guitar to pieces, but all I can say is, clearly, we take our music criticism very seriously in my family (man, there are times when I’d like to El Kabong a few so-called musos, oh yeah).
Briefly, what I did do: hugged a giant glittery clitoris. What I didn’t do: anything constructive.
Ok, so, last Saturday. Didn’t see Nick Cave (I’ve been leaving ticket buying to the very last minute and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, I just never know if I’m going to wake up bedridden or not).
I did see Amanda Palmer (and Neil Gaiman).
But first, the wimmins march. What was it good for? For learning, in an empirical way, that I’m not the only person in this anonymous city who is concerned about recent events. What I hoped to achieve? Nothing except a good showing to demonstrate that we, the people, hold a strong and different opinion to the wizened old men in power.
Also, it was fun, if hot, and marchers have always, always been on the right side of history (look at the Chartist movement) – unless you’re that 1% we’re protesting about. And, you know, I’ve got a tradition to hold up. From Swing Rioters to mutineers to revolutionaries to ratbags, I come from a long line of front-line socially conscious folk. So, you know, these were my people. In pink hats. Deal with it.
After the march, as I was a touch unwell, I found my favourite old oak (?) tree in the gardens and collapsed under its spreading branches and read a Hornblower novel (I’d popped into Kinokuniya on the way and picked up some Hornblowers and Aubrey/Maturins, thus reaching a new level in naval gazing, ahem). I’d intended to write, but alas, was a touch too touched by the sun for that (and my alone time had been whittled down by a third).
Actually, it’s frankly annoying that I have had a lot of spare time, like yesterday, and I want to spend it scribbling, because I need to spend it scribbling, but I can’t, because after an hour or so the headaches are so bad my head feels like one of those magic cabinets with all the swords sticking out of it.
It drives me to tears and my muse is on fire and I can’t keep up and when I do find an hour I have to myself and I’m not cross-eyed in pain, I can’t remember all those wonderful scenes that played out in my head. Could have been my best ever, but will never be finished because I just can’t manage it.
Which is a damn shame because my grumpy, forever calling a spade a fucking shovel, muse is so funny, and he breaks my heart.
Anyway, Amanda Fucking Palmer. Live at the Opera House, with the usual staged managed chaos that can make such a huge space feel so intimate. The seats weren’t great but weren’t bad (we were practically on top of the piano, but that meant we spent half the time just looking at Amanda’s magnificent shoulders.
It was funny, it was sad, there was a lot about the march, Brendan was wonderful (and funny and sad), Neil came on and read a Leonard Cohen protest song, and then there was the Glitoris. It was, as stated, a giant glittery clitoris, and made such an impression it got a write up in the Guardian. After the show, folks, including me, lined up to meet Amanda and have their photo taken with the Glitoris. As you do.
So that was Saturday. Pretty much been wobbly afterwards (too much sun, too much big day), and I didn’t even do anything for Burns Night, and Oz Day is usually just Burns Night recovery day (since I’m not allowed to mention my ancestors) and I was going to go to the park to see what was going on (they promised music, balloons, vintage cars and cooked meats, which is usually enough to get me out the door), but, alas, no, I just slobbed it instead (too much hot weather, too much concussion, too much that time of the month).
I did finish my Hornblower book, though. It wasn’t bad. Hornblower’s a massive dick, though. Total and utter dick (the way he treats women and his besties, for a start). Heaven help any character based on him, she says, coughing into her hand. (Ioan, I’m thinking, was far too sweet a boy to be playing Hornblower). And, no, I’d never read them before, couldn’t find them, until now (thank you, Kinokuniya).
Obligatory Chris Pine mention? Well, they had Star Trek: Into Darkness on telly on Monday, which I watched, instead of going out (was somewhat invalided, anyways), and besides, it had all my boys in it, or, you know, Chris, Karl and Benedict being, well, Benedict. Or, as some wag referenced on tumblr, it featured god’s perfect idiot, a British villain, a moody teen, a gratuitous cameo, a CGI character, etc.
Not that it’s a cliché at all, she says, sarcastically. It’s a total mess of a film. It starts out being a spy film, they throw Khan in there for no reason and nothing makes sense after that, and those boys have so not earnt their KHAN! moment so they should really can the Khan, if you know what I mean (I’ve sooo jumped ship) and don’t even get me started on the white-washing or why all movie villains are British posh boys (actually, that does make sense, we loathe those 1% Hooray Henrys). But, boys, pretty. I’m so shallow.
So I pretty much missed the entire Sydney Festival this year. Couldn’t be helped (though it would have helped if Neil and Amanda and others would stop Instagramming their festival fun, I feel so stay-at-home frumpy). Alas, it’s not a tickets at the last minute kind of thing, and just rocking out once a week is killing me (but brave, brave me for trying despite being so old and wretched and wrecked, yes?).
I could say something about World/US politics, but where does one start? I do know that after a century of tremendous bluster in all their fillums and tv about how they were going to stand up for what’s right, blah, blah, blah, the only resistance to a tyrant they can actually muster is a teen mag and a park ranger. Shame on you.
News from the world: https://plus.google.com/u/0/
( This post: T2 Trainspotting stars reunite at world premiere, Benedict Cumberbatch looks very serious as inventor Thomas Edison, Ben Whishaw returns to Almeida in new season, Toby Stephens Teases Lost in Space Reboot, Jude Law Has Seen Your Young Pope Memes and He Loves Them, Eddie Redmayne Loves Wearing Sweaters, James McAvoy on the Challenge of Playing So Many Characters in Split, Tom Hardy returning to CBeebies on Valentines Day for bedtime story, Andrew Garfield Talks Oscar Nom, Nicholas Hoult Brings New Mustache To Sundance Film Festival 2017, Matthew Goode to play Lord Snowdon in Netflix period drama The Crown, Dev Patel on Oscar nomination )
These photos of James McAvoy and Chris Pine turned up in my tumblr feed and I always thought it looked like they were staring in a live-action version of some 70s Japanese animation I used to absolutely adore as a kid.
Ah, if wishes were 60s sports cars, eh?
So, nothing else happening, except for me trying to find an ensemble that I can wear on a protest march, to a gallery, to sit in a park with, and then diner and a concert at the Opera House. Because I cannae be arsed travelling the old 51km there and back again to change. Oh, and I’ve got my period, too. So, yep, extreme wardrobe challenge. Dammit, I have this amazingly stupid red dress I’d bought to wear to an Amanda Palmer show, what, jeez, years and years ago now, when I had money, and every fucking time, no, you’re wearing the black, darling. Every. Fucking. Time. I’m gonna have to give it away, as new. Maybe Amanda would like it? Or could find it a worthy home. I should ask.
So I mentioned family history before. Mine contains much that is inaccurate and apocryphal, mainly because none of them could tell the truth to save their lives. Professionally, even. And I’m not just talking about the convicts. There’s the dude who allegedly wrote for travel magazines but only ever had one article published and always seem to be in places just before it kicked off. Hmmm. And the cold war pair whose files are sealed and who died, allegedly, in a locked room.
Then there’s the notorious Reverend Hay, and that’s the appellation that accompanies him around the globe (there’s a HBO series in his biography, if only I could get Russell Crowe interested in playing a boozy, brawling whore-running preacher who was pretty much run out of towns from Scotland to New Zealand with flaming torches).
I also love it when historical personages make guest cameos, like the time one of the family was hauled up for renting premises to the notorious Kate Kelly, and the general rowdiness that ensued. It sounds like Kate was basically running a Ned Kelly fan con, with the usual fake artefacts and peripherally involved speakers (the main players all being dead, natch), re-enatcments and the like.
Not that she’s the only alleged bushranger to cross the family tree, but then Oz was so small then, so there were always the crossing paths with Ben Hall and the various Captains, the whole Robbery Under Arms thang. Hell, my folks were cattle duffers running up and down the old track from Queensland to Victoria, all very Shelby-like dodgy, including my grandfather, who was a very dodgy boy indeed. Which is why, though I’m related to the squattocracy by many no doubt regretted marriages, I’m not part of it. Too much dodgy blood, shall we say.
Still, it would have been fun, had I had to move out west (always still a possibly) to reveal that I might be scum, but I’m still a lesser sept of these familes. You may kneel, and fetch me some tea, milk, no sugar.
At least I like to imagine the look on a certain snobs face who wanted to belong to the squattocracy when they found out I was one. Yes, you pillock, these towns and rivers, we named them.
Mind you, a millennia ago my ancestors owned most of south-eastern England, until some Cnut took it away from them. Damn and blast. Don’t suppose I could make a land rights appeal? I have a spiritual connection, I watch Grantchester. No, didn’t think so.
Sorry, felling put upon, having a ‘just you wait, Henry Higgins’ moment, again. Sadly, even my best behaviour isn’t up to the standards of certain snobs who went to better schools than I.
But blood is blood, and I can’t help it if Aunt Polly sometimes peeks out. I am, after all, the girl who got up and walked off after being sent flying by a 4WD.
Dad used to call her Boudica (and, turns out, he was right). I mean, I’ll take a hell of a lot of shit, and then I won’t. And it’s a thing. My grandmother and Aunt both broke doors in fits of pique, and I finally did the same, the day I was retrenched. (You’d think, then, that the menfolk were bad carpenters, as well as being especially annoying, and my grandfather was slapdash at best, but on the other side, they ran a big furniture shop in Aberdeen, they made furniture for that little shack called Balmoral, for fek’s sake).
And then there’s the story my Uncle told me of the time my grandmother just threw my grandfather’s old coat in the kitchen stove fire because it was tatty and she was tired of it, without checking the pockets, which were full of shotgun shells. So there’s the family, face down on the grass outside the house, counting off the shots exploding in the kitchen.
So, reckless, crazy and mercurial and not to be crossed on all sides of my family. Sorry if that offends, but, you know, born that way.
But also smart, and not book learning smart, but cunning smart (though it skipped my maternal uncle and brother who couldn’t find their way out of a wet paper bag if you showed them the hole).
Back to bushrangers, if you remember the Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith, well, loosely based on events and there’s an old family story that one of my great or great-great grandmothers (not so many as you’d expect because we’re late marriers and breeders) answered the door to, well, we’ll call him Jimmy because I can’t remember his real name or tribal name. Calmly as you please she invites him in and gives him the whole tea and cake on china service, as though it were the local vicar, and Jimmy is so pleased and grateful he bids her goodbye and goes on to massacre the next farmstead along instead.
I tried looking it up when I was at uni and the story and history matched enough to rate it plausible. Anyway, the moral of the story is always use best china for serial killers, they appreciate the finer touches.
And that’s the sort of manners that are important.
Articles of interest from the Interwebs: https://plus.google.com/u/0/
Anyhoo, the exhibitions. First stop was Nude at the Art Gallery of NSW (and stop sniggering up the back). That was okay. Actually, I kinda loved it, the first few rooms anyway because it had a few nice pieces from the Tate (it was all from the Tate) , including a few I confused myself as having seen recently before remembering, oh yeah, back in ’15, in situ. Love the lush high Victoriana. I know it’s uncool, but I can’t help myself. I love a fine bit of vaguely homoerotic classicism on a summer’s day. I love a Fred Leighton (Have you seen his house? If that’s the house, imagine what the parties must have been like?).
Then we moved onto Modernism, and that was pretty cool, too (though you have to ignore the cultural misappropriation of all that African and Islander imagery). Abstraction, not so much. Here, women are just reduced to the Republican ideal of a woman: all fanny and no head (see also that Chris Pine photo, tsk).
Finally got to see The Kiss, and that was a bit meh, mainly because they had it positioned wrong and the proportions were all off. And I did snigger, at the David Hockney, which was such a bad look, because I do really love them, but the line drawings of the blond and the brunette in bed with their 1966 aesthetic was so much like a certain tumblr feed o’mine I couldn’t help myself, dammit. So much like that series of Academy drawings I can’t even.
Also got to see some OMFG surviving examples of Turner’s hardcore hand drawn porn. Oh, to have seen Ruskin, the world’s greatest prude, discovering his worshipped hero’s secret smut stash of shame, oh, to have seen his little face, heh heh heh.
The modern stuff was meh meh meh, though I did finally see a Freud I didn’t loathe, and they had Bacon.
Also popped in to Manifesto again (with all the angry Cates), and then a small room of Japanese art, containing a wall of blinking numbers by Tatsuo Miyajima, which had me entranced.
So it was over to the MCA for the Tatsuo Miyajima exhibition, which was quite wonderful. Who knew you could make numbers so pretty, or mean so much, or nothing. Loved the goldfish pond one, and the rooms of blue and red. The train set with the coal was upsetting though.( more: The Canberra Exhibition Expedition )
So I finally watched the less than lauded Sherlock episode, possibly the last ever, and if the mission was, somewhat oddly for a commercial enterprise, to leave us not wanting any more today, thank you, then mission accomplished?
I wasn’t as outraged as some, but then I knew where it was going the moment I saw the sword come out of the umbrella (fancy yourself Steed? Think again). As Himself remarked, about halfway through you were thinking Emma would have figured it out by now, and (and he really should have popped in a pipe or started pointing with it as he carried on with his comments) if they had to rip off The Avengers, why chose two episodes of the colour series not held in terribly high esteem by the fans (House That Jack Built, Superlative Seven) when there are much better bland and white episodes to dabble with.
I know, everyone’s a critic these days. Everything is so damn derivative. When I was trying (and failing) to write as a kid, I hated myself for how derivative I was. If I accidentally borrowed a scene from a film I’d seen six years before I’d rip myself for it, for months. Now, well, anything goes (not me, of course, I just edit articles about dog shit, yes, really).
Take La La Land (please). Look, I was in Canberra on a Friday night, so bored and alone goes without saying, and the telly and interwebs at the hotel didn’t work, but I was curious as to what all the fuss was about. I remain so. Bold choice, staging a musical with leads who can’t sing or dance. And they really don’t know how to sing at all – I seem to have had more training just for a school choir in a poor suburb (they always think choirs are so improving for impoverished urchins). Charmless, too (Ryan Reynolds was totally robbed). But the fact that the whole thing was a badly stuck together mashup of Singing In the Rain and Funny Face? As a fan of both those films, I have to say ‘hey, now’.
Then again, Rogue One wasn’t entirely shiny and new either, slamming somewhat haphazardly between reprising scenes from Star Wars with the sort of dogged devotion one used to only find in fan films, you know, the really humourless ones, and those old WWII films they used to always screen on Channel Ten (Dirty Dozen et al).
Again, and it might just be me being old, grumpy and permanently concussed, but I didn’t dig that as much as I’d hoped. Maybe I didn’t have enough red wine. The Dendy Canberra brought in two enormous art house sized glasses of red (I’d forgotten I was in an art house theatre, they give you enormous glasses that hold half a bottle instead of the usual tiny capful, so it was a very rosy viewing) and so, despite all my misgivings, I was actually enjoying La La Land, though the next morning there was a lot of regret and what-did-I-do humiliation.
Speaking of red wine, lil Chris Pine should ease up on it a touch, if some recent interviews are any indication. Either that or he’s letting his freak flag fly, which is equal parts adorable and alarming, depending on my mood (sometimes I get distressingly maternal and wish he’d smarten himself up).
My plan to watch all the dvds in my Twelve Days of Chris festival never happened because of a heatwave/concussion nexus of please just let me die, but there were a few of the standard staples on telly (Star Trek, Jack Ryan, etc.), so I did get a Chris fix. And fix is the right word. I don’t know why I decided that Chris Pine was going to be the opiate du jour of this mass, but it works, mostly, and unlike his British brethren (Tom Hardy, Benedict Cumberbatch, etc.), far more likely to be somewhere on the schedule (unless, of course, they’re in the same movie as young Chris). I mean, I’ve obsessed before, ahem, once or twice, over a jolly little actor, but it’s never been the three films daily scheduling that some Pine Nut at Foxtel manages to schedule. So it’s a steady drip feed, which I suppose keeps me slightly sane.
Harder after yesterday (I’m going to need something special, Chris). Well, it’s this whole week, really. Back at work, heatwave, over an hour’s wait just to get on a crowded bus. I fainted on Monday and caught my hip on the shower stall. I fainted again yesterday while holding a cup of peppermint tea (which I’d only fetched because poorly) and ended up dripping with peppermint tea. At least I don’t have any meetings, thinks I, gazing down at myself sopping self. Oh yeah, I suddenly do, to be told I gotta apply for my own job, and I can’t even manage a cup of tea without passing out. Fine, ok. Even better, the job I was doing that afternoon took me to my old site (what have they done) and I saw the project I was working on two years ago finally got up and done. It made me sad. And dripping with tea. And soon to be redundant. Again.
So, you know what? Not going to apologise for the Chris Pine and red wine. I need all the help and comfort I can get, and it’s just a flickering screen and a few tannins, so be it.
The one thing film did cheer me up over the last couple of weeks was Fantastic Beasts. Not a Harry Potter fan, at all, but it had Colin and Eddie in it and was set in a version of 1920s New York so I went along expecting Bedknobs and Broomsticks and it kinda was, but with an odd dollop of Peaky Blinders thrown in as well, which was startling but pleasing. My goodness but Crooks Like Us has a very long tail these days. I mean, I’ve loved that book since forever (signed, my copy, been to two author talks) and I know it off by heart, so when I see it clearly being used as a reference on a film set, which it is these days, so often, I can giggle when I see a gaggle of men on film, like oh there’s p43 and p27 standing with Mr p73. So that was funny.
But I liked the film, it made some pointed anti-Trump speeches (good old JK), most of the characters were kind of sweet, and yeah. I was only a bit sad walking home because I missed my friend (I have hardly any friends, so I miss the few good ones I’ve lost along the way).
Articles of interest from the Interwebs: https://plus.google.com/u/0/
There’s probably a sad cockatoo, sitting in a sad gum tree, missing his morning tea.
I know, don’t feed the birds, but that ship had sailed (I didn’t teach him how to rattle a door knob, or the joys of biscuits) but I’d been working home/being home a lot lately, and, well, I miss that. I miss the company. And, he, no doubt, misses the free feed.
The possum is his fine frisky self again, in case you were wondering. Something must have been in fruit just that little bit too far, as there were many, many walks of shame in the morning (most spectacularly on 25 December, I swear the wee rascal was out gorging himself on the ‘reindeer carrots’ a local supermarket had insisted on marketing). Had to hit him with the Chris Pine last night, because he was being really thumpity bumpity noisy. Yep, the infamous ‘I Will survive’ clip. I did warn him. I wasn’t messing about. Did the trick though, one possum free night (thank you, Chris, keep rocking).
So, what did I do on my not-holiday? (Well, it should have been sick leave but we’re having yet another effing restructure so I took it as rec leave instead, because yikes). Not a lot, truth be told. A lot of sweating into the couch (thanks, month-long heatwave), not a lot of fic writing as hoped (too much headache, but no doubt the universe approves, even though my muse is ever so chatty, and foul-mouthed, and I love him, the impatient little cranky-pants).
Mainly, as it was too hot for dvds (dammit) or laptops (and Himself had hoovered up all the bandwidth anyways) I was reading books, and old favourites, as I remembered the last time I’d hurt my head this badly, it lasted for ten years, and most of what I’m hitting now is from that time, when I used to hang off my bed upside down because the light was better and I couldn’t bear to have my head touch a pillow. Douglas Adams kept me halfway sane then, so I asked it of him again.
I know some folks frown at me re-reading favourite books, to which I say, firstly, favourite and old familiar friend of comfort. Secondly, you can never read the same book twice, the way the old saying goes you can never enter the same river twice. I am not twelve or fourteen or fifteen or whatever anymore (oh, so not), so I’m not the same person, so I’m reading different things, taking different meanings, getting jokes and references that floated past me before, by way of being an ignorant, untravelled child (at least I know what a Pizza Express is now).
So I read a couple of Dirk Gently books, mainly because I was excited by the new series and I adore Samuel Barnett (such a sweetie at the NT stage door that time) but it left me cold. So, back to the books. Which made me wonder why so many books I’m reading have Thor in them, just because, often for no really adequately explained reason, and is it because I was born on his day, I really have a thing for Norse gods (don’t answer that) or is he popping up in my books like a viral meme and I can expect the Asgard boys at the Netherfield ball the next time I crack open Pride and Prejudice?
Also, why do Sherlock, Doctor Who and Lucifer all feature extensive quotes from the Dirk Gently books, but of the actual Dirk Gently series, nada? Just curious. It’s the sort of question best put to Dirk himself really, I’m sure it’s all connected, somehow.
Also been hitting the Le Carre (which makes my post US election Twitter even more scary, since Our Kind of Traitor is very, shall we say, foretelling). And the Agatha, because nothing is as cosy as a nice murder or three. Does anyone ever wonder that Dame Agatha spent most of her time on train trips, at dinner parties or faffing about on her husband’s archaeological digs thinking up exotic ways to kill people? Just asking.
Imagine sitting across the train carriage from Agatha, and her beady eye falls upon you, and you just know she’s measuring you for a coffin. I, of course, would never do that.
Articles of interest from the Interwebs: https://plus.google.com/u/0/
Well, my nerdgasm ornament arrived from Ebay, but I couldn’t manage a decent photo of it last night, though I may, once I get a chance to have at it with Photoshop, post the one that looked like some dystopian tableau. ‘I don’t get it, is it avant garde’, to quote Buffy (sadly no longer do I own any BTVS ornaments).
My phone actually died, good and proper it’s dead Jim, shuffled off this mortal coil, shagged out after a long squawk, gone to the choir eternal died, and at first I thought, bugger, like I have time to get a new phone when I’m already waving the white flag over trying to get shopping done in-between long days/nights and mad deadlines. Then I realised if I couldn’t pick up a new phone the office couldn’t call me over the break. I did such a heartfelt dance of seasonal joy my phone rebooted itself an hour or so later. Sigh (though it does mean I am once again in temporary possession of my photos).
What else? Oh, you know, usual 2016 stuff. Damn nearly got taken out by some maniac driver doing the most illegal turn into a bus lane on a one way street the wrong way on red this morning. Like, way to try and finish the job. So that’s got me all hands shaky (this time I saw him and jumped, so he only drove through the hem of my skirt, which was an a-line one fer once so it flared out – ole!). Very near miss. This town, eh?
The other day I had my own private thunderstorm that pelted down solely for the duration of my travelling from the bus doors to my front door, lightning all over the place. By the time I was standing, dripping, in the kitchen the sun was shining.
Still, I did get to look right up the black swirling chimney of my own personal storm cell and it looked just like those swirling clouds you see painted on the ceilings in Europe, only without all the naked bums and thighs (dammit). Thought for a minute it was going to sweep me off to t’other Oz, but no such luck on that front, either (the only way I’m going to get to travel, alas).
My anticipated 12 Days of Chris film festival fell over. I saw like 20 minutes of one filum, 10 minutes of another, and my dvd player is dusty – thank you end of year deadlines. Sigh. Would really have like to have indulged in that bit of silly because, you know, it’s been a bit bumpy this year.
I did hit play on a Youtube video of some old interview, though, and made the possum scream again. I don’t know why Chris Pine, of all people, sets the possum off like that, but he does, and it’s very useful, I suppose, as possum repellent (not just a pretty face).
The possum has no problem with Tom Ellis or Benedict Cumberbatch, if you’re interested. I’ve checked, in the interests of science.
Speaking of ‘so how does this make you feel’, I did catch Princess Bride on telly last Friday. Thank you Channel 11. I was pretty much hanging onto the frayed bits at the end of my rope when, skimming through the guide for something to put on while I had an apres horror commute cuppa, I found that. Yay and yay again. Still a fave. Can still quote it off by heart, too (which pleases me, I completely blanked on the name of Mina Harker’s BFF yesterday, it’s Lucy, btw, if you need to know).
So, yeah, sadly no theatre (ack, I missed several things I really wanted to see), work, work, work (even though I’m supposed to be on short weeks and there was supposed to be a shutdown) and the usual desperate scavenger hunt Himself sends me on every year with his list of impossible things (one thing he asked for this year isn’t released until 23 Dec so no way will it be on the shelves, the little crazy making bastard).
I would like to thank the nice guy in the record shop and the nice guy in the groovy bookshop for helping me find the weird and obscure. You are cool guys who managed to make it look easy. Oh, this rare volume, it’s just over here….
I deeply suspect he always asks for stuff he couldn’t find himself, so he’s gonna be surprised at my best ever hit rate this year. Again, thank you cool beardy hipster shop guys.
Too bad Amazon don’t deliver to Oz any more. Fortunately there’s still Ebay, and, as I said, cool and supernaturally competent hipsters propping the old bricks and mortar shopfronts. Besides, if you haven’t sweated in a 2km long queue at the height of summer, you haven’t done your seasonal shopping properly.
Addendum: Did some more last minute shopping last night. Yikes. This article pretty much covers the horror: http://www.smh.com.au/comment/angry-
Himself is of good cheer, but I’m finding it hard to care. Probably because my shopping today was two pillows and a box of advil. After two months, this extreme headache can go, really it can go.
Meanwhile, missed the solstice (damn) and missed my possum. I didn’t hear the little fella stagger in this morning (and one can always tell the sort of night the possum’s had, depending on whether it skips or stomps, the moody beast).
Anyhoo, I hope that was yon critter crossing my path in the dark as I walked up the unlit street to the main road because otherwise I’ll feel guilty for torturing small furry creatures with Chris Pine (being a moody, bored, fed up and passive aggressive wee bugger in most interviews except when he’s being oh so earnest and serious or completely off-the-wall gonzo, there is no inbetween, or, indeed, ahem, a happy medium – someone hates press tours).
Maybe it was the cats. Every time I open my door these days there’s a cat sitting there, like ‘hello, I heard there was an elderly spinster in residence?’ The cheek of them.
So, much like the rest of the world (except that 1%), I’m tired, I’m hurt (far more than I ever expected to be), I’m cruel (to small furry creatures who keep me awake all night and pee on my posters) and I’m just not feeling it. The milk of human kindness is orf, luv.
And it’s been three days and I haven’t had a chance to finish off the last three pages in my notebook. That burns, too. Sure, it’s stupid, but it’s the only hobby I have left. And it’s been hard. Tried for an hour on Saturday and spent two days in bed shaking with pain because it hurts so bad, and writing makes it hurt the worst, don’t know why, just does.
So, not happy. Tomorrow I think it might have to be the moscato, mince pies and all three Star Trek (Kelvinverse) movies. Because.
Meanwhile, links to stuff I found interesting on the interwebs: https://plus.google.com/u/0/
PS. Possums are protected under law so I would never hurt the blighter, but being an annoying room-mate, playing loud videos when it's trying to sleep, well, that just happens. It goes both ways.
Real shame the markets at Hyde Park Barracks were rained out last night. I'd been looking forward to that all year, because last year was so unexpectedly fun and I'd run into some dear friends. This year it was sitting on a bench under a tree, mostly sheltered from the wall of rain, eating oysters and drinking gin. Oh yeah, that East Ender ancestry is showing its petticoats again.
So it was fun, but not super amazing fun, though the desperate store holders were all chatty and sweet, and I did come home loaded with pies, chutney and cordials. Now I'll have to cook a dinosaur-sized turkey as I seem to be anticipating an unhealthy amount of leftover sandwiches.
This year, thanks to be hit by that 4WD, I've successfully pleaded my case for not working over the break (I have a note) so I'm looking forward to leftovers, gin cocktails, and good books.
Which is why I've had to go buy a couple of new editions of old beloved books because they're so damn old (35+) that they're almost too fragile to open, let alone bouncing around on the commute or whatever. Ouch.( more: beloved old books and heroes of yore )
I wish we had marriage equality here because frankly I'm tired of all the nudges and winks, especially at this time of year. I've stayed silent for so long because if you're gonna hate on me, I've no time for you, but it's tiring. I'm not single because I'm a man-hating lesbian. I'm still pathetically single because I'm a very weird, very ugly man-hating spinster.
Not that it stops me pining over The Pine, but he's still a guy, and probably as much a dick as the rest of them, despite his carefully considered and thoughtful quotes.
Man-hating is probably a bit strong. I don't hate men the way men hate women. I'm just afraid of them, like any predator. I've taken too much abuse, physical, sexual, emotional, financial, verbal, and these are such truly scary times.
So I'm fine with the Pine, but observed at a safe distance, behind barriers and glass. Like any predator. Even the very pretty ones.
Such terrible times. I remember when my social feeds were full of silly cat videos. Now they're full of real nasties. It's anxious making, I have to say.
I'm also having a rough time with the whole being hit by a car thing. Not that anyone is taking is seriously or being kind. No, I take it back, one friend gave me a hug and chocolates. Others, not so much. Which is almost as upsetting as getting run down and being left alone to crawl out of the road, in front of bystanders, too (one fucker beeped his horn and drove around me). In case you're wondering why the milk of human kindness is running a little sour this post. I'm not having a good time.( Read more... )
Oh boy, golly and gosh (and please don't show CWP my original tweet, I was having a fit of the vapours).
So yes, I should have said Hell or High Water was a jagged pic of the souring of the American dream and not just CP being gorgeous. Chris Pine was gorgeous though. How did no one notice those blue eyes? Should have put an APB out on those eyes. Bank robber with the bluest of blue eyes, ever.
It was a perfectly judged and understated, very quiet performance, and I loved him dearly for it. I have faith in him as an actor again, a damn fine actor.
Because I wasn't sure, knowing he went from this straight to Trek, if it was because the role, as written, required Kirk to looked tired and as if he was just phoning it in, or if Chris was just tired and phoning it in. Maybe both, I dunno. Not that I mind angsty, miserable Kirk (it makes for much angsty teenaged fic, all There Is a Light That Never Goes Out), but still.
But I loved Hell or High Water. It is one of those classic old noirish westerns where you want the bank robbers to win because the world ain't fair or right. And a Nick Cave soundtrack. Bonus. Proper.
And man, I am missing Justified so bad right now. I would not have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, but I think Chris actually out-did Timothy Olyphant's Raylan Givens for sleek, bruised cool, and that is saying something, because, man, does Raylan make me go weak at the knees, still, so you can imagine what that last scene did for me. (Still, it'd make me the second person in my family tree to spontaneously combust, not the first). I like my boy being all intense and more than a bit bad and dangerous.
Not that I don't love him being all gosh darn sweet and heroic - how many times have I watched The Finest Hour now? Love the accent. Pretty spot on with accents (except British, ouch).
So, yes, great film about the current American dystopia. How the west was lost? And how dumb is the SMH saying we should look to US re housing when I've just seen a film about brothers robbing banks to save the farm. Seriously. No one should be looking to America as anything but a horrible warning, not a shining example.
Speaking of hard times, ran into my favourite Big Issue seller on way to Quay (I walked across town, yay me). He's doing it tough too since they sacked three whole towers of government workers (including me) over the last couple of years (they switched out the lights just the other month).
It's not just the government employees who lost their jobs. The coffee shop, sandwich shops and newsagent are gone, too.
I told him the survivors are down the skanky end of town. There's only a few here from my old offices that made it, so I didn't do too bad, coming through some extreme elimination rounds. Of course it's only because I'm easily pushed into working long days for no pay, but still, I get paid for half the time I work, which is better than none.
And it's good to have a few old mates here - startled a co-worker down at the coffee shop when I was hugged from behind. Oh, that was just the Head of X I explained, to her further astonishment. I knew Y when we were girls together in Dept Z (and bless her, she still treats me like we're still girls together on that old floor). That's nice.
But, yes, basically, saw Hell and High Water, it was amazingly good and Chris Pine was totally rocking that porn 'tache (which means he can't play a Qantas pilot anytime soon). That was some mighty fine Pine.
So, there I was, party at the Belvoir, glass of cheap, woody red in hand, and one of theatre's leading light's, Eamon Flack, turns around and there he is.
And there I am, stupidly opening my mouth and attempting to say something intelligent. Yeah, I think you know what happened next.
( more: never meet your heroes )
( This post: Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman reunite in stylish new Sherlock image, Eddie Redmayne explains how he picked his wand, Aidan Turner got topless within 20 minutes, Tom Hardy Films Scenes for Dunkirk in Orange County, Sean Bean to play priest in new Jimmy McGovern TV drama, James Norton to play another Russian in big-budget BBC drama McMafia, Sam Heughan Is All Bloody on Outlander Season 3 Set, Victoria viewers are left hot under the collar over Rufus Sewell's cheekbones in the drama's latest episode, Harry Lloyd leads cast of Good Canary, Henry Cavill teases black Superman costume on Instagram, Matthew Rhys Has Never Seen a Full Episode of Felicity, Idris Elba Is Training to Be a Professional Fighter, Tom Hiddleston and his Thor co-stars recorded the perfect award acceptance video, Kit Harington is pretty certain Jon Snow won't be killed off again in Game of Thrones, Jamie Dornan Reveals His Former Sneaker Obsession and What Happened to His Massive Collection, Cillian Murphy Isn't a Fan of Superhero Films, Stephen Moyer replaces Christopher Eccleston in series two of Safe House, Andrew Scott is suavely sinister in exclusive new clip from Swallows and Amazons, Colin Firth Tells Us What He Can About Kingsman 2 And His Unexpected Involvement, James Corden's super cute first interview, David Tennant to Star in Drama Bad Samaritan, Charlie Hunnam Drama Lost City of Z Lands at Amazon Studios, Daniel Craig offered $205m for more Bond fims )
Saw the wicked fairies last night. Midsummer Night’s Dream, STC at the Opera House. Flippin’ marvellous. Somehow they managed to out-70s the 70s (or was it early 80s) production I once saw, which left such a lasting impression on a young gel, which is pretty damn amazing, though it helps if you’ve got Bruce Spence in the cast. Lots of knobs and nudity and welcome back Sydney theatre, how I’ve missed you.
The blatant and savage sexuality was deliberate, to underline the cruelty in the play, the women threatened with death and date raped by men who see them as nothing but property and/or a means to an end, a take of the play that has razor sharp focus this week, which made it even more electrifying.
So we had freakish costumes on your bog standard bare stage, strobing and music (which was perfect, btw, and the second time this week I’ve seem 50s music used to sinister intent, no wonder young Matthew Backer was getting David Lynch vibes off the piece).
The casting was great. When I saw Matthew Backer as Aerial, I knew he’d make a great Puck. I was right. Matthew Backer was the most perfect Puck ever, part cabaret host, part imp, naughty boy and delighting in chaos, so pleased with himself. And Josh McConville's Bottom, the riotous play within the play entirely making us forget his earlier terrors. Never has a death scene been so milked dry (dry being ironic given the blood being sprayed about to comedic effect). Theatre’s gain is a great loss to sword and sandal flicks, given his over-the-top-and around-the-other-side performance as Pyramus (too bad Thor has wrapped in BrisVegas).
The cast, perfect, the staging, dark and the stuff of nightmares, the highlighted themes of sexual cruelty running true this week.
Btw, quite the night for celeb spotting. Hell, we had the director (yay, Kip) and an ex-Premier I loathe and detest in our row, + many more. That ex-Premier stomped on my foot, like the ruthless ruling class sod he is. Luckily I was wearing my DMs, like the proper working class gal I am.
Enjoyed the whole evening, crispy sweet potato chips and a Sydney Sling in the bar (with a view of the bridge) especially (though paying for it now and deadlines to keep).
Meanwhile I overheard someone mutter ‘not bigger on the inside’ re another game of sardines in the lift. Hey, maybe the odd spot of Doctor Who cosplay from the upper levels (joyless policy wonks) isn’t my fevered imagination. I always think I’m the only one in the room who watches telly, because it’s usually true. It’s always so condescending, that I watch. Yeah, what have I learnt from telly?
Oh, nothing much, just how to face death, methods for coping with betrayal, fear and cruelty, what not to do in the office, how to game a stationery order (thank you, Radar), the history of economic exploitation, philosophical explorations of what it means to be good, why bad boys are bad for your health and why you should say yes more often than you say no. That do fer starters?
Still wrecked from seeing Helen McCrory in the screening of NT Live’s Deep Blue Sea yesterday. I love Helen McCrory, she always rips me apart, even playing Aunt Polly on Peaky Blinders.
There’s no way I should have been seeing a play about a suicidal woman, but I did, and I’m glad I did. It was the most, raw, real, honest and truthful play I’ve ever seen. Most plays are by the privileged classes whose idea of a disaster is an imperfect macchiato, but this was real. I recognised the truth in this, apparently written by a playwright who knew what he was writing about. And he did. The egg sandwich was mocked by middle-class monsters leaving the theatre. They didn’t get it. They’ve never been there. I was screaming at Hester to eat the damn sandwich, knowing if she could make it through the sandwich, she’d make it through the night. Because it’s like that.
That was the most real moment I have ever seen on stage or screen. I’m still a wreck. What can I say, I’ve had a few darkest night toast slices myself. My life has not been kind (doesn’t matter whose fault it was, you feel, it’s real).
So there was that. Otherwise I spent all weekend trying to kill someone. To borrow from that ancient Jimmy and the Boys song, ‘I’m not like everybody else’. Heh, not by a long shot. Agatha Christie makes it look so easy – and no-one ever comments on the plain fact that this woman seems to have spent most of her time on dig sites and the like thinking of ways to kill people, as in, oh, look at that plinth, pushy, pushy, or that ornamental hairpin, stabby, stabby.
So, yeah, I was thinking of playing with Holmes/Watson tropes, and what do I get? Poirot and Hastings and the Orient Express, in space. That last bit should be said ala Matt Smith. I just love his delivery on ‘…in space’, every time. It’s all gee whizz plastic spacemen in a cornflakes box, put in by writers my age, but young Matt manages to nail the delivery every time despite being born long, long after plastic spacemen ceased to be cool. He makes them cool again, or tries to (never brought back bowties, either, but it was a damn fine try).
So, yeah, wallowing in the McKirk, big time. This is a big thing, jumping ship after a lifetime’s OTP, worse, re-watching TOS with McKirk coloured glasses (start with ‘plum’ and continue on). It was the problem with the Kelvin-verse, they keep trying to push the tradition, but it just wasn’t there, barely a civil word, an extraordinarily unearned Khan set piece. Nope. They made it an AU, they should embrace it, and the McKirk just pops on-screen. If all the bitching and grabby hands doesn’t convince you, or the old married couple matching outfits, how about the wait-until-he-smiles moment at the birthday party. Aw. Totally.
Well, like I said, I wasn’t well, upset and drugged when I was watching it and it hit me, in a dazzling aura (that’d be the hospital drugs). I’m just stuck on it, but I’m having fun and unreality is at least getting me away from frightful reality (housework never done, too long hours at work on projects that go nowhere, dreadful neighbours, everything in the area being knocked down and concreted over). Trying times.
So sorry (not sorry). Have a new fandom, but not. It’s all very something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. I’ve got something to preoccupy me, which is the main thing, because, as I think we’re all agreed, this is proving a particularly difficult year.