photo saturday: beach boxes and grey shores

candy coloured boxesswan sea

grey horizonlining the shore
I'm a little fluffy today... even now... mostly due to consuming a beer, two apple ciders, a cherry ciders, about three rum and drys, a Harry Potter inspired cocktail, an Amaretto sour and a daiquiri last night.

Yeah, it was a bit of a night... but we'll get to that.

Just as a quick sidebar before we begin. The basic tenant of customer service, as far as I believe, is that if a request has been put to you, then you do your best to fulfil that request, or you communicate with the client. As someone who does some version of that on a daily basis, it's not that fucking hard. However it's also my number one bugbear about the world... is that people are just fucking lazy when it comes to that.

I raised two issues with my landlord when I had my inspection. They sent out the (useless) handyman. He certainly came, he certainly looked at both of the problems. He didn't fix either of them, and I haven't heard anything from either him or the landlord since.

My final tattoo session was cancelled because my artist was sick. The receptionist said that she'd contact me with a new time. I haven't heard anything from them.

If you say to me that I have to contact you again, that's fine... but if the request is last in your hands and you haven't given me any additional information or have said that you'll contact me, then you need to contact me. I don't have the time or the inclination to chase you to make you do your job. I have enough shit of my own to do.

Anyway, sidebar over.

Last Sunday morning I had a powercut. I lazed around in bed for a while, and a little after about 9 or so, the power cut out. Just about the time I was going to get up, put on the TV, fill the sink with hot water and make some breakfast before watching videos on YouTube.

No power meant no TV, no hot water and no internet.

Fortunately I could still light the stove using a match, so I managed breakfast. And I boiled some water on the stove so that I could do the washing up. Fortunately even though I got an SMS saying that the power would be down until 1pm, it was back up within about an hour and a half.

As soon as it came back on I literally dove for the shower and then refilled the sink with hot water to wash my breakfast pots. You know, just in case. But it didn't go off again, so it was fine. I swear though, I hadn't had so many power cuts or power hiccups in all the time I was in North Adelaide than I think I've had since I moved here.

Sunday's soup was pretty good. The pea soup recipe is fairly easy and was pretty tasty.

This week at work wasn't too bad. The lull from the last couple of weeks is officially over, but we're handling it all pretty well so far, which is good.

I feel like there might have been some other random tale to tell from the week... but if there was I'm really not remembering it right now.

Thursday was Haircut Night... so I headed off to Tink's to get my hair did. And we did the usual... short cut, slightly blonde. And talked a lot of random crap.

Given how much grey is currently showing up in the sides of my hair, I'm tempted to try and experiment next time where we try and go for a more ashy/silver/grey colour for my hair generally. You know, just as an experiment.

Friday we organised to have drinks with some of the former members of The Nuthouse... well, actually they organised the drinks. I did have my chiro appointment to go to first though. My normal chiro is on holiday, so I saw the other woman, and that's always a much more invigorating adjustment (which is basically code for her being much more forceful).

Then I made my monthly scheduled visit to the comic book store.

The one "downside" to finding a comic book store where I feel incredibly comfortable (greenlightcomics.com) is that I spend a lot of money. Especially since I've started at least three new graphic novel series and found some interesting looking queer indie comic series.

I rolled up to the second choice pub, since our first choice was holding a wine tasting, and, yeah, I hope we don't end up going there again, it's way too snooty for our crew. We're really not a "bros and straight white girls" bar kind of crew.

I'd only intended to have a couple of drinks and then take myself home... yeah, that didn't fucking happen.

But that's also what happens when people start buying me drinks. If I'm buying my own, the "yeah enough now" is effective, otherwise it's too easy just to go "yeah alright".

Which is why I started drinking rum and dry...

Also, Owlgirl was there, and Hershel was there... and I'm not going to lie, I miss both of them quite a bit. Pixie wasn't there though, which would have been nice.

So I spent quite a bit of time with OG and quite a bit with Hersh, which was nice.

And OG got to clear some air, which she couldn't until she'd had some space and time and distance from the group and the job. It was much needed and I'm glad she got that opportunity.

At a certain point (when most of everyone else has already dropped off and gone home or on to other activities) the staff told us (and by the way, while it was far too snooty, the bar staff, superior eye candy for the most part) they needed to remove our table (yep, just ours) to make a dance floor space... so OG, Hersh, Sprocket and Plaid all decided it was time to move elsewhere.

Well, Hersh, Sprocket and Plaid had a plan, and I had only been catching about half of what everyone said all night because bars will insist on playing fucking music at full fucking volume on a Friday night when people are there to talk not to have to scream over the top of some tosser manhandling an acoustic guitar... sorry, where was I. Oh yeah, plan... they had one, and I heard a sentence that was essentially "susurrus susurrus susurrus susurrus susurrus cocktails"... and that was fine by me.

So we headed off, and where we ended up was The Bibliotheca Bar And Book Exchange. Now I'm not really a bar person, and I'm definitely not a cool, hip bar person... but Bibliotheca is my kind of bar. In large part because books. However when I walked in and saw a giant mural on the wall by my buddy Josh Smith, former owner of Espionage Gallery and now maker of amazing miniatures, well, that was clearly a clue.

And then one of the bartenders brought us the cocktail menus and said to me "you don't recognise me do you?"... and for a second I really didn't... and then his voice registered. It was Charlie, who was the guy who helped Josh out at a number of the Espionage shows towards the end.

bibliotheca on fire
That was the point in the evening when I switched from normal drinks to fancy drinks...

And also the point where they set our drinks on fire. Yep, OG and I decided (well, there wasn't really ever any doubt) to get the Harry Potter inspired "Drink Who Shall Not Be Named"... and then sat at the bar while our lovely bartender poured flaming alcohol between two Turkish coffee jugs.

It was really fucking impressive. And the drink, while not my favourite thing I drank all night, and maybe a little stronger tasting than I usually like, was amazing, since it ended up warm and when you sipped it the vapour went up the back of your throat so you were tasting it and smelling it at the same time. It was a hell of a thing.

I did really like the follow up drink though, the Amaretto sour... which was all sweet and fluffy and didn't even taste of booze... and then the daiquiri was a nice clean finish.

OG left first as the BF was picking her up, then Hersh, til it was just Sprocket, Plaid and me... and then we realised it was basically past 11:30 and we all really should be getting our drunk asses home. So we left Plaid to walk one way and Sprocket and I walked back to his bike and then he went one way and I went the other and I, yet again, walked my very drunk ass home.

And stopped at the petrol station to buy a pie because even though I'd stopped off between the comic book shop and the first bar to grab something to eat so I wasn't totally drinking on an empty stomach, I hadn't really had what you could call a proper meal. So petrol station chicken pie... which was actually pretty good.

I got home at 1am, and after some random Snapchatting with Sprocket to ensure he got home okay, I crashed out about half an hour later.

Waking up this morning wasn't the most hung over I've ever been... partly because I had drunk water during the night... but I hadn't had any when I got home... and I was just feeling a little sheedy... somewhere between shady and seedy.

A shower helped, although there wasn't anything helping the fact that I'd spent the evening screaming over the music and I had my "radio announcer" voice happening.

When Ma came down we headed off to do the shopping... I'd decided to make Mulligatawny soup, which at the end of the day is predominantly lentils and spices. After we were done shopping and had come back and unpacked, I discovered that my downstairs neighbours are moving out. I discovered this when they parked a moving van in the driveway. But this was after I'd already put my car away, so it was fine.

Again, we didn't really have a plan... there were movies we COULD have gone to see, but I really wasn't in the mood (and I think I might have fallen asleep to be honest)... so we just headed down to Marion for a general wander.

*cue general wander around Westfield Marion montage*

We poked around all the shops, both bought stuff we really didn't need, got some pies from the bakery for lunch and then headed back here.

And that was about it really. I wouldn't say that I was specifically hung over... but I was definitely fluffy for the whole day.

Current Mood:

photo saturday: one and one make eleven

blue flagpointing at you, yes you

surfer surf stripstormy spire

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Current Mood:

assassin's creed unity and rogue

assassin's creed unity
Assassin's Creed Unity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

assassin's creed rogue
Assassin's Creed Rogue

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

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

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

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

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

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

Current Mood:

photo saturday: port fork on the road the fourth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Current Mood:

photo saturday: pride

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Can you tell that I really, really hate change.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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photo friday: those grey feels

family huddlelonely boards

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

First things first, I don't have diabetes.

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

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

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

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

But getting back to Thursday.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And then it was time to go to the pub.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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