the last (shopping) post of 2011

Saturday, December 31, 2011

happy nude years eveYou know, I'm not really too fond of this "Important Holiday Eve falling on a Saturday" thing.

It's all kinda disorientating.

But today is both Saturday and New Years Eve, so it's been a different day than previous NYE's...

I woke up around 6am to discover that outside was blessedly cool so I cranked the fan up in the doorway to try and at least pump a little cooler air into the apartment before the sun came up over the house next door.

While that was chugging away, I changed my bedding (while managing to tweak a muscle in my back... a sure sign I'm getting old), rotated my mattress (seemed like a good day to do it), took out the trash and washed the dishes in the sink. All this because my grandmother essentially lives in my brain and everything has to be "just so" at midnight.

I was pretty much done with everything by about 7am, which is pretty damn good, so I played around on the laptop until Ma messaged me to tell me she was on her way down.

Now of the five Saturdays in December, we actually didn't go shopping together for three of those, so it felt a little odd and I think we both ended up buying more stuff than usual (even though my fridge is kinda full already).

Then we wandered around Target to see if they had anything decent on sale (not really... or at least nothing that I want/need)... and marvelled (no, wait, the other thing... horrified) that they already had the start of their Easter egg display out. Really? Really really?

Since today is very, very hot (36°C as we speak), we decided to head down to Marion where it would at least be cooler, there's pretty much all the shops we would want to have a look in and we could leave the car undercover. My car obviously, since it has aircon.

As always when it's hot it was a little bit of a chore finding a carpark underneath the building, but we managed it eventually. Marion actually wasn't as busy as I thought it was going to be... and lots of guys in shorts and singlets or just shorts that kept falling down... and lots of exposed tattoos (some good, some not so much). Tasty.

We did our usual big circuit (all along the bottom, then upstairs and all along the top, then back along the top and back along the bottom), lets us see everything.

There were a few bits and pieces worth getting in the sales... I picked up a new chain for my watch pendant (the other one had that "fingers on a blackboard" effect on me every time the pendant moved on the chain), Ma bought three big bottles of the Harajuku Lovers Wicked Style perfume for $57 (that's less than one bottle normally retails for... meaning she saved about $140). We also poked around the left over Christmas decorations, but there really wasn't anything even remotely interesting left.

But we covered pretty much everything, so by the time we were done we were officially done with a capital everything.

year of the rabbitNow all that remains to be done for the year is to a) watch the back of it disappear into the sunset (literally) in the next six and a half hours and b) do my regular "Yaniblog In Review"... the first sentence of the first blog post for each month of 2011...

I did kinda start this whole "Year That Was" thing yesterday with the Last Meme post, but here's Yaniblog11:

January: And here we are on the very first day of 2011!

February: I don't know if it's exactly yarn bombing if you tie a doily to a tree, but it's very cool... I'll refrain from trying to make a reference to the other image...

March: Philip Escoffey's previous show, "Six Impossible Things Before Dinner", was one of the shows that I wanted to see last year but missed out...

April: It hasn't been a particularly good week...

May: I got my 52 Suburbs book today... it's so pretty... I'm going to need to devote some time to going through it though... there's a lot of text and a lot of images to pour through...

June: Something blue for the Winter template...

July: Behold! The rare blue Mr Sloppy! I knew there was a blue one around, and a recent photo tipped me off to where I might find it.

August: I'll say this for you Brisbane, I may not be able to orient myself on your streets yet, but you have some mighty fine looking men wandering around...

September: Unsurprisingly, the Spring template is from our trip to Brisbane.

October: Today was brief... so much so that I think it can best be summed up in dot point form...

November: If Adelaide Zoo is a regular kind of zoo, then I have no idea what the hell Taronga Zoo is... it's like an animal city or something. We saw pretty much everything there was to see except the Kid's Zoo, and it took six and a half hours.

December: Some of that "painting with light" action for today's Random Hotness...

That's it... 2011 is officially done and dusted. See you all in 2012!

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photo friday: birds and the last meme of 2011

Friday, December 30, 2011

eyebird r - adelaide bad foot bird - adelaide
mr kookaburra is not amused - brisbane pigeon shine - port adelaide
peg leg duck - sydney slammer - sydney
A mixed bag of birds for the year's last Photo Friday... from three different states.

Since I haven't really done anything much this week, I figured that I'd round out the year with a real life, honest to goodness meme... it's been one that's been floating around in my drafts for a few years, but this year seemed a good time to drag it out.

And this pretty much sums up everything I would have mentioned about the ups and downs of the last 12 months anyway...

So here it is... The Last Meme of 2011:
  1. What did you do in 2011 that you'd never done before?
    Travelled to three different cities, two of them during the same trip. I had more money in the bank than I've ever had before in my whole life (although two interstate trips, eBay and Fringe tickets have kinda wiped a lot of that out).

    I also put some of my photography up for sale in a gallery. So far nothing has sold, but it could just be the wrong gallery for my work.

    Going to the gym first thing in the morning is a new one.

    Oh, and taking part in crowdfunding was something I hadn't even heard of before this year... but during 2011 I've helped to fund artists, musicians, travellers, tech accessories, urban collectives and books.

  2. Did anyone close to you give birth?
    Tink, Sugarmonkey, two of my cousins (not that I'm technically "close" to either of them).

  3. Did anyone close to you die?
    Thankfully no.

  4. Who was the best new person you met?
    Possibly The Banger at work... I really don't meet people.

  5. Who did you miss?
    Lownee, the same as always... but a little less so every year which is both good and disheartening. In July 2012 she'll have been gone from my life for 10 years. Which is longer than she was actually IN my life. But I still look for her face from time to time in a crowd of strangers.

  6. How many one night stands in this last year?
    Approximately 15, give or take a couple. Although are they technically one night stands if you've already had sex with the person more than 12 months beforehand?

  7. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
    Work permanency, regular sex (contrary to what it would seem like from the previous question), a larger bank balance, a smaller waistline... the usual.

  8. What dates/experiences from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory?
    Seeing Stephen Fry for the second time... visiting the emergency room followed by Shakespeare... Macbeth at the Fringe... the best sex of my life.

  9. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
    On my actual birthday, not a lot... but before then there was stuff... and 37.

  10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
    Ear infection, knee scrape, nothing serious.

  11. What was the best thing you bought?
    Either Gary Seaman's entry in the Dumpster Biennale or my Digital SLR.

  12. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
    I'm not sure I got "really x 3" excited about anything this year... although the Melbourne/Sydney trip, the whole of the Fringe and getting pretty much all the packages I got in the mail throughout the year made me pretty excited.

    Oh, wait... Burger Theory burgers... they got me really, really excited for a good chunk of the year... partly because I never quite knew when I would be able to have another one. They probably also count as one of the best things I bought.

  13. Compared to this time last year, are you:

    • Happier or sadder?
      Potentially happier, but more angry than sad overall.

    • Thinner or fatter?
      Technically thinner, but it's only by degrees, and disappointing since I've been going to the gym pretty much all year.

    • Richer or poorer?
    • Currently poorer, but that's due to the aforementioned trips, tickets and Christmas.

  14. What do you wish you'd done more of?
    I wish I'd eaten better. Or maybe just eaten less, I don't know.

  15. What do you wish you'd done less of?
    Complain, be disagreeable, be difficult. I often realise afterwards that I'm usually the one who complains about, well, everything... I don't really mean to be, but there's so much stuff that just seems stupid or ill-thought-out to me (especially in a work context) that I find myself complaining about it. A lot. Loudly.

  16. How will you be spending New Years?
    Watching movies, the same as usual... although since I didn't get a ton of DVDs for Christmas I may have to dip into the DVDs I haven't gotten around to watching during the year.

  17. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
    I have some different neighbours to this time last year, but I hate all my neighbours as a collective unit, so I'm not sure that counts. And various people at the gym shit me... but people pretty much everywhere shit me, so I think that's more about me than them.

  18. What was the best book/s you read?
    I really stopped reading during this year. I mean novels anyway... in fact, I've only read three books throughout this year, and only two of them are really novels. But I read stuff all the time... Twitter, blogs, articles, work things.

  19. What was your favourite TV program?
    Underbelly Razor

  20. What were your favourite films of this year?
    I'll be blogging my Top 10 list of movies for this year next week... But I also saw a LOT of older movies I'd never seen before during the year, so they'll probably get a mention in the same post.

  21. What did you want and get?
    Top of the list though is probably the iPhone 4S. But most things really. That's part of the "problem" with me working full time (if not on a permanent basis), then if I really want something (or even if I only think I want it, but I am getting better at resisting the urge to buy that kind of stuff), I buy it.

  22. What did you want and not get?
    This time last year I really wanted to replace my bookshelves, give myself more storage potentially. That still hasn't happened. The other thing I kinda wanted was a new microwave, not because I need one, but partly because it's the only piece of electronic equipment I haven't replaced during my time in this apartment. But I'm not sure what I really want in a new one, so I haven't found it yet.

  23. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
    Is it trite to say "more sex"... actually it should be "more great sex". I'll also add "a new apartment" or alternatively "new neighbours" (but more the former, since I'm kinda over living in this particular apartment), and "our unit having a higher profile" at work.

  24. What kept you sane?
    Laughter wherever the hell it came from, Twitter and my blog. Also working full time, although that potentially kept me equally sane and insane but for different reasons.
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random boating hotness

Thursday, December 29, 2011

This is the last Random Hotness for the year... the 49th for 2011 and 327th since the first unofficial hotness post (and who six years later showed up on Playschool again this week as I was flicking channels).

And I decided to go very, very retro for the final 2011 Hotness. All the way back to around 1980 in fact when a very blonde and very, very beautiful Christopher Atkins was mostly naked in The Blue Lagoon, and then seemingly posing in very, very, very short shorts in a row boat for Time Magazine.

Now is it me, or is there a little something there shouldn't be on display in that top right hand picture?

christopher atkins by time magazine christopher atkins by time magazine
christopher atkins by time magazine christopher atkins by time magazine
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morning street art safari

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Thanks to an early morning visitor (you know the kind I mean) and having to take a drive afterwards, I was showered, dressed and felt like being out of the house quite early... which lead to a Street Art Safari in Bowden and the CBD...

toy solider totem toy solider totem
It may also have given me an opportunity to release some more eyeBirds into the wild...

urban grey wires construction
And discover some more of Peter Drew's Forgotten Outlaws...

forgotten outlaws - william by peter drew lifecycle
sam evans mcsam forgotten outlaws - moira by peter drew
Discover fantastic new works... and finally be able to put a name to the artist...

unfinished green lady - morphett street bridge - seb humphreys bowden painted tree
See some urban faces...

no more pizza the tin man
And discover a couple of well chosen words that made me smile...

the dark room love at all times
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post christmas roundup 2011

Monday, December 26, 2011

the christmas tree just before i left in the eveningSo this is Christmas... as some wise man once said. And something about another year being done.

Although, in all honesty, I could just refer you to just about any of my Christmas Day posts for the last several years and it would just about cover it. We're creatures of habit at Christmas, never more so than on the day itself. Details change, but the major items are the same.

For example...

I was awake fairly early this morning, partially because it was so fucking hot on Christmas Eve and when I woke up my apartment was still stifling, so after dozing somewhat for another half an hour I got up at about 6am, opened up the door and tried to pump some of the cooler outside air indoors given that I was going to be out for the majority of the day.

Eventually after some faffing about I had my shower and got dressed in my thematically green Christmas outfit (green polo, green Aussiebums, green "grass" thongs), I messaged Ma to find out if she was up and about. She was, so after some overly verbose texting back and forth, I "tetrised" the car (to tetris: the art of fitting as much stuff as humanly possible into the available space) and set off by about 7am.

I like the streets at 7am on Christmas morning... there's nobody really about... although I did see some of those "godless heathen types" selling fruit and vegetables outside the Gepps Cross Drive In. If I'd known they were going to be there I might have stopped... but I was in the wrong lane, etc.

When I got to Ma's place (which would have been just after 7:30 or so) she was up to her eyeballs in puff pastry, cheese and ham making the last of the Ham Hearts to take to La Cousina's place. Didn't help to make her kitchen any cooler, but I do love the hammy cheesy flaky goodness when they're fresh out of the oven.

After the last of the baking was done Ma got ready while I wrote mushy things in her card (which I intended to do since about Wednesday, but kept forgetting... so much so that I only realised I hadn't done it once I got to Ma's place... but fortunately the words just flowed out of me perfectly when I did start writing it), chucked the croissants in the oven and set the table for breakfast.

Brief Christmas related side note: Cranberry sauce makes a great spread for croissants!

Once we were done with breakfast we packed up the car and headed off to La Cousina's place. I swear I must have some recessive bogan DNA or something because otherwise I don't really get how we're related. I kinda have the feeling that Miss Oh is going to end up feeling very similarly... she just doesn't seem to fit with the rest of them (but in a good way, if that makes sense).

And I know I've said it before, but every year we (well, Ma mostly) give them a bunch of stuff, and we leave with a couple of tiny things. I know Christmas is about giving, but giving and not getting back anything even remotely in the spirit of what you gave makes you not want to give anymore. You know?

I did get a $30 movie gift card though.

Anyway, we probably spent less than the usual amount of time there, gave them all their presents and then, extended familiar obligations over for another year (at least on my part) came back to Ma's place.

And of course that meant PRESENT TIME!

my presentsGiven that I've been working for such a while now, there isn't really very much I wanted or needed this year... and a bunch of my presents (everything with an asterisks next to it) are stuff that I've bought for myself but put away for Christmas (and mostly had Ma wrap up for me).
  • Howard Roffman/Bel Ami Paradise Found 2011 Calendar *
  • Corbin Fisher Pura Vida 2011 Calendar *
  • Lego Minifigure Display Case
  • Standing Small: A Celebration of 30 years of the Lego Minifigure
  • Minifigure Ultimate Sticker Collection (it came bundled with the other Lego book)
  • Viking*, elf* and geisha Lego minifigures
  • Collins Classics Macbeth *
  • Manga Shakespeare Macbeth graphic novel *
  • Popular Penguins Vile Bodies *
  • Futurama Season 5 Part I
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II
  • How To Train Your Dragon
  • Kung Fu Panda *
  • Tintin and Asterix coasters
  • Lunartik vinyl figure (The Earl) *
  • Joe Ledbetter Chinese Zodiak Tiger mini figure *
  • Nutcracker nesting dolls
  • Salt&Pepper Nutcracker bowl with candy cane pate knife
  • Toy soldier snow globe pencil
  • Tinkerbell Christmas snow globe
  • AHW Creation Raw Aesthetic pendant (from The Rocks Market in Sydney)
  • $20 iTunes card * (actually this was what I was intending to give Ma, but she got one as her Secret Santa present at work, and I'd already given her one when she got her iPhone, and I needed one, so I lifted it back)
Since I didn't really have that much stuff to unwrap, I was more than happy to sit back and watch Ma unwrap the seemingly neverending stream of little red bundles from her big bag of stuff. Oddly, even though I only wrapped it all on Wednesday night, I didn't remember what the hell was in some of the parcels when she took them out. So it was fun for everyone.

I have to say that I'm disappointed in the Bel Ami/Howard Roffman calendar this year... not the photos, they're as excellent as always, but the paper is much flimsier than in previous years, and it doesn't even have a thicker front or back cover...

Once the usual orgy of unwrapping was over we started on preparing lunch... which usually involves a lot of waiting around for heatbeads in the Weber to come up to the right temperature and wrapping a bunch of stuff in foil.

In between that I also set the table and took the usual present related photos. So, you know, the usual stuff.

We tried a different kind of turkey breast loaf thing this year... without the stuffing. Turned out quite well actually.

And I made a quick and dirty BBQ version of Smashed Broccoli... and we discovered that cooking the baby potatoes and chunks of sweet potato in the microwave for five minutes before oiling them up and putting them in the Weber made them pretty much perfect... although I should have turned them when I went to put the bacon on the sausage meat.

Have I ever mentioned that we consume more meat in this one meal that either of us would usually consume in a couple of days?

While we waited for everything to cook (which only took just over an hour rather than the usual five hundred hours it takes for a whole turkey) Ma watched the first half of the So You Think You Can Dance finale from Christmas Eve (since she was out) and I footled around on the netbook.

seven years of photographing the christmas table and it hasn't really changed that muchThen... lunch!

We didn't do too badly time wise... it was about 2pm by the time we started eating, which for Christmas Day is pretty reasonable... I honestly never quite know what happens between us unwrapping presents and sitting down to lunch. Hours seem to vanish, and really have no freakin idea where they go exactly.

Lunch was pretty much the same as always... variations on a theme of the stereotypical Christmas dinner. And it's usually sometime around, or directly after, lunch that I usually make some statement to Ma around the fact that that's it for another year.

And, as always, we were stuffed by the end of the meal.

Then we did what we usually do after Christmas lunch... or the current version of it anyway. I wrote this post on my netbook while Ma watched the end of SYTYCD and half of one of the Discworld mini-series.

And by the time I got to this point in the post it was around 4:30pm. I really have no idea where the hell Christmas Day goes...

The rest of the day wasn't much of anything really.

Ma watched the other half of the Discworld thing, I swapped between watching that and reading through my Lego minifigure books... I swear that I remember/have/had some of the very, very, very early version of the minifigures... no idea if they're still around though. Or even if Ma still has all my Lego. I have an idea she may have given it all away to somebody, but I'm not completely sure.

After that was done, we poked about in the fridge, had a little bit of the Chocolate Rum & Raisin Christmas Pudding with brandy custard and picked at some bits of fruit while watching half of a Spicks and Specks Christmas episode repeat before I started packing up everything for the journey home.

The part of that that takes forever is Ma sorting out food to send home with me... there's lots of rummaging in the fridge and pulling out various containers and whatever the hell she generally does that ends up with me having a bag full of left over goodies to take home.

I left slightly more than twelve and a half hours after I arrived, and got home with no dramas. And my house was still there...

And I spent the remainder of the evening playing around on the laptop and downloading updates on the netbook.

Merry Christmas indeed... see you same time next year!

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joyful yuletide wishes

Sunday, December 25, 2011

merry christmas to all my readers, subscribers, tweeps and social media buddies
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photo friday: christmas friday

Friday, December 23, 2011

christmas drummer reindeer with a passenger
contemplative camel seven swans a swimming
Ahhh... the David Jones Christmas windows in Sydney... I especially love the little mice...

Taking today off was a very excellent idea. I know tomorrow is Saturday and I would have had it off anyway, but it was good to just unwind today.

I got to sleep in (bliss)... then went to the supermarket and did my grocery shopping (I figured it would be less busy this morning than tomorrow morning when everyone will be trying to get an early start).

After I was done with groceries I went into Target just to have a quick look around, not with the intention of buying anything. I spent $75 and came out with two bags full of stuff. But pretty much everything was on special, so I saved money too.

Ma is going to kill me though because I bought five rolls of wrapping paper and a box full of bags... and she always claims we don't need any more of either... however I contend that while we have a large quantity of items, the quality of a lot of them is kinda shit.

And then I drove home... and it was only 9:30... which is pretty good considering I got there at about 8:30.

I'd actually done some tidying up before I went to the supermarket, but once I got home I put the shopping away and finished tidying up while watching a bunch of Dilbert episode.

Then I had very quick "sex" with a guy with very short equipment who shot like a firehose.

And I've spent the rest of the day chilling out, watching movies, eat some of the vast amount of chocolate I've been given during this week and really that's about it.

A very great pre Christmas day off!

I just have no idea what the hell I'm going to do with tomorrow...

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random holiday hotness

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Twas the day before the day before the day before Christmas... wait, what...

A bumper Random pre-Christmas Hotness this year featuring Brazilian model Francisco Lachowski and a room full of Christmas tchotchkes.

I do love the first shot with the smirk and the ropelight bondage shot...

christmas with francisco lachowski christmas with francisco lachowski
christmas with francisco lachowski christmas with francisco lachowski
christmas with francisco lachowski christmas with francisco lachowski
christmas with francisco lachowski christmas with francisco lachowski
And just in case you've missed them... here's a list of Random Christmas Hotnesses from previous years...
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