movies: the red turtle

the red turtle
The Red Turtle is Studio Ghibli's first international co-production written and directed by Dutch-British animator Michaël Dudok de Wit... and as such it doesn't feel like a Ghibli movie. If anything the art style, especially of the humans, reminded me of Tintin.

The really unique thing about The Red Turtle is that it's completely wordless beyond a couple of yells here and there. There's no dialogue, just beautiful, beautiful imagery.

There's also not much of what you would call a story. Which isn't necessarily a negative, it's more that it's a very slow and lyrical movie with only really one action piece (and I don't want to say too much at the risk of spoiling it).

The story is about a man who is shipwrecked and washed up on a deserted island, who tries to escape and fails, but finds the titular red turtle. And that's when the story really begins.

After the movie had finished I was trying to work out exactly what type of story it is... the best I can come up with is that it's part fairy tale and part myth and part fable. It's not a children's movie though... not because of anything in it necessarily, but I think kids would be bored with it within about ten minutes.

It's not the most photo-real animation I've seen, but the whole thing has a beautiful stylised quality to it. It's also not a busy film... I noticed more than once that frames would be completely still except for one or two points of movement. And that actually works beautifully here.

The only real drawback to it from my perspective is that while I felt for the characters, the lack of dialogue (and by extension an explanation for some of the events) did mean that I was emotionally removed from them and so I didn't have that emotional reaction I may have otherwise had. That may also have been because a couple of the emotional "call-backs" I was waiting for in the movie never actually happened.

But that's a small thing, and more about me than the movie.

It is a beautiful, quiet, lyrical movie though, and definitely one to be experienced.

yani's rating: 4 ghost crabs out of 5

photo saturday: elder park morning

morning rotundaforeshortened crane

raising the roof... or the sides... or somethingtrio of cranes
One of the upsides of having been part of the Nut House for seemingly close to 1000 years is that you know many things and people ask you for your advice, input, opinion and how to do certain things.

The downside of that is when everyone asks you that pretty much all at the same time.

That's pretty much the definition of this week... added to which is me doing things that are within my job description but not my primary task more than usual this week... and losing half a day to respond to a document that just made me cranky for the rest of the day.

But rolling the clock back a bit... Sunday I didn't do a ton of stuff, but I did make up a minestrone soup essentially out of my head. I mean minestrone isn't that complicated... you add bacon, you use beef stock, you put in zucchini (along with all your other vegetables), you add tinned tomatoes, throw in some beans and then some pasta at the very end. And I did something I don't normally do... I started frying the bacon and onion before I'd finished chopping everything and then ended up throwing it into my soup pot and putting it over a low heat, adding the vegetables as I chopped them which seemed to work out pretty well. It felt a little more frantic than usual, so I'm not sure I'll repeat it again.

Like I said, this week was kind of hectic... but on the up side it also went really, really fast.

Friday I had my monthly chiro appointment... and as has become tradition, I then went for a wander around the city, calling in at the usual places... Zing, Greenlight Comics, Haighs and Dymocks. And when I was finished buying all the things, I stopped off at Burger Theory to have an early dinner then headed home.

This morning was a bit of a wet one (although it fined up this afternoon), but we managed to mostly keep out of the rain on the way to the supermarket. I think I'm going to make some sort of chicken and chorizo soup... I mean I bought chicken, I bought chorizo, so, we'll see what happens.

After we'd finished at the supermarket we dumped everything in the car and then wandered around the corner to check out Brick + Mortar, mostly because Joshua Smith had some of his miniatures on display. This is the first time I've seen them in the flesh, and I have to say that the photos I've seen really don't do them justice. So tiny, so perfect, so lovely.

We didn't really have any other plans for the day, but a new GU Filmhouse (one of the Event Cinema chain) opened this week in Hindley Street, in the old cinemas that used to be a thing back in the day (in fact I went to the midnight screening of one of the Star Trek movies there in the 90's... either Generations or First Contact, I don't remember), so we figured we'd go and take a look and see the new Studio Ghibli movie (well, technically it's a French/Belgian/Japanese co-production).

On the way there we stopped off to poke around Morning Glory for ten minutes and I found some Pokemon related things... when we got to the cinema I swear that there were more people working there than actually seeing movies. And I thought that we may actually have had the cinema to ourselves, but as usually happens, people came in just after the movie had started.

It's a nice cinema, very comfy chairs and everything, it could just be somewhere better, since Hindley Street is pretty much a hole.

Afterwards we headed back towards the car and stopped off at the OzAsia Good Fortune Market in Elder Park. It's been quite a while since I've been in that neck of the woods though, especially since I walked along that stretch every afternoon after work. And in my mind that's still my neighbourhood. Even though it isn't.

Anyway, we wandered around the market and looked at things, then decided to grab a late lunch... had we committed to an actual meal we may have been okay, but otherwise it was all a little bland and disappointing. I'm also pretty sure the location looks better after dark when everything is lit up.

But that was it really...

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photo saturday: out of their elements

glass wavespaper fish
It's been a very atypical week this week...

It started last Sunday when, instead of doing my traditional sweet fuck all, I went to visit Owlgirl. It was good to see her outside of after work drinks, and just have a chance to sit around and chat. I got there around noon and didn't leave until almost 4pm, so it was a day well spent, it just meant that I didn't have lunch until late.

Then instead of the usual soup, I made tuna mornay.... also somewhat atypical, both because it wasn't soup, but also because I put a ton of vegetables into it, which I don't normally do and less spices than usual. It was pretty tasty though, and it definitely saw me through the week.

Monday I had the day off... not for fun, but because I had a doctor's appointment in the middle of the day, so there really wasn't any point in going into work, then leaving, then coming back again. Okay, technically I could probably have done that, but I didn't want to.

Getting there was a bit of a disaster though, and not helped because it was raining. I put the address into Google Maps and it took me to the right road, but the wrong suburb... and then by the time I found the right complex, I couldn't find the damn building. While worrying I was going to be late and dealing with the rain. Turned out I needn't have worried, when I finally did find it, I then had to sit around waiting for the next half an hour.

When I finally got to see the doctor he talked to me for a few minutes, took my blood pressure and declared me fine. Which I pretty much knew was going to be the case, I just wanted to be completely sure.

So I came home, got some lunch from the shops and holed up in my apartment watching movies and hiding from the rain.

Not being at work did mean that my team was kind of behind for the rest of the week, especially because other distractions kept happening this week. And we have a new guy in to fill in for my offsider, Plaid... well he's technically not new-new... he was around before the great exodus in the middle of the year, but not working with me. He's good though, he was somewhat familiar with our systems before but it only really took him a couple of days to get up to speed where I didn't have to check everything he did, so that's helpful.

On Thursday I got home to discover that I had no gas and no hot water (because it's gas powered, obviously). Actually I didn't discover it until aroung 8pm when I went to try and make dinner. Just the thought of having to deal with a cold shower in the morning pretty much made me lose my appetite, so beyond a few crackers, I didn't end up having any dinner... not that I was that hungry to begin with.

Then at around 11:30 there was a knock on the door and it was a workman asking if I wanted (he may have said needed, but I remember him saying wanted) to turn the gas back on. In my head the answer was "well DUR", but I said something much more polite out loud. It took them a good ten minutes to actually restart my hot water heater though, but thankfully they got it working.

Today was fairly low-key, but also had elements of serendipity all over the place.

We did the usual supermarket thing... I wasn't sure before we got to the supermarket exactly what I was doing for lunches this week, but figured there's another week to be gotten out of soup given that the weather can't seem to make up it's mind what it'd doing of late. I'm still not completely sure what kind of soup though.

Afterwards we didn't really have a plan, but Ma wanted to drop some books at the Oxfam bookshop, so we decided to head into town. And when we got there, it turned out they were having one of their book sales.

It took a while for me to find anything interesting, but once I found one, about half a dozen came to hand. Nothing recent though, it was all really ancient stuff, but it should be interesting. And if not I'll just take them back.

We figured we could just go around the corner and check out the Flinders Street Market, but when we got there were were only two stalls set up... so no idea what the hell was going on there.

There wasn't much else for us in the city, so we decided to take a drive down to Port Adelaide to check out an antiques/retro store one of the women I work with told me about. And given that we only ever go down to Port Adelaide when there's some sort of event on, it was nice to just take a normal trip.

The store, The Port Adelaide Emporium, is kind of amazing... it's definitely one of those hit or miss places though where you could go in once and find the most amazing things and go in the next time and there's nothing good.

There's also a gallery space up on the top floor, and Ma didn't want to climb the stairs so I went and had a look on my own... and weirdly enough we both had the same conversation with two different people on the two respective floors... both about the Steampunk Festival at the National Railway Museum.

So we figured what the hell, we were already in the neighbourhood (as in literally a street and a half away), so we may as well take a look.

Downside, we had to pay to get into the festival, and to be honest, it was about what I expected... not a heap of people, only about a dozen stalls. But, having said that, it was interesting. I got chatting randomly to the guys at the Firebear Armoury chainmail stall, and ended up buying something just because they were really fun guys rather than really needing or wanting anything.

We grabbed some lunch while we were there and pretty much called it a day (except for a quick stop off at the Haighs factory).

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photo saturday: boards

braving the coldmanly sentinel

morning surferswetsuit weather
Today's post is dedicated to the six white 4WD's I saw on the way home from the supermarket who were all driving around with their headlights on for no reason. You're all idiots and why we can't have nice things.

I made my tomato soup fairly successfully last Sunday... just tomatoes, onions, potatos, basil and bacon... although I possibly put a touch too much pepper in, so it was a little on the spicy side... but still good.

This week was a little bit all over the shop to be honest... work was slightly insane for the majority of the week... but I left at 2:30 on Wednesday so that I could go and have my final session for my tattoo.

The session was actually at 4:30, but by the time I walked home, had a quick shower and got changed, I had just enough time to get there. It was a really cruisy sessions too. The other two artists had already knocked off for the day, so it was just the two of us (a couple of people did wander through at various points, if only to say goodbye, but mostly it was just us) and he was playing good music, so I never bothered listening to my own stuff. And it was only a couple of hours worth.

Because it had been quite a while since the last session, I'd forgotten a little how much it was going to hurt (well, frankly, if that didn't happen, nobody would ever get more than one tattoo), especially when he was using the big needle/s. But he finished off the shading, gave it a little more oomph in places (like the tail and the smoke/background) and I was good to go.

I will say that while I was laying on the table I was half plotting what and where I want the next one. There's no rush though, because even though I have a ton of ideas, none of them are solid enough to commit to at this point... so I need to think things through a little more first.

Thursday night I ordered two of every animal and a large wooden boat. No, seriously, there was some very torrential rain. It didn't really start until after I got home thankfully, but then I had to head out to Tink's place for Haircut Night. And when I got to the carpark at the back of the complex and there was quite a lot of water around my car. I looked at the water, then my shoes, then the water... and I rolled up my jeans and took my shoes and socks off.

And when I stepped into the water, it pretty much game up to my ankles.

Then on the way down the road, I noticed that the other side of the road was pretty much flooded (and there was a police car blocking off the end of that section).

Fortunately by the time I was coming home it had all receded back from whence it came. Well, not really, because that would be the sky... but it had receded at any rate.

As far as the haircut went, Tink put some more tones through so that it wasn't quite as uniform in colour. And then she put some chrome colour toner through it to really take out any of the yellow.

She also told me that they're going to be away from the end of November until the beginning of January with one thing and another and I'll have to fend for myself. I'm not sure whether I'm going to bother getting anybody else to do a colour on my hair while she's away, or if I'll just find somewhere to get it cut and keep using the toning shampoo and conditioner. She did say that she'll give me some of the chrome colour toner when she goes away so that I can at the very least keep it looking decent.

I do keep threatening to just grow all the colour out and see what the hell is going on with that part of my hair though... especially since I haven't seen the natural colour for... ummmm... well potentially when Tink got smoked out of her place in early 2015, but before that the first reference I can see to a haircut without a colour in the blog is 2009.

Anyway, as will all things, I'll see how it all works out when we get there.

Friday it felt like several of the wheels came off the proverbial bus work-wise... things weren't working properly, the network connection was being fussy, and an important, urgent job that required the thing that wasn't working properly dropped in our lap.

We got there... but it pretty much consumed most of the afternoon.

Today was not dissimilar to shopping for a 11 year old boy's birthday party... but I'll get to that.

I needed a little bit of a break from soup, so I'm going for a tuna mornay this week... but adding a lot of vegetables to it.... so we'll see how that works out.

I had a message from the Laygo store earlier in the week that the new series of minifigures had come in, so we started off with a trip to pick those up and poke around a little.

Then we headed into the city to check out the ANZANG Nature Photographer of the Year exhibition which started in mid August.

There were a number of really beautiful images... although I often wonder what some of the judges are smoking with their choices for the winners.

My personal favourite was the Banksia Dreaming image (middle row, right hand side)... but the one above it, Float, was also really beautiful.

Once we'd finished at the Museum we had a bit of a wander in the Mall... we stopped off at Zing, I picked up a couple of things (and the girl behind the counter gave me a How To Train Your Dragon poster for free because I happened to be wearing one of my HTTYD teeshirts)... then made a brief visit to Greenlight Comics to pick up the Batman graphic novel I'd ordered.

So, yeah, my retail purchases today were a set of Lego minifigures and some loose Lego plates, a couple of Disney villain badges, a Steven Universe blind box toy... and a Batman graphic novel. I am so totally a grown man and not at all a small child.

When we were done with the retail portion we headed down to Burger Theory for their new burger of the month, the Get Welly Soon (think Beef Wellington as a burger)... it's kind of weird but it's also really full of flavour.

And that was about it really...

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photo saturday: street critters

newtown creaturebird cowboy

bird in a hatpug life
I'm all out of snappy lead-ins this week...

I made a very successful, completely improvised vegetable and bean soup on Sunday... and I left it chunky rather than blending it, so that was a nice change.

This week has been a little challenging... however it also went pretty fast, so that's always a bonus.

And there really hasn't been anything to report otherwise.

Today was pretty much by the numbers. We did the supermarket thing as usual, I'm planning on making a tomato soup this week... we're in the tail end of soup season now... although I'm less enthusiastic about the return of salad season, since it always takes a fuck-ton longer to put together both in prep and construction. And much more than soup my failure rate was also much higher.

I'll have to do some thinking between now and when it's just finally time to put the soup pot away... I do wonder if it's worth investigating cold soups, but I'm not completely sure I can face that.

After shopping we came back here, followed by the usual unpacking... and didn't really have any kind of plan for what to do with the rest of the day.

Eventually we decided to head down to Castle Plaza and wander around a bit... we ended up splitting up when we got to Target and doing our own thing for a bit (mostly looking at clothes... I finally got some new cheap slip on shoes and some cool socks with skulls on them) before meeting up again to look around the rest of the store.

Then on the way back here we stopped off at Big W, I picked up yet another book (so much for me not buying many books anymore), we visited the sausage sizzle and then that was about it.

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