wish list 2008

Monday, December 31, 2007

Anybody who has been visiting the blog for at a while will know that I don't do "New Year's Resolutions"... what I do do instead is create a "Wish List"... things that I would like to happen, but don't necessarily HAVE to happen... just stuff I kinda want the Universe to know. And every year I take the previous year's list... reread the things on it, consider if they need adjusting or altering or if I've actually accomplished them, and write up a new list.

I actually have them going back to 2002, all tucked up in the back of the notebook I use each year to make the list... and it's always interesting to see how they've adapted over time.

This year's list isn't THAT dissimilar from last year's... but there are one or two subtle changes...

  • To return to and remain at peace with being alone.
  • To continue to engage only in sex that I find physically or emotionally fulfilling.
  • To continue to be comfortable with the size, shape and flaws of my body.
  • To return to being at peace with myself, both inside and out.
  • To continue my daily walking routine and return to more appropriate eating habits.
  • To gain a permanent job that challenges and interests me.
  • To become financially independant again.
  • To be more positive and spend time only with positive people.
  • To try and do things that scare/challenge me.
  • To return to a calmer mental outlook and be less easily frustrated.
  • To simplify parts of my life.
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2007: the year in review

I'm stealing from myself this time... I posted a version of this last year... but I think that possibly it's one of those perpetual things, you could do it every year...

Actually I did have a bigger and more complicated "end of year" meme that I was going to post, but it's too fricken hot here to sit and think of lots of answers, so we'll make do with this much easier meme.

Post the first sentence from the first post of every month of 2007.

Yaniblog07 looked something like this...

January: Oh man... what a start to the year...

February: I'm guessing the shots from today's Random Hotness will be all over everywhere in the next few days... but that doesn't stop me from adding my two cents.

March: What a difference five years can make...

April: The ongoing saga of the tee shirt I've been trying to get from the East End Rundle Street Market continued today...

May: You know when you're little and your mother tells you "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all"?

June: Another dip into the archives for tonight's rather late Photo Friday entry...

July: Both Paul and Tony tagged me with this one... then Brenton did his version... and the only reason that it's taken me this long to post my reply is I couldn't quite figure out what secrets that I cared to share hadn't already made their way into the blog at some earlier point...

August: I know... another Wednesday, another meme... goodness only knows where this one came from.

September: Do you know what I love more than anything else in the world?

October: *cue campy Batman teevee show theme music*

November: Bad behaviour that is!

December: Yes it's officially Summer now, and don't we know it!

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unconscious mutterings 256

I think they said yesterday that this is going to be the hottest New Years Eve in sixty years or something... so I'm too hot, even at this early stage to make with the banter... instead, have some Unconscious Mutterings...

  1. Memorable :: Events

  2. Resolution :: Broken

  3. Goal :: Soccer

  4. 2008 :: Sixteen hours away

  5. Sensational :: Finger biscuit (don't ask... I have NO idea where that came from)

  6. Popular demand :: Back by

  7. Old :: Father Time

  8. Music :: Listen

  9. Intense :: Experience

  10. 2007 :: OVER!
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rock on mac maharaj

Sunday, December 30, 2007

I snagged this one from Voenix Rising a couple of days ago...

Wikipedia Band Meme

Go to Wikipedia and click "Random Article" - this is your band’s name.
Click "Random Article" again - this is your album name.
Click "Random Article" 15 more times - these are the tracks on your album.


party posseBand Name: Mac Maharaj (which I kinda like as a band name actually)

Album Name: Ústí nad Labem

Tracks

  1. W21

  2. Mick Grabham

  3. Nikolay Bogolyubov

  4. Bite Me (song)

  5. Piglet's Big Movie

  6. Zebra (song)

  7. Shameless (TV series)

  8. Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme

  9. American Refugee Committee

  10. 2005 Gent-Wevelgem

  11. Iron Man

  12. USS Texas (SSN-775)

  13. Westmorland Street Bridge

  14. Bozhou

  15. Kyle of Lochalsh
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kinda sorta post xmas sales shopping

Saturday, December 29, 2007

post christmas sales... kindaToday was only really kinda sorta Post Christmas Sales Shopping... I mean the PCS were going on... but we didn't really do THAT much shopping relating to them...

We did the usual Food Shopping Adventures™ first up... and now my fridge is full... and I mean stupid, things in strange places, full... at least for a couple of days until I use, rearrange or otherwise clear out said fridge... it could probably do with it to be perfectly honest... but at least I'll be able to make some nice salads over the next few days what with the weather being all random and stupid and damn freakin hot just at the moment.

We also took a quick spin around Red Circle Boutique, picked up another one of those small DVD cabinets (for Ma this time) because there was one other one in the store, but this one actually had the original price of $50 on it, as well as the mark down to $13.90.... so BARGAIN once again! I also found a pair of really, really nice jeans, in this very lightweight denim that will be excellent as "summer jeans", even if they are essentially black... although they weren't the $17 I thought they were going to be (those were the boring ugly blue jeans), but I still got 30% off them, so bonus there! I couldn't find an appropriately sized new belt though... my old one is basically about a step and a half away from falling to pieces, but they didn't have one in the correct size. Bummer!

We also managed to find a copy of The Grinch for $8 (since I said I really needed to find a copy after seeing it again at Christmas)... woohoo!

After we'd finished at the "local" shops, we swapped over to my car ("in car" air conditioning is my friend) and zoomed off to Marion.

And of course, because it was hot every man, woman, child, dog, cat and goldfish (okay, I exaggerated on the last three) wanted to park their cars under cover... as did I... so we went around and around and around and around and around and around for EVER, and we kept missing them... either the person in front of us would start stalking somebody walking to their car, so we'd miss out on a possible park, or else we would go past just as somebody else was pulling into a car park... it was VERY frustrating (it would have been more so if we'd been doing it in the sunshine, but it was pretty annoying as it was. In the end I happened to see a car right near one of the mall entrances pulling out and zoomed around to where they were and as they were sorting out their direction I nipped into their spot.

I think I stole somebody else's car park... there did seem to be a car that honked it's horn at me, and the passenger in the car may have given me a filthy look at they drove off... but basically it was their bad luck, and I'm sure they hadn't been driving around in circles for as long as I had (also I made sure that the guy who was waiting behind me to get my car park as we were leaving was the one who got it, so I like to think I restored my karma a little.

We only really picked at things here and there as far as shopping went though...

Ma got a few things at Diva because they were having a "Everything $5" sale (well, not EVERYTHING, but everything within the realms of that stuff on the sale racks)... I managed to find the mug I'd wanted to get for Tink before Christmas... so now I'm going to save it for NEXT Christmas (I think that's a whole world of "extreme early shopping"). Ma got a couple of bits and pieces in Myer's Christmas department... but for whatever reason all the Christmas departments in pretty much all the stores we went to seemed much more ransacked than what I remember from previous years...

We also got a couple of really cool boxes in Kmart that were flat but folded up into a box and had a little handle at the top and everything... and when the dopey girly was scanning them, she only scanned ONE of them... so we got an already half priced bag for nothing! Woohoo! Stoopid girly.

I was also really disappointed to find out yesterday that my copy of The Family Jewels was faulty and basically froze up when it got to Chapter 6... so we managed to find a replacement copy down at Marion... then Ma took the original back to Elizabeth and they gave her all sorts of grief about not being able to give her a refund... but I'm sorry, I looked at the Office of Consumer and Business Affairs website, and they didn't say anything about not giving refunds on merchandise that was faulty (or anything at all on DVDs to be honest)... in the end though after putting her through a bunch of drama (telling her they were only going to let her swap it for another DVD, when everything else in that price range was either garbage or else stuff we had) the manager guy (or whoever he was) finally agreed to give her a refund. Bloody cheek I say!

And that was about all we did I think... one big long circuit around the whole complex and we were basically done.

As always though, it's just a shame I can't bring the nice climate controlled weather from those malls back home with me... my widdle house is a bit hot!

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photo friday: spuds

Friday, December 28, 2007

spudsAnother piece of stencil work from Sidestreets Wander Number Four... it was actually over the top of a bigger mural thing, hence the two black lines...

As far as my day is concerned, knick knacks have been dusted and rearranged, movies have been watched, presents have been put away, although I did kinda flunk out on the whole "staying cool" thing, especially right now... but then all the fans are in the other room...

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hoping for a lazy day

kris by howard roffmanGod I'm all frazzleated right at the minute..

Today is the first day I've really had to myself since Christmas Eve... the first day I don't have to go somewhere, do something, see somebody...

And thank fuck for that I say!

The last few days I've been getting up that little bit extra early so I had enough time for other stuff before going out (first Christmas, then Second Christmas, then post Christmas "bargain hunting")... and not getting to bed until after 11... even last night, when I had a good chunk of the evening on my own after J went home, I still didn't end up going to bed at a reasonable time, because I just wanted a bit of "quiet time" before going to bed (there are other euphemisms I could have used for that one, but you get the idea).

So today is theoretically (that's SO my favourite word recently) going to be all about lazing around the house, watching new DVDs, trying to stay cool, that sort of thing.

Of course there's also the fact that I kind of intended to use this time between Christmas and New Year to first of all go through all my knick knacks and tchotchka, dust it all first of all, and then work out what stays and what gets retired... so it's not like THAT'S going to be a stressful or confronting little job at all *rolls eyes*.

And I need to find spots for the two huge pieces of cookware I got at Christmas (and send some of the ones that are currently in the cupboard back to Ma's house where they came from in the first place)... and put away the last little bits and pieces of my presents (I did all the DVDs and the books yesterday along with the socks and a couple of other things that have obvious homes, so at least that's out of the way)... and some time before next Tuesday I need to come up with a new template for the blog (although I could probably do that in about ten minutes on Monday afternoon if I really had to... provided I had some sort of clue as to what kind of photo I was going to use... which I don't).

My brain is just doing 360° revolutions inside my skull this morning I think... actually it's probably been doing it the last three days, but I've also been spinning around like a crazy person, so I didn't really notice.

I think part of it might also be a slight case of the Post Holiday Blues... not so much blue, as maybe cyan or teal... possibly perriwinkle... like I said in my Post Christmas Roundup, there was all this anticipation and build up and organising and arranging and preparation and excitement... and now it's all just POOF... all gone.

I saw what might be the perfect symbol for that two days ago on my walk... keep in mind it was only Boxing Day, and very early in the morning, so Christmas had only been over for a matter of hours, but one of the houses had already put their (still green) real Christmas tree into the wheelie bin outside the house... and of course the thing didn't fit, so it was like the tree was sprouting out of the bin. Poor abandoned thing still had some little wisps of that loose tinsel stuff clinging to it. Little bit sad really.

The other thing in the last couple of days that was a little sad was going into the Red Circle Boutique yesterday morning and seeing how totally stripped bare their Christmas department was. Granted they'd been open since midnight, so a large amount of the really good stuff had gone hours ago, but we still managed to nab a few rolls of wrapping paper, some new very good and expensive Tom Smith Christmas crackers (no cheap plastic toy in those... no... this year I got a pair of little nail clippers, and Ma got a folding corkscrew... and last year I think she got a bracelet which she still wears on and off), which we only ever buy right after Christmas when they're cheaper. We also happened to spot a little DVD tower that, according to the price tag under the current one, had been at least $35 (and that was already a "reduced" price), but they had marked it all the way down to $13.90... BARGAIN! And it just perfectly fits all my new DVDs, as well as a few that had gone into hiding in the bookcase behind the door.

It does mean I'm probably going to have to move some stuff around slightly in the lounge room though... *sigh*... and because it's "espresso" (I'm assuming that's the colour, it's a kind of light "oaky" colour) it's another piece of furniture after last year's acquisition of the black DVD cabinet that doesn't match any of my other furniture...

Interestingly enough I just read through the post I made about this time last year (the link above) and I was in something of a similar headspace, but possibly because I didn't do Second Christmas and I had that time to myself right after the big day (and possibly because I had more sleep than I've had this time around), I sounded much more upbeat about a very similar set of circumstances. Tres interesting, no?

But anyway, thus is that state of play in my brain just now...

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movies: the golden compass

Thursday, December 27, 2007

the golden compass - there are worlds beyond our own... the compass will show the wayWhen J was at my place before Christmas he mentioned that he wanted to go and see The Golden Compass (we caught part of a "Making of" special on teevee), which both Ma and I also wanted to see since we've read the books, and I still had a $10 ticket card thing that expires at the end of the year, so after I gave J his big scary hamper present (he was suitably impressed, but also a little traumatised I think... which was pretty much the intention) we all trundled off to see it this afternoon.

As with all these types of movies I fully expected that they would excise huge chunks of plot, entire subplots and characters and I had heard that they removed almost all of the references to religion and suchlike that are in the books (although a little less in the first one than the second two from memory), plus there were some reports that were saying that the lead girl, Dakota Blue Richards couldn't act her way out of a paper bag... so obviously I was kind of expecting the whole movie to be a bit of a disaster area.

What it turned out to be was a bit of a mixed bag actually.

Some of it was quite good... the alternate Oxford, most of the treatment of the animal "daemon" characters... but other bits of it kinda fell flat. Dakota wasn't THAT bad... her character of Lyra is a bit of a brat and a pain in the butt in all three books actually, so she didn't miss the mark of her character that much. Nicole Kidman however was a bit flat as the villanous Mrs Coulter... for whatever reason the menance you get from reading her character on the page wasn't really there in Nicole's performance... also, as Brenton said recently, it was fairly obvious that either she's had work done or else she was sporting a forehead full of Botox, because her forehead never moved while she was supposed to be busy emoting... and while a lot of her costumes were striking, I've seen her look far more stunning in other things.

I'm always a big one for watching the background of scenes, or those little small details that other people might not notice... and I was a little disappointed in some spots with the lack of daemons in the big crowd shots... yes, I know it would have been expensive making sure that each human character (especially all the extras) had their appropriate animal daemon following them, and you could argue that some of the daemons were creatures that would fit in a pocket or on a shoulder or inside a hood or whatever (and in scenes where the characters are sitting at a table you could also argue that the daemons were under the table, out of sight), but when you only see a certain character's daemon in the very first scene they're in, and then don't ever see it again after that, it's a little jarring (and if you're anything like me you spend a lot of time looking for it every time that character is on screen). I will however give props to the person who gave one of the scientist characters towards the end of the movie what was pretty much a standard white lab rat... quite amusing.

I was also a little shocked when the movie ended maybe 10-15 minutes earlier than it should... basically they ended it on a "riding off into the sunset to do daring do" spot, and missed out a whole bunch of plot and backstory and important action, that they're pretty much now going to have to cram into the beginning of the second movie if that ever gets made. And it was something of a shock for J, since he decided that since it was a nice quite talking bit he would nip off to the bathroom, only to come back to find that the movie had ended in his absence.

It's certainly not a movie I would put in the same league as any of the Harry Potter movies or the Narnia movie or any of the Lord of the Rings ones... not the worst movie I've ever seen in the genre, but definately not the best one.

yani's rating: 7 shapeshifting daemons out of 10

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random shadowy hotness

Because I've spent the past couple of days either out and about being all seasonal or to a much lesser extent in my house feeling vaguely disorganised (or else asleep) Random Hotness kind of snuck up on me this week.

So today we have one from the "Here's one I prepared earlier" collection... I have no idea where I found these shots, possibly on either a modelling type website or a photography one (or both, who knows), but I like the shadowy/indirect light thing in them... and really, when his nipples are THAT perky and his body looks that good, who needs to see his face clearly!

jeshijeshi

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second christmas

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

country damGod Second Christmas is a pain in the ass...

And even more so this year because it was held in the middle of freakin woopwoop... I shit you not... it was all in the "country". Had I know that I probably would have opted out again... but I didn't... and to make it worse, I told Ma I'd drive up there since I have aircon and a CD player in my car and she has neither.

My two least favourite types of driving involve driving in hills with windy narrow roads and driving in the country with high speed limits on unknown roads, etc. This trip managed to combine both. Colour me SOOOOO happy.

Pretty much as soon as I finished writing my post Christmas post I took off for Ma's, then we packed up the car and took off for the land of Far Far Away... so I was probably on the road more or less non stop from about 11:30 until after 1pm give or take. Less fun.

I don't know if it was because I had a year off (again) from the joys of Second Christmas, or if I just have a whole new tolerance level for annoyance, but it wasn't really THAT bad. Oh don't get me wrong, it was like banging your head on something really, really hard for a really, really long time (its nice when you stop), but I coped pretty well overall.

Maybe it was because the only person in that family that I'm related to by blood is now back in the country and hence was there. It was nice to see him actually, although I'm about as close to him as I am to any of the folks there (less so maybe because he's been overseas for years and years and years and years), but it was still nice. And doubly so because he was there with his wife and son (who would technically be my second cousin, I think... I get fuzzy about the whole child of my cousin links thing) who is not yet 2, but just adorable (so much so that I took 61 shots while we were there and 58 of them were of the kid)!

I never really get anything decent in the present genre at Second Christmas... which is kind of to be expected, since I only see these people once a year. Although instead of an actual present, one of my gifts was an Oxfam Unwrapped card thing... so my Christmas present was providing some people or peoples in Cambodia with eyeglasses. Which, when you first open the envelope and look at the card you're all a bit "well.... SHIT"... but as I said to Ma later, it's not like I don't already have enough junk, so at least it's a somewhat useful gift. Ma got a chicken. Not literally, obviously (but looking them up my present did cost more than Ma's... by a whole three dollars).

Weirdly enough with Second Christmas, I grumble about going, nine times out of ten it takes FOREVER to get there, but then once I get there the time does seem to fly, and before I knew it it was like 5pm.

Then there was the even less fun drive back to Ma's place again...

If it's being held there again next year, I'm so opting out again... maybe I can just keep doing this whole "one year on, one year off" thing for a while before giving it up completely.

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post-christmas roundup 2007

awwww purdy... tree with actual presents, and interestingly enough not all of the ones visible are for me heheChristmas: Big, massive, stressful, overexcited building... then about eighteen hours later it's done and finished other than (as I happened to notice when I went out first thing) a lot of overstuffed wheelie bins, empty cardboard boxes and dead wine bottles.

It's not like I didn't have a good day, I did... but when I got up first thing yesterday I was struck by this sense of kind of dread I guess... I don't know that I can really put a name to it... but it was that feeling you get when you've been anticipating something and looking forward to it and everything has been building up to it, and then suddenly it's here and you don't have all the anticipation anymore and your brain just has a momentary freakout...

Or is that just me?

Anyway, after that brief moment I took myself off for my walk (yes, even on Christmas!), although it was a slightly truncated version (and slightly earlier than I would normally go, since I set the alarm so I could be out of the house by 6am rather than 6:15 or 6:20 or whatever)... basically I took a bunch of sidestreets instead of the main road to cut down the time, and went over the Morphett Street bridge instead of doing the weir loop. And I really thought that of all days, Christmas Day might just have been the day when I had the whole entire Riverbank walk to myself... and indeed it did look that way... I'd completed about three quarters of my route and hadn't seen a single other walker... and I'm not just talking about people going past me, I'm talking about both sides of the river, and looking up ahead in case I spotted anyone... bubcus! Then a spotted three people within the space of like 5 seconds... two were walking on the opposite side of the river, and just as I spotted them this girl on a bike went past me. But I only saw two other people after that... and what was kind of interesting was that all of them appeared to be women (I'm pretty sure the ones across the river were both women, but I didn't get a close look). I don't know it that says something or not, but it was kinda odd.

After I got home I threw myself in the shower, made with the potions, lotions, fragrance and suchlike, got dressed in my new grey "Christmas" teeshirt with both Chinese characters and "Old English" writing on it (it's kinda groovy, although the English text is really weird) and my scarlet Bonds "Christmas" undies (don't worry, I did also wear both pants AND footwear), had a brief mental breakdown about which of three possible necklaces (at one point I considered wearing all three) to wear... then started on packing up the car.

I did pretty well actually, only really made two trips... one for all the presents (yay giant Ikea paper bags and gift bags with little handles), one with my bag and tripod... so it was around 7:20 or so by the time I whacked Madonna circa Erotica on the CD player, cranked the volume and headed up the road...

Which would have been fine had I not been making an inventory of things in my head and had gotten about five or so minutes down the road when I realised I'd left the box with Ma's calendar in it sitting on the couch... I foolishly moved it as I was picking up all the boxes, thinking I would remember it or notice it or whatever... but no, I left it sitting there, so I had to throw a U turn and go back. As I said to Ma when I rang her very briefly when I home again, it wouldn't be Christmas if I didn't forget something and have to go back for it! Usually though I either only get to the end of the street or the end of the block before I realise... this was a new one.

No harm done though.

I made pretty good time on the drive up to Ma's place... although there was possibly more traffic than I remember from previous years but I got there around 8, give or take five or so minutes. And even more surprising Ma was organised, dressed as she meant to stay dressed (other years we've had the "Christmas morning clothes" followed by the "going out on Christmas morning clothes" followed by the "now back in the house Christmas clothes") and busy organising the Weber in the backyard.

Then followed the traditional "Christmas Morning Faffing About"... but eventually we got organised enough to have breakfast (mmmm croissants and Farmers Union Strong Iced Coffee) and open a couple of presents... mine were this pair of groovy thongs (see photo below) that I only have a very, very slight memory of picking out, but were really comfortable... oh and a scary, scary box FULL of both various kinda of dark chocolate AND Pollywaffles... and I let Ma open her Robbie Williams CD/Collectors DVD parcel.

And then it was time to haul ass up to my cousin's place. So with some brief pre-leaving photography of presents (I should really have done more of it, but to be honest, I kinda lost interest once the concept of opening presents came around) off we went.

All three paintings (Delicate, Princess and Miss Oh Livia) went down well, as did the other bits and pieces I'd gotten the girls. And for what is possibly the first time ever (okay, since at least the Glitter Lamp, and I thought that was lamp when I first opened it, but now I quite like it) my cousin got me a DECENT (and useful and desirable) present! Okay, technically the present was for me AND Ma, but still... we got a $50 Movie Card from Greater Union... which is where we go and see all our movies mostly anyway... plus, hello, Gold Class! I actually did the Happy Dance standing in my cousin's lounge room when I opened it...

As we were doing that whole "long slow, follow us out to the car, protracted goodbye" thing my cousin mentioned that her brother only comes to them for Christmas every other year (don't ask, it's a whole "waspy" we don't speak kinda deal), Ma and I would have to join them for Christmas dinner one year. I made some random nonspecific noises but when I got in the car and was telling Ma about it I think the phrase "like hell" was what came out of my mouth. That's part of the reason we go and see them first thing in the morning, so we don't have to spend a whole lot of time there... so the LAST thing I want to do is stay there for lunch. If I wanted to eat Christmas dinner with a bunch of people I have nothing in common with and am not sure I really like that much, well, I have Second Christmas (later today actually, since I didn't opt out like last year) for that.

I know it's a sweet offer and all but neither Ma nor I is the least little bit interested... we like our small "traditional" Christmases... we can eat what we want, when we want... we can watch or do what we want throughout the day and we're not having to make conversation with people that we see not much more than a couple of times a year. Thanks anyway Cuz.

As we came back to Ma's place and got to the door we had a little bit of a shock, one or other of us had left the back door unlocked and wide open and the flyscreen unlocked. And there was that brief moment of "is this going to be the worst Christmas ever?"... but fortunately all the criminals were too busy opening their own presents so it turned out okay... was a bit of a heartattack moment for a second though.

So once we got over that it was basically time for the Orgy of Presents (okay, with some brief stops for Weber and turkey prep)...

conga, conga, conga... oh, no wait, sorry... presents, presents, presents...My post unwrapping Christmas present photo seems to get longer and skinnier each year... not sure what that's about...

I somewhat tragically started alphabetising the DVDs as I unwrapped them this year... previous years I've just unwrapped them and stacked them up, then rearranged them for either photo, but this year I figured I would just arrange them once and be done with it (although I will admit, until I was doing something with them this morning, I had X in a whole other spot in the alphabet from where it should have been).

And this year's DVD haul is technically one more than last year's record of 31 titles... okay, I while I actually have 32 cases, two of them are MythBusters episodes... so about the same really.

The newest additions to my DVD library are:

I also got a seemingly sizeable pile of books too... the final Harry Potter book, the Obernewtyn Chronicles (four books of it anyway), this really random book called Hubble Bubble, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, I Am Legend (which I don't think I'm going to get a chance to read before seeing the movie), Stardust (after the rave reviews from Michael), Wintersmith, the latest Cherub title Mad Dogs and something called The Black Tattoo.

This years calendars didn't come from overseas, I just settled on two I could find here... the really, really disappointing Bodyline Men (two months per page and not a full page image... PFFFT) and the highly cute Happy Tree Friends, which will be the one I end up hanging in the kitchen this year I think.

There's also my new sneakers (which I roadtested today... not bad), some new cookware (so now I'm going to have to clean out my kitchen cupboards along with all the other stuff I want to reorganise before New Years), a couple of new knives (and I didn't know that you're supposed to give money when you give a knife, so you don't "cut" the friendship), a portable tripod (so I don't have to lug Big Bertha everywhere... especially Sydney), some socks (they were cheap when we bought my sneakers), two more teeshirts (I'm wearing the red one as we speak), some cute little paperclips (some little yellow duckies and a batch of knives, spoons and forks)... oh, and for the record, the "War Collection" is actually an empty box that they were giving away at the Sanity store at Marion... Ma was SUPPOSED to use it to put DVD's in... put some ribbon on it, that kinda thing... but no, she just wrapped it up like it was a present... silly rabbit...

I didn't really have any big surprises this year... I mean there were a couple, but mostly the things that surprised me were the things I had actually forgotten had gone into the vast abyss we call "Away For Christmas"... which was nice, because at least I didn't assume what everything was before I'd even opened it.

Ma was pleased with all her stuff... and I did manage to get her with a few little surprises, like the seahorse brooch and one or two other things.

After all the unwrapping and recycling of tissue paper and refolding of bags for next year I set about taking my traditional "Photo of Gifts"... which is becoming more and more and more of a drama in itself (although next year I must remember to just move the couch and turn both lights on in the lounge room before I start)... then swapping them over and taking everything that Ma got.

mmmm too much proteinWhile Ma was finishing up some of the food prep in the kitchen, I did what I've been doing the last few years and ginchied up the table... although as I said to Ma, it's a very "brown" Christmas table... not helped by the fact that the table itself is brown, but the plates are brownish, the crackers were kind of burgundy and gold, etc. It didn't look bad, just kinda... well, brown really...

With the turkey cookage and whatnot, it was probably about 1:30, maybe 2pm by the time we ate... but lord, oh lord, oh lord...

FOOD ORGY!

As I think I said the year before last, I have no doubt that I eat more protein/meat on Christmas day than on any other day of the year, and possibly more than I would normally consume in about a week!

But DAMN it was all fantastic... the turkey was beautifully moist, the sausage meat was cooked to perfection (although, note to self, don't try and cut it thinly with the electric knife next year), the bacon was gorgeously crispy... the vegetables were pretty nice too... although I didn't end up eating that much of them... I couldn't even work myself up to half a cob of corn (which is amongst my favourites)... we did some on the Weber again (mushrooms, potato, capsicum... although we started the potatoes off in the microwave first) and did the rest in the microwave with a little water, kinda steaming them (which is also how I usually do them at home).

Oh and thanks to Andrew putting the idea in my head, we made Yorkshire Puddings this year too... yummmmmm (okay, they were a little too firm, but Ma hasn't made them in ages, and they were still pretty damn good).

After dinner neither of us could really stomach (excuse the pun) any more food, so we didn't bother with dessert (until maybe couple of hours or so later), we just hung out and watched the end of The Grinch (which Ma hadn't seen before, but which I need to get if it comes out cheap somewhere)... which we'd had on as background noise and been sort of half watching during dinner, did the washing up too, that kinda thing... then we watched Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (and that's some nice film restoration work too) followed by Ma's present from her sister, Earth From Above. Now I've seen the book, and it's fairly impressive, all these shots of things from above... but the DVD... less fun really... not the best designed film experience I've ever seen... and the sound designer people needed a big smack. So we managed about 30 minutes of that, which was more than enough.

We'd just started watching one of the Mythbusters DVDs when Ma's sister called and was going to drop by to pick up her presents (she's been at my cousin's place but Ma didn't know she was going to be, and hence hadn't brought her gifts). On the upside the whole visit thing wasn't quite as painful as last year's one, but also mercifully brief, even if we did end up going back to her place with her (well it was only two streets away and I haven't set foot in the place since I was about 17) to "meet" her dog (since Ma and I found some random doggie present thing really, really cheap last January in the sales)... but then it's a dog... so on the whole I'm kinda less interested.

Luckily the visit didn't last long either, then we came back and watched the rest of Mythbusters and I kind of arranged and packed up my stuff while we were doing that because I've seen those particular episodes a few times.

I finally left Ma's place around quarter to 10... got home just after 11 I think, then unpacked all my stuff and faffed about a bit before crashing out at midnight.

And now I have to get my hat, put on my shoes, pick an appropriate CD and haul my ass BACK down to Ma's so we can go along to Second Christmas... *sigh*

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merry christmas one and all

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

merry christmas one and all
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ma's presents 2007

Monday, December 24, 2007

As always, my very last pre-Christmas duty is to wrap all the presents for Ma... technically I could have done it on Saturday afternoon, but then they would have just had to sit around the place all weekend, so I decided today would be a plan...

And instead of my usual plan in years past of just photographing them against my really unattractive carpet, I set up a mini-studio on the floor, much like I did when I was photographing her birthday presents... dragged out a piece of really appalling faux velvet that I have in the wardrobe (and have never used for an actual photoshoot thankfully) and this was the result... could have been worse I guess...

So because of that I couldn't quite fit all the wrapped items into one shot while keeping them still visible... hence the two "after" shots (it could have been worse too, but I decided to double up each of the DVD's, so there were only seven bags for those instead of a possible fourteen). And look, I even bothered with a bit of ribbon this year! But only because it came in the pack with the red and green ribbon we bought on Saturday.

This year her gifts are:

Only another eighteen hours or so to go before she gets to open them...

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unconscious mutterings 255

One more sleep... it's silly really, I'm all overexcited by the lead-up, you'd think I was eight or something... but I'm not, so instead, have some Unconscious Mutterings...

  1. Health :: Wellbeing

  2. Tacky :: Ticky

  3. Heels :: Cha-cha

  4. Yay! :: Woohoo!

  5. Model :: Male

  6. Gather :: Ye rosebuds while ye may

  7. Best gift ever :: Buddha

  8. Clients :: Service Industry

  9. Stomp :: Trashcans

  10. Clothing :: Body

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house of sheba christmasness

Sunday, December 23, 2007

fifties christmasJust a brief rundown on my Christmas afternoon at The House Of Sheba...

It was a good afternoon actually... other than the fact that Rockstar was being something of a pain in the butt pretty much from the get go... he had some good moments, but mostly he was about a step and a half away from needing a kick in the head.

The presents and goodies went down a treat... Sheba did that whole "you shouldn't have, we didn't get you anything" malarkey... but like I told her, firstly I only bought things for the "chillens" and my present was "having you back in my life"... yeah, it felt just as hokey when I said it... true though.

I scored a home run with RubbaJelly's Diva gift card... not only is she a freak for the Divaness, but also for earrings in general, so score 1 me. Rockstar seemed to like his toy car and Showgirl was bemused by her big fluffy cow (and I was right, it was only marginally smaller than she is), although she did chew the horn at one point, so that's got to be a good sign.

Sheba was highly enthusiastic about the fact that I brought down "the goodies"... and Tikiman was highly impressed with my Rocky Road, what with the dark chocolateness and the Turkish Delightness and the cashewness... so points scored there too.

But it was a pretty cruisy day all up, Sheba and I saw around and gasbagged for the first part, then we took the chillens out for a walk to the park for a bit, which was fun... I got to play around on play equipment like a tool... then Sheba, Tikiman and I had this whole discussion of art, movies, fetish, vintage porn and documentary towards the end... and for a large chunk of the last part I had Showgirl in my lap... god she's so edible and smoochy...

I'd promised myself though that I would make tracks at a semi-reasonable time, given that there were a bunch of things on teevee that I really wanted to see (the Discworld "miniseries" Hogfather, amongst other things), although luckily I set the video before I went out, because I still didn't make it home in time to see "Who Do You Think You Are?".

So a good day was had by all really.

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christmas quizzage

Two more sleeps!!

You Know a Lot About Christmas


You got 9/10 correct

You know tons about the history and traditions surrounding Christmas.

When you celebrate the holidays, you never forget their true meaning - or all the little fun details.

Random Christmas fact: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer was originally a promotional gimmick for Montgomery Ward.



What The Holidays Mean to You


For you, the holidays are about generosity. You give as much as you possibly can to friends, family, and charity.

You celebrate the holidays in a minimalist style. You are likely to only give one great present and decorate your house with a few special items.

During the holidays, you like to feel cozy and comfortable. You're happy to stay inside with a roaring fire and a warm drink.

You think the holidays should be nostalgic and sweet. The holidays bring out your inner child.

Your best holiday memories are of childhood foods and traditions. You secretly still wish you believed in Santa Claus.



You Were Mostly Nice This Year!


Sure, you had your naughty moments... but guess what?

Santa was probably sleeping when you were living it up.

As far as he's concerned, you've been on your best behavior.

So cross your fingers, and you might score good presents.



Your Christmas Stocking Will Be Filled with Money


You've either been really really good this year...

Or Santa is trying to pay you off!



Your Holiday Personality is Hyper


Any holiday activity is well suited to you - as long as you keep moving.

Shop everywhere and anywhere. Create your own holiday cards. Make everyone on a your list a custom stocking of goodies!



You Should Have a Pink Christmas Tree


For you, the holidays represent a time of friendship and sharing.

You're happy as long as you're spending time with the people you care about.

You are passionate about the holidays, and that start of the holiday season makes you very excited.

You sometimes go a bit overboard in your celebrations. You just can't help it!

Passionate, easily excited, sweet, giving, love, friendship, sensitive, caring

Your pink tree would look great with: More pink!

You should spend Christmas Eve watching: The Muppet Christmas Carol

What you should bake for Santa: Rice krispie treats with red and green food coloring


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christmas haircut and last minute stuff

Saturday, December 22, 2007

hairstylists baubleInterestingly enough, today wasn't nearly as busy and complex as I thought it might have been...

That's not to say there weren't stressful moments, but not really where I expected them.

I hopped the bus into town this morning for Christmas Haircut Day and wandered around a bit before they'd opened the shop... managed to leave my sunglasses downstairs in the Myer Centre food court when I stopped to have a quick bite to eat, but luckily I remembered them before I'd left the building, so they were still there.

But, given that it's December and almost Christmas (even with the wild rainstorm action from yesterday) it was freakin COLD this morning... actually it's still not that warm out there, even if the sky is mostly blue (with massive white fluffy looking clouds).

I also wandered around aimlessly a bit checking if certain stores were open so I could halfheartedly look for something I'd been planning to get for Tink, but nothing really was open... but it didn't really matter, since I'd gotten Ma to package up a few of the goodies we made last weekend so I could give her those.

Because I'd had my hair cut only about a month ago, I didn't really need that much of a trim, but what I got Tink to do was, as I put it, "chunk it up", meaning using the texture scissors on it and giving it some more definition than just a straight cut. Then once she was finished with that she gave me basically some blonder tips...

Originally what I'd been thinking of was more "colour chunks" (there's that chunk word again), but she went with this whole "paint the comb, comb the hair" approach that seemed interesting, so, as usual, I just let her. Turned out pretty well actually... in some spots my hair is three colours though... my natural colour in the regrowth... the mid blonde from last time... and the new blonde blonde tip colour. Kinda groovy though.

Ma turned up while I still had my colour on, but she wandered off to do a couple of bits of things and after I was done (and I'd given Tink the little box of goodies) we stopped off to grab a coffee and something to eat and decide on a plan of action.

We didn't really have a whole lot of stuff to do, so we ended up having a look in a couple of shops, not getting anything and then heading off, first to a nearby hardware store to get some hooks to hang my painting finally, and then we went to find the other location for the "storage/takeaway container" store we visited last week. I think with a little more forward planning and organisation we could make good use of those stores next year... as it was we got a couple of those cardboard "cake boxes" to put the mince tarts in.

Then we stopped off at our regular shopping place to get some green curly ribbon. But trying to find green curly ribbon the weekend before Christmas is akin to something involving needles and proverbial haystacks. Less fun basically. We did find some eventually, but we must have been to every possible store.

And that was pretty much it really... Ma brought the presents I need (J's "hamper" and the stuff for "Spawn of Sheba") down this morning, and some of the goodies for me to organise into little boxes, so I need to do at least half of that tomorrow before I take myself off to Sheeba's.

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photo friday: neon christmas

Friday, December 21, 2007

neon treeSweet Rudolph's nose... what a day it's been...

It's weird... around this time for the last two years something "water" related has happened... two years ago it was my hot water service going bust... then last year the visiting brat broke the tap out the front of my place... today we has us some torrential rain... which would have been fine if not for the fact that Ma then called me saying that they'd relocated her work Christmas party and could I drive up and bring her the calendar I made for her Seahorse Work Girly.

Which I did... through the godawful rain (and I hate driving in the rain, it's so much more tiring than normal driving), in fact the rain was so bad at times that the only reason I knew I was still in the appropriate lane was that I was directly behind the car in front of me... which possibly wasn't always the best plan, because, well, rain = really stupid drivers. Take some regular stupid drivers, make it Christmas time so they've already lost their damn minds, then make it rain really heavily so they lose the ability to drive even more... fuuuuuun.

Also fun was the fact that when I went out to my car I discovered that one of the little brats in the building had badly bent my car aerial... which I then broke when trying to straighten it up. So I'll be having strong words firstly with the three most likely culprits, then with their parents (yeah, I know... we'll see how it works out, but that is my intention).

And when I got home there was a Christmas card in my letter box from Stu and Mrs Stu complete with their usual printed extra bit in the middle with pics of the kids etc... except it had been raining SO hard, and my letter box isn't waterproof at the best of times, so the card was completely and totally soaking wet (think waterlogged), and the printer ink of the extra piece had run all to hell, so when I flicked the extra water out of it (and there was a lot), it was basically blue/purple liquid... and the ink had soaked onto the inside of the card making an impression of the folded paper... less good.

Then, because both Ma and I have our pre-Christmas haircuts scheduled tomorrow morning... and if there was ever a day when we needed to get into the supermarket early and get out before the hordes descend, it would be tomorrow, but since that won't be happening, we went shopping this afternoon after Ma escaped from her work function. Actually I didn't end up getting a lot of foodstuffs, mostly because they'll be Christmas leftovers, and there will be at least three (if not more) days next week where I won't be eating in the house. So not much point really.

Oh, and the photo in this post... that would be the neon Christmas tree I got a couple of years back all lit up pretty like...

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rogan josh christmas

Thursday, December 20, 2007

indian foodJ came over again yesterday... came over, stayed for nine hours, went home after midnight... so about the usual really...

And we probably had more of a "J and Yani Chat" this time around than we have the other three times I've seen him during this visit... a little bit stupid, a little bit "here's what I've been doing since last we were in the same country", a little bit deep and meaningful (although probably less of that than we have been guilty of in the past... but then, there's only so much meaningful you can be deep about the longer you know somebody).

I did manage to work references to at least three of the items within his Christmas hamper into the conversation at various points... not so much to drop hints, since I don't do that as a rule (okay, I did mention the fact that once his present was all "wrapped" I just looked at it and went "oh... my... god" but you could take that to mean just about anything... his first thought was that it meant his present wasn't "G Rated"... but with the exception of one piece, it all pretty much is), just to make sure that the reference is swimming around in his brain when he finally does get around to opening it.

And it doesn't look like that's going to be until after Christmas now... they're having relatives over from somewhere (places interstate I think) so he has familial crap going on. You never know though, he might suddenly decide he's had enough of family togetherness and run screaming over here.

He did make mention of wanting to see The Golden Compass (with me, around the same times as me, something like that)... so I'll possibly drag him along with me and Ma when we go to see it the day after Boxing Day... just need to run through the logistics of what's going to be happening that day with Ma first...

I know I've said this before, but as much as I do adore J, good lord but he annoys the crap out of me too... always has to be "right", always has these grand plans that never go anywhere except costing him time and money and the current one seems to be skating rather precariously over the edge of the abyss of legality and I'm fairly certain will end in either tears or a dismal failure, and as his mother said the other week when I was over there he never lets the truth get in the way of a good story.

Through a combination of the fact that supposedly I'm difficult to buy gifts for (or maybe it's because I give pretty stellar gifts when I can... so things I get given in return can seem a little less thought out and inappropriate on occasion... I'm setting the bar too high for everybody obviously)... and the fact that J is highly disorganised at the best of times, and this Christmas specifically... and added to the fact that there really isn't anything I NEED (or even really want for that matter) for Christmas... he took me out to dinner as my "present" instead.

And because I don't think I've been to eat at Beyond India since the last time I blogged about it over two years ago, and we both like Indian food, we toddled down there.

J's never big on the whole concept of the vegetable (or possibly just the potato, I don't know), so we ended up with two meat dishes instead of one meat and one veg like I would usually order... Lamb Rogan Josh (my favourite Indian dish no matter what meat it contains, and obviously the inspiration for the post title) and Saag Chicken along with some rice and my favourite Keema Kulcha naan as well as just a plain naan. And because J has something of a fetish for them, we ended up having two glasses of Mango Lassi each.... mmmm thick and mango-y. All in all it was really, really nice. Partially because it's my favourite Indian restaurant EVER, partially because I haven't been there in forever... and it was nice to have a Christmas "present" that was an experience rather than a "thing"...

Hmmm... maybe I need to mention that to J for next Christmas... a present that's an experience instead of a thing... that could be a plan.

After we got back and the conversation had kind of petered out (which always takes a while with the pair of us) I inflicted The Producers on him... which is also the reason that he didn't leave until after midnight.

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random days hotness

Twelve Days of Christmas that is...

Today's "Bumper Double Christmas Random Hotness Special" comes via reFRESH magazine. For their December issue they asked a range of photographers to do "a photographic interpretation of the famous christmas carol".

While the whole lot are actually quite good, especially when viewed as a set... these four are my personal favourites.

Gavin Bambrick went a bit tattooed and tender for "6 Geese a Laying"... Greg Alexander found a sexy yet slightly sad swan for "7 Swans a Swimming"... Pantelis Photography put a sporting spin on "10 Lords a Leaping"... Adam Bouska (who's already featured in one of my earlier Random Hotness posts) did a slightly left of center interpretation for "11 Pipers Piping"...

Merry Hotness!

on the sixth day...on the seventh day...
on the tenth day...on the eleventh day...

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ten tiny tings meme

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Stolen from Buffalo Void originally... but I didn't do it as soon as I saw it and now every faygola and his poodle have done it...

  1. When you were born, how much did you weigh?
    7lbs 6oz according to Ma... but that was the gut reaction right off the bat and then she started to second guess herself... but we'll go with that...


  2. What's your sugar poison?
    I'm just going to go with the widest possible option and say "chocolate"... in just about all it's forms (except "white" because that's not chocolate, that's a travesty).


  3. If you had to choose between meat and cheese for the rest of your life, which would you choose? Then be specific.
    It depends on whether we're counting chicken in the "meat" category... I could quite happily live without red meat (I think), but I eat a LOT of chicken, and I know I couldn't live without that.


  4. What, is your opinion, is the worst song ever?
    The one that springs instantly to mind is a song called "Sweet Like Chocolate" which was very popular a few years back now... I kept hearing it ALL the time and it just drove me mental.


  5. Who was your favorite teacher growing up and why?
    My Year 7 teacher, Ms Dally... and just because she was a hell of a cool teacher... she had this "loft" built in the back of the classroom, and we had turtles... and we did a three or four day series of field trips to the Zoo, got to go "behind the scenes"... plus she let us paint/construct/fortify our desks... I did originally want to have a red dragon desk, but only really ended up with the red desk with wings for a while... until the wings got on my nerves. Oh, and I think she taught me how to tie-die too. And it's because of her that I have little folding scissors on my keyring.


  6. What personal activity, when performed in public, bothers you the most?
    Pretty much if it doesn't make me have to detour around you or get in my way or otherwise inconvenience me, then you can do what the hell you like.


  7. Ok, there's a $50 bill lying on the ground. You pick it up. Dumbfounded by your incredible luck, what do you selfishly purchase?
    Hmmm... I dunno... maybe a couple of books, maybe some DVDs... maybe given the time of year it is I'd just keep it in my wallet until the after Christmas sales and see what was on special.


  8. Do you have a recurring nightmare? If so, explain.
    I really don't.


  9. Name one place on Earth you've never been, but vow to visit at least once.
    Well, since I've never been ANYWHERE outside the country I could list just about anywhere... but I'd like to say New Orleans.


  10. You notice that question #9 wasn't really a question. You feel smart for catching such a small detail. What else can you do really well that reminds you how smart you are?
    I'm actually pretty good on a lot of the small detail stuff... and I remember random facts for far too long.

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movies: bee movie

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

bee movie - hold on to your honeyBzz bzzzz bzz bzzz bzzzzzz bzzz bzz Bee Movie bzzz bzz bzzzzzz.

Yeah, yeah, it's a cheap joke, but they use it in the movie, so whadyagunnado...

I have to say I wasn't expecting a whole hell of a lot from this movie... I mean I've never been a great fan of Jerry Seinfeld... and I know that the whole movie idea started out as a joke to Steven Spielberg about making a movie called "B Movie" about bees... then they had to go and make up what the movie was about.

And the answer to the question "what is this movie about?" is "not a lot". Or I should say "not a lot that's very overly original when it comes to an animated movie"... Insect main character feels out of place in his highly structured society (Antz), leaves his home and gets involved with a human being (Ratatouille), and in the end saves the day through the very nature of his insectness (A Bug's Life)...

But then there is that old line about there actually only being four original jokes in the world and every other joke is some kind of variation, however distant, of one of them.

And it's one of those plots where you don't want to examine it very closely or overly logically or you'll see that there are spots you could drive a truck through... partially from a whole "what real insects can and can't do versus the movie version"... but then you do have a bee that spend the whole movie wearing a sweater and sneakers, and talks... so maybe that whole logic idea doesn't need to be looked at too closely.

As always with whatever is the newest and the latest and the most whizbang CG animated movie, the animation and texture in this one are amazing... just little, kinda stupid details really... like the refraction seen through a drinking glass and spots of rust on an outdoor metal chair and the weave in human scale fabric when seen from the bee's point of view... it's little stuff, but it makes the whole thing seem more believable (I was going to say "real" but that's not accurate). The human characters are still a little stretchy or floppy or something, although the ones in this movie are better than the vast majority of the humans in, say, Shrek 3...

I could probably have done without the "celebrity cameos"... Ray Liotta, Sting and Larry King, the first two as themselves and King as the bee version of himself... I would imagine that it's hard enough to make a believable and lifelike human character, let alone a believable and lifelike human character who happens to look like somebody that people will recognise. And the whole Bee Larry King thing just seemed kind of like a cheap joke... although it was somewhat funny towards the end.

In the end it was, as you would kind of expect, one of those movies that you just classify as "fluff" and then move on with your life.

yani's rating: 7 stingers out of 10

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ninjabots versus samurai

ninjabots versus samuraininjabots by benzosamuraiThis is one of those "full wall" pieces I found during my last Sidestreets wander (actually a closeup of the sumobot was one of the shots I used in that post)...

It was also in the very last place I would have expected to find something this huge. I'd walked past the spot about three times before I though "I should just check in there... there won't be anything, but I'll have a look anyway"... and then I rounded the corner and found this giant piece.

The bots are all Benzo, obviously... I just wish I could put a name to the other half... and I have to say that these photos don't do the whole thing justice... it was very impressive.

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