Posts Tagged ‘pompeii’

I feel like I have barely seen Alex this week as he has been off at one nerd event or another, and today was no exception. He sneaked out of the flat around 6:30am to spend the day with some agile Prodigy fans or something.  So I got to spend the day tied to my desk trying to sort out my Pompeii study notes (ugh – I am so behind it is making me quite wobbly but there is still time!).

Whenever I study at my desk I stream BBC radio shows as my background noise. My preference is for crime dramas as I love mysteries, and every week there is always a fresh batch of shows from various BBC Radio stations. I have found that I never tire of Agatha Christie (no matter how familiar I am with the story), but I am willing to try detectives I am less familiar with. (I discovered Donna Leon’s Inspector Brunetti through a radio adaptation for BBC Radio 4’s Afternoon Play.) Today I listened to Hercule Poirot – Five Little Pigs,  some Paul Temple and then a repeat of a contemporary police drama set in the British Museum (double score!). After that I stumbled upon Clarissa with the dreamy Richard Armitage as the dastardly Lovelace. Oh it was such a good adaptation. Richardson is such a dry writer but they really pumped it up so you were left hanging after every beat.

By 6pm I was starting to loose my concentration to I decided to switch my base of operation to the sofa, and watch a bit of telly whilst pulling out all the articles I need to read through and mark up tomorrow. Oh tomorrow is going to be so much fun, and I’ll be running through highligher pens like there’s no tomorrow (except there is and it’s Monday). I ended up watching two episodes of Survivors (BBC America) and The 39 Steps (PBS’s Masterpiece Classic aka BBC).

I honestly haven’t made up my mind about Survivors.  Some story threads and characters I find really compelling, and others I find myself fast-forwarding through. I like that there are flashes to the creepy lab where they are working on a cure for the flu that has obliterated the population but I don’t want it to become the focus now that Abby is trapped there. I will say that I think this is the best thing Max Beesley has been in since Bodies, and it’s almost as disturbing.

I’ve got a feeling that I am going to get some stick from my mum for actually liking the latest adaptation of The 39 Steps. There have been countless adaptations of John Buchan’s spy caper (including an amazing stage version that is well worth seeing – even Alex enjoyed it!) and if you grew up in the UK one version or another of it was always on the TV at Christmas. In fact, a Bond film, The Great Escape and The 39 Steps is the holy trifecta of Christmas Day movies.  I can see why some may have thought this version was a bit limp but I like it being over stylized, and enjoyed the chemistry between Richard Hannay (Rupert Penry-Jones) and the chick he picks up in Scotland.

All in all I’ve had a productive study day, and soaked up lots of drama via the Beep. Tomorrow Alex will be around but hopefully distracted enough with F1 so I can break the back of my Pompeii reading pile.

I birthed a 2,000 word essay on neighbourhoods in Pompeii yesterday. I know that is a regular sized essay but there was a lot of reading and throw in some traveling and a cold, and it turned into my Moby Dick. Whilst I’ve had it hanging over head I haven’t felt at liberty to really blog about anything other than quick updates so my mum knows that I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth. Though given that we email through out the day, IM, Skype and she follows me on Twiter there is little chance of that.

So, I went to London a few weeks ago for some much needed respite and I saw three great plays. The first of which was a revival of Six Degrees of Separation at The Old Vic.  Now Six Degrees is a quintessential New York play based on the real life account of a con man who tricked people in NYC into believing that he was the son of Sidney Poitier. I was a bit worried about its reception – would it still be relevant? But, from the conning of wealthy New Yorkers (hello Maddoff) to references to Catcher in the Rye to the children of the conned rolling their eyes at the stupidity of their parents, and the issue of race it hit the button every time.

It is an excellent production (loved the Rothko inspired set) with an outstanding ensemble cast and I have a weakness for when the fourth wall is broken.  I just wish our audience had been a little livelier, and got a few more of the jokes (Dean and Deluca is a store full of condiments for the wealthy to gift to each other!). The male lead is Anthony Head (of Buffy fame), and I thought it funny that in the program blurb that runs through all the accomplishments of the cast for Head, Buffy is separated from the rest of his TV credits with this qualifier ‘Anthony appeared as Rupert Giles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a critically acclaimed US series’.  I am guessing that either Head is super proud of Buffy, or he was worried that London theatre goers would not have clue what Buffy was and worry that he had fallen on hard times in the 90s (after his run as the Gold Blend man).

If you are in London it is definitely worth catching it during its run, and thanks to Kevin Spacey’s direction The Old Vic is one of the nicest theatres in London. Though I might be bias because our cheap seats in the gods were upgraded to the stalls. They must have known that I am huge Buffy fan!


Posted: 01/21/2010 in Navel gazing
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I gave up the opportunity of drinks tonight so I could tidy the apartment. Saddo or what.  I have a huge laundry list of things to do this weekend (all related to Pompeii, essays and cooking Chinese food) so I wanted to make sure that I had a head start by kicking off the weekend with hoovered floors, clean bedding and all the usual random stuff tided away into neat piles. Oh it feels good. Though I am left with a dilemma for Friday night: go out to see Creation or skip opening weekend and chill out with the DVR. Fringe and Human Target sound good with some freshly baked peanut butter and chocolate-chip cookies. It’s been a busy few weeks so I think a time out is in order.  We’ve found a new apartment and will be moving at the end of February. Out of the blue Alex got a job offer so the traveling will come to a halt and I will actually get to see him on week days.

the good

  • getting use to the new routine (managing to sleep without the lights on!)
  • off to see Richard Dawkins (aka the atheist pope) tomorrow night & stolen art tour @ the Met on Friday
  • new black boots are rocking every outfit
  • 2nd hand copies of Alison Cooley’s Pompeii & Roger Ling’s Roman Painting have arrived
  • getting organized
  • New USA series ‘White Collar’ looks like it has potential

the so-so

  • having to change my flight to Chicago for the 2nd time
  • anxiety dreams
  • alarmingly busy @ work
  • not enough hours in the day
  • the silence
  • the weather
  • flu shot dilemma

Woo hoo it’s a long weekend, and I’ve spent two-thirds of it curled up on the couch with my boy.  Now he has packed his wheelie suitcase, headed off into the sunset (again), and I am left to knock about the empty flat and study. STUDY! I’ve managed to catch-up with Pompeii and I’ve actually done the prep work for the first seminar which isn’t until the end of the month. Now I need to do the same with Greek drama tomorrow – fun! But now I get to watch Mad Men, and think about not having to go to work tomorrow.

Actually, what I am thinking about is how our apartment block is offering to upgrade the flat’s kitchen and bathroom. This is an obvious ploy to keep the current residents from moving out to one of the many new apartment buildings that are touting for business at the mo. The only catch on having your apartment upgraded is that your rent goes up by $130 per month and you have to sign on for another year. We went to take a look at one of the upgraded apartments and it was okay. Not really worth the extra $130 per month when consider that you can get a comparable apartment for less in the new building. When I told one of the building sales people that it looked “great” but it wasn’t worth $130 he shrugged and was like “whatever”. Given that when I look out of the window at our adjcent building there are so many unlit apartments you’d think they’d put up more of a fight to sell you on staying. Heigh ho I guess we’ll be looking for new place come ’10 unless they manage to rustle up a non-renovated discount.