finding my shopping related cool

i wanna climb into the fridge tooThe name of game today was to stay as cool as possible for as much time as possible, with as little time outside in the hot weather as possible... and I think we pulled it off fairly nicely.

I tried to transfer as much of the cool morning air into my place first thing this morning as I could (what I really wish is that I could magically swap the air outside for the air inside) with limited success.

Then when Ma got here we were off to the stoopidmarket in my airconditioned car. Yaaaaaay for my airconditioned car! Especially because it was actually a little bit cool when I first got in it (so I didn't need to get rid of the hot before starting on the cool).

Because it is so damn hot I have no desire to be cooking anything, let alone eating anything hot... so it was a pretty "light on" shopping expedition... lots of fruit, some veg, and not that much else.

After a rather overheated unpacking we quit the sweatbox that is currently my house and jumped in my airconditioned car again (have I mentioned how grateful I am that my car actually has an aircon?) and shot down to Arndale. No real reason, other than, you know, shopping malls are airconditioned.

Nothing much of interest at Arndale... I completed my set of Alien movies (the only one I didn't have was the original), Ma had massive amounts of indecision and some retail bonding with scary shoplady over two groovy looking "Indian" blouses (she ended up buying both a white and a acid green one once the nice lady found her one that had a little more room to it) and while I was waiting for her to sort herself out I bought the coolest little jade Buddha necklace ($3, supposedly carved or something by Shaolin monks).

Then we headed into town (woohoo airconditioned car) to soak up some culture and free cool air at the Museum and Art Gallery.

Luckily my Parking Karma was working really well today... I dropped Ma off at the city end of the hill, told her to find cool shelter and I turned around and went back down the road looking for a park. As I came down the hill, one of the cars parked right under a massive shady tree pulled out and I got a park with no fuss and no bother. Woohoo...

Honestly, we should have just gone to the Art Gallery and wandered around there... the Museum really wasn't AS cool as the Gallery, and we went to see the dinosaur egg exhibit, which probably wasn't worth the $12. Once we'd seen and touched and played and watched at the dino thing we went to the Art Gallery, and really just wandered around in the cool, looked at the pretty stuff, checked out the things that were new and sat down a few times.

Then we went across the road for a late lunch in the airconditioned joy that is the food court under David Jones... then toddled back to my shaded (and airconditioned) car and came back here to Casa Sweatbox.

I crossing my fingers though, because there is a breeze out there, so I'm hoping it sticks around tonight and I can open the place up again.

Current Mood:

photo friday: wattle sky

wattle skyHot, hot, hot, hot, hot, hot, hot... with a side order of sweaty...

The "heatwave" continues... although the temperature is supposed to drop to a reasonable level overnight, so I'll try and pump in as much "night air" as I can. And the daytime temperature is going to be dropping a little bit every day for the next week according to the forecast... although nowhere near enough in my books.

Last night I stopped doing the million and one things I'd done the night before to try and give me that extra "cooling edge"... all it had done was made me even hotter when they stopped working, so last night I just let it all go and let myself BE in the heat. It wasn't great, but I'm still alive, so it can't have been that bad.

And today was my last day at work. It was kind of a dull day... nothing much of anything happened, I cleaned out some emails, I wrote my final email newsletter, chased up one of two last minute things, I cleaned all the crap off my desk (actually I've been doing that in stages... I started on Wednesday because I knew I wouldn't get everything in my bag all at once) and left the desk pretty much the way I found it (ie empty).

It was an odd last day... it was just me and Sugarmonkey and Captain Slow... both H-San and Rockchick had the day off... but it was a cruisy kind of day, which was good. Plus we all went out for gelati at 3pm... and it had already partially melted by the time we walked the short distance back to work.

I also had lunch with Stu... originally the plan was for him just to swing by and pick something up (giraffes for Mrs Stu), but his day obviously cleared up after I spoke to him last night and we went off to Fasta Pasta (and had salads).

So, yeah... now I just have to wait and see what happens on the work front... or just wait until the end of March...

Current Mood:

random surfer hotness

I was in two minds about today's Random Hotness... should I try and deny that it's hotter than Hades currently and post something involving boys in snow, or should I just embrace the heat and go with something iconically Summer...

No prizes for guessing my final decision... hot, toned, tanned surfer dudes...

I will admit that I'm kind of fantasising as much about the cool ocean water in the background as I am about the surfers...

hot surfer boy different but equally hot surfer boy

Current Mood:

's too hot

'S too hot... 's too hot to think, 's too hot to write anything, 's just too hot...

It's reached the point where all my evaporative cooler does is move hot air around... the PC is wheezing somewhat asthmatically... it's just generally not pleasant. And doubly worse because the heat doesn't drop more than about 10 degrees overnight, which is just ick (although last night wasn't THAT bad... but tonight looks like it's going to be godawful.

Thank all my proverbial stars that I'm working this week, so there is at least some respite from the heat... although the weather isn't supposed to drop to something reasonable in the foreseeable future... next week is supposed to be in the high 30's, so that could be a problem...

Going away now...

Current Mood:

movies: revolutionary road

how do you break free without breaking apart?Because it was (and still as and will continue to be for the rest of the week) so mind-meltingly hot today, we decided to stick close to home (well, my home anyway) and have dinner (followed by Cold Rock icecream) near my house before going to see Revolutionary Road just down the road.

Turns out that it was a good idea all around... both our gastronomic choices, as well as the movie.

I'll be honest, there were three things that made me want to see this movie. One of them was Leonardo DiCaprio, the second was Kate Winslet and the third was the 1950's setting. I mean, c'mon... Leo and Kate's big "reunion" picture, set in the 50's... I'm so all about that.

I did start second guessing myself a little bit earlier in the day, since it's all dramatic and about the breakdown of a relationship (not really big on the happy happy joy joy fun times), but once it started and here was Leo and there was Kate, all of that melted away and I was along for the ride.

And I tell you what, I'm glad that I was!

If I had to sum this movie up in three words, those words would be "quiet", "still" and "sad". There are all of these beautiful quiet and still moments, with a sparse but haunting score by Thomas Newman (I should have guessed he was responsible really, with all the amazing things under his belt)... and this one particular piano piece that is still rattling around in my head.

But by no means is it a slow movie... it is quiet and still, but at the same time there are these explosions of heat and anger and passion that seem to come, oddly enough, from the same place as the quiet and the stillness.

Okay, enough with trying to sound all intellectual about it... I guess it's just because it's a movie where not very much really happens, so I don't even want to refer very much to the plot (since I'm not big with the spoilers) and it's also wormed it's way into my head and is rattling around in there.

I will say though that the story is very much "of it's time"... I'm not sure if the original novel was written in the 1950's, but the movie lives there perfectly, and there are a couple of moments that are so stereotypically 50's that it kind of makes your teeth itch, but it still works for the characters.

Both Kate and Leo are amazing in their roles... how Kate didn't end up with an Oscar nod for this kinda baffles me (although she did pick up the Golden Globe)... but I'll be honest, while her performance was magnificent, Leo was right there with her every step of the way. And I don't think it's the kind of movie you would want to make with actors who hadn't known each other beforehand, there needed to be that chemistry, that back-story, to make the thing work.

Acting snaps also have to go to Michael Shannon as "the speaker of truth", he's funny and a little scary at times, but brilliant. And David Harbour manages to be creepy without ever really doing anything overtly to make you dislike him.

Actually all the major players are great... and part of me could see this being done as a play, it has that kind of self contained energy to it.

The other people in line for snaps have to be Kristi Zea for the production design, Debra Schutt for the set decorating as well as Albert Wolsky for the costumes... there's a set of beautifully lit shots of the interior of the house towards the end of the movie that are just stunningly perfect 1950's suburbia (and made me drool a little bit over some of the furniture)... and Kate's costumes, with the switch between when she's feeling secure and happy and when her world starts to fall apart, add that extra layer to the character.

Only twice before have I given a movie full marks, but I honestly can't think of a single bad thing to say about Revolutionary Road... it's this beautiful, elegant, quiet, still, angry gem of a movie.

yani's rating: 5 unspoken secrets out of 5

unconscious mutterings 313

It's Australia Day... and in the spirit of the day I'm doing a whole bunch of nothing, but I have Coopers Pale Ale, kangaroo steaks and a lamington to look forward to for dinner tonight...

Aussie, Aussie Aussie... Unconscious Mutterings, Oi, Oi...
  1. Unwanted :: Kittens
  2. You’d better :: Watch out
  3. Woman :: Scent of a
  4. Weighed :: Found Wanting
  5. Upright :: Citizen
  6. I feel :: Pretty, oh so pretty
  7. Ill :: Sick
  8. It's like :: Money for Nothing (no idea where that one came from)
  9. Poor man :: Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief
  10. Great :: Expectations
Current Mood:

fricken kittens, rainbows and cordless things

a kitten crapping a rainbow, what could be fricken cuter than that!A kitten crapping a rainbow, what could be fricken cuter than that!

Well, as I said during yesterday's retail orientated rant... if everything went according to plan with the installation of my cordless mouse and cordless keyboard this morning it would be all "rainbows, sunshine and fluffy kittens"...

See the kitten? See the rainbow? See the scatological humour?

I'm not completely happy with either the process or the result, but I am currently typing this on my new sleek black cordless keyboard (and it's going to take me a while to get used to it, since it's just different enough from the old one to make life interesting).

After I got up this morning and fired up the computer I took a deep cleansing breath and went through the installation instructions for a second time from the beginning... plugged that in there, put batteries in this, inserted software there, unplugged the other thing... except that I plugged the receiving unit into my USB hub rather than the back of the computer (just to see if that made any difference).

Then the software did it's thing, but it did what I thought yesterday was a complete install and then went back to the "install software" screen, so yesterday I just stopped it... this morning I went with the "let's just keep hitting continue until something happened" approach. Which worked out much better, if more annoyingly so... the software, instead of installing all the drivers and all the stuff all in one big hit, did them one at a time and kept defaulting back to the original screen once it had, so I was never quite sure when it was actually finished (in the end, once everything worked, I just took the CD out).

Once everything was working I figured I could try it in the USB slot at the back of the computer. Er, no. Mouse worked, keyboard didn't... so now the external harddrive is plugged into the spare slot and the receiver is plugged into the hub... not quite the outcome I was looking for, but it all works! Woo to the fricken hoo!

(And thanks Tom for making me paranoid about the battery thing... you know I'm going to have to have a set of each kind of battery on standby somewhere in the house now, right?)

Current Mood:

releasing my inner retail diva

madge hadn't been home after her night of clubbing, but she figured she could fit some time in at coles before the drugs wore offHello, and welcome to today's edition of "I'm Really Annoyed", I'm your host, Yani McYanister... now, let's play our game!

I'm SUPPOSED to be typing this to you on my brand spanky new Logitech Cordless Desktop LX310 Laser system... but do you think, when I connected all the bits and pieces and pressed all the buttons and gizmos and widgets and whatnots that it would actually work?

Of course it freakin well wouldn't... and the instructions that come with it aren't any kind of helpful, and there are three little lights on the "Reciever", one is A, one is F and the last one is 1... do you think I know what the hell any of those lights or letters mean... hell no, because it's not in the freakin instructions is it.


See, this is what happens when I make snap decisions and don't go off and dither about stuff for several weeks...

Anyway, until I tried to do the whole "make technology work" thing, it had been a fairly full, but very productive day.

There really isn't any need to go into the Supermarket Safari, mostly I bought fruit and/or vegetables, but I did pick up some lamingtons for Monday (as though they're all going to last that long) and what is essentially a slab of little cups of fruit for a low, low price (12 x 140g tubs for $5, which seems reasonable to me). And big raspberry at Coles for no longer having the 2 for $5 special on Iced Coffee... but yay for Woolworths who do...

Then once Operation Drop Off was complete we headed down to Arndale... damn you Big W and your low, low prices on DVDs... and double damn The Reject Shop for having episodes of Lonely Planet Six Degrees for $3. And actually, damn me too for not picking up the London episode of LP6D when we saw it last week, because naturally it wasn't there this week (*grrrr*)... on the upside one of the other ones was. I also spent "too much money" on other DVDs... not as much as I theoretically could have spent, you have to know how to pace yourself with these things, and when to put things back because, really, you don't really want them, you just think you might.

Next up we decided to head down to Marion... they have a Reject Shop down there, so you never know... plus I wanted to look around at the aforementioned cordless mouses and keyboards *mutter mutter*.

Now Ma has been nattering on about getting one of those Japanese (Chinese, whatever) paper parasoles for MONTHS... seriously... but she never quite gets her act together (plus I think she's expecting them to be UV resistant or something... honey, it's freakin paper!), but one of the stores down at Marion had them for 30% off... and you know how I can't resist a bargain. But she was still umming and ahhhing about it, so I said "pick a colour", with the intention of buying it for her... and even then she couldn't make a lifestyle choice. So eventually I just picked the green one that I liked and bought her that. Whether it's going to be something she uses ongoingly or whether it will be a flash in the pan I have no idea, and you know, I don't much care. She was happy with it, and grateful and whatever, and that's the main thing.

Also in the "bargain" column I found the "Daily Bitch" desk calendar at one of those mid-mall calendar stalls where everything was 75% off... $25, down to $7, woohoo...

I'm sure we probably bought some other bits and pieces, but don't ask me what, I have no idea (oh, yeah, that's right... I bought a red polo shirt and Ma bought step ladders)... it did however culminate in going into Big W and buying the Cordless Desktop set. I thought I was getting a good deal... it had been $130 other places we'd looked, but they had it for $80... which is good, right. Except the fucking thing won't work (it's okay, I'll try it again in the morning, and I might be all rainbows, sunshine and fluffy kittens).

Once we were all shopped out we stopped and had some late lunch at this cute little "Organic Green" cafe place... very cute (seriously, I would totally incorporate a bunch of the stuff in there if I won the lottery and was designing a superkitchen) and they do an outstanding chicken schnitzel burger too.

The only other thing we did before we left Marion was grab one of those big storage boxes... I decided that since I'm fast running out of space for DVDs, I could take all my photo albums (that I haven't looked at in FOREVER) out of the little tiny bookcase behind the chair and replace them with DVDs. Which ended up working quite well... although now I have "nostalgia face" because I suddenly have the overwhelming desire to go through all those photos and look at my pre-digital work! (Actually I still have a third of them here, they wouldn't all go in the box I got... so I can have at least partial nostalgia face)

On the way home we decided to call of at The Christmas Shop, Ma never actually got a visit in before Christmas this year, and I wanted to have a look at what they might have had left. Man, what a difference a month and a half makes! I want to say that a fair amount of their stock had gone... but, you know what, I think it had just been moved from the first room you come to into all the other rooms. Plus they seemed to have turned the airconditioning off in every room other than the front one so the place was kinda like an oven after you'd been in there a while... and compared to the half dozen staff they had then, there was one lone, and slightly cute if a little dopey, boy manning the store today. Not surprising really, but kinda interesting.

Like I did before Christmas with toy soldiers, Ma went a little wacky on snowman related merchandise... and all the Christmas stuff was 20% off too *grrr* (hehehe... not that I would have wanted to wait, not everything I got before Christmas was still there, and I got the enjoyment out of it this year which is the main thing). I did see a plastic "crystal" toy soldier though, so that's been added to the collection. I was also proud of myself... there were a few other toy soldiers of varying kinds around the place (most of which I hadn't spotted last time), but they were either the wrong colour or just generally not quite right (although there was one that was a photo frame ornament that was pretty perfect, but it said "Grandpa's Christmas Wanker" or something on it... yeah okay, obviously it didn't say that, but I can't remember what it DID say... but I put it back).

And now the cordless desktop box is sitting on my bed next to me and smirking at me... okay, maybe it's not "smirking", but it's mocking me with it's non-working boxness... bloody thing...

Thank god I have beer...

Current Mood:

photo friday: flagging

big, big, big, big australian flagBehold, the joy and wonder that are Friday Dot Points...
  • I know it doesn't look it in the photo, but this is the massive Australian flag that flies over Victoria Square (aka Tarndanyangga)... oddly I can't find anything on Google about the height of the flagpoles or the size of the flags... MASSIVE though, take my word for it).
  • The reason for the flagness? Monday is Australia Day... so suddenly, in addition to the flags that are around all year, the Australian flag is popping up all over.
  • On the upside, Monday is a Public Holiday *makes happy face even though I don't get paid for it*... on the downside, it means that I only have four days left at work *makes sad face*.
  • It seems like whenever Sugarmonkey and Rockchick have the same day off (usually it's a Friday) and it's just H-San and me left holding the fort, the universe has a tendency to fall down around our ears. Today we both spent the entire morning (and I mean literally the whole morning, from just after 8am until noon) cleaning attempted "hacker code" out of pretty much every page on two of our (thankfully) smaller web platforms. Satisfying once it was done, but oh lord the boredom and the collective insanity!
  • I watched Shortbus last night. And I'm nearly at the end of it when I notice that the character of Caleb has a tattoo on his arm... a seahorse tattoo... which looks familiar. Because really, how many "gay American actors" are there going to be in the world with seahorse tattoos on their right bicep? Turns out he also played the lead vampire in the wrongness that was The Lair... and I didn't pick up on him being the same actor when I watched it back in July. Weird...
  • Also of the weirdness was the "preteen Asian pit crew" that I saw as I was coming home from my walk this morning. Okay, they weren't acutally pit crew, but they all had red jumpsuits on (with a kicky little white stripe on the legs) at 7 in the morning, which I think is slightly overdressed. I thought originally (and from a distance) that they were some sort of emergency service workers, but on closer inspection they all looked to be around 11 or 12.
  • They were probably something to do with the Tour Down Under... because I tell you, the whole city seems to have gone either Lance Armstrong Mad or just generally Cycling Crazy... bikes everywhere, cyclists everywhere (unfortunately they're not any of the official riders and seem to mostly be in the 50+ age bracket who think "official" cycling gear is a good look for them... NOT). Blah blah blah... is it over yet?
  • The Borders bag I bought the other week kicks ass!
  • My mouse totally failed on me this morning... that's the third time it's done that since Christmas... so I'm thinking that it might be time to invest in some new hardware, maybe something cordless. I think the problem is the way the cord gets bent off to the side thanks to my "computer desk", so cordless seems like the way to go.
  • Given the week I've had, I forgot to stop at the bottle shop and buy booze on my way home (which will make twice in the last three months that I've bought booze)... so I might just have to do that now before I start making dinner.

Current Mood:

random fair hotness

This week's Random Hotness is Fair by name and fair by nature... say hello to 20 yo model, David Fair.

He also posed nude for last April's Abercrombie & Fitch quarterly... but I do like a pair of plain white briefs!

david fair david fair

Current Mood:

childhood food memories

it's food and it's also a memory stick... food, memory, what more do you want?A meme with a slight difference today... instead of something with questions, it's going to be a little bit more freeform.

I remember seeing this somewhere, I just can't remember where now... but essentially it's your "top five" childhood food memories.

So here goes, in no particular order...

  1. Pineapple Rice Surprise
    I've already blogged about why this is totally has to be at the top of my list of childhood food memories... from people requesting it instead of birthday cakes, to me and my two cousins taking off the cherries and "saving" them under our glass, it's something we still talk about to this day (La Cousina and I discussed it at Christmas)!

  2. Lemon Meringue Pie
    This one isn't so much about the pie itself, but I do have an incredibly vivid memory of Ma making the lemon part in our (I'm guessing reasonably new) Kenwood blender/mixer. And my Nanna asked her how you got the bottom section off for cleaning. Without thinking about it, Ma held up the blender jug FULL of lemon filling and said "you just turn this here". Yep, we had lemon filling from one side of the kitchen to the other.

  3. Oliebollen
    When I was growing up we were really good friends with the (thinking about it now, fairly odd) couple across the street. He was Dutch, she was Indonesian (it was a whole WWII War Bride thing I think), so we kind of got the best of both worlds, she made both kickass Fried Rice and these amazing little fried balls of dough with sultanas and stuff in them. The downside was that they were a New Years Eve treat, so you only ever got them once a year... but fresh from the pan and still warm... yum!

  4. Pressed Ox Tongue
    Sadly, not all childhood food memories can be good ones. For a period of time when I was about 14 or 15, it seemed like Ma and Nanna were making pressed ox tongue every other week... or maybe it just feels like that because it was such a horrible experience. Basically they'd boil this horrible ugly grey monsterous thing until it was even more grey and monsterous and the smell had infused every inch of the house, then it would be put in a glass bowl (you know, so the full spectacle of the grossness wouldn't be lost) with a heavy weight on it, and just lurk there on the counter being all gross and pressed up against the glass. *Shudder*

  5. Orange and Mango Juice
    For whatever reason I still remember the very first time I experienced orange and mango juice. I was probably, I dunno, 7 or 8, and Ma and I were out with my Not Really Auntie But Kinda and her kids, interestingly enough at a playground that I now pass every single day on my walk (but which seemed about 100 times bigger and more interesting before they "updated" it). And NRABK poured me a cup off juice. Now I'd had orange juice before, and I'd probably had like apricot nectar and stuff, but for whatever reason, orange and mango hit my brain as a taste sensation.
And just missing out on the top five is the memory of picking apricots and peaches straight off the trees in the backyard and gorging myself silly all Summer long.

Current Mood:

scarlet architecture

red and grey tilesred building linesSomewhere along the way, and I'm not completely sure where or when, scarlet replaced purple as my favourite colour...

I mean, yes, there have been incidents of scarlet and/or red in my past, in fact the first sofa I ever fell in love with was a 70's red velvet modular... and I was told at Second Christmas this year that if I wanted it, I could have it... not sure about that to be honest, I love my own little red sofa. But the offer was sweet.

They do say that red is the first colour that the human eye will see in a range of colours, and prolonged exposure will quicken your heart rate (not that I've noticed any of that, but usually I'm sitting on my red sofa rather than staring at it).

Red is the colour of passion, sex, energy, fire, lust, love, excitement, heat, danger, blood, war, anger, revolution, aggression... and lets not forget that red is also the colour of my Crumpler bag...

Current Mood:

unconscious mutterings 312

Hmmmm... let's see... I have two weeks (officially) left at work, we're looking at a week of hot weather, I've had a headache you could split logs with all day and I've been consuming water by the bucketload today (which means I have to pee every five minutes)... so, in general, boo!

On the upside, we used the money in the "swear jar" at work (it was originally the "slush fund", then somewhere along the line it got turned into a seldom enforced swear jar, so obviously I've contributed a fair bit to it) to go and buy gelati this afternoon... well, Sugarmonkey and I had gelati, H-San and Rockchick were all "gelati isn't real icecream, blah blah blah". But $3.50 for three reasonable sized scoops of gelati in a cup isn't bad... mmmm lemon, banana and chocolate...

Which just leaves the Unconscious Mutterings...
  1. Arrival :: Departure
  2. Vomit :: Comet
  3. Fit :: Fat
  4. Stutter :: Rap
  5. Lifestream :: Final Fantasy VII
  6. Tread :: Tyre
  7. Desire :: Want
  8. Freezing :: I #&$*@ wish
  9. Permit :: Allow
  10. Crinkle :: Cut

Current Mood


The Caffeine Click Test - How Caffeinated Are You?Actually that's not true, I just have secret ninja-like speed and reflexes... or something...

Current Mood:

hardware saturday

hardware cardsIt's been a bit of a mixed up day today...

Today was Ma's Haircut Day, so I went shopping all on my ownsome this morning... technically I was finished far earlier than usual, but I hung around waiting for Red Circle to open (and then didn't actually buy anything), and had to go back out again once I got home to go visit The Honey Man (I forgot to take one of my containers).

He's an odd duck, that Honey Man... nice as nice can be, but a little bit vague sometimes, and the way he says goodbye always makes me think that he's kind of saying/thinking "Okay, we've completed our financial transaction, leave my store now"... but I guess hanging out all day alone in a big warehouse full of honey with nothing but the occasional stray bee to keep you company might do that to you...

Anyway, by the time I was all done with all my errands and whatever, Ma turned up at my place, so it was pretty good timing all around.

But we had no plans, no desperate errands, no nothing going on this weekend, so we just kind of winged it. We started off with a wander around Arndale, poked around in Big W (and bought a storage container to put my toy soldier collection in), but that was pretty much it.

Then we decided to take a little trip down to the Homemaker Centre at Mile End... for no particular reason, but after some yummy sausage sizzle action outside, we headed into Bunnings... now normally if we go into one of those huge hardware stores it's for something specific, and we go in, we get it, we come out... but today we just ended up wandering around for a while and bought a bunch of random stuff... I bought some sturdy dowel that I'm going to use next year to hang my toy soldiers from (I think I'm going to do some form of paint job on it first, just not sure what)... of course when I got it home, it's way longer than I actually need, but I don't know anybody with a saw... where's J when you need him?

They also had these really tacky "rechargeable festive nightlight" packs on sale. Basically it's a plastic Santa, a plastic tree and a plastic snowman, and they have lights in them, you put them on the base to recharge and then you can use them as a festive nightlight or whatever. Too tacky for words, right! So naturally I had to have a set (hey they were really cheap).

After that we wandered around Howard's Storage World (nice, but man their stuff is expensive) and a couple of the other furniture/lighting stores before we called it a day. When we got back to my place we made some tasty steak sandwiches (using "black tomatoes") and watched the finale of Heroes (which I'd totally forgotten about on Thursday, but luckily Ma taped it).

Current Mood:

photo friday: post office

general post officeWe're two weeks into the New Year and this is the first photo I've taken. Bad Yani...

I go past the GPO every day on my way home from work... although usually I'm dashing like a crazy person to make it to the bus...

Speaking of the bus... why is it that the least little bit of casual "bumping" of an arm or a knee or whatever with an attractive stranger on the bus is enough to make all my nerve endings stand to attention?

I have a confession to make... I'm tired... I've been tired all week long. Whether it's been the warmer weather, whether it's because I haven't been getting to bed early enough, or what I don't know... but it's been a very long and very tired week.

I'm also stressing out a tiny bit because my time in The Nut House is drawing to a close, at least for a couple of months. Originally I thought it was only going to be a month (which may have been nice to take a "holiday", even though I wasn't getting paid for it), but Rockchick doesn't leave until the end of March, and I'm going to be filling in for her. Personally I think they're nuts to let me go for another two months and then bring me back (but it's all about the almighty dollar, which I understand)... I know I was away for longer last time, but I'm still not completely up to speed (well, I don't feel like it anyway)... and now I'm going to miss out on two months worth of (potentially important) stuff before I have to come back and pick up where Rockchick left off. Madness I tells ya...

At lunch I wandered over to the Market again (it's turning into a weekly ritual), and in between wanting to push really slow and/or inconsiderate people out of the way (who stops in the middle of a crowded aisle in a place like the Central Market without being aware of who's around them?) I went into Lucia's and bought a jar of what is possibly the best pasta sauce I've ever had. Originally I'd planned on getting it from my supermarket, but I figured since I was there and Lucia's was there, why not get it direct from the source (no verbal pun intended)... plus the guy who served me was gorgeous! Sadly I ended up putting the sauce on some second rate pasta (I should remember that I'm not really a fan of gnocchi) for dinner, but the sauce itself was glorious.

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random animal hotness

Today's double Random Hotness comes from Greek artist and photographer, Dimitris Yeros. They're from his series, "For A Definition Of The Nude" which feature nudes with animals (obviously).

One of my favourite shots that I didn't feature here (due to the full frontal, or perhaps "side-al", nudity) is "andras gourouni" or "man and piglet".

man and goatman and butterfly
man and monkeyman and sheep

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alphabet movie meme

alphabet cityIn my seemingly neverending quest for new and interesting memes, I fell across this one over at Blog Cabins... the Alphabet Movie Meme!
  1. Pick one of your favourite films to represent each letter of the alphabet.
  2. The letter "A" and the word "The" do not count as the beginning of a film's title.
  3. Movies are stuck with the titles their owners gave them at the time of their theatrical release.
  4. Films that start with a number are filed under the first letter of their number's word.
Here goes:
And with a couple of exceptions (Q and Z) I own all of the movies on the list.

I cheated a tiny bit on Y and Z actually... although as far as Y goes the rules do say that you have to use "the titles their owners gave them at the time of their theatrical release"... so technically that's true, just not in this country... and Zathura I haven't seen all the way through, but of all the movies that I have seen starting with Z, it's my favourite.

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movies: the tale of despereaux

the tale of despereaux - small hero, big heartOkay, before I start on the actual movie, I have to have a tiny wee rant (because if it's not tiny then this will be all rant and no review) about two things, assigned seating in virtually empty movie theatres and people who think that the cinema and their lounge room are the same place. Both of them can go to H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks! Stupid Marion, stupid hot weather and stupid people escaping said hot weather at previously stated location... grrrr...

And now... The Tale of Despereaux...

You know, there is actually a downside to having an all-star cast... especially when it's an animated movie and you only have their voices but you still insist on listing every "name" actor you have in your movie in the opening credits... because then people like me play that somewhat annoying game in their head of "Guess That Voice". And in a movie where some of the character names are either said once, or seemingly not at all, then it's a little frustrating.

This movie does indeed boast an "all star cast"... Matthew Broderick, Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Kline, William H. Macy, Stanley Tucci, Robbie Coltrane, Frank Langella, Tracey Ullman, Christopher Lloyd, Charles Shaughnessy, Emma Watson (Hermione in Harry Potter)... plus Sigourney Weaver ... and of those I recognised just over half. And it's not even like many of them have much of a role... Christopher Lloyd's character is in it for maybe two minutes tops, but he still got billing at the beginning of the movie. I don't know, maybe that was how they GOT all the names...

I also have to say that the movie starts a little oddly... there's a voice over about this mouse who always tells the truth and is honourable and whatnot, and you assume (correctly) that has to be Despereaux... so you would think the movie would start with, you know, Despereaux... but no... the first ten minutes or so are what seem to be a totally different story. It makes sense eventually, but it did mean that I felt like I was waiting for the movie to really start (not that the first section isn't interesting... it's just not about the title character, so you kind of wonder were he is... or I did anyway).

Actually a bit of the movie is like that... there's a lot going on, but nothing much really happens, and then there seems to be some jumps of logic at the end that I'm still not sure about.

The animation, as you would expect, is beautiful... yes, the mice's eyes are a little weird (and a touch off-putting, if somewhat more realistic I assume) when viewed from the side, but that's more of a concept thing than animation I think. And there's a story within the movie that has a different style of animation to it... which was also beautiful, although interestingly it looked probably the most like "real" stop motion animation of anything I've seen in the digital arena. Not the whole time, but there were certain points where my brain kept thinking it was stop motion.

So all in all, it's a sweet movie (although nothing we haven't seen in many and varies forms before), but there's perhaps too much plot and not enough time spent on it. It's not bad, just a little lost in translation maybe...

yani's rating: 1 giant soup pot out of 5

unconscious mutterings 311

Mondays just seem to get longer and longer and longer and longer...

Unconscious Mutterings on the other hand are the same length every week...
  1. Resolution :: (unsurprisingly) New Years
  2. Break :: Up
  3. Tied :: Bondage
  4. Suffering :: In Silence
  5. Instead :: Choice
  6. Slash :: Guns N Roses
  7. Divorce :: Court
  8. Cough :: Sick
  9. Happy :: Go Lucky
  10. Sniffle :: Cold

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name that robot
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the mikado

the mikadoMy fingers are bruised (okay, not actually yet... but they feel like they might be)... which has only ever happened once before, but for very different reasons...

But once again I'm getting ahead of myself... let me back up... *rewind*

After two and a half months of waiting (for me anyway, Ma's only been waiting about three weeks) and more plotting, scheming and retail related trauma than I care to think about, it was finally time for The Mikado!

We got all dolled up (or as dolled up as we get in these situations) and went out to dinner, appropriately enough at Kwik Stix (and the food was both yummy and very "kwik" since there weren't that many people in the restaurant)... and then we were off to the Festival Theatre.

I will admit to a certain degree of nervous excitement and anticipation once the doors opened and we took our seats before the big red curtain. Partially the nervous came because while I basically knew what was to come, I wasn't sure how this version was going to compare to the one Ma's seen on video about eighty million times.

There was a momentary wish that I had gotten tickets much, much closer to the stage, but I'd forgotten that the chorus occasionally comes out and sits on this extra walkway around the orchestra pit, effectively blocking the view, so while it might have been nicer to be a LITTLE closer, our seats were actually pretty good.

It felt a touch strange to be seeing everybody on stage, but to be hearing their voices piped through the sound system. I know it was necessary, but once or twice it was a little disconnecting (not that the voices were out of time or anything), but it almost felt like I was watching a movie or something... but only for a moment. Maybe that just says more about my lack of experience with going to the theatre, I don't know...

The other thing that was a little weird was seeing the majority of the roles that I'm fairly familiar with (having see Ma's video around two million times) played by other people... and because it was a "refreshed" production (according to the program) rather than a revival, there was stuff that was different, some of it good, some of it bad, some of it I didn't even notice (actually I think most of it probably fell into that last category).

Colin Lane was fairly funny as Pooh-Bah (just quietly, I've always kinda preferred his former comedy partner Frank Woodley), although he didn't seem to be nearly as commanding physically on the stage as Jon English was when he was in the role.

David Collins (of Umbilical Brothers fame) as Ko-Ko, the Lord High Executioner, was actually both surprisingly good, and a little disappointing in spots. The good came when he held is own against professional singers, the bad was when he not only broke the fourth wall (since that's part of the fun of Gilbert and Sullivan), but it felt like he broke character too.

Speaking of professional singers, Helen Donaldson reprised her role as Yum Yum from the original production... and honestly part of me wishes she hadn't. Not that she was bad (although the female leads in this particular brand of G&S always seem to be high, screechy singers and you usually can't understand a damn thing they're singing, particularly when they're doing it solo), but while she's well preserved, I'm pretty sure she's old enough to be the mother of her supposed love interest. It would just have been interesting to see what a younger performer could have brought to the role.

Which brings me to her love interest... Nanki-Poo, played by Graeme Isaako last seen (although not by me) on the Australian version of So You Think You Can Dance. If I'm being nasty, then it's a good job that he can dance, because his singing wasn't that great (also, quite probably, little bit gay)... but he did spend a lot of time up against Donaldson, and like I said, she's certainly got a set of lungs on her.

The person I was the most pleased to see return (you know, out of a possible TWO) was David Gould as the Mikado. Honestly, there really isn't anybody else who could do the role justice (well there probably is, but I don't know how many of them have both the deep, deep, deep, deep voice and the pectastic chest that David does).

And that segues nicely into one of the things I like most about these versions of The Mikado... the all male chorus (woohoo)... with a number of bare chests, lycra clad buttocks and just general cuteness (Conrad Lange, I'm looking directly at you!)... and considering the show starts with one of them descending from the rafters, riding a huge drum and clad in essentially just a fundoshi... yummy. Although it was amusing to note that one of them had gotten a little too much sun in the past couple of days and he was all pink... poor Chris, what with his shirtless costume and all... hehe...

But even though I've had a little whinge about a few of the performers, I did really, really enjoy myself. I knew almost all of the songs (and could mouth the words quite happily), a number of the updated "topical" references were quite funny (Ko-Ko's comment about the Myer Centre escalators got a big laugh) and they'd kept a number of the "old" funny lines (from the 1996 version).

More importantly, Ma had a whale of a time, which was the whole point of the exercise. The tickets might have been expensive, but they were well worth it.

Which brings me back to my poor hands...

After the "original" G&S finale, the whole cast do a montage (or whatever the musical equivalent is) of all the songs from the show and everybody takes their bows and we clapped, and actually Ma and I (amongst others) clapped along with the music, and then applauded the various performers as they took their bows... which is why my hands are very possibly going to end up being bruised... we're talking about ten minutes (or it felt like that anyway) of clapping. Plus random clapping at the end of each musical number (or appropriately significant bit) for the three hours of the show.

And after the fireworks and explosions and falling sparkly confetti (Ma stuck some in her program as a souvenir) we also gave them a standing ovation (well, about three quarters of people did, Ma and I included obviously), but the one thing that surprised me was that when they went off stage they never came back out for an encore... whether they figured it wasn't going to get much better than a standing ovation or what, I don't know... but Ma and I stayed as the band played the WHOLE finale again (clapping all the way still), and we even got to applaud the band because we'd stuck around for so long.

So yeah, a very good time was had by all...

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more successful shopping

shopping trolley chairWell, today has probably been the most successful "Post Christmas" shopping excursion we've had this year... although I think Ma made out better than me...

Maybe it was because of where we went, or maybe it was because we essentially had all day (since it's Mikado Night) to waste... I dunno...

As always we started with the very early Supermarket Safari (and as always I was very pleased to see Blonde Produce Guy when we got there... nummy)... but other than the aforementioned numminess, nothing of much excitement happened (so nothing new there), although Ma did go a little nuts on purchases in Red Circle... mostly DVDs, but she also found a red handbag she liked... which turned into something of a theme for the day...

After Ritual Unpacking, we headed into town, since it's about the only one of our regular haunts that we haven't been to since Christmas (well that and the fact that JB Hi Fi was having a 20% off all DVDs sale). Turns out it was a very good move (and not just because of the DVDs).

First stop was Myer and this year's pitiful left over Christmas decorations... not anything like last year. We did find some good quality wrapping paper and gift bags cheap though, which is always a bonus. Then we headed down to JB...

JB has never been one of my favourite places for buying DVDs... not because they're not cheap, because often they are, and they do have a fairly good range most of the time but because of the way they arrange everything (and would it kill them to have a Queer Cinema section?). I'm not often looking for something specific, I just want to see what they have on sale, see what's cheap, then work out if there's anything I want... but they insist on arranging everything alphabetically, which can be a pain in the arse. However, what with 20% off, I sucked it up and looked up and down all the shelves. I'm sure I missed stuff, but I did find a few things.

Actually I went down there yesterday (and bought some of the Doctor Who DVDs... then Ma bought me some more of them today to put away for my birthday), and then H-San went once I got back to work, but he couldn't find the things he wanted. So when I was in there today and saw one of the things he'd been looking for (which I wanted too) I decided that I might as well "suck up to the boss" a little bit, so I called him and ended up buying him a copy. Brownie Points... check!

By this point we were somewhat loaded up with stuff... what with five rolls of wrapping paper and a bunch of gift bags and whatnot... then we stopped off at one of the bag stores and Ma found ANOTHER handbag she liked... it was kind groovy actually... the bag itself is clear PVC, but then there's a whole, separate cloth bag inside that... it's all silver, white and clear... very nice. Although, as always when I'm with her and there are handbags involved, there was a lot of Standing Around, Looking At Stuff and Deciding... *sigh*

Next stop was Borders, not so much for "looking at books" as seeing if they had anything interesting on sale, and also to get a spot of lunch/snackage. I did buy one of their little nylon carrier bags to stick in my Crumpler bag though (since eventually they're going to get rid of all the plastic shopping bags). And there was some groovy stuff, but nothing, you know, either essential or cheap enough to be irresistible.

Then we stopped off in *shudder* Harris Scarfe (one of my least favourite stores), since what Ma really wanted was a cute and tiny little handbag to take to the theatre with her tonight. Fortunately we did actually find one (although see my earlier comment about handbag shopping). So that was three handbags in one day, something of a record I think.

We had thought about going back to the car, dropping everything off and then coming back, but there wasn't really much of anything else that we wanted, so we decided to call it quits (although we did take a brief detour so Ma could get something specific for her bestest gal-pal's birthday).

Then it was back here for Frog Cakes and general rest and recouping (Ma is in the other room watching Hogfather as we speak while I'm doing the typing thing) before we have to get organised and then it's dinner and a show...

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photo friday: urban construct

urban constructSeriously, this is the week that would just not fucking end...

I know it's because it's the first week back after the Christmas break, but it just seemed to go on and on and on and on and on... and then today was somewhat irritating... Rockchick and Sugarmonkey had the day off, and between that and the general post Christmas absences, it was just me and H-San manning the oars today. Which should have been fine, but it was one of those days where you don't really get time to scratch your ass all day, but by the end of it you really haven't accomplished a damn thing.

*breathe in... breathe out... repeat*

So now I'm off to make some homemade pizza...

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random swiss hotness

Cool things that are Swiss... chocolate, Swiss Army pocket knives, neutrality, cheese, Alps, the flag, Heidi (okay, I'm running out of actual cool things)...

And now we can add today's Random Hotness modelisciousness, Lucien Thomkins to that list.

Mmmm, moodily lit underwear shots...

lucien thomkins lucien thomkins

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