movies: finding dory

finding dory - an unforgettable journey she probably won't remember
The very beginning of Finding Dory starts with an adorably cute baby version of Dory and does a nice match-up with the scene where Marlin and Dory first meet from Finding Nemo... and then jumps to a year later. And I'll admit, right up until the jump, the movie had me by the heart-strings.

After the jump... I'm going to be honest, it takes a while to really get good. The first half of the movie feels a little like a watered down version of the original... it's less about the actual "journey" this time and more about what happens when they all get where they're going. And that made it feel a little bit less interesting.

Once it does find it's feet though it's a beautiful story. Still not at the same level as Nemo, but beautiful in a different way.

I saw an article online earlier about it where the headline was "it isn't about family, it's about living with disability", and while I haven't read the article yet, I do agree with the headline. This movie is much more about Dory's relationship to the world, and everyone's relationship to both her and her disability.

I think it's one of those movies that now that I have that thought to pick away at, I'll see more and more of it in the movie each time I rewatch it.

And with the exception of Hank, the octopus, I don't feel like the characters who were introduced this time around were as interesting as, for example, the tank gang from the first movie. It may be more about the purpose they serve in the story, but there were a couple of characters who probably could have been combined into a single character without losing anything from the story, and at least one group of characters that felt a little ill defined.

I was also a little annoyed with Marlin a few times, his character felt like he'd slid back a little too much to his personality at the beginning of the first movie.

And while Dory "remembering" her past is a key part of the plot, it almost felt as though there were too many of those flashbacks... some of them move the plot along a little, others don't really seem to beyond reinforcing something we've already seen.

But that's not to say that I didn't get emotionally choked up in the last third of the movie... as always with Pixar, they manage to hit that emotional nail right on the head. I do wonder though if the movie is a little too dark overall for smaller kids... or if they just won't get a lot of it.

As always, the movie itself looks amazing... you can see some of the leaps forward they took with water and the backgrounds and plants in general in The Good Dinosaur at play in this movie too.

I can't say that it was an instant favourite with me like Nemo was, but I feel like it's one of those Pixar movies that will grow on me over time.

yani's rating: 3 cuddle parties out of 5

photo saturday: chromatic balance

balance and the lack of samesample green

flying brasslittle black boxes
This week has been so incredibly up and down it's kind of ridiculous.

It started with a public holiday on Monday... so I never made soup on Sunday, in fact I didn't make soup at all, what I did instead was make two trays of lasagne. And it was pretty damn good given that I essentially made the recipe up out of my head, except for taking a brief look at the white sauce recipe on the pasta packet. And I actually ran out of lasagne noodles, so I mixed up the leftover red and white sauces together, mixed in some dry pasta, shoved it in the oven, crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.

And other than it being a little too much white and not enough red sauce, it worked pretty damn well.

Tuesday I had a chiro appointment after work, then Wednesday I made arrangements to get a blood test in the morning before work and go in for an ultrasound after work... all stemming from when I was sick last weekend and saw my doctor, and of course one thing which was perfectly explainable (at least by me, even if nobody else understands it) led to seemingly one thing and then another thing. I'm being a little vague, because honestly I have my suspicions about what my doctor is going to say to me when I go back on Monday morning, I'm just hoping I'm wrong. Not that being right would be the end of the world, it's just a pain in the butt.

Because I was having a day off I needed to do a whole lot of shit Tuesday and Wednesday at work... not helped by the fact that I only managed to do last Friday's work on Tuesday, but thankfully caught up by the time I left and given that my offsider is more off than side right now, I handed everything off to someone actually useful while I was away.

Thursday I had what I thought was going to be my final tattoo appointment... once again I got there at 9am, and we were done by about 1:30pm. I will say that it's looking amazing. We really do need one final session, just to wrap things up... finalise a few bits and pieces and just make sure it's all perfect. The studio wasn't as busy this time as it's been the last couple of times... there was only one other guy getting work done, and I, once again, outlasted him (but he was only getting initial linework done). In fact, I made it all the way through Road to Perdition and probably about three quarters of the way through Forrest Gump. I wasn't really paying attention to the movies though, I was listening to the new West Wing Weekly podcast and having the feels from memories of The West Wing.

I did have to ask if we could do part of it with me sitting up... I just couldn't lay in that same position any longer, and even though the sitting position wasn't perfect, it gave my back a change of scenery and meant that when I needed to lay back down it wasn't as bad.

The downside to the whole tattoo thing is that my arm currently hurts like fuck. Not all the time, but moving, stretching, bending, all these things hurt. I'm not sure if it hurts more than last time or if I just don't remember what it felt like last time... but if it is worse then it's because it was more around the edges this time, and every time it was part of my arm involving bone I wasn't having a fun time.

I also need to do a full post about this tattoo once it's done though... see how much I can unpack my reasoning and thought process. Or, you know, not.

Thursday night was Haircut Night... and in that Gwyneth Paltrow/Sliding Doors kind of universe, there's a timeline where I walked down the driveway to the carpark and not the path down the back of the building. In that timeline I didn't fail to see the step down along that path because there's not a ton of light back there, and didn't fall and bust up my knee. Sadly I live in this timeline where I did fail to see the step and did fall.

Yeah, clearly it was time for my irregularly scheduled "fall down go boom".

Otherwise my haircut was reasonably uneventful... we talked, Tink cut hair, we talked some more.

Friday was a little bit of a wrench to get my butt into gear and to work to be honest.

And with the accumulation of everything else that happened this week, I'll admit I was more than a little flat.

But I made it through the day, and when I got home I discovered that I was one of 20 winners of a complete set of Disney Pixar DVDs from Big W with limited edition portrait covers. Granted I already own all the Pixar movies on DVD, but I never win things, so it was nice to hear that I won anyway.

Oh, and I broke out my onesie for the first time so far this Winter... I just wanted something warm and comfortable, and that always fits the bill.

This morning I was kind of up and organised in enough time to do some additional stuff before Ma arrived. We headed back to the Norwood supermarket this week... neither of us were that bothered about the other one from last week and it didn't have a Bakers Delight. So back to the normal routine, at least for now.

This week I'm planning on inventing soup again... something in a tomato/potato fusion thing... with a fuckton of bacon.

After shopping and the usual unpacking and whatnot, we headed off to Marion to catch a movie and have a bit of a poke around.

It's weird, as the crow flies the distance between Arndale and Marion is pretty much the same, but given the fact that the city is between me and Arndale, it seems to make more sense just to go off to Marion to be honest.

After the movie we did a bit of shopping... now both Ma and I have been vaguely in the market for toasters for a while now... but I'm both fussy about design and cheap, so that has impacted on the types of toasters I like the look of... plus I have a fetish for red kitchen appliances. And I don't really have bread in the house on a regular basis. But Kmart had toasters for $7.50. Yeah, I know, I'm assuming it will be a piece of shit and last about fifteen minutes... but it'll do for now. Let's see if I actually use the thing first.

I also found a cheap bright green scarf at, of all places, the camping/hunting store... and it appeared to be a nice long one too, not hugely so, but long enough.

And that was about it really.

Not one of the finest weeks on record, but at the same time there was enough good tumbled in with the bad to pretty much just make the whole thing a decidedly mixed bag.

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photo saturday: woof

spotssmile

howlblonde
Okay, this is probably another short and sweet one...

This week has been crappy. First I was sick as a dog on Sunday (technically I wasn't "sick" sick, however my entire body rebelled against me for the whole day and the day was a total write off)... that led to two doctors appointments, with the promise of three or four more to come since my doctor found something completely unrelated while trying to explain the original thing which only lasted for about 18 hours.

And it doesn't even seem like it's much of anything really (so much so that I don't even remember what the doctor said that it probably was)... so, yeah, I'm probably completely fine, but I have to jump through all these stupid hoops anyway.

Given that it's probably nothing, I'm not going into any details... if it turns out to be something, then I'll blog about it... but this happened a little while back with something else and that turned out to be pretty much normal.

It's also meant that I needed to go and see my chiro a couple of extra times... well, once so far, and again on Tuesday. Yes, I would rather spend the extra money and go more than I possibly need to, especially since it's usually around Winter that my back has it's semi-annual freak-out. That's probably not completely true, but it feels like it is.

Work has also been, well, hard work, since my underling (and, you know, I was going to be nice, but given the last few weeks, she's a fucking underling... and not a great one at that) has spent the majority of the week "working from home"... which mostly means that I'm doing all the work and she's doing something allegedly. As a snapshot of how bad it's gotten, I actually can't remember if she even set foot in the office this week. I know she didn't on Monday... I feel like she may have Tuesday, but given that she's not shown up more times than she's shown up in the last couple of weeks, it's kind of hard to tell.

As you can tell, I'm a little pissed about it.

The rest of the week was just busy... work, appointments, home, sleep, repeat.

Oh, but it was also both Ma and Owlgirl's birthdays this week. I actually forgot about Ma's birthday until I got to work and had to write the date down (I think I was putting my chiro appointment on our in/out board), and called her to burble birthdayness down the phone at her.

Owlgirl liked her present, in fact although I didn't see her open it, she said that it nearly made her cry. So big check in the successful present column there. And I don't think I mentioned it last week, but it was a copy of The Velveteen Rabbit, which is one of my favourite children's books ever, and which has on more than one occasion made me cry.

Today was interesting... we decided to try the Frewville Foodland, which is kind of closer than the Norwood one... and it's supposed to be really great. As in they're very quick to tell you all through the store that they're "Adelaide's finest" and that they won "World's Best Supermarket". And I don't want to be a bitch about it (for a change), but it's a little bit like that really hot guy who knows that he's hot and then tells you that he knows how hot he is. It's kind of offputting. And it's just trying too damn hard.

Plus, the award is given based on "merchandising and range of products, employee development, leadership and innovation and community involvement"... and I can't really comment on anything other than perhaps the first two. But I have to say, it didn't feel like it had as good a range as the Norwood one (yes, I found one thing that they never had at Norwood, but they did have it at both Northpark and North Adelaide). And both the deli counter and the cheese area weren't even as big as the North Adelaide store, let alone the Norwood one.

Yes, the store is mostly nice, although it feels a little dark... the fruit and veg section is kind of badly arranged... the bakery section feels like it should be good, but once you get in there you realise it's just supermarket bread, and why would you bother when Bakers Delight exists. The staff seem okay, there were a range of quite attractive young men doing all manner of things in the produce department, but the checkout girl was a little haphazard when it came to packing stuff.

Not to say it was bad in any way, but for a store that shouts its virtues from the rooftops, it isn't even the best Foodland I've been to at least from a shopper perspective. Let's just say I was massively underwhelmed.

That didn't stop us from collectively spending a bunch of money though. But that was less about the store and more about the fact we both needed a lot of stuff.

Will we go back? Maybe. Now that we know that it's not this shining beacon on the hilltop kind of thing, we may be able to approach it on a more even playing field... and it is closer to my place than the Norwood one. We'll see.

After unpacking all the groceries we decided to head into town, with a brief stop on the way so Ma could pick some stuff up.

Mostly we just wandered from one end of the Mall to the other, trying to avoid the packs of wild bogans... sorry, football supporters... who were congregating.

I wanted to look, briefly, for a new umbrella... well, a mid-range umbrella, not the tiny one I keep in my bag and not the giant golf one I use when it's raining when I leave the house... but something in between. What, I have a lot of umbrellas... and I left my mid-range one on the bus at some point last year. So I figured Myer would be a good choice for what I wanted.

Myer's menswear floor can go and fuck itself. I mean, I never feel like there's anything for me there anyway, but I saw a single umbrella. One. Uno. Un. Ein. And by that point, I was already in the land of "go fuck yourself".

So, next time that I need to go to the Mall for something, I'll go and poke around David Jones, since that's where my giant golf one came from.

Ma wanted to look for some non-black and non-grey scarves, so we poked around a bit for that too (not in Myer of course) and she found a couple. Then we went to Burger Theory for lunch and had the Burger of the Month. Now, gather up your torches and pitchforks if you must, but I generally hate avocado... or vegetable snot as I tend to call it... the one real exception to this is the way Burger Theory flavour it when putting it on a burger. It's damn good.

And that was pretty much it besides a very, very brief stop at the Haighs factory on the way home. Turns out the main way to stop us spending a bunch of money there is to have very, very limited choices in the "seconds" rack.

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photo saturday: ma's pre-birthday birthday

ma's birthday presents - beforema's birthday presents - after
It's not actually Ma's birthday until Tuesday but we did our usual trick of celebrating on the closest weekend. But more on that in a bit.

This week was, well, a bit shit to be honest. Work was busier again, but this time my usual offsiders weren't around. Annoying really.

And by the time I got home each night all I wanted to do was do nothing.

I also realised when I got to work on Monday that the inside seam of my dress pants had come unstitched. It would have been great if I'd seen that BEFORE I left the house... but no. And because the drycleaner I'm using at the moment is a bit shit, they won't have them fixed until next week.

On the up side, I wore jeans all week and zero fucks were given (mostly by me).

By the time Friday rolled around I was very happy to get the hell out of there and go and see my chiro. And then I spent about three hours wandering around the city looking for birthday cards. And seeing if anything else appeared on my radar for Ma's birthday. Nothing really did.

I did also visit all of my favourite stores... Haighs, Greenlight Comics, Zing... and then finished it off with dinner at Burger Theory.

By the time I got home it was after 8pm... so that was a 12+ hour day.

And I didn't want to do a damn thing once I unpacked everything (and realised that I have no fucking idea where the big bag of tissue paper and ribbon I use when I'm wrapping Ma's presents has gone), so I just soaked my feet in some Radox and watched Inside Out.

This morning Ma was getting her hair did, so I did the supermarket thing on my own. I didn't end up buying a ton of stuff, but somehow it seemed to cost a lot. I have no idea to be honest. I'm planning on a pea and ham (or in this case pea and chorizo) soup this week... the recipe I made last year actually, but swapping out the prosciutto for chorizo. The chicken and chorizo soup I made last week was pretty damn good... nice and spicy, mostly from the chorizo, which is why I want to try them again in the pea soup.

I also found a box and some tissue paper at one of the newsagents. I'd intended to get something last night but then realised I probably had stuff at home and then, as I mentioned, I couldn't find any of it. Annoying.

Thankfully I had plenty of time to unpack and wrap Ma's presents, as well as finish reading The Young Avengers graphic novel I got from Greenlight.

When Ma arrived, she opened her presents (all of which are pretty self explanatory from the picture, the pig is her card, because she's Year of the Pig and the Esio Trot book is one that a movie Ma likes is based on) and then we headed down the road to Target to see if we could find the movie Ma wanted last week and they didn't have.

Turns out they did have it... well, a single copy anyway.

From there we drove down to Harbour Town. We were headed down to the beach anyway, and we both wanted to stop off at the Bonds store... so it worked out well. I got a couple of new hoodie jackets and a new pair of trackies, and they were having a 40% off sale, so that worked out well.

Then it was on to Henley Square and lunch at Stella. It was Ma's choice, as is her prerogative, but I have to say that the menu wasn't especially inspiring... especially given the prices (and I kind of wish the menu on their website was still the menu, but they've updated the one in the restaurant and seem to have taken a bunch of stuff off).

Ma had what basically looked like eggplant lasagne (but which had a much more complicated name), and I went with one of the specials, pasta with prawns and bacon in a rose sauce. And I will say that although I wasn't that inspired when I ordered it, it was really nice... even if the prawns did come with their little butts attached (why, why would you do that in pasta... I want to eat it not deconstruct it) and one on top that was all legs and flippers and feelers and eyes and things (yep, also a giant world of nup).

And the view from the restaurant was really nice too, out over the reserve and the water and the jetty.

After lunch we finished off with coffee and same cake (Ma had Toblerone mousse cake and I had Mars Bar cheesecake... both very nice).

And that was pretty much it... but it was after 3:30 by the time we got back to my place. So not a very exciting day all things considered, but a nice one.

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photo saturday: vintage style

collins beastflinders street frontage

gothic doorsambuladr
This was another week that wasn't much of anything really.

This week's soup ended up being Malaysian flavoured tomato and spinach, a little more watery than usual, but tasty.

Work continues to be a little chaotic and I may have mentioned it in the last couple of weeks already but I really noticed this week that people come to me to ask my advice or opinion... I mean, yeah, I always have an opinion, and you're welcome to it, but now that I've noticed it it kind of feels weird. I don't feel like Responsible Grown-up Who Knows Things™... but clearly that's the way other people see me, at least some of the time.

This week was also Haircut Night. I can't actually remember the last time my natural hair colour was prevalent... but I feel like I should maybe see exactly how grey it's gotten... because the sides are full on salt and pepper at this point, which is part of the reason why we keep them pretty much shaved. My main problem is that my original hair colour is just bleh. We kind of compromised... less blonde through the top, but enough to lighten it up. I do need to bite the bullet though... I can always retreat to the blonde again, but I just need to know what is going on under all the blonde.

Friday I gave myself a little bit of a mental health pass... I got up later than I should, didn't even worry about trying to get out the door in time for the early bus, or attempt to make my own breakfast... and I was still the first person at work (well, I was the only one in the office when I got there). I picked up breakfast on the way and just went with a whole "fuck it" attitude for much of the day. And the day was fairly calm, possibly both because of and in spite of the fact that a bunch of people had days off or just never bothered to show up.

That did kind of let me get some shit done though. Less interruptions.

I also ended up working back a bit a couple of days... just so that I could finish something up before I went home.

Today was... well, exploratory is perhaps the best word... the supermarket portion was about the same as average...

Beyond that neither of us really had any plans, and there weren't any movies that we wanted to see, but Ma did want to go to Target for a couple of things. I didn't really want to go to the Unley Road one again, it's just a little too small, so instead we decided on the one on South Road... it's not that much of a detour, and it's a pretty big store.

And turns out Castle Plaza has a few other decent bits and pieces including an EB Games (all their games are half price, so I bought myself Fallout 4, because why not).

But mostly we just tooled around the fairly massive Target for a while.

On the way back we called in to the tail end (as in everyone was already packing up) of the Fullarton Market... we saw an earlier one at some point, but I didn't realise it was a regular thing (fourth Saturday of the month). It looked decent to be honest... I mean some of the stalls were packing up already, but it'd definitely be worth a look at the end of June. I did buy a set of four wooden bowls... I'm hoping to use the largest one as my porridge bowl, but if that doesn't work, I'll find something to use them for... plus they weren't that expensive.

That was really it though... we picked up something to eat from the market, and when we got back here we called it a day.

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photo saturday: jetty tales

beach wingsblue arches

rusted photoafternoon jetty
There's a list of things that annoy me about this apartment... but I've really worked out this week that the top item on that list is that after close to twenty years of never closing bedroom curtains, waking up to close blinds is incredibly irritating.

The main issue is that I'm used to judging mornings by the amount of light rather than time, and that's difficult to do when you can't see the light.

I made some pretty great soup on Sunday... except for the fact that I made it with gravy beef and as such had to cook it for about 900 hours (somewhat of an exaggeration), and I started later than I should have. I also didn't end up blending it at the end (although I probably could have, at least a bit), so it was quite chunky and the beef was essentially melt in the mouth.

Work continued to be a little nuts this week... it wasn't without its hurdles. And it seemed like everybody want to pick my brain about one thing or another at some stage. Flattering but occasionally annoying when you're trying to actually get other stuff done.

I'm pretty much finished Assassin's Creed Unity... I just have the last mission to do and any additional mopping up after that.

Much of today was fairly by the numbers... we started off with the usual supermarket trip. I'm intending to make a tomato and spinach soup... possibly with some additional bells and whistles, but essentially that.

After all that and the unpacking and the usual stuff (including a quick fridge tidy, which wasn't so much usual as it was necessary), we headed down to Target just for a bit of a poke around, then we leapfrogged down the road to Big W where I happened to find a book on Florence Foster Jenkins which is half biography and half movie script (as in literally the first half is her bio, the second half is the script) and a couple of Disney DVDs and some kitchen stuff.

From there I was pretty much done, but Ma suggested we take a drive down to Glenelg since we haven't been down there for a while. And it was a nice day for a drive, so what the hell.

We mostly just wandered up and down Jetty Road, although we did have a poke around the new GU Film House cinema that opened in March... it looks, well to be honest it just looks like every other cinema... but supposedly it will "specifically cater to an emerging trend for intimate cinema formats screening niche, arthouse and main stream releases". Whatever the hell that means.

Smaller cinemas with smaller screens I guess.

We mostly wandered, but we did go into Dymocks and I ended up buying three books (damn three for the price of two sale)... The Night Circus, The Martian and Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.

So yeah, a very book heavy day... especially since I can't remember the last time I bought a book that a) wasn't part of a series I already have, b) wasn't ordered over the internet or c) wasn't a graphic novel.

Once we'd made it all the way to the beach we headed over to Orange Spot to grab some lunch, took it back to the beach to eat it and then called it a day and come back here.

An interesting day... not thrillingly exciting, but at least we did something slightly different.

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movies: florence foster jenkins

florence foster jenkins - the inspiring true story of the world's worst singer
Florence Foster Jenkins was "an American socialite and amateur operatic soprano who was known and ridiculed for her lack of rhythm, pitch, and tone, her aberrant pronunciation, and her generally poor singing ability" according to Wikipedia.

It's also a surprisingly lovely movie.

I only say surprisingly because I wasn't completely sure what to expect. It could have been done in a very "cringeworthy" kind of way, but thanks to the very delicate touch of Stephen Frears (who also directed, amongst many other things, Mrs Henderson Presents and Dangerous Liaisons, which is one of my favourite movies) it never ended up there.

Sure, it delved into farce more than once, but all three leads, particularly Meryl Streep as Florence manage the balance of comedy and, I guess, pathos requited brilliantly. It always amazes me how at the same time Streep can disappear totally into a role, but at the same time remain thoroughly Meryl. And I do enjoy when she does comedy.

A much, much older Hugh Grant (and I don't think it's make-up effects, although it could be) seems to have managed to leave many of his Hugh Grant affectations (most notably the stammer) at the door for the role of Florence's husband. And while it would be incredibly easy to hate his character early on, there's something about the way he plays it which makes you genuinely want him to succeed.

The most surprising to me was Simon Helberg in the role of (the very obviously gay, but closeted) pianist Cosme McMoon (it's a great name). I've only ever seen him in his role of the slightly creepy, perpetually horny Wolowitz on Big Bang Theory, but there's no trace of that here, and I'll admit, I fell in love with his portrayal of McMoon more than a little bit.

As with any "based on a true story" movie, a cursory glance at Florence's Wikipedia page point out any number of liberties that were taken with the story, but I don't even mind that in this case. The story is both hilarious and touching and also surprisingly deep in places (although some of those moments do go rushing by quite quickly)... it also made me laugh out loud more than once, albeit mostly in reaction to other character's reactions to Florence's singing.

It's definitely worth a watch though.

yani's rating: 4 sold out shows out of 5

photo saturday: bridgework

bridge mastbridge stairs

iron curvewasn't sure that was going to fit
This was one of those weeks were nothing much really happened.

I started out by making a phone call on Sunday afternoon, which in turn led to a drive down to Toy Corner in Ridgehaven and a full set of the Lego/Disney minifigures. They ended up costing me a little more per piece than if I'd gotten then from Galaxy Toys, but at least I secured a full set. But if the whole "we're only getting these ones and there's been a lot of demand" was all bunk, then I'll be a little annoyed.

After that I spent the evening making a hell of a lot of tuna mornay, heavy on the spices, but not too heavy on the heat fortunately.

Then once again this week there were far more instances of me either skipping breakfast and grabbing something in town, or having breakfast and then missing my bus. I really need to get better at that... whether it's because my brain isn't used to being in a bedroom where the curtains/blinds need to be closed overnight, I don't know... which in turn means that I don't acknowledge that the actual time is the actual time. But I need to start paying more attention to my alarm.

On Monday night after work I paid a visit to Greenlight Comics in the city... they opened on the weekend, and I wanted to go and check them out. I left with three graphic novels (Batman #6 and #7 plus Paper Girls, which comes highly recommended) and put in an order for three more. It's a great store, the guys behind the counter couldn't be more friendly and welcoming and adorably geeky about comic books (which is pretty much exactly what you want in a comic book store owner/employee). Plus it's the first comic book store (okay, technically it's more of a graphic novel store, since that's what they specialise in... although they will order in comic books too) where I felt completely comfortable walking through the door. I can't really explain why, but it definitely has that feeling.

Maybe it feels more like a bookshop, and I'm always at home in a bookshop... I don't know... but I highly recommend making a visit.

Other than that the week was fairly dull. Work was slightly mental all week, which I've kind of been expecting, although I was kind of distracted by a bunch of stuff other than our core work, which was good to get out of the way, but annoying in that I hate it when our shared mailbox is a total mess and I'm unable to clear it out.

But like I said, other than busyness, dullness.

Today I got off to a little bit of a slow start, so I wasn't quite ready when Ma arrived.

Oh, and finally, she got her hearing aids this week. So hopefully she'll be able to actually hear me properly now, which will make my life so much easier. Turns out that hearing aids are not fucking cheap though. And seriously, why hasn't somebody come up with a rechargeable battery for them? C'mon smart people, get on that.

The supermarket safari this week was mostly fresh stuff yet again... I'm going to try a beef and vegetable soup this week. I haven't actually added major meat to a soup before (not counting chicken), so that'll be interesting. And I'm mostly going to be making it up as I go as per usual... although I may have to poke around a few recipes as well for some additional inspiration.

After we'd come back here and done the unpacking thing we headed off to pick up the artwork from the framers (it looks great... I need to photograph it tomorrow I think), and then head into the city to eventually head to the movies.

We had some time to kill, so we ended up wandering around the city for a while... took a detour to Zing (because I can't avoid that place), found a couple of boxes of the Lego/Disney minifigures in Target and managed to feel out a second Stitch, Ursula and Maleficent (all of whom are most likely headed to my desk at work for now).

Then it was lunch at Burger Theory for their very tasty but very spicy green curry chicken burger before we headed to the movies (more on that later).

Weirdly, when we got back to my place after the movies, I found a parcel on my doorstep. Granted I knew exactly what it was, and I know it's been in the country since Monday, but since when does Australia Post deliver things on a Saturday at noon (I checked the tracking). Don't get me wrong, I'm appreciative (and would have been more so if it'd shown up at say 10:30am) but WTF?

And that was about it really... nothing particularly thrilling...

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photo saturday: coloured planks

26 bluesemaphore

rusted lockpainted yellow
It's a little hyperbolic to say that this week was a total train wreck, but it was certainly challenging and had more than a few moments.

Most of it I'm going to skip over as it's either not particularly interesting, involves too much backstory or I just don't want to share.

I made really good soup this week though... a combination of a lot of different vegetables, the Spanish flavoured stock and a crapload of bacon. Bacon makes everything better, it really does.

This week I'm doing a tuna mornay instead of a soup... it's soup adjacent (just on the other side of chowder), and I woke up this morning with an overwhelming urge to make it. So there you go.

My tattoo is healing nicely. It was a little problematic at the beginning of the week, because it was almost like I was running a fever... but I think it was more like the after effect of sunburn... where your skin just feels overheated, which makes you feel a little gross overall. And as Owlgirl pointed out, "beauty is pain".

But now we're at the "moulting" stage (well, he is a bird after all). Basically every time I do anything, I feel like I'm leaving little bits of blue or black skin behind me. Gross, but accurate.

Work was the main cause of all the challenges this week. Not only did everybody need everything urgently, but we came to the end of the second phase of the big project which meant less work for them, and an increase in work for me and my team. And a whole bunch of change, which I never cope particularly well with.

Suffice to say there were moments this week I could have handled better, and I also could have applied myself a little better at other times.

Thursday night was Haircut Night... so it was something of a relief to just be able to go see Tink. As usual we chatted about all manner of things as she did my hair, then we kind of got sucked into the Ink Master TV show as we were waiting for the colour to bake in my hair. I have to say that that should would be greatly improved if they never let the contestants talk to or about each other. And some of them not even then.

Friday night after way too many detours in my work day to solve other people's problems, it was time to go to the pub. Yay.

I'm often surprised that we don't get thrown out of pubs... we're so fucking loud as a group... although we're never rude or violent... but still. Even I think we're a little obnoxious at times, and if we were other people, I'd probably hate us.

It was a pretty good group... unfortunately people didn't really move around once they were in a spot like what usually happens, but as some of the lightweights floated off, we did kind of close the circle and come together. In the end, it was me, Pixie and Pinkie, and we sat around for quite a while just talking crap about one thing or another. I kind of feel like I both drank more than usual and also didn't... but I think that's more because I bought a jug... and instead of having a drink, waiting a while, having another, etc, it was more of one long everlasting glass for the first couple of hours. So I possibly got to the drunk stage a lot faster, but once I was there I didn't really have any other drinks, so in essence I only had about four drinks.

After Pixie left, I waited with Pinkie until her ride came and then stumbled off in the direction of home. I'm pretty sure it was about 8:30 when I left the pub, but I didn't get to my front door until 10pm. Partly because I wasn't particularly rushing, and also because I went a different way from the way I go home every other day.

Essentially, because it was 10pm, I just left a trail of clothes, grabbed a bottle of water and got into bed. Weirdly I had a horribly night's sleep though, I tossed and turned like I haven't in... well, I don't actually remember... and more than once when I woke up I thought that it must have been close to dawn, it was actually only about 11:30 or just past midnight. So yay for bad sleep. Not.

Clearly I didn't drink the optimal amount for me.

I also wasn't hungover when I woke up, but I was decidedly feeling seedy, plus I had the dry mouth thing from not drinking enough water and a mild case of the radio announcer voice from yelling over the stupid guitar dude (seriously, fuck off with live music in the pub on a Friday night... we're there to talk to people after work, we don't need fucking live music... save that shit for Saturday night).

Today was fairly dull to be honest. I got up, changed my bedding, got ready, Ma arrived, we went to the supermarket and did the usual shopping. We came back here, unpacked, then headed out to the Central Market.

Neither of us really wanted to do a full produce shop at the markets, but I wanted some steel cut oats since Uncle Tobys no longer seems to make them, and Ma wanted to make a visit to the container store... we didn't even do a full potter around to be honest, we kind of hit the two or three places we needed to, then headed off again.

And we didn't really want to do anything else, so when we got back, Ma headed off home. I then had to make two visits to the drycleaners because unlike the one in the North Adelaide Village, this dry cleaner is vaguely useless and couldn't find my pants. Thankfully they did on the second visit.

That's about it though...

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unseen theatre company: the wee free men

unseen theatre company: the wee free men
Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels can sometimes appear be fairly easy to turn into a stage production, but at other times, they seem like they'd be next to impossible.

The latest production from the Unseen Theatre Company, The Wee Free Men (the first of the Tiffany Aching novels) is definitely one of the latter... if only because a large number of the main characters are six inch tall, predominately blue/tattooed little redheaded men/pictsies. Plus another character is a talking toad.

And on top of that, there's a trip to Fairyland and various supernatural beasties.

For the most part, the Wee Free Men or Nac Mac Feegle are dealt with by making them full sized humans, with only a single, blink and you'll miss it, line referencing the fact that they're supposed to be six inches tall.

They're played by Harold Roberts as Rob Anybody, Dalestair Kidd as Daft Wullie, Natalie Hugh as (deep breath) "No' as Big as Medium Sized Jock But Bigger Than Wee Jock Jock" and David Dyte as William.

Of the four, Kidd is the by far the most charismatic... in the books Daft Wullie is just, well, daft, but Kidd manages to make him just this side of insane every time she's on stage and she completely and totally stole just about every scene she was in... to the point where you're supposed to be watching the characters talking on stage left, but your eyes just find themselves creeping over to watch her wordless antics on stage right. More than once.

The blue skin/woad/tattoos of the Feegles is perhaps best described as... inconsistent. Some of the actors seemed to have applied a perfect, Smurf blue coat to their arms and faces, others it seemed the makeup just didn't like them. And there were more than a few times were the blue just didn't go far enough and was a little distracting. Minor quibbles to be honest, but still.

Toad is handled much the same way that they dealt with the Great God Om in last year's Small Gods... with an appropriately sized prop substitute and an actor, in this case Hugh O'Connor (who usually goes unseen but very much heard as Death) in a yellow suit and suitable toad facepaint. I kind of wish they'd dealt with him a little more like they had with Om, where the other actors all address the prop not the person, but O'Connor is fantastic, very dry and sarcastic and with pretty much all the best lines.

Josephine Giorgio plays the lead character of Tiffany Aching, and does a fantastic job in her first Unseen Theatre production. She manages to embody all of Tiffany's determination, stubbornness and anger quite well... and I'd be intrigued to see her take on the role of Death's granddaughter Susan at some point, as I think she'd do it well.

As both director and adaptor, Pamela Munt has managed to make one of the more difficult to stage Discworld stories work pretty well for the stage, although much of Tiffany's inner monologue (which, to be honest is most of my favourite stuff about the Aching books) and some of the more fantastical parts had to go.

Whether or not they can manage to do all five of the Aching books or not, I don't know... the second one is mostly predicated on Tiffany's inner monologue, so that could be difficult, but it'd be nice to see them try.

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