photo saturday: architecture lines

bridgeside quayfrom the north shore

sail ribssydney shine
I don't quite know what's going on with this week... but I appear to have completely run out of fucks to give... and I'm not the only one if work is anything to go by.

Nothing was difficult or complicated or even exceptionally busy, although work has started to pick up, as expected.

Also, I'm 100% fully over salads... they're fine if I'm making them to be consumed right then and there, but I've really only had a couple of successful week's worth of salad. Hence why this week I'm going to go back to soup. Tomato soup, so I could always try it cold if the mood takes me.

Friday we went out to the pub... I wasn't going to go, I wasn't really in the mood, but I ended up going for a couple of drinks and it was pleasant... and then I had a bit of a wander through town, ended up buying the Lego Architecture Sydney skyline set... No damn idea where I'm going to put it, but I couldn't resist.

Hence the photos at the top of the post...

I wasn't really firing on all cylinders this morning so I was a little later getting to the supermarket than I have been the last few weeks. I really didn't end up buying all that much to be honest... but then soup generally takes less supplies than salad.

After I'd gotten back here and unpacked, I headed down to Ma's place. And then we headed out to her shopping centre, because really, what else is there to do.

Weirdly, I feel like we spent more time there last weekend, but we definitely bought more crap this time around. Including a visit to the $2.80 store, which is always slightly dangerous.

Then we headed back and got sucked into some random thing on teevee before I gave up and headed home.

So, yeah, not really a very exciting week...

Current Mood:

photo saturday: bricking it

brick sheepbrick bridge perspective

brick hookerstrue building bricks
Do you know what's harder that the first week back after time off over Christmas? The second week. Because the first week is the first week and it's not a whole week and you're catching up with people. But the second week is just work.

The early part of the week was a little quiet... but it kind of ramped up towards the end with some general insanity...

I made it until Monday before I went and bought the Moana soundtrack CD. I'd been playing the YouTube version I found after the movie last Saturday on and off over the weekend, and I just wanted the physical CD.

Then Thursday was Haircut Night... thank goodness. I haven't had my hair cut since the end of November... and that was a bit of a place-holder haircut. So I was all kinds of unkempt and shaggy in the last couple of weeks.

It was good to see Tink again too. And it's remarkable how much I felt like a person again once I had a decent haircut. And colour.

Friday was my chiro appointment, which was really more of a knee, elbow and wrist adjustment with some back adjustment thrown in. Clearly I'm just old and falling apart.

I had a bit of a wander afterwards... the usual cycle, Zing, Greenlight Comics, Haighs, Dymocks and Target... but I couldn't be bothered walking home, so I just caught the bus.

Today, while I didn't quite drag myself out of bed to be at the supermarket for when it opened, I was still all done by about 8:30, then came back here, unpacked, sorted everything out and headed down to Ma's.

We didn't really do much of anything... but she did need to go to the chemist, so we ended up doing a complete loop of her shopping centre, poked around the major shops, picked up a few bits and pieces, but nothing much.

Then I came back here, dumped all my stuff and headed off to Laygo to pick up my Lego Batman minifigures that I got a message about a couple of days ago.

And that was really about it...

Current Mood:

letter from my 1995 self

The year was 1995.

Hillary Clinton was the First Lady. OJ Simpson went on trial for murder. Christopher Reeve was thrown from a horse and paralysed. Hugh Grant was arrested for picking up a prostitute.

The Adelaide Grand Prix moved to Melbourne giving us 4 years of peace and quiet until the Clipsal 500 started in 1999. Telecom Australia became Telstra.

The top 3 Australian movies were Babe, Muriel’s Wedding and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Braveheart won Best Picture. Toy Story, Die Hard with a Vengeance and Apollo 13 topped the worldwide box office. Brad Pitt was named People’s Sexiest Man Alive.

ER, Seinfeld, and Friends were the most popular TV shows. Aeon Flux and Xena premiered.

Gangsta’s Paradise by Coolio was the top song of the year. Waterfalls by TLC was the MTV Video of the Year. Everybody danced The Macarena.

Amazon sold its first book. eBay let us start buying things we don't really need from total strangers. Windows 95 was the hot new thing.

And I turned 21.

Later on that year I wrote a letter to my 42 year old self, put it away in a box and didn't exactly forget about it, but did forget exactly what it said for the most part.

I'm not sure exactly how enlightening it is... but I thought it was interesting, and I figured I'd comment along to describe exactly how wrong I was about a lot of things...
5 September 1995
11 January 2017... weirdly it just so happens that the time between those two dates is exactly 7800 days... or 21 years, 4 months, 7 days. I swear I did not know this before I chose today to reply to this letter.
Dear Yani
This was a couple of years before "Yani" was born as an identity (names have been changed to protect the innocent throughout this though). That came out of living with Ludo and he just randomly came home one day from work and started calling me that (I think he worked with someone whose husband was the Greek version, Yanni, with the two N's, we just changed the spelling).
Well, it's 2016, I can't believe it, we are 42! Twice my age. At the moment I can't even conceive of the person I will probably become by the time I'm 42, all I can say is that I hope that the 21 year old who is writing this letter will approve of where the 42 year old is, and what he has done.
Okay, so it's 2017... I didn't get my shit together at any point between March when I got Ma to dig this letter out of the storage box at her place and now. I could have gotten away with it in September, since that's when I wrote it, but no, here we are in 2017.

To some degree the 21 year old may or may not approve of where I am. Given the rest of the contents of the letter he certainly had no idea where the hell life was going to take us, for both better and worse. And I think that certain things he would definitely have liked a warning that they were coming so he could have gotten out of their/his own way. And other things he may have been a little jealous about.
Just to remind you why I (you, we?) wrote this letter in the first place. I saw a TV show (Northern Exposure), and one of the characters got a letter that she wrote at 15 to herself at 30. Sufficive to say, that got me thinking, and this is the result.
That would have been "The Letter", season 6, episode 4 (thank you 2017 internet)...
Maggie receives a sealed envelope in a the mail from her dad that contains a letter she wrote to herself at the age of 15. After reading the letter, she compares her accomplishments to her teenage expectations and analyses her life. Her teenage self, Mary-Margaret, visits Maggie for several trying conversations until she realises that even though she hasn't lived up to an idealised 15-year-old's image of what success is, she is happy with the person she has become.
I did not remember this at all. I do remember having a conversation with the partner of someone I worked with at my 21st birthday party who said that I was at that point twice his age. Which means he would be 63 now... fuck.

Also, "sufficive" is not now, nor has it ever been a word. I obviously meant "suffice it".
I suppose a good thing would be to put down what I would like to be, or would like to be doing by the time I read (or rather re-read) this letter, and perhaps a few of the things which are important to me now.
Yes, that would be good... to be honest it may have been better if you'd spoken a little more about what you were thinking and feeling about yourself and life and all the rest of it rather than just wondering if certain people were still in your life 21 years later… but that does tend to be the pattern we follow. We talk about what happened or what was done rather than how we specifically feel about it. Good to know this hasn't changed in all that time.

At the very least, some idea of what you were into at the time... books, movies, music... would have been good. I mean I remember some of it, but it would have been nice to have a snapshot of that particular moment. What was the thing you were most excited about that week?

Sadly these questions only work the one way.
As to who and/or what I want to be it is kind of a hard one, because at the moment I don't really even know what I want to do now, so as to what I will be doing in another 21 years time I really have no idea. Ideally though - my own word processing/ secretarial agency is kind of where I would like to be headed - but that is really just a dream so if we never got there then it doesn't really matter. I know that I'm never really going to cut it as a writer though, that dream is long gone, although it does rear its head every now and again. Realistically, I see myself as a personal assistant to someone, or maybe as the head of a department.
Essentially the job I do now didn't even exist at the time, at least not in the form it does now or with the importance it has now. So I couldn't have even conceived of it back then.

But interestingly it's not THAT far removed from the idea of the word processing thing (and the skills I learned from my first job where I was a word processing officer are ones I still use pretty much all the damn time). And it has some of the writer element mixed in too. The personal assistant thing, no, that really wasn't ever a thing, I don't have the personality for it. Head of a department, a little bit of wishful thinking there I think... although head of a team is an appealing idea.

I will say that I probably write more in these last ten years with the blog than I think I've ever done. Sure, it's not "creative" writing, but it's still writing.

If memory serves the letter was written in the gap after my first real job came to an end, and was part of the time when Raury and I had a bunch of ideas about putting together a company... but like many of the plans Raury had, this one never really went anywhere.
Well, that's work out of the way, as for my personal life, I would certainly hope that I have one!
Yeah, you know what, not really all that much. And I'm not sure how much of one I really want. I'm mostly happy in my little bubble, I interact with people at work (and actually even like some of them), I can mostly survive without them elsewhere.
A string of intense and torrid affairs would be nice (if highly unlikely), but by 42 I hope I'll have found that certain someone that I want to spend if not the rest of my life then a good chunk thereof with.

Sorry, I fell off my chair laughing.

Yes, let's go with intense and torrid affairs, given that for all intents and purposes you were a virgin when you wrote this (the odd blowjob notwithstanding).

There have been men (oh lord has there ever), some of them were intense, few of them were torrid. Also, I'm pretty sure you didn't realise that 'torrid' means 'full of difficulty'... because I'm fairly certain you wouldn't have been wishing that on yourself.

But no, where has been no certain someone. And at this stage I feel like I'm too damn old and set in my ways to even make the space for someone.
And my home life at 42? Well, I'd like to have my own house, or maybe an upmarket apartment somewhere, perhaps even sharing it with the special man mentioned above, but above all I want somewhere I feel at home and at ease, and somewhere I can store all my books!
I don't know that anywhere I've ever lived has technically been "upmarket"... but I did have the "at home, at ease, store my books" think in the last apartment. This place, let's just say it doesn't completely fill the first 2 boxes. It's interesting though that I mentioned a house... I don't know that I've ever really wanted a whole house... maybe more of a townhouse idea, but certainly in the last 10 years, I much prefer the idea of an apartment.
I think it is about time for a trip down memory lane, I'm just going to mention a few of the things I consider to be important in the here and now of 1995, and see how many of them are still around and still important to me in 2016.
Spoiler alert... none of the people mentioned below are still part of my life. And I also didn't know at that stage that I was a couple of years away from meeting Lownee, who would have the greatest effect on my life thus far. In fact, the pure amount of things I didn't know were in my future at that point was kind of astonishing… but that's life in general I guess.
Ludo - I certainly hope that his grand bitchiness Felicia is still in our life, which ever woman he ends up with - be it V, M, H, even K or someone neither of us have met yet. My one true wish is that he is happy and whoever he ends up with they make him happy! I'm going to make a prediction here, and see how it holds up in 21 years time. I don't think that Ludo will ever stay married, I'm sure that he will get married (probably more than once), but I really don't think that he will stay married for any real length of time.
Firstly, Felicia was a reference to Priscilla... and for the record, I was the Bernice. I'm not sure we ever officially had a Mitzy.

I've spoken about this before, but perhaps never in such explicit terms... Ludo was a very important part of my life for a period of time. He led to a large number of very important changes and my time living with and knowing him definitely shaped who I became as a person... at the end of the day he kind of turned into a douchebag. So yeah, not sure about that happiness wish.

He was quite often manipulative by way of charm (which I'll admit, I made use of at the time, it was just a little different when it was aimed at me instead of being something I could benefit from), he became ridiculously jealous, petty and controlling (more so with Lownee than with me to be honest, but it still affected my relationship with Lownee) and as long as his needs were met, he didn't seem to be all that bothered about other people.

And it's interesting given what I mentioned here about him getting married, since I only discovered in the second half of 2016 that he and Lownee actually did get married at some point when they disappeared out of my life. Partly because I'd done the occasional internet search for her under her original name, but that day just thought "hang on, what if they did get married"... within 5 minutes I'd found her LinkedIn profile.

The other interesting thing about this section is that the 4 women I mentioned (who had full first names in the original letter), V was who he was dating at the time and turned out to be a full on psycho, H was his ex and the mother of his child, K was actually dating a friend of ours and I don’t think there was ever actually a chance of them dating, so I'm not really sure why I mentioned her. But for the life of me, I can't remember who the hell M was. Like, seriously wracking my brain, no damn clue. Weird.
Kanga, Short-round and Tigger - Kanga will be 43/44 when you read this, Short-round will be 22 and Tigger will be 21. I really can't imagine what sort of men the boys will grow into, I just hope I'm close to them, I would hate to have had distance or time or whatever get in the way of the bonds that we had.
Pretty much once I moved out of home Kanga and I started to lose contact. She and the boys came to see me in North Adelaide once when I was living there, Short-round was very excited to see me (he would have been about 3 or 4 I guess), but we really just didn't keep in touch. Have I mentioned that I'm really, really bad at that? And often there are people who were part of my life only for that specific section, once I move on to a new chapter, I often don't have any desire to stay in touch.

When I read the letter initially I did a bit of an internet search, I'd fortunately included Kanga's married surname, so went looking for the boys, but since I don't have a Facebook account it limits some of my internet sleuthing abilities, and I didn't turn up anything definitive.
PR - Just out of curiosity, do we still know P, or did she kind of just fade away into the woodwork. As I write this she is engaged to D who she has been dating for as long as I have known her. I just wonder if her predictions of long ago came true and we do still see each other, and she has a truckload of kids who call me Uncle Yani.
Going even further back... PR and I went to high school together and had many interesting conversations... we kept in touch on and off after school, I remember getting together with her in Billy Baxters (when that used to be a thing... I don't think that's a thing anymore... or at least not very much) probably around the time of this letter to come out to her, but I feel like that was one of the last conversations we had and we just, again, drifted apart.
Ash - My letter writing crony of the here and now. Do we still keep in touch, and what the hell ever happens to him?
Weirdly Ash did come back into my life briefly… he sent me an email (I think… maybe it was a real letter, I don't remember) wondering if I still had copies of all the stories he'd sent me when I was writing to him, so I scanned them all and sent them to him. And I read his first book, which was quite good if memory serves.
Framing Watson - The main reason I added this is because I'm curious about what happened to the band, whether they split up or if they did ever really make it big. I certainly would like to think that they could make it, but I suppose only time will tell!
This is definitely a blast from the past... weirdly enough I had a conversation about them with a couple of the girls I used to work with earlier in 2016. And looking up one of the few photos I could find online of the band makes me wonder why I ever had a crush on two of the members and also that they could not have been a more 90's band if they tried.

Also, just to confirm, they were a 90's band that Ludo and I were groupies for... we went to all their gigs, eventually got invited to parties and things at their houses. But no, they didn't make it big, they moved to Melbourne, broke up and the lead singer had a brief solo career (well I know he released at least one album if memory serves). I do occasionally wonder whatever happened to them, whether any of them came back to Adelaide, or if they all stayed in other cities.
Just before I go, the year you read this is the 25th anniversary of our graduation from high school. I had always planned to organise something on the 5th, 10th and 20th anniversaries, I'm just checking in to see if we do!

I thought about this briefly at the 10 year I think, but by that point I really had no desire to see anybody I went to school with for any reason. And I think I was basing this more on the American idea of school reunions… I just don't think we really do them that much here in Australia, especially not for government schools (more so private schools, but even then I don't know how much of a thing it is).
Actually it is kind of strange, the person writing this letter will never know any of the answers to these questions, in a way the 21 year old dies the minute this paper is sealed into an envelope, I become static and whoever opens this letter 21 years from now will find him and with any luck remember him fondly.
Wow, this got real dark, real quick. I think I'd either been thinking a little too much about things while writing this, or I was trying for some introspection and depth and it got away from me.

It's kind of true though (although not quite as melodramatic as I made it sound)... the version of me who wrote it is forever frozen at 21 years old and his words just sat there in that envelope just waiting for 42 year old me to come along as sass him for everything he thought we may have done and everything he didn't know about what was still to come.

And, yes, I do remember him fondly, although I wish he'd made some better decisions about certain things both before this letter and in the years directly following it.
All my love
And mine, back at you, through the veil of time.

Current Mood:

movies: moana

moana - the ocean is calling
Disney's latest, Moana, is truly beautiful.

It also, unsurprisingly given it's directing and writing pedigree, feels properly old-school Disney (while still being all kinds of modern and shiny). Ron Clements and John Musker also directed and had writing credits on The Princess and the Frog, Treasure Planet, Hercules, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid and The Great Mouse Detective.

Not to mention Don Hall and Chris Williams who co-directed Big Hero 6 (amongst a bunch of other writing and directing credits between them).

And add to that the current superstar of the musical theatre world, Lin-Manuel Miranda (of Hamilton fame for anyone who's been living on an island in the middle of the Pacific... although he started work on this film before Hamilton blew up into the phenomenon it is currently) wrote all the songs along with "South Pacific fusion" musician, Opetaia Foa'i. I actually have an online version of the soundtrack on shuffle in the background while I'm writing this and while I'm not usually a music guy (although I do love me a good musical), this is really, really lovely... and I'm pretty sure I'm probably going to end up going and getting the album before the week is out.

Normally I wouldn't drill this much into a Disney movie's lineage but this one has some seriously talented people behind it.

It's also stunningly, stunningly beautiful.

From the hair to the water (oh my god, the water... ALL the water... and the wet hair... so much wet hair), to the flora... and just the way the characters, Moana especially, move and pose... she's essentially a fully flesh and blood character.

Clearly Disney have taken everything they've learned from 2 Finding Nemo/Dory movies over at Pixar and really gone to work on the water in Moana. I'm also guessing that work on Tangled didn't hurt when it came to hair technology.

It also feels like an incredibly accurate and respectful interpretation of Polynesian culture... I'm sure they've taken bits from different places and mixed them together, in the usual Disney fashion. But a little bit like (my all-time favourite Disney movie) Lilo and Stitch took the Hawaiian culture, especially hula dancing, very seriously within their story, Moana appears to treat the traditional elements both seriously and respectfully.

Interestingly, because Polynesian covers such a wide area (essentially a big triangle between Hawaii, New Zealand and Easter Island), the voice cast includes people of Hawaiian, Maori, Samoan descent... which is awesome.

This is also a movie with no romantic sub-plot... if anything, Moana is really an action/adventure movie. The plot is simple (and very Disney)... girl with a path laid out for her by other people feels the tug of the outside world/her own path... follows her path, learns who she really is and has an amazing adventure. In her case the adventure includes sailing across the ocean, finding a demi-god and returning the heart to a goddess.

Oh, and I'd be remiss if I didn't give a shout-out to both Rachel House and Michael Woodside as the voice and animator respectively of Gramma Tala, Moana's grandmother and self proclaimed "village crazy lady". She's amazing, and probably my favourite character in the whole movie.

And , who was only 14 when she was cast, does a fantastic job as Moana.

yani's rating: 5 fishing hooks out of 5

photo saturday: beachy boys

hot sand walkbondi tattoos

manly volleyball manvolleyblur

bondi dilfsurf pup
The overnight low last night never dropped below 30°C... fuck that shit, fuck Summer and as far as I'm concerned Winter can't come around fast enough.

Thinking about it, I don't really know anything of much note to do a list of things I know to be true right now.

Ma's still has her arm in the sling... but she's supposed to go back to work (at least for a few hours each day) next week. And they probably won't let her drive for another 3 or 4 weeks. Just in time for the Fringe.

I also went back to work on Tuesday. The hardest part, other than getting up at a prescribed time, was putting closed in shoes on after a week of either no shoes or thongs. To be honest, wearing big boy pants was also a bit of a wrench.

I took some time out to do some stuff that I've needed to do for a while but never had time for... but I spent a couple of days rewriting the process document for my area (much as I did between Christmas and New Year last year)... but at least it's done now.

Otherwise it was a somewhat dull week... I ended up having some quite left field conversations with people... including two completely independent and unique conversations about the mantis shrimp (one about the eyes, one about the claws).

And given that while all of my team were back on deck but only half of the wider team was around, absolutely zero fucks were given (by me).

After work on Tuesday I took the parcel of amaray cases I'd had delivered to work (it was just easier), and picked up a veritable fuck-ton of graphic novels (that's what happens when you order a bunch of things and they all come in at once... hehehe so much stuff to read sitting on my bedside table). And then caught the bus home because who really wants to walk carrying all that stuff.

Fun fact: The bus that I catch to work in the morning stops running between 2:18pm and 6:40pm... Yes, there are two other buses that run on almost the same route (only 1 of which I was aware of until just now when I looked it up). But it just seems bizarre.

I don't think I mentioned that I set up the rainbow neon lamp I bought myself "for Christmas" (it wasn't really, but I picked it up on Christmas Eve, so why not)... it's really nice. And I haven't used my other very bright (although it wasn't that bright at the old house, I swear) lamp since.

Given that it was also stupidly fucking hot yesterday, I went and picked up yet another graphic novel order, then wandered around the city for a bit before catching the bus home again.

Ma and I went back and forth a little bit on what we should do about today... she initially suggested tomorrow, but it made more sense to me for both of us to be able to open our places up tomorrow (plus I wanted to go to the movies, and I've got a bunch of other things I need to do), so we settled on today.

Don't get me wrong, the ride to and from Ma's place wasn't pleasant (I really need to get the aircon in my car fixed)... but I'm getting ahead of myself slightly.

I got organised and got to the supermarket just before it opened, as I've been doing since Christmas Eve (and which I'm going to miss once Ma's driving again), and had everything done by just after 8am. I came back, unpacked, repacked Ma's groceries and then loaded up the car and headed down the road.

Like I said, not overly pleasant, but also not completely shit either.

When I got there Ma had already taken all the baubles off the Christmas tree (yeah, that was the other thing we needed to do today, take Ma's tree down)... I wasn't expecting her to do it, but it kind of made sense, since it was something she should have been able to do relatively easily with mostly 1 arm.

I don't usually get involved in the taking down process, so it all felt a little weird... but at least it was pretty quick, and we got everything packed away under the stairs.

Then we headed off the the shops to soak up some of their air-con before the movie (more on that later, naturally).

Now I know it was a kids movie, and I know it was a cinema we don't normally go to (last time was Fantastic Beasts, and I think that was the first time I'd been there) but good grief, I have never been in a movie session where so many people, adults and children alike got up, moved seats, left the cinema, came back into the cinema or just generally didn't sit the hell down and just watch the movie. I mean I get it when you have small children who need to go pee... but there was a couple of kids who just seemed to be roaming all over the cinema (one of them was doing cartwheels about halfway through the movie... seriously)... and their adult was sitting in a completely different section.

Urgh... I mean, c'mon, teach your kids how to movie, for goodness sake.

Afterwards we grabbed a late lunch, came back and I left Ma with her evaporative cooler and took the slightly sweaty drive home. Thankfully I'd set my air-con to start running about ah hour before I got home, so I came home to a relatively cool house.

Now if only the change would come in properly like it's supposed to.

Current Mood:

movies: assassin's creed

assassin's creed: your destiny is in your blood
Since they announced that they were making an Assassin's Creed movie, I'll be honest, I've had an equal measure of excitement and trepidation.

Excitement because it's my favourite video game franchise and the director was responsible for 2015's very beautiful version of Macbeth. And trepidation because when have they ever gotten a video game movie adaptation completely right.

Having now seen it I can say that as an action movie and as a video game adaptation it ticks most of the current boxes... in fact I'd go as far as to say that it's one of the better adaptations that I've seen (but then I do have a fondness for the Resident Evil series, although I've never played the games, so take that with as much of a grain of salt as you like).

But as a movie... it suffers from the same problem that far too many action movies do currently... it supplies action in place of actual characters. I can't even say character development, because many of the additional characters are barely even more than a thumbnail sketch... like the main female assassin in the historical timeline. I have no idea what her relationship with Michael Fassbender's character was supposed to be... are they lovers, could be related, are they just friends... who can say! But worse than that, I couldn't have told you her name without looking it up if you'd paid me.

Likewise with the other Assassins in the present day timeline... "thankfully" they picked a black man, and Asian woman, a bearded man and a young pretty man... otherwise they would have all just blended into each other... because beyond the fact that they exist, and do some stuff, they have no identifiable characteristics or discernible names (I'm pretty sure the Asian woman doesn't even have any lines).

The only character with an actual arc is Marion Cotillard... yet once again, I couldn't tell you what her name was. Even though Fassbender plays two different characters, neither of them really develop or have much of a personality (whether that was helped or hindered by the fact that director Justin Kurzel, Cotillard and Fassbender had a go at a version of the script, if something I read earlier is to be believed)... so while he certainly learns some things, it doesn't really have that much of an impact on his character.

And without spoiling anything very much, neither side, the Assassins or the Templars, is really presented as being "right" or "wrong"... which is something that a few of the more recent games tried to do with varying degrees of success... but, to be honest, if I'm a fan of the Assassin's Creed series, I'm a fan of the Assassins, and I want them to be the heroes, or at least to be present as less wrong than the bad guys.

As far as this movie is concerned, the only character you really empathise with is Cotillard. And even then, not very much.

It does look beautiful though... which I fully expected from Kurzel and his cinematographer (the same one from Macbeth), Adam Arkapaw... even though I often felt like the 15th Century Spain sequences where just half obscured by smoke and orange light and a lot of really fast cutting.

I'm also not sure if it was just a really, really loud movie or if the cinema I saw it in just had the volume jacked up way too high. Yes, I was in the fully surround sound cinema with all the sound... but it made it hard to hear a lot of the dialogue.

There were more than a few nice moments, especially thing that harken back to previous Assassin's Creed games, but it all felt a bit rushed and a bit shallow. The strongest impression I actually had was that it felt very much like the couple of hours you play in the games before the title screen comes up... it's all about getting you working with the mechanics and tease out a little bit of story, but all the actual character development will happen after that point.

I think at the end of the day it's was either as good or as bad as I was hoping/expecting.

yani's rating: 3 hidden blades out of 5


Hello 2017... a lot of people are both very glad to see you and worried for what you hold. Be gentle with us, would you.

It's also the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development... so that's a thing.

Yesterday was a funny old day... it didn't really feel like the last day of the year, and then on top of that it was also a Saturday, so there was shopping to be done. I got up fairly early and headed off to the supermarket to be there when they opened. It was a much more chill experience than Christmas Eve, unsurprisingly.

After I was done and had put away my stuff in my still overstuffed fridge, I packed up Ma's groceries and headed off to her place.

Given that we abandoned going to La Cousina's on Christmas Day, Ma had arranged to go and see them on Saturday... but La Cousina was running a bit behind schedule so we headed off to the shops to do some errands Ma wanted to do.

Then it was off to La Cousina's. And it was a really good visit... it was just La Cousina, Miss Oh, Ma, me and Princess T's little girl. She really is the most adorable baby (she's 6 or 7 months old if memory serves)... all chubby arms and legs and big anime eyes. And she's clearly one of those kids who take to strangers right away... I pretty much had hold of her or had her in my lap the entire time we were there (other than a short nap she had). And it just being La Cousina and Miss Oh was nice too... so we ended up having a good long chat about this, that, the other and nothing much at all and we were there for a couple of hours all up.

I didn't stick around too long after we got back to Ma's... I still had a bunch of stuff I wanted to do before settling in for New Years Eve.

First things first was getting the place tidied up... not that it was that bad given that I hadn't done much all week besides playing video games (mostly Lego Dimensions... not really surprising given that they were over half of my Christmas present... but I also finished off Firewatch, which was amazing, but nothing like I thought it was going to be... but that definitely needs another play through at some stage) and watching the first season of Westworld (it took a while to get there, but by the end, I was totally on board).

Then I had to do some blogging... so I didn't really get started on the usual NYE routine until after 8pm... dinner was a plate full of potsticker dumplings which were fantastic... and a gin slushie, finally using some of those zooper doopers. And I'll say right now... alcoholic slushie, A+++ idea.

Although I'm glad I paced myself... partly because I still don't have the ratios of gin, water, ice and zooper dooper 100% right... but I had two and then just had some gin and soda... and I'll admit, I was a little fluffy this morning.

My movie selections for the evening were Kubo and the Two Strings followed by The Man From U.N.C.L.E.... Kubo still remains an amazing movie, and TMFU, which doesn't hold up quite as well given my original impression, but is still very, very enjoyable.

One thing about being so far away from town compared to previous years, although more specifically the last two, is that I hardly even heard the fireworks... a couple of the louder bangs, but that was about it. And I could JUST see some of the high ones in the gap between a couple of the neighbouring houses. Ah well.

TMFU finished up around 12:30 and I did a little tidying up, but then realised that as is their post midnight NYE tradition, Channel 9 was showing Can't Stop The Music yet again... the down side being that it wouldn't finish until around 2am... so I watched a little, tweeted about it (and got more likes than I think I've had on ANYTHING in quite a while... go figure), then gave up and went to bed.

This morning, as I said, I woke up a little bit fluffy... but thankfully Past Me remembered to buy eggs so that Present Me could have bacon and egg sandwiches for breakfast.

I didn't really do much with the morning, but then this afternoon I went off to see the Assassin's Creed movie (more on that later) in the city. And I had enough points on my card to see it for free, so that was nice.

So yeah, the whole weekend/NYE/NYD has been a very quiet and low-key one (I feel like I say that every year, but still, it's true).

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two thousand and sixteen in review

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

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

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

So, let's try this...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


yani's favourite things 2017

In no particular order...

Good Reads

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

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

99% Invisible

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

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

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

Grayson and Midnighter

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

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

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

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


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

Fidget toys

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

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

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

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

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

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post christmas round-up 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eventually it was time for presents.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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