movies: the nightmare before christmas 3d

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

the nightmare before christmas - 3d so real, it's scaryAs I mentioned yesterday, since today is Halloween and all, our movie de jour was The Nightmare Before Christmas in 3D...

Now I'm not going to bother talking about the movie itself, since it's been out since 1993 and I've seen it about half a billion times (plus I own it on DVD)... although never on the big screen until today... but the whole 3D thing was somewhat interesting...

It's the new "Disney Digital 3D"... and lordy, lordy, lordy is it good!

Gone are the craptastic paper red and blue glasses... these ones are proper plastic glasses with lenses almost like sunglasses... actually according to the poster we were supposed to get a pair that actually looked like a pair of sunglasses... but alas, when the nice lady at the ticket office gave us our glasses they were less than fetching bright green ones. Possibly left over from some random Shrek thing now that I think about it... or else from Monster House in 3D.

As a general rule, 3D doesn't agree with me for some reason, the couple of times we've seen stuff in 3D I walk out of the cinema with a splitting headache. Now whether that's because one of my eyes is less in focus than the other and so my eyes and my brain have to compensate for the increased information that 3D give, I don't know... I just know that I end up with a headache. And if I have to wear the 3D glasses instead of my regular glasses, then it's twice as bad. Fortunately for this kind of 3D I could wear the (less than) stylish green glasses over the top of my regular ones (although I'm sure I looked a little odd). And while I did end up with a tiny bit of a headache it wasn't as bad as previous occasions... and I went into the cinema with a slight headache anyway...

Like I was saying, the red and blue lenses are gone, so I'm actually not sure how the hell this version of 3D works... I'm thinking it might be something to do with polarisation in the lenses (turns out I was right), since rather than the film being coloured red and blue (or red and green or whatever) it's actually just "blurry" without the glasses... and the amount of blur corresponds with how far either "behind" or "in front" of the screen the image is supposed to be.

They had obviously gotten some of the Nightmare props out of storage (or alternatively just recreated them digitally), because there's a brief little intro that tells you that it's time to put your glasses on, and I have to say, I was REALLY, REALLY, REALLY impressed with the quality of the 3D... it seriously looked like there was a pumpkin hanging just above the seat in front of me...

And the whole "Walt Disney Digital" logo sequence... even that was amazing...

Then there was the trailer for Meet the Robinsons... which looks like it's being made specifically for 3D (possibly like Monster House... one "normal" and one 3D version)... but that looked pretty amazing too... and very, very 3D...

Pixar had also come to the party and "recreated" Knick Knack for the 3D system... which is cute as all hell at the best of times, but actually worked really well in 3D.

And then there was Nightmare...

I know it wasn't originally shot for 3D, and they'd obviously done the whole thing somehow digitally (although how they were able to manage it remains a complete and total mystery to me... which means I might have to go looking for a website somewhere that explains it all)... but that did mean that rather than the 3D in the intro piece where the pumpkin ends up hanging in front of your face, all the 3D in Nightmare was "inside" the screen (well, with a couple of exceptions), if that makes sense...

Having said that, it was all very much 3D... possibly a little too subtly in some cases (since it's a movie that was made with real 3D objects rather than animated, so the characters and props already have weight and mass)... and because the 3D had had to be added after the fact, there were a few "goofs" with the "planes"... characters being a little too far forward, or interacting with objects that seemed to be further back than they should have been... that sort of thing.

But even with those few "hiccups" it was still very cool... and well worth a lookie-loo...

Now, the movie alone gets a solid 8 in the yani rating system, and the whole 3D experience both lost it and gained it points... so, it kind of comes out in the same place as it started...

yani's rating: 8 three dimensional vampires out of 10

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halloween list

image by glen hansonAhhh... the day dawns with perfect weather for All Hallow's Eve... lots of clouds, a little rain on the ground, a crispness in the air... and to top it all off, the chance of a thunderstorm sometime tonight... perfect...

But, moving on... this is actually the combination of two different Halloween Memes that I found, with all of the "dress up" questions taken out (since I never have and probably never will dress up, since we don't really do that here in Australia)...

And unlike last year's effort, this didn't take me over two straight hours to complete...

  1. What horror movie gives you the most chills?
    I'm kinda embarrassed to say that that would have to be Jeepers Creepers... but only the first half or so... it freaked me out so much the first time I watched it that I actually had to STOP watching it while it was dark and wait until the following morning to finish it off... and less than five minutes after I started watching it again it went from scary to silly/campy...


  2. What is your favorite work of horror fiction?
    If you can call Laurell K. Hamilton's first Anita Blake Vampire Hunter book, Guilty Pleasures, horror fiction then I would say that... but I'm not sure it is, even with all the vampires and zombies and werewolves... so maybe Clive Barker's Cabal.


  3. What is your favorite work of horror cinema?
    That would probably be Bram Stoker's Dracula...


  4. Who is your favorite monster?
    As a group, that would have to be vampires... I don't know that I have one individual favourite, even from the vampires... Dracula, Angel, Spike, Lestat and Louis, Jean-Claude...


  5. What is your favorite Halloween treat?
    I'm going with an American candy for this one... so it would have to be Reese's Peanut Butter Cups... the "miniature" kind... mmmmmm Reeses...


  6. What is your creepy-crawlie fear?
    I don't have a fear of any one creepy-crawly... what does freak me out, be it bugs or rats or mice or whatever, is when there are a million billion of them and they're all climbing all over each other... URGH! That just freaks me out... yucky...


  7. Freddy versus Jason?
    Totally Freddy... okay, so it's partly because I've seen all the Nightmare on Elm Street movies and none of the Friday the 13th ones... but, c'mon, Freddy gets all the one-liners... right?


  8. Ghosts or goblins?
    Goblins... I think...


  9. What is your supernatural fear?
    I don't know that I really have one... vampires don't freak me out, or zombies (well, maybe they would "in real life") or werewolves or witches or anything really...


  10. Do you believe in ghosts?
    I would probably say yes to this one... perhaps not the white sheet type, but I do believe that people can leave their energy behind in a place.


  11. Tell us about a time when you saw a ghost, or heard something go bump in the night.
    Well, I think I saw something (although I couldn't swear that it was a ghost) in the tower of Carclew, back when I used to live next door, and was out walking around the block late one night (long story, don't ask)... and it looks like I'm not the only one who might have seen it...


  12. Would you ever stay in a real haunted house overnight?
    Yeah, probably... depends on whether I had to do it all on my own or not I guess... and how run down the house was... I'd be more freaked out about sharing my bed with rats and spiders than ghosts...


  13. What do you want on your tombstone?
    Something along the lines of "he made a difference"... or maybe just "he died happy, surrounded by lots of cash and his much younger, former professional gymnast boyfriend" *grin*
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montage monday: graveyard

Monday, October 30, 2006

graveyard 2006Today's Monday Montage is in honour of Halloween tomorrow (even though Australia doesn't really celebrate it)... and it's where I dragged Stu for a "photo excursion" last Tuesday morning... West Terrace Cemetery...

It was an interesting excursion, but I have to say, probably a little more depressing than I actually thought it was going to be (although by the same token, it wasn't THAT depressing... it never is when Stu and I go anywhere together)... maybe depressing isn't the right word... perhaps it was more thought provoking than anything else. There are some beautiful statues and gravestones, as well as some pretty old ones (at least by Australian standards)... and the montage came out suitably gothicy (it helped that it was a suitably overcast, if still quite warm, day), so I'm happy about that...

There were no real grand adventures on Saturday... Ma and I just hit The Parade at Norwood, which is not somewhere we go very often, mostly because there's really not that much there that you can't find elsewhere... and, well, to be honest, what is there is kind of mostly overpriced... we did end up getting a couple of long sleeved teeshirts for me (in a much smaller size than anything I've bought in a very, very, very long while... okay, so one of them is a little snug, but come next winter it should fit like a dream) that were on sale... but other than that, it was pretty much just window shopping and wandering... lots and lots of wandering...

And oh joy of joys, oh rapture of raptures... Farmers Union Iced Coffee has come out with two new variations (sorry, but it's pretty much right at the top of my favourite drinks list, so I'm going to rave and gush for a moment). In addition to the regular kind, there is now also Farmers Union Strong Iced Coffee, which is made with a stronger coffee flavour than the normal stuff (not surprising really, given the name)... and Farmers Union Light Iced Coffee, which supposedly has 20 grams less sugar (which is good)... but I gotta say, the strong stuff... that's dangerous... good, but wow, too much of it and you would be climbing the walls for a couple of days. I do like the subtle differences in the packaging between the three different kinds too... it's so subtle I didn't notice it at first, but it looks great. I'm betting that the Strong variation does really, really well in all the various factories, building sites and other very blokey environments where this stuff is so popular, but the Light version might struggle a little...

Whatever vaguely heathy eating plan I follow during the week, it all tends to go to hell in the proverbial handbasket on the weekends, and moreso on Sundays... generally it's just too many carbs and processed crap and whatnot... and I end up feeling all bloated and a little bit like I could probably throw up (which pretty much described how I was feeling for a large chunk of yesterday evening)... at least for a while anyway... I really, really need to come up with come new plan for both lunch and dinner on Sundays, or dinner at the very least... and if I mention it here, it's almost like saying it outloud, so something might actually happen...

I called my cousin last week and ended up organising to see her today (since it's her day off)... so that will be... educational? It sounds like the poor dear just wants to reconnect with those family members she doesn't see that often (which would mostly be me... since our family isn't that huge)... but like I said last week, we're two very different people these days, so who knows how it's all going to go... I'm just going to assume it will be ever so slightly like sticking a fork into the back of my hand (big points if you know where that reference is from), and if it's not, well, bonus... I'm betting on the fork thing though... or at the very least that I'm going to be so bored that I'm going to WANT to stick a fork in the back of my hand...

Once again the whole Daylight Savings malarcky crept up on me out of pretty much nowhere... so much so that until I saw something in the paper on Saturday I had no idea it was even happening this weekend (although that's possibly not as bad as when I was living with Ludo and we didn't have any idea until we got the paper the day AFTER it happened)... and, yet again, I'm trying very hard not to fall into the trap of thinking "oh, it's really 9am" when the clock says 8am or whatever... although I have to admit, I did think about it probably more this morning than I did for the whole of yesterday. It was weird this morning, having to get up for my walk at a time imposed by my mobile alarm rather than my bodyclock... and it was even weirder knowing that while according to the clock I was out later than my regular time, according to the position of the sun, etc, I was actually out much earlier... weird...

I'm hoping that it's going to be easier tomorrow, especially as far as actually leaving the house goes... and since I have to be up, walked, back, showered, dressed and organised by around 8am, since Ma is taking a day off so that we can go into town and get her mobile sorted out after last weekend's dramas... and since it's our regular Tuesday, we're going to take off to Marion and see The Nightmare Before Christmas in 3D during the day, and hopefully avoid the evening rush (if there is one... but being a Tim Burton movie, at Marion, on Halloween... there could be a plethora of goth and emo types hitting the cinema for the later sessions)...

Oh, and my faithful Mac-orientated viewers should notice a change in my mood icons...

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painting: pink flowers

Sunday, October 29, 2006

pink flowers 2006I gotta say, I'm not as sold on this one as I was on the painting I did last weekend... maybe it's because I just plain overworked this one, while the seahorse one just came easily, I don't know...

Maybe I should just have done the flowers with a much smaller brush, so they didn't look so much like they were painted by someone with no arms or left foot...

Maybe I should have just done "patches" of pink paint to represent flowers, like I did with the 103 layers of green paint for the background...

I dunno...

I suppose in the end it depends on what Ma thinks of it... but suddenly I'm feeling like I'm in primary school and bringing home some random piece of paper covering in nonsensical daubs of paint and expecting a big hug and a place on the fridge...

And I ended up redoing the beginnings of both the "Eddy" and "Tom" canvases... "Eddy" because I completely cocked up the first version my going over it too many times and essentially ruining what I had... and "Tom" needed to be redone in darker paint if the idea I have is going to work...

Grrrr...

I give up for today...

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seven deadly quizzes...

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Why just do a quiz on one of the Seven Deadly Sins, when you can do all seven... okay, maybe I got a little carried away...

Your Gluttony Quotient: 35%

You have a pretty good relationship with food - you enjoy it, but you don't go overboard.

You've struck the perfect balance between gluttony and self control.


Your Sloth Quotient: 40%

You're a little lazy, but normally you're a very energetic and motivated person.

Don't beat yourself up over a little laziness every now and then. You do need your downtime!


Your Pride Quotient: 57%

You have your proud moments, but you're also likely to be a little ashamed of them.

Don't be too hard on yourself. It's normal to want to make a stellar impression.


Your Envy Quotient: 46%

You are an envious person, but only at times.

Perhaps certain situations trigger your envy. Or maybe you're especially jealous when you're feeling insecure.

Instead of letting that green monster out, work on making your own life better.

And then maybe people will be envious of you.


Your Lust Quotient: 47%

You are definitely a lustful person, but you do a good job of hiding it.

Your friends would be surprised to know that your secretly very wild!


Your Wrath Quotient: 55%

Ouch! You've got a bit of a temper going on there, don't you?

Just make sure to keep your revenge fantasies just that... fantasies only!


Your Greed Quotient: 40%

You're a little greedy, but generally you don't let your desire get the better of you.

You know that good things will come to you - as long as you wait your turn!

Current Mood: a little knackered, but otherwise good

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photo friday: riverside panorama

Friday, October 27, 2006

adelaide panorama 2006Okay, so I know this one looks tiny, but trust me, the full version is much more impressive...

I took this one my walk down by the river on Monday morning, and it's actually three separate images stitched together with the very helpful software that came with my camera.

Looking at it now, I really should have gone down to the edge of the water to take it (hello, lamp post right in the middle of the shot)... and maybe should have taken it from further along... but it's still pretty impressive... and definitely proof that I should use the panorama mode (it overlays the last image on the current one to help you line up the next shot properly) on the camera more often.

Current Mood: a little vague and distracted...

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belated hair adventures

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Yaaaaay Haircut Day! And Haircolour Day too...

It's been about a billion years since the last time I had my hair cut (August 1 according to the last hair related blog entry) and about two billion years since the last time I had it coloured (May 12)... but on the plus side, as I mentioned on Monday, my Tinkerbell Hair Girly was back from parts unknown (okay, not so unknown, but it sounds cooler)... which was good because it just means that I can sit there and chat with her and not have to worry about what she's doing, since I know she's going to do good...

My appointment was originally supposed to be 10am, but because I took a slightly earlier bus into town (so I wouldn't have to pay for parking) I was kind of wandering around at a loose end at 9:30, so decided to stick my head in at the hairdressers to see if Tink was free... turns out she was, so we got started early.

I'm not sure if she did the same colour as last time (which was lighter) or the one from the times before that... from the look of it, I think it might be the last colour... my own fault, I should have been paying attention... I might have to get her to do something a little darker next time.

We chatted about random stuff as usual, although I could not for the life of me remember what movies I'd seen recently, at least when she initially asked... fortunately I did manage to remember the last three eventually... must remember to take a look at my movie blog entries before my next haircut, remind myself what I've seen.

After I was all done with the hair, and Tink had given me a free sample of Mellogoo (Power Paste no less) from Goldwell (yaaay free things!), I had to wander around for about an hour and a half because out of the blue, the girly from my original agency called me yesterday and asked if I was free to come in for a quick interview/chat... she originally asked if I was free on Friday, but since I was going to be in town today anyway I figured I could kill two birds with one stone...

So I wandered around for a while, grabbed a quick bite, trawled through the bookshops, took a quick look in one of the comic shops to see if I could see a particular graphic novel (and although I have been a customer of that particular store on and off for a long time, I still never feel completely comfortable in there), until it was time to go see Agency Girly...

Like all Agency Girlies, probably the world over, this one was overly perky, but unlike New-Agency Girly, Old-Agency Girly had a very girly handshake (although it was better when we were saying goodbye than it was when we shook hands to start with, I don't know what was going on there)...

Anyway, I think she only really wanted to get me in to eyeball me and update their records and whatnot, but, hey, at least she's showing an interest, which is more than New-Agency Girly has done in a while... Will anything come of it? Who knows... but at least now she knows what I'm looking for and she's met me, so I should be somewhere in the front of her mind for when appropriate things come up.

Then I wandered back towards the main part of town, stopped off briefly along the way at Cheap As Chips, theoretically just to grab four small canvases for the "BlogBoys" paintings I want to do... ended up grabbing the four canvases, plus a set of finer brushes, plus a little wooden easel (although whether I will actually use it for any of these paintings or not, I don't know)...

Obviously by that point I was in an "I was going to do X, but now I'll do Z instead" mood, because I headed for the bus stop, intending to take a couple of photos of the groovy new graphics outside the Festival Theatre... which I did... but instead of actually stopping at the bus stop, I just walked home instead. It wouldn't have been that big a decision if I'd been wearing my walking shoes, but I was wearing my very groovy but very thinly soled shoes instead... my feet haven't started complaining yet, but we'll see how they are tomorrow...

Current Mood: new hair, employment opporunities and canvases... life is good

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random summers hotness

Today's Random Hotness is "Aussie porn export" and Eurocreme model Jamie Summers, although these images were back when he was just "Jarrod" and modelling for an Aussie photographer.

Jamie/Jarrod has already appeared in a Random Hotness a few weeks back, thanks to the DVD that I got... and, interestingly enough, the shot of him in the red speedos was one that I used in the "Red" wallpaper I made last year for World AIDS Day.

I do like the rock pool in the first shot too... it's been in a few other Aussie porn shoots (probably by the same photographer), and I'd love to shoot there myself one day...

jamie or jarrodjamie or jarrod

Current Mood: mmmmmm hotness

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sausage rolls

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

sausage rolls 2006I honestly don't remember where we got this recipe... probably out of some random cookbook (actually, now that I think about it, it might have been out of this really old Women's Weekly cookbook from the 70's with the bad, bad, bad photos where all the food looks slightly radioactive)... but it's been a standard in Ma's repertoire for as long as I can remember.

I cheated somewhat with my rolls... I didn't have any sausage meat, but I did have turkey mince, so I used that instead (actually that was the whole purpose of making them, because I wasn't sure what else to actually do with the turkey mince)... and I forgot to get any eggs, so I didn't bother with the whole egg wash thing (I had planned to use a little milk though... but didn't end up doing that either). Plus I only had about half as much mince as the recipe calls for, so I only made half as much mixture.

And I know this will be much to Tom's horror, but I also added a handful of finely chopped mushrooms to the mix.

The turkey filling was interesting... a little bland in the final analysis... it might have been better if I'd added something like balsamic vinegar or soy sauce to the mix just to give it some more bite, or else gone nuts with the spices or something, but overall, they came out pretty well (especially since this is the first time I've ever made any version of this recipe).

Sausage Rolls

750g sausage mince
1 large onion, peeled and grated
¼ teaspoon mixed herbs
salt and pepper
4 thick slices of white bread
warm water
3 sheets frozen puff pastry (approx)
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon cold water

Cut the crusts from the bread, and place in a separate bowl. Pour over enough warm water to cover, and let bread stand for five minutes.

Put the sausage mince, onion, mixed herbs, salt and pepper into a bowl.

Drain water from bread, squeeze it gently to extract excess water. Add the bread to the sausage mince mixture, then mix well.

Spoon the meat mixture into a large piping bag that doesn't have a piping nozzle attached. With the pastry at room temperature, pipe the meat mixture along the edge of the pastry. Fold the edge of the pastry over the filling, then turn again so that filling is completely enclosed in pastry. Do the same on other side of pastry sheet, then slice down the middle to make two long filled rolls. Repeat with the remaining pastry and filling.

With the back of a knife, flatten rolls slightly at intervals. Brush rolls with combined cold water and egg yolk. Cut rolls into four pieces.

Put the rolls on a greased oven tray, side by side, just lightly touching.

Bake in a hot oven 250-260ºC for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to moderate (190-200ºC), and cook further 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Current Mood: another successful cooking adventure

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and our one thousandth commenter is....

one thousandth commenterYep, The Love Lemming himself...

I told you before that I'm all about the vaguely pointless anniversary.

For the record Larry left the 1000th comment... he's not the 1000th person to comment on the blog...

Big hugs to Larry for being Mr 1000, and thanks to everyone who takes the time to drop me a comment now and then... it is appreciated!

Current Mood: one thousandy goodness

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final camera club

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

final camera club competition entries 2006Well, there's leaving on a high note photographically, and then there's leaving on a high note socially...

And while, in a perfect world, it would have been nice to do both, taking out the Eric Robertson Trophy for Portraiture in the process, I'm actually really happy with the way my final Camera Club went...

The last few times that I've been there not all of my "friends and associates" have been present... it's been one or two of them on any given night, but not all of them at once... but tonight the Universe was smiling on me... Stu was there (mostly for "moral support", which was nice, because I'd already seen him earlier that day for the photo excursion I mentioned on Monday)... Cat was there... Mikey was there... even young River was there... so I was able to tell them all in turn (well except for Cat... Stu went and ratted me out before I got a chance to tell her) that tonight was my final appearance...

The only person who wasn't there was El Presidente... and he was the main one who I wanted to say "Thanks, but I'm so outie" to... double dammit...

But it was nice to be surrounded by friendly faces. There were probably a couple of other folks that I could have/should have told I was leaving, but they'll work it out on their own. Mikey, Stu and I even went out for coffee afterwards, which we haven't done in a while (and I swear, on a stack of swearable things, that the semi-cute, semi-woggy, semi-chubby, semi-short waiter boy was flirting with me when I was getting my coffee)...

And the Universe was obviously doubly smiling on me, because it sent me a judge for my final competition, who, although completely harsh in his scores and the occasional comment, was at least consistent... so consistent in fact that I got the same score for all three of my images...

Samuel (top left) from the Valentine's Camera Club... Alex (top right) from the June Competition... and Looking Out (bottom center) last seen at the last competition...

All sevens...

In fact, until he got to the entry that won, he hadn't given out anything higher than an 8... then the winning entry scored a 10... and yes, it was a striking image... it was also predictable and was of a model that I'm just fed up of seeing in Camera Club competitions...

Not that I need to worry about that any more...

So, yeah... for once I didn't actually want to dismember the judge or stick and pencil in his eye or anything... everyone I really wanted to see on my final night was there... and although I didn't win anything, I left feeling pretty good about the whole Camera Club experience...

It was what it was, and now it's all done... and on the upside, I still have my friendship with Stu, which is actually more important to me than the Club has been for a while...

Of course, that doesn't mean I'm not going to come a-running on the second Tuesday of the month when somebody texts me with the secret codeword "Coffee?"...

Current Mood: no regrets

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montage monday: river torrens

Monday, October 23, 2006

river torrens 2006I took a different walk today... mostly so I could get some different images for the Montage... it was a variation on the Riverwalk walk I did a while back, but on the other side of the bank, and for longer... but I'll babble about it more later, since I think there's probably going to be a bumper crop of babble this morning...

And now the phrase that strikes fear into all those that know me... "I've been thinking"... in this case, thinking about my mobile and it's ringtones and whatnot... and suddenly wondered if I could use MP3's and wav files on there for tones and alerts and suchlike... actually I think it was the wav file thing that I thought about first, but one I started playing, the MP3 thing did appear in my brain... and, big surprise (or not)... you can... although not all the wav files wanted to play once I got them on my phone... one turning into this long drawn out version of itself that kinda scared me, and the other one just flat out wouldn't play...

But now, when I get an SMS on my phone it goes "Pikachu"... I also have a quote from the movie Beetlejuice ("I will go insane and I will take you with me") and one from Buffy's Willow ("That's me as a vampire... I'm so evil and skanky... and I think I'm kinda gay") in reserve for when I get tired of the Pokemon thing...

I also stuck 'N Sync's Pop (the same version as on my compilation CD) on there as my generic ringtone and Tom Jones' version of She's a Lady (ala Miss Congeniality) on for when Ma calls me...

And speaking of phones, there was a whole world of drama with Ma's phone on our Saturday excursion extravaganza...

I gotta say though, Saturday, while a fun day, full of some new experiences and whatnot, was a VERY, VERY long day...

As has become standard of late, Ma and I were on the go from around about 8am or so, first with the general grocery shopping, and then into town to pick up her mobile, which was supposedly fixed, from Optus World... it turned out that we had to go back there again because although the repair folks fixed whatever the problem was, they forgot to reinstall all the Optus software, including all the ringtones and wallpapers and themes and whatnot... Not happy... but hopefully we can get that fixed with a quick visit to the nice folks at the Nokia Service Center for a "rebranding", whatever that is, and it won't have to go away again...

Before we did that though, we went into Tabletop & Kitchen in Gawler Place, which is having a Closing Down sale and selling off all their stuff... now, there is actually only one thing more dangerous than Ma and I in a kitchenware shop having a sale, and that is Ma and I in an office supply store having a sale... and possibly Ma and I at the post Christmas sales for Christmas items... so much stuff... so much cheaper... I only ended up with a couple of bits of things... but Ma's "I could give that to somebody for Christmas" supplies were expanded once again...

On the way down to Optus World, we swung past my hairdressers so I could make a booking since I'm majorly in need of a haircut... and joy of joy of joys... my Tinkerbell Hair Girly, Kathy, is back from parts interstate (with new and very cute hair)... yaaaaay... and Thursday is Haircut Day... double yaaaaay...

We also stopped off (before starting the trawling through cheap shops for art supplies) at The Charity Card Shop, so Ma could pick up some Christmas cards... now while I haven't been there for what feels like a million years (probably about the same length of time since I last actually sent Christmas cards), I still have a soft spot for the CCS though... the cards are cheap (mostly under $1), there are a variety of designs, some tacky, some actually pretty cool... and you're helping charity... what I didn't realise is that there are ones in other states... Sydney has one, and so do Brisbane and Melbourne...

So, after the kitchenware, and the mobile store, and the Christmas cards, and the first lot of art supplies... what could be better than stopping off for a nice cup of coffee... so, imagine my surprise as we wandered down the Mall to be confronted by that big iconic green and white sign... yes, Starbucks has finally come to Adelaide! So recently, it would seem, that the store didn't appear on the website when I checked it out last night. And, yes, I know that Starbucks is a big evil corporate homogenetic entity... but I will admit to being inordinately pleased to see that we finally got one... Like, really, really, really pleased... yeah, I know... I need to get out more...

It was also both amusing and pleasing to see that they had the Starbucks Adelaide mug... which, although orange, actually had a nice view of the river on them (and ties in nicely with today's Montage really)... and were roughly the size of my head. And if they weren't $19.95, and I wasn't broke, I would have been able to send one to Michael over at Pipedreams... sorry Mikey...

I will say this as one of the downsides to Starbucks, and, well, just service people in general... don't ask me what I'm up to today... don't ask me how my day has been so far... just do what you're there to do, get me my damn Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino iced coffee (tall, and hold the whipped cream) and don't try and be my friend... okay?

That is, unless you happen to be very groovy and interesting and have a stall in the East End Rundle Street Markets (which although I still think was a bad idea to run on a Saturday instead of a Sunday, was a very pleasant surprise). Actually the Market was very cool... but, I have to say, there was just something WRONG about walking down the middle of Rundle Street on a Saturday afternoon and not having traffic... weird...

Ma was the main winner at the Market though... we found a woman who does a Leafy Sea Dragon print on silk (part of her ongoing seahorse fetish)... a woman who restrings beads (and is also a qualified geologist, scary)... both of whom Ma got cards from so she could contact them... and she also picked up a couple of very groovy but also incredibly cheap glass pendants (with a plain torc necklace), while I bonded with the very funky, purple haired and green & purple face painted girly who worked in the stall (which also did a range of quasi twisted designs on cloth bags that was about 50% Happy Tree Friends and 50% Emily the Strange... I so have to go back there when she starts printing onto other things... although getting a teeshirt in the right size may be problematic)...

Actually it was nice to know that even though my very highly tuned and refined Freak Detector hasn't been used to bond with new interesting yet freaky people in quite a long while (well, you know... real, live, actual people... not you lot), it still works really well... Purple Girly and I were getting on like a house on fire in minutes...

One thing that I will totally recommend at the Market... Fast Life Organic's truly amazing organic donut ball thingies (I can't remember what they're actually called) with either chocolate sauce or this honey glaze stuff... I gotta say, as much as I LOVE chocolate... go the honey ones! Seriously... so divine, so decadent, so yummy! I will definitely have to go and check out the rest of their food too, looks good...

It was after a trawl through the Market that we pretty much called it a day... well, after we got the last couple of bits and piece of my art supplies anyway...

Oh, and for the record, although I didn't actually mention them before know, I just worked out what the batch of about a zillion little bits of pointed wood are that came with my canvases... they're canvas tightening keys or wedges, used if the canvas begins to sag a little on the stretcher... who knew! It's not like they came with instructions or even a label saying what they were... there were just a little plastic baggie full of bits of wood, stapled to the back of the frame... and thanks to said keys, I also discovered what could be a very cool online guide to painting...

Actually, I'm very surprised I didn't actually dream about either art or painting on Saturday night... we bought all the supplies, then I sketched out a couple of ideas while watching DVD's... and when I woke up Sunday morning part of my brain did wonder if I'd been dreaming about painting... but not that I remember anyway...

Like I said yesterday, I didn't intend to actually do a complete painting on Sunday, but at some point I seemed to sink into a Random Artistic Sunday Coma... not only the painting, but I also picked out the three images for my final Camera Club competition on Tuesday... I only get three entries, because it's the Eric Robertson Trophy for Portraiture again... knowing my luck, now that I've decided to actually leave, I will win the trophy and have to come back in December for the presentation... hehe... it's possible... just not very probable...

Just as a general shout-out to the universe... Dammit, dammit, dammit... no more lunchtime Queer Eye... what the hell am I going to watch while I eat my lunch now?

And in the "God, do I have to?" basket this week is an SMS to, and possibly a phone call to or from and maybe even coffee or lunch with my cousin... she's having random drama both at work and at home by the sounds of it, and mentioned to Ma that she would like to catch up with us both, but Ma doesn't think the timing will work out for a couple of weeks, and in grand motherly fashion she wants me to work my very blunt magic on La Cousin and possibly pull a whole Mentor Mode thing on her... but while La Cousin and I were very close when we were kids, we're VERY different people these days, so it could be vaguely like poking myself in the eye with something sharp... it'll be nice when it's over...

I also need to pin down Stu on this photo excursion I suggested to him last week... if he doesn't give me a decent answer as to when he'd free, I'll just go my damn self...

I get the feeling that it's just going to be one of those weeks this week...

Current Mood: definitely one of those weeks... definitely...

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painting: pink seahorse

Sunday, October 22, 2006

pink seahorse 2006Well, I was half right when I said I would have a stab at painting something "sometime next week" and that it would be for Ma...

It is for Ma (and now I'm going to have to find somewhere to hide this until Christmas), but I've actually been working on it for about half of the day today (okay, so not the WHOLE half-day)...

I started around lunchtime, only intending to do the "undercoat" on both the canvases (one pink, one green)... but I'd found a cool random seahorse image online that I then printed and cut out to make a stencil given Ma's ongoing fetish for seahorses...

To be honest, I'm not completely sure it's finished... but I also don't want to overwork it, or else I know I'm going to end up screwing it seventeen ways from Sunday... and I know it's not brilliant... which is partly because I'm using cheapass brushes and paints... but also very much because I have NO idea what the hell I'm doing...

And yes, since I'm not sure exactly how I want to end up signing these things, that is kind of an ellipsis as my signature in the bottom right corner...

This was a three-movie painting too... Boogie Nights, Breakfast at Tiffany's and The Breakfast Club... what, I'm going through and watching all my movies in alphabetical order... shut up...

Current Mood: post artistic coma

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belief system

Your belief system is best suited to religions that value open mindedness

belief systemHow do we know? While you were taking this test, we compared your religious beliefs against 10 of the world's most common religions. Your score shows that you share core beliefs with religions that encourage you to find your own spiritual path.

You are attracted to a religion that tolerates mixed beliefs about the existence of God and upholds the idea that there is something to be learned from every religion. You are open to a wide variety of religious and spiritual ideas. You are attracted to spiritual groups that are composed of typically open-minded and intellectual people who actively engage in individual exploration of many different spiritual truths.

The Religion Test

Current Mood: possibly suffering from artistic overload...

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one step closer...

Saturday, October 21, 2006

painting supplies 2006Okay, normally I would have left this to Monday and babbled about it in my Montage post... but it might have made Monday's post a little more rambly even that the usual amount of ramble... so here I am...

Like I mentioned last Monday, I've been feeling that the Universe is nudging me in the general direction of the idea of painting... and it kept happening this week... during Oprah this week they happened to show some of the post-Katrina families getting their new homes, specifically the Bon Jovi funded ones, and there were a couple of abstract painting on the wall of one of the houses, done by the kids who were going to be living there...

And I've just started noticing all the paintings in the backgrounds of various teevee shows and stuff... weird...

So, while Ma and I were running around town today, I brought up the whole subject of the Universe and painting with her... and she suggested that we hit the "cheap shops" and see what we could find (not that that wasn't already my plan, but it's always nice when we're on the same page).

We ended up going to just about every single cheap shop, and a couple of not-so-cheap shops to get all the supplies...

  • The two canvases, the artists brushes, and the "house" brushes all came from Cheap As Chips...
  • The bottles of red, blue, yellow, white and black acrylic paint (that way I can make any and every colour possible), plus the blue tarp (for the floor, or maybe my sofa, I dunno yet... but just in case) came from The Reject Shop...
  • The sheet of calico (under the brushes) came from Lincraft...
  • And the very hard to find artist's pallet was eventually tracked down at Spotlight...
I'm not even going to think about adding up how much it all ended up costing... I only hope that a) I actually end up liking this whole painting thing... and b) I can get the stuff that's in my brain out onto the canvas in some appealing form...

Not sure when I'll have a stab at it... sometime next week I guess... And I think the first one is going to have to be something for Ma...

Current Mood: pre-painting excitment

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photo friday: water

Friday, October 20, 2006

water 2006weir 2006Another double Photo Friday post today... and obviously, this week I went with a whole water theme.

It's probably the Pisces in me (seeing as how water is my element and all... although only in Western Astrology... in Chinese Astrology it's wood... no jokes about getting wood thanks), but there's just something about shots of water just being water or flowing over things or through things or whatever that I really like.

The top image is actually real, live, actual water, even though it looks kind of like it's CGI or something (and incidentally, that's the main reason I love that shot, because it doesn't look real)... it's from my walk down along the River Torrens back in June.

The bottom shot is from the second Linear Park walk... granted, this shot might have been better with the light coming from the other direction so it was highlighting the water instead of, say, the boring concrete top, but really, whadyagunnado...

Current Mood: unspecified fridayitis

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national cuddle day

cuddle dayI'm sure it's just some grand scheme to sell more washing powder, but the nice folks at Cold Power have decided that today is National Cuddle Day!

Since I'm always up for a cuddle, it's definitely a day I could enjoy celebrating.

I gotta say though, the official NCD website is a little scary.... not only the ability to send Virtual Cuddles and the whole section on Cuddle Types (according to the website there are four different types of cuddle... who knew)... but also the results from the "Cuddle Survey"...

  • Men are less likely to cuddle either their pets or their friends, but given the choice would prefer to cuddle their pets (44%) over their friends (30%).
  • 18% of men like to cuddle a teddy or pillow.
  • 81% of men are not turned off a cuddle from someone wearing smelly clothes.
  • 97% of men and women surveyed agreed a cuddle makes them happy.
  • The vast majority of 25-44 year olds (90%) agree that having a cuddle makes them feel better about themselves.
  • 74% of men said make them feel safe.
  • 69% of people living outside the metropolitan cities give more than a cuddle a day compared with only 58% of those whom live in the major capital cities.
  • 63% of city dwellers said their partner or family should give them more cuddles.
Some interesting stats, no? (Even if they did only come from 381 respondents aged 25-44...)

But on the plus side, Cold Power is donating money to The Smith Family to help support disadvantaged children and their families.

And for the record, that image isn't something officially NCD produced, it's something I whipped up to celebrate the good old man-on-man cuddle.

So what are you waiting for... go and give somebody a cuddle!

Or come here and let me give you one...

Current Mood: cuddles for everyone

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random painter hotness

Thursday, October 19, 2006

This week's Random Hotness is partly inspired by that "painting urge" I mentioned on Monday (in that it's got a whole painting theme) but it's mostly thanks to the Artists At Work show I saw on the ABC on Tuesday night (although unfortunately I did miss about the first ten minutes).

The artist featured was Peter Churcher, who I'd never actually heard of (although I realised part way through the show that I had heard of his mother Betty Churcher who did some art appreciation shows on ABC a while back), but who's dominant theme (at least from a portrait perspective and from the work that was on the show) seems to be the male form in one variation or another. Interestingly though, unlike a lot of other modern painters who feature the male form (unless I'm missing out on a whole bunch of stuff), Peter is straight (and married with children at that).

The two paintings I'm featuring are Seated figure (on the left) and Simon standing - back view (on the right)... Seated figure was actually part of the teevee show, although it was only seen as part of the general clutter of images in the background of his studio, but out of all Churcher's work that I've seen so far, I have to say that it's definitely my favourite, there's just something so beautiful but so almost sad about it... and the Simon piece isn't far behind on my list of favourites (no pun intended). The main thing I love about his work is that the images are almost photoreal... maybe because he works from life models, I don't know... I just know that I like what I've seen.

seated figuresimon standing
Current Mood: mmmmmm hotness

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random book meme

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

bookstackI wish I could remember where the hell this meme came from... but it's just been kinda sitting in my unpublished blog posts for a while...

I'm sure there's some rhyme or reason to the booklist too... I don't know that it's best sellers, but it's sure to have been some list of important books at some stage...

Anyhow...

Instructions: Bold the ones you've read, italicize the ones you might read, cross out the ones you won't, underline the ones on your book shelf, and place parentheses around the ones you've never even heard of.

The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy - Douglas Adams
The Great Gatsby - F.Scott Fitzgerald
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
(The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger)
(His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J. K. Rowling
Life of Pi - Yann Martel
Animal Farm: A Fairy Story - George Orwell
Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
Lord of the Flies - William Golding
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
1984 - George Orwell
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J. K. Rowling
(One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
(The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini)
(The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold)
Slaughterhouse 5 - Kurt Vonnegut
Angels and Demons - Dan Brown
Fight Club - Chuck Palahniuk
Neuromancer - William Gibson
(Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson)
(The Secret History - Donna Tartt)
A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - C. S. Lewis
(Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides)
(Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell)
The Lord of the Rings - J. R. R. Tolkien
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
Good Omens - Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman
(Atonement - Ian McEwan)
(The Shadow Of The Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon)
The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
Dune - Frank Herbert

Current Mood: particularly vanilla

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inspirational movies

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

afi's 100 years 100 cheersDue mostly, I would imagine, to the fact that it was probably a really cheap piece of television on the network's part, Channel 7 showed the AFI's 100 Years 100 Cheers show on Sunday night, although they dropped any and all reference to it being American and just called it "Countdown to the Most Inspiring Movie of All Time".

Although I was actually watching CSI: NY as I mentioned yesterday, I'm a big geek for things about movies so I kept flicking over during the commercials and seeing where they were up to and what was going on... and once CSI was finished I did leave the teevee on so I could catch the top ten.

No great surprise that It's a Wonderful Life came in at number 1, but I was kind of suprised by the number of movies I just hadn't heard of... so much so that I hit the AFI website to check out the full list and see which movies I had seen... turns out, not many (at least movies that I'm sure I've seen all the way through)... 19 out of 100...

6. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
20. Philadelphia (1993)
23. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
26. The Wizard Of Oz (1939)
32. Casablanca (1942)
39. Star Wars (1977)
41. The Sound Of Music (1965)
48. The African Queen (1951)
51. The Color Purple (1985)
52. Dead Poets Society (1989)
56. Ben-Hur (1959)
58. Close Encounters Of The Third Kind (1977)
59. Dances With Wolves (1990)
62. Braveheart (1995)
67. The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951)
77. Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
78. Thelma & Louise (1991)
87. Working Girl (1988)
98. The Karate Kid (1984)

Of those movies I only own three... numbers 26, 48 and 51...

Maybe this could be a new meme... hehehe...

I do kind of wonder what English or Australian films would have made the list had it not been totally American movies... and I was also surprised that there's only one Disney movie on the list, 1940's Pinocchio... I couldn't be bothered downloading the full list of the 300 movies originally nominated, so maybe there were more Disney movies in there.

Current Mood: cheerful

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montage monday: windows

Monday, October 16, 2006

windows 2006This may be one of the more random Monday Montages for a while... the montage is architectural again... windows to be exact... although that should be pretty obvious... and nothing overly of note happened this weekend... just shopping and hanging out... but when I came to make my musing notes last night (what, I like to be organised, and make sure I don't forget to mention anything), there were a bunch of things that hopped into my brain.

When I was adding the images to the Blogging Thoughts post yesterday I noticed that above the box where the image path goes there's a line of text that says "Add another image"... and what do you know... you can add up to five images all at once to a post... I'm going to assume that's always been there and I've just never noticed it before rather than it being something new... but if it was new then I wouldn't feel quite so dumb for not having noticed it until now...

Speaking of Blogger and images... I know that I'm not the only one who goes to upload an image, gets the "Done" button, clicks it, and doesn't get the image popping up in the post... but I did accidentally work out a while ago the best way (or maybe just an easy way) to fix the problem. Open the "Edit posts" link in another window and hit the "Edit" button on any other post... wait for it to load, and the image that didn't show in the post you're working on should pop right up. I don't know why or how it works, but it does... I do it all the time (in fact, I had to do it today to get the montage to show up). Plus, it stops you having to repost images over and over trying to get them to load.

I'm a big fan of random weird happenstances, and while I was flicking through the paper yesterday I came across a set of images by Dr Stephen Young from his art exhibition The Making of the Australian Archipelago (scroll to the bottom of the page in the link)... and on Saturday evening I finished reading Aquamarine by Australian gay/sci-fi author Mel Keegan where the story takes place, and I quote, "in the late 21st Century when major land masses have been submerged by rising oceans and the Earth is a world of water"... and interestingly enough one of the land areas mentioned frequently is the "Commonwealth of Australian Island Republics", and although I can't find the reference right now it does describe Australia as an archipelago. I just thought it was weird that the day after I finish the book I find the photos.

Also in the paper over the weekend was a little blurb about the new shows from the US that various stations have bought the rights to, or are buying, I don't know, I only really skimmed the main part of the article... I was pleased to see that Channel 7 is getting Heroes and Ugly Betty... definitely Heroes at any stage, the whole concept just sounds cool... Ugly Betty could be good, but it could also be one of those shows that's just really cringeworthy and embarrassing.

And speaking of teevee... I watched The Agatha Christie Code on Sunday afternoon... someone in the blogsphere said it recently (I think it was an Australian blogger, but can't remember who for the life of me) that since The Da Vinci Code, suddenly everything is a Code... there was The Michelangelo Code on the other week, and now this. It was kind of interesting though, how they went through all her work and used computer programs to analyse the way she wrote and the way she worked the plots and stuff... like that fact that if the first form of transport mentioned in the book is road based, for example, a bus or a bike or a taxi then most often the killer in the end turns out to be female... whereas if it's some other form of transport, like a boat or a plane, the killer is male (I'm going off memory, but I think that's the right way around). And that her language patterns "stimulated higher than usual activity in the brain". How much of it was people making up stuff to work in with the overall theory of the program that there was some pattern behind things and how much of it was true I don't know... but like I said, it was interesting... weird, but interesting.

One last random teevee reference... on CSI: NY last night there was a storyline involving the eating of live octopuses... now I've eaten octopus before, and I actually quite enjoy it... but I've also seen a lot of wildlife documentaries about octopuses and how incredibly smart they are... and while watching CSI last night, for whatever reason the two thought processes collided in my brain... Octopus = smart and octopus = food... possibly because they had a tank with the cutest little octopuses swimming around in it... but my brain didn't react well to it, and while I wasn't exactly feeling guilty for having eaten octopus in the past, let me just say that I don't know that I'll ever be able to eat octopus ever again...

I still have no idea what the hell to do with all these video tapes... I got fed up with looking at them over the weekend, so they've ended up in my already tiny kitchen (plus they don't leave indents in the lino the way they do in the carpet), but they can't stay there, since I honestly can't do much of anything with them in my kitchen. I still have eBay high on the list of options, but I'm not sure if it's going to be worth the effort with the prices I've seen on there for video tapes. We'll see... I might do some more research on there first.

I also need to actually do that paperwork I got for my Superannuation... all I need to do is fill it out and send it all back and they'll roll everything into one fund... I just have to get off my butt and do it. And also get some copies of my ID notarised, authorised, deputised, whatever it is I need to do with it... but I can just do that down at the Police Station once I've done everything else.

I've just started reading The Princess Bride again (as my Currently Reading icon can attest to)... it's weird how sometimes books have really strong memories attached to them, not of the book itself but where and when you read it... the first time I read it I was working out at the mammoth Westpac call center on a temp assignment (not in the call center thank god, but revamping a whole bunch of their documentation for them)... and I was reading The Princess Bride in my lunchbreaks... and I can remember getting to a certain point in the book and getting a little bit teary eyed sitting there in the cafeteria. But then I was also convinced the first time through that all of the "non story" parts of the book were completely true and real and was totally taken in by them. What's weird is reading it through the second time knowing what I now know, I'm not sure why I believed it was all true. Doesn't make it any less of a great read though.

I get the feeling that the Universe, in it's infinite sense of everything happening for a reason might be nudging me in the general direction of the idea of painting... abstract stuff obviously, since I don't have the artistic talents to actually do something that looks like anything and be happy with it... part of it is the painting that J did for me, but I keep looking at cheap big old canvases at places like The Reject Shop... and in yesterday's Inside Story feature in the Home liftout from the Sunday Mail, the woman they profiled had done an abstract painting representing Cambodia... and while it wasn't going to win any art prizes, it was a striking image. Then while I was pondering the whole idea of painting last night during an ad break I suddenly thought that it could be interesting to actually do a painting inspired by particular bloggers I read and like... Eddy would have to have lots of yellow... Tom would feature blue... Andrew would be all about the orange...

And that's about the point that I stopped that thought process before I got too carried away... but if anything comes of it, you'll all be the first to know about it.

Current Mood: kinda middle of the road currently

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blogging thoughts

Sunday, October 15, 2006

original image by glen hanson, computer screen contents by meOkay, so this is one of those posts where I have this STUFF inside my brain and I really don't want it in my brain anymore, so I'm just going to blog it out, and hence share it with everyone else.

I keep running across posts about this topic and honestly in some ways it relates back to the email I got a while back, but it's been on my mind off and on for a while for one reason and another... but it was only today that my brain really started to churn the ideas around and turn them into something resembling coherence... or as close to coherence as my brain gets these days.

Normally I would post links to the post or posts that inspired a particular thought pattern, "Such-a-body mentioned this on their blog" or "So-and-so commented about this on Whatshisname's post"... hell, I post vague links to anything connected with stuff I blog about, but I'm going to skip that today.

I'm not really writing this in response to specific things that other people have said, although I'll probably cover various things that have been said by others, since they're all in my brainsoup on the topic, and I'm not attacking or criticising any one person for their opinions. Like the saying goes... everyone has one. I don't have to agree with them though, but I don't want to single anyone out and I don't want it to look like I'm throwing stones at any blogger or group of bloggers.

If you recognise any of my comments about opinions or statements as your own, or whatever, that's fine, just keep it under your hat... and know that for the most part, if I'm reading your stuff I either respect your view or find you amusing or both (or else you just comment on the blog of someone who I do read, then I make no such claims).

Okay, enough with the disclaimer stuff... let's get to the point...

The stuff that is swirling around my brain is all to do with inter-blog relationships and communication and comments...

A blog is a very personal thing, I know this... hello, I'm a blogger... it's one person's thoughts, feelings, opinions, online quiz scores, movie reviews, photos and the million and one other pieces of minutiae that go into making up both a person and a blog.

But at the same time, a blog is a public forum... in both the literal sense of an online forum and the figurative one.

I used to be heavily involved with a particular fan forum a while back (actually, I think I still have more individual posts on there than any other member before or since) and in some ways I think that it got me ready for blogging and the whole blogsphere thing.

There's actually very little difference between a blog and an online forum, at least when you look at it logically... the main difference with a blog is that all the originating content comes from a single individual rather than the wider range of people on a forum. Actually, thinking through that thought, I would probably say that the blogsphere as a whole is actually very close to the way an online forum works... one idea here sparks off a whole other conversation there... someone's comment on your well thought out post on one topic might make you look at it a whole other way... and one person posts a link to a cute little online quiz and suddenly everyone has done it.

And like an online forum, squabbles and misunderstandings within the blogsphere are commonplace...

In both a blog and a forum an opinion or question or statement is posed by the original author, and then opened up to wider world. And I know that some of you will argue that the difference between the two is the intent in the posting... on a forum, the whole idea is posting something for people to comment on or debate or to give their opinion about...

A blog's intent? Well, that differs from person to person, so I guess the only way I can answer that one is to give MY answer... how much of what I blog is for me and how much of it is for you lot... and you know what... I'm actually not sure on the answer to that one...

zits © 2005 zits partnershipI've been blogging at least once a day for at least a year now... and it's been part diary/journal/therapy, part random crap and part stuff I want to share with those few who read my blog. Some days it's actually been all three in one post. I won't lie... thoughts about my "audience" does factor into certain things... either in the stuff I do say or the stuff I choose not to say... and lord knows I try to be entertaining and witty and interesting (with greater and lesser degrees of success methinks)... but I honestly couldn't say whether I blog for you or for me.

My only honest answer is "both" I guess.

But I do recognise that there are people who's sole driving force on their blog is to have other people read it, and the more people the better (sometimes losing sight of the fact that their blog becomes very dull and actually not worth reading because they spend all their time trying to drum up more people to read it... a vicious circle really)... and more power to them... and at the other extreme there are people who just blog for them, and if people read it and enjoy it, then that's a happy bonus... and hey, if that works for you, go with it.

I honestly think the rest of us are very much somewhere in the middle.

But if you take your opinion or your photos or your thoughts and you post them online so that people can read them and then allow them the ability to comment on what they've read or seen, as far as I'm concerned you're either directly asking for or indirectly inviting people to give you their opinions in return. Whether you think you are or not, you asked for it. Whether you like it or loathe it, you asked for it. Whether those comments are good or bad, you asked for it.

*waits for the grumbling and the shouts of disagreement to subside*

What? You disagree?

But that proves my point, doesn't it? I've posted this online and let you read it and form an opinion and comment on it, so you can agree or disagree with me as much as you like.

It's easy enough, at least in Blogger (and I would assume most other blogging programs) to turn off the commenting function so that people can only read what's there and can't comment on it. But oddly enough, of all the blogs I've read since I started doing this, there's only been one who actually had comments turned off totally (at least that I read for any length of time). And yes, it was annoying on those rare instances when that blogger said something that I either had a helpful suggestion to add, or violently disagreed with a particular post, or just wanted to say "you're funny" or whatever. But I learned to survive.

Granted, I no longer read that particular blog, but not for that reason.

I might be biased here... or else lucky... or just vaguely clueless (or, more likely, some wonderful mixture of all three)... I've never had a comment that I considered to be so bad or offensive that I took offense to it, or that was, or even that I felt could have been, an attack on me personally or my blog or my writing in general.

Okay, there was one that springs to mind, but that was his whole purpose, and it amused me more than anything else...

Or maybe I just don't have enough people commenting on my stuff... or my stuff isn't interesting enough for people to get really fired up and over-opinionated about (and, no, for the record, I'm not fishing for compliments).

I have had a blogging related email that was something of an attack (the one I mentioned back at the beginning of this post), and that did hurt quite a lot, but there haven't been any comments in that vein. There have been the odd one or two comments that were either so far off topic, or spam, or were insulting not to me but to a couple of the guys in my Random Hotness shots that I've deleted. But me, I've been pretty much untouched.

And as I type that I'm shaking my head and screwing up my eyes and thinking to myself "well that's like going out in a thunderstorm with a tinfoil hat and jumping up and down and saying that you've never been struck by lightning..."

I also know that on occasion I post things on other people's blogs that I either say in good faith, or because I disagree with what they've said, or I've been trying to be amusing and the whole thing just falls flat and doesn't come out the way I've intended it and I end up looking and feeling like a shmuck. And sometimes I don't even realise it until later, when other people comment on what I've said, and I go back and read it and suddenly go "ah crap, why did I say anything at all"...

I've been doing that a lot lately actually... second guessing what I've been posting on people's blogs... and on occasion not posting anything at all because I don't know how people are going to take it. Or else posting something and then worrying about it for the next two hours in case it gets taken the wrong way. It's even worse when it's not a Blogger blog... at least then I can delete what I wrote... with other blogging systems you're just stuck with it and it just sits there like a big steaming pile of ripe inappropriateness, stinking up the joint.

I'm sure that there's something in one of my IPIP-NEO Personality test results that covers that... guess which one I think it might be...

I don't comment on all the blogs I read... if I did I don't know that I would ever get up out of this chair, and I already spend too much time here as it is... sometimes I don't comment because I have nothing worth saying, or the particular post doesn't seem to need a comment (actually there are whole blogs like that, that seem so self-aware and so self-contained that I don't feel like there's any point in commenting because I wouldn't have anything to add other than perhaps "yeah, me too" or whatever), or after reading other people's comments I discover that the funny and original thought that I'd had has already been posted in various permutations by four other people.

But I can tell you this, if I do comment on your blog it's for one of a couple of reasons... either I have something specific to say about some part of your post, however random it may seem, whether I agree or disagree or just have some similar story to share... or else I have some funny comment to make that I think will make you smile.

sorry about that...Hand on my heart, I have never blogged a comment on a single person's blog ever where my INTENTION was to insult, harass or belittle the blogger in question. Honest.

Since I've covered just about everything else in this post, if I ever made you feel bad through a comment I made on your blog, I apologise 110%, it was never my intention.

That doesn't mean I'm always going to agree with you when I comment on your blog... if fact I'm probably more likely to comment on a post if I totally disagree with it than I am if I agree with what you've written.

The way I look at it, what's the point of having a whole page of people going "oh yeah, you're so clever, you're so right, you're so funny"... okay, so the point is pretty damn obvious, it makes you feel good... but I'd much rather have somebody say "you make a good argument, but I think you're wrong because of this" or "my take on this is the total opposite to yours, and here's why" or "I see what you're saying, but have you thought about this?"...

I'd much rather have an opinionated discussion in real life too than have everyone agree with me... okay, that's a big fat lie... I would like everyone to agree with me, but we all know that's never going to happen (and thank all the appropriate gods, because what a screwed up world that would be), but I like having the discussion too. All I do ask is that you let me have my complete say, and I'll let you have yours and we can agree or disagree, I don't really care (unless your point of view is just misinformed, or illogical, or just plain stupid and wrong, then I'll argue with you forever or until you change your mind).

I do have the overwhelming ability to be able to stick my foot in my mouth at a moment's notice though, both with blog comments and just with words coming out of my mouth in real life... what can I say, it's a gift... I sometimes forget to engage my brain before I engage my mouth (or, in this case, fingers) and so stuff that comes out either isn't always worded the best possible way, or else is just the stuff that I should think rather than share.

On the plus side though, when I do engage my brain first, I sometimes surprise myself with my eloquence...

Don't get me wrong, I'm not apologising for having an opinion or for expressing it, just for not always expressing it in the best possible way.

While I'm mostly talking about me here, I'm not excusing those people who do harasss other people in blog comments, usually as an anonymous poster too, which always seems chickenshit to me, if you're going to say something, whether it's nice or controversial, at least have the cojones to own it.

I think that about covers it... I wish I had some grand point or conclusion to draw here, you know, something to sum up my position and make this less a vague and random rambling and more a well thought out essay... but alas, it's just me, rambling again.

Current Mood: thoughtful

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