Jun. 21st, 2017 05:04 pm
tara: (Marvel: Pietro Son of M)
So the place I spoke about last entry? Turns out it was completely full of bees. Bees that were on fire. At least four different types of building defect, including sub standard fire safety, which was an excellent thing to read (not) just after the awful tower block fire in London. Despite this, we put in a low offer, which allowed for us to set aside lots of money for upcoming levies, and this was rejected. I am kind of glad of this, because I have never seen a property with so many bees, but E is sad because she really loved the place. And it was a very nice place. We just probably would've burnt to death in it after it fell on top of us and crushed us.

There's another place that we saw last weekend that I think would be a very sensible option. It is not our dream home but, let's face it, we're never going to get that for our bottom-of-the-market budget anyway. It is significantly below budget, and it's right near a train station (and a LIBRARY) and only a few years old so, apart from the defects that go hand-in-hand with any Australian property built after about 2000, we shouldn't have to do a damn thing to it. Worst issue is that it's up 2 flights of stairs, which my body will hate, but it has a sexy kitchen, which should partially make up for that ;p So now we're waiting on the s32 for that property. E is not particularly enthused about it, but I am quite enthused about the extra disposable income that we'd have with half the mortgage we'd get if it were top of budget ;)

I'm still in at PROV three days a week and it's a hard slog, because there's a lot of boring stuff and squinting at awful handwriting to get at the occasional interesting story. But the Ritalin helps and so does playing music through headphones, which also blocks out the noise of the other people there. I need to fiddle with my website to add a research section and hopefully start to post some interesting stories there, because there's a huge emphasis on an online presence these days for academics. To that end, I've also separated out a private twitter because my nonsense about TV shows is probably best kept away from my so-called professional twitter.

Stayed in Warragul last night, so I had my mum-and-Tricky time which was nice. Tricky is a very old boy now so I am trying to get as many Tricky cuddles in as possible these days. I love him so much.

In excellent news, I have just started a new game of Dragon Age 2, my first with a female Hawke. I am also playing as a mage and as an aggressive Hawke for the first time. Not sure yet whether I'll be romancing Isabella or Merril - will depend which works better with my Hawke. Will romance the other one next time anyway :D

Speaking of Dragon Age, it was our first wedding anniversary on Saturday and E got me the Dragon Age tarot cards I have been coveting enormously forever. I have zero idea how to read tarot but the art is incredible and I like the idea of learning how to read the cards because I think they're a great way to tap into your subconscious and help direct your thoughts for decision making. So that will be an upcoming project. The cards are v v pretty, as is my wife. I very much like being married to her :)

Oh! And on Saturday night we saw Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. at the Malty. I got the tickets for E's Christmas present and it wasn't an excellent choice given that we both liked the beginning and then liked it less and less as it went on, but it's always nice to see theatre even if it's not 100% yay.


May. 1st, 2017 09:49 pm
tara: (TOS: Kirk Spock & Bones confer)
So I think I have a firm, specific PhD topic! I shall confirm when I see my supervisor in person on Wednesday (and I finally AM meeting her in person), but both supervisor and co-supervisor said that it looked good in email form, so fingers crossed. If all is well, I shall be looking at female agency in the discharge process from Victorian asylums, 1880-1910. Ish. One of the reasons I've chosen this topic is that it's extremely scaleable, and the dates at the moment are only there as a guideline to the records I'm going to be looking at. I'll work out a final date range once I have a better idea of what's on file; I want to include the most useful records.

I have been creating a database (and learning how to use Access in the process) ready to house all the different sets of demographic information contained in the various case-records. I don't know what of that I'll end up using, but better to deal with these things once, instead of having to endlessly re-copy material and spending ten times as much time at PROV as I really need to.

In other news, E's flat sold on Saturday, so it's on to the next step of investigating a home loan. This is exceedingly adult for someone like myself who is permanently stuck at a maturity of about thirteen.
I went to Les Mis again on Friday, and dragged E along with me, because it was about time she saw my favourite show ;) Once again, most of the cast was amazing. In particular, Hayden Tee had kicked it up a notch. Last time he was very good in the first act and great in the second, and this time he was excellent all the way through. And Kerrie Anne Greenland was just brilliant. Any vocal issues from the first time were completely gone and I just love love love her Eponine. Lara Mulcahy was on as Madam Thénardier this time and she was very good. We had Ben Jason-Easton on as Gavroche and he was fantastic. Marius still rubbish ;p

On the downside, I realised that I hate the direction. Hate it. It's not just the staging stuff I talked about last time. It's what the actors have been told to do, and how they've been told to sing (or shout) and the phrasing that the songs have been given. And I don't understand why it's so bad, because supposedly this is meant to be based on the new version that's being performed in London, and directed by London directors, but I can assure you it's not the same. I had the thought while watching it that it feels like it's been made more like the film. I haven't seen the film, because Russell Crowe as Javert, but I know that the focus was on emotion instead of perfect singing. And that's the only reason I can think of for having Simon Gleeson (with HIS voice) shouting so many of Valjean's lines, and for having Patrice panting so much as Fantine (and Kerrie Anne in 'Little Fall or Rain', too) that it distracts you from the song. E found it all a bit hammy, and that just says it all really, because the MUSIC gives you the emotion and the direction should be really subtle or else it stops being a tragedy and starts being a pantomime.

But, yanno, Simon and Hayden and Kerrie Anne and Trevor are worth sitting through the direction. Tee's 'Stars' and Gleeson's 'Bring Him Home' are worth the ticket price alone.


In other news, I was checking the spelling of Lara's name, and typed Laura instead and I do not think this is the person I was after ;D I do like her doggy, though.
Show Boat

I haven't seen Show Boat performed before, despite it being one of the classics. I have the OBCR on record and 'Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man' is one of my favourite songs to sing, but I knew nothing of the plot. And wow was it depressing. Not your usual sort of cheery Hammerstein and Kern offering at all. I found the music very interesting, as well. When you see it up on stage, you realise just how much of a mix of styles there is. I enjoyed it, personally.

The best bit, though, was Gareth Keegan. Everyone is familiar with my ravings about him by now. But I've never heard him sing something so classical as this was and just WOW. E said when I was discussing the show with her afterwards that I sounded like a proud parent, and I do have a weird thing where I feel proud of him for coming so far in his career and so excited about how far I think he's going to go. And I am determined that he must play the Phantom, now ;p There were several notes in Show Boat that were almost like he was channelling Crawford.

Alinta Chidzey was amazing as well. I've not heard her singing so classically either (some of the songs were basically light opera in terms of how they were performed) and she hit it right out of the park. Christina O'Neill is always great, and she continued to be great in this, although I was disappointed that she wasn't in it more. Eddie Muliaumaseali'i was fantastic as Joe – his 'Ol' Man River' really anchored the production. Glenn Hill was a bit nothing-y as Frank, but I really enjoyed Nicole Melloy as Ellie May.

All up, it was a great production, and it really feels like TPC are back on track after a couple of disappointing seasons.

Match Girls

Recently, I also saw Match Girls, by Ephiny Gale, which was produced as part of the Monash Container Festival. It's a darkly quiet piece, collecting monologues with brief moments of interaction between the three actors playing the main and minor roles. There were difficulties caused by a cast member dropping out, which meant that the role of the Queen was divided between two actresses – Natalie Pharaoh and Ephiny herself – at the last minute, and they both did very admirable jobs that would have stood up well regardless. Maria Roitman is always a delight to watch, and she added warmth and subtlety to the Witch, while Nicola Mason added a lightness to the play that was very appropriate to her role as the Light Princess. The direction by Zahra Shah captured the many layers of the work well, and her set design was perfect for the intimate space.

June 2017

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