So anyway, went to see some proper American theatre, starring no less a personage than William Hurt. I've never been a huge fan but back in the day when friends from school and uni used to try dragging me kicking and screaming to art films, he was the art film go to boy of choice, and I'd always dismissed the possibility of ever seeing the man on stage, existing in a parochical backwater as I am.
Well, if the man is going to deign to grace the stage here, I figured I oughta go see him. Alas, he wasn't all that. Some parts he was magnificent, but for others he seemed stilted and a bit sloppy, but hey, maybe that's the way he decided to go (from the apres show comments as we all spilled out of the theatre, I was the only one who noticed all the line fluffing and the like). Hey, the character was meant to be a shambling drunk old actor, so maybe he was going method on us. Never mind, seen and done, tick.
The rest of the cast though, they were brilliant. Especially the two sons, and especially the guy Edmund. He was so good I just got sucked right up into his performances, and he had some very showy pieces in which to shine.
The story? A disturbingly autobiographical tale of one very dysfunctional American family. There was a lot of stuff about the American dream versus the American reality in the programme (and oddly I've been reading a lot of like articles of late) but basically it was just a lot of neurotic middle class Yanks screaming at each other. If you've seen Brothers and Sisters or Six Feet Under or any of that ilk, you've seen this. At least now I can see where those shows are coming from, as I'm sure they've all had to read this play at college, it's supposed to be a classic.
In other news, they're supposed to be attempting yet another version of The Saint. If it ever gets made and isn't a complete cock up it should give that callow youth Caffrey a run for his money. Cause Simon Templar always has been and always will be my number one boy.
And I got to see some Saint yesterday, only it was one of my least favourite episodes (yes, with Kate O'Mara). Sigh. I guess a girl can't have everything. I was home on account of the stuffed ankle and not giving a stuff and, you know, a bit of a perfect storm of cold wet weather, painful hobbling and bitter disgruntlement had me turning back to the embrace of my nice warm bed in ways I usually just don't.
The idea was that I'd type like a fiend day and night, but no, I watched telly, I archived and sorted and even washed the dishes before I got near the old typing thing, and that was after 8 pm. Oh dear. It's never going to get done at this point. It's the story as much as anything. Bits just aren't right at all. I'm trying to fix it (in vain), but the greater part of me wants to blow past so I can get onto the better, later, juicier parts, but that's not right, so I struggle, and struggle, and struggle. Sigh.
Oh, it's amazing what a bit of fresh(ish) air will do. A bit too fresh to sit in the park but I went for a bit of a hobble, yes, ostensibly just to pick up a salmon roll and a cup of miso from the local sushi hole in the wall. I do try not to eat but sometimes I get peckish and as everyone else is off at a meeting I wasn't invited to, I can nibble in peace. Yeah, I could type, too, but I'll just get rolling when they all tumble through the door like a pack if fifth graders.
Anyway, I think I know where I've been going wrong (see, this is why I don't like betas, they always tell you where you're going wrong, and I'd rather figure it out myself, besides, some scenes will make more sense later, I'm setting stuff up, and I just know they'd end up with red pen struck all through them). Anyway, the problem is that if Neal is struggling with any demons, and we know he is, I'm not seeing it. He's far too submissive and passive, and I know I probably wrote it that way as a militant pro Peter tract, but it's just not working. The later bits, where Neal is a real bastard at times, are much more fun. And Neal is a bastard. He lies to Peter's face. I mean, that's who Neal is, it's what he does, but it's not nice, especially when he demands (damn nearly at the point of a shotgun at one juncture) Peter's total trust, honesty, loyalty and transparency. So, if those insipid scenes are to be salvaged, I need to make Neal more selfish and dangerous. More...Neal.
Okay. I mean, I've missed my deadline now, so what does it matter, and if it looks like I've ripped off S2, so what? Although it will throw the chronology into some disarray. And what does that matter? It's only White Collar, after all. They can't even get their own timeline straight. And if they blow big holes in any of the background I've had to construct for Neal, well, who is to say anything that comes out of that boy's mouth is the truth? (I seriously dount Neal was ever a frat boy, he's just not a joiner, as evidence by all the colleagues he's burnt in the past, and the way this whole FBI team thing is such a novelty to him).
But I must pause for this. Why they never used this pic for the promos I'll never know. Oh show, you tease and tease and tease.
Thursday: You should see what they've made me do on the website now. Dog vomit, literally. Every time they make me do stuff like this, another little piece of my soul dies.
Which probably explains why I've been hitting the yartz pretty hard this week, because last night I ran past the art gallery on the way home. A little Picasso, Monet and Hunt before tea.
There were three exhibitions going (and, unusually, I didn't really trail around the rest of the wings bar my very, very faves).
Anyway: Paths to Abstraction. This is a really good (well, to numbats like me) art history exhibition demonstrating how we got from Claude's ubiquitous haystacks to cubes and splodges. And, as I'd always wanted to know how this happened (in the name of god, how did this happen), I was ready to be educated and informed. And more ready to be educated than you might think as recent trawls through MoMA and the Met had piqued my interest in some abstract work, anyway (they had the cool stuff).
I mean, I've only really just stopped huffing and pouting over the Impressionists, afterall (now that I've seen the classics). I really loved that Monet one with the boats. You stand back and the splops and smears suddenly resolve themselves into perfect ripples. How he did that I'll never know. So off I went, and in each room the objects became more and more just represented by lines and squiggles. The most fun was trying to guess what it was, squinting this way and that, like those 3D puzzles I can never see, until I got to the last room when it pretty much was just shapes for the sake of shapes. Though I liked that series of the woman reading a book, where it looks like the acid is starting to kick in, really kicking in now, whoowhee!!!
Or something like that. The shocking thing was that a lot of art I associated with the 60s was actually done in 1906. You crazy cats, you.
Yes, there were Picassos and Mondrians and all the guys, but all lesser works, alas. Which was disappointing, especially with Mondrian, these dowdy canvases nothing like the showy pieces in MoMA (so I'm glad I'd just seen 'em or I'd have felt really ripped off), but there was much to enjoy. As they'd sold out of catalogues and I can't remember the names, but there was one lovely piece once owned by Margaret Olley (apparently with sarky comments about Margret finding the only good piece by that artist) that featured nannies, but my fave was the poor dog looking askance at the sailor suited terror bearing down on it. Perfectly captured.
There was a brilliant tiger print which I swear I've seen before, a stylish print of a Renaissance drawing (the very one in Neal's gaol cell from the White Collar pilot, of all things) and a very abstracty one of car headlights and hills (at least I think that's what it was) that was very that animated Batman series, you know, the really cool one. Probably not by accident. And there was an early Whistler, I think, one of a train racing through the landscape that I loved.
There was lots of Whistler. Man, I've really been hitting this Whistler so far this year. And Picasso. I thought I'd seen all the Picassos at the Met, but no, here are a few more (some good, some dire).
So I liked it. It was small but educational and there were some cool pieces in there.
Then it was off for my Victorians. There was an oh so snotty review in one of the Sunday papers which we felt most unfair as Victorian art has been rehabilitated and is quite the thing again once more. "Baby boomers," shakes the Peanut Gallery's greying head, "So embittered and out of touch." Smirk.
But never mind that. Here are my boys, Rosetti and Holman Hunt and Burne Jones. Happiness. I think the tabloid-y subject matter annoyed that snotty reviewer, the seamstress with the tired eyes (one candle, love? You're laughing. Try typing to the light of one of those friggin' eco globes and then you'll know red eyes), the exhausted carpenter, the marriage for money (I decided to play devil's advocate and say you couldn't really tell if the disappointed young suitor was there for the chick or the old guy). Most miserable marriage ever. Then there were the muscly Greek heroes with the ripped shirts/sheets (gay as, and don't even get me started on Leighton's man wrestling the python, lawks), the dashing kerniggets (gay as) and the melodramatic Biblical heroines, not to mention a few babes that were so OTT they wouldn't be out of place spray painted on the panel of a Gemini Sandman. But that's part of their charm.
The one that bemused me most was When Love Came into the House of a Respectable Citizen, not because of the art so much as the subject. It kind of reminded me of Peter's life after Neal had barged into it. I also really liked Love's Shadow. I took something away from that painting, and more than just the brand of shampoo she uses - grin.
So yeah, I was happy wallowing in my Victorian stuff. Yes it's a bit overblown, but some days you just want miso soup and some days you want a hot chocolate with marshmallows and whipped cream.
Speaking of which, I could really do with Saturday being just hot chocolate and an encore screening of Dr Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog, but that ain't gonna happen. Sigh.
The other exhibition was an Alfred Stieglitz thing. I liked the photos of New York very much, but the endless shots of that mad bitch whom I just knew I'd hate on first sight, reminding me far too much of mad bitches I have known, just left me annoyed. Oh well. (Ever seen a photo or painting in a gallery of someone you really want to slap, or is it just me?)
Then it was home for this rather magnificent cottage pie the Peanut Gallery had made (we've been demolishing it all week) and a tv western, notable only for the fact that the lighting was so bad I was teasing that they'd set it on a planet with six suns and invoked the name of Spock and suddenly there he was, sans ears, in the oater. One of those freaky invocation moments I have where I can summon an actor just by saying his name out loud three times (only one actor on the planet is immune, guess which one).
Worked through tv. I just had Lie to Me on. It's crap but what can I say, Tim Roth kept me company on some long dark nights recently, and well, I wonder what Lightman would say about some of the body language in some of the pics I was raising an eyebrow over yesterday, but what does it matter when they go and do this. Heh. (Tease, tease, tease).
Oh, and I have to stop playing Coupling while I'm trying to type up White Collar. I keep typing Elizabeth as Susan, and, well, there's a slippery slope. And confusing, too, because Jane's in Leverage, now. Would Sophie be able to out fox Neal? Oh yeah, and by a country mile, every time. Especially when she's channelling some of the Jane crazy. Neal just isn't that nuts (well, not in canon, anyway, in my fic he ends up a bit damaged, and distresses Peter with his sudden capacity for cruelty and the pleasure he takes in it, but I digress). Neal might be an out of the box kinda guy but the kids on Leverage are out of the building that held the box. Arrgh, that damn freakin' muisic box. Enough already.
Friday: Hey, you can get Tenspeed and Brownshoe on dvd. But should I? Fond hazy memory versus brutal digital reality? I'm not sure.
Then again, the Peanut Gallery brought me home Tales of the Gold Monkey one day when I was home sick (aw) and it rocked. Okay, in a more laughing at them than with them kinda way, but it was fun, and far less dire than I was expecting. Put it this way, I've sat through worse seasons of Supernatural.
And yeah, I totally meant to post this last night. Meant to get some serious typing done during On Her Majesty's Secret Service, too, because my late night Bond film typing session is now enshrined in tradition, but no, I conked out during the Tudors. One minute the Duke of Suffolk (swoon) was negotiating secret deals with the Imperial ambassador, the next it was some crap talk show - not the Fallon show thing I'd set.
Oh yes, don't get me started on that. Bad enough we're not getting White Collar out here, but last time they did the promo thing I was cranky about not finding out until after the event, when I could have totally taped it, you know? So this time I had the list, I had my shiny new HDD recorder and...and..no Leno? The fuck? He was being carried on about five different channels last time I looked, and now, none? Really? In fact, all the talk shows have vanished, and I'd not even noticed. Yanks priced themselves out of the market again? Everyone like me relying on Youtube? Anyway, the Fallon show thing Matt was supposed to be on was listed in the printed guide, but never screened. Sigh.
When I finished messing about trying to find if it had moved in the schedule somewhere (cue Mitchell's rant) and flipped back to telly mode, there was Top Gear on Go!, and Jezza standing up to introduce Ewan McGregor. See, Ewan would never do this to me. Good old reliable Ewan. Bless.
At this point I'm thinking I should give up, but, being a Cap, I'm stubborn to a fault, ie digging my heels in long past the point of common sense or dignity. It only remains to see who bails first: me out of White Collar fandom or the US out of Afghanistan. Both seem to be painful and hopeless processes (not to make light of the war, I'm just trying to illustrate my feelings of epic fail).
Sigh. If Ewan had been this difficult there'd never have been a League Of Obscure British Actors. Seriously.
No, there would have been. I was younger then, much, much younger, and the whole thing started because getting anything on Ewan and Jude and the like was so damn hard. I've just been spoilt now, I guess. Or maybe I'm just getting old. The thrill of the chase is now more just needless hassle and bitter disappointment than fun. I'm starting to feel like an old greyhound whose time has come and is more than ready to just give up and sit there and watch that rabbit shoot away into infinity, never to be seen again. At least, that's what it feels like.
Maybe I shouldn't take it so personally, but I do. It does feel like I'm being told I'm not good enough or worthy enough to watch the show. I don't deserve it. It's like being sent to my room without dinner or television. It feels like punishment. It feels unfair that some people get to watch stuff whenever they want, and I can't. It feels unfair that some people get all the magazines, and I don't. It's the sort of disfranchisement that causes real and troubling envy about the place. You and your denim jeans and coca cola. Grumble.
It's kind of hard living on the crumbs, sometimes. I mean, thank fuck for the internet and good friends, without which I'd have absolutely nothing. Don't think for one moment I'm not grateful, because I am, more than you will ever know. But sometimes it just seems more fiddly and harder than it is for other folks (limited downloads, slow speeds, firewalls, etc), and that always brings up those classics: envy and avarice. You know, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's tivo. But I do, so help me, I do. And it sucks.
Just, to give an example, it took me thirty years to get hold of the second book in a series, via Amazon, because it was never published out here. I mean, yes, I did get to read it after having finaly seen the eagle, so that was a minor thrill, and, post studies, I understood more of Rome and Roman Britain than I might have when I was a kid, but still, that's a bloody long time to wait, and in no way was that fair. Oooh, cue Moving Pictures anthem of self serving misery (and yes, that is the AAMI ad). Denied.
Oh, so much for trying to type something on the sly. Sigh. Mutter. And Work goes from bad to worse. Like the new time sheet sytem they're wanting us to use, which doesn't work at all, to the point where we've been told to just write down our times on a piece of paper. To which a colleague suggested they give us printed out forms we could fill in with a biro, hole punch them and put them in a ring binder marked 'timesheets'. Quite.
Meanwhile, since I'm spoiling myself silly with White Collar, I'm also messing around with it. Like this quote from the boys, and I just love how Tim uses the word "adore", it's so sweet, but anyway:
Tim DeKay: It’s going to seem odd, but this is my first instinct and I think I have to go with it. One, [Caffrey, Matts character] is smartest individual I’ve met. And two, [Burke, Tim's character] one of the most devoted. Yes, he’s one of the — oh my gosh! I think because of this question, I’ve hit something here that I think that Peter sees in Neal; that he respects and adores, for lack of a better word.
Matt Bomer: Oh, s***. We’ve got to do these calls on a more regular basis.
Tim DeKay: Yes. He sees a strong devotion in Neal. And it makes sense. Look how devoted he was to Kate. Look how strong he stayed with Kate and was devoted to her. And if he can do that for her, he can do that for the bureau, and certainly for his friends.
So, just to be peverse, and because it supplies what was missing from the third story I was working on (I had the beginning and end but was fuzzy on the middle). I've decided to make Neal devoted to a fault. Like, well, obsessed. With Peter. To the point where Peter begins to understand why Kate wanted out, any way she could. Hee. Crazy stalker Neal. Like Robert Lovelace crazy stalker, which is where I was going with it anyway. I mean, it wouldn't take much to twist devotion into obessession, love into hate. So the poets say, anyway.
I know, but like I said, I can only type up the fic if Neal is being difficult. I don't know why, it just is. I think it's just so I can imagine DeKay doing that look of mild concern which is so much his stock in trade.
Okay, I'm being wicked now. I shall go and actually do some work now cause it's 4pm on a Friday and that means everyone has to now email me with complex jobs they all want done by first thing Monday. Did I set Being Human? No? Bugger. That'll be another dvd I'll be buying than. C'est la vie.
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