photo saturday: grey sky day

wet chinatown streetsgrey sky tower

steel sky baylibrary roof
This week has been much calmer on a number of fronts... which is about damn time.

I put together my tomato and potato soup last Sunday. I made the mistake of using a jar of flavoured tomatoes, rather than just a jar of pure tomato puree, and so it was a little too "pasta sauce" flavoured than I might otherwise have wanted. And I intentionally made it really, really thick, which wasn't a problem but it did make for just really thick soup.

Monday started with no breakfast and a trip to the doctor for yet another blood test. Turns out the previous two tests were all good, but he wanted to test for something else as well. Supposedly he was going to contact me when the results came back (he did the last two times) but as of Friday I hadn't heard from him. I should probably care a little more than I currently do, however I'm happy with the land of not knowing right now.

The rest of the week was get up, go to work, walk home, lose pretty much the entire evening to making dinner and Buzzfeed videos (I have a problem... although not always specifically Buzzfeed related). Sleep again then rinse and repeat.

I also ended up working back each night from Wednesday onwards. Not always very much... but there was stuff that needed to be done and I was the only one there to do it, so I just got on with it. Fortunately I did have an offsider every day except Thursday this week as well... not Newbie, the part-timer came in extra days and saved my proverbial bacon, letting me concentrate on other things.

Working back Friday then led me to going to the pub even though I wasn't planning to. It was the going away for someone I really don't have a relationship with, so I was like "yeah, nah"... but then Owlgirl and one of the other girls were all "well you're still here, might as well".

I summed it up best on Twitter last night in the following fashion...

"Come for one drink," they said. "We don't really want to stick around, so we're just having one drink then we're going," they said. And then it was 8:30 and I'd had six ciders (I only paid for one though... well, technically I bought one round for three people, but I only bought myself a single drink).

It was a weird and interesting evening... mostly Owlgirl, the other girl and I sat off to one side from everyone else, although other people did kind of drift in our general direction on a fairly regular basis. I also feel like that filter in my brain that stops me saying certain things, which doesn't work that well at the best of times, really, really stopped working at all last night fairly early on in the night.

As I've said to people at various times recently... I opened the "fuck drawer", it is empty, I have absolutely no fucks to give at the present time.

I'm pretty sure I didn't say anything totally heinous... there was one comment I made at one point that might be a little too close to the line/the truth, but otherwise, while some of it wasn't necessarily totally "work appropriate", we weren't actually at work, so fuck it.

And we have another trip to the pub next Thursday night to "celebrate" when ten different staff members all leave us. Yeah, ten. I had to write out messages for ten different cards on Friday morning at work... must have taken me about 40 minutes. And you could tell the people I really didn't either know very well or give a fuck about when I wrote "best of luck in the future" on those cards.

However on Owlgirl, TOG (the other girl previously mentioned), Herschel and Pixie I wrote a metric fuck-ton. So that'll be a thing next week.

Getting back to Friday thought, as always, when I was done (pretty much the time that Owlgirl abandoned me) I left the others to go off to some bar I'd never heard of and instead walked my drunk ass home.

On arriving home about an hour later, much sober than I started, I discovered the latest Chris McVeigh Lego camera kit that I'd ordered waiting for me. I can't resist his camera kits... I have four now... the Polaroid, the SLR, the original mini camera and this new, very cute and very tiny classic camera. So of course I couldn't wait, I had to put it together right then and there.

As always, it's perfect and adorable, but I was surprised that it was quite that tiny. I have a feeling that the length of the cord was the deciding factor there and everything got slotted in around that. But in any event I love it.

After that I wasted some time on YouTube and then took my tired and slightly inebriated ass to bed.

This morning was a little bit of a slow start, more so because it was fucking freezing than because of any after effects. In fact I hadn't drunk any water last night, all I had to eat was a few small slices of pizza and some Pringles once I got home, but I was otherwise unaffected. Yay!

I wasn't quite ready when Ma arrived, but we headed off to Norwood to the supermarket not long after. This week I'm going to try for a roasted parsnip and bacon/chorizo soup. I think it'll probably be very similar to potato soup, but we'll see.

waterhouse art prize 2016
After we'd finished and unpacked, we headed into the city to check out the Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize.

We skipped the one last year, and it seems like some time in the last two years they gave the gallery space a little bit of a spruce up with some new display cabinets and rearranged walls.

It looks pretty good I have to say.

The selection of entries was a little so-so... in fact I think that was why we skipped last year, we were a little over it by that stage. There were a few good pieces, all of which are in the image to the right.

After we'd done the circuit and picked out favourite piece (the copper tree at the top of the image... Abor Sole by Ulan Murray... and I think for the first time ever both Ma and I picked the same piece), we had a bit of a wander around in the city... not with any specific goals in mind, just a general wander.

And that was about it really...

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movies: finding dory

finding dory - an unforgettable journey she probably won't remember
The very beginning of Finding Dory starts with an adorably cute baby version of Dory and does a nice match-up with the scene where Marlin and Dory first meet from Finding Nemo... and then jumps to a year later. And I'll admit, right up until the jump, the movie had me by the heart-strings.

After the jump... I'm going to be honest, it takes a while to really get good. The first half of the movie feels a little like a watered down version of the original... it's less about the actual "journey" this time and more about what happens when they all get where they're going. And that made it feel a little bit less interesting.

Once it does find it's feet though it's a beautiful story. Still not at the same level as Nemo, but beautiful in a different way.

I saw an article online earlier about it where the headline was "it isn't about family, it's about living with disability", and while I haven't read the article yet, I do agree with the headline. This movie is much more about Dory's relationship to the world, and everyone's relationship to both her and her disability.

I think it's one of those movies that now that I have that thought to pick away at, I'll see more and more of it in the movie each time I rewatch it.

And with the exception of Hank, the octopus, I don't feel like the characters who were introduced this time around were as interesting as, for example, the tank gang from the first movie. It may be more about the purpose they serve in the story, but there were a couple of characters who probably could have been combined into a single character without losing anything from the story, and at least one group of characters that felt a little ill defined.

I was also a little annoyed with Marlin a few times, his character felt like he'd slid back a little too much to his personality at the beginning of the first movie.

And while Dory "remembering" her past is a key part of the plot, it almost felt as though there were too many of those flashbacks... some of them move the plot along a little, others don't really seem to beyond reinforcing something we've already seen.

But that's not to say that I didn't get emotionally choked up in the last third of the movie... as always with Pixar, they manage to hit that emotional nail right on the head. I do wonder though if the movie is a little too dark overall for smaller kids... or if they just won't get a lot of it.

As always, the movie itself looks amazing... you can see some of the leaps forward they took with water and the backgrounds and plants in general in The Good Dinosaur at play in this movie too.

I can't say that it was an instant favourite with me like Nemo was, but I feel like it's one of those Pixar movies that will grow on me over time.

yani's rating: 3 cuddle parties out of 5

photo saturday: chromatic balance

balance and the lack of samesample green

flying brasslittle black boxes
This week has been so incredibly up and down it's kind of ridiculous.

It started with a public holiday on Monday... so I never made soup on Sunday, in fact I didn't make soup at all, what I did instead was make two trays of lasagne. And it was pretty damn good given that I essentially made the recipe up out of my head, except for taking a brief look at the white sauce recipe on the pasta packet. And I actually ran out of lasagne noodles, so I mixed up the leftover red and white sauces together, mixed in some dry pasta, shoved it in the oven, crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.

And other than it being a little too much white and not enough red sauce, it worked pretty damn well.

Tuesday I had a chiro appointment after work, then Wednesday I made arrangements to get a blood test in the morning before work and go in for an ultrasound after work... all stemming from when I was sick last weekend and saw my doctor, and of course one thing which was perfectly explainable (at least by me, even if nobody else understands it) led to seemingly one thing and then another thing. I'm being a little vague, because honestly I have my suspicions about what my doctor is going to say to me when I go back on Monday morning, I'm just hoping I'm wrong. Not that being right would be the end of the world, it's just a pain in the butt.

Because I was having a day off I needed to do a whole lot of shit Tuesday and Wednesday at work... not helped by the fact that I only managed to do last Friday's work on Tuesday, but thankfully caught up by the time I left and given that my offsider is more off than side right now, I handed everything off to someone actually useful while I was away.

Thursday I had what I thought was going to be my final tattoo appointment... once again I got there at 9am, and we were done by about 1:30pm. I will say that it's looking amazing. We really do need one final session, just to wrap things up... finalise a few bits and pieces and just make sure it's all perfect. The studio wasn't as busy this time as it's been the last couple of times... there was only one other guy getting work done, and I, once again, outlasted him (but he was only getting initial linework done). In fact, I made it all the way through Road to Perdition and probably about three quarters of the way through Forrest Gump. I wasn't really paying attention to the movies though, I was listening to the new West Wing Weekly podcast and having the feels from memories of The West Wing.

I did have to ask if we could do part of it with me sitting up... I just couldn't lay in that same position any longer, and even though the sitting position wasn't perfect, it gave my back a change of scenery and meant that when I needed to lay back down it wasn't as bad.

The downside to the whole tattoo thing is that my arm currently hurts like fuck. Not all the time, but moving, stretching, bending, all these things hurt. I'm not sure if it hurts more than last time or if I just don't remember what it felt like last time... but if it is worse then it's because it was more around the edges this time, and every time it was part of my arm involving bone I wasn't having a fun time.

I also need to do a full post about this tattoo once it's done though... see how much I can unpack my reasoning and thought process. Or, you know, not.

Thursday night was Haircut Night... and in that Gwyneth Paltrow/Sliding Doors kind of universe, there's a timeline where I walked down the driveway to the carpark and not the path down the back of the building. In that timeline I didn't fail to see the step down along that path because there's not a ton of light back there, and didn't fall and bust up my knee. Sadly I live in this timeline where I did fail to see the step and did fall.

Yeah, clearly it was time for my irregularly scheduled "fall down go boom".

Otherwise my haircut was reasonably uneventful... we talked, Tink cut hair, we talked some more.

Friday was a little bit of a wrench to get my butt into gear and to work to be honest.

And with the accumulation of everything else that happened this week, I'll admit I was more than a little flat.

But I made it through the day, and when I got home I discovered that I was one of 20 winners of a complete set of Disney Pixar DVDs from Big W with limited edition portrait covers. Granted I already own all the Pixar movies on DVD, but I never win things, so it was nice to hear that I won anyway.

Oh, and I broke out my onesie for the first time so far this Winter... I just wanted something warm and comfortable, and that always fits the bill.

This morning I was kind of up and organised in enough time to do some additional stuff before Ma arrived. We headed back to the Norwood supermarket this week... neither of us were that bothered about the other one from last week and it didn't have a Bakers Delight. So back to the normal routine, at least for now.

This week I'm planning on inventing soup again... something in a tomato/potato fusion thing... with a fuckton of bacon.

After shopping and the usual unpacking and whatnot, we headed off to Marion to catch a movie and have a bit of a poke around.

It's weird, as the crow flies the distance between Arndale and Marion is pretty much the same, but given the fact that the city is between me and Arndale, it seems to make more sense just to go off to Marion to be honest.

After the movie we did a bit of shopping... now both Ma and I have been vaguely in the market for toasters for a while now... but I'm both fussy about design and cheap, so that has impacted on the types of toasters I like the look of... plus I have a fetish for red kitchen appliances. And I don't really have bread in the house on a regular basis. But Kmart had toasters for $7.50. Yeah, I know, I'm assuming it will be a piece of shit and last about fifteen minutes... but it'll do for now. Let's see if I actually use the thing first.

I also found a cheap bright green scarf at, of all places, the camping/hunting store... and it appeared to be a nice long one too, not hugely so, but long enough.

And that was about it really.

Not one of the finest weeks on record, but at the same time there was enough good tumbled in with the bad to pretty much just make the whole thing a decidedly mixed bag.

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photo saturday: woof


Okay, this is probably another short and sweet one...

This week has been crappy. First I was sick as a dog on Sunday (technically I wasn't "sick" sick, however my entire body rebelled against me for the whole day and the day was a total write off)... that led to two doctors appointments, with the promise of three or four more to come since my doctor found something completely unrelated while trying to explain the original thing which only lasted for about 18 hours.

And it doesn't even seem like it's much of anything really (so much so that I don't even remember what the doctor said that it probably was)... so, yeah, I'm probably completely fine, but I have to jump through all these stupid hoops anyway.

Given that it's probably nothing, I'm not going into any details... if it turns out to be something, then I'll blog about it... but this happened a little while back with something else and that turned out to be pretty much normal.

It's also meant that I needed to go and see my chiro a couple of extra times... well, once so far, and again on Tuesday. Yes, I would rather spend the extra money and go more than I possibly need to, especially since it's usually around Winter that my back has it's semi-annual freak-out. That's probably not completely true, but it feels like it is.

Work has also been, well, hard work, since my underling (and, you know, I was going to be nice, but given the last few weeks, she's a fucking underling... and not a great one at that) has spent the majority of the week "working from home"... which mostly means that I'm doing all the work and she's doing something allegedly. As a snapshot of how bad it's gotten, I actually can't remember if she even set foot in the office this week. I know she didn't on Monday... I feel like she may have Tuesday, but given that she's not shown up more times than she's shown up in the last couple of weeks, it's kind of hard to tell.

As you can tell, I'm a little pissed about it.

The rest of the week was just busy... work, appointments, home, sleep, repeat.

Oh, but it was also both Ma and Owlgirl's birthdays this week. I actually forgot about Ma's birthday until I got to work and had to write the date down (I think I was putting my chiro appointment on our in/out board), and called her to burble birthdayness down the phone at her.

Owlgirl liked her present, in fact although I didn't see her open it, she said that it nearly made her cry. So big check in the successful present column there. And I don't think I mentioned it last week, but it was a copy of The Velveteen Rabbit, which is one of my favourite children's books ever, and which has on more than one occasion made me cry.

Today was interesting... we decided to try the Frewville Foodland, which is kind of closer than the Norwood one... and it's supposed to be really great. As in they're very quick to tell you all through the store that they're "Adelaide's finest" and that they won "World's Best Supermarket". And I don't want to be a bitch about it (for a change), but it's a little bit like that really hot guy who knows that he's hot and then tells you that he knows how hot he is. It's kind of offputting. And it's just trying too damn hard.

Plus, the award is given based on "merchandising and range of products, employee development, leadership and innovation and community involvement"... and I can't really comment on anything other than perhaps the first two. But I have to say, it didn't feel like it had as good a range as the Norwood one (yes, I found one thing that they never had at Norwood, but they did have it at both Northpark and North Adelaide). And both the deli counter and the cheese area weren't even as big as the North Adelaide store, let alone the Norwood one.

Yes, the store is mostly nice, although it feels a little dark... the fruit and veg section is kind of badly arranged... the bakery section feels like it should be good, but once you get in there you realise it's just supermarket bread, and why would you bother when Bakers Delight exists. The staff seem okay, there were a range of quite attractive young men doing all manner of things in the produce department, but the checkout girl was a little haphazard when it came to packing stuff.

Not to say it was bad in any way, but for a store that shouts its virtues from the rooftops, it isn't even the best Foodland I've been to at least from a shopper perspective. Let's just say I was massively underwhelmed.

That didn't stop us from collectively spending a bunch of money though. But that was less about the store and more about the fact we both needed a lot of stuff.

Will we go back? Maybe. Now that we know that it's not this shining beacon on the hilltop kind of thing, we may be able to approach it on a more even playing field... and it is closer to my place than the Norwood one. We'll see.

After unpacking all the groceries we decided to head into town, with a brief stop on the way so Ma could pick some stuff up.

Mostly we just wandered from one end of the Mall to the other, trying to avoid the packs of wild bogans... sorry, football supporters... who were congregating.

I wanted to look, briefly, for a new umbrella... well, a mid-range umbrella, not the tiny one I keep in my bag and not the giant golf one I use when it's raining when I leave the house... but something in between. What, I have a lot of umbrellas... and I left my mid-range one on the bus at some point last year. So I figured Myer would be a good choice for what I wanted.

Myer's menswear floor can go and fuck itself. I mean, I never feel like there's anything for me there anyway, but I saw a single umbrella. One. Uno. Un. Ein. And by that point, I was already in the land of "go fuck yourself".

So, next time that I need to go to the Mall for something, I'll go and poke around David Jones, since that's where my giant golf one came from.

Ma wanted to look for some non-black and non-grey scarves, so we poked around a bit for that too (not in Myer of course) and she found a couple. Then we went to Burger Theory for lunch and had the Burger of the Month. Now, gather up your torches and pitchforks if you must, but I generally hate avocado... or vegetable snot as I tend to call it... the one real exception to this is the way Burger Theory flavour it when putting it on a burger. It's damn good.

And that was pretty much it besides a very, very brief stop at the Haighs factory on the way home. Turns out the main way to stop us spending a bunch of money there is to have very, very limited choices in the "seconds" rack.

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photo saturday: ma's pre-birthday birthday

ma's birthday presents - beforema's birthday presents - after
It's not actually Ma's birthday until Tuesday but we did our usual trick of celebrating on the closest weekend. But more on that in a bit.

This week was, well, a bit shit to be honest. Work was busier again, but this time my usual offsiders weren't around. Annoying really.

And by the time I got home each night all I wanted to do was do nothing.

I also realised when I got to work on Monday that the inside seam of my dress pants had come unstitched. It would have been great if I'd seen that BEFORE I left the house... but no. And because the drycleaner I'm using at the moment is a bit shit, they won't have them fixed until next week.

On the up side, I wore jeans all week and zero fucks were given (mostly by me).

By the time Friday rolled around I was very happy to get the hell out of there and go and see my chiro. And then I spent about three hours wandering around the city looking for birthday cards. And seeing if anything else appeared on my radar for Ma's birthday. Nothing really did.

I did also visit all of my favourite stores... Haighs, Greenlight Comics, Zing... and then finished it off with dinner at Burger Theory.

By the time I got home it was after 8pm... so that was a 12+ hour day.

And I didn't want to do a damn thing once I unpacked everything (and realised that I have no fucking idea where the big bag of tissue paper and ribbon I use when I'm wrapping Ma's presents has gone), so I just soaked my feet in some Radox and watched Inside Out.

This morning Ma was getting her hair did, so I did the supermarket thing on my own. I didn't end up buying a ton of stuff, but somehow it seemed to cost a lot. I have no idea to be honest. I'm planning on a pea and ham (or in this case pea and chorizo) soup this week... the recipe I made last year actually, but swapping out the prosciutto for chorizo. The chicken and chorizo soup I made last week was pretty damn good... nice and spicy, mostly from the chorizo, which is why I want to try them again in the pea soup.

I also found a box and some tissue paper at one of the newsagents. I'd intended to get something last night but then realised I probably had stuff at home and then, as I mentioned, I couldn't find any of it. Annoying.

Thankfully I had plenty of time to unpack and wrap Ma's presents, as well as finish reading The Young Avengers graphic novel I got from Greenlight.

When Ma arrived, she opened her presents (all of which are pretty self explanatory from the picture, the pig is her card, because she's Year of the Pig and the Esio Trot book is one that a movie Ma likes is based on) and then we headed down the road to Target to see if we could find the movie Ma wanted last week and they didn't have.

Turns out they did have it... well, a single copy anyway.

From there we drove down to Harbour Town. We were headed down to the beach anyway, and we both wanted to stop off at the Bonds store... so it worked out well. I got a couple of new hoodie jackets and a new pair of trackies, and they were having a 40% off sale, so that worked out well.

Then it was on to Henley Square and lunch at Stella. It was Ma's choice, as is her prerogative, but I have to say that the menu wasn't especially inspiring... especially given the prices (and I kind of wish the menu on their website was still the menu, but they've updated the one in the restaurant and seem to have taken a bunch of stuff off).

Ma had what basically looked like eggplant lasagne (but which had a much more complicated name), and I went with one of the specials, pasta with prawns and bacon in a rose sauce. And I will say that although I wasn't that inspired when I ordered it, it was really nice... even if the prawns did come with their little butts attached (why, why would you do that in pasta... I want to eat it not deconstruct it) and one on top that was all legs and flippers and feelers and eyes and things (yep, also a giant world of nup).

And the view from the restaurant was really nice too, out over the reserve and the water and the jetty.

After lunch we finished off with coffee and same cake (Ma had Toblerone mousse cake and I had Mars Bar cheesecake... both very nice).

And that was pretty much it... but it was after 3:30 by the time we got back to my place. So not a very exciting day all things considered, but a nice one.

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