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w/e 2019-08-11

Back onto Job Garden this week, continuing to work on forthcoming premium features. And around that…

I went to see Kero Kero Bonito and Stealing Sheep at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, which were both fun electronic poppy stuff.

Kero Kero Bonito – Only Acting

I’ve never quite understood having pop/rock/dance-type gigs in seated venues. Sometimes everyone is terribly well behaved and remains seated, which makes the event feel too restrained and not as exciting as it should be. Or else people rise from their seats meaning some people are trying to dance in the tiny space in front of their seat, some are standing up simply because everyone in front of them is standing up, and some remain stubbornly seated, now unable to see much. I love sitting down, and I realise some people have no desire or ability to stand up for a couple of hours… but seated gigs always feel odd.

But at home this week I have mostly been listening to The Orielles who remind me of lots of things, but most frequently probably Lush:

The Orielles – Blue Suitcase (Disco Wrist)

I haven’t had many auditions in my acting career/hobby and this week I had my first recall, following an audition the previous week. Both were extremely brief — again, no speaking — and a bit frustrating. Auditions bring out my inner monologue in a way that acting classes don’t. I guess it’s the pressure, unfamiliar surroundings, unfamiliar people, knowing that they’re looking for something but not being sure what it is, etc. Each brief take I’ll be thinking, “Why am I doing it like this, this isn’t what they want, this is exactly the same as I did last take, I know I can do it differently, why aren’t I doing this bigger, like they just asked for, this is crazy…” All while doing whatever it is I’m supposed to be doing. Anyway, apparently something went OK as I got my first (small) role in an advert.

I spend a few hours every month preparing the tweets/toots for @samuelpepys (Twitter, Mastodon). This is less work than when I was preparing the diary entries for the website, which ended up taking nearly a day a week. This month it took longer than usual given we’re coming up to September 1666 when things, er, hot up a bit so there was lots to say. This is your reminder to subscribe now if you want the real-time action, as it won’t happen again for ten years.

A few weeks back I started reading In Search of Lost Time/Remembrance of Things Past… and this week I stopped reading it. My reading of fiction happens in the brief period between getting into bed and being ready to sleep, and I think Proust needs longer (and more awake) stretches of attention. His long sentences of not much happening meant I’d repeatedly realise I’d read an entire page without taking anything in, which didn’t happen with the also verbose fiction of Anthony Powell, for example. So, after 150 pages I decided to move on. Maybe I’ll come back to it if there comes a time when I want to read more fiction during the day.

Whenever I see a Google Street View car I stare into its inhuman eyes and try to remember where I was so that in a few months I can check up to see if I was captured. I just checked and, yes, we clocked each other in May, as I strode up Bunhill Row:

Screenshot of me on Google Street View
See on Google Street View

Previously I was caught reading the LRB under the Arabfly Dangleway one lunchtime in June 2015, and also reading the LRB in Fix Coffee in 2011. Next appointment is apparently 2023.

After the infuriating climax of season one of Keeping Faith I wasn’t desperate to continue with season two… but we did. I enjoy watching Eve Myles so there was something to get out of it. It was fine. Still overly melodramatic, still peppered with things that make no sense, still with the inescapable glossy-and-unrealistic touch of BBC drama. Why do they drive their cars out onto a vast beach to make a phone call or have a chat? How was Gael Reardon able to [spoiler redacted] at a moment’s notice? Given the ending is more of a resolution than season one’s, and that ending is thankfully explained in season two, the two seasons together feel like a single whole.

Two cinema trips this week. First, to see Animals which I’ve no doubt has been described as “a female Withnail & I”. It was quite fun, although it’s hard to root for either lead character. Sometimes you’re just watching people get drunk and/or party their lives away, not always enthusiastically, and wondering… why? It was interesting to see Alia Shawkat play a much more bolshy and self-centred character than I previously had though.

I also saw Notorious (1946), in which 42-year-old Cary Grant’s agent seduces 31-year old Ingrid Bergman who is given the mission of seducing 57-year-old Claude Rains. I know it’s common, still, to have these age differences in movies, and it can happen happily in the real world too, but it always seems so odd that no one in the movies ever remarks on it. Grant’s character doesn’t say to Bergman’s, “Alicia, I know Sebastian [Rains] is even older than I am, not to mention he looks as slimy as a man possibly could, but we need you to do this for America.” (It’s even odder that Sebastian’s mother is played by Leopoldine Konstantin who’s only three years older than Rains!) I found the same thing weird about Vertigo: James Stewart was 50, Kim Novak 25.

This morning I said to Russell that I always think I have plenty of time to see exhibitions at the Tate Modern and Britain, and then suddenly I look and the show’s nearly finished. This evening I checked when the “Van Gogh and Britain” exhibition ends at Tate Britain, as I want to go. It ended today. Well done me.

So, go and do something you’ve been meaning to do, because this might be your last chance. That’s not a threat.

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