random connelly hotness

It's no secret that I'm fond of a redheaded gentleman...

Today's ginger themed Random Hotness comes via Favourite Hunks & Other Things and features model Rob Connelly in photos by TWD Photos.

And although Rob looks gorgeous no matter what he's wearing, there's something about this knitted hat/thermals combo that is actually really masculine (as odd as that sounds). Of course, the shirtless/pale skin thing doesn't hurt either.

rob connelly rob connelly
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movies: kung fu panda 2

kung fu panda 2 - prepare for the return of awesomenessThere are times when a sequel lives up to the original, there are times when it fails horribly and there are times when it actually surpasses it.

I'm very happy to say that Kung Fu Panda 2 is actually of the latter disposition... while the original was good, this is better.

It contains everything I loved about the original, the beautiful Asian visual style, gorgeous computer animation, great attention to detail, Angelina Jolie, Lucy Lui, the perfectly timed use of the word "Skadoosh"...

And then it mixes in a whole new bunch of things, including Gary Oldman as possibly one of the most beautiful animated villains ever, an albino peacock (which doesn't sound that scary until you remember that it's being voiced by Gary Oldman)... and it also answers one of the questions I had about the first one, namely, why is Po's father a goose?

The other thing that's really great about the Kung Fu Panda movies is that they don't hit you over the head with the message... it's definitely in there, but it's subtly woven into the whole story and hidden between the laughs and some rollicking action sequences.

It's also definitely one of the animated movies where they've gotten the celebrity voice cast absolutely right... other movies often pull me out of the moment thinking "oh it's you... and that's... wait, wait, wait... oh yeah, that's her", but with KFP2, they just are their characters so much that you don't even think about where the voices come from.

And there's also that "Pixar Moment" (which is impressive, given that this is a Dreamworks movie)... the point at which I got a little misty eyed... and other than the equally impressive How To Train Your Dragon, that really hasn't happened (in the animation oeuvre) outside of a Pixar movie in recent memory.

I didn't even mind that the final scene of the movie totally sets up the premise for a third instalment... in fact it made me impatient because I really want to see the next movie!

While we only saw the 2D version, I think it's pretty likely that the 3D version would be incredibly impressive, and I'd recommend that to people, even though I haven't seen it. I can only imagine it would wring another level of awesomeness out of a pretty damn awesome movie.

Great story, fun action, gorgeous animation, perfect casting... what more can I say other than awesome!

yani's rating: 5 feather blades out of 5

unconscious mutterings 439

All gussied up to head out again after work for two and a half hours of stuff I probably already know and half an hour of actual useful information at the camera course this evening.

Can you tell that I'm really, really not in the mood to go out amongst people tonight? I really don't play well with others...

Unconscious Mutterings...
  1. Familiar :: Wizard
  2. Park :: Linkin
  3. Bank balance :: Dented thanks to new camera and travel plans
  4. Ducks :: Water
  5. Relationship :: Complicated
  6. Ruminate :: Cows
  7. Humanity :: Mostly sucks as a whole
  8. Baking soda :: Odours
  9. Angela :: Anaconda
  10. Bastards :: Keep them honest
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inaugural slr saturday

burger theory truck very, very, very used cars
a very fluffy pony beach bike silhouette
A different kind of Saturday this week... well, different from the last few weeks. And mostly different because the four shots above are amongst the first 150 taken on my new digital SLR...

The day started out as usual, although my "emergency Saturday alarm" didn't go off this morning, but fortunately Ma was running late so I managed to tidy up and get ready before she turned up.

The supermarket part of the day was about average, other than the fact they were doing stocktake again... I thought they were supposed to do that shit overnight? And there's just teenagers badly dressed in workwear taking up space in the aisles. The only up side is I think it usually makes us shop faster.

Anyway, once all that was over and done with we made a quick stop at the chemist so I could find a knee brace thing (my knee has been feeling a little tender over the last week) which proceeded to drive me nuts all day long.

After we were finished here with the unpacking and suchlike we headed into the city to a) go and visit the Burger Theory truck (finally) and b) let me break in my digital SLR.

May I just have a gastronomic freak out for a second? Burger Theory burgers are AWESOME!!! We had the #1 (100% Coorong Angus Beef in a Breadtop bun, Iceberg lettuce, tomato, American cheese and Truck sauce)... and it was delicious. Sure it was slightly smaller than I was expecting, and a little on the messy side if you don't have the little cardboard tray (I did, Ma didn't, you can see where that's going), but completely and totally moreish. In fact all I wanted to do when we were finished was go back and try the #2 burger, and the burritos... in fact, what I really want right now is another one! I can still taste the Truck saunce (in a good way).

I sense a new addiction...

Before we left I also had to stop and get a couple of their cookies... which always make me do the Happy Stupid Dance... so freaking good!

Anyway, we wandered back to the car the long way so I could snap some more photos (and had one of the workmen on Waymouth Street call out to me to say I should take his photo... which I did... to which he then said he was embarrassed which made me laugh out loud. Sadly he wasn't particularly hot otherwise I would have included his photo in this post.

Then we headed down towards the beach... initially Ma was headed down to the Bay, but that's really not overly photogenic, so we took a somewhat random detour (stopped off at Ikea really, really briefly to look at photo frames which was a big fat disaster) and were kind of heading to Port Adelaide along Seaview Road when we crossed over the point where the River Torrens/Linear Park meets and ocean and I saw the pelican statue that matches the sea eagle statue I photographed four years ago, and got Ma to pull into the next available space (which turned out to be a little car park).

Best! Decision! Ever! We never made it to Port Adelaide... but instead I got to break in my telephoto lens photographing real pelicans, and when we wandered back along Linear Park I also got to photograph horses again.

I don't know why, but three of the horses came strolling over to where we were at the fence as soon as they saw us stop. Okay, one of them was actually coming over for the water trough rather than me... but one of the others had an opportunity to go over and make nice with other people but didn't until he saw us. Sadly the camera seemed to startle a couple of them, even though it doesn't make big loud beeping noises, just the general click sound.

Before we headed back to the car we wandered back to the beach again just as the sun was starting to get into a great position for silhouette shots (ie the guy and his bike).

On the way home we stopped off at Kmart to look at photo frames with more success and then again at Officeworks so I could pick up a little bitty 1TB portable hard drive for my photos.

So a productive day all up really!

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photo friday: gold pods

gold podsIt's been an odd week really...

Monday I went to bed really early but still woke up feeling as though I'd only had 5 hours sleep. But I think the reasoning for that became clear as the week progressed and the general malaise blossomed into a fully fledged cold/cough/flu. My body also seems to be fighting said virus by increasing my base body temperature to about 500°C, which coupled with the fact that The Nuthouse has been way warmer than normal all week isn't helping.

Tuesday night I had a somewhat unexpected gentleman caller which was nice... unexpected and convenient since he lives in the neighbourhood. And double unexpected because it went in a direction those things normally don't go in but which was a nice place to visit.

Wednesday started out normally, except for a meeting at 10:30. At 10:25 they decided to give us a full on, walk down the stairs, fire drill. Grrrr... but that then led to going over to the coffee shop with the Big Boss and a bunch of girls from the wider team. And it also led to my "pimp name" of Maurice LeFreque (don't ask).

Thursday we booked our trip to Brisbane at the end of July/beginning of August... we're going a couple of days earlier than we'd intended, but we'll be staying right in the middle of the CBD which should be good. It was also the last of our visits to the Cabaret Festival *sad face*. This year's shows have probably been the best we've seen of the three years overall, and the best show this year was Tuba Skinny without a doubt!

And that brings us to Friday!

I dropped into the Paper String Plastic gallery at lunch with my signed contract... so now it's all official, I have photos on display and for sale in a real life gallery. I always enjoy stopping by though... it's always a little bit wild and freeform.

Today was also Haircut Day! Woohoo...

And I have to say that Tink is getting huge... as she said, it kind of looks as though she's swallowed a basketball.

I went a little more hardcore with my haircut this time... shorter back and sides and taken slightly higher... not sure how well it will work, but it'll also grow out fairly quickly, so it all balances out really.

I also noticed a kind of reddish splodge on the back of my head, which i think I've always assumed was either to do with the hair colour chemicals or something, but Tink says it's always been there... but you would think I would know if I had a birthmark on the back of my head... must ask Ma tomorrow.

Now to make ham and pineapple pizza and curl up in my chair for the evening.

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cabaret: bryan batt - batt on a hot tin roof

adelaide cabaret festival - bryan battAnd so our 2011 Cabaret Festival experience ends fittingly with Mr Bryan Batt...

It also turns out that he's the first American act we've seen in the three years we've gone to the festival. French, English, Australian (including those living in the US), but never an American native.

And it just felt different... like we'd seen something very Broadway I guess. It's also helped that Batt is a hell of a performer.

He's also a very enthusiastic storyteller... so enthusiastic in fact that he doesn't always wait until he's back at the microphone before continuing... but it's easy to forgive him because the stories let you know more about the man, and as a fellow gay man I found a number of them very easy to relate to.

The songs were a mix of old standards, newer Broadway numbers and others that fit somewhere in between.

And he wasn't afraid to "work blue" either... my two personal favourite numbers were the innocuously titled "The Sensitive Song" and "Let's Talk Dirty To The Animals", both of which had me laughing my head off.

It was also nice to hear him do a version of "Way Ahead Of My Time", the "gay caveman" song which Mitchell Butel did last year.

I may now need to track down a copy of his book though...

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random chase hotness

Today's amplified Random Hotness all feature model and self confessed "backwoods Southern boy", DW Chase.

Most of these photos are by photographer Ev Dylan, which shows what happens when a photographer and model form an ongoing relationship.

It also makes me really want to get back into shooting models...

dw chase dw chase
dw chase dw chase
dw chase dw chase
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rundle street pixelface pixelface bricks
pixelface grenfell pixelface pole
pixelface tiles pixelface window
red pixelface
pixelface rundle marble pixelface cheekless
pixelface mirror
It's not quite Mr Sloppy... but I've become slightly obsessed with finding what I'm calling "Pixelface" (I think it's actually just called The Face)...

The street artist responsible is Peter Drew who is also behind both the Like and the Einstein On A Bike paste-ups that I somehow seem to have neglected to ever post photos (I was sure I had, but obviously not).

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unconscious mutterings 438

I returned a baby blanket that a woman pushing a pram didn't realise she'd dropped this afternoon... you would have thought I returned her actual child to her.

But it was weird because a) I stopped at the supermarket when I normally wouldn't... b) I was heading home from the supermarket a way I wouldn't normally go... c) I was only guessing it was hers...

Unconscious Mutterings...
  1. Diligence :: Due
  2. Volume :: Knob
  3. Hospital :: Bed
  4. Binge :: Drinking
  5. Loyalty :: Card
  6. Pediatrics :: Doctor
  7. Authorize :: Allow
  8. Cage :: Shark
  9. Studious :: Student
  10. Transfer :: Money
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cabaret: tim draxl - the chet baker journey

adelaide cabaret festival - tim draxl - freeway: the chet baker journeyI've been in love with the music of Chet Baker since Sheba introduced me to him about ten years ago... so smooth, so beautiful and it always sounds as though he's singing just for you.

So it was a foregone conclusion as soon as I saw that Tim Draxl was performing Freeway: The Chet Baker Journey at the Cabaret Festival...

It was the perfect venue too... the little "club" they create on the Festival Theatre stage which always feels very secret and intimate.

Surprisingly, while I'm familiar with Baker's music, I really didn't know anything about his personal life, and this show (similar to the format of Nick Christo's show a couple of year ago) provides not only the music, but Tim speaking as both himself and as Baker. Turns out that Baker's life was as chaotic and intense as his music is cool and serene.

Rounding out the "Chet Baker" experience is Eamon McNelis who masterfully provides all the trumpet work necessary for Baker's music.

But the star of the show is Tim Draxl's voice... which is amazing... warm, masculine, strong and dexterous... like being wrapped in warm honey really. And it perfectly suits the style of the music.

It also has to be said that Tim Draxl is a very attractive man!

A beautiful performance of beautiful music from a beautiful man by a beautiful man... what more could you ask for really.

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unexpected camera shopping

and yes, this probably means what you think it means given the title of the postIt's been a very peculiar day...

Partly because Ma dropped me off here at about 11:30pm last night and rocked up again at about 8:15am this morning... and I'm a little sleep deprived anyway... although I did sleep like the proverbial damned I think... I certainly don't remember anything between snuggling down in bed and hearing my "you should really start getting ready" alarm go off this morning.

I also think all this mixing with The Great Unwashed (combined with the aforementioned lack of sleep) at all these cultural events is starting to wear me down a little and my temper (or at least my ability to go from normal to snippy) is on a fairly short fuse. Mostly this just means that I want to slap people.

Anyway... where was I...

Oh, right... fortunately because I wasn't here last night, the place didn't need tidying up... so I took it easy until Ma got here and we headed out to the supermarket.

Other than Ma trying on some clothes and me buying a bunch of socks at Target, it was all the same as usual.

After all the usual stuff here, we headed into the city because I had half of a plan and Ma wanted to look for clothes. The emphasis being on "look for"... lots of wandering around and looking at, frankly, lackluster clothes.

It was a bit of an all over the place excursion... I think we wandered up and down the Mall a bunch of times since we kept forgetting something or wanting to go somewhere different.

That always happens when we don't really have a plan when we head into the city.

The half a plan I had floating around in my head mostly involved looking for a rabbit themed card (harder than you would expect)... so there was a lot of looking at cards between looking at clothes.

When we'd pretty much given up on both the card and clothes hunt, we headed back towards the car, and stopped off at Diamonds Cameras so I could kick the tyres yet again...

nikon d3100 and crumpler four million camera bagYeah... it didn't really end at tyre kicking.

The nice man who owns the store was the one who served me and talked me through the whole deal with the Nikon D3100, and I stood there thinking about it while Ma did that thing she does sometimes and kept talking while I was pondering.

And, you know what... in the end the decision came down to a couple of points. Firstly, the deal included a three hour instruction course on using an SLR (and, yes, I do know some stuff already, but more knowledge never hurts)... but mostly it just seemed like the right thing at the right time. I've been going backwards and forwards about getting a digital SLR for ages and ages, and I have the money and want to get one before we go to Brisvegas in August...

So now I have one...

Of course any new piece of technology also demands that I got to Crumpler and buy an appropriate storage bag to house it. I know... I'm a Crumpler Whore.

Sadly they don't make it in red... so I got the next best thing... that bright, toxic, lime green that is probably my second favourite colour.

So there we go... I'm all camera enabled...

Now we need to get our shit together, go and get some dinner and then head out to our next Cabaret Festival show!

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cabaret: tuba skinny

adelaide cabaret festival - tuba skinnyTuba Skinny's performance last night was the musical equivalent of "You had me at hello".

Less than 30 seconds into their first song I was completely enamoured and leaned over to Ma to say "I'm buying the CD".

And I know we still have a couple of shows to go, and we've seen some good stuff so far, but I think that this six piece group from New Orleans is way out in front as my favourite so far.

Erika Lewis who provides the vocals has the most amazing, smoky, vintage voice... if you close your eyes if feels like you're listening to a recording from the 1920's or 1930's. It's just magical.

The other stand-out performer was Robin Rapuzzi who plays the washboard and provides all of the percussion... not only is he incredibly talented and entertaining, but he has such great energy and knows how to work a crowd.

Having said that, the other musicians are excellent... and together they're spectacular, both when they're slow and slinky as well as when they're fast and upbeat.

I haven't heard that much of this particular style of jazz before, but something about both the songs and Lewis's vocals just spoke to me... I don't think there was a single number that I wasn't stomping my feet to or pounding out time on my thigh.

I perhaps could have done without some of the people who got up to dance due to a distinct surplus of alcohol... but for the most part it worked well with the music and was something different.

After the show I couldn't choose between the two CDs they had on offer, so I got both... and got both signed. It's been a very CD related Cabaret Festival this year.

And I can kinda tell that these songs are going to get a thrashing on my iPhone in the next few weeks!

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cabaret: michael griffiths - in vogue

adelaide cabaret festival - michael griffiths - in vogue: songs by madonnaA minor complaint before I begin... possibly the only thing worse than having drunk middle aged women in the audience of a Cabaret Festival show is having drunk middle aged women and drunk middle aged homosexuals.

I'm just saying... they're annoying, loud and obnoxious...

Okay... moving on.

You can keep your Gagas and your Beyoncé and even your Kylies... because I'm a gay of a certain age and went through my formative years during the height of the Material Girl, Madonna was always my diva. And In Vogue: Songs By Madonna as performed by Michael Griffiths was both homage, parody and love letter to Madge.

In a lot of ways this show reminded me of Nick Christo's show from a couple of years ago. And a tiny bit of Kim Smith's show from last year... but that may also have been because it was the same venue.

Like Nick's show, Michael performs as someone else (in this case, the one and only Madonna), but without accents, wigs or drag paraphernalia and singing in his own style. In essence it was just Michael, a piano, a cup of tea and the spirit of the Material Girl.

It also made me realise how beautiful some of the lyrics to Madonna's music are. Okay, some of the lyrics are completely asinine... but others are beautiful.

The show itself was something of a slow burn... at the beginning I wasn't quite sure about the performance and the between song banter. But as the show went along it just got better and better and by the end he had completely won me over.

And part of that is purely down to how great Michael is as an entertainer... even the occasional "heckle" from the overly enthusiastic audience couldn't phase him. I'm not sure how great a piano player he is though... even though he only acknowledged one bum note during the show, I think there were actually a few that snuck under the radar. But it never particularly bothered me... the performance was strong enough to carry through the minor mistakes.

The banter between songs also turned into a definite highlight... it was very dry and often very witty, and I did wonder whether some of it actually came from interviews or direct quotes... basically Madonna's actual words. It felt like that, but that could have just been the brilliance of the show.

Interestingly I can almost see Madonna doing the same kind of thing, if her whole career went completely to pieces and she decided to go in a different direction... just Madonna, travelling around, singing acoustic versions of her songs... it could work.

There was also a special guest appearance by Justin Timberlake. Well, in the same way that Michael is Madonna, JT was played by fellow Cabaret Festival star Josie Lane... and I think she was supposed to join him for Madonna and JT's Four Minutes song, however instead they performed another song which for the life of me I can't remember (sorry, it's been a very busy day).

But speaking of Madonna's songs, all the classics were there... from the eponymous Vogue, pretty much through all of her albums and styles. There were a few songs that I kind of missed... specifically Rain and Bad Girl, but I think since they're pretty much ballads already they wouldn't have been as effective to turn them into cabaret versions.

All in all though, a show that gave me a big fat nostalgic happy.

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photo friday: autumn jacks

autumn converseThese are the Jack Purcell sneakers that I bought in Sydney. I wore them to work today. They were very squeaky when I was walking. I have no idea why.

I managed to pull something in my wrist at some point this week. It's not to do with the gym I don't think. I bought some tubular bandage at lunch to see if that would help. It may do. I can't help thinking I should have bought the next size up though. My fingers are a little cold on that hand.

It's going to be a late night tonight. We have two Cabaret shows. One is at 7pm and the other is at 10pm. So from 8pm until about 9:30pm we have to find ways to amuse ourselves. We also have another show at 9pm tomorrow. Then our last show is next Thursday.

I'm not sure how well I'm going to last tonight. Hopefully my second wind kicks in soon.

Tomorrow Ma and I need to sit down and nut out our trip to Brisbane since we're going to have a fair amount of time on our hands.

I think it's also time to start looking at new cameras in a serious type fashion. It's time to move to The Land of SLR.

Why is it that the good people you work with are always the ones that leave? Why is it rarely the people you'd be happy to see the back of?

I knew there was a reason why you should never have sex with friends that you've known for a long time. It just feels weird afterwards. Doubly so if you don't want to sleep with them again. Triply so when you're pretty sure they they do want to.

I tried to avoid using ellipses during today's post. And using ands. Can you tell?

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random hide hotness

Today's Random Hotness comes from the Mr Hide shoot in the Fantasticsmag archives...

I'm not sure how I never noticed that there was a little magnifying glass under the photos on Fantasticsmag... I'm always wishing the images were larger...

Anyway... I think I gravitated towards these particular images due to the sweater... not only does it have a hood (tying nicely into my ongoing love of hoodies) but it looks very warm and snuggly... or that could just be the model.

mr hide mr hide
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movies: x-men: first class

witness the originI didn't actually realise that X-Men: First Class was being classed as a reboot until after I'd seen it.

But I'm not sure it really mattered one way or the other... with a couple of exceptions it seemed fairly internally consistent. Although it's interesting that it's supposed to be a reboot and yet they appear to either use the same footage as the beginning of the first X-Men movie (Magneto in the concentration camp) or essentially reproduce it down to the last detail.

And there are also a couple of cameos that seem to set it solidly in the existing X-Men Universe. So in the end it feels less like a total Batman Begins style reboot and more like just throwing the continuity book out of the window and making the movie they want to make.

The final result isn't bad though... they have a good mix of mutants (and I'm sure there's aspects of the characters that they've chosen that people more familiar with the comics than me will get a kick out of)... but essentially in the end it becomes the origin story for Magneto, Professor X and Mystique... and gives them all an interesting and intertwined back story.

Interestingly though, although the movie is set in a very specific time period (1962), it doesn't really feel like a period movie... in essence other than a few references (and using the Cuban Missile Crisis at the end) it essentially feels fairly timeless.

Both James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender more than hold their own as Professor X and Magneto against the memory of Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen, not only making them seem to fit with the older versions but also putting their own stamp on things.

The only thing I thought was missing was a little bit more weight to their relationship... they only seem to spend a couple of months working together but the relationship is supposed to define their interactions for the next 4o years.

Jennifer Lawrence does a good job as the younger Mystique, often invoking a similar feel to the character of Rogue from the original movies... a girl who is part of the world but set apart from it because of her powers.

The supporting cast of mutants is serviceable enough... no real stand out performances though... although Lucas Till gets points as eye candy.

However Kevin Bacon felt a little limp as the movie's Big Bad.

All in all though, a worthy addition to the X-Men Universe... not on the same level as Last Stand... but they definitely get a B+.

yani's rating: 2 blue and yellow jumpsuits out of 5

unconscious mutterings 437

I've done that public holiday thing again... tidied up a bit then spent the majority of the day sitting on my ass watching movies...

Unconscious Mutterings...
  1. Adventure :: Disneyland
  2. Truth :: X Files
  3. Expose :: Nudity
  4. Applause :: Cabaret Festival
  5. Hostility :: Anger
  6. Sauce :: Hot
  7. Constipation :: Prunes
  8. Explore :: Livingston
  9. Senator :: Weiner
  10. Children :: Future
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