It was all about the rain. Stood in the rain for about forty minutes or so outside the old State Theatre just to catch the most fleeting of glimpses of James Bond. Well, it was the dismal end of a miserable week and it was on the way to the bus stop, anyway, which is on the other side of town (scruffy reprobates from my zone need not bother coming into the city proper, they are neither welcome nor required, apparently those photocopiers fill themselves).
Anyway, I stood, I got soaked, I did but see him passing by. For a second, under an umbrella. Still, it wasn't that bad. The crowd where I was standing seemed to be made up almost entirely of British ladies of a certain age, and their withering comments, be it the weather or the fashions of minor soapie stars, was entertainment itself (British moaning does get on one's tits in the long term, but in short term exposures it's hilarious).
The monorail also provided a unique bonding experience, as we were standing right under the track in the rain and I tried to warn the tourists what would happen, but they pshawed (I wasn't wearing the grey cardigan of trustworthiness), until it did come around the corner and swept all the water from the track before it down onto our heads. After that their were cries of 'monorail!' every time it hoved into view. Well, I did try to warn 'em.
Never mind, good crowd of the very damp and the very faithful, and very British, and therefore very vocal. It was kind of fun. Reminds me of why I do the stage door thing there, but never here.
That concludes the sole excitements of the week (but it was James effing Bond). And I haven't seen the fillum. Doesn't open for another two days. Cue my usual whinge about being stranded at the arse end of the universe (and if you think it's a bit much, was your place abode designed on paper to be a punishment, a hell on earth? No? Well then).
Sunday was hard larbour from dusk to dawn, still, I took great satisfaction in getting another two apple trees in. I can only do two at a time, but it took me hours to clear away the brambles, vines and dead trees before I could even think about chipping away at a decade's worth of drought baked clay soil (ie, like effing concrete). Which is why I huffed at the girls from Merlin, great big girls with Hello Kitty hairbands, in Merlin whining as they hacked away at a bit of scrub in their so-called inpenetrable forest. They weren't even getting eaten to pieces by insects or being slapped in the face by some weed that stung like anything and came up in a rash that wasn't nearly lurid enough for all the stinging it did (I scratched and scratched so much during Boardwalk Empire I only remember the scritching).
Also did another pile from the 'to-do' mountain of magazines to be scanned. Hey, it's housework (lesser titles are torn up and disposed of).
No writing or typing, of course, don't be silly, but at least I got my apple trees in. The Gala is looking like a proper tree already, with actual leaves and branches, rather than the twiglet (ie stick) that is the Fuji. People say I can't grow apples here, but that can't be right, because Granny Smiths weren't grown that far away, and apple trees survive long after the buildings they stod beside have gone, so surely the bastards must be hardy. And hey, at least they're not face slapping weeds.
TV is the usual pile up where everything I want to watch is on at 20:30 on a Sunday and the rest of the week it's like read a book (which I do, sometimes). Grimm finally, after a season of boring me witless, pulled it all back together, mainly by giving Monroe something to do. Now, usually, I loathe comedy sidekicks, some I would very much like to walk to the rim of a volcano and give them a short, sharp tap on the shoulder (especially one bastard who has made several shows unwatchable), but I love Monroe, and it's Hank who bores me. Not that I want to drop Hank into lava, but let's just say if I saw him standing in the rain I wouldn't pull over.
Monroe, though, not just the comedy. He is the big bad wolf after all, and it's those moments when he lets rip, literally, that make him a very interesting character, rather like the Doctor or those vamps struggling to be good, he's not a good guy because he's all sunshine and lollipops, he's a good guy because he knows what it's like to be bad (and just how bad that bad could be). And he's funny. And he greeted an angry, homeless Nick on the doorstep with a shrug and told him he'd already made up the guest room. What's not to love? (And, after a season where the boys barely shared a scene, suddenly they're roomies - wuv).
Also, the 'sorry' after the 'to be continued' - the cheeky devils. Okay, Grimm, you might be back on my must watch list. Btw, S1 is starting on EvilChannelSeven tonight. Given EC7's previous tending to 've don't do dat here', I wonder just how much is going to get cut?
The only other tv highlight has been Spock's Brain. Oh yes. It was on last night, and we lashed it to pieces. The worst of the worst, we lamented that this is what other people think our viewing choices look like. So stupid, so awful, so sexist, and so disturbingly slashy, it's so bad it's at least very funny. We even fell to singing Coin Operated Boy at one point. Oh, so watching it wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrongity wrongness.
And, really, isn't that was lurid Sixties sci fi is all about?
Forgot to mention I'm wearing my new favourite dress, the one I bought in Canberra. Well, okay, the other one I bought in Canberra. So I went shopping. I seem to only ever go fun shopping when on hols, and it's easier to sneak back, too, squished into a corner of my suitcase (and if it can't be squished it ain't the dress for me). This one I do like. Exactly the sort of dress I'd have worn had I been able to in my younger days, with a dramatically gloomy 80s print of bare trees in silhouette, in a sort of late 50s, early 60s cut (in other words, cut for a woman in her prime, not a ten year old boy) and it the most expensive dress I've ever owned, possibly totalling all others, but I love it. Had a few compliments, but on a comment to $$ ratio, not exactly paying dividends. Oh well, I like it (unlike 99.9% of my stuff which only comes under the 'it'll do (sigh)' banner) and I suppose that's all that matters. My sexy dress, just the one, before they cart me off.
Well, I did say I was gloomy. Wintery November weather is not helping (hello, southern hemisphere, used to mean something, never mind).
Wednesday: First thing I see when I open the paper today is that my most beloved Toby Schmitz is off to Hollywood. Whimper. He'd better be bloody back to do his scheduled productions, is all I can say. I was rather looking forward to Toby Fest 2013.
Oh well, there's always the Bell. Went to see Mr Bell's players doing their version of Molière's The School for Wives, and spiffing fun it was, too. Set in Paris in the 20s, it was far more Wodehouse to my mind, and all the more lovely for it. Yes, re-written in a very Australian translation, that was half the fun (I've read reviews that mention CJ Dennis and they're not wrong) and I was bemused at the clearly Gen X terms entering the text (at one stage the household stuff were referred to as bubble headed boobies, and if you don't know where that's lifted from, well, really). All accompanied by Billy Bailey's antipodian cousin, or so it seemed, on piano, percussion, and kazoo. Yes, kazoo. It was that kind of production (did I detect some inspiration from One Man, Two Guvnors?).
The sets, yes, ye gods, sets, or at least, props that were rolled on and off to comic effect, were clever and funny, especially they beginning when they were apparently bouncing along in a car, just two office seats, with scarf fluttering out behind. Never before has an actor been so upstaged by a scarf.
The acting though, so broad, so slap stick, so hilariously OTT. I know, I'm supposed to be seeing stuff about death, death and more death, but sometimes a bunch of gurning nitwits is just the very ticket (Wodehouse wouldn't still be in print if it wasn't), and I just loved it.
I did want to see Harriet Dyer, as she'd done such a fine job with a small role in Pygmalion, and she didn't disapoint. She was so funny, so spot on, so scene stealing. Such a talent. Another one off to Hollywood at any moment, no doubt (this is the problem with local theatre, all the real talent moves OS ASAP).
John Adam was a revelation. I've not seen him on tv (for shame), but I'm not surprised he plays a lot of tv coppers, he had that bearing, I could see him as such (he reminded me a bit of a very Oz Tim DeKay), and his downfall was so complete, there's just nothing I could say. Brought to his knees by a girl, after all the misogynist crap he'd been talking, it was beautiful. I did feel sorry for him, though, such was the skill of Mr Adam.
Meyne Wyatt, as the flash young chap, could do with a bit more gravitas and presence, but he's only young. (That said, Harriet totally owned the stage, showing them all up).
Yes, a fine night. Curious, too, as there was something on at the Opera House, with lots of skinny girls with big hair, big shoes and make up you could see from Mars tottering around in nasty sparkly dresses. Everyone wanted to know wtf? I heard someone speculate a casting call for something like The Only Way Is Essex. Looked more like Snog Marry Avoid to me. Heard someone else say they couldn't have a conversation in the bar because every time they tried to speak, another creature would stalk past 'so orange she was practically red'. Yes, I listen in, I'm bored and alone when I wait in the foyer.
Never did find out why. Nor why the footpath was invaded by forty or so little people when we were waiting for the Skyfall thing to kick off on Friday. Again, we wondered why. They all seemed to have passes to the premiere, so we were speculating that there's a scene where Bond fights off hobbits. Strangest things I've seen, lately.
Then things took a turn for the ridiculous. Woke up at midnight on Friday so unwell I actually ended up cracking a tooth. Mercifully, there was some classic Buffy and Thor on telly to relieve the stewing in own misery-ness of the wee hours. Ah, Loki, so needy, so sly, so selfish, so silent and unregarded until his cup of poison boils over. Well, it can't be easy, growing up in the Odin household. Especially when poor Loki, oh dear me, always felt, you know, a little bit different. Pouting little queen. I loved every minute of it. Dear Tom, how you make the sulking sexy.
Also, it's a funny fillum. Sir Ken, in fine tradition, bestows equal care to both king and clown. I like the high and low of it, and the Norse traditions are a perfect setting for high duty and drunkeness.
So anyway it was a long walk across country, uphill all the way, to the dentist. This was a new place, as I was in the mood for something less inquistionesque, in terms of pain, torture, age of equipment and chastisements. I consider myself getting out lightly without too much pain or lectures, and considering that, at fourteen, I had all my baby teeth ripped out, all at once, without anaesthetic, I have some deep trauma issues, which keeps me away from the dentist's chair bar emergencies.
Anyway, all fixed, but sore, and as my fave Chinese takeaway was next door (stunning luck) I bought a tub of fried rice and set off on the journey home. Took me five hours, all up. Needless to say, I didn't go to work that da. Had a few scoops of rice once I was allowed to, and curled up for another rotten night.
Was meant to go see the NT Live screening of Timon of Athens, which I had been looking forward to, but that realy wasn't happening, so I curled up with The Hollow Crown instead, which had lobbed onto the doorstep just a few days ago.
Loved it, pretty much.
Ben Whishaw made a very fey and peculiar Richard II, and I think they might have over done the Christ-like imagery to the point of parody, historical basis notwithstanding, but what a performance. He simpered, he snarled, he was loveable and hateful, and like all secluded celebrities divorced from reality, let bad advice from bad advisors bring him to his downfall. But Ben, oh Ben, I love him even more. Such a performance. Completely OTT, but real, too, real tears, real delight, real delusion. Just amazing.
And the rest of the cast, man. If one could tear one's eyes away from the maginificent Ben, there was Patrick Stewart, James Purefoy, David Suchet, David Morrissey. A feast of talent.
Then it was onto Henry IV, with Jeremy Irons redeeming himself after his Widow Twankey twirl in The Borgias, Joe Armstrong, back in black and running about castles as young Hotspur, sharing castle-y scenes with Harry Lloyd (squeal) and Tom Hiddleston, dear, wonderful, Tom Hiddleston (38 hours on a plane, twice, to see Tom Hiddleston), being the sexiest young rogue that I've enjoyed on screen for a good long while. That scene where he nearly drowns himself in wine keeps replaying, it was so damn cute. Best. Hal. Ever.
I had so much to say, but gurgling noises will pretty much cover it. Up in the wee hours on Sunday, I gave Henry V a spin. Here is Hal, now Henry, putting away childish things, and, it must be said, cutting the old crew quite coldly, but needs must. Although not everyone, it seems, got the memo about the image reboot, as the French lob over some tennis balls to the playboy princeling, only to find a warrior king ready to serve them right back. Off to battle and big, big speeches.
This is why I love, and will always love, British actors. No mumbling Yank could ever convincingly 'Cry "God for Harry, England, and Saint George!"'. Never. Stirring stuff. And the St Crispin Day speech, oh, my. Dear Tom calls it the most famous locker room pep talk, but it is stirring stuff indeed.
But then Bill pulls back from the battles (Hollywood, are you taking note?) and instead gives us the far more precious scene of Henry trying to woo his new prize of a French wife, in a sweetly clumsy fashion. Too cute.
Then our dear Harry goes and carks it. Bummer. Never mind, I've survived my ordeal on a diet of Tom Hiddleston and Ben Whishaw and other tasty boys.
Still didn't make it to Timon, though. Bought another ticket for Sunday's session, but by the time I'd done slogged to the shops and back and hung out the last of the washing in the sudden heat, I was leaving little piles of carrot chunks in the garden, so that was the end of that. Sigh.
I did water the garden in the evening, no choice in that, and all the apple trees, bar one, are doing well. Himself came home while I was pouring water on the ailing hibiscus (more on myself than the plant thanks to the stupid mandated hoses we have to use now), tired and grumpy.
I must be honest and while I missed being able to pass my jobs onto him (for itunes cards), at least I could curl up for a couple of hours in the middle of the day without being disturbed and get myself cups of tea at 3 am as required in my topsey turvey existence without worrying about making a noise and clattering crockery. It helped, being able to go with the flow, as were.
Sunday night tea with a mango, spinach leaves and sausage salad (stupid but it kind of worked, amazing what limited choice will do for creativity, every day is a game show challenge at that shop), and telly (Merlin, Boardwalk Empire, Homeland).
Thus you find me, Monday, somewhat worse for wear. And eternally grateful to Tom Hiddleston for the most welcome of distactions.
Wednesday: Okay, still haven't posted this, and it's been like a month. Ah well, November is always like that, and December is worse.
Still haven't done any scanning. Too wet to carry them home on Monday (I had to wait for over an hour in the pouring rain at the bustop, so best I'd left them locked up in the desk drawer), and too violently stormy last night to risk plugging in the machinery, and Sunday was far too hot and sticky, as I had to peel myself free of the Sunday supplements, and that was just inadvertently leaning on them at the breakfast table. Also, getting home late-ish as everyone starts hitting the deadlines. Those are my excuses and I'm sticking to them.
I did get a present though. Don't know what I did to deserve it, but Himself bought me a wee flask, nice and light, for a lady's purse. He bought me a really nice one, but it was far too nice to bounce around with my keys and stuff. This one is perfect, small and quirky.
I understand it came from the Bacon gift shop. Meant to go see it this arvo but it looks like it's going to be another late one. I don't like Bacon, I find a little goes a very long way indeed (the vegemite of artists), and rooms full of his stuff will be a daunting prospect, so probably best saved for when I'm feeling more resiliant (whenever that may be). Rumour has it that someone who had once been in a Bacon bio pic might have had a private tour during a recent whistlestop visit of this fine city (please note ironic use of the word 'fine'). Rumour, mind.
Friday: Christmas shopping is done. It's easy really, now I only have one person to buy for, as everyone else is either dead or hates me (and I know it's uncharitable to think I wouldn't mind a little of Column B to move in Column A, but I'm so very tired of their carry on). Still, if I was as bad as the haters say I am, I'd just be spending the amount I used to spend on that one person, and save the rest that I spread out over two dozen or so persons for myself, and not even index it for inflation, like some elderly aunt who keeps sending five dollars in a card every birthday (if I had such aunts). But no. I spent the whole jolly lot, and I'm feeling pretty good about it, too, sticker shock notwithstanding, because if I can't say I appreciate everything with words or gestures, maybe a very expensive product from a famous technology brand will do it for me. Maybe. well, he'll be the most ungrateful wretch ever if it doesn't, as no less than three assistants in that famous shop swooned at my generosity. So there. And I do mean swooned. Hamish almost keeled over at the very thought of getting such an extravagant gift himself.
So, anyway, it was supposed to be a late night, but it was called on account of a person, not me, having to race off to the Arias. As excuses go, well, it was certainly glamourous. So I went shopping instead, since I'd done the old put tea in oven, set pvr, phone call anyway. For once, it was easy, just three stores, all on the same corner, bing, bang, boom, done. He's lucky he made that fancy sch,ancy duck disdh last night instead of bangers and mash, so as I stood outside that famous store my conscience was duly pricked. Heh.
Alas, no surprise as to what it was. I was struggling across the threshold, weighed down awkwardly with parcels, trying to do that lift, lean, twist, push thing you have to do with the door (see The Hour) which I have never mastered (usually I struggle for half an hour, give up and sit in the nearby patio chair, silently weeping and searching for nearby hotels on my phone when that blasted door will just suddenly swing open with such a stagey shudder and creak I swear it does it on purpose). So he caught me stumbling in with baggage (pratfalls 'r' us), and they do not put stuff in plain paper bags (hey, lookit wot I bought). So there it is. I tried. I blame the door. It hates me, you know.
But done is done. And I feel I've done my duty, re gift of utility, need, elegance and suave. Oh, and the stores have actual decorations this year. Yay. The DJs window, that old stalwart, is magical as almost always, with the puppet displays, but not as fun as the year they actually had the shepherds washing their socks at night (lol). Ah well, it makes me a kid again, just for a bit, to see 'em, and prises open the wallet, so job well done.
Oh, I haven't done my cards yet, and it's pretty much too late now anyway, and I can't as everyone has moved and not told me their new address (see Column B, above), but if you would like a card from the antipodes, drop me a line here, via email, facebook, twitter, tumblr, linkedin, Google+, flickr, photobucket, or, if you're feeling traditional, phone and, gosh, post, and I'll try and get back to you.
Appeal to Canberra to raise its game over creative arts (Toby Schmitz)
Schmitz strikes booty with new adventure drama
The School for Wives
A hit with the missus - The School for Wives deftly balances naivete with intelligent hilarity.
Live review: The School for Wives
School for Wives proves a feast for the senses
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Record-breaking black hole found
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'Mount Doom' rumbling ominously
The absurd, irresistible Simon Templar lives on
Threats and Warnings on Bookplates
Larry Hagman, boyish to the end: An appreciation
Exclusive: Ray Harryhausen On His Creatures
Brian Cosgrove: Heck, Penfold! The creator of DangerMouse is back at 79
Danger Mouse creator Brian Cosgrove receives Bafta
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'Suits' series two to air on Dave in January
Edward S. Curtis's The North American Indian
California's Stanford University snaps up a collection of 650 retro arcade photographs
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Well he definitely stepped up to the plate: Channing Tatum crowned Sexiest Man Alive... as he reveals he's ready to have kids
Channing Tatum 'Sexiest Man Alive': Actor Named People's 2012 'Sexiest Man Alive'
Channing is just too sexy
You call that sexy?
Jeremy Renner's a macho, macho man in 'SNL' promos -- VIDEO
Doctor Who writer Neil Gaiman: "Steven Moffat asked me to make the Cybermen scary again"
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'Supernatural' Season 8: Jared Padalecki And Jensen Ackles On Purgatory, Sam's Perception And Castiel's Secret
How we made: Paul Weller and Bruce Foxton on Town Called Malice
Turning the page at Shakespeare and Company
'Hollywood Holocaust' apology published by paper
The girl can't help it
Has Instagram ruined our table manners?
How to get rid of a Huntsman, king of spiders – over the phone
Premier faces double protest at Bacon opening
Work bullies rife, say public servants
The Neglected Economics of Trying To Find a Job You Enjoy Doing
Even apes have 'midlife crises,' study finds
Website tracks Romney's declining Facebook likes
US election gets internet meme treatment
Instead of "Dead Dropping," Petraeus and Broadwell Should Have Used These Email Security Tricks
FBI uses social media to look for securities fraud
Coke Revamps Web Site to Tell Its Story
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Train safety cartoon Dumb Ways to Die becomes a online hit
The Real Threat to Internet Freedom Isn't the United Nations
Google's browser tough love
Ancestry.com: Money grows on family trees
Britain's crackdown on Web comments sparks free-speech debate
They Cracked This 250-Year-Old Code, and Found a Secret Society Inside
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Dear Melissa: How not to get lost in the soap wash-up
A question of size
Van Gogh among 146 missing Marcos paintings
Midge Ure: Feel the change, feed the world
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Famous British hoaxes
You may now kiss the applicant
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The Rise of the New Gay Villains
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Willie Garson bonded with Matt Bomer over personal tragedy
White Collar, Season 4 - Returns January 22nd!
Gay star Matt Bomer among those honored in People's 'Sexiest Man Alive' issue
Gay star Matt Bomer among those honored in People's 'Sexiest Man Alive' issue
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Pics: Bella Thorne, Neil Patrick Harris, and Matt Bomer Serve Thanksgiving Food for the Homeless
Photos: Celebrities Serve Thanksgiving Meals to Homeless in L.A.
watch: channing tatum and matt bomer stripping off in magic mike