welcome to night vale

welcome to night vale
Welcome to Night Vale is "a podcast in the style of community updates for the small desert town of Night Vale, featuring local weather, news, announcements from the Sheriff's Secret Police, mysterious lights in the night sky, dark hooded figures with unknowable powers and cultural events".

Their live show is all of that and more, live and in person.

And yours truly had both front row seats and (without knowing it) a feature cameo.

The show started with The Rules, presented by the lovely Night Vale "Proverb Lady", Meg Bashwiner... to sum up, photos good, video/audio recording bad and Meg is the voice of your inner monologue which is why you're funnier in your head.

Next up was the musical guest/opener, Dessa. Now possibly due to our closeness to the stage some of the lyrics to her songs were hard to hear/understand, but I was generally impressed by her. If for no other reason than she had the whole crowd in the palm of her hand very quickly... and she was just the right amount of fun and quirky that Night Vale demands.

Then the Voice of Night Vale, Cecil Baldwin, took the stage and the show really kicked into gear.

Cecil really is the thing that makes the show... well the writing by show creators Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor is key, but I couldn't imagine Night Vale without Cecil's dulcet tones and perfect delivery. And to get to see him do it live, with all the facial expressions you don't even consider he's making when you're just listening, made it all the more fun.

He doesn't have to carry the whole show alone, he was joined by various other Night Vale residents, first Deb the sentient patch of haze (aka Meg), then the adorable Dylan Marron as Carlos, resident Night Vale scientist and Cecil's in-show boyfriend... and who got to do a much funnier piece that he's usually confined to on the show (being mostly concerned with science, the Desert Otherworld and Cecil). Next up was Fink as one of the long running series of ill-fated radio station interns, who met an untimely demise (with a very impressive scream), followed by Cranor as a Secret Police spokesperson.

Running through the show was the story of a murderer on the loose and a murder mystery dinner theatre that all the people of Night Vale were compelled to attend by the aforementioned Secret Police.

As soon as the weather report was over (also known as another musical number from Dessa... Night Vale weather always takes the form of a piece of music and has nothing to do with actual weather) and Cecil was back to unmask the gruesome murderer.

And, spoilers... turns out it was me. By which I mean, I'm guessing that Cecil generally picks somebody from the front row as the murderer, and that just happened to be me this time around. So I had to stand up, gave a bow, had Cecil talk directly to me, got applauded by the audience, got pointed at by the audience and told not to do it again, then bowed and applauded again. It was a hell of a feeling to be honest.

It was a great show overall, both just from the perspective of being able to see the faces behind the voices (for example I had no idea that Marron was so cute or that Disparition was just one dude), but just feeling the great energy they all brought to the stage was fantastic.

I just wish it could have gone on even longer than it did. And that they come back again.

Current Mood:

leaving north adelaide

light pointercarclew tower
I feel like I should have put together a post like the one I made when I left my old apartment... a catalogue of thoughts and memories of the last two years and what-have-you. But I realised about midway through the week when I'd attempted to start said post at least twice that essentially it's not something I feel like I can write.

There are two main reasons... the first being that the last two years in this apartment are pretty much laid out in either my blog, my Twitter or my Instagram... highs, lows, annoying neighbours, food prepared, home decor experiments, finally having more art on the walls than sitting on the floor, breaking my thumb, putting my back out again... it's all already there. Or at least as much of it as I'm probably willing to share.

The second is mostly that I don't really feel like I've been in this apartment long enough to make really significant memories... it literally feels like yesterday that I was watching the moving guys carry boxes up the stairs while I stood around feeling vaguely useless. And on Saturday that happens again but in reverse.

The other part of that is that I feel no sense of excitement about this move. There's a sense of relief that I don't have to continue to look for somewhere and that I won't be homeless/have to go and stay with Ma when my time runs out (which would have been doubly annoying in that I would have had to pay for movers twice). But that's it...

east gate riderfive four three
I'm not happy about the move, I'm not excited to get to the new place, I'm even less excited to be setting up the new place which will mean having to buy more furniture. In fact this whole experience just involves me spending a whole bunch of money I don't want to spend to do something that isn't a positive step forward for me.

This also includes an unscheduled trip tomorrow morning to the mechanic since the brakes in my car have decided to be very, very, very spongy over the past week, and I'm going to need them a lot over the next month or so.

And yes, I know I sound like a Negative Nancy (plus I've said this all before, in a variety of ways)... and I may very well get over myself in a month or two, but I kinda doubt it. This is what it is for the period of time that it needs to be a thing, and then hopefully I get to move forward into something better and overall more suitable to my needs.

Given that I'm not sure when I lose my phone line and hence all my internet tomorrow, I figured I'd do a little bit of a recap of this week now, since the remainder of it will probably be covered by the moving in post once I finally get my internets back, hopefully by the end of next week.

shuttered windowsmedical windows
It's kind of a short round-up to be honest...

Sunday, after a whole day on Saturday of packing all my worldly possessions into boxes, Ma came back down and we spent the whole day packing more of my worldly possessions into boxes. By the end of the day we were at 35 boxes (including 5 boxes full of artworks), the kitchen cupboards were pretty empty beyond actual foodstuff I mostly didn't really need through this week and crockery to eat said foodstuffs, my wardrobe was just clothes plus my old laptop and the original 1970's platform shoes that used to belong to Raury and all that was left to pack was either the difficult/delicate stuff or the random stuff we just never got to. I did manage to pack a box on Tuesday night, but my heart wasn't really in it. That's what tomorrow is for to be honest. And Saturday morning before the movers show up.

I continued to unofficially catalogue "lasts" in my head all week too... the last time I'll hear rain cascading from the guttering next door and making that noisy but satisfying "tin roof" noise on my place... the last time I'll make soup in this apartment (very successful potato, leek, bacon and cheese soup for the record)... the last time I'll get laid in this apartment (last Sunday evening)... the last time I'll catch that particular bus to work and walk home in that particular direction... and the last time I'll drive that specific route to get to Tink's place to get my hair did.

Which brings me nicely around to earlier this evening when I did in fact head to Tink's place to get my hair did.

morning treessilver spaceship
It was pretty much a semi-standard visit... the only main difference was that because we're still dealing with the fallout from my blue hair (and the fact that the colour we covered it with gave off a vaguely green hue in certain light) we couldn't just go back to my regular colour.

Instead we went with some foils and some gentler bleach, so it's got a lot of colour variation going on, which is nice. And according to Tink we can go back to the usual colour next time.

Other than that we generally just talked about random things as we usually do... with my housing/moving trials and tribulations being the main discussion point.

So this is pretty much where I'm going to leave this post... and come Saturday, this apartment. I've loved my time here (or at the very least my minor niggles have dramatically been overshadowed by everything that was great about this place), I'm legitimately more sad to leave this place than I have been any other place I've lived. It came along at exactly the right time and saved me from a very, very different and probably much less enjoyable couple of years.

Goodbye little house... and I'll see the rest of you on the flipside once I'm all moved in to the new place.

Current Mood:

a very packing saturday

keep calm and start packing
My life feels so fucking weird right now... No, scratch that, my life is so fucking weird right now. But at least I have some degree of forward momentum.

Rolling the clock back to last Sunday though, I did a little more packing and decided that although I'd said I was going to have the Monday off from work, I needed to go into work to scan the two applications I wanted to send off for apartments.

Essentially I stuck around work until about 1pm and almost everything I did was related to either applying for apartments or looking for new ones.

A definite case of soz/not soz to be honest.

Then I had two additional places I wanted to look at on Monday afternoon... before I headed off to the first one though, the agent for one of the Saturday places called me to check something on my application and to say that she was pretty sure it was going to be accepted.

You would think that would be great news, right?

Except I couldn't remember if it had an airconditioner, and neither the photos nor the text description mentioned it. What I should have done was call her back right away and ask.

That's not what I did, and I'm still kicking myself for that.

Instead I went to the other two places, one felt very out of my league (and to be honest had too much damn space for my needs), the other was a little shabby chic and definitely very 1930's in origin so the layout was ridiculous. But it could have been workable. The location was both great and not perfect, but it was looking like a front runner.

Then, driving back home I got a call from the other agent (which I didn't take, because driving)... which turned into a text message telling me I'd been accepted for the last place we looked at on Saturday.

And that's when I had a little bit of a meltdown. If it didn't have air-con, I definitely didn't want it... if it did I was still unsure about it. It's further from the city than I really would have liked, and there's definitely a number of storage issues (as part of the ongoing feeling I have where I want to beat all architects who design one bedroom apartments with a very large stick and explain to them exactly what is required in terms of both storage and just space in general)... but it has some advantages... plus it's the only place I'd been accepted for at that point.

So I spend the whole of the Australia Day holiday freaking the fuck out to greater or lesser degrees, including a very long phone call with Ma in the morning where I think I pretty much had the meltdown that I should have had as soon as they told me I had to leave here.

I also packed a couple more boxes, did some reorganising and did what I've done for most of the week to avoid disappearing inside my own brain, watch an excessive number of Buzzfeed videos. Which is definitely easy because there's a metric fuckton of them.

Come Wednesday morning, I was emotionally exhausted, so much so that after going to bed at 11pm, I woke up briefly at 3am and my brain refused to let me go back to sleep... eventually I just gave up on trying and picked up my phone and distracted myself with that until it was time to get up and go to work. When I got to work I put in the application for the shabby chic place and tried to work out what to tell the other agent when I called her back.

Turns out she called me first.

So I started the call with "err, problem, no air-con"... she responded with "nah, herpa-derp, air-con"... and I asked if I could call her back in ten minutes.

I nearly just said I'd take it, but I just needed to talk it through with somebody first. Ma was that somebody... lucky Ma. And all of this took place in the front foyer at work, fortunately without crying, wailing and gnashing of teeth which had accompanied the phone call on Tuesday.

Eventually after we'd been pretty much over much of the same ground as we had on that previous call, she finally said, quite quietly "Just take the apartment". It was the perfect thing for her to say at that moment, as it would have done one of two things, either I agree with her and I have my answer or I disagree with her and still have my answer.

Turns out I agreed with her. In fact, I'd been about to say the same thing just as she said it.

So I called the agent back and accepted the apartment. I move in next Saturday. Two years and a month to the day of moving in here.

I'll be completely honest, I'm seeing this as a stepping-stone arrangement. What I would really love to do is buy an apartment, but that takes like money and stuff, so that's going to have to wait, especially since I don't know what's going on with work after the middle of this year.

My general issues with the place as it stands are the lack of storage space, its distance from the city (which I think is going to be the ongoing sore point) and some few other minor niggles that can mostly be solved by a couple of trips to IKEA.

In the plus column, it doesn't have a west facing anything, which is new and different as far as places I've lived in are concerned, and it also has wooden floors, so I don't have to worry about a) dark sock fluff on light tan carpets, b) mystery marks on light tan carpets and c) having to get the carpets steam cleaned when I move out. Also it's nice and close to the shops at Burnside (closer than I currently am to the Village here in North Adelaide to be honest), so that's going to be useful. Especially as there is both a Bendigo Bank and a post office in the complex.

Once I finally said yes it was a matter of starting all the other arrangements that need to happen when you move house. And you always forget just how fucking expensive all those little things are. Forget the big stuff of the bond and the two weeks rent and the cost of actual moving men. Stuff like disconnecting and reconnecting your phone, gas and electricity... and that shit comes with a cost. Cleaning the carpets is fucking expensive (but better than not getting the bond back), even rolls of bubblewrap are expensive given what they actually are.

And that's even before I have to buy some kind of storage solutions for my clothes... or the kitchen.

I also lost the majority of Thursday morning at work to making a ton of phone calls to organise the utilities and internets and whatnot. It's so weird that even in the two years since I moved into this place that some of that stuff has gotten more complicated. Or else there's just something about this particular move that has attracted a general level of complication to it.

Like the fact that for the first time since I moved out of home I'll have a different landline number. Sure there was about six months between moving to Golden Grove with Ludo and then moving into Lownee's old place, but when I came back to North Adelaide, I was actually able to get the same phone number back... and I've had it ever since. Now I have some random collection of numbers for the new place, which will take me forever to memorise since I never give it to people anyway.

On the upside, since I made the decision to take the apartment I haven't wanted to burst randomly into tears for seemingly no particular reason. And my appetite has returned which is good, but has also meant that I ended up buying random take-out several nights this week.

I will miss the take-out opportunities in North Adelaide, even though I usually tend to go to the same two or three places.

But, getting back to this week...

By the time Friday rolled around I'd packed up seventeen boxes, mostly the small ones full of DVDs and books and stuff... and they've started to take over the far corner of the living room.

This morning Ma was off to get her hair did first thing, so I was on my own for shopping... and it didn't seem that there was much point in getting a ton of things given that I'd just have to pack them all up again by the end of the week, so I kept it pretty casual... although I decided that I was slightly bored with salads, so I'm going to make a batch of potato and leek soup for lunches this week.

On the plus side, because I probably don't need as much as I'm going to end up making, I'll have some for dinners as well. I'm also planning on overloading it with a lot of the cheese rinds that I've been shoving in the freezer for the last few months.

And it'll be nice and cathartic... and also the very last pot of soup I ever make in this apartment. I feel like there's going to be a lot of that this week... "this is the last X, I'll X in this apartment". Like the Australia Day fireworks... last fireworks I'm going to see from that bedroom window.

When Ma came down I kind of burbled a bunch of information at her and then we took a quick trip to Bunnings to pick up some more packing tape (and some FRAGILE tape, because the stickers they give you never last long enough)... and if I'd known then how the day was going to progress, I would have picked up a big roll of bubblewrap then.

I was also on the lookout for a similar portable counter to the one I bought when I first moved in here (as seen in these photos), but it looks like the company who made it doesn't even make anything similar any more. I didn't see anything slightly similar either, which is a little annoying... but I may have to first see how much stuff I can actually get into my new kitchen cupboards and figure out what I actually need from there.

Then we headed back here, and started packing things up... we were supposed to be packing up the stuff from the kitchen that I wasn't going to need between now and the move, but I was trying to attack something else first and Ma started wrapping up the artwork I'd moved to make room for boxes, so that kind of turned into a thing.

Did I have a metric fuckton of artwork last time I moved? Yes, yes I did. Did I have as much artwork as I do now? No... there's a whole bunch of posters and things I put into the really cheap and simple IKEA frames while I've been here... and I had at least half a dozen things professionally framed. And it took me varying degrees of time to get things on the walls... some of it was fairly quick after I moved in, other things took a while before I got them how I wanted them (and they progressed even after those photos were taken).

But as long as it took to get everything up on the walls, taking it all down and pulling all the Command hooks off the wall (with not a single casualty... although there were a couple of the little tiny ones that I ended up having to pull off the wall when the tabs broke... they came off clean though) took a little over an hour. And left me with a bag full of plastic and metal. Plus an apartment with bare walls that it now undeniably the apartment of somebody who's moving out.

While I was pulling hooks off the wall, Ma continued to wrap the artwork, then at a certain point I pulled a bunch of stuff out of the top kitchen cupboards... pantry stuff, most of my tea gear, that kind of thing... and basically just spread it all over the kitchen counter as stuff that needed to be put away.

Then I went to attack the wardrobe... and if there was ever an indication that I have a serious problem when it comes to both underwear and socks, it would be the fact that I literally threw away a giant bag full of both that I never wear anymore and which had been relegated to just taking up space in the bottom of the wardrobe.

Yeah, I know, there is definitely going to be some serious sorting of shit once I get to the new place (yeah, again, I know, it's better to throw stuff out before you go, but I really don't know how much space I'm going to end up with, so it's going to have to be after).

Around that point we headed out to grab some lunch and a giant roll of bubblewrap from the Bunnings in Kent Town. Note to myself... the Bunnings in Kent Town is tiny and has a really shitty car park, don't go there again.

On the way back to stopped off at the Bakery for assorted pies and whatnot, then back here for more packing...

In the end we only really packed four boxes, however that doesn't include the three boxes that are full of bundled up artworks... I just haven't sealed them or given then an official number (yeah, again, I know... I'm just keeping track of things in the notes on my phone so I don't have to write a bunch of stuff on the tops of the boxes). I also don't know if I'm going to let the movers move them or do what I did last time and move anything that I'm a little twitchy about by myself.

So Ma is coming back down tomorrow to help me finish off some more of the packing... then I have next Friday off to finish things up and pick off the keys to the new place, then Saturday the movers show up in the afternoon.

Like last time I'll be offline from when I move until I get internet reconnected, and hopefully that will only take about five days like last time (although given that I kept the same number last time, who the fuck knows this time). I'm also not sure exactly when they're going to cut off the phone here... I think it may end up being Friday morning, so that'll suck slightly for keeping myself entertained Friday evening.

So yeah, it's all really happening... and in roughly the same frame as last time.

Current Mood:

lego minifigures series 15

lego minifigures series 15
I think this is the first time that I've actually blogged the line-up for a series of minifigures AFTER I've bought the set.

Part of the problem was that I couldn't find the usual graphic anywhere... which is the same problem I had with the last series to be honest(turns out I kept looking on the USA version of the Lego website not the UK version).

The line-up for the fifteenth series (and the eighteenth overall) is:
  • Wrestling Champion
  • Janitor
  • Kendo Fighter
  • Jewel Thief
  • Astronaut
  • Flying Warrior
  • Tribal Woman
  • Laser Mech
  • Farmer
  • Ballerina
  • Faun
  • Queen
  • Shark Suit Guy
  • Frightening Knight
  • Clumsy Guy
  • Animal Control Officer
My absolute favourite from this set is the Faun... he has a unique set of legs and an adorable set of horns and ears attached to his hair. I'm also quite fond of the Jewel Thief, the Shark Suit Guy and the Ballerina. The Queen is also pretty amazing since it's the first time we've seen a skirt like that... and she matches the King from Series 13 perfectly.

I was also surprised to see that there are two very large animal pieces, the pig and the skunk. And is it just me or does the farmer look a hell of a lot like Steve Jobs?

As far as I understand, the Tribal Woman is the first instance of a Lego baby and she's also the first female Native American we've had in the minifig collection.

I kinda wish they'd gone all the way with the Flying Warrior and just made his face and arms gold too... I don't mind him though with his eagle helmet and wings.

As for the ones I'm not that bothered by... well, that's essentially the Laser Mech (do we really need another "mech"?), the Janitor and the Animal Control Officer... her skunk is cool, but she's a bit bland overall.

For the usual detailed look at the series, take a look at White Fang's review over at Eurobricks.

Rumour has it that the next series is going to be Disney themed or at least that there's a Disney series coming, so that'll be interesting... granted if they go with the moulded heads like The Simpsons I could be less interested, but I'm looking forward to seeing what/who they come up with.

Personally I'm hoping for a Lilo and a Stitch and as many of the villainesses that they want to cram in there. Given that they've already got a mould for the bottom half of a genie, I can pretty much guarantee there will be Genie from Aladdin though.

Current Mood:

photo saturday: beach shapes

red shorts and spotsbarbed dog

fish rocksblue flounders

yellow boardyellow rays

rusted punkhat runner
My life happens to, on occasion, suck beyond the telling of it. Sometimes more than I can handle.
Buffy Summers, Buffy The Vampire Slayer - Earshot
It's not really surprising, but the speed at which I went from cautious optimism to flat out panic on Friday was slightly breathtaking...

But I'm getting a little ahead of myself.

After last weekend's "fun and games" I spent a little time on both Saturday night and Sunday putting stuff into boxes, but gave up after around three... partly because I just couldn't summon up the energy to do any more. It wasn't actually until Friday night that I picked up the big roll of sticky tape and shoved more of my life into tiny cardboard boxes.

Tuesday night I went to see another apartment in Kent Town... and I'm pretty sure it was designed by the same architect as my old place... it had the same textured ceiling, same window designs... although the up side was that this had been renovated in the last couple of years so it had a brand new kitchen, a shiny bathroom and polished concrete floors.

But than I had the dilemma that I wanted that place over the place I looked at last Thursday, but it was a case of waiting to hear from them before the first place called me.

In the end I shouldn't have been so concerned because I had to call both of them myself, only to find out that I hadn't been successful in either application. Which was pretty much the point on Friday where my optimism turned to panic. I will say that I'm glad we weren't that busy at work because I spent the majority of my afternoon looking through the rental listings and trying to find something in the right price range in something that could be considered the right location and roughly the size I need it to be.

For the purposes of Friday's search, "the right location" had to be stretched more than I would otherwise have liked... but I still came up with a few places to look at over the next week.

I also happened across a number of ads relating to my old apartment block. I saw the first one by accident, and legitimately wheeled my chair away from the computer so that I wouldn't be tempted to click on it. As I think I said last week I didn't want anything to do with the old place... like breaking up with somebody and not wanting to know if they're happy or miserable or anything at all... you just want to remember them as the broken down wreck they were when you left them.

But the thumbnail image on the ad made me so very curious that in the end I had to look... and to go back to the ex analogy, it's like dating somebody who was the aforementioned broken down wreck and then seeing them after they've had some ill-advised plastic surgery, put on 20kg of muscles and gotten a number of pretty but pointless tattoos.

Essentially, I can't get my head around what the hell they've done to the places, but I do know that whoever the architect was, they were clearly a moron. Cutting down windows from being essentially a whole wall to being a tiny slit a couple of feet tall, and rearranging the layout in ways that don't make the least bit of sense. Well, I'm not saying the layouts are bad... however I lived in that apartment block for seventeen years and I could not make the least bit of sense out of a number of the layouts... the bathrooms generally made sense, as it would have been too damn hard to move all the plumbing, so the showers, sinks and toilets all look to be in exactly the same locations, but it's all clearly brand spanking new and otherwise completely confusing.

And I know that what I was paying at the time was much, much less than what the going rental rate should have been, but they're now wanting to charge three times the rent for apartments that appear to have 10% of the light they used to have. But they have a dishwasher, so that's something I guess.

Would I consider going back there, I hear you ask... in a word, fuck no. Firstly even with the renovations there is no way in the world that they're worth the rent they're asking for them. Secondly depending on what they hell they've done to the layout when you're there in person, I don't know that they would necessarily feel any bigger than they did when I lived there. Which definitely means that they're over-charging.

The only up side seems to be that they're being sold off individually, so my previous useless excuse for both a human being and a landlord doesn't have his grubby little fingers anywhere near them... possibly. Maybe he's kept a couple to rent out and is selling off all the others, I don't know. I certainly hope not, for the sake of the people moving in there.

I even finally, after over two years, went down my old street this morning and parked outside the apartment block to see it all in the flesh. We didn't get out of the car, but I just wanted to break myself of that particular habit or superstition or self imposed ban on even looking down that particular street when we drive past. It does help that I think the majority of the changes made to the place are blatantly ridiculous and while they look good in photos, they won't add to the overall living conditions of anybody who moves in there.

But again, that could be the ex thing again... where it doesn't matter what your ex does to make themselves pretty, you always assume that they're not going to be as happy with their new beau.

Yeah, I know, I've spend too much fucking time thinking about this.

Moving right along...

Partly because this week has been hot (and more importantly very humid, which is always much, much worse) and I still haven't completely regained my pre-eviction appetite (which isn't necessarily a disaster), so dinners this week have either been non-existant or else mostly involved carbs... or carbs and protein.

And mostly it was haphazardly thrown together stuff at the last minute. So hopefully I can manage something better this week.

Which pretty much brings us around to today...

Today was mostly about running from place to place to looking at potential apartments. It started in the usual way, with a somewhat meagre shopping excursion (seriously, I barely bought anything at all beyond some stuff to make salads and fruit to make a smoothie tomorrow).

Then the first apartment was only a couple of streets away, and we walked over to check it out. It was definitely the most heavily visited open inspection we went to all day... and while I'll probably put in an application, the best thing it had going for it was the location.

From there we headed out to Ashford to a place that was pretty large, but essentially in the middle of the wasteland as far as I'm concerned. Could I cope, probably, but yeah, it would be a definite adjustment. There was only one other guy who showed up for that one... wearing the weirdest pair of red and blue sunglasses... like one lens was red, one was blue, like old school 3D glasses, but he was walking around in the world wearing them... weird as hell.

Lastly was one near Burnside, and as we had a little time to kill we wandered around the Burnside Shopping Centre until it was time to go and see the apartment. It was decidedly 1950's... possibly 60's and had a couple of really weird details, but the kitchen was brand new and very pretty. There was only one other couple there while I was there, but we did see another couple who looked like they were about twelve headed that was as we left.

Interestingly, of the three locations, the one out in the wasteland is the only one that seems to be using the default rental application. And it's the only one that won't require the usual 100 points of ID... again, weird. Not a single one of the applications from today was the same as any of the others.

From there we headed down Greenhill Road and stopped off at Haighs briefly, which could be an occupational hazard if I happened to get that apartment.

And then we headed over to Galaxy Toys so I could pick up the latest series of Lego minifigures. I'd seen them in Target this morning, and started going through the box but I just couldn't be bothered to be honest... clearly I'm out of practice after the last few series. As always when heading into Galaxy Toys it tends to end up being a pretty short, sharp and shiny visit. Walk in, have brief amusing conversation about the pop culture teeshirt I was wearing, indicate I want the whole series of minifigs, pay for minifigs, leave.

Ma and I stopped off briefly at Big W for no real reason other than we were in the neighbourhood... only to discover that their air-conditioning wasn't working for some reason, so we didn't really hang around, we just grabbed a sausage sizzle from out the front and then came back here.

In theory I have Monday off from work, although I think I may end up going in, at least in the morning, in order to put these applications in, and to be honest, while I still need to pack up a bunch of stuff, I know that I'll be able to do that in very short order once I actually have a moving date. And a lot of that would be kitchen stuff anyway that I wouldn't really want to pack until the very end.

I thought there were some open inspections on during the day on Monday, but the first one is around 4:30, so the day is pretty much all mine.

We'll see how I feel when Monday rolls around.

Current Mood:

photo saturday: making faces

angry tin tiki facesad wood face
I'm sick of talking about having to move. I'm sick of telling the same story about the last move, my current apartment, the old apartment or whatever new apartment I may have looked at to multiple people. I'm sick of feeling like I'm going to throw up. I'm sick of being on the very edge of breaking down into the ugly cry three times a day. And breaking into the ugly cry if I spent too much time looking around my apartment.

And with the utmost respect to everyone who has been supportive and very clearly on my side, I'm sick of hearing that it's going to be okay. Yes, I'm being overly dramatic about this whole thing given the many much worse things that go on in the world on a daily basis, but you honestly have no factual basis for the statement that everything will work out. You're being positive, and trying to help me stay positive, I completely understand that. But that's not how I feel, and even if I do find somewhere new, it's not going to be here, which is, minor niggles notwithstanding, pretty much as perfect a set of walls, doors and floors as I could have found.

I'm also sick of people who own the places I rent being assholes of one type or another. I'm sick of people who own more than one house trying to understand how I feel. And I'm sick of everything that's in my price range and in the locations I want to live being minuscule... or at least seeming that way in photos.

Mostly I'm sick of my life right now. I should be playing too much Assassin's Creed on the PS4 and being excited about the start of the Fringe, not looking at a pile of folded up moving boxes and not being able to even thing about eating because both my heart and my stomach have taken up permanent residency in my throat. And I don't give a shit about much of anything beyond what I absolutely need to do to get through the day.

And at the end of the day I'm sick of myself for being the person who feels the things in the last four paragraphs.

So, with as minimal fuss as possible... here are the facts as I know them.

My lease expires on February 6. The owners have given me until February 20 to move out. They won't allow me to move out before February 6 without paying rent for the additional time, even though the place is going to be vacant while they make whatever alterations they need to make.

I attended inspections for three different apartments last week. One was a tiny dogbox which was obviously designed by an architect who was a thundering moron (there's more of that than you would expect, particularly in places that were clearly designed, I'm guessing, between the 60's and the 80's). The second was in a block which I can see from the bedroom window of my current apartment (which would be a bad idea, since I would be able to see this place from that place and that would be horrible for my ongoing mental health... I won't even look at the street my previous apartment was on, let alone go down the street). The third is in a gorgeous 1940's art deco apartment block, which is everything I love in the world, however it's kind of grotty in places and the kitchen was very obviously designed by a man who had never set foot in a kitchen in his life. It's not a kitchen, it's a passageway.

However, for all the reasons that aren't the kitchen and the fact that I need to be out of here as soon as I can be, I put an application in for the deco place. I'm hoping that my memory of the kitchen is worse than it actually is in person, or that I can find ways to work around it.

I also have two issues in relation to rental applications... the first is that I believe that I don't look like a good applicant on paper. Single man living alone, doesn't have a permanent source of income... I'm pretty convinced that the only reason I got this place is because the land agent felt sorry for me (and I think the place had been on the market for a little too long) when I explained my whole situation to him (also I feel like there may have been a small element of the Pink Mafia at play, but I have no hard proof of that).

The other is that I don't know how to lie... well that's not true, I can lie my ass off, but my default setting is to tell at least my version of the truth. I remember when Ludo and I first moved in together, we lied our asses off on the application... but that was much more about him than it was about me. So the things that don't look good on paper, I don't know how to "creative accounting" them.

Also the fact that there isn't one standard application across all agents is kind of annoying.

So even putting the application in didn't make me feel any better. And I feel like even if they accept the application and I get it, I'm taking a step down or backwards... or down and backwards... while paying even more rent.

It feels like no matter what place I get I'm going to have to chose any two out of enough space, the right location and the right price.

Anyway, after I put in the application yesterday I rang the moving company... which, yes, feels like putting the cart before the horse as my grandmother was fond of saying... but I wanted the ability to start packing now... partly so I feel like I'm actually doing something and partly so that when I do have somewhere I can move in as quickly as the time allows.

And thankfully the moving company said that I can adjust the moving in date... which helps when you book a move without an address to go to or a date to move.

When the guy from the moving firm rocked up (fortunately just after Ma did this morning), it turns out he was the cute one who moved me in here in the first place. And he remembered me as well, which was nice.

Otherwise today was singularly uneventful... he delivered the boxes, we did the usual shopping (although it turns out I hardly bought anything, due to still having a ton of stuff due to the aforementioned lack of appetite) then came back here to wait for the guy the owner had organised to come and measure up the windows. Now I thought that he was going to measure up all the windows... but no, he'd been through with the owner earlier in the week but hadn't measured the toilet window. Firstly who the fuck needs window treatments on the tiny, high up, frosted window on a third story toilet... and secondly, why the fuck couldn't I just have called the dude and measured it while on the phone to him. But no, I had to waste almost an hour of my Saturday morning waiting for him.

Then after he left, we headed into Arndale briefly, literally wandered around and then came back. Granted that may have been what we had done anyway in the alternate universe where I'm not being thrown out of my apartment, but it wasn't really any fun given the mood I'm in.

Oh, in mostly totally unrelated news, I went to see Tink on Thursday night after the two open inspections... and because I now need serious grown-up hair for serious grown-up business (like signing rental agreements and charming real estate agents and the like... I won't lie, I wore a hat to the two opens so that my blue hair wasn't the first and only impression they had of me), I now have dark brown hair.

The downside is that it doesn't look anywhere as natural as the colour we usually make it... and I think it's throwing a little bit of green given it's hiding the blue. But it will do for now.

And that's about it really... sorry for all the venting... it's not even as though it's made me feel all that much better.

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photo saturday: my place

my place: bookcasesmy place: mini gallery

my place: kitchen over lounge chairsmy place: dining room with burger theory art

my place: macbeth bedroommy place: lounge with empty wall
I took these in May just after I moved into this apartment but never got around to posting them... they were supposed to be part of my "exposing my apartment" series (which included instalments from 2006, 2008, 2010 and the "new bookcases" post from 2013).

So why now?

Because my land agent called me on Thursday to tell me that the owners aren't going to be renewing my lease when it expires in February.

Once again (even though we're talking about completely different owners to the last time this happened) this isn't that much of a surprise... I haven't mentioned it in any of the blog posts, but the agent called me before Christmas and said that the owner wanted to have another real estate agent through to give a valuation. Weird, I admit, but they did the same thing around the same time the photos in this post were taken, and nothing came of it... so I thought maybe it was something they just did from time to time.

The agent came, with an offsider (who it seemed was just there to write a lot of things down) and I basically gave them a rundown on all the things that really should be fixed up... all those niggly little things that I was quite happy to live with, but that would be nice.

And then she called me to tell me she wanted to come back, along with the owner and "her painter" to look at some things to, as she put it, "spend money on".

So I finally met the owner... which was fine... slightly weird but fine. And I told him directly that they had a tenant for as long as they wanted one.

Turns out they only want one until February.

So I'm left, yet again, in the unenviable position of needing to find a new place to live. Which is all the more of a pain in the ass because, for the few faults this place has, and any of the minor complaints that I've had in the two years (like the occasionally noisy neighbours, the fact that the gas meters are both inside the house), this place is about as perfect as anything I could have hoped for. There's a ton more room than the old place, it was essentially only two streets away so moving wasn't overly complicated, the view of the city is amazing, the fact that the slightest breeze runs right through the apartment and that I finally had space to put artwork on the walls.

And now I have to leave.

I spent the majority of Thursday after I found out in that same state I was in the last time... somewhere between feeling like I want to throw up and wanting to break down in tears (and yes, I'm aware how much of a First World Problem this is, but it's the only world I have). Which is great when you're trying to be a productive member of the world.

But I've bookmarked a number of places which all have open inspections next week and I know after last time that if needed I can pack up my entire apartment in nine days.

And once I have a new place I'll book the nice guys from MiniMovers again, get them to deliver a stack of boxes and then start deconstructing my life.

I was only thinking last week that I really need to clean out both the wardrobe and the kitchen cupboards... clearly that was a matter of being careful what you wish for.

Stay tuned for further updates. Oh, and keep your collective fingers crossed for me.

The only, very, very tiny positive is that my agent agreed that the inspection I had scheduled for next Tuesday is essentially pointless and we cancelled it. Actually he's been great through my whole tenancy, and one of the first things he said to me after he told me the bad news was that he's already had a look on their books to see if there was anything else I would be a good fit for. Which, although there wasn't, was very sweet of him.

Unsurprisingly, everything else that happened this week seems inconsequential... but last Sunday morning I managed to break one of my favourite glasses (as in drinking, not eye), plus I wanted to take my netbook to Crumpler to check the size of a camera bag that I looked at last week (but never blogged about because I wasn't sure if I could be bothered going back).

So first I went to Crumpler, managed to shove my netbook in the "iPad" pocket of the camera bag, bought it (it's pretty damn nice, and I still have room left over to actually put my glasses in there, or a bottle of water or something)... then headed off to IKEA to buy a couple of replacement glasses. And I walked out with both them and a "moose head bird house"... I don't know how else to describe it... fuck knows what I'm going to do with it, but it's cute.

I don't think there's much of anything else that happened during the week until the aforementioned phonecall.

Oh, there was one other thing, when I called into the main branch of my bank in the city to pick up "all the coin bags"... turns out they have a coin counting machine... but more on that in a little bit.

This morning was a little slow... but as usual, I got myself downstairs just as Ma arrived. The supermarket excursion was pretty damn average... and we didn't really buy all that much stuff... especially since I managed to live on leftovers for three days (well, three days including the original meal).

Our regular checkout girl was finally back, so we were able to give her the Christmas goodies we'd put to one side for her. It's always amusing to see how appreciative people are about getting our goodies... I assume I'll have a similar experience when I take the batch to Tink next week.

After we'd come back and unpacked, I filled up one of my backpacks with loose change (well, not filled, but it was certainly very, very heavy given that it contained the oddly precise 1270 coins of various denominations)... I wasn't particularly precise, I just emptied between half and two thirds of each of my money boxes into the bag.

Then we drove into the city and Ma dropped me at the bank so I could make use of the coin counting machine. The rest of the bank was shut, so it was just me and the machine (well, initially it was me, an old dude who was also using the coin machine and his dog)... and then I filled it up so much that the machine went "nah, that's it, no more" but because I was trying to do about three things at once, all while there was an alarm blaring away somewhere in the bank for some unknown reason, I somehow rejected the entire first attempt and had to start over from scratch.

I did manage to get all my coins through though, but it seems like he machine is only capable of coping with between $500 and $600 before it needs to do the rest as a new transaction. It doesn't tell you that though... it just lets you dump all your coins in and then vomits the ones it doesn't want when you're done. But in the end I deposited $1087.50, which is slightly less than I was expecting, but every little bit helps, especially since I'll have to shell out for a bond and the movers and all the other little incidentals that comes with moving house.

From there we dropped into Swatch so Ma could get a new battery, and that was really about all we needed to do... we did wander down to Zing so I could put a preorder in for the new Assassin's Creed Pop Vinyl toys to go with all my other AC boys... and we poked around Spotlight and Lincraft... and grabbed a drink... and that was pretty much it.

Short, sharp and shiny as they say.

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my 2015 at the movies

I feel like the movie watching bubble I've been in since around 2010 finally popped this year... a little bit like the reading bubble popped a few years before that... just with everything else going on I just won't watch movies like I used to.

Or, when I do, I have something on for colour and movement while I'm doing other things. For example, I've been working my way through the James Bond movies since the week before Christmas. But it's always when I'm doing other things... cooking, wrapping presents, tidying the apartment, writing blog posts and the like... and I don't count them because often I'm not paying any attention, or at least very little.

But I have watched 830 movies in the last 6 years (technically even more than that but I'm not counting the things I've seen multiple times)... which averages out to just over two and a half movies a week.

This year my grand total was 52 movies... and half of those were at the cinema. And almost all of the movies I saw this year, 82% in fact, were ones that I hadn't seen before (but again, that's because I didn't always pay that much attention while watching the movies I had already seen).

Because seeing 26 movies at the cinema is more of a return to form and possibly due to the fact that at the beginning of the year I changed my movie scores from a 1-10 scale to a 1-5 scale, the top five movies this year all scored full marks, and the next five (as well as the three honourable mentions) all scored four.

And there's not much between the top five to be honest. They're all definitely movies I want to own at some point, but they're only really separated by how much I remember enjoying them at the time.

My top ten movies for 2015 are:
    the martian - bring him home
  1. The Martian

    The story by Andy Weir and the adaptation by Drew Goddard has the right amount of action, humour, suspense and emotion to draw you in from the very first minute and not let you go until the end credits roll.

  2. the man from u.n.c.l.e. - saving the world never goes out of style
  3. The Man from U.N.C.L.E

    It's full of humour, but it's done with a fantastically light touch and the humour comes from the situations, not from intentionally "funny" lines.

  4. kingsman: the secret service
  5. Kingsman: The Secret Service

    The movie also doesn't take itself too seriously... it's not making a satire of the spy genre, but it's definitely poking fun at some of the conventions, and generally having fun with even some of the more serious scenes.

  6. macbeth - all hail
  7. Macbeth

    This is a stunning version of the story, beautifully realised, brilliantly acted and a credit to everybody who was involved.

  8. avengers: age of ultron - a new age begins
  9. Avengers: Age of Ultron

    And if there is one thing that Joss Whedon does exceptionally well is write for a disparate group of characters and give them all a voice and find a way to bring them together believably.

  10. a royal night out
  11. A Royal Night Out

    The story is just fun... it's silly, it's clearly a complete and total invention, but it's incredibly well put together and genuinely charming.

  12. big hero six
  13. Big Hero 6

    The heart of this movie are the relationships between Hiro, Tadashi and Baymax. And it's where the movie shines brightest.

  14. ex machina - what happens to me if I fail your test?
  15. Ex Machina

    Essentially it's not an easy movie to like in the usual sense... but it is intriguing.

  16. star wars: the force awakens
  17. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    Is it a perfect movie, not in the slightest, but it did make me pretty damn happy for the majority of the 135 minute running time and it's a pretty damn good Star Wars movie.

  18. woman in gold - justice is priceless
  19. Woman in Gold

    It's not a big movie or a showy movie, but it is definitely a movie worth watching.


And as always, those movies that just missed out on the top spots... and those that I really wished I hadn't seen...

Honourable mentions: The Good Dinosaur isn't the most inventive story from Disney Pixar, but it is one of the most stunning looking movies they've made to date. The Maze Runner series (specifically in this instance Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials) continues to impress me both with the calibre of it's young actors but also the maturity of the stories and Spectre, while not the best of the recent Bond movies, is still a hell of a movie.

Dishonourable mentions: Crimson Peak and Tomorrowland both squander either the director's past history in the case of the former or the potential for what could have been an excellent movie based on the promise of the trailer in the case of the latter.

When thinking about the other great movies I saw this year, it basically comes down to a couple of names...
  • The Way He Looks aka Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho (2014): The story of a blind boy who falls in love with the new boy in school and based on the amazing short film from 2010, I Don't Want to Go Back Alone. I'm still incredibly annoyed that this hasn't been released on DVD in Australia, as I desperately want a copy.
  • Song of the Sea (2014): From the studio that created the beautiful Secret of Kells, comes another gorgeously animated Irish legend.
  • I Know That Voice (2013): A documentary about voice over-actors, produced by one of my favourite VO actors, John DiMaggio (the voice of Bender on Futurama).
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photo saturday: beach metal

metal kingridgy didge

wave dancerfish face

captain skellingtonwind head
I haven't done one of these posts in a couple of weeks, mostly because there hasn't been a whole lot of anything to report...

The week before Christmas started out fairly busy but ended up being pretty damn quiet... so quiet in fact that we had several very involved conversations about movies (specifically the new Star Wars movie), and Christmas Eve was pretty dull... and Newbie and I ended up cleaning out the two work fridges which were both full of contains growing all kinds of interesting lifeforms and things with used by dates in the early part of 2015.

Then because my supermarket was shut last Saturday, I ended up doing my shopping, solo, on Sunday. I had a poke around Target just to see if there was anything good in their post-Christmas sales... and other than a set of twelve assorted flavoured salad dressings, olive oils, soy sauces and salts (which should all come in useful for salad dressings) and a Lego Dimensions set, there wasn't much of interest.

As I mentioned in my New Years post, I only worked two of the three working days between Christmas and New Year... but unlike last year when I think I ended up working on various blog posts or at the very least twiddling my thumbs at certain points, I spent the two days working on the process manual for my area.

I'd given it to Newbie to work on about a month and a half ago, but somehow she'd managed to not get anywhere with it... granted partly that was because we were really busy in the build up to Christmas, but I got more done in two days than I think she managed in a month. I'd partly given it to her because I wanted to avoid doing it myself, but I think I'll get her to cover the other jobs while I keep working on the manual.

Other than that I also spent a lot of time since Christmas playing Lego Dimensions, so much so that I finished the main game last night. Granted it's not a hugely long game, and there is a replay value if I want to pick up additional sets to allow me to complete more of the special content. But I still have the Doctor Who and Portal 2 level packs to play through, so I'll see how I feel after those. I'm partially tempted by some of the sets since they're a relatively cheap way to get certain minifigures... plus I want to see what other Level packs they bring out in future.

I'm also planning on writing a full review after I do the two additional levels.

All of which rolls us neatly around to today.

It was nice to be able to actually sleep in my bed again (well, more specifically in the bedroom)... and to wake up naturally chilly as opposed to being cold from the aircon.

When Ma rocked up we headed off to the supermarket and did the little bit of shopping we needed... mostly fresh stuff.

After that, and the associated upacking, I wanted to drop some change off at my bank ($125 worth of change to be precise... and that was only from the unsorted stuff... I need a whole ton of new bags for the rest of it), only to discover they've been closed since Christmas Eve and won't open again until Monday.

From there it was into the city... Ma had a couple of things she wanted to look at, I didn't really, but I hadn't really had a poke around at anything in the after Christmas sales, so figured it was worth a look.

Short version of the story... no, it really wasn't. Ma found a couple of the things she wanted, and we poked around a few other stores, but nothing caught my eye.

We also stopped off for some dumplings and then headed off to the Mile End Homemaker Centre to find me a new mattress protector. I discovered when I was changing my bed at New Years that my old mattress protector isn't protecting shit anymore... not really surprising given that I've had the same one since I got the bed in 2009... yeah, I know... but it's one of those things that you never give any thought to.

And we'd looked in Target earlier, but they had every size except for a double... so I figured one of the specialist bed shops would have the right size... and since this was the store I originally bought the bed from, it was a good place to start. It turned out to be a very good idea, because it was cheaper, I think, than the ones that were on sale in Target.

Then I spent entirely too much money on a new evaporative cooler in Good Guys... it's the same model that Ma bought before Christmas, and I think that I'm going to ditch my pedestal fan (since it was only a really, really, really cheap one I bought from Target at the end of 2014 I think) and use the evaporative in it's place... plus it doesn't make up all that much more footprint-wise, and it will be good for the days when I want more than a fan, but don't really want to put the full air-con on.

It was excessively expensive though, given that I've never paid more than about $100 for an evaporative in the past, and the pedestal fan was about $15.

But hopefully it keeps going much longer than all the other ones I've had.

That was about it really...

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