week's roundup and saturday shopping

Okay, first things first, a brief roundup of last week...

The soup I made last Sunday was successful as far as it being soup on Sunday was concerned, however by the time it came it Monday it was decidedly no longer soup and was in fact just pasta and sauce. Overall it was fairly nice, but given that my head was all over the place this week, I kind of lost interest in it about halfway through the week.

This week I'm making chicken soup, because that's what you do when you're sick... eat chicken soup I mean.

And yes, I've been sick pretty much all week. Thankfully the runny nose portion of the week was mostly confined to Monday and Tuesday... however the elevated temperature and general feeling of blah extended for the whole damn week. I even went to see the doctor on Tuesday, more to get some ventolin to prevent the gasping cough I had the last time I got sick like this. Granted the cough hasn't been as bad this time, but it only got really bad after the cold was finished last time, so I'd rather be ready and prepared.

It was a different doctor this time, although still at the same practice, and he was very nice... I think I still prefer the other guy, but it's good to have options.

I am officially sick and tired of being sick and tired though... just the general fever and blocked up head feeling is making everything harder than it otherwise needs to be.

I also finished Red Dead Redemption on Thursday... without giving away any spoilers I will say that the way they deal with the "story's done but you can still run all over the game world and finish up whatever you like" mechanic is incredibly original and one of the nicest ways I've seen it handled. Having said that I was very glad to finally be finished and didn't really feel much need to run around and complete some of the additional quests and things. I just felt like it dragged on a tiny bit too long. It was good, but yeah, I was done with it a little while before the game itself was actually done.

Next up will be a return to Assassin's Creed with Rogue.

Finally last night after a whole day of being stuck in one long meeting doing something I really had no interest in and minimal aptitude for I headed down to the Capri after work for Joshua Smith and Hanna Newman's "A Feature Presentation" exhibition. I would have liked to stick around for the screening of the trailer and then a classic Hammer horror movie, but I really wasn't up for it, so after paying my respects, checking out the art and whatnot, I called it a night, came home, got a pizza and caught up on So You Think You Can Dance (hence the lack of a post yesterday).

Which brings us all the way around to today.

It's been a decidedly wet and woolly day I have to say. But we also managed to avoid the worst of it.

I should have gotten up earlier than I did this morning, but I just didn't want to get out of my nice warm cocoon and into the cold morning air. But I did eventually, even if I had to leave the bedding halfway through being changed in order to be ready when Ma got here.

Our supermarket adventure was probably slightly quicker than usual, partly because we only went to Foodland and then a really quick wander around Target... so we were back at my place reasonably early.

We decided to head off to IKEA, partially for another frame, but also just to do a general wander around.

It turned out to be a good, if slightly dangerous idea since they'd reorganised the kitchenware department and had a bunch of new stuff around... so Ma and I bought a few bits and pieces, although mostly kitchen stuff.

From there we headed down to Harbourtown, just for a quick look in the Bonds store because I wanted more hooded sweatshirts, sadly Bonds don't seem to be doing them at the moment, so I was all out of luck... on the up side I did get a new pair of trackpants, doubly good because they were 30% off.

Then we detoured around to the Capri so that Ma could see the exhibition... it didn't take a whole lot of time, but at least she got to see it.

And that was pretty much it, other than a detour on the way back to my place to pick up some lunch from Perrymans.

Current Mood:

wasted weekend roundup

I honestly can't think of an interesting way to start this...

The short version is, I was sick. Not really, properly, snotty, hibernate under the bedclothes for three days sick... more that my body really just ran out of steam and essentially fell down.

Last week at work was somewhat mentally and emotionally draining, although moreso the latter rather than the former... and I think I kept my internal bowstring a little too taut for a little too long. By about Thursday I was a little wiped but didn't really think all that much of it, I just thought that I'd tweaked my knee on one leg and my ankle on the other.

Friday evening I just had no energy at all... so much so that I couldn't be bothered doing much of anything other than watching So You Think You Can Dance and then crawling into bed.

Saturday I was still pretty damn flat... we did the supermarket thing, then Ma wanted to look at stuff in Arndale, so we did that, then we took a trip to Haighs. But I had no energy and no enthusiasm... we were supposed to head to the movies, but I couldn't be bothered, and wasn't sure if I would even have been able to stay awake had we gone.

It was clear that I had no energy because I was moving pretty damn slowly for me.

Ma left shortly after lunchtime and after poking around on the laptop for about half an hour I went and got into bed. Normally if I'm coming down with something I'll drop off to sleep within a short amount of time and burn whatever it is out of me with some sleep fever. Not so much this time... I ended up tossing and turning for a good long while and then ended up futzing around with YouTube on my phone for a couple of hours.

And, brief aside, you never realise exactly how fucked up your YouTube past has been until you wander through your Likes, Favourites and History. I'm also pretty sure that when you come across a Tumblr page that has music autoplaying in the background, that that music actually comes from YouTube weirdly enough... otherwise I have no way to explain where some of those music videos come from... I almost never listen to music, particularly not on YouTube.

Anyway, I did end up napping a bit, then got up around 7pm, made the very unhealthy meal of egg and chips for dinner (I had a craving... the eggs weren't anywhere near what I had in my mind... but then I do suck at making fried eggs), tidied up a bit and headed back to bed around 9pm.

I felt better this morning when I woke up... albeit with some minor back pain from laying in bed for so long.

Yeah, I know, I'm old and broken and sad.

Otherwise though I'm mostly okay... the horrible cough I had earlier this year seems to have returned... I get the feeling every cough I get now will be some version of that cough though.

So, yeah... not the best weekend really... a bit of a waste really.

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tenth bloggiversay shopping saturday

tenth bloggiversary
Would you believe that on this day a decade ago, I sat down at my old desktop computer in my old apartment and hammered out my first blog post.

And that first week also saw the birth of my movie reviews... although a little more casual than I try to make them now.

So to celebrate I decided to take a wander back through my photo archives and pull out an image from around the time of each bloggiversary (within about a month either way depending on photo availability).

Turned out to be an interesting collection of photos... which in turn are all connected to a blog post...
And 2015 is just a photo of one of my bookshelves that I'd never done anything with.

But given that today is also a Saturday, that means the usual shopping adventures.

Ma was getting her hair did this morning, so I had a bit of a late start... in fact I didn't even get out of bed until 8am, when I should have already been at the supermarket.

Fortunately my solo supermarket trips never take all that long, so when Ma messaged me to say she was on her way down and I had only just started shopping, I still managed to do all my shopping and get back to my place before Ma showed up. Not by much, but still.

I decided to go with a "colour" soup again, based on the original zucchini idea, so I'm trying a "green" soup... I've done that before, but never as a blended soup, so we'll have to see how that works out.

After I'd unpacked everything we headed out and since I wanted to find a heater, we decided to head out to Arndale to see what was available.

Turns out there wasn't much at the price I wanted to pay, so we ended up heading down to West Lakes to see what Target had to offer.

We also did a wander around JB HiFi and I found the third season of The Newsroom, so snapped that one up.

I did end up finding a heater at Target, but I may have made a mistake, since it doesn't blow hot air straight forward, instead it supposedly blows it out the sides of the heater... so I'll have to work out the best way to position it/use it.

That was about it really... we did stop off at the new T2 store, I picked up another box of tea, because addicted. And we had some dumplings for lunch.

Current Mood:

photo friday: creep it

creepy doll lightsfuckit
Holy crap it's been cold this week... like really, properly cold.

So cold in fact that I may have to look for a small heater tomorrow. I did used to have an air heater, but I think that might have been classed as "surplus to requirements" either during the move or shortly after, so I have nothing. Okay, technically my air-conditioner is reverse cycle, but that thing is about as energy efficient as dry macaroni.

Fortunately work has been warm enough, more so than I really prefer to be honest, but at least I haven't been actively cold.

Last week's Italian Meatball Soup worked out pretty damn well. While I bought the meatballs rather than making them, I did cut everything up quite finely so it was all a uniform size and there weren't just giant chunks of vegetables. However, after many, many weeks of eating blended soups it felt strange eating soup with actual stuff in it... so much so that on Monday night I experimented with running a batch, meatballs and all, through the blender. It turned out pretty good to be honest, but I ended up turning the rest of the batches into a general experiment, and blended them in batches for different lengths of time just to get a feel for it there was a preferable consistency. Not that it really mattered because by the time I'd worked out the one that I liked, I'd eaten all the soup.

I genuinely have no idea what this week's soup is going to be... possibly something zucchini related, I've seen a couple of different recipes that I like. Otherwise I'll have to go through my saved recipes (and trust me, I've saving soup recipes like they're going out of style just at the moment) and see what looks good.

Beyond trying to keep warm and the usual, work, home, sleep, rinse and repeat, there wasn't much else going on this week.

I did fall down the rabbit hole of Outside Xbox YouTube videos at some point in the last week... I don't own an Xbox, but they make great "listicle" videos related to gaming that I just got addicted to (fairly easy to do on YouTube, I admit).

Then last night, once I realised that I had the first four episodes of the latest season on Teen Wolf waiting for me to view, I had a bit of a binge watch of those. URGH, so good! And I realised last night that Teen Wolf really is the modern equivalent of Buffy... with less sass and pop culture references, but with more angst, adult themes and hot boys.

But it makes me feel about it the same way that Buffy used to make me feel back in the day.

Current Mood:

wet, uneventful saturday

I woke up this morning to some pretty intense rain on the roof... and it's been doing that on and off all day, interspersed, oddly enough, with bouts of very bright sunshine.

But it's also pretty damn chilly out there.

I got up earlier than previous weeks and tidied up a bit before throwing myself in a hot shower and getting ready. I decided that today was very definitely a beanie day... especially given that I know that once I put the beanie on it pretty much wrecks my hair for the rest of the day, so it was definitely an all or nothing choice.

We did the usual supermarket adventures... I went with all the ingredients for a meatball soup, not exactly the beef soup I was thinking about yesterday, but it should be interesting.

We had a wander around Target after the supermarket, just as a really intense batch of rain happened... so intense you could actually hear it on the shopping centre roof, which isn't usual. And it turned out to be so intense that the roof in Target started leaking. Only in one spot as far as I noticed, but it was still pretty extreme.

When the rain had slackened off a little we headed across the road to grab a couple of other things at Coles/Woolies.

I'd noticed earlier this week that the hinge on my glasses case was on it's last legs... so I was kind of on the lookout for a new case, and when I mentioned that to Ma she pretty much detoured us into OPSM and told the woman we what we were looking for.

To my surprise the woman actually asked me if I didn't mind a generic case and then went searching through the cupboards in the store until she dug out one that was the same brand as my glasses (Ralph Lauren Polo... even though the previous case I had was just a Ralph Lauren case), and gave it to me for nothing.

So not only do I now have a new glasses case, it was also a free new glasses case, which is even better.

Coming back to the car was got a little bit caught in the rain, but by the time we got back to my place it had stopped enough to get everything unpacked and in the house.

I unpacked, put everything away, and then while Ma was reading the paper I ended up pulling everything out of the two cupboards over my stove and reorganising it all. I've been wanting to do it for weeks, since it's all a little cluttered and disorganised, but given that we really didn't have anything we wanted to rush out for and the rain kept coming down in the proverbial cats and dogs... it seemed like a good time.

I ended up consolidating the contents of a number of containers and bottles, which I may regret later when I come to use the combination of three different kinds of vinegar. It did mean that I ended up with a lot more space, not least of all because I sorted things out and reorganised everything.

Next up Ma had brought down her laptop so that we could update her iOS on her iPhone... so after some slightly facepalming, I got that happening.

Unfortunately the curse of me and iOS updates reared it's ugly head again. Not quite as badly as when I tried to update mine and ended up bricking my phone. But Ma's phone/iTunes went through all the rigmarole of updating and then quite happily told me that it couldn't find the phone. I tried again, same result. I ended up having to restore the phone from scratch, which took less time than the updating, but by the time I was finished and all Ma's apps were updating it had taken over an hour and a half.

Bleh!

At least she's all set now with a fully updated and functional phone and we didn't need to take a trip to the Apple store.

By the time I was finished with all of that it was pretty much 2pm, so we didn't end up doing anything with the day... we did decide to get some lunch from Perryman's Bakery.

And that was it really... possibly not a bad idea considering the weather.

Current Mood:

photo friday: pale texture

glass linesplastic feathers

swan downsky fluff
It's been a much less eventful week this week, although I don't really feel like I've been all that much more organised.

Work has continued to be work... a little less crazed than previous weeks, but ramping up a little more than the end of last week.

The soup I made last Sunday, essentially invented out of my head given the skills I've learned in the last few weeks of regular soup making, was pretty good... cauliflower, potato, swede, parsnip, bacon, cheese and corn. And there was about a million tones of it, enough to feed me for lunch all week, provide an easy dinner for Ma and I on movie night by combining one and a half containers and send half a container home with Ma.

This week may be a non-blended soup... I'm feeling beef orientated... so I may try some sort of beef/barley kind of soup. The only problem is that generally those end up being more stew than soup when I make them... or at the very least end up as stew by the end of the week. We shall see.

I had to stop off at Dick Smith this week and pick up a new pair of over-the-ear headphones. The last ones I bought, which were supposed to be better (well, they were certainly more expensive) than the previous pair didn't last anywhere near as long. They developed a break in the cord that meant having my phone in my pocket and walking caused the sound to cut in and out.

So this new pair are so much fancier than any pair I've had thus far. They also only have one cable coming from one side of the headphones, which is the first time I've actually seen that... and the cord is usually where I have trouble, between catching the cable by accident and yanking it, and getting it all twisted up on itself, that's always been my Achilles Heel with headphones. Not any more though, so that should be pretty damn useful. Plus it looks cooler, and these ones are partially red.

The trailer for Season 9 of Doctor Who dropped today... now, I'll freely admit, since Russell T Davies left the show I have cared less and less overall. But I'm still susceptible to a well made trailer. And since I work with a couple of fellow Whovians we were able to have a proper little geek-out session about it.

Current Mood:

movies: woman in gold

woman in gold - justice is priceless
Woman in Gold is the dramatisation of Maria Altmann's quest to return the world famous painting stolen from her family during the Nazi occupation of Austria.

As the older version of Altmann, Helen Mirren is a powerhouse... I mean she's generally excellent in everything she does, but she's especially good as an ordinary woman, in an extraordinary situation.

And Ryan Reynolds manages to definitely hold his own as Randy Schoenberg, the lawyer who takes on the Austrian government with her. In fact, this is possibly the best performance I've seen from Reynolds.

The story is split between the present day (well, the present day of the last 1990's) and Maria's experiences before and during the war.

Tatiana Maslany is fantastic as the younger Maria in those sequences.

In fact, with the possibly exception of Katie Holmes's somewhat monochromatic performance as Schoenberg's wife, and some slightly questionable accent work from Charles Dance, all of the performances are incredibly strong.

It's not a big movie or a showy movie, but it is definitely a movie worth watching.

yani's rating: 4 stolen artworks out of 5

tea flavoured saturday shopping

tea revives you
Sometimes the Universe just arranges things in the right order...

My internal clock is a little out of whack at the moment, so I didn't wake up until later than I would have liked, but I was up, showered and out the door pretty much at the same time Ma arrived. However it did mean that I forgot to pick up my wallet and take a photo of the soup recipe I wanted to make. So I had to wing it a little bit.

I ended up going with the "white soup" idea... so I got potato, swedes, parsnips, cauliflower and a couple of white onions. So, you know, white things. I might add in some corn and there will definitely be some bacon, because bacon.

So it might end up slightly chowder-like after all. I'll have to wait and see.

When we were done and got back to my place I gave Ma a present that one of the women at work had given me for her. The short version of the story that our resident Mother Hen at work also has a liking for snowmen, and she had an Olaf (from Frozen) mug... I'd asked her where she got it and she said she'd check and let me know. Then on Monday I turned up to find one wrapped in tissue paper on my desk with a note saying it was for Ma. Which was very sweet of her.

Once we were done with all the general unpacking and whatnot, Ma wanted to head into the city to visit T2, and I never object to a visit to the great land of tea... plus I had a request from Rockchick at work to pick up some tea for her.

So off we went to wander around, drink some tea and chat with the very lovely T2 girl I end up talking to every time I go in there.

It was fairly quiet, so we chatted, she made me some tea, Ma wandered around a bit, then suddenly, just as we were wrapping up a veritable flood of people appeared. It was a bit odd really, it went from literally nobody but Ma, me and the staff to a store full of people within about thirty seconds.

From there we just had a wander up the Mall. I didn't really want to spend any money, so I was happy to just follow along. Ma did want to get a little something for Mother Hen just to say thanks, and we ended up in Charlesworths to pick up some nuts and things.

Once we were done with the wandering we headed to Burger Theory for their new Burger of the Month, the Nacho Nacho Spam burger. The nacho cheese is definitely a winner!

There was only one other group of people in the restaurant, and after I'd ordered and we sat down one of their party came back from the bathroom, and I realised it was Mother Hen. Yep, the Universe decided to throw our paths together, so I got to introduce her to Ma and Ma got to say thanks and give her the nuts. So that was a nice little happenstance.

But that was pretty much it, other than a quick second visit to T2 when Ma decided to grab some more canisters.

Current Mood:

photo friday: tech capability

lightssilver rail

white strutsclipsal
I've definitely had issues with electronic equipment this week, mostly computers and thankfully entirely at work.

I got a new work PC on Wednesday and I think I managed to add a virus to it while downloading a perfectly valid piece of software. I'm also still waiting for them to reinstall all my additional software.

Then I downloaded a file, deleted the original data and discovered the file was corrupted. I haven't finished trying to recover the data, but that'll have to wait until next week when I'm feeling more technologically capable. Thankfully it's technically nothing vital, but I'd prefer not to have lost it.

Otherwise this week has been somewhat all over the joint.

The cream of carrot and honey soup I made on Sunday was a little bit ruined by the small amount of chilli I added, as well as the black pepper. But really, I shouldn't have expected that turning a vegetable I really don't like into soup would actually improve it.

I am undecided about the culinary adventures for next week. I was thinking a chowder... I still might go in that direction, I just need to have a look at my recipes a little later. Alternatively I'm totally going to wing it. I was thinking perhaps a white soup... potatoes, parships, turnips, that sort of thing... but that could be a little dull.

Tuesday I took myself off for an unscheduled movie adventure. It was one of those times when you realise afterwards that you should have gotten your shit together and gone to the earlier session. Partly because it was later than I was expecting by the time I got home, but also because the session was fairly crowded and I also ended up having to sit next to the worst movie-goer on the face of the earth for the first twenty minutes, until I decided to move rather than strangle her to death.

Then Wednesday was Haircut Day... yay! The haircut is perhaps a touch severe, I wanted to make the shaved side thing I've been doing for the past few haircuts extend to the other side of my head a little better, and at the same time I needed to try and tame a number of annoying bits of hair that wouldn't be controlled in the style as it stood, and the only way to really do that was to come a little bit higher up at the back... it's not quite a shaved head with a long fringe, but two more haircuts doing the same thing and it would be.

And because of my hair's overwhelming desire to throw red no matter what particular colour we dye it, we made a slight tweak to the colour this time, going for something slightly more ashy. Which, interestingly enough, although it should have been lighter actually turned out darker than it has been. I don't dislike it, but neither am I totally in love with it. It is one of those colours that actually looks like it could be my natural colour though.

Otherwise Tink and I just did the random chat thing that we usually do.

Besides that there hasn't been a hell of a lot going on, work was fairly busy at the beginning of the week, but that kind of dried up to something of a trickle by the end of the week, letting me get myself all tied in electronic knots.

And I've been slogging my way through Red Dead Redepmption.

I say slogging, because it kind of is a bit of a slog... I was very much enjoying it initially and then the Mexico portion of the story opened up and I kind of realised I was going to have to do all the same sorts of things I'd already been doing all over again, plus I'm only about a third of the way through, maybe half, given that there's a third area still to be opened. Add to that the fact that very often you ride all the way from the left side of the map all the way to the right side of the map, only to have the story element you trigger when you get there take you all the way back to the other side of the map, often even further away than you started off.

What I did realise about myself in games in general is that I'm totally NOT the close combat fighter. I'm the archer, the ranger, the sniper, the long range assassin. I knew that to some degree from Assassin's Creed (it's actually one of my major complaints that there aren't more long range weapons), but it's become very clear in this game, since I essentially use the long range rifle for EVERYTHING. Sadly, it's gotten to the stage where the rifle is so powerful that if I try and use it on close range birds, rabbits or armadillos then just go POOF and disappear entirely. It was kind of hilarious the first time it happened though.

Current Mood:

movies: jurassic world

jurassic world - the park is open
Jurassic World definitely feels like it's recycling much of the plot from the first two Jurassic Park movies. Okay, that may not be fair... not recycling so much as a homage.

They're just homaging all over the place in this movie. Literally so in more than a few places when things from the first movie actually show up.

But the first mistake they make is to think that we're really going to give a crap when presented with a sullen teenager (Nick Robinson) and his annoying hyper know-it-all little brother (Ty Simpkins). The most annoying and pointless part of any of the Jurassic movies has been the badly written children. And even though you eventually partially warmed up to the children in the original movie, there really isn't any point in this one where I gave a damn about what happened to the two boys.

Actually that was fairly widespread throughout the movie... it was full of stupid people doing monumentally stupid things. Even for this franchise, there were some really, really dumb things going on.

The other things that irked me was that they seemed to have gone straight to the "Big Book of Character Tropes" for all their characters... there's the sullen teenager, the precocious preteen, the person in power who views integral plot element as "numbers on a spreadsheet", the woman who is too focused on her career to make time for family, the uptight control freak (those last three are all the same character, Bryce Dallas Howard's Claire), the nefarious military aligned man, the scientist doing things he shouldn't, the token black friend (seriously I'm pretty sure he was the only black character with a speaking part), the awkward geeky guy who comes through in a crunch and last but not least the loveable rogue. Oh, and add to that parents who may or may not have been getting a divorce, because the movie falls into the "tell don't show" category for that little revelation, and honestly, it doesn't make a damn bit of difference to the story.

And I'll be honest, with the exception of the lovable rogue, Chris Pratt's Owen, there really wasn't another character I particularly liked.

Although when Pratt wasn't running he was staring intently at things and frequently saying "no".

Every scene he has with the velociraptors was pretty damn good though, and it's a shame that wasn't utilised more than it is in the movie.

The scenes at the end of the movie, although they don't necessarily make a lot of sense if you think about them too much, are pretty damn cool though.

Overall the visual effects are pretty spectacular, but weirdly it feels less like the movie takes the time to really highlight the dinosaurs like the previous movies did. Maybe that's part of the context of the movie world where dinosaurs have existed for the last twenty years and teenagers like Robinson have never lived in a world without dinosaurs and find the whole thing terribly dull.

But really it all just feels like stuff we've seen before, just with slightly prettier packaging.

yani's rating: 2 viable embryos out of 5

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