2008: the year in review

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

sliding off your 2008 undies, ready for the soft new cotton of 2009... or somethingGenerally I'm not given to massive amounts of contemplation and taking stock at this time of year, so this is probably as much of a review of the past year that I'm going to do...

I did say last year that it was something that could easily be done every year...

Looking back though, it's kind of interesting that exactly a year ago I was sitting here sweating my tits off, and this year it's actually a little bit nippy...

But on with the Yaniblog08 Recap...

Post the first sentence of the first post of every month of 2008:

January: And another year begins...

February: Sometimes a random piece of paste-up street art gets something of a second life when it gets torn or partially removed or otherwise altered and minimised...

March: Woohooooooo! Haircut Day!

April: Stolen from Tom... as these things tend to be...

May: I'm having incredibly shitty "morning karma" this week... every time I think I've made a step forward, I end up having taken a step back too... so I end up right back where I started...

June: I kind of knew in the back of my mind that I was going to end up doing this...

July: Skadoosh!

August: Since I've been overdosing on The West Wing over the last couple of weeks, this seemed somewhat appropriate...

September: I thought today was going to be okay... I mean, I had some slight jitters about the whole "new contract, new people, new location" thing, but nothing worse than usual... and then when I get back from my walk I find a little "time bomb" (not a real one obviously) sitting in my letter box that has thrown my whole day and mood off...

October: Hello and welcome to Wednesday...

November: This year I have decided to take part in Movember and become an official Mo Bro...

December: I realised this morning that we're supposed to be going out to lunch today for H-San's birthday... so there go all my carefully laid out plans for what I was going to try and get done at lunch today...

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movies: the curious case of benjamin button

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

the curious case of benjamin button - life isn't measured in minutes, but in momentsI don't know what it is about The Curious Case of Benjamin Button... but on Christmas Day in Philadelphia a man was shot in the arm because he was talking with his son during the movie.

Let me tell you, if I'd only been armed during the screening this evening... what is it with people who think they can go to the movies and then talk all the damn way through it. It's called common courtesy people, look it the hell up, okay.

And it's a loooooooooong movie... just shy of three hours long (actually with all the previews and ads and whatever, it's basically a three hour experience), so you're not just confined with annoying people for a short while, you're in there for the long haul.

But enough about the highly irritating people who shared the theatre and let's talk about the movie...

While I don't think it's a concept I've run into before (although I did find myself thinking of the book The Time Traveller's Wife a few times), it didn't feel particularly new as a complete idea, it just seemed like something that I'd seen before, or I'd seen some version of it. At it's heart it's a "boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back, plot ensues" kinda story, but it also has this great tendency to go off on tangents. I mean it starts on a tangent, uses flashbacks to tell the majority of the story, keeps coming back to the "present" and has a number of these little side stories that take you away, in some regard, from the main story.

It's also set against the background of Hurricane Katrina (at least all the non-flashback bits are), although you don't know what at the beginning, but once you do realise it, it becomes a little weird, because you know what's going to end up happening and it's kind of a ticking clock that turns out to be pretty much unnecessary and never really goes anywhere.

And because I spent the first third of the movie going "now how did they get Brad Pitt's face with all that make-up on it onto a total other body", and "oh lord, they went overboard on the digital wrinkle removal for Cate Blanchett" (although honestly that comes a little later), I didn't really connect with the story as much as I could have done (and actually part of that could be that every time I felt like I was getting sucked into the movie I was distracted by one of the two highly annoying couples in the cinema... grrrr).

If I'm being honest I disliked Cate Blanchett's character for most of the movie... she just rubbed me the wrong way... she's at times cold, self-absorbed, cruel, selfish and just plain old not nice. There's one point where she shows up and I just wanted Brad to turn, walk away from her and let the door slam in her face. But then it would have been a whole different, and much shorter movie.

It's also something of a odd movie in that it's a Brad Pitt movie, but at the same time it kind of isn't... he's only really "Brad Pitt" for about a third of it... the rest of the time he's either got another actor playing the body, or else he just looks so unlike the Brad we've come to know and drool over that it feels a little odd. And as with any of those movies where you go "well, that could be what he ends up looking like", you know at the back of your mind that no matter how old he gets, Brad won't end up looking anything like he does in the movie.

I'm also wondering if the movie was funnier than I thought it was, or if it was just that I was in a theatre with a lot of really stupid people, because a number of them kept laughing to one degree or another at things that actually weren't funny (and I don't think they were supposed to be "laugh out loud" funny, even if they were supposed to make you smile). I'm going with the "stupid people" option personally...

Don't get me wrong, it's (lush isn't the right word... it's not as refined as that)... it's a highly textured movie, and it is engaging and Brad is charming and very Southern (which I quite like), and there are a number of sweet moments (the montage after they buy the duplex sticks in my mind)... but it somehow didn't seem to manage to be more than the sum of its parts.

Like I said though, that could be more about the environment I was in than the movie itself, although you would think that a great movie would have drawn me in in spite of the distractions.

yani's rating: 7 anticlockwise clocks out of 10

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montage monday: toy soldiers

Monday, December 29, 2008

my toy soldier collectionA Monday Montage with a difference... this is my toy soldier collection...

The glass ornament (bottom left of the left hand set of four), the red and green stocking and the nutcracker giftbag are the only things from before this Christmas (actually there is another giftbag that has "proper" toy soliders on it, but I'd prefer to have Ma use that for my presents), everything else is new. Which is impressive, yet scary!

I have noticed a theme developing though... first off, they have to be red. Toy soldiers and/or nutcrackers seem to come in red, green and blue (as per the giftbag and the card at the bottom of the post), but for me they have to be red. I don't know if that's part of my ongoing obsession with scarlet or not (or just some part of my brain going for what it considers to be historical accuracy), but if they're not red then they're just not right as far as I'm concerned.

And there also seems to be a theme towards drums. Partly that's incidental, because a number of them just come with drums (however the Jim Shore drummer/soldier at the bottom right of the right hand set is one of the drummers from The Twelve Days of Christmas... which also explains why he's not in red)... but if I had a choice between one with a drum and one with a different instrument, provided they were both red, I'd go with the drum.

Now that I've kind of "bulked out" the collection this year, I'm going to be more choosy (in theory anyway) about what I get from here on out. I'd like something in the soft toy genre (actually, what I'd really like is a little fat knitted soldier, so I might have to hit the craft markets next Christmas), something in a snow globe, maybe a coffee cup and something involving clockwork. But given how hard it was just to rustle up these ones, I think I'm going to be lucky to get that specific.

It'd be nice though...

 soldier trio... this is also part of the collection, i just couldn't find a spot for it in the montage
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unconscious mutterings 309

Woohoo... actual "time off" that feels like a real live vacation... even if I'm not getting paid for it. I slept in an extra hour this morning, went out for my walk, and now I'm looking at a long cruisy day with nothing that I absolutely HAVE to do.

Mmmm chicka chicka, Unconscious Mutterings, oh yeah...

  1. Destined :: Fated
  2. FAIL :: PASS
  3. Camping :: Boy Scouts
  4. Only you :: Thrill me
  5. Incessant :: Whining
  6. Tomorrow :: Never Dies
  7. Impressive :: Hung
  8. Riches :: Abundant
  9. Dislike :: Immensely
  10. Speaker :: of the House

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dinner with rockchick reprise

Sunday, December 28, 2008

rockchickToday has SO been all about the lead up to this evening's dinner with Rockchick...

I didn't realise that it was actually over three months ago that I went to dinner at her place (although we have been working together now for the last two months, so I guess that makes sense)... but ever since then I've "owed" her a dinner... and we worked out last week that the only time we were both going to be free was today...

So from when I got up this morning, it's all felt like preparation... I got out of bed, did some bits and pieces, then threw on some shorts and made with the tidying and the sorting out and getting the place in some semblance of readiness for company...

The last thing I did in the cleaning/sorting arena was to take down the white star lights and put up the new blue lights... and I say Woo to the Hoo! Eight settings, probably about half of them could be seizure inducing, especially now that it's dark in the living room... but fortunately there is a "static" setting (or something similar, I can't be bothered going to look), so I'm not going to be flopping around on the carpet frothing at the mouth (you know, any more than normal anyway).

Then in the back of my mind all day long was the thought of cooking a real live actual meal on a Sunday... normally it's not something I do, either I have leftovers from whatever randomness I had for lunch, or I end up having little bits of stuff that isn't really a meal, but I can't remember the last time I cooked something on a Sunday.

It all worked out perfectly well though... I made Chicken with Tomato and Mango Relish, which is always a winner. I did have to stop myself getting started with it too early though, everything was prepped and ready to go a good 45 minutes before Rockchick was due to arrive, and the dish only takes like 15 minutes tops (and in the end, she was perfectly on time and the food was ready just as she arrived, so it all worked out).

Actually it was really nice to see her... I know I only saw her on Wednesday, but it's been a very, very, very busy three days, and it was good to catch up.

Plus, she got a waffle maker for Christmas, so she brought that and we made waffles for dessert... yum!

Basically we sat around, had dinner, chatted, she made waffles, we watched Rocky Horror (which was the reason for the schedule crunch, since she's going interstate to see the stage version, and wanted to see the movie again before she went... although she did confess after it was over that she didn't think she'd ever seen the movie all the way through before, just multiple viewings of the first part) and that was about it.

And obviously there's a rock theme going on with today, because I'm currently being assaulted by random music that keeps wafting in and out of hearing (which means it could be anywhere from the end of the street to somewhere near the city)... it's not enough to be able to hear what it is, but the drum beat keeps coming through, and I'll just say that I'm not a fan...

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movies: the day the earth stood still

Saturday, December 27, 2008

the day the earth stood stillSince there's a bunch of stuff on at present that we're eager to see, we decided a Saturday movie sounded good and went off to see The Day The Earth Stood Still...

Now, I've only seen the original once... like a billion and a half years ago on teevee, and the only feeling I remember associating with it was a vague sense of boredom... possibly because it's a 50's movie and for the most part they take forever to actually get started. Anyway, I wasn't harbouring any warm fluffy-bunny feelings towards the 1951 version, so I went into the remake with pretty much a blank slate.

And, you know what... it was okay. Sure, it essentially turns into one of the dime-a-dozen "Let's destroy New York" disaster movies (and how hard must it be to get insurance for your building in New York, what with all the rampaging monsters and mutating plagues and alien invasions and floods/freezing temperatures!)

Keanu really does have "weird" down to a fine art... so personally I had no trouble buying him as this "alien in human form". Something I just thought... one thing I miss from a lot of Keanu's more recent work is the big dopey smile he used to have back in the Bill & Ted days... I can't think of one of his a recent movies where he's spent any real time smiling (The Lake House maybe... but I don't specifically remember it).

Jennifer Connelly is fairly solid throughout (I will say that I had more trouble buying her as a "concerned step mom" than I did as whatever kind of scientist she was supposed to be... some sort of "alien biologist" I think)... and it was nice to see John Cleese not hamming it up this time around.

But do you know who really surprised me, acting wise... Jaden Smith (son of Will Smith, obviously). I mean he's a kid playing a kid, so that part really isn't a stretch... but he was actually quite good, he managed a range of emotions, and if that spiral curl in his hair is natural (and sticks around), then look out in another ten years!

I really have nothing to fault the movie on, the effects were about what you would expect from a movie of this scale, every now and again I could pick up when it was obvious CGI (but I do that even when it's really good)... overall it was good, but not outstanding. If I had to sum it up in a word I'd probably go with "solid"... sure the pro-environmentalist message was somewhat on the heavy handed side, but I'm guessing that the message in the original wasn't big on the subtle either.

I'm not sure if it's a good sign or not, but I did leave the theatre thinking "well what's going to happen to them all now?"...

yani's rating: 7 silver nano-bugs out of 10

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erratic post christmas sales

sale tagThere was some slightly erratic post-Christmas sale action happening today! (And for the third day running, Ma and I spent pretty much the whole day together)

First off though, I stocked up on fruit and veg in a major way, since I'm going to at home for the next week, so I figured I should have something decent in the house. Actually a bunch of the stuff was because I'm making Chicken with Mango and Tomato Relish tomorrow when Rockchick comes over for dinner.

Anyway, once we'd trekked through the wilds of the Supermarket Safari, we headed over to Red Circle Boutique to see what random wonderfulness they might happen to have in their Christmas sale...

The short answer, particularly as far as the Christmas department was concerned, was Sweet Diddly! Thinking about it logically, they really didn't have that much of a Christmas department this year as compared with other years... they've moved it to a different spot and instead of being more than half a dozen racks, this year it's just three. Plus the store had been open since midnight, so I think all the sleep deprived vultures had already been in and cleaned out anything decent.

After returning to Home Base and doing what we usually do (ie unpacking, etc) we headed down to Kmart, since I'd seen in their catalogue that they had Tefal frypans for half price, and frankly my frypan would need to go up about three notches before it even GOT to crap.

Unfortunately because Ma was driving on autopilot and I wasn't really paying attention we were halfway to Arndale before we realised that we weren't actually GOING to Arndale... it would have been the scenic tour, but it wasn't all that scenic. We got where we were going eventually though, so that's the main thing.

Even Kmart's Christmas department was looking pretty damn anaemic... in fact, they were putting out the "Summer" stuff (eskies and whatnot) in the empty spots. I did score the frypan though... which is cool, what's pretty much a $50 pan, and I got it for less than $25... woohoo!

I also picked up a teeshirt and Ma came away with a bunch of stuff... so it was a fairly successful outing. After that we DID head down to Arndale...

For a purely reduced Christmas items standpoint, Arndale was the place to be... or more specifically, Big W. Nothing major, and a lot of their slightly more worthwhile items were gone, but it just seemed to be the most "complete" selection. One of the things I picked up was a 120 bulb set of blue LED fairy lights... I need to replace the "star lights" I got from Ikea in January... one set of the stars keeps wavering, and I'm kind of terrified that it's going to blow up and short out or something, especially when I'm out. And these blue ones are full-on hardcore Christmas lights... they have eight different settings (including the highly 'mo sounding "Twinkle/Flash"), so naturally I can't wait to try them out!

I also managed to score a pair of those "rabbit" salt and pepper grinders for about $12 each... and I'd seen them in Kmart for like $26 each... bargain!

After that we wandered around a bit longer and then took ourselves off to the movies (more on that in it's own post shortly)...

So yeah... this seems to be the Post Christmas Sales without actual Christmas things... weird...

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photo friday: second christmas

Friday, December 26, 2008

geographically misplaced wildflowersCan I just say... in a word... urgh!

It was fairly obvious at the end of my last post that I really, really, really didn't want to go to Second Christmas... and that mood continued when Ma got down to my place. I doubly didn't want to go AND to drive, so in the end I just let Ma drive... which may or may not have been the greatest plan.

Second Christmas is just over an hour away, no matter whether we go from my house (as we did this year) or Ma's house like we did last year... and it's what I would consider to be "country"... in my book, if you see sheep, cows and horses on the way there, it's the country. And I soooo don't do country. Honestly, if the place you're going doesn't have a proper address then screw it.

And not so much because Ma drove, but more because she wrote the instructions down wrong, we got lost... not scary Deliverance lost... but geographically misplaced. Eventually Ma pulled over and called the house and got proper directions. And the spot she just happened to stop in had the beautiful purple wildflowers.

Anyway, we got there eventually (even if I did get kinda sunburned on the way... my own fault, I had sunscreen with me, but never used it)... and I just looked around and thought "who the hell are these people and what do I have in common with anybody here"... and the answer to the second part at least is "not a fucking thing".

I mean, yes, getting there was actually more traumatic than the day itself... but I did a lot of nodding and smiling, and Ma did mention that I was occasionally "cutting"... which I don't have a problem with... and they only see me once a year, so they're not going to know the difference.

Somebody did say (just after we arrived I think) that they "didn't expect to see me" this year... and I did feel like saying "well, if I'd gotten my way, you wouldn't have"...

But one of the couples was missing this year, which meant that I scored a Wiltshire Staysharp carving knife in addition to my usual $50.

As always when he's there JD drives me to distraction, and he doesn't have to do very much, just the occasional underwear waistband flash and just his general himness, and, yeah...

We eventually left around 6:30 or so... and I made the fatal mistake of saying to Ma "it's up to you, but if you want to take Lower North East Road we can detour around Tea Tree Plaza"... you know what I hate most about driving in the Hills, other than the fact that they're "country"... narrow little windy roads with giant drop offs and stupid speed limits. Guess what Lower North East Road was... yep, you guessed it.

I've never been quite so happy to see suburbia...

But thankfully it's all over for another year.

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post-christmas roundup 2008

oh christmas tree...The overwhelming chromatic theme this Christmas was Red...

Seriously, I didn't quite realise how much red we had going on... but quite a bit of Ma's jewellery was red, I shot Ma's presents against my red sofa, the background of the Christmas goodies photo was red, we had new plates and place mats this year that extended the red theme... it was just all about red!

As we also "enjoyed" the hottest Christmas Day for nearly a decade! The weather topped out at 30.7°C... blah!

But I digress...

Yesterday stared out the same way as any other Thursday... I got up and went for my walk... but unlike any other Thursday it was pretty much deserted out there. Yet again, I thought that THIS year was going to be the year where I didn't see any other walkers/joggers... alas, it wasn't to be... but I only ran into maybe half a dozen of them... including Santa! Okay, so the guy just had the white beard and the belly going, no actual Santa suit, but still.

What I did notice was that there seemed to be an above average amount of sketchy folk around... including a couple of very, very, very drunk boys laying on the paved edge of the river (one of them said/yelled something to/at me as I went past, but I had my earphones in and didn't hear him)... but between them, the guy sitting on a park bench in Wellington Square and the "Asian car hoons/drug dealers" at the top of the hill, it was kind of an odd walk.

Anyway, I came home, showered up, put on my new Christmas duds (purple Bonds trunks, a purple/pink/black teeshirt, jeans and turquoise Aquaman thongs), loaded up the car (which didn't take as long as I thought it might, mostly because I'd packed everything into those big green shopping bags), checked everything off on my list so that I didn't forget anything (like I've done just about every year for the last decade), slid the very cheesy Christmas "Dance Party" CD in the stereo and tootled up to Ma's.

Not bad for about 7am...

So once I got there and we'd done some random unpacking and sorting out and tidying up and setting the table we sat down to our traditional Christmas breakfast of croissants... nummy, even if they were a little well done (which they end up being every year without fail). I also gave Ma one of her presents to open with breakfast, since it was the jewellery that I'd earmarked as matching her Christmas outfit.

Then there was much organisation and whatnot before we headed over to my cousin's place at 9. Actually before we left Ma also opened some of the regifted DVDs (since we needed to reregift one of them to Miss Oh) and the seahorse towel/backpack combo... well, she thought the backpack was the FUNNIEST thing ever... she even took it with us instead of her handbag...

Ahhh, La Cousina... I know she's family and everything, but damn that girl is a world of beige... and seriously stuck in the 80's...

Anyway, they were all appreciative of their presents, Princess T was highly surprised about the proposed trip interstate for her birthday (two of her Christmas presents were directly linked to said trip), and as always I needed to have my little folding scissors out to assist with present unwrapping.

Like last year, I came away with a double pass to the movies, unfortunately Hoyts this time, not Greater Union (which is where we normally go)... but a free double pass is a free double pass, so I'm not complaining...

We stayed probably longer than we should have (only because it meant that we didn't put the Weber on as early, and we ended up eating mid afternoon), and highly unflattering photos were taken. I still have no idea why... nobody in our family really LIKES having their photo taken, but La Cousina's partner marched us out into the front yard (which actually was a whole world of Christmas Flashback, since that's what we used to do every year when I was a kid, get marched into the front yard and have our photo taken on Christmas Day).

I think we eventually got home around quarter to 11... to be honest I wasn't really paying that much attention to the time, but I know we were there for a while...

Then when we did get back, after we'd fired up the Weber and taken care of a few bits and pieces, it was time for The Orgy O' Presents... *cue maniacal laughter to fade*...

We actually managed a pretty good "you open one, I open one" thing for most it... although due to the fact that neither of us really tend to do the gift tag thing when it's for the other one, we did have a few instances where Ma gave me a present that was actually one of hers from her... and I had a bunch of stuff there that was to me from me... some of it I know is definitely from me or definitely from Ma, some of it, well let's just say it's from Santa...

my presents, 2008 styleLooking at the somewhat vast haul, I was thinking about the seeming vastness of it... and when you think about it, we probably starting putting things away for Christmas in about July... and rather than having a lot of it right then and there, I went for the delayed gratification of waiting until Christmas... because really, what would you rather do, have random stuff now or wait and have a massive Christmas... yes, me too...

Turns out that even counting some of the DVDs as one, rather than individual cases (same series, different cases), I've still passed last year's record... although some of them are new versions of stuff I already had (which have been or will be regifted)... Forty five cases... thirty seven items... thirty one new movies (which does bring it into line with previous years if I'm being honest)...

Excessive, maybe... fabulous, oh hell yes! So... running down the list...

Unsurprisingly Ma loved everything I got her (which she should, because I have great taste, plus she deserved it all)... and also unsurprisingly I left The Mikado Box of A Thousand Layers until the very end...

What was a little surprising was that after she'd opened it and gotten all the way down to the tickets we both got a little choked up... awww bless... *rolls eyes*

Once we were finished with the unwrapping we had to start on the "tidying up"... we'd started out reasonably well, but we'd lost the plot somewhere along the way and there was tissue and paper and ribbon and boxes spread all under the table. Then I set about taking my usual Christmas Present Photos (of both my stuff and Ma's), which kind of involved taking the whole living room apart (or it felt like that anyway)... and Ma diddled around with the Weber and got stuff ready to cook (I'm not exactly sure whether the turkey went on earlier or what... I know I was there, but I forget).

Blah blah blah, lots of tidying up, getting stuff organised, watching one of the Video Hits DVDs, setting the table properly for lunch... And it was suddenly around 2:30 and time for turkey...

i told you it was a very red christmasI told you the theme for this year was red!

And because Ma had put the wrong bottle in the fridge to chill, even the bubbles were red/pink...

It's not as good a photo as previous years, but it's all very red. This is also the first time we've used a tablecloth at Christmas... and the big shock was that neither of us spilled anything on it.

The little wooden dude on my plate (there's one on Ma's plate too, but you can't see it) is also from Ikea... I tried them in about a dozen different spots before finally giving in and putting them on the plates...

Sadly, because there's so much going on with the plates (and they're bigger plates than we've had in the past), you can't really see the food in the background. We did pretty well actually... the turkey was LUSH, the sausage meat should have gone in the Weber earlier (we just cut the ends off and left it in there), and for the first time we tried roasting beetroot... again, they should have gone in earlier, but pretty successful overall.

As always happens though, we overindulged with the food so we didn't even have any dessert... not for a couple of hours anyway.

For about the third year running (it feels like that anyway) I got a pair of nail clippers in my cracker... not that you can ever have too many nail clippers, but still...

Once we could actually roll out of our seats, we tidied up (are you sensing a theme here... it seems to be "activity" followed by "tidied up") then sat down and watched Tales of Earthsea (not great, but not bad), had the Haighs truffles eventually, and a few of our own.

Then we watched St Trinian's, and about halfway through we stopped and went and made what must be the ultimate in Christmas sandwiches... turkey, cranberry, lettuce and tomato on leftover croissants...

After Trinian's it was starting to get late, so I packed up all my bits and pieces (and fortunately this year we didn't go through all the post Christmas insanity of the "food distribution" thing... Ma's going to bring stuff down later today for me) and toddled off home around 9:15 or so.

Now all we have to do is endure Second Christmas... I really, really don't want to be bothered, doubly so because the two anklebiters who I specifically bought presents for aren't even going to be there... and it's like an hour and a quarter's driving... BLAH!

Next year we need to organise something else... if the anklebiters and associated parentals aren't going to be there, then we're definitely not going (I would have encouraged Ma to pull out this year if we'd known ahead of time)... and if they are, well maybe we need to have them down to Ma's place or something. I know I'll be fine once I get there... it's the actual getting there and getting back that is going to shit me to tears... plus I'm going to have to drive again, since I have the aircon and the CD player... stoopid tenuously connected relatives who choose to live in fucking whoopwhoop...

But at least yesterday was good...

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merry christmas everyone

Thursday, December 25, 2008

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christmas eve haircutness

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

christmas snowwoman hairstylistSo today was doubly good because it's Christmas Eve (yay) as well as being Haircut Day (double yay)...

You know what... I haven't had my hair did since the middle of October... and lordy oh lordy did it need it. It was all not holding a shape and mostly my natural colour and just looking shitty no matter what I did with it...

And now? It's all short and blonde and awesome!

Actually today kind of alternated between awesome and dull... when I got to work this morning I was the only one on the floor for about quarter of an hour... so I switched on all the lights, wandered around a bit, sung "All By Myself" badly and off-key (badly because I only know like two lines out of the whole song)...

So the morning was mostly dull... nobody much was around, I had fuck all to do, and all I really wanted to do was go and get my hair cut.

But then we had a morning tea organised by the ladies on the other side of the aisle, and that was pretty okay... the food was a bit average, but Sugarmonkey got half tanked on one glass of red wine, so that was amusing. And it meant I didn't have to pretend to be doing any work...

Eventually though it was time to go off to my haircut, so after I'd packed up the Christmas Tree on my desk I took myself off to the salon.

I couldn't actually believe the number of people who were STILL doing their Christmas shopping... the mall seemed to be pretty damn packed, and I took a brief detour over to Haighs to get a couple of their Pudding Truffles for tomorrow (yeah, because we need MORE truffles), and they were hideously busy, with like lines and everything... it's just wrong... people need to get their damn selves organised!

Anyway, after last Christmas I managed to get hold of the mug I wanted for Tink and Ma and I had filled it up with truffles on Sunday, so I gave her that... and double bonus, she didn't have her own special mug either at work or at home.

The guy I've mentioned before with the Scottish accent who used to go to my gym was in again too... and good grief is he ever a fussy old queen! And on top of that, for reasons that escape me he had decided to take off his shirt under the hair catching cape thing, so that was kinda odd...

But getting down to what we actually did with my hair... well, like I said, it's short and blonde again... I asked Tink to "chunk it" (I couldn't remember what I'd asked her to do last time... but looking back it was the "crazed mental patient" thing)... and we did the "not really blonde" colour I've been getting for ages now... but I asked her to then put in some streaks of "proper" blonde.

In the grand scheme of things, I'm not sure if the streaky thing worked AT ALL... but it does look pretty damn natural again (well, it matches my eyebrows anyway).

All in all, I was in the salon for maybe two and a half hours, maybe a little less... and once I was done, I didn't hang around... I grabbed something to eat and then hopped on the first bus going my way (and luckily there was a bus at the stop when I got there, so I didn't even have to wait).

Now I'm just going to chill out, maybe watch The Grinch... and given that the weather is a little warm, I'm thinking take-out for dinner...

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final christmas meme

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

i wish this santa claus was the one coming to townThank all the proverbial deities that I'm only working for four hours tomorrow...

Today was a whole world of "marking time", there's nothing really pressing going on, the office is mostly deserted and I don't really see the point in starting something new only to leave it languishing for a week and a half...

Also, we had donuts... mmmm donuts...

And there's nothing like a groovy pair of socks to make you feel like you're all that... I was doing some running around last night after work (picking up the memory card for Ma's phone specifically) and bought a pair of knee high black and white striped socks... too cool for school (well, I think so anyway)...

All I can really say is "roll on noon tomorrow!"...

So now, we finish up this mega-weekly-month-long-Christmas-themed meme with some songs...

Name That Tune

  1. "Outside the snow is falling and friends are calling"
    Dammit, I know this one... I can hear it in my head... "Come on, it's lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you"... no idea what the name is though

  2. "Good tidings for Christmas and a Happy New Year"
    We Wish You A Merry Christmas

  3. "The lights are turned way down low"
    I have absolutely NO idea...

  4. "In the meadow we can build a snowman"
    Frosty the Snowman

  5. "Oh what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh!"
    Jingle Bells

  6. "Remember, Christ, our Saviour was born on Christmas Day"
    God Rest Ye Gerry Mentalmen... or whatever

  7. "Not only green when summer’s here, but also when ’tis cold and drear"
    That would be one of my favourites, Oh Christmas Tree

  8. "And Heaven, and Heaven and nature sing"
    Joy to the World

  9. "Tis the season to be jolly"
    Deck the Halls

  10. "Down through the chimney with lots of toys"
    No clue whatsoever

Complete The Line
  1. "Jolly Old Saint Nicholas, lean your ___ this way."
    That would be his "ear"

  2. "And children listen to hear ___ bells in the snow."
    Ummmm... jingle, silver, tiny, sleigh... I honestly don't know

  3. "And on every street ___ you’ll hear silver bells."
    I'm thinking "corner"

  4. "O night divine, O night when Christ was ___."
    Well, "born" obviously

  5. "All I want for Christmas is my ___ front teeth."
    How many front teeth, "two front teeth"

  6. "It’s beginning to ___ a lot like Christmas."
    Appear, seem, resemble... no... "look"

  7. "Round yon virgin ___ and child."
    I think there should be a comma in there, but it's "Mother"

  8. "Sing praises to our Heavenly ____."
    I would assume that it's either "Lord" or "Host", but I'm honestly not sure.

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ma's presents 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

ma's christmas present bonanza 2008Behold, the excessive bounty that is Ma's collection of Christmas presents for 2008... spread all over my Little Red Sofa...

Going down the list (and jumping all over the couch), we have:

  • Mikado tickets (there's a whole production about the wrapping too)
  • Mikado poster
  • Kimmidoll magnet (Yumi)
  • Kimono Bear
  • Harajuku Lovers Fragrance - Love
  • Jewellery
    • Red coral earrings/pendant
    • Palas coin pendant
    • Hand painted Celtic Knot pendant
    • Elk Cherry Red Triple Loop pendant
    • Elk Cherry Red Loop earrings
    • Shell earrings
    • Pink and grey pendant
    • Pink gemstone ring
    • Japanese paper brooch
    • Red RiverKids Beads
    • Glass circle pendant
    • Faux pearl pendant
  • DVDs
  • Books/Paper
    • Tales of the Unexpected - Roald Dahl
    • Parky: My Autobiography - Michael Parkinson
    • Rupert Bear Annual 2009
    • Rupert Bear card
    • Sydney Calendar 2009 and image CD
    • Wall-E and EVE pens (actually there's four in the pack, so that's one set for her and one for me)
  • Stuffed Toys
    • Snowman
    • Vibrating Reindeer (don't ask... but I have a snowman just like it)
    • Zebra
  • Silver Reindeer ornament
  • Silver Angel ornament (in white organza bag... which got turned into a present decoration)
  • Scented Space Fragrance Diffuser - Botanical Fragrance
  • Wind Twister with yellow glass ball
  • Reeves Copperfoil Seahorses
  • Seahorse Towel Beach Pack
  • 60MB External Hard Drive
  • Red Saddler wallet
  • Nougat Limar Cherry Cranberry Pistachio
  • Guylian Chocolates (small box)
Wooooo... that's a list of forty five items... which is possibly some sort of record... certainly looks impressive (actually, now that I see the list posted on a full blog page rather than just in the tiny little publishing window, it's pretty damn scary!)...

the wrapping of the mikadoAnd now there's the story of wrapping the Mikado tickets... don't you love a story that has to come with visual aids (see right)...

I'd started out with a half-baked plan... and then I'd started collecting bits and pieces as I went along, hoping that it would all fall into place... and by the end I had the Mikado tickets in their little Bass envelope and the Mikado DVD and the black gift box (after I'd finally given up on the idea of finding a Bento box) and the two squares of Japanese fabric (and thank you so very much Nice Lady I Used To Work With for hemming it for me)... plus the little kimono clad Bear...

It kinda turned into a bit of a matryoshka situation... the ticket envelope went inside the DVD case... the DVD got wrapped in one piece of fabric... the wrapped case went into the black box (wrapped in tissue paper to stop it sliding around)... the black box got wrapped in the second piece of fabric... and the Kimono Bear got attached to the knot.

It looks pretty damn spiffy I have to say... not overly Christmasy (although really, who cares), but very cool and totally on theme. And it's got that whole "Unwrapping Complexity" of about an 8.3, which is always a bonus (because Ma and I are just evil when it comes to wrapping things).

Speaking of wrapping... here's the results of the 2.5+ hours I spent wrapping everything...

the wrapped bonanza 2008Yep... about two hours on Saturday afternoon, and then another half an hour or so to finish up tonight. The only things I had left were the Copperfoil Seahorses, the Wind Twister (both of which were too big to put in anything I had) and the Sydney Calendar (which I needed a flat A4 box for, and I didn't have one of those either). Unfortunately I got really organised and took everything I didn't need back to Ma's place yesterday... which included all the ribbon, which, as it turns out, I DID need (well, want more than need)... *mutter mutter mutter*...

(Oh, and can I just geek out for a second about the black fabric I use as a photography backdrop from time to time)... when you hold the fabric it looks completely unnatural and slightly shiny and a little weird... but you hang it and photograph it, and unless there's direct light on it, it just vanishes and becomes the perfect background. If only I could remember what kind of material it actually was and find more!)

Now, getting back to the wrappage...

Sadly, with the exception of some of the slightly more obvious ones, I've kinda forgotten what present is in about half of the parcels (so by Thursday I'll have forgotten ALL of them)... whoops!

I will admit to a mild case of frustration at certain points in the wrapping process though... I've sat with Ma and watched her wrap things and put ribbons on things and do that voodoo that she do so well for pretty much my whole entire life. I've quite literally put my finger on the ribbon while she ties the knot. But do you think I had any freakin' idea of how she does those knots when I came to do them myself? Of course not! So a few of the knots are akin to a train-wreck, but they got the job done.

Weird, because normally I wouldn't do the whole ribbon thing (I tend to get a little slack when I have to wrap stuff myself), but I didn't even really think about it on Sunday, I just went with the ribbon (possibly because I was way more "box orientated" than I usually would be). At least everything looks all pretty... all thirty three parcels... *sheesh*...

Ma's going to lose her damn mind on Christmas Day... hehehehehe...

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unconscious mutterings 308

Urgh... post-goodie-making coma...

Brain all broken... just make with the Unconscious Mutterings...

  1. Carpet :: Bagger
  2. Bottoms :: Tops
  3. Music :: Video
  4. Nails :: Nine Inch
  5. Watch it! :: Isn't this like the third week in a row with this same item?
  6. Your life :: This is
  7. Candies :: Christmas
  8. Chafing :: Thighs
  9. Svelte :: Black Dress
  10. Ding :: Dong

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chocolate coated sunday

Sunday, December 21, 2008

sweet like chocolateBy the bittersweet goodness of Cocoa Butter the God of Chocolate (whether or not the photo illustrates his worldly visage is not for me to say *wink*)...

Obviously I invoked Cocoa Butter's wrath at some point during the annual Making of the Goodies today, because while we seemed to be kicking along like crazy during the first part of today, the second part kind of fell on it's head from a very great height...

I was down at Ma's by the proverbial Crack of Sparrow's Fart, but of course then there was the breakfasting and the reading of the paper and the random chatter (even though we only saw each other the day before), but we still started on the "cooking" reasonably early, and we divided and conquered all of the different truffles and whatnot (yeah, I'm trying to avoid using the word "balls", but the harder I try the weirder it's going to get, so "balls, balls, balls, balls, balls"... there)... Ma prepped XYZ, I took care of ABC... we were a truffle and ball making MACHINE!

Sure we had a couple of mixtures that were a little "sloppy", and I realised that I really should just stick to the pink and white marshmallows in my Rocky Road (the banana and apricot flavoured/coloured marshmallows just look WRONG once it's cut)... plus I forgot to take one of my "Rocky Road trays" up to Ma's with me... but mostly we were powering along.

Then we had to head over to the shops to pick up a little "sumtin sumtin" for lunch as well as a couple of bits and pieces we didn't really know we were going to need until we needed them (if that makes any kind of sense). And it was after we got back, and we'd had lunch and we started working on the chocolate end of things that everything got a little "funky", and not in the good way...

Just a second while I offer up a little prayer to Cocoa Butter...

the finished products: from the top, going clockwise... rum balls, peppermint ice balls, chocolate balls, sherry truffles, brandy apricot truffles, hazelnut delight and in the centre, chocolate puddingsPraise to you, oh lustrous Cocoa Butter, for the wrongs we may have done you during the holy works done today in your name, and please bless our future chocolate related endeavours!

And here we have the final results... they look great, but they were a little traumatic in the making...

From the top, going clockwise... Rum Balls, Peppermint Ice Balls, Chocolate Balls, Sherry Truffles, Brandy Apricot Truffles, Hazelnut Delight and in the centre, Chocolate Puddings!

Like I said, it was when we started on the chocolate, that's when the wheels fell off our little red wagon...

First off we were going to cover the Hazelnut Delights in milk chocolate and the Chocolate Puddings (which are the easiest of all, since they're just Christmas Pudding rolled into tiny balls) in dark... but for whatever reason neither Ma nor I twigged to the fact that what we THOUGHT were the Puddings were actually the Delights... so that plan fell over (and then we had to go back and stick the hazelnuts on the top with extra chocolate, because you're supposed to stick them onto the wet chocolate after you coat them, but we didn't).

Then we couldn't get "the drizzle" working on the Peppermint Ice (although I did flavour the chocolate with peppermint) so they came out a little wacky overall. And we'd improvised a couple of "truffle spoons" out of some wire... and that kept digging into the truffles and leaving marks after they'd been covered in chocolate.

Add to all of that that the day turned out pretty damn warm... I'm not sure what the forecast temperature was, but in the afternoon it was getting up around 33°C (not the best temperature for dealing with warm chocolate and whatnot)... and it's still pretty warm now (even though there was a thunderstorm in front of the car most of the way home... which was AWESOME).

So basically there was no one big reason why everything fell over, but lots and lots of little minor and annoying ones...

All in all we did good work though... we made one extra kind of "ball" over last year, we were actually finished before 6pm (although considering that I got there some time around 8am, that fact in itself is a little scary), I don't seem to have chocolate and general gook under my fingernails (which is something of a first... although I did notice that I have chocolate in the L of my Livestrong bracelet) and I didn't consume my weight in chocolate.

I also have what seems like a metric ton of Goodies to give to the crew at work tomorrow... between all the balls and my Rocky Road and some Mince Tarts and a few of the Ham Hearts (actually I'm not sure that I've mentioned those before... they're a recipe I got from the Delia Smith teevee Christmas special years and years and years and years ago... and they're a favourite every year... I may have to blog the recipe, as I remember it anyway, sometime)... so the work folks are going to be making out like the bandits I so often refer to tomorrow. I just need to work out the best way to actually carry it all in to work...

Anyway, after watching America's Next Top Model and the Spicks and Specks Christmas Special I loaded up the car (then had a somewhat prolonged freak-out when I couldn't find my Buffy musical episode CD) and headed home complete with accompanying thunderstorm...

Now I'm just plain old knackered... and there's still a bunch of stuff I need to do before I go to bed...

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the final pre christmas shop

Saturday, December 20, 2008

this photo has nothing to do with the post, i just like it!Well, well, well...

We're at Five Days Til Christmas, people... five freakin days... And today was our last combined Supermarket Safari until the big day.

Having said that, it was surprisingly mellow. Mostly we were stocking up on all the stuff to make Christmas Goodies with tomorrow, and some bits and pieces for Christmas Day, but easy peasy really.

Yes, everybody had decided that since it was the Saturday before Christmas that they should all come out shopping earlier, so we did have to share the supermarket with about twice as many people as usual, but it was okay...

Although I would like to know what the hell is up with people just plain old not looking where they're going at this time of year. There was this random woman with two little kids who just walked out of one of the aisles, didn't pay any attention to her surroundings and had I not been paying attention I could quite easily have bowled her over onto her arse... *mutter*

After stocking up on all appropriate provisions (and coming back here for the Ritual Unpacking), we headed down to Arndale so we could print out some photos Ma needs for Second Christmas... and I proceeded to "lose" the memory card from Ma's phone in the machine. Nice one yani! So now they have to "call the technician" which won't be til Monday, and I'll have to go and get it... *makes sad face*

And that was about it... Ma left about half twelve, at which point I finally got the Giant Ikea Bag of Ma's Presents out of the wardrobe and it's now spread all over my loungeroom floor (okay, that's a lie, it's all neatly stacked up next to the bookcase, but still) waiting for me to check that I have enough (and the right sizes) boxes/bags etc for it all.

Oh, and I managed to sneak two more presents in (sneak isn't really the right word, since Ma was with me and she pretty much chose them)... even if it is only a couple of cheapass necklaces (you know it's quality when they're 2 for $8).

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photo friday: reindeer

Friday, December 19, 2008

my reindeerThis is the reindeer ornament that gave me all those headaches at the beginning of the month... all pretty with the side lighting and whatnot...

It was a bit of a Comedy Relief Day at work today... H-San wasn't around, and while I wouldn't say we were goofing off all day, there was definitely some Christmas spirit happening in the afternoon.

And the two and a half day I'm working next week look like they're going to be heavy on the green coloured "Personal" items in my Outlook calendar. I'm supposed to be having lunch with Stu on Monday, coffee with a woman I used to work with some five or so years ago on Tuesday followed by a "staff meeting" (which isn't a "personal" thing, but not sure how much actual meeting we'll do), then one of the women on my floor (which I just realised sounds weird) is organising a morning tea on Christmas Eve.

Roll on lunchtime Wednesday and Haircut Afternoon (yaaaay!), that's all I can say!

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random angelic hotness

Thursday, December 18, 2008

With Christmas only a week away, what better way to celebrate than with an angelic themed Random Hotness!

I've featured some of these shots of Ashtyn Long by photographer David Vance in a previous Hotness, but the ones of the luscious Ashtyn complete with tiny angel wings (or possibly a dove glued to his back) just had to be kept until Christmas...

Mmmmm sinfully cherubic...

angelic ashtyn longangelic ashtyn long

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christmas meme the third

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

can i have these two in my christmas stocking?We went for our "Christmas Lunch" at work today (I use the quotes because we didn't really do anything Christmasy, since we weren't doing the Secret Santa thing, so basically it was just, you know, lunch).

I'd suggested we go to Saldechin, the groovy yum cha place Ma and I went to last year. Of course, then I had doubts about whether it was the right plan or not, but it all turned out okay in the end.

Continuing on with the Christmas theme... here's the third part of the continuing Mega Christmas Meme...

Have You Ever?

  1. Sat on Santa's lap?
    Yes, but not for a very long time... plus nobody actually seems to sit ON Santa's lap any more... stoopid political correctness...

  2. Written a Christmas list?
    Sure, when I was a kid... there was one particular year when all I had on my list was "a kitten"... still didn't get one though... *mutter*.

  3. Written a letter to Santa?
    Are we sensing a theme here... I'm sure I have in my younger days... I don't remember any of them though.

  4. Left cookies/milk for Santa & the reindeer?
    Yep, and I've left carrots for the Easter Bunny too!

  5. Kissed under a mistletoe?
    I don't think I have, no.

  6. Get everything you wanted for Christmas?
    Who gets EVERYTHING they want for Christmas... there's always either that one thing that you really wanted that you don't get (that's what January sales are for!), or else that thing that you really, really, really don't want (or have absolutely no need for) that some wayward relation or indirect friend of the family buys you.

  7. Cooked/baked?
    Well Ma tends to do more of the actual "cooking/baking", but I help out, both on Christmas Day, and beforehand.

Yay or Ugh
  1. Holiday shopping? Yay (even though I don't know when to stop)

  2. Mall Santas? Ugh

  3. 24/7 Holiday radio? Urg

  4. Setting up the tree? Yay and also Urg... this year, mostly Yay

  5. Wrapping presents? As above

  6. Visiting/seeing family? Mostly Yay (not that I have that many, and I see even fewer)

  7. Ad-Lib on "Rudolph" ('like Monopoly!')? M'eh... I don't have an opinion either way

  8. Free mint red/white candy? Ugh

  9. Belief in Santa Claus? Ugh (but it's okay for little kids I guess)

  10. Chocolate countdown calendar? Ugh (the chocolate is always crap, the concept is okay though)

  11. Peeking at your gifts (or by accident)? Ugh... and I've found that over the past week or so my brain has just been dredging up random memories of things that have gone into the Christmas Abyss, which is fairly annoying!

  12. Making out with Santa under the mistletoe? Ummmm... depends on who's in the suit I guess, but generally, ugh

  13. Decorated houses? Ugh

  14. Extreme decorated houses? Double Ugh

  15. Santa knowing when you're sleeping and awake? Kinda creepy actually... you know, Twilight brand creepy...

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movies: twilight

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

twilight - when you can live forever what do you live for?After seeing Twilight tonight, I looked up "twilight" in the dictionary (I know, it sounds a little weird, but stay with me, I'm going somewhere with this)...

  1. the soft, diffused light from the sky when the sun is below the horizon, either from daybreak to sunrise or, more commonly, from sunset to nightfall.
  2. a terminal period, esp. after full development, success, etc.: the twilight of his life.
  3. a state of uncertainty, vagueness, or gloom.
Oh yeah... definitions 2 and 3 pretty much sum up this movie... "a terminal period of uncertainty, vagueness and gloom"...

As I so eloquently said to Ma after the movie was finished... "PFFFFFFFFFFFFFT"!

Now I've read the book... actually I remember quite enjoying the book, what I don't remember is the book being as hideously overblown and melodramatic and full of pointless angst as the movie is. And you know how you can read something on the page and it sounds fine, but if you ever try and say it outloud then you realise that no living person in the history of the entire world has EVER talked like that. Welcome to Twilight: The Movie!

Interestingly, while I'm in the middle of savaging it, I have to say that I'm not sure if my opinion of the movie wasn't coloured somewhat by an article/column I read in The Advertiser on Sunday... Clementine Ford makes a very persuasive argument about the series (the books more than the movie I think) when she described it as "what is essentially an emotionally abusive relationship between a 17-year-old girl, and a 108-year-old vampire". And that and a number of the other things she said were very much in the back (and sometimes the front) of my mind as I was watching the movie.

As I said before, the whole thing is SOOOOO overblown, and unlike what I remember of the book, in the movie it all just seems to come out of nowhere. Yes, the book has 430+ pages to work it's magic, whereas the movie has to crank things along to fit everything within the 120 minutes that it's been given, but for a movie that should be flying along at breakneck speed it still manages to drag at certain points. Maybe it would have been different if I hadn't known at least in rough strokes how the story was going to play out... but the intended audience for this movie isn't people who haven't read the book... it's the hardcore Twilight groupies...

And if hordes of teenage or tweenage (or whatever) girls are lapping this movie up and declaring it's the best movie ever, then I weep for the future of the human race.

Now I have to take a moment to convey my particular contempt of Jeanne Van Phue. Jeanne, as far as I can work out from the credits, was the head of the makeup department (if I'm wrong, then I apologise and heap my contempt on whoever WAS the head of makeup)... and while I'm sure that Catherine Hardwicke, as the director had final say in the makeup design, I'm singling out Ms Van Phue because the makeup in this movie was APPALLING! A-PAUL-LING! Granted, as soon as I'd seen the movie poster I knew the makeup was going to be godawful, but little did I know how really, really appalling it was going to be. I think it's at its worst on both Edward (the lead character), but also exceptionally bad on the character of Dr Carlisle Cullen. Honestly, the first time I saw him I wanted to laugh.

And don't even get me started on the SPARKLES... "oh look, sparkly disco vampire"... puh-lease *rolls eyes*

Which kind of brings me around to both the acting and the actors...

The acting, as I've said, is overblown... but then so is the dialogue, and since most of the actors seem to be relative or complete unknowns, you can occasionally cut them a little slack. I'm choosing not to though...

There are a few halfway decent performances, but nobody who I would have said was a standout... it was all a little lackluster. It you twisted my arm, I'd probably say that Billy Burke as the dad (not that he really has a lot to do) and Taylor Lautner as (vague spoiler) "werewolf-in-training" Jacob Black were probably the best.

And I will give the movie it's due... I think that from a purely physical standpoint they got the casting of the two leads, Kristen Stewart as Bella and Robert Pattinson as Edward, pretty right. Sure they both could have been slightly more attractive (but maybe that's just what I read into it when I read the book), but from what I remember, they were pretty close to the character descriptions. I was impressed though that I didn't get even the slightest whiff of Cedric Diggory from Robert Pattinson... I half expected to keep seeing Cedric peering out from under the bad vampire makeup, but he was very much inhabiting the character, bad dialogue and all.

And I'm sure that there is some sort of drinking game you could invent where you have to scull a shot every time you can finish one of Edward's lines with the word "creepy" instead of what he's actually going to say (okay, so I can only think of one example right now, but I'm sure there are others)... and if I had to sum up his performance in one word, I think "creepy" would be that word.

Another disappointment from both an actor and acting standpoint was the treatment of all the "regular" kids. I remember them being slightly full on and eager in the book, but not to the degree that they're incredibly annoying, which is the way they're portrayed in the movie. Ah, character development, how we must leave you on the cutting room floor to produce a two hour movie...

Which brings us, as always, to the hotness... while in theory there's a lot to drool over in this movie... Jackson Rathbone as Jasper (although he can't act his way out of a paperbag even when he only has about three lines... camp as a row of tents though), Kellan Lutz as Emmett, the aforementioned Taylor Lautner as Jacob and Cam Gigandet as the villain of the piece, James... and yes, I'll agree with Eddy that James/Cam with his low slung pants and blonde ponytail can bite me any day of the week... you know what, none of the pretty really gets that much screen time... we're all supposed to be drooling over Edward, and honestly, while there was an occasional shot where he was all pretty, he wasn't really doing it for me.

Two words... lackluster and overblown...

yani's rating: 5 sparkling vampires out of 10

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unconscious mutterings 307

Monday, December 15, 2008

You can tell it's nearly Christmas... all I've done today is mess around in Photoshop (it was work related, I swear... I'm making maps, which is about as interesting as it sounds) and have random conversations with H-San and Sugarmonkey... oh, wait, we do that all the time...

Unconscious Mutterings...

  1. Travel :: Blog
  2. Expensive :: Hooker
  3. Backspace :: Delete
  4. Traffic noise :: Zmmmmmmmmmmmmm
  5. Now see here :: You waskally wabbit
  6. Vegetables :: Broccoli
  7. Chat :: Room
  8. Your calling :: Fucked if I know
  9. Weekly :: Womens
  10. Oh! :: My! God!

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shopaholic in recovery

Sunday, December 14, 2008

shopaholic"Hello, my name is yani and I'm a Christmas Shopaholic!"

Okay... THAT'S IT! Finished, kaput, no more, finale, end of the line, The End! No more Christmas shopping, no matter what! Honestly, I can't be let out without a chaperone...

  • First up, what the hell is up with this weather... it's supposed to be summer, and I've gone out wearing a hoodie for the last two days... RUDE!
  • I went down to the Rundle Street Markets again this morning.
  • Bought a metric ton of chickens from World Vision (okay, six... five for work's Charity Secret Santa, one for Ma to give as part of her Secret Santa present).
  • Found this gorgeous little stall with hand painted Celtic jewellery... couldn't walk away, bought Ma one.
  • Went back to the badge stall (and I looked at the name specifically... something Pixie... Gothic Pixie?) because I was planning on picking something up for Rockchick... the stall was there, but the "Pride" badges, not so much (grrr).
  • I did buy a Happy Tree Friends badge though... Handy... and pinned him to my hoodie.
  • Mmm, poffertjes...
  • After the markets, I went to Flourish in Unley and while they didn't have the exact earrings that matched the pendant I'd gotten Ma last time we were there, I got her a pair in the same colour.
  • I then came home before I could go buying anything else.
So, yeah... I got home around lunchtime and I've spent the rest of the day half watching teevee (actually there's a kinda cool version of Candide with Kristin Chenoweth on the ABC at the moment).

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big fat shopping saturday

Saturday, December 13, 2008

countdown to christmasHuzzah! The last full-on Big Fat Shopping Saturday before Christmas...

Yeah, yeah, I know there's another weekend to go before the big day, but next week looks like it's highly likely to be Shopping Lite followed by a Chocolate Coated Sunday.

And this is the last BFSS because I think finally today we got the very last thing we needed to get (and while I feel like I've said that about three or four times over this festive season, but I think this time it's really really true)! All the little boxes on the list are ticked, and barring me seeing anything else too cute for words that I have to give Ma, I'd call it a wrap.

This morning was a little strange... it's the first time in like three weeks that I've done the Supermarket Safari with Ma, so that just felt weird. Not for very long mind you because it's only been two weeks without her compared to however many consecutive weeks shopping WITH her... but brief strangeness...

Le Safari went much the same as usual... only two supermarkets this week though, and like last week I picked up a couple of extra things (another packet of Weetbix and a big tin of sliced peaches) to add to the Foodbank donation box. Honestly I'm halfway between feeling proud of myself for "doing my bit" and thinking that it's not really enough (I feel like there's a movie or teevee show reference to that particular thought... somebody who flips out because they can't do enough... I dunno).

I also stopped off at the Post Office and picked up something to go in the "for later" present bag... a Bon Voyage present for Rockchick when she goes on her "world tour" at the end of March (it's the least I can do since I get her job while she's away!)... and for a punk rock girl who just happens to be obsessed with Barbie, what could be better than a Faerie Barbie journal and pen!

After the Ritual Unpacking we decided to head into town... there were a few bits and pieces we wanted to look at, and possibly buy. And just for a minute there I was having a slight brainfreeze about what it was we actually DID buy...

We wandered around Raw Space for a little bit... and ended up having something of a guided tour from the woman who owns the store... she's very groovy and very sweet, although the first question I wanted an answer to once we walked out of the store was "why the hell is she wearing a slightly questionable wig?"... I don't think Ma had picked it, but it was so obviously not her own hair...

Given the wild and woolly weather we've been having for the past few days I wanted to grab a second umbrella, one that will actually go in my Crumpler bag (my sturdy and slightly expensive yet managable umbrella is just too big)... and we were looking for something else in Myer when I discovered a cute little Dangerfield umbrella with skulls and stars on it for $10... woohoo! Sure it will probably last about five minutes and it'll probably turn inside out at the first strong breeze, but woohoo anyway.

I've decided that to make my life slightly easier (and yet more complicated at the same time) I'm going to give Princess T and Miss Oh a "voucher" for Christmas giving them each a solo trip to a movie of their choice (which could be dangerous seeing that they're 16 and 11 year old girls... god only know what I'll end up having to sit through) with me at some point in the next twelve months. And while I got them both something little to attach the "voucher" to (Little Miss figurines), I half wanted something else for them. That turned out to be the thing we were looking for in Myer... which kinda required a bit of a run up, storywise...

After Ma's last trip to Melbourne she suggested that when Princess T turns 17 (which is this coming year) that we take her on a trip to Sydney for her birthday... so she's getting the big Angel piggy bank I bought back at the beginning of November (from Ma) and we're going to tell her she has to save a certain amount (I can't remember off the top of my head whether that's just her spending money or some contribution to everything else... Ma did say, but it's gone clean out of my brain)... anyway they had these cute and very, very girly luggage tags in Myer... leather, or at least a high quality leather substitute... so I got her a pussycat head one. So of course once I had that I had to find something for Miss Oh of an equal or close enough value... which was kinda easier said than done... and took the rest of the shopping day before I found it...

Ma had wanted to get a big (well, medium sized actually) chocolate frog from Haighs for her friend at work who likes frogs (I made her a frog calendar the year before last) and make a donation to The Amphbian Ark for threatened frog species... so we went into the store at the end of the mall and spoke to the cute (partially?) deaf boy who works in there. Turns out the collection tins in both the Rundle Mall store and the Adelaide Arcade store got stolen (and they were reasonably full according to him)... rudeness! Although you have to wonder HOW somebody was able to just pick up what I assume was a fairly heavy and not small tin and walk out without being noticed by anybody... and unless it happened on the same day, you would have thought that after one store got "hit", the other one would have taken precautions. Anyway I'm just going to put out in the Universe that I hope some form of karmic retribution is in the offing... one of the classics would be nice... either a plague of frogs or some form of frog related rain...

That was about all we did in the city, other than some slightly aimless wandering about... so once we were done with that we headed back to the car and tootled over to the Haighs factory outlet (mmmm cute stock related boys with access to chocolate... be still my heart and other related organs) where the tin HADN'T been stolen. Yaaaay!

Then we headed over to Kmart, mostly so that I could buy the Work Charity Secret Santa thing... we decided that we were going to give half of the money to the Kmart Wishing Tree and the other half to World Vision's Smiles... coz, you know, you can give chickens and pigs and goats and stuff (for some reason I got fixated on the chickens, so we're donating $30 worth of chickens... which works out to be 5 of the feathery little bastards). I still need to find a World Vision stall thing... I know there was one last week at the Rundle Street Markets, so I might wander over there tomorrow... failing that I think their Adelaide office is across the road from work. International Chickens, here I come!

Ma then wanted to make a stop off at this random store in what felt like the middle of nowhere (okay, it was just in the middle of somewhere we never really go)... which was okay... it's basically a furniture store but the front section of the store has a whole bunch of homewares and tchotchka as well... slightly interesting, but not somewhere I would be rushing back to.

After that we detoured over to Arndale to see if we could see anything for Miss Oh... and as we headed through the mall Ma and I had the same idea at the same time (there was some brief high-fiving, but the less said about that the better)... one of those "old school" style alarm clocks with her name on the face! Perfect... pink as pink can be, and the slightly loud ticking notwithstanding, it's not bad (although I'm just now realising that Princess T's present has a very specific purpose and she won't be able to use it very often, whereas Miss Oh's present is an everyday thing... oh well, fuckit).

And you know what's really dangerous? Looking through a bunch of stuffed animals that are marked down to almost stupid amounts when Ma says "awwwww isn't that cute" and it's a week and a half away from Christmas... add one plush zebra to her Christmas list... *sigh* hehehe...

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