the return to being mostly horizontal

it's like this, but with less superheroes
Remember in 2012 when I screwed up my back?

Well, after a couple of weeks of occasional twinges, an overly enthusiastic masseuse, an adjustment from a chiro that isn't my regular chiro and a Friday morning spent moving computers and crawling under my desk at work, I spent Friday evening resting in bed and got up to find that I had major pains shooting down the opposite leg from last time.

And they were there even when I went to lay back down. Not good.

That let to me having about two hours total sleep on Friday night since I couldn't do much of anything without pain.

Since my chiro office isn't even open on weekends, I found a replacement chiro out at Unley that could see me yesterday. Not sure how much she helped, but she did a partial adjustment and prescribed ice, rest and some walking around. Hopefully I can get in to see my proper chiro next week, since I get the feeling I'm going to be going back to seeing her a couple of times a week for a while.

Until then I'll be spending quite a bit of time just laying in bed for a while, and probably won't be blogging all that much until I can summon up the energy to either do something standing up or until I can actually sit down again.

Fortunately it's not as bad as the major incident last time... I can stand, I can turn over in bed, I can shower, dress myself and leave the house... I just can't sit. And there's some degree of pain involved in everything else.

So, yeah... not the best update ever, but at least I haven't just disappeared into the ether... I'm still here, just in a prone position mostly. At least it finally gives me the time to catch up on the last series of Game of Thrones.

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random district hotness

There's a movie poster theme for this week's Random Hotness. The movie in question is The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (or, you know, just Mockingjay) which doesn't come out until November.

A set of seven teaser posters dropped this week featuring high fashion images relating to the Districts, and it's actually a toss up for my favourite poster between District 7 (featured below) and the poster for District 9. As a brief aside, I think they totally missed the mark with the District 12 poster... I know why they did it, but it's a complete mis-match to the rest of the images.

But I knew I had to feature these three if only because of the presence of model (and former Random Hotness) Alex Minsky in the District 7 poster.

I have no idea who the models are for Districts 6 and 7... but you gotta love a man in textured rubber pants and a man in a furry cape.

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movies: how to train your dragon 2

how to train your dragon 2 - training is over
While the original movie was about a son's relationship with his father and how belief really can change the world, How to Train Your Dragon 2 is much more about what happens when that son grows up and has to deal with the world outside what he's known to this point.

And damn but Hiccup grew up nice... I know he's a cartoon character and everything, but damn! With the hair and the leather suit and the freckles and the stubble... damn!

Compared with the first movie (which is amongst my favourite movies and was my top rated movie for 2010), this has a much bigger story, more characters, more dragons and much bigger stakes. But what it shares is that sense of heart and that ability for the animation to just exist in the moment without needing to include a lot of unnecessary words.

It's also definitely a movie to see more than once, if only so you can catch all the little antics going on in the background between Toothless and the other dragons.

Dean DeBlois, one half of the pair behind not only the first movie but also my all-time favourite animated movie, Lilo and Stitch, returns as the writer and director this time around and he's crafted a beautiful story.

And I'm not going to lie... I cried... more than once.

What I love most about both of the HTTYD movies is that there are consequences. Amazing things happen, but there is death and destruction and loss. And it's handled in a way that, like everything else in the movie, doesn't hit you over the head. Like the fact that both Hiccup and Toothless are essentially disabled and while they can both make their way alone, it's when they work together that they both give their best.

And if I thought that the first movie was beautifully animated and rendered, then there doesn't currently exist a superlative to describe how glorious this movie looks. I've already mentioned how good Hiccup looks, but Toothless has had a whole makeover too and everything from his pupils to his scales, even down to his tongue, looks better than ever.

Then there's the first scene with Toothless and Hiccup, flying through the clouds... the ice effects later in the movie... and all the new dragons.

There are also a host of new voices joining Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, America Ferrera and all the others, including Cate Blanchett as the mysterious Dragon Rider, Valka... Game of Thrones star Kit Harington as the dragon trapper Eret, son of Eret... while Djimon Hounsou lends his big booming voice to Drago, the villain of the piece.

What I didn't know going in is that HTTYD2 is the second act in a trilogy, DeBlois accepted the sequel on the condition he could turn it into a trilogy and while this feels like a fully rounded story, it definitely leaves the door open to a conclusion to the overall story.

yani's rating: 4 alpha dragons out of 5

mostly perfunctory saturday shopping

frozen foo
Today was a bit of a perfunctory Saturday. There really doesn't feel like there's very much to report.

We were both running a little bit late this morning, which is usually better than just one of us, so we got to the supermarket a little late.

Then there was the usual shopping adventures, although we seemed to do 90% of the shopping in the fruit and veg section and the meat section and then 10% everywhere else.

When we were done with supermarketry we did a wander around Target before heading back here.

Neither of us really had any urgent errands we needed to run, but I did want to see if Big W had the new series of Lego Mixels, so we headed down to Arndale.

Trips to Arndale never last particularly long, so we did the usual circuit, I grabbed the Mixels, Ma found a top she liked and it took me as long to go through the self serve checkouts as it took her to go through the regular ones. And that's just not right.

After we were finished at Arndale we came back to North Adelaide along Prospect Road and stopped off to have a look at Honeysuckle Lane, which is now jointly named KAB101 Lane, and all the previous artwork has been replaced with works by KAB101. While it's nice to see a street artist get such high profile recognition, and while I do love a lot of KAB's work, I kind of miss the range of pieces that used to be there... as well as the fact that one of my favourite Benzo pieces (albeit a very faded piece the last time I visited... but it was my iPhone and laptop wallpaper for the longest time) is gone.

We also had a poke around a couple of vintage/antique stores on Prospect Road... and I was three quarters tempted to buy an old Box Brownie camera, but it would have just been a decorator item, and while it was cute, I really didn't love it to death, so after carrying it around the store for ten minutes I walked out without it.

From there we took a detour to Perrymans to grab some lunch, and then to the North Adelaide Village for a couple of things we didn't get earlier.

Then, after we came back here we had some lunch and then Ma wandered off on her merry way.

So, yeah... we didn't really set the world on fire or anything.

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photo friday: tails

grass taildrying off

red pradasurf crack

bonds surferbeach bum
This has actually been a fairly busy week... mostly work-wise, although I did spend an evening chasing my own tail in the pursuit of getting some tail, a phrase I don't think I've ever used in my entire life.

Having a busy work is good... although at the start of the week I was severely not in the groove for this particular new task so I spend about a day and a half (including half of last Friday) essentially spinning my wheels. But then I invoked the mighty god of tables, Excel, and now I have myself a fully functional process with colours and formulas and whatnot. I do love a good spreadsheet, I'm not going to lie... although it's weird because I'm not a numbers person... but then I tend to use Excel for everything BUT number crunching.

And once the leash fully comes off, hopefully next week, I should be running between the proverbial pillar and post (which in this case actually means three different computers) getting everything done.

It looks like it's going to be a good level of busy though... no so flat out that I can't do anything else, but enough so that I have something to do when I'm not doing anything else.

Monday evening turned into something that, while it definitely had elements of comedy, was pretty much a tragedy. It started with me chatting with a guy I've been talking to on and off for months, possibly even over a year at this point. We've flirted pretty hard core previously, but this time when an invitation was extended I took him up on it and drove out to Norwood (fortunately not that far to go). I'd only been there a couple of minutes when he declared that he was feeling "awkward" and had changed his mind.

To be honest I always expected him to totally flake out on me, he just gave out that kind of vibe... so the fact that I actually got an address that wasn't a pizza shop or a vacant lot and actually got to see him spectacularly naked was more than I'd expected. I very much doubt I'll be hearing from him ever again though.

That did mean I'd had an essentially wasted journey and was all revved up with nowhere to go (well, once I got home).

Which is why when another guy messaged me not long after I got home, I invited him over. And this is where it got semi-weird. He said he was in town and was headed my way, which is a 15 minute trip at most. Some 45 minutes later he claimed to be downstairs and when I gave him the "how to get to my door" spiel (which is much more complicated than it used to be) he said he was only wearing his underwear. I never did get around to asking why, but he then said he'd be back in another 20 minutes. I offered to go down there with clothes, but he just took off. And then blocked me. So whether he was ever even downstairs, I have no idea.

Oh, and then on Wednesday I had a guy I've met up with on a previous occasion (although, I'll be honest, I only slightly remember him) had been hitting on me pretty hard and was all set to come over, said he was going to take a shower and just vanished into the ether. I did send him a Christian Bale inspired "oh good for you, we are done professionally" (I've been listening to a lot of Hollywood Babble On lately... they do a bit... it's from his on-set rant during the Terminator movie) message... so

Seriously, what the fuck is my life?

Yes, I know, it's the price you pay for picking up randoms on the internet... but still... fuck.

Yesterday was a day full of food and haircut. We had a pizza lunch at The Nut House... usually we have morning tea to celebrate people's birthdays, but then there's so much food that we never feel like eating lunch. This time someone had the brilliant idea to cut out the middle man and make the morning tea into a lunch.

So twelve pizzas, six garlic breads, a box of donuts and several bottles of soft drink later...

I actually don't know how many pieces of pizza I ended up eating... I'm going to assume it was probably the better part of a whole pizza plus a bunch of garlic bread. By the time we were all finished eating we'd made it through eleven pizzas and five of the garlic breads.

Then there were some of those decadent Nutella filled donuts from the bakery in North Adelaide... I didn't have one during lunch but I did stick one on my desk for later in the afternoon. It was amazing, but a big, big, big mistake. I had far too much sugar rushing around in my system to be able to make brain things for the rest of the afternoon, and didn't feel like eating any dinner when I got home.

Fortunately I had to head out and see a very, very, very pregnant Tink to get my hair did. It was my second to last haircut before the baby's due... in fact, my next haircut is Tink's last appointment before the baby's due.

It was pretty standard as these things go... hair, shorter and blonder... talk, much of a general nature... pregnant belly, damn huge.

And that's really about it... I don't tend to get to into any exciting adventures while I'm at work since I don't actually leave the office, even at lunch. Which, I'll be honest, I always used to think people were crazy for doing, but it is saving me a ton of money bringing my lunch.

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random ben hotness

This is one of those Random Hotness posts where Tumblr comes to the rescue at the last moment...

I saw a really hot animated gif of underwear model, entrepreneur and occasional porn star Benjamin Godfre naked outdoors with a skateboard, so I had to go and investigate.

These shots are by photographer Gabriel Gastelum, and while Ben might not be totally naked, he's not far off.

benjamin godfre by gabriel gastelumbenjamin godfre by gabriel gastelum

benjamin godfre by gabriel gastelumbenjamin godfre by gabriel gastelum

benjamin godfre by gabriel gastelumbenjamin godfre by gabriel gastelum

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supposedly frugal saturday shopping

welcome back to the five and dime jimmy dean
The phrase "I don't want to spend any money today" didn't really have a whole lot of effect on today...

I genuinely had a couple of minutes this morning when I woke up where I didn't remember what day it was. I was trying to work out why my alarm hadn't gone off when it was supposed to and how that was going to affect my day because I was running behind schedule.

And then I remembered it was Saturday.

I did waste some time playing Angry Birds Epic, the RPG style game from the flinging bird people. It's cute and vaguely addictive.

I managed to pull myself away in enough time to take a shower and get ready before Ma got down here... well, apart from shoes... and then we headed off to the supermarket, and had an in-depth conversation about the first episode of the new series of So You Think You Can Dance from last night on the way.

What, it was a very emotional start to the season.

Shopping was, you know, shopping. I'm planning on making minestrone soup as my lunch of choice this week, so I filled up my trolley with a metric ton of vegetables as seems to be the general theme of late. Thankfully I didn't start work in Summer, because I have no idea what I'd be doing about lunches.

After we did the regular supermarketry we had a wander around Target... and I convinced Ma that she needed to buy one of the onesies they were selling out. It was pink and fluffy and had bear ears on the hood. She's 67 years old and now she owns a pink fluffy onesie.

And she looks fucking adorable in it.

We didn't really have any plans for the day, other than the aforementioned wish to not spend any money.

I had idly floated the idea that I could do with another set of bedding while we were in Target, only really due to the fact that the Ikea sets that I have are about 10cm smaller than the non-Ikea set, and in Winter that 10cm is the difference between being able to tuck my feet in and cover my head at the same time.

But Ma does, on occasion, tend to latch onto those idle ideas if we don't have any other plans... so she suggested that we head off to Spotlight since they were having a sale and we could look at bedding.

The bedding I wasn't so fussed about, but I figured if they were having a sale it was as good a time as any to replace the overly long kitchen curtain with something that was a more suitable length.

So we headed into the city.

Due to the ongoing insanity that are parking restrictions in the city due to sports matches happening some seven hours later, we ended up parking in a different spot than usual and then taking a shortcut through the University grounds and coming out at the Target end of the Mall.

We decided to have a look there at bedding, which turned out to be a good idea, since they seemed to be having a sale, and they actually had some simple, single colour quilt sets. So I settled on one that was a very dark navy blue, almost black.

It was marked $99, but the tag on the shelf had it at 50% off at $49, and when I took it to the register it actually came out as $26... so no complaining there. I also grabbed a big red scarf in the women's department. It's very similar to the one I bought in Melbourne last year, but it's bright red.

We then headed to the other end of the Mall to Spotlight. And that was about the point that I realised that I also needed a new fitted sheet and two extra pillowcases (the fact I also needed a new pillowcase for my body pillow didn't occur to me until later), but everything in Spotlight seemed overpriced and boring.

Boring was also the order of the day when it came to net curtain material. Well, the combination of boring and the depth of curtain I wanted, very boring indeed. Plus Spotlight never lays them out at all well. You would think that they would very tidily group all the curtains that are the same depth together, so that if you knew how deep your window was you could instantly see what your options are.

Yeah, they don't seem to do that.

Also if it's not 213cm deep then it's fucking boring.

In the end I decided to get the same fabric that was already in that window and in the bedroom window (although as it turned out what was already there was the ivory colour and I bought the white)... I don't love it, but at least it already matches what's in the house already.

Technically what I bought is several centimetres too short, but I was already living with curtains that were too long, and trust me, short is better.

We also grabbed a cheese toasty from the food truck in the Mall, had a wander around Myer and the Myer Centre (and found a cheap bodypillow case in Lincraft), had something to drink in the basement of the Myer Centre and then wandered back down the Mall to take a look at the fitted sheets and pillow cases at Target again.

I managed to find a nice teal blue sheet, but of course they didn't have matching pillowcases... but it's not like I needed it urgently today so I bought the sheet and Ma managed to find the pillowcases at a Target on her way home.

As we were leaving we ran into J & K who are tangentially related to us... we used to see them much more regularly when I was a kid, but now it's pretty much whenever Ma and I happen to randomly run into them. It's always nice to see them though, even if, like most of the other people I'm related to, I don't have a single thing in common with them.

That was about it really... after that we wandered back to the car and came back here.

Annoyingly I had my first failure with a set of those 3M hooks... I was trying to stick them up above the window so that I could take some of the weight off the cord the net curtain is on, and they just wouldn't stay on the wall. And even when I got one of them to stay for more than a couple of minutes it fell down as soon as I tried to hook the curtain over it.

So yeah... so much for not buying things...

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photo friday: beach materials

There's not a hell of a lot of news this week...

Yesterday we went to the pub to say final farewells to the Big Boss... going to the pub on a Thursday night just throws my whole brain off... but I didn't stay long and only had one drink. Then I walked home and got very disappointing take-out.

I went into the bank on Tuesday, and as I suspected my bank card can be replaced but it's going to take five business days, which means I'm without ready cash until some time next week.

Today was generally a bit of a disaster... I was really busy all morning, but then discovered that I'd been doing everything ass about face and nothing particularly seemed to want to work properly... so I'm going to have to do it all again later.

So that was a waste of five hours.

I also got the first electricity bill since sorting out the issues with Origin... and of course because it was a first bill (and possibly because it covered the three Summer months when I was using the aircon a lot) it was distressingly large. Hopefully the next one will be more reasonable.

And that's really about it, other than the fact that I had a visit to the chiro this afternoon that was a little odd. I've been seeing the same person since I started going but she wasn't available so I ended up seeing the other chiro on staff. And it was weird... not bad... just odd. She did the whole adjustment differently, the conversation was kind of like talking to a friend of a friend... I don't know how else to describe it. She's nice, but I did miss my regular chiro.

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random textual hotness

Sadly I don't know anything about this week's Random Hotness beyond the name of the model.

Which is a shame because I'm sure there's a story behind these shots of Jeroen Kerkhof, or more specifically about his outfits.

jeroen kerkhofjeroen kerkhof

jeroen kerkhofjeroen kerkhof

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movies: maleficent

maleficent - don't believe the fairy tale
I'm honestly not sure exactly how I feel about Maleficent, Disney's live action re-imagining of Sleeping Beauty.

I wanted to love it to pieces... Maleficent as a character is amongst my favourite Disney villains and I adore Angelina Jolie... but I was decidedly underwhelmed by the movie.

Don't get me wrong, it's a sensational looking movie and there really isn't a moment where Angelina doesn't look stunning what with the makeup effects, costuming and those amazing contact lenses...

I just didn't really get involved in the story.

For me, Maleficent is a villain... she's supposed to be offended she wasn't invited to the christening, hideously over-react and then transform into a dragon at the end to fight Prince Phillip and be, to quote the animated version, the "mistress of all evil".

In this version they keep the over-reaction, ditch everything else and try and make Maleficent a sympathetic character, essentially reducing her to a much less interesting character.

That also happens to the three guardian fairies as well... this movie pretty much strips them down to about three scenes and essentially makes them mostly comic relief.

Which isn't to say that Lesley Manville, Imelda Staunton and Juno Temple aren't good in their roles, even if they've been explicable renamed from the original Flora, Fauna and Merryweather.

As far as the sleeping princess goes, Elle Fanning didn't especially impress me... the character is a bit of an idiot when you get right down to it and Fanning didn't do anything particularly special with it. Likewise Sharlto Copley just bothers me. He's bothered me in just about everything I've seen him in, and here he's trying to do an Irish accent to cover up his South African accent for some unknown reason which has varying degrees of success.

Sam Riley is interesting as the shape-changing crow, Diaval... to be honest I couldn't help feeling that Riley was channelling a young Dominic Cooper but I think that was partly the wig and make-up. He's also quite cute which doesn't hurt.

Also working the eye-candy side of the street was Australian actor Brenton Thwaites as the fairly useless Prince Phillip. The poor boy doesn't even get to rescue the girl and kill the dragon.

I think at the end of the day that this one may come down to style over substance.

yani's rating: 1 spinning wheel out of 5

blue traveller template

blue traveller template
This wasn't where I was originally going for this year's winter template... my plan was to do an updated version of the green minifig template... and also to do a new version of the accessories template that I could use as my Twitter banner.

That would have been fine if the photos had worked out... but they just didn't... so instead this idea crept into my head during the week, and I like how it ended up.

It's LT with the Computer Programmer's laptop, the Fashionista's mobile phone, the camera I bought a whole set just to get, the Karate Master's gold trophy, the Sumo Wrestler's bronze trophy and the Soccer Player's silver trophy.

And even though I'm not a giant coffee drinker I had to sneak the coffee cup from The Lego Movie in there.

little traveller blue
I also bumped up the font by a serious order of magnitude since I had all that empty blue space to fill.

Pretty sure that's not going to be a regular thing, but we'll see when Spring rolls around.

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cabaret: kim david smith - nova noir

kim david smith - nova noir
Every two years Kim David Smith returns to the Adelaide Cabaret Festival with his darkly seductive alter-ego... this year he's back with Nova Noir.

In my two previous reviews I've described Smith as some sort of sleek jungle cat... but sitting much further back from the stage this time around I got a chance to observe him from a different vantage point. And I realised he's not exactly a cat, or not this time anyway... there's a stillness and a fluidity that isn't catlike.

Then during his mid show banter he made a Slytherin reference... and that's when I knew.. we weren't watching a cat... this was all snake. Sleek, slithering, seductive snake with fluid arm movements and occasional sibilant sounds.

Just like a snake, he has the power to hypnotise his audience. From the slow walk through the crowd at the beginning of the show to the fact that I don't think he moved more than a step from his mark through the whole performance, not even when he slowly spun up from the floor after taking a drink.

Smith is also a performer you never want to take your eyes off... not just because he's beyond beautiful to watch (and was lit exquisitely by the lighting gentleman who's name escapes me) in his tight white shirt, flowing black pants and half bondage harness/half lederhosen belt and braces but also because there's a dangerous, slightly deranged edge in his on stage persona... he commands your attention, demands it with every sinuous movement he makes... it powers him and he returns your adoration with his amazing voice.

Which brings us around, at long last, to the actual singing.

This year he's performing in the larger Banquet Room, which means that there's finally room on the stage for more than Smith and a piano, so he was accompanied by a pianist/accordionist, a guitarist, a cellist and a drummer which made for a different, fuller sound.

Given that I already own Smith's cabaret EP, The Tease and we've seen him twice before I recognised most of the songs straight away... he started the show with perhaps my one of my favourites, Pirate Jenny, which is made for him.

And while I haven't heard a lot of German singers, I would suggest that few of them could make Kylie Minogue lyrics sound as sexy in German as Smith manages to.

He also snuck in a song, Radio, from his electropop originals album Nova... and even that was woven seamlessly into the rest of the show. And there was a song I've never heard before, an 80's track by Toto Coelo, Dracula's Tango (Sucker For Your Love), which he managed to weave a little Kylie into at one stage.

Smith's version of Nature Boy (which I'm most familiar with from Moulin Rouge) was also hauntingly beautiful, but that is a song I adore.

If anything was missing from the show, it's that it somehow didn't feel like there was as much of that "popular song sung in an unfamiliar style and tongue" that I've enjoyed in the past. But the show is only 70 minutes long, and he has a lot to cram in there, so I understand.

Although he did manage to sneak a Shirley Bassey/Don Black tribute in there with "Diamonds are Forever" as one of the montages, so I can't complain too much.

Then he closed out the show with my absolute favourite, Bang Bang, which brought the house down.

As always, Smith was a delight... a sleek, seductive, sensational delight!

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ma's birthday adventures

ma's presents beforema's presents after
Today was Ma's birthday... not just her general birthday celebration weekend, her actual birthday.

But weirdly I was the one who seemed to end up with all the presents.

Ma was getting her hair did first thing this morning, so I had a good chunk of the morning to myself before she got here. I started off with tidying the apartment and once I'd had a shower and got dressed I got inspired to write Ma's card but I couldn't wrap her presents because the box I bought yesterday turned out to be too small for everything.

So I headed off to do the shopping thing, with a brief detour to fill the car with petrol and wash the windows (also to fill the windscreen wiper tank with water since it was all out).

Shopping by myself always takes less time than shopping with Ma... which is understandable, I know exactly what I want and I'm only stopping where I need to stop, but it still surprises me how quickly I can make it around the supermarket by myself.

Once I was finished I took a quick detour into Target, only to find that they were having a 20% off sale on menswear, so I succumbed and bought the bear onesie... the size I thought was too small is actually the same size as the one I already have, plus it's very stretchy fabric, so I'm guessing it's going to be fine.

Weirdly, even though I'd bought petrol with my EFTPOS card... and I bought the groceries with the same card... but when I went to buy the onesie it came up with a "bad card read" error... and now matter what I tried I got the same error. I've never had that issue before... Ma has had similar problems with her cards on occasion but they're often fixed by something as simple as rubbing the card on your sleeve. That did not help me in the slightest.

I found a gift bag in one of the cheap shops that matched the box I'd already bought... it was a little hugemongous, but everything ended up fitting inside.

When I got home, attempting to carry everything up the stairs in one trip was something of a chore, but I managed it... that is one of the downsides of living on the third floor... you'll do just about anything to avoid making more trips up and down the stairs than is absolutely necessary.

As soon as I walked in I set about wrapping Ma's presents... I finally gave in this week and bought the Willow Tree Heart of Gold figure... other than that it was the double Mary Poppins experience with Saving Mr Banks and The Real Mary Poppins documentary plus some Fry and Laurie goodness with Jeeves and Wooster.

The card seemed like the perfect thing as soon as I saw it, especially given the fact she's been my own personal superhero for the last several months.

I also grabbed her a couple of Balfours custard tarts, since they're her favourite.

By the time Ma arrived I'd managed to unpack all the groceries and put everything away.

After she'd unwrapped her presents we dithered about a bit before deciding to head down to Marion (which was pretty much Ma's idea, although we did float the idea last weekend but ran out of time).

We did the usual circuit of Marion... but I ended up buying a bunch more things than I normally would have done. It started at T2 (which is now one of those dangerous places I just shouldn't go into)... I picked up some more Fruitalicious as well as a box of Chai to try. And we ran into J's mum coming out of the store as we were going in. Turns out J is back in London... and spent some time back in Adelaide before he went... so that seems to be the footnote for that particular story, which is always interesting.

I was also poking around a bit looking for a new winter jacket, but there literally isn't anything that's not completely casual/a hoodie in my size which is somewhat annoying. Even things that, according to the label, should be my size, because I own jackets in that size that fit me, somehow aren't my size.


Ma was also half looking for clothes, but for the most part didn't find anything that worked for her.

We also called into the Build A Bear shop to see if they had any Toothlesses (Toothlessi?)... but they were all sold out, which doesn't really surprise me. It does very much come in the "kind of want to definitely don't need" category, but I did leave my details with the store in case they get more stock in. I'm not sure if I'll actually get one, but at least I have the option.

Like last week, just about every shop we went into we looked to see what they had in the way of Sodastream machines and everywhere had the same two models, neither of which are the one I was interested in.

That is, until we got to Kmart. For some reason they didn't have anything EXCEPT the model that I like... I would almost have said that they'd done an exclusive deal with the Sodastream people, since nothing else makes much sense. But I got it, and it's all red and pretty and shiny... plus it came with a sample pack of various flavourings to try at no extra cost, which is always a bonus.

I also grabbed one of the Kmart brand toasted sandwich machines... how much I'll use it is debatable, as is how long it'll actually last, but I paid $7.50 for it (hence the querying of it's lifespan) and I've had lunches that cost more. So even if it's a flash in the pan I'll get my money's worth out of it.

I did have the same problem trying to pay with my EFTPOS card in Kmart, so I'll definitely have to go into the bank next week and get a replacement card.

We were pretty much done with shopping at that stage, so we headed back in the general direction of home.

When we got to Greenhill Road, Ma didn't say anything but just took a detour to the right... and I just said to her "Haighs?", to which we replied "Well, it is my birthday"... so there's really no arguing with that.

They actually had a really good range of seconds chocolate this time... sometimes it's only one of two types, this time there was a lot of good stuff.

Once we got back here I put the Sodastream together and made my first bottle of fizzy water... and unsurprisingly, it was water with bubbles. The machine will probably see more action in summer, but it will be nice to be able to make my own beverages.

We dithered around a bit after that... watched a little bit of North by Northwest until it was time to head out for dinner.

Due to a lack of other idea we ended up going down the The Curious Squire on O'Connell Street. I've been wanting to go for ages, and it's somewhere we haven't been before, so it seemed like a plan.

And it was a decent plan for the most part. The decor is funky, the staff seem friendly... the menu does feel a tiny bit limited though, I mean they have sides out the proverbial, but there feels like a lot of repetition throughout the rest of the menu. And if you're not in the mood for pulled pork that slightly limits your choices a little.

I ended up ordering the burger... I know, I know, every time I've done that previously I've ended up commenting in the blog post that people need to remind me not to do that next time. And this was almost kind of like that... but it was perhaps a better, or at least more interesting burger than I've had in a while.

I couldn't help thinking that it needed one, possibly two less ingredients... but when the list of ingredients includes a beef patty, bacon, egg, lettuce, coleslaw, tomato, onion, cheese, squire sauce, pickle, mustard and ketchup then I think you could possible trim it a little. Not that I could tell you what needed to go... possibly the pickle, and whatever the sauce was that just dripped out the whole time I was eating (possibly the squire sauce).

I will also say that although putting your fries and onion rings into cute little wire baskets as though they've just come out of the oil is adorably sweet, it does mean that they don't keep any head and get cold in about five minutes flat. Also, $9 for approximately seven onion rings is a little pricey even at half the price.

Ma very much enjoyed her pulled pork and apple salad though, even though it was fucking enormous and she didn't end up eating all of the lettuce. That was kind of the weird thing actually... some things, like the onion rings, seemed to be undersized serves, but others, like the salad and also the drinks were fucking enormous.

From there we headed down to the Festival Theatre for some Cabaret Festival goodness.

And I won't go into a full on rant about the idiocy of shutting down a major arterial road into the city just because some people are going to be exiting a football game. Except to say it's fucking ridiculous.

I will, however, lament the fact that the nice men with the Spanish hot chocolate and the churros don't have a place in the "Winter Garden" food court this year, which made me very sad.

But more on our Cabaret show later... probably tomorrow...

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photo friday: flesh and blue

sandy armjumping foam

sea rocksshirtless tuck

speedo buttsydney cloudscape

white watera touch of lime
This week started off a little mental, then got dull in the middle and then ramped up again at the end of the week.

I kinda lost last Sunday... I started out cleaning up around the house in the morning, lost over an hour to disassembling, cleaning and then reassembling the ergonomic keyboard I use at work (it was horrendously filthy and filled with crumbs and fluff... now it's clean and lovely and great to type on again), then got involved in taking photos of my Lego minifigs for the blog's Winter template and before I knew it it was 4pm and I had very little to show for the day's efforts (not even photos because they all came out a little soft and grainy due to low light... so I'm going to have to do that all again, possibly next Monday since it's a public holiday).

I did make Rocky Road on Sunday though, and then cut it up so I could take it to work (well, half of it, a large portion of the other half is still in my fridge) on Monday. It took The Nut House a grand total of two days to get 90% of the way through the rather sizeable container.

Monday was also a little out of the ordinary for reasons other than taking Rocky Road to work. After I hauled that and the keyboard into work, I turned around and headed down to Burger Theory by special invitation to give their breakfast menu a test. In a word, YUM... especially the egg and sausage burger with the spicy, spicy BBQ sauce. I wasn't completely sure about the addition of lettuce and tomato (and I'd still like to try one without the lettuce and with cheese instead), but it added a nice texture element. The sauce was definitely the best part though. The potato cake/hash brown was different from any hash brown I've had before as it was mashed potato rather than shredded/grated potato and it was missing a little bit of the crispness you usually get with hash browns, but overall it was very tasty.

It did mean that I ended up having First and Second Breakfast (albeit a couple of hours apart), so I was very full and had a late lunch. Then on Tuesday I had First Lunch (the soup I brought from home) and Second Lunch (pizza shared with The Nut House... too much pizza in fact... and not really good pizza either).

I also chased up the whole "electricity company" issue from Friday... in the end I just went with Origin, path of least resistance and all that... and since AGL had one job and managed to screw that up, plus didn't answer my call on Friday, they can go and get knotted. Doubly so because they followed me on Twitter after I had a brief rant on Friday but never bothered to actually make contact. Social media 101 guys, come on.

The new lights that I ordered to replace the ones over my bed arrived on Tuesday... I kind of expected them on Monday, since I got the "we tried to deliver this but you weren’t here" message on Friday and filled out the "yes, I know but you can leave it on my doorstep" form on their website Friday night. They look pretty fancy... all Japanese inspired and fitting into the general colour scheme in my bedroom much more (which is generally black and white). Plus it's a bonus to have a full string of lights lit up, since I accidentally yanked the cord out of half of the old set, so it only half lit up.

Work ramped up somewhat in the latter half of the week... It was going to eventually, but it was good to have a lot of things to do rather than one or two with gaps in between (which is a slight exaggeration).

My work based FOMO has been tempered somewhat by other people having lots of very long meetings, but at the same time I feel a little behind the proverbial 8-ball not knowing all the things that would be useful to know.

We also had two departures and one arrival at work... one of the departures was expected, Banger is off on a holiday/unpaid leave for a few months, the other was the Big Boss... she didn't win her current position and was unceremoniously dropped like the proverbial hot potato. So that sucks some serious balls.

The arrival I'm not sure about yet... I think she bugs me but she's only been here for a week.

In non-work related news...

This week I finally got around to starting Sports Night, the first of the Aaron Sorkin teevee shows. It's been interesting to jump around with the four series, first The West Wing then The Newsroom, Studio 60 and finishing up by going all the way back to Sports Night. It's doubly interesting because three of the four shows centre around the production of a teevee show.

Sorkin also clearly likes going back to the same actors time and time again as the same faces pop up in more than one series. You can also see the ideas develop as the shows progress which is kind of neat, especially between Sports Night and The Newsroom as the two shows at either end of the timeline but at the same time the two shows closest together in theme.

The only thing that bugs me about Sports Night is the use of a laugh track... it's incredible jarring in a Sorkin show (I didn't realise it was even there until about halfway through the first episode and even then I wasn't sure if I was hearing things), and completely unnecessary, even though the humour is at times a little broader than it is in any of the other shows.

I also haven't really gone back to it since Monday... partly because I lost a whole evening midway through the week being sucked into the seemingly never-ending black hole of The Fine Brothers' YouTube channel and their Teens React and YouTubers React videos... they have other ones, but those are the ones I really enjoyed.

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