Anyone need an embittered and elderly web admin? Thought not.
Pity, because spring has sprung, big time. I lost count of the spiders, none as yet known to science, that crawled over me in the park yesterday. I wished for a bug catcher, so I could walk my prizes across the road to the AM and have my spiders named after me for posterity. Alas, no. The spiders, and I, continue on in our anonymous and unnoticed existence.
I've also been rocking my ever growing collection of brooches, though it was my little preppy short sleeved jumper that fetched a compliment yesterday. Yes it is preppy and I bought it in America, home of the preppy. It's a lot like the genuine vintage little jumpers I used to wear when at uni, when all I could afford was the local op shops, and I started my first vintage broch collection then, too. Yes, I was rocking the Audrey Horne look, but I was having fun.
Oh, yes, I think in my sulking I forgot to mention 50s day. Or rather, not 50s day as Himself wasn't up for it, or rather the grinding and difficult commute back and forth in inclement weather, and so we had 50s day at home: vanilla slices for tea with my 50s tea set, coronation chicken sandwiches, Funny Face on the tv, a 50s playlist on itunes and a run through ebay - hence the constant parade of small packages arriving from the UK and US of late (you should see my brooch collection now).
It was fun, it really was. Though I must warn you, when attempting coronation chicken, and we learnt this the hard way, make sure you use just a dusting of Keen's curry powder as any dubious 50s housewife would, and not a modern curry powder/paste/mix.
Sort of had to do the same thing last weekend when, instead of the promised yum cha on Saturday, I had to cancel it, hanging off the bathroom door as I was, like John Hurt in I Claudius, warning 'don't go in there'.
So the next day Himself set off up the hill to fetch back a mess of mixed entrees from the nearest resturant open on a Sunday and I thought he was keen and this is when Himself realised that he couldn't skip up the hill (an escarpment, to be fair and accurate) like a gazelle any more. I think he'll keep to his bed for a week just over that, never mind the walk and the entrees. Poor baby.
They were damn fine spring rolls and dim sims, though.
Meanwhile, life becomes increasingly difficult for the perfume inolerant. As if the perfume counter miasma I have to put up with daily wasn't trying enough, they've installed one of those auto air freshners in the ladies, so every time I got in there I get drenched in the stuff and emerge gasping of breath and watering of eye.
I'd take the rotten thing out but I've seen enough telly now to know that the moment I think it's dead and turn my back on the bastard its electronic eye will start blinking again...
Cough. Choke. Wheeze. Sarah Connor, it wasn't supposed to be like this. Taken out by an air freshner? Really?
Speaking of telly, I was held up last night but squeaked in the door just in time for Sutekh's gift of death, and just as well, too, it being a rather iconic moment in matters Who. Pyramids of Mars was a favourite of childhood and it's still ripping stuff. Yes, it's a bit cheap, but the effects, done on camera, are still pretty damn effective, imho. All that smoke still creeps me out. And as for the cheap sets, I'm rather loving the detail, clearly the art director cleared out an op shop but I love it, the old organ music, the tat on the mantlepiece. It's perfect. Ditto the costumes. The poacher's clobber looked actually worn in and worn out, and he even had his leather jerkin on (so as not to get ex-rabbit all over his coat). Whoever dressed the characters knew their stuff and I'm impressed, especially these days when they can't even be bothered with casting right or fidelity to the period or source material (Jane Eyre vs the Giant Japanese Robots? Why not? No, don't, really, don't).
And as for the Edwardian Marconi scope thingy - love!
This is so much fun. Okay, there was some tittering from the cheap seats, with our comments re suspicious foreign types (always good for being up to no good, then as now), the hilariously embaressing death for the poor poacher (you have to go see it) and when Marcus Scarman is literally sniffing out the Doctor and is distracted by the poacher taking a pot shot at him, then abandons the search and toddles off again, no doubt muttering to himself that he was sure he'd gone into the room for something. Even the servants of Sutekh have senior moments, it seems. Top telly!
Friday: Well, yesterday was quite the day. Spent two hours doing my bit protesting the pay cuts and staff cuts. It'll do no good at all, but it was cathartic and communal and there were 40,000 of us covering the domain with cranky peoples and, as a descendant of charterists and swing rioters, I felt I had a duty to be there. I truly don't believe profits should be put before social justice, especially as we are a service, not a business. We keep society, civilsation and democracy going. It's not fair, you know. Anyhoo it got me out of the office for a couple of hours and I love the sight of flags fluttering in a field. It's kind of historic, you know?
Then I'd planned to pop past the library but, no, I had to still shift my workload (even though I'm unregarded I'm still being flogged like a dead horse) and then rip down to the Opera House to attend a talk being given my a Mr Alan Ball.
He was very entertaining, insightful, inspirational and witty, which was a relief because I know and love his work (Six Feet Under, True Blood) but sometimes admiring someone isn't enough and they turn out to be complete pillocks in real life (as per my regrettable meeting with long time hero Mark Gatiss who slapped me down quite nastily, and was so pleased with his putdown he actually tweeted it, to add insult to injury, and I'd done nothing so much as my most polite and deferential fangirl bit and I still love his work but no longer admire the man, alas).
So yes, Mr Ball in conversation with Mr Anderson, who, despite the fanboy worship, did ask some really good questions and kept things bubbling along (Wil Anderson should seriously marry me since it is now obvious that our dvd/book/music collections mirror each other to a scary degree). It was an odd sort of fireside chat, in the cavernous concert hall of the Opera House.
There was much talk of Mr Ball's career, his highs, his lows, and while I could have done with more discussion re True Blood, my main interest at the moment, I found the discussion very entertaining and funny, especially with how he perfected the teenage girl's dialogue in American Beauty, by overhearing absurd statements from young gels at a U2 concert. Okay, you had to be there, and, as it was filmed, you probably will be. Apparently RK was in the audience, but I never saw him.
The questions from the audience were inane and all about them, to an impossible degree (but that's Gen Y for you) but that's what you get: the sane folk always stay seated.
After that, having been scared off hanging around stage doors for life by the grinch that is Gatiss, I walked back in the rain, picked up a burger, because I hadn't eaten all day and there comes a time, after being hungry for over 18 hours, when only a burger will do, and it wasn't easy as I had the two worst French girls ever being so difficult and changing their order so many times I think everyone wanted to slap their heads together.
Taxi ride home was fun as I relayed my week of woe to the taxi driver, with a few choice examples of the bully's behaviour and the taxi driver was crying with laughter and thumping the steering wheel with hysterics so much it's a wonder we didn't run off the road. Well, at least my misery is good for something, because it realy is sitcom horrible boss bad, I am fully aware of it, and it was nice to be able to speak of it anonymously to someone because I know I'm supposed to pretend that everything is tickety boo online. Sigh.
Oh, one thing I did learn was that fag hags are now called fruit flies. Well, charming. I could respond with some choice remarks I remember from the media of my childhood, but I hope to be better than that. I'll leave it to those bitchy little misogynists to be demeaning, demoralising, judgmental, nasty, vain, cruel, unsympathetic, uncharitable, mocking, disdainful and generally precious and vile.
You'd think that some folk would know enough to refrain from calling people names for something that may not be their choice, like being born with an XX chromosome, but no. Sticks and stones may break bones, but bad names are forever (just ask Æthelred the Unready).
Sorry. Having a rotten week. Especially dealing with multiple business models that insist that I'm at fault until the fault is proven to be at their end after a trillion phone calls and emails disputing same. It's exhausting and distressing. I have wasted hours. Hours I could have and should have spent sleeping, writing or attending galleries (and being sneered at, no doubt). Sigh.
You know, if I wasn't feeling so bruised, unwanted and unwelcome, I might have fought more for my rights to see Mr Tennant and Mr Law. In fact, I know I would have. People can be so unkind.
But when the melancholy fit shall fall
Sudden from heaven like a weeping cloud,
That fosters the droop-headed flowers all,
And hides the green hill in an April shroud;
Then glut thy sorrow on a morning rose,
Or on the rainbow of the salt sand-wave,
Or on the wealth of globed peonies
Oh, shut up, Keats! F- you and your Pollyanna turn that frown upside down sentimental BS.
In other news, you know my abiding love of posters, lovely old posters? Turns out my great uncle was a poster designer. Sadly, he never made it past 1917, for obvious reasons (cf world politics). Himself remarked that it was a small thing but it distressed him most in his researches, that in 1915 K.I.A. is written in by hand. By 1917 it's a rubber stamp. That is so fucking awful, but there it is, the cold dead hand of bureaucracy.
Turns out I've lost a lot of family in the killing fields of Europe and Asia in the 19th and 20th centuries. More than I knew. Of course, not all of them carked it (obviously). I have a Waterloo veteran on the family tree (and he has a creek named after him) amongst others. To my bemusement, he fought many of the same campaigns dear fictional Sharpe did. Ditto another great great uncle and Dr Watson. Silly, I know, but it adds a certain piquancy to the stories when I read them. My family and their brushes with fiction.
To try and end on a positive note, I did love Spirited again this week, especially Henry's 'shoo, virgins'. Classic! I can't believe I'm actually loving a local show. Sure, it lurched all over the place in the first series, but since it's the first wholly local prime time fantasy show ever I think we can and should make allowances for wobbly stumbles. Or, if you want to be meta, the first series reflected Henry's confusion re the situation he found himself in.
This season we've settled down and Henry now has a definite mission: to stay with Suzy (please note other shows, trying to stay works better dramatically and emotionally than trying to leave). Okay, so essentially it's just a romance for women of a certain age (Alan Ball calls the True Blood books 'lady porn'), where the love of a good woman can even get a dead rock star to settle down. Oh, those unavailable types.
Nevertheless, Henry is still one of my favourite tv characters. He's just exactly how he should be, who he should be. He's wonderful.
Monday: Whoo hoo! Sometimes the universe decides that I've had enough stick and gives me the odd carrot. Just had an email that the bully isn't coming in today. Phew, because I've had such a weekend. In case you're wondering why nothing's been posted, twixt exhaustion, late nights and rubbish connections I've just not had any time for it, in every sense.
It was supposed to be grim weather but it was lovely weather, just perfect for much needed yard work, but no, I was off on a history week trail of adventure, five museums in two days.
Saturday we went up to Eryldene, which is a lovely little old house, but quite the commute. We went last year and had the best time ever, and, well, they say should never go back, and this year the high teas were good, but not quite as fabulous as last year, and there was only one stall, extraordinarily overpriced and staffed by a nasty woman (hello, ebay), so it was a lovely day out, but not all that we'd hoped. Ditto our side trip to the Whittards shop, only to find it recently closed.
So we decided to stop off in the city for afternoon tea, which also wasn't all that it could be, Himself now having a new worst coffee ever contender. So, having just missed the bus, we decided to keep trying to make the best of it (the theme for the day) and went round the corner to one of the few remaining bookshops and they had new Penguins in so I bought two and Himself noticed the sign that if I bought three I got a penguin bag. Well, the trouble I had to get that with my three book purchase. Thousands of bookshops are closing every month and if this surly, rude and hostile goolie bag of pus who conveyed entirely his extreme disatisfaction of having to stir himself to serve me is any indication, they're getting what they deserve.
I mean, honestly, I actually saw Bernard Black last week and he is nowhere as miserable a shite as this bloke. At least I don't have to put up with rolling waves of hostility with an amazon order form. Harumph.
So that was Saturday, a series of minor and melancholy dissapointments.
Sunday it was up early again (though not early enough to get online as all my alarms failed once more) to do it all again. Back to the city we went, with a jog through Hyde Park to start with the Australian Museum as soon as the doors opened, at 9:30 am on a Sunday, no less. AS I limbed the gothic sandstone steps I remarked to Himself it was like going to atheist church.
While we did enjoy the skeleton hall, we were mainly there for the bugs, or, more precisely, to see the truly beautiful and highly detailed drawings of the Scott sisters, which, if they weren't women, would be world famous for their studies.
Oh, this was proper museum stuff. I just hate and loathe the way they've turned museums, once the sole refuge for the deeply eccentric, with everything nicely lined up and catalogued, austistc heaven, but now they're all screaming creches and everyone glares at you like you're a trawling pedo when all you want to do is marvel over an old pot or a rock sample.
So anyways, in a far gallery, far away from crawling prams, was a room lined with old wooden and glass cabinets, the most beautiful scientific drawings ever, labels in latin and rows and rows of precisely pinned bugs and it was perfect and proper and I loved it. Their drawings truly are the most beautiful things I've ever seen, and so accurate, I recognised several species of moth and butterfly from our garden.
Oh, I just loved every panel, every moment. It was quiet, it was contemplative, it was educational. It was atheist church - grin. And not a slack-jawed pram pusher in sight.
Then it was off to Hyde Park Barracks, where we stopped for a late mornning tea of scones, which were lovely at the time, but oh, they sat like a stone for the rest of the day. Too much baking soda, so Himself says, scoldingly. Too bad, because the service was military sharp (I think the head waitress must have them all line up every morning, Downton style) and the setting lovely (the angular orange brick against a sharp blue sky pleased me).
Then off again down to the State Library to the exhibition on shopping in Sydney since the first barrels unloaded (and fie on those shops who bemoan net shopping, we've always survived on shipping the cool stuff in from overseas, we are a parcel post economy). I loved this. I loved the old historical stuff, the glorious 19thC ledgers, but then it gets into the 50s with the fabulous, fabulous posters (squee!) and the 60s with all the wonderfully designed shopping bags and boxes and paper and shopping malls, including plans for the one nearby that I adored that was hastily demolshied before it became 'heritage', for shame. Everyone who knew it loved it because it was designed with flair, it had such flair, and modernist scuplture and it was just so divine. Sigh.
So then it starts becoming like a mini local version of the Museum of Brands, which I love to bits, and they had piles of old prodcts from my childhood that elicited squeals of recognition and nostalgic delight, like the old Woolies branded stuff, PMU spaghetti tins, etc.
There were bits of emphermera from old shops that are no more, like Nock and Kirbys, a hardware chain that had a rickety old pull the metal chain door shut lift in their city store that still evokes knee shaking terror in me today. Shops like Waltons, Grace Bros, Farmers. My life, my memories, under glass. I am, indeed, history.
But it was fun. Kind of sad though when you get into modern shopping and it's just a computer screen. No old bags or boxes to evoke once tactile memories. Sigh. (But again, given my experience with the bookshop downstairs where I again tried to buy several books from an unwilling and unwelcoming shop staff person, they truly bring it upon themselves, ebay doesn't huff or scowl when I open the browser).
Last stop was the Justice and Police museum where we had tickets for a talk. There was also an exhibition on ASIO which was more a celebration of cold war paranoia than anything else, with files on judges and film critics, pointless surveillance footage (though we giggled over these, pretending, Get Smart-like, that the dog or the kid with the yoyo were the KGB spies) and so it went. All good background for the Smiley film (I'm tired, I cannot be arsed to type out the title in full) coming out sometime this century here.
To be honest, I was more bemused at the photos and footage of Sydney in the 50s and 60s, as it was hjust every day stuff. Some very smart outfits, especially the one bit of footage where, as Himself giggled, they follow a lass who wasn't the target but was wearing a very tight jumper. All a bit like a mod era Chuck, really, and I think we do call that Get Smart. Who knew it was so spot on?
Then there was the talk. Poorly organised and overcrowded, they nevertheless did provide pikelets for the talk 'Poison and Pikelets' (some green to evoke arsenic), about the outbreak of thallium poisoning in Sydney during the 1950s, an area of abiding and macabre interest (I once wrote a paper on it for uni and the talk did follow the same sort of themes, that poison is a feminist issue, especially in the 50s when divorce was hard to come by and domestic assault rife).
The talk was humourous, sympathetic (the conditions of the time were illustrated with actual crime scene photos), appalled (well, they were on a killing spree) salacious and informative. I was entertained, if that's the right word, but I do love the J&P museum because it's always a little bit wrong. One woman did away with two husbands, another went on quite the spree re her inlaws, and a third was portrayed as a femme fatale, having allegedly poisoned her famous football playing son-in-law, who was also her lover. In the 50s! Golly!
So that was fun. Shouldn't have been, but it was. We wandered down the Quay for an afternoon tea at another chocolate shop at Himself's request and again I was underwhelmed (and begging for some brocolli at this point, having eaten nothing but junk all weekend by letting Himself choose the dining options). Also, feet and ankles aching. Himself sets a cracking pace and I wasn't wearing the sensible DMs, which I will wear in future, no matter how much ridicule I invoke. Also, probably suffering from gout (salad, now, please).
So that was my day out. It was home in time for an episode of Buffy (oh, I have been folding it into the story, consciously and unconsciously) and the finale of Game of Thrones, which had been spoiled for me so thoroughly I can only say 'meh' even though I understand it was considered magnificent.
See, there's a reason we download like demons. It's not because we're outlaws, per se, it's just so we have a chance, an outside chance, to view a show before it is ruined so thoughtlessly by unavoidable spoilers (like papers who put the spoiler in the headline, or, online when they use spoilery pics like the rest of the cast weeping over the dead and broken body of character X, like, really, spoiler much?).
Oh, the theme for history week this year was heritage cooking, which is basically when you buy old cook books and old pots and pans on ebay and set to, which is what Himself does (now the proud owner of a double boiler). How nice for him that it's now labelled a proper hobby/interest and not a disorder. It can go either way these days, I find. Alas, my hobbies are still firmly in the realm of disorder, even compiling lists about actors. Especially compiling lists about actors. More of that rubbish later, much later.
So, that was my weekend. Can I go back to bed now? I really want to go to sleep. I need sleep....
Workers feel too old, too young or overburdened, survey shows
Aussie penis pranksters deface Google Street View
Google's Mapping Tools Spawn New Breed of Art Projects
The worst songs of the Nineties
Nike offers up Marty McFly's 'Back to the Future' shoes
All of James Bond’s cars in one awesome infographic
Rome monuments attacked by vandals
Gladiator school a sensational find
A fine balance: Degas and the art of ballet
Cross between Scarface and Astaire: the 'effective' man
5 Truths About Breakups (That No One Ever Tells You)
Lost In Translation: Five British Stereotypes That Are Myths
'Band of Brothers' actors are a successful, tight unit
Spartacus star dead at 39
Game of Boobs
Chuck Season 5: Key Poster Art of Zachary Levi and Yvonne Strahovski (Bonus Hair Debate)
Alexander Skarsgård: Interview with a vampire
Alexander Skarsgard & Kirsten Dunst: 'Melancholia' Premiere!
Thirteen Things We Learned From Alan Ball at the Opera House
Torchwood Finale Postmortem: Espenson on Jilly's Revelation, Big Twists and a Lack of Aliens
INTERVIEW: The Mind of Jane Espenson
Jared Padalecki talks 'Supernatural' season 7 and how Friday rivals 'Fringe' and 'Grimm' can 'bring it.'
'Suits' Sneak Peek: Harvey Gets Beat Up in Season Finale (Exclusive Video)
'Suits' season finale: Patrick J. Adams previews Harvey's darkest hour
White Collar comes to German TV
New Cast Announced for “8″ All-Star Event (Bomer)
Matt Bomer & Cheyenne Jackson Will Play Husbands In ’8′
John Lithgow, Bradley Whitford and Matt Bomer Join Morgan Freeman and More in Starry Reading of 8
Matt Bomer, Campbell Brown, Larry Kramer, John Lithgow, Rory O'Malley Join Lineup for Broadway Reading of 8
Matt Bomer, Cheyenne Jackson, Rory O'Malley, et al. Set for 8 Benefit on Broadway
Tim DeKay Joins LA TheatreWorks' A DOLL HOUSE
Tim DeKay Joins Calista Flockhart in A Doll House at LATW
Tim DeKay to Join Calista Flockhart et al. in LATW's Doll's House
10-16 September 2011
12 September 2011