unconscious mutterings 344

Monday, August 31, 2009

I swear... this computer just develops issues out of mid air... either that or it's got Computer Dementia and gets slower and stupider as time goes on. Oh how I hate it...

Unconscious Mutterings...

  1. Spinning :: Around
  2. Impasse :: Mountain
  3. Gravy :: This time we didn't forget the...
  4. You are :: I am, you are, we are Australian
  5. September :: Royal Show
  6. Divulge :: Secrets
  7. Training :: Manual
  8. Crap! :: Computer
  9. Results :: Test
  10. Shutting down :: What I keep having to do to my stupid computer
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my little art gallery

Sunday, August 30, 2009

it's real live benzo artwork, and it's in my house...

Jamie, in situ (at least for now)

See I told you it was big... that's 72cm of artistic goodness that is... although the frame does makes it seem extra huge. And I can't even tell you why, but there's something about this photo that I really like... probably because it shows off my books and DVDs as well as Benzo's artwork.

There's not a lot else to add beyond what I said yesterday... not about the artwork anyway.

In other news... I did manage to relight my hot water heater at 7am this morning (the fun never stops around here, I swear)... although it lit, then just switched off for no apparent reason, so I had to hang around out there for what felt like hours (I'm guessing that it was no more than five minutes) before I could try again. I would hope it's still working now, as soon as it went on and stayed on I came straight inside and had my shower and haven't used any hot water since (of course now I'm going to have to check that... soon as I get up anyway). But at least I know I can do it now, however annoying it might be... if only the bloody pilot light would stop going out...

And my computer has been even more incredibly annoying than usual today... the browser kept freezing up for extended periods whenever I asked it to do anything (although not all the time, just when it feels like it). It got so bad that I ended up turning it off for a while because I really was getting the shits with it.

The sooner I can trade it in for some sleek, fast and reliable laptop action, the happier I'll be... plus I'm sure that I will end up with a lot more time on my hands, because it won't take about twenty minutes for it to do the tiniest little thing.

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a hell of a (satur)day

Saturday, August 29, 2009

have you noticed that i'm obsessed with teeny tiny shopping trolleys... well, i am!Sweet Jebus, it's been a hell of a day...

To sum up, and in order of occurrence... shopping, books, street art, art gallery, random shopping, rain, specific shopping, food, dance. Essentially we're talking about a ten hour day...

But that was the short answer, and as anybody who has spent any time around this blog knows, I never just go with the short answer...

We started off the day with the usual Supermarket Safari... I was a little narky with myself because I'd gone to all the trouble of actually writing a few things down on a shopping list, things I actually needed... and I forgot the list. Buggeration. And I could only remember about half of the things I'd put on it. Luckily though, when I got home and checked, I actually picked everything up. Result! (I know, small things amuse small whatevers)

When we were finished shopping, we didn't even go back to my place and unpack, we tootled on over to Prospect Town Hall for their seemingly annual booksale. Unlike last time we weren't at complete and total efficiency, so we didn't get there before the doors opened... and when we did arrive it was a little bit chaotic. And I have to say, nowhere near as good as last year. Either that or all the early birds scored all the bookworms (okay, that sounded slightly funnier in my head... yeah, not that much funnier to be honest). I don't think they actually had as many books this time around... once stuff was gone from the tables it wasn't being replaced by new stuff, it was just gone, and giant spaces were appearing... so much so that the volunteers were laying the books flat in some spots. Madness!

Speaking of which, the Book Sale Etiquette was even worse this year, and I really did want to smack some of the people... mostly the ones who were going in the complete opposite direction around the tables to everybody else... closely followed by anybody with any form of trolley or mobile wheelie whatsit. I was much more restrained (from a book grabbing perspective rather than a people smacking one) this year and only ended up with 11 books, partly thanks to the fact that Ma and I did some "grab for each other" things (a couple of the things I originally grabbed went to her pile and vice versa).

Once we waited for the massive exodus line to dissipate, we paid for our purchases, picked up some yummy Apple Cakes and teeny Banana Muffins from the stalls outside, dropped the books in the car and wandered back to Honeysuckle Lane to see what had changed in the street art landscape.

And boy I'm glad we did...

benzo's pencil man

Possibly the BEST Benzo piece of recent times!

We didn't even have to go very far along the lane to find this either... right at the end of the first section, I turned... and there is was...

Allow me to wax slightly poetic for a second and get slightly "wanky art-fag"...

Part of what I love most about Benzo's work, especially a lot of the recent stuff I've been seeing is that there is this amazing development in ideas and style and form... and I can see how the ideas develop, I can see the how, if not the why, of were he's going with ideas... and you know what. I fucking love it! This pencil guy (I kinda want to call him The 2B General) owes his lineage to the Playing Card King... who in turn owes his look to the Waymouth Face... but in the SALA exhibition he replaced the King's sword with a pencil, which obviously lead him eventually to this pencil laden guy. And there's something of his Army Men about it too (the hat mostly)... plus an ongoing obsession with bendy arms.

I just need somebody to explain to me what the hell this "Alaska" tag is all about... it was on the Turtle Master piece, and the piece that was there before that... and I'm sure I've seen it a couple of other times too. And if it's another street artist, then what's the connection with Benzo?

While we're on this particular train of thought... after Ritual Unpacking, we headed off to the gallery to FINALLY pick up our Benzo artworks!

So! Excited!

I want to take a photo of the piece tomorrow, but next to existing things in my apartment, to give it a sense of scale... because I can tell you right now... it's fucking HUGE! I'm sure it didn't seem that massive in the gallery, but then the gallery is a big empty room with empty white walls. Here at my place, well... it seems bigger than I remember.

I do adore it though. It's sitting on my bed at the moment, right across from me, and whenever I stop typing or collect my thoughts for a second, I look over at it. And the more I stare at it, the most I love it.

As I said to Ma at some point today though... I am glad that she got the other piece. While my piece is big and bold and calls attention to itself (hmmm, that sounds kinda filthy out of context, doesn't it), the piece Ma chose is kinda quiet and reflective and a lot more subtle. But equally gorgeous.

I can't believe that the large piece that evolved from the ideas in the one I bought (and was featured on all the promo material for the show)... it didn't sell! And, I'll be honest, if I'd had a spare $1250 laying around, it is absolutely the piece I would have bought. I actually did the justification math in my head a couple of times to see if there was any way I could have gotten away with it. Never could quite manage it. And even if I had, then I would have had to find somewhere to hang it.

I'm not even sure where the hell my little blue German Graph Paper Jamie is going... I have a vague idea, but it's going to take some finagling... so it might just be hanging around at ground level for a while.

After we bid the voiceless Mr Walker goodbye (poor lamb, he could only whisper), we headed back to Honeysuckle Lane (because I remembered to bring my camera this time) so I could snap the shot above (amongst others... although all of the one piece), then we hauled ass down to Arndale for a random wander... nothing much to report on that front... although we did pick up a few bits and bobs and hang around looking at cross-stitch magazines for a little while (I wanted to show Ma the stuff I'd seen the other day). I'm happy to report that none were purchased... because really, that's just taking it to a scary place.

Conventional wisdom says that we really should have headed back to my place at this point... we had two and a half hours of SYTYCD to watch, it was bucketing down with rain and we'd really done all the important stuff... but the cross-stitch bug was a-callin me... and we'd seen some of the Harajuku Lovers perfume I got Ma at Christmas on special, but the shop was in town. So, town it was.

On the way down Port Road, the rain went from "bucketing" to "sheeting" to "Are you fuckin kidding me?". But fortunately before we reached the city it wore itself out and had settled down to a very light sprinkle. Bless you Mother Nature!

While we still couldn't find any of the 666 red (although I'm assured that it's on reorder or automatic restock, or whatever it is that Lincraft does... but it seems weird that three different places are out of the same colour... and it's not even near Christmas), I did buy a giant piece of cross-stitch fabric for the toy soldier squadron (I'm leaning towards two rows of ten).

Then we stopped off to have some late lunch (lunner, dunch... I'm not actually sure there's a word for it like with brunch) before we headed back here for the SYTYCD semi-finals. In a word, awesome. And it's nice that I don't actually know who's going to win... I know who comes second (and based on the particular styles of dance next week I may work it out), but the person that I thought was the winner got voted off a couple of weeks back, so I'm still somewhat in the dark. Which, in this instance, is a very nice place to be (and if anybody tries to spoil that, I will kill them in all kinds of interesting ways). I am pleased that my little choochyfaced Evan made it to the finals though.

Due to the extreme amount of SYTYCD, Ma didn't end up leaving here until just before 6... so, like I said... a hell of a day... long, occasionally intense, exciting and pretty damn good.

Of course there is always a downside and a price to pay for these things... because of the extreme wind and rain earlier in the day (and it sounds like it's blowing a baby gale out there at present, plus the occasional bout of rain), I discovered after Ma left that my hot water heater had quit on me again... but since I allegedly know how to fix it now (hmmm... I was sure I blogged about that... obviously not... but after last time, the plumber did come out and walk me through the process), it should be fine. I haven't actually bothered going out there to relight it yet... it's still pretty windy and rainy, so I'd rather leave it and do it once in the morning than do it now and have to do it again in the morning.

Stoopid weather... stoopid water heater...

Other than that though... awesome...

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photo friday: green curve

Friday, August 28, 2009

would you believe this is part of a court house building?Some thoughts from a fairly uneventful Friday...

  • Nobody even noticed that I'd had my hair cut... big meanies (although at the same time, it's nice not to have to do the "yes, I had a haircut" thing 150 times)...

  • A * in the wrong place can be fatal and lead to a day and a half's worth of angst...

  • Getting a very short haircut and then going out on a very cold morning results in a very cold skull...

  • Birthday Donuts (Sugarmonkey's... but shhhh... don't tell anyone, he's trying to keep it on the downlow) are evil...

  • A blonde is a terrible thing to waste...

  • Our new boss, while groovy, still makes me nervous...

  • Although the purpose behind it is admirable, people who wear Stormtrooper uniforms in public are just a tiny bit tragic (they might be awesome to see on mass, but when there's only two of them, it's a tad lame)...

  • On a related note... after being haunted by Daffodil Day teddies with little white lab coats and dorky black glasses all day, I gave in and bought one... so cute (although ultimately pointless)... *squeeee*...

  • Vaguely flirting with the Instore Product Promotion Girly is pointless if she gives you the wrong flavour of free chewing gum!
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impromptu hair adventures

Thursday, August 27, 2009

sadly, the guy who cut my hair didn't look anything like thisThe main drawback with trying out different hairdressing salons around the place is that you have to go through that incredibly painful "so, what do you do... blah blah blah... pointless conversation" conversation each time with somebody new and you don't get to train them that you're not really that interested in random chatter.

And as of this evening I can no longer claim that I've never had my hair cut by a fellow 'mo. Sadly, probably not the 'mo I would have chosen (not even the 'mo I would have chosen from that salon), but you get what you're given when you're a walk-in.

I've been umming and ahhhing about getting my hair cut for a few days... It's been a while since it was done, but on the other hand I'm going to Melbourne in just over a month, so part of me wondered if I could manage to hold off until them and have the full pre-travel hair extravaganza... but it really was getting to that "urgh" stage, but I wasn't sure how best to squeeze it in since I didn't really want to do it after work tomorrow.

After some mental "should I, will I, could I" gymnastics I just decided to do a walk-in to one of the salons near where I drop off my dry-cleaning... a bit chi-chi fru-fru uberhomo, but from what I've noticed wandering past, they do seem to have a range of clientele.

So I dropped off my work pants and rolled on in... I then had to kill ten minutes, which I think was probably more like 20, because once I'd killed 10 outside the salon, I'm sure I sat around for another 10... because I know it was 5pm when I headed back and 6pm when I got out, and I'm sure it didn't take an hour for the actual haircut.

Eventually one of the random salon girlies took me off to wash my hair... unfortunately I didn't get the pleasure of having the hot little bi-racial (I'm guessing Eurasian, but I'm not sure) salon-bitch boy wash my hair for me.

Other than the aforementioned pointless conversation stuff, the haircut itself wasn't too bad (even if the chair I was in did seem a little high)... although I don't know if it's because I'm not used to having a guy cut my hair, or if it was just this guy in particular, but he was somewhat rough with the general hair pullage. Nothing I couldn't handle, but occasionally I just wanted to smack him. In his favour, there was actually that hairdresser/customer dialog going on (about the actual haircut I mean)... I told him one thing, he countered with something that he though would look better, I generally don't really care that much so I just let him do whatever.

After he'd finished he managed to blow loose hair all over both my jacket and the aforementioned HLBRSBB (you'll work it out eventually), which isn't a big deal, but does seem to denote a lack of forward planning... I'm also not sure that I'm a fan of the product he put in afterwards, supposedly the "matt" (or "mattifying", but I'm not sure that's even a word) stuff is better, but it just makes my hair feel dry and a bit ick. Doesn't really matter though, since I'm going to have a shower shortly to wash off all the loose hair.

On the plus side, it wasn't as expensive as my last haircut, although I'm pretty sure it was more expensive than my old salon... and it is fairly conveniently located. On the downside I'm easily distracted by pretty mini-'mos and that could end badly...

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random ripley hotness

Today's Random Hotness is model, Ryan M Ripley, seen here in photos by Ethan James.

Ryan is 21, hails from Tennessee (so I'm guessing there's that sexy Southern accent thing going on) and should know a thing or two about the fashion industry, since he's studying apparel design in college and wants to work in fashion advertising and start his own clothing line.

I just hope he doesn't get rid of the very sexy floppy hair any time soon...

ryan ripley by ethan james ryan ripley by ethan james

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grey wednesday

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

grey stripes peeling paint
There was an article in the paper yesterday that said that Wednesday, rather than Monday, is the unhappiest day of the week. Makes sense I guess... since it's the furthest you're every going to be from the weekend. So in honour of Unhappy Wednesday, I'm going with a grey theme in today's photos...

Different days, different places, but grey...

I found myself flicking through cross-stitch magazines in the newsagent at lunch today. It wasn't intentional, I went in there looking for something particular (which they didn't have), saw a beadwork toy solider on the cover of one of the magazines and the next thing I know I've been flicking through three or four of the things. Ma thought it was hilarious when I messaged her.

Because I was texting while eating lunch I finally got around to sending a message to J basically saying that if we were both playing the "I'll wait for him to call me" game then it was going to end badly (since we haven't spoken to each other since the end of May). His response was that he tried to arrange something "10 times" and then gave up. Which I think is a massive exaggeration on his part... plus if it was 10 times then it was over a space of 10 days (which he denies). As I said to Sugarmonkey once I got back from lunch and J and I were busily sending snarky text messages... "Screw scorned women, hell hath no fury like bitchy gay men". But I think we sorted everything out and supposedly he's coming over next Tuesday.

Oddly enough it was kind of "paying it forward" (the message, not the snark), since I got a message from Sheba on Monday just checking in and saying hey.

I tell you what though... I can't wait until we go to Melbourne in October... I really do need a break from... well, my life essentially. It'll be nice to just get away and be On Holiday. And hopefully it will clear some of the snark out of my system, because I seem to be operating at a much higher snark level than usual... which is saying something, given that sarcastic is my default setting.

Also, I really, really, really want a new computer...

On a completely tangential note... do you remember those "Magic Eye" 3D pictures that were all the rage some years ago? Well, I could never get the trick of them at the time, and I don't think I ever saw the sailboat or the bunnies or whatever the images were supposed to be. But they're printing them on the back page of the Sunday paper's comics liftout, and I've now trained my eyes to be able to see the 3D pictures... better late than never, right... except now whenever I see that kind of repeating pattern (more on a computer screen than in real life), I find myself seeing it in "3D"... weird...

Also, Jason Mraz is as cute as a bug's ear (although, seriously, what the hell does that expression mean?)...

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movies: district nine

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

you are not welcome hereI'll be honest with you... I'm not really sure WHAT I think about District 9 right now...

Don't get me wrong, I didn't dislike it, but I think it's one of those movies that may require a little mulling over and some general discussion before it really cements itself in my movie scale.

So let's start the mulling process and see where it takes us...

I will say this for District 9... while it uses a number of elements that we've seen before (movie masquerading as documentary/news footage, alien visitors as allegory, big corporations are bad, hero's journey), it still manages to feel very fresh and quite original. Maybe that's a simple as the South African setting. There's actually a line at the beginning of the movie about the fact that the alien craft didn't arrive over New York or LA or Chicago, but instead stopped at Johannesburg. Especially in the early part of the movie, that link between what is being said and shown on screen and the history of South Africa is quite visceral. And that's obviously entirely intentional.

In some ways the movie actually feels a little bit divided... there's all the early documentary style stuff, but as it goes along it becomes much more of a traditionally shot movie... in some ways that decision makes sense, it allows there to be a massive amount of backstory (or future backstory I guess, since there are references to things we don't know about yet) in a short period of time and it gets the movie to the plot's jumping off point much quicker than it would otherwise have been able to do. At the same time though, it also kinda serves to distance the viewer from what's going on... or at least it felt like that to me, and it's only as the story goes on that you begin to connect with the characters.

But that distance is actually more than just part of the storytelling style. The main character is actually not especially likeable. He's just a complete dork at the beginning, but not really in a way that allows you to laugh at the character... he's got this annoying officiousness about him and to me he just didn't seem a character I really cared about... and he doesn't really change that for perhaps three quarters of the movie.

And maybe that's the point. There really isn't a traditional, Hollywood, "hero" in this movie... he's just a guy, doing what a regular person might do in the extraordinary situation he finds himself in.

The whole movie does that actually. It feels very grounded... the way that the aliens are treated and dealt with feels very much like how you would imagine many of the world's governments would react to "visitors from beyond the stars", especially if they found themselves at the mercy of humanity. And the fact that the shacks inhabited by the aliens in the film were real shacks that had been or were being inhabited by real people somehow comes through without you even being aware of it. It doesn't feel like a movie set, it feels like a real place, even when things start to get pretty damn crazy towards the end of the movie.

Not that the end feels out of place, in fact the whole movie is a long slow build, so by the time you get to that point it doesn't feel strange.

The visual effects are excellent, and while it's impressive that every single walking, talking, breathing alien character is walking, talking, breathing CGI, I was actually very impressed by the alien spaceship. While it's not in the back of every scene, when it is, it hangs there looking as real as real can be.

Interestingly, while I'm usually the one who sees plotlines telegraphed well in advance, when the movie was over Ma commented that she'd seen the plot coming once the plot catalyst happened, whereas I was so totally along for the ride that I don't think I even stopped to think about what was going to happen.

And you can't ask for much more than that from a movie.

yani's rating: 8 prawns out of 10

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have i mentioned i love tickets

Monday, August 24, 2009

Guess what I have two front row centre tickets for this January?

avenue qAnd I'm doubly impressed because it was the automatic seat choosing thing on the website that picked them out for me...

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unconscious mutterings 343

I dunno... we get some wind and some rain and suddenly headlines on the newspaper's website are on about descents into hell and being ravaged by the weather. And sure the day has gotten worse as it's gone along, and it's looking pretty horrible out there right now... but puh-lease...

Other than that it's been a slightly crap day... not bad, just crap.

Unconscious Mutterings...

  1. Disguised :: Spy
  2. Big wheel :: Bike
  3. Irritating :: People
  4. Care :: Bear
  5. Grandpa :: Fish & Chip Shop
  6. Shooting :: Blanks
  7. Sunglasses :: Always
  8. Stampede :: Wildebeest
  9. Painstakingly :: Slow
  10. Terrible position :: Blackmail
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my little soldier

Sunday, August 23, 2009

and now it's doneIt's been two weeks since I came up with the pattern, and a week since I started... and now my little test cross-stitch toy soldier is done.

And I've only stuck myself in the finger with the needle about half a dozen times, which is pretty good. What I like about coming up with your own pattern is that if you make a minor mistake (check the foot on the pattern versus his actual foot), you can just pretend it was supposed to be like that (and I actually do like the pointier shoe).

I really enjoyed this return to the whole arts and crafts genre... it kept me entertained and gave me something to do with my hands while watching teevee, although I did find myself concentrating more on the cross-stitch than the teevee at certain points (not that that's a bad thing). Interestingly though, I think it shows that my eyes aren't quite what they used to be... either that or the lighting in my place sucks ass... I basically had my bedside lamp by the side of my face the whole time. But then I think it's been about fifteen years since the last time I did any cross-stitch.

So now I just need to get my hands on the right colour and count of material plus deciding whether just to do a row of 10 or 11 or 9, or get really ambitious and try either 25 (5 x 5) or 50 (10 x 5). Yeah, maybe that could be a touch overly ambitious... I mean I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to do with this little guy now that he's finished.

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low impact saturday

Saturday, August 22, 2009

his teeshirt very much sums it upFirst up I have give a big fat "Fuck You!" to Channel 10 for inexplicably moving So You Think You Can Dance from 7:30 to 11pm on Friday, and doing so with very little warning (or so it seemed). And then replacing it with what were more than likely repeats of the Simpsons (just for something different), and a movie that's been on teevee three or four times.

Fuck you Channel 10, fuck you very much!

Okay, now that that's out of my system...

Today was something of a blah day... we ended up not doing very much at all, and the stuff we did do ended up not working out the way it was supposed to.

The usual Supermarket Safari was fine, although it was weird not talking about SYTYCD (I have no idea what's going to happen when the season is over)... then, under the vague impression that there was the big SALA art sale thing happening today, we headed down to Hyde Park. Oops... that would be tomorrow.

We wandered about on King William Road for a little bit, but it wasn't all that exciting.

Then we headed off to see Mr Walker and pick up our Benzo artworks, since the exhibition ends today. I had planned on calling him to check that we could pick the stuff up today, but yesterday kinda got away from me. Turns out he wanted to hang onto the pieces for the rest of the day, which is fair enough given the amount of traffic he says they've been getting. So essentially we just "visited" the artwork. I did discover that there had been a "Meet The Artist" session last weekend... but, really, I'm sure I would have devolved into an 11 year old girl and just giggled and told him he was awesome... so it's better that we avoided that one.

And that was really about it for the day... we stopped off at the bakery in O'Connell Street, bought far too much stuff, came back here and watched the two and a bit hours of SYTYCD... which was interesting, because it's weird to watch it a) in the daytime and b) with Ma here.

Of course because there are only two or three weeks left of the show it definitely isn't going to come back from the 11pm graveyard, which is irritating... so long as they don't stop showing this season (which I doubt) or avoid future seasons, that's all that matters.

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photo friday: cardboard tube samurai

Friday, August 21, 2009

the cardboard tube samurai

Coiled, as spring dawns

I've been totally in love with the Cardboard Tube Samurai from Penny Arcade for some time now... so once I saw that they were making these figures, I had to get one. It's some quality workmanship too... well, other than the fact that his hat slides around and you have to sit him up high to get the best out of him. But really, those are minor points. I was also impressed by how quickly he got here, it was only a little over a week ago that I placed my order.

I played around with my indoor palm and my Foo Lion statue... set up some diorama action... and used my bedside lamp on one side and the natural blue light coming in through the lounge windows on the other. I'm pretty impressed with the results actually.

You can tell somebody who's really good at their customer service job when you can see their face light up as they acknowledge you. And of course it never hurts if they're damn pretty (even with an inexplicable black spot on their nose), know what it is that you're looking for (in this case a copy of the Phase 10 card game) and can get hold of it for you. So thank you Peter, you were both helpful and pretty, which is all I ever ask of shop assistants.

I was doubly impressed when I got an SMS at lunchtime today to tell me that the game was ready for me to pick up (I only ordered it yesterday). And then I was a little freaked out when the box the completely different staff member showed me was tiny, tiny, tiny compared with the one that Marc's version is in. But I opened it up just before and it turns out that the cards are much smaller than the one's in Marc's set... which may make for much easier handling given that having on to ten cards at a time can get a little problematic.

I spend all day yesterday sending email after email after email after email. Well, looking stuff up and then emailing people. But yeah, it was a very email heavy day yesterday. Today was better. Quiet, since Sugarmonkey is on leave until Wednesday, but mostly better.

"Good Morning Mr Irish Jogging Man... yes indeed I can instruct you in the intricacies of the River Torrens Linear Trail. And now that I have, could I possible be of any assistance in servicing you sexually?" What! He was cute and had the whole Irish accent thing working for him. I don't think he was one of the Irish jockeys that are currently in town though... too tall.

The Toy Soldier Cross-Stitch Odyssey continues. I worked on it on every night this week except Tuesday (if only for an hour or so in some cases), and I'll probably continue with it again tonight in between watching So You Think You Can Dance.

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random arik hotness

Thursday, August 20, 2009

This week's Random Hotness is New York (and, according to one of the photos on his Twitter feed, fellow homo) model Arik Owen.

You just have to love those "cum gutters"!

arik owen arik owen
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less interesting wednesday

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

beach bees seem to be much more hyper than their landbound cousins beachside still life
Shots from Saturday's beachside wanderings... just proving that my obsession with bee shots continues...

It's been a fairly dull day all up.

My neck isn't that much better, but it isn't any worse either, so that's a plus.

I think I definitely need to get some more sleep, I couldn't stop yawning at work today.

And, that's about it really...

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marc, pizza and cards

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

pizza boyWell that was a pleasant evening...

Contrary to my somewhat disparaging comment on Sunday, Marc did indeed call, and he did indeed come over and have dinner with me, and it was fun.

We went and got pizza from the place down the road, came back here, watched an episode of Rick and Steve while we ate and then I threw some Miles Davis on the stereo and we got down to the very serious business of playing cards.

Nothing as predictable or dull as Snap or Poker... no, this is a German (European certainly) game, the name of which escapes me, but it's a little bit like Uno, although more interesting and complicated.

And occasionally frustrating... did I mention frustrating...

I did win though, so woohoo!

We played it once before, and it's a good way to spend a couple of hours (and that's only a single game).

Once we'd finished the game he worked over my shoulders with his fairly talented fingers, the only down side of which was that a) I ended up all oily and b) I'm not sure he went hard enough in the right areas. While I hadn't expected it to lead to anything, it wasn't quite the massage I'd envisaged in my head, although it's always nice to have somebody run their hands over your body, no matter what the end result.

More please!

I'm not sure if it did anything for my neck though... I guess we'll see in the morning.

Oh, and a much later update... the card game is Phase 10. I'm not actually sure how "European" it is now given the info I've seen... but that's what Marc claims.

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rspca cupcakes

Monday, August 17, 2009

rspca cupcakes

Passionfruit "Cheetah", Orange Piggy and a very Brown Bear.

We took part in the Cupcake Day for the RSPCA at work today... which was a nice way to start off the week, and we did raise about $160 which is good.

The downside being that I think it was way too much sugar for a Monday morning. Even Sugarmonkey complained that he was having a weird sugar rush... and I think I'm going through a post sugar crash headache right now.

Damn but they were tasty though, especially the passionfruit ones.

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unconscious mutterings 342

My car now has a functional and paid for battery....

Unconscious Mutterings...

  1. Delayed :: Flight
  2. Irresponsible :: Behaviour
  3. Stupendous :: Circus
  4. Barcelona :: Matadors
  5. Solution :: Chemical
  6. Simplify :: Everything
  7. Crumble :: Apple
  8. Podcast :: Pointless
  9. Conversation :: Frivolous
  10. Homepage :: The one at work is very, very unattractive
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sunday grafitti and crafts

Sunday, August 16, 2009

turtle master

Collaboration piece between Benzo and Drew "dedicated to Kab101's turtle, Tarquin".
  • I ended up taking a trip to the sauna last night... thus defeating Scruff in his nookie preventing efforts, and it was actually a fairly low-key and relaxing way to spend the evening. Only a little bit of action, but it was kinda what I needed I think. Then there was lots of lounging around in the steam room and soaking in the spa and suchlike.

  • I also observed, not for the first time, how many really, really nice asses there are walking around, even on guys who aren't that appealing from the front. My ass, in contrast, probably has more in common with a sock full of cottage cheese (thought provoking simile, yes?).

  • As I half expected, Marc was there too, which was interesting. I think we can now officially designate the spa as a "danger zone" for potential sexual activity between the two of us. If something is going to happen, it'll happen in there. Granted it's mostly because that's where we spend the longest amount of time together, plus we're both naked.

  • It was also somewhat odd watching him make out with somebody else while we were in the spa. There was a twinge of jealousy, but more of a "I want some of that" rather than "that's mine", and it's not like I was excluded from participation.

  • He's supposed to call me tomorrow night about coming over for dinner on Tuesday. It's just plain weird really... at certain points he says he'll call, but never does, but when we run into each other he usually makes the effort and actually carries through on contacting me at least once or twice. I'm not holding my breath though.

  • Even though the sexual part of my excursion seemed somewhat brief, I still ended up sticking around until nearly 1:30am... maybe because I wasn't chasing around like a rat in a maze all night the time seemed to pass quicker.

  • I walked back to the car (and then drove home) accompanied by what definitely felt like a Summer storm... warm weather, big fat raindrops and a sky full of thunder and lightning. Awesome!

  • Sadly, all the heat and spa action didn't loosen up my neck like I thought it might. But with any luck Marc will do that for me if/when he comes over on Tuesday (don't be filthy, he's studying massage).

  • This morning was remarkably laid back... I didn't really rush anything, especially first thing (which was a good plan, given my somewhat anaemic six hours of sleep), just pottered about doing my usual thing and marvelling that while yesterday was gloriously warm and beautiful and a definite taste of Spring, today was cold and windy and rainy and wintery.

  • I started fiddling around with the cross-stitch test piece after lunch, and then rang Ma once I'd done one row to ask "Am I doing this right?". Turns out I wasn't...

  • In the course of the conversation she decided to come down and drop a couple of things off, so I suggested that since I'd been planning to go back into town to re-photograph the street art from yesterday (a cloudy day is Mother Nature's soft box and the photographer's friend), she should come with me and we could wander down to the Rundle Street Markets as well.

  • Other than the "Turtle Master" piece (or as it should probably more accurately be called, "Ode to Tarquin"... I do suddenly wonder if he was a terrapin rather than a turtle... "Tarquin the Terrapin" has a nicer ring to it) above, I didn't find anything else new... but then I didn't do the full and complete wander like I might have done if I was alone.

  • I did see that the Toy Soldier gallery seemed to still be there (although not open) when we drove past it. So that may have to be a field trip.

  • The Rundle Street Markets really aren't what they used to be... hell, even as recently as Christmas they seemed much more active. But it was a windy and chilly day, and by the time we got there it was about 3pm, so it was somewhat understandable.

  • Jonny's Kettle Corn is amazing and I think I love it. Like it says on the label, it's slightly sweet and slightly salty (I'm guessing they make two different batches and mix them together), and it's made, like the name suggests, in a giant "kettle" (think "kettle drum" rather than what you heat water in) but it's very moreish and much fresher tasting than pretty much any popcorn I've ever had. Because it's not one thing or the other, you don't reach that "urgh" point of too sweet or too salty as much.

  • Spiral Potato on a Stick however is just wrong. Take a whole potato, cut it using a fancy cutter thing so that it's a spiral, put it on a stick and deep fry the whole thing (even the stick). Interesting, but no.

  • Behold... craft happens!
the madness beings
The madness begins... Phase 1 of my cross-stitch toy soldier.
  • It's typical that the one colour of embroidery thread I want is the only one they don't have. And that's three different stores now that haven't carried the 666 red. Grrrr.

  • I did get a perfectly sized rectangular hoop, some little scissors and a slightly darker red thread that could work in a pinch.

  • Once Ma left, I sat down and started working on my cross-stitch toy soldier properly. I'd been fiddling with it before Ma came down, but now that I had the hoop I kinda hit my groove. Although the difference in the stitches between me working with available light and then afterwards when I started using the lamp out of my bedroom is pretty extreme.

  • Sadly, cross-stitch is not something that I can do while concentrating completely on the teevee. In fact, quite the opposite... I found myself concentrating on what I was doing and only listening to the movies I had on.

  • Turns out that I've also inspired Ma to go through the many and varied half finished cross-stitch projects she has laying around the place... so that could get scary.

  • I did notice that when I lift my arms I'm a little sore... I'm hoping that's from last night rather than from cross-stitch related activities.

  • Bless you, Stephen Fry, for finding all the really cute Southern boys to talk to during your trip across America. If they were cute, shirtless or willing to show their asses on camera, you were there.

  • Only 46 days until Melbourne... woohoo!

  • Is it really Monday again tomorrow? So soon?
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not according to plan saturday

Saturday, August 15, 2009

benzo teaser - i need to go and shoot the whole piece properlyA teaser of a new Benzo piece... I need to go and shoot the whole piece properly.

This morning did not go according to plan.

It's my own fault in a way... last weekend I said to Ma that we needed to be more spontaneous this week since we'd had much more structured weekends for the last few weeks.

And there's nothing quite as spontaneous as finding that your fucking car won't start.

Turns out that I took the Nice Mechanic Man's name in vain... wasn't the ignition at all, it was the battery... it was, according to the Nice RAA Man (who I'm sure I've had come out and help me before), "not dead, but not far off it". So after he started the car for me I tootled down the road to NMM, who didn't have the right battery in stock (my car's a prima donna, and only takes a very specific and particular battery... typical!), but he put a "loan battery" in the car for the weekend and I have to take the car back on Monday.

By the time I'd done all of that, Ma had finished with her haircut and was on her way down to my place. I got her to meet me at the supermarket and managed to make it through the fruit and veg section before she got there.

So, yeah... not a great start to the morning, but I guess it was better finding out that my battery was cactus before I needed to be somewhere important urgently.

*sigh*

Anyway, cue the traditional shopping/unpacking of groceries montage...

Once I was done with that (well, technically it was while I was doing it) Ma delved into the magic bag of stuff she'd brought down and pulled out all the cross-stitch material and thread and whatnot that she'd dug out and brought down, including the overly organised little box of threads that used to be mine. So now I have pretty much everything I need to attempt the Toy Soldier Experiment.

Eventually we decided to head down to Marion (actually the thought had been floating around in my head for the last few days), and because it was such a glorious day I grabbed my camera just on the off-chance that it might come in useful. Which it certainly did.

As we headed through town, I asked Ma to take a different street to West Terrace, since I was pretty sure that one of the Benzo pieces I'd seen pop up online earlier in the week was down that particular street. Initially I was just going to eyeball it as we went past, but I ended up getting Ma to stop around the corner and jumped out of the car.

I'll have to go back and reshoot it though, the sun was in the wrong position, so there's a shadow line across half of the shots unfortunately.

Marion was Marion pretty much... although the warmer weather had sent boys scurrying from the house in shorts and teeshirts and whatnot (Oh and the little short dude with the red jeans, rainbow suspenders and the Bumblebee teeshirt... call me! And not just to tell me where you got your teeshirt!)... I'm not sure why though, but I felt like I was flying my freak flag at full force (how's that for a nice bit of alliteration!) today... I swear I kept getting stared at. Whether it was just because I was carrying one of Ma's folding bags, or what, I have no idea. It's not even like I was wearing one of my Transformers teeshirts or my Playtime With Becky top.

Just weird...

And add to that the fact that obviously the sunshine brought every man and his slightly less attractive best mate out... so it was occasionally a little hard to get where one was going (which I hate).

We also perused the cross-stitch materials on offer at Lincraft, and I bought some appropriatly flesh toned thread and yet another type of gold thread (that makes three that were mine, and neither of the existing ones where easy to use). And there are so many more groovy threads since the last time I did anything cross-stitch related, including some awesome neon ones and a whole range of metallics.

I gotta say that it's weird that some places are happy for you to hang onto their coathangers (my wardrobe is filled almost exclusively with coathangers from major chain stores, complete with sizing labels), and some aren't... and sometimes I think that even within different locations of the same store it changes. Which is code for saying that I bought a couple of teeshirts.

Also, BBQ Prawn salad from Sumo Salad for lunch... spicy, but yummo!

high contrast shellWould you believe that this shot is in full colour?

Once we finished at Marion, we decided to detour down to Glenelg.

No real reason, other than the aforementioned lovely day and the fact that I had the camera with me. We stopped off and got something sweet to eat (note to self: you hate Apple Turnovers from everywhere but Perrymans... remember this in future!) and wandered down to the beach to eat and generally soak in the atmosphere.

I left Ma sitting on a bench and wandered down to the water to take a bunch of shots since the beach was generally looking very photogenic and interesting. Turns out what was on the beach kept catching my eye too...

I have to say though, that Photoshop is largely responsible for how awesome the shot above looks. The original is all very pale, but it did look very much like it was in black and white... but hitting the Auto Contrast/Level options (not sure which now) gave me this black sand. Awesome!

We wandered up Jetty Road, basically taking the long way back to the car... avoiding the crazy people and I got to scope the half-dressed element...

And what was about it...

So, for a day that started out fairly shitty, it didn't end too badly. Now I just need to work out what I have the energy to bother with this evening...

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cue the cursing and wailing

The scene two weeks ago:

Nice Mechanic Man: Your ignition lead is frayed, but it still works, so it should be okay.
Me: Oh, okay. (Because, really, what do I know from cars?)

Cut to: This morning.

Our hero (that's me) goes to start his lovely silver Daewoo Lanos so he can go to the supermarket solo (due to regularly scheduled haircuttage on Ma's part).

Turn key.

*wrrrrrr wrrrrrr wrrrrrr* (that's the sound of the engine NOT roaring to life)

And, nothing.

GRRRRRRRRR! So now it's all calls to the NMM and waiting for the RAA (for up to an hour)... and there goes my morning.

ARRGGGHHHHHHH! *grumble mumble grizzle*

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photo friday: round window

Friday, August 14, 2009

it's the round windowBehold, my lunchtime wandering around Victoria Square and its photographic progeny...

  • I discovered earlier in the week that as mysteriously as my blog had been de-listed by Google, it has returned equally mysteriously. I attempted a bunch of stuff to make Google look for it, but to no avail, then it randomly appeared on its own. I poked around both Google Analytics (22,236 unique visitors since the beginning of 2008) and Google Webmaster earlier... for no real reason, and without learning much (except that my review of Coco Avant Chanel is amongst the most popular pages on the blog).

  • It seems that I'm not the only one to notice that the Universe has been conspiring to prevent me from getting any nookie of late. For indeed, Scruff the Demigod of Lust has forsaken me. First it was a cold, then the flu, then I had problems with my back, and now it's my neck (then there are people wanting to hook up on Fridays when SYTYCD is on, rude). At least I did manage to christen my new bed though.

  • I came to a realisation earlier this week... when H-San is happy and chipper, the whole of The Nut House (or, more specifically Sugarmonkey and me, since we're pretty much it most of the time) is happy and whatnot. When H-San is quiet or grumpy, then we all get quiet and withdrawn.

  • Black Motorhead teeshirt with the sleeves rolled up, skin tight black jeans, grey Bonds undies, big fluffy hair and a body as skinny as his jeans... *le sigh*

  • Given the Benzo-related activity of the last week, yesterday afternoon I started jonesing for a weekend street art photo safari. Sadly, it appears that the weather is going to be glorious on Saturday and completely shitful on Sunday... *sulk*. We'll see...

  • Some days are "Say Something Hat Days"... today was a "Don't Do Much of Anything Day"...

  • There's nothing quite like an over-catered morning tea "celebration". The only downside (in theory) is that then you don't want much lunch at all. After the aforementioned wanderings, I ended up getting just a little bun thing and a bubble-tea. And on top of that I had no idea what the hell I was going to do for dinner until I walked into the supermarket after work... I wanted something quick and easy with not much clean-up... so homemade pizza (again) it is.

  • Molly Ringwald wrote a tribute to John Hughes for The New York Times ... which I thought was really sweetly written and worth a read.

  • Ending up with your shoulder resting against your male workmate's hip for what seemed like a prolonged period is just weird... although it only really happened because I don't think either of us were actually aware it was happening at the time (not sure why, it's possible he thought he was leaning against my chair). Still weird though.

  • After reading Hey, Nietzsche! Leave them kids alone , I asked H-San if I could borrow My Chemical Romance's The Black Parade album... and I've been jamming to it all day (in fact, it's on in the other room as we speak). I think it may end up on high rotation for a while. He also lent me a couple of AFI albums, but I'm not sure about those yet.

  • For the record... my Puma skate shoes... not at all "like budder"... very not... stoopid shoes. I also need to restring the laces. I've been wearing them all internal and groovy and whatever, and they're just not that great. So my shoes are currently sitting in front of my Little Red Sofa to make sure that I actually do something about the laces tonight during So You Think You Can Dance (notice how I've slipped that in there for the second time... just like every other week since the season started... subtle I'm not!).

  • Thank the appropriate deity of your choice that it's Friday!

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random caleb hotness

Thursday, August 13, 2009

It's Random Hotness Day! This is Caleb. I'm assuming that Caleb is a model. I don't think Caleb is wearing any underwear. He also seems to be signifying his love of something unusual (I kid... wrong pocket).

Also, Caleb is just plain hot.

And that's all I know. Other than the fact that he reminds me of some Generic Actor Guy in the body shot, and I can't think for the life of me who that particular GAG might be...

caleb up close caleb isn't wearing any underwear
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fifty foot benzo

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

fifty foot benzoActually that title could be a bald-faced lie... I'm crap at estimating size or scale, so I have no idea whether the projection was 20 feet or 30 feet or 50 feet or 100 feet. All I do know is that the building is 25 storeys tall... so you do the math.

After the movie last night, Ma and I bypassed my place and came into the city to check out a Moving Image Project piece for the SALA Festival, "Projectorbitions" by Benzo, Store, Jules, Fredrock, Tarnz, Nish, Orgen, Stoops, Koven and the interestingly named Gary Seaman.

Essentially they paired up, set up a time lapse camera (it was either time lapse or else the film had been sped up dramatically, I'm not sure which) and went to work on a piece of street art. Then they've projected the five movies on a loop against the side of a building in Waymouth Street (on the right hand side as you drive down from King William Street, just before Topham Mall).

I'll admit, it wasn't the best thing to do when you have a crick in your neck... and I'm not sure if it was the projector or the original camera or the fact that there was ambient light around or what, but while the photo makes it look like the movie is in black and white, a couple of the other sequences had some slight colouration to them... so I'm not sure what was going on there.

It was amazing to watch though... because the film was moving so fast, you never saw the artists really, except as blurs, the occasional dark blob or a ghostly images moving rapidly through the frame, but the artwork just seemed to throw itself up on the wall, and then it would be static for a bit, then it might suddenly change radically.

Interestingly, I don't know that if we hadn't been standing around outside staring up at it if anybody would have noticed (or if the people who appeared out of the nearby buildings have been seeing it since it started last Friday and are now over it). In fact we attracted the attention of the security guard inside the building who came out to see what we were staring at... and then a taxi driver who'd come to pick somebody up stopped and was having a look.

We didn't stay for the whole five movie loop, although I don't think we were far from it... actually, I think we saw four and a bit... I will say though that given the concept of projecting the image onto a wall and having two different (at least) artists working in each movie, there was only really one of the ones that we saw that I think "worked". It was a piece by Store and somebody (sorry whoever you are) where Store did this gorgeous woman's face on the bottom half of the image and then the other artist took over and came up with this wonderful anthropomorphic Carmen Miranda hat. But when it was finished it was one complete piece. That's very much what all the other pieces lacked... they didn't really feel like a complete entity when they were finished.

And, wouldn't you know it, I didn't get a picture of that one (honestly, I couldn't be bothered unfurling my tripod again by that stage).

Of course, it's on tonight and tomorrow, I could always go back...

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