Yeah, sure I had my tablet, but I was off to wrestle with flash/java sites, and as my poor wheezing Dell no longer has sound or battery power it can only be operated plugged in, and, as I clearly can't afford a new PC right now, that wasn't happening.
Call me crazy but there it is, and, as we took a direct hit (Kapow!) about ten minutes later, I stand by my nervous nellyness. So, couldn't watch tv either as alas my year old tablet is too old to download any video players (and museum worthy old tv was turned off, too). Le sigh.
So I finished off my Wilkie Collins book (or tried to, the direct hit threw me out of bed and made for a somewhat restless night, as I'm a slave to the fight or flight response).
That's how the weekend ended. And here I was going to tell you, not about going out, going to class, or dangling from ladders, because I did none of those things. I was still suffering from the week that was, so I decided on a course of cheap wine and a dvd remote. (Hey, it almost scanned).
Ok, no cheap wine, but a disturbing amount of 70s SF telly, and I do mean disturbing. It wasn't just one episode that started out so Charles Carmichael I was giggling, and that's before we got to the tuxedo that turned inside out into a wetsuit (flail!) and the secret lift that went down to the supervillain man cave under a cemetery (yeah, baby, yeah).
Oh, no, that I could cope with, ditto anything the good Doctor wanted to through at me, up to and including the Loch Ness Monster (just when I decided to spend Sunday in pure works of goodness I found a marathon of Tom Baker episodes on SyFy, hello couch, ta ta good intentions).
Nope, it's the costumes. Just when I'd just about recovered from the sight of folks I recognised from vintage Days of Our Lives (don't ask) cavorting about in safari suits and cravats, or micro minis micro enough to mae the eyes water (whenever they put men in skirts it's never, ever a discrete schoolgirl hem touching the ground when you kneel length, no, but the full Futurama - insert Kif groan here). Even that I could just about take (though all those skirts and hairy legs, my eyes, my eyes). Nope. What really had me covering my eyes was the diaphanous rayon gown one character was wearing, with nothing on underneath (undergarments are alarmingly optional in this particular show), perhaps safe in the knowledge that you wouldn't be able to see a thing on 70s tv. Alas, digital technology meets the 70s, and my, so the 70s. In other words, more bush than an episode of Burke's Backyard. Yikes.
Ah, the 21stC. Even with clothes being optional in Game of Thrones (the exact same kind of costumes, I note), all that waxing has made Ruskins of us all.
Anyways, sod all the curent warnings they have on dvd boxes. Sex and violence I can cope with. It's 70s fashions and bad accents I need to be warned about. Seriously.
Ok, yes, you get what you pay for, but, still. Even Doctor Who wasn't all plain sailing, as we got up to all the alarming costumes (or lack thereof) in Face of Evil. Or as the Peanut Gallery called it, Leather Bears vs The Interior Decorators. Quite.
Also caught up on some Veronica Mars (episodes that never screened here, or, at least, I never saw), Case Histories (which has finally screened here, but I missed due to other commits), Warehouse 13 (better late than never), and Justified.
WTF, Justified. I knew they were pushing the whole Art being only three days from retirement thing, but really? Really? They went there. They totally went there. My faith in the show is shattered. I'm glad it's wrapping up. They've done their dash.
Later... So it's official, March was the stormiest month, like, ever ever. Good to know, as there was a week there were I couldn't step outside, even if it had been blue skies and subnshine just moments before, without getting the old flash-boom-wall of water. It was starting to feel personal. I mean I was soaked to the skin in a massive storm coming home from class, the next day again just walking/running from the bus stop to the Museum of Sydney, and again walking from the State Library to the bus stop (and that was a lot of open ground to cover, my brand new blue and pink floral dress is now just blue).
Did I mention the exhibition of the State Library? It was pretty cool. All this beautiful drawings of flora and fauna made by first fleeters (officers, others, convicts) which were so delicate, it belies the common but wildly inaccurate image of the colony's first days as a roaring dystopia. This was an undertaking during the Age of Enlightenment. Science, as well as social reform (and it was considered an experiment in social reform, and a success, I do think).
Anyways, lovely, lovely pics, though I regret the number of species no longer extant (some remembered from the 90s, the insect eaters and a lot of the seed eaters are gone now, I blame agribusiness). Yet I rejoiced in how many birds I could still see in my backyard. The fish I can't speak to, one still isn't supposed to go near the river for deadly poisons, though I see people fishing in it, so I guess some of the fish have come back, though I wouldn't eat Blinky if you hooked and dished him.
Anyways, lovely, lovely illustrations. A genteel and decorous side to the whole Empire thang. Besides, they had a diary from an able seaman there, and he describes how, after they set up tents and got dinner going, the locals came round out of curiosity and the fleeters shared their first fish dinner with them. The inevitable expansion had to happen, but even ordinary sailors were decent.
Today. Missed the storms last night. They started to roll in the moment I stood and announced I was off to fetch the laptop (flash-flash-flash-bang) but once I decided, ok, trash telly then, they pootled off south. Whatevs.
So I ended up watching the Tomorrow People. Now I was quite the fan of the original 70s show when I was a kiddie, so these remakes always involve a certain high degree of pain for me. Not that the original was that fantastic, but, for it's time, well, I was rather taken with it. As a premise, it has great promise, if only it could muster some half decent actors, half decent scripts and half decent production values. Alas, these and many other requisite qualities continue to elude every version of the Tomorrow People (and the less said about the 90s version, the better).
So now it's American, except Tim who is still weirdly British. Apparently all AIs must talk like snotty British posh school prefects.
And the casting, oy. At first, having missed the beginning, I thought, oh, that's different, Stephen's an adult in this. Alas, no. Oh dear. They seem to have cast a guy my age, with the acting ability of an old couch. We're talking sub soap opera here. What is it with your (very) average American tv actor? Why must they be so awful? Ok, not all of them, and not all Brit thesps are brilliant. I mean, take Eastenders, please, but at least they're corralled there, and not stinking up the screens of shows that could be so much better if only the casting agents could do their jobs properly. Anyways, middle aged, no talent Stephen, no doubt regaling the cast, if he was at all capable of the regale, of the times he and Barbara Stanwyck used to catch the trolleybus together. Sheesh. (Update, ok, so he's Canadian, the casting was still wildly misguided imo).
Everyone else is a waste of space, and Jedikiah is now just a bigoted stooge, except John, who is kinda cute (and tweets covers of the old 70s annuals and gets cheekily dissed by Bill Shatner, so I kinda like him, oh Home and Away, I can just about overlook that, and besides, if a Home and Away actor is the best they've got, as in, well, crikey, nuff said).
Oh dear, Stephen's a dog and John is hot, up is down, etc, etc. At least the age difference isn't quite so creepy (maybe that's why they cast someone who remembers the 50s as Stephen?).
Interesting how the aliens in the original series are now a secret government or private organisation (not sure, did I miss that bit, how are they funded, who has oversight?). Very much part of the cultural shift in moving it from the UK to the US. So many UK shows are about fear of invaders, little island nation that they are, whereas US concern themselves with fears of the enemy within (I can't think of one that doesn't), which I supposed is what happens when your history involves mad arsed masons and tightly wound puritans. Rigid conformity and witch-hunting the alleged enemy within, two themes that will be discussed in Tomorrow People, I can see.
For ourselves, if you're interested, the fear is that place that lurks beyond the campire, beyond the fence, that terrifying otherness. People say we don't acknowledge that we're foreigners here, in a hostile land. Are you kidding, we never forget it, just look at our art, everything from McCubbin's Lost to Picnic at Hanging Rock to Wolf Creek. That terror of what lies out there, that otherness, sometimes peoples, sometimes place, that comes from being a tiny colony miles from anywhere in a foreign land. That's out trauma, isolation and desolation. The Fatal Shore, the Tyranny of Distance, On the Beach.
I guess it's all a fear of the other, it's just curious that in America, the other is always within, rather than outside, the gates. You know, Salem, Senator McCarthy, need I go on?
Anyways, that was that. Low budget X-Men, in other words. Next up I watched the Vikings (and if you want to know why little Britain trembles at the very thought of invaders, here's a clue). I'd not realised it had started again so I missed last week's wrap up of dangling plotlines, so, episode 2.02 and we're off for a spot of pillaging and plundering (an early UK tourist package, see the sights, then burn them).
My gosh, but this series is beautifully filmed, it really is. Every frame was painterly. I was enjoying just watching the DoP do his thang, but the characters are also engaging. Travis Fimmel is a revelation in this show. He just holds the screen and insists you watch him, all the time, every second. It's magnetic. It might also be a touch over the top, but as he's a viking warlord, I think it could be argued the role allows for such flourishes. I mean, it looks like they've all read Beowulf. Retiring petal the big B was not.
So that was enjoyable. Hard to fault, beautiful to watch, and surprisingly authentic (I've read enough and seen enough museuem stuff to know the difference between this and American tv vikings, cf Time Tunnel). Wonderful stuff.
According to Google, haricots cuits au four is baked beans in French. Watching the most English 'French' cafe on Doctor Who made me wonder. Because I'm fairly sure that's all that'd be on the menu. That and Spam. Slapped down on the table the way only a properly English cafe can (ah, Speedys, how I miss thee, sort of, kind of, can't believe you're a tourist shrine now, reality is effed up).
Yeppers, it was City of Death, the last episode of Doctor Who really worth watching, imho, until, well, a long way away. That's not to say there aren't any more good stories, or even half decent ones, but it's diminishing returns, it really is. And the casting, yeesh. Where, and with whom would one start? Many targets, entirely worthy of the hurling of rotten fruit (ah, for the days when the audience reaction was more visceral than a cutting tweet).
Anyways, some shows getting the casting right, if not epic, and that's Game of Thrones. What a mass employment program for Brit thesps that is. I'm not sure whom I enjoy more, and last night had so many, many of my faves. Icy Charles Dance, still freezing screens all these years later, beloved Dame Diana, deciding that there is no 11 as far as her role goes, cheeky Bron (and well done Jerome for the BAFTA nom for Ripper Street!), the imp, my dear king slaying sister shagging one handed messed up hotness that is Jaime Lannister, Iain, smouldering away in the friend zone, and, of course, it goes without saying never get between a man who wants chicken and a girl who wants a pony. Oh my, yes.
In other words, loved. Well worth racing home for. And the violence was so absolutely cathartic (especially as it's like Kings Landing any day of the week, except I always call it Knots Landing because I'm senile, but it's pretty much Dallas with dragons anyway so fair comment, I reckon, and besides, some of my slips are more truthful than the real titles, like when I keep accidentally calling Broardchurch 'Boredchuch'. Heh).
Real life? Don't want to talk about it. A cat half killed a corella on Sunday (my fault, I was washing the dishes instead of watching because we'd just gone off daylight saving, and I shouldn't feed the birds, I know). So that was fucking awful.
Why can't it just kill 'em quick and clean like the hawk, dammit. At least my hawk has learnt a) not to do it right in front of me and b) not any of my favourites. Well, at least, she tries, and I know she tries, I've seen her modify her behaviour in response to mine. (One day, girl, you me, travelling on Emirates, heh).
So yeah, telly violence, much more fun and ephemeral.
And so...last night, which will probably be last week by the time I get this posted (me and my laptop have been miles apart most of this week, more than I'm happy with). Bought a ticket ages and ages and still more ages ago to see Puccini's Madama Butterfly, because I figured I ought to see an opera live just once in my life, and it's the only one I really like (I remember watching a performance on the ABC once, when I was too small to get the politics but wee enough to be moved to tears by the emotion, must have been when I was living with my grandmother because my mother would never have music or me in the house).
Well, you can tell I'd bought the ticket ages ago because it was like the best seat in the house, which was why these complete arseholes demanded I move. I refused, because it was my seat, dammit, and the usher made them sit in their proper seats, which were unhappily next to mine. What awful, awful people. Talked lodly, sneered at me, blew their noses even more loudly, and in a lifetime of travelling on trains and buses I have never been elbowed so sharply and so frequently as I was last night, and yes, I mean a cumulative lifetime's worth of elbows, in one night. I am actually bruised. I kept biting my lip, telling myself I musn't react, and reminding myself that at least I wasn't on a flight to London with them. But, sad to say, they entirely and utterly RUINED MY NIGHT.
Shame, but I'm no fan of the outdoors theatre (it didn't rain but it got bloody cold, down by the water, and even blankie cardy, my half cardigan, half blanket thing, struggled against the seeping damp mist), and the elaborate set, which took more construction workers than I've ever seen on a building site, to assemble and disassemble, didn't do a thing for me. Though I liked the giant weather balloon standing in for the moon, though I was wishing it would revert to Rover and do its business on certain people. The cast were meh too, except Butterfly herself who was the most marvellous Butterfly. Loved her, she was great, and played it true - like all the most tragic heroines, Butterfly was only a kid.
So I might have enjoyed it, had I not been elbowed black and blue and cold and tired. Ah well.
I'll leave off the anti-American themes in the book, and just remark it had a certain resonance for some of the audience. Empire building, it's a messy business, even the small stuff.
Today, well, the thermometer has headed south enough for me to wear one of my favourite M&S dresses, straight out of the 70s, this thing, don't know what I was thinking when I bought it, aside from the fact that it wasn'tscratchy, fitted, could stand to be scrucnhed into a corner of my bag and would suit for posh rellies, theatre and work. So, work at last, drea dress. And it's so mid to late 70s it makes me giggle. Give me a handbag with a brick in it and really big sunglasses and I could totally man a typewriter in the New Avengers, Professionals or Doctor Who. Hee.
As it is, I'm manning this keyboard. Might as well be the 70s.
Later still...So it rolled around to another Thursday and another episode of The Vikings (missed TP, and also no chance to get online proper and post this as I struggled to stay awake, no reflection on the norsemen, just my week). So pretty to watch, so satisfyingly violent (go forth and slay middle management lackeys, my brothers), and ticking enough of the history boxes for me. I mean, for a show from the guy who gave us the Tooders, it's hitting it far more than I'd ever dare hope. And what's with his thing for casting wild eyed risking chaps, though i remain bemused by Travis. Unpredictable and seemingly random, every move makes some sort of sense, and he does remind me of the feral boys on the bus (well, he is Oz). I guess I recognise the moves and it rings true.
Last night the chopped up old Bishop Swithun, and had I been more on the ball and realised it was Switin, I'd had cracked open the Maltesers. Why? Oh, it's not even Swithun's fault, he's just a byword for crushing irritation and disappointment.
It's like this. In my travels I often go way, way out of my way, with a train trip and at least three or four irregular and winding local buses to get to some obscure and remote site/museum/castle/ruin/etc that I have dreamt of visting since childhood, usually because it was in some book/tv show/film/ or an area of nerdy interest. Now if I just turn up out of the blue I'll get what I deserve, but usually I'll have checked the official website, the council site, the National Trust or English Heritage, Trip Advisor, books, etc to get the hours of operation, which usually, being England, are just one Tuesday afternoon in July. I'll email, I'll ring, I'll even ask the locals if it's really, truly open for business. And after a seven mile hike up hill, down dale, through mud and over stiles, I'll find nothing but a note pinned to the door: Closed for St Swithun's Day.
So St Swithun's Day has become a byword in the household for those moments when it's the one chance in your life to ever see something, ever, and it's closed.
Hence the desire to cheer as poor old Swithun was despatched in The Vikings last night. Not his fault, but nothing is fair in this life.
So the norsemen carried on sacking Winchester, as well they might. It was about this point I was beginning to wonder again why every actor from Sweden looks like a Scarsgard. Because every actor from Sweden is a Scarsgard, of course. Seriously, it's getting silly now. It's like I can't watch any British filmed production without a Fox popping up at some point. Heaven help us all if those two tribes intermarry, is all I can say.
The only other thing I watched was Grimm on Wednesday, which is becoming a complete and total soap, heck, there wasn't any dead body of the week at all. Shrug.
I'm extra-textually amused because amongst the usual and special merde this week, they wiped my PC at work (for no good reason as it happened) and I lost everything, so reinstalling all my stuff (an ongoing project), I was using some SAP setup instructions that came from the City of Portland, of all places. Great instructions, got it sorted, but I couldn't help but smile, in the midst of some major computer pain, at the thought of Renard having to enter his sudden and mysterious trips to Europe on sekrit bizness into SAP (that prince of programs). Snerk. Never mind the sheer amount of Grimm related stuff that must be sitting on the City servers by now. Smirk.
I know, what can I say, I'm not that deeply offended that my police procedural has turned into Furry Friends, but it was hard to stay focused after the week I've had (did I mention they wiped everything without backing it up, the dears). Not enough tv axes into tv heads, fie, Grimm, fie.
The List of Things
'Pygmalion' is 100 years old: Happy Birthday, dear Eliza
If Media Reported The Thing That Just Happened On “Game Of Thrones”
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The Secrets to a Stress-Free Commute
The Surprising Gut Microbes of African Hunter-Gatherers
Dynasty star Kate O'Mara dies
RIP Kate O’Mara: Five Of Her Best Moments
Rheumatism sufferers sought relief inside a whale
The cloud maker: Berndnaut Smilde
A Photographic Exploration Of The Oldest Living Things In The World
Sand Looks Unbelievably Cool Under a Microscope
The Linguistic Legacy of the Crimean War
April Fools' Day jokes 2014 – the best on the web
April Fools' Day pranks around the internet
The Hidden Dinosaur of Ta Prohm Temple
NYPL releases 20.000 historical maps as public domain
Black death was not spread by rat fleas, say researchers
Dead Famous DNA: Documentary confirms that Napoleon's penis matched the man’s small stature
Are they Richard III's remains? To ask the question is to miss the point
Game of Thrones: the bloody historical truth behind the show
Captain Scott's Antarctic 'lost' photo negatives saved from auction
Heidegger’s Notebooks Renew Focus on Anti-Semitism
Starbucks Apologizes To Louisiana Woman For Satanic Latte Art
A 1,300-year-old Sudanese mummy is found to have a Christian tattoo on her thigh
The Suburban Yards That Divide and Define the Middle Class
'Google Naps' Is Like 'Google Maps' But A Million Times Better
The Surprising Science of Yawning
BBC Two's 50th anniversary: Disastrous launch remembered
Message in a bottle: 10 famous floating note discoveries
Lock of Napoleon's hair among artefacts stolen from historic Victorian homestead
Kicking kids and paying for wi-fi: 10 things I hate about travel
WIRED Space Photo of the Day
Curiosity Stops to Thwack Its Instruments, Take Amazing Panoramas
Stolen Gauguin painting 'hung on factory worker's wall'
Fog, smog, pea soupers and the Saharan dust storm: What are they and how dangerous can they be?
Pacific Island Consumes Its Neighbor
CSIRO study finds some of Australia's remote beaches are most polluted
Honey Maid Makes Art (and a Great Ad) Out of Hate
HONEY MAID AND THE BUSINESS OF LOVE
Fat activist and Fat Heffalump blogger Kath Read fights back against people who photograph her in public places
13 TRICKS TO LOOKING SLIMMER IN PHOTOS
In pictures: women on the home front
Nothing to 'like' about social media gag
Thunderbirds-themed house on sale for £3 million (missiles not included)
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: Our unique series captures sense of what it was like to be in the Great War
Love thy neighbour? You must be joking
Why Mark Twain Lost A Tooth in Newcastle
Why Your Body Hair Makes It Difficult For Others to Live
Technology’s Man Problem
The Best Kind of Geography Is Beer Geography
Ancient Rome was bigger than previously thought, archaeologists find
900 Years of Tree Diagrams, the Most Important Data Viz Tool in History
Chicken Cup, Chinese art's 'holy grail', sells for £19.6m
Comic Sans, the World’s Most Ridiculed Font, Gets a Makeover
Woman accidentally pays £2,600 for a Neil Diamond album
The Real Medical Conditions Behind the Deformed Hands in Rodin’s Sculptures
The hidden meaning within your furniture
10 Things You Didn't Know About Shakespeare
Spot-On Business Cards for 16 of Hollywood’s Greatest Characters
The 6 Comics to Grab After Seeing the New Captain America
Full lunar eclipse: 'Blood moon' photos light up social media
Neanderthal Man: In Search of Lost Genomes by Svante Pääbobook - book review: 'Inquiry into ancient DNA reveals the secrets of our genes'
Scientists working on human-to-dolphin translator report first successful interaction
Vinegar on jellyfish sting can be deadly: researchers
Dead fish found blocking Shropshire sewers
Small Data: Why so many elephants?
Psychopaths: how can you spot one?
Woman who fell down a well during sex left in the hole after her lover fled the scene
Why do zebras have stripes? Biologists say they finally have the answer
The Creature Feature: 10 Fun Facts About Velvet Worms
Fantastically Creepy Images and Tales From The Morbid Anatomy Anthology
Old wives' tales and medical misconceptions
The First Meal Eaten on the Moon Was Bacon
Eyewitness: London (Sir John Soane Museum in Lincoln’s Inn Field)
Classic album covers in Google Street View – in pictures
Protected status for Northumberland's prehistoric rock art carvings
Tumbleweed a new blow to prairies hit by drought
Clever Designers Erase the Real World With Photoshop
These 9 Words Don't Mean What You Think They Mean
10 Shocking Photos That Will Change How You See Consumption And Waste
6 Incredibly Common Misconceptions About Psychopaths
Parents who deliberately starve children of love face jail under new Cinderella Law
Feel old yet? 40 years since ABBA's 'Waterloo'
Keeley Hawes: My family life online
‘Battlestar Galactica’ Movie
@GroovyBruce @NathanFillion #forbiddenbromance
Hugh Jackman tackles ‘Wolverine: The Musical’ in BBC radio spoof
'Once Upon A Time': 'Good Morning Storybrooke'
'Being Human' Star Sam Witwer Breaks Down Series Finale, Reveals Plan to Reunite the Cast
Game of Thrones season 4, episode 1, TV review: Breasts bared, blood spilt – yes, it was worth staying up for
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau Says Jaime Lannister Of 'Game Of Thrones' Is A 'Monogamous Man'
Jensen Ackles in the infamous brick pants
Supernatural-Sleepy Hollow Spinoff Confirmed; SuperSleepy to Star Misha Collins and Orlando Jones (note date of publication)
Misha Collins Vegascon 2014 (Saturday) Panel 1
I Was Broken, and Matt Bomer Put Me Back Together
The Cast of 'The Normal Heart' on Bringing Gay Rights to the Big Screen
HBO's The Normal Heart cast smolder on the cover of The Hollywood Reporter
Guess Who Revealed: Matt Bomer and Twins
For Matt Bomer, "The Normal Heart" was a movie he needed to be in
Spring - Summer
March - April 2014