Meanwhile, I went and saw a play, yay, and did some courses (epic fail).
So, Henry 4 by the Bell Shakespearce Co. It was bloody good. I just wanted to see Mr Bell as Falstaff. I feel my life is a little more complete now - grin.
Our Hal was played by the guy from the cheap insurance ads. I just thought I should mention it, that, you know, when the Brits go to see Shakespeare on stage, they get a movie star. When I go, I get the guy from the cheap insurance ads. I'm just saying. He was very good, though, I don't think those tv ads show his full range - grin.
No, seriously, he was a good Hal (he's actually a rather good jobbing stage actor and this is the second lead role I've seen him in). Shamelessly upstaged by old Falstaff though (as one must) and the others, too (it was a rather rollicking production) and I never knew you could wring so many guffaws from the role of Hotspur yet the actor playing him managed it, and I suppose nobody can fault you for going large when you've got Falstaff in the cast.
It was supposed to be set in the riotuous London of 2011 but it was so Brixton 1981 (and playing The Clash's London Calling did nothing to dispell this impression), but it was far more Australian than that (too Oz by far if the nasally whines from the unattuned American ears behind me were anything to go by but tough) and I loved the northern rebels all dressed as Queenslanders, I nearly lost it in giggles when they walked on, the very image of a QLD government type, though there was one sterling moment of Britishness when Douglas appeared, strikingly backlit and screaming his lines in an unintelligible brogue. For a moment there, I thought I was back in Macbeth - smirk (well, wee Jimmy's weegie words get lost even on these Doric lugs at times).
It really was marvellous, chock full of daddy issues, I'm surprised the Yanks didn't glom onto it more. You know, I've often thought of young Neal from White Collar as a Hal figure, caught between bawdy carnival and duty and dignity, wasted youth and destiny. Can he become the man he promises to be? Will anyone believe the transformation? And, do I really have to point out who the Falstaff and Henry IV characters are? No, I didn't think so.
It's really quite obvious, but quite unintentional, as all I ever hear from the writers of that show are references to rubbish 90s films (if that's not a tautology). Nevertheless, so very.
Speaking of rubbish writers, I went to a film studies course last night (after all day at a course trying learn upgrade from Word 2003 to word 2010) and it was woeful. It was supposed to be along philosophical lines, but he'd never heard of overcoming or Plato's cave, the videos didn't work and, omg, the stick figures.
Maybe I was tired, wet, cold and hungry, but it just went wrong from the start, when he asked us to introduce ourselves by discussing our favourite films, and I know I always fall down here because the rest are all hipsters and start citing monochrome monologues about growing mung beans in Mongolia. You know, the usual. Sigh.
Now I've seen some startling and surprising films of some critical acclaim, or not, that have left a deep and lasting impact on me, but he asked for favourite, and favourite, for me, means a film that I'll stop, sit and watch if I ever find it on telly. Favourite films are tv comfort food. And thus, my very daggy film favourite films includes ones like:
- Raiders of the Lost Ark
- Back to the Future
- Great Escape
- Bond (60s-70s)
- Sound of Music
- Bringing Up Baby
- High Society
- Philidephia Story
- North by North West
- Magnificent Seven
- To Catch a Thief
- Rear Window
- A Knight's Tale
- Blade Runner
- Star Wars
- Hot Fuzz
- Paris When It Sizzles
- Funny Face
- Roman Holiday
- Jason and the Argonauts
- Seven Faces of Dr Lau
- Romeo + Juliet
- The Vikings
- Jane Eyre
- Sense and Sensibility...(more)
You know, the stuff that makes people laugh at me. And they did. I said North By North West, because I love it so (two pilgrimages and counting) and it has much to say on identity, and he says he's never heard of it and asks if it had anyone in it he might of heard of.
For fek's sake. Then the bitch behind me mocks me for having favourites I rewatch. This appears soft to her - she never watches anything twice, she craves constant new experiences. She's so fucking cool and cutting edge, blah, blah, blah.
That's because her comfortable middleclass life if safe and soft. I'm only doing courses like these now because I never had the chance in my impoverished youth. I like the comfort of an old book, film or song because I never had much comfort in my life (having been beaten, starved and abused far more often that is seemly or acceptable these days). Fuck her.
How I didn't grab my bag and leave then and there, well, only exhaustion, driving rain outside and my stubborn need to see if it would get any better (it didn't) kept me in my seat. I don't think I'll go back. Wankers. The lot of them.
Such a blazing, blistering disappointment as I'd been looking forward to that course since I booked it in January. Harumph. It was supposed to be my highlight this year. Thank heavens for Falstaff, Macbeth, Peter Pan, Bowie and Sherlock then, hey.
Clearly, I need to do a film studies course presented by Bill Collins, arbiter of my tastes. I can't help it if the tv stations only ever play soft fluffy oldies, but they do and these are the ones that have become my favourites. Because I like them. Because they're good fun. Because they make me happy.
To quote the ever quoteable Mr Purefoy (who gave me the essential phrase 'a proper fuckoff castle' to distinguish heavy Norman battlements from twizzled Victorian follies), re A Knight's Tale: ' Anybody who doesn't like that film has black and green spots upon their heart'.
So there. He hath spoken.
And I was asked to name favourite films, not impressive films. For me, there is a difference.
Nope, don't think I'll go back, money be damned, such a soul sucking experience. My regular philiosophy tutor has spoilt me for life, he makes it sing and shimmer and swoop and dazzle and no wonder he has rock star status. Even so, last night sucked so bad. I think I'd be better off buying a few books and film tickets. I'd be happier, at least. Such a disappointment. Well, at least I know now for sure and certain I'm not cut out for that world.
Back to the dingy job at the dingy office with the dingy commute. You know it's been a good fifteen years or so since I've been stuck in an office so regimented by heirarchy. Too used to one size fits all seating arrangements, the sudden return to person x is grade x so they get this size desk, this distance from natural light, that brand chair, etc., has been shocking. So of course, being paid half what everyone else gets (the ones who can't use Word), despite being able to code in six different languages, is why I have the worst desk in the worst location. This sort of shit burned deeply when I was seventeen. Imagine how f*8king annoyed I am now.
Also, very, very hard to code in six languages when stuck in the busy corridor. It really is.
Not happy, clearly. And the parrots hate me, because I've been getting home late, the Soviet era, ie bare shelved supermarket ran out of their favourite treats, so I bought some old Anzac biscuits (reduced!) instead. Half of them loved the bickies, half of them hated, but now there's none so it's hate all round. Ditto the possums. Damn.
And I keep missing my Sharpie and cannot find one here for love or money. Damn you, McAvoy.
Monday: Son of a bitch. For six years I stood out in all weathers at that blasted bus stop, through drought and flooding rain and some particularly awful storms, and now I no longer use that bus stop, due to my new and exciting and longer and more complicated commute, I saw them installing a shelter. A proper shelter. Son of a bitch.
Welcome to Monday. It's dark grey outside, but black in my heart. I'm feeling that it's not that the world is unfair, it just has a particular hate on for me. I mean, the moment I have to change bus stops, the old one gets a shelter, the new one gets dug up. Son of a bitch.
Tonight, instead of getting home and having tea, watching telly, dabbling on the interwebs, I have a ten mile trek home as I have to go pick up the post from the depot in the middle of nowhere, as they no longer deliver post to my suburb, and I have no car, which was why I was ordering stuff through the post. Son of a bitch.
Himself, bless, toppled over on wet leaves in the park, so now I'm doing all the chores on top of rubbish courses I foolishly signed up for and the new, longer commute. I was working from 4am to 7pm yesterday. Son of a bitch.
Nobody's fault, I know, these things just happen, but, you know, son of a bitch. And I can't even discuss the office, which is so beyond Kafka that Kafka's brain would melt. Seriously, I'm watching old Doctor Who (while ironing and doing the washing), and nodding along at the corrupt dystopias and spittle flecked controllers and thinking they don't know when they're well off. Sigh.
I'm sure I'll cheer up, and get over it, but just for now, son of a bitch.
Tuesday: Look how foggy it is. Usually you can see clear down to Wollongong from the office of doom, but not today. Big, flat wall of grey.
Last night did not improve matters. Got to the mail depot, after crossing three major highways on the way from the station, to find it wasn't just the usual handful of letters and a packet from Amazon but the box of stuff I'd ordered from Target that was supposed to be home delivered. I don't know about you, but having to collect it several suburbs away on the other side of the river is not home delivered. All it was were my extra winter blankets (I was trying to reduce heater use) and a new kettle and a couple of jumpers. Woman at counter was such a bitch, because I don't have a driver's licence as ID but I said they could call the cops because I wasn't leaving sans post (which used to be delivered, and I never needed a photo ID to go to my now rusting letter box) so she chucked it out the door.
I ended up calling a taxi - it was the size of a small wardrobe, the box, even though I could lift it easily, it was unweildly. Not happy, though the blankets were already in service last night, bugger washing them first, I just can't seem to get warm.
So, buried under enough quilts and blankets to furnish a small dorm (but not enough to stop me being corpse cold, if I start craving brains, we'll worry) I settled down to watch The Americans, staring my beloved Matthew Rhys. I am awfully fond of the dear boy, always the more interesting one (he used to be one of a pair with his former flatmate) and he does so much charitable work back in Wales I tend to call him St Matthew, the angel.
Anways, he rocked in this. At least, I think he did. Problem was, being on Ten, every time young Matt but on his Serious Business face, really working it, you know, I am proper grown up acting here, Ten, bless, would superimpose some fat frumpy game show contestant to dance across the screen like a plus size sugar plum fairy. Right when Matty is Emoting For Wales, fer krissakes. I can't begin to tell you how effing annoying it was and it took me right out of the show, and I was never given a chance to get in. I'm sure there's a great show there, I just wasn't not allowed to see it, with ad after ad bounced over the top.
As one rather used to watching their grownup dramas on Showcase or Soho, it was rather a shock, I must say. And, seriously, Ten, you f-wits, do you really think there is any crossoover twixt dribbling morons who watch gameshows and people who like their tv with plots? Really?
So I can't tell you about the show, because I didn't get to see it, but I'm sure I'll enjoy it when it ends up on cable, sooner rather than later.
Matt was really rocking the disguises, though. I noticed they had him do the dressups more than Felicity, but that's because he's a proper actor, and he does it so well. No outfit too creepy- grin. He was totally hardcore, too. I never knew Matt could be such a badass. And I'm glad I read that interview before I saw it about how he wanted to be Bodie when he grew up, because the way he was rocking that leather jacket, I could tell, wish granted. Ah, my adorable little Welsh dweeb, all grown up and doing a star turn.
Afterwards, in a further WTF moment from Ten, they played the missing episode of Elementary. Good grief. (And they wonder why Australians are the most avid users of alternative viewings methods, well, behold last night, Exhibit A). So I got to see that.
Ah, a night of my Brit boys on tv, and not a BBC ident in sight. Heh. I heard young Mr Rhys is going to be pulling on the britches and tucking in the flouncy shirt as Darcy. I am curious to see. (They film fic now?).
Oh, I forgot to mention that Amazon, bless 'em, in a rare moment of getting their shit together, pretty much sent me the dvd of that show I missed due to the cable going offline for three days, as it is wont to do, and I had it in days of ordering. Well, I had to pick it up, and I still haven't had a spare minute to watch it yet, but in principle, it was there for viewing by the end of the week. I feel I must give full praise where due.
Not that I'm ever ordering anything again. Struggling home across town with the big box of doom has been aversion therapy enough to still my hand over any checkout button ever again. Everyone else gets public transport, internet, health care, educational opportunities, postal deliveries, fresh fruit and veg, clean water. I do not. These aren't first world problems, they're third world problems and I have a right to feel miserable and sore tried (especially as I now work opposite Tiffanys. Man the barricades).
Oh dear, third cuppa for the day. The problem with this lot is that whenever I refer to something as a three pot problem, they just look at me blankly. Sigh.
I swear I've only started watching Futurama and Family Guy again just so I can have some referential humour pitched at my level. Hey, you know me, I just go to see Shakespeare for the knob jokes. Still, at least when I'm watching Family Guy I feel at least that I'm with folks who know who Han Solo is. And, you know, knob jokes.
The main problem is, due to systematic hiring freezes, everyone here is either twenty years older than me or twenty years younger than me. Thus there is no one here who gets Star Wars or Brady Bunch refs. It's not as important as clean water and public transport, but still, it is lonely making. #firstworldproblems.
Wednesday: Foggy again. Creepy dark when I start out, creepy dark when I finally get here. Still pretty foggy now with the sun up.
At the bus stop creeepy
Yeah, well, nothing else is going on. Started making another batch of marmalade, though the cumquats refuse to come to the party, and fell asleep during House of Cards. My life, whoo.
Thursday: Funny how sneaking off to the flicks is the only circumstance in which I will blantantly lie. No, I didn't do my homework, I snuck off to see Iron Man before class instead. Ha, fooled you all (actually sketched out enough homework to fake it in the ten minutes I had spare twixt class and flick, I think the adrenalin of evilness helped).
So, Iron Man. I liked it. I thought it was clever and sensible of them to contrive ways to gave an Iron Man film without actually having a leading man as charasmatic as RDJ undercover for the bulk of it, by having the armour systematically unavailable, though it did begin to be a bit of a trope towards the end. I liked the way they briefly paid reference to that other film, and I liked the more human motivations of the characters (greed, envy, lust, revenge, insult, etc). I liked the oh so traditional humbling hero's journey, but the RDJ quips kept it fresh, well, as fresh as it could ever be. What was with all the Xmas refs, though? They bang on about Gatsby missing it's December release, but I'm thinking somebody else was planning a December release. Because, seriously, I've seen less Xmas refs in Frosty The Snowman.
I also really liked the big twist, the whole pretend terrorist thing. I was thinking, as we went along, surely we're not going there, surely they haven't seen that episode of Department S (was it Department S? Some ITC type show of that era, anyway, they all blur after a while, same casts, same sets, same plots) until I saw the end credits. Alrighty then. I'll take that as a yes.
Anything that reminds me pleasingly of Jason King is alright by me (and RDJ, I so have your next franchise for you - grin).
And I sat through the six million or so credits to get to the endy bit with the BFF. Snorkle. Slash buddies 4 eva! Now that's my kinda movie.
Trotted off to class (happily a mere four blocks away, bless the inner city and their convenient closeness of venues) via a magazine shop that had every magazine bar the two or three I was after (shucks and darn). Class much better, and I did try to behave myself and not put him off his stroke (though I couldn't help suggesting mechanoid piranha as a likely obstacle for a hero and his journey, because sod their hipster films, I grew up watching Godzilla Vs Gamera, shout out to MST3K) and he'd brushed up on Hitchcock, bless.
Did annoy me though when I shopped an idea about a WWII incident from the old family history and he figured Nazis weren't obstacle enough. Okay, there goes an entire oeuvre of war films, then. Sigh.
Meanwhile, at the bottom of the stairs: hHe says he's a kiwi fruit
Back at the desk: still life with rampant banana
Friday: Up till past eleven last night making marmalade. Hardcore or what. Actually, pretty hard core. I mean, I have scars. Not that anyone cares. But yes, those little pits on my hands caused by violently erupting sugary fruit lava as I try to reduce it down. I always start off way too watery, I was using an old recipe, maybe fruit wasn't so watery then. Or wooden. Or tasteless. Never mind, I've finally cracked the tasteless problem with my secret ingredients, the wooden I tackle by soaking the fruit for a couple of days, and the overpowering acidity of my homegrown fruits, as opposed to the store bought fruit I have to by to bulk it out (I have an orchard citrus trees now but the possums can strip a tree in a single night) and I have learnt now to buy fruit from the shop on the way home, not the shop closest to home, and it's pretty good, the fruit gloop, if a bit messy looking, and it did get a bit singed when I was distracted by the telly at a critical moment (it should have been simmering slighty but the power fluctuates wildly in my hovel and one must be vigilant and I know that but it was late and tv dude was being funny).
What was I watching? Um, nothing I want to really admit to, but I cop to starting with Southland and then just leaving it on Soho all night.
So you find me this morning, dark of eyes and fuzzy of brain, but hey, at least I made something from my garden. I had enough cumquats to fill my gardening hat, too, so I was pleased. It's been years since I've had a crop.
PM update: Well, I had the gold kiwi fruit that I was given yesterday by the Kiwi Guy (see photo, above) and I gotta say, it was damn tasty. I've never had a yellow kiwi fruit before. It's sweeter. I find that pleasing.
Also popped across to the DJs exhibition in my lunchbreak, and it was pretty cool. Lots of old posters, old boxes and old dresses, which doesn't sound much but we're talking designs from the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and 1970s so it was way cool, chic and groovy. So sad DJs is struggling now (but their service is so atrocious it's being parodied in ads for online shopping sites) but 175 years is pretty damn impressive, especially in a city that isn't that much older. For once, the phrase institution isn't an exaggeration. And you know me, despite opinions to the contrary, I do go weak at the knees at the sight of a Dior cocktail dress from 1957.
Fun. I bought a few reprints of the posters, because I love the 50s/60s style of commercial poster (30s/40s too). They're just masterpieces of the draughtsman art.
Okay, so much for sitting in the park, but I keep choosing my best clothes to try and keep up, despite being sneered at viciously and out loud in the lift going down at lunch (wince) so I tend to shy away from the opportunity to sink my best skirts into a patch of grass damp with wino pee (not dew, as I'd hoped), but next week, since I'm going to be sneered at anyways, I'll be clad in Kmart, all the way. (But I'll pin up my DJs posters, and dare to dream of another life where I do have nice clothes and I never have to sit in wino pee).
Monday: So it was wet and Magnificent Seven was on telly so I sat down and watched it. Because it's a favourite movie. Bemused this time that some of Chris's 'same old shit' faces were very like Dean's. But Supernatural is one of my favourite westerns so it makes sense that Dean would share that whole one too many gunfights/never enough thing.
So, no, didn't go to the Supernatural con. wanted to, but didn't. Because I'm too old, and am made to feel it, and I have no fun at them any more. nor did I do the Vaucluse house thig, the Globe screening thing or go see the Suunyboys, even though I used to follow them around like a puppy way back when (see really old, above). Nope, i decided to stand in the freezing rain, for hours, just to see them project a Tardis on the side of a building. Which is why I'm home sick with a cold today (go figure) but hey, at least my inner four year old was happy, for a bit. Until I heard about Matt quitting, which took away what little gloss of my evening was remaining. It was raining so hard I didn't even take any pics of the opera house all lit up. What a stupid way to spend a night. But that's me, stupid.
PM update: As the house speared me with an ancient nail that was 90% rust I had to go get a tetanus shot, then it was off to the dentist. Not happy. Something rather violating about spending half an hour with a man's hand rammed in my mouth.
So I bought chips. hot chips. I don't care what anyone says, it's chips or extreme sulking, your choice.
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