photo saturday: one and one make eleven

blue flagpointing at you, yes you

surfer surf stripstormy spire

swan necklong tall birdy
First things first... it was my eleventh bloggiversary this week. Yep... eleven years of the stream of consciousness from my fingers to your eyeballs. Scary, huh. And as anyone who's been paying attention will have noticed, the blog, she has pretty much dried up to about a once a week thing.

I'm not planning on shutting things down any time soon, but other than the explosion that is Fringe time when reviews are flying thick and fast across the blog, a once a week thing is about all I'm really up for any more. It's also not like my life is so terribly exciting that I can't sum the whole thing up in a once a week wrap-up.

And yes, the fact that it's my eleventh bloggiversary is the reason why all the image above contain a single item, person or creature... two one's side by side... eleven. Yeah, I got nothing really.

It feels like the overall theme of this week should be "things that should have happened but didn't". Like, me acknowledging that it was my bloggiversary on Monday... I knew it was coming, but somehow I thought it was Tuesday. Other things will become apparent as we go.

Sunday I made some version of potato, leek and bacon soup. Was it the best version I've ever made. No, not it was not. But it was edible, so that's the main thing.

Work was actually a little slow this week... things will return to the regularly scheduled insanity next week, but for now, I took the opportunity to just go a little slower on a lot of things.

Thursday was supposed to be a half day at work followed by my final tattoo session. However they called me first thing on Thursday morning to tell me that my artist had come down with "the lurgy" and had to cancel. Well shit... and after I drove into work and everything.

Friday the handyman was supposed to come and fix the toilet and the extractor fan in the kitchen. I got home Friday night and he'd definitely been here, but pretty sure he just poked around because he didn't actually fix anything. At least he showed up this time. And the fact that he was coming made me do all my necessary housework on Thursday night.

There really isn't anything else to report for the week portion of my week.

Today was fairly standard... got up, got ready, went shopping, came back unpacked.

I'm planning on making the pea soup again this week... which is fairly quick and simple if memory serves, and given that the main ingredient is frozen peas, I didn't end up buying all that much at the supermarket.

Once we were done with that portion of the morning we headed into the city to do some general wandering... I ended up spending a little money at Zing on Pop vinyl toys, then we headed down the other end of the Mall and I bought some new black jeans for work.

Not terribly exciting, but I did need the jeans, and hopefully they won't look quite so much like jeans.

We headed to Burger Theory for some lunch and had the fairly unusual burger of the month, the Meat and Three Veg... which, as it says on the label, had the patty and then three different kinds of vegetables... carrots glazed with some honey... cauliflower puree... and then grilled broccoli.  Don't get me wrong, it was interesting... and I'm pretty sure both the carrots and the cauliflower imparted some great flavour... and I like broccoli. It was just... not going to make it into my top ten list of burger of the month.

Then on the way back here we called into Haighs to see what they had going on at the factory shop. I'll just say that I need to make what I bought last for a while.

Current Mood:

assassin's creed unity and rogue

assassin's creed unity
Assassin's Creed Unity

Given the general uproar about the bugginess of Assassin's Creed Unity when it first game out, I wasn't necessarily expecting it to be a great experience. But given that the game launched in November 2014 and I didn't get around to playing it until sometime after March 2016 a lot of the issues that surrounded its launch weren't present once I booted it up for the first time.

And as with Assassin's Creed III when the whole system was rebooted which made both combat and free running feel fresh and new (although in the case of ACIII's combat I hated the fact that medicine was gone and I couldn't use that while fighting, although I loved all of the updates to the free running), ACU has likewise had a seemingly "from the ground up" reboot. While the majority of the core gameplay remains the same, a lot of the way you approach the world changed significantly and many familiar things feel very different.

Not least of all was the fact that this was the first AC game I played on the Playstation 4. And while I generally don't get too overexcited when it comes to graphics, ACU is a good looking game (which I feel like I've been saying in one form or another since AC Revelations). Plus the sheer number of people in the crowds makes Paris feel like such a lived-in and full city in a way that Venice, Rome and Istanbul don't by comparison.

I liked ACU's reboot to the free running system with the "free-run up" and "free-run down" options (although the fact that it stopped me from flinging myself off the edge of buildings towards other buildings that I know I could have caught hold of was occasionally a little frustrating... granted that has probably been my number one cause of desynchronisation over the whole AC franchise). But the speed that hero, Arno Dorian, scales the buildings, as well as the little flourishes of parkour animation that he does when he reaches the tops of buildings or the group really add something to the free running.

One of the other things I really liked about the free running this time around was that the buildings seemed to be designed to more easily get from one side of the (very, very, very large) city of Paris to the other. The city is designed with many different kinds of architecture and differing building types, however a lot of the rooftops are flat and wide, and cables/ropes are attached between wider gaps making it really easy to get a decent run across the tops of buildings. In some ways it reminded me of a lot of the building design from Assassin's Creed Revelations.

The story feels fairly standard for an Assassin's Creed game, although there are some nice flourishes and the integration of a number of both historical figures (most notably Napoleon Bonaparte and Maquis de Sade) and events (the storming of the Bastille, the execution of King Louis, etc) in a way that feels more immersive than previous AC games.

The main character of Arno Dorian is possibly the most Ezio-like of all the characters, although overall I will say that he's a little bit forgettable from a personality perspective. But he's definitely up in the top of my favourite AC characters. And after several "non assassin" leads, Arno is a return to form as the fully trained character who is involved in the Order.

The love interest angle to the story is actually neither here nor there... Elise is a nice enough character, there's an interesting dynamic in their relationship, but essentially she's just there to push certain story elements (follow her here, defend her from this, find this thing for her etc).

In both the main game and the Dead Kings downloadable content there were two elements that changed the way I ended up playing the game a little. In the main game you're told that the gangs that are roaming the city (coloured red in Eagle Vision) are harassing the populace and have "no right to be doing what they're doing" or something very similar. These are contrasted with the official guards (coloured blue) who just wander around and will attack or chase you if they see you doing something wrong. But just this one line about the gangs, mentioned once, actually had me going out of my way more than once to take them down. I tried my hardest not to kill the guards, but anybody wearing red needed to die and die quickly.

Contrasting that with previous games, where there's only "innocent bystanders" and "guards/villains" and I didn't have quite as much of an objection to just running past people and letting them live. The fact that many of these gangs are random events that once you'd completed X number the game gives you a bonus of some sort (usually cash) didn't hurt, but it was more my moral objection to them that saw them fall under Arno's blade.

And in Dead Kings there's a little boy who is at the centre of the story, and who I got quite attached to, even over the relatively short play time of the game. Basically by the end of the content in my own personal interpretation of what happened next, Arno adopts him and they go on adventures. It made me wonder about a game where you play a mother or a father of a kid who is integral to the plot (maybe they're a sage or somehow historically relevant... to the Order at least)... and how that would change what you're prepared to do.

The addition of a skill tree for advancing the three areas of stealth, melee and ranged combat felt a little broken... or just that there were never enough points on offer to really do all the things I wanted to. And some of them I feel like I unlocked entirely too late in the game for them to be of much use (although I love the disguise skill). Possibly it was because of the multiplayer element baked into the game and the expectation that you'll be completing those missions which would have, in turn, earned you more points.

One of the things I did like about the redesigned combat was the upgraded Phantom Blade (aka Hidden Blade) which fired projectiles in much the same way as the gun upgrade in either ACII or AC Brotherhood worked. And once the berserker/poison was available, I once again found myself letting characters kill each other off while I watched on from the safety of a rooftop rather than engaging people directly. Likewise, for me, the regular projectiles took the place that daggers have held in previous games. I'm basically a sniper, I'm not going to lie. I'd much rather do the deed from afar then get up close and personal. I mean, Arno's an assassin... why the hell wouldn't he do the deed from a safe distance and live to fight another day.

The range of weapon choices in ACU was pretty amazing too. Swords (regular damage), axes (heavy damage), spears (long reach), pistols and rifles (ranged) are all present, in a range of different skins and damage levels, but I decided quite early on that the spear class was where I felt the most comfortable... once again, all about keeping people at a distance... because why the hell wouldn't you? I also like that the fight animation has become fairly sophisticated and Arno will string hits together in unique ways even though you're essentially button mashing.

It also meant that I relied more on the weapon and not as much on the smoke bombs for close combat. In fact I got through the majority of the fights with the spear alone.

And on top of that Arno's hood, shirt, belt, pants, Phantom Blade and boots were all customisable, with, as always, a range of colours. DRESS UPS! Like seriously, the character creation portion/costumes and accessories are what I love in games.

The problem is that often times the highest powered items that I had access to were kind of ugly or looked ugly when mixed with other items (and the matching ones were only accessible though co-op missions). Thankfully the ability to throw a full costume over the top of those choices (like Ezio or Connor or Edward's outfits from previous games) meant you could keep the stats while still having a decent looking character. I did enjoy the range of things, if not always the specific items, though... and I would really love for them to make a game where you design your own ancestor character a little like the character creation process in something like Fallout 4 (part of me still wants to go back and restart FO4 because I'm really not happy with the final design for his character's wife).

Granted I would be designing that character for about three hours before I was happy with his look.

I feel like ACU was one of the most densely packed games, at least as far as collectibles and side missions and the like. Perhaps that was because the story didn't feel like it was really all that long, but there was still plenty to do. But because of the lockpicking minigame (and it's three difficulty levels) and the slow trickle of points to put into skills, this is also the game where I left the most unopened chests and other assorted side quests just sitting there. Part of that was around the multiplayer element they added, where you could play cooperatively with other people to complete missions (which I never did anything with)... there were at least two different kinds of those, plus all the chests, and the other collectibles. When I finished the game, my map almost looked like I'd never even started.

Speaking of side missions, one of the additions that I did really like was the Murder Mysteries. These mostly relied on using Eagle Vision to look for clue markers/people and then solving whatever grisly murder you're discover. It was a definite change of pace, and although occasionally felt somewhat like busywork running from one location to another and then another and then another, only to usually run back to one of the earlier locations to accuse someone, I enjoyed all of those missions. There was only one of them where I was unsure of the culprit and had to resort to looking it up online. And that was more about a choice of two possible villains, and the one I thought was more likely turned out to be the killer.

Also adding a different element were the Paris Stories, often based on actual historical occurrences (I'm pretty sure the murders were likewise at least historically inspired) or French literature. Essentially these are mini-missions broken into three or four parts, they were closer to normal AC gameplay, but not entwined in the main story.

So even with the small number of flaws and the issues that happened when it launched, I actually really enjoyed my time in Revolutionary Paris.

assassin's creed rogue
Assassin's Creed Rogue

I tried to like this game, I really, really did. But I just couldn't take any more sailing. Add to that a protagonist who is somewhat unlikeable as he works against everything that players have been taught in all the previous games and it just wasn't working for me.

I actually played this before I started Unity... but given that this is more a short catalogue on why it didn't really work for me than a full description, I figured it made more sense to slot it in under the Unity part.

It feels like Ubisoft have been trying to present a "the Assassin's aren't totally right and the Templars aren't totally wrong" overarching storyline for the last few games. Starting with ACIII and the *spoilers* revelation that the group of men you're been following are actually Templars and not Assassins *end spoilers*, through to a number of deaths in that game where the dying character spreads doubt to Connor that whatever reason he thought he was killing them was essentially flawed in some way. While I appreciate the idea, and especially if they were setting up the idea behind AC Rogue in ACIII (it does share a couple of characters and some locations, so it's possible), but I want my good guys to be good and my bad guys to be bad... none of this wishy washy middle ground.

So at its heart the idea of playing a character from "the other side" was interesting, but may have been more compelling if they'd been a Templar from the start, rather than an assassin switching sides. But then that kind of means you lose a lot of the Assassin's Creed mechanics. Or maybe they started the game as a Templar and you learn about their assassin history as the game progresses.

The gameplay of Rogue is a mix of both ACIII and AC Black Flag (mostly the American cities and a metric ton of sailing from place to place respectively), but as I said, given that I'd just spent the whole of Black Flag sailing from place to place to place, and upgrading my boat and whatnot, I really didn't want to start over from scratch with a completely new character and do more of it. Plus the fact that the setting was a location where you couldn't even swim in the water without freezing to death (I did a lot of swimming around in Black Flag), I just couldn't get that interested.

I got a few hours in and just lost interest. And now that've packed up my PS3, it's highly doubtful I'll even both revisiting it.

Current Mood:

See also: Honor the Creed and Assassin's Creed Black Flag

photo saturday: port fork on the road the fourth

fork on the road - port forkfork on the road - cooking paella
This week has been mostly about preparing for my apartment inspection...

I spent quite a large portion of Sunday cleaning the house... from more or less when I woke up to about 2pm in fact. Granted that wasn't flat-out hard-core cleaning, but I did get almost everything done. But given that the inspection wasn't until Thursday, I had a little extra time to do some of the last minute things later in the week.

Then the evening was taken up with me having another crack at chicken noodle soup. And I think I hit it a little out of the park I have to say. The down side is that I don't remember precisely what I did. I know I went light on the carrots, and used both leek and onion, and bacon and about six litres of stock to ensure it was suitably soupy and didn't get too thick. I also included three chicken breasts, which I poached in the soup before taking them out, shredding them, blending the soup and returning them.

And because I didn't think I had any of the angel hair pasta (which I discovered that I did today, but only after I bought another packet), I broke up some spaghetti and used that instead. I possibly should have broken it up even smaller, but it did do the job.

fork on the road - lady pearlfork on the road - one falafel burger and one cheeseburger thanks
The rest of the week was fairly quiet... work was work, I felt like I got things somewhat back under control, although my desire to be included in the loop on things (I'm not technically sure if it's FOMO, as I don't necessarily need to be involved, I just want to be given the option to know what's going on) combined with a feeling that I'm being undervalued, taken for granted and overlooked is slightly problematic.

I know that some of it is just me being me... and I understand some of the other reasons, but it still annoys me a little. And if I end up winning the position I'm doing (when it finally gets advertised), I'll expect some things to change. But for now, I remind myself that a good portion of it is my own brain working against me.

I finished off the last of the cleaning and organising for the inspection on Wednesday night then went out and got pizza so I didn't have to worry about doing any dishes or cleaning up once again.

When I got home on Thursday night, the note I'd left out for the rental agent was gone, but unlike last time when she'd left the note with additional commentary on it and photographed it, this time it was just gone. And unlike in the old apartment, there was no inspection sheet left behind. So I'm guessing everything was fine. But can I just mention that compared with my last agent, this one both sucks and blows.

fork on the road - taco timefork on the road - one chicken, one beef, one potato and one mushroom
This morning Ma was getting her hair did, so I was on my own for shopping. I really didn't have an idea for soup, but someone mentioned potato and leek yesterday, and that kept rattling around in my head, so I went with that. I didn't end up buying all that much to be honest... I still had a bunch of stuff left over from last week as I'd visited the supermarket a few more times than usual this week.

Ma messaged me fairly early on in my trip around the supermarket to say she was on her way down, but fortunately I had more than enough time to finish shopping, come home and unpack almost everything before she arrived.

As the photos and the title of this post indicate, we had a Fork on the Road to attend down at Port Adelaide, but it didn't start until noon and we didn't really have anything else planned, so we just decided to have a poke around the shops until it was time to head off to Fork.

We started with the Kmart on Anzac Highway... mostly that was just a general wander... and then since we had to head down to the Port anyway, we ended up at West Lakes for another wander. Then we headed off to the Port.

fork on the road - quality chalkworkfork on the road - dem honey puff feels

It's been a while since we've been to a Fork... well, just over a year to be exact, and in the same location. Part of the problem is that they keep doing Fork on the Road on Sundays, and I'm usually less bothered about going on my own.

And maybe I was spoiled by some of the really, really big Forks I've been to previously, but this one felt a little small. I mean the weather was nice and everything, but, yeah, kind of small. And the fact that it's now on the south side of the mill instead of the north side, it does feel more cramped with very narrow paths between some of the trucks, which doesn't help traffic flow.

It was nice to see the boys from Burger Theory on site... I do sometimes wonder if they every sit back and look at the other trucks and take pride that they were really the first Adelaide truck and really the one that started it all (or at least they are as far as I'm aware).

We started with Burger Theory of course, partly because they'd only just opened and the line was short... I had a craving for a cheeseburger and Ma tried the falafel burger (which is fast becoming one of my favourite items on the menu), which she enjoyed. And while were were sitting down eating our burgers I noticed long time Twitter friend Prakky taking photos, so when we went to get our next course (tacos from Tacocat) I stopped and said hello, which was nice.

And we finished off with honey puffs from the Honey Ladies... always a good way to end.

Current Mood:

photo saturday: pride

lioness pride
I'll admit I'm a little exhausted. It has definitely been a draining week, although not necessarily a bad one.

As I said to Tink towards the end of the week, all the trauma this week is psychological.

But rewind first. My "let's make this up out of your head" version of minestrone soup was pretty much a total success. It did end up thicker than I was intending, but that always happens with soups that have a lot of stuff in them.

The major thing that happened this week was the big move at work. Since we lost half of our team, the wider team was coming down to take over those spaces. Now I think that eventually this will be a good thing... allow us to know what's going on, influence things where we can, that kind of thing.

But at the moment, it just feels like... well, like an invasion.

I was a little annoyed that while movers were coming in and moving everybody else around, our group had to move our own shit the day before... yeah, because we clearly don't count. Yeah, yeah, I get that it's because we only have to move within the one floor, but still... it didn't help to alleviate the feeling of both invasion and being disregarded as, well, people to be honest.

I don't especially mind my new spot, but it's much further away from the door, which kind of sucks, and we're all spread out in a line, so it's harder to have conversations.

The actual move was on Wednesday, so the whole place was chaos the entire day. And because we'd all already moved, and for the most part already unpacked, it was another disconnect between the two groups. I did go through and clear out my drawers though... I'd been collecting shit in there for a while now, so it was good to really give it a good solid sorting. And now I have a pinboard on the wall by my desk, so I made good use of that and stuck all the things I'd previously had blutakked to the wall up.

But more than anything else it just felt like we were being invaded. Or like our territory was being encroached on by a rival group (yeah, I know, it's pretty much the same thing). But we went from our numbering the other part of the wider team by at least an extra third to being a tiny group splayed along the back wall.

Can you tell that I really, really hate change.

A clear indication of how radically things have changed was when an "office warming" was organised for Friday afternoon. Now I don't want to blow our own horn, but we did do fantastic morning or afternoon teas... or just social events in general. But this just felt forced and uncomfortable and fortunately it was already after 4pm when it started, so I didn't feel the least bit awkward about scrambling out of there after about five minutes.

I do wonder if part of the problem is that we no longer really know about half of the people in the wider group. Sure I've dealt with some of them over the phone, and the other half are people I remember from before (or people who did actually come and visit us), but the number of people in our office that I don't really care about has shot up dramatically.

The other major upheaval (well, it's not necessarily major yet, but it has potential to be) this week was discovering that my employment agency had been placed in the hands of administrators. At the moment that means that I'm being paid as normal, but who knows how long that's going to continue.

So yeah, there wasn't a whole hell of a lot of that part of the week that didn't suck.

In other news, as indicated by my reference of Tink earlier, this week was Haircut Night. Nothing much else to report other than that really... I went, Tink cut my hair and coloured it, we chatted, I came home.

Today wasn't high on the list of excitement either.

The apartment was a bit of a trainwreck this morning, so I tidied up and ran all the dirty dishes though the sink so at least all I have to do now is put them away.

We did the usual supermarket thing... I'm planning to make chicken soup tomorrow. I still haven't totally committed to a recipe, so I'll be making it up a little bit.

After we got back and unpacked, we didn't have any plans, so we ended up heading down to Target for a wander. I found a nice scarf, but they didn't have anything else interesting. We stopped off at Big W on the way back, mostly because they usually have a sausage sizzle outside... but they didn't... so we just wandered around and called it a day.

When we came back here, we decided to head down the road to Bracegirdles for some chocolate goodness. They also have mostly breakfast foods, and the odd sandwich, so we had omelettes, which were perfectly serviceable, if a little dull.

I'd say that things can only improve, but I feel like that would just be tempting the universe.

Current Mood:

photo friday: those grey feels

family huddlelonely boards

grey overcast watersalways
These shots weren't originally black and white, but it just seemed appropriate this week. And just as a warning, this is a loooooooong one.

First things first, I don't have diabetes.

That's what I've been obfuscating about for the last couple of weeks... in amongst a range of other tests, my doctor wanted to check and make sure I didn't have diabetes. I'll be honest, I was more than half convinced that it was going to come back positive. My grandmother had it, and, well, I do like my sugar. But after waiting for two weeks to hear back from the doctor, he messaged me on Friday to give me the all clear.

The rest of the week has been a combination of crappy and emotional.

I'll be honest, I don't actually remember anything interesting happening before Thursday. Yes, I made roasted parsnip soup last Sunday, turns out if you roast the vegetables they do have a tendency to suck up a lot of the liquid in the soup, so while it was fairly decent soup, it was a little too thick.

And I mainlined the entire fifth season of Teen Wolf between Sunday and Wednesday.

But getting back to Thursday.

At the beginning of the week we had 25 staff in The Nut House.

On Thursday we lost 13 of those people. Now we have 12 staff.

I mean I knew it was coming... people's contracts all expired on 30 June, and there was a whole team that was cut, but we lost other people who I didn't realise would be going... including Newbie. I mean that position was advertised, and she and a bunch of other people applied for it... and I'll be honest, the person who got it I am much happier about. But it hadn't been announced as at Thursday morning, so I just assumed she would continue on until it was.

But then it was unofficially announced and she joined the list of people heading out the door.

We had both a morning tea and an afternoon tea... the morning tea was with the rest of the wider group we're attached to, people made speeches. I was fine while La Ninj spoke, I didn't even think I was going to get emotional, but then H-San spoke... and he's not that kind of emotional person, but there was just something about what he said that pushed me over the edge. After they'd both spoken and the big boss had spoken, I just needed to add something to what had been said. Both La Ninj and H-San had mentioned that we weren't just colleagues, we were friends. But that actually wasn't enough. Because we're more than that, we're basically family. I've always maintained (mostly because I don't have a lot of it) that family isn't the people you're born to, it's the people you choose. And if I had to choose people, I choose them (not all of them to be honest, there were people I was happy enough to see the back of, but most of them).

From that point of the morning it was kind of difficult to really get anything productive done... not only because I needed to run around and do a few tasks related to people leaving, but both of the two other members of my team were leaving, and one of them found out fairly abruptly, so neither of them was feeling overly motivated. Which I get, but it was still kind of annoying.

Sparkles, the other woman in my team who was on her way out to another job, actually bought me a present. She's the one leaving and she buys me a present. Yep, that's the kind of person she is. And she wrote me a gorgeous little note that made me tear up.

Yeah, that was a lot of that going around... Owlgirl, who was one of the people leaving, teared up like a dozen different times. Even Pixie, who is going on to a new job got a little emotional a couple of times. Herschel, another one off to the wide blue yonder, managed to avoid many of these human emotions, mostly because it was her choice to leave rather than a decision forced on her... but mostly I think because she'll feel the feels on her own time.

I did need to get out of the office at lunch time though... even though I had soup in the fridge, I just couldn't be bothered and wanted to get out of the room for a while, so I just went and bought Subway and ate it there.

The afternoon had an afternoon tea that was slightly more festive and less sombre than the morning tea.

And then it was time to go to the pub.

I hung around a bit waiting for Pixie and Owlgirl and Herschel to all finish up the last of their stuff and walked to the pub with them... I think it was around 5pm or so when we got there.

I left the pub at 1am. On a Thursday night. When I had work the next day.

It was a pretty damn good night though... there was probably a little too much oversharing, but that's been the hallmark of my relationship with a number of people anyway (#hostileworkingenvironment #inappropriatesquid), but with Pixie specifically we ramped it up to about 1100. But really, what do I care, I don't work with most of them anymore.

Fortunately there were things that in my very drunken state I didn't say directly to the people concerned, but yeah, I totally overshared.

Normally when we go out drinking I keep if not a careful watch on my number of drinks, I at least keep a tally... this time, I have no fucking idea. But it must have been a lot. I don't remember the last time I was THAT drunk.

People peeled off at various points during the evening, Owlgirl's boyfriend came to pick her up and I walked her out and also hugged him through his car window for being a quality man and sending her flowers on her last day.

It was also nice to see Sugarmonkey get out of his own way later in the night... especially when he was saying goodbye to Pixie. Their relationship has been... interesting... at times, and I didn't hear everything he said to her, but I heard enough, and I remember what he was like at his birthday party when he was well into his cups to know that he was at that stage of truth, and it was all good stuff, and if she remembers it, stuff she needed to hear.

There was also much hugging generally. I know that some of the people that left I'm probably not going to see again, or if I do it will just be them coming to the pub when we do that once in a blue moon. Others I will try very hard not to lose touch with (Owlgirl specifically, but also Pixie). I do know that I'm not good at that shit though. If somebody leaves, then I generally don't try that hard to stay in touch, especially if 90% of our interactions were purely work-based. Same goes with when I've left somewhere... you always say you'll keep in touch, but you never do.

Anyway, because I was pretty fucking drunk, by the time it was just me, La Ninj, Rockchick and Banger, we decided that it would be a good idea to head out into the beer garden where there was a reasonable crowd of (mostly young/uni aged) people and dance.

Yep. Dancing, after midnight, on a Thursday, with people I work with. Now I haven't actively danced anywhere other than my kitchen in the last fifteen or so years. And in part because of the alcohol, but also in part because when I dance, I dance... well, I danced.

I did learn that most of my dance ability is based on being able to balance really well. Guess what the one thing I didn't have was? Yeah. I didn't fall down, but I did lose my balance a number of times. But I also went kind of hardcore and danced like I haven't danced since I was in my 20's.

Clearly this is impressive, or people never expect someone my size to be able to move like I move. I say that because two different complete strangers, both women unsurprisingly, told me that my dancing was awesome.

Yeah, like I don't know that... and you should see me when I'm sober.

Of course it does mean that my thighs are currently killing me... because I do rock quite a lot of thigh work.

When 1am rolled around it was just me, La Ninj and Rockchick left... Rockchick dived into an Uber as soon as we hit the footpath, I stayed with La Ninj long enough to assist her to summon her own Uber and pour her inside, then I staggered (and for the first time I kind of mean that literally) my way home.

Sidebar, the first. If I had a 24 access card to work, I would have slept under my desk. And worn the same clothes two days in a row. And showered in the building. Sadly, or fortunately, depending, I do not.

Sidebar, the second. As I was walking past Torrens University, I happened to look into one of the windows, which was for a computer lab. And realised that there was somebody sitting at one of the computers, at around 1:15am. And my brain still won't comprehend what it saw. What I thought I saw was a person, dressed mostly in black, wearing a gimp mask, seemingly dozing off at one of the PCs. What I now believe it might have been was a person of African descent, wearing a hoodie, likewise dozing at the PC. Either way it was as weird as fuck.

By the time I got home it was 2:30am. And by the time I'd gotten my act together and rolled into bed it was pushing 3am. And my first alarm to wake up in the morning goes off at around 5:30am.

Suffice to say, I didn't hear the first two alarms (the "wake up" and the "no really, you should be awake now" alarms) but I did hear the third "get your ass out of bed now" alarm, which I promptly silenced, rolled over and went back to sleep.

I woke up around 7:30 or so, hung over as a wolverine (I don't really know what that means, but I like the expression and the visual image). I hadn't had much to drink, so I popped a couple of painkillers to deal with my thumping head and started getting ready for work very slowly.

By the time I got into town, stopped at Maccas to get a couple of Sausage and Egg McMuffins, because hangover food, and got to work it was 9:30. On the up side, Rockchick didn't get to work until 11am.

Friday was a very, very, very sombre day. The place was literally half-empty. And, yeah, I wasn't the only one with some degree of hangover.

It was very hard to concentrate on doing much of anything to be honest. I concentrated on trying to do some of the more experienced but not overly complicated stuff, and H-San, bless him, helped me out with some of the simple tasks. But he hasn't had that much experience with the system, so I felt like I spent a chunk of my day trying to get him up to some kind of speed. But given that they gutted my team the day before and there was still the same amount of work to be done, I really didn't have any fucks to give about getting everything done.

After work I had a chiro appointment, so I've decided to use that as my excuse to head to the mall once a month after work, buy stuff, poke around the shops, stuff that I may otherwise have done on any work night on my way home, but now has to be a planned event.

I hit Zing, then Greenlight Comics... and just as an aside... I've never been in a comic book store before that feels as queer friendly as Greenlight. Okay, I've also never had a relationship with a comic book store the way I seem to be having a relationship with Greenlight. But after I'd mentioned something about there being less gay content in the indie comic realm (compared with lesbian content for example), they'd slipped a gay indie comic in my packet for me to take a look at, as well as the Northstar gay wedding hardback graphic novel. I mean c'mon... that's pretty fucking awesome. I ended up buying both of them, because why the hell not.

Originally I was intending to go straight home, but I decided on a whim to head into the sauna, if for no other reason than to unwind and spend some time in both the spa and the steamroom. Let's just say that I got exactly what I needed... and I also ran into Marc and he gave me some serious massage therapy across my shoulders and upper back. It's good to have a friend who does massage, even if you only run into that friend when you're both wearing a towel, and that friend can be a little tiring in large doses.

It did mean that I didn't get home until around 9:30 though.

Today has been a little slow. Between the emotional week and the dancing and the sauna, my body was a little bit done. Especially my thighs, but that was mostly the dancing I believe.

When I got home last night I discovered that there was a parcel notice waiting for me... my prize from the Big W/Pixar competition, so that had to be factored into today, as did the fact we had to go and vote.

For all the years I lived in North Adelaide, we always went to vote at the primary school, and there was usually a long line but also a sausage sizzle, so you know, good and bad.

Today I had no fucking clue where to go, and none of the sites to help you find a polling place are particularly mobile friendly, or don't display data on a map. But I figured there had to be one in Norwood, so we just went there, otherwise we would have called into one of the schools or churches on the way back.

Now every year I'm pretty across what my voting strategy is... and to some degree this year was no different... except this is the first time that I was aware that I fucked up on both ballot papers. Not in a way that will make my vote invalid, but I didn't realise that the independent in my zone was a religious whack-job and put him entirely too high on my sheet, and based on their website and their policy information, I didn't realise that one of the parties I was putting in the "teens" section of the big ballot looked good on the web, but they also put up vaguely racist and homophobic posters. So yay me, I done fucked that right up.

Seriously though, why do they even let all the single platform whack-job parties exist, let alone get on the fucking ballot. Work out what the hell it is that separates the parties that aren't asshats from the ones that are and find a way to move the line in the sand so they fuck off. It'd made voting so much easier for a start, but it's stop shit like my fuck ups from happening.

I'm thankful that a) I don't actually give a fuck about politics anyway because it doesn't matter who's in power, everything is pretty much the fucking same (ie lying bullshittery) and b) the asshats I fucked up over have no damn chance of getting anywhere anyway.

The best thing about the voting in Norwood was that because it's between the Adelaide zone and the Sturt zone, which is where I am now, it has stations set up for both areas, but it's in the Adelaide zone, so the Sturt line was two people long and I got in and out pretty damn quickly.

Hopefully I won't still be in this apartment when the next election comes around, but if I am, I'll try and remember that trick. They didn't have a sausage sizzle though, which sucks.

From there we did the shopping (this week I'm mostly improvising a minestrone soup from out of my head and possibly the internet if I can be bothered), then came back here and went to the post office to get my parcel.

I had wondered why it had taken so long to be delivered, even with Australia Posts new "we'll deliver this when we feel like it" rules, but what I didn't realise is that it was actually coming from Disney's Australian offices. I just expected a box of movies from Big W... what I got was the movies in a Walt Disney Studios gift bag with a plus Dug (the taking dog from Up) and a nice little note from they Disney people. So damn cute!

I do need to assess the difference (beyond the covers) between the copies I already have and the new ones... I mean I have some of them as two disc sets, and these are all single, but I kinda need to go through and work out what has what and how I'm going to end up storing the new ones, since they're all nicely numbered and ordered and whatnot.

From there we headed off to IKEA. I needed some replacement glasses because I have now broken more drinking glasses in the six-ish months I've been living here than I did in the previous ten years I'm pretty sure. Fucking ceramic sink.

As usual we picked up some other random bits and pieces along the way, but nothing particularly exciting to be honest. Mostly it was just a bit of a slow wander around the store.

Then we headed back here, wandered across to the Village to grab something to eat, we watched some questionable television and then Ma wandered off home.

So yeah. This week everything changed massively... next week everything changes again in a slightly different fashion when other people come and join us in our now very empty office space. I feel like this time next week I may be very nostalgic about the "good old days".

Current Mood:

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...

Current Mood:

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.

Current Mood:

photo saturday: woof

spotssmile

howlblonde
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.

Current Mood:

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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