january photo-a-day challengeAnybody who follows me on Twitter or Instagram would have noticed that I've been taking part in FatMumSlim's Photo-a-day Challenge for January.

I've enjoyed it... it forced me to take at least one photo a day, it made me think about how best (within my plans for the day or what I had around the apartment) to exemplify the theme of the day.

And I made sure that I used the same Instagram filter for each shot so they would all match up as a group... which fortunately is one of my favourites anyway.

January Photo-a-Day Challenges
  • Day 1: Me
  • Day 2: Breakfast
  • Day 3: Something I adore (Street Art, obviously)
  • Day 4: Letterbox
  • Day 5: Something I wore
  • Day 6: Makes me smile (getting parcels in the mail)
  • Day 7: Favourite
  • Day 8: My sky
  • Day 9: Daily routine
  • Day 10: Childhood
  • Day 11: Where I sleep
  • Day 12: Close-up
  • Day 13: In my bag
  • Day 14: Something I'm reading (The Order of the Stick)
  • Day 15: Happiness
  • Day 16: Morning
  • Day 17: Water
  • Day 18: Something I bought
  • Day 19: Sweet
  • Day 20: Someone I love
  • Day 21: Reflection
  • Day 22: My shoes
  • Day 23: Something old
  • Day 24: Guilty pleasure (collecting Lego minifigs)
  • Day 25: Something I made (from when I painted)
  • Day 26: Colour
  • Day 27: Lunch
  • Day 28: Light
  • Day 29: Inside my fridge
  • Day 30: Nature
  • Day 31: Me again (circa 1978)
Some were a little harder than others... especially since I don't do portraits (Days 1, 20 and 31)... others have been opportunistic grabs on the way from A to B (Days 8, 16, 21, 28 and 30), others were planned out days in advance (Days 10, 18, 25 and 26).

And I have to say that my favourites are Days 1, 10, 12, 21, 23, 26 and 28. But if you really pushed me it would be a toss up between Days 21 and 28.

The challenge for February is on FatMumSlim's website.

Current Mood:

unconscious mutterings 470

Suffering from a hefty dose of ennui just at the moment...

Unconscious Mutterings...
  1. Every day :: Eat, sleep, poop
  2. Rinsed :: Hair
  3. Funeral :: Coffin
  4. Whitening :: Teeth
  5. I am :: You are, we are Australian
  6. Cooperate :: Teamwork
  7. Blazer :: Private school
  8. Valley :: Uncanny
  9. Difficult :: Me, quite often I'm sure
  10. Service :: Bad
Current Mood:

movies: arrietty

discover a secret world within our ownI think Arrietty is the first time that I've reviewed a movie that I've seen in the cinema after already seeing it beforehand. Okay, maybe the second time, but the first one doesn't really count.

It was slightly different because I originally saw the Japanese version, and this was the (UK) English dubbed version. And it didn't really make a lot of difference to my enjoyment... I think there were a couple of dialogue changes here and there, but nothing major. And the odd occasion where any English translation is a little bit... clunky. Or else the original writing was clunky, but I prefer to think it's the translation.

It's based (in an even looser way than say, Howl's Moving Castle, which ravaged the original story... whereas I think just took the concept and the names of the characters and left pretty much everything else) on the Borrower books by Mary Norton, which I will admit that I'm not familiar with. I know they exist and I know a movie version has been done before with a very young Tom Felton, but that's about it. So I can't comment on what has been included and what has been left out of the source material (although looking at the previous movie, it looks like Arrietty had a little brother that didn't survive the translation).

Like almost all (if not all) of the Studio Ghibli movies, while it's a very beautiful and very Japanese looking movie (you know what I mean... it's instantly recognisable as a Ghibli movie), it is a little slow around the middle... but not horrendously so.

The voice cast is solid... nobody that really stands out as great or below par though, but I will give some kudos to young Tom Holland as the voice of the young boy Sho... it's not a straightforward role since Sho has to display a certain fragility that I think Holland gets just right in his performance.

I'm not sure if the fact that we saw the UK version made any difference, but the only thing that wasn't translated in the whole movie (other than a couple of unimportant signs) was the note that is left under the sugar cube. It would have been easy enough to do, either with dialogue... and it appears that the US version may have an onscreen translation. For the record, the note reads... *very mild spoiler*... "You forgot something".

Even with it's slight flaws, it's a very endearing movie, although not the best Ghibli has ever made.

yani's rating: 3 sugar cubes out of 5

pervy summer shopping

50's refrigerator guyI always get the shopping done so much quicker when Ma is getting her hair did...

Less than half an hour this time, even if I didn't go into Target or go across the street to Coles/Woolies for anything.

On the downside it was one of their Stocktaking Saturdays. I get that they do it on a Saturday morning so that they can call in the maximum number of teenage part time staff (as well as others I'm guessing come from a temp agency of some kind)... but Saturday morning... seriously.

Anyway, I did the Supermarket thing around the Stocktaking thing, got one of the competent Checkout Boys (seriously, this boy make look completely vacant, but he's one of the few who uses his initiative when packing the stuff into bags) and made it home, unpacked, read the paper and was half-assedly watching kid's TV on ABC3 when Ma arrived.

And it's been another hot day, and we still didn't really have much we wanted to do, so we decided to go and see a movie at Marion and use the free passes I got as part of the "earlybird prize" for renewing my membership at the gym.

But first we needed to stop at the Village so I could bank the $190 worth of silver coins I bagged up earlier in the week. And I was served by a woman who seemed to either be really new, or else was a little bit stupid. Plus, bank staff really should be able to add 90, 60, 30 and 10 in their head, right? I mean even I can do it and I'm shithouse at Math.

Then we drove (in my car, naturally, because of the air-con) down to Marion.

You know those days when you go to a major shopping mall and you drive around and around and around and around and around and around the area you want to park in and it takes forever for your particular path to coincide with somebody actually getting to/in their car and giving you a space?

Today wasn't one of those days. It was a "Oh, I'll go down here... oh look, people going to their car... oh, they're going to the next row... wait, no they're not, it's that car there... waiting, waiting... SPACE!" kind of day.

I like those days.

So we parked, went and swapped the bits of paper I had for bits of paper that would let me into the cinema and then wandered about a bit.

And wandered over to the toy department in Myer and went through all the Lego minifigs they had in the box on the counter. Because I'm tragic. And got two of the major ones that I really wanted... so I'm happy... for now.

Then we grabbed some water and some grapes from Coles and headed off to the movie (more on that later).

When we came out of the movie we wandered around a bit and got something to eat.

There is something about Westfield Marion during the Summer... and that something is tall, tanned, buff, tattooed, lithe, blonde, redheaded, singlet wearing, half naked, slightly bogan dudes. Not all at once you understand... although often many, many of the things all together. If I wasn't already hot and sweaty, it'd make me hot and sweaty. In a word... phwoar!

Also, buff, tanned, blonde twenty-something twins. Lordy.


That was about it really... we wandered about, I perved a LOT, we left.

Current Mood:

photo friday: melbourne street funk

beastman in melbourne urban cake lady cape stabs fear face see youI'm... in a funk. I think. Actually I don't really know.

It's all the things I've mentioned before... it's the weather, it's work being incredibly dull (today was really, really dull given that almost everyone seemed to be taking the post Australia Day Friday off), it's the feeling that I'm completely unprepared for the trip to Melbourne next Friday (which I'm not at all unprepared for really... although I do have a bunch of things to check and do before we leave... so I don't know what that's about), it's just... I dunno.

But it kind of results in me not really being able to concentrate on anything properly.

So I think I'll just leave you with this Melbourne street art and wander off...

Current Mood:

random oz hotness

Today's Random Hotness happens to coincide with our national day, Australia Day.

I have no idea where these particular naked beer drinking, barbequing, surfing, cycling gentlemen are from, but it's exactly the kind of party I wouldn't mind attending!

So long as someone offers me a beer and a sausage...

Happy Australia Day everyone!

oz day bbq boys oz day bbq boys
oz day bbq boys oz day bbq boys
Current Mood:

pre australia day musing

adelaide - semaphore tower sydney - taronga sailboats
melbourne - laneway bike brisbane - evening clocktower
On the eve of Australia Day... here's a collection of the places I've been around the country in the last twelve months. Which I actually find really, really amazing given that distinct lack of travelling for the first 30 years of my life.

I'm also slightly freaking out that this time next week I'll be packing my bag for Melbourne. And then less than two weeks after we get back, the Fringe starts! February is going to be massive!

This bout of hot weather seems to be eating away at both my brain and my patience like acetone dissolving styrofoam. Normally I would suggest I wasn't sleeping well because of the heat, but it's not like I have trouble getting to sleep and I'm not waking up during the night. I just think that maybe the quality of the sleep I am having isn't so great.

Or maybe it's just that the world is full of petty annoyances...

Like the fact that my employment agency is making me fill out every single bit of paperwork again as though I was starting with them for the first time. So I spent about 45 minutes this morning filling my name in about a dozen times on various bits of paper. On a number of them I really just wanted to write "see the previous forms because nothing has actually changed".

And the fact that when it's hot like this I just don't want to be bothered tidying the house up, so it all feels a little blah.

Although the world is also full of things that are good...

Like the fact that the sixth series of the Lego Minifigs is finally available in Australia! I knew this because Ma brought me two figures yesterday, so today I figured I'd head over the Myer just to see if they had them in yet. Turns out they did and there was a woman standing at the counter with one of the staff going through and essentially feeling the packs looking for certain ones.

I could have hovered around waiting for her to go but instead I walked up said "can I join in?"... because I'm as tragic as hell. Fortunately there was a second box so I spent about 20 minutes of my lunch break going through and feeling up EVERY! SINGLE! PACK! in both of the boxes to try and find the ones I wanted from this series. And I think ever single staff member from the toy department wandered past while I was doing it and asked if I needed any assistance... and I was all "no, I'm good, just feeling up the merchandise".

It turned out to be a good plan because not only was Myer having a "buy 2 get 1 free" sale on everything in the toy department, but out of the six I bought, three of them were the ones that I specifically wanted (one was okay, the other two were duplicates). Of course, because I was nice and handed over a couple of the ones that the other woman was looking for (for her daughter... so she was after the girl/female figures), I still need to stand around and feel some more packs to try and find the others.

And even though the cool change doesn't come in until Saturday afternoon, I'm still going to enjoy having the day off tomorrow for Australia Day. Not that I really care about the actual day, but hopefully I can get the house a little cooler.

Current Mood:

movies: tinker tailor soldier spy

the enemy is withinIf you're looking for something layered, occasionally complex, but beautifully performed, then Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is your kind of movie.

It very much feels like they've taken the bag of excellent male British actors, turned it upside down and out has fallen a sublime cast...

Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Strong, John Hurt, Ciarán Hinds, Tom Hardy... they're all amazingly good.

Oldman really does steal the show as the protaganist, George Smiley, though. He loses himself in his roles at the best of times, but I don't think I've really seen him in anything quite like this before.

But he has always been one of those actors that while you always recognise that he's Gary Oldman, he's never just playing himself. There is always so much character there. And Smiley is no different. There's no hint of Jim Gordon or Sirius Black or Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg in his performance.... it's definitely somebody new. And it's beautiful to watch.

I was also impressed by Cumberbatch... although in a lot of ways his character feels a little bit more like it's designed to be the audience's entry point into this work... but the role is a world away from his performance as TV's latest Sherlock Holmes.

But essentially everyone who appears on screen is brilliant.

The plot is more than a little convoluted at times... and there are flashbacks and flashsideways switching of time and place that are occasionally jarring or at least confusing. And I did work out who "done it" as it were quite early in the movie... but that was more about a hunch based on actors that turned out to be correct rather than the plot being transparent.

And while I understand that everyone who goes to a movie goes with their own particular set of baggage and essentially everyone sees a slightly different movie because of that...

But there really was a whole bunch of very British, very repressed, very upper class, very "public school" homoerotic sexual tension going on throughout this movie! Of course it didn't help that I was getting the main character slightly mixed up with Guy Burgess who was the inspiration for the movie Another Country (who also happens to feature Colin Firth, oddly enough).

Even so, there's a thread of the queer that seems to run through the base of the movie. Or that could just be me.

It also looks amazing! Somebody said to me recently that a movie they'd been watching perfectly nailed a certain time period... and this does too... everything feels very grubby and dark and real but also perfectly of the era (the 1970's). But it's not in your face about it... it's just beautifully authentic (or at the very least it feels that way, since I wasn't actually running around London in the 70's).

To pare it back to it's essence, it's a wonderfully written (slight plot confusion notwithstanding), beautifully acted and wonderfully detailed movie.

yani's rating: 4 chess pieces out of 5

unconscious mutterings 469

I shaved off the proto-beard yesterday... it lasted for either 23 or 26 days (I can't actually remember when/if I shaved during the week after Christmas). It was straggley, half-assed and only looked good from certain angles.

Can somebody point me in the general direction of this post if I ever say I'm growing another full beard?

Also, I fucking hate Summer/hot weather more than I can possibly articulate...

Unconscious Mutterings...
  1. Rivals :: Affection
  2. Automatically :: Upgraded
  3. Bathroom :: Shower
  4. Jerk :: Off
  5. Preference :: Sexual
  6. Parenting :: Half-assed
  7. Helmet :: Viking
  8. Wave :: Dancer
  9. Judo :: Chop
  10. Flat tire :: RAA
Current Mood:

midsummer shopping mundanity

mathew mason by bentley raceShopping between the middle of January and the beginning of March is always a bit of a painful exercise.

The weather is usually too hot... everything that we wanted we either bought at Christmas or in the sales straight after.

So we end up not really having much of a plan about what we're doing or where we want to go.

And yet somehow we tend to fill the day up anyway.

Today was mostly typical but only partially productive.

We started with the usual supermarkettry... and the usual unpackinginess... and the current annoyance about the lack of specific products in certain stores...

Add to that the discovery that for reasons that I really can't fathom in the slightest, my teevee had lost Channel 10 and GEM, tuned in a second set of SBS channels including the ones with nothing on, plus the radio versions, and the remaining Channel 10 stations that I had (Eleven and One) weren't picking up anything.

I don't know what the hell is up with that, but I've retuned them all know and it appears to be fine.

Anyway... because I appear to be either having a second childhood or some sort of midlife crisis and am currently obsessed with Lego for the second time in my life, we headed to Arndale to check out the Lego stationery sets (c'mon... Lego marker pens... with little Lego men heads on the caps!) and wander about mostly in an aimless fashion.

Then we headed into the city to see if one of the camera stores could point us in the general direction of somewhere that bought or at least valued old/secondhand SLR cameras. Let's just say that they were less than helpful.

We also ran into Princess T in the Mall on her break from her retail job.

And that was kind of it. We got a drink in the food court underneath David Jones... poked around in their Food Hall, then poked around in their leftover Christmas stuff (again) before deciding that since we only had a little bit of time to spare before the parking space ticked over from 0-1 hours to 1-2 hours that we'd head back to the car.

Turned out we quite literally made it with a minute to spare. Ticket going in stamped at 11:54, ticket stamped as paid at 12:53.

So, yeah...

Current Mood:

photo friday: storm, calm, sydney

war's angel water and wood
Some Sydney tones for Friday.

I feel as though I'm residing in the calm before the storm... or possibly the eye of the hurricane, I'm not completely sure which.

Parts of this week have been mind numbingly dull. Parts of this week have been teeth grindingly frustrating. And there's the potential for the rest of the year to go completely batshit crazy.

I know that February and March are already going to be crazed, what with trips and Fringe stuff and my birthday and whatnot... but there are "discussions" underway at work that would potential make the rest of the year completely insane.

The only solace is that the same "discussions" have been going on for a number of years with no forward momentum... so nothing may happen again this time. Or it could just be like a snowball rolling downhill in a cartoon, picking up speed and mass as it goes from all the other little projects laying around in its way.

Or I've just completely screwed the analogy/cliché pony.

Of course that's all dependent on all the particular stars aligning and me still being there past the end of May.

Thankfully I've just renewed my gym membership, so that's out of the way even if work does dry up. And it came with a lower price tag, two free movie tickets and a "sports pack". I have no idea what's in the pack, I couldn't be bothered trying to carry it around the supermarket along with everything else, so I'm picking it up on Monday morning. I would assume it's just general branded tat (in the British sense of the word) that they had left over from some other promotion... but we'll see.

I swear I don't just get hiccups any more... I get ear splitting sonic belching eruptions of death. Urgh.

Now lets see if really, really good barbeque sauce makes an effective meat marinade...

Current Mood:

random bearded hotness

I've been attempting to grow a beard since Christmas. One thing has become patently clear... as much as I enjoy not really having to shave as much, I am not genetically predisposed to growing a full, actual, grown-up beard like today's hirsute Random Hotness.

Missouri born model and musician Carson Kelley, photographed by Scott Teitler for Fantasticsmag, grows a fine, Nordic style beard.

I'm very jealous...

Current Mood:

unconscious mutterings 468

I swear the alarm on my iPhone is on the fritz...

Unconscious Mutterings...
  1. Red tape :: Suffocating
  2. Crush :: Man
  3. Magical :: Hogwarts
  4. Sticky :: Tape
  5. Tile :: Scrabble
  6. Doubt :: Constant
  7. Inconsistent :: Story
  8. Kiss :: Deep, long, tender, wet, French
  9. Inspiration :: Perspiration
  10. Thanks :: No worries
Current Mood:

domestic organisational saturday

man in a boxWe really, really, really did nothing today...

Well, not nothing nothing...

Ma was dropping her car in for a service this morning, so I met her at the supermarket in my car and we did the usual supermarkettery.

And it's nearly the middle of January and the new Lego minifigures still aren't out in Target... grrr...

Afterwards we came back here and I cleared out my freezer. I really need to stop putting anything in my freezer that doesn't come out again within about a week... there was so much stuff either completely ruined by the freezer or else completely unidentifiable.

But at least it's tidy now.

While I was doing that Ma was loading some of my CDs onto her iTunes account, then we ended up both fiddlefaddling about with laptops and iPhones and Angry Birds since the mechanic called to say that he had to fix some extra thing on Ma's car and it wouldn't be ready until about noon. And since neither of us really needed to go anywhere or do anything... we didn't.

He called pretty much bang on noon, so we headed out to pick up Ma's car and headed straight back here.

I've been intending to go through my wardrobe since I went looking for something I bought in Brisbane and couldn't find it. I did find a box that I didn't even know I'd kept, and didn't need.

So since I got back here before Ma, I started in on the wardrobe.

First thing to go was my old printer and scanner... Ma's going to give them to somebody at work. And then there was the big garbage bag full of stuffed toy elephants that I used to not so much collect, but accumulate.

I pulled them all out of the bag and looked at them, and didn't have an emotional connection to almost anything in the bag. There were also some tigers and bears that I did have a connection with...

Most of the elephants are now on their way to one of the op shops.

By the time I got to the stage where everything was out of the wardrobe and spread all over my bed, bedroom floor and living room floor. And then I couldn't be bothered finishing. Mostly because I really needed some storage boxes to do it correctly.

But Ma suggested that we head down to Arndale and find some boxes. Which seemed like a perfectly reasonable idea to me.

Unfortunately it's never quite as simple as "I want a box that's pretty much X by Y by Z... they only come in certain sizes and a lot of those sizes were either a couple of centimetres too wide or way, way, way too small. Annoying.

I did eventually find some that were perhaps a little shallow, but fit across the top section of the wardrobe very nicely. One for my scarves (I have way too many scarves), one of the stuffed toys I was keeping, one for my blankets and one for all the other random fabric I had in the wardrobe (old photo backdrops, painting dropclothes, etc).

So everything went back nicely... even though the whole top section of the wardrobe is completely full again... but I did get to put my neon Christmas tree and the perspex reindeer up there so Ma didn't have to store them at her place.

And there is more room in the bottom of the wardrobe, so that's good.

But that's really about it. We then loaded up Ma's car so she could take away everything that needed taking away... which was a lot... and off she went.

Not really a short day with one thing and another, but a more productive one than just wandering around the shops in a random fashion.

Current Mood:

photo friday: melbournian street art

manchester press urban cake lady curls
deb painter smokin beardy
You know those characters in cartoons that are so rageful that either steam is coming out of their ears or they have that uncontrollable twitching eye thing going on.

Yeah... That's this guy at present.

But we'll move on...

So... we're all booked in for Melbourne. Flight booked, hotel booked... although not the hotel we've stayed in before (the crappy location of the rooms we got last time kinda put me off a bit) and not the really, really central hotel that was over Degraves Street (but I have it bookmarked, and we're DEFINITELY staying there next time we go to Melbourne. Oh, and the car too and from the airport... I booked that yesterday with Lygon Limousines.

Although I haven't heard back from them yet... so I might have to email them directly instead of going through the form on the website.

This could well be our only trip this year. Two trips last year (plus random spending) put a big dent in my finances... so the trip to New Zealand that we were half considering is out... I'm still half tempted to go to Sydney in April on my own for a weekend to see the Bell Shakespeare company do Macbeth (the obsession continues) at the Opera House... but that will depend on how much the tickets are.

I've also discovered that it's sometimes bloody difficult to give away free things. Although perhaps it's just that the free things in question didn't appeal to the audience I was trying to give them too. Even so... it's a little frustrating.

I also discovered a new book that I may have to give to people with babies and/or people leaving school and/or any other occasion that I can think of... all thanks to this video:

The book in question is "Oh, The Places You'll Go" by Dr Suess. The video got me a little bit misty eyed (it's a beautiful piece of writing).

Yesterday I had my first Burger Theory burger of the year. It's not like I'm surprised by how good they taste each time I have one, but I think I forget exactly how good they taste (or exactly how they taste) until I'm eating one. And the chips that they've started making are SO GOOD! So crisp on the outside but so fluffy on the inside and not at all greasy.

I'm pretty sure I know the reason why, but attractive young men working in shops who make direct eye contact with me and/or are especially friendly make me... well actually it's kinda hard to describe. It's like butterflies, but more of a lurch. Anyway, they make me all lurchy. Mostly it's the direct eye contact.

I finished the first season of Game of Thrones last night. It really is very good. Although because it's based on a series of books there's a whole bunch of stuff that happens where you just know it's going to pay off in Book/Season 4 or something. I'll definitely be watching the next season later in the year.

Current Mood:

random assumed hotness

This week's Random Hotness is something of a nostalgic one for me... back in what now feels like the early Jurassic period when I was photographing guys, I didn't have studio space, so I would either photograph them here in my apartment, or in theirs.

So I can relate to The Apartment Project from photographer MStyles.

Read more about the project at Favorite Hunks & Other Things, and see more of MStyles photos on his An Assume Alias blog or his Tumblr.

mstyles - undies mstyles - the russian
mstyles - blue boy mstyles - backlight
mstyles - a fresh roll mstyles - bracing for it
mstyles - look back mstyles - buttoned up
Current Mood:


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