przed: (tt ot4 group hug)
I flew back from London last night, after a super short, but super awesome trip.

The main reason I flew over was to see Take That, but since I was going to be over anyway, I thought I'd take in a play as well. My lovely host, [personal profile] halotolerant, picked The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui at the Donmar, and it turned out to be a brilliant choice. It's a Brecht play, a satire on fascism, and starred the brilliant Lenny Henry. Seeing it the day after the British election, it took a whole different, hopeful tone. The main floor of the Donmar had been set up as a speakeasy, with the audience sitting at tables scattered through the floor, and various audience members pulled into the action. The strongest bit was the end when the audience is either asked to stand with the reprehensible Ui or to resist against him. A heartening number of the audience stood with the resistance on the floor, hands linked together. It was an amazing theatrical experience.

Saturday, we started with a leisurely shopping trip around the West End, broken up by a delicious dim sum lunch, then headed over to the O2 for the concert.

Pics and concert details this way )

Sunday, was a much less energetic day, but no less awesome. Halo and I met up with [personal profile] solosundance and [personal profile] heliophile (waves!) for lunch at the wonderful Tas, and then popped around the corner to the British Museum to see the Hokusai exhibit, which was as great as I'd hoped. Halo then suggested a visit to a fab little LGBT exhibit they have, with a side trip to the Warren Cup, an amazing bit of Roman homoerotica.

Then there was a nice dinner and a viewing of The Winter Soldier, because apparently I'm not the only one with Cap and Bucky feels.

It was a short, concentrated trip, but I feel like it had exactly the right mix of doing stuff to just hanging out.
przed: (bucky)
Just finished watching the Badgers lose a heartbreaker. The Florida Gators managed a 3 pointer in the last second of overtime to beat them by one. So close. But it was a great game.

To cheer myself up afterwards, I watched Take That's Red Nose Day Carpool Karaoke, which is exactly as much fun as you'd think it would be.



Now I'm totally jazzed to see them in June.
przed: (tt3 - smiley)
Well, we've been home since Sunday, I'm more or less in the right time zone (except for the rather enjoyable still waking up early thing), so I reckon it's finally time to write up my first experience of a Take That concert or two.

This way to massive fangirling... )
przed: (tt footie mark's feet)
Things are a bit hectic (T minus two days to England!) so I've had absolutely no computer time for about the last week. But I did want to do a footie update before we head across the pond.

We had our second soccer game on Monday night, and we won again! This time is was 2 - 1. I switched our positions so we have two defenders, two midfielders, and two forwards, and that seemed to work out really well.

A few more players started to shine, but really, the whole team are solid. I suspect there's a loss in our future soon, but we'll enjoy the wins for now. I'm especially happy for Ros' two friends, C and E, who are on our team this year. They're both rather good, but last year were on a team that didn't manage a single win. They're chuffed we've won twice now.

Ros and I had another footie event on Friday evening. I'd got us tickets to a friendly between the Canadian national women's team and England.
IMG_1113.jpg

It was held in Hamilton, four cities over from Toronto (it's really one big metropolitan region) in their new football stadium. The stadium is really nice, but even with leaving ridiculously early to avoid the worst of rush hour it took us two and a half hours to get there, and another two and a half back.

Crazy though the travel was, it was a fun game. The Canadian team won, 1 - 0, and I have to say there's really nothing like being in the stands when your team scores and everyone roars to their feet.

Here's Ros looking pleased as punch to be at the game )

I had bought a Canadian women's jersey for myself to wear to the game, but since it actually fit Ros (she's getting bigger! OMG!) she pinched it on me. Which left me to wear the England t-shirt I optimistically bought ahead of last year's World Cup. Fortunately, they were selling jerseys at the game, so I got Ros her very own Canada jersey, and then we changed there so we could both be Canada supporters.

Here we both are in Canadian red )

Usually there's a healthy contingent of England supporters when English teams play over here, but at this game I only saw three English jerseys in the stands the whole night. It was lovely to see such a wash of maple leaf red and such support for the women's team.

In travel news, I think we're just about ready for England. I was getting a bit worried because our Take That tickets hadn't arrived, and then when I checked the Ticketmaster site on Friday they said they didn't even have them from the promoter yet. And when I tried to call on the weekend, I kept getting an automated message that said to call if you didn't have your tickets five days ahead of travel (I was trying to!) but that their call volumes were too high and they were going to disconnect me. (Nooooo!) After three days, I finally got through to an actual human being who arranged for me to pick up the tickets at the O2, so after much anxiety it all ended well.

Work is bleeding stressful just at the moment (I'm fighting a migraine today that I'm pretty sure was caused by a combination of atmospheric and work pressure) so I'm going to be sooooo pleased to get out of Dodge and across the pond, even if only for a week.
przed: (film reel)
I've recently finished reading The Prisoner of Azkaban to Ros, so tonight we watched the movie. Just as Harry and Hermione are going to go back in time, Ros asked us to pause so she could take a quick bathroom break. Which gave the Sweetie and I time for this conversation.

Sweetie: ::whispering:: So, is there a lot of Black/Lupin slash?
Me: Oh. Yeah.
Sweetie: I figured. Because OMG, they hug, they make sacrifices for each. Wow.

Hee.

In other news, I've booked our visit to the Harry Potter set tour in June. We will be arriving in England four weeks yesterday, and I can't wait. We're also taking the water taxi to and from the O2 for the Take That concert, which is going to make an already awesome evening just that much more fun.
przed: (tt3 - smiley)
Take That's tour opened last night, and after about five seconds of debating whether to avoid Tumblr so I could see the show unspoiled in June I caved and went looking for pics and a setlist.

It looks like they've done their usual batshit crazy/amazing design job for the show. Like this: Pic under a cut to save those with more willpower than me; hi Halo! )

I showed the pic to the Sweetie, who has been facing the prospect of attending a Take That show with all the fortitude of a man facing his own execution. He was actually impressed.

Sweetie: Wow, I'm sort of looking forward to this show now.

We'll have him singing along to Never Forget yet. *g*
przed: (tt ot5 puppy pile)
At the last minute today, the Sweetie informed about a screening of Soul Boys of the Western World, a doc about Spandau Ballet with the band in attendance for a Q&A afterwards. I was never as big a fan of Spandau as I was of Duran Duran or The Police, but I'm totally a child of the '80s and have a huge soft spot for True, so with the Sweetie's indulgence I had to go. The doc was great fun, and a fascinating look at the scene that spawned the band and the New Romantics movement. And because I got there only 30 minutes ahead of the screening, there were only seats left in the front two rows, which meant a bit of neck craning during the screening, but put me right in front of the band for the Q&A. The Q&A was 45 minutes, and fascinating. Martin Kemp is still a very fine looking man, and the rest of them are smart and funny. I was very pleased when Gary Kemp took down the local DJ who was interviewing them for suggesting the '80s were a very "me" decade, when the doc had shown the effect of Thatcher on England and the working class lives they were all escaping, not to mention Band Aid and Live Aid.

Now I'm seriously considering grabbing a ticket to see the band tonight. Hmmmm.

There were also Take That hijinks in our household this weekend.

First I found a few pics of a small secret gig that band did on Friday.
tt3-042.jpg

Which led to this conversation.

Me: Wow, Howard looks like he just did a gig in his jammies.
Sweetie: Let me see! ::looks a pic:: You go Howard! ::said very admiringly::

Then on Saturday I followed a link on Tumblr to a gallery of Take That pictures from the past 25 years. Ros insisted on going through all of them and seeing if she could identify the boys. She consistently got Mark ("because he's the shortest") and Howard, mostly got Robbie, but regularly mixed up Jason and Gary. I am sort of disturbed that she managed to successfully identify both Howard and Jason in this picture )
FYI, Howard's in the orange; Jason's in the blue.

The Sweetie decided he was going to get in on the game, and successfully managed to identify all five members of Take That in this picture )

In order he managed to get Howard ("because he's a handsome, handsome man"), Mark ("because he looks like a waif that a strong wind would blow away"), Robbie ("because c'mon, he's Robbie"), Gary ("because he looks like a jerk"), and Jason ("because he's the only one left"). He loses points for the Jason jab. (ETA: Okay, he loses a little for the Gary jab, too. Though I have to admit that while I don't think Gary is really a jerk, I can never entirely warm to someone who's an avowed Tory supporter.) He also ended with this comment:

Sweetie: I'm blaming you for the fact that I can now identify all of Take That.

Heh.
przed: (tt howard gorgeous)
For the past three years, I've have (jokingly) been telling the Sweetie I just want Howard Donald for my birthday. This year, he came through. In cake form, anyway:

DSC_0164_2

He's spent the last few weeks Googling pictures of Howard Donald, and working with our local bakery on the design. (The caption stands for Happy Howard Donald Birthday PRZ, in case you're wondering.) This all explains why for the last few weeks he would just randomly say "That Howard Donald is a handsome man," every once in a while.

He is truly the best Sweetie ever.

Below the cut, me with my lovely cake. )

Heh.

Dec. 6th, 2014 01:31 pm
przed: (tt howard gorgeous)
The Sweetie's worst nightmare has been confirmed: Benedict Cumberbatch is playing Doctor Strange.

Sweetie: I don't want Cumberbatch playing Doctor Strange! I'd rather they cast Howard Donald!

Ladies and gentlemen, Howard Donald exhibiting his considerable talents:

howard-hulahoop01

Oh, Howard.
przed: (tt mark/robbie lick)
Ros will frequently get on a kick where she wants to hear the same song constantly so she can learn the lyrics. Fortunately, she has so far always done this with songs I like. (Mancunian Way, Wooden Boat.) Her fave of the moment is Robbie Williams' Let Me Entertain You.

Leaving aside the wisdom of letting an eight-year-old listen to a song with the line "shake your ass, come over here," (hey, at least there's no f-bomb in this one) it's led to the occasional interesting question.

Ros: Why does he say "Little Bo Peep has lost his sheep?
Me: Because Robbie likes to play with gender....Do you know what gender is?
Ros: Yeah.

Half an hour later.

Ros: Why does Robbie like to play with gender?
Me: That's a good question. ::launches into a discourse on the frequency of cross-dressing in English culture::
przed: (tt ot5 puppy pile)
I have Take That tickets!
takethatlive2015-01

Not that it was easy.

I hit Ticketmaster's site right at 9:00 a.m. GMT (4:00 a.m. our time), only to find the pre-sale tickets already seemed to be sold out.

Hit refresh for twenty minutes in the hopes they just hadn't gone live yet, then finally thought about checking Twitter. And yes, they'd already added shows!

So the whole family will be going to see TT on Friday, June 12th. We're in the upper level, but right next to the stage. ETA: No, we're not! We're lower level, but right on the edge of the stage, drat it. Panic and lack of sleep made me reverse the section and seat numbers. But still, we have tickets!

OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG!
przed: (tt howard gorgeous)
Take That has announced the dates for their tour next year. And the dates are mostly terrible for us.

Not only is Ros still in school for all the dates, but they also coincide with her ice show and its final rehearsals and the standardized testing all kids in her grade are expected to do.

I'd been hoping against hope for end of July dates so we could do a two week family vacation and hit the Camp Bestival music festival and also the Isle of Wight and Brighton.

The choices are now do one week in June and hit one of the last London dates, or I do a TT show or two sans famille and we still do the two week family vacation in England at the end of July.

Rats.
przed: (tt ot5 puppy pile)
A little more than a month ago Take That broke my heart a little when Jason Orange left the band. They've just helped make up for that a bit with their first video as a threesome, which starts with Howard, Gary and Mark in bed together. No, really! See!

tt-thesedays01

There follows a series of wacky situations, including Howard getting a spray tan.
vid-thesedays02

God bless Howard Donald and his willingness to get nearly naked. Or, you know, actually naked.

In other news, I've managed to write 440 words of a Starsky & Hutch Christmas story. That's 440 more words than I've had the time or energy to write in months. Yay!

And while I have no concrete ideas for my Yuletide story, I offered two of the fandoms my recipient asked for and am currently mulling over whether I want to do a crazy crossover of said fandoms. (It wouldn't be the craziest crossover I've ever done, but it would be...odd.)
przed: (tt howard/jay awwww)
Got home from seeing a Cirque du Soleil show with the family to find the news that Jason Orange has quit Take That.

jasonorange27

I've been suspecting this might happen for a while, and also suspecting that I'd be a teary mess when it did, and I was right on both counts.

TT has been the fandom of my heart for a while now, and I've been looking forward to seeing them in concert pretty much since I stumbled into the fandom. I'm sad that when they tour next year--and I still do want to see them when they tour next year--that it will be without Jason.
przed: (tt howard gorgeous)
So, someone posted this pic on [livejournal.com profile] seanbeandaily of the Bean in the costume he wore during his run of Macbeth in 2002.

beaninnetshirt-smaller

Which brought to my mind this pic of Take That from '94.
Oh, the outfits...

I'm still not quite sure if the universe just went out of alignment or my brain is horribly skewed or both, but there you go. :-/
przed: (tt ot5 puppy pile)
After fighting wicked writer's block and general fannish ennui for the last few months, I've finally had a rather good week when it comes to fannish endeavours. I have:

1. Started and finished a new TT story. And not just finished it, but finished it well. It's one of the few times that I've felt the story does exactly what I wanted it to do, though it did take a couple of runs at a key scene to get it there. (Thanks [livejournal.com profile] draycevixen for noting the "loss of voice" square on my [livejournal.com profile] hc_bingo card. It was apparently just the prompt I needed.)

2. Started a new Pros vid with an eye to finishing it in time for BistoCon. I'm currently in the Clip Organizing Death March portion of the creative process, but it's definitely satisfying to be vidding again. And especially satisfying to be vidding the lads. It's made me remember how much I love them all over again.

3. Started to consider going to SHareCon. I hadn't even considered it because I didn't think it was fair to the Sweetie to take off on him for three cons this year. But he was poking around on my LJ (he does that occasionally) and noticed I'd mentioned I wasn't going to the con, he said "why not?" So I've started pricing flights to Baltimore.

Also, looking at footage of Doyle and considering my very favourite picture of Mark Owen has set me wondering if perhaps my affection for Mark isn't quite the anomaly I thought it was.

doyle-curly markowen143

Hmmmm.
przed: (tt ot5 puppy pile)
I was downloading some pictures from the weekend's Soccer Aid charity match, like this...
markowen886

which prompted this exchange with the Sweetie.

Me: Man, you know I love Mark, but I really just want to tie him down and give him a haircut.

Sweetie: You just want to tie him down.

He possibly knows me too well.

ETA: Just realized this is even more apropos than I realized last night. Because I'm currently working on the cop!Howard story, which also happens to be the kidnapped!Mark story, and at the moment I've got Mark tied up in a basement, awaiting rescue. Heh.
przed: (Default)

Today I found out that an Irish ex-pat co-worker is also a huge Take That fan. Of the sort that had a Take That bedspread and cried when they first broke up. There might have been work inappropriate squealing in my work space. *g*

At the moment I'm sitting in an airport limo on the way to Florida with Ros and the Sweetie. Things have been so crazy at work and home that even the frenzy of Disney World sounds relaxing.

przed: (tt howard gorgeous)
Ros has decided she wants to walk in the local Easter Parade with our martial arts school. Which meant a trip to the dollar store to get Easter accountrements.
bunnyros

The ears also came with a little tail. It should look adorable with her martial arts uniform.

In related news, the Sweetie also got Easter gear to wear. (He'll be walking with her. I, having driven like a maniac down from my mom's to get them to the parade staging area in time, will be having a brief rest before I go to watch the parade.)

The Sweetie made me close my eyes before he modelled his purchase, and then asked me one thing.

Sweetie: So, is this worthy of Howard Donald?

Click here to see the Sweetie's Howard Donald-worthy outfit )
przed: (SPN castiel with wings by lenyicon)
So yesterday we're driving to a friend's place for brunch. To keep me alert, I was playing a Take That compilation I'd made, and it was on We All Fall Down, a B-side of Mark's. (This will be relevant.) All of a sudden, the Sweetie pipes up:

Sweetie: I see a Castiel vid.
Me: ::confused by apparent this non sequitar:: What?
Sweetie: The lyrics of this song, "We all fall down from the sky...Looking for a way back up again." It would make a good Castiel vid.
Me: ::starts laughing hysterically::
Sweetie: What?
Me: Oh my god, you're right. It would totally work. I can't believe you noticed that.
Sweetie: I've heard this song a lot.
Me: ::laughs again::
Sweetie: Supernatural and Take That. I blame you.
Me: ::keeps laughing::
Sweetie: Wow, did I blow your mind?
Me: A little.

I'm seriously tempted to try making that vid. In my copious amounts of spare time.

In other news, I've signed up for a couple of writing challenges. )

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