movies: incredibles 2

incredibles 2 - suit up
I'll admit that The Incredibles isn't really in my top 5 list of Pixar movies, but they have absolutely outdone themselves with Incredibles 2.

Also, lets put there out there right now at the beginning of this review... baby Jack-Jack legitimately steals every single scene that he's in, and I'm 100% here for all of it.

Going back a little... the first movie is, without a shadow of a doubt, Bob/Mr Incredible's movie. The story is all about him, plot gets moved by him, the others are only mobilised to save him. There's a B story with the rest of them, sure, but it's basically the Mr Incredible Show.

This time around it's Helen/Elastigirl/Mrs Incredible's movie.

With Bob being a stay-at-home dad as the B story (and it's probably a more well thought-out B story than Helen's was in the original).

The story is solid action adventure, and it's nice to see the female superhero taking charge, especially given that Elastigirl is capable of being much more subtle.

It also feels perhaps less "on message" than other Pixar movies. I mean, yes, there's definitely some "hey, taking care of children is hard work", equality stuff going on, but it's just a function of the story.

This isn't a movie that's going to make anybody cry (I don't think).

It's also SUPER obvious who the villain is. I mean, the moment the character appeared on screen I though "oh, so you're the villain then". I don't know whether they thought they were being clever and disguising it... and there were a couple of instances where I thought I was wrong, but no, turned out the the great reveal wasn't so much a reveal as a "well, dur".

But that didn't bother me to be honest.

Like the first one, the movie has that cool retro-future 50's vibe to everything... which somehow seems even more apparent this time around, perhaps because they're in much better looking locations overall.

And even though this movie starts right as the previous one finishes, the character models have definitely been given a spruce up... the most obvious of which is Dash, who has much more obvious freckles and cooler hair than he did in the first movie. He also looks a tiny bit older, which is weird, since it's all one time frame.

Oh... and the Edna Mode scenes... pure genius.

Also, the short that precedes the movie, Bao, is lovely but very weird... at least until it all comes together and makes sense at the end.

yani's rating: 4 domino masks out of 5

photo saturday: mens

thinking men's menriverside men's men

solo man's mandecisioning men's men
The weather, as they say, is shithouse.

Don't get me wrong, I love winter and rain and whathaveyou... but this seems to be less rain as it is brief instances of the end of the world... and then it goes back to absolutely nothing.

And that would be fine, if a) my apartment wasn't all kinds of freezing and b) those heavy rain falls didn't happen at moments when I either need to leave the house or am already out of the house.

But I digress.

Let's see, I've reached that point already where I get bored with soup before the end of the week. I mean the last one wasn't bad... it just wasn't outstanding.

DnD wasn't bad this week... my DMing streak continues on Monday nights, and I had an "old friend" (ie someone I met when I started playing who then disappeared for a while) show up and play on my table, which I enjoyed.

Wednesday wasn't bad... I played a character I haven't played in a while, spent a bunch of in-game money, got knocked unconscious (because this character ALWAYS gets knocked unconscious), but we emerged mostly victorious.

Thursday was... a premium Thursday experience I have to say... just the core Thursday group, with our original DM for these characters, fucking up an adventure in all kinds of new and interesting ways. It's weird that this is the character that a) was supposed to have a completely different personality, which only occasionally asserts itself and b) because I know her as part of that group, I know her probably the best out of all of my characters.

And because all my characters are more fleshed out versions of certain parts of my personality, she's 50% caring about those people she considers to be "hers" and 25% let me explain why you're wrong and 25% you're an asshole, go fuck yourself. Makes for an interesting time.

Completely unrelatedly, the newest Assassin's Creed game got announced this week, and unsurprising to anyone who's been paying attention, it's set in Ancient Greece. I was thinking about doing a whole blog post about it, but also realised I don't actually care that much. I mean some of the stuff I like... the dialogue options, the potential for same sex romance with characters, the fact that you get to play as your choice of a male or female character... all excellent choices.

What I don't like is the fact that THEY'RE NOT FUCKING ASSASSINS. We clearly saw in the previous game that the Assassin Order (aka The Hidden Ones) began with the assassination of Caeser in 44 BCE, whereas the new game takes place in 431 BCE... so 387 BEFORE the Assassins were even a thing.

Way to paint yourself into a story corner in about 37 seconds Ubisoft.

I'll also say that while it probably makes some degree of sense making an Athenian/Spartan divide to the campaign, I've always had much more interest in Athens than Sparta... so while that's not a deal breaker, it is making me that little bit less interested.

This also means that we know that the next game will be something along the lines of Assassins Creed Empire or something similar and be set in Ancient Rome, possibly even earlier still making even less sense.

Yeah, because clearly I don't care that much.

Next item that is taking up all the space in my head...

This is going to be a little vague, mostly because parts of this aren't my story to tell, but I need to get some of the other parts out of my head, or at least recorded somewhere so that I can look back and see how incredibly dumb I either was or wasn't.

I have a friend who I've always found a little bit flirty, he seems to do it with everyone, but he identifies as straight. Then I found out he's perhaps not as straight as previously indicated. And we started getting a lot closer, or at least talking a lot more. And he was still incredibly flirty and we sailed past a lot of normal conversation lines with pure abandon, with neither of us being particularly bothered by that (late night text based conversations will do that for you)... and then this week, after he'd been drinking we had a REALLY honest conversation.

So he has his own other issues going on, but he's also thought about the two of us together. And I'll admit, while I had entertained the same idea on more than one occasion, I had the barest of inklings that he was feeling that way... just something about our conversations and, I'll be honest, the way he looks at me sometimes.

The problems are many and varied... primarily, he's barely curious and has no experience... this makes me both a perfect person to be his first and also the worst. Because I'm not going to push him beyond his boundaries on the first go, but if it all goes south, I lose a friend and potentially fuck up things for a wider friendship group.

I'm also not sure if he's interested because he's interested or because he likes me (as a friend), I'm available and we flirt like crazy. And I asked him that, because we're way past not having those conversations at this point) and he doesn't know the answer. What I don't know is how long he's been having this thoughts... is it just since we started heavy duty talking? Or since we met? I have no idea.

So I'm completely unsure if he's actually going to accept my invitation to come over and hang out and chat tomorrow... and if he does, I'm not sure whether it's just a hang out with a friend who needs an ear, or if this is some kind of date, or if this is about sex.

Or possibly all three.

The sex thing I'm going to have to put back in his court... he needs to know why he wants to have sex with me before we do anything, because otherwise it's just a recipe for disaster. The problem being that he's very pretty.

The other worry is that I'm massively getting ahead of myself with all of this overthinking.

So, yeah... my brain is a little full.

Moving on to today...

I have no idea what the fuck I'm doing as far as soup is concerned this week... I'm considering making some sort of adapted version of Beef Rogan Josh... but thinning it out somewhat into soup. I have no idea. We'll see how it comes together tomorrow... or possibly Monday morning if my Sunday gets weird.

Otherwise everything was pretty average for the supermarket portion of the day... although much like the rest of the day, we mostly managed to fit it in between rain squalls.

It was definitely a day to be inside however, so we decided on a movie... and to head out to the new Palace Nova cinema on Prospect Road... because it's new, and we haven't been before.

It's not bad. I mean they definitely go with the "lets put lots of smaller cinemas in a place" over "a couple of big grand cinemas", but honestly, that's often a better idea. The inside of the building is sadly nowhere near as grand as the outside... and there's a whole "you can only go up via escalators" thing that's frankly a little weird.

But it was a nice trip to the movies.

We tossed around the idea of a brief wander along Prospect Road, but then threw the idea out since the weather was still questionable. And instead we went to Perrymans Bakery in North Adelaide and brought it back to my place.

So not a terribly exciting day, but at least we stayed out of the weather.

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photo saturday: art fish

orca tailgranny fish

sparkle woodfishmermaid butt
Okay, so this week was... a week.

Who am I even kidding, my weeks are, at this point, predominantly interchangeable. But some interesting, in the loosest possibly definition of the word, things came up.

Firstly, it appears that I am currently running the third season of DnD modules from start to finish... or at least all the Tier 1 stuff. I had no intention of it happening, it just kind of happened, like all things, because of a handsome man. And I may have picked up four other players, and five is generally a good number if we can keep it to five for the most part. I mean, I'll keep running stuff until Handsome Canadian Man either stops coming or changes characters. And we'll see what happens this week, because I killed his character last week. That's two different characters in two weeks, and both times because of animals. So I need to have a backup plan for what happens in that scenario next time (which I think I have a rough idea about already).

Then Wednesday I got to play, which was good, because it'd been almost two weeks at that point. However, we should actually have all died, which would mean that that character died twice in the last two games I played him in. Fortunately the DM took pity on us I think (potentially because we had a first time player with us) and had us be rescued by a Lizard on a Stick merchant we'd interacted with earlier in the story.

Thursdays are a little weird right now... we're doing the game off site as I think I mentioned for the last couple of weeks, and we're doing a hard cover book as well, which is a very different animal... and half of our players had to leave in the middle of the game to go and pick up food that should have been delivered by Urghber Eats, but somebody fucked up the address, so that was just weird.

Also, on a slightly related note... I have been having some very, very weird and fucked up conversations with a couple of the boys I play DnD with. By weird and fucked up, I mostly mean that they have an odd sexual element, not in an anyone hitting on anyone way, just sexual in nature. Trust me, I'm not complaining, it's just odd. Even though the more recent conversation is one of those where there really doesn't appear to be any kind of a filter in what we're saying... or possibly just me, because my filter just doesn't seem to work with him. Mostly when we're texting, but even in person a little bit. He's that kind of guy.

Again, I'm not hating it, I'm just not used to having so little filter. Is this what people do in the world? I really have no idea.

It's very possibly I just need to get laid in an effective and satisfying way. And I will say that these conversations with my boys are not making that need any less prevalent. Neither is the fact I'm having conversations with a number of other people who should, in theory, be able to assist with the issue, but are being... I'm going to go with temperamental. Or, conversely, I shouldn't be talking to in the first place.

Now what did I say about my filter being on the fritz? Yeah, that.

This week was also Ma's birthday and Owlgirl's birthday, since one comes directly after the other.

Have I mentioned at any point that I regularly have no fucking idea what the date is? Yeah, that happened this week and while I remembered that it was Ma's birthday, I didn't remember until about 11:30am.

And I'm broke and she didn't really want anything, so, yeah...

However, that brings us around to today.

Oh, before I get to that, I very successfully made chowder (CHOW-DAH) for the first time this week, using this recipe. Although interestingly enough I didn't use as much milk as the recipe called for. Also it would have potentially been nice with some cream. But it was pretty fucking impressive.

This week I really had no damn ideas, so I'm just going simple, with basically vegetable soup. M'eh, it's fine.

Anyway, we did the supermarket thing, as we do. And came back her, as we do. And then decided to head into the city, as we do.

waterhouse natural science art prize 2018
The main reason for the city trip was to check out the Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize, since we never had the opportunity to go to the one last year (for obvious reasons)... It wasn't a bad one... there were a few really nice pieces (some of my favourites of which are featured on the right), but nothing that really made either of us stand there and go "wow".

But it was a good way to spend a hour or so.

Then we did a bit of a wander down the Mall... nothing terribly exciting once again, but it wasn't bad either.

Ma wanted to head back to Empress near my place for her birthday dinner, and since we went there for my birthday dinner (technically we went to a much shittier place on my actual birthday, but I'm counting Empress as my birthday dinner because it was good), I wasn't going to complain.

The only potential issue was that they do Yum Cha on weekends, and I thought we might have had trouble actually getting a table.

Turned out, not so much, after a very, very long pause while the woman who greeted us did a bunch of calculations in her head (insert meme image of woman with formulas here), she gave us a table straight away.

This was also the first Yum Cha place we've been to where it was a combination of what I always thought Yum Cha was, staff moving around the restaurant with dishes you could just choose, and what it's been ever other time, which is picking from a menu of small dishes. And I don't hate the wandering around aspect... although if we'd really realised, then we may have ordered less things.

Also, the wandering boys need to learn to enunciate... or have a sign, or something. Especially when you think you're getting something involving plantain and it turns out to be spring onion.

The food is delicious though, so that's the main thing.

That was pretty much our day though. Shopping, art, food. Not a bad way to spend it to be honest.

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photo saturday: headshots

moustache envystreet archer

redheaded stepdummyroman head
Okay, so parts of this week kind of crept up on me.

Starting at the beginning, I made a fairly decent stew on Sunday, but to allow it to cook for long enough, I put it in the oven around 1:30pm and didn't take it out until after 7:30pm... so the meat was pretty damn tender.

Then I ended up running all three DnD games I was involved in this week... it wasn't necessarily supposed to be like that, but I've gotten into the habit of running on Mondays, mostly due to the cute Canadian dude who keeps showing up, and I ran his first game for him, and he's a fun player... and he's cute.

Wednesday I had two of the boys who haven't been around for a while in my group... so as much as I like being in a game with them, I like running for them. Plus nobody else was standing up and saying they'd run.

And Thursday I ran for my usual group, and as always, the adventure that killed the whole party when I played it, they essentially made it through without much drama. Yes, it's partly because I don't have that killer instinct, I don't WANT to kill off their characters, because I know how much that fucking sucks. I maybe need to go a little harder, make them think they are going to die (the characters that is) before I have them finish triumphantly.

Taking a slight left turn for a second, one of the things I always kid Ma about is that if I say to her "oh, I've been looking for this thing, but I can't find one anywhere", she will at times go out of her way to go and look for or find said item... and sometimes it's just something that I just want to consider, and sometimes I have to tell her to just not obsess over things.

And weirdly, I've had three separate conversations with three different people during the last week (or so), and I have realised that I'm doing the exact same thing in all three cases.

Fortunately one is being received with an appropriate level of engagement, one is a practical thing that will resolve easily and the third is something that I need to sit on my hands about until (or even if) the other party comes back to me for further discussions. It's weird that it's something I've been doing since forever, but I never really made the connection between that and Ma until this week, and in turn realised that the third instance absolutely requires a large amount of hand sitting.

Also, there are lines that shouldn't be crossed, let alone driven across in a bulldozer wrapped in high explosives. So there's that.

Otherwise I absolutely forgot that this week was both my haircut and my chiro appointment (since the two have synced up to the same week). I mean, I remembered in time to go to both things, but I forgot that this week was the week for them both.

The haircut went exactly the same as always... good chat, short hair, silver-ish colour.

Likewise the chiro appointment was much the same... thankfully my back was in a better state than the last time I went.

Today I was on my own for the supermarket portion of the morning... Ma's haircut seems to also have synced up with mine, at least I think it has... maybe it was just this time.

I hit a bit of a wall yesterday in the "what fucking soup do I want to make?" arena... but after some random Googling I decided on chicken and corn chowder. So we'll see how that goes since I've never made chowder before (if you don't count my tuna mornay, which I guess is kind of like a chowder).

Otherwise there was some shopping, and it was all a bit average to be honest.

When Ma came down we didn't really have a plan, so we did the new version of "wandering around Arndale", which is going to Big W, then Target, then calling it a day.

Which is what we did.

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photo saturday: fantasy figs

shield elfcyclorc

retro piratecaptain gold
So, the last seven days were... mostly typical, slightly atypical.

We'll start with last Saturday when I went out to drink alcohol, eat BBQ and play DnD. Thankfully I didn't get messy, there were puppy cuddles and some actual DnD was played... plus I got to freak everyone out with my entrance, so that was awesome.

And just meeting a couple of new people and doing something different was fun.

Speaking of DnD, Monday and Wednesday were typical days... although my first ever character made it to Level 11 (also known as Tier 3) on Wednesday, which is my first character to get that far.

Thursday was a mix of typical and atypical... DnD was played, but not at the game shop as usual... instead we went to the house of one of the group... and one of the boys came and picked me up and drove me over there, so that was nice.

It's also kind of weird when that particular group starts new characters... doubly so because it was a whole new location (both in and out of game to be honest), and this is a character I've had bubbling away for a little while now, so actually getting him out in the world was interesting. They're never 100% who you create them to be, you know.

Otherwise the rest of the week was m'eh. Recurring theme, I know.

Oh, and the tomato soup I made wasn't bad... although I kind of lost interest in it about halfway through the week. There wasn't anything wrong with it, I just found myself craving things other than tomato soup.

Today wasn't bad... although we're in that "no plans or destination of any kind" portion of the year, universe, whatever. At least I had my shit together enough to actually be ready by the time Ma arrived this week.

Anyway... supermarket stuff was... typical. I decided that beef stew was the go-to for this week... it'll mean I need to get a little more organised earlier and stick it in the oven for a few hours, but that should be fine, we'll see what happens.

Then, after some general time wasting, we ended up heading down to Marion. No specific reason, but it was something to do. We entertained the idea of a movie for about 12 seconds, but you know what, I'm not completely sure how much I care about these interim Star Wars movies.

We did the usual thing... a lap of the shopping centre, with various and sundry detours along the way whenever we saw anything that caught our eye.

To be honest, the main thing we saw were the most recent series of Lego minifigures... so that turned into a period of time with me feeling up little foil baggies... it's been a hot minute since that happened, and I feel like they've started inflating some of the baggies, so it's hard to work some of those minifigs out.

I didn't do too badly to be honest, although there were two I was certain I'd found that I had not.

After that we went and had some food and then called it a day.

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movies: avengers - infinity war

avengers: infinity war - where will you be, when it all ends?
It's both impressive and a little frightening that with only a couple of stumbles along the way *cough* theincrediblehulk *cough*, Marvel has been doing this shared movie universe thing for 10 whole years now.

And Avengers: Infinity War really shows that they know what they're doing.

For the record THERE WILL BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW. They won't be until later, and I'll try not to include too many, but I want to get my thoughts down about the end of the movie, and that, my friends, requires some degree of spoilers.

You have been warned.

Given that this movie's cast list is extensive to say the least (there are 24 characters on the poster for goodness sake... at least I think it's 24, I lost count several times), they did handle that many characters in probably the best way possible, splitting characters off into small groups, which leads to some really great pairings... Stark and Strange, Thor and Rocket... anybody who spends any screentime with Starlord. There were a few that I would definitely like to see together more... most notably Black Widow and Okoye, but hopefully that will happen in the second movie.

And they have also finally put together an adversary for the Avengers who has more than a single character trait (with the exception of Loki, but then he hasn't really been a formidable threat since the first Avengers movie)... Thanos is... complex. Don't get me wrong, he's an insane creature with a scrotum for a chin, but he's complicated. And Josh Brolin actually brings a lot to the character.

I will say that there are more than a few moments where I was already way ahead of the story... I'm not sure if that's a shared experience and intentional by the film makers, but especially towards the end there were a couple of times where I already knew what was about to happen (specifically with the soul and mind stones).

Thinking about it, it feels like the real keystones of this movie (pun entirely at your discretion) were Thor, the Guardians of the Galaxy and Dr Strange. Yes, Iron Man was in there too, but a lot of the time he felt secondary to Strange and Spiderman and eventually the Guardians. Also, I was basically over Tony about three movies ago (don't get me wrong, RDJ does a great job, I'm just essentially over the character himself).

And Captain America doesn't necessarily take a back seat, there's just not a whole heap for him to do. Thinking about the way the movie ended though, I think that essentially sidelining the entire original Avengers team in various ways was somewhat intentional, because they're clearly going to have to kick butt and take names in the sequel.

The movie also looks amazing (unsurprisingly)... from New York, to Wakanda, to maybe half a dozen alien planets... it looks great. Yes, there were times when I looked at the screen and thought "well, everything I'm looking at right now was created in a computer somewhere". None of it was bad, though... even though Thanos's whole gang were at least augmented in the computer.

Now, about that ending...

Remember, spoilers.

I'm not going to lie... I teared up a little bit twice during the ending and once before... the before part was Groot helping Thor with his new weapon, the end parts were Tom Holland's performance of his final lines as well as the scene between Groot and Rocket.

But does anyone ACTUALLY believe all of those people are gone for good. I mean, Black Panther... after the metric fuckton of money that movie just made, he's definitely coming back... and Spiderman has a solo movie coming out just after the Avengers sequel, so it all just lacked teeth.

Doubly so when you realise that of the 24 characters (and it is 24, I recounted) on the poster, the half that remain alive at the end of the movie are either side characters, the villain or the six original characters from the first Avengers movie.

Plus, keeping in mind Dr Strange's comment about how many possibly outcomes there are where the Avengers win basically brings us to a "Morpheus Matrix moment".

Yes, there is at least one character who probably won't be coming back... but even that I'm not sure about, because comic books and the things they inspire are weird that way.

But it was good... it was a great ride, they finally fixed the villain problem that has been part of almost every Marvel movie, and it was a hell of a cliffhanger to go out on.

yani's rating: 4 infinity stones out of 5

photo saturday: elementals

flamebreeze

bricksspray
This week started with a "m'eh" and ended with a "hey, that's outside the norm".

My back is improved, although I have been spending more time in the horizontal position, just to give it a break from lugging my dumb ass around. But for reasons that I cannot under any circumstances explain, a muscle in my left calf had a moment on the way to DnD on Monday night. I wasn't doing anything strange, I'd worn a different pair of sneakers much earlier in the day, but yeah, it just locked up on me.

And it was also on the improve until today when it did it again. That shit can all just fuck right off to be honest. I'm not here for it at all.

I also made a pretty awesome chicken noodle soup. I mean, touch wood, and let's not jinx myself and all that, but I've been pretty impressed with myself so far this soup season.

Speaking of DnD... I experienced a TPK (total party kill) on Wednesday for the first time. Turns out that it was written by the guy who managed to kill the only other one of my characters... so that's a fun time. I mean, it's DnD, so death is very rarely terminal... but it is inconvenient. And none of us got any rewards from the adventure, because that's what happens when you die in the middle of the jungle.

Yeah, not real happy about it.

I also ran what may have been the best game I've run... possibly ever. I don't know if everyone necessarily had the best time, but it was with a couple of the Thursday boys, and, oddly enough, the first person to ever DM for us as a group, and also the first person who DM'd for us as the group of characters we most regularly play. So that was fun. But the fact that my boys REALLY went to town on the roleplay was the best part of it... and for purely story related reasons, I got to really mess with one of them... and he absolutely came along for the ride with me.

It was pretty damn awesome. There is absolutely nothing better than when you throw out a roleplay hook, either as a player or as the DM, and one of the other players picks it up and elevates it beyond what you expected. And that's when it gets really, really good.

Otherwise, the week was... m'eh. As my weeks tend to be right at the moment.

Today started off with me scrambling around once again, since I overslept. Less fun to be honest.

It felt pretty damn good to be back at the "correct" supermarket too... and it's so weird that I never realised how much bigger Norwood was compared with Northpark... even when we first switched over. And I have no idea why.

This week I'm attempting tomato soup... entirely made up out of my own head... which is probably going to be fine, but we'll see if I can make it just right.

When we got back, the singular neighbour that I keep running into over and over and over was trying to push his car out of his carpark and asked me to help... which was fine, but ended up taking a while because after we tried the pushing thing, we also tried the jumper cables from my boot, but his battery was pretty fucking dead. If it hadn't been for last week and me really wanting there to be someone magically appear out of nowhere to help me get my car started, I may not have bothered... but you know... sometimes you have to.

It does fly in the face of my entire "never get to know your neighbours if you can avoid it" life philosophy though.

After that we decided to head into town to finally go and see the new Avengers movie, but we had a bit of time for a wander up the mall beforehand... so we did that too. We stopped in at Crumpler and the girl walked me through their new "convertible" briefcase/backpack bags, the Credential and the Logician... which are essentially the same (although one of them doesn't actually convert). If I had, you know, actual disposable income or whatever, one of them might make a nice replacement for my DnD bag... but I'll cope for now.

Then we headed for the movies.

And you know how sometimes when there's assigned seating, you think "well, why can't we just have those seats instead" (to be honest, I think assigned seating is the plague and should 100% be done away with, with the possibility of something like Gold Class)... so this time I went and got our seats changed over, and it wasn't an issue at all. I mean it's not something I'd like to do every time, but I'm glad I did it.

After the movie, we stopped off at Max Brenner for a bite to eat... well, you know, mostly chocolate things. And now I'm having either a sugar high or a sugar crash, I'm not entirely sure which, because I don't normally have either.

Then in a couple of hours, I'm getting picked up to go and play DnD with the Thursday boys and their girlfriends. I'm just guest starring on this one, but the DM and I have been vaguely scheming for the last week or so, so if nothing else, my entrance should be good.

What's going to happen after that will be interesting.

Also, there will be drinking, and I've never mixed drinking and DnD before... so that'll be a whole new experience.

Otherwise that's really about it for the week.

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photo saturday: lowrizon

sydney skyscapeopera house and tall ship

port bridgequeen mary 2 and harbour bridge
You know what they say... you can never go home again. I just didn't really realise it applied to supermarkets too.

But I'm ahead of myself.

I'm really killing it with soup right at the moment... I made ham, potato and leek this week, and partly because I put a whole pack of shredded ham as well as a chorizo and some bacon in it, it was pretty damn good.

DnD was pretty standard/average this week... although I did end up standing around with one of the other DMs afterwards... well, first it was helping him sort some stuff out, then after they kicked us out of the store there was a fair amount of standing around, and I think I left at around 12:30... so that was a thing that happened.

We also played with a trio of actual young people on Thursday... like between 12 and 14 yos maybe... it was an experience, but weirdly not that different from playing with some of the 20-somethings. There was one who was very much into his character and interacting with everything, one who was perennially distracted and one who was a bit of a blank slate.

Also, because this week is the 6th anniversary of this, my back did have a bit of a spasm this week. Because of course it did. While putting on a pair of socks of all things. Fortunately I recognised the signs, and while I was mostly okay on Thursday, walking to DnD wasn't my finest moment... also I probably shouldn't have sat down for the whole four hour period, but you know... I did go and see my chiro on Friday morning, and then came home and spent the majority of Friday day just laying down in bed.

Which is basically what I'm planning to do after I finish writing this.

Today was... challenging.

After putting it off for about a year I'd finally gotten around to organising another service for my car, part of the problem being that the mechanic we go and see is way over next to the shops we used to go to, and not quite as convenient. But I arranged with Ma to meet her there, and scheduled the service for 8am this morning.

At 7:35 this morning I discovered that when I parked my car on Thursday the door somehow hadn't completely closed, which meant that the inside light was on. For roughly 32 and a half hours.

I had no remaining battery.

Not really how this morning was supposed to go. What followed was a phonecall to Ma, then one to the RAA to come and jumpstart the car, then one to the mechanic telling him I'd be late. The RAA man took about half an hour to arrive, which wasn't horrible considering, but when it takes all of about 12 seconds for him to actually make the car work again, it's a little... irritating.

So then I headed down to our old supermarket, dropped the car in across the road and went over to meet up with Ma.

I absolutely had one of those "has this place always look quite so scruffy and tiny?" moments... and while I think the answer is decidedly yes, I also feel like it's gotten worse in the last year and a half since we were last there.

But just trying to do a shop at the supermarket we used to go to was an adventure. I swear that the supermarket never used to feel that tiny and undersupplied. And yet, there it was. Given the fact that they didn't even have the milk I buy or the strong Iced Coffee, I couldn't really deny the fact. Yeah, seriously never want to have to go back there again. Plus the Baker's Delight that used to be there has gone "off brand", so that was pretty much the nail in the coffin.

Also, we bought hardly anything... I mean that sometimes happens, especially when I'm making soup and not much else, and the fact I couldn't buy milk, but even so it was all a bit blah.

We did what we've done a million other times in the past and wandered around in the half of the shopping centre on the other side of the road (and found milk over there with no drama), then called it quits and came back here.

We really hadn't decided what to do, and were kind of wasting a little bit of time when the mechanic called to say that he was all done. So then there was essentially a montage of Ma and I driving all the way back there, then finding our own ways back.

And because I hadn't punished myself enough already, I decided to drive back through the city. Yeah, I realised it was pretty much a stupid idea around the time it was impractical to change my mind and go a different way. But we still got back to my place around the same time, Ma did get there first though.

Then we just headed into the city... for no real reason, mostly because we were a little too late for going to the movies and we really didn't have any ideas, and it was around noon by the time we got back to my place.

So we basically just wandered from one end of the mall to the other, poked around the bookstore (where I found these, which have the most amazing feeling covers... plus I love a good word cloud), then headed down to Burger Theory for lunch.

And then we called it a day.

Not much of day, to be honest, but still a day.

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photo saturday: shrine

shrine forecourtshrine angel

shrine detailshrine message
It was a busy week that honestly didn't feel like it. It was also a very, very wet week.

And the week wasn't that different from every other week, really.

I made what is probably the best minestrone soup I have ever made in my whole life this week... partly through the application of both chorizo sausages and, oddly, cabbage.

As usual there were three games of DnD... I ran Monday's game and played on Wednesday and Thursday. Monday's game was fun, if only because I did more prep than usual (because it was the aftermath of the epic I didn't go to last Saturday), and I had a group of players I don't generally have (which was nice).

Also, a lesson I have learned well as a player is that if a DM introduces physical props to the adventure, players cannot resist putting their grubby little hands on them, which meant that I was able to whisper in the ear of one of the players with the unspeakable things he was hearing in his head from the villain. He could not have reacted better.

Part of me is a little annoyed with my Wednesday and Thursday DM's, not because they weren't good... they were... but because of "reasons" they both said that they'd send the XP and loot from the adventure to us... That was Wednesday and Thursday, and I'm still waiting. Yeah, sure, you might have jobs and partners and children and whatnot, but it would take all of about 2 minutes to do.

What was interesting (okay, interesting to me but probably nobody else at all ever) about Wednesday and Thursday was that I got to play the same character in the two different sides of her personality. When she's not with the Thursday chuckleheads where she actually cares about them or ends up being the calm voice of reason, or at least stops them from poking their own eyes out with a sharp stick... she can revert to how I originally designed her... as a bit of a bitch. Which is fun to play.

Although I just can't be that complete asshole character that other people seem to be able to play... I just don't have it in me.

Anyway...

Thursday was Haircut Day... it was also Many Much Rain Day... which made life interesting. Fortunately it wasn't raining heavily when I needed to drive up into the hills, but everybody did seem to be being a little bit more careful, which was nice. The biggest difference was on the way back down the hill, since instead of the usual 90kph speed limit, it fluctuated anywhere from 80kph to 40kph... and there was a brief instance of fog.

As far as the actual Haircut was concerned... same old same old. It was an actual colour session this time though, so my hair is all pale and whatnot. Tink and I did the usual prattle on for however long it takes for all the stuff in my hair to do what the stuff in my hair needs to do, then we called it a day so I could get down the hill again before rain happened.

Friday was Chiro Day (much less exciting, but slightly more necessary than Haircut Day). Which meant that I headed into town in the afternoon, had the chiro appointment and then did a bit of wandering around afterwards.

Today just kind of did it's own thing, to be honest.

We started with the usual shopping excursion... I'm planning on making potato and leek soup this week, but I'm throwing in a couple of other similarly hued vegetables, to see if I can add to the interest factor at all. I mean, I'm guessing now... but we'll see.

When we got back here, we both said that we really didn't need to go anywhere or do much of anything, so we really didn't know what the hell to do.

In the end we decided to take a little trip down to Harbortown, mostly so I could look in the Bonds outlet and the Typo outlet. As if often the case, we came back with a number of items, none of which were the two things we went looking for.

In fairness, they didn't have my size at one, or a style I liked at the other. But what they did have were more Bonds hoodies and trackpants on sale... and I do love a Bonds hoodie.

I also found a cute mug with my initial on it, Ma discovered the Pop Electric Harajuku Lovers perfume finally got released somewhere other than Japan... which is awesome, and we filled a half priced box at the Lindt store.

So much goodness was done and, technically, money was saved (I mean, a bunch was spent, but we saved more overall, if that makes any sense).

After we had a Lindt milkshake at the Lindt store... because why wouldn't you... we headed over to Glenelg to grab some lunch at the Orange Spot cafe (quick review, I wasn't overly impressed with their cheese kransky compared with the one at the North Adelaide Bakery, but their pepper steak pie was a knockout), then went and traumatised the seagulls with the pastry crumbs by the beach before heading back here.

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photo saturday: streetart stopvalve

street art braille

street art stop valve
You know those weeks best described as "m'eh"... yeah, this was one of those weeks.

Not least of all, I think, because it was the one year anniversary of this. Amongst other things, I got into my head a little bit. I mean there are a bunch of other reasons for me being in my head, but that's definitely one of them.

I way, way, way over-supplied myself with frozen peas for my pea soup this week. Like I bought double the amount I needed. And I used pretty much all the bacon I had in the freezer, but it turned out pretty well. A little... dull isn't the right word, it was tasty, I guess it just felt uninspiring, insomuch as I enjoyed it when I was eating it, but the idea of doing so beforehand didn't thrill me.

Due to ANZAC Day being on Wednesday and the shops being traditionally closed until noon, there was no Wednesday DnD this week. Which just felt weird, not gunna lie.

The other two games were... what's the DnD equivalent of "a hot mess"? Actually that's not completely true... but Monday's game was seven people with a DM who really can't control a table of seven people (to be honest, he struggles with four people, depending of course on who those four people are) and Thursday's game was me running an adventure I'd read once, several weeks ago and was basically getting through by the skin of my teeth.

I missed the replay of the epic from December today... but I am running one of the "postscript" adventures to the epic on Monday, so that should be interesting.

Today was... an exercise in frustration and not much else to be honest.

Ma was getting her hair did, so I was on my own for the supermarket portion of the morning. Which was fine, except I kind of didn't get my act together as early as I would have liked, then Ma messaged me way earlier than I was expecting to say that she was already on her way. And that message arrived at around the same time that I discovered that the petrol station near the supermarket, where I was headed this morning due to an almost empty tank, is closed, partially closed, undergoing renovations... I don't know. All I know is that when I tried to visit it this morning I couldn't.

Shopping was fine, this week's soup of choice is going to be Frankenminestrone... in so much as I have about four or five different Minestrone recipes in my head, and will be attempting to follow at least some part of each one. Mostly I'm going to make it up as I go and see what happens.

When I got back to my place Ma had just arrived, and there was some back and forth about what the hell was happening. Then, since we had no plans of any kind, we ended up just doing a run down the road to first Big W, then Target, doing a fairly pointless wander in each and then calling it a day.

So, yeah... and if you don't mind, I'm going to go and distract myself from the voices in my head.

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