photo saturday: rooflines

little tin libraryowl with lamp

roof kissdudley
This week is brought to you by:
  • me being in a horizontal position for almost the whole week
  • my chiropractor for being awesome
  • all of the BBC history programs starring Ruth Goodman, Alex Langlands and Peter Ginn (seriously, there were days were I didn't do anything except watch those all day long... for the record, Victorian Farm, Tudor Monastery Farm, Edwardian Farm, Wartime Farm, Tales from the Green Valley... I still need to catch up on the more recent series though)
  • a really good vegetable soup I made, with some added dried beans/lentils.
Really, that pretty much sums up the whole week.

The only additional part was Thursday when Ma came down in the morning thanks to La Cousina and hung around all day doing her own thing while I stayed in bed until it was time to go get food and see Le Gateau Chocolat's Cabaret Festival show.

Also, I saw my chiro twice, once on Tuesday, once on Friday... and my back is much improved. In fact she managed to get it to remember that my legs are in fact essentially the same length and it didn't need to make me all lopsided. But I'm still not completely back to normal, so there's another couple of visits next week.

I also need to do my very best to clean the damn apartment for an inspection next Thursday. I'm also going to clear out of the apartment for a couple of hours so that I don't need to have any kind of conversation with the person from the land agent.

Saturday was, to be honest, a little frustrating, all things considered.

I did the shopping in the morning, then headed down to Ma's about 11am or so... we headed over to the shopping centre so that she could pick up a few other things, but by the time we were done with that I was officially over the whole thing and headed off pretty soon after we got back.

Part of the issue was just sitting in the car for the drive down... then just being on my feet and walking for the length of time it took us to do the usual circuit, standing and walking is still a little exhausting to be honest... and factor in the knuckledragging mouthbreathers who inhabit Ma's shopping centre and I was officially just over the whole thing. Add in the fact of trying to keep an eye on what's going on with Ma while also trying to do my own thing, and the whole thing was just tiring and frustrating.

So I was very happy just to come home, collapse on the bed and watch random crap for the rest of the afternoon/evening.

And that's about it really...

Current Mood:

cabaret: le gateau chocolat - black

adelaide cabaret festival: le gateau chocolat - black
Le Gateau Chocolat has been wowing Adelaide crowds since his first solo Fringe show in 2011 but this is the first time he's been invited to be part of the Cabaret Festival, and I personally think that it's about damn time.

The show he brought to the festival, Black, is a dark show... in all senses of the word. It's also the most personal, most revealing, most adult and without doubt the bravest show he's ever done... and one of the bravest shows I've ever seen.

Black is about the colour of his skin and his identity, the songs and performers he's chosen, but it's also about the absence of light (both literally and metaphorically) and, at it's core, Black also represents the spectre of depression.

As I said, this is such a brave show... and Chocolat has already presented two very brave and personal shows, Icons and Duckie, but Black lays his soul very, very bare. As such, it's a very different show from any of his others... this feels (and, to be honest, is) much more of a one man musical play, and in a lot of ways actually felt like the very "grown-up" version of Duckie.

What I hope though is that there is eventually a companion piece to this, Light, if you will... that tells the other half of the story, how Chocolat and his onstage avatar Little Black manage to both realise their dreams of being the big black opera diva but also make the lightbulb of his happiness shine as bright as it possibly can do, bathing that stage in light.

Also, the story of Little Black which is shown throughout the show with beautiful animated artwork and a voice over that sounded strangely familiar (Johnny Woo maybe?) really moved me to tears, but also made me want the story to be finished and turned into a children's book... I want it on my bookshelf but I also want to buy a copy for every parent I know.

I also feel like this is the first time I've had the opportunity to hear Le Gateau Chocolat perform in "real" venue... and I know I've gushed about his voice every time I've had the pleasure of seeing him perform, but having him command the stage on the Dunstan Playhouse was a whole new level. Even the opening number which was entirely in German (I think) and hence a complete mystery to me was so beautifully performed and stunning to listen to.

He also commanded that stage in a way I've never seen him do before... don't get me wrong, he's charmed audiences before, but this time there were points where you knew that the audience wanted to applaud, but the show and Chocolat wouldn't let them (it also did feel a little weird at times wanting to applaud such raw emotions, so I'm happy the show was actually arranged the way that it was)... he held over 600 people in the palm of his hand for the entire run time of the show, knowing exactly how to twist and turn and caress us all until we were totally at his mercy.

And speaking of the Playhouse, the lighting design has to be mentioned... Black is a dark show as I mentioned, not just in tone but literally quite dark, with the lighting used very sparingly and at times to great effect.

Which isn't to say that the show is without lighter moments... from the tips for fat people to the brilliant NHS Direct song to the hilarious introduction to I Wanna Dance With Somebody (although the way he finishes that song absolutely WRECKS me every time), but this really is an emotional journey that he invites the whole crowd to join him on.

I'm just very, very glad that Le Gateau Chocolat is still here and lets us into his world, even if only briefly.

And for the record, happy 35th birthday, you beautiful, amazing man!

Current Mood:

cabaret: kim david smith - morphium kabarett

adelaide cabaret festival: kim david smith - morphium kabarett
His Vampness, Kim David Smith, has returned to the Adelaide Cabaret Festival this year, and he once again proves that he's a consummate performer.

I know I've said it before (probably in relation to all three previous shows) but Smith's slightly deranged, somewhat evil and incredibly vampy stage persona is someone you want to seduce you and someone you're slightly frightened might stab you in equal measure at an moment.

And I'm okay with that.

The false eyelashes, bondage harness tuxedo shirt and top hat ensemble suited not only Smith (and yes, we were in fact looking at your boobies... there were times when they were a little hypnotising, especially from front row centre) and his music, but also the Spiegeltent venue.

Much like last time, there's much of the hypnotic, sleek snake about his performance, but there seemed to be a little more of a comedic edge to his between songs banter this time. Although his ability to absolutely mesmerise and capture an audience hasn't changed.

I think almost all of the songs were ones I'd heard in previous shows... but that tends to happen when you've been to all of the shows.

Old tunes like Pirate Jenny, Black Max and Padam Padam all make a welcome return as his own interpretations of songs like Dracula's Tango (Sucker For Your Love) and Nature Boy. I will say that the decidedly unhinged arrangement of Pirate Jenny and the fact that Dracula's Tango takes a brief Kylie detour in the middle make them personal favourites.

Accompanied once again by pianist, Amanda Hodder, and the cellist whose name escapes me, were both excellent, mostly melting into the background but playing flawlessly throughout.

It's always an experience to see Kim David Smith... and he's both too, too much and never enough all at the same time.

Current Mood:

photo saturday: tales of the broken

spartan fall down part 1dry ship

red shipspartan fall down part 2
This week did not go according to plan. Which is also why this is a day late.

Granted, this week actually had very little in the way of an actual plan, but the wheels definitely fell off the bus in the middle of the week.

Long story short, I threw my back out again. Yaaaay. Not. And thankfully not in the really bad way I've done before, but enough to make me both go and see my chiro and take to laying down on the bed to watch stuff on YouTube.

Before that though, I made possibly the best and worst tomato soup this week. The best because it was SO packed with flavour that it was ridiculous... I roasted the tomatoes for about three hours in the afternoon, before throwing them into the pot with some stock and some tomato puree. That may have been the problem... I may have overegged the pudding as they say. It was just too damn tomatoey... but it was still amazing. I was very conflicted. However what I did discover is that frying up some mince and then adding a serve of the soup made the best bolognese sauce I've ever made.

So a serve of the soup went into the freezer so that I can do that again later.

Anyway, Wednesday morning I got up, went on my walk, came home, washed the dishes from the night before, started making breakfast, put the laptop on... then realised I needed to charge my phone... so went into the bedroom, bent down to pick up the cord and PING! Like almost literally "ping"... if I'd been in a Warner Brothers cartoon you would legitimately have heard that sprung spring sound effect.

And then I was pretty much the walking wounded for the rest of the week.

I called my chiro, and couldn't get in to see her, but did get in to see the other half of the partnership the following day... which helped, but it's taking it's time.

And I'd intended to go into town to the markets and run some errands on Thursday, so that didn't happen.

I did manage to get myself to Tink's place on Thursday night for my haircut though. I considered cancelling, but it ended up being fine, both from getting myself there and making it through the process of the haircut to be honest. And nothing new to report there... it was a pretty by the numbers kind of haircut.

Friday I essentially gave in and doing a little housework in the morning, I spend the whole afternoon laying on the bed watching YouTube.

Saturday morning was... interesting. I'm basically walking slightly below regular people speed, which for anyone who knows how fast I actually walk is basically torture. But being able to push the trolley around the supermarket wasn't too bad. Getting the shopping out of the car and up the stairs to the apartment would have been better if people who park in front of my apartment building could park like somebody with a brain and not just leave giant gaps that are impossible to park in but also mean that you can't park behind them. Annoying.

I did think that the drive up to Ma's to take her her shopping and pick her up for the Cabaret Festival show we had in the afternoon might be problematic... but actually it was fine. I managed to get myself in the perfect position, and set the seat a little more upright than usual which seemed to help.

It's still a long(ish) drive though, so I was glad to get out of the car.

And, also for the record, Ma is definitely on the mend. Her doctor is very please with her progress, she can start taking the sling off when she's at home and she may be able to start driving again (at least for short trips) in a month. So, big yay there.

After I'd had a stretch, we headed back to my place, stopping off at Officeworks on the way to find Ma a stress ball to use on her bad arm, then detoured just before we got to my place for a quick visit to the Haighs factory. Because of course.

Then we came back here for a while before heading into town to find somewhere to park and running a couple of errands before the show.

It ended up being something of a walk... nothing that neither of us hasn't done before... but given that my top speed at the moment is drunk toddler and Ma hasn't really done anything or gone anywhere that required much walking in what, three weeks now... yeah, we were struggling a bit. Especially getting caught in the tide of bogans headed to the football... and trying to both make sure I was okay as well as trying to keep an eye on Ma... yeah, not a lot of fun, I'll be honest.

Fortunately we were able to go straight into the venue as soon as we got down there, so there wasn't a lot of standing around... because I did a LOT of standing yesterday. If I wasn't sitting in the car or the hour I was sitting in the show, I was standing and walking. Which was probably really good for me, but not really something I can sustain on a regular day. And by the time we were heading back to the car there was just a lot of random noises from both of us at various times.

After the show we headed down to Burger Theory for dinner which was nice and then I drove Ma home before heading back. When I got back I essentially gave up on being upright and spent the rest of the evening laying down.

This morning my back actually felt a lot better, but I'll be honest, sitting down writing this may not have been the best plan ever.

But I was already planning to go and see my chiro at some point in the upcoming week... so that's definitely going to be a thing now.

Current Mood:

photo saturday: the least exciting birthday weekend

mermaid's tailtwo years on

pink mountainstruck saviour
Okay, first things first...

Ma had her second operation on his shoulder at the very end of May, and is now back in a sling and on the mend.

The doctor called me after the operation, which was very sweet of him, to tell me everything went well, and Ma's physiotherapist seems to think that even this early on in the process (two weeks on Tuesday), her shoulder is about at the stage that they would expect it to be in two more weeks. So that's all pretty good news.

It does mean that we're back to square one with everything else though, but hopefully she'll be improving in leaps and bounds and will be back to her old self before we know it.

This is also why there wasn't a post last weekend... she was staying with her friends so that a) she had somebody with her and b) didn't have to deal with any stairs.

But that also meant that I didn't go up to her place last weekend since there wasn't a lot of point.

So, rolling back the clock slightly...

A couple of Sundays back now, I went to see a documentary on Armistead Maupin as part of the American Essentials Film Festival... and it was fantastic. Interestingly enough I may very well have been one of the youngest people in the room, but most of the crowd were gay gentlemen of a certain age. And because the Universe has a twisted sense of humour, while I didn't know anybody else in the room, I was sitting right next to one of the two guys from the gay men's art group I posed for a few weeks back. Because of course I was.

I will say that the documentary made the final three Tales books make a hell of a lot more sense (from the perspective of who the main characters were and why they were written at all after so long). I'm also really interested to read Maupin's biography that he's currently working on, which should be out later in the year.

Otherwise it's been a couple of weeks of not very much of anything. I had a chiro appointment at the end of last week, so I headed into the city, had my appointment and then had a bit of a wander around town... although it's always a little bit less exciting when you don't have money to spend on inconsequentials.

And then at the beginning of the week I got a message that The Nuthouse was going for drinks. I will admit I was a little noncommittal originally, but figured I had to go and do it at least once.

What I didn't realise until after I'd already decided was that I also had the first of the three Cabaret Festival shows scheduled for the same night... although luckily not until 10:30, so I was able to go to drinks, be last man standing as usual, get some dinner and then head off to the show.

Downside being that because I wasn't going to get out of the show until after midnight, I really didn't want to walk home and the buses don't run that late, so I drove in and only had a couple of drinks early in the evening.

It was actually nice to see the people who showed up... and I got a nice chat with a number of them. As sometimes happens, especially either around a long weekend (also, side note, I actually had no idea this was a long weekend until someone mentioned it on Friday... because why the hell would I even remember that?) or at less than a week's notice, it was a reduced crew, but it was all good.

Weirdly it feels both like quite a long time since I've seen them all, and also no time at all.

The last person (La Ninj) left sometime after 8... so I ordered some food, had dinner and then wandered down to the Riverbank. I still had an hour and a half to kill, so I end up having a wander along the river, taking some photos and listening to a podcast to fill in the time, which was quite nice.

And given that Briefs is a show I generally to a lot of cheering and whatnot at, and I also have a tendency to lose some of my voice at the pub, I was a little bit screwed... I think I made it though about the first half hour of the show before my voice gave up on my completely (or at least made it so that I couldn't cheer all that loud). I didn't lose it, but I've been more than a little husky today.

By the time I walked back to the car after the show and got home it was pushing 1am, so it's not really a big surprise that I had a bit of a slow start this morning.

And I clearly wasn't firing on all cylinders when I left the house, because I went out without my wallet. Fortunately I did have cash on me... so I bought my groceries with cash. It's not the first time I've done that, but previously I've had Ma to bail me out... I'm just glad I had the money with me.

ma's 70th birthday presents - beforema's 70th birthday presents - after (not particularly exciting tbd)

This week was also Ma's 70th birthday... but given that she only came out of the hospital the week before, there wasn't a hell of a lot we could really do to celebrate. I'm just thankful that we never got really organised and made any plans for this particular birthday.

The Pop! Vinyls seem actually even more appropriate right now to be honest, because these are what caused the whole bloody arm dilemma in the first place. Ma was heading over to the shopping centre to see if they had either of those figures in stock so she could put it on her list for her Secret Santa.

As soon as she told me that I filed it away in the back of my head, but I had to wait until Christmas before I could do anything about it because I had to wait to see what she actually got (turned out she got a completely different, but totally appropriate Pop)... but as soon as that happened I jumped online and ordered these two.

The perfume was just part of the stockpile I bought before Christmas... whenever we see her favourite perfume on special I like to stock up so that I can ration them out at Christmas and her birthday.

And it turned out that Me From Last Year had already bought a card... I don't know if I mentioned it at the time, but after I'd run around looking for cards for both Ma and Owlgirl's birthdays last year I decided to go and look in one last place and bought cards for both of them which where better than the cards I'd already bought... so I quite happily went with what I already had to hand.

Also, the slippers were because she asked for them... granted she asked for a couple of pairs which I got for her and she paid me back for, this was an extra pair I just threw in because why not.

Like I said, we didn't do very much of anything... I spend most of the afternoon with her, we watched a godawful movie on teevee (and amused ourselves by making fun of it, at least until it got really frustrating by the last third or so) and I did a bunch of stuff for her she couldn't really do for herself.

So it was quite literally the least exciting birthday weekend either of us have had in quite a while (if not ever).

It's also definitely something we'll have to make up for later.

Current Mood:

cabaret: briefs - close encounters

adelaide cabaret festival: briefs - close encounters
It's time to phone home, live long and prosper and let the force be with you... the boys from Briefs are going intergalactic...

This is the fourth time I've seen the boys (2016, 2015 and way back in 2010), and the first time they've appeared in the Adelaide Cabaret Festival. This is also a brand new show (I'm not sure if it's the one they brought to Fringe this year or not) and they definitely lean into the "close encounters" intergalactic theme, very successfully.

And there are some new faces this time around which definitely gave the show a new energy.

Returning as part drag dominatrix, part alien circus ringleader, part high fashion model is Fez Faanana aka Shivanah, once again letting his/her (I never quite know the correct pronoun to use for Fez... I'm going with she/her for the rest of the review though I think) fantastic energy get the crowd in the mood... Fez did seem oddly hyper in the opening night show, but I'm putting that down to first show nerves as she's always seemed quite laid back in the past, but seemed to be tripping over her words in the rush to say everything. Not that that's really a criticism, I just really wanted to tell her to take a breathe and slow down a little.

I always enjoy her "real talk" section at the beginning of the show... especially the giving thanks section, which is oddly grounding for such a small part of the show.

And I want to take a moment to shout out their costume designer, Dallas Dellaforce... he's done amazing work for the Briefs crew in the past, but this time he's really excelled himself... from each and every one of Fez's outfits (although hands down the best outfit was the green masked extravaganza)... to the incredibly, INCREDIBLY sexy stormtrooper lycra suits for Louis Biggs, Thomas Worrell and Dale Woodbridge-Brown (especially Thom's elastic harness version). And Louis's mad scientist outfit somehow managed to be incredibly sexy even while he was completely covered (more on that in a second).

I was also in love with Dale and his White Rabbit/March Hare ensemble... there was no Evil Hate Monkey this time around, but Bunny Dale filled out that role beautifully. Also, I really want to know how the hell he did his alarm clock routine... that was both insane and incredible... and I kind of wish it went on a bit longer.

One of the other highlights was, as previously mentioned, Louis's mad scientist combination juggling/strip tease routine... in part because he's doing actual chemical experiments on stage in the midst of everything else. It flies by entirely too fast to really take in what he's doing, but it's incredibly impressive. Also, the way that his outfit comes apart as he goes along... holy fuck. It's never been a secret that Louis is my favourite Briefs boy (and I won't lie... I really miss the naughty nerdy schoolboy/Rubix cube routine he's done in the past), but add in that outfit and the man is walking sex.

I was also fairly mesmerised by everything Thomas did... but the "caged bird" number with Fez (and the aforementioned green outfit) was breathtaking. But to then follow it up with his strategically placed stormtooper outfit number... suffice to say my socks were blown clean off. He's always been amazing, but there's just something about this new show that really lets him take it to another level.

It was also interesting to see that they've changed up the raffle prize with this new show (although I'm sad that I missed out on being able to maybe one day win the previous prize), and the new prize is actually a fantastic little number in and of itself. And given that there are now four possible prizes, I'm very interested to see what the other three entail.

I also oddly enjoyed the very strangle number that new boys Harry Clayton-Wright and Thomas Greenfield put together. They'd both done solo numbers earlier (if you can technically count Harry running around the stage and streaming hysterically a number), but there was something I liked about the number together. I will say that Greenfield has a performance style that's a little... intense. But it was an interesting (if decidedly weird) piece.

While it didn't necessarily feel as "polished" overall as the previous show did the last time I saw it, they did have a long time to really refine that down to that point, whereas this still feels a little new and there are a few rough corners that will disappear with time.

But overall it was an incredibly night out as well as being a brilliant addition to the Cabaret Festival lineup... and as usual I left completely hoarse from cheering and with sore arms and hands from all the applauding.

Current Mood:

movies: pirates of the caribbean - dead men tell no tales

pirates of the caribbean - dead men tell no tales aka salazar's revenge
Just when you think it's safe to go back to the Caribbean, here comes Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales... or as I like to think of it, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Next Generation.

And I'll dig into the why later, but even for this series, this movie seems lacking in both plot and character motivations. And maybe that's because the guy who wrote the screenplay also wrote the Indiana Jones Crystal Skulls movie... so do with that information what you will.

Series regulars Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Kevin McNally (as well as a few of the other background pirates) and even Orlando Bloom are back, although Bloom only shows up at the start and *I guess maybe it could be a spoiler, but it's kind of obvious* end of the movie.

The main reason I think of this as "The Next Generation" is that taking over Bloom's role in the story is the son of his Will Turner and Keira Knightley's Elizabeth Swan is the very pretty Brenton Thwaites (and the fact that he's actually 27 has blown my mind a little... he still looks like a teenager) as their son Henry. Although I did think more than once that there appears to be more of his asskicking mother in him the few times we see him in action.

And taking Swan's role is the lovely Kaya Scodelario (of Skins and Maze Runner fame), playing a very enlightened 18th Century woman (not to mention astronomer and horologist), Carina Smyth.

David Wenham fills in the Commodore Norrington role from the first movie... but without much real motivation beyond duty or maybe revenge... I mean Norrington was trying to rescue Swan initially and just got mixed up in all the rest of the plot... and Beckett from the sequels was looking for power. I'm not really sure what drives Wenham's Scarfield. In fact I couldn't even have told you his name, as I don't remember anybody actually saying it.

Also, I think I can now put Javier Bardem on the list of actors I just don't like... part of the problem here is that he just doesn't stand up when compared to the other villains in the franchise (he doesn't really seem to WANT anything... I mean he does, but it seems like reversing his curse isn't high on that list), the other is that between his very thick accent and the combination of whispering and shouting that he does throughout the movie, I'm pretty sure I only understood about half of his lines.

And the reason that he and his crew are undead/ghosts or whatever they are... it's never explained. In the first three movies, you know... Barbossa and his crew stole the cursed gold, Jones and his crew didn't do what they promised to do and were punished with fish parts. This time, there's some establishing backstory and then some moving red light, and that's it.

On the plus side, the visual effects in this movie, particularly on Bardem's Salazar and his crew is outstanding. They've taken the "replace all the actors in mo-cap suits with CG characters" thing from the second and third movie and ramped it up to about 100.

And the costumes and makeup are, as always with these movies, amazing. The level of weathering and detailing that they do on both faces and clothes always impresses me. Especially on a character like Rush's Barbossa... but also Wenham has a level of detailing on his face that's subtle but incredible.

The story/plot is where this one really falls on it's face. Most specifically in the character of Jack Sparrow.

In the previous movies Jack feels like an active character, he's got some plan up his sleeve even if you never know what it is until it happens, he's actively searching for something (to find the Black Pearl, to rid himself of Jones's curse, to find the Fountain of Youth), but here it really doesn't feel like there's a reason why he's along for the ride. Yes, Salazar is "hunting" him, but it feels like a bit of a hollow threat that doesn't really go anywhere (compared with what feels like the same story from Dead Man's Chest).

He's not the one who's looking. Henry is (he wants the McGuffin to remove the curse on his father), Carina is (she's looking for the McGuffin to connect with her lost father), but Jack not so much. And he doesn't have a plan... there's no cross, double cross, triple cross... no wheels within wheels within wheels that on the surface seem like pure fluke but by the end of the movie seem like he'd somehow planned it all along. There's no moment of him putting the clues together, no crazy like a fox moment.

And I think the movie suffers for it. Whether that had anything to do Depp and his behaviour during the making of this movie, I don't know, but this is not the Captain Jack Sparrow we know of old.

Also, the plot does feel a little like a shake and bake remix of the plots from the previous movies combined. Take one part Barbossa and his undead pirates, one part Davy Jones can't walk on land, but there's a McGuffin that must be found, mix liberally...

There's also a couple of points where the plot feels like it derails itself with minor details for fans of the series... they introduce a whole new personality trait for Jack, only to pay it off as something that relates to his past, but we've never seen him do it before... and there's a character who's very existence depends on the internal chronology of the movies that may just work depending on how well you do your maths. And the last section of the movie leaves you asking "well, what about that plot point you haven't mentioned yet, because if this is happening, that HAS to happen"... and it does, they just get there well after the rest of the audience.

It's also interesting that they've clearly set this movie up with the potential for more, given that the McGuffin (slight spoilers) wipes out "all the curses of the ocean"... so either that allows them to say "no more movies, we have no more curses" or "lots more movies, because all of these things that were held back by curses are now free".

I'll also admit that I was kind of disappointed with the action scenes in this movie... there's a initially ridiculous but overall fun sequence that starts the movie, but I'm kind of drawing a blank at anything else... yes there is the penultimate sequence which has a lot going on, but it doesn't feel like a proper action scene (like for example, having two ships locked together on opposite sides of a whirlpool while characters swing between them and fight in the middle of a rainstorm). I think part of that feels like it comes from the lack of real confrontation between the heroes and the villain... it just feels a little limp.

For fans of the series and fans of nitpicking, this article from The Verge is an interesting read.

yani's rating: 2 ghost sharks out of 5

photo saturday: orange and blue

mermaid bardorange rainbow healing party

orange album cover chickb. r. i... maybe
It's been a couple of weeks... last weekend Ma and I had decided that there really wasn't any point in me going down, there wasn't anything we needed to do, so I just did the shopping thing, came home and that was that.

We kind of made up for it today though... but more on that later.

The Sunday after my last Saturday post was when I was due to go and pose as an artists model for the gay men's art group... which I did. And I say "group", but once again there was only two artists... but weirdly I'm pretty certain that it was exactly the same date, which coincided with Mother's Day.

It was a lot of fun though. The guy who contacted me about coming in to pose was really sweet and was very enthusiastic about having me as a model (partly because I had ideas about posing that he liked... which isn't really surprising given my history with art directing models for when I used to photograph guys). He was also an amazing artist... and I love the three quick pastel sketches he did (especially the first one). I'm pretty sure the other guy was also there the last time as well, the style of the artwork is very similar.

The coordinator guy was interested in working with me again, both with the group and just with him. But last time I posed it took four years before they contacted me again, so we'll see what happens this time. The nudity part was again a non-issue, I basically stayed naked during the whole session and I didn't feel weird about it... which is interesting.

But I'm glad I went and did it again... it would just be nice to do it when there's more than a couple of artists though.... hehe.

Last week was also Haircut Night... and there's not much to report on that front. We did the same old, same old with my hair. The only thing of note from that night was that they're moving to Stirling up in the hills before the end of the year. Which is... problematic. I don't enjoy driving into the hills, so that'll be fun. They were originally going to build somewhere closer to the city, but her partner suddenly got a bee in his bonnet about just buying a place in the hills. Don't really know why. But that's what they're doing now. The only upside is that given where I am now and where they're living at the moment, it should take roughly the same length of time to get there as it does now.

Whether I keep doing it or I try and find a new hairdresser, I don't know... training a new hairdresser is always a pain, and it won't be anywhere near as cheap as it is now.

Change, man... I fucking hate it.

Nothing of any real interest happened this week... I need to get better with my daily walks... I still haven't managed to do a whole week. Also the questionable beard continues... I did give it a fairly severe trim after I came back from the modelling gig as it was just getting on my nerves, but yeah, it's still there.

Now, on to today.

I'm out of practice of really getting my shit together on a Saturday morning, since I don't really have to right now... so while I got to the supermarket slightly earlier than I have done recently, I still wasn't as early as "the old days".

But I did the shopping, came back here, did the usual thing and then headed off to Ma's place.

The plan was to go to the movies in the morning, then go to Princess T's daughter's (or Princess P) first birthday. Yeah, about as fun as it sounds.

So that was pretty much what happened.

The movie we'll talk about later... I will say that while I was a little annoyed that they screw up our order at the place we went for lunch, it did mean that we had a legitimate excuse for getting to the party fairly late, but it did mean we were there for cutting the cake.

Also, going to a first birthday party in the Northern suburbs where you only know the people you're related to and their associated partners... it's... well it's a thing that happened. It wasn't hideous, and it was nice to be there for Princess T and La Cousina. Although I don't know who made the cake, because while it looked pretty on the outside, on the inside it was essentially four doormats stacked on top of each other and covered with pink glitter icing.

Yeah, not good.

And that was pretty much it, we came, we saw, we ate bad cake, we left... I dropped Ma at her place and came home.

Ma goes into the hospital on Tuesday for her surgery to fix her shoulder... so if you could think good thoughts at some point during the day, that would be good.

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lego: the lego batman movie - the joker notorious lowrider

the lego batman movie - the joker notorious lowrider - awkward box and background framingthe lego batman movie - the joker notorious lowrider - pimp that ride mr j
The Joker's Notorious Lowrider set from The Lego Batman Movie has been sitting on the floor by my bookcase and vaguely mocking me since the middle of March (ie my birthday)... I've intended to put it together a couple of times, but ran out of day.

Turns out that yesterday may not have been the smartest option, as the weather turned dark and dreary and I ended up with some less than stellar photos (annoyingly, if I'd done it today it would have been much better).

It's was a fun build though, and the finished piece is pretty cool looking.

the lego batman movie - the joker notorious lowrider - one, two, three, gothe lego batman movie - the joker notorious lowrider - babs, harley and j
The set contains three bags of parts, with a minifigure per bag, a two volume instruction book and a small set of stickers. And there's a LOT of Joker purple in this set, unsurprisingly (which oddly enough also ends up being the same purple as Batgirl, they match each other fairly well to be honest).

Speaking of the minifigures... The Joker in his short sleeves and Harley in her rollergirl outfit are part of why I love this set so much. I will say that Harley's hair could drive me to distraction because of the ease with which it seems to be dislodged from her head. And the fact that the Joker's flag gun doesn't make a lot of sense since a) it's a megaphone, not a gun and b) they decided that the sticker should be orientated so the text isn't horizontal when it's in the correct position. I almost changed it, but decided against it at the last second... kind of wish I had changed it now as it looks a little stupid.

Also, there's nowhere to put the gun when Joker is in the car, and Harley won't sit in the passenger seat with her rollerskates on. It's the little things, I know, but they do make a difference.

the lego batman movie - the joker notorious lowrider - knolling the firstthe lego batman movie - the joker notorious lowrider - chassis time
The first bag is the understructure of the Lowrider, along with Batgirl. the majority of this part of the build is tones of grey with some Technic pieces under the vehicle that will hold the wheels and allow the car to "bounce" (more on that later).

It ended up being a little longer than I was expecting... or thinner... but the little details like the zebra print seat covers are a nice touch.

the lego batman movie - the joker notorious lowrider - knolling the secondthe lego batman movie - the joker notorious lowrider - so much purple
The second bag contains SO! MUCH! PURPLE! And also the Joker minifig.

I'll be honest, this section was the most fun, especially the front and back bumpers and the front grill section... but just the way that pieces are used in a slightly unusual way (ie the bumpers and grills are both SNOT (studs not on top) constructions).

There were also a few places that made no sense until the next bag... mostly the boot of the car.

Also, I think this is the worst shot of the bunch... mostly from the colour perspective.

the lego batman movie - the joker notorious lowrider - knolling the lastthe lego batman movie - the joker notorious lowrider - ready to hit the open road
The final bag was mostly finishing details, along with Ms Quinn.

I do like the golden chicken as the hood ornament detail, the very pimped out wheels (although that's twice now where I've had to turn the wheels from what looks like it should be the finished side). Also, as I mentioned before, the zebra seat covers are just perfect. As is the big clown horn and that fifth wheel on the lid of the trunk.

This is the second LBM set that had rubber bands to create the suspension of the vehicle. In this case it's designed in such a way that you can push down on any of the four corners of the car to activate that suspension independently. My only problem with that is that I don't know if the car is supposed to sit in the raised or lowered position as the default. I think it's supposed to be raised, as the smallest touch of the car makes it spring back to that position, but it's a little odd.

the lego batman movie - the joker notorious lowrider - trunk timethe lego batman movie - the joker notorious lowrider - miss quinn's pin pals
The rear of both the Lowrider and Harley's jacket.

Not seen on the Lowrider is the opening trunk with the two missile launchers controlled by what I though originally were speakers under the back window... what, there's a radio back there, and a bunch of single stud round tiles... and then as you can just see over the back of Joker's seat, the little blue button that launches the missiles.

I also love that everything on Harley alternates, and before I'd even looked at the instructions, I knew that the skates had to go on the opposing colour legs (also why I put her red baseball bat into her black clad arm).

the lego batman movie - the joker notorious lowrider - they don't give a damn 'bout their reputation
Once again, a final beauty shot... and I do love Harley on the hood of the car in this... I kind of did it by accident, but just loved the way it looked.

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photo saturday: wonderwalls 2017

wonderwalls 2017 - violet (detail), amanda lynnwonderwalls 2017 - blue woman, zedr_one
I was supposed to do stuff this week... but nothing really happened.

I do fully acknowledge that my problem is one of (and I swear there's a word that describes it, but everything I keep thinking of terms out to mean something else entirely) my default state being to continue in the current direction... when I'm working, I keep doing that, when I'm not working, I find ways to fill my days and keep doing that as well. In essence it's a lack of motivation but I feel like there's a fancier sciencey term for it.

Anyway, that's my main issue just generally in life really.

On a somewhat related note, the beard continues... it's still a fairly shitty beard, but it'll do for now.

wonderwalls 2017 - sushifish (detail), fuzeillear aka claire matthewswonderwalls 2017 - secrets of the deep (detail), j2ske
As may be obvious to anyone who follows me on Instagram, the photos in this post are from the 2017 Port Adelaide Wonderwalls street art exhibition that was on from 21-23 April this year... also known as The Weekend After I Became Unemployed... so the combination of that and the whole deal with Ma's shoulder means that we skipped it this year.

But I still wanted to go down and take photos of everything, so I headed down there on Tuesday morning, parked the car and wandered from one end of Port Adelaide to the other with the aid of the Wonderwalls map/program.

Given the quality of said map, I didn't manage to find everything, but I found a lot of pieces... none of them were quite as enormous and impressive as a couple of the really big pieces from last time, but it's nice to see that post of those old pieces are still around.

I spent a couple of hours wandering around, took a lot of decent photos and had some lunch at a so-so bakery, then headed home. It was nice to be out and about, and it was nice to be actually taking photos and seeing stuff.

wonderwalls 2017 - blocks, sgtheartistwonderwalls 2017 - octoborough (detail), masika 126 aka craig masika
The rest of the week was a little bit of nothing much really.

Oh... I made a pretty decent pea and bacon soup this week, if I remember next time I may get some ham steaks to use as the "in soup meat"... the fried bacon that I added back in after everything was blended was good, but a little tough at time.

This week I'm going with a potato and leek soup... possibly with a bunch of parmesan cheese mixed in.

I also used some leftover taco meat on a pizza this week... it wasn't bad, but I only ate half of what I'd made and didn't bother keeping the other half as I'm pretty sure it wouldn't have reheated particularly well. Had there been less of the meat and maybe more other stuff it may have been better, but it was essentially just meat and cheese, so it was a bit much.

wonderwalls 2017 - very 80's detail, jake holmes and joshua searsonwonderwalls 2017 - knight in shining armor (detail), telmo miel
Today was essentially a cookie cutter version of most of the recent weeks.

I got up and kept to my own timetable this morning (as in I aim for a time and miss it, sometimes by a little, sometimes by a country mile)... did the usual shopping thing, actually seemed to have bought a lot of stuff, but I don't really know how or why, as it all seemed to just disappear when I got back here and unpacked everything.

Then it was off up the road to Ma's place, podcast wedged firmly in one ear. And we did the same thing as usual, heading off to the shopping centre to wander around and pick up a few bits and pieces.

The main thing we were looking for was a present for Baby P's (Princess T's daughter) birthday present. And because we like the classics, we went with a pewter money box, hippo shaped and quite cute looking.

wonderwalls 2017 - sam brooks in the style of john william godwardwonderwalls 2017 - skull, trvisualarts aka thomas readett
I don't seem to have ever blogged about it, but way back in 2013 I arranged with a local gay men's art group to go and pose for them as an artist's model... you know, all naked and whatnot.

It was something I kind of wanted to do before I turned 40 the following year, it was a pleasant afternoon spent laying around naked while people drew me. Granted only a couple of them, it was one of those "whoever turns up turns up" groups, and a little like this weekend, it was also Mother's Day, so possibly that kept the numbers down.

And last Saturday night the guy in charge of the group messaged me to see if I was perhaps available for this Sunday... I'm guessing they must have had a cancellation and he was trolling through his phone looking for any other potentials... and he found me and I said yes.

I mean it's not like I had any major plans for tomorrow afternoon... and really, why the fuck not.

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