The biscuits were via Himself, on a mad, industrial baking spree, as the Guvnor is stopping by and they've planned a 'please don't sack me, have a biscuit' morning tea in His Honour's honour. This meant, of course, I was treated to the rejects, the biscuits that singed, just a little. Ironically, Time Team were digging up a site related to Alfred the Great, he of the burnt cakes. Well, I was amused, if others weren't.
Being handed a carefully selected reject biscuit reminded me of those poor taste test bunnies on The Borgias, which was always fun when Pope Jeremy would blithely hand his cup to a lackey who'd declare the wine fine, then keel over, spurting vile humours from every orifice, and Pope Jeremy would demand they fetch another vintage and another lackey. Man, I'm gonna miss The Borgias. It, too, resided on the cable channel I'm losing.
I don't mind a reject brownish biscuit, if it means I get a cup of tea and a biscuit, and man, I needed a cup of tea and a biscuit. What a day. Dare not say too much, but the sooner certain people get an iphone they can ask stupid questions of all day long, instead of me, I will be much relieved. For once, I'd be happy to be replaced by a machine (and I wonder how long the apple bitch could cope with their constant inane queries before reverting to kill, crush, destroy mode).
It was also the episode of Buffy where Willow grinds under being reliable dog-geyser-person. If anything could sum up my day, that episode would be it. This world is no fun.
So yes, somehow the transport gods took pity and I flew home, in time for tea and telly, which I was lamenting as I was being kept back for gold medal faffing about, but lo, it all got over the line and, somehow impossibly lapping my normal commute, I managed to get home not much later than usual.
Sadly the tv I was fretting over missing wasn't all that, but at least there was a White Collar repeat on my doomed favourite cable channel and Bomer is always pretty.
Meanwhile, ever notice how men don't get sweaty on film any more? Once upon a time, men were always sweaty in the pictures, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, from childhood memory, being a particular standout. They always used to be squirting water in the face of actors to indicate they were under stress, which is what you have to do when stuck with American actors, I guess - snark (ever notice how Yank actors have just three gears of acting, if they're not stuck on automatic, but your better Brit will go up to seven gears or more, with a 4WD option when required to roll over scenery roughshod in moustache twirling, cape swirling mode, but I digress).
No longer. Men still smoke on screen, and they shag and swear, but they never, ever sweat. It's a funny thing. I watch old stuff from the Sixties and Seventies, and they're dripping buckets, like the air conditioning is perpetually on the blink, but no longer. Modern men in the movies, brought to you by Rexona.
So, White Collar are doing merry widows again. Which is another scene gone, but I dunno, I suspect it's not too similiar, in execution, and apologies to The Saint, the maid was too good not to steal. I am bothered though, as this is a rough first draft and all subsequent drafts have gone. I've salvaged the file through several drastic drive failures so it's probably on the cards I'd have only rescued an older version (I thought I saw the file size drop) and it's too late to do anything about it now but attempt another draft later, but, well, annoying. So many scenes I thought done are gone. I can tell this is the very first draft because I haven't settled down to just 'Neal' and 'Peter' yet. Damn and blast. It's not right, but since it's all moot anyway...
"Right, let's get you wired up here."
Peter Burke brushed aside the folds of his partner's shirt and saw nipples pucker and harden in reflex.
Barely breaking stride, Peter continued to tape expensive pieces of government property to the pale, near perfect skin of his partner, aware of the skin tensing beneath his fingertips, fingertips that seemed to contain their own electrical current from the effect they were having, and he dsperately tried to remind himself again why his colleague was so pale: four years in prison will do that.
Neal Caffrey: con man, forger, grifter, swindler, trickster, fraud, convicted felon, FBI informant, friend and confidant and suddenly in a state of urgent arousal.
Blue eyes locked on Peter's and a gentle hand guided his from where he'd been taping microphones across a fluttering, pefecly flat stomach (he must have kept himself fit in gaol) down towards a ripening hardness.
Peter could have pulled his hand away as if burnt. He could have. He should have. But he didn't. He stroked instead and eyes snapped to his in surprise and he kissed that mouth, long and deep, with absolutely no resistance and he would have done more if they hadn't been wired up for sound at the time.
He released Caffrey, made sure all the technology was secure (and he'd already noted down all the serial numbers, just in case) and then he rebuttoned Caffrey's shirt up as if nothing had happened, but something had happened. There was a smug sense of ownership as he rebuttoned the shirt and Caffrey was still staring at him in shock and awe, as well as wonder, appreciation, curiosity and burning arousal.
"Right, are we ready to go here?"
"I think," Neal managed to find words. "I think I'm going to need a moment." He smiled, glancing down.
Peter followed his glance down, and grinned.
"Don't take too long," he warned, and suddenly they were back on the clock.
Getting into the apartment was no problem. Just walking past the man on the door and the man on the desk, and the locks on the doors might as well have not been there. It always gave Peter shivers to see, or in this case, hear Neal in action. Neal was so good at this, scarily good.
Neal stripped away all sense of security, could convince you the moon was the sun in a single breath and Peter was also mildly disturbed by the certainty that if Caffrey had really used his skills for evil instead of schoolboy pranks and larceny the world would be a much more frightening place.
Caffrey really unnerved him sometimes, in the way few of the people he'd pursued in his career ever had, because, he thought, if Caffrey ever turned, really turned, there would be no stopping him. There would certainly be no opportunity to catch him as he paused to sign his work or observe or admire it, the playful egotism that had brought him down, placed him within arm's reach. So long as it was all a game to Caffrey he could be teased and flirted with and caught. But if he ever dropped the youthful charm and turned cold and deadly serious...
Peter shivered again.
"Got anything yet?" he asked.
"Give me a chance," came back the testy reply, causing Burke to grin again.
"It's not like he would have left it lying around in plain sight..." Neal broke off and Burke grinned again. Bingo.
"What have you got?"
"A couple of letters on the desk."
"It's not the letters, it's the envelopes. This stamp, it's a rare Penny Black, worth about $100,000."
Peter whistled, and Neal winced.
"Don't do that," Neal hissed, and then reeled off the estimated value of several more.
"That's a lot of stamp collecting."
"That's a lot of cash conversion. You only do that when you're about to go on the move." Thus spoke the voice of experience.
"Keep looking, there might be something more. I don't think we can hold him for philatery."
There was a sudden rattle at the door.
"Peter, you're supposed to give me a head's up."
Burke shot a nasty look at his companions in the room.
"It's okay, Neal, they say it's just the maid. Tell her you're the PA picking up the mail or something and bluff your way out," he started to advise, but was cut short by the sound of a gunshot. A gunshot and the involuntary sound of Neal being hit.
Peter would never know how he made it up the fire escape and over onto the balcony so fast but he did and he leapt onto the balcony in just enough time to get off his own shot through the glass doors before the bastard could administer the kill shot he was lining up over Neal who had crawled, bleeding, as far as the kitchen.
Peter was through the shattered glass of the balcony doors, kicking away the gun and making sure their suspect was dead before couching beside Caffrey, checking to make sure he was okay aside from the bloody hole torn through his shirt.
"It's just a scratch, stop being so melodramatic," Burke drawled, earning himself a grimace that he grinned at.
"You never told me about the gun or the drag act," Neal complained, nodding bitterly at the man now crumpled across the floor in a wig and a blowsy floral dress.
"We didn't know."
Another grimace. "This is why you people mess up. You never take the time to do all the necessary intelligence."
"We're not all incompetent. I caught you, didn't I?"
Burke had taken down a tea towel from the dish rack and was wadding it up and pressing it inside Caffrey's shirt.
"At least we know how how was doing it now, walking in and out without being seen - nobody would ever look at the help. Congratulations, Neal, you helped get a murderer."
Neal glanced over at the body and blanched again. The shock was starting to kick in.
"Don't worry about him. He killed three wives just for the insurance, made it look like accidents. If he'd stopped at one or two he might have got away with it, but he was greedy, and three smacked of extreme carelessness."
Neal half grinned, but looked faint.
"Goddamn, where is that ambulance?" Burke growled over the radio. "I've got a man down here."
Thursday... still not getting the hang of. another complete and absolute cow of a day, but at least there's always Boris Johnson, the dangling mayor of London, to bring a smile to my face, bless. The world would be a far, far duller and joyless place without dear BoJo ready to make a complete prat of himself at a moment's notice.
Yes, it is like having a Wodehouse character in charge of one of the world's great cities, but hell, I don't live there, and as a spectator sport, 'what Boris did next' simply cannot be beaten.
Meanwhile, there's an article by that ever amusing curmudgeon, Mr Mitchell, about the comedy equation (ie how long after an event can you joke about it) but the comments deal mainly with the Bishop getting upset over witch trials in 1612.
Ah, the church. I do try to stick to the rules (no religion or politics), but since I've mentioned BoJo, onto the Church of England. Organised religion is an ever flowing wellspring of hypocrisy, but I do enjoy high Anglicans getting up on their high horse about marriage equality imperiling the sanctity and dignity of marriage. This, from a church founded because an English king wanted to get his leg over with a young doxy, and once he had, he went and chopped her head off. The sancity and dignity of marriage indeed. Plonkers.
Seriously, if anyone can explain to me how a church, that had Henry VIII at its head, upholds the 'traditional view of marriage', I'll eat my hat. Because if anyone is a role model for traditional marriage values, it's Fat Harry. Not. And then some.
But I digress (sorry, sleep deprivation plus days in the living hell that is here are taking their toll).
So I did get to see Spider-Man. I'd want to see it because I am quite a fan of young Mr Garfield, and hey, at least I got to see a film starring somebody I actually did get to see in New York. And it does matter because it did colour my viewing experience, as every time he teared up or threw a strop, and this on a great many occassions, I could not help thinking of him in Death of a Salesman (ironically, Peter is the complete philsophical opposite to Biff, as he does have a purpose, he does achieve his potential, albeit with a little eight legged deus ex machina). In this, being an American film, Peter gets the girl and gets to be a hero. Mission accomplished.
The origin story of young Spider-Man is, now, after a second telling, a widely known and assimiliated myth, so I won't bother with the plot so much, which was so completely the hero chosen, falling, being cast out and then rising again, so classic, so box ticking, but go with what I liked.
Andrew Garfield. The skinny nerd is chosen. I cannot fault his performance, angry, abandoned, scared, horny, impulsive, the classic teen on screen. And he brought Peter's gangly otherness to the screen beautifully. Here wasn't just a boy with superpowers. Here was a boy who thought and felt and acted and it was perfectly pitched and real. Everything, from the way he moved to the sheepish grin, it was all exactly right. His emotions just shone out of that quirky little face. I do like a convincing actor (and committed, omg, that scene in Salesman, he has the chops).
Martin Sheen. I have to praise the man's acting ability, since he managed to make me forget his real life failures and convince me, while he commanded the screen, that he was the world's best dad ever. And that is some achievement, so let's give it up for Marty.
Rhys Ifans. Never been a huge fan, but he brought a conflicted mix of grey to the baddie, not all bad, acting from beliefs that are well intentioned if wrong, being pushed into adverse action, redeeming acts, against the murder, mayhem and general scenery chewing, not to mention selling out good guys to EvilCorp (I'm surprised FoxNews hasn't been all over this one like they were with the Muppets, since Corporate America, more than Connors, is the bad guy here. Connors is just their tool).
Other things I liked were the keeping it to just one villain. I do hate an over cooked film with too many colourful bad guys in the mix. One should be enough. It's a yin yang thing. A showdown between just two is a more intense and personal thing. There's a reason why it's a classic.
I also liked the attempts to woo the girl, and the awkward and awful family dinner, with Peter way out of his class and feeling it (never knowing the right knife myself, I felt for him, and could understand his provocative behaviour).
All in all, I liked very much, even though I'm still nursing the bruise from where some jerk smacked me hard in the back of the head with their bag. They really rang my bell and it still smarts, big time. It dimished my initial joy, somewhat. So glad I saw it, though. That boy, he's gonna be a star.
Did I mention someone nicked my last teabags of Yorkshire Gold? Harumph. Considering the effort and expense to aquire it here, I feel like calling in Brody from Homeland (the delightful Mr Lewis) to avenge the injustice. Being a Yorkshire Gold drinker himself, I'm sure he'd understand my last disgruntlement. And take the required punitive action. Heh. (Hell hath no fury like a sleep deprived and hormonal woman who finds her tea caddy emptied first thing in the morning).
Friday... I'm red eyed and wild haired today, having had less than two hours sleep. It was such a late hellish day yesterday that I was still up past midnight gamely trying to get stuff done, and the next thing I know it's an hour later but mercifully my laptop was still on my lap. It had turned itself off though so nothing was saved. Buggeration. Speaking of buggeration, nothing says how seriously I was going to sit at the patio table and work twixt loads of washing this weekend than opening up the fic file I've been working on since '09 to find nothing but a scramble of machine code. Okay, I have a backup so I've only lost a week or so (I do hope), but still. The universe has decreed thou shalt not finish any fic, ever. Oh well, at least the universe didn't throw any dead bodies at me to distract me, as it has done previously when I've been about to roll up my sleeves and commit a final draft.
Could do without the system here also gaslighting me and throwing in weird garbage code when I least expect it, especially when I try the preview window, which I have to, because I'm beyond tired and blithely careless, in a forgot my phone charger kind of way.
Today is surely to be the worst of the worst. Which is why I made time to chat with my favourite people on the way to the office, just so I can tell myself it wasn't all bad when the sun sets.
At least I did take time for Doctor Who, a cup of tea and a biscuit. So many things to do, but when I'm distressed, I need my Doctor. He was my true parent, afterall, and he makes everything all right (the cup of tea and a biscuit don't hurt). It was the vampires in Venice one. There is no bad here.
Oh man, you should have heard Billy Corgan on triplej. That was amazing. It's been so long since I've someone so amazingly sit down and listen interesting, thought provoking, inspirational and just, basically, wow. I mean, I've always liked the Pumpkins, they were part of the background of my yoof, but, man, I've never heard Mr Corgan be so thoughtful, open and entertaining. I guess if rock and roll doesn't kill you, it makes you an interesting person. Not always, of course, but his point was, the true artist always has something to say, even if it's not to everyone's taste.
It is a great lament for me that so much musical press is dropping off the perch, I miss on the truly great interviews. Not the flogging the product PR guff that has been the ruination of us all, but the deeply thoughtful pieces where a musician will take you through their influences, their passions, their ideals.
It was heady stuff, when I was young, poring over pages of NME or RAM, and it was always musicians, and never actors, who were my gateway to so many things: philosophers, other bands, poets, authors, paintings, photography, architecture, art history, political movements, society, history, past and current events, fashion, styles, historical figures, myths and legends, famous or obscure films, foreign places, obscure records, movements, ideas. So much of who I am, the things I'm into, are because some muso, somewhere, in some yellowing old rock rag, turned me onto it.
Cranberry and white chocolate biscuits
Nice Cup Of Tea And A Sit Down
Boris Johnson stuck on a zip wire: the reaction
The name's Bond... or is it Bourne?
Get with the program - Jeremy Renner embraced the chance to continue the Bourne franchise
Exposing sport's brand of absurdity
Art Imitates Life: 10 Movies Altered Due to Real-Life Events
River Phoenix's final film to be shown at last
Abraham Lincoln Scrawled This Astonishing Note To Save a Soldier’s Life
Can an equation find out whether a subject is suitable for risk-free levity?
Gangster Movies | David Mitchell's Soapbox
Pointy Shoes | David Mitchell's Soapbox
Wine Tasting | David Mitchell's Soapbox
Vertigo tops greatest film poll, ending reign of Citizen Kane
'Supernatural' Season 8: Misha Collins Talks Castiel's Big Return And More
Misha Collins on new 'Supernatural' season: 'It takes risks'
Zimbabwe: Panties Mystery Solved
Vintage gems from the vault
Bodleian's battered Shakespeare First Folio to be put on internet
Ned Kelly's family gets funeral go-ahead
William Gorringe's cathedral models, all of which come with their own force field.
Guy Adams: Twitter backs down at last - but why did I get banned?
Gun-toting robot controlled by your smartphone
Scientists find secret of why women live longer
Researchers put faith in obesity study
Roy Lichtenstein's Electric Cord resurfaces after 42 years
New York City penthouse lists for $100 million
White Collar Exclusive Video: Neal and Sara Reteam on a 'Crime of Persuasion'
Neal Caffrey Woos a Widow in White Collar Season 4, Episode 4: "Parting Shots" - Exclusive Sneak Peek! (VIDEO)
An Interview with Marsha Thomason of "White Collar"
Jackson Rathbone On 'White Collar': 'Twilight' Actor Will Go Head-To-Head With Matt Bomer (EXCLUSIVE)
‘White Collar’ Recap: How Dreamy Was Matt Bomer?
'White Collar': Sara Ellis Returns In Search Of Her Sister; Can She Help Neal Find His Father? (VIDEO)
Matt Bomer’s Group Hug
Cute Family Alert! Matt Bomer Gives A Bear Hug Goodbye To His Boys [PHOTOS]
Matt Bomer Hails Cab With Sons Henry & Walker — Cute Pic
Matt Bomer: Family Stroll with Kit, Henry, & Walker!
Matt Bomer: My Three Sons!
Matt Bomer Hails a Cab with Henry & Walker!
May - June 2012