Monday, 30 March 2015

I had a dream today that my ex tried to kiss me to let me know he still has claim over me and I stabbed him in the thigh with a penknife. He screamed like a little bitch. Way to go, dreams. :D

Thou shall not tilt

Walk around the town today, practicing NOT leaning my camera when I look for the perfect composition. I am usually no more than 1% off, but I am very rarely right on spot. I just tilt a little; I have no idea why. The challenge today was to get the perfect frame, no post-production rotations or cropping. No, okay, that was the task. The challenge was doing it with a solar-powered beagle on a leash...

Sunday, 29 March 2015

First photoshoot of the season coming up in Saturday... I'm getting restless and my dreams, well, they are usually having the most fun with me :D Tonight I dreamed my UV filter came undone on my 50mm prime and when I tried to screw it back on, the whole lens crumbled, all the little concave and convex glass coins tumbling out. I tried to set them back, but the whole thing was supposed to sit in a nest of wool and felt strings, which wouldn't stay tight... My field lens also crumbled, so I was left with only the 100mm macro, which is the least one used, but better than nothing :D 

General keeps telling me to chill, I got this. But my expectations on my work have gotten so high not even I can keep up. I have no idea what I'm doing. If the lesson in this diet was to regain humility, I am humble, oh, ye, gods of lights and prisms.

Today was another super sunny day, though Daylight Savings Time made me think I got up at 8, crimeney. I drove up with the mutt and helped in the vineyard, though away from the others. I felt like being alone, for no bad reason. I tightened the wires that hold the grapevines in place once they grow. You have nice biceps' after a few hours of doing that :))

 Watching All the President's Men. Mostly, because I like the sounds of editorial offices and typing. Don't get the premise yet, though. Nixon resigned because they caught him putting up some tabs? They tapped the world during Obama's administration and nobody could care less.

Friday, 27 March 2015

Vera, season 1

Watching Vera, a police story series by the British TV (which means the lead isn't a 22-year old underwear model with quadruple pHD, but a small sports tank in the form of Brenda Blethyn, who is so awesome I want to be her - soon.  The episodes are more like movies, four per first season, an hour or so long. They are heavy, lonely, very personal and not quite as depressing as Wallander, nor as Skandi-thriller. Crimes are complex and slow, things often burdening whole families if not neighborhoods, and very often the case of people intertwined - down to earth people, not exotic serial killers. The investigations are realistic and witness-oriented. A large part is also played by the scenery, Northumberland in the flesh, so to speak, though not as large as Svalbard is in Fortitude. I highly recommend it, though beware, it's not light reading, (Novels by Ann Cleves) or viewing.

Don't let the auntie face fool you. She's a Golda Meir inside.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Child 44 and Cizizen X

I noticed a movie is coming out called Child 44 - about a serial killer of children in Stalin's USSR.. I haven't read the novel, though it's said to be good. Although I have seen, a long time ago, a movie called Citizen X, also based on the murders committed by the same man - this scary Chikatilo guy, a teacher. 
I was actually really fond of Citizen X. It was an HBO made-for-Tv movie, one of their better ones, I think. You can see they had a limited budget on sets and costume, but they still did an amazing job - because luckily the Russia at the time was actually a very poorm country and they had to make do with what they had. In the movie there's a scene in which a young officer is supposed to be undercover at a train station, but he is wearing his police coat - which of course makes the lead investigator very upset. As it turns out, that is the boy's only warm coat. So the chief gives him his own (fairly ill-fitting) winter coat. In truth the Russians would wear a lot more clothes, mainly wooly, but okay. That was a lovely point.
The casting and acting is very good. Stephen Rea, always a gem, plays Burakov - a senior medical examiner (hoping that seniority will grant him a two-bedroom apartment for his wife and two children.), who is given the case of this unusual serial occurrence by a colonel Fetisov, played by cold looking, but actually clever and quite eager to do the right thing Donald Sutherland. Also very good is Imelda Staunton as Burakov's wife. It makes me think that when your husband is working on such a gruesome case, better than to put yourself in the field and in danger is to play the wife, learn to cook and rub his feet when he comes home. 
Another oddly good role was by Max von Sydow, whom i usually find to be too pompous for my taste - but he plays the psychologist who invents the psychological profiling for the case - even though he is risking his reputations.
The part that impresses me the most is the slow burn of unfamiliarity of the police with such a case. incredibility is commonplace - often people will not believe someone is capable, but in this case the regime refuses to believe such a thing - a serial killer - is possible in Russia. One of the higher ranks calls it a 'decadent phenomenon of the West'... There is no task-force, there is no psychology, no profiling, no actual interest or dare to take on such difficult case. It is mentioned if a cop pushed something so far and failed, he would have been shot - or vanished without a trace. That is true. But while Americans had to invent all this, and did, mostly for quite sinister reasons (*hkhm*Hoover*hkhm), here it came down to stubborness, wit and method. Burakov worked himself into near psychosis, but did not relent and actually managed to move the department into the next century. There's a scene in which his superior, Fetisov, is promoted to general and Burakov to colonel and Fetisov tell his friend that an FBI expert who deals with these kind of criminal mind is actually lecturing about Burakov...
I remember that the Zodiac killer case got nowhere for lack of communication between agencies and that before that evidence wasn't considered all that important in investigations - it was just clues and subject to the investigator's judgement. I imagine just as many crimes didn't get solved as those that got solved falsely. We are still a while to go, but I love movies like these, where you can see change made for the better. You can see some positions are so shaky, any change at all threatens them.

I imagine Child 44 will be similar, with more anti-communist regime propaganda and all the roles played by very handsome young people.. Though I'm looking forward to seeing it. It's twenty years between them.

Running season started... I'm as limber as a forest creature... a leaf in the wind ...

... right :D

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

"Hump me! Hump me!" part two

As my Maja is my off day, Saturday afternoon was spent in hardcore chillaxing mode. We got fast food, which we otherwise shouldn't eat, and then I had my first coffee - not latte, not mocha - actually black coffee (okay, with whipped cream), while we sat outdoors in a cafe, basking in the early spring sun. I was hoping to pay for tickets, but as per usual, fate wouldn't have it, though G gave me enough to at least appear able. We went to see the second part of a dumb YA movie we saw a year ago, which we dubbed 'Hump me! Hump me!', because the lead girl spends most of the time staring at the lead boy with that exact expression on her face.
I had such incredibly low expectations (and really wanted to see Jai Courtney's char die), that I enjoyed the whole thing start to finish. I no longer totally hate this actress or her odd face, nor do I care whether she will die or not in the end. I watched plenty of reviews beforehand, in which they stressed how bored every actor seemed, how uninterested in being in such a brainless flick. But Miles teller is getting interesting to watch and the other guy, the lead male with the big black eyes, well. We didn't exactly suffer :D
Was a bit disappointed with the whole Eric execution scene, though (where a bucket of popcorn came in handy to console me) - it was uselessly brief, as opposed to that of the book, which is one of my favorite scenes. Not that I read the books, mind. I just read the bits about Eric. I have a thing for evil looking little shits like that :p

Pricked, burnt and smoked - or how I burnt down an acre between our vineyard and the forest.

Guess what I did! :D I burnt an acre of wild growth on the rim of our forest! :D
This morning was the first time after eons for the General to go to work and so instantly I got lonely and the house was too big. Nobody with the synched biorhythm shooed me from the toilet when I peed, nobody shooed me out of the bathroom when I brushed my teeth to shower, nobody wanted me to make hardcore coffee only for me to make him decaf… The house was quiet and vast.. :(  A week ago dad asked me to come help out a bit, though, which of course everyone forgot by now, but I decided to take him on the offer and grabbed the mutt, hiked uphill and woke everybody. Let’s do something menial!
Dad is clearing out an acre which hasn’t been touched in over twenty years or even more I think. It is slow going and everything is thorny – the bushes, the trees and the vines. Vines would put Sleeping Beauty’s castle problems to shame. At some point I had to crawl over them to get to a plastic bucket and it looked for a moment that I was going to get stuck. Not much of me was left unscratched, save for my butt, thanks to my iron-clad wool grannies. (Kidding.)
At some point, after I burnt a few small fires to deal with rotten logs and trash, dad asked if I would burn the entire acre free of the vines and bushes. It wasn’t too windy, just enough for me to make a plan: I am fairly versed in burning things, even if everyone who every burnt the city to the ground could claim the same thing. But I did well, I was consta controlling the slow burn, starting in the upper corner, so it spread gradually downwards, towards the forest. In the end the acre was covered in soot and blackened trees (it burnt too quickly to really do any damage to the trees. Dad will take those down for logs for firewood.)
And that is how I got pricked, burnt (I stood close a couple of times and so now my face and hands are a bit pink and hot :D ) and smoked. Have taken a shower since and I still smell of smoke.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Shot three little videos for a dance company today. Best part was working on the tracks. I haven't been on the tracks since the Shards shoot and THAT was some intense train worship right there. But luckily, no iron engines steamrolled over us this time :D