The last time I really remember that happening at a comedy show was back in 2009, but tonight it was all due to Adam Hills and his Happyism show.
I'd seen the previous shows Characterful, Joymonger and Inflatable when they aired on the ABC and then went out and bought the DVDs... and I knew that the next time he came to town I had to get tickets.
It was so completely worth it!
Firstly there is something that always strikes me as joyful about Hills comedy... even when he's getting fired up about something or touching on a controversial topic, it just seems like he's happy to be up there on stage.
Or, in the case of tonight, running around the audience, taking photos with people, being given presents, hitting on ladies of a certain age in the audience, making Americans sing their national anthem, giving out Fruchocs, getting the people with the worst seats in the house to come down and take a seat in one of the balcony boxes... all while his poor Auslan (Australian Sign Language) interpreter stood on stage translating all his antics for the fairly sizeable deaf section of the audience.
Actually the two of them have great chemistry together... not really surprising since I'm pretty sure she's been working with him for at least six years.
And I don't know if it's just because he was back in Adelaide, but there was definitely an exuberance about his show tonight... which is what led to the aforementioned crowd interactions.
There's always a point towards the end of his shows where he gets to the heart of whatever it is that his show is about... and often there's something touching or moving about that particular story and I've gotten a little teary... Happyism is no different. And I won't spoil it completely, but it's when he started to talk about the guy on the bike... it's a beautiful image.
All in all it was a fantastic show and a brilliant night out.
Just remember... if you get the opportunity, don't be a dick... instead, touch the fucking frog!
And then if you don't go out of your way to get it once it is on sale, sometimes you have to go to four different stores before you find it again.
So today was all about picking up things and searching for things that should have been in places that weren't.
It was, or perhaps is, about waiting around for things to happen later.
When I woke up this morning my brain went into instant "weekday morning mode" and it was only after I'd already dragged myself out of bed that I realised I didn't need to bother getting organised for a while longer... so I just crawled back into bed for a while.
It was also very cold this morning, so when I finally got around to jumping in the shower it was hard to drag myself out... but after I rugged up nice and warmly I had some time to sit and read my book before Ma arrived.
Shopping was a little more annoying than usual... they had the hordes of staff in to do the stock counting, which is always a pain as they clog up all the aisles and generally take up far too much space.
Usually then they're out in force like that we end up getting less stuff than usual since it's just generally more difficult to get to stuff, but that didn't happen today for some reason.
Then began the hunt for a particular Lego set... which I'd seen at Target and Big W last week... but when it came time to look for it again it wasn't anywhere to be seen in Target and Big W didn't bother to include it in their sale.
In the end it required looking in two different Targets and two different Big W's before I finally found one on sale in Myer... so that's my Christmas present to myself organised.
Between one lot of Target/Big W's and the other we stopped off to pick up all the artwork we dropped off to get framed the other week. And it all looked great! Okay, they got confused about one of the pieces and technically framed it "upside down" (actually they just put the cord on the back at the wrong level, so I'll just take it back and get them to fix it up), but the actual framing looks amazing.
Once we'd picked up the framing we headed down to Marion to continue the search for the Lego set... since all the places I knew it should be were under one roof, and we had a little bit of a wander, but we didn't do the usual full wander from one end of the place to the other.
Beyond the Lego saga we really didn't have anything else we wanted to do, so after we got what we came for we headed back to my place.
And that would normally be where I would draw this to a close, but we're off to see Adam Hills tonight, so Ma hung around... well actually she hung around for a while, decided to take stuff back to her place and then come back... so she did that, and now we're waiting for it to be time for dinner.
I'm not 100% sure where we're going to go for dinner... somewhere on O'Connell Street most likely before we head off to Thebarton Theatre.
And it's not even like it's been a super-busy week... it's actually been kind of slow, but at the same time there are a couple of days this week where I'm not 100% sure what I did with my day, I just know that I went to work and did some stuff and then suddenly the days was over.
I'm definitely looking forward to the weekend, even though I know it's going to be a busier weekend than usual.
As of Tuesday it's a month until we go to Melbourne... and to be honest, other than the fact that Owl Girl tried to rub her trip to Sydney in a couple of weeks in my face (in a nice way, because I likewise tormented her during my Sydney trip) I really haven’t thought about it. Maybe that will change as it gets closer, but I dunno... while I enjoy Melbourne (mostly for the street art and the vinyl toys) I don't feel it down to my bones the way I feel Sydney.
For the past few weeks I've been working my way through Kevin Smith's Fat Man on Batman podcast series ... I got into it after Smith was a guest on the Nerdist podcast and I remembered how much I enjoyed listening to him talk on the original Jay and Silent Bob Get Old podcasts that I listed to at one point. And while I wouldn't say that I'm a massive Batman fan, the 1989 movie does hold a special place in my heart and I do enjoy hearing a lot of the backstory from Smith's various Batman guests.
It has also got me to look into some comic book and cartoon series history that I wasn't otherwise particularly aware of. Like anything that relies on the quality of an individual guest for its content, it's not always perfect... the first four episodes with guests Paul Dini (writer for the Batman Animated Series), a double Mark Hamill (yes, that Mark Hamill, voice of the Joker) and Tara Strong (voice of Batgirl plus about a billion other voices that any animation fan would know) are all excellent, as is the crossover episode where Smith tells the entire story of The Dark Knight Rises and Diedrich Bader was fantastic, and I enjoyed hearing all about where both Batman and Nightwing are at with Scott Snyder and Kyle Higgins respectively.
Weirdly, while I don't have a history with Batman beyond the movies, I do have a pretty extensive history with Robin/Nightwing from the Teen Titans comics which I used to read/collect.
But if you're a fan of either the Fat Man or the Batman it's worth a listen.
I always find it interesting when the Universe sends me the experiences I need rather than the ones that I'm expecting or the ones I think I need.
Without going into too much detail, I was supposed to meet up with a guy last night after work, but he cancelled on me (which, to be honest, I was kind of expecting) at the last minute... and I wasn't sure I wanted to bother rescheduling. But I did, for this evening... and as soon as we'd set it up I started to not feel so hot, but decided to keep the rendezvous anyway... and it just felt like it was going to be a bad idea... even after I got there and it all seemed a little weird.
But once we got down to "business" it actually turned into a really relaxing experience. Which sounds weird, but that's what it was... and when I left, other than being freezing cold, I felt like I'd... I don't know... insert your preferred weight lifted, spring unwound, corset unlaced metaphor here. But however you describe it, I walked out feeling a whole lot better.
It wasn't a perfect experience by any means, but like I said, it was definitely the experience I needed to round out the week.
Part of it has to do with passing the 200 mark for movie reviews at the end of last year, but it's also due to the fact that Ma and I have been finding it harder and harder to find movies to watch, so much so that out of the first six months of this year we didn't see any movies for February, March or May and only one (last night's viewing of Monsters University) in June.
And that's definitely a change.
For the almost eight years of my blog's lifespan Ma and I have had a fortnightly movie night locked into our calendars. In fact the movie-going actually pre-dates the blog and started when I moved into my current apartment (and that was the continuation of Ma coming over with dinner on a Tuesday night when I shared an apartment with Ludo).
Sure we didn't always go every fortnight, and there have been gaps if something else came up (my time at the Camera Club, Fringe shows, Cabaret Festival shows, trips interstate, etc) or there wasn't anything of interest on at the movies, but we've been doing the same thing essentially since the late 1990's.
But in recent times there's been a decline. From 2006 to 2009 we averaged around 30 movies a year whereas from 2010 to 2012 we've only been averaging 22 movies a year. On the flip side of that though, when I crunched the numbers, it does look like the average scores I've given movies over those periods has increased, which is interesting.
So whether it's the fact that there are less movies around that meet the criteria for something Ma and I both want to see (or that I want to see alone because there are some of those in there) or whether it's just the fact that we're seeing less of the movies that either turn out to be kinda crappy or we know are going to be a little crappy going in, I'm not sure.
I know that I've definitely gotten pickier about what movies I want to bother to go and see. And it's stuff that in the past I probably would have gone along to even though I may have heard it wasn't as good as it could have been, or starred someone annoying... things in the last couple of years like The Hobbit, Star Trek Into Darkness, The Great Gatsby, Oz: The Great and Powerful, Prometheus, Chronicle, Men in Black 3, The Lorax, Snow White and the Huntsman, John Carter, This Means War to name but a few.
And I've seen a few of those since they left theatres... some were good, some were bad, some were average.
So, let me ask the rest of the movie-going public... is it me or is the general quality of movies decreasing? Or am I just getting fussy in my old age?
Before I dive straight in to my thoughts on Monsters University, I have to stop and say a few things about the short that preceded it, The Blue Umbrella. A little like Paperman which was the short before Wreck It Ralph,The Blue Umbrella is a masterpiece not only in animation but also in the art of wordless storytelling.
I think I felt every possible emotion during the six minute short... and I'm not going to lie, I shed a tear or two, mostly due to the incredible music by Jon Brion. And it's such a simple, relateable story of two umbrellas in a city.
It's also possibly one of the most photo-realistic Pixar shorts to date. If it hadn't been for one of two small moments I could almost have believe that it was live action with a layer of CG over the top... but no, the whole thing is CG which is absolutely amazing.
If it doesn't win Best Animated Short at next year's Oscars then I don't know what's wrong with the world.
But that brings us to the main feature, Monsters University.
I read part of a review earlier in the week which mentioned that unlike the first movie, Monsters Inc, which was incredibly universal in it's themes, the sequel/prequel is essentially American in it's basic story. As far as I'm aware, no other country in the world has the same kind of university experience as the US, and this story is set deep in the world of the University.
So it you've never experienced going away to college, dealing with a roommate, pledging to a fraternity or taking part in general US college life, then large chunks of this movie won't have the same emotional resonance that the simple idea of "there are monsters in the closet" did.
Having said that, if you've ever seen any American movies or teevee shows set in a University context, then you're up to speed on all the basic concepts. In fact, if you've seen Revenge of the Nerds I think you'll know everything that you need to know.
From that perspective, even with the Monsters universe layer over the top, I don't think the movie breaks a lot of new ground. It's fairly "by the numbers" as far as plot is concerned with a couple of small exceptions.
There were a couple of things that did kind of bug me... the first one being a line from the original Monsters Inc... "You've been jealous of my good looks since the fourth grade, pal."
That implies a whole lot of things... all of which is thrown away for the purposes of this movie. And it's not like they "forgot", I've read somewhere that they knew about the line but decided to disregard it on purpose. Which is a little disappointing... there must have been a bunch of ways that they could have worked that story point in... but they chose not to.
The other quibble is with the resolution of the story... there's a point where it just feels like the whole movie has smacked face first into a wall. And it kind of stands there for a while, somewhat dazed. Yes, the end of the movie does polish it off nicely, but it almost feels like they weren't completely sure how to get from point A to point B cleanly.
There are a couple of other little quibbles with certain parts of the story, but those are the main two.
But I have to admit there were a large number of really nice callbacks to the first movie... either just by characters showing up or other subtle jokes, like the use of "The Winds Of Change" line as a motivational poster in Mike's dorm room.
And now to pretty much say the same thing I say after every CG animation movie...
This is honestly the best looking CG movie I've seen yet. For the most part this is always going to be true... each CG movie should build upon the backs of all the previous ones, but I noticed so much detail in Monsters University.
Maybe part of it was the fact that I'm familiar with the main characters, so I noticed all the little improvements, and once I noticed them there, I kept on noticing them. But even so, what they've done with fur textures is really amazing... there's one scene where Sully is walking away and the fur at the top of his back just moves so realistically.
The lighting also looks fantastic... while the first movie had a lot of great lighting, there's some small moments in the sequel that really caught my attention.
There are a lot of new characters this time around and while there are a number of them that have a great visual style (both the PNK and HSS sorority girls spring to mind) the single most memorable character has to be Dean Hardscrabble, voiced by Helen Mirren... but when the character is a demonic winged centipede that flies a little like a dragon and speaks like a refined English governess.
While it's not as much of an emotional effecting universal journey this time out,it's still an enjoyable trip through the back-stories of a couple of great characters.
yani's rating: 8 two headed pigeons out of 10
The day started out pretty much the same as always... although Ma brought a bunch of boxes down so that I can start putting things out of the way with the view to working on putting up the new bookcases.
There wasn't much to report on the supermarket front... we did the usual routine, but once we were finished with the supermarket we had a wander around Target and Ma found herself a new jacket.
Technically there wasn't much point since the Big W sale I kind of wanted to poke around doesn't actually start for another week... but it was out of the weather and not too far away, so it seemed like a plan.
And it was... not so much Big W, but we did the usual wander around and I found some Terry's Chocolate Orange segments in one of the cheap shops along with a very cute if slightly ridiculous furry wolf hat... I'm wearing it now... it's a little small, but it is warm. And also fluffy.
We had some time to kill and I needed to get some stuff from David Jones so we wandered up the Mall for a while. On our way back we headed past Espionage Gallery and Josh just happened to be putting out the sign, so we decided to stop by so Ma could take a look at the Curvy exhibition.
As usual we had a nice chat with Josh and Ma ended up buying a couple of teeshirts from the Organic show...
Fork on the Road.
While the weather had improved somewhat the parklands were fairly waterlogged so walking around was slightly problematic... and the weather had kept a number of the trucks and stalls away.
We started off with a hot beverage from Myrtle & Mae, then I tried a hot dog from the new Flamin' Weiner foodbike while Ma went off to try Papa's Hot Dogs... to be honest, I should have gone to Papa's as well. The hot dog I had was okay... but it was a bit average. You can pretty much tell the difference just by looking at the two photos.
Anyway, I also stopped off at La Cantina since they haven't been around for ages and ages. And their food got way bigger. Not completely sure how I feel about that. Its nice that they're a bigger portion, but they're a bunch harder to eat and they don't look nearly as good.
While I was waiting for my burrito Ma was waiting over at Veggie Velo for some minestrone soup. Well, I say minestrone... but it was essentially chunky vegetable water... and took a really, really, really long time. Yeah... I know it was supposed to be vegan or vegetarian or something, but even so it was weird... and not soup by any real definition.
By this point a large number of people had poured into the park from the Walk Together walk... and the less said about that the better.
We didn't stick around much longer after that, I waited for a serve of paella while Ma went back to Myrtle & Mae to pick up some dessert items.
Once again the paella was quite nice... not brilliant, and a little heavy, but tasty enough. The wind did decide that I'd had enough towards the end and flipped the plate over onto the table... so clearly I was finished at that point.
At that point we'd both pretty much had enough forking... so we called it a day.
I got a little wound up and may have lost a little too much of my cool on Tuesday, got overly emotional on Wednesday morning followed by a day long meeting that was actually more interesting than I was expecting and I ended up feeling pretty energised even though it was a nine hour day, and it was nicely rounded off when I picked up the James Dean toy soldier artwork I commissioned a few weeks ago... and it's so damn gorgeous. The energy level continued over the second day of the meeting until it wrapped up at lunchtime on Thursday and then I kinda crashed and lost all my energy. But I got a little inspired when I got home and found the Powerpig instant camera Lego set in my letterbox... so of course I had to put it together right away.
Then Thursday night I had a haircut with Tink which was incredibly laid back and cruisy and resulted not only in short perfectly coloured hair but us sitting around on the couch talking about a bit of everything while my hair "cooked".
And today was a nice quiet day that finally gave me an opportunity to put some work in on my job application that's probably going to need to become a more urgent priority in the next couple of weeks.
Which is both awesome and vaguely terrifiying... at the moment I'm just writing a bunch of stuff that addresses various bits of the criteria as they come to me and I'll work out how the hell to string them together later.
All of which has left me a little bit deflated and ready for the weekend.
This week's Random Hotness is a little different... but I had photos of three different models, wearing three different styles of underwear against three different colour backgrounds... and my design OCD wouldn't let me split them up.
The underwear in question is the Supa-Fly range from underwear company Superwear... and while I don't know the names of the models, they certainly make the underwear look good.
The underwear in question is the Supa-Fly range from underwear company Superwear... and while I don't know the names of the models, they certainly make the underwear look good.
10234 Sydney Opera House™
- Ages 16+. 2,989 pieces.
- Recreate Australia’s architectural masterpiece!
- US $319.99 CA $379.99 DE 279.99€ UK £249.99 DK 2499.00 DKK
- Build this model of a UNESCO World Heritage Site!
- Includes hard-to-find dark tan LEGO® bricks, tiles and sloped bricks!
- Collect the 48×48 stud baseplate, available in blue for the very first time!
- Sturdy construction allows the model to be handled and moved!
- Features advanced building techniques for complex forms, angled walls and subtle detailing!
- Measures over 27cm high, 63 cm wide and 38 cm deep!
There isn't much to say about this giant Lego Creator model beyond "I WANT ONE!"... I know I have the Architecture model, but this is just a thing of beauty!
Of course that will all depend on how much the price goes up when it's imported into Australia. And considering that my Lego R2D2 went from $180 to $250, which I think is an increase of about 40%, which if that carries across would make it just under $450... so I think I'll have to wait for it to be on sale, but like R2D2.
Disappointing really... but doesn't mean I won't try my hardest to get my hands on one.
It all started out with the usual routine... housework, shopping, unpacking...
And even though I ended up consuming four Strongbows last night, I didn't feel any the worse for wear, which is slightly surprising given my general low tolerance for booze and the fact that they equate out to 5.6 standard drinks.
Anyway, there wasn't much of interest to report on the supermarket/shopping front... blah blah, Girl Guide cookies, blah blah, toddler in a knitted panda hat, blah blah, old ethnic men who regularly amuse us more than they really should.
Our only real errand for the day was to head to the framing store to get Ma's birthday cross-stitch and the Rebecca Murphy print framed.
But since we were doing that I decided to take a bunch of prints and photos and things that I had sitting around unframed along and get it all sorted out in one fell swoop.
We stopped off at Freedom on the way, since a couple of the pieces I had should have been standard frame sizes, so I figured I'd look for a couple of cheaper options than professional framing... but alas, Freedom clearly wasn't the place to look for that. And there wasn't anywhere between there and the framing store that may have had something.
Now that I'm thinking about it, it may have been an idea to head down to Arndale first and then off to the framing place, but it actually kinda turned out pretty good at the end.
Well, after we went left instead of right after we left Freedom and then ended up going up and down the road three times before we finally found the framing store... we might have found it earlier if I hadn't been distracted when we went past the first time.
And of course the woman in the store mentioned that it'd been dead for most of the morning, but as soon as we got there and I had a bunch of stuff to work through, two different groups of people came in while we were there (although fortunately not at the same time). It wasn't even like it was one person... first it was a group of five adults, then it was a family of four... and the shop isn't that big to begin with.
So after Ma had been through her framing choices I let the woman serve the group of five adults just to get them out of the store. That turned out to be a good plan, because while she was doing that we had a look through the premade frames they had in the store and found two that fit the pieces that I had that were a standard size.
Then it took me a while to go through all the choices... you'd think it would be simple... I mean how many variations on a flat matt black frame are there really....
Although, now that I think about it, I think there's actually only one that's totally flat matt black.
The one that took me the longest amount of time to do was the Aquabumps photo I bought on our 2011 trip. In the end I checked out the Aquabumps website on my phone while the woman served the family and worked out that they recommend both skinny white and "raw" shadow box frames... so I went completely the opposite way from where I'd kind of been heading and went with that.
Fortunately I got a discount because I was getting more than one piece framed (a good tip to remember next time), and because they didn't have a sample of the shadow box frame on the wall the woman actually worked out the price using one of the other frame samples I'd picked out, which was cheaper (according to her anyway).
And, of course, after I made all my decisions and she'd written it all up and I'd paid for it, I started looking at the Cameron Brideoake print from the Organic teeshirt show and realised that it was missing a little something... so I pulled out a bunch of red matts and tried them out until I found one that matched... fortunately there was enough space to add a matt without increasing the size of the frame, so it wasn't that much more expensive to add a matt.
It did cost a bunch, but to be honest it came out to about as much as I'd expect to pay for one artwork of a decent size, and that was for five pieces (they're going to mount the two pieces that I bought the premade frames for as well, which saves me having to worry about it).
So now all of my unframed prints are about to be framed. Woohoo.