movies: jurassic world

jurassic world - the park is open
Jurassic World definitely feels like it's recycling much of the plot from the first two Jurassic Park movies. Okay, that may not be fair... not recycling so much as a homage.

They're just homaging all over the place in this movie. Literally so in more than a few places when things from the first movie actually show up.

But the first mistake they make is to think that we're really going to give a crap when presented with a sullen teenager (Nick Robinson) and his annoying hyper know-it-all little brother (Ty Simpkins). The most annoying and pointless part of any of the Jurassic movies has been the badly written children. And even though you eventually partially warmed up to the children in the original movie, there really isn't any point in this one where I gave a damn about what happened to the two boys.

Actually that was fairly widespread throughout the movie... it was full of stupid people doing monumentally stupid things. Even for this franchise, there were some really, really dumb things going on.

The other things that irked me was that they seemed to have gone straight to the "Big Book of Character Tropes" for all their characters... there's the sullen teenager, the precocious preteen, the person in power who views integral plot element as "numbers on a spreadsheet", the woman who is too focused on her career to make time for family, the uptight control freak (those last three are all the same character, Bryce Dallas Howard's Claire), the nefarious military aligned man, the scientist doing things he shouldn't, the token black friend (seriously I'm pretty sure he was the only black character with a speaking part), the awkward geeky guy who comes through in a crunch and last but not least the loveable rogue. Oh, and add to that parents who may or may not have been getting a divorce, because the movie falls into the "tell don't show" category for that little revelation, and honestly, it doesn't make a damn bit of difference to the story.

And I'll be honest, with the exception of the lovable rogue, Chris Pratt's Owen, there really wasn't another character I particularly liked.

Although when Pratt wasn't running he was staring intently at things and frequently saying "no".

Every scene he has with the velociraptors was pretty damn good though, and it's a shame that wasn't utilised more than it is in the movie.

The scenes at the end of the movie, although they don't necessarily make a lot of sense if you think about them too much, are pretty damn cool though.

Overall the visual effects are pretty spectacular, but weirdly it feels less like the movie takes the time to really highlight the dinosaurs like the previous movies did. Maybe that's part of the context of the movie world where dinosaurs have existed for the last twenty years and teenagers like Robinson have never lived in a world without dinosaurs and find the whole thing terribly dull.

But really it all just feels like stuff we've seen before, just with slightly prettier packaging.

yani's rating: 2 viable embryos out of 5

movies: minions

minions - meet stuart, kevin and bob
First there was Despicable Me, then came Despicable Me 2 and now the comic relief of those two movies gets their chance to be the stars in Minions.

This movie is actually set before the first Despicable Me movie... and runs with the theory that the Minions are somehow an immutable force of nature that has existed since life was single celled organisms.

In a lot of ways that's a slightly disappointing development in this universe. I'd always assumed that the Minions were somehow the creations of Gru himself... perhaps some kind of weird genetic experiment on bananas.

Anyway, the Minions have been around forever and this movie takes place in the years before Gru while the Minions are hiding out in a cave somewhere.

So three Minions leave the rest of the tribe and go on a hunt in search of the next great evil boss to follow.

From a story perspective, it makes the most sense to separate out these three Minions, Kevin (the tall one), Stuart (the cyclops) and Bob (the little one with one green eye and one brown eye)... otherwise there are just too many damn characters.

However this movie doesn't have the sweetness of the previous two. And the three Minion characters are the only ones that really have any definition, everybody else, even the big bad, Scarlett Overkill (voiced by Sandra Bullock, essentially doing her regular voice) is fairly one dimensional.

The interactions of the three Minions are funny though, even if they speak a combination of English, Spanish, French and at least a couple of Asian languages (as far as I understand anyway... plus they're all voiced by the director, Pierre Coffin).

And given that the movie is set in 1968, there are a lot of in-jokes for an older audience, from faking the moon landing to The Beatles. The soundtrack is also mostly from the same era and uses a lot of really cool songs to good effect.

At the end of the day though, Minions might be the prequel to Despicable Me, but it's definitely not ahead of it in any other way.

yani's rating: 2 bananas out of 5

straightforward saturday shopping

looking at things saturday
Today was fairly straightforward...

Thankfully, because I'd done some tidying up both last night and on Thursday night, I really didn't have to do anything this morning beyond getting up and having a shower.

Ma and I then trundled off to the shops after she turned up, and did one of those lighter weight shopping sessions. I also discovered that Foodland appears to not stock frozen carrots... specifically frozen baby carrots, but I couldn't actually find any kind of frozen carrot. Very strange.

We also headed across the road so I could look for a replacement non-stick pot... it's essentially the exactly the same as the one I had, but the updated version given that the old one was six years old.

Then, after we came back here for the usual unpacking and given that I'd bought a whole stack of cans of corn given that it was on extreme special, I sat on my kitchen floor and organised the cans and things in my cupboard. Very therapeutic... plus now I know that I have about eleventhy thousand cans of tomatoes.

Yes, my life is actually this exciting... shocking, I know.

From there we headed out to Arndale for a general poke around... mostly in Big W as I needed a replacement gas cylinder for my Sodastream. Given that they also have their big toy sale on I discovered that they had Assassin's Creed: Unity for less than I've seen it anywhere else... so that's another Christmas present sorted.

We did some other general wandering and then actually went back to the car and were on our way we knew not where when I suggested that we go and see the Minions movie... given that school holidays are just around the corner it likely that while it will still be on Tuesday week, it'll probably only be on in the daytime, since we've had that happen to us before.

So we turned the car around, parked again and after stopping off for a tasty pie, we headed off to the movies.

And that was it really.

Current Mood:

photo friday: mono not mono

mono not mono surfermono not mono fountain

mono not mono museummono not mono sydney
As an indication of exactly what this week was like, I detoured on my way home after work to visit the bottleshop and get my preferred libation, a six pack of Strongbow. And once I got home, I pretty much opened one right away.

So, yes, this week has in fact sucked balls.

Weirdly, although we've been incredibly busy, and it's been incredibly stressful, but my team has had a number of warm fuzzies from different groups.

Which is useful given how annoyed I've been at various points this week.

Beyond that the week was fairly quiet... the mushroom and bacon soup I made last weekend, after spending the whole morning wandering around tidying things up and getting things in the right place, was incredibly successful... sadly if I make it again I might need to increase the proportions by a third, given that it only gave me enough soup for three days and not four. Also I seemed to have managed to fucked up the non-stick coating on the base of the non-stick pot I actually bought six years ago this week using the stick mixer I bought a couple of weeks ago.

Thankfully, if memory serves, the pot itself wasn't very expensive... however if I'm not able to replace it with something remarkably similar I'll be a little sad. And I'll probably keep on using it I can't use it any more.

I'm slightly undecided about which soup to make for next week. I need to have a look through the bunch of recipes I have stuck to the side of the fridge, but there is a carrot (and weirdly, honey) soup recipe that sounds pretty interesting.

So, yeah, that's really I have at this point... now I need to go and make some dinner before So You Think You Can Dance starts.

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movies: inside out

inside out - meet the little voices inside your head
Interestingly enough, given the subject matter, I really am not sure how I feel about the latest Disney Pixar release, Inside Out.

I'll go through the good points first... as always it looks absolutely beautiful, the leaps forward that these movies make in turns of effect and textures are always incredible. And in this case it's the fully human characters, particularly in terms of hair, which are really nicely refined, but also the emotion characters have an amazing look to them.

The concept is also something reasonably fresh and new... we meet the anthropomorphic personifications of Riley's emotions as she moves to a new city and starts a new school (there was the TV show Herman's Head from the 90's which covers some of the same ground)... but this does capture part of that sense of childhood where your emotions seem to come out of nowhere and be beyond your control.

Straying slightly into spoiler territory, the progression from memories that are based on a single emotion at the start of the movie to memories that are made up of multiple emotions at the end also feels pretty right for that transition out of childhood.

There were also some nice moments at the very end of the movie when we were given a chance to see inside other people's heads.

And as very often happens I did have a little teary moment at the emotional resolution of the plot.

But on the flip side, I didn't connect with this movie the way I've connected with previous Pixar movies.

Even with the way the character stories resolved, I didn't really like Amy Poehler's Joy or Phyllis Smith's Sadness who are really the major characters inside Riley's head. And because of the way Riley's character has to change throughout the movie, I found I didn't necessarily like her all that much either at times.

There were also a number of, not quite plot holes, but definitely logical blips or perhaps just cases of "well, what does that mean in the real world" concerning some of the stuff inside Riley's mind.

It's a clever movie, and one that might grow on me with further viewings but I guess I was just expecting to love it more than I did.

yani's rating: 3 core memories out of 5

driving and forking saturday

fork on the road - port metalfork on the road - port faces
Today didn't quite live up to expectations, but at least it was mostly something different from the usual.

It started in the usual way, although I did get up quite late, threw myself in the shower and then made a vague show of straightening up the kitchen before Ma arrived.

Shopping was about the usual, although neither of us bought a ton of stuff... I did buy way too many mushrooms for my mushroom soup tomorrow... and hopefully that works out okay.

We also had a wander around Target briefly, and I noticed they had some glass cloches on sale... so I grabbed one. Granted it's a bit tall and thin and I have no idea what I'm actually going to put in it... but I'll work something out, even if it means I have to reshuffle some things around.

fork on the road - forking inkfork on the road - taco trio
After we were done and had come back here for the unpacking and associated general things that go along with Saturday mornings, we headed off to pick up Ma's two artworks from the framers.

It was essentially a quick visit, and we were only there for as long as it took him to wrap both frames up in brown paper.

Since we really didn't have any other plans until the afternoon, we ended up taking the two frames back to Ma's place... which isn't the most exciting thing, but we did take the new Northern Expressway, which was kind of groovy, if only because I hadn't driven on it before today. Plus it was quicker going that way than the usual way.

We only stopped at Ma's for long enough to drop off the frames and then headed down to Port Adelaide for the first Fork on the Road in a good while.

fork on the road - amazon ricefork on the road - port neon
Whether it was the fact that we got there later than we would have previously, whether it was because it was in a different spot from the last Fork down at the Port and everything was more closely packed... or whether it was just because there hasn't been a Fork in a good while so it brought out a lot more people than usual...

Or even if it just came down to the fact that the number of trucks was slightly less than other Forks, and a number of them were what I would call "second string" vans.

But it was all a little bit m'eh.

To sum up, everything was fairly close together, which when added to the fact that there were a whole lot of people and not that many vans just meant the lines for everything were fairly nuts and the waiting times were somewhat excessive for the amount of food you got.

fork on the road - silver ripplesfork on the road - golden balls
The food itself was good, we started with a trio of tacos from Tacocat, then Ma got some sort of pumpkin and coconut soup from one of the newer vans while I waited a good twenty minutes at La Chiva for their Amazon Rice.

I did miss the lime wedge that they usually put on the top, but otherwise the rice was really nice. But by the time I got mine, Ma had order, gotten her soup and eaten it.

We finished up with a Bakers Dozen of honey puffs from the Honey Puff Ladies which are essentially just carbs, fat and honey, but damn they're tasty.

But by that point we were pretty much done.

fork on the road - drink linefork on the road - across the water
Hopefully the issues were just about the location, and Fork will be back to full strength by the next one.

And maybe it was just me having a bit of a hipster whinge... "I liked this shit before it was popular, now all the mainstreams have ruined it"... and yeah, that could also be part of it.

But at least it was something different for a Saturday.

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photo friday: wonderbacks

wonderwalls christiewonderwalls kerr

wonderwalls hughes-odgerswonderwalls smith
Rory Cochrane said it best as Lucas in Empire Records...
"What's with today today?"
Seriously, what the hell is up with not just today, but this week in general?

So far this evening I have:
  • Cried for a solid twenty minutes at the end of the last David Tennant episode of Doctor Who.
  • Discovered 90 minutes into a 120 minute show that Channel 10 have either snuck the US version of So You Think You Can Dance on or else this is a clear indication about the amount of free-to-air TV that I watch.
  • Sunk further into the obsessional pit that is Fallout Shelter on the iPhone.
But more than that, the last two days have been all manner of weirdness, mostly work related.

Because sometimes you just want to say "Because I fucking said this is how it is, and I've been doing this specific thing for longer than you and I know what fuck I'm talking about, so let's skip all of the back and forth and you just fucking believe me when I tell you this thing."

And all manner of stupidity wildfires seemed to break out this week, so much so that I feel like I spent most of the week trying to beat the stupid back.

Seriously, stop being self involved, stop being lazy and start believing that I/we know what I'm/we're talking about.

Anyway... a slight detour from regular programming... I want to talk very briefly about the games that were either announced or further explained at E3 this week.

This list looks a little something like this...
  • Assassin’s Creed Victory
    This was a given, it was announced back in May, I already have it on preorder, so what came out was just new information rather than a full reveal, but I am so genuinely excited to play this thing!
  • Fallout 4
    I've never played a Fallout game, however a month or so back I watched all of YouTuber ManyATrueNerd's excellent and twisted Kill Everything playthrough of Fallout 3, so I feel slightly invested in the world, plus this does look really, really good.
  • Dreams
    I have no idea what the hell this actually is as a game, but the trailer looks very interesting, and I want to know more.
  • Final Fantasy VII Remake
    FF7 was my first really real intro to the second wave of gaming... and I loved it. I didn't even know this remake was a thing, and it definitely blew my hair back. Will I play it? In all likelihood no, but I could be tempted.
  • Firewatch
    Again, not sure if I'd actually play this, but it's a great art style, and the trailer intrigued me.
  • LEGO Dimensions
    I was more than willing to resist the whole LEGO Dimensions game, although I fully expect that I may be tempted to pick up some of the game pieces depending on the price point... however then they revealed this Portal inspired trailer... and it suddenly got a little harder to resist.
  • Horizon: Zero Dawn
    What the serious hell? This was my favourite out of all the trailers I saw. Again, I want to know more about it, but robo-fauna and a kick-ass bow... I loved it!
Beyond all the shooty games, the one trailer that I don't understand people getting excited about is The Last Guardian. I just can't get past the fact that the creature in it is actually pretty damn unappealing... actually, worse than that, I think it's pretty damn ugly... and on top of that the sequence they showed made no damn sense.

Going to back to the Fallout universe for a second, I mentioned at the start of this that I'd been sucked into the abyss that is Fallout Shelter. It's essentially a mobile ant farm simulation genre game (probably the best description of this type of game) and I've been sucked down this particular rabbit hole before with things like Lil' Pirates, Tiny Death Star and Pixel People. But other than the game being a gigantic battery whore, it's actually one of the best examples of the genre that I've played.

Granted with all of these games there comes a certain point where it's essentially just busy work and I get bored with them. Plus it would be nice if you really could just leave it to do it's own thing a little more... maybe the resources renew automatically but your little people don't level up without assistance. And I would do with a little more in the way of instructions for certain things... plus the pregnant women really need a countdown timer.

But overall I'm enjoying all the micromanaging.

Oh, and just to keep the running log of soup choices going, this week was essentially a version of chicken noodle soup... only with a lot of vegetables, and it ended up fairly thick... plus I used powdered mustard to try and give it a little kick, and I won't lie, that mustard has been haunting me the whole damn week. And this week I'm probably going to attempt the mushroom (and bacon) soup.

Current Mood:

gaming related saturday shopping

gaymer boy
It's generally the weeks where I think "yeah, nothing I need, not going to spend any money this weekend" where I end up, you know, spending money.

But I get ahead of myself...

There really wasn't any news to report yesterday, hence why I skipped the usual Friday post. It was a short week anyway what with the public holiday, and I spent a good chunk of the holiday playing Red Dead Redemption, which I'm mostly enjoying. I love the whole open world thing anyway.

The beetroot soup I made last Sunday was both successful and disappointing. Successful in that I made it without coating myself and the entire kitchen in purple stains. But really disappointing in that it was a very dull soup to eat. And I got over it fairly early in the week.

I'm going back to fundamentals this week and making a basic chicken soup. I could go a couple of potential fancier routes, but we'll see.

Anyway, I got up this morning and did the usual clean-up thing... slightly more so than usual I guess, since I couldn't be arsed doing anything last night.

Then Ma arrived and we headed off to do the shopping.

It was all pretty standard really, but afterwards we had a wander around Target. I've been thinking for a few weeks that I'd like another small saucepan... I have frypans, giant soup pans, but my saucepan roster is pretty much confined to one. And I can't resist a sale sign, so the fact that Target had a bunch of kitchenwares on sale meant I had to have a look.

And they had a set of three saucepans, almost exactly in the style of the one I already have... and the tag on the shelf said $30... so bargain there, but the boxes themselves said $55, and even when I did the pricecheck thing, it was still $55. So I wasn't having any of that nonsense and went to ask.

Good thing I did, because even though the prices on the shelf were actually for completely different stuff, the woman (who I think was the manager, or at least the floor manager) let me have them for the tag price... so I saved $25!


Turned out that Target also had a special on PS4 and three games... better than the previous deals I've seen around, at least for a while anyway. However when I went to ask, the girl told me that they were all sold out, but she could call another store for me.

So before I knew it I had a PS4 on hold. Okay, so the games aren't necessarily brilliant... two are okay, Infamous Second Son and Little Big Planet 3, although I'll have to look up some reviews... but the third is a driving game, so bollocks to that.

But I can always do a trade-in thing.

Anyway, we came back here, did the usual unpacking and whatnot, and then swung past the framing place to drop off Ma's flamenco dancer for some minor modification, then headed into the city.

Of course because we parked on Rundle Street we went past T2 and I picked up some more little coloured tea tins. Now I really need to reorganise my tea shelf and display it all nicely.

We probably should have left the PS4 until we were on the way back, but I just wanted to get it, so I ended up carrying it all around the city. It's not like I was going to come home and plug it in or anything, it's actually going away for Christmas and is kind of half of a Christmas present to myself (and partly from Ma if she gives me some money towards it), and also half a present for being extended at work until at least January.

Oh, yeah, they finally approved the next part of our project at work, so I won't be going anywhere before January, which is about what I expected... it's the post January thing that I'm not sure about. Although it wouldn't make any sense for them to get rid of us then either... but stupider things have happened.

Back to today though...

We took a wander down the Mall, stopped off at Typo, then Haighs, then headed back down Rundle Street, stopping off at Burger Theory for some lunch (specifically the Burger of the Month, the Bacon Kimi-Cheese, which is very spicy... and the Undercooked Brownie Concrete, which is very yum).

And that was about it really.

Current Mood:

movies: tomorrowland

There's a line during the first half of Tomorrowland where George Clooney's character says something to the effect of "It was an ad for something that no longer exists".

And without getting too deep into spoiler territory, that is precisely how I feel about Tomorrowland and it's trailer. I was sold a particular bill of goods by the trailer, but the movie itself is nothing like that. And much the worse for that to be honest.

What the movie ends up being is a fairly heavy handed environmentalism plot line and a story that spends the whole running time waiting to get off the ground (figuratively speaking).

Clooney wanders around being a grumpy old man, but Britt Robertson does a decent job as Casey, even if the majority of her role is to wander around asking questions. And Raffey Cassidy is fantastic as Athena.

But at the end of the day it's a fairly disappointing and lackluster story. And not exactly that original... which would be excusable if it has been more interesting.

yani's rating: 1 pin out of 5

adam hills: clown heart

adam hills - clown heart
This was our second trip to see Adam Hills live... and just like with Happyism, it was totally worth it.

And there is just something about Hills in his Adelaide shows that it just wonderful. It's totally not something you see in the recorded versions of interstate shows... I suppose it's best summed up as bonding with the home town crowd (okay, technically he's from Sydney... but he loves Adelaide as much as we love him, so it still counts). He's one of those comedians who, when they're writing the show, must just put at the beginning of the set list "Bond with audience - 10 minutes - but lets be honest, it might go to 15".

Plus it leads to wonderfully inexplicable moments like this.

For the record, those two people did not know each other and were sitting on opposite sides of the audience.

There was also the fantastic moment where Hills just brought out a little crate of Fruchocs he'd been given and gave them out to the audience. Part of this involved lobbing them up into the dress circle without being able to see where he was aiming. And nobody got hit in the head or anything.

It also let me photograph the most Adelaidean thing ever... Adam, at the Festival Theatre, carrying a crate of Fruchocs.

Once he finally made it back on stage he started the show in earnest. As always there's a mix of political/social humour, as well as fatherhood and laughing at death before death gets the last laugh. Plus his Working Class Man/Advance Australia Fair mashup.

There's always a point in the show where things get a little touching... and in this case it was when Adam started to talk about losing his dad to cancer, and his relationship with his dad.

And then he showed the clip from his Adam Hills Tonight show featuring Craig Coombes whose response to having cancer was to get his gear off and take photos every Tuesday. I saw the clip when it originally aired, and it's great... but then Adam came back on and I fully expected him to say that Craig had passed away given how long he was expected to survive and how far back that clip was from.

But no, plot twist, Craig is still alive and kicking and Adam brought him out on stage.

It's clear that these two guys have profoundly affected each other's lives and it was great to see their relationship and how much they care about each other.

And when Craig got a standing ovation from the crowd you could see how special that was to him, especially as this may be the last chance he has to get up on a stage as part of one of Adam's shows.

Of course you can't have Craig up on stage for the finale of the show without somebody taking their clothes off... and yes, that's exactly what happened... both Craig and Adam stripped down to their underwear. I did wonder for a moment if there was going to be full frontal nudity... which would have been a hell of a way to close the show, but thankfully everybody kept their bits covered.

All in all though, it was a brilliant show, I laughed, I got a little choked up, I yelled and screamed and applauded my brains out.

Current Mood:

ma's pre-birthday birthday adventures

rockin birthday wishes
Today was pretty much all about Ma's birthday celebrations. Sure her birthday isn't actually until tomorrow, but then we generally celebrate either of our birthdays on the nearest Saturday, unless there's either Fringe stuff or Cabaret Festival stuff happening.

And because it's her birthday, she was having her hair did this morning, so she went off to do that and I had the morning to myself to do the shopping and whatnot.

When I went to grab my bag full of reusable shopping bags this morning it was far heavier than I was expecting, so I opened it up only to discover that the giant Easter egg I got back at the beginning of April was sitting there, still all wrapped up in silver paper. I moved it out of my fridge at some point when I ran out of room, and clearly forgot about it. At least it was a nice surprise.

I'm planning on upping my soup game this week with some roasted beetroot soup... which could be something of a disaster, we'll have to wait and see... but I did buy two big bunches of beetroot and the supermarket and everything else I needed.

I also found a cheap bread knife to take to work... we have one that's supposed to be a bread knife, but it's like trying to cut the bread with a wooden spoon, so hopefully this will be much improved.

Then it was back here to unpack and read the paper before Ma arrived.

ma's birthday presents before and after
I'd wrapped up all of Ma's presents last night... well except for the artwork from Josh (more on that in a minute) which was already wrapped up...
  • Princess Mononoke teeshirt
  • Ghibli elements teeshirt
  • Ghibli ballons teeshirt
  • Doctor Who Season 8 box set
  • Haighs dark chocolate pastilles in anniversary tin
  • Haighs 100th anniversary store magnets
  • Joshua Smith's The Art of Letting Go #3
The great thing about the three Haighs magnets is that we've actually been to all three of the stores... the Beehive Corner store here in Adelaide, the Block Arcade in Melbourne and QVB in Sydney.

Beyond heading off to the Cabaret Festive this evening, we really didn't have any plans for the majority of the day. But given that Ma now has a second Joshua artwork, it seemed to make more sense to just take it straight to the framing place rather than Ma taking it all the way home, living with it for a week or two and then bringing it back up to my place to then take to the framers.

the art of letting go
It was a pretty simple and straightforward trip actually... because this is the second piece Ma is having done, she wanted to get it done pretty much the same as the previous one. The only downside to that is the fact that the background teal colour is very specific and not something that it's easy to match in a frame colour.

So instead Ma decided to go with black... but otherwise, she should match the flamenco dancer.

Ma also suggested that since we'd be nearby, we should stop into IKEA... and in very much Ma style, I think her exact words were "we don't need to spend any money but they have a sale on". Turned out to be mostly true for her, less so for me.

In fact, the overwhelming theme for the day seems to have been that every time Ma has bought something it's turned out to be cheaper than she thought it was going to be. Unfortunately, I've been the one who has bought the majority of the things today.

Granted my IKEA bill was increased by the fact that I finally bought the illuminated display box... I'd decided I was definitely going to get one the last time we were in IKEA, but then they were totally out of stock. This time I just grabbed one as soon as I saw it on the shelf. I had no idea at the time what the hell I was actually going to put in it, but I've been obsessing over them since they first came out, so I knew I'd find a use for it.

I'm thinking I might rework my bedside table and use it as a bedside light instead of the one I have now (which is fine, just very bright)... and put Aka Usagi and Aozora Inago inside. And it looks pretty good, I must say. I don't have it set up in the bedroom yet, but it looks nice and fancy on the kitchen bench.

After stopping off at Bunnings for a sausage sizzle, we headed over to Arndale so that I could look at stick blenders. I'd had a brief look in Target after doing the shopping and had worked out that they were either really expensive or kind of cheap looking, with not a lot of middle ground. Plus they all seemed to come with jugs and attachments and whisks and whatnot, which I really didn't want.

We had a poke around, found a nice looking stick blender in Big W, but Harris Scarfe were supposed to be having a sale on kitchen things, so we wandered over there to do a price comparison. And let me just say that when your sale price is higher than your competitors full price, well I think I can safely say that you're doing it wrong.

It was actually doubly lucky that I went back to Big W though, since the price was marked as $50, but when I did a price check it came up as $30... so a definite bargain there!

Plus it's red and shiny... like my kettle and my Soda Stream... I am tending to collect kitchen paraphernalia that's red and shiny.

We had some time to kill before dinner but we really didn't want to do all that much, so after we got back here, I messed around on the laptop while Ma watched some awful movie on the teevee. I told her she could pick something from my library to watch, but she seemed content.

There weren't any grand plans for dinner... in fact we hadn't booked anywhere and didn't even make a proper decision about where we were going until this afternoon.

langtang nepalese
Where we ended up was the Langtang Nepalese Restaurant just down the street on Jeffcott Street. We've only had Nepalese once before as far as I can remember, and that was forever ago, so I was happy to check it out.

I do think that perhaps it's something where you might have to work your way through the menu to discover what you really like. I was lucky when I tried Indian food for the first time, what I had was the thing that instantly became my favourite (Lamb Rogan Josh), and it's the thing that I judge all other Indian restaurants against.

Langtang was pretty good overall... the service was good (although there was only us and a party of about eight or nine in the whole place) and the food was pretty damn nice.

We started with the chicken momos... now I don't know what the hell the tomatoey sauce that was served with them was, but it was so good... I had to resist the urge to lick the plate.

That was followed up with mixed vegetable curry with basil puree (the greeny coloured thing in the bottom right of the photo) and saag chicken... of the two I prefered the mixed vegetables... the chicken was tasty and tender, but the sauce was a little on the thin side.

Then it was off to the Festival Theatre.

We did have a little bit of a panic attack regarding parking and the foozeball game going on at the oval at the same time, I'd kind of assumed that the road would be blocked off going one way, so we went the other way only to discover that we couldn't actually get from there to where we wanted to be. And even more annoyingly, by the time we worked our way back around, the carpark had it's FULL sign up (and doubly annoyingly, by the time we'd done all the shit we needed to do to get a park, the Festival Centre carpark was taking cars again).

We found a park elsewhere and made it to the theatre just after the doors opened. And the seating gods were clearly with me... I'd expected us to be about four rows back given the seat numbers, but the way it was all set up, we were technically in the third row, but the two seats in front of us (well, more so in front of Ma really) didn't have seats in front of them, so we had a direct view through to Adam Hills live on stage, and when we came down off stage to talk to the people in the audience, he was essentially right in front of us.

But more on that later...

After the show we stopped off for a yummy buckwheat pancake with butterscotch and banana and some Italian hot chocolate.

All in all a pretty good day for Ma's birthday adventures to be honest.

Current Mood:

photo friday: three geisha plus one

lego totoroflag geisha

kite geishanewtown geisha
This week has been... atypical.

Rolling the calendar back to Sunday, I spent about six hours cleaning my apartment for the inspection on Tuesday. Granted that wasn't necessarily six hours straight, I made some breakfast, got distracted by whatever DVDs I ended up watching, fiddled with my phone more than was wise and generally faffed about a bit. But I got it done in the end.

As always I did more stuff than I probably needed to do, but I enjoy the opportunity to really dig in and do a big clean every three months. Don't get me wrong, I fucking hate it while I'm doing it... especially vacuuming the carpet... but I enjoy the end result.

Then I made what definitely has to be THE BEST soup I've made in the last several weeks of my ongoing soup obsession... Bacon, potato and leek... however the recipe called for, I think, two rashers of bacon... I'm not completely sure how many I used, but it had to be upwards of at least eight. Yeah, that shit was goooooood!

Tuesday was a rare occurrence, going to the movies by myself... and I bought popcorn, which is even rarer. I did buy too much though, and I still have some leftover that I brought home.

Thursday was Haircut Day... yaaay! It wasn't a late night as Tink wasn't feeling the best, but it was good to get my hair sorted out. I'm still trying to work out what the final version of this particular series of haircuts is going to be... which is difficult without totally steal the haircut of Banger at work. But it looks so damn good on him, so it's difficult not to go all the way that way.

But at least it's shorter and blonder again, which is always a bonus.

And then today after work I had my chiro appointment, which was decidedly welcome.

Speaking of work, it's been a somewhat crazy week. From things I was convinced we'd put to bed rearing their annoying little heads all the way through things that should have been easy that took all the hours.

I will say that overall it was a less frustrating week than previous weeks. Busy as hell though.

At least this is a long weekend!

Current Mood:

movies: mad max: fury road

mad max: fury road - what a lovely day
I've only ever seen bits and pieces of the previous three Mad Max movies... they never really appealed when I was younger, and then I lost interest in anything related to Mel Gibson.

Fortunately knowledge of the previous movies is not required to watch Mad Max: Fury Road.

To be honest, I'm not even sure that sound is required to be able to watch this movie.

What little dialogue there is is essentially inconsequential, in fact the titular Max only says a handful of things. So much so that there were several times that I wanted to scream "USE YOUR WORDS" at the screen.

And weirdly, Tom Hardy doesn't seem to be able to decide on an accent throughout the movie... there are a couple of lines towards the beginning that sound authentically Australian, but then it does seem to waiver all over the place.

My main problem with the movie though is that I didn't really care about the characters... partly because I didn't know anything about any of them, especially their motivations, but even the names of a lot of them and partly because some of the characters you're supposed to care about weren't particularly likeable. So not caring about the characters meant that I didn't really care what happened to them, which meant that I really wasn't all that engaged during the action scenes.

And given the fact that this movie is essentially one long action scene, that does present something of a problem.

The "second half" was better than the first though... both from an action perspective and a character perspective.

The movie does prove something I've known about Nicholas Hoult for a while now... it doesn't matter if you make him blue and furry... or turn him into a zombie... or shave his head, paint him white and strip him to the waist... he's still a very attractive man. I think it's those big eyes.

Speaking of attractive, there is a lot about this movie that is absolutely beautiful... from the cinematography to the production design to the costumes, it's definitely a visual feast. Just the designs of all the Frankencars alone are a site to see. And knowing that about 80% of the movie is practical effects given the stunts and just the sheer number of risky things that happen makes it even more amazing.

I do feel like it's a little bit style over substance though... it's pretty, sure, but I did find it more than a bit lacking in, you know, story and character.

yani's rating: 2 war boys out of 5


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