And you'd think I've been off furiously finishing my last LOM fic. I wish. But the Canberra trip was a nice diversion.
From my wee notebook:
I'm here [at the NGA], early, as I caught a cab, lacking my usual degree of masochism and just walking here from the hotel, which I have done, many times before, even with a broken ankle, but not today. Backpack was just a little too OMG for that (must be gettin' old).
It was lovely walking down by the lake, just me and two pleading swans (I shoulda swiped that toast at brekkie) but then the big clock struck and suddenly out of nowhere came herds of joggers, pram pushers, dog walkers and cyclists. It was exactly like how those 60s SF films and tv used to imagine Soviet life, if clad in alien drag. Very creepy, and creepier still, considering it's Canberra (aka Mordor). It's always been more than a bit Prisoner like, all pristine 60s style buildings and middle class suburbs in the middle of nowhere. Far too neat and tidy for my comfort zone. Which is why I had all the windows in my hotel room open to the breeze last night - it's a hefty commute to the nearest slum (mind you I was gratified to learn that I'd finally cleaned my bathroom to better than three star standard).
The bus ride down was a bit of a trial, trapped for four hours in an aisle seat next to a compulsive throat clearer, but soon my D&P book had me so engrossed I was actually surprised whenever we pulled over in some formerly picturesque country town, all now sadly being converted into American strip malls.
Ah, the bells have chimed again. Time to find a queue and join it.
Later: the dawn attack was so worth it because when I went around again (and again) it was so crowded it just really wasn't quite as much fun. Worth doing though, as there was so much to look at, and so much detail. I was very impressed too at the size, quality and quantity of the pieces. There was some really good stuff. Okay, not as impressive as the entire bloody tombs/temples they have set up in the northern hemisphere, but still, some nice, vibrant pieces with some real qualities of craftmanship that I quite enjoyed looking at, unlike the usual collection of a few scattered beads and some odds and ends so badly faded and damaged that they couldn't get rid of them in a jumble sale (option B, send them to Oz). They even had a couple of pieces I remembered from my last visit, almost impossibly, yet I do remember the Maltese Falcon, as I liked to call it, and the stone sarcophagus with the Nut engraving with all the stars. Pretty. And way cool.
You do know why I was so hell bent on getting down to see this Louvre stuff, right? Not just because it was Egyptian tat, which we all know I love, but because it was from the Louvre. Briefly, my one and only time at the Louvre I queued up with a "friend" who, once inside declared she hated art and she'd wait for me in the coffee shop and I had an hour. Being meine host, I was both trapped and appalled and then had to run through the halls ticking stuff off my top ten list like some mad treasure hunt. That was nine years ago and I am still fuming (the ability to say sod off would come much later, if at all). So that's why I went around three times, making sure I copped a good long eyeball at everything (though I really, really want to see the wall of St Sebastians again, it stopped me dead in my tracks that time, losing precious seconds, as until that moment, having gone to a poor factory school with no art class, I had no idea that religious art was so OMG with the hoyay).
So, anyway, hence the intense Louvre pilgrimage, even though I wasn't well (or really had the time). If the mountain is going to get this close, I figured the least I could do was hop a bus to meet it - grin. Okay, so it was just a few odd bits that nobody cared for, but for me, they were brilliant. Vibrant paint, clear sharp cravings, all that art deco lovliness and the whole freaky pantheon and dead things under glass. What more could a girl want?
The piece that amused me most was one panel of a wooden box (I forget its actual purpose re lack of catalogue to hand but assume funeral goods) that had Anubis leaning intently into a large trumpeted lotus bloom that seemed to coil out of a jar on a stand. It just took me so to the His Masters Voice place that I nearly LOL'd. Sadly, as always, no picture in the catalogue,but it really did tickle me. Check out Nubie flogging the HMV.
So that was fun. But it was hot, and after treking through the new Asian wing (the Ghandara stuff I really loved, Buddhist statues all done Greek style, as in yo, Buddha, Adonis wants his hair back), instead of slogging past the National Library and whatever they had on the way to the bus stop I whipped out my phone and called for a taxi. How lazy. How bourgeois. Heh. Just the once, I promised myself. So I was back into the city centre in plenty of time for my bus back. Brief shop, a bit of loitering in Starbucks, then home in time for Foyle's War (and the Yanks have arrived, with their stockings and attitude, poor Foyle).
Then it's just been a week of scanning, work and intense misery. In fact I still feel rather especially crap today (flu on top of everything else) but the cup of tea, what little I didn't throw over the keyboard, was very restorative. Poor me yesterday, about eight cups, a twelve hour day and no respite.
Still, I've been watching Heroes in a desperate scrabble to hang onto remaining shreds of sanity. I'm up to #9 now. I'm trying to avoid spoilers and I'll try to avoid giving any, but I must say I'm liking it more and more. Just now the writers are all twisting expectations and shining light on 'bad guys' and casting dark shadows across 'good guys' and just really turning expectations upside down and sideways, which is exciting enough, but it's all done with a lot of surety and not too much clumsiness and I must say I was really so into it I entirely forgot the time, and I found myself carried along rather than jarred and repulsed and feeling the need for a hard hat or paper bag.
Torchwood people, take notes, because while Heroes isn't perfect, they have managed to bring shades and complexity and changing motives and relationships to characters without debasing what has gone before, but building upon it. Heroes has an organic flow that must be a marvel considering how hard it must be to manage all the character threads, just from a traffic controller point of view. Like Life on Mars, I find myself daring to hope it'll all mean something, that I, too, am going on a journey, and hopefully one that won't just end up as a fast food endorsement.
I think that's what I am slowly learning to appreciate about Heroes. These folks aren't just rehashing comic books on a cheesy surface level, they understand comics, what makes them work, the basic bronze age story structure that ain't broke and don't need to be fixed. They're making classic mythology and they're putting it on television. Mercy me.
Okay, and I really dig Peter. I am such a sucker for sensitive young lads, even though he's so bloody needy (I suspect it's no coincidence that his superpower is parasitical) that in real life he'd just be sooo annoying in like five minutes, floppy fringe of snaginess notwithstanding.
I'm also starting to like Mohinder. He reminds me (a lot) of an old boyfriend, way back, and just as pretty and arrogant (arrogance can be so alluring in pretty young men, don't you find?), and I also like Hiro. The geek with the heart of steel.
And while I'm musing upon my dusty volumes of Robert Graves (or would be if they hadn't been chucked with the rest of Dad's books but don't get me started) I am startled into wakefulness by being asked how my Trojan War was going. Apparently my week-long email "correspondence" with Troy now has a name. Oh dear. (Yes, usually I don't give out names, but here it was part of ze joke, no?).
Hmmm. What else. Bought some dark brown candles at Bay Swiss that nicely finished off the loo (now happily sans pineapple chunks, but what a job that was, trying to mop up while still falling down ill). Failed to copy Vicar of Dibley for a friend (the dreaded CRC error gets me no matter how I try to attack the problem), uploaded shitloads of scans, vegged in front of tv.
Thoroughly enjoyed Supernatural on Monday. There was lots of Dean angst to be had. Apparently the boy has issues. Unresolved Daddy issues. Oh dear. Still, there was manful lip trembling and wetting of eye. Heh.
I'm sorry, I do like the show, but in a just sit back and watch it kinda way, not think about it on the bus kinda way (I'm always worrying at characters and plots from shows I have gone completely fangirl over, like this morning at the still night dark bus stop Much was giving a little speech about how Robin was trying to fill up his emptiness inside with good or heroic deeds, which could also apply to S. Tyler, just a little, but I've yet to capture the words before I forget them). So while Dean angst amuses me, it's more of a spectator sport, cruel as that may be.
Just a little more insight into Dean might make me actually care, but I think that dark pit stop of the soul bit at the end of the episode was as raw and open as poor Dean is ever likely to get. He's a tough guy, and he's not holding together too well. Okay, that's interesting. Though tuning in each week to watch poor Dean just crack a little more does seem a trifle, well, it's all a bit gladitorial. I fear there's blood in the water as far as poor Dean is concerned, though whether the show follows up, I do not know (see how good I've been with the Supe spoilers, if only I coulda missed that Heroes mega spoiler I copped before I could turn away yesterday).
Also watched Grumpy Old Holidays and the Brits need to read the local press while OS, which may explain why all my usual newsagents have been denuded of Brit mags since November. A pox on the Barmy Army, denying me my trashy Brit fix (and last year the best newsagent was closed, hence no LOM press).
Also watched a lot of Captain Scarlet, Thunderbirds and Buffy when I was home sick on Tues. You're lucky I couldn't sit up long enough to stay online or you'd have had musings on the relative shagability of the Tracy brothers. Virgil, I think. Scott's kinda got this stick up his butt, Gordon's too gay, Alan's too needy and John has this weird serial killer vibe going on, doncha think?
Heh, you know you've had too many mersyndols when you start musing like that. I was also musing upon my favourite indestructible captain, the war on terror and the terrible fate of Captain Black. Captain Scarlet has many things to recommend it, an actual story arc being chief among them. For a kid's show, it has surprisingly more adult concepts and themes than you'd find in many a grown up show these days.
Oh yes, I also indulged in some early 70s telly, being home sick and nostalgic and all (yep, really piling on the tv comfort food). I put on the Tomorrow People: The Slaves of Jedikiah. If you ever want to know where Torchwood's faux Underground tube station base comes from, look no further. Ditto the character development (they're just evil, 'kay?) and crap acting.
The main problem with TP these days (aside from production values, crap acting and quaint 70s schools of thought) is that while John is supposed to be 17, he's played by somebody who looks my age (ie ancient) and if that wasn't eyebrow raising enough, he pops round to tell Stephen's mum that she can call off the cops because he was the one who abducted Stephen because Stephen was 'special' like him and special people had to enjoy their specialness together and by now I was pleading with them to quit with the WrongBad, which they never do (and there's a lot of WrongBad in 70s Brit SF, imho). So yeah, watched TP until it sent me insane and I had to switch it off.
But I gotta say, the opening creds, while mildly impressive on the wee b/w telly I used to watch it on as a kid, was just OMG brain melting while dosed to the gills on mersies and watching on a considreably bigger screen. Much more and you'd have found me still lying there twitching, hours later. Either that or twitching from Carol. Her squeaky high pitched voice could strip paint off walls, I swear.
Sadly, back to work, even though I feel so awful M had to stop me in the corridor and give me a hug. Also, save me from the sort of people who require a warning that a cup of tea is hot.
Finally, this lovely piece of Oz vs US, which nicely sums it up (re stupid is as stupid does).
And now, me little lovlies, no more complaints, or I'll rip yer bloody arms off.
Farewell Aunty Jack, we know you'll be back
though you're ten feet tall you don't scare us at all
You're big, bold and tough but you're not so rough
There's a scream as you plummet away . . .
The Tomorrow People
Sneaky peek at new Life On Mars series
Rachelle Lefevre for Life on Mars
Lefevre tries out "Life on Mars"
Lefevre Lands 'Life on Mars'
Return of the boys from Mars
Life on Mars Trailer (poor quality)
Life on Mars, Series 2 Trailer "Back in the Nick of Time"
Life on Mars, Series 2 Trailer "Starsky & Hutch"
Life on Mars Album Pre-Release Trailer
New 'Life on Mars' trailer released
Life on Mars: Original Soundtrack
Splashing out on the seventies
Lets do the crime warp again
Trust the Gene genie
Collars and cuffs
The man from Mars
Clocks and robbers
Media Monkey's Diary
Sam Tyler's Blog
Philip's return to Mars
Timewarp 'tec Sam picks up the M.E.N.
Phil joins Mars '80s spin-off
Life On Mars
In brief: Crowe to play nice guy Sheriff of Nottingham
Robin Hood role for Crowe
It's Crowe v Robin Hood
Crowe to play Sheriff of Nottingham
Crowe to star in Robin Hood
RUSSELL'S SHERIFF IS NOTT BAD
Russell Crowe To Star In Angry Phone-Chucking Robin Hood Flick
CROWE TO STAR IN ALTERNATIVE ROBIN HOOD
Russell Crowe As Good Nottingham vs. Evil Robin Hood!
Russell Crowe to clear Nottingham sheriff's name in Robin Hood flick
Crowe takes on Robin Hood
Crowe to tackle Nottingham
Russell Crowe joins Robin Hood Movie
Crowe takes on the Hood
Crowe to play Robin Hood foe in remake
Traffic noise 'is dangerous to health'
Full speed ahead
Smallville has no shame
Johnny Depp a 'humble soul'
Sue's Michael Shanks/Stargate SG-1 Blog
Wonder Woman film director quits
Heroes clips and pics!
Seven's Heroes makes inspired debut
Archaeologists find prehistoric Romeo and Juliet
Japan: Pre-historic shark captured
A pie in the sky comes crashing down to earth
A Very Charlie Christmas
Aunty Jack - Herco The Magnificent
17:00 EDIT: I think I might *finally* have the VoD problem licked, at least, it looks like there are no probs. Of course I'll have to sit through bulk Armitage tonight to make sure, h, how I will suffer. I was down to my last trick, too. The world can sleep soundly in their beds tonight, safe in the knowledge that there is Armitage for all...