assume the position

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Yet again another thing stolen from Tom... who stole it from Nodrin...

And it might be correct if, you know, I had anyone to sleep with... but I'd have to be the one on the right side, since I can't sleep on my back...

I am a excalibur!

Excalibur Traits and Tendencies

Excalibur couples may battle just as much as other couples (and participate in more than their fair share of public huffs), but they look so good together, it outweighs any other deficiencies they may share. It isn't that they're classically good-looking, or similarly sized (though certainly both those pairings are permissible). It's more that the aesthetic chord they strike satisfies in profound ways. Like gorgeously plated food or song filled with unusual harmonies, the wan and freckled hand-in-hand with the tragically tan, the pigeon-toed with the duck-walkers, these Excalibur couples achieve such perfection in their pairing that they remind the world that anything is possible.

Comfort Zone

Excalibur is in the Wind pose family. Other Wind poses you might enjoy include Softserve Swirl and The Ventriloquist.

Health Note

An unexpected rash or orthopedic adjustment can sometimes lead an Excalibur couple to fall out of balance. Physical adjustments may need to be made, or an entirely new pose could even be in order.

Find your own pose!

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movies: deja vu

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

deja vu - if you thought it was just a trick of the mind, prepare yourself for the truthSo obviously, after my last movie review maxing out with 10 out of 10, it doesn't leave anywhere to go but down...

And it doesn't help when there isn't really anything that we definitely wanted to see, and the only thing that was out was Deja Vu...

It also doesn't help that I'm really not a big Denzel Washington fan at the best of times... he's okay, but he's never really been in things I've wanted to see (in fact, this movie makes three Denzel movies I've now seen).

But we've gone to stuff we knew less about and had it turn out great... of course, the flip side of that is Phantoms...

And the first half hour or so of this movie was not filling me with confidence... it just seemed to drag a little... I knew there was some vaguely scifi stuff coming, and it just seemed to be a loooooong time coming. Then when it did arrive it seemed to be really badly written... but no, that just turned out to be a plot point, so that was okay.

I will say that the longer it went on, the better it got... so, in the end section with the shootings and the explosions and the stunts and this, that and the other, I was quite enjoying it.

It's a little like The Lake House in some ways I guess... that whole temporal mechanics thing... and they do actually handle it very well... and by the looks of it, it would actually hold up to repeat viewings when you would realise just how many things at the beginning make more sense at the end of the movie.

I also realised that I have a soft spot for Val Kilmer... maybe it's from his role in Willow, I don't know... but I even like him when he's slightly puffy like he was in the movie, or overacting badly like he did in Alexander...

One thing I did find interesting is that the movie is set in Post Katrina New Orleans... and with the possible exception of one scene, there isn't really a big deal made about the whole thing... it technically could be set anywhere, and it was originally supposed to be Long Island before it got changed, which would have worked just as well I think.

Lifted from imdb.com:

The movie went through pre-production in New Orleans. Just weeks before production was to begin, Hurricane Katrina devastated the city. With the location in ruins, the movie made the decision to find a new location to shoot. Weeks after the decision, canceling the movie altogether was in talks. Finally, three months after the hurricane, the film returned to New Orleans, Louisiana and began pre-production once again.

So there you have it, originally not New Orleans... then it was New Orleans, then it wasn't... and finally it was.

All trivia aside thought, overall it wasn't bad... a little slow to start with, but not as bad as I'd feared it might be.

yani's rating: 7 exploding ferries out of 10

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antacid

antacidLast night's Chateau Briand isn't sitting quite right this morning...

At least I assume that's what it is... although whether it's the steak itself or my body is rebelling against the fact that I ate after 8:30, I don't know...

Does anyone have an antacid?

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big four-oh

big fou-oh 2007Tonight (well, last night technically, since it's after midnight now) was the "social event I said yes to, but I wasn't sure I wanted to go" that I whinged about on Saturday...

To be exact, it was Stu's 40th Birthday Party at a fancy smancy restaurant with a room full of people I didn't know. I knew it was going to be one of those evenings, at worst incredibly dull... and I wasn't completely wrong...

But it actually wasn't a complete and total waste of an evening. I had a very nice, if overly fancy looking and sounding, dinner... met some slightly interesting, if mostly beige people... and helped a friend celebrate his birthday. Plus it got me out of the house for the evening, doing something different...

As far as the food goes, I had Prosciutto Luganese (finely sliced Parma ham placed on tomatoes, lettuce and bocconcini, with basil paste, olive oil and balsamic vinegar) for entree, followed by lemon and passionfruit sorbet topped with sparkling wine (which was interesting, coming between the courses as it did), then Chateau Briand (the finest fillet roasted to your choice, which in my case was well done, served with bordelaise and hollandaise, served with grilled herb tomato and asparagus) for main and Crème Caramel (made with fresh milk, farm eggs and vanilla beans) for dessert.

I actually just frightened myself, I found the prices of the dishes online and, well, that was enough to scare me silly... but like I said, the food was very nice. And Stu paid, so that was even better...

And I managed not to spill anything on my nice new white shirt and ecru pants ensemble too... which I was a little worried about, and also why I shied away from anything on the menu that came with a high degree of sauce... and Stu complimented me on the shirt at the end of the night, which, coming from someone who's usually very well turned out (especially for a straight man), obviously it was a good look... nice and summery feeling too.

As far as the other guests... well, I was one of two single people (the other being the Amazingly Annoying Frenchman), everyone else was couples... one of the couples even brought their baby... which was okay, because babies like me for some reason... babies and small animals... I don't know why, they just do. And there's nothing like being allowed to make stupid faces and noises to amuse the baby... and probably the rest of the table as well. Actually, that might be why babies like me, because I make with the faces...

It also didn't hurt that said baby's father was probably the most attractive person at said table... which honestly, isn't saying much... and I was sitting next to said father... but he did have very well shaped hands... and I'm always a sucker for that.

I'll have to check with Stu to see if that (the relative attractiveness, not the hands thing) factored into his thought process on the seating allocations at all... possibly not, but with Stu you never know.

I hadn't actually expected to hang out very long after dinner, but you know how those things go, they leave big gaps between courses so that all the food has a chance to go down (which means that I have no doubt I broke the whole "No food after 8:30" rule tonight, but to be honest, I wasn't paying attention) and the whole thing lasted around three and a half hours or so... so I ended up leaving right at the very end with Stu and his associated party, and the Amazingly Annoying Frenchman... who, as you can tell, annoys me... although he's not actually French, I think he's actually Czech, which kind of explains some of it... but doesn't make him any less annoying.

Anyway, I ended up (because I just couldn't avoid it, although I would very much have liked to) having a conversation with him for about half an hour standing at my car, and I learned far too much about him that I really didn't want or need to know, and he asked me far too many questions about my current situation and, scarily enough, gay sex... don't ask, I don't even remember how we got there, but if someone asks a question of that nature I'll try my best to answer it, so I think it was a conversation that could best be described as overshare.

It did start getting a little odd because I ended up telling him some of the stuff from my frustrated diatribe, without meaning to or wanting to confide in him... I don't know how he does it, I don't even like the guy, but he seems to be able to focus in and ask just the right questions that I end up telling him more stuff than I'm necessarily comfortable with, and somehow I don't realise I've done it or am going to do it until it's happened.

And now I need to pour my ass into bed, because it's much later than I would like...

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unconscious mutterings 212

Monday, February 26, 2007

I'm having another go at the whole Unconscious Muttering thing...

  1. Soldier :: Wooden Toy

  2. Lipton :: Tea

  3. Reason:: Intellect

  4. Terms :: Of Endearment

  5. Positive :: Negative

  6. Example :: Punishment

  7. Legacy :: Passed down

  8. Solo :: Alone

  9. Instrument :: Drums

  10. Later :: Darker
I apologise for the Terms of Endearment thing, but it was honestly the first thing that came into my head...

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cock-a-roach

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Which Animal Spirit Totem Are You?



Your soul is bound to the Eighth Totem, Eternal: The Cockroach.

Eternal appears as a jet black cockroach. He embodies stamina, energy, tolerance, and courage. He is associated with the color jet, the season of winter, and the element of earth. His downfall is coldness. You are most compatible with Spiders and Bears.

Take this quiz!


Well I don't know about the whole tolerance thing...

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frustrated

Saturday, February 24, 2007

so very frustratedI am frustrated.

I'm frustrated by just about everything right now.

I'm frustrated by my large number of ethnic neighbours with their noisy and annoying children.

I'm frustrated because they're a totally inconsiderate bunch of people and all I want is peace and quiet again and a group of neighbours who don't know each other and hardly even say hello when they pass in the courtyard.

I'm frustrated because a small fridge suddenly appeared outside my apartment this morning, left there, I'm sure, by the annoying neighbours, and I'll have to be the one who shifts the damn thing.

I'm frustrated that I can't complain to the landlord about the noise or the reappearing and disappearing furniture or the children, since he's the one that put them in here in the first place and I know that he's making more money off a family of four people in a one bedroom apartment than he is off me.

I'm frustrated at my landlord for not only renting to the aforementioned neighbours, but also because when I went to pay my rent this afternoon, he'd made off with the rental book they write the payment in.

I'm frustrated because the usual guy wasn't over there, it was some random dude who didn't really know what was going on, and hence I couldn't pay my rent.

I'm frustrated because I would just prefer to move, but not only can I not afford it, but it sounds like the rental market has gotten a hell of a lot worse since the last time I dipped my toe in and I didn't have any luck that time anyway.

I'm frustrated by both of the employment agencies that I'm on the books with because neither of them is finding me work.

I'm frustrated with one of them because when I went to see her she said that she could find me something very soon, no problem, and that was over a year ago, and the other one because I've made them a ton of money by finding my own assignments more or less, and they're still not getting off their butts to help me.

I'm frustrated because there never seems to be any suitable jobs I could apply for in the paper.

I'm frustrated because if one of the agencies would just offer me something, I could very easily turn a two day assignment into twelve months, I've done it on at least two other occasions, and in the right place I could do it again.

I'm frustrated because I feel like I've niched myself into a very small corner and I don't want to go back to the bottom of the ladder and find another way up.

I'm frustrated by the potential job offer I thought I had a while ago turned out to be like a lot of my other online relationships, as soon as I seemed to show what I felt was the right amount of interest, the guy vanished and never bothered speaking to me again.

I'm frustrated because I'm completely and totally flat broke.

I'm frustrated because I can't afford to do the things I want to do, buy the things I want to buy, go the places I want to go or treat and spoil other people.

I'm frustrated because if I do something that would ease the money problem a little, then it opens up a whole new can of worms, and I don't want to go there.

I'm frustrated because I'm probably going to have to go there.

I'm frustrated because I have no social life.

I'm frustrated because I have no love life.

I'm frustrated because I have no sex life... at least not one that actually meets my needs.

I'm frustrated because I said yes to an upcoming social event that I'm not sure I really want to go to.

I'm frustrated that the vast majority of the people who either keep coming back into my life or just generally stick around are the ones I would be happy to have disappear, and the ones who I would like to stick around are the ones that vanish.

I'm frustrated because it seems like things just appear for other people without any effort, and my life seems to have atrophied since I turned 30.

I'm frustrated because I don't have the things that I want.

I'm frustrated because I'm becoming too comfortable with where I am, and it's not a good place.

I'm frustrated because I'm not sure this whole rant really helped.

I'm just frustrated.

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photo friday: dawn

Friday, February 23, 2007

dawn 2007This was dawn on Tuesday morning...

There's nothing quite like a good cloudy sky to make for a highly photographable sunrise or sunset...

Unfortunately this was also the day I lost my pedometer... I only realised I'd dropped it a far way down the road, and there was no way that I was going all the way back up the hill to look for it, and when I looked for it on Wednesday morning, alas, it was gone...

I'm guessing it fell off when I swung over the fence to get this shot... so there is a price for beautiful photographs... and in my case it was a $2 pedometer...

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unconscious mutterings

Okay, I don't know if this is going to be something regular or not, but I was wandering about the internetwebsphere, jumping from place to place, as one does, when I found Unconscious Mutterings...

She gives you a weekly list of words and you put down the first thing that comes into your head...

These are my mutterings...

  1. Threshold :: Rocket

  2. Jason :: Superman

  3. Suspicion :: Mystery

  4. Tender :: Embrace

  5. Tempted :: Chocolate

  6. Crimson :: Scarlet

  7. Repulsive :: Putrid

  8. Bulldog :: French

  9. Garage :: Teenage Rock Band

  10. Racket :: Neighbours
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random eolo hotness

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Today's Random Hotness comes via photographer Eolo Perfido. He was born in France, but lives in Rome, and I think that both cultures show up in his work... although it's a little hard to sort out which bits of style are very French, and which are highly Italian. He does seem to photograph more women than men, but he knows how to photograph both pretty much flawlessly. Plus there's this whole slightly Gothic edge to a lot of his stuff (lots of dark makeup, low lighting and contrast) that I really like.

francescokonrad

Current Mood: mmmmmm hotness

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ufo?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

holden airshipSo, I'm sitting on my little red sofa, minding my own business, watching House...

And from the sofa I can see straight into my bedroom and out the bedroom window since I don't keep the curtains closed once the sun goes down.

Then suddenly I happen to see something out of the corner of my eye, something big and glowing with flashy lights. So I turned my head to look, thinking it was just another airplane, since they go over a lot... but my brain just wouldn't make sense of what I was seeing... it was all oval and had blue flashy lights on it and for a split second my brain went "UFO!!!"

It actually took a couple of seconds for me to realise what it actually was... the Holden Airship...

Yep, 54 metres worth of flying advertising with a 914 inch screen and filled with nearly 5 million litres of helium... and it scared the crap out of me for a couple of seconds...

After House was over I took a look outside, and it was doing slow circles over on the east side of the building... kind of groovy actually... all silent and glowing with the bigass screen flashing various things on it...

I wonder if the police or the powers that be will be getting a bunch of UFO calls tonight though... wouldn't surprise me...

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talents

blade of the poisonerI must be having a big ol' retrospective week this week...

I don't know if its because I've been reading a book I haven't read since I was a kid, Blade of the Poisoner (and it's sequel, Master of Fiends)... but while I've been rereading them, it got me thinking...

I've been writing, in one form or another, since I was little... random stories, the odd stab at something larger every now and again... but there's only really ever been one "novel" that I've started that I really followed through on and finished (although I did realise a while ago that most of my attempts at "novels" were all pretty much either short stories, albeit longer ones, or else more like novellas, at least in length).

And that novel was "Talents"...the single greatest artistic theme of my late teenage years. I drew up designs for all the character's costumes, I roughed out plans for two sequels, as well as a kind of sequel/prequel... and I spent way too many afternoons pacing back and forward in my bedroom trying to work out dialogue.

Looking back on it, I never really remembered it as being Pulitzer Prize winning material, but I honestly didn't think it was too bad.

Then I reread Blade of the Poisoner...

It didn't take long for me to realise that I had pretty much lifted the whole thing... concepts, character ideas, naming conventions, the whole plot really... and turned it into my own version. Not intentionally... in fact, I specifically didn't read the books again for the entire time that I was working on my story so that I wouldn't be unduly influenced by it, since I already knew that I was using what amounted to the same premise. Maybe if I had, I would have realised how much I actually stole from the original book.

I also made the mistake of going back and rereading portions of my story while I was in the middle of Blade of the Poisoner this time around... which was a bad idea... because not only didn't I realise how much I'd stolen... but I didn't realise how incredibly BAD my work was. And I mean BAD! Dialogue that would make you roll your eyes and suppress your gag reflex because you couldn't imagine anyone every actually saying those word outloud ever, in the whole history of everything. And incredibly clunky plot machinations, a number of which made no sense... and an ending that kind of smacked of deus ex machina...

Actually, I might have known it was bad earlier... because Ludo and I took a stab at rewriting it at one point, but we didn't get much further than the first few pages. And weirdly enough, I only seem to have an electronic copy of the version we tried to change... not the original untouched version, which, for me, is very odd... I'm usually really anal about keeping original versions of things... or at least one untouched copy.

The other thing that's kinda weird is looking back on something that you were so proud of at one point... and realising that was actually pretty crap. And being okay with that.

Granted, if I hadn't realised how much of it I'd lifted from Blade of the Poisoner, than I might have been a little more bummed about it... but at least this way, it was somebody else's ideas I didn't do justice to, rather than my own.

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merry widow

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

merry widowWhen I was little my Nanna used to rock me singing The Merry Widow Waltz.

And it obviously worked, because even now, if I'm standing around and I'm bored or have to wait for something or whatever I find myself starting rocking side to side ever so slightly. It's not even something I do consciously or intentionally, I just suddenly find myself rocking.

I've done it at work, I've done it in line at the movies, I've done it waiting for the bus... anywhere that I can't lean against something or sit down, I usually end up rocking side to side slightly. I always think of it as being "self pacifying" somehow... and I guess it beats the hell out of sucking one's thumb or owning a blankie... especially as a grown up.

Because Ma has mentioned the whole "Merry Widow" thing to me on more than one occasion, sometimes the rocking comes with it's own internal soundtrack... but not often... it's more when I'm out and about with Ma and she mentions the rocking that I play it up and usually end up humming the song or whatever. Which probably amuses Ma more than me because she'll remember it from the other side when Nanna used to do it.

And since I wanted to blog about the Merry Widow song, I went looking to see if I could either find the real name of the song, or the rest of the words (since the only bit I actually know are two lines which repeat)... so I hit all the usual places... I found out about The Merry Widow opera... and the ballet... and that there have been three different film versions, any of which my Nanna could have possibly seen (although the 1954 version seems the most likely, since she was 8 and 17 respectively when the first two came out)... but I'm still not sure where it was she would have picked up the song originally.

I figured in all likelihood the song would be "The Merry Widow Waltz", since the bit I know basically goes... "Merry Widow, Merry Widow, Dance with me"... sounds logical right? And I know that the tune is right, because I've found midi files with the tune... but I can only find one site with the lyrics on it... and the bit that I know isn't part of it... so there are two possible options... either my Nanna made up her own words because she had no idea what the hell the words were supposed to be (which, knowing her, seems quite likely)... or else it's part of one of the later movies and it was the only bit she remembered.

I'm actually going with the first theory myself, making up her own very limited words that matched the song sounds more like her.

It's weird though... that snippet of song has been with me pretty much my whole life, but up until I started searching a couple of days ago, I never actually knew that it was at least partially made up. And I still keep hearing the "original" words every time I hear it.

Makes you wonder what other things you carry around with you from childhood that might not be exactly what you think they are...

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favourite things

Monday, February 19, 2007

these are a few of my favourite things...I lifted this favourite things meme from both Tom and Eddy...

What is your favourite...

  1. Colour? Purple, obviously...


  2. Song? I'm having a big thing for Gwen Stefani's The Sweet Escape right at the moment... Favourite song of all time would probably be If by Janet Jackson though...


  3. Sitcom? I actually realised a few days ago that I really don't watch any sitcoms... or even shows that are billed as just comedies... mostly because they're either crap, or... actually just the whole "crap" reason really. But we'll go with Will & Grace, even though it's over.


  4. Movie? Well, I guess it should be Stranger Than Fiction after the review I gave it... and it is my favourite movie of late... but I'm not really sure I have any one favourite movie overall.


  5. Magazine? It used to be DNA, but I don't really buy magazines at the moment.


  6. Book? See the movie question... I don't really have any one favourite book... lots and lots of favourites, but not just one.


  7. Cuisine? Indian.


  8. Holiday destination? Well, it can't be favourite place I've been, because I've never been anywhere... so, favourite possible destination... either London or San Francisco.


  9. Brand of car? That would still be the Suzuki X-90 (even if Top Gear did dub it "the worst car of all time")


  10. Scent? Sandalwood... and the smell of rain when it's been hot.


  11. Subject at school? Hmmm... can I remember back that far... probably Design in Year 11.


  12. Comic? A toss up between The New Teen Titans from my teenage years, and Elfquest.


  13. Flower? That would have to be the African Iris, Dietes bicolor...


  14. Alcoholic drink? Either Coopers Pale Ale, or, if I'm doing the spirits thing, when maybe a Jellybrain (vodka, lemonade and raspberry)


  15. Talk show? Oprah of course!


  16. Soap opera? Ummmm... I think I'll have to refer back to the Sitcom question... only swapping out the words sitcom and comedy for soap opera. I've watched them in the past, but not now.


  17. Milkshake flavour? I would have to say vanilla... it used to be chocolate, but the morning after a particularly late night years and years and years I had a vanilla milkshake because I couldn't face either chocolate or strawberry, and my love for the vanilla was sealed.


  18. Candy flavour? Either lemon or mint, depending on what kind of candy we're talking about.


  19. Sport? Err... none of the above...


  20. Musical? Either The Producers or The Mikado (mmmm Christophe Broadway)...
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tiger, tiger, burning bright

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Today is Chinese New Year... Year of the Pig...

But since I was born in 1974, I'm a Tiger... and a Wood Tiger at that...

The Element of Wood conspires to give the far-ranging Tiger Sign a touch of a more cerebral nature. The Wood Tiger can be more of a thinker than a doer - in essence, you internalize the usually externally manifested restlessness and jumpy activity of your fellow felines.

Your imaginative capabilities extend far past the visual horizon, and your uncharacteristic sticktuitivness and sense of the social amenities give you an extra edge in the business world that the surly species of which you are a member rarely possesses. Try not to abuse this potential - there is no way to succeed if you spend all of your spare time in a corner dreaming up ridiculous and impossible schemes. Listen to the voice of the Tiger from time to time, and then follow it where it takes you.
And a Tiger/Pisces...

You learn by doing, and doing it wrong the first time. The sensitive soul of the Tiger/Pisces may fall in love at the drop of a glove at first, but after the first dozen or so sophomore crushes, you'll be a bit charier about whom you give your heart to for Christmas. At least one can't deride you for lacking a Tiger's tenacity in these matters, but that's cold comfort each time romance slips through your fingers. Pain may metamorphose into rage with stasis - as with all Piscean sharks, it is important to keep looking and never look back, lest you spend too much time in an impossibly rosy past.

Don't take it out on strangers, either. Learn to control and focus your energy inward and you may at last achieve the spiritual rewards for which you have been yearning, consciously or unconsciously, your whole life through. Stop asking "Am I there yet?" You'll know it when you get there. In this you have a distinct edge over the other members of the DoubleSign menagerie.
Find your Chinese Zodiac!

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a day at the gallery

Saturday, February 17, 2007

buddha 2007Dammit... it's too hot to actually have a whole thought process right now...

Since it was So Damn Hot™ today, we decided that after Random Shopping Adventures we would head into town and finish up our tour of the Art Gallery that we started back on Australia Day.

It was a good choice actually... although, to be honest, I think I possible enjoyed the bit of the gallery we looked at the first time around more than the rest of the stuff... which is interesting, since all the stuff we looked at the first time was Australian art, and I'm not usually a big fan of that stuff.

When we hit the Asian Art section downstairs, there were fewer security guards around, so, even though you're not supposed to be taking photos in the gallery, I whipped out my phone and took one or two shots, only a couple of which turned out to actually be in focus. But the Amida Buddha was one of them.

We also swung past the Bookshop, where they have a whole bunch of the paintings as postcards and cards (which, I imagine, is at least part of the "no photography" rule... they can't sell it to you if you've already done it yourself), and Ma got about four of her favourite pieces as postcards, while I managed to find two, Landscape at Pentecost, and, oddly enough for me, Virgin and Child. Normally I'm not all about religious art either, but there was just something about that one.

I still wish I had either been able to find a shot of one of my favourite paintings or the sculpture that I really like, but I can't even find either of them online (I really need to take particular note of the names of the artists next time).

We also stopped off at the cafe in the Art Gallery for a little nibble and a sit down... and while their lemon tart was just to die for and the iced coffee was nice and strong, the service was just shitty... I know you think you're all interesting because you work in a cafe in the Art Gallery, but good service costs nothing...

But all in all it was quite a nice day, and it kept us out of my stinking hot apartment for a few hours.

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photo friday: today's adventures

Friday, February 16, 2007

The results of this morning's adventures...


lake closed 2007These appeared around Tuesday this week I think... yet another outbreak of the "dreaded blue-green algae"... which, sadly, means no rowers... the river doesn't seem quite the same with nobody at all on it in the mornings. The river, however, does look kind of nasty, since the green "oil slick" on the surface is very obvious at certain angles.

dawn over the city 2007This is the city, as seen from the far end of the "tail" of my walk. I really should have had my camera with me on Wednesday morning though, since that was when the sunrise was really gorgeous.

clock tower 2007And this is the clock tower in North Adelaide that I go past every morning. And yes, it was 6:45am when I took the photo...

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random playmate hotness

Thursday, February 15, 2007

I don't know where this week's Random Hotness originally comes from, but I got them a couple of days ago in a random email, and as soon as I saw the red satin I figured they might make a nice "Post Valentine Hotness". I'm not sure what's up with the barstool though...

playmateplaymate

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my candy heart

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Since I made my opinion about this particular day fairly clear last year, this is about as "festive" as it's going to get today...

Your Candy Heart Says "Get Real"


You're a bit of a cynic when it comes to love.

You don't lose your head, and hardly anyone penetrates your heart.

Your ideal Valentine's Day date: is all about the person you're seeing (with no mentions of v-day!)

Your flirting style: honest and even slightly sarcastic

What turns you off: romantic expectations and "greeting card" holidays

Why you're hot: you don't just play hard to get - you are hard to get


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movies: stranger than fiction

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

stranger than fiction - harold crick isn't ready to go. period.Okay, let me say one thing before I start this...

I don't like Will Ferrell...

Well, maybe except for his role in The Producers... but that was a very small role...

Which is a pretty big call to make, especially when you've just been to see a movie starring Will Ferrell... and you feel the way I feel about this movie.

Because Stranger Than Fiction is for Will Ferrell what The Truman Show was for Jim Carrey... so much so that both Ma and I actually had the same thought, and she turned to me at the end of the movie to say as much while I was thinking about saying the very same thing to her.

It's the movie where the "clown" gets to show that, actually, underneath it all, he's really a damn fine actor, and that he can tone down all the stupidity.

And, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that unless I happen to talk myself out of it, this may be the first movie in 51 movie reviews to actually get a perfect score...

But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

This movie just sucked me in from the very first second... from the impossibly long and beautiful tracking shot (which, although it was obvious that it had to be at least partially faked, since it started above the planet and ended up inside a house, was still stunning), to the graphical overlay stuff (which reminded me in some ways of the "furniture ad" piece at the beginning of Fight Club)... it just had me... 100%.

The one thing I was frightened about before the movie started was Will Ferrell pulling his usual over-the-top antics once he started to hear the "narration", but all in all it was a very restrained performance from him, certainly the most restrained of anything he's done so far... the character isn't someone who would go over-the-top like that, and Ferrell actually manages to do a wonderful job of making you care about his character.

But he's not the only one, it's actually a pretty stellar cast overall... Maggie Gyllenhaal as the love interest (who is perfect for her role, although the pairing of her and Ferrell did seem strange at first, but that could just be because I don't know how anyone could find him attractive... but their chemistry actually does work), Dustin Hoffman flexing his character acting chops once again, an unkempt, makeup-less and slightly manic Emma Thompson as the writer and narrator and Queen Latifah, who I just love in everything... well, everything I've seen her in anyway. Linda Hunt also makes a brief appearance (love her too), and I gotta say, although it's been a while since I saw her in anything... damn but she got OLD.

The other thing that's great about this movie is that you don't know how it's going to end... you think you do... then you're not sure... then you are sure... and then the ending happens...

And I won't lie... I cried like a little girlyman... big girlyman... hell, any size of girlyman you like... I just cried at the end. Which is not something I thought I would ever say about myself in connection with a Will Ferrell movie.

This is definitely one for the "Must Own" list.

And yes, since I couldn't actually come up with a single negative about it, this will be the first movie in the history of the blog to get...

yani's rating: 10 narrators out of 10

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run in with the rowers...

Monday, February 12, 2007

random rowing boysOkay, I promise, unless they're all out rowing buck naked next week I'm not going to blog about the rowing boys again next Monday... promise... anyway, if I keep blogging about them then it feels a little stalkerly... which doesn't mean I won't look at them, I just won't blog about it.

Plus I'm not entirely sure how old they all are (other than, you know, under 20), so that always feels a little skeevy too...

But I decided to go anti-clockwise instead of clockwise on my walk this morning... for no real reason really other than for something different... and because I've been heading out a little later the last couple of weeks (I just can't seem to drag my butt out of bed before 6:30), it happened to put me in what turned out to be the right place at the right time...

Yep... as I headed past their rowing shed thing, both sets of rowing boys were out of the water, rowing singlets pulled down like the boys in the picture and heaving boats around (and adjusting themselves in the lycra a lot it seemed).

Oh lordy... I was so having the vapours walking through that much beefsteak... they seemed to pretty much all be similar to the second dude from the right in the picture, except perhaps with less ab definition... perfect little pecs though. I think I nearly made my eyeballs look all the way around the back of my head at one point, since I was trying so hard NOT to be seen to be looking, but still looking at everything I could get away with. And double fooey because the sun was in front of me instead of behind me (like it would have been on a clockwise walk), so I was fighting that too...

And for the record, do you know how hard it is to find a decent shot of a group of half naked rowers? The answer is very... I even checked out some of the images from Summer Storm, since the movie is about rowing (at least in theory)... and there still wasn't anything right... in the end I did a search on "gay rowing" and Gay Sports came to my rescue...

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quick danse

Sunday, February 11, 2007

danse macabreDanse Macabre...

Four hundred and eighty three pages...

Two days...

Told you I couldn't put down a new Anita Blake book...

And I think just maybe after fourteen books in the same series, I might need a day or two off...

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librarything

librarything.comObviously this weekend is all about the books...

In the comments for yesterday's post, Tom mentioned librarything.com, a site that I'd never actually heard of before, but I figured I should actually go and check it out, see what was what...

Unfortunately I decided to check it out late last night... around midnight, when I really should have been shutting the computer down and going to bed...

Because I liked Library Thing very much and started to catalogue all the 100 books that were in the montage... and once I get involved in a project, well, I get very involved... and I didn't end up getting to bed until about 2am...

And then I was finishing up and fiddling around for another hour or so at least again this morning... I just have to say that I'm glad I was only putting in the 100 "blog books"... because if I had been systematically going through and adding all of my books... well... I would most certainly still be banging away at it... and probably for several days... but thankfully I'm not doing that... since I think it wouldn't be long before the little men in white coats would come along and escort me off to a rubber room.

Not that the site is difficult to use (although the ability to add more than one book at a time, especially in a series like Anita Blake or Harry Potter would probably be useful)... actually it couldn't be easier (especially the signup process... one username, one password and you're away)... it's just that I'm sometimes obsessively anal retentive about detail, so I had to go through and make sure that each and every one of the covers showed up, and showed up as the cover for the book I have... which probably took the longest while...

But I would definitely recommend the site if you want to keep a record of your books... just don't blame me if you end up slightly insane from trying to get all the details just so...

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one hundredth book

Saturday, February 10, 2007

one hundred booksWell, when I started reading Danse Macabre this morning, I officially hit 100 books since I started adding them to the blog sidebar back in August 2005 with Empress Orchid...

Yes, it's another Vaguely Pointless Anniversary™...

I'm a massive bibliophile (although interestingly enough, technically not by the official definition)... anyone who's seen my apartment can tell you that... and I have blogged about my love of books on more than one occasion... and I always have something on my bedside cabinet... whether or not I'm actively reading it at the time or whether I'm taking a little breather before I dive into something new (or on the rare occasion when something is just hard work, and I'm taking a breather).

And as I think the book montage shows I have pretty broad tastes in books... although I will admit to it being skewed towards the fantasy and/or horror genres... especially since the most recent books I've been reading have been Laurell K Hamilton's Anita Blake series.

I have to offer up a little prayer of thanks to the woman (who's name I no longer remember) from the now defunct Alex's Books who first turned me onto the Anita books some ten or so years ago... I'd been looking for something new in the vampire oeuvre, since I was kind of over the whole Anne Rice thing and I'd just read some piece of vampire related dross that I didn't enjoy in the slightest (which was either something by Poppy Z Brite or someone who was even more forgettable)... and she asked me if I'd read Guilty Pleasures... which I hadn't... and since she was a bit of a vamp lover too (which sounds kind of skanky when I say it like that), I bought it. And it was, as they say, love at first sight... first read... whatever...

As time goes on I have something of a love/hate relationship with the series... I love reading them, and I usually can't put them down, especially if I'm reading one I haven't read before... they're just addictive, and Hamilton has a way of ending chapters not always on a massive life or death cliffhanger... well, sometimes... but in a way where you just want to keep reading or pick up the book again when you've put it down. And the hate bit comes in partly because you know the characters so well after fourteen books, and sometimes, even though you remember what's coming, or perhaps because of it, you just want to slap them around or shake them and tell them to pull their shit together. Or sometimes I just want to do that with Hamilton herself... especially in some of the later books... Anita is at her best when she's not up to her eyeballs in naked men and metaphysical sex... which I think is why Narcissus in Chains is probably my least favourite book of the series... it just seems to be lots of sex scenes with a little plot between them, at least for the first half... it's not completely a fair assessment (and on this most recent reading I realised that it actually had more plot in the first half than I originally remembered), but it's still my least favourite.

Just don't ask me which one is my favourite (possibly Obsidian Butterfly for the lack of aforementioned metaphysical sex, or Guilty Pleasures because it's the first one)...

The other part of the "hate" is that now there are fourteen books... and most of the time with any series of books I like to reread the whole thing before I read the newest installment... and with every book that she adds, it extends the time it takes to reread the whole series... this time around it was about two months... I started some time in early December I think... and here we are now in early February... which isn't that bad I guess... but I haven't read them for about two years, so that helps too.

Interestingly enough both of my trips to Melbourne have been marked by Anita books... the first one because that was just what I was reading at the time, and the second time because I was having a nostalgia thing and wanted to be reading something from the Anita series while I was there.... plus I think I'd just gotten the newest one at the time.

And tragic though it may sound, when I worked out that I was getting near the 100 book mark, I actually engineered it so that the newest Anita book would be the book that I hit 100 with... tragic, but true...

So here's to the last 100 books... and to the next 100...

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photo friday: riverside

Friday, February 09, 2007

fountain 2006swan and paddleboats 2007Like I mentioned earlier this week, today's Photo Friday is the fountain in the middle of the Torrens (although interestingly enough the fountain is currently not there, it's been dragged over the the bank, I assume for repairs)...

But I also threw in the second shot that I took about a week or so ago when I stopped off and communed with the swans briefly... this one just kind of stood next to me and hung out for a bit... weird, but cool.

Plus I can't resist shots of the paddleboats... so bright and scupltural... sadly though I've only even taken one ride in them... with my first boyfriend actually...

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