two thousand and sixteen in review

two thousand and sixteen in review
Well this is it 2016... your last day... and I think I speak for many folks when I say that it will be good to see the back of you.

Normally I would pull out the meme I've been using for the last few years where I post the first line of the first post for each month, but as regular readers will know, the blog has essentially become a once a week thing with the occasional extra post, so that's not going to work quite so well.

Also there has been a lot of shit (quite a bit of it shit, some good) that happened this year that I kind of want to pay homage to... and put to rest properly I guess.

So, let's try this...

January: I got word my lease wasn't going to be extended, so I spent the whole month looking for a new place and also packing.

February: I moved into the new apartment and had some form of catastrophe with every service provider except for the gas folks. I also started this year's Fringe.

March: The Fringe continued, culminating in 25 shows. We also didn't do anything excessively exciting for my birthday.

April: My first session of my new tattoo... it was supposed to take 2 sessions, it ended up being 4 sessions spread across 5-ish months.

May: Not a lot happened in May, but that is the month that really rekindled reading and buying books for me again (more on that later).

June: As always, Ma's birthday... and another tattoo session.

July: We lost half of the team at work... many, many, many drinks were had. There was also the only Fork In The Road I went to this year, down at Port Adelaide. And it was also my eleventh bloggiversary.

August: We haven't seen enough movies this year to actually do a full on movie post like I usually do (we only saw 10 things at the movies, which is honestly just pathetic), so I'll just say, Kubo and the Two Strings which came out in August is hands down my pick for movie of the year.

September: My tattoo was finally finished. Also, the whole of South Australia had a massive blackout, so we did what any right thinking person would do, we went to the pub. And after the blackout I discovered that my roof was leaking... making 2 leaking roofs in 2 apartments in 2 years.

October: Felt a little like old times with a visit to an Espionage Gallery art show. And I finished Assassin's Creed Syndicate.

November: Ma fell and fucked up her shoulder. And on an unrelated note, I'll say what I said at the time, what the actual fuck America?

December: The saga of Ma's shoulder continued... culminating in an operation just before Christmas, which has meant a very different December for both of us. We still put the tree up at her place, but we had to cancel the traditional Christmas goodies, so I just made a fuck-ton of Rocky Road instead. We also discovered that Princess T had a baby and didn't tell us (I met her today, she's gorgeous and adorable and I want to eat her little chubby hands). And due to the heat we made a last minute decision to move Christmas to my place.

So that's the year that was... for me personally I'm a little fatter than I was this time last year (hell, I'm a little fatter than I was six months ago)... I've had a couple of weird health things pop up but then prove to be nothing at all, or else more related to my ongoing issues with my back than anything else. I've gotten laid a lot less this year which I think mostly has to do with my ongoing attraction to guys best described as flaky timewasters.

Work continues to annoy, challenge and otherwise consume much of my brain (at least until I walk out the door in the afternoon). I've had 4 different offsiders through the year... 2 we lost in the cull, and 1 is temporarily filling in for guy who got the job on a permanent basis. Management also continues to make decisions that are best described as mental.

The other thing I wanted to do this year was try out a "favourite things" list... or at least things that I've discovered this year that were new to me.

So...

yani's favourite things 2017

In no particular order...

Good Reads

One of the women at work mentioned this to me earlier in the year, but then at some point sat me down and showed it to me.. and I fell in love a little. I love a list, I love keeping track of things, this lets me do that, including keeping track of books I want to buy.

It also got me back into buying books in a way that I'd really moved away from. The only probably with that is a limited amount of space to put them.

99% Invisible

See also My Dad Wrote A Porno, Invisibilia, Alice Isn't Dead (and to a less extent Within the Wires), The West Wing Weekly, Good Game Roundtable and Death by Discography.

Again, 99PI was recommended to me by people at work, and I dived into it in a big way, going all the way back to the beginning and listening to every single episode one after another... it took me a couple of months but at the end I was very sad to not have Roman Mars's velvet voice inside my head on a daily basis.

The other podcasts mentioned are all ones that either I discovered this year (MDWAP, Invisibilia, GGRT) or that started this year (AID, WTW, DBD). I'm very much a podcast type of person, so discovering new, good podcasts is like other people discovering new music.

Grayson and Midnighter

Along with a resurgence in reading books, 2016 also very much saw me get back into graphic novels in a big bad way. This went hand in hand with a new comic book shop opening here in Adelaide, Greenlight Comics. And it's an incredibly open and welcoming place, much more so than any of the previous stores we've had.

So I've been developing a relationship, taking suggestions and just taking chances on things recommended to me.

One of those was Grayson, as in Dick Grayson (or the original Robin from Batman and Robin)... it's less superhero-ey and more "spy-ey"... but it's also a little bit homoerotic and doesn't take itself terribly seriously.

And weirdly it also ties into both the Batman books I was already reading, and another graphic novel I was interested in, Midnighter... think an out gay cross between Batman, Captain America and Wolverine... yeah, that.

Gin

I tried gin for the first time a couple of weeks ago, and really like it, mostly for the smell... that's all there is to that really. But I'm planning on making a gin slushie shortly.

Fidget toys

I'm a fidgeter, I fidget...  I also fiddle and whatnot.

I accidentally discovered fidget toys after getting a very simple one from one of those craft markets... it was essentially just a marble inside a knitted disc... then I fell down a YouTube hole at some stage and discovered Fidgetland.

I now own one of their Tutties and one of their Noahs... and I play with the Tuttle all the time (especially if I'm watching stuff on TV or YouTube). It gives my hands and the back part of my brain something to do while the rest of me is occupied. And I love it to bits.

So, yeah... I think that's it for this year in review. I've very much hoping we move onwards and upwards in 2017, because I'd love to do this again next year and be all "2017 was a truly amazing year".

And for the sake of tradition, tonight... right about nowish in fact, marks my 7th Twitter anniversary.

Current Mood:

post christmas round-up 2016

ma's tree, just for completeness saketechinically this is still 'presents under the tree'
Usually at Christmas I complain that nothing ever changes and we do the same thing year after year after year with only minor seasonal variations.

Compared with previous years, this year was definitely one big game of "one of these things is not like the others"... mostly, kind of.

As I mentioned yesterday, at the 11th hour (being Thursday), once we knew the weather on Christmas Day was going to be, in a word, shitful, we decided to move Christmas Day from Ma's place to my place.

Initially this was going to include an early visit to La Cousina's, before packing up and heading down the road, but Ma decided (all on her own) to throw that in and not worry about it, given the weather.

I woke up pretty early, somewhere in the neighbourhood of 5:30am, and rolled out of bed not long after to start getting ready. Just before I was about to jump in the shower my phone beeped to let me know someone had liked something on Twitter, turned out it was Owlgirl, so since I knew she was already awake (and I'm not really surprised, that girl is STUPID for Christmas), I messaged her with seasonal greetings before getting ready.

I think I ended up leaving here at around 6:15am (with the air-con already on)... which was good for two reasons, the lowest temperature that we had all day happened at 6:30am and there was hardly anyone else on the road.

So I made pretty good time, got to Ma's, spent a quick minute taking photos of the tree (because traditional), then loaded up the car and headed back down the road. Unfortunately there were more cars on the road by this stage, and annoyingly the cars I kept getting stuck behind wanted to do between 5 and 10km under the speed limit.

Anyway, we made it back here before it heated up too much, we stuck on Arthur Christmas (which I had already watched the night before as is my annual Christmas Eve tradition) and I made the usual Christmas breakfast of croissants, this year with cheese and ham, nicely flattened in the George Foreman.

With not having the visit to La Cousina's to take up a goodly chunk of the morning, we kind of just faffed about watching the movie, getting Christmas texts (and, in my case, the occasional Snapchat) from people, including some photos of my new "second niece" (and by new I mean 7 months old at this stage... because my family does like to keep secrets from each other), who is so adorable I just want to eat her up, even if she does have a really badly spelled "upmarket bogan" name.

Eventually it was time for presents.

Mostly because I knew pretty much all but one of the things that were in my parcels (and because about half of them were things I bought for myself that I then subsequently put away for Christmas), I just watched Ma open her stuff for a bit and then slowly started to open my stuff.

  • Sunnylife neon rainbow light
  • Lego Dimensions
    • Fantastic Beasts Story Pack
    • Adventure Time Finn Level Pack
    • Adventure Time Jake and Lumpy Space Princess Team Pack
    • Adventure Time Marceline Fun Pack
    • Harry Potter Harry and Voldemort Team Pack
  • 2017 Warwick Rowers calendar
  • 2017 Alfredo Roagui calendar and print
  • R2D2 glass
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them book/screenplay
  • DVDs
    • The Lego Movie (Bluray)
    • The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (Bluray)
    • 101 Dalmations
    • Finding Dory
    • The Hunchback of Notre Dame
    • Kubo and the Two Strings
    • The Martian
    • The Song of the Sea
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief's End PS4 game
  • Lilo and Stitch "Ohana Means Family" statue
Yes, indeed, there is a lot of Lego Dimensions there... partly because I really wanted all of the Adventure Time sets, plus the Fantastic Beast story pack. The Lilo and Stitch statue is the one thing I didn't remember... I do have a vague memory of Ma mentioning something about it, but I'd totally forgotten it was a thing.

Ma liked all of her stuff, especially the Erstwilder snowman brooch and the calendar.

Once we were done with that I tidied up and then started on prep for lunch. And unlike previous years where I do half of the stuff and Ma does the other half, this year it was all me (for obvious reasons). Also, the fact that we were cooking in an actual oven with clearly regulated temperature rather than the Weber which is subject to it's own whims and idiosyncrasies meant that everything was cooked on time and well.

It's also useful that I have the comedy oversized oven as well, since everything (turkey, sausage meat and potatoes) fit in with room to spare.

While the meat was cooking I prepped the vegetables, then started putting the salad elements together until we were good to go, with haloumi the last addition.

And I think it was just after 1pm when we sat down for lunch, which is impressive given past performances.

As usual, I made twice as much as we actually needed, but it looked quite pretty and festive and was chock full of meat (the aforementioned turkey and sausage plus bacon). And I'd been tossing up whether or not to put together my own dressing but in the end I used the mango, lime and chilli dressing we've used before.

The table wasn't quite as interesting as it has been in previous years, since we didn't bring all the fancy stuff with us from Ma's, and my table is pretty tiny... so essentially we just used my regular old bowls... but the salad bowl is new and pretty nice for a $10 impulse buy from Kmart I have to say.

We put one of Ma's DVDs, Pom Poko on after lunch and somewhere towards the end of the movie I made some dessert... the mince pie icecream I put together along with crushed up meringues and some fresh raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and blackberries... which was pretty nice.

The rest of the afternoon was a bit general and a bit blah... given that Ma was staying here overnight there wasn't the usual "pack up and go" portion of the afternoon, which would probably have occurred at some point.

We ended up watching some random TV, I put together the minifigures from my Dimension sets, but otherwise nothing overly exciting... eventually I put together a plate of stuff for dinner from the leftovers. And as usual, we kind of picked at it until we'd had enough.

We finished off the day by watching one of my new DVDs, Song of the Sea, and at a certain point decided to inflate the mattress so it was done.

You would assume if a mattress and a pump are made by the same company that they would not only fit together, but that they would be made to lock into place with each other. Not this mattress... while the pump goes into the inflation point, it doesn't actual lock together with it. Annoying. Also it look longer and wasn't as easy as I though... but really it's my own fault because I could have bought an electric one, but no, I bought the foot powered version.

Ma want to bed around 9:30 and was quietly snoring away by about 11 or so... I gave up and crashed out at around midnight.

I will say that I didn't sleep great... weirdly both Ma and I woke up at 2am... and then after that I had a really hard time getting back to sleep. I think part of it may have been that the mattress stretched out a little like the instructions said it was going to and it wasn't as firm as it needed to be... also it's really hard to get in or out of easily. But mostly it just wasn't my regular mattress so that was weird.

I'm pretty sure I dozed on and off and then woke up around 4:30 and realised that the cool change had come in, so I turned off the air-con and opened a couple of windows.

And then I woke up when my alarm went off... because I'd forgotten to switch them all off. This morning wasn't much of anything... we packed things up ready to take back to Ma's place, I made the other two croissants up with the leftover ham and cheese, I had a quick shower and then we headed down the road.

So, like I said, while it will be a memorable Christmas just because we did things at my place rather than Ma's, it was otherwise fairly uneventful.

Current Mood:

have yourself a merry little christmas

Current Mood:

ma's presents 2016

With a few exceptions, I feel a little like shopping for Christmas presents for Ma kind of fell over around the same time she did... (okay, too soon, I said it and even I think that was too soon).

It also seems because I was more shopping on instinct for the past month and a bit there's a more than usual distribution of snowmen... and none of them are Olaf, which is a change from recent years.

I honestly don't care what she does with the big plush snowman after Christmas... but it's soft and cuddly and adorable (and it was cheap as well).

Even though I could have wrapped her presents at any point recently, I left it until the last minute, partially because of the Haighs chocolate, but it also meant I could drop some of the duplicate Steven Universe toys in as theoretical stocking stuffers.

Other than that, the wrapping process was much the same as always. Again, not doing it late at night was a bonus, as was the fact that the returning star that is the big red shiny box wasn't crammed full...
  • Artful Resin pendant
  • Green flower brooch
  • Green crystal earrings
  • Silver seahorse brooch
  • Oroton leaf brooch
  • 2017 Sculpture calendar and iPhone wallpapers
  • Snowmen
    • Jim Shore snowman ornament
    • Erstwilder snowman brooch
    • Hallmark 2016 snowman ornament
    • Itty Bitty Frosty the Snowman plush
    • Snowman plushie
  • Cherry cranberry pistachio nougat
  • Haighs dark orange pastilles
  • DVDs
    • Doctor Blake Season 3 and 4
    • The Lego Movie
    • Spirited Away
    • Pom Poko DVD
    • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • Assorted Steven Universe pint sized hero toys
    (Rose, Steven, Connie, Stevonnie and Greg)
  • 'Smores Snowman card
I'm really looking forward to her reaction to the Artful Resin pendant and, as always, the calendar.

Current Mood:

photo saturday: beach santa boys

beach santas (not one of my photos sadly)
The pre-Christmas edition of things I know to be true right now...
  • Two days before Christmas is a shitty time to announce staff changes, even if it means I can finally apply for my own job and maybe actually get a permanent job again.
  • In any scenario where people should be considering the comfort and wellbeing of others it won't happen either at all or to the level that it should.
  • The forecast for Christmas Day is 40°C. If it gets to 40.1°C it will be the hottest Christmas in Adelaide since 1945.
  • Christmas is at my house this year (more on that later).
  • Adulting is no fun.
It's been a fucked up kind of week to be honest.

And I'll be honest, more than a few of those fucked up factors revolve around the fact that at the beginning of the week we were headed squarely into heatwave territory. For the record, here in Adelaide a heatwave is "5 consecutive days at or above 35°C (95°F), or 3 consecutive days at or over 40°C (104°F)". At this point it doesn't really look like we're going to get to that... today is only supposed to be 35, not 40, and Monday the cool change is supposed to come in during the wee small hours and knock the temperature down to 28. But Christmas Day is going to be all the hot.

That wouldn't be quite as much of a trauma if Ma was in possession of a full set of working arms. But now we're going to ditch the trip to La Cousina's, I'm going to go pick her up as early as I can get my shit organised in the morning, we're going to come back here, cook everything in my giant oven and enjoy the air-conditioning. Then, depending on whether or not the change comes through at a reasonable time Christmas night or not, I'll either drive her home that night, or I'm now the owner of an inflatable mattress that is larger than my actual mattress, and I'll sleep on that in the lounge while she takes my bed.

It also means that my fridge is literally crammed full of not only my own stuff, but stuff for tomorrow.

Having to give a shit is hard. I see why people often don't.

And so that I could avoid going to any stores on Christmas Eve, and since the shops were open until midnight on Thursday and Friday, I went off to Kmart on Thursday night to get the blow up mattress. Just being at the shops after they should have been closed (if only by about 15 minutes) was weird... but the fact that it was mostly deserted was also strange... and the fact that the people that were there were exactly the kinds of people you would expect to see at Kmart, after hours, just before Christmas. And we won't even talk about the fact that seemingly all the staff were about 12 years old. But it was a "successful" trip.

Also, as I mentioned, the big boss announced the changes to the way The Nut House is structured this week... well, the final edition of the changes... we've been trying to fight the initial proposed changes, which were done by a thundering (external to the organisation) moron at a point when we had no more fucks left to give. In the back of my mind I kind of always knew that they wouldn't back down from that plan, if only because they got someone external to do it and, I'm guessing, paid way more money than it was worth to have it done. So to not use it would be acknowledging that they wasted not only everyone's time, but the money as well.

The one positive is that my position, which I essentially created from the ground up, is going to be advertised, at the level I wanted it to be set at. The main downside from my perspective is that I've never seen the job and person spec and I have no idea what the hell it says... even though I'm the only one who has ever done that job. But I guess I'll see it in January some time when it gets advertised. So by this time next month I could actually have a grown-up big-boy job that is mine.

Granted that comes with it's own set of headfucks, but hopefully it's more in the plus than minus column.

The other fucked up thing about it, and the main reason we've been fighting it as much as we have, is that they've given La Ninj the flick... to some degree I actually understand it, but on the other it seems like a really stupid thing to do after she's just shepherded us through 2 and a half major projects which have been widely acclaimed by the powers that be... yes, that's exactly the person you should be getting rid of, you thundering morons.

Otherwise work was about average to be honest... we had one day where one of our systems just packed up on us for no reason anybody has been able to explain, and while I wasn't directly involved in getting it back on it's feet, it did mean that I did some ancillary running around and couldn't do anything with that system the whole day.

I'm so glad that I'm having the next 10 days off to be honest... I'm just exhausted... mentally, emotionally, physically... and I just need to recharge my batteries and attempt to not think about work at all if I can help it.

On the up side though, H-San and I did do duelling Christmas music a couple of times this week... of course his idea of Christmas music is always something heavy metal inspired, but it was fun while it lasted anyway.

Oh, I just remembered... last Sunday was The Nut House Christmas Party (that's how long this week has seemed to be, I forgot that was only last Sunday)... it was a good time, my Rocky Roads (one milk chocolate, one dark chocolate) were greatly appreciated, especially as I made people take some home with them so that I didn't have to deal with the leftovers. I also think I may just make it in those disposable foil trays from now on. Easy to get out and makes a good thick product.

I spent a good portion of the time talking to Owlgirl... we haven't caught up like that properly for ages, and most of the other people I see on a daily basis, so I can talk to them any time. As always we massively over-catered... given that there were a number of full sized salads, plus about 4 or 5 different types of meat, plus a potato bake and a noodle dish, plus breads... and then there were four different kinds of dessert... nobody went hungry and we left H-San and Mrs San with a LOT of leftovers. Also, as a tip to myself for next time, just wear shorts ya idjit!

Now, if you'll excuse me for a little bit, I need to go over to the shops and grab some lunch and a couple of things I forgot to get this morning.

Okay, it hasn't gotten any less crazed out there... and it's quite a bit hotter.

Now where was I...

To be honest, I think that brings us around to this morning... which is actually kind of a short story...

The supermarket was opening at 7am rather than 7:30, so I was determined to get there for 7... and I did... but after going across to Bakers Delight and then coming back, it seemed like there were about 100 people that just materialised out of the walls, especially at the deli counter.

And while I understand wanting to shop early when it's going to be hot... and I understand food shopping is probably the last thing on a very long list of things that some of these people had to do... what I don't understand is how, what I assume are, relatively competent people on a day to day basis, can completely and totally forget how to supermarket just because it's Christmas tomorrow. It's like every time there's a public holiday Monday and everyone ceases to function as a person at the supermarket. I just don't get it.

Anyway, I braved the insanity very calmly all things considered, especially how over it I am with a great many other things, and was finished before 8am, which is only a record from the time on the clock perspective, not from the length of time I was in the store.

Of course I forgot some things... which always happens... but I got them all when I went to get my lunch earlier.

Then when I got back here I had to completely clear out the freezer and the fridge just so that I could get everything that I'd bought put away (I have too many fucking jars in the fridge though to be honest... which is just annoying). From there I tidied up, and was intending to vacuum the floor, which I'll probably do later on because I just can't be arsed right now.

I have also completely thrown the idea of having a Christmas haircut in the 'too hard' basket this year... Tink is still away (although given the text message I got yesterday, now back in the country) and the place I went last time was just a bit m'eh... plus it's mostly passable, and I'm not seeing anyone other than Ma, so who really gives a fuck.

Oh, and I got both of the parcels I was waiting for this week too... the one that caused all the drama last Saturday, and I picked up the neon rainbow light on Friday after work (I'm going to leave it and open it tomorrow though, because it makes more sense that way).

And then I need to wrap Ma's presents some time this afternoon... but that can wait until later as well.

Current Mood:

photo saturday: whites

white brickswhite down

white fluffwhite domes
This that I know to be true this week...
  • I spent far too much time this week worry about Ma going in for surgery on her shoulder.
  • Her surgery was fine, however she has torn not 1, not 2, not 3 but all 4 muscles that hold the ball joint together. She's supposed to be in a sling for 4 weeks.
  • She's staying with her friend this weekend, and I won't see her until Christmas.
  • Princess T has, at some point in the last 12 months, been pregnant and had a baby girl. She didn't tell us this. So now I have a (according to Wikipedia) "second grandniece"/"cousin-grandniece". Also the apple doesn't fall far from the tree because La Cousina kept T a bit of a secret until quite far into the pregnancy. Fucking families hey.
  • I don't actually know what the baby's name is... Ma didn't mentioned it when I spoke to her.
  • Gin smells amazing.
  • Australia Post delivers parcels on weekends in December. I was not here to get said parcel.
  • My knee is, at this point, pretty much fucked... but hopefully will improve.
  • At some point today I need to make Rocky Road.
Okay, so there's not really a hell of a lot of additional story to be told to be honest.

Last Sunday was fairly uneventful... my choice of salad for the week was a bit m'eh. In fact just salad in general, m'eh.

I thought my knee was on the mend from last week because I hadn't been using it all that much over the weekend and by Monday it mostly felt back to normal. But then towards the end of the week it really flared up, and while I got my chiro to look at it (and give it a yank back into the correct position) on Friday, it still doesn't feel like it's that much better. Hopefully, if nothing else, having a week off work where I'm not standing up for half the day and then walking home may let it sort itself out.

Work has kind of slowed down, except of course for the "oh, this one thing, it's the last one for the year, do that" type stuff, which is always a fun time. But really, it's the week before the week before Christmas, have these people never heard the "nobody cares" song and accompanying interpretive dance routine?

Like I said at the top, I spent too much time (both objectively and relatively) worry about Ma's operation. I knew I was, but at the same time I could shake the sense of impending doom for some reason.

Yeah, my brain... all broken.

Wednesday was not a good day with one thing and another, although the random kindness of the people I work with is occasionally surprising but always appreciated.

So I decided I needed to stop at the bottle shop... and decided that gin was what was called for. Now I will say that I haven't necessarily tasted the gin on it's own properly, but the smell of gin... OH MY! I'm very much in love with that smell.

Also, a couple of gins was definitely what was called for.

After my chiro appointment on Friday I wandered... well actually, limped would be a better description... around the city for a while. It was the usual rotation... Zing, Greenlight, Dymocks, Target... but also diverted to Myer to look for the neon rainbow light they had in their catalogue. They didn't have it in, but the lovely girl in the store ordered it for me, and knocked the delivery charge off, and I realised afterwards that there was already a markdown on that range of stuff... so bargains all around.

I've gotten to like the subtle amount of light that my neon Christmas tree gives off, so once Christmas is over I'll replace it with the rainbow, see how that goes.

Today was the first Saturday I've had to myself pretty much since I'm actually not completely sure when... even last Christmas we still see stuff on the Saturdays before trimming the tree and making the Christmas goodies... so fuck knows to be honest.

I dragged my ass out of bed to be at the supermarket nice and early (but I still need to be there super extra early next weekend, otherwise I just know it's going to be shit), did all my supermarket shopping, which honestly wasn't all that much, since I was only doing shopping for myself and I still have a lot of stuff.

After I came back here, I did a quick unpack and then turned around and went straight back out to visit both Big W and Target... ostensibly just for a USB to put something on to put in Miss Oh's present, but I also wanted to find the
Fantastic Beasts book for myself... In the end I came home with 6 things, only 1 of which was for someone else (the USB). Christmas hey!

And I was back here by about 11am. Annoyingly, I went out just after 12 to get some lunch and when I came back, there was a parcel and a "come collect your other, bigger parcel" note in my letterbox. By the time I realised this, the post office was already shut. Seriously, I'm pretty sure this happened last December... weird-ass Saturday parcel deliveries. I mean don't get me wrong, if I'd been here it would have been awesome (and the fact that they left one of them was great)... but when they do it as a totally random thing just in December, it's fucking weird.

I have the Nuthouse Christmas lunch tomorrow at The House of H-San... so before then I have to make two lots of Rocky Road (and find room for it in the fridge), write a card, print something and find that video I wanted for Miss Oh.

Next Saturday I'm basically going to hibernate the whole day... well, I'll probably wrap Ma's present, but other than that, hibernation.

Current Mood:

movies: fantastic beasts and where to find them

fantastic beasts and where to find them - a new era of the wizarding world
I'll admit, I was undecided about Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them... especially since it's based around a 128 page companion book to benefit a children's charity.

But then they announced it would be set in 1920's New York and star the very gorgeous Eddie Redmayne, so I was always going to see it, I just wasn't sure it was going to be any good.

And while it definitely has it's flaws, overall I was pleasantly surprised.

Let's get the bad stuff out of the way first... the story doesn't really know what it wants to be. There's two different stories happening, one around the aforementioned beasts and the finding thereof, and other completely unrelated story that has more to do with the wider Harry Potter universe.

Unfortunately the movie pays more attention to the second story at the expense of the first. What I really wanted from this movie was for Redmayne's character to be on the hunt for some amazing, or fantastic, if you will, beast in New York and the finding of same was where the movie really came into it's own.

But no, Rowling can't resist going back to the "dark wizard" well, and it was fairly obvious who that was from the beginning (I do wonder if it was supposed to be obvious... were you supposed to spend the whole movie knowing that X is Y... or was it just me?). Yes, the reveal is nice, but there's not a lot of subtlety at play here.

And given that this is going to be a series of, I think, 5 movies, it's pretty clear that it's the "dark wizard" plot that's going to be the through-line for them, rather than the beasts and the finding thereof. Which is a shame... if only because large chunks of this history has already been written, so we know where certain characters end up and who does what to who. It would have been nice to go the other way is all I'm saying.

On the flip side of that, I'm a little in love with (as I mentioned) the time period in the Potterverse. The location doesn't feel quite as much of a character as I was hoping it would, but that's mostly because they never left the UK, which is something of a shame.

What was also nice was that other than Redmayne, Colin Farrell and Samantha Morton there weren't any faces I instantly recognised, and the other main characters, Tina, Queenie and Jacob (played by Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol and Dan Fogler respectively) felt very much of the period... especially Sudol (even if they did go to that well worn trope of gorgeous girl is instantly attracted to schlubby guy for no discernible reason). Redmayne does a great job with the character of Newt Scamander, making him this odd little man with a big heart who is clearly more comfortable with his beasts than with people.

Of course everyone was definitely help in looking the part by the always amazing costume designer, Colleen Atwood. She does make a nice outfit does Ms Atwood.

Overall the special effects are good... there are some "he's touching a tennis ball on a stick" moments when Redmayne is interacting with one of the larger creatures, but the beast itself is gorgeous. In fact all of the creatures look amazing (especially the aforementioned Thunderbird, and I did have a definite soft spot for the little Bowtruckle that lives in Newt's jacket). As does the city, a lot of which, I'm guessing, is also created inside the computer.

To sum up... it looks amazing, but the story isn't it's strongest element.

yani's rating: 3 niffers out of 5

photo saturday: beasts

little wooden birdmonkey kites

rusty giraffesilver dolphin

orange beach horsefishface
Let's see... what do I know this week...

  • Ma's operation is scheduled for this coming Thursday. She's going to stay with her friend for a few days afterwards, so I won't see her until Christmas day.
  • I think I may have jammed up my knee at some point, it's been sore all week, mostly after I've been sitting for a while. I'll get my chiro to look at it this week.
  • We're having The Nut House Christmas party next Sunday at H-San's place.
  • If this week is anything to go by then the title of my autobiography will be "It's not even 8:20am and I've already had a brownie"... it's just what happens when I walk into work and there are already brownies on the table.
  • Seeing people do a half-assed job at something design orientated makes me crazy... doubly so when those people are paid to be quote "designers" unquote.
  • It's 14 days til Christmas.
Last Sunday I had to run some Christmas errands between booking all my Fringe tickets and making a slightly lackluster salad for the week's lunch. I mean the individual components were fine, it just didn't hold up to repeated servings.

Otherwise, beyond my knee playing up, the week was relatively okay all things considered.

Today I dragged my butt out of bed relatively early and while I didn't get to the supermarket right after it opened (which I'm definitely going to have to do on Christmas Eve, because otherwise yikes!), I was still nice and early and got back here just after 9am. I would have pretty much unpacked and turned around and headed off to Ma's place, but I had to pick up a parcel from the post office first.

It should have been a two minute job... but no, there was a line essentially out the door and many old people doing things they could have easily done during the week... or people doing things that are not core postal related activities. Urgh. Annoying.

Anyway, when I made it down to Ma's place we didn't do much before we headed out to the shopping centre to pick up a couple of things she wanted and then to the movies (more on that later), since there's actually stuff on and we haven't actually been for a while.

After that we had a pretty decent bento box lunch (mid afternoon lunch at that stage), picked up a few more things and headed back to her place.

Then it was time for me to come home again, home again, jiggity jig.

Current Mood:

my adelaide fringe picks 2017

The Fringe program dropped on Friday... after looking through the whole guide I ended up with a "shortlist" of 41 shows... that got culled down to about 34... and then this morning I went though them again, created a spreadsheet to work out my times (yes, I am that guy) and ended up with 22 shows on my final list.

And can I say... there's a LOT of Shakespeare this year... maybe a dozen shows... which doesn't sound like a lot, but other years I've had to really scrounge to find anything. And there's a Macbeth in there... Signifying Nothing (actually there's two Macbeth themed shows, but the other was all "zombie army"... so, yeah, no). In fact I'm starting and ending the Fringe with Shakespeare.

I was a little disappointed that there's no Le Gateau Chocolat this year... and I'm still waiting for Jethro Compton to bring one of his other shows down under. There also seems to be a dearth of improv theatre this time, beyond the UnPlotted Potter show.

On the up side, there's a Macbeth, Sound and Fury are bringing a brand new show and there's a lot of stuff that sounds like it has a really dark edge. Or maybe that's more about me this year... maybe I've just picked things that suit my overall mood. Also there seems like there's going to be some nudity along the way.

It also looks as though we're in some different places this year... Adelaide Oval, the German Club, the Botanical Gardens, Brick+Mortar... and surprisingly little Gluttony I think (I need to go through and pull out all the address details later).

I've also very much invoked Rule 2 from my "Getting the most out of the Fringe" list... there's a lot of new stuff. And stuff that was here before but I've always thought "I'll go to that another year".

I've also got enough wiggle room that if something amazing happens across my path, like last year's Fag/Stag (which ended up as my favourite show for the Fringe), I can take a chance.

So my final list for 2017 is...
  • Hamlet: Making the bold decision to cast Hamlet as a young woman, and set during the end of the Viking era, an amazing window is opened on one of the Bard's most complex characters in a passionate and intimate setting.
  • Panti Bliss - High Heels in Low Places: Hilarious and poignant, Panti traces her journey from small-town boy kicking against traditions to towering plastique woman in false lashes making history.
  • Stories In The Dark: A gentle and joyous, musical and magical journey into the world of storytelling in the dark.
  • Coral Browne - This F***ing Lady!: In the world premiere of this one-woman play, Genevieve Mooy brings Coral Browne to sparkling life and puts this Grande Dame back in the spotlight where she belongs.
  • Blanc de Blanc: A blend of vintage glamour, high-end spectacle and titillating acts to infatuate, illuminate and delight. Anticipate big moves, great tunes, lots of skin, and more than a few surprises.
  • Razi - Mesmerise: Razi performs with masks mesmerising his audience with his crystal ball and ring juggling, leaving you not wanting to take your eyes away for one second.
  • Night Creature: The retelling of an Ancient Greek myth about a pretty nymph turned monster; a fable about losing yourself to the dark blue sea. Folklore and legend collide with the 21st century as the myth of Scylla is told through poetry, storytelling and a live electronic score.
  • Fauna: A collaboration between 5 acrobats and a live musician, is an exploration into the similarities and contrasts between human movement and the instinctual, primal behaviours within the animal kingdom.
  • Shakespeare's Waiting Room: In an open round performance space, much like the Globe Theatre, Shakespeare's most well known characters await.
  • Puppetry of the Penis: Two near naked men (they wear shoes) manipulate their nether regions using the Ancient Art of Genital Origami, providing the audience with a hilarious array of shapes and impersonations.
  • Half Hour Hamlet: Patrick Hercamp shall play many parts to uniquely present William Shakespeare's very own "Hamlet". Yet be forewarned, you may just learn to love the bard's plays in a way that makes you want to read them all!
  • Sound and Fury's Sherlock Holmes: Sound and Fury bring back Sherlock Holmes to put him under the parody magnifying glass! Holmes and Watson mimp and muddle through a madcap maniacal murder, with a cumber-batch of new jokes!
  • The Baby Farmer: Amidst an ever growing nightmare of premonitions, omens and visitations Agatha and Winnifred's darkened world slowly begins to unravel when a shadowy stranger with a sinister agenda appears on the streets of Whitechapel.
  • Altar Girl: Shakespeare's Othello as told by teenage girls out for revenge. A deeply reminiscent piece about the darker side of high school, for all those who suffered under a cruel queen with a deceptively kind smile.
  • Concrete: A quick-witted collision between the hysterical and serious, the classy and trashy and the clever and well...?
  • UnPlotted Potter: We go off the Marauder’s Map and into the forbidden forest of supporting characters to explore previously untold stories of the Potterverse. You choose the character, we tell you their story.
  • Barbu Electro Trad Cabaret: Bold, absurd, and sexy as hell, Barbu conjures a strange and wonderful world, fusing traditional and contemporary circus with a beautiful irreverence.
  • The Chemsex Monologues: A nameless narrator, a sexy boy, a fag hag, and a sexual health worker explore the high world of chillouts.
  • Elixir: Follow 3 (very handsome) scientists as they attempt to create the elixir of life and escape from trouble in the ensuing circus madness. It's uninhibited, it's bold and it's hilarious.
  • The Package: Revealing a woman's inner journey as she faces death, this poignant, surreal work pitches institutionalisation against memory and the human spirit.
  • Shakespeare's Ménage a Trois: Four actors present 20 minute vignettes from the Bard's 3 best plays.
  • Signifying Nothing: In an imagined Australia where The Republic is approaching like a train, Paul and Lainey MacBeth are the ultimate power couple.
Current Mood:

photo saturday: xmas trees

big white christmas tree... with bright baublesneon tree, soldiers three and a carboard reindeer
These are the things I know to be true right now...
  • Ma will need to have an operation on her shoulder otherwise she'll never have full use of it back.
  • We don't know when that operation will be, but the sooner the better in the scheme of things.
  • The Fringe program went live yesterday and my first "shortlist" had 41 shows on it.
  • I'm taking time off between Christmas and New Year, the first time I've done that since I started back at The Nuthouse. I really need the break.
  • I signed the paperwork, so I'll be staying in my apartment for another 12 months.
  • I put Christmas decorations up for the first time properly in three years.
  • I was definitely not into putting up the tree at Ma's place today.
So that's what's true right now. Let me rewind a little and fill in the gaps.

Sunday I dragged my printer out from under the bed and went about printing up Ma's calendar, this year with the theme of sculpture (but surprisingly with a minimal number of shots from Sculpture By The Sea, since I've used those in a number of other calendars).

ma's calendar 2017
The printer paper I used isn't quite as good I don't think, or something happened with the print, I don't know, but the text seems a little soft.

Once I was done with printing, I bundled up the pages and headed off to the closest Officeworks (which is, obviously, a completely different one from the one I've got every other calendar bound at). And I don't know if it was because it was a different place, but halfway through the process the very nice gentleman asked me if I wanted the half circle hanger added to the calendar.

The obvious answer... "FUCK YES". Not what I said, but I thought it pretty hard. So after 9 years of making these things, it looks fully professional with the little half-circle cut out of the top and a hanger. It's the epitome of "easily pleased", but I really am thrillled he suggested it and that it works.

Also, at least he did it properly this time, not like the screw up from last year.

After I came back from Officeworks I went across to the Village to get my hair cut (actually, I made a booking and went back 45 minutes later)... there's definitely a difference between getting a haircut from the person who's been doing it for probably the better part of a decade and some random...

It's not a bad cut, it's just not up to the Tink standard.

I made an Asian inspired salad for lunch this week... rice, marinated beef, baby corn, snow peas, haloumi, spring onion, red onion, baby spinach and a mango and lime dressing. One of the better ones I've made since I switched over to salads to be honest.

Work was... functional. We had 2 different birthdays, which meant 2 sets of donuts. I was a little tweaked on sugar by the second day to be honest.

I took my little gay pink glitter tinsel Christmas tree to work a couple of weeks ago, but didn't put it out on my desk until Thursday when the calendar finally rolled around to December.

pixelbrick wreath
And then I came home, dragged my Christmas supplies out from under the bed and went though them, picking out some stuff to make the house look slightly festive.

The two major things were the neon Christmas tree I've had for a few years now... just the pink and green neon make it feel more Christmasy, I have no idea why. The other was the off brand building brick pixel wreath I picked up on sale last year. It didn't arrive until after Christmas, so this is the first time I've had the chance to put it together.

It's definitely an off brand brick... it doesn't go together smooth like LEGO, but it's pretty sturdy. I wanted to put it on the door, but that wasn't as easy as it seemed, so I went with one of the existing nails in the wall.

Friday was Fringe Day. I had a couple of things I needed to do as soon as I got to work... and when they wrapped up, the guide had dropped... and I'll admit, I took some time out to go through it.

And my first "shortlist", as I mentioned before, was 41 shows. Partly due to the fact that there was a metric fuckton of Shakespeare this year. After a couple of revisions (one at lunch and one when I got home) I got the list down to about 25... but after showing the list to Ma earlier, I think I killed another few off.

So tomorrow morning I'll sit down and plot everything out, get my timings sorted (I also need to plug in the two Festival shows we already have tickets for), and then go ahead and book the tickets.

Ah, Fringe time.

Anyway... after work I just needed some retail therapy... and I had an order that had come in at the comic book store, so I figured let's just go do some shopping.

Yeah, Friday night shopping... in the city... in December... on the same day as the Fringe launch party. Yes, I do need my head examined, thank you for asking.

I picked up the last couple of things I need for Ma, a decidedly 1960's Christmas CD, my graphic novel (and ordered way too many more LOL) and stopped off to pick up the artwork I bought at the last Peanut Gallery show.

And then I walked my very, very tired feet home and ordered a pizza.

Today I was much more organised than I've been the last few weeks... partly because I realised that the Foodland at Norwood opens at 7:30, so if I got my crap together I could be there, shop, come back and be on my way to Ma's without losing an entire half of the day.

Granted, I wasn't spot on time, but I was definitely earlier than I have been.

For some reason I spent much more than usual, although I bought a metric fuckton of bacon (it was on special) and the makings for two lots of Rocky Road.

After I'd done everything I needed to do, I headed off to Ma's.

We didn't have a plan... at some earlier point she'd said something about not knowing whether she wanted to put the tree up at all... and I'll admit, I was fairly ambivalent about the whole thing. It's also not a decision I could make for her... but by the time we started thinking about it it was already lunch time and, obviously, Ma hadn't done any of the things she usually does to get ready for putting the tree up...

In the end she decided that we should put it up... so we did.

Like I said, I wasn't particularly into it... yes, it was good we did it, it looks good (we got some new brightly coloured ornaments that look pretty damn good on the white tree), but I wasn't really in the right headspace.

But we got there.

Fortunately there wasn't a lot of wrapping of presents... Ma has already done a bit, and some of the people she would normally buy for she's just sending money or whatever, so we put together the presents for Princess T and Miss Oh.

I think we did pretty good with our choice of packaging this time around... we usually put their presents into some kind of box and wrap it all up like a hamper... but this year we bought them "beach bags"... I mean they're really just big tote bags, but it's the beach kind of idea. And then we've filled them with all manner of stuff.

But usually we would just have left everything open and accessible... but no, I was in charge this year, so we did my usual trick for Ma's presents... I wrapped everything with tissue paper and wrapped it with some curly ribbon.

They think getting into Ma's presents takes some times... wait until they get a load of me (and yes, that was a Jack Nicholson/Joker reference).

So that was it really... I got there at, I dunno, not quite 11am and left at not quite 6pm.

Current Mood:

photo saturday: swell

sparklebreak

strongfoam
First things first... Ma is doing better. She has an appointment on Monday when she'll know more, including when she's allowed to drive again, but overall she's good. I've been checking in with her roughly once a day, just to ensure she's okay.

Sunday I spent the morning cleaning the bathroom and kitchen and then vacuuming and mopping the floors. You know, all the fun stuff. I do enjoy coming home to a very clean house though.

And it's always challenging to have cleaned your kitchen, especially the stove, and then use it to cook chicken and boil eggs and fry bacon. Also, it's only been a couple of weeks of salad and I already miss soup weather... or rather I miss the process of making soup, which is so much more interesting and enjoyable than making salad. Not to mention it's way more work at the other end when I'm making my lunch.

Anyway.

The inspection, unsurprisingly, went fine. So much so that she left me a little "thank you" card... which was lovely, but a little bit overkill.

Work was fine this week... it's definitely calmed down, thus beings the slow descent into the Christmas season. At least I hope it's mostly a descent... I'm hoping there's not a big unexpected spike at any point.

Friday morning I was standing in the shower, literally not moving, when the muscles in my back locked up one after another. Not all of them, just a small section on the left side, but I wasn't even moving. What even is my life, seriously. Thankfully I already had an appointment with my chiro... but still.

So, yeah, my chiro appointment was at midday, so I did something I don't normally do and had an actual lunch break where I went places and did things.

Today was pretty much a rinse and repeat of last Saturday... well it would have been completely so had it not been for the Norwood Christmas Pageant. Now it's my own fault... I knew the pageant was on, I should have gone to the other Foodland... but I didn't want to (it's still not the "best" anything). Plus I should have been more organised and left the house earlier, but the pageant wasn't until 10:30, so I had a bunch of time. I figured, how complicated can it be, surely they just close off the Parade, put barricades up to stop you getting from the cross streets to the Parade... easy.

Like fuck.

First off, they close all the side streets off bar a couple, which is just plain madness. Even if they want to stop people from parking, just put up no parking signs for fuck's sake.

Getting in, once I found a road I could actually go down, was relatively fine... I got to the car park no problem, I made it across the road to get bread, no problem... and there were less people actually at the supermarket than usual, so massive bonus there.

No, the problem came when I tried to leave.

The problem with closing off all roads into or out of that part of Norwood is that the cars that do want to come in can only do it via those one or two roads that are open. And they do. Also, a lot of them were driving 4WD's, in the suburbs... so, yeah, do the math on that one.

It would have been okay if I didn't have to turn across a lane of traffic and if a seemingly never-ending stream of people weren't trying to turn into the street I was in, thereby blocking me in essentially.

Something that normally takes 2 minutes tops, to get from the supermarket to the end of the Parade, took over 15 minutes. And then because there were traffic cones and signs, every halfwit on the road was either doing stupid things or driving slower than necessary.

Suffice to say, not a fun time. And the halfwittery continued... all the way down to Ma's place people where driving 10km slower than the speed limit, for no discernibile reason.

Anyway... deep, cleansing breaths. Many, many deep cleansing breaths.

I wasn't sure what we would be doing when I got to Ma's... and I did float the idea of going to the movies, but I think she's been sitting around watching movies quite a lot, so it didn't really appeal. But we went to the shopping centre near her, just to get her out of the house and to pick up a few non-supermarket things she wanted.

It was better than last week, if only because I wasn't constantly worried someone would bang into her and injure her shoulder... but I did need to keep checking where she was whenever she went out of my line of vision.

But it was good to get her out of the house... I didn't really hang around for very long after we got back though.

We'll see what this next week brings.

Current Mood:

lego minifigure series - the lego batman movie

lego minifigure series - the lego batman movie
When I bought the last set of Lego minifigures, the guy who owns the store told me that the next set was going to be themed for the Lego Batman Movie which comes out in the USA in February, but from what I can tell doesn't come out here until the end of March (the figures, however, should start appearing in January).

Part of me was kind of hoping that it would just be a full range of different Batman outfits... and they're definitely there... but so are a number of second and probably ninth string villains (I've put links to most of them below... one was so esoteric she didn't even have a listing).

We're also getting 20 figures instead of the usual 16...
My favourites out of this set are without a doubt Joker and Harley... I love the Joker's look in this movie incarnation (and I'm very tempted by the Joker Notorious Lowrider set), from the hairstyle to the snaggletooth... and Harley's twisty pigtails are gorgeous... plus they match really nicely in their Arkham costumes.

As far as the Batman costumes go it's a definite toss up between Fairy Batman and Vacation Batman... with Glam Metal Batman running a very close third. And hopefully there's some portion of the movie where Fairy Batman teams up with Pink Power Batgirl.

I'll also be interested to see if there's a face under the Red Hood costume. Especially given who the original Hood is.

I would also have preferred some more Batman outfit variations... not to mention some other villains... but I'm guessing they're saving the recognisable ones for the full sets (like The Scuttler, which I really love), which is understandable.

But it's still an interesting looking set (and better than the set from the first Lego movie)... although I'm not sure how I feel about these sets that have more than 16 in them.

Oh, and as (mostly) always, here's the full review of the minifigs from WhiteFang on the Eurobricks website.

Current Mood:

photo saturday: shoulders

pathfinderspiritcircles

snugglepotdragonkiller
Okay, so I'm going to preface this by saying that everybody is fine, everyone is okay, we're good.

This is also going to be an atypical weekly round-up in that I'm going to jump straight to the major thing that happened and then come back and see if I can be bothered with any of the rest of it.

Ma fell this week. Now for anyone who has followed the blog for a while, me falling is not uncommon... and there's a genetic legacy there... when I was a kid Ma used to fall about as often as I do now. And when we were in Sydney in 2013 she fell and bruised up her eye (how I'm still not entirely certain). But this time was worse... and she somehow managed to dislocate her shoulder.

Again, genetic legacy, since I've dislocated my shoulder three times and ended up with a reconstruction (and then there was that time I popped my knee out of, and then back into, the socket).

But rolling back slightly... just after lunch on Tuesday I get a phonecall from a number I don't know... answer it and it's the big boss from Ma's work, calling to tell me that she's had a fall, dislocated her shoulder and they've taken her off to the emergency room.

As soon as I realised she was from Ma's work, before she'd even gotten to the why, I knew it wasn't good... I mean people never use your emergency contact number to tell you there are puppies and kittens and rainbows. No, it's for emergencies.

So as soon as I get off the phone with her, I try and call Ma, and there's some phone juggling when someone I don't know answers and then they hand me over to her. She sounded a little out of it... I'm guessing that was probably a combination of shock and really good pain meds. I asked her if she wanted me to come to the hospital, but she said no, a woman from work was with her and she was okay all things considered.

I stayed put, but I will say that I had trouble actually making coherent thoughts for the rest of the afternoon, and even for me I was probably a little more brusk in some of my emails than normal.

Hometime came around and I hadn't heard anything, so I messaged her to see where she's at... she calls me and tells me they think it's only a sprain/strain, but they want to do one last scan before they release her. This is good news. I much prefer this news.

So I walk home, stop to get some hayfever eyedrops and many things made of chocolate from the supermarket.

I texted her on the way home and the reply didn't make a ton of sense, but I figured she's distracted or can't type with her good hand... one of those things.

When I'm walking up to my building, she calls me. Turns out the shoulder was actually only half dislocated, when the doctor when to rotate it in the CT scan it popped out of the joint properly. So in the time it took me to walk home and do shopping, they'd scanned her, popped the joint out, put her under and fixed it... and she'd regained the land of the living. Which is probably why her reply didn't make a ton of sense.

She was going to get her sister to come and get her... which would have been fine, but anyone who's read the blog for more than about five minutes knows that if it had been me, she would have left work after the first phone call and come down... just like she has done for every single other disaster (like when I did my back in originally)... so I couldn't just dump this is someone else's lap.

So I got changed, pulled up the directions in my phone and set off for the hospital.

By the time I got there it was around 7pm, and she'd been at the hospital since around 1:30pm. And it was around 8:30pm before I got her home. Not that there was much to do once I got there, the woman from work who had kept her company, I think until I said I was on my way, had gone... she was just waiting for one last visit from the doctor and then she was good to go.

You know those times when your brain goes to the disaster place... even when logically you know that everything is survivable and not anywhere near that bad, but your brain just goes to that "she's hasn't called me, she'd dead in a ditch somewhere" place. Yeah, that was pretty much me between that second phone call and when I walked into the emergency room. I don't even want to write all the words down for what I'm talking about because then that will mean that they're not safely locked away in my head, but out there in the world, and if they're out there, they might happen.

You know?

Anyway, turns out Ma did what both she and I have done about a bazillion times between us, she tripped over a raised paver that she's walked over or past a hundred times before and caught her foot in just the wrong way... and down she went.

But she didn't put her arm out enough or something and landed on the arm or shoulder in the wrong way... kerblammo.

The doctor eventually showed up (terribly British woman), we got all the lovely drugs, Ma got dressed and I took her back to her place.

I tidied some stuff up for her so she wouldn't trip over things, made sure she was okay and settled and then headed off home.

And because I actually haven't driven to her place since I moved into this apartment, and it was dark and I was a little stressed... I got lost. Yes, I could have stopped and turned my GPS on... but I figured I knew where I was going... turns out not so much and I got turned around at a certain point and started going away from where I was supposed to be headed. Eventually I stopped and got myself sorted though... but it added another ten or fifteen minutes to my trip.

Between then and now I've been checking in with her about twice a day, morning and night, just to see how she is.

I also ordered some flowers for the woman she works with who sat with her all afternoon... and some chocolates to share with the other people in the office, since they all arranged to move Ma's car from work to home, and generally just looked after her before she went to the hospital. I also wrote an appropriately appreciative card to go along with them.

Today I did some shopping for Ma, and then headed up to her place after I'd unpacked my shopping and dropped some books off at the Oxfam shop.

And knowing that it's not any fun to be confined to the house for a week after you've injured yourself, I took her out to the shopping centre near her, if for no other reason than so she could get out of the house. It turned out to be pretty much the right thing to do though, since we ran into her co-worker who sat with her.

Now I've never met this woman before, but as soon as Ma introduced us we both moved to hug each other, her I think to thank me for the flowers, me to thank her for what the flowers were for, looking after Ma.

Ma has an appointment with her doctor tomorrow (yes, he works Sundays, but he's around 300 years old and only works a couple of days a week now) and then an appointment at the hospital a week on Monday. So we'll know at that stage when she can drive again... and when she's gets to go back to work.

Given that they're talking about no driving and being off work and seeing a physio, the only thing I can think is that she dislocated her shoulder in a much more serious way than I did any of the three times I did mine before the reconstruction. In fact in at least two of those cases I drove my car home after going to the emergency room... and in one of those I then drove to both get my hair did and then go to La Cousina's (first) wedding the following day. Granted that's partly because she'll be 70 next year and I was, I dunno... mid 20's. But this is much more like when I had my reconstruction to be honest.

But, like I said, other than being sore (and actually surprisingly unsorry for herself, compared to how I would probably be feeling in her place) and unable to do some stuff, she's doing okay.

Compared with that the rest of the week was fairly dull.

Getting in the car, driving for 40 minutes, sitting in a hospital chair then getting in the car and driving for about 50 minutes all while somewhat stressed and tense did something of a number on my back and after I put my socks on on Wednesday morning, I stood up and where was some serious twinge activity.

I had a chiro appointment scheduled for Friday anyway, but called up to see if they could slot me in for an unscheduled one... and they got me straight in which was great. And I'm going back next Friday for a follow-up.

Thankfully I did all of the tidying up for this coming week's rental inspection on Sunday. I still need to clean some stuff, but everything is tidy, which makes the biggest difference. It will also hopefully cut what I need to do tomorrow down to only a couple of hours.

I also discovered that I'm fresh out of the really good quality photo paper for printing Ma's calendar... and they don't make it anymore... so on the way home today I stopped in at Officeworks and bought a new kind... so we'll see how that goes. I also bought some adhesive paper so I may need to make more pasteup stickers. Maybe I'll finally get around to making the fish version of my eyeBird.

The major downside to driving to Ma's place is that the sun ends up against me... as in, it's coming in through the driver's window in both directions, which doesn't happen when Ma comes here... and given that it was a hotter day than I thought it was going to be... I ended up with the first sunburn of the season on the inside of my elbow.

That's about all of it I think... hopefully there won't be a week this "hectic" for quite a while.

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photo saturday: street faces

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First up... anyone who's read the blog for a while knows I'm not someone who discusses politics... but I just have to say WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK AMERICA!?!

There are two sides of history... one is the correct side, the side that advances society, that makes things more inclusive and safe for people to live their lives and protect those that are unable to protect themselves. If you're on the other side of that, history will judge you harshly and accordingly.

And history will judge America for the next four years.

But getting back to less serious matters...

This week saw the start of the salad season. It wasn't too bad for the first attempt... I ended up using the sandwich press at work to grill a peach each day to add to the salad which was nice. As I think I said last week though, the main thing is really getting the dressing right and while this was just a simple dijon vinaigrette, I used raspberry vinegar so it was really tasty.

I'll be honest, the first part of this week passed without much of an impact, but Wednesday afternoon was pretty much a write-off with watching the progress of the train wreck that was the American election. At one point I had four different websites up (The Guardian, The New York Times, ABC and FiveThirtyEight)... and none of the numbers agreed with each other, however as soon as it was clear that Florida was lost and the election was going down the toilet it was really hard to concentrate on anything else.

Of course that was in addition to explaining how the US elections work to a number of my co-workers (thanks to seven seasons of The West Wing).

And then I came home, stopped off at the supermarket, bought faux Magnum icecreams, went to the bottle shop for Kahlua... added them both to the blender and made myself a little alcoholic milkshake. It was really tasty too... I may try it again with some frozen berries to just add a little thickness... but it's definitely worth repeating.

Friday was fine right up until I left work to go home.

I thought that the forecast was that the day was going to be pretty damn warm, then overnight a change was coming through. So I didn't take an umbrella or anything, not even the emergency one I often keep in my bag. Which would have been fine if not for the thunderstorm that rolled across the state.

When the big fat rain started I took shelter under a tree, which was fine for a few minutes until the rain started leaking through the leaves.

And then the hail started.

Yeah, the temperature went from 30°C to hail within a few minutes. And I just tried not to get hit too many times under the tree. I'll be honest, I was essentially soaked through to the skin by this point anyway... but when the rain slacked off a little bit I made a dash for the verandah over the back of the hospital across the street.

Would have been fine if the verandah wasn't made of that corrugated plastic and essentially full of holes. I did find one spot that was relatively dry though and hung out for a while longer while listening to the hail bang on the roof.

Finally there was a break in the clouds, so I just gave in and headed off. Fortunately the rain did start breaking up at that point, but when the sun came out it was a little bit of a "fuck you" from the universe. I was totally drenched at this point... so much so that I was able to wring the hem of my shirt out.

Anyway, I got home and everything was fine, no leaks, no broken windows (I was a little worried about the hail and my open kitchen window). So I peeled off my soaked clothes, had a shower and ordered a pizza because I couldn't be bothered doing a damn thing.

Ma was having her hair did this morning, so I was left to my own devices. I slept in a little, then went off to the supermarket and did my shopping.

I still managed to come home, unpack and do some reading before Ma got here. She'd finally taken my advice and got her hairdresser to put some pink streaks in her hair and the colour looked amazing.

We didn't really have anything we needed to do today and we definitely wanted to avoid the city given that today was the Christmas Pageant, so we just ended up heading down to Kmart for a bit of a poke around. And then we called into Big W on the way back to my place. Technically an unfruitful day, but it was fine.

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