random efron hotness

It's not the first time that Zac Efron has featured as a Random Hotness entry... and it may not be the last time either... what can I say, I like 'em young and purdy...

But these shots do tie in nicely with it being New Years Eve since they're from the "Official 2010 Zac Efron Calendar"... and no, I don't own a copy... although they were going out on special at Target last week...

the zac efron 2010 calendar the zac efron 2010 calendar
the zac efron 2010 calendar the zac efron 2010 calendar

Current Mood:

@yaniism

@twitterIt's official... I've joined the cult of the little blue bird (technically I should have waited until tomorrow... but it's done now)...

I can now be found at: http://twitter.com/yaniism

As well as in the sidebar of the blog...

Lordy, somebody help me... *grin*

Current Mood:

#annoyed

annoyedDAMNATION!

I've just had to yank the Twitter name poll offline because while the name "tinsoldier" was out in front by a clear margin (and the name I was becoming very fond of), when I actually went to do the sign-up thing the name was unavailable, even though it doesn't come up when you type it in as a URL... which I think is highly annoying.

And although I had a list of other possibilities, none of them seem particularly good any more... and not something I could live with over time. I did come up with three different ones, but I'm not sure about them either (one is kinda "cutesy", one is okay but not thrilling and the other is kinda generic)...

Maybe this is the Universe's way of telling me to stay away from Twitter, at least until I can make my mind up about a username. Or maybe I should just stop trying to think up a username until the weather is reasonable and my brain is functioning on all the necessary levels...

The really annoying thing is that my real name is available... not that I'd ever use that...

Current Mood:

2009: the year in review

the end of the yearYou know how I said that it didn't really feel like Christmas, right up until Christmas... well the coming of the new year feels about the same (doubly so because it's also the end of the decade and everybody seems to be talking about the best "insert term here" of the last ten years... I'm not even going to think about that one. way too depressing)...

Maybe it's because I've essentially spent the whole year working... it just seems to have slipped through my fingers... it was only about five minutes ago that it was the middle of March and I was starting up again at The Nut House...

It's mostly been a work orientated year... while I've done a bunch of other stuff, it does feel like everything revolves around the working... maybe because the working paid for all the other stuff that happened... like the new bed and chair... the new laptop and broadband... the new iPhone...

Which makes it sound like it was a year of consumerism... but I think it was more of a year of opportunities... the money was just the facilitator... I got to take another trip to Melbourne, I went to six theatre performances (a personal record) and just shy of thirty movies and a whole bunch of shopping/market experiences, as well as a much of stuff that was fun, yet free...

And even though New Years Eve isn't until tomorrow, I thought I'd just drag out this meme which seems like it's turned into a New Years tradition (2006, 2007, 2008)...

Yaniblog09 In Review

Post the first sentence from the first post of every month of 2009:

January: Welcome to 2009, the International Year of Natural Fibres...

February: Okay, so it should be no surprise by now that it's bloody buggery hot here in good old Adelaide... and that since I don't have any kind of refrigerated air-conditioning, I am now, and have been for the last week, at varying degrees of overheatedness...

March: Good morning and welcome to Autumn!

April: Just some random questions that have been floating around in my head this fine Wednesday...

May: Okay, let's get down to it while my sugar rush is still in effect...

June: Urgh... can I please have another weekend to recover from the weekend I just had?

July: Almost twelve months ago to the day my hot water heater stopped working... and there was way too much drama about getting it working again.

August: Today was a lot like last Saturday... pretty lowkey, although with slightly more spending action.

September: There's a downside to working full time, having had very Wintery weather of late and the fact that the majority of my images are locked away on the new, and currently inaccessible, external hard drive...

October: Behold the first of five, count them... five, montages constructed from the 858 photos I took on my trip... this one details highlights from each of the five days... and since there are five rows and five days, that's a row a day.

November: You know what... I really need to get better at listening for signals amongst the noise.

December: The first day of Summer brings with it many changes, not least of which is a brand new blog template...

Current Mood:

iphone thoughts with a twitter question

my main iphone screenWell, I've officially had Bumblebee for 18 days now... so I think I can safely list my thoughts on the pros and cons...

Pros
  • Messages are all grouped together in one spot for each person, I like that a lot
  • Being able to add all of a persons details (multiple numbers, address, emails) to their contact page
  • Maps... because I'm known to get lost
  • If you need the phone to do something, there's probably an app for it
  • Being able to connect via my wireless broadband
  • It's purdy...
Cons
  • The battery... it lasts about five minutes and certain apps are just battery whores
  • The inability to easily change ring and message tones... I have a handle on ringtones, but you can't add your own message tones (it's pretty damn basic, most other phones allow you to do it)
  • No icon on the screen to display that the phone in on silent or ability to time the silent mode
  • The fact that the phone has crashed on two occasions, both while accessing the camera
  • My inability to sync the stuff on the iPhone calendar with anything... even though I managed to hook it up to my Google calendar
All in all though, the good stuff outweighs the bad... it's not a perfect phone, and currently I'm probably only using about 25% of it's potential, but I'm enjoying it...

And there are instances when it comes in very handy... like Sunday, after Sherlock Holmes when Ma went "what has he been in?" I was able to quickly look up the actor in question (Mark Strong... most recently seen in Miss Pettigrew)... and before Christmas when I was able to find my way between two places with the aid of Google Maps... and generally being able to make lists of stuff (I like lists of stuff)...

The one app I haven't used at all yet is Twitterific... mostly because I still haven't decided on a username... I think I've narrowed it down to two (since nobody else was particularly forthcoming with suggestions)... redyani and tinsoldier...

So from now until Friday, I'm running a poll in the sidebar... lemme know what you think...

Current Mood:

unconscious mutterings 361

The Public Holiday After Christmas edition of Unconscious Mutterings...

I've done sweet diddly all day... stayed up late last night, slept in this morning, haven't left the house as yet, just sat around and watched DVDs all day.

But I have showered, and I did make fruit salad earlier, so I guess I'm ahead of the game.
  1. Classified :: Ads
  2. Praised :: The Lord
  3. Censored :: Movies
  4. 2010 :: The Undiscovered Country
  5. Lamp :: Genie
  6. Alternate :: Sexuality
  7. Script :: Spec
  8. Handsome :: Why, thank you!
  9. Eager :: Beaver
  10. Meeting :: None of those for a week, thank god!

Current Mood:

movies: sherlock holmes

sherlock holmes - nothing escapes himJust stepping outside the actual movie-going experience for a second, it often astounds me the way certain people's fortunes rise and fall in Hollywood... people you never think will manage to claw their way back from total career meltdown somehow find their way back to the top of the heap.

I'm speaking, of course, of Robert Downey Jr... total meltdown, then he started reappearing, and his star just kinda took off... Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Iron Man... and the latest in that vein was today's movie, Sherlock Holmes.

I did have something of an epiphany shortly after the movie started though... essentially, this version of Holmes is Dr Gregory House, but somewhat nicer, and without the limp. Which in turn makes Jude Law's Dr Watson a version of Wilson...

This isn't a criticism... since I'm very fond of House... just an observation, and I can't help wondering if any of the parallels were conscious on the part of either the writers or the actors, or if it's just one of those things.

It is a very different Sherlock Holmes though... in fact I think he's only called Sherlock once in the whole movie... and while the pipe and the violin are very much in evidence, the silly hat and upper crust sensibility is not. And I'm pretty sure he never uses the phrase "Elementary my dear Watson". In fact this version seems to be much closer to some of the descriptions in the books (if Wikipedia is to be believed).

But he's a likeable rogue... Downey plays him with a certain degree of melancholy and that sense of incredible brains lurking behind the rather scruffy façade. In fact it's spelled out very early on as he slowly walks through the way to incapacitate somebody in his head before then committing the act at breakneck speed. He plans, he schemes, he has things worked out four and five steps in advance all the way along.

He and Watson are also just a little bit gay... or perhaps they're just two English gentlemen from a certain time period who have spent entirely too much time together... they do squabble like an old married couple though.

Law definitely holds his own against Downey... even though he has to play it very straight-laced (even down to their outfits) and with much less scope for letting the character run away with itself, but he's never outclassed as an actor.

Rachel McAdams also manages well, although her character really isn't given that much to do. The same goes for the villain of the piece, Mark Strong... his whole plot line is somewhat far-fetched... and he's essentially a bit of a MacGuffin just to get the story rolling along and let Holmes do his thing.

That's not to say that it's not enjoyable and you don't get taken along for the ride... you definitely do... and it's a ride I'm glad I took.

yani's rating: 8 ginger midgets out of 10

post-christmas shoppery

post christmas sale sundayOkay, so I'm now officially all out of whack...

Yesterday was Saturday, but I didn't do anything except go out to get the paper... and today was Sunday, but Ma and I went out shopping and ended our day at the movies (since this Tuesday should have been our movie night, after the flipped around schedule of Christmas, but it's also Ma's first day back at work, so a little unfair). And tomorrow is Monday, but I don't have to go to work.

See, it's all very confusing. Stupid Christmas.

No, seriously though... while it is slightly throwing my internal calendar all out of sync, it wasn't a bad day.

Ma came down later than she would on a usual shopping Saturday, but we still had some time to kill when she got here, so I got caught up on the news from Second Christmas (and I got my presents, half of which were useless, but there was a $50 voucher for the ABC Shop, so that will come in handy, even if they do tend to overcharge for stuff), and helped Ma out with something she was stuck on with her DS (bless the internet and game walkthroughs).

Rather than going off to do the supermarket stuff first, we headed down to Arndale to check out what was left of the Christmas decorations (and I made use of my little iPhone gadget that lets me play my iPod through a car radio... works so much better in Ma's car than it currently does in mine)... the main reason for the Arndale trip was that I wanted to get some more lights like I got last year in Big W, but in "cool white" rather than blue... no such luck though... they had multicolour and red and green, but they weren't anywhere near as ridiculously (in a good way) priced as last year... so I didn't bother.

I think next year I might have to just bite the bullet and buy them when they come out... full price be damned.

Other than that, we didn't get a lot of other stuff... random cheap bits and pieces mainly... although I did pick up this cute but very cheesy green dinosaur Christmas ornament (you know it's for Christmas because he has a little green and white striped Santa hat on)... cute though. But people were a world of rude... just being all in the way, and this one old granny practically snatched up the last version of something when I picked up the second to last one.

Plus, if you're going to be wandering around very narrow aisles with a trolley when people are trying to get places... perhaps DON'T... or better yet, put something in your trolley instead of using it as a cheap walking frame.

Anyway, after a few very pointed "ExCuse Me's" (and the capital C is intentional... all in the way you say it) and moving people's trolleys out of my way when necessary, we wandered away from the crap Christmas department and looked around everywhere else. Not much around really.

But we still wandered around the rest of the mall before giving up and heading off to the stoopidmarket.

Technically we were only going in for a "few things"... just stuff to tide me over until Tuesday or so... especially given that it's going to be a warm week... but I'll admit... I got in there, and I kinda panicked... or got all overexcited... or something... ended up coming out with masses of stuff... mostly useful stuff (a ton of fruit to make fruit salad with tomorrow... and stuff for salads)... but some semi random stuff that I'm not sure why I bought it. I'm sure it won't go to waste though... I just need to get it in my cupboards now.

After the supermarket we wandered into Red Circle... slightly better pickings in there... although their Christmas section was crap even before Christmas... but Ma did pick up a couple of bits of clothing, and I grabbed a couple of DVDs.

That was about it though, and then we headed back here to unpack and plan our next move.

I had a halfbaked plan about heading down to West Lakes and maybe using the vouchers La Cousina gave me for Christmas to see a movie... which turned out to be nowhere near as halfbaked as I thought it was, since that's exactly what we did.

The downside to the plan is that the movie wasn't on for about three hours, so we'd have to kill time in the shops. Which obviously is never a particular hardship for Ma and me.

In the end though, the gods did seem to be conspiring against us ever so slightly... I could have bought stuff from JB HiFi, but the line was too long to bother about... we would have bought some marked down Christmas stuff at David Jones, except the dozey staff had things on a marked down rack that wasn't actually marked down (isn't there some rule that says they have to give you stuff at the display price... or is that just wishful thinking)...

Although that's being unfair to the shopping gods... I did find two more toy soldiers (I think technically they're both Nutcrackers... especially since one is a little tiny book of the Nutcracker story), and thanks to my iPhone I was able to call up my DVD list online and work out that a knocked down copy of one of the Lonely Planet Six Degrees episodes was one I didn't have yet. Bless my iPhone.

We then grabbed a little something to eat and drink before we headed up to Reading Cinemas... and got more stuff to eat and drink thanks to the Candy Bar voucher that La Cousina thoughtfully added to our movie tickets (and FYI... movie popcorn is fucking salty... which goes to show how long it's been since we had any). The cinema complex turned out to be quite nice, as did the cinema we were in... big and clean and kinda swanky looking. Although I would say one word to the cinema management... "chairs"... once you go through into the cinema complex itself, there's really nowhere to sit before you go into the movie... which is bad.

The other thing that's fairly crap is that their version of Gold Class, you're actually in the same cinema as everybody else... you're just in a walled off area with better chairs and people to bring you food and stuff. So definitely won't be doing that one.

They did have this funky little soundproof booth in the corner of the cinema though, which we discovered later was for mothers with noisy babies/toddlers/chillens in general... which is kinda cool... although it would be nice to use just to get away from everybody else.

Once we got out of the movie it was after 5, so everything was shut up and we called it a day.

So, yes... a very different Sunday... but pleasant all the same.

Current Mood:

post-christmas roundup 2009

oh christmas treeThe joys of technology… I typed most of this up at Ma’s yesterday once lunch was done and we were sitting down relaxing… I was surrounded by technology actually… laptop, iPhone (on charge via the laptop), and my digital camera (still on it's tripod). Oh and I kept a track of what we did throughout the day on my iPhone calendar (now if only I could get it to sync properly with either Google Calendar or some other program).

Hehehe… I’m such a technoweenie…

It was something of an odd day really… I can’t say that it really started to feel like Christmas into midway through the morning.

I was up at my usual time (5:15am) and was out for my walk shortly after that. I thought I was going to manage a Christmas Day walk without seeing anybody else around the banks of the Torrens, but just before I finished looping around the river I passed another exerciser. I only saw about five people, tops, though… and most of them were on my way home.

I got home within the hour as usual and was leaving for Ma’s just over half an hour after that… freshly showered, shaved, attired in my new jeans, shiny rainbow teeshirt and Bonds undies.

And for once I didn’t forget a single thing… granted that was probably because I laid everything out on the couch on Christmas Eve night. You have to love the giant Ikea paper bag though… never travel anywhere at Christmas without one! Two of them, and I had all of Ma’s presents packed up (and I also packed all my stuff up in them to bring it home again at the end of the day). So it only took two trips to fill the car up… one to move it around to the front of the apartment block, and another to load up the presents.

I got down to Ma’s in less than half an hour… and it was still only 7:40... Scary. But there’s no rest for the wicked, and I was only there for about ten minutes before we were off to La Cousina’s…

She and her brood were heading off early somewhere so we had to be in and out by 9... which is fine, I like to get it over and done with early. And as usual, I got a movie voucher… which is also fine, except it was for Reading Cinemas, which I think Ma and I have been to a grand total of once. But there’s one at West Lakes, so maybe we’ll have to make use of it there. Oh, and La Cousina quite liked the framed Chinese outfits.

Thankfully their place is only about five minutes away from Ma’s house… so it wasn’t long before we were back and having breakfast… mmmm croissants.

I also sent out a bunch of Christmas text messages (woohoo for free texts and MMS’s on my new plan) complete with a somewhat dodgy photo I took of myself yesterday at work when I was wearing the reindeer antlers… hehehe… people seemed to appreciate it, or at least the ones who send messages back did... and it was possibly around then that it started to feel appropriately Christmasy.

Then it was Present Time! As usual, Ma and I took it in turns with presents… one for her, one for me, repeat until presents are gone… and while there seems to be less stuff than in previous years, I’ve also been working... so when I want things I’ve just bought them.

But there was some stuff I’d kinda forgotten about, so that’s always good.

my presentsWhat I did find odd was that there aren’t a lot of actual movies in my DVDs this year… tons of teevee series, but only four movies… well, four movies and a music DVD…
As for the serieses… seri… oh, bollocks, whatever the word for multiples series is…
Okay, so it doesn’t sound so much… but it’s a lot of amaray cases.

I also took the Jibibuts and the Munnyworld Trikky that I bought before Christmas down to Ma's with me because other than opening the boxes and looking at them briefly, I hadn’t really unpacked them or anything (they're not strictly a Christmas present though).

So I did that… and the Jibibuts are GORGEOUS… bigger than I was expecting, but beautifully made in wood. And all the Munnyworld figures come with an accessory which is “blind boxed” (sealed in foil so you don’t know what you’ve gotten)… turns out my Tricky comes with a tiny wee bowler hat. So damn cute!

It was also something of a Tinkerbell Christmas… a Heartwood Creek figure, a Hallmark decoration and a cute little pen.

Then there was the very nice surprise of a Buffy comic miniseries… starring Oz (complete with photos of Seth Green on the covers). I haven’t gotten around to taking a look at them yet, but even if they’re a bit crap, it’s the thought that counts.

And as if I wasn’t already wearing enough jewellery on Christmas Day (what with my Bico lion, my jade buddah and my Scrabble tile initial), there was also the re:vision necklace we got from the Bowerbird Bazaar back in October… so I had to put that on along with everything else.

There was also the little painting I got from there too… from the nice lady at IMOK… very cute.

Where The Wild Things Are also got a look-in, with four badges (and at least one of them is going to end up on my Crumpler bag very soon) and the CD soundtrack… I had it playing later on in the day actually, and it was very cruisy. Good chill out music.

And Ma was obviously thinking similar thought to me in the lead-up to Christmas… I’d been looking at a little soldier in the Lego Pirates range which was pretty close to being a toy soldier… but I wasn’t sure about him, so I hadn’t bothered… but obviously I wasn’t supposed to, because there was one in my Christmas presents… actually all the toy soldiers that Ma has given to me over December were part of my present… which is eight new toy soldiers in all.

Add in an Autobot symbol belt buckle, a Futurama calendar and a little wooden robot, and that about covers it.

Once we were done with the Orgy of Presents (with a brief stop in the middle, as usual, to put the turkey in the Weber), I tidied up the lounge room while Ma got other things ready in the kitchen… of course most of the tidying up was so that I could arrange all the presents just so and take the requisite photos (stupid me though… after I took the photos of Ma’s stuff on Wednesday night I didn’t check the camera for battery power, so it was running low on juice all day… thankfully it didn’t fall over)… by which point it was around noon… it’s amazing how a Christmas Day can just run away from you.

Then it was time to make up the table… which just seems to get more elaborate every year… and took about 45 minutes… well, not totally, but if you spread it out with spaces and faffing about it takes longer. Plus I had to break out the laptop to charge the iPhone and proceeded to flatted the laptop battery in order to fill the iPhone one, which I think is amusing… but I haven’t actually used the battery at all since I bought the laptop, so it was good that it got a workout.

Anyway, I think we had lunch on the table somewhat earlier than usual (which is what happens when you get the La Cousina stuff out of the way early)… just after 1pm in fact.

the chistmas tableWoohoo Christmas Lunch…

Somehow we didn’t overstuff ourselves as much like in previous years… a little turkey, a little sausage meat (mmmm), some sweet potato, some beans… although next year we definitely have to have some proper gravy.

We didn’t bother with any dessert (which helped with the overstuffedness), but did the whole clean-up thing and then sat down for a bit… which is when I fired up the laptop properly and got to a-typin…

But then I had to stop at a certain point because Ma wanted me to attach the screen protectors to her DS (which I did somewhat inexpertly I have to say... I tried and I tried, but there were still bubbles)… then we fired up her MySims Kingdom game and I helped her through the initial bits and pieces (and the character she came up with is so cute… she’s essentially Storm from the X-Men with pink headphones and a camo top)… but eventually she more or less got the hang of it and wandered off to continue playing… so I got back to doing the typing thing while we finished off watching A Knight‘s Tale and then A Very Specky Christmas.

We had some dinner around 6... nothing much, just random leftovers like always, and then tidied up (again) and settled in to have some Christmas pudding and custard while watching The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (kinda cool, weird ending). Once that was done I packed up all my stuff ready to go and with roughly the same mount of stuff in the car, I toddled off home at about 9:30... and I was home just before 10, and in bed by quarter past...

Thus endeth Christmas for another year... no different really from a lot of other Christmases of recent past, but enjoyable all the same.

Thank god I don't have to bother about Second Christmas today!

Current Mood:

christmas eve randomness with hair

snowman hairI'm not entirely sure why I bother going into work on Christmas Eve... oh, that's right... so they'll pay me... but I was there for about four hours and I think I did like two bits of work. The rest of it was standing around chatting and then eating stuff. Oh, and wearing light-up, musical reindeer antlers all morning (thankfully they weren't light-up and musical all the time or I would possibly have shot myself).

It's been a very food orientated week at work actually... each day something fattening and tasty has just randomly turned up on people's desks (although this morning I came in to find a pull-along toy reindeer on my desk... and while I suspect who it came from I really don't know)... I took my goodies in on Monday, on Tuesday La Ninj gave us all little containers full of choccies and stuff (some good, some bad) and A1 from across the way gave us all some Lindt balls, yesterday H-San bought doughnuts, Miss R brought her cookies and Captain Slow served up Haighs berry chocs (which I put into Ma's goodie bag).

And then today was the pièce de résistance... a super, bumper, floor-wide morning tea that took up most of the morning... there was an awesome lemon slice that I need to get the recipe for... but there was also a slight dilemma... how do you tell somebody who likes to bake and is kind of a "work friend" that her baking is always a bit dry? She made muffins the other week, and even the one with blueberries in it was a little dry (not sure how she managed that one)... today it was chocolate brownies... and they were okay, but still kinda dry. Urgh.

Anyway, I packed up my Christmas bibs and bobs (tree, reindeers, Santa that also appeared out of nowhere) and shoved them in my drawer (I'll have to rescue them when I got back on Monday week), straightened up my desk, hugged most of the people it was appropriate to hug (except I missed out on La Ninj because she was busy having a somewhat intense chat with somebody) and went off on my merry pre-Christmas way.

Although, by the time I'd done all that and waited for the very slow lifts in our building, I was running about five minutes behind for my haircut.

Woohoo Christmas Haircut Day!

I'd taken along a big box of goodies for Tink... I don't think she got as many last year because they were packed inside the mug I gave her... and she was very appreciative.

Then we got down to the serious business of haircut discussion and construction... I'm having this vague inkling about growing it out... not long exactly, but longer. And in theory this will be the last really short haircut before I start that process. So we made the most of it... kept it slightly longer on the top, but shortened it a lot around the sides, all the while discussing movies and Christmas plans.

That was followed with the serious business of hair colour discussion. I'd had a thought earlier in the week... and the thought was "caramel". But seriously, now that it's done it pretty much looks the exactly same colour of almost blonde we've been doing it for yonks. But it matches my eyebrows, so I'm not complaining too much.

I did nearly fall asleep when she was shampooing my hair at the end though... I mean I had been up since 5:30, and it was very restful laying there in the vibrating chair...

So hair's done... croissants for tomorrow morning were picked up and are currently sitting on my couch along with about twelve tons of other stuff I need to take... my outfit just needs to be hung up on the wardrobe door... Ma's presents are wrapped (see the earlier point about the couch)... I'm good to go for Christmas...

I know I say it every year, but all this build-up for one 24 hour period... sheesh...

Current Mood:

random sparkle hotness

Something sparkly for this Christmas Eve Random Hotness... mmmm blonde and sparkly... it's almost like he's a Christmas decoration... but that could just be me.

I don't remember where these shots came from, but I wish I did because I would have liked more of them...

sparkles sparkles

Current Mood:

ma's presents 2009

I seriously don't know where the last couple of weeks have gone... but suddenly it's the night before Christmas Eve and I'm standing around wrapping Ma's Christmas presents (and I mean that literally... I ended up doing the whole thing standing up, so now my back is complaining about that).

Not the most pleasant of tasks this time around because it's currently 37°C... it was actually cooler at 7pm, but now the temperature is going back up... but supposedly the cool change is coming. Can't come soon enough.

And it's been a week of much less sleep than usual, plus living on lots of sugar (thanks to various Christmas goodies that people keep passing out) and not really doing any work. Thankfully I'm only having a half day tomorrow and a big chunk of that is a Christmas Eve morning tea, then I'm off for a haircut and colour and once that's done I'm footloose and fancy free for a week.

But I'm getting off topic... Ma's presents... not the reckless abandon of last year, and less surprises... but you get that.

ma's presents, christmas 2009
Current Mood:

movies: avatar

avatarI have to make a confession... it's a little confronting and I do feel somewhat scandalous making such a claim... I just need to get it out of the way right off the bat... so here goes.

I was monumentally underwhelmed by James Cameron's Avatar.

Yep, that's right... underwhelmed.

Now I didn't see it in 3D (actually I can't even imagine seeing it in 3D, and I'm surprised nobody has reported being violently ill given the camerawork), or Super Extra Special IMAX or anything... just a good old regular movie screen.

And I won't lie... it is a good-looking movie. But the story is predictable, derivative and, frankly, I've seen it played out in a ton of other movies before.

It's The Last Samurai. It's Disney's Atlantis and Pocahontas. It's Fern Gully. It's Dances with Wolves. It's Dune. It's District 9. It's every single movie where the character goes into a seemingly primitive culture, expecting to be able to carry on as normal and is changed by the simple act of learning about the primitive people.

It's got the predictably closeminded army commander stereotype (think former Cameron movies, The Abyss and Aliens)... it's got the unfeeling corporate bureaucrat (Aliens again)... it's got the idealistic scientist... it ticks all the boxes.

And as Ma asked when we left the cinema... "It just reinforces the question, do we never learn?"... Do we never learn that violence just begets more violence? Do we never learn to listen to people who understand the land? Do we never stop and think that maybe there are things out there we just don't comprehend?

I know that good storytelling comes from conflict, but I'm not sure how much this should be classified as "good storytelling". I mean, it even fails the "show, don't tell" rule (did we really need the narration at the beginning... new guy, new place... surely it could have been general exposition at the very least)... and plot points are telegraphed well in advance. I'm also aware that there are essentially only four stories out there in the world and everything else is a version of one of them... but there's only so much that that argument excuses.

It's definitely saying something when Ma and I don't talk about a movie at all until we're about halfway down the road to my place. We briefly spoke to the usher girly (are they even technically ushers anymore, since they don't "ush"?) and I was extremely non-committal in my comments. Add to that the fact that my mind did wander from time to time as I was trying to think of all the other movies there were with exactly the same plot.

So that's definitely in the minus column... the plot was a big heap of nothing.

But part of me wonders if this movie was ever supposed to be about that... or is it just another in a series of James Cameron movies where the point is never the plot or the story, but it's about pushing the technology to the nth degree and seeing what you can make it do. It's the water tentacle in The Abyss and the T1000 in Terminator 2. But this time he's getting the technicians to push hair and skin and human movement to the extreme (even if there's a massive amount of motion capture involved in the movement part... at least it's not in Polar Express territory).

And if that was the whole purpose of the movie, then it did succeed.

It's a beautiful movie to look at, and while you never really forget that the majority of the characters you're looking at are completely computer generated, as far as the environments I couldn't begin to tell you what was real and what was CG. There are some obvious exceptions, but even then you don't know how much is rearranged from something real.

Even the interaction between the characters and their environment is flawless on first viewing. And there are a few subtle little touches that would definitely have been CGI that most people probably won't even see or realise, most notably the condition of the main character's real human legs as the movie progresses.

I will admit to a degree of uncertainty when it comes to the actors and acting, mostly because when you're dealing with a combination of a computer generated character, motion capture and a live actor, who do you compliment on giving an outstanding performance? The actor or the animator and technicians?

In some ways, the fully Na'vi characters were easier to deal with, as you never had to reconcile the human face with the alien one... Sigourney Weaver's avatar stood out as being particularly unrealistic... possibly because they had to do really weird things with the Na'vi face to make it recognisable as her.

And I'm not even going to open the particular can of worms that results from the "primitive" Na'vi being voiced primarily by African American actors.

But most of the actors made the best of what they were given... as I've already said, the plot wasn't the movie's strong point, but even so the performances, whether total, vocal or strictly kinetic were fairly strong.

So while this movie was a lot of things... it's enjoyable, it's a good way to kill three hours, it's beautiful to look at... I just can't see it as some sort of monumental leap in the movie making or movie going experience. For that to be true the story would have had to have an original thought.

Sure is pretty though.

yani's rating: 7 hometrees out of 10

unconscious mutterings 360

Well, the goodies where muchly appreciated by all... nobody was around when I got to work, so I scurried around, quick like a bunny to get everything in place on everybody's desk before anyone arrived. Not bad for somebody operating on four hours sleep.

I will say that there was an amazing chocolate smell when I unzipped the bag they were in this morning... mmmm nummy...

Unconscious Mutterings...
  1. Interest :: Compound
  2. Chase :: Movie
  3. Itch :: Scratch
  4. Soothe :: Balm
  5. Lamp :: Genie
  6. Tutor :: Math
  7. Nicole :: Ritchie (sad, but she was the first one I thought of)
  8. Sloth :: Ice Age
  9. Burn :: Notice
  10. Bug :: Volkswagon

Current Mood:

too many goodies

oh lord, the chocolate...Lordy, lordy, lordy, lordy, lordy...

As previously reported, today was the Annual Christmas Goodie Making Session... it's turned into something of a serious production, and wasn't without it's bumps... but it's late, so here's the somewhat shorthanded version of the highlights and lowlights...
  • Was out of the house by about 8am (later than I wanted, but wadyagunnado) and at Ma's by about 8:30.
  • Faffing about for a bit, opened my last new toy soldier (he's clockwork) and showed Ma my purchases from yesterday (well, most of them) before really getting down to business.
  • Started with my infamous Rocky Road (while Ma was making Chocolate Balls in the kitchen)... made a mondo, super, huge batch... didn't use mondo, super, huge amounts of melted chocolate. Not a disaster, but a lesson for young players as H-San would say.
  • Set up something of a "production line" once we got into serious truffle territory... I got all the dry mixtures ready to go while Ma worked on rolling the balls for a couple of batches.
  • Ensured that any mix requiring alcohol had twice the quantity specified... but when we're talking tablespoons, it wasn't exactly lethal.
  • After I ran out of prep, started rolling things up too.
  • All prep and "first fix" (balls rolled, but not coated in chocolate where applicable) done by around 1pm.
  • We'd both been snacking on Ham Hearts all morning, so skipped lunch, but did sit down and rest a bit, blather on about our respective phones.
  • In the midst of showing Ma photos and aps on my iPhone it ceased up... accessed the camera and nothing... pressed lots of buttons until it seemed to sort itself out... then accessed a couple of other aps and it was slow and not responding and kept ceasing up.
  • Let me repeat that... MY IPHONE CEASED UP! Cue trauma.
  • Fortunately we needed to go to the shops anyway (forgot the mini M&Ms), so called into the Optus Store while we were doing that.
  • Optus Girl with Ridiculously Long Nails (okay, they weren't THAT ridiculous, but they were completely impractical for what she was trying to do to my phone) pressed buttons all at the same time to reset the phone.
  • SUCCESS! Seems A-OK now... I hope.
  • Although the fact that you can't access/remove the battery like you can with every single other phone (okay, I only really know Nokias) is a bit of a bastard.
  • Came back from the shops, started on prep for "second fix" (coating things with chocolate).
  • Realised we didn't actually have enough white chocolate for requirements.
  • Left Ma sorting and halving hazelnuts and went to the shops to get more.
  • First shop, no white chocolate.
  • Short drive later, car park trauma... second shop, white chocolate.
  • When I got back we started with dark chocolate (actually Ma started before I even got back, but given the way that the sequence needed to go it worked out perfectly), coated the Christmas Puddings and Sherry Truffles then put the scribbles on the Peppermint Ice Balls.
  • Milk chocolate next... coated the Hazelnut Delights and put the spirals on the Sherry Truffles.
  • White chocolate to finish... coated the Brandy Apricot Truffles, put the "icing" on the Christmas Puddings, then decorated as appropriate.
  • All this makes it sound much easier than it was. Copha is evil when added to chocolate it maybe shouldn't have been added to (my fault generally), spiral truffle forks are more difficult to use that you would think, all the truffles ended up looking much rougher than they have in previous years and as with the omelette/eggs parable, you can't make chocolate coated truffles without getting chocolate all over everywhere.
  • And breathe...
  • Thankfully we'd been tidying the kitchen as we went along, so by the end of things it was actually fairly tidy.
  • Although on the flip side, Ma's fridge was completely stuffed to overflowing, and anything with a flat surface had a tray of some form of ball or truffle laying on it.
  • By this time it was about 5pm, so we took a break, tried to work out how I was going to arrange things for taking the goodies to work (mostly because our team has doubled this year, and we didn't make that much stuff in some cases), and had some dinner.
  • Had chicken pastry parcel "spring roll" things... I'm guessing they were these ones... Ma did tell me I think, but I forget.
  • After dinner I went through and picked out bags and boxes and whatnot to bring home for wrapping Ma's presents, hopefully I should have enough stuff...
  • Next I decided to cut up my Rocky Road. Again, sounds simple, but it's the biggest single batch of Rocky Road I've ever made... thankfully marshmallows and Turkish Delight don't put up much resistance against a good strong knife. Ended up with a scary amount of Rocky Road though.
  • Then we tried to do with math properly on what was getting what goodies from me... this is where my brain both exploded and melted at the same time. There were just too many people to do what I wanted to do (and it's hard to cut out X just because he's a bit of a knob and Y because he's only been around for about five minutes), so in the end H-San and Sugarmonkey got doubles of everything like last year and everybody else got singles.
  • Of course that's not counting the pair of Ham Hearts and the pair of Mince Tarts we added in little plastic bags.
  • Watched this year's A Very Speccy Christmas while we parcelled up the goodies in little white Chinese takeaway containers.
  • Woohoo
  • Packed everything up (and the bag full of goodies is going to be interesting to carry in on the bus tomorrow... which reminds me, I must rescue the ones for Tink out of the bag... hang on... okay, done) and called it a night... by which point it was 9pm.
  • Came home.
Thank all the appropriate deities, mythological and symbolic figures this only happens once a year...

Current Mood:

big fat solo pre-christmas shopping saturday

grab your christmas goodiesLordy... you would think that not really needing to do any shopping and flying solo because I'm going down to Ma's for Goodie Making tomorrow would lead to a fairly quiet day...

Not so much...

Turned into a bit of an adventure really. The supermarket portion of the morning was fairly average... and since it's Christmas week, I don't need much. I did manage to find a pair of new jeans for Christmas Day... normally I have some sort of outfit arranged for Christmas ages ago, but nothing was presenting it self until today.

And even though I reminded myself, I still forget to take my honey jar with me, so after I got back home and dropped everything off I detoured off to the Honey Man. I played my iPod (is it correct to call it an iPod even though it's part of the iPhone, after all that's what the icon is called) on the way down and tried out the FM Transmitter thing I bought.

And it works brilliantly... or it would if it were not for the fact that the radio is still playing up after they replaced my aerial. But in principal it's a good little doodad.

But as I got to the Honey Man I got a predictably pornographic text message from Slick Willy... part of me couldn't be bothered and sent him back a message saying I was already at Marion, since I'd intended to head down there. But since his place is on the way I had a change of heart (well, a change in some body part anyway) and messaged him back again before dropping by.

Adult sexual situations ensued.

After I left him I stopped off at The Christmas Shop, just on the offchance... we hadn't been since they really sorted out all their new stock and rearranged the shop somewhat... and it was pleasantly surprising... they'd organised things a whole lot better, and it was much easier to move around. The shop was also mostly deserted, or felt that way, especially compared with last Christmas (granted that was much earlier in the month).

I have to say that I do love hearing new people's reactions to that shop... I couldn't help smiling when one of the women was telling her grandson not to touch anything, bit like taking a kid to a lolly factory and telling them they can't eat anything. And the woman who said "this shop is like the TARDIS" made me laugh to myself.

There were also a whole bunch of new toy soldiers...

it's an addiction... or a collection... one of those A marionette, a very wide hipped female version, a little tin man with wobbly legs, two variations on teddy toy soldiers and the little spherical man who looks like he should be made of glass and have a hinge that opens (but is just solid and not glass).

Yes, yes... I got a little carried away... but I did have an almost guided tour around the shop by the owner's wife at one point on the lookout for different toy soldiers or variations on 12 drummers drumming.

Interestingly though I found all of these little guys on my own. Which is not really that surprising since I wandered around the shop for ages.

Once my brain had reached Christmas decoration overload (I actually think I started to get a "pattern matching headache"... when you're looking for things that are red and have big hats in a shop full of Santas who are in red with big hats, it can be difficult to pick out the stuff you like) I took my purchases and headed down to Marion.

On reflection, the thought of Marion on the last Saturday before Christmas, maybe not the brightest idea I've ever had... lots and lots and lots of people, all of whom had lost their minds, didn't know where the hell they were going and were scurrying around trying to buy all those last minute things for people they probably don't really like that much.

Thankfully I didn't really need to buy anything. I did pick up a copy of Dougal the Garbage Dump Bear though... not sure who for, but it's just an adorable story (and shortlisted for the Children's Book Council Book of the Year prize back in 2005)... I saw it earlier in the day and just fell in love with it, and was telling Ma about it on the phone, so she suggested I grab a copy. It's based on a true story about a bear who gets thrown away and ends up at the dump and his adventures there with another abandoned toy, Buzzer the Bee... all told in photographs taken by (very cute, going by his profile) author, Matt Dray. Definitely one to pick up for a small child you know.

I also found a teeshirt to go with my new jeans... black and metallic and rainbow and shiny, as well as pretending to be related to New York in some way... all in all, so very gay...

It's weird though... a lot of the tops I've bought this Summer have been black... which isn't so great on really hot days... and I guess there are other colours out there, but stuff that I like, in my size... there seems to be a lot of black.

Fortunately my jeans are quite light... although I have no idea what shoes I'm wearing yet.

However the black and fluro yellow Bonds trunks I wanted, I couldn't find anywhere in my size... annoying.

Once I was done with all that I stopped off at Salsa's for lunch... love their Mexicrinkle chips, the burritos not so much, very average.

Then I headed off home but decided to stop off at another Kmart (to check if they had the teeshirt I bought in the next size up, and look at underwear), thanks to the Google Maps on my phone... I probably could have found it on my own, but I would have ended up going a much longer way.

The teeshirt obviously only goes up to the size I originally bought (which is fine, and once it stretches out a bit it'll be better)... and while they didn't have the exact underwear I wanted, I did end up getting a pair that's quite different from other ones I already have.

So... yeah... and that was pretty much that.

Big fat solo pre-Christmas shopping Saturday.

Current Mood:

is pika, is good

pikkkka-chuWell, I've now officially met J's New Boy... heretoforafter to be called Pika, because of the Pokemon, dontcha know...

And while I think he's possibly the least attractive (relatively speaking) of the four boys J's dated for long enough for me to have met them, he's kinda adorable and I quite like him, even if he does have a tendency to ramble incoherently.

Which means that we're now at 2-All when it comes to whether or not I like J's boyfriends.

We'll just have to see how long this lasts, J being J and all...

Current Mood:

photo friday: city reindeer

city reindeer with purple treeIn a week from now Christmas will all be over with the exception of laying around in a food coma. That just seems to have come around very quickly and seemingly out of nowhere.

The world took stupid pills in the latter half of this week, especially today... stupid questions, stupid decisions, stupid statements and general stupid...

Some days you just need a chocolate milk and a ham, cheese and tomato croissant at 9am. Today was one of those days.

Sugarmonkey and I wore the same style and colour of shirt (except mine had stripes)... but it had to happen sooner or later.

H-San made himself laugh until he turned purple in the face and cried... and all over instances of the words "information" and "relevant" (which he later turned into the word "elephant").

And I was just generally over every damn thing.

I was a little freaked out last night... I came out of the apartment block on my way to drop off my dry cleaning and there was a guy with a camera across the road taking a photo, seemingly of me. I'm sure that part was accidental, but it did throw me for a loop and made me wish I'd said something to him. It did bring back memories of this very early blog post too.

While catching up on the distinct lack of gossip from yesterday's office party, I also discovered that one of the girls from a different section on our floor had no idea I was a big 'mo and was seemingly somewhere between surprised and shocked to discover it. Bless her little heart... she's a lovely girl, but not that bright.

I thought my place was going to be Grand Central Station (by comparison to normal anyway) tonight... and it still might, although it doesn't seem as likely. First Ma is swinging past after she went into the Optus store in town about her phone (turns out the thing she was complaining about is "a feature of the phone"... so she wasn't happy), then J and The New Boy were supposed to be coming over later in the evening... but I hadn't heard from J... but then Ma called me to tell me she was on her way (and whinge about the feature thing) and J called me not two minutes later, so now he's on his way over too.

As much as I love my little red Converse sneakers, they still kill my feet... and add to that the fact that at the beginning of the week my right hip feels fine, but by the end of the week it's all twingey... less fun. I'm guessing it must be something to do with my chair at work... or maybe my walk... see I knew exercise was bad for you.

I'm addicted to Unblock Me on my iPhone. Seriously, I only added it a week ago (maybe less) and I'm already up to level 150. I've even taken to playing it on the bus, and I'm sure one day I'm going to go straight past my stop.

When I got home (after stopping off and picking up my dry-cleaning and whatnot) the other little parcel card I've been expecting was in my letterbox... so I had to get in the car and go down to stand in a very, very long line (seriously, why wait until the last minute for everything people) and pick up my case of Tin Soldier wine. That's one bottle for me, and 11 more that I have no idea what I'm going to do with (okay, that's kinda not true... a bottle for Sheba, a bottle for J, a few bottles for people Ma knows, etc).

Hearing a woman speaking French is just cool. It happened in Melbourne and it happened in the Post Office. A woman in front of me was with her 3yo daughter, and speaking French to her. Very cool. And the daughter's name was Salome, so even cooler.

Current Mood:

random simple hotness

Sometimes it's good just to go with something simple.

This week's Random Hotness couldn't be more simple... Eric, shirtless, in black and white...


Current Mood:

tribes

tribal... not really the kind i'm talking about thoughYou know how as soon as you get something new... whether it's a new car or a Crumpler bag or an iPhone or a friend announces they're pregnant... and then suddenly you're seeing the same make or model of car... or people with iPhones and Crumpler bags... or you seem to be tripping over pregnant women (not literally of course)...

In my case of course, I'm suddenly noticing all the people with those little white Apple earphones in a way I hadn't before. In fact, when I went for my walk on Monday the first two people (in the space of about a minute and a half in fact) I saw wearing earphones had those little white Apple ones.

Now normally I would have just chalked it up to coincidence or the law of possession (when you have something, you notice it) or some such...

But this time it got me thinking about tribes.

We all belong to tribes. The tribe of our family, the tribe of our friends, the tribe of our workplaces... but then there are the wider tribes... the iPhone tribe, the Crumpler tribe, the left handed tribe (which Ma is a member of). And then there's the tribe of sexuality... which has any number of it's own little sub-tribes...

I may have nothing in common with the skinny little androgynous tattooed freak (in an Empire Records way) who works in JB HiFi... but seeing him walking down the street on the weekend holding hands with his boyfriend makes us part of the same tribe.

And had the straight boy walking the other way... who not only had to have a good look at the pair of them repeatedly, but also did it with a slight look of either disgust or puzzlement (or both) on his face... either verbally or otherwise "attacked" them, I like to think that I would have reacted to defend part of my tribe.

Which, of course, is different from being part of the iPhone tribe...

Current Mood:

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