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the idiot's guide - My hour for tea is half-past five, and my buttered toast waits for nobody.
hellblazer06
hellblazer06
the idiot's guide

For a very brief window, due to a random rearrangement of desks, I am working with folks who can sing the Jetsons’ theme song, quote Are You Being Served and The HitchHiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, appreciate Tom Hiddleston and know the difference between Godzilla and a dinosaur.

Sweet. Do you have any idea what a joy and relief it is to have someone not only get your jokes, but sling it back? To get your pop culture references instead of thinking you’re just making weird random outbursts because you’re mentally ill (well, probably, but also quoting Hanna Barbera).

Or maybe it’s just the leftover crème eggs I bought (there’s still like four left, oh dear) when I’ve nothing else to eat. Gotta go clean and lay off the crème. Maybe the sugar high is making me silly. But I’m not solely responsible for the chocolate eggs disappearing. At first the cleaner was blamed, but I pointed out that, despite my overtures at friendly (I’m always working back late at festive times with leftover chocolate) the cleaner keeps behaving like I’m trying to poison her.

‘Well, that’s stupid’, dismisses my colleague. ‘Who’d clean up the mess?’

Man, I’m gonna miss it when we rotate again and the straights are back.

Maybe I’m just being silly because it’s been a hard month, you know, double family tragedy (on top of the anniversary of another), the house falling apart around my ears (though I got the new very silly curtains up and I like them and not seeing the neighbours is very soothing), not seeing Jude Law live on stage in London (I had a ticket) and dealing with yet another restructure and crazy deadlines, half-baked jobs and having high profile projects taken away from me. You know, stuff.

So, anyways, we were talking Hiddles because Night Manager is finally screening out here, and I’d gone and seen the big monkey fillum last week.

I don’t know, I have a childish thing for big monkey films that I’ve not quite grown out of, and besides, I remember the withering judgement that greeted my choice of seeing Godzilla vs King Kong on the big screen once in my yoof, but what film are they remaking now, huh? Not your black and white arty farty films, no sir. No, we’ve got Shakespearian actor, Eton educated young Hiddles running about slicing and dicing pterodactyls in a King Kong movie. Ah, this is where a fancy education will get ya. If he shows up being all broody and serious and I coulda so been 007 in G v K 2.0, my life will be complete, or, at the very least, I’ll be ticking off a very silly box I never thought would ever be ticked. Heh.

As for the film, the whole South east Asian War Film Heart of Darkness aesthetic was very, very silly, and it got a bit Land of the Lost there for a while, and I would have preferred rampaging Skeleton Men (Danger Island) to the noble natives thang (but I guess not) and I was horribly cheated on the promised big spiders and I have a better, wilder, far more dangerous jungle past the Hills Hoist (weeding eludes me) than the Capability Brown park-scapes they strolled through, but yeah, it was an ok popcorn film.

Anything it might have had to say on war, the environment, politics, or anything, really, was flimsy at best, and lost under the wash of the monster mash. I think maybe there was a version that might have said something, at some time, but not anymore. Clearly the test audience of man-babies wanted more monkey eating octopus, less ruminations on geopolitics or the follies of getting involved in land wars in Asia (<- Princess Bride reference).

As for my own jungle, yeah, well. It was perfect weather on the weekend and despite a cracking headache I made it as far as the back door, where I found an enormous (and deadly) red back spider jealously in possession of my left wellie. If I was looking for an excuse, and I was, that was as good as any. Besides, I worked myself into throwing up the weekend before, and the green bin was full. What I really need is a flame thrower, and Tom Hiddleston on standby, armed with sword.

I went out to an actual screening of Doctor Who. I wasn’t going to, but come the long weekend and the cable and internet went out, as it must, and they said it’d be out until late Sunday night at best so no telly and no streaming so screening it was. Of course, the cable and interwebs came back on by Saturday night but I’d already bought the tickets by then, and it wasn’t a bad day out, though hella crowded as everyone in Sydney had woken up with one thought in their head: go to Circular Quay. Yikes.

Had burgers, strolled, or rather scrambled, through the markets. Sampled the malbec at the Dendy. Shrug.

Just so you know, I’ve been sampling malbecs across Sydney, and the best is at Event cinemas in George St. No, really, and their rose is the best, too. Second is the Opera Bar (ditto with their rose). Next is Toni and Guy in Park St (yes, really). Then it’s the Dendy entry (somewhat stale and disappointing) and, at a distant fifth, the Bar at the End of the Wharf, Hickson Rd (but the view, oh the view). Riverside doesn’t even do malbec, and their reds are always sticky and warm and give me migraines. All in the name of art, you understand, my user testing.

So, Doctor Who. Shrug. It was a rehash of much I’ve seen before (but that’s what I get for being a lifelong fan). I didn’t mind it, but I didn’t emerge from the screening thrilled, moved or in any way affected by it. Sigh.

Didn’t even try the wine at the Belvoir. Went straight for a beer (oh dear, not that brand) to wash down the veggie roll (all they offer) as a pre-show snack (and my sole sustenance for the day) before I went to see the return of The Dog/The Cat.

I adored this the last time I saw it in the Downstairs. This was Upstairs and last time I thought the dog part was far, far funnier, but this time the cat part was funnier, if sillier (this is where the rapping cat from my tweet comes in). The crack about Battlestar Galactica still has me in stitches, though. Ditto the cat’s expression, me.

Xavier Samuel has really honed and owned his cat (last time the joke seemed to be more that he was in the cat suit, this time he lived it) but I still like his Ben in the first act, endlessly pulling tinnies out of nowhere (again, way funnier in the smaller space, because they really appeared out of nowhere).

Benedict Hardie’s roles seem to have been beefed up, or maybe that was my perception. He does arrogant city douche rather too well, but that was funny, too, in a brittle American humour look how awful and unaware he is kind of way

It’d actually be ideal for a small American stage, despite how Oz the dog act (ahem) is, because the second act, with the cat, is very American in its sensibilities and style.

Anyway, I still love it, it’s still laugh out loud cringe at the too familiar funny.

Surreal and still screamingly funny was the Popular Mechanicals over at the STC. Originally a Belvoir production (and it still had Belvoir stamped all over it), one could try and claim that it’s like Stoppard in that it shifts the focus to some minor Shakespeare players, in this case, the mechanicals from Midsummer, but, really, it’s a direct descendant of an Aunty Jack sketch, complete with blustery fart jokes.

There are many theatre jokes, as our amateur thespians scramble to replace their leading man at the last minute (Bottom being famously indisposed), including a boozy old ham who could stand in for any old theatre luvvie you care to think of.

But, really, for all the prefect comic timing, perfect costumes and large performances, the pièce de résistance was the rubber chicken Busby Berkeley sequence, which had me doubled over with laughter it was so absurd and so perfectly staged.

Go for the jokes, stay for the rubber chickens.

I loved that, I really loved it. And I needed silly and it was very silly. Seeing such Oz humour was rather bittersweet, too, as it was the day John Clarke died (yes, I know he was a Kiwi but has anyone been such a part of Australian life?).

Okay, so here comes the Pine update. Much like the crème eggs, I was trying to go clean. Much like the crème eggs, I failed.

It all started last week, when in the middle of doing eight, yes, eight, really super urgent high level jobs my pals in another time zone started beeping me about a Pine sighting in Angie Tribeca. I was thrilled to hear it, but it was a bit of a tangle tracking down Angie Tribeca (Stan has it) and juggling everything else (literally, dropping my phone several times as I was typing as well) and I think I accidentally posted about Pine on my Twitter feed instead of DM-ing my mates, but that’s life with me, all thumbs.

So I duly streamed the Angie Tribeca episode my caring and sharing friends had alerted me to. I’d never seen the show before, or heard of it, tucked away on Stan as it is (a local streaming service, but my fave, more Goulds Bookshop in choices, which is my aesthetic, than Netflix which is like Blockbuster way too much in library or lack thereof).

It’s an odd show, and exactly the sort of show I would have loved in my teens (in fact I pretty much wrote something like it verbatim in my teens, the same notebook that has the modern version of Holmes, oy, such a notebook, I was on fire, but dismissed, and other people get to make these shows instead). So maybe it was just the huh factor, or maybe I’d made myself grow up and try to like more sophisticated fare (as if, rubber chickens, big monkey), or maybe it was 1.30am in the morning, but it was a bit too hard edged silly, but it was only my first go, and Pine was doing whatever the hell he was doing, but you know, whatever, right? He said he had fun, and that’s the main thing.

Frankly, I was disappointed they killed off Timothy Omundson, because I adore him (forever high-scoring because of Galavant). But hey, at least I saw it, and ogled the Pine and only hours after the US screening, oh such times as these. Shortly afterwards it was red lights all round as a router up the road went out (so the recorded message said).

Other Pine included People Like Us, which he’s kind of adorable in (and I could watch on the digital bunny ears, being screened at midnight on a local channel – I was up and unwell) and I sort of worked through a repeat of Finest Hours (cable and internet back on by then, so I was catching up). I’ve seen that enough to know when to look up. He’s so sweet in that. Ah, I miss young puppy-ish Pine.

Also finally finished S1 of Preacher (also streaming on Stan). Forever disappointed I couldn’t get a ticket to see Dominic Cooper in Phèdre when I was in London, or the NT Live screening later (and grouching again over missing Jude Law live on stage), but never mind, he lurks in my DVD collection and now he’s playing Jesse Custer, of all the characters on my bookshelf, and doing a damn fine job of it. I think they caught the essential essence of Preacher, with its 90s dry, dark, gross-out humour, just perfectly fine (although much like Angie Tribeca, I’m not quite there anymore, but I did appreciate it).

To be honest, to see such a faithful adaptation of a beloved book is such a rare and beautiful thing, it was fun just to savour the authenticity and the sure touch of folks who knew what they were doing. It was Preacher. In this age of re-imagined reboots, that’s pretty darn fucking amazing.

And I don’t know why I found some stuff confronting, considering what I submit to in the theatre (fake vomit, rubber chickens, Xavier in that cat suit). I must be getting old, or something. Or maybe watching on my phone is an even more intimate space than front row at the Belvoir. Whatever. They did Preacher. They pulled it off. Yay.

Yes, I know this post is all about actors. Well, trying to see them in the theatre, or at cons, is my version of twitching, only with luvvies (which is why I fume when I have to stay back at work, like punishment, when a rare and elusive blue-eyed bird has alighted only two blocks away – arrrgh).

Meanwhile, I’m wearing a very loud dress today, mainly because I’m acting out (no Jude Law in London), possibly because I was watching stuff from the 60s last night (it screams ‘68, much like that outfit we saw in the markets that was wearing 1984 on its rolled up red vinyl sleeve).

At least I haven’t covered it in tea, so far, like yesterday: perfume allergies, aspirated tea, favourite top ruined. I had to run across to the shops and try and find something that was both cheap and close to my size (it’s all skinny little girls down this end of town, and that ain’t me). I found one jumper, and at first I didn’t like it, but because it was smaller than I usually wear it clung in all the right places, and it has these weird ridiculous 17thC Dutch collars, but I’ve kind of fallen in love with them, too.

Maybe that’s why I’m dressed like a fruit salad today, because I was all Puritan black and white collars yesterday. Puritan, me, ha! Now that’s just silly.

Items of note: https://plus.google.com/u/0/113197665355692280218/posts (warning: may contain Pine)


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