wish list 2007

Sunday, December 31, 2006

wish list 2007I told the story behind the whole concept of my Wish List last year... but it only comes around once a year, so I'll tell it again...

Instead of the whole New Years Resolutions concept, every year, on the 31st, I make a wish list for the year ahead, asking the universe to provide me with those things I wish to accomplish (or would just like randomly dropped into my lap) during the year. I then stick it on my fridge so the universe can see it.... well, the universe and any nosy real life visitors... and now that this is the second year I've posted it on the blog, pretty much the whole world can take a gander at it...

I can't actually take credit for the whole concept of the Wish List... it actually came from my former gal pal, Sheba, and I adopted it in 2002, patterning my first list after some of the things on hers, but adding a few of my own too.

I've learned to be fairly specific with the list... the first year I asked it to provide me with a "relationship with a warm, funny, caring, sexy guy"... I found the perfect guy... only he wasn't interested back... so that got refined and refined and refined... then a couple of years ago I added the concept of "or make peace with being alone", which has kind of continued in one form or another until now.

Mostly I refine the list year after year, look at where I'm at, where the previous year's list was aiming, where it fell short, where I need to address the universe's energy and alter the dot points accordingly.

This year's entries are as follows...

  • To remain at peace with being alone.
  • To continue to engage only in sex that I find physically and emotionally fulfilling.
  • To become more comfortable with my body, whatever it's shape, flaws or size.
  • To remain at peace with myself, both inside and out.
  • To continue my daily walking routine and try to maintain appropriate eating habits.
  • To gain a permanent job that challenges and interests me.
  • To become financially independent again.
  • To be more positive and spend time only with positive people.
  • To regularly do things that scare and/or challenge me.
  • To return to paying my accounts on time and with ease.
  • To return to being calmer and less angry and frustrated.
  • To examine the direction of my photography.
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the last meme of 2006

Blatantly stolen from the ever lovely Tony (and the blatant line was blatantly stolen from Larry)...

And then I added a few others I stole from Tom to the end... *grin*

  1. The phone rings. Who do you want it to be? Someone offering me my dream job... now if I only knew what that was...


  2. When shopping at the grocery store, do you return your cart? I leave it at the register...


  3. In a social setting, are you more of a talker or a listener? Depends on the setting... if it's people I mostly know and feel comfortable around, I'm the talkenest damn thing you ever saw (can you tell I watched Shrek the other day?)... otherwise, if I don't feel comfortable (or I'm bored or whatever), I'm the listening fairy...


  4. If abandoned alone in the wilderness, would you survive? Ummm probably not...


  5. Do you like to ride horses? I've done it once... it was fun, even if I did have the sorest inner thighs and a serious case of sunburn on the back of my neck.


  6. Did you ever go to camp as a kid? Not the whole American "summer camp" thing, since we don't do that here... but yes, I went on school camps... oh, the traumas of childhood...


  7. What was your favorite board game as a kid? Hmmmm... I'm probably going to say Trivial Pursuit.


  8. If a sexy person was pursuing you, but you knew he/she was taken what would you do? Just how sexy are they? I dunno, depends on the situation I guess...


  9. Are you judgmental? Are smurfs blue? I can be... on occasion... when the situation calls for it... okay, yes, I'm judgmental...


  10. Would you date someone with different religious beliefs? Depends how gung-ho they were about their said religion... I don't mind you being whatever it is you are, just don't ram it down my throat or I will slap you...


  11. Are you continuing your education? Not in any official capacity no...


  12. Do you know how to shoot a gun? Nope... which is lucky for my neighbours some days...


  13. If your house was on fire, what’s the first thing you'd grab? Well, given that it's closest to my bed out of all the things I would like to grab, I'd have to say my new external hard drive, since it has just about everything important (in a computer sense) on it.


  14. How often do you read books? Daily.


  15. Do you think more about the past, present or future? I would have to say the past... which is not always good...


  16. What is your favorite children's book? Hmmmm... I hate having to pick any one particular book... I'll say Winnie-the-Pooh though...


  17. How tall are you? 5'11" as far as I'm aware.


  18. Where is your ideal house located? In the middle of the city... with a great view... and airconditioning... and maybe someone to clean it and do my laundry...


  19. Last person you talked to? Ma.


  20. What are your keys on your key chains for? Given the amount I use some of them, I could say decoration... but without going to look, I'm pretty sure I have my house key, my car key (and alarm remote thingy), Ma's house key plus the keys to her two screen doors... and my handcuff key, so I know where it is... just in case...


  21. What did you do last night? Watched Star Trek II, messed around with my digital camera, downloaded a ton of work by a new favourite photographer, had an inappropriate conversation via MSN...


  22. Where is your current pain at? Actually, nowhere... well, maybe my back a little, but not enough to really call a pain...


  23. Do you like mustard? Yup... both the very plain American kind and the bitey kind...


  24. Do you like your mom or dad? Ma, yes... Dad, never met him...


  25. How long does it take you in the shower? About 15 minutes or so.


  26. What movie do you want to see right now? The Black Dahlia... but it's not on anywhere I can find anymore... *pout*


  27. Do you put lotion on your dog or cats? Is that a euphemism for something?


  28. What are you doing for New Year's? Same as last year... staying home and watching DVDs...


  29. Do you think The Grudge was scary? Didn't see it...


  30. Do you own a camera phone? Yes, yes I do...


  31. What’s the last letter of your middle name? T


  32. How many hours of sleep do you get a night? In theory, about 8... in actuality a little less than that.


  33. Do you like Care Bears? Um, no...


  34. Do you know how to play poker? Yep... I'm completely crap at it and always lose, but I can play.


  35. Do you wear your seatbelt? 99.9% of the time yes...


  36. What do you sleep in? A teeshirt and underwear usually, unless it's really hot.


  37. Anything big ever happen in your hometown? Nothing springs to mind.


  38. Is your tongue pierced? No, I learned my lesson about piercings...


  39. Who’s the funniest person you know? Is it arrogant to say me? It probably is, but I'm saying it anyway... Ma keeps telling me I'm funny all the time...


  40. Do you like funny or serious people better? Depends what I'm trying to do... I like people who are funny when it's appropriate, but are serious when I need to discuss serious things.


  41. Did you eat a cookie today? I don't even have any cookies in the house... so, no...


  42. Do you use cuss words in other languages? Not really no...


  43. Do you steal or pay for your music downloads? I get them from Stu... I don't ask how he acquires them...


  44. When was the last time you said "I love you" and meant it? Yesterday.


  45. Is your cell usually on vibrate or ring? Both... incase I don't hear it in my pocket, then at least I have a chance of feeling it.


  46. Do you need a boyfriend/girlfriend? Need, no... like, maybe...


  47. What was your favourite movie in 2006? Hmmm... another hard one... eight movies scored a "yani rating" of 9 this year... The Producers, Brokeback Mountain, Mrs Henderson Presents, V for Vendetta, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Stormbreaker, The Wrong Man and The Prestige... and as much as I'd like to give Brokeback the top gong, I don't think it's a movie you can watch over and over and over and over again (although I am planning on watching it tonight)... same with V, which was also excellent, but not something for high rotation... so I'm going to have to give 2006's top gong to The Producers!


  48. What was your favourite book in 2006? I'm probably going to go with Eragon for this one...


  49. Are you richer or poorer? Poorer. Booo!


  50. Thinner or fatter? Thinner. Yaaaaay!


  51. What kept you sane this past year? Wait... what... I'm sane? When did that happen... actually, in all seriousness I would have to say my blog kept me the most sane this year. Yaay for sharing my personal thoughts with the entire world...


  52. Which personal accomplishment in 2006 are you most pleased with? Making it to my first anniversary of walking!


  53. What resolutions have you made for 2007? I don't make resolutions, I make Wish Lists... which I have to write up and then post later today...


  54. Which bad habit are you most motivated to break? I'd say procrastination... but I'm actually not that motivated to break it... maybe lack of motivation? See... this is why I avoid the whole "resolution" thing..


  55. What are you most looking forward to in 2007? Being employed again...

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myer bit me!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

myerAnd for once I don't mean that in the figurative sense...

Ma and I went off to take in some of the Post Christmas Sale madness down at Marion (more shops all in one place, so less wasting of time going from here to there to everywhere)... and possibly because we waited until the weekend it wasn't, overall, as productive a day out as it could have been... but it might be around the same as last year's adventures... maybe a little less so... oh, who knows...

Although it wasn't too bad overall really... we got a few bits and piece in Target's rapidly dwindling Christmas department... one or two bits in the same department in Myer... then went downstairs to their stationery department... where we found these ENORMOUS Christmas bags... and I mean ENORMOUS... had been $5 (which was impressive anyway), were half price... so we couldn't walk away from them...

Unfortunately as we made our way into the department... I wasn't completely paying attention to where I was walking and walked into the edge of one of the glass shelves (plus, when I looked at it later, the shelf was actually longer than the shelf below it and stuck out into the aisle a bit)... rather hard actually... hitting the inside bend of my elbow...

I thought I'd just kinda scuffed the skin, no drama... then it started to bleed a tiny bit... so not a scuff, but a scratch... then it really started to bleed... yep, I'd cut the rather tender flesh on the inside of my elbow... when I went back to look at the shelf I realised why... damn edge of the shelf, right where I caught myself... broken... so it had essentially become a sharp sticky-outie piece of glass...

Less happy...

I mostly stopped the bleeding with a tissue... although every time I took the tissue/pressure off it would kind of start again... so when we went to the counter to buy the bags we told the nice girly behind the counter... who was very apologetic, then went off to get me a bandaid, a little alcohol swab thing to clean it up (which stung like the blazes), and some of that brown antiseptic stuff (Betadine I think?)... awwww nice retail girly....

And sadly, if it hadn't been for the fact that the little plastic corner that's supposed to protect you from banging yourself on the shelves had come off, I would have been fine...

After being wounded I bravely soldiered on *rolls eyes*... and scored yet another calendar (what, it was half price, and it doesn't have doodle in it, so I can actually hang it in the kitchen... although I'm not sure what calendar I'm hanging where as yet)... and a discounted bamboo curtain thing to hang in the front door to stop my nosey neighbours gawping as they go past (and because the plastic one I currently have flies here there and everywhere in the wind)...

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2006: the year in review

Given that it's nearly the end of 2006, this meme I lifted from Love and Other Drugs seemed appropriate somehow...

Post the first sentence from the first post from every month of 2006.

So here's the year that was yaniblog...

January: Happy New Year Everyone!

February: This is most definitely the gayest template I've come up with so far...

March: Yes, it's the first of the month, so it's time for a new template!

April: Normally, because today is the first of the month I would have a new template to wow you all with...

May: To celebrate the fact that all the leaves are turning colour and falling off the trees at the moment, today's Monday Montage is all about autumn colour...

June: Today's Random Hotness came about from a photo in the fashion section of the Sunday Mail...

July: You are an Atheist

August: Ah, the joys of having to "train" a new hairdresser...

September: Originally I was going to use one of the shots from yesterday's trip to Port Adelaide for my Photo Friday post (and actually did for a while if you were paying attention)...

October: The second to last part of my IPIP-NEO Personality test results...

November: There was a bunch of stuff that happened during yesterday's roving adventures that I kind of want to blog about, but nothing of any great importance that would require a full-on story...

December: Okay, I know this is a Christmas ribbon, rather than an appropriate ribbon for World AIDS Day...

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photo friday: antelope

Friday, December 29, 2006

antelopeMy antelope statue... the one I got for Christmas, from the Zoo... it so pretty...

I can't explain it, I just fell in love with it as soon as I saw it...

In other news, I am quite possibly having the STRANGEST day...

First it was thunder and lightning and a few spots of rain during my walk... followed by the announcement on the radio telling me that it's going to get increasingly hotter over the next few days (not so good really, since I've been enjoying this unseasonable weather)... and seeing a very human figure in the clouds... very Zeus-like... which wasn't really that strange, but very cool...

Then there's the fact I think I've consumed more chocolate in the past week than is really sensible... which may be leading up to some kind of chocolate toxic shock for my system...

Add to that the phone call I had yesterday with the guy in Louisville, Kentucky, who seems very nice, and if he was on the same continent might be worth making more of an effort with (been there, done that, not going there again)... although he did make me laugh a hell of a lot... but he was just a little too over eager to talk to me again today... so I put the brakes on that big time...

And then there's the possible job offer coming from a guy in Sydney (luckily though, it's a work from home kinda deal), who I met on the same site as the Kentucky guy... and it's a little weird to switch from possibly arranging a threesome one minute to having what seems to be a serious discussion about working for his company the next... and it seems to be very much turning into something that's happening...

Please don't let this day get any weirder...

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random bruno hotness

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Today's Random Hotness is possibly a little more random than usual... Above all else, I just wanted something beautiful and kinda casual too...

Update: 28 January 2012

And this post did have a couple of very beautiful images originally...

But as seems to be the case from time to time, young attractive men don't appear to understand what it means to do some nude or semi nude photographic modelling for websites, or don't understand that anything that lives on the internet has a halflife of about 500 years, and I was issued with a demand to remove them.

So they no longer appear in this post.

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changes

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

changeThe shirt I'm wearing at the moment is two sizes smaller than the shirt I was wearing this time last week...

I don't know whether it's all in my head or not, but I FEEL thinner in this shirt... maybe it's because the shirt actually fits me properly, so I'm not swamped by all the extra fabric... or it could just be because I KNOW the shirt is two sizes smaller, and yet it fits me comfortably, so my brain fills in the gaps on it's own...

I've made a bunch of changes in the last couple of days though... I changed clothes sizes, which changed the way I feel... it also means I'm going to have to change my wardrobe again (although not on the same scale obviously)... even if I only take out the same number of old shirts as the new shirts I've added...

I also changed around some of the stuff in the lounge room yesterday... because I got all those new DVDs for Christmas I had to put them somewhere... and interestingly enough the universe did provide me with a free cabinet... I actually found it on the footpath outside somebody's house on my way back from my walk and brought it home for Ma (since she's been whinging about wanting somewhere to store both her DVDs and CDs for what feels like ever)... but then she was undecided about it (mostly because it was about 4 foot tall and black), so I've ended up using it. And yesterday I moved my CD rack to the opposite side of the lounge and put the DVD cabinet in it's place (which also meant I have more surfaces to put the tchotchka I got for Christmas)...

And the bookcases got some minor changes so that I could fit in my new books... which then meant that I reorganised things so that my Oz figure from Buffy was in a better spot...

I also changed over from my old and rusted shower caddy, to the gleaming new all plastic "Shower Shelf"... which sits a little high and kinda seems like it might collect water if I don't fiddle with it... but is a vast improvement on the crappy old one.

Then this morning I decided that it didn't make much sense to have to keep going into the cupboard for my Weetbix when I have them in a very presentable nostalgic looking tin (from their 70th birthday back in 1998) and I could put it on the shelf in the place of the rice and sugar which I don't use anywhere near as often...

I also had a brief moment of "I'm taking control of my environment" this morning on my way out... there have been these dumb directory things (not phone books, but something similar I think) sitting on the top of the letter boxes since the week before last, and everyone who's wanted one would have taken them by now (especially since the ones that were left seemed to be getting all damp and manky)... so this morning I just dumped all the unused ones in the trash... then I realised that the three broken chairs that I can see every time I look out of my lounge room window were right there, broken and unappealing... so I briefly channelled Skateboard Boy and did what he would have done... broke up the chairs into manageable sections and threw them in our bigass wheelie bins too... damn it felt good to randomly destroy something, especially since it made my world a more attractive place in the process...

I know that part of all this change is just the usual post Christmas readjustment, where you suddenly have to make room in what had been a stable environment for all these new items (some of which you didn't know you wanted until you got them)... and, for the most part, I think I've done all the sorting and changing and rearranging I'll be doing... well, except for the wardrobe, but that's about a five minute thing... or at least until I remove my few Christmas decorations from around the place, and then probably do a big dust-n-sort of ALL of my tchotchka... rearrange it... that kind of thing...

Oh, and then there's the whole "new template" thing I have to come up with at some point next week...

I am wondering though whether all this minor changing around of stuff is partly the build up to New Years, and also the fact that I REALLY want some changes in my life... and since I can't control the changes that I really want to happen, I figure I might as well change the things I do have control of... if I'm lucky the big things will follow on their own... but somehow I'm not sure about that...

At least it leaves me with a very neat, tidy and organised house in the meantime...

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post christmas roundup 2006

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

christmas tree 2006Well, the tinsel and wrapping paper have settled after another Christmas...

It's all over so quickly really isn't it... all the lead up and build up and whatnot, and then it's all over in basically less than a day... *sigh*

At least it was a pretty good day, at least as far as I'm concerned...

I got up around 6am... went off for my walk... which was weird in and of itself for two reasons... firstly because last year I didn't walk on Christmas Day since it fell on a Sunday, so this was my first year doing it... but mostly because it was bloody cold out there! I actually came back with cold ears... and this is supposed to be the middle(ish) of summer... weird. And, rather unsurprisingly there wasn't a single solitary person about... well, almost... I saw maybe a dozen cars and two people out on the streets.

Then it was back here to get dressed (in one of my new smaller teeshirts and a smaller pair of jeans... woohoo me) and pack up the car, and just after 7:30 I was on my way down the road to Ma's grooving along to Robbie Williams' Swing When You're Winning... and interestingly enough it got me all perky and upbeat on the drive down, but on the drive home again it was appropriately mellow... but I think that says more about my state of mind than it does about the album itself.

I lobbed up at around 8... and Ma was actually dressed this year, shock horror... in the outfit she planned to wear for the whole day... and after an appropriate round of Merry Christmases and wrapped present gazing and photo taking (see above), we did our Traditional Christmas Breakfast... croissants, one with ham and cheese and one plain... then faffed about a bit so we could get to my cousin's place for 9:30... wrapped up some of the goodies to take her and the kids... and ended up unwrapping one present each... Ma's was her earrings so she could wear them (even though they didn't technically match her outfit) and I got to unwrap the Antelope statue we got at the zoo back in September (which I'd honestly forgotten about)... I'm definitely going to have to take some photos of it individually... it's just SO gorgeous and it doesn't show up that much in the photo I took of all my presents.

Then off to my cousin's place... and what a difference two years makes... especially when you're talking about kids... her eldest girl is 13 now I think, and is almost a whole person... and the little one is getting big too... my gifts went over very well... the diary and pen combo for the older one (who actually got the damn thing to lock first try, when I couldn't) and the piggy bank and bracelets for the little one... especially since she likes things that have her name on them (which the piggy bank did) and they'd only just thrown out some baby sized bracelets very similar to the ones I gave her the week before. So overall I did well...

And you know that it's been time well spent when a reasonably cheap canvas with reasonably cheap paint on it makes the recipient almost cry... yep... my cousin LOVED her painting and the poor lovey got all choked up... awww... bless...

I swear, my cousin never has ANY idea what to buy me (which is okay, before this whole painting thing, I had no idea what to buy her either), but she usually ends up giving me chocolate of some description... which some years is less successful than others (the chocolate Twister game springs to mind)... but I got a sizeable box of Ferrero Rocher (which I then split with Ma to avoid actually eating the whole damn box)... but at least it was better than last year's bag of Country Road rock (which I didn't even open)...

Anyhoo... we left there, drove back to Ma's, put the turkey and sausage meat (yum) on the Weber... I changed out of my very lovely but still slightly undersized "Christmas jeans" into the much more forgiving pair I'd brought with me just in case (given the orgy of food that I knew would be happening)... and then it was time for PRESENTS!

We didn't even try and ration ourselves like we attempted (and failed) last year... we just opened everything all at once (well, one at a time, but without a break)... everything except for the mystery bag that was marked "From Christmas Afternoon"... and you know when a time of day travels back in time and leaves you a parcel, you should wait to open it... even if it does just turn out to be two more DVDs...

my presents 2006It SO looks like I made out like the proverbial bandit this year... and well, I guess I did... but that was mostly because Ma kept invoking the "Away For Christmas" rule, especially with DVDs, since about August or September... the same with the half dozen or so tees that I'd needed (thanks to all the walking)... instead of getting them at the time, they got put away...

So, yeah... we started opening things... and it didn't feel like we stopped for quite a while... I ended up with a pile of DVDs that reached from the floor all the way up the my seated lap... and if I thought seventeen titles was the motherload last Christmas... or the twenty titles from my birthday... I was sadly mistaken... I have a new frame of reference for "Motherload of DVDs"...

THIRTY ONE TITLES... yeah, I kinda scared myself too...

I also got a fair stack of books this year too...

So that's my "Currently Reading" worries taken care of for a while...

There was also a few other bits and pieces including a couple of elephants and my obscene camera toting Bad Taste Bear... a mini hamper with some random stuff in it (including more chocolate)... and actually a fair amount of clothes... the eight tees (one of which I'm wearing today), a pair of camo shorts (for inside wear only), some Calvins, my cowboy hat (which, just between you and me, I'm STILL not sure about) and my bright red sandally things...

Ma was very pleased with both of her seahorse related presents... not only the calendar (which she knew about, but hadn't actually seen in its final form) but also the Pink Seahorse painting... and well, you can never go wrong with DVDs...

So once all the tissue paper and ribbon had been rounded up and appropriately disposed of, I put my new Video Hits on and fudged about taking some photos, helped Ma with bits and piece for lunch, that kind of thing...

the christmas table 2006Lunch was very nice actually... not that it isn't always nice, but I think maybe we both were a little more restrained portion-wise and so didn't feel like we needed to roll away from the table afterwards.

And we did some random veg on the Weber this year... just mushrooms and half capsicums and onion, but I think we will definitely have to do it again... it was very tasty.

Just after dinner was over and we were taking a closer squizz at one of Ma's presents (from her best friend), Ma's sister showed up unannounced (at the front door no less... which was odd, because nobody ever uses Ma's front door)...

Now you will notice that I said "Ma's sister", not "my Aunt"... the very fact that she's the former does make her the latter... but she and I had a "falling out" maybe 9-10 years ago... and while we're on speaking terms now, it's always weird when our paths cross (although the last time was actually Christmas morning at my cousin's place two years ago, so it's not like it happens a lot). Anyway, like I was saying, it's weird, because it almost feels as though the pair of us are trying just that little bit too hard to be "normal" around each other. And it doesn't help that we have the same sort of quick, slightly sarcastic wit... so we end up just being funny at each other... too, too weird...

So she stuck around for a while... started telling a long boring story with no point, so I kind of wandered into the kitchen for a bit (under the pretext of tidying the table and getting together some of the goodies for her to take away)...

Eventually she took herself off home, so Ma and I had some pudding and custard and settled down to watch a couple of episodes of The Goodies (oooh so scary) and Aeon Flux (weird as hell, but so awesome).

Neither of us really felt like any dinner... which is pretty much our default state for Christmas evening... so we kind of just picked at the bits and pieces that were left over from lunch and then did this Big Quiz thing that was in the paper on Sunday... ended up scoring like 56%... which was better than I'd expected (especially with all the local sport and politics questions), but still kind of lame...

We tidied up a bit, watched the repeat of Mythbusters Christmas, then we packed up all the goodies and leftovers both for me to take home, but also the random stuff she's taking to Second Christmas today. I, unsurprisingly, decided against going to Second Christmas... especially when I worked out that it would take about two hours of driving from my place (thank you whereis.com.au)... and, to be honest, I would have liked to talk Ma out of going, but she had a bunch of presents for people up there, and it wasn't fair to make her not go especially at the eleventh hour just because I didn't want to go. Next year, however, if they're having it in the same location, I'm so going to talk her out of it... starting early... *wink*

I ended up trundling home at about 9:30 or so (well, when I left Ma's place anyway)... cruising down the road listening to Robbie... then unpacked everything, put all the DVDs away in their temporary home, hung up my clothes and kind of wandered around randomly a bit listening to Chet Baker... a nice cruisy smooth end to the day...

Only another 364 days before we get to do it all over again...

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merry christmas to all...

Monday, December 25, 2006

merry christmas to all!I wish I could take credit for this one... but J actually sent it to me...

I wanted to send some sort of holiday greeting but cognisant of the possibilities of causing offence I took legal advice, after which I feel at liberty to relay the following:

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral celebration of the winter/summer solstice holiday within the most enjoyable traditions of religious persuasion or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious or secular persuasions and/or traditions of others and taking into consideration the choice of some not to participate in any religious or secular tradition at all.

I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated twelve months, starting on the first day of the generally accepted calendar year 2007 but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures and without regard to the race, creed, colour, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the recipients of these wishes.

By acknowledging this greeting, you are accepting these terms:

This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal; it is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting; it implies no promise by the wisher actually to implement any of the wishes for her/himself or others; it is void where prohibited by law and it is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish will remain valid for a period of one year or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first and may be subject to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.


Merry Christmas to all my commentators, lurkers and random visitors! Thanks for dropping by!

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water...

Sunday, December 24, 2006

water water everywhere...What is it with me and water at Christmas???

Last year it was the ongoing saga of the broken hot water heater (which actually started a year ago yesterday)... this year it's fortunately a step removed from me personally... but still...

I was getting dressed this morning and happened to be standing in the lounge room when Random Visiting Brat (visiting the folks in the apartment next to mine no less) kicked or hit or did something to the tap in the courtyard, which frankly has been on it's last legs for some time now, especially because the other Random Brats keep playing with it, knocking it, bending the pipe and suchlike.

And the poor copper pipe couldn't take any more... it broke, right down at the base where it goes into the concrete... and started spray water EVERYWHERE. Did the adults who belonged to Random Visiting Brat do anything about this? Did they report the broken pipe to the office... no... one of them bent the pipe down so that the spray of water was lessened, and then they proceeded to all go out. In the mean time the pipe was still oozing water, although at a much slower pace, all over the place.

So after going through my repertoire of profanity and calling them all the names I could think of, I trundled off to the office to report the broken pipe. Nice Office Boy was very appreciative and called the plumber out... who duly came and essentially snapped the pipe off at the base before hammering it down so that it wouldn't leak until he could come back next week and make a proper job of it... unfortunately that's going to require all the water to be drained out of the pipes in all the apartments so that the water will stop flowing out of the pipe (I know, because I went out and spoke to him).

And all the water dried up and everything was well with the busted pipe.

Then the Dumbass Neighbours and Random Visiting Brat came back. And I watched them all as they came back into the courtyard... not one of them (other than the Brat) actually looked at the pipe. Which, in the general scheme of things, was unfortunate (the fact that Brat looked at the pipe), because he was running around in the courtyard a little while later and went over to investigate his earlier handiwork... which he then proceeded to kick and poke...

And suddenly the dry concrete wasn't dry anymore... the pipe was oozing water very slowly.

So I muttered to myself again and went back to the office to let them know (and it took all my selfcontrol NOT to yell at him on my way past)... only Nice Office Boy had gone home and Pleasant But Essentially Useless Office Girl was in... which was a pain, because then I had to tell the whole story again... and although I kept urging her to call the plumber, she hasn't (although she does seem to have gotten the water to stop for the most part... I think she ended up packing the area around the pipe with dirt or something)...

She came back to take a look at the pipe with me... and just as we got there, the Dumbass Neighbours and their Dumbass Visitors were just leaving again... and they just swanned out past us without acknowledging anything... Grrrrrrr...

If I come home tomorrow and find a pond or swamp or fountain in place of my front courtyard, I'm not going to be a happy camper...

People suck!

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xmas nightmare?

Actually, while I like the movie, I'm not sure how accurate this result is...

Your Christmas is Most Like:
The Nightmare Before Christmas



Christmas was not a big deal for you growing up...

And you're still trying to figure out what it all means.


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ma's presents 2006

Saturday, December 23, 2006

ma's presents 2006Okay... just like last year, I won't be seeing Ma again between now and Christmas (which this year is only one day, as opposed to the four days last year)... so I wrapped up Ma's Christmas presents this afternoon... I would do it much earlier, but I just don't have the room to hide them between then and Christmas. Or store them when they're all wrapped up really either...

The whole wrapping job took me under half an hour... you gotta love the whole bag/tissue approach. Unfortunately I didn't steal enough bags from Ma's place back at the beginning of the month, so I had to double up some of her DVD's.

I hate that... but I think it was partly because I didn't want to leave her without appropriately sized bags for the vast army of DVD's that have been "going away for Christmas" since like July... I just know that when I've opened them all it's going to scare me...

Interestingly though, there's more actual "things" this year, but the exact same number of bags/boxes... not to mention about half of the bags are "recycled" from last year (not that Ma and I ever really get rid of some of the bags... we just keep gifting them between the two of us, then put them away to use again).

Anyway... in Ma's stocking this year we have...

Just a shame I can't spoil her more... she so deserves it...

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movies: eragon

eragon - one boy... one dragon... a world of adventureAfter seeing the trailer for Eragon, having read the book some time back, I was a little concerned...

Why is it that Hollywood invariably screws up any kind of adaptation of a fantasy property when they turn it into a movie? And I say Hollywood specifically, because, although I haven't read the books, Lord of the Rings turned out pretty well... but that was made in New Zealand...

Or is it just that the process of turning a book into a movie will screw up the movie in 9 out of 10 cases...

I wish I knew...

Discounting the many and varied plot and character alterations, deletions, substitutions and randomness they felt they had to make to ensure the book would fit into the 104 minute running time of a movie... since for the most part, I can live with those (although one or two were irksome)... I'm going to shorthand my objections about the movie... as though I was speaking to the director while beating him with a copy of the novel.

  • Dragons do not have "feathered" wings... Dragonheart got this extremely right... Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire knew this... damn, even Dungeons & Dragons got the dragons right (even if the rest of the movie was rubbish).
  • Twice (once in a book and once as the background graphics of the end credits) the silhouette of not a dragon, but what was very obviously a gryphon was shown... gryphons are not dragons... only someone who doesn't know their mythological ass from their elbow would confuse the two.
  • The character Arya is an elf... elves have pointed ears... in the book, Arya has pointed ears... in fact it's very much pointed out that her ears are in fact pointed... Arya in the movie did not have pointed ears... this was just silly and wrong.
  • Dwarves are very small human-like creatures, usually around 4 feet tall... they are not 5'8 actors in silly beards... this is also silly and wrong... and to be honest, I didn't actually realise that the actor playing the dwarf was a dwarf until the second or third scene with him in it.
  • Characters from the book who are supposed to be killed or captured as part of the climax of the story that leads into the second book should, if at all possible, be killed or captured as appropriate in the movie... this leaves unfortunate loose ends if and when the second movie gets made that you then have to write your way around... which is then messy.
  • Try to avoid making one set of dragon armour in the real world, and a completely different set of CG armour for the CG dragon... this just looks tacky.
  • Learn what a montage is and how it relates to showing the passage of time in a film... don't "cheat" and use "magic" that isn't a part of the book to cover your laziness.
Okay, so that's what I didn't like about the movie...

Let's look at the positives...

Edward Speleers, John Malkovich and costume designers Kym Barrett and Carlo Poggioli (whichever one was responsible for Eragon and Brom's outfits in particular)...

Young Edward is one of those people who looks good in motion, but doesn't always photograph well... the few photos I've seen of him left me slightly unimpressed, but in motion, he's of the pretty... and when he takes his shirt off, triple pretty... and the boy has nipples the size of a small country... which I always like.

The ever lovely Mr Malkovich can just read me the phonebook... especially in any movie where he's being all evil and fairly understated (but at the same time could rip out your spleen through your left nostril)... I can't explain it, but I adore it.

And as for the costume designers... four words... leather pants, crotch lacing... enough said... although some of the overly spangly Varden costumes were a little much...

The visual effects weren't bad though... well, apart from one particularly awful bluescreen shot involving Robert Carlyle's character... but the dragon was animated quite well...

Unfortunately I don't even think it stands alone as a movie when you haven't read the book... there were some things that I only got (like the dwarves amongst others) because I knew the book. But then it's not like they stuck to the plot of the book enough to really help...

yani's rating: 5 disappointing dragons out of 10

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photo friday: presents

Friday, December 22, 2006

presents 2006It's three sleeps until Christmas, I had a nice long phone chat with J this morning (for free thanks to some internet program at his end), the weather is beautifully cool (after the last few days of insane heat), my calendars all arrived before Christmas, the new Harry Potter title has been announced (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows)... all seems right with the world...

Now all I have to do is wrap Ma's presents some time tomorrow and I'm all set for Monday!

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random santa hotness

Thursday, December 21, 2006

I'm taking a leaf out of last year's pre-Christmas Random Hotness for this year...

I mean, what's Christmas without hot mostly naked boys in Santa hats? I'd be more than happy to find any of these Santas under my tree on Christmas morning...

aussiebum santalong hat santa
a&f santawhite santa

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top strengths

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Yet another post/meme/quiz/idea stolen from Tom...

This time it's the "VIA Inventory of Strengths Survey"...

strengthYour Top Strength
Creativity, ingenuity, and originality
Thinking of new ways to do things is a crucial part of who you are. You are never content with doing something the conventional way if a better way is possible.

Your Second Strength
Humor and playfulness
You like to laugh and tease. Bringing smiles to other people is important to you. You try to see the light side of all situations.

Your Third Strength
Love of learning
You love learning new things, whether in a class or on your own. You have always loved school, reading, and museums-anywhere and everywhere there is an opportunity to learn.

Your Fourth Strength
Judgment, critical thinking, and open-mindedness
Thinking things through and examining them from all sides are important aspects of who you are. You do not jump to conclusions, and you rely only on solid evidence to make your decisions. You are able to change your mind.

Your Fifth Strength
Appreciation of beauty and excellence
You notice and appreciate beauty, excellence, and/or skilled performance in all domains of life, from nature to art to mathematics to science to everyday experience.

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calendar project

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

the final calendarsHallelujah... the Seahorse Calendar Project is finally over!

Okay, technically it was over yesterday when Stu FINALLY called me to tell me they were all printed up and ready to go... so I went straight to his work, picked them up and drove out to Officeworks to have them bound up all professional like... plastic front, card back, wire binding... and of course I had to get back covers that kinda matched the front cover colours (well, except for the frog one, they were out of red, so I went with green).

Rather stupidly I put the one for Ma in the bag in the wardrobe that has all her other Christmas stuff in it (since I can't wrap anything until Saturday afternoon)... and when I went to get it out so I could take the picture, I realised that the left end was a bit curled from being in the bag... *mutter*... so now it's in a drawer with a book on it, and after Ma picks up the other two tonight I'll take it out of the drawer and put a number of heavy books on it.

I have to say though that they came out really good once they were all bound up and stuff... very professional looking. And as I said to the girl at Officeworks when I picked them up... "It's amazing what you can do with too much time on your hands and access to the internet"...

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montage monday: christmas goodies

Monday, December 18, 2006

christmas goodies 2006Today's Monday Montage is all about yesterday's goodie making...

Okay... clockwise from the top left corner... Mince Tarts, Rocky Road, Rum Balls, Sherry Truffles, Peanut Cups, Hazelnut Delights, Chocolate Puddings and last but not least, Chocolate Balls.

The whole bottom row is actually new this year (actually to be totally honest, the "Peanut Cups" are what happens when you have melted chocolate left over and just decide to put in the leftover hazelnuts and chopped cherries... then random amounts of partially leftover coconut and a load of chopped peanuts until it's the right consistency to drop into these itty bitty little foil cups that Ma had... no idea what the hell they're going to taste like... and I probably couldn't make them the same again in a million years), but the rest (with the exception of the Rocky Road) are tried and true Christmas favourites.

And like with a lot of other things just of late, I figured that it was probably time that I either learned all the secret recipes (none of which are particularly secret to be honest, since most of them seem to come off the labels from Condensed Milk tins) or else just helped Ma out so that she wasn't trying to do it all on her ownsome... which of course, in turn meant that we made about double the number of things she would have made if she'd been doing it alone (if she made anything at all).

It also means that, as I mentioned briefly last night, I consumed more chocolate yesterday than is really good for any one person... and I was very much suffering from a chocolate and sugar and coffee hangover this morning (the coffee from the not insignificant amount of my preferred coffee beverage that I consumed over the last four days).

I brought a bunch of Ma's cookbooks home with me last night too... including the one that, when I found it, I just about ended up rolling around on the floor laughing... yes, that's right... my mother owns a book of Jewish Cooking... not that she's ever used it (and, given the stuff that's actually in it, I don't think she ever will)... it just struck me as really, really funny...

There was also one that was obviously made by my primary school as some sort of fundraising thing, which pretty much proves a couple of things... firstly that the Australian pallet has matured SO much in the last twenty or so years (and that when this cookbook was made, nobody seemed to be able to spell "satay"... there's one reference to "satey" and another to "sartees")... and secondly that the late seventies and early eighties were ALL about putting pineapple in things... both sweet and savoury. However there are a couple of things in there that I wouldn't mind trying.

Oh, and in the random frivolity of the day I coined a new phrase/word... "I'm all CSI"... which means that I have random stuff caught under my fingernails (from mixing the innards of certain goodies) and the nice folks from CSI would have a field day when they went to analyse it... okay, so I don't know if it's going to be a recurring one... but it was funny at the time.

Shopping Adventures was a little dull this week... well... kinda... Ma had her Christmas haircut on Saturday (we really must try and co-ordinate them on the same day next year) so we got started a little later and ended up going down to Harbour Town... mostly to find the Christmas Cave store that just opened down there...

One word for ya... TACKAFREAKINRAMA! OH! MY! GOD! I was both speechless and very nearly falling over myself laughing the whole time we were in there... it was SO bad and SO wrong... a lime green tree with a very dragqueeneske theme (which, I gotta say, I hated probably the least of anything else in the store)... a black tree with a gambling/dice theme... a blue tree with a "Santa on Vacation" theme... brown trees... trees with an "Australiana" theme... candy pink trees... pet themed trees... you name it, if it was bad and wrong and Christmas orientated, it was in there... but what I found really interesting is that if you were looking for just plain coloured glass baubles for your tree, that was so not the place to be... I don't think they had a single one in the massive, massive store.

However if you wanted a Christmas stocking with Batman on it... or a giant inflatable Santa Homer, well, that's just the place to go... *rolls eyes*

And while we were down there the nice lady from the Market called... my tee shirt is in... *does the Happy Dance*... granted I'm probably not going to be able to get in to get it before Christmas... but it's there waiting for me... yaaay!

We didn't do much more after Harbour Town... we did kind of wander around Arndale for five minutes in the grand scheme of the universe... however, while we were in EzyDVD I did squeal like a big girl enough to make the woman who worked there and who was one rack over putting things away comment something to the effect of "You sound excited"... and of course I was excited, I'd just found Kindred: The Embraced on DVD... prime time vampires from Aaron Spelling... what's not to love... especially when it's all eight episodes (which is all they could make since their lead vampire actor was killed in a motorcycle accident between seasons one and two)...

Holy Mary... I just got the bejezzus scared out of me by the nice mailman who was delivering one of the two calendars I've ordered from Amazon... this one was The Boys of Bel Ami... and with any luck, the Joe Phillips one will rock up sometime this week too... *crosses fingers*

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chocolate overload...

Sunday, December 17, 2006

i'm so augustus right nowOh lordy, lordy, lordy...

I'll dish more of the dirt tomorrow... but I spent the whole day today at Ma's making various and sundry mostly chocolate related Christmas treats...

And of course, as one makes things, one samples a little here... licks one's fingers there... spills a little mixture here... cleans the spoon afterwards there...

I believe I've possibly eaten more chocolate today than I possibly have for, oh, I don't know... the past two months...

That might be a little bit of an exaggeration... but I am now feeling a little green around the gills...

Urgh... it's so brown rice and tuna all day tomorrow... well, it would be if I actually had any brown rice... maybe I'll just walk extra vigorously in the morning...

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i'm an evil armchair...

Another stolen quiz... this time from Michael over at Pipedreams...

the armchair

What's your seduction style?


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oh christmas tree

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Stolen from Tom, once again...

You Are a Traditional Christmas Tree


For a good Christmas, you don't have to re-invent the wheel.

You already have traditions, foods, and special things you bring out every year.


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photo friday: brewery panorama

Friday, December 15, 2006

brewery panorama 2006Another panorama shot for today's Photo Friday... like the Riverside Panorama I did a while back, but this one is most of the Brewery Christmas Riverbank display... I couldn't get it all in because the display continues around the corner on the right side there... but I don't think came up too badly...

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pre-christmas musings

family and friendsThis morning wasn't the greatest of walks... I was way too much, to quote Futurama, "grey thinky whale"...

It all started because Ma told me last night that Second Christmas is being held at a whole other location this year, which is essentially "in the country"... and I so don't DO country (plus, the amount of driving time versus the amount of time we would probably end up spending there wouldn't be worth the effort)... so my first reaction was "well, I'm not going then"... but I'm going back and forth a little bit about it... although I think it will probably be my final reaction, since to be honest if I don't see the folks at Second Christmas for a whole extra year I won't lose any sleep over it (although it is a little annoying because I wanted to show off my cowboy hat and some of my new clothes).

And I know that for a fact since the year before last I was driving down the road on my way to Second Christmas (slightly late since I had been watching all the making of extras on Lilo and Stitch), and I just didn't want to be bothered... so I pulled over, called Ma, got her to make the appropriate excuses for me (okay, she pretended I wasn't feeling well rather than telling people I couldn't be bothered) and I went home and watched DVDs instead...

So while I was out walking this morning I started thinking about past Christmases and the years when I was essentially all over the place at Christmas and could technically say I had four separate Christmas things going on over two days...

First from my place to Ma's place (First Christmas)... then a quick side trip to my cousin's in the morning (Third Christmas)... then back to Ma's until the middle of the afternoon some time... then off to Sheba's for dinner (Fourth Christmas)... which I wouldn't usually get away from much before midnight... then the following day off to Second Christmas...

And they were good days... at least for a couple of years... I got to spoil a bunch of additional people, mostly at Sheba's... it always took at least two or three trips to get everything out of the car once I got there... which amused the hell out of everyone the first year I did it.

But then everything seemed to implode in on itself...

The friendships with Sheba and the crew were technically starting to sour anyway for a number of reasons... and then partly because there were so many of us we tried all sorts of weird and wonderful Christmas gift strategies... which usually ended up quite good for the people I was giving presents to (since I actually put some thought into these things)... and quite bad for me, since I'm supposedly hard to buy for (and it didn't even help the year I just asked for cash because I wanted to buy a tripod after Christmas... I either got crappy gifts anyway, or nothing)...

I think it was probably around the same time that Christmas at Sheba's was falling apart that I really gave up on Second Christmas too... I mean, these are people I see just once a year and that I have NOTHING in common with (other than being tenuously related to a couple of them)... which is not to say that I don't usually enjoy myself somewhat while I'm there... it's just summoning up the will to actually turn up...

And then last year we didn't even do Christmas morning with my cousin and her girls because they were off at their dad's place for the morning...

Which isn't to say that I don't enjoy my Christmases now... just Ma and me... but I just couldn't help thinking about all the people who have drifted out of my life or who I have a connection with or whatever...

God... no wonder so many people slit their wrists at Christmas...

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christmas meme

Thursday, December 14, 2006

jingle bellsAhhh... the yearly visit from the Christmas meme fairy... this one was stolen from Tom...

  1. Eggnog or Hot Chocolate? Hot Chocolate!


  2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree? This seems a little silly given Question 8... and really, what's the point of unwrapped presents...


  3. Coloured lights on tree/house or white? White.


  4. Do you hang mistletoe? Nup.


  5. When do you put your decorations up? First weekend in December usually... we did do it in like the middle of November one year and Ma swore never ever again...


  6. What is your favorite Christmas dish? Sausage Meat... it's not classy or fancy, but damn it's nice!


  7. Favourite Christmas memory as a child? Ummmm... you would think I would have one... but I can't think of one.


  8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? One year I got up on Christmas Eve either because I needed to go to the bathroom or wanted a drink or something and saw Ma putting out the presents.


  9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Nope.


  10. What kind of cookies does Santa get set out for him? You know, I don't know if the poor old bugger ever got stuff put out for him at my house... and if he did I think it was just a drink and something for the reindeer, never food...


  11. Snow! Love it or hate it? Don't know it... I've never experienced snow.


  12. Can you ice skate? Nope... can't rollerskate either...


  13. Do you remember your favorite present? I kinda covered this in last year's Christmas meme...


  14. What's the most important thing about Christmas to you? Being able to spoil friends and family (at least in those years when I've actually not been skint).


  15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? Christmas pudding with brandy sauce AND custard (which oddly enough I only eat at "Second Christmas")


  16. Favourite tradition? Croissants for breakfast... seeing my cousin and her kids early in the morning (which we haven't done for a couple of years, and may or may not do this year)... sausage meat...


  17. What tops your tree? Plain silver star... when I was a kid it was this dancing Santa thing... but I prefer the plain star look.


  18. Which do you prefer – giving or receiving? In all things I am versatile...


  19. What is your favorite Christmas Carol? Of all time, "Oh Christmas Tree"... just currently, "Carol of the Bells"


  20. Candy Canes? For decorative purposes only... who the hell actually eats them?
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