Thursday, June 25, 2009

Rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain.

Six days of nearly continuous clouds and rain.  I’ve been amusing myself by writing a Lovecraft pastiche about a rainstorm that never ends and a high tide that refuses to go out.  Our house has no heating other than fireplaces, and over the weekend it was so cold that Audry and I had to run down to Eastham for some portable heaters.  Audry bought an adorable knit wool fisherman’s cap, and now she looks ready for The Deadliest Catch!

Audry Cap

This afternoon, the sun suddenly broke through, and we went tearing off to P.J.’s, our local burger joint. This being Cape Cod, they have terrific lobster rolls and fried clams, too.

PJs sign

Now calling itself P.J.’s Seafood, I have been going here since I was a kid, when it was called P.J.’s Dari-Burger.  This is the sort of place where you went to with your older brother (always better to go with your older brother than your parents) for burgers and frappes (what they call milkshakes out here), eaten in the car with the top down and the Beach Boys on the radio.

PJ front

Last year I was appalled to see that P.J.’s had burgers with asiago cheese (!!!) on the menu, an obvious attempt to compete with the upscale restaurants which have sprouted up in Wellfleet.  This year such questionable fare was no longer on the menu – a strange and merciful side effect of the current economy, perhaps.  (Click the pic to read the menu – mmm!)

PJ menu

Right next door to P.J.’s is an ancient graveyard…

PJ Cemetary

…whose mouldering stones bespeak an unwholesome antiquity – but there I go off into Lovecraft Land again!

PJ Gravestones

Me writing this:

Davy Best

Friday, June 19, 2009

Gray days on the Cape

One thing that seems to have followed us from Germany to London to Cape Cod is bad weather. All the way up on the drive from New York to Wellfleet people kept saying to us "Sorry about the rain." Rain? What rain?

Oh, that rain. A week of it. At least. Everything is gray and damp.

Here's a non-sunny view of the Breuer House, going out to my main man Bob Crais:

Still, gray days on Cape Cod have their charm, so Audry and I packed our stuff and headed into town to the Lighthouse, the only restaurant with wifi...

...and a really old anchor.

I had a "Wellfleetian" omelet (made with Portuguese linguiƧa sausage) and Audry had an English muffin egg sandwich.

Later, we'll build a fire at the house, and I'll read "Seabiscuit" to my mother.

Fine Culture: My Part in its Downfall

Walking around London on our last day here, I couldn't help but notice the "Transformers" and "Star Trek" posters on virtually every bright red double-decker bus.

All that was needed was a new TMNT movie, and I'd have had a perfect hat-trick. It got me thinking about the influence I've had on culture, and my strange place in it. I have been involved in myth-making and character creation for some of the biggest pop-culture phenomena of the 20th century. Nobody knows who I am. But when they find out, they frequently start doing the "we're not worthy" bows. (Seriously. This has happened to me in places as desperate as the Electronic Arts office in L.A. and a subway in Tokyo.)

I never cared much for adulation or fame. But I'd kill for a way to monetize my influence! Suggestions welcome.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Where's that Doodle-Doo!?

Today we went walking in Hyde Park, through to the adjacent Kensington Gardens. We walked along the Serpentine and watched the ducks and swans, all of whom are extremely good at begging for food.

Kensington Gardens is home to the famous statue of Peter Pan. The park has many connections to Peter; J.M. Barrie lived across the street from the park, conceived his idea of a story for a boy who wouldn't grow up while walking through the park, and met the family who was the model for the Darlings here.

Our ultimate destination was this circus-tent-like theater, where a new production of Peter Pan is being staged, literally on the spot where it was conceived.

The production is a new version of the story, presented in the round, and the cone of the tent serves as a screen on which is projected a continuous 360-degree, 3D computer graphic backdrop.

The children are portrayed by young adults, which means we get a male Peter for a change. Ciaran Kellgren is great in the role, as is Jonathan Hyde as Hook.

Eschewing Disney glamour, Tinkerbell is played as a scruffy, semi-verbal urchin. (She does light up, though.)

All in all a memorable time, with an incredibly noisy audience, most of it under eight years old.

Cardiff, center of the SF universe.

Yesterday, Audry and I took a high-speed train from Paddington to Cardiff. At the end of the two-hour trip, we made an immediate beeline for the Red Dragon Centre, which is sort of like a mall, only more entertainment-oriented (restaurants, arcades, a multiplex). It also seems to play host to a swap meet.

Our destination, however, was the massive Doctor Who exhibition in the middle of the centre.

As always, click on the photos for a full-sized view.

A Weeping Angel from "Blink."

"You've got something on your back." Donna Noble's costume (and giant time-sucking bug) from "Turn Left." As in the episode, she's surrounded by the time-mirrors that Rose Tyler and U.N.I.T. use to set the timelines aright.

Tick-tock robot from Stephen Moffat's classic episode, "The Girl in the Fireplace."

Giant wall-mural photo of David Tennant on location at Cinecitta in Italy during the shooting of "The Fires of Pompeii."

L to R: Early Rose Tyler costume; Christopher Eccleston's leather jacket and 9th Doctor clothes; David Tennant's robe and jimjams from "The Christmas Invasion," Martha Jones' trademark purple leather jacket and jeans.

Captain Jack Harkness' costume, complete with stain on lapel.

Rose Tyler's whacking big gun from "Journey's End."

Cybermen!! "Prepare to be upgraded or face deletion!"

Daleks with Emperor Dalek. Exterminate!

"Hey! Who turned out the lights?" A victim of the Vashta Narada from Moffat's "Silence in the Library"/"Forest of the Dead" episodes.

K-9! I have one of these at home.

The Ood pose with Donna's costume from "Planet of the Ood."

Ood brain and assorted props, along with a quote from "The Impossible Planet."

Spoiler alert! River Song's sonic screwdriver and copy of the Doctor's Diary from "Silence in the Library"/"Forest of the Dead."

Robot angel from "Voyage of the Damned."

A scarecrow from Paul Cornell's "Human Nature"/"The Family of Blood."

Emerging from the exhibition, we managed to escape the Who shop without spending a penny, and promptly hoofed it over to Cardiff Bay and the Millennium Centre -- home to Torchwood and the Rift.

The mirrored waterfall facing the Centre -- and the secret entrance to Torchwood.

Audry in front of the Centre...

...And the waterfall.  (Note the fob watch!)

We then walked a couple of miles down Lloyd George Road to central Cardiff.

At the end of this street we visited Cardiff Castle -- but that's another two dozen photos I'm too lazy to post just now!