movies: the red turtle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

yani's rating: 4 ghost crabs out of 5

photo saturday: elder park morning

morning rotundaforeshortened crane

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But that was it really...

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photo saturday: out of their elements

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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photo saturday: boards

braving the coldmanly sentinel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And that was about it really...

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photo saturday: street critters

newtown creaturebird cowboy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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photo saturday: study in white

blue sea white sailgrey sky black glass

white ribs blue glasswhite clouds grey curves
Once again, there's not a whole hell of a lot to report. Actually that's possibly not completely true, but there's a bunch of stuff I don't really want to talk about right now.

Technically I still have the cold... I say technically because it seems to mostly have moved from being an active cold to just being the general feeling of pressure in my sinuses. Dr Google doesn't seem to think that it's a sinus infection, but it's still annoying.

I was supposed to make simple soup last week... just potato and leek... with bacon, because bacon. And that's how it started... but I thought it was going to be too thin and put extra potato in, then too much cheese, then way too much pepper. So while it should have been simple, it didn't end up quite as simple... plus it ended up very, very thick. So by the end of the week I'll admit I was a little bit over it.

The rest of the week was fairly rinse and repeat... then on Friday I had my chiro appointment, which, as always, led to general wandering around in the Mall until I ran out of things to do.

This morning I woke up way too early thanks to some heartburn... well, Doctor Google has some other ideas about it, but we'll go with heartburn unless it happens again. It wasn't a whole heap of fun though, and I ended up getting up, wrapping myself in blankets and sitting in the lounge for a while, until the sensation dissipated and I was essentially falling asleep... so I got back into bed.

All of that did kind of throw off my morning though... which was only really a problem because Ma was getting her hair did, so I was left to my own devices.

And that led to me leaving the house about an hour later than I would have otherwise.

Which did lead to the shopping taking slightly longer than it otherwise would have. But that was also partly because I kept forgetting things and had to double back on myself a few times. This week's soup is very definitely going for a simpler vibe. I don't know completely what I'm going to end up with, but I'm not going to blend it... and I'm going to try and keep it reasonably thin.

We'll see.

I still managed to do all my shopping, come back, unpack and do a few other things before Ma rocked up. Interestingly, I'm pretty sure she had a cut and colour, but I honestly didn't even notice the colour if I'm honest. Maybe that means it wasn't as obvious as it sometimes is... I don't know.

Neither of us really had any plans (and to be honest, I would have been okay if we'd just called it a day then and there... but it seemed a bit cruel to have Ma drive all the way here and then just turn around and go home again)... but eventually we decided on a trip into town, mostly for Ma to run an errand, but also to check out Flinders Street Market, because that's usually worth a poke around once in a while.

Turns out it was kind of a very good day for Flinders Street.

Firstly I found a very apropo brooch for a belated birthday present... then we discovered Ark Angel Creations... she makes "sensory products"... for both kids and people with sensory needs. And I'm a pretty tactile person at the best of times, so her stall was a ton of fun to poke around at. She also had some of the water beads, so I grabbed a pack of those, because they're always fun...

Then saw these little knitted discs that are basically a circular tube with a marble trapped inside, and you just move the marble around by manipulating the disc. They were only a couple of bucks, so I grabbed one, and I haven't really been able to leave it alone since. I'll get over it eventually, but it's fun and gives me something to do with my hands while doing other things.

From there we had a poke around the Mall so Ma could do what she needed to do, then we came back to the Village, poked around T2, grabbed some food and came back here.

And that was about it really.

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lego minifigures series 16

lego minifigures series 16
I've been meaning to blog about the latest series of collectible Lego minifigures for a little while now.

Here's the line up...
  • Scallywag Pirate
  • Babysitter
  • Cyborg
  • Spooky Boy
  • Desert Warrior
  • Kickboxer
  • Spy
  • Ice Queen
  • Wildlife Photographer
  • Mariachi
  • Hiker
  • Banana Suit Guy
  • Rogue
  • Penguin Suit Guy
  • Dog Show Winner
  • Cute Little Devil
At this point my favourite characters are Spooky Boy, the spy, the rogue and the penguin suit guy. And it seems like the guy in the hot dog suit has a dessert companion, with the banana suit guy... That has to be it though, right? I mean maybe you could get away with an ice cream cone guy or possibly a corn on the cob guy, but that's pretty much it I think.

I also feel like the devil was a left over design from the series 14 monsters, but he is quite sweet.

At the bottom of the list for me is the cyborg. The hair is kind of interesting (although why the stud on the gun isn't blue to tone in with everything else is a mystery), but overall she feels a little m'eh. Likewise the Mariachi guy... the guitar is cool, but he's like the lovechild of the Mexican and the Bandito.

The collection of Lego animals from these sets are expanded this time with a penguin and a little white dog (Tintin MOC anyone?).

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movies: kubo and the two strings

kubo and the two strings - the quest begins
If you must blink, do it now. Pay careful attention to everything you see...

The opening line of narration to Kubo and the Two Strings isn't just empty words, this is a movie you don't want to look away from for a second.

I'm completely and totally, madly, head-over-heels in love with Laika, the production company behind not just Kubo, but also The Boxtrolls, Paranorman and Coraline.

And this is their biggest and most ambitious movie thus far.

Essentially Kubo is a Japanese action adventure movie made with 3D printed, stop motion animation puppets.

Which shouldn't work, but as with everything Laika put their collective hands and minds to, the heart of the story of Kubo makes everything else not exactly inconsequential, but the spectacle always serves the story. And makes for some amazing moments.

I'll be honest I didn't even know this movie existed until about a month ago, and I tried not to see too much about it before the fact, wanting to go in pretty much cold (beyond knowing, as the poster shows, there was a boy, a samurai beetle and a monkey). And I'm glad I didn't know anything, so I'll be staying as far away from story as I can for most of this review.

Let's get the obvious stuff out of the way first. This movie is absolutely stunning... from the first shot to the last, it's an amazing feast for the eyes (and the characters of The Sisters... I want collectible versions of them!). If I was going to quibble at all it would be to say that when the faces are viewed close up, you can see that they're 3D printed, there's a slight softness and graininess to some of the details... particularly evident in the lines on Beetle's face.

But I would much rather they use the 3D printing and be able to create epic numbers of expressions and props and the like than the opposite. And eventually the technology will catch up with what they're doing and the faces will be flawless.

There was also something about the animation that reminded me of old-school stop motion in a way their previous movies haven't... but again, not in a negative way.

What I will say about the story is that at it's heart it's about family... and about both taking control of your own story and knowing the power that stories possess. And that even stories with a happy ending can be sad (or vice versa, I'm not completely sure which it is).

I know that there's at least some authentic Japanese mythology thrown into the mix, and it feels like it all could be... but the majority of the story is actually a creation of Shannon Tindle and Marc Haimes, and they've done a fantastic job.

Continuing the Laika/Game of Thrones cross over started in Boxtrolls, Kubo is voiced by Art Parkinson (who plays the youngest of the Starks in GoT), with Charlize Theron as Monkey and Matthew McConaughey as Beetle.

It's a beautiful movie though... sad, peaceful, frenetic, original and thoroughly watchable.

yani's rating: 5 paper samurai out of 5

photo saturday: zen garden

sentinelneedles

pondzen
This week's post is brought to you by acute viral nasopharyngitis... also known as the common cold.

Yes, after making it past the mid point in August and dodging any number of colds and illnesses that have afflicted my co-workers, it finally caught up with me this week.

So it's made the rest of the week a little more challenging.

But starting at the beginning. Last week's soup was  equal parts success and disaster... and I say disaster only because I wanted to add a little more spice and flavour to the chicken and vegetable soup I was making. I found a couple of packets of chicken tinga flavouring amongst my pantry and decided to add them both. I'm going to say for future reference that one would have been more than enough. But the soup had a little of everything in it, and a couple of chicken breasts, and I blended the whole thing, chicken included, which was kind of interesting and pretty much successful.

Then I got sick, and as usually happens when I'm sick I either lose most of my appetite or else I get cravings for very specific things. And I think both of those things happened this time. Which would have been fine, had I not already made excessive amounts of soup. Ah well, at least Ma happily accepts all my left over soup.

So this week has been mostly been spent in a bit of a haze... especially at work.

Thursday was Haircut Night. After my last haircut I've been thinking about changing the colour to match in a little more with the uncoloured parts of my hair. In short, to take some of the yellow out and matching it with the silver that's coming in. Well, it's been there for a while to be honest.

The cut is the same, but we got a less brassy tone for the main part of my hair. Tink recommended I get some of that toning shampoo just to add to the toning, so I picked some up today.

Today was fairly standard, all things considered. First the supermarket... and I decided on potato and leek soup for this week, something simple and uncomplicated just in case this cold persists.

Neither of us bought an awful lot to be honest.

And then after we got back and I'd unpacked all my stuff, we decided to head down to Marion (with a brief stop off first at the post office to pick up a parcel).

There was also a brief stop off at Laygo (the Lego store on South Road) since we were going past, mostly to order the next series of minifigures (which I also still need to do a post about)... but I had a nice chat with the guy who runs the place too.

We didn't really do a lot at Marion... I did get a new mouse for my laptop (same brand and model as the last one, but this one is red... to be honest, the black one looked a little better... but red) from Big W, and as I mentioned, picked up some of the toning shampoo (and conditioner).

Then we pretty much headed off to the movies, more on that later, although I will just say that moving to this apartment has very much done a number on our movie going habits, and it was already in decline anyway...

After the movie we stopped off in the new "fresh food" area at Marion at one of the new eateries, Warong, and had some lunch... it was pretty good, although the seating is slightly diabolical.

It'll be interesting to have a proper poke around that area next time, try some of the other food options... but really anything will be an improvement on their food court.

And that was pretty much that to be honest. But at least we were able to stay out of the weather.

Current Mood:

photo saturday: into the blue

looking out to the blueblack and green and blue

green boardsjungle shorts
Do you know what I love... I love the fact that you can find almost anything to suit a particular need on the internet. I didn't want to sit here in silence writing about my week, but there's nothing on TV, and it would have distracted me anyway... so I'm listening to an 8 hour video of rain falling on a roof. And I could have chosen 8 hours of a campfire on a beach, or 8 hours of a purring cat... actually hang on a second...

No, I can't do 8 hours of purring... not that it's not lovely, but I'd legit fall asleep.

Technically I really should be doing this through my headphones, but I left my headphones back at the office on Friday night.

Also, I realised something this week... I don't know exactly when it happened, but at some point, everybody but me on Instagram stopped using the frames and, as far as I can tell, the filters. Here was I, happily going along using the app the way I thought everyone else was, then I suddenly realised, yeah, you're out on your own there buddy. So I'm attempting to follow the herd. Still using some filters, but not at full strength, and I kinda like the results so far.

But seriously, next time there's a meeting where we all decide something isn't cool anymore, can somebody at least send me a memo afterwards? Thanks.

Oh, and just in case anybody is interested, I've added a widget to the sidebar of the blog that lists all the podcasts I'm currently listening to on a regular basis. And if anybody has suggestions for interesting ones, let me know.

Last Sunday my plan to invent mushroom soup went pretty damn well. I got the idea at some point to roast the mushrooms first, and that was a good plan. Turns out it's really easy to do (well dur... but chop into quarters, toss in olive oil, salt and pepper... then into the oven for about 20 minutes). I also threw in a potato, a turnip and a swede, which kind of bulked things out.

It was a very "and this, and this" kind of soup. I stuck a teaspoon of Vegemite in for flavour, the same with Dijon mustard... and ended with some fairly out of date natural yoghurt to make up for a lack of cream.

Side note, can you guess the downside to listening to rain sounds while typing... yeah, I need to pee...

Sorry, TMI.

This week was all a little m'eh.

There was a census on Tuesday... well, there was supposed to be a census, except the website crashed. Looks like it might be up again now though, so I may have to try and fill it out later.

I started watching the series everybody on the internet has a massive nerdboner over, Stranger Things... I'm about two thirds of the way through currently, and yeah, I'm really, really not feeling it. I'm not saying that it's bad, I'm just saying that it still really hasn't grabbed me.

Case in point, I watched two episodes Sunday morning, but wasn't compelled to watch the whole series straight through. In fact, even though I think I watched another one on Sunday night, I didn't go back to it until maybe Thursday. I also wish I could put my finger on why it isn't working. It may be that it's too earnest and I haven't really found a reason to care about the characters that much.

I'm aware that the internet may well gather their pitchforks and torches, but yeah, like I said, a well put together show, just not on my frequency.

Other than that the week was fairly dull. Work got kind of hectic, mostly because I was distracted by some other work and couldn't give anything else my full attention.

Friday we had a morning tea and drinks to celebrate someone leaving... but it was someone I didn't really like all that much, so while I enjoyed the morning tea and went to the drinks, it was most in spite of the person they were for, not because of them.

The drinks didn't really last all that long... at least not as long as last time. But Owlgirl did come in, as did Herschel, so that was nice. And Owlgirl said she had some shopping to do and could only stay for a little while, but hated shopping alone... so I decided that I'd go with her and wander around the shops. To be honest, when we left the drinks were already winding down (and I was only about three drinks in).

So we wandered about looking for whatever it was she wanted, I did take a detour off to the comic book shop for a minute to pick up one of my orders.

Then just before 8:30, we rendezvoused with her BF and they went off, leaving me to grab something for dinner before wandering home.

And when I got home, I found my fan-made Jacob Frye/Assassin's Creed Syndicate pendant waiting for me. It looks pretty good actually. I made need to make a slight modification to it, but the coin is an authentic 1844 shilling, and the necklace is pretty comfortable to wear. And yes, fan-boying pretty hard. But it also doesn't LOOK like I'm fan-boying... because it's just a coin necklace, and if you don't know what it is, you're none-the-wiser.

This morning I managed to get up, do some dishes, have a shower and be dressed albeit without any shoes, when Ma arrived... and I didn't get my ass out of bed until after she'd messaged me to say she was on her way, so that was pretty good.

We did the usual supermarket thing... I honestly have no idea what I'm doing with the soup this week. I just bought a soup pack and a ton of vegetables, so I'm guessing vegetable soup... possibly with chicken, I dunno yet.

When we got back we had to make a quick trip to Coles over at the Village, since we'd forgotten to do that at Norwood, then unpacked and kind of sat around a little bit going...

"I dunno, what do you think?"
"I dunno, what do you think?"
"I dunno, what do YOU think?"

And that never gets us anywhere.

Fortunately I had something of a backup plan, since my bus goes past the art gallery every morning, and I've been seeing a big sign for a Robert Hannaford exhibition for a while now.

Now, before today I knew jack shit about Robert Hannaford, but looking at the four images on the banners outside the gallery, I was pretty sure he was an Australian artist from the 1930's or 1940's, who primarily did male portraits. And both of these things are my bag.

Turns out that technically none of that is true, beyond the Australian bit and the portraits bit.

Robert Hannaford is a South Australian portrait artist who was born in 1944, worked as a political cartoonist and has been a finalist in the Archibald Prize 23 times, winning the People's Choice award three times. And all of the handsome men on the banners outside the gallery were self portraits.

I will say that I fell instantly in love with all of his work. I still can't get over the very 1930's, 1940's vibe that I originally saw, it's definitely there, but even just the self portraits from when he was in his 20's (which I think are most of the banner images), especially the quick pencil sketches and the like, are amazing.

Robert Hannaford - Tom (1987)

This is my favourite though...a portrait of his son Tom from 1987. Putting aside that Tom is a beautiful young man... that amazing, amazing blue against his skin tone... this image doesn't do it the least bit of justice. It just shines like a jewel.

It was also interesting that the gallery had mixed through some other works from their collection, a collection of self portraits, a group of nudes, some large portraits of important leaders, all complimenting Robert's work beautifully.

I was so enamoured by his work that I did something I've never done before... I went to the gallery shop and bought the exhibition book. I'll have to set aside some time and go through it... it's mostly his artwork, but there's a few pieces of text too.

We wandered around the rest of the gallery as well, which we don't do all that often, but it's nice when we do. While I do miss some of the pieces that used to be up (and don't really like some of the new pieces... like the dead horse thing), I do love that they now mix up ancient and modern works into themes rather than time periods.

After we'd finished our wander, we headed down to Burger Theory for lunch. I had the new Burger of the Month... the Diner Burger, which has a hashbrown, egg salad, bacon, BBQ sauce and cheese in addition to the usual beef patty. I can't say it's the tidiest burger I've ever eaten, my fingers were a giant mess once I was done, but it was interesting.

I do think the hash brown got a little lost to be honest... and if memory serves and these were their "made from scratch" hash browns, they were really good. And, as always, the BBQ sauce was lovely. It was just maybe missing a little... something... I can't put my finger on what though. But still tasty.

Then we wandered back to the car and called it a day.

Oh, and I need to remember to go looking for a new wireless mouse next weekend if not before... the one I have currently is losing it's buttonness... I've replaced the battery, but it still doesn't want to click when I click... so maybe time for a new one. Maybe a trip out to Officeworks.

Hmmm... given how badly this is behaving, it may need a trip tomorrow...

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