Yes, the coffee shop, that American one. I seriously only went in their for the coffee grounds (the abundant slugs in the garden find them anathema). That's my story and I'm sticking to it. I just ordered tea, anyway. Don't ask. Looks like they were having a Monday, too.
Speaking of American coffee chains and their greatest customer, I gotta say, seriously, Matty, lay off the frappuccinos. Everytime I see a pap photo, there he is, clutching one. Every friggin' time. Matty, my dear boy, there will come a day, as it must come to all of us, when you'll have that frappuccino too far and we'll be talking the Vegas years, n'est-ce pas? So quit while you're still cute, my lovely one, because being not cute is not fun, trust me on this. Seriously, really not fun.
At least it explains all the sugar-hyped hijinks in some of the interviews - grin.
Sorry, am still woe as me, still torturing myself with pictures on what I missed out on, still ratty that I don't get nice things, or fun times, still annoyed that I was dragged home on nothing much more than, for example, when my Aged Parent used to phone anxiously for some emergency which would always be nothing more serious than forgetting how to change the channels on the telly. And people should be aware how that cry wolf scenario played out. Seriously, right now, these people, I wouldn't piss on them if they were on fire, as the saying goes. And I'm really, quite absurdedly upset, like screaming inside, that I'll give up something I really wanted to do but they'll destroy my life, my comfort zone, without even a thought, let alone a second one. I am seriously not condsidered, at all, let alone considred worthy of thought, empathy or anything, really. It's hard, I think, to be unregarded. Cue Split Enz.
Oh, and my wee pc is playing up something chronic (hence the no posting). It was fine oveseas. I guess it too, like me, finds it hard going here. If I had friends I could go and have chocolate with, I'd get over it, but I don't, so I can't. I really don't have anybody any more, especially since I find I can't sit down, at a table with cutlery, opposite people like the woman who played footsie with my boyfriend at my Dad's funeral and then took him home, leaving me all alone. Completely alone. In the dark. Far from home (well, there was a bus, but that's not the point).
Now I know any gentleman who dumps you at your father's funeral clearly isn't, but nevertheless, my ability to forgive and forget, to grin and bear it, to keep a civil tongue in my head when speaking to the uncivil, it has shredded away, alas (and it wasn't one of my strengths to start with). That's the problem with small towns, you run into people you'd rather not, and you can't run away. It's the problem with getting old, too. One's tolerance for for one's fellow man withers, and one's hope that something better will come along shrivels. One pretty much turns into the dudes from Waiting for Godot. And that really is terrifying.
Speaking of friends and chocolate, I had another one of the Theo's choccies yesterday, the Chai one. Alas, it had taken up a lot of the fennel from the fig and fennel one, but it was still v.nice. That was a grand day out, the tour of the chocolate factory. It was funny before it even started because my friend mentioned it via email, then I logged off and was thinking about it and then I heard Gene Wilder singing "Come with me..." and it was one of those huh? moments, but it turns out it was just a well timed ad for an iPad on telly, but still, very amusing.
And it was a cool chocolate factory. Very small, with ssecond hand equipment, but lovely because of that. It wasn't all scary and industrial or 'I'll never eat chocolate again'. Quite the opposite, it was like being in a 70s doco (we never actually did school excurions much, there was an incident, I never found out what) as we toured the charming old machines, smelt the beans roasting, being crushed, poured, whipped and baked and finally hand moulded into chocolates, all very 'so that's how they do that'. All very Curiosity Show. And, oh my, not at all stinting or mean with the free samples, oh my, no (which paid off as I think I bought nearly every flavour they offered). That was fun. And it was all certified organic and fair trade so there was nothing but wholesome, whole bean goodness going on. No oompaloompas though (please do not ask the staff to sing as refusal may cause offence).
Other chocolate fun involved the mountain of a sundae enjoyed by a friend in a diner (I had to go to a diner, it was so twee) the big saucers of hot chocolate in San Francisco, and the lovely souvenier tin of Ghirardelli I duly picked up at SFO (you were right, that's where they were).
I really shouldn't be talking chocolate as I'm probably just crashing from the sugar high I inflicted upon myself over the weekend. It was cold, I was unwell and mopey, so there were hot chocolates, Lindt hot chocs at that, in the big blue tins, with marshmallows, and I discovered, sadly, that one can indeed have too many hot chocolates in a single weekend. Oh dear.
But what hot chocolates, and, as I was grumpy and crampy, with a medicinal splash of Glenfiddich. See if you can stop at just one (though you really ought, take it from me).
Still, it cheered me up a bit. In between catching up on missed telly (Dr Who!) and the washing (all still hanging up, damp) and pc woes and sorting out old papers, it was a rare treat. Shame about the pc being difficult, I should have liked to have typed stuff up, but, whatever. I wasn't up to struggling, so I just caught up on several week's worth of Dr Who, including the Silurian one. Not a fave, but it hit enough old school points to make it passable, especially the Pertwee era, oh my, yes, especially the green glowy venom, looking not unlike that insect bite I got that Xmas, you know, the one where the pharmacist (the only medical assistance available on Boxing Day) leant in, squinted and said those words you never want to hear: "I think there's something in there." Anyway, I always said the bite looked like something out of Pertwee era Who, and if you've not seen Pertwee era Who, well, now you've seen the homage, so you'll get the idea. As in: yikes!
The Vincent one I still adore. Even without the wish fulfilment story (Vincent finds out that he actually wasn't too shabby paintwise) or the most fidge magnets to feature in a single episode - smirk, there's just the classic conceit of the invisible monster, that was, for the most part, only featured in mirrors and windows when it did feature. If nothing else, the GFC has hopefully signalled a return to a more creative use of FX, because, I tell ya, an invisible monster chasing the Doc was way scarier than fleets and fleets of cgi'd flying saucers. I'm just saying. Aside from serving the story better, it makes the episode less cringeworthy down the track when the now lamentable cgi monster is viewed. It's not the centrepiece and thus won't bring down the episode, if you know what I mean.
Really, I think Dr Who, chips on both shoulders re the wobbly sets rep, has overdone it with the cgi in the past. They should learn from the masters that less is more, like when the rubber shark in Jaws was so rubbery they just kept it to a minimum, and it worked. More of that, please.
Another thing that has delighted has been a welcome return of Troughton era types gadgets, itself borrowing from Bond and his gadgets. Nevertheless, I like it, it makes Who seem more proper, somehow, for me. Keep it up. If nothing else, it means the literal deus ex machina isn't the bloody screwdriver every damn time.
And, oh yeah, Amy and Rory remind me a lot of Polly and Ben (no, I'm not old enough, they just played shitloads of ancient B/W Who back in '03 for the anniversary on the ABC and we taped, yes, taped, I have a bloody HDD now but back then it was taped, them all, so I've seen episodes not out on dvd) or maybe my most beloved Jamie and Zoe. My, did Jamie and Zoe snark and bitch, it's hilarious. No "Oh Doctor, you're so wonderful" from those two. Thank fuck. Alas, most of their stuff was wiped (cultural vandals!), but you can get the audio versions, which will have to do.
Ended up keeping an episode of High Chaparral I'd recorded because it was so inappropriate. I dunno, maybe it was just all our giggling after "man juice" that sent the episode spiralling downhill so much that anything after that caused guffaws, but, oh my, that show can be so wrong, I just can't believe they got away with it, I really can't.
And speaking of eyebrow raising westerns, best of the best was the old Zorro flick I recorded. I was watching the end of Philadelphia Story (it had been referenced sevreal times during the week, and there it was so why not?) and the tv said next up was The Mark of Zorro, staring Tyrone Power and Basil Rathbone and of course one just hits the record button, no questions asked. And what a corker. Bloody brilliant. Most fun I've had all week, as I watched it back the next morning inbetween loads of washing (all praise the pause button). Well, there was some extra textual fun with it being filmed on the set currently being used for Chuck (extra giggles as Zorro slips out the Morgan exit), and, man, who know the set from Chuck was so old? I knew it had been in Mannix, High Chaparral and Maverick, but, wow, 1940, eh? That's what you call historic. Or what I call historic, anyway. Zorro, lurking in the same shadows Bryce Larkin would lurk in - sweet!
But the best bit, aside from the sword fights, the old swishing the candle in half with the rapier trick, the chases, the snark, the best, most glorious bit was Diego deciding, in the space of seconds, to elude suspicion by presenting himself just off the boat from Madrid as, well, flamboyantly metrosexual, shall we say. Oh, wheeze. No wonder they drop this whole thing from later (boring) versions (with one notable exception, and I never knew how spot on it was). The whole plot revolves around everyone thinking Diego is a mincing fairy (while he's off doing his Robin Hood thang). Oh, pre Hays Code fillums, how I love you. So we had the appalled parents, and the snide comments about Diego's betrothed, for the sake of a poltical alliance only, facing a "tepid" marriage. Even the whole Brokeback marriage thing was part of the plot. Oh, the eye rolling from the herione, and her surprise when she discovers Diego actually does like girls (though, to be honest, if playing gay is the first thing Diego can think of, I do wonder - smirk).
What a crack up, and what a cracking film. Too bad you'd never get it made today (cf I Love You Philip Morris). Now I can't help wonder what it'd be like if someone did a version of Robin Hood where he had a, well, more fashionable alter ego. And what does this say about Batman, whom I seem to recall, owes quite a bit to the old Zorro. So does that mean playboy Bruce Wayne was meant to mean confirmed bachelor Bruce Wayne? My gosh, the Comics Code Authority was right! (well, I always thought I was reading it wrong, not right).
Not that there's anything wrong with a gay crimefighter, of course. It wasn't that, it was just the way it was so out there, in ways it just isn't these days, not even on HBO. It was the complete lack of ambiguity that tickled so. They certainly weren't, ahem, mincing words.
How come the stuff I'm watching now isn't as wickedly funny, arch, post-modern or transgressive as the black and white stuff I'm watching? Oh yeah, re-watched Maverick's Gun-Shy again, just cause. It's so wicked (poor old Gunsmoke). And it makes a complete lie of the old 'they treated Native Americans like that on film because they didn't know any better'. Twaddle. Oh, they knew. They just didn't care.
Fifties westerns taking the piss out of themselves: gotta love it.
I shall spare you my Gene Hunt rant about how much I despair over all the po faced 'very special episode' telly these days. Which is why I loathe Glee (though I did watch the Joss Whedon episode. Oh, Neil). Speaking of Joss, also caught up on the last episode of Dollhouse. W.T.F. And the less said about the creepy Ballard ending the better. It was like watching fic. Usually the show is merrily keeping on with the weekly Charlie's Angels shenaningans while the fic has gone wildly off into some future dystopian AU, but usually, not the other way around. And now I why. Seriously, wtf?
More American (mis)adventures later, I haven't got last week's pic posts done yet (tech diificulties, lack of time and just being lazy, grumpy and crampy, really). And I know I'm oftentimes prssenting the whole trip in a bad light, and it wasn't all bad, but take, for example, one morning: I step from my hotel, walk like a block and almost get taken out by near terminal velocity pigeon poop. I actually stagger, but spy a Borders up ahead and duck into the loo to sponge at hair and tenderly feel bruise. It's a great morning when you're relieved it's pigeon poo and not blood running down the back of your shirt (because man, it hurt). So I decide to check on the magazines on the way out. Oh, that magazine, yeah, they had it, sold the last copy just the day before. Grumble, grumble, gripe.
Mornings like that, they can put a gal off her stride, you know?
And if White Collar could stop filming in the few places I actually enjoyed lurking, I'd be ever so grateful. It's like when I found that lovely spot in the park behind Magdalen College in Oxford, and I picnicked, I diaried, I wrote fic, I wrote postcards and it was sweet. Really sweet. And also the site of a gruesome murder in a later episode of Lewis. Thanks, lads. Really.
Oh, there was another cool thing on the weekend: I saw the eclipse, and I don't, usually, as the SMH reports:
The Sydney Observatory seems to have finally broken a hoodoo that has been sitting over the place like a dark cloud - literally. For many moons, whenever the boys and girls on Observatory Hill invited the people of Sydney to join them in marvelling at a celestial event, you knew that it was time to take the washing in, because rain was assured. Not so on Saturday night, when the clouds parted and the partial lunar eclipse was on show in all its awesome glory.
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