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My hour for tea is half-past five, and my buttered toast waits for nobody.
  • Mon, 18:28: RT @emilynussbaum: We are now in 2 timelines. Everyone who turned the TV off after LALA LAND won works as a chef. Everyone in MOONLIGHT tim…
  • Mon, 19:17: I've had a ratty day but I saw a skinny blonde chick have a worse one ha ha https://t.co/4QUGrAF2RL
  • Mon, 19:20: Meanwhile, more news, including a great pic if Ruth (who shoulda won) https://t.co/q3yf2g5cHM
  • Mon, 19:58: I know, I shouldn't be mean. I hope the universe hasn't taken any of my other feverish curses to heart. Just not happy right now
  • Mon, 22:31: Dean losing his marbles is way cuter than me losing mine. All good in the head now? No. Not ever. #supernatural At least Dean is sweet.
  • Mon, 22:33: Me, I'm old fat ugly evil mean and uncouth. All I had were my smarts and now that f-ing concussion is destroying me one bad turn at a time
  • Mon, 22:35: So if you're telling me to pull my socks up, f-off. I am being eaten alive here from the inside out, so hell yes I'm unhappy and I hate it.
  • Mon, 22:39: RT @NatGeo: Meet George, a rescued baby wombat from Australia https://t.co/UcJxGkFatt
  • Tue, 10:46: RT @rahaeli: I've said for years that person w/abusive/controlling partner and stalker ex are 2 design personas every team should require f…
  • Tue, 10:58: RT @ottabek: there's more chemistry in this picture than in the entire movie of Passengers (2016) https://t.co/lyhcuSGURW

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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