Not so much a weekend. Cable went out (whimper) and the feral cats attacked my parrot. I could have boxed him up and called Wires, but I have no car, and it suited us better to just hand feed him and sit with him until sunset. If he's dead, at least he went with comfort and dignity. Clearly, October is going to be one of those months. The hits just keep coming.
At least the neighbour's extreme defoliant has removed the need to weed, though I wish it had left us our veggie patch, herb garden and fruit trees (all dead). The front garden is all grassy and overgrown, still. I lack the heart to weed it. I used to weed with my magpies gathered about to grab any grub or beetle I turned up, and they'd sing, and we'd sing, together. Nobody ever asked why the local magpies covered the Cocteau Twins.
It was so sweet. I'd sit, happy in the sun, working away, and they'd play about me, most companionable. Just like that painting by Sydney Long, though in the interests of workplace safety and public decency, I'd keep my top on - grin.
All gone now, eaten by the feral cats. And the overgrown weeds have definitely taken a turn for the Havishams.
Oddly, though I had no means to watch tv, I spent a lot of time watching tv. I was cranky and crampy and had decided that clearing out the pvr was the only housework I was up for, and so I did. And it was fun, some of it.
I've been missing Big Valley, so it was a treat to watch some of these, and, as only the best warranted Himself hitting the R button, I was treated to highlights like a safe cracking Bill Shatner and a sudsy Heath centred episode. If the pvr is a more truthful representation of what I really watch, then clearly the Barkley boys feature pretty highly.
Not to say there weren't the usual suspects: Bomer, and in an old Poirot, young Fassbender, being all louche and a scene stealing lounge lizard. The moment he wanders off with the stuffed crocodile still makes me laugh. Oh, I knew Hollywood was in trouble when I first saw that.
Now I have no tv. Nature's way of saying read a book? Ha! I have a stack of dvds to watch, she says, taunting her last two remaining bits of machinery.
Last night though, if was off for a bit of kulcha. First up was the Eugène Atget exhibition at the art gallery. You know me, I love an old photo, and this was right up my alley. Lots of alleys, actually. Old Paris, as advertised, preserved and conserved on glass plate by Mr Atget, and I liked 'em. Mostly deserted streetscapes of interesting and freaky old buildings, gorgeous and grotesque architectural features, crazy shop signs and creepy door knockers. You know, the stuff I'll photograph myself, endlessly (or try to, anyway). A man after my own heart, old Eugène.
Lovely old Paris (not strictly sepia toned, I am told, but more of a purple wash). Lovely old crumbly buildings. Turrets. Statues. Posters. Decaying steps to nowhere. Cobbled courtyards. Carved faces peering from doors and lintels. All the stuff I love. If nothing else, I can at least throw off the constant criticisms of subject choice and photograph what I like. Maybe, in a hundred years time, like Mr Atget, I'll still be considered a weirdo, but also a documentarian, too, that is, of some eventual use and purpose.
After that it was a brisk trot through the botanical gardens, envying tourists with working cameras, up over the Rocks and down to the wharf (huff, huff, huff) to finally catch the thrice stalled attempt to see Sex with Strangers.
I'm not quite sure it was worth all of the effort and expense I went to, but I liked it well enough, I thought the set was cute, and the quotes that kept flashing up did help the plot along (telegraphing character motivation). As for plot, your typical upper middleclass American first world problems storm in a tea cup domestic drama as two American writers angst endlessly about their validity in between, and during, having hot sex with each other.
Well, there's not the jeopardy of poverty that hangs over the heads of the Austen heroines, fer starters, so the characters are extraordinarily shallow, by contrast. And more than a bit self absorbed. In fact, they're both so busy living in their own worlds I wonder if they ever connected. Only the rich have the luxury of worrying excessively about bad Amazon reviews or blog comments.
For a supposed chick lit play, it played out more like a Penthouse fantasy (I never believed your stories were true until...), which is quaintly old fashioned for a play trying to be so modern with the whole e-books vs print non discussion.
Oh yes, there was a lot of generational stuff there, and it meant to speak upon the ideas of truth, privacy, people's pasts (all on Facebook as opposed to all in a shoebox) and people's behaviour (in the tabloids as opposed to behind closed doors), and I did like the couple while watching it unfold, though, suffering the mornng after, harsh light of day grumbles, I feel more like slapping both of them than hoping those crazy kids will make it work, and as for the whole 'oh look, we're so modern, we mentioned Twitter', well, duh, it's nothing I haven't see before, and better, in Husbands. Season One.
I think that's what made it strike a bit of a false note at times. Maybe it was a cultural thing (twas an American play, as the STC are overfond) but to me the whole 'hey, check out my blog' thing was so last decade and it smacked of 'hey kids, this is your show', kind of thing. Alas, it was in that uncomfortable no mans land between dated and retro.
To be honest, the programme (always good at the STC, I've learnt more reading those than in my entire miserable high school years where all we learnt was how to sew curtains) had more to say about the themes the play was trying to push, and I love them for giving me the word 'hyperstupidity', that is, behaving like a complete prat in front of the paparazzi. Heh.
The cast? I was curious to see Jacqueline McKenzie on stage, and she was okay, bless, and maybe she was being the essence of the flighty neurotic American, but I found her a bit light next to Ryan Corr, who, being a newb, was far more natural, and, playing a young sex pot very convincingly (ahem), I found him very earthy and funny and absolutely convincing. Quite fearless and extremely confident, for his debut. Definitely one to watch, though I can see him stepping off to do some dumb American cop show in the near future. He has that sort of look.
Sadder still (than the thought of young Mr Corr wasting his talents in Battleship II or whatever) was my thinking it'd be a perfect role for young Bomer on the stage, but, alas, he's far too old for it now. Yep, even my pretty young things are over the hill now (and grey of beard).
As a two hander, not too bad. Lots of ideas, but they seemed to be lost a little in the whole Meg Ryan movie-ness of it all. Yeah, it was totally a Meg Ryan film, on stage. No wonder the Jacqueline character annoyed me. Just a bit.
Anyways, home to tea and biscuits. I was granted a biscuit as I'd only had a glass of red wine for tea. Tsk, I know, but I was in such a rush, madly flinging myself from one end of the city to the other, by foot, and I'm not walking into an STC production without at least one glass of vino under the belt. The Gobe I can see on milkshakes and icecream, but local theatre requires a certain amount of pre-flight fortification, I find.
Well, at least it wasn't the bare stage, one prop, shower of glitter from above checklist school of theatre production, hey. I liked the use of lights, shadows and graphics. A bit of theatre in the theatre. No wonder those old ducks walked out (surely they couldn't be offended by the sex talk in a show called Sex with Strangers).
Anyway, that was my night, finish off with a long call to the cable company's emergency help line. Finally they came to the same conclusion I did. Bottom line, I'm sans tv for the rest of the month. Joy. And no Hulu-like alternative, either, for the stuff I really wanted to see. Bugger.
Stuck in the 80s, alas, in this third world island outpost.
Wednesday: Meant to post this last night, meant to do many things, but after I ran all over town last night on an insane scavenger hunt for things to fix things, I just couldn't be bothered about any of it.
Still I forgot to mention that we celebrated International James Bond Day with a screening of Dr No (eventually, it was an old dvd with an eternity of screens to be gone through) and a menu that was taken from the novel Casino Royale, the one James orders that impresses Vespa and the hotel staff so much they actually applaud, which Himself translated from the French for me as just steak and chips, with strawberries and cream to follow. Oooh, suave. Well, perhaps to 50s post-war rationed Britain, yes. And, to be fair, it was damned good, though Himself went further and made a rhubarb sauce to go with the strawberries.
I suggested he attempt Bond's breakfast next, but was met with exclamations and muttering pity for poor May, the Scottish housekeeper, so we'll leave that.
You never see the housekeeper in the films. Nor the UNIT tea lady who was mentioned as being the only other person authorised to access the Doctor's lab in Terror of the Autons. Now there's a Zeppo like story waiting to be written. Pertwee era Who, through the eyes of the UNIT tea lady (whom we've named Mavis, sticky bun trafficker).
Yes, well, suffice to say there was a lot of Austin Powers type riffing during Dr No. Amusingly enough I also managed to watch Doctor Zhivago and Doctor Who on the same night. Sadly, I could not find my copy of Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine - grin. Damn, I do know where my copy of Dr Horrible is. Oh well. I was up to my armpits in doctors as it was.
Still with the silly, there was The Alternative Factor the other day, while sitting down with a much need cuppa, and Star Fleet guy comes on screen to wiffle about the universe winking out for a bit, and while he was supposed to be concerned, he very much had the air of a man who'd been caught on the crapper when everything went topsey turvey. By the way the Peanut Gallery was snuffling like Muttley in the corner, I wasn't the only one who thought that.
Wicked, I know, but I like Trek. It's comforting in its familiarity, it's a bit silly, but not afraid to as the really big questions, and Shatner is always giving 110%, bless. I just love the way he jumps up every time someone flishly dares to threaten the ship. It's corny, but heroic and lovely, too. No wonder I glommed onto the Patrick O'Brian books the way I did when I discovered them in the 90s (that long ago?). Any simliarities are purely coincidental, I'm sure.
Oh yes, during my mad flight across the city I ran into Margaret Pomeranz, as in actually. I was casting about for where Dick Smith was, she was walking and talking on her phone, neither of us were looking where we were going. Oops.
Oh well, one to add to the time I damn nearly threw coffee and custard tarts over Reg Mombassa in the art gallery cafe (they constantly swap the in and out signs and hilarity ensues), or the time I nearly tripped and threw my hot chocolate all over James Purefoy, no less, suaveness itself in an outfit that surely cost six times my entire bank balance, when I'd gone to see Tom Hollander in A Flea in Her Ear.
Oh, I'm like that all the time, it's only worth the telling if there is a hapless celebrity in my path. Heh.
Thursday: It's a wet grey day today and I'm feeling like rolling over and going back to sleep would have been very much the preferred option. Mostly self inflicted, my ick today. Waited hours in vain for the tradie to come around for a quote yesterday (and I'd left work early especially, the sod). So much fun, dealing with effin' tradies, but I've had to cancel all thoughts of holidays and book tradies (that never show up or even call) instead, as we're clearly back into all work and no play mode.
Then I spent over four hours trying to watch a 41 minute program, legally, on Yahoo's tv web thing, due to the piddling bandwidth from Optus (I pay $$$ for less than .05kps?) so that was misery. I would not have persisted, but with the cable out, and the aerial long since overgrown with jasmine, I had no choice or (legal) alternative to get my Suits fix. Yay, 21stC, I thought, as I booted up EvilPC. Five torturous freeze framed hours later, not so much with the yay.
Not good enough. Not anywhere near good enough.
And yes, I really love my Suits so, to persist as I did (episodes are only up very briefly so 'later' isn't realy an option, either, why don't we have Amazon selling episodes or Hulu here?), but unlike all my other shows of late, the series of Suits they're playing out here is keeping my interest. Harvey's uncharateristic reversals have shaken him up and humanised him, provided peeks of the very obvious cracks behind the mask. Enjoying the slow reveal of Harvey's past, and the real terror in the eyes of someone who has climbed very high looking down.
I mean, we all knew narciissiistic Harvey had adopted Mike as a mirror image of himself, but to see hints of just how much Harvey's background may have been even worse than Mike's, is very intriguing. It's one of the things I've always loved about Suits, the writers know how to write, how to reveal, how to surprise and just basically how to treat their characters like functional adults, despite their many quirks (I work in an office, I don't find anything too extreme on Suits, not even Louis, who, like Iago, is a bomb just waiting to go off).
I also love the boys. Longtime Gabriel fan (Archangel, American Outlaws, The Recruit, etc), and as for little Patrick, he's a sweetie, and he's cute on Twitter (overfond of Burning Man, but there has to be some flaw).
Oh, I really need the dvd of this series. It'd save me a whole lotta trouble. Why can't US shows release the dvd the moment the end credits roll of the last episode of that series the way UK productions do? Or offer episodes for sale? Here? How hard could it be?
I know, first world problems, but it becomes tiresome when my far more advanced American pals treat me like I've got a bone through my nose, stuck in this stoneage country as I am: Free-to-air TV networks in talks on joint online streaming service.
One piece of good news: if the velocity of baked goods is indicative of avian health, we're doing okay. I'd be real upset if they took my beloved cranky bastard away from me.
Oh, and I'm amused by the local Mercedes Benz kerfuffle. Apparently it's okay to be associated with Hitler, but Alan Jones is quite another thing entirely. Well, I guess a line in the sand had to be drawn somewhere: Mercedes hits back at claims by Alan Jones.
Friday: Hey. In order to at least try and get this posted on lj, I'm going to borrow from Rake last night and euphemise with 'nonsense'. Yes, you probably should have seen last night's Rake, but I'm sure you'll get the gist, as it was a night filled with nonsense, definitely nonsense themed.
First there was a wise decision to peek at the Bomer links on the wee personal lap top, because, oh my, stills from the Magic Mike extras, and there was a lot of nonsense going on there. Oh my, Matt. So that's what's under those sharp suits. Mercy.
Okay, breathlessly we turn to the Curse of Peladon, with Princess David, reminding me very much of his son Sam when he, too, was a slip of a lad, swanning about in thigh high purple boots (and nowt else) and a boofy velvetly sequined, batwinged concoction that would set Brian Eno's mascara running in jealous envy. I mean, seriously, putting the glam into 1970 or 71, whenever these episodes were made (webbies is down right now so no fact checking is possible). Gosh and golly.
And then there's Alpha Centauri, who always cracks me up with the shrill squeaky voice and flapping arms (six, in total, I think). Apparently the stage directions read 'gay civil servant' and while AC lacks the viciousness of the vile little queens that troll the corridors of powers (pardon me, personal experience and enmity abides, see also Rake for a glimpse into said corridors), I'll certainly give it the flapping about. I know, so wrong, and so 70s (as in it was of an age, go with it). Himself also informed me, from his extensive readings, that they put the cape on Alpha Centauri because it looked like a giant green nonsense, just now it was a nonsense in a cape.
I know, I'm being mean, but you put on Curse of Pelladon, with the semi naked guys in purple skirts and leather harnesses all wrestling each other and try to explain that you're not, in point of fact, watching vintage gay porn. Sometimes all the leather and handlebar moustaches on classic Who make us titter.
Then there was Rake, which was nonsense from start to finish. All nonsense, all the time. And, hilarious. I'm not sure how the American version will manage it, as it's such a Sydney show. Sense of silly humour, characters, locations, situations. Lawks, I know just about every character, based on a real personnage, and I presume only a fear of airing laundry any further keeps them from suing. Because, omg, it runs breathlessly close to the wire at times. I gasp at their knowing audacity and shamelessness.
And it's not fair. One friend scowls at the US version of The Killing because they wear the wrong boots for Seattle. Another raises eyebrows at eucalypt trees supposedly in Kentucky as seen in Justified. Me? I can't fault Rake, not a bit of it. It is so close to Sydney life I can't believe they get away with it.
Finish up with Amok Time on Trek and it's been a week of sex, sex, sex. I just love it when Kirk wishes he could unhear that conversation with pock. The look on his face is priceless.
So anyway, that was last night. Nonsense from start to finish. Heh.
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