photo friday: abstract blue

Friday, February 29, 2008

abstract blueI'm not completely sure if this is supposed to "be" something or not... it was with some of the other street art stuff a few weeks back, and it was just... different... all blue and abstracy... interesting though.

Today's that weird left over day... February 29, the leap year... you would have thought they would have been able to come up with a more accurate system than having to add in an extra day every four years.

Tomorrow is Haircut Day (yaaaaaay!), a week earlier than I wanted it, but I'll survive... I'm thinking something in the blonder oeuvre and short and tidy (not that it's not mostly short now, but it's not as tidy as it could be)...

And it's ten days until Sydney... and I'm freaking out still (I'm just going to be in a vague sense of perpetual freakout until we actually get on the plane I think). Unsurprisingly I haven't even thought about my birthday this year... partly because it coincides with our last day in Sydney, so whatever we end up doing about it, we'll probably mostly do while we're there... but also, I know that a fair portion (not counting the tickets) of the trip actually IS my birthday present, so what else do I need really.

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random shannon hotness

Thursday, February 28, 2008

I'm returning to a Random Hotness subtheme I haven't used in a while... the male model...

Today's example is the gorgeous, 6'1", green eyed Shannon Dowling from Aussie agency Chic Management... and the fact that I saw a guy while I was out on my walk this morning that was something of a (much shorter) emo-goth version of Shannon has NOTHING to do with me picking him.

Okay, maybe a little bit, but I didn't realise the slight similarity until after I'd picked him (and I think it's more a hair length thing than anything else)...

shannon dowlingshannon dowling

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dark side meme

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I lifted this one from I Read Banned Books last week sometime when I was flicking through some random blogs.

  1. Do you ever see garbage bags on the side of the highway and wonder if there are body parts inside?
    I've never seen garbage bags on the side of the highway...


  2. If you ever got the chance to practice cannibalism, would you?
    I dunno actually... but like with my relationship with all meat products, I guess if I did I wouldn't want to have to do the butchery myself.


  3. If forced to overdose on a drug, which one would you choose?
    Sleeping pills... then I could just drift off to sleep quietly.


  4. Would you rather be...

    • shot or stabbed?
      If we're talking fatally, then shot, because I would imagine it would be quicker.


    • asphyxiated or exsanguinated?
      Asphyxiated... I don't much like the idea of the panic that I imagine would come with being smothered or choked, but the whole concept of bleeding to death just seems painful.


    • drowned or buried alive?
      Drowned... again, for no other reason than speed (and since I'm not The Bride from Kill Bill, I wouldn't be able to dig myself out after being buried alive).


    • killed by blunt-force trauma to the head or crushed to death?
      I'm not completely sure what "crushed to death" would entail... having a building fall on you maybe? But yet again for the speed factor, I'd go with blunt-force trauma... it'd probably hurt like a son of a bitch, but not for very long if all the CSI I watch is anything to go by.


    • poisoned or overdosed?
      See in my interpretation, poisoning is something somebody does to you... an overdose is something you do to yourself, or at least is done with your knowledge... again, I'm going to go with what I interpret as being the quickest and least painful and choose some hideously lethal and speedy poison.


    • killed by a flesh-melting virus or by rats or ants slowly pecking at you?
      Flesh-melting... flesh-melting... for the love of god, flesh-melting! Swarms of bugs or rats or snakes is one of the few things that freaks me out.


  5. Out of all the above choices, which one do you like best?
    Probably being shot, so long as it was in the back of the head or something... quick and mostly painless from my perspective.


  6. Which is the worst way to die in your opinion...

    • killed (by a person) intentionally or by accident?
      I'd have to say intentionally... it would mean that somebody somewhere hated you enough to make that happen, which seems worse to me.


    • killed by a serial killer (for pleasure) or a hit man (for profit)?
      Serial killer... because unlike with a hit man it wouldn't be quick or efficient and there would be the high likelihood of dismembering both before or afterwards and the wearing of people's spleens as a hat...


    • killed in a car crash or a plane crash?
      Plane crash... I would imagine you would know it was going to happen for a longer period of time, so there would be much more freaking out time available.


    • killed in your home or away from home?
      Being killed in your home would be worse I would say because it's much more likely that you're going to be found by family members.


    • killed in your sleep or while watching TV?
      Personally I'd much rather go in my sleep, because who wants to be halfway through one of your favourite teevee shows and then suddenly you're dead. So, yeah, while watching teevee would be worse.


    • killed by someone who knew you, a stalker, or a complete stranger?
      Hmmmm... which is worse... I think it's a toss up between a stalker and a stranger... probably a stalker, like with the serial killer question, for the possibility of spleens as hats.


  7. What do you want done with your body when you die?
    I've always said I wanted to be cremated... but a while back I saw one of those "real life CSI" shows and they showed a Body Farm somewhere in the States, where people leave they're bodies to these "farms" and they use them to study the effects of weather conditions on a corpse... part of me thinks that's pretty damn cool, and I wouldn't mind signing up for that one.


  8. You're forced to have your funeral at a place OTHER than a church - where would you choose?
    I'm not sure as far as a specific location, but either a park (possibly somewhere along the Linear Park route?) or else at the beach.


  9. What song/s would you want played at your funeral?
    I still like the idea of having "Closer" by Nine Inch Nails playing during my funeral... really, really loudly too... but failing that maybe something by Chet Baker.


  10. What outfit would you like to be buried in?
    Well, if my whole idea about the Body Farm was to happen I wouldn't need to worry about that... and if I was going to be cremated anyway (and it wasn't going to be an open casket, which I can't say that I'm overly fussed on having, seems a little wrong somehow) then why burn a perfectly good outfit... just throw me in the box nekkid... I came into the world that way, why not go out the same way.


  11. Who do you want to give your eulogy?
    In a perfect world, Lownee... but since the chances of that are slim to none, then I'll go with Sheba.


  12. Any other specifics about your funeral you'd like to share?
    It would be nice to do something with a colour theme... everybody has to wear purple... or maybe scarlet (I'm having this thing about scarlet right now)...


  13. Would you rather be forgotten about when you die or remembered but hated?
    Honestly I'm gunna be dead, so who gives a crap... if I have to choose one, I'll go with forgotten about.


  14. Would you rather die alone or die loved but leave a heartbroken mate behind?
    Ultimately everybody dies alone... so I think the question should really be "unloved or loved"... and I think I'll have to slightly reverse my previous answer and say I'd prefer to die loved.
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movies: jumper

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

jumper - anywhere is possibleI'm going to make a big call here... Hayden Christensen is a crap actor. Somewhat pretty (there's a whole attractive nipple thing that I'm not going into right now)... but just crap...

Not only has that opinion been reinforced over the last week or so while I watched the second and third Star Wars movies, but also by tonight's movie choice, Jumper.

Actually maybe it's not "crap" so much as it is one dimensional... he's not much of anything really...

And it was doubly obvious once Jamie Bell appears on screen... he was acting rings around Hayden without really even seeming to try. And between what I assume is his authentic English accent, the bad attitude, and the scruffy hair and stubble thing, not to mention the scars the makeup department gave him (what can I say, it's a weird turn on) he was really all I wanted to look at when he was on screen.

Samuel L. Jackson spends the movie with large chunks of the scenery caught in his teeth (you know, from all the chewing of scenery he does)... he's somewhere between his usual larger than life kind of character and really seriously overacting. Plus the whole white hair look they gave him was a little bit much. He does seem to be enjoying himself though, which is the main thing.

I can't say very much about the female lead, Rachel Bilson... I mean, she was on the OC... so that says it all really. She's not especially one thing or another... possibly she's the female equivalent of Hayden, not so much crap as just mostly vanilla.

Their best scene together is actually the one love/sex scene, which doesn't really go very far, but it looks like the director just got them to play around and concentrate on the moment rather than trying to act... and it's actually a good scene... rather than being staged and artful and beautiful, it's like real sex, fumbling, slightly disorganised and with the potential to be slightly amusing.

Overall the movie has a good concept... boy discovers the ability to teleport, hijinks ensue, bad guy tries to kill grown up boy, slightly more dangerous hijinks ensue... but somehow it all falls a bit flat in the end. Really, really flat to be honest... actually, the last scene in the movie just kills whatever might have been half decent before that... the credits start to roll and you're just left going "Okaaaaaaaay... is that it?". Disappointing really.

The whole story really could have done with being strengthened up... they don't really dig too deeply into whys and wherefores... just enough to let you go "ahh, okay, so that's why Sam is chasing them"... but it kinda felt like they were hoping they would get a second movie to delve deeper into the background and stuff, so they didn't bother putting too much detail in this time around. Big mistake on their part I think...

The action sequences are pretty good, and the teleporting does add a new and interesting element, although they do seem to suffer from Bourne Syndrome just a bit... too much overly fast editing combined with shakey camera work (and just as a side note, what moron decided that The Bourne Ultimatium should win the Oscar for Best Editing?). Not enough to generate nausea, but enough to be slightly annoying in spots.

The "jumping" visual effects are pretty good, but there is some occasionally questionable greenscreen work (as in it's obvious that the character is standing in front of a fake background), but my ongoing pickiness with special effects should be taken into account, and "normal people" might not even notice.

It's not completely horrible, but the end is really, really disappointing...

yani's rating: 6 crazed paladins out of 10

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disappointments and laksa

Monday, February 25, 2008

benzo's kingstore's pigeon armyWell I managed to get over the whole "running behind" thing pretty quickly this morning... I was actually all organised and ready to go out around 10am or so.

I grabbed my camera, cranked up the soundtrack for Little Shop of Horrors on the CD player, and trundled off into town in search of new street art goodies...

Unfortunately the place where I was headed was right near where all the road closures were for the Clipsal 500, and they were still taking everything apart... which made both driving, parking and just generally being a person in the world on those particular streets more difficult than it needed to be.

Anyway, got a park finally, wandered off down an appropriate side alleyway... and... NOTHING!

Big fat hairy scary nothing...

I managed to find the names of everybody involved scrawled on the corner of one of the buildings, and there was a bit of random unattractive tagging here and there... but overall, not a damn thing. Cue big pouty face!

I ended up circling the little maze of alleyways a couple of times, just to make sure I wasn't missing anything... but no, nothing! I have no idea what the hell happened there... maybe it was actually on the grounds of the pub that was promoting the event, maybe it just didn't happen, I have no idea (although I may have to swing past the TS Gallery and ask them!)...

There was this partially constructed or deconstructed building that had a new Benzo piece in it (another tiki face... this time with wings), but the way the light was falling I can't get the photo bright enough in the dark places and stable enough in the light places to do anything with it... so that's going to have to be another trip (maybe on Saturday after my haircut if not before)... but that was it really...

So by the end of my little trip I was slightly overheated (my own fault, I was wearing black), annoyed (partly because my thongs were annoying me and I was wishing I'd put proper shoes on) and was just generally over it.

Luckily as all that was coming to a close, the good bit of the day kicked in.

It's my buddy Stu's birthday today (Happy Birthing Day Stu!), and I sent him a general birthday SMS this morning, which I got a reply to while I was wandering about, and after a bit of first SMS, then voicemail pingpong, we decided to meet up for lunch (fortunately I had enough time to come home, change my top, put some proper shoes on and then go back out again).

I can't remember the name of the place we went (I just looked it up... it's Kopi Tim) ... it's Malaysian food, and they have a $7.90 lunch special of a bunch of different things, one of them being Laksa... and according to Stu, this is supposedly the best laksa in town right at the moment. I will admit, it was a very nice laksa... full of bits and pieces, and two types of noodles (okay, that kinda struck me like they were using up the stuff they had left), it was actually really nice. The decor not so great, but the food was good.

After we'd finished lunch (which, given the size of the bowls took a while anyway) and finished chatting and fiddling with phones, etc, I took Stu for a quick car based tour of some of the bits and pieces of street art I'd found in that general part of town... which was something of a challenge in some cases, because I just couldn't remember where everything was.

There were two particular pieces I was searching for... one being the huge red and black piece with the ladies (not sure I've actually blogged any individual shots of that though, it did show up in a montage though), because I thought Stu would appreciate that... the other being the piece I found before going down to Ma's during pre-Christmas prep...

The red and black ladies are all safely behind a wire fence at the moment... something to do with the Fringe, it's either an event space or something to do with parking, I'm not totally sure...

But the other piece had been removed... boring!

Fortunately the boys just came back and redid something over the top of the quite badly done removal... specifically the King and part of the Pigeon Army in the shots up at the top... along with some more random "subway style" text.

I LOVE Benzo's king though! Very much a playing card king, but I like that style anyway... the only thing that annoys me a little is that I just know that there's a word in the sash across his chest, there seems to be a K and a C, then later on an N and an A... so maybe it's not a word, just somebody's initials...

So I might not have found the new street art I was hoping to find when I went out this morning, but I did end up finding some new stuff anyway...

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unconscious mutterings 264

I'm SOOOOO running behind myself this morning... I was up late last night because I got on the trail of some new work by an artist I quite like and didn't end up getting to bed until about 1am... then I slept right through my alarm at 6am (or woke up enough to switch it off, but have no memory of doing so)... and woke up just before 7am...

Hopefully this doesn't mean I'll be playing catch-up all day... I hate those days...

But enough about me... let's talk Unconscious Mutterings...

  1. Protocol :: Droid (I've been watching the newer Star Wars movies this past week)

  2. Girlfriends :: Boyfriends

  3. Shoulders :: Reconstruction

  4. Coming home :: Quiet

  5. Let it in :: Peace

  6. Honor :: Klingon

  7. Tyler :: Durden (it's a Fight Club thing)

  8. Thriller :: Michael Jackson (unfortunately)

  9. Angela :: 's Ashes

  10. The winner is :: Sid-en-ey (thank you Mr Olympics Man)
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some sunday shopping

Sunday, February 24, 2008

After doing a vast amount of not very much yesterday (there did end up being a visit to the sauna, but it wasn't anything to write home about... or more accurately blog about, since that's not the type of story I'm really going to write home about... now, where was I?) today wasn't any different than a typical Saturday... except that it was a Sunday...

The main downside of which is that the shops don't open until 11am... rude! Okay, maybe not rude exactly, I'm just happy that things are actually open, but it's still a bit annoying.

We didn't really do anything much different than usual as far as the whole Supermarketness is concerned... I mean maybe I bought a few more things than I usually would have, but I was suffering from a severe lack of food items by the time we got to this morning... so much so that my breakfast choices were reduced to either chocolate or jelly (jello)... sad really... tasty, but sad...

Then we headed into the city to take a look at the Rundle Street Markets and drop into Borders and a couple of other bits and pieces, none of them terribly exciting.

I will say though that The Gays were out in force today... I don't know if it was because it's a Sunday, or because the Fringe is on, or what, but even at the Supermarket they seemed to be coming out (no pun intended) of the woodwork... from the guy working at the chemist to two baby emo gays (or "bubee emo'mo" as I christened them) in Starbucks they just seemed to be everywhere. Not that that's a bad thing... just interesting.

There were also a large number of stupid people out... so maybe it's just that there were a lot of people out and about, I dunno...

Oh, and as much as I like the Festival and the Fringe, the one thing I hate about this time of year are the overly perky and annoying buskers... partly because they're overly perky and annoying, but also because they just take up huge amounts of space and end up with big crowds around them and just basically get in the way. I don't have a problem with people unless they happen to be in my way or otherwise interfering in my general sense of peace and wellbeing.

We stopped off to see the guy who makes the little dragons and other mythological things because he'd had some seahorse style dragons (or dragon style seahorses, I'm not sure which) last time... but he only had one left and Ma wasn't nuts about it. When I chatted with him last time I commented that he should try making some little mice/rats (he had some little pigs that made me think of the Chinese horoscope, and since this is the Year of the Rat)... turns out that he took that idea and ran with it in a slightly different direction, made a scorpion (for Scorpio) and it sold really quickly...

And because we started later than we usually would, the whole day seemed to really fly by at a rate of knots, and before we knew it places seemed to be packing up and getting ready to close.

Also, as I speak Benzo, Jules, Store and friends (eleven of them in all) are winding down a Fringe sponsored street art session in town, which Store actually mentioned when we were in the gallery. I did think about swinging past while we were out and just seeing what they were up to, but for whatever reason that just seemed weird (even though it was an official "event" and showed up in a flyer I got in the mail late last week)... so I'll toddle off into town tomorrow and photograph it while it's really fresh which will be cool.

Oh, and in the realm of minor freakouts... TWO WEEKS UNTIL SYDNEY! I had a minor "out of body" experience on Friday night when I caught the end of the SBS news showing some ocean liner (Queen Victoria?) coming into Sydney Harbour... I thought, wow, not long until I'm going to be standing right down there near the Bridge and the Opera House... freaky... cool, but slightly freaky...

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driveshaft rocks

Which Lost Character Are You?



Created by BuddyTV

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what to do

Saturday, February 23, 2008

oh what to do, what to doooo?Good gods I hate having to change my routine...

And by the looks of things, it's going to be about a month before the regular Saturday morning routine returns completely. This week Ma is off to the undisclosed beachside location she takes off to occasionally... next week I have my pre-Sydney haircut ("somewhat blonde and nicely gay thanks!")... the week after is Ma's pre-Sydney haircut (they were supposed to be the same morning to make things easier, but then Tink had to go and take a week off and move my appointment)... then there's Sydney (although that's during the week, not over the weekend)... then there's the weekend after we get back, which may or may not involve shopping, because we talked about doing that on the Friday when we get home.

So I'm a whole world of "hmmm, yes, well... what now?" today...

Add to that the whole world of slight background growling from the Clipsal 500 cars that I can hear occasionally and the roar of planes that are probably something to do with the race too, since they're louder than the usual plane noise... not to mention the fact that I could hear the Clipsal post race concert and/or the Fringe opening party last night when the wind was blowing in just the right direction (really weird... sometimes it sounded like it was happening just down the block, other times you couldn't hear it at all). And since Ma and I were planning to go into town tomorrow after a much later Sunday shopping adventure, that could be a whole world of both interesting and really frustrating... what with the possibility of stupid amounts of people (or amounts of stupid people, either way really)... which I always love and adore... NOT!

It's also weird right at the moment... I'm half chatting with a guy who is probably going to model for me (and who I first had a conversation with on the same topic back in, I think, 2003... but then nothing came of it). But maybe I'm just over this whole thing of taking portrait photos, or maybe it's just that I've had a vast number of these conversations over the years that never lead anywhere, but I'm somewhat blah about the whole thing. I mean if it all comes together that's good... but I can't say I'm that excited about the idea.

Maybe it's just because I'm over people in general (okay, massive overexaggeration), or because nobody (with the exception of Fox) has made any sort of query about photos in the longest time (damn you easily available digital cameras!) or because this particular model has asked me the same question about 110 different ways (which basically amounts to whether or not his virtue is going to be safe with me if he takes off all his clothes... which is fine if you just ask the once, but asking a variety of questions on the same theme, when all the answers are basically the same is both presumptive and slightly insulting... and he may have to be told in a second... grrrrr...

And if the weather wasn't quite so windy and slightly chilly I might go out for a bit, but I'm not overly thrilled about that idea... doesn't mean it won't happen, but it doesn't strike me as a great plan just at the moment.

I'm also trying to decide if a visit to the sauna might be on the cards for this afternoon/evening... I mean, on the upside there will be a number of tourists in town currently for various reasons, so it could be jumping... however there could be a lack of parking spaces given the number of people running around the place... and it is a full moon this weekend, which usually, for whatever reason, puts my mind in that general kind of mode... and I also had it in the back of my mind that it might be a good idea to "get it out of the way" (which I don't mean the way it sounds, but I can't think of a better phrase right at the moment) before my trip. I dunno...

That does seem to be my theme for today actually... "I dunno"... I dunno much of anything really today.

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photo friday: miserablism

Friday, February 22, 2008

down with miserablismNow, I'm not quite sure what "miserablism" might be... but I'll go along with the "down with it" sentiment (especially since I seem to suffer from it from time to time)... I also like the added little sarcastic comment at the bottom... "No, I'm too sad"...

Although this is in a speech bubble, I don't think it was actually pointing to anything, which is kinda weird... almost like the building was talking.

I'm having one of those days right at the moment... maybe it's a Friday thing, that whole "can Friday be over now" thing... I dunno... but, yeah...

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random wannabe hotness

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Today's Random Hotness is an ad for Patrick Cox Wannabe shoes, as shot by David Lachapelle... as found on the French blog L'Homme Est Un Concept yesterday (which I found because suddenly I started getting a ton of hits from the site)...

You just have to love an ad for shoes where the very last thing you look at in the image is actually the product... but hell... cute, blonde, mostly naked... what do I care about his shoes! *grin*


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a meme about blogging

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I haven't done a meme in a while, and I picked this up somewhere during a Google search...

  1. Do you promote your blog?
    Not really... I leave comments on other people's blogs, but I've noticed that kinda like some out of control science experiment, once you register your blog with a couple of "blogging list" sites, it has a tendency to just turn up in people's blogrolls all on it's own.


  2. How often do you check hits?
    Just once a day, in the mornings when I do all my regular surfing. It's even better now that I started using Google Analytics (thank you J!), since I get that running total thing.


  3. Do you stick to one topic?
    Hell no... I sometimes can't even stick to one topic within a single blog post.


  4. Who knows that you have a blog?
    Ummmm... the people who read it? If you're talking about people from "my real life"... then none of the do really... well, J does now, but he only knows that it exists, not anything else.


  5. How many blogs do you read?
    About eighteen a day... well, I look at eighteen of them, whether or not they've been updated it another matter.


  6. Are you a fast reader?
    I would say so...


  7. Do you customise your blog or do anything technical?
    Well, I took one of the standard blogger templates apart and put it back together again into my template, so I would say that that counts on both of those questions.


  8. Do you blog anonymously?
    Yeah... I guess if you knew me really well AND read my blog you could easily connect the two, but I tend to like to section of both my online and offline activities, but also various parts of my online existance.


  9. To what extent do you censor yourself?
    Not a whole hell of a lot. I'll sometimes leave some of the finer details of certain situations out (things of a sexual nature), since I'm not really THAT kind of blogger (plus I don't have enough sex to be)... but I find that I tend to censor myself more when it comes to leaving comments on other people's blogs... there are things I could say, but sometimes I just wonder "what's the point" or can't think of a way to say it so that it doesn't sound like I'm saying "well, aren't you just an idiot".


  10. The best thing about blogging?
    The people. Which sounds weird, given that blogging is something that you do all on your ownsome... but there are some really nice fellow bloggers I've "met" doing this.
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bots

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

big red botfatbotHmmm... maybe there's some sort of robotic theme going on in my head this week... droids on Sunday... Benzobots today...

Two very different styles of Benzobot though... the, somewhat rare, big rounded version (which, thanks to the way the light is falling, seems to have a three dimensional belly button) and the more refined Big Red Bot (and I would have shot the WHOLE bot, but there was a car right in my way). Actually I'd seen the BRB on a bunch of other sites but didn't have any idea where it was until the Sunday before last.

There also seems to be something about the bots and doorways... not always filling up the entire width of the door, but just within that smaller and more defined "canvas".

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unconscious mutterings 263

Monday, February 18, 2008

I think the hot weather has melted my brain a little... roll on Tuesday evening and the cool change! Until then... Unconscious Mutterings...

  1. Passport :: Jayistan (I blame the Triple J Breakfast Team for this one)

  2. Small world :: After all

  3. Radio :: Frequency

  4. Marine :: One (and I blame 7 seasons of The West Wing for this one)

  5. Wall :: Berlin

  6. Wanna be :: Real

  7. Pigtails :: Little girl

  8. Hyphen :: ated

  9. 9.99 :: Book buy nine ninety five (this one has a story, which I don't think I've ever blogged about)

  10. Unrated :: Movie

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my hideout

Sunday, February 17, 2008

I ended up doing this three different times, answered slightly differently each time and came up with three different answers... but this was the first one...

Your home is a
Wizard's Hideout

Your kitchen is manned by a team of Keebler Drow Elves. Your master bedroom is decorated to look like the treetop village of the Galadhrim. Your study has every fantasy novel ever written, including multiple editions of the Silmarillion and advance copies of Dungeons and Dragons Fifth Edition.

Your home also includes a roost for griffons. You've never actually seen a griffon, but you keep the roost ready anyway. Your guests enjoy your home theater with hi-def plasma screen TV, and the thrones you watch it from. Outside is the moat that protects your home from goblin invaders and extended family.

Below is a snippet of the blueprints:

Build YOUR Dream Home!

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may the droid be with you

*insert appropriate text versions of the noises R2-D2 makes here*

I meant to post these about three times last week... but with one thing and another it just never happened.

These are a pair of particularly impressive Star Wars themed stencils from last Saturday's excursion... impressive if for no other reason than I think they were both pretty much "life size"... if you can say that a totally CGI creation like the Trade Federation Battle Droid on the right has a "life size"... it was still pretty cool though.

I also liked that the word "solo" appeared above R2's head... not sure if it was already there, or came after, or has anything to do with Han Solo... but it amused me.

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window shopping and sydney planning

Saturday, February 16, 2008

window shoppingToday was very much a "it's hot, let's go somewhere cool" kind of day...

We did the usual Random Supermarket Crawl... made slightly more interesting by the seemingly insane number of vans belonging to tradespeople that were cluttering up the car park when we got there at 8am. We kind of assumed they must be doing something rather large and impressive... but no, turns out that the teeny tiny optometrist office near the doors was being made over, and that seemed to require an army of about fifty thousand, and a huge enormous skip bin... weird...

Anyway the usual shopping blah-di-blah... grapes, ham, iced coffee, cheese, chicken, milk, Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Dark Chocolate and Peppermint Lip Butter, blah, blah, blah... home to unpack... blah, blah, blah...

And, just for something different (not!), neither of us had very much of a plan as far as what the hell to do next. Which always ends well...

We settled on Arndale eventually... for no other reason than it was a destination, it was close and it wasn't going to take much time to wander around. Unsurprisingly, it lived up to all of those things. Ma did want to get some enlargements from the photos I took at Second Christmas (of her grandnephew), so we stopped off at Big W to use the "make photo" machines... but Ma had changed handbags when she got to my place... didn't put her USB drive in the new handbag... d'oh!

So we decided that Marion sounded like it could be a plan... for no other reason than it has just about one of every kind of large scale store under one roof, and we hadn't been down there for a couple of weeks. Is anybody else sensing a theme of a total lack of thought process behind our choices today?

We didn't really buy very much of anything... well, a couple of books and a couple of DVDs, but beyond that nothing much else... except that while we were in the car taking what seemed like the extremely long and scenic route to Marion (I can't even complain, because I was driving and also navigating for the most part) Ma was digging around in her handbag, and what did she find... yep... USB drive... so we managed to get the photos printed (and within about ten minutes too, which is pretty damn good) after all.

The other thing we tried to do all day was get a hold of another one of the Sydney travel brochures that went AWOL... Ma had scored one )or at least one very much like it) at the travel agents near her... but nowhere we went into all day seemed to have the brochure in question... *mutter*

And, switching topics slightly, but also in the realm of "really, really, really strange"... we were headed downstairs on the escalators when I either heard somebody call my name or just call out, I don't remember... looked up and it was Marc... who I haven't heard from since the end of May 2006... and he was waving at me like some sort of slightly crazed person. I mean, seriously, I haven't seen him in almost two years, and he was waving at me like we keep in regular contact. Weird.

Also weird was my answer when Ma asked me if he was "from work"... I said, "no, he's from the sex"... hehehe.

Then after we'd wandered about, seen everything, done everything, blah-di-blah... we came home again...

That was when we started looking at things for the Sydney trip...

I have to say that a lot of my stress from the other day has kind of been settled down quite a bit. We've got more of a plan about what we're going to do (although not really when, just that it's stuff we want to do... I am thinking beers on Wednesday evening though), and it all seems much better now. Having said that, I very nearly threw the computer out of the window while we were trying to book the hotel. I updated my Norton Virus thingy this week (and while it wasn't quite so much of a headfuck as last time, it wasn't too far behind), and I think it's just eating system memory like a mo-fo... everything seems two hundred times slower, and my system keeps freezing up if I do more things than it things I should be doing... which it did right when I was trying to do the room bookings.

Actually, that's not true, I'd already looked at the single rooms we'd been originally aiming for, but they only had one of those rooms available at the cheapass rate on the Tuesday and Wednesday (bummer!)... so in the end, we spent an extra $20 and got rooms with double beds. Alas, I think they're going to be "internal" rooms, so no view and either no window, or else a window with a nice view out over the internal courtyard and dumpsters... ah well.

So, computer froze, so I thought I would just cancel the window, open a new one... except that for whatever reason it wouldn't open a new browser window... nothing, nada, zip... so I had to quit all my other windows and reboot the computer... which took it's own sweet time too... *mutter mutter kill die pain mutter mutter*

But on the up side, once I had rebooted, it all seemed to work fine (although that whole "new window" thing is still prehistorically slow... as is closing a browser window come to think of it).

So, hotel rooms... booked!

We also went through a bunch of stuff... the bus service from the airport to the hotel, the Sydney Explorer "tour bus" thing, a variety of stops it makes that we have to go and explore... and how much everything is going to cost. And I did discover something quite interesting... if you're planning a trip (I'm not sure if this just works for Sydney or everywhere), and you know there are various touristy places you want to visit that require an admission fee, check their website... both the Sydney Aquarium and the Opera House tour have an discount (10% and 30% respectively I think... and the Opera House has even more of a discount if you book for one of the first three tours of the day) for tickets booked online! Who knew?! Also, woohoo!

After a while we got a little delirious... and possibly a little overheated... and I think we'd viewed a couple too many websites, so we gave up and since it was around that time we went out and got some noodles for dinner.

So, yeah... that was about it really. I'm less freaking out about the trip, especially since we have somewhere to stay now.

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photo friday: amanita eaters

Friday, February 15, 2008

amanita eatersA piece from Sunday's excursion... it's by Jules, and it's under the same name as the exhibition on Sunday evening in the "outdoor makeshift gallery" that I saw the notice for on Saturday... I'm thinking about maybe going along for a look... depends on the weather I guess, since it's supposed to be all stinkyhot over the weekend.

I actually saw a couple of these... same idea, slightly different execution. But I guess it's something you could draw three hundred times and never have two of them come out exactly the same. I'm not sure if the slight shading to parts of it is intentional or not, but I kinda like that it gives it a very "comic book" style graphic feel to it.

And interestingly enough, you can also see some other graffiti stuff in the reflection from the window.

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random satin hotness

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Since Valentine's Day just happens to coincide with Random Hotness day, I figured I needed to post something vaguely appropriate... even though I generally have a "yah-boo-hiss" policy when it comes to the big VD (somewhat unfortunate acronym, wouldn't you say)... and my opinion hasn't really changed at all.

I did come across these photos though... they caught my eye originally because of all the red satin, but then I realised that it was the same model as last year's V Day themed post... only without the rather odd barstool this time around.

Plus, there's a little bit of VD bootay complete with tanlines...

red satinred satin

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travel anxiety

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

not sure if he looks like he's anxious, or like he's getting a blowjob...Its 26 days and counting until Ma and I take off to Sydney, and the abject panic has pretty much started to set in during the last week or so... once we passed the thirty day mark.

It's not surprising really... I have a long history of this kind of behaviour... one of the women I used to work with pointed it out once, right before we were due to have some conference or something (while I was flapping around like a crazy person making sure everything was organised if memory serves). I panic before things start... and then once whatever it is starts, I'm totally fine.

It all pretty much boils down to one simple statement...

I hate the unknown.

I guess I'm more about planning and organisation than I would like to admit... to a degree anyway... I don't mind playing things by ear once I'm out amongst it, I just like to have a plan going in. So if I know something is coming, and there's something about it that I can't lock down or work out beforehand, then my default status is not exactly panic, but some member of the anxiety family.

And the upcoming trip to Sydney is a whole world of that.

It's all very much an unknown quantity... it's a place neither of us have ever been (obviously, since that's the point of the exercise, but at least when we went to Melbourne back in 2005 I'd been once before and has some vague idea), we still haven't organised the accommodation since I'm hoping to get a booking on one of the el cheapo accommodation websites... actually, I just went and had a look at the site, and hotel I was thinking about, and they do have the kind of rooms we're after at half the normal price (we're not quite close enough that the whole period we're going to be in Sydney is on the website yet... couple more days), so I might have to organise that with Ma on the weekend and maybe even book it, then that's that off my mind.

The other thing that's niggling at me is whether or not we're going to have enough time to do all the things we want to do... not that I totally know what all of those things are either...

I know I want to see the Bridge and the Opera House, obviously... I want to have a beer with at least two Sydney bloggers (you know who you are) preferably somewhere gay... I want to go to The Bookstore (again, it's the gayness thing)... I want to see Chinatown and the Aquarium and maybe an art gallery or two... I just want to be all touristy in Sydney... I want to see things and take photos and go shopping just so I can say I have and wander around with a massive backpack on (okay not so much that last one). Then I want to come home and bore the crap out of all my blog readers by posting way to many photos from my trip.

But we only have two full days, plus two half days, so I'm not sure how much we're going to get done. Having said that, we pretty much only ended up having that much time in Melbourne because of the massive delay with our flight, and managed to get it all done.

Don't even get me started on the whole thing of probably bringing two cameras (just for me, three with Ma's) and probably both of the little travel tripods we got at Christmas... then being able to cart them around the place... I'll whinge about that later I'm sure.

Then there's all this rain that I keep hearing about that's all over Sydney... do you all think you could send Melbourne their weather back by the beginning of March, so it will be nice and sunny while I'm there? Ta!

And on top of all that, the very helpful and groovy brochure I got that told me everything I wanted to know about things of a Sydney tourism nature has gone AWOL. I mean it's not a monumental drama, I can hopefully get another one really easily... but it is kinda annoying. I'm sure I let Ma borrow it, but she swears blind that I didn't (we'll get back and three days later she'll find it behind the couch or something)... having said that, I was sure I'd given her something yonks ago, but it turned up in one of my drawers recently.

I'm not even completely sure about my choice of hotel... last time I did this whole online booking thing (in Melbourne), we ended up in a hotel that was right in one of the less interesting corners of the city... so that was a little annoying... extra walking and whatnot. Although this time we'll both be wearing our "shoes of appropriate walking"... no repeat of last time when I tried to traverse Melbourne in a pair of work boots that were a little large for my feet so I ended up with blisters on my blisters.

I know most of my panic is just because I don't have a clear idea of what to expect... once I'm there and have some kind of idea of the lay of the land I'll be fine... it will all be an adventure.

All I have to do at the moment is refrain from starting to make a list of all thing things I'll need to take with me...

OCD, party of one, your table is ready...

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movies: sweeney todd

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

sweeney todd - never forget, never forgiveI sometimes wonder if the Walt Disney Corporation ruined my possible appreciation of a vast number of "modern" musicals. In the Disney Universe you have dialog and some plot, then you get a song that advances the story somehow, then you get back to dialog, then song, dialog, song... what you don't get is that weird blending where people are singing things they really should be speaking.

I was a little apprehensive when Sweeney Todd started... it seemed to be going down the Phantom of the Opera route (a movie I HATE with every fibre of my being, and which had me wanting to walk out within the first five minutes... the only reason I didn't was that I was with Ma and all the shops were shut, otherwise I would have left her there and gone shopping... hated, hated, hated, hated, hated Phantom with the fiery vengeance of a thousand suns!)... and we had some singing that should have been speaking...

And because it followed a somewhat sketchy CGI title sequence I was holding my breath and waiting for the movie to possibly suck spectacularly. Maybe it's Tim Burton and musicals... I was slightly disappointed in The Corpse Bride to some degree... or maybe it is the Disney legacy thing, I honestly don't know...

But then it improved... and got funny and a little gory and bit twisted... and by the end I was pleasantly surprised.

Of course there were definite up sides... specifically Jamie Campbell Bower who runs around being all gorgeous and doe eyed and slightly docile (all those things I find incredibly appealling)... but who seems to only have the one song through the whole movie (there's a little bit of sung spoken at the start, but that's about it), although they do keep changing his lyrics. Even when he's all mussed up and bloody and dirty, he's still gorgeous... and there's a moment where he's highly Bambi in the headlights that appealled to me maybe a little too much (yeah, I know, I'm twisted... this isn't news to anyone).

As for the rest of the cast, my ongoing love affair with Helena Bonham Carter continues... actually, I think she makes the movie what it is... or her character does anyway... she adds that slightly crazed comedy she seems to be quite good at, and it balances nicely against Johnny Depp's rather single minded titular character. Actually I think this is the first one of Johnny's characters for a long, long time that I didn't instantly love... I mean he's very good, but the character isn't overly that appealing or engaging for the most part... he's more distant and disengaged from everything around him, which makes him somewhat hard to connect with. Visually fantastic, but somewhat remote.

And I hate to say it, but Borat/Ali G star Sacha Baron Cohen (who I would usually run a mile from) is actually perfectly cast as Signor Pirelli. Slightly over the top, but that's what the character called for.

I was also a little disturbed to find a very grey and stubbled Alan Rickman slightly sexy... I think it's all about the stubble to be honest... or maybe the stubble and the period costume... there was something going on there. Weird, but kinda hot. Which freaks me out just a little bit I have to say.

While I don't want to go through the entire cast list one by one, I also have to mention young Ed Sanders for his very strong performance. He doesn't seem to have done anything before (nothing movie or teevee-wise anyway... maybe he's done a bunch of theatre work), but he's very, very good for his age, and manages to hold his own next to Helena quite well.

Just going back to the costumes for a second... the Tim Burton/Colleen Atwood collaboration continues for the seventh time, and she does a fantastic job once again... just the layers and the fabrics in Johnny's costume are fantastic... not to mention the corsets and lacings and whatnot on Helena's outfits.

Interestingly enough, on the special features of Tim's remake of Planet of the Apes somebody (I think it was make-up wizard Rick Baker) describes the "Tim Burton look"... white skin, dark circles around the eyes, sticky-upy hair... and that's pretty much the look for Johnny and Helena have in this movie... at the beginning it's a little bit distracting, especially when they get very up close and personal in their first scene/song together, but like with all of those things, you get used to it, and by the end of the movie you don't really even notice it anymore.

Since the movie is about a barber who cuts people's throats, it's possibly a little bit on the bloody and gory side... well, I didn't really think so, but I always know when Ma has to watch bits of the movie with her face behind her hand that it's maybe a little much. I would say it's actually more artful than gory myself... the blood is VERY bright scarlet and since the majority of the movie has a somewhat muted pallet of colours, it does tend to stand out. I did wonder how they did the effect of the slit throats though... whether it was make-up or partial make-up with some CGI or what I don't know... but I'd be interested to find out.

It's also the first musical movie I've seen in a very long while that I wouldn't mind getting hold of the soundtrack for. Maybe because it's a black comedy, but there are a few songs I really liked... The Worst Pies in London, Ladies in Their Sensitivities, A Little Priest, God That's Good and By the Sea off the top of my head... although because there were a few songs where two characters were singing counterpoint to each other, I did miss some of the lyrics on some of them, so I wouldn't mind hearing it all again, just for that reason alone.

So while the movie didn't start off particularly strongly in my opinion, by the end I was very much enjoying myself.

yani's rating: 8 meat pies out of 10

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montage monday: backstreets six

Monday, February 11, 2008

backstreets part sixA combination of Saturday and Sunday's street art safaris... including three Benzo pieces, two from Jules... and the Robot Devil from Futurama oddly enough...

I was thinking about how this whole Sidestreet and Alleyways "project" has altered while I've been doing it. It started out very much in the spirit of the blog by Mark B that gave me the inspiration in the first place... signs and line and angles and general urbania (I may have just made up a word there, but stay with me)... and it's progressively got more of a street art focus and less of that urbania focus.

Whether it's because my focus has always been more of an artistic/aesthetic one rather than architectural... so I guess it's not really surprising that once I realised that there was this unexplored world of clandestine art out there I got sucked into finding and documenting and sharing it.

I had a thought while I was wandering about yesterday, it's almost like trying to collect the full set of some kind of trading cards or something (which I've never really done, at least not with any degree of commitment or for any length of time)... but a set that never ends and that you're never quite sure where any of the cards might be and when or even if another one will appear. Actually maybe it's more like the whole Pokemon thing... but then saying that just makes me sound like a sad case, so we'll just pretend I didn't...

And it kind of made me think about my photography in general too... I guess I have a tendancy to do this... get on one particular theme and stick with it for a while. Originally I was a bit generic, then I got on the whole portraiture kick and stayed with that for quite a long while (I still did other stuff, but that really was my focus for several years)... then when my supply of people to photograph dried up (and I got the digital camera) it kind of opened everything up again. I think I went back to a somewhat generic focus, but then got kind of obsessed at one point or another with architectural themes, botanical themes, colour themes... which leads us back to my current obsession with street art.

Of course I can already predict that my next obsession, albeit a brief one, with be with all things Sydney... but since I'm only going to be there for four days I'm not sure how long that one's going to last.

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unconscious mutterings 262

Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor... Unconscious Mutterings...

  1. Score :: Soccer

  2. Luxurious :: Soap

  3. Party :: Boy

  4. Limited edition :: Single

  5. Security :: Guard

  6. Betty :: Boo... Just doin' the do...

  7. Under construction :: 90's webpage

  8. Pest :: Control

  9. Director :: Movie

  10. Express :: Yourself

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benzo, jules and store

Sunday, February 10, 2008

pigeons by storeconcrete thong
Sounds a bit like a radio breakfast team doesn't it... Benzo, Jules and Store, weekdays on Random Callsign FM...

Okay, maybe not...

I really should subtitle this post Sidestreet Part Five, because although I didn't just attack one area, I did do a lot of wanderings along various sidestreets... but the vast majority of big stuff that I found seemed to be by Benzo or Jules or both... Store too, but not so much.

This weekend has been so very much about the Street Art. Partially because of my visit to the TS Art Gallery yesterday, but also because I ended up finding a veritable online road map to a variety of pieces that I hadn't found on my own. Thank you Flikr!

So around noon I packed my bits and pieces (bottle of water, phone headphones, cowboy hat) and took myself off into the city. Granted it kinda took me maybe fifteen minutes to actually get the car out of the building, first I had to fill my windscreen washer water thing, then I'd forgotten my hat, and figured I should change my shirt, since wearing black probably wasn't the wisest idea, but I got my crap together eventually.

My first stop was the western end of the city (again)... I don't know if it's because that end of town is more residential and industrial rather than commercial, or if it's just technically out of the specific CBD, but there just seems to be more street art in that area.

keep clear bot by benzoActually, I don't know how I missed some of the stuff I photographed today... I was all over that area before Christmas... but it just goes to show you, you miss one little sidestreet and you never know what you've missed!

It did seem to be something of a Benzofest too... I found about eleven new pieces that I hadn't seen before, and photographed new versions of two more. Sadly I might have to go back at a different time of day to photograph a couple of them, because midday light isn't always kind when you're trying to photograph things under overhangs, you get partial shadows... it's a whole thing...

Interestingly enough, although I had a bunch of locations written down, for some reason they seemed to lead me somewhat sideways to various other spots fairly easily.

Anyway, I scoped out as many of places as I could from my location, then got back in the car and shifted it down to the carpark near the Rundle Street Markets, since there were some other spots down that way that I wanted to hit next.

tropical flock by julesIt's slightly annoying that if we'd turned the car left instead of right yesterday I would have found this piece yesterday... interestingly though, after my explorations online this morning I know that not only is Jules responsible for this piece, and the Phoenix Crane, but also the little green Leave Me Alone faces too... and probably also the little blue bat guys too...

Which is interesting, because when I originally started to see the Jules tag I didn't associate it with any particular pieces, but now I'm kinda seeing them everywhere... lots of birds oddly enough.

I wandered through the Rundle Street Markets to get to the couple of sidestreets I wanted to hit... happened to see some little modelling clay dragons and things that looked very much like the one I got from Petals in the Park, and I struck up a conversation with the guy behind the stall, turned out it was his work, and its possible that both he and the girl who did the little dragon I got at Christmas went to the same workshop or class or whatever that a woman from the States must have put on over here. Although I think he'd taken his stuff in a new direction from where the workshop finished. Some interesting stuff... dragons and mythological characters and a few seahorses... so Ma and I will be going back to visit him in the not too distant...

So, after taking the shots of Jules' flock and various other bits and pieces, I headed off in search of the place that Ma and I couldn't find yesterday.

On the way, I stopped at the park in Hindmarsh Square which has been overhauled recently and now has all these "backyard objects" in it... it's rather pretentiously called "Children's Interactive Science Learning Playspace"... and according to the description I can find "consisting of over-sized items from the average backyard – a dog’s bone, peg, fish, ball, thong, tap and hose as well as giant blades of grass"... the blades of grass are maybe a little overly esoteric, but the other things are quite cool, especially the thong (which is obviously the other photo up at the top of the post), the fish and the ball.

Anyway, after wandering up and down the "hills and dales" in the Playspace I powered along the Mall and out the other side to find the spot with the street art.

Turns out that the alleyway I was after was pretty damn easy to find, well, now that I know where it is anyway... and not only were there a bunch of new things from Store and Benzo (the pigeons up the top are Store's), but also a few older pieces I'd seen photos of online, but hadn't managed to find. I'll definitely have to drop back into that alleyway again, just to keep an eye on things (and again, the whole sunlight issue in at least once case).

Then it was off back to the carpark, and thankfully the place is still free on a Sunday, so parking didn't even cost me anything... and after a brief detour in search of some street art I thought was hiding behind a fence (which turned out to be a carpark, but fortunately right near where I parked the car was another Benzo piece that I didn't even know was there), I headed home.

Slightly overheated and sweaty, but very content...

Hmmmmm... obviously there's a street art theme going on in the Universe... I just saw a piece on the Sunday Arts show about the fact that Melbourne is planning a Zero Tolerance policy on graffiti... when the Melbourne alleyways are a tourist attraction (and not just for "other graffiti vandals" as one of the dumbass guys they were interviewing suggested) and a part of Melbourne's cultural landscape. Stupid, stupid, stupid government...

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