Partly I think it's due to the fact of yesterday, which I'd been looking forward to for a while now, being incredibly underwhelming.
Actually there's a whole thought process running through my head about life in general being underwhelming at present... things that have previously been exciting or engaging don't seem to be as good...
But I don't know if it's the things or if it's me...
Enough with the dime store psychology... I just wanted to catch up on a few things from the last day or so...
Spirit guide portraits
First up are the spirit guide portraits from yesterday...
To a degree they're both kind of disappointing... or rather not what I was expecting. Since last year I'd been mulling around the idea of asking for "female energy"... mostly as a contrast to the male portraits I've gotten for the last three years.
And that's exactly what I asked for... but as you can see on the left hand side, that's really not what I got. Or at least not exclusively.
What's odd is that even though it's not what I asked for particularly, it is kinda stuffed with symbols that work for me (or are close to symbols that do).
The two figures have some similarity to two of the three figures from the Quiet Centre trio a couple of years ago. Then there's the moon over water and the bird.
Actually the bird freaked me out a little bit. Shiona was most of the way through the piece, but hadn't added the bird or the "stuff" over the top of the moon/figures, and I thought to myself "there should be a bird there"... and then she started making some marks over on the right hand side, and as she finished one of the lines I thought "that's a bird!".
Whether it was just completely coincidental or not, I don't know... but it had me going for a moment or two.
I really don't remember much of what she said about it... something about wholeness and feeling worthy... and I think the old man was me or part of me or something... I really don't remember. But even though it wasn't what I asked for I do kinda like it. It's also the first portrait I've had done on paper that wasn't navy blue... but the black worked nicely.
Unfortunately the "earth" coloured paper on the other portrait wasn't quite such a success.
In fact the whole second portrait was a bit of a let down. But I'm wondering if that's all because of the paper.
Last year, while Shiona was doing Ma's portrait, she mentioned that Ma and I had had past lives together, most notably Egypt. And given that I'm fond of all things Egyptian I kinda wanted to manoeuvre this portrait in that general direction. Hindsight would suggest that that was perhaps a mistake.
Interestingly, given what happened as the portrait progressed, it would seem that one of us was an Ancient Egyptian drag queen. And I'm still not sure about the Mr Whippy hairdo on the other one.
When Shiona first started sketching out the figures, the lower one was male... but at a certain point, possibly as she started to do the eyes, it became an older female figure. Actually she originally started out with her eyes shut.
The story behind the portrait was fairly vague as well... love, trust, journey, etc.
Potentially that wasn't anything in either of the portraits that she couldn't have intuited from the fact that a) I've come back asking for different things each time, theoretically searching for something (but really I'm just interested in different aspects of the process and having different kinds of images), b) Ma and I have been to the expo four years running and c) whatever interactions she remembers from previous occasions.
But it still means she has a high degree of skill in reading people, as well as the artistic skill... so I'm not really bothered either way.
However, I think this is my last portrait.
Kublai Khan Mongolian BBQ
I'd never been to Mongolian BBQ before... and Ma had only been once before... but it was her choice for her birthday dinner. Even though Twitter generally recommended the Genghis Khan restaurant in Rostrevor, we went with another Khan... Kublai Khan in Parkside. And mostly because it was closer and it was the place Ma had been previously.
Normally I'm not big on restaurant reviews... but it was so incredibly underwhelming that I felt like I needed to mention it.
The decor is generically suburban Asian restaurant, lots of red and gold and lanterns and the staff are dressed in what seem to be generic Asian outfits.
When we walked in, I can't really remember whether we had to go to one of the waitresses or if she kind of met us half way, but she had a handwritten list in her hand with the reservations on it... and when I told her my name, she couldn't seem to find it. There was some brief back and forth between her and and older woman, then I think the older guy from the photo stuck his head through from the bar/register area and called out some number.
I wasn't exactly sure what he said, but he pointed in a general direction... and then they left us to it. Nobody bothered to show us to our table, and it was only because the table in question was the only two person table in that area that I guessed it was ours.
The service didn't really get that much better. Although I will admit that they cleared the used bowls from the table fairly quickly... but that was about it in the plus column.
The orange juice I ordered was incredibly watery, and not that big... I'm guessing Ma's soda, lime and bitters was okay... she didn't mention anything.
The food itself was okay... although given that you pick out your own meat, your own vegetables and your own sauces... it has the potential to be very hit and miss. In fact, the first bowl I made up was awesome, the second (an attempt at Sweet and Sour) tasted distinctly homemade (not bad, but not overly interesting, or possible not what I was expecting from the label "sweet and sour") and the third was a variation on the first.
I could have done with slightly smaller bowls though... the temptation is to fill them up quite high given the fact that the meat is frozen into curls, and after three bowls I was very full, and I would have liked a chance to experiment with more variations.
The other thing that seemed to be sadly missing were the smiles in the photograph above... I'm not sure if it would have made a difference if the younger guy had been there, but there weren't really any smiles or even acknowledgement when they took the bowls from you or thrust them back at you... there might have been a cursory nod, but that was about it. Not really particularly inviting.
And then when we were finished eating and I asked for the bill, the waitress proceeded to clear everything off the table, which just seemed unnecessarily pushy.
So in the final analysis, food = decent, service = shit. They weren't rude as such, but they also weren't especially welcoming.
I'd be interested to try the other Khan restaurant though, because I like the concept.
Ma's Birthday Presents 2011
Even though we went out for dinner on Saturday, and normally we do the present thing on the weekend preceding either birthday, this year I'll actually be seeing Ma on her birthday day.
It's funny... for the past couple of years since I started dropping random presents for Ma into a cardboard box in my wardrobe as I buy them, I'm never quite sure what the hell is in there until either the relevant occasion comes along.
Although I think just under half of the stuff is been bought in the last week or so...
As usual though, there's something seahorsey, earrings and a pendant...
- "M" mug (it looks like a plastic disposable cup, but it's porcelain)
- 3D lenticular lighthouse bookmark (mostly for shits and giggles)
- Dear Me: A Letter to my 16 year old self (which I picked up during the Borders closing down sale)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides tickets (symbolised by a tiny version of the poster, since I'll need the tickets before then)
- Feminique pendant (to replace the one she lost... although I'm giving her the fancier one of the two she picked out since we're going to all the Adelaide Cabaret Shows this month)
- Cambridge/seahorse spoon top brooch
- Marcasite seahorse brooch
- Triple coin earrings
- Scarf pendant (that whole thing in the upper right corner... the rings and the big hanging thing get threaded on the scarf)
- Kensington Royal Palace Japonisme Fan card (which I haven't written in yet, since I'm not feeling especially inspired at present)
So that's about it really... a somewhat longer post than I was originally intending it to be... but I feel a little better for having gone "blah blah blah".