Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Too much and nothing

I have nothing much to say. I'm sad about Turkey, some of the footage coming out is depressing, but images of protesters cleaning up Taksim and people leaving food and drink for people in heaps around the city, they were inspiring and heart-warming pictures. I hope the people prevail, that's all I can say. While Turkish police are some of the hottest dudes I've ever seen and their uniforms are so cool, they are fucking brutal. I'm wondering where the military is, and what they make of it. Historically, the army steps in when the government strays too far from the principals of Ataturk, there have been a few coup d'etats. But I'm not sure whether the current government has made legislative changes and reduced the power of the military. It's something I've not kept up with over the last ten years or so.

I am writing. I'm struggling to think about writing a book review, something I've promised myself I'll learn to do and then do one properly.

I'm reading High Sobriety by Jill Stark. It's literally sobering. When it was recently critiqued on the First Tuesday Book Club Show or whatever-the-bloody-hell-it's-called-now, 3 out of the 5 panellists hadn't had a drink since finishing it. So that was Marieke H, the young guy on her right, and I think it was Sophie Cunningham? Can't remember. The only two who didn't say they'd taken a break were Jason Steger and Jennifer Byrne. That's not to say Steger didn't take a break, he just didn't indicate one way or the other. Byrne put her hand up and said nothing had changed with her.

Last night I went to a local reading thingy, it's a pretty cool soiree affair once a month where a couple of people read and then they have open mike. This is the second I've been to and I enjoyed it again and it's the closest thing to an old-style literary salon I think I could ever be part of. The atmosphere is very warm, open and welcoming - none of the snobby exclusivity that you can find in any world. Nevertheless, I think it's pretty brave of me to rock up on my own, there's a whole table of people having food and drinks beforehand, and I just insinuate myself onto the end of the table. Thank god the organiser recognised me (from last time) and smiled at me and said hi. So high school, so pathetic. I am a true introvert and while if you met me I'd not seem it, I am rawther reserved. But the lure of the evening and being there outweighed - again - the promise of sticking out like a sore-thumb loner. Most times I'm happy to be a loner (as much as anyone with three children and a husband can be one) but some times, the 15-year-old schoolgirl that lives on inside of me just wants somebody to sit with.

I've listened to a couple of open mike people. Really, there's no microphone, just people sitting around a table, no more than 10 or 12. I've read my stuff in front of workshops and groups before. I like reading my stuff (let's face it, anyone who wants to write and get published also probably has the ego to read aloud in front of strangers). This is something that 15-year-old inner schoolgirl would not be able to comprehend. Read aloud? Voluntarily?

So I may work up to it. Let you know.

I'm not teaching at the moment, there's a bit of a lull for a month or so. Which is good and bad. Bad because no money but good because time to write. I'm working on number two, there is little constipation; this is something that has been with me in essence since end of 1999/through 2000. That's a a while. It's like an affectionate homage to Turkey (the love letter to Turkey is another project, a (gulp) memoir. Ha.) I have struggled with the form and structure of it, but think I am getting there.

The family is fine, things are fine. Muddling along. We head to Bali at the end of this month which will be nice, despite catching a stupid segment on Leigh Sales last night about violence to Australians in Bali. I have never watched Leigh Sales apart from the youtube clip of her interviewing Tony Abbott. I thought she was reasonable quality and that her show would therefore be of reasonable quality. The Bali piece was crap. What the hell. No wonder I don't watch tv other than sitcoms and reality stuff.

So we started watching MasterChef last night. The whole battle of the sexes was predictably sick-making. And of course there were the predictable hate-making personalities, as well as the usual array of hat-wearing tools. It's a bit of fluff I like to watch.

We have about three Game of Thrones to catch up on, as well as we need to finish our latest run-through of Seinfeld. We are almost at the end where Jerry and Elaine are just so over everything, George is shouting a lot and Kramer is... the same. Princess and I are watching West Wing too (me re-watching, she watching for the first time.) I love that show. There's not one bad character apart from lispy short-haired girl, but she goes soon.


magical_m said...

Oooh - my eyes lit up when I saw that you are introducing Princess to the wonders of The West Wing! God I love that show. I assume by "lispy, short-haired girl" you mean the annoying Mandy Hampton? I was so glad when they gave her the flick. Other than that, the casting is perfect.

Melba said...

Yes i went blank on her name, probably because she annoys the shit outta me. Yes Mandy. She goes soon. It's a great show, I'm enjoying it thoroughly all over again. Especially Toby's voice and demeanour and Josh's walk. Love it.

magical_m said...

Josh's walk, Josh's dimples, Josh's lisp... hell, Josh Lyman is my perfect man. Receding hairline and all. ;)

Melba said...

ME TOO. I said as much to Princess and she goes 'really?' Unimpressed. She likes him as a character but not as a hot male. Of course she loves Sam Seaborn.

magical_m said...

LOL. Of course she loves Sam Seaborn. If I was a teenager watching TWW for the first time, I'd swoon over Sam Seaborn too.

squib said...

Did you see The Paradise? Just finished watching it, very good

I put off going to a writer's thing here for ages for the same reason. I pictured all these cliquey groups in a pub and me standing there like a moron. But it was actually nothing like that and I enjoyed it a lot. Never have felt drawn to the mike though

Am reading The Tartar Steppe at the moment and it sends me off to sleep almost instantly. Have been keeping up to date with FTBC and very grateful I can watch it with a UK IP via the website

For some reason I want a corn jack and they don't have them here

Anonymous said...

Never got around to watch West Wing. Have watched no shows at all recently and am still stuck half way through season 2 of Game of Thrones. I am a total slack arse when it comes to watching telly, it seems.

I did see the ads for that battle-of-the-sexes cooking show thingy. It made me want to kick the fucking screen in.

Also, I saw a pommy doco on the Cleveland captives the other day that was bloody horrendous. Packaged together as an hour of disposable reality-show drama, like an episode of Cops or something; this young twat hosting it, who kept sticking his mug in the camera to share his emotional bowel movements and retarded insights. The worst bit was when he was standing outside one of the girls' houses that had a tarp erected in front of it, talking about how he wanted to respect their privacy. Fuck you, you -- what's your fuckin' name ... Rick Edwards -- yes you, Rick Edwards, fuck you, you cunt!

What was it you didn't like about the Bali bit on the Sales show, Melba?

Hey Squib, good to hear from you. What's been happening? And what's a corn jack? Is it like a chiko roll?

squib said...

Hi Alex, good to see you too. Yes, a corn jack is like a Chiko but it's full of corn. It's one of Australia's finest dishes. Not a lot happening here, still house hunting, stuff still in storage, still working our way trough every episode of Star Trek... what you up to?

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, I do like corn and that does sound pretty good. I wonder how I've gone all my life without coming across one? I wonder where I could find them?

What's the weather like there? Warm and sunny? You been for a dip in the local loch yet?

Not much going on here. Been working long hours. Not particularly hard or stressful stuff, just a lot to do; a lot of niggly little problems that keep popping up.

How's the Trek going? How much have you gotten through? I think last time you said you'd started on the original series but weren't liking it that much. Did it grow on you? Of all the eps I've seen, the originals are far and away my faves. Every time I go back and watch one I think I fall in love with Spock a little more.

squib said...

Corn jacks can be got at fish & chips shops usually

It's warm but brisk. Today's top is 13c. Have not been swimming yet but going to Spain in August

Spock is about the only thing I like about the original series. I enjoyed the series before that (going in the time order in which they are set, not produced) although Archer reminds me of George Bush. Really like Picard (& Data)but Counselor Troi could be the most annoying person evah. So still getting through The Next Generation. Live long and prosper, Alex :)

Anonymous said...

Wait until you get to Voyager and all but three of the characters feel so flat and generic as to be interchangeable. Not saying it's terrible, but it has its problems.

Did you watch the movies between the original series and Next Gen? I know some are a bit hokey, but I'd at least check out Wrath Of Khan. Spock gets his big moment and Montalban is fantastic.

Trust me Squib, would I lie to you? After all, I have been and always shall be your friend:)

squib said...

Yeah, Wrath Of Khan was good. I think The Final Frontier was one of the worst films I ever saw though

Anonymous said...

I've seen a lot of films more awful, but I would definitely say it's a low point for the franchise. The Next Gen movies are pretty crap too. Mostly because they've taken the characters and setting and transposed them into something that's so tonally different. I think a high point of the franchise in general is that it was a little more ponderous about problem solving, and usually didn't rely too heavily on "run around and blast everything" to establish drama.

Also, there's situations that happen in the films that are nearly identical to situations from the show and yet the characters behave in completely the opposite manner to how they normally would. It makes you wonder who they were targeting, if not Trekkies or potential Trekkies..

squib said...

I think the high point is you get to feel like you're in a spaceship like forever :)

Not so sure what you mean about the situations, you may be getting way, way too Trekkie for me now

Anonymous said...

I think the high point is you get to feel like you're in a spaceship like forever :)

True. Also, how cool would it be to have a holodeck or just be able to replicate crap?

By situations, I mean some of the plot premises in the Next Gen movies are taken straight from series episodes. But the way the characters act is wildly inconsistent.

Melba said...

Glad you went to the writer thing there squib. I think sometimes they can be really wanky but mostly not. And the mike: well I'm a teacher so a bit of a show off. I might work up to it.

I can say the only Star Trek movie I saw was Wrath of Khan and I quite liked it.

Mr E said...

Seems odd to me that so far nobody has mentioned what I would consider the galactic elephant sized turd in the room, "Deep Space Nine", or as I like to call it "Laid in Space".

The one thing I do admire that has been a constant throughout the many series of Star Trek, is the total absence of two items, The Golden Calf and the Golden Arches, which gives me hope that mankind does indeed have a future.

I never seen, nor heard any reference to a Chaplain or a chapel or any reference to God on any episode of Star Trek or its derivatives. Unless you include the occasional appearance of the Q, who may, bear some vague resemblance to currently popular deities if only by virtue of their emotional insecurity and petulance, so no Golden calf. I love the fact that they devoted almost an entire episode based on the premise that an Enterprise crew member had been discovered making a hamburger in his quarters, despite the fact that the practice had been made illegal 200 years before. No Golden Arches!

This is a view of the future I can wholeheartedly embrace.

squib said...

I have not reached Deep Space Nine yet. I have never noticed (until you mentioned it)the absence of a chapel and/or God/Ronald. Wow, it's very radical then

Anonymous said...

"Deep Space Nine", or as I like to call it "Laid in Space".

Fuckin' hell, it wasn't that bad. At least the premise of setting it in a post-civil-war environment was decent, even if a lot of the stories that came out of it were wasted, bland and soapy. Besides, Odo was alright. I certainly grew to appreciated René Auberjonois' ability to act through a prosthetic that didn't allow any sort of facial expression.

There were historical references to religion in Star Trek. I can think of one ep of Voyager where the Doc was in a holodeck program, pretending to be a 19th century Irish preacher. I can also think of aliens who worshiped, or had "scripture" and "prophecy", also in Voyager.

I remember hearing that Roddenberry (or however it's spelled) who conceptualised a lot of what was in the original series, had a quasi-utopian vision of Earth where mankind had overcome all the artificial tribal barriers of race, religion, political ideology, language, etc. Dunno about gender and sexuality though. Didn't seem to have been as much progress there.

I can agree that it's nice to think of a future where advertising isn't plastered on everything or projected into your brain or some nonsense. Getting rid of the evil killer clown would be a bonus. Maybe we can do something about that pesky rodent while we're at it.