hannasus: (Default)
For some reason I woke up with "Song for Ten" from "The Christmas Invasion" stuck in my head. That just makes me sad(er).

Last night's Pushing Daisies did manage to make things slightly better. I'm going to try to work the phrase "piss jitters" into conversation at least once a day from now on.

Ironically, yesterday before the Tennant news broke I'd dusted off a Doctor Who/Jane Austen fic I started many long months ago, and actually made some decent progress on it. Anyone wanna take bets on whether I'll be inspired to actually finish it?

This is the first time in four years that we haven't had a Halloween party. Usually, I'm the Halloween Queen around here, but this year I'm not doing anything. No putting up decorations, no baking treats for the munchkin's school festival (I actually bought cupcakes at Whole Foods today), no carving pumpkins, no dressing up in costume. There's just been too much stress in my life lately so I decided not to add to it by creating a lot of extra work for myself trying to get into a holiday spirit that I'm just not feeling. Instead, I'm going to spend today cleaning up the disaster area that is my house and (hopefully) writing fic.

hannasus: (Default)
David Tennant to leave Doctor Who


Although, how awesome is it that he announced it live via satellite during intermission of Hamlet? In costume.


Five measly specials is not enough. I needed at least another full season of Ten.


If anyone needs me I'll be in bed, watching "Journey's End" and weeping copiously.

hannasus: (Default)
We are back from a super awesome vacation in England. I took tons of pictures, which are posted on my Flickr page for anyone who's interested to peruse. I haven't finished labeling all of them, but I think most of them are pretty self-explanatory. We had an absolutely fantastic time and the weather was actually lovely while we were there. London was mostly sunny and surprisingly temperate the whole week. It was a bit drizzly in Stratford-upon-Avon and there was a brief rain shower while we were in Warwick, but otherwise we had clear skies most of the week. I pretty much subsisted on a diet of beer, tea and pub food the whole week, for which I am paying dearly now. Still, totally worth it.

We arrived at Gatwick early a.m. and checked into our hotel, which was in the County Hall building at the foot of the London Eye. Grabbed a traditional English breakfast (eggs, sausage, bacon, beans, toast, mushrooms and tomatoes—yum!) at a cafe near the hotel before heading to the Tower of London to meet up with the rest of our traveling companions ([livejournal.com profile] mikijean, her friend Shana, and [livejournal.com profile] tlbelle and hubby), who'd arrived the day before. After a lengthy tour of the Tower we staggered into the first restaurant we found (I can't remember what it was called, but it was on a little marina off the Thames), which turned out to be quite good. Afterwards we hopped a boat down the river to the London Eye. It was just after dark when we got on, so we had some spectacular nighttime views of the city. By then the jet lag was kicking our butts pretty badly, so we called it a night.

Monday was our day at the British Museum. The munchkin is really into ancient Egypt so we spent a lot of time on that and on the Greek stuff. After half a day we were pretty much all museumed out and still only felt like we'd barely scratched the surface of the whole place. It's all very impressive, although you do start to feel bad about all these glorious artifacts being taken from their homelands and named after stodgy English architects. Also it was absolutely packed with school groups and tourists, which made some of the more popular exhibits difficult to navigate. At 1:30 we met back up with the group to recharge with lunch and beers at the Museum Tavern across the street. After that we all headed over to St. Paul's Cathedral to attend Evensong, which started out kind of awe-inspiring but quickly became boring. Then we all decided to hit Harrod's and pick up some food to take back to the lovely flat where the rest of the gang was staying. Harrod's is crazy, ya'll, with the tacky and the excess, but also totally cool. And yes, we did check out the Diana and Dodi memorial and had a good giggle over it. The rest of the night was spent happily eating and drinking and chatting. Heaven.

TUESDAY (The play's the thing!)
Hamlet day! In the morning we met up with [livejournal.com profile] mikijean and Shana at Marylebone Station for our trip to Stratford-upon-Avon. After a lovely, relaxing train ride out to the country, we walked into town and checked into The Shakespeare Hotel. It was, of course, old and quaint and Tudor-style, and all the rooms were named after characters and places from Shakespeare's plays. Also there were several large school groups staying there, so it felt a bit like Hogwarts, what with all the English school children running up and down the stairs and eating at long tables in the dining room. After a spot of tea in the lounge downstairs, we decided to take a bus tour around the town. We didn't have buckets of time for sightseeing, so the only place we actually went into was Holy Trinity Church to see Shakespeare's grave. And it just so happened that while we were there, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields chamber ensemble was rehearsing for their concert that night, so we got a bit of world class chamber music for free. After the bus tour we nipped into the Pen and Parchment for a pint and then it was back to the hotel to get dressed for dinner. We'd made a booking at Othello's Brasserie in the hotel, which turned out to be a fantastic choice--very nice food, a lovely atmosphere, and most importantly, totally separate from where the school groups were eating. Then it was time to walk over to the Courtyard Theatre for Hamlet!

Ya'll, I can't even tell you how great the play was. The Courtyard is a lovely, intimate venue (hard to believe it's just a temporary theatre) and we had seats on the first row of the Circle, just slightly stage right of center. Of course, if I'd known back when I bought the tickets that the actors walked through the aisles to enter and exit the stage I'd have bought tickets in the Stalls, but we probably had a better view from where we were. The production design was exquisite, the staging simple but impressive, and the costumes (a mix of period and modern dress) were just perfect.

As for Tennant, he was superb. It felt like he got off to a bit of a slow start—although you could easily blame that on the play as much as the actor—but as Hamlet started to lose his shit he really came into the role. Also? He spends several scenes barefoot in a t-shirt and jeans. Very nice. I wish I'd thought to Kinnear a photo for ya'll. Patrick Stewart was truly excellent as Claudius, and the rest of the RSC cast was fantastic as well. The play runs three and a half hours, which ought to feel long, but the whole thing just flew by--which I think is a sure sign of an excellent production. The munchkin really seemed to like it (although she did take a short nap just before intermission) because afterwards she was really keen to go to the stage door for David Tennant's autograph, despite her previous protestations that she was far too shy for such a thing. Sadly, after we'd been waiting for about 20 minutes someone came out and announced that Mr. Tennant and Mr. Stewart had already left the building. Although really, there was such a crowd that even if they'd come out I doubt we'd have had a chance at an autograph. Poor Shana didn't have a ticket to the play, so she'd spent the evening checking out the local pubs while we were at the Courtyard. We went over to meet her down the street at the Dirty Duck, where it turns out she'd befriended a large group of drunk Canadians who'd met Prince Edward the day before. For real—they had pictures.

Wednesday morning Mr. Sus, the munchkin and I headed to Warwick while the rest of the gang went to Oxford. We spent the morning exploring Warwick Castle, which is a bit touristy, but still totally fun and impressive. Also very crowded with lots of English school children in adorable school ties and sweaters. The castle is situated on a large hill and has lots of stairs, so we were dead tired by the time we were done. Still, it was only early afternoon, so we hopped on a train to Oxford and met up with the others at the Eagle and Child (J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis' favorite pub), which was easily my favorite pub in England. We had an awesome waiter, my favorite beer of the whole trip (Beartown Bear Ass) and I had my first treacle tart, which was every bit as good as I'd anticipated. After that we had to catch a rush-hour train back to London, which was crowded and not exactly of the awesome, but we managed to make it back to the hotel where we crashed early.

In the morning we met up with the others for the Doctor Who Exhibition at Earl's Court, which was blissfully deserted, it being a school day and all. There were tons of costumes and props from all four seasons, of which I took many pictures, and we all bought crazy amounts of merchandise in the gift shop at the end. Then we walked around to Earl's Court Station, outside of which is the last real Police Box in London. So. Cool. It's kind of freaky to see it just sitting there on the sidewalk, totally ignored by the passersby, the way the real TARDIS would be. And yes, we were those dumb tourists taking pictures and getting in everyone's way. Shut up, it's a TARDIS. Then it was lunch and beers at a pub across the street (we all kept looking out the window at the Police Box the whole time we were there, just because it was so cool). After that we decided we were done with walking and got on one of the double decker tour buses to ride around the city. We hopped off at Hamley's Toy Store, which is seven floors of pure awesome. It's like a toy store from a fairy tale. Also, they have crazy amounts of Doctor Who toys that we can't get in the States, so we all bought even more stuff, including sonic screwdrivers, laser screwdrivers and TARDIS lunchboxes. Then it was more bus tour, until Mr. Sus, the muchkin and I had to hop off and head over to Notting Hill for dinner with our friends Brian and Libby, who moved to London over the summer. They took us to the Churchill Arms, which is a gorgeous pub covered with hanging baskets of flowers, both inside and out, that serves excellent Thai food.

By Friday, our last full day in London, we were all starting to feel pretty beat. We met up with the others at Westminster Abbey first thing in the morning, where we all did the audio tour (narrated by Jeremy Irons!)--thank god, too, because that place is so packed with tombs that I'd never have found the important ones otherwise. Westiminster is so incredible that even the munchkin found it interesting and I spent a long time in Poet's Corner reading all the inscriptions for all the authors memorialized there. After that we took a boat up the Thames to Greenwich. After a stop at a tiny little chip shop for some astonishingly greasy fish and chips we trudged up the hill to the Royal Oberservatory and the Prime Meridian. We took another boat back to London (drinking the whole way, of course) and then we all retired to the bar of our hotel, where we spent the rest of the evening lounging in comfy chairs overlooking Big Ben and Westiminster Palace. A perfect capper to a perfect vacation!
hannasus: (Default)
Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, Hanukkah, Boxing Day and any other holidays you may celebrate!

Christmas around here was somewhat blighted by a visit from my father-in-law (who is not exactly my favorite person in the world) and his new girlfriend. Overall, it wasn't quite as bad as I feared it would be, but let's just say I'm mighty glad to have my house back to myself again.

This year I decided at the last minute (as in, less than a week before Christmas) to knit gifts for the munchkin and Mr. Sus. And, despite the need for stealth, I actually managed to get them both done in time.

Pictures! )

Also, I'm now a proud member of Ravelry, and totally loving it.

In other news, it's possible I may have seen the Doctor Who Christmas Special. *sigh* Is it time for series four yet?
hannasus: (clementine)
I'm overdue for a proper update, so here's a glimpse at what's going on in Sus land. The contractors are back, working on the hall bathroom this time. I'm kinda stuck in the house while they're here and it's hella noisy and I can't concentrate for crap, so that's fun. Also, everything's coated in a layer of dust. But it'll be totally worth it when both bathrooms are done. Goodbye ugly frog tile and tacky yellow countertop!

And then in a few weeks we're having all new, double-paned, insulated, Low-E coated windows put in the whole house, which will be heaven. The old aluminum windows we've got don't insulate for crap and on hot afternoons the house never gets below 80 degrees even with A/C running constantly, so that's been good for the environment. And as soon as all this work is done, I'm having the carpets cleaned. Hopefully by Halloween the house will be shiny and lovely again.

In television news, I treated myself to a new dual tuner TiVo (who's taken over the name Frodo) and moved the old one (rechristened Bilbo) back into the bedroom so I can transfer shows to either TV over the wireless network. Heaven. And when the new fall season starts, I'll be able to record three separate shows at once! Yeah, baby! I plan on watching every single new scripted show at least once, just because I can. No more having to choose between competing shows for me. No, I can watch Private Practice AND Gossip Girl AND Bionic Woman before deciding that none of them are worth a crap. You know you're jealous.

Speaking of television, I am quite enjoying some of the new summer programming. The Closer is as solid as ever this season. I'm also really enjoying Saving Grace, which I totally didn't think I'd like, but I find charming. Also, Burn Notice is good fluffy fun, mostly because of the cast. You can't really go wrong with Bruce Campbell in Hawaiian shirts, and I've always kind of loved Jeffrey Donovan. Plus, I'm not ashamed to admit I have a bit of a girl crush on Gabrielle Anwar.

Californication is mildly amusing at times, but I'm way less interested in watching Duchovny sleep with a succession of bare breasted women than Showtime seems to think I am. I really liked the season premiere of Weeds, because so many bad things were happening it was totally farcical, but then I kind of hated the second ep. I only like the show when it's funny, because otherwise I'm reminded that all the characters are kind of despicable people who make such awful choices they deserve to have bad shit happen to them and I lose interest.

I'm loving season three of Doctor Who, too. I thought I'd heard that it wasn't that good, but, aside from those two Dalek episodes (which were awful, as Dalek episodes almost always are--lamest villiams ever), I think it's been my favorite season so far. And I REALLY like Martha. Like, way more than Rose. I kind of try to stay away from Who fandom so I won't get spoiled, but I suspect I'm in the minority here.

Also, Flight of the Conchords is hilarious and brilliant and Mr. Sus and I are totally loving it. And ya'll, they did a Lord of the Rings spoof this week. I just about died laughing. And now I want to go back and watch LOTR again to see Figwit in all his former glory. Good times.

In other news, we're going to L.A. this weekend for [livejournal.com profile] tlbelle's wedding and I am totally psyched. I managed to find two dresses that I liked on clearance at Ann Taylor and they were so cheap I bought both of them. Only now I can't decide which one to wear.

Help me )
hannasus: (Default)
More than once last week I started to write a journal update and every single time I got only a couple paragraphs in before I realized that it was so dull I was boring myself. So I decided to spare ya'll and just not post.

So, here's a catch-up summary of the Week in Television that is hopefully not (too) boring.

First, Bones... Two Bodies in the Lab )

Then, there was Veronica Mars. Versatile Toppings )

And then there was The Doctor. Doctor Who )

Um, West Wing? Two Weeks Out )

Grey's Anatomy, on the other hand, Superstition )

Whew. Okay, I think I'm caught up now.

In other news, we had a few people over for dinner last night and I made the Once Upon a Time in Mexico cochinita pibil and a pitcher of sangria. And then I made the mistake of having half a cup of coffee after dinner and ended up completely unable to sleep last night. Now I'm tired and the weather is rainy and gross today and I don't feel like doing anything. Bleh.

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