mockturtle (hellblazer06) wrote,

postcards from the week that was

Sorry about this, it's been mad, absolutely mad. Here, in all its faded glory, is the tattered old blog entry I've been scratching away at this last fortnight.

Last week:
Saw The Shat again last night, this time at the State Theatre. I know, but hey, he's in Sydney, he's doing two completely different shows for two completely different crowds (only me and one other guy crossed over into both) and why not suck up as much of the Shat as I can. He is a living legend after all. And so much larger than life. And funny, though the 'host' was very unfunny and dragged on the show like a boat anchor, but left to ramble on his own, wacky old uncle Bill had some crazy stories to tell.

I'm not sure if I could pick a highlight. When after the interval he did the voice over to the Trek theme with 'Capatin's log, stardate....Sydney' (whee) or when he put his own special spin on Down Under, which was so classic and I think I shall smile over for a very long time, especially when he avoided the copyright infringing middle bars and went slightly off book and started in on that infamous piece of oration: "Well may we say "God Save The Queen"...'. Oooh! I have that speech on t-shirt, teatowels and teacups (my rage, I maintain it), so I was very very bwee! at that point.

I was also a bit buzzed. I'd gone down to a hotel near work because I was peckish, I had some time to kill, and they also own the State so a word in their shell-like gets you a quick dinner, and though the food wasn't what it was (sigh), the waiter took pity on this old broad and emptied the bottle into my enormous wine glass, so I fairly wobbled and weaved back up the hill to the theatre. Just as well I was buzzed as I was sitting next to the most annoying OCD chick ever. For twitching and rustling of wrappers and slurping water and oh, it went on, I've never seen it's like in all my years. Clearly no one had ever told the creature that adults sit quietly in a theatre. Ah well, at least there was Bill, thundering out his punchlines. He is such an old ham but I can forgive him anything, I think.

Even more alarming was when he got serious over stuff like conservation and I found myself nodding along. Me, nodding along? Apparently so. Plus, he had funny stories there, too (especially the one with the monkey).

I'm so glad I went, as he was fun (he was fretting and nervous, too, having read the Sheen reviews), but we loved him and gave him a standing ovation and I was happy to leap to my feet because he deserved it. That's the problem with tv heroes, you rarely get the chance to say thanks. Because, man, even when they played Trek on Go last year, we dropped everything and watched. Not seriously, but we watched, and giggled, and heckled but we had fun so thank you, Bill. Thanks for everything.

Oh, and I realise I did a rubbish job of describing the brief Simon and Nick encounter. There was a lot of skipping about, was there a babe in there somewhere? I know there was some petname. Ah, I'm a dreadful international newshound, but I was too bemused by the skipping about, to be honest. Not to mention Nick being easily distracted by stray Malteezers (I'm fairly sure a Hansel and Gretel gambit would work given the way he zeroed in on it - grin).

They were fun, too, and weirdly meta since Paul has the Arena homage and last night they showed a clip of Arena. The meta, it's madness.

Sorry, didn't get to post this yersterday. Oh, what a day. I made the mistake of mentioning I'd been out so the boss, who arrived just as the hangover kicked in, was slinging me all sorts just so she could jump on me. Luckily for me, after spending most of my adult life going to night school, this level of exhaustion is standard, so I managed everything she threw on me, including briefing senior management on the technical details of a project I'd never heard of before, with pulled out of my arse costings (bows).

She is such a bitch, but I jumped all her hurdles, but man, I crashed when I got home. Turned the telly on, settled down, and Nucky never even got off the beach in the opening titles of Boardwalk Empire before I was Zzzzz. Damn.

Anyway, dinner was a treat, or featured a treat. Himself has picked up an extra casual job in the eastern suburbs which means eastern suburbs veg shops and delis, so dinner was excellent and for dessert, hand made galato. Swoon.

Meanwhile, I've been grumpily thinking that if Bomer earns four times my annual wage per episode, he'd better be 1460 times more wonderful than I am in my day job. Damn.

Show off. Anyhoo, I note the scene being filmed was with the so called comedy sidekick, grumble, but I know that into every show an unfunny writer's avatar must fall. I think, sometimes, one could really make a study of tv writers and their psychology from their chosen avatars/mary sues.

Like some/most tv writers inflict the worst kind of Mary Sues on us, from the annoying can do anything walking Swiss army knife of a companion to the fawning 'Oh Fred, you're so strong and brave and wonderful' types. Gag. Better yet, only a few writers responsible for that kind of coquettish Mary Sue are out, so one arches the eyebrow at the others, as well one might. Then there's the bumbling wingman (Xander comes to mind, or any role played by Nick Frost). Esteem issues much? Anyway, your knickers are showing, is all I'm saying.

Sorry, I've not been near a PC (and conscious) this last week. Anyways, I was, up until a few minutes ago when the so-called colleagues started to straggle in, bouncy and flouncy over having seen Frankenstein at NT Live. Oh, that was wonderful!!! I finally got to see the superior Benedict as the creature version, and he was the better creature (sorry Jonny, but there it is). It was a fabulous performance. But wait, there's more, as they played both versions. Squee!

Better yet, I managed to drag Himself along, and so there was real comment from him about Benedict having obviously used footage of shellshocked soldiers from WWI as a study for the way the creature moved when trying to stand. See, I'd never say posh things like that. I'd be just all 'oh, aren't his eyes blue' and girlish rubbish like that.

Still, we had fun, we made a day of it, even if I did end up paying $20 for a soggy microwaved pie I could have bought from a chip shop for $5, but never mind. Clearly it was $15 to rent the table and cutlery and I suppose fair enough. (I would have ordered something more posh but as the play was nearly 3 hours sans interval that meant no menu items with cheese, which left me with the soggy pie option, sigh).

Sorry, I seem to be rabbiting on about the pie and not the performance. Well, Himself has intimidated me, just a bit, because I know I am a dim and foolish woman, and what hasn't already been said about the questions of who was the true monster, man's inhumanity to man, the arrogance and violence of man, that man only births destruction and hatred, the mega daddy issues, the removal of god from the story (though I see it was shoehorned back into the dialogue), that man creates his own monsters in his image.

Maybe I could just talk about the pretty lights and the set design (I almost delight in the birds flying up as much as the creature does, so easily pleased am I), and I still over identify with the creature, rejected by all for being ugly, even its parent, when at heart, it just wants to live and love in the world, and whether the creature was born wicked or made wicked (I fall firmly on the made side, that we are all born innocent and some of us are just bullied into lashing out, for if we are never shown love, only hatred, how can we learn not to hate instead of love?). The bit where Benedict as the creature hugs his creator on the ice and cries that he just wanted to be loved - weeps!!!

The script though, I still find wafer thin and gets by too easily on the deep ideas set down by a slip of a girl (was Elizabeth her avatar, the doomed voice of reason and love in a world gone mad?) but it did have comedy Scotsmen and was blessed by great actors and a lot of razzle dazzle and that's theatre, I guess. A better script would have made it transcendent, though. Never mind, it was still bloody good.

I can't believe they were playing NT Live in my hillbilly backwater when other major cities missed out, (has someone been wickedly skewing the NT demographics, just a touch? Mwahaha) but I'm glad it was all over the place so I didn't have to miss out, cause Sunday was busy (hello, Opera House).

Himself was muttering that perhaps it wasn't widely advertised (I only found out just in time as I'd never bothered to check if NT Live was available locally as I'm so used to the 'none for you' regime) because local theatre is struggling enough without facing actual competition from UK theatre.

True, but on the other hand, it wouldn't hurt some of the local lot to see how the Brits do it, to see some bloody brilliant acting from bloody brilliant actors (as opposed to me usually sitting through chaps whose career highlight is listed in the programme as a guest spot on Sea Patrol, I mean, really) and maybe they could understand that two chairs you picked up from the footpath on council clean up day and slung on the stage does not a set design make. Or, conversely maybe we could beam our lads into UK cinemas, and the Brits could experience the horror of an unfunded arts scene or learn to make do with far, far less. Just a thought. Then the Brits would start clamouring for arts funding, I'm sure.

But in the meantime, what a brilliant idea. What a fucking amazing idea. The National Theatre, beamed almost live into my local flea pit. At last, the 21st is finally working for me.

Oh, speaking of dissing local actors, while we were watching telly an ad for Thor came on and Thor is rabbiting on with the 'I come from somewhere far away' speech and Himself interjects cruelly with 'Summer Bay'. Snork. Wheeze. It might not be factually true and slagging off local actors is cheap and easy but fun and most often deserved (Alex O'Loughin, anyone?).

Yes, I am an anglophile. And I don't care. Sea Patrol? Summer Bay? Pur-lease.

Anyways, UK telly: Really loving Being Human this series. Okay, this episode was a bit weak but I was so thrilled to see Robson Green again. I'd no idea I was missing him, but I was. It's like not being able to watch the US version of Touching Evil because it just wasn't the business and I kept thinking 'but Robson isn't that great', but he is. He so is. At least to me. I like that thin sharp line of northern steel that runs through the boy. The whole could be dangerous vibe. I like it. It works.

Whitechapel. Oh, happiness. Yes, it is very silly (I mean, are all eastend crims into historical re-enactments) but it's done which such style, verve and panache, with proper actors, that I can forgive it anything and everything. I just go along for the ride and it was over in no time, so much fun it was to watch. The reviews in the UK were lukewarm, but I liked the heightened silliness of it all, and besides, the whole idea of flash crims and official corruption was nothing compared to the reality described in the Sin City exhibition over at the P&J museum. Now that really is frightening.

Spooks? They tried to do Rashomon, and not very well, but at least they tried and one has to give them points, in series nine, for trying to mix it up a bit. I like Spooks. I love Harry, Lucas (or whoever he is this month) is gorgeous and it's a solid does what it says on the tin proper serious spy show.

Undercut slightly, well, okay, a lot, by Chuck, but I adore Chuck so much now it can do no wrong, and throwing the Charade reference into the A Team episode, well, bravo. I love Chuck because they know the form and they play with it, it's all deliciously post modern and stuff.

Ditto Leverage, and I lost count of the pop culture references (Steed and Peel, Spock's speech in Wrath of Khan, Archie Leech...). At least on Chuck and Leverage it's knowing winks and nods, not clumsy attempts to sound clever by hacks who have no idea. Oh, another clever one was Castle, turning over the old 'you'll never be able to take this to the press' trope with a 'how about my Twitter followers' counter offer.

At last, a tv show that doesn't entirely sound like it was written in the 50s (which is odd, because the 50s shows I watch are actually so modern they could be done tomorrow, only badly). I don't need all those hamfisted oooh, technology, references (see any show from the 80s - cringe) but the odd well timed reference doesn't go astray, because otherwise the character does look like a backwards fool when we're sitting at home screaming 'just upload it to youtube, you idiot' to no avail.

And don't get me started on those eejits (aka 'actors') who sit at a PC and start clacking away like they're gonna re-write the OS in Basic, when a mouse click oughta do it, or why, when hacking into a government network, nobody ever just tries 'password'. You'd be shocked and awed at just how effective that is.

A whole week and I've not been near a pc properly (although I managed to get together a halfarsed Brit List, that was thrown together on the run on borrowed and rented pcs and with a lot of help from friends). I was really quite annoyed at not getting home until v.late last night because people kept effing me about far beyond the bounds of human suffering. Harumph.

If nothing else, I missed the Supernatural series five finale, which one might reasonably call a big episode. Or a big episode that kinda goes nowhere because they suddenly get a surprise series six and have to hit the reset button big time, and not, I regret to say, in any sort of convincing manner, but I have a great deal of love for the show so I'll let it slide. Just this once.

On the plus side of having to do the ironing at midnight was that I found The Sweeney on one of the channels. Jack! George! Me old muckers!

Dearest boys, they kept me in good company and it's been enough of a lapse between screenings that while I remembered the basic plot I was fuzzy on the details and I was pretty much just watching for the fuzzy hair, the fuzzy carpets, the wide ties and the general seventies shabbiness of it all - it was so terribly nostalgic. Especially when they were prowling around some industrial wasteland. Just like home, sigh.

Speaking of which, it was a bit noisy anyway, what with the usual nightly shots going off, and the burnoff victory laps thereafter. I thought three victory laps was excessive, and the complete lack of sirens? Well, yes, if they felt completely at home enough to hang around jaunting about the place. Harumph. At least there are decent coppers on the telly.

I don't think good coppers get enough credence on telly. Poor Peter Burke was dismissed as a 'boy scout' in the LA Times. Harumph.

Meanwhile in the fic, and it just popped out, Peter is moaning that he is the Darrin Stevens, and, out of the mouth of babes and boy scouts, he so is, you know, the square one who has to cope with the bohemian hangers on who are always getting up to all manner of strife and always having to try and keep a lid on it and cover it up. Poor, poor Peter.

I can see Peter's curtain twitching neighbours even now: 'Abner! There's something odd going on across the road again - Abner!'.

Ahem. No, I've not been watching the repeats, well, maybe when I was home sick abed with that flu, the waiting outside the NT stage door in sub zero temps then walking around Highgate in the pouring rain flu. I hear it's suddenly hot in Blighty, which would explain why the boys were dripping in the telecasts. Surely it ain't that warm yet, I was thinking, reflecting back on my own chilly visit, but surely it was (and stop calling me Shirley.)

Sorry, completely sleep deprived, hallucinating, talking and typing shit. You know, the usual.

I still haven't been near my beloved wee Pc to post this. It's another week of all sorts. I was out at the branch office on Wed and the day started well enough, sorta, kinda, as I didn't have my intercity commute so I spent my extra five hours backing up stuff (okay, I could have got online but I find it best not to multitask when backing up) and while that was going on I solved the dilemma of what to do about Boardwalk Empire and Detroit 127 programmed opposite each other via the kind services of a friend.

So, Detroit. I kinda liked it. In fact, I was thinking about it all day so it got under my skin. It's a straight up, no frills, no quirks, no gimmicks, police procedural, though with the twists and characters tics that brought Hill St Blues to mind. Yeah, I liked it. I watched three episodes in a row, greedy pig that I was (also, the backup was operating on cityrail time, ie the clock kept going backwards).

Which meant I was late doing all the stuff I had to fix in the yard (I suspected the vandalism would start again when I saw someone looking at the house intently the other weekend) and I missed the bus so I was late in. Not that it mattered as everyone was so hostile and unhelpful I couldn't get a thing done. I remember when I worked out there we used to cross ourselves and joke about throwing down rock salt when there was a creature from head office in the building. I am now that creature. Wail!!!!

So anyways, shopping after work, too, as my local shops are like, across the road, so it was late home and I was so tired and fed up I just crashed and didn't watch either Boardwalk or Detroit. Again, thank you, friend, so very much.

Thurs I came in early and caught up and then went off to a SEO conference. It was quite good actually and I took lots of notes, if only to try and back up my arguments with the bizarro people (they do everything backwards and wrong), not that'll do me any good, but it's nice to have some validation. I also made a new friend, as we were both kinda out of our depth with all the power dressing people there and she waved me over and we hung out together for the whole day. It was nice. She was from a town nearby mine (ie, social outcasts) and it reminded me a bit of my friend from uni (same town, same exclusion). But we had fun, and that's the main thing.

And it's not that our jobs are crud, either, we were both professionals (she in banking, her husband a microbiologist), but I guess we're just not part of the rich and beautiful and corrupt jet set (because, honey, if you're living in one of those posh places, you didn't come by your dosh honestly, no way, no how).

But, honestly, it didn't matter, it's just why we were sitting together, giggling away to ourselves, while the show ponies walked circles to avoid us.

But it was a long day, and I was tired, so tired I eventually (keyword: eventually) was offered a seat on the bus because I looked so tired and old and I wasn't proud, then, because my feet were killing me. But later, ouch. That burns. So now I'm so old and decrepit I get offered seats on the bus? But I'm still getting over all my pretty young pop stars retiring to the country to raise cheeses and the gobby yoofs on tv cop shows now on the other side of the desk as the grumpy old DS (the Peanut Gallery agreed that this was a far sharper and deeper cut when it was a local show). How this happen? It's like I just woke up and suddenly I'm old and evil?

Sigh. In other news I've been offered the possiblity of some evening classes so these posts may become even more spotty but I figure why not, and if I get told I figure I'm meant to know and all my friends are dead or hate me or thousands of miles away so maybe I can make new ones?

Oh, speaking of friends, my cosmic genie went 'boink' and an old, old friend popped out of the woodwork for lunch at the pub down the road. Needless to say I wobbled back, just a touch, and am still sitting here trying to type/code ever so slightly cross-eyed but it reminds me of good old times and it makes me happy (we were colleagues several restructures ago). Damn, we'd left it so long that there was only big news to get through, and we barely touched on the incidental silly stuff, but it was fun, and that's the main thing.

Wow. Lunch with human beings, two days in a row. This is possibly a record.

Hey, you know what I said earlier about Matt being the coolest ever? Forget that. This is the coolest Matt in New York, the world, the universe, the multiverse.

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Tags: being human, benedict cumberbatch, chuck, jonny lee miller, leverage, matt smith, matthew bomer, richard armitage, robson green, rupert penry-jones, simon pegg, spooks, star trek, the sweeney, theatre, white collar

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