two thousand and seventeen in review

two thousand and seventeen in review
Here we are, at the end of 2017... it just feels weird, you know... more than any other recent year, 2017 seems to have flown by at tremendous speed... I mean there are perfectly good reasons for that, not least of which is that it's been a singularly weird year.

By all metrics 2017 should be worse than 2016, but I honestly don't feel like it has been for me.

Like last year I wanted to go through and put together a brief history of my year, along with a list of some of my favourite things from this year.

So, let's fire up the WABAC Machine and take a look, shall we...

January: Ma's shoulder was still messed up after her fall. I replied to a 22 year old letter from myself.

February: Good Game came to an end after 10 years. On reflection, it's still a dumb decision. My job at The Nut House finally got advertised. The modem I've had for several years passed away quietly in the night. Fringe started.

March: Fringe continued, culminating in 22 Fringe shows and 2 Festival shows. I turned 43. We found out that Ma's shoulder operation from last year was a flop and would require another try. I had an interview for the job.

April: I didn't get the job. I left work a week later.

May: I started growing a beard, at first through laziness, but then on purpose. I got new glasses, which look exactly the same as the old glasses. I checked out the Wonderwalls artwork at Port Adelaide. I posed nude for a group of artists. Ma had her second shoulder operation.

June: Ma's 70th birthday. We went to 3 Cabaret Festival shows. I threw my back out slightly, again.

July: I went to play Dungeons and Dragons for the first time. Ma started driving again.

August: I had iPhone drama. I went to see the folks from My Dad Wrote a Porno live.

September: Ma drove to my place for the first time in ten months. We saw yet another version of Macbeth. I played DnD at a convention, my character died. The modem I replaced in February died.

October: Nothing much of interest happened, although we did go to more theatre.

November: I DM'd my first game of DnD. We went to Fork on the Road for the first time since July last year.

December: The usual Christmas insanity happened... putting up the tree, making goodies, having Christmas at Ma's place. I played DnD at one of the DM's houses, as well as a charity game.

See, it should have been a shit year, I lost my job and spent over half the year unemployed. But Ma is definitely on the mend, and DnD became something major in my life (more on that in a sec).

Like last year, I didn't get laid a lot (am I surprised, no, not really), but unlike last year there were relatively few "major" health things that sprang up, beyond the occasional issue with my back and the recurring ear problems.

I also wore my glasses a whole lot less this year, not because my eyes got any better, in fact my prescription got stronger, but it now means I can't view things close up while wearing them as well (as opposed to far away, which is what they're for), and most everything I do is close up stuff.

I also feel like I didn't gain much weight this year, due in part to being out of the house three times a week, and not eating quite as much generally.

I've also been generally a lot calmer, part of which I attribute to the lack of work stresses.

Moving on to things I really liked this year...

yani's favourite things 2017

In no particular order...

Dungeons and Dragons

It should be pretty fucking obvious given the number of times I've mentioned it in the above rundown, but DnD became pretty important to me this year. It's something I've wanted to do since at least 2003. But I never had anyone to do it with.

That all changed when I discovered Adventurer's League, I've now played 68 games and DM'd 14 more. It also makes me leave the house three times a week and talk to actual real live people face to face and everything.

Acquisitions Incorporated: The C Team

Closely linked to the previous thing, The C Team is an offshoot of the long-running Acquisitions Incorporated DnD podcast/live show which premiered two days after my birthday (or 16 March) and has become a weekly ritual.

AI has always been yet another reason why DnD seemed like an amazing thing to do, but the main game episodes were always few and far between. Being a weekly show though, C Team really stoked that fire in a big bad way.

It also contains some of the best roleplaying I've seen, and has attracted some of the most amazing fan artists. Hell, I even broke an incredibly long creative writing drought to write some NSFW fan fiction.

One of the characters on the show is a grandmotherly monk, Rosie Beestinger, who canonically has a lot of biological and adopted children, and her player, Kate Welch gave the community free reign to come up with their own Beestinger children/grandchildren/etc.

The combination of this and me not working and finding a local AL group really got me through the door to play DnD.

To quote myself from the last C Team AMA on Reddit:
And a very big and specific thank you to Kate... Rosie's great grandson, Belben Beestinger (of the Silverymoon Beestingers, the ones with the bakery), is now a L8 Arcane Trickster Rogue with entirely too many magic items. I've met more people I now consider friends in the last six months than I had in the last ten years, and it was your generosity in allowing us to play Beestingers that finally got me so excited about playing that I got off my butt, out the door and into a game. I've also DM'd a bunch of games and love doing it. AI and the C Team got me almost all the way there, but playing a Beestinger was that last push I needed. Stay awesome.

Firewatch was an indy game I'd had my eye on for a while, although I don't remember when or where I first saw it... it may have popped up in either YouTube "Let's Play" videos or a list of the top games of 2016, but I didn't get around to playing it until 2017.

It's amazing. And I love it. It also has one of the most interesting ways into a game I think I've ever come across.

I'm also very excited about the game they announced recently, In The Valley Of Gods, although that won't be out until 2019.

Uncharted 4

I never got around to writing anything up for it, but I also played Uncharted 4 this year. In many ways it feels like a game that nestles neatly into the Assassin's Creed universe, even though it's from a completely different developer.

And yes, there were probably a ton of references that I missed given that this is the first Uncharted game I've ever played, but none of it got in the way of me really enjoying myself or the absolutely stunning visuals.


We're still not up to the "every other week" model of movies, but I did see 14 movies actually at the cinema this year (as opposed to last year's 10). Still not enough for it's own post anymore I don't think, but there were definitely some standouts.

In no particular order, Hidden Figures, Moana and Thor: Ragnarok (although if you wanted to push me, I'd probably rank them in that order).

They're all very different, but what they have in common is a great story and memorable characters.

So that's that... 2017, done, dusted and in the bag.

All I really want for 2018 is "good changes"... I have no idea what that looks like on the ground, but I just want things in general to be better this time next year.

And as always, tonight just before 5:30pm marks my Twitter anniversary, this one being my 8th.

Current Mood:

photo saturday: pre-new-years colours

ferris wheelcoloured flags

beach sailscoloured boxes
Well, that's going to wrap up the last week of the year in a fairly unexciting way...

Also, how the hell did we get here so quickly... it seems like only yesterday we were saying hello to 2017. And now it's gone.

But that's not what this post is about... that's for it's own post tomorrow. Which I still have to write.

The week between Christmas and New Year felt even less like an actual week this year for some reason. Partly because Christmas Day was on a Monday, but then nothing really happened on Tuesday (I think I put the Lego Dimensions packs together) and I decided to stay home from DnD on Wednesday (for the first time since I started... it was too damn hot and I just couldn't be bothered) and play video games.

That essentially turned into me attempting to get things to actually download for Lego Dimensions, which needed not only a huge update itself, but also individual updates to a bunch of the previous downloads for various worlds. All in all a giant headfuck, and it took up a large section of the day. And on top of that, I played through The Goonies levels only to have the game crash right at the end, so that's less fun. I retried it, it crashed in the same place, so I let it be for now. If it happens again, I'll send some sort of message to somebody in an official capacity and see what happens.

I did go to DnD on Thursday night though, even though half of the usual Thursday crew weren't there, and I didn't even get to play with or run for the ones that were. But I still had a decent time running for other people, well, three fifths of the people anyway.

Then Friday I did my walk, came home, got the house in order, did the dishes and settled in to start Assassin's Creed Origins. Guess what I did for the entire afternoon... and evening.

First impressions, combat system isn't anywhere near as good as Syndicate, although I do like that the long/reach weapons from Unity have returned, since those were very much my jam in that game. It doesn't properly feel like an AC game yet though. Well, a bit, but not fully because he's not actually an assassin yet.

And I had been playing the game for at least five or six hours before I even saw the title screen... I know the previous games have definitely stretched that stuff out, but this is a little on the ridiculous side.

But that's also a discussion for another day.

Today was the first Saturday in a while that actually felt like a usual Saturday... which Ma and I actually doing the shopping thing together and without any other foolishness going on.

And because both of us still have a fridge full of food (well more me, because my fridge is tiny and overstuffed), there wasn't a whole ton of shopping... I mean it didn't feel like it, but it kinda felt that way when everything was packed up... but I think we just bought a few larger items.

Then it was back here for the ritual unpacking.

After that we headed out to see if anything in the shops fell within the Venn diagram of "things we like", "things we didn't have" and "things that are on sale at the right price". To that end we went to both Big W and Target and indeed, found things within that intersection. Nothing stunningly exciting to be honest, and mostly DVDs.

Then we took a big of a detour around to North Adelaide to go to the Perryman's Bakery. Because I haven't been in quite a long time and why not.

To be honest all it really did was make me miss North Adelaide yet again. But we did get stuff at the bakery, so it was worth the trip.

And that's a wrap on this year, essentially.

Current Mood:

post christmas round-up 2017

christmas tree with presents 2017
What is it that I usually say at this point? "Well, that's it over for another year"? Or some variation.

Well, consider it said.

After my traditional Christmas Eve pizza and the annual viewing of Arthur Christmas last night, I was in bed relatively early all things considered, which may explain why the hell I woke up at about quarter to six in the morning.

Fortunately it was early enough to send a message to Owlgirl before her flight left... because they decided that leaving on Christmas morning was the best idea. I mean, maybe it is, who knows.

Anyway, I played around on my phone for a bit, got a message back, and finally started getting ready a little after 7am.

I packed up the car (a relatively simple affair this time around) and headed off to Ma's place around 7:30.

When I got there she was deep into making ham hearts, as she'd not been feeling the best the couple of days previous. Which was fine... it's not like we had anything specific to actually do during the morning (beyond, you know, the Christmas experience). So we made a bunch of them (okay, Ma made them, I mostly got the table ready for breakfast and moved the ham hearts in and out of the oven).

And then Ma went and got ready while I made the ham and cheese croissants for breakfast. And got my very icy Iced Coffee out of the freezer. Have I mentioned that I'm kind of obsessed with chilling Iced Coffee to the point it starts to get little frozen bits in it? It's so damn good.

Anyway... we had breakfast, and because La Cousina was coming to us after lunch for a change we didn't have to rush out the door to their place, which was very pleasant. It also gave us time to just chill out, and it also meant that we had the barbeque ready to go earlier than we have done on previous years, which meant we weren't sitting down to eat at like 2pm.

So that meant it was time for presents...

my christmas presents 2017
As always, the problem with essentially picking out all of your own presents is that you've picked out all of your own presents and are therefore not usually surprised by anything. The good thing about picking out your own presents is that you get exactly what you want and don't have to pretend to like crappy stuff (like when I open whatever piece of random crap La Cousina has bought me... which sounds harsh, but c'mon).

Some of this is stuff I would have bought for myself in other years... and wouldn't necessarily have ended up as Christmas presents... but it's all good.
  • Xanathar's Guide to Everything book
  • Letters for Lucardo graphic novel
  • Perryman's gingerbread men
  • Lego Dimensions
    • Goonies Level Pack
    • Teen Titans Go Team Pack
    • Teen Titans Go Fun Pack
    • Powerpuff Girls Team Pack
    • Powerpuff Girls Fun Pack
  • Assassin's Creed Origins PS4 game
  • DVDs
  • Typo Disney 2018 calendar
  • Hallmark Keepsake "Tink Takes A Look" ornament
  • The Gourmet Entertainer - Fennel Marsala Jam and Lemon Myrtle Sticky Vinegar
Ma quite liked her calendar... but then she always does.

To be honest, the unwrapping of presents didn't take terribly long (does it really ever?), and I thumbed through the Xanathar book when we done, while Ma showed me some of the other stuff she'd been given. Then we got the turkey and sausage meat into the barbeque and prepped everything else for lunch.

With one thing and another it really didn't take very long, and I quite literally threw together a salad dressing from some English mustard, cranberry sauce, olive oil and two different kinds of balsamic vinegar. And it was fantastic.

christmas table with salad 2017christmas dessert 2017
Once everything was prepped, it was a relatively easy task to dump everything into the salad bowl and slather over the salad dressing.

Also, the thing I really like about the turkey we've been getting for the past few years is that it's beautifully moist. That's usually the problem with turkey, it dries out really quickly, but this is fantastic. We also had two different kinds of sausage meat this year... the regular kind and also pork sausage meat (to be honest I'm not sure what the difference actually is, apart from the colour, but I'm guessing the pork one is all pork, whereas the regular one has different kinds of meat in it).

I'll also say that this best thing about having a warm Christmas salad is that it's nice and light and even if you eat a couple of (admittedly small) bowls, you don't feel overstuffed in the same way that traditional Christmas dinner usually makes you feel.

Having said that, we didn't have any dessert (which was awesome, see the above photo) until after 4:30pm.

I feel like I've complained about this before, but is there a reason that the TV stations don't just show back-to-back Christmas movies all day Christmas Day? I mean even if you've played them already in the lead up to Christmas, just devote at least one channel to showing decent Christmas movies. And, yeah, people probably aren't supposed to be watching TV, but it'd be nice as something just playing in the background. Having said that, SBS did play both Howl's Moving Castle and Spirited Away in the afternoon, although neither of them are actually Christmas movies.

We waited around until La Cousina and Princess T (and offspring Princess P) turned up just before 3pm. Little Miss P has entered the grabby stage and within about a minute of them turning up, she'd grabbed and smashed one of the glass baubles from the tree. So that's a thing that happened. Fortunately she didn't get hurt because it was more of a grab and toss, but it really happened faster than anybody was able to react to.

Have I mentioned I prefer children when they're in the very small, chubby, cuddly non-autonomous stage?

I did end up running interference between her and all the non-toddler-safe things in Ma's house for most of the visit. Which was fine, it meant that I could avoid having to comment on the lackluster gifts I got. I really need to come up with a nice way of saying "you know what, either just throw cash at me or just don't even bother with a present anymore". And I know that sounds ungrateful, but neither of the things she got me are things that I have any actual use for, so wouldn't it be better to just not.

Also, that feeling when you refer to your cousin, who is only three months older than you as "grandma" in an actual, "you have a grandchild" way, and you just feel very old.

We also had a conversation about Miss Oh, because there's drama there, which is the least expected thing ever. Princess T, drama, yes. But not Miss Oh... whether it's because she never seemed to actually speak up for herself and she's just bottled a bunch of stuff up, but, yeah, family drama.

Eventually we packed them off with their presents and settled in to watch Spirited Away... or at least I did until we reached that point where the wheels fall off the plot and I'm not really all that interested any more (and for the record, it's right after the No Face frogmonster sequence).

But once it was done we packed up some of the leftovers and I drove myself back home around 8pm. And after unpacking the car, then cramming all the leftovers into my already full fridge, I settled down and just dicked around on the laptop for a while, half watching Flash Gordon.

Well, that's it over for another year... oh, wait, that's where we came in isn't it.

Hope you all had a great Christmas as we all slide together towards the abyss that is New Years...

Current Mood:

ma's presents 2017

We've reached that point... the space between the last time Ma will be here and Christmas Day... also known as the ritual of the present wrapping. And by wrapping, I mean folding things into tissue paper and slapping the same ribbon I've been using since 2010 on it. What, it's environmentally conscious... or something.

I can always tell from either Ma's birthday or Christmas present photos what my employment situation was at the time... and it's clearly this isn't exactly a banner year. I will say that it's not like there were things I would have bought and couldn't... but I also didn't do a lot of looking, which I would have done previously. This is also the first year since 2007 where I didn't get her a pack of nougat. But I 100% forgot until this morning, and nowhere at the Village seems to carry it.

Chalk up another victim to my general vagueness about Christmas this year.

Anyway... it's a short list...
  • Harajuku Lovers Lil Angel perfume
  • Harajuku Lovers Love perfume
  • DVDs
  • Wonderwalls 2018 calendar (and iPhone wallpapers)
So... yeah...

Current Mood:

movies: star wars: the last jedi

star wars: the last jedi
Star Wars: The Last Jedi... Episode 8...

The short version of the review... Did I enjoy it? Hell yes. There is also a 'but' in there.

The longer version is going to involve spoilers... because there's absolutely no way I can talk about the points that I thought were important without them. I know I usually try and avoid them as much as possible, and I may try and do what I can, but you have been warned.

Let's start with the less spoilery things first up... the movie, for the most part, looks beautiful. Once again I have to compliment the art direction and wardrobe departments, as well as all the CG that did look good. But special note goes to the design of Snoke's "throne room", which absolutely put me in mind of a 1950's musical (American in Paris is the one that sprung to mind), with the blood red backdrop.

However there were some inexcusable instances of incredibly shitty CGI that bugged the hell out of me. I think most of them take place on the island with Luke and Rey, around the mountain peak... not sure what was going on there. And yes, I could have done without some of the CG inhabitants of the island.

Also, for the record, I have no opinions about Porgs. I don't know what I was expecting, but they were just... there. They do look delicious though.

The story felt... less derivative this time. Not to say that it didn't steal massive story moments from the original trilogy (the escape from a base at the start, the look of the base at the end, going to a remote location to train with a Jedi Master, the "Dark Side" cave), there is also direct lifts of dialogue on a least a couple of occasions, but my opinion here is much the same as my opinion of The Force Awakens... they remixed and rearranged things enough that although there were "copy/paste" sections of Empire and Jedi in this movie, that doesn't bug me.

What does bug me is that Po Dameron is an asshole and Finn is a moron.

Yes, I know, I can hear the nerd brigade warming up their laser pitchforks as I say that. But Po (and Finn (accomplish nothing in this movie other than getting people killed. What the hell else of worth do they actually do? I'll even give you the opening battle sequence, which is amazing and kick-ass, but Po's arrogance that if he's not in on the plan then there is no plan... or that he knows better than the people in charge and Finn's stupidity in not going and finding the person they were supposed to find and instead picking up the first random guy they run into do nothing productive in this movie. Their entire storyline is pointless, they contribute nothing to the overall story or final battle other than getting good people killed.

I never understood why people got their panties in a bunch over Dameron/Isaacs in the first movie anyway, but by the end of this one he needs to be court-marshalled and stripped of his rank. Likewise, Finn needs a slap.

Take them and newcomer  as Rose Tico out and then tell me how the end of the movie is any different. No, more specifically, tell me that the story doesn't end in a better place without the three of them and their collection of fuck-ups.

Do you want to know who are total and complete bosses in this movie?  and .

I did wonder if they beefed up Dern's role to take over some of the scenes that Carrie should have been in but couldn't be because of her death (obviously). But I hope not and that she was written exactly as she ended up, because her character, Vice Admiral Holdo is amazing. From the wardrobe to the purple hair to everything that Dern does in that role... she's amazing. It's not a massive role, but Dern really puts some gravity behind it.

I was also incredibly surprised that they didn't kill Princess/General Leia Organa on screen. In fact, they managed to have their cake and eat it too... and the scene where you assume she's dead and how she comes back is without a doubt a fistpump moment. But now they need to find a way to either kill her off offscreen, or mostly leave her off-screen for the final movie. I think I heard something where they said they were going to use unused footage from this movie, but that feels kind of like cheating. Yes, you would have lost a great moment at the end of the movie, but somehow it didn't feel right that that door is still open.

We'll just have to wait and see what happens.

As with the first movie (and by which I mean VII), this one comes down to Daisy Ridley as Rey and Adam Driver as Kylo Ren... and to a lesser degree to  as Luke.

Once again Ridley and Driver were the whole movie for me. And the fact that the characters are both equal parts of the Light Side and the Dark Side of the Force is a brilliant choice. Not to mention the connection they share and the way it's used in the movie... fantastic.

The pair of them also act the living crap out of their scenes together. Ridley remains tough and confused, Driver is volatile but still provokes empathy. And not just because I think Driver is a beautiful man (and that was even before they had him take his shirt off for seemingly no real reason).

I also love that they responded to the last two years worth of "who are Rey's parents?" with the only logical and sensible answer... of course she's not a Solo, of course she's not a Skywalker, of course she's not a Kenobi.

Ridley is also amazing in her scenes with Hamill. The scenes themselves are an odd mix... definitely a call-back to Luke on Dagobah with Yoda, but they're enough of their own thing as well (to be honest Rey's whole arc in this movie is a combination of Luke's arcs from Empire and Return of the Jedi). 

I also really loved that Hamill was none of the things we expected him to be after the end of the last movie... he's crotchety and sullen and unhelpful, but it all makes sense for the character, and he managed to pull it off incredibly well.

Even with all that nitpicking, I did thoroughly enjoy the movie though. And I'd even go so far as to say that it was better than the last one.

yani's rating: 4 broken lightsabres out of 5

photo saturday: he knows if you've been bad or good

he sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake
This is me, reminding myself that Christmas is in fact in two days.

Basically I've completely vagued out through the entire month of December and don't feel Christmasy in the least (as I think I've mentioned... more than once). I've done all the appropriate things, tree, chocolate things, presents, and yet... nothing. Big, fat world of m'eh.

So much so that it was only when I was on my way to the supermarket this morning that I realised that I needed to buy croissants for Christmas morning. Because it's in two days.

But, scrolling back a bit...

Last Sunday was the D&D epic... and while it was a lot different than the last one, it was still a good time. We saved the most children (an addition to the actual epic, which tied into the charity nature of the event), at least in part because my character and two other characters were not about to leave any behind. So even though the day was entirely too hot and our table was entirely too full and finding a park was entirely too hard, a good time was had by all.

And we raised over $2000 collectively, which is nice.

Other than the epic, I ended up being the DM for all three games this week. I would have liked to play... but there were less people than usual at all the games, so I just ended up taking charge. Because that's what I do. For some reason. Fucked if I know why.

I also took some of the Christmas chocolates in on both Wednesday and Thursday. I spun a story about one of my characters and his family traditions on Wednesday, but I was running a "festive" adventure on Thursday and made them part of the story. Everybody was suitably impressed and whatnot, which is the main thing.

The only bummer was that the Thursday Boys weren't there, so they missed out. But it's all good, I'll catch them in the new year most likely.

I also caught up with OwlGirl on Wednesday after DnD, to give her the very much nothing present I got her and to see her before she heads off on her America trip on Christmas Day.

Otherwise this week was... not much of anything really. I spent too much of it attempting to get the house tidied up, only for it to all fall apart again about five minutes later. Not completely true, but it felt true at various points.

Today was Ma's pre-Christmas haircut/colour, so I was on my own shopping for the aforementioned croissants and other things we needed for Christmas Day.

While I get the reasons why, the fact that people who manage to shop in a perfectly calm and straightforward (at least I'm hoping so, or maybe it's just because they usually do it far away from me) manner the other 51 weeks of the year always lose their damn minds on the last shopping Saturday before Christmas. Yes, you need to get a bunch of bullshit nobody really cares about but it's traditional, so you get it anyway... and you've been doing a bunch of other shopping for meaningless bullshit... but don't be an asshole in the supermarket. And certainly don't go through the rather meagre supplies of greenbeans for what feels like an hour and a half, picking up individual fucking beans, or I'm going to snot you one. Even if you are about 70.

But I got everything we needed... and some other stuff, because, of course I did.

And I got home and unpacked and managed to watch some stuff on YouTube before Ma and her overly pink hair showed up. The colour was great, don't get me wrong, but her hairdresser really can't apply colour properly (I know I've said this before)... so it was a bit all over the place.

We faffed about for a little bit and then went into the city to the movies... because we're both too damn smart to want to do anything involving retail shopping two fucking days before Christmas.

Then, like perfectly sensible people, we came back here and Ma went on her merry way home.

So, merry whatevers...

Current Mood:

photo saturday: things with wings

sky ponybutterfly girl

flutterladymetal angel
I'm full of chocolate, slightly confused about what day of the week it actually is, feeling especially unfestive, and came home today to discover that the worst fucking possible choice of new neighbours has moved in to the vacant apartment a couple of doors down from me. Well done, (not my) fucking useless land agent... it took you forever, there were a ton of people up and down to see it and then you choose these idiots.

Just a quick note, I may be a little cranky right now. Let's chalk it up to the sugar crash, shall we. Yeah, let's go with that.

Starting at the top of things...

I bought and picked up the Fringe tickets this week... I also managed to win some pins (because EVERYONE is doing pins right now... EV-ERY-ONE) from the Fringe by recalling my favourite Fringe memory. The one that jumped to mind immediately was from La Soiree back in 2012, when Le Gateau Chocolat snogged me in the middle of a number and the crowd went "oooooooh".
And it got me some free stuff, so I'm definitely not complaining.

I also killed my first player character as a DM in DnD this week. Thankfully given the player (and to a less degree the character) I didn't feel particularly guilty about it. And I'm not even that much of an evil DM, I'm probably a little too far the other way... but there was an opportunity, and I took it.

Otherwise DnD was pretty good this week. The lack of a good Thursday DM is going to bug me eventually, but it'll do for now. I can also see myself ending up doing a lot of DMing on Mondays, firstly because nobody ever makes their mind up about what's going on, secondly because there's a fun little group of guys that I've run for a couple of times now. But we'll see what happens.

I detoured after DnD on Thursday to check out the Christmas lights/tree in Victoria Square... very pretty, although there really could have been more going on in the Square, lightwise specifically. But the tree is very pretty.

Then Friday I had a chiro appointment (and saw this on the bus... he's my hero), and there was also a Fork in the Road... specifically Forkmas. And given that my very first Fork was a Forkmas, I was glad I was able to swing past. Swing past and eat ALL THE THINGS.

I also got to see the lovely brownie lady who I haven't seen in forever and got a few brownies... but I was too full of food yesterday and too full of chocolate today to really want them. Dammit.

Friday was also technically Saturday, because I went shopping, on my own. And then today I did stuff that we would usually do on a Sunday, so I'm all a little everywhere when it comes to the day of the week.

I also probably bought too much random crap because Christmas.

So today, which should be Sunday, but is actually Saturday, I headed down to Ma's first thing so that we could make Christmas goodies. It still would have been Sunday, but I have a DnD thing on tomorrow, so...

Somehow, even though we only made a small number of things, it still took us the whole damn day. We didn't exactly go at it at a million miles an hour to be honest tho.

I maybe went a wee bit overboard when it came to the Rocky Road... I made the same amount that I made last year, but we didn't make anything else last year, so it was kind of a metric fuckton. I also managed to find some mint flavoured Turkish Delight this year, so that made it more interesting. It's a bit of a fresh finish, which is nice.

And because I didn't have to make a bunch of stuff for people I used to work with, we got to make only the stuff we really wanted to make. We also learned a valuable lesson... the Cadbury chocolate melts are, for the purposes we need them for, absolutely useless. They don't set hard... it's so weird, but they seem to stay soft no matter what.

Granted, if it wasn't for the fact that Ma bought chocolate chips instead of chocolate melts I wouldn't have had to do a dash to the local shops to grab some more dark melts.... but she did, and I did and all they had was Cadbury. And that turned out to be less good.

I mean everything actually worked, and maybe they will just take longer to set up fully, but at the point where the other ones are usually rock solid and snap in a really nice way, this one is all a bit limp. And yes, we're still talking about chocolate.

I'm glad we weren't doing a ton of different things though, because I really couldn't find my groove with coating things in chocolate... but I'm not sure now if that was me or the chocolate to be honest. Mostly me I think.

Also, as I said at the top of the post, it's a week until Christmas and I could not feel less festive if I tried. I'm not sure exactly why... maybe because with a few exceptions I haven't done much that feels remotely festive this month. Maybe also because I haven't been hanging out with relentlessly festive people. I dunno... I'm sure it's not really something I'm going to dig too deep into... and it's also not the first time I've felt like this.

But we're nearly there, and then it's all over for another year anyway.

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my adelaide fringe picks 2018

my adelaide fringe picks 2018
Guess what time it is!

Okay, obviously you don't have to guess... and if you've been here a while you know that the beginning of December marks my annual Adelaide Fringe Festival post.

The online version of the guide dropped last Friday and I spent a good chunk of the day going through it all.

I will say that one of two things (or a combination of the two) happened while I was going through everything... obviously this year I'm on a more restricted budget, and that may have factored into whether or not I put things on the first cut shortlist, but I honestly think that there just weren't as many things I was especially interested in this time around. The first cut list was only 27 shows, which isn't really a lot when you compare it to the 41 shows from last year.

There was also a major dearth of Shakespeare related shows. I think last year was definitely an aberration with the number of shows, but I struggled to really find much this time.

And there are only five shows this year that I'm going to all on my ownsome.

There are some familiar faces and names on the list once again... Kaput, A Night at the Musicals, Raw Shakespeare, Dirk Darrow, Gravity and Other Myths, Sound and Fury and the boys from Elixr. But some of them are bringing new shows or shows I haven't seen before, or I just haven't seen them in a while and I wondered how the show had changed.

There are definitely some wild cards in the pack though, including one I was pretty sure I'd dropped off the list at some point, but really didn't remember that that was the case until after I'd bought the ticket... so we'll see how that goes. But as the second rule of my 7 Steps For Getting The Most Out Of The Fringe says: Take a chance of something new.

The full list of shows for this year is:
  • Kaput: Slapstick and silent clowning at its finest: Tom Flanagan amazes, delights and leaves audiences in stitches as he pays homage to the greats Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton in this one-man acrobatic comedy for all ages.
  • Flesh and Bone: It explodes on to the stage as if Shakespeare was alive and well and living in a tower block in East London. Feast your eyes upon the depravity, triumphs and utter hilarity of the underprivileged in a vivid and fast-paced ride through a working class estate which fuses Shakespeare-inspired lyricism with cockney accents.
  • The Bridge: A post-apocalyptic tale in which an anonymous man and woman search for salvation and the remnants of human civilization under the beaconing arch of the Golden Gate Bridge. Equal parts hilarious and heartbreaking, it's a story of love and survival embellished with song, shadow puppetry, and Christopher Walken.
  • Heathers The Musical: A hilarious, heartfelt and homicidal new show based on the greatest teen comedy of all time. With its moving love story, laugh-out-loud comedy and unflinching look at the joys and anguish of high school, Heathers will be the most popular new musical in town. Are you in, or are you out?
  • The Displaced: A collaboration between seven circus artists. It conveys the beautiful and ugly, the devotion and play, and the chaos and calm. The acrobats invite audiences into their world, a world where there is no conformity. The acrobats are individual bodies and nothing else, their thoughts influence emotions and they work together as one.
  • Attrape Moi! (Catch Me!): These fearless Canadians have been wowing audiences and critics around the world with their spectacular brand of radical feats, extreme acrobatics, breath-taking trampoline turns, awesome parkour and cheeky comedy.
  • A Night At The Musicals: Jonny Woo and Le Gateau Chocolat will drag through the back catalogue of fabulous musicals for a raucous night of ballsy ballads, delightful duets and slaughtered show tunes. High glammah, intense assholism, divine costumes and raggedy choreography are guaranteed in a night you’ll never forget!
  • Grimm Tales: Not mincing any of our words here - the Brothers Grimm are really, really grim...Hansel and Gretel are murderously abused (almost) and Ashputtel (Cinderella ) watches the seriously ugly stepsisters lop off some of their own flesh to win that Prince.
  • When There's No Strength In Men: On an intimate and raw stage, some of Adelaide's best young Shakespearian actresses bring new life to the famous roles of 'Lady MacBeth', 'Princess Katherine of France', 'Rosalind' and 'Orlando,' with stories told through their character's eyes - strength in the weakness of the men around them. 
  • 6 Quick Dick Tricks: A Dirk Darrow Investigation: A mind-blowing mentalist collides with thrilling danger in this ALL NEW film-noir murder mystery adventure. Unbelievable magic tricks to delight the senses and rapid-fire comedy to fracture the funny bone, this hilarious psychic detective with the winning smile puts on a killer show... literally.
  • Intoxication: Intimacy is dead, and we're partying with its corpse. A post-dramatic patchwork about queer millennial anxiety; exploring how the intense fear of being alone rules our modern society, and how one person's loneliness is symptomatic of everyone's problem. 
  • Box and Cox: Two men, one apartment. Seems perfectly legit, however neither one knows the other lives there for one works during the day, the other at night. Ask the lodging house keeper about it and she would say nothing could go wrong.
  • A Simple Space: The must-see, internationally acclaimed circus sensation returns to the Adelaide Fringe! A show that is simultaneously raw, frantic and delicate. Supported by driving live percussion and presented so intimately that you can feel the heat, hear every breath, and be immersed in every moment.
  • That Daring Australian Girl: The amazing true story of Muriel Matters; the Adelaide-born Actress who became one of the leading figures of the UK's Suffragette movement and was the "Foremost Woman Orator in Britain".
  • Sound and Fury's Cyranose: The classic tale of Cyranose de Bivouac and his perfectly normal love for his cousin Roxanne. Sound and Fury's Fringe-Award-Winning Hit Show returns to Adelaide!
  • Circus'cision: A variety mash-up of circus superstars, Spiegeltent legends, and the hottest acts of this year's Adelaide Fringe. With a rotating cast each night, different fringe artist guests get to showcase their best, weirdest and most hilarious talents, backed up by the incredible acrobatics of Head First.
  • By A Thread: An ensemble circus creation exploring the relationship between trust and play. Like the booms and sheets of a sailing ship, performers are hoisted and swung by one another to create striking tableaux and breath-taking dynamics. The actions of one acrobat affect the movements of others in a mesmerising negotiation of cause and effect.
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photo saturday: plain sailing

tall ship sidedark sail

saturday sailing tripduyfken
Well this week... happened.

It's weird, technically a lot of stuff happened, but there's nothing particularly exciting.

I only ran one game of DnD this week, which was good... not that I mind running, but after last week it was nice to actually play again. But I did run Monday because we had too many players at not enough DMs when we started.

I also played today... but more on that later.

This Thursday was also Haircut Day... although driving up the hill to Tink's place in the rain wasn't exactly the best time ever. It wasn't hugely traumatic though and I did manage to miss the heavier rain.

As far as the actual haircut, it's the same old same old, but we went a little more silvery with the toner, which actually makes my hair slightly purple for a couple of days, but it does last longer.

Otherwise not much to report really.

Oh, other than the fact that the Fringe guide came out on Friday... and I think I said this on Twitter after having been through the whole guide a couple of times looking for stuff (and I'm pretty sure I'll say it again when I do the traditional Fringe post), I'm not sure if it's because I was trying to be more frugal this year or whether it's just a much leaner year, but I didn't pick out anywhere near as much stuff for my first-cut shortlist. Only 27 shows... and I cut that down to about 17. I haven't had a chance to go through and work out when we're seeing things, and that may have to wait until Monday... but I always a little too organised with this stuff, so it won't kill me to leave it a couple of days.

Today was very non-traditional... well, kind of... there's usually some point in December where I don't see Ma on a given Saturday, but that usually means that we're doing something on the Sunday... this year that's all over the place but today Ma had a thing (she did tell me, but I don't really remember... a lunch, a pre Christmas get together, a birthday, one of those), and it happened that the usual Thursday DnD crew were getting together at the house of one of the DMs to play. Normally I wouldn't have been able to go, but things all came together with the aforementioned Ma thing, so I could.

I probably should have gotten out of the house a little earlier than I did, but I had just enough time to do the shopping, come back, unpack and then head out to the DM's house, which fortunately wasn't all that far away.

When I got there I discovered that they'd changed the time to 10:30, but nobody remembered to tell me. So I was there half an hour early... whoops.

It was a good session though, and lasted about five hours, which is probably about average for a four hour module.

Ma did head up this way after her thing though... there was an afternoon market on in Norwood, so she dropped in here afterwards.

But that was really my week in a nutshell.

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trimming o blass tannenbaum

Today was... easy. Relatively speaking.

Today was also the age-old ritual "putting up the tree at Ma's place" which takes place each year on the first weekend in December.

I don't know why it was so easy... maybe it's because the weather was mellow, I was mellow and/or had no actual fucks to give, and the process just went well... dunno... but it was fairly straightforward.

This morning I rolled out of bed, had a shower and got myself ready to go by about 7:40... which meant that I was down at Ma's place before 8:30.

We had breakfast and then we got shit happening.

Every year since... I dunno, at minimum it's at least 2005... I tend to write little notes to the future versions of us, and receive messages from the past versions. This year was no different, and it's sometimes really weird to see messages from yourself a whole year beforehand. Especially since I'd forgotten that clearly my mood last year wasn't the most yuletide filled.

Some of the notes are actually useful though, things to remember while putting up the tree that we would otherwise completely and totally forget in the 365ish days between efforts.

But the tree went together quickly and easily, the lights are technically always a problem, but were probably the least amount of a problem for some time and we have what can only be referred to as "a metric fuckton" of baubles.

I don't think we even put on half of what we had... and while it's not dripping with baubles, I did definitely have trouble trying to find where new things could go comfortably without having too many of the same colour in the same place. And looking back at last year, clearly that was the year with no fucks to give, because that tree looks bare by comparison.

We also made plans for the arrangement next year... so that's another note on the box.

But all of that only took us to about 10:40... which feels super early.

We tidied the detritus away and put a few of the other bits and pieces up around Ma's place, before settling down to wrap up and sort out a few presents. As usual it was mostly stuff for La Cousina and Co, and we were perhaps less worried about making a big, grand extravaganza this year, so all of that didn't seem to take a ton of time either.

Then there was some general sorting out of various stuff, a fairly late lunch and I called it a day and was on my way home by about 3:30 or so.

Not bad all things considered.

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photo saturday: christmas markets

nice nosessilver leaves

silver shinemarket dresses
Do you remember a few weeks ago when I was all "I don't know if I'm ready to start DMing DnD games"?

Yeah, that didn't last long, I ran all three games I was part of this week. Mostly through a combination of the number of people wanting to play and the other available DMs... but also because there's a lot of people going "I don't mind, what do you want to do?" which is fairly high on my list of "things that bug me". If I ask you if you want to do something, make a declarative statement.

I also ran the same adventure all three days (for three different groups of people), which when you add it to the time I ran it the week before, means that I got a big fat bonus in XP the fourth time (a 4000 XP bonus), so that doesn't suck.

Otherwise I kind of stayed in the house with the aircon cranked up for most of the week. The weather wasn't terribly pleasant... although saying that, I'm currently sitting here in a hoodie, so it clearly can't make up it's damn mind one way or the other. Granted I much prefer there be some level of consistency in the weather, but it's going to be too hot for my tastes in a solid block soon enough, so I'll take the fluctuations now while I can.

I spent most of Friday pottering around the house tidying things up and putting up Christmas decorations. I say "putting up"... it's essentially ten things. Because I really can't be bothered taking existing stuff down for a month before having to take new stuff down and put old stuff back up. But I also listened to Christmas music and felt much more Christmassy than I was previously feeling... which is to say the difference between "not at all" and "a bit".

In previous years this would have been Fringe Day... but the program doesn't come out until next Friday, so I just need to be organised then instead. Even though it will probably be a lean one this time given everything.

Today wasn't supposed to be a big day (due to the fact I'm going to Ma's place tomorrow to put the tree up), and I suppose it wasn't really, it just felt like we were efficient and got stuff done.

We started with the shopping... and I'm pretty sure I'm going to get to about Wednesday and go "Well, fuck, I don't have anything for the rest of the week", because I did fuck all shopping.

I also bought a "bow" to put on my door... I put it in quotes because it cost $2.50 and will probably not make it past this Christmas, but if I like it I can always look for something nicer later.

When we were done with all the usual whatever at mine, we headed into town to check out a couple of markets. The first one, on Leigh Street, was a bit of a fizzer. I don't know if it was because there were other markets in other places, or if it was because the weather was looking very dour, or what, but there were about four stalls.

Still, Ma managed to find something for one of her friends there, so it wasn't a wasted trip.

From there we headed to the City East Markets (formerly the Flinders Street Markets before the FSM people took their bat, ball and the name and went elsewhere), which was much better.

Yes, we did get there about 45 minutes before it actually opened, but some of the stalls were already set up, and we had a bit of a wander. I found something for Tink's girls (although they'll have to share it, or it's more a present for the house than the individual girls), Ma found a few cards to add to La Cousina's usual box of cards present, I found some old game tokens at one of the stalls to use for tokens when I'm running DnD games, we grabbed some amazing tasting chutneys and stuff from one of the stalls (I don't remember the woman's name, but the stuff was amazing, and we'll definitely be using some of it at Christmas), we spent way too long at the stall of a woman selling great magnets (and I picked one up for Owlgirl, so I'll need to organise to see her before Christmas) and I bonded briefly with a very nerdy girl who was selling animal ears on hairclips. Yeah, I know.

Then we had some gozleme, came back to my place, faffed about a bit and then called it a day.

So, like I said, efficient.

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movies: murder on the orient express

murder on the orient express: everyone is a suspect
Sometimes there's a movie so absolutely perfectly wonderfully over the top that you really can't understand how it can be improved... then someone announces that they're remaking it. And you wonder a) why they'd bother and b) what they can possibly think they'll add to the original.

Murder on the Orient Express doesn't really answer either of those questions, as far as I'm concerned.

Let's start with a somewhat obvious admission... I LOVE the 1974 version of Murder on the Orient Express with a passion. It's full of (at the time) big name actors, it has one of the best Poirots, Albert Finney, and while the end is a little tone deaf when set against the rest of the movie, Sidney Lumet gives a masterclass on how to put a bunch of people in a confined space, stay within that space and make it interesting. It keeps a ticking clock firmly in the background and the finale has the kind of denouement that I expect from a Poirot story, with everyone gathered around to hear Hercule let them all know exactly how clever he is.

The 2017 version? Well... it's pretty.

No, in all seriousness, it's a beautiful looking movie, with both cinematographer Haris Zambarloukos and the set and production design (with the possible exception of a hideously blatent product placement for Godiva Chocolate... who unsurprisingly have a whole selection of "Murder on the Orient Express" chocolates on their website) pulling out all the stops, this movie is a delight to look at. There are beautiful uses of glass reflection and refraction in several scenes and the way the camera moves through spaces is gorgeous.

However the whole thing is very clearly 90% computer generated. At least anything outside of the train. That's one of the things about the original, they give you an establishing shot to show where the train is and then you're inside the train and you don't even notice that you can't really see very much outside the windows. Mostly because you're paying attention to the people and the story.

This time it all has that same slightly stilted and hollow feeling that CGI backgrounds still provide.

And in this movie Hercule Poirot can't seem to sit in one place for more than 30 seconds at a time. There are several things that Poirot would not, under any circumstances, do. These include:
  • climbing on top of a train
  • engaging in a chase scene
  • hand to hand combat
  • leaving a perfectly warm and pleasant train to question a suspect in the snow
  • revealing to people that he knows things before it's advantageous to do so.
And yet, Kenneth Branagh as both director and star has him doing all of those things. Don't get me wrong, Branagh makes for an interesting version of Poirot, but he's not especially Poirot-like as a person. Most of that comes from Branagh's physicality, he's not a fussy little man in the way that, for example, Finney played him. And yes, Peter Ustinov wasn't small, but he captured the fussiness of Poirot.

Branagh does have the fabulous moustache though. Even if I'm pretty sure you can see the lace front in a couple of shots.

As far as the rest of the cast, firstly it's a much larger overall cast from the original (that may be because these days you have to acknowledge even the people who show up on screen for half a second, whereas you didn't back in the day), but they've still decided to combine one of the less active characters with one of the mains in a way that's slightly strange. They've also messed around with names, ages, backstories and the like... none of which is a major drama, and some of which was required by the casting of certain actors in certain roles, so overall I'm not really bothered by it.

However they do skim over or simplify certain elements of plot (or rearrange them in a much less interesting way) in order to, as previously stated, include a stupid partial chase scene and a moment or two of combat, as well as shoehorn in some Poirot backstory about a woman.

And they still come in about 15 minutes shorter than the 1974 version.

As far as the 2017 cast is concerned, it feels much less balanced between all the characters, possibly because not everyone's interrogation seems to be given the same weight and importance. However Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley and Judi Dench all put in good performances, although with possibly only Depp surpassing his 1974 equivalent... he manages to make Ratchett quite unlikable. Pfeiffer comes close a couple of times and has a nice little sequence at the end that her counterpart never had which certainly helps.

A number of the others seem to fade into the background more or less, and oddly both the Count and Countess are essentially missing from the whole movie with the exception of a couple of scenes. I mean, within the logic of the movie it makes sense, and I'm not sure they show up all that much more in the original, but they just seem totally absent (and forgettable when they do show up). It was also disappointing that while they made better explanations for certain characters motivations, the rest of the character was so completely overlooked that it didn't even matter (I'm thinking specifically of Penélope Cruz in this instance, but the same could be said for Derek Jacobi).

One of the things that irked me more than anything was Poirot giving away what he knew randomly while talking to people... it makes no sense both from a story perspective and a character one. Maybe both the writer, Michael Green, and Branagh wanted to keep the audience in the loop... but that's not what I want out of a Poirot story... I want the big reveal at the end. And that was there, if a little joyless at times, but some of it's power had been lost along the way. Which also wasn't helped by the fact that they skimmed right across certain clues and moments (the grease stain, the divorce, amongst others). If they'd spent more time on the actual plot and less on ridiculousness like climbing on trains and chasing people, they probably would have had time for that.

Likewise, I understand the desire to show who Poirot is at the beginning of the film, because not everyone is going to know exactly who he is, but it just felt... tacked on. And it just pads out the run time, meaning they have less time to spend on actual plot, character and motive.

Thinking about it, I think the problem may be that the movie doesn't feel smart. It certainly wants to think it is... but it's not sharing that with the rest of us. The characters spend too much time giving each other knowing looks which just telegraph things far too much.

All I can really say is if you want to see a great version of Murder on the Orient Express, get your hands on the 1974 version.

yani's rating: 2 moustaches out of 5

photo saturday: lines over lines

white pipescopper corners

diagonal lineswhite ribs
I said it once before... and this week just reiterated it... three sessions of DnD in a week, good, four sessions, a little too much.

Also I DM'd two of the games (bringing my DMing total up to four sessions) which didn't help, that's so much more tiring than just playing because you've got to be concentrating the whole time. It was pretty good though... even if the second game I ran I was mostly running from the memory of the first and only time I played it, so I kind of fluffed my way through the last encounter according to what actually is supposed to happen. But everyone seemed to have a good time, so that's the main thing.

I also realise that I need to only take stuff with me I know I'm going to need on any given day... because I really just have too much crap right now. I mean, not really crap, because it's all useful, but there's just too much to lug it all around at once. We'll see.

But the fact that I had four sessions this week meant I was out of the house on Monday night, Tuesday night, Wednesday day and Thursday night... so I was very pleased to just stay home and do nothing on Friday.

All in all it was a week that seemed to go remarkably fast for the most part.

Today could have been challenging... it was the Norwood Christmas Pageant, and you may remember how spectacularly well that went last year... and by well I mean badly... but then we were only a week out from Ma injuring her shoulder at the time. But at least today we managed to get our collective acts together.

This did involve Ma coming down super early and leaving my place in enough time to get to the supermarket by 7:30 when they open... and then getting out before everything got too crazy. Which meant that we were heading into town before 10am, which is kind of unheard of.

Ma dropped me at the bank so that I could deposit all my coinage... well, not all, but a good chunk of just the silver stuff. Once again, that coin machine hates me/doesn't like taking large amounts of coins/has a mind of it's own. It dumped everything out the first time for some reason I still don't understand, then got to a "you've submitted too many coins" and spat about a quarter of them back at me, then finally sorted itself out and let me process them all.

There weren't supposed to be any gold coins amongst them, but I did end up with a couple of $2 coins... along with 232 fifty cent coins, 347 twenties, 202 tens and 158 fives... which comes to a grand total of $217.50. Much less impressive than previous instances, but like I said, no gold coins.

From there we headed off to find the last few Christmas presents on Ma's list... which we managed fairly well and without too much drama. Although we're clearly well into the "people lose the ability to complete simple tasks" portion of the year already. But that was mostly other shoppers rather than staff, so that's at least a bonus.

Thankfully, that's the last of the Christmas presents... or at least the last things that I actually have to be involved in the purchasing of.

Then it was off to Burger Theory for a fairly early lunch and then we moved the car down to the Hindley Street end of things and went to the movies down at GU House (more on that shortly).

And that was about it... it doesn't sound like a hell of a lot, and really I'm not sure it was, but at least we got some stuff sorted.

Oh, and I'm sure everyone is already aware, but it's just a month until Christmas...

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photo saturday: november fork on the road

forking it 2017 - big open spaceforking it 2017 - notorious p.i.g.
Guess what... there was a Fork on the Road today... it's been five years (technically the anniversary is on November 30, but close enough) since the very first one in Victoria Square, which I dragged The Proto Nuthouse down to. It's also the first one we've been to since July last year.

Not really surprising considering the amount of crap that's happened in the last year, but they also moved to having them mostly on Sundays, which didn't help.

And of course, because this is the most amount of time I've spent in the sun for about nine months, I'm already a bit sunburned.

But more on that later...

forking it 2017 - line up line upforking it 2017 - mexican bucket o'balls
This week... well, parts of it went in unexpected directions... mostly the DnD parts to be honest...

I ended up running a second game on Wednesday... which was actually the same module I ran a couple of weeks ago as it's the only one I've actually prepped. But I ran it for four people I really like, so that always helps. I managed to make some of the changes I came up with after the first time, and partially because of that and partially because there were only four of them, I at least knocked some of their characters unconscious.

Then Thursday we didn't get to play our regular Thursday characters... which annoyed me... doubly so because while I love the regular Thursday crew of people, I'm not a big fan of these new characters. We'll have to see what happens, but I either need to play a completely different character (maybe a fighter... since we're a little low on front line characters in this combo).

We did end up doing some role playing as those characters even though we weren't playing them... given things that happened the last time we played. That is one of the issues with playing Adventurer's League games... there's not all that much time to do things other than the adventure in front of you. The fact that we've managed the amount of role play we have says a lot... even if we had to do some of it out of play sessions.

forking it 2017 - down by the riverforking it 2017 - dessert fries
I also had my chiro appointment this week... which was the second to last one before the end of the year. Yeah... that's a thing to think about.

Today was a little all over the shop... Ma was getting her hair did, so I was on my own for shopping. And that meant I really didn't get my ass into gear like normal. So by the time that I made it back home, Ma was already here.

We headed out to have a wander around Target, pick up a couple of things... but mostly to kill time before Fork on the Road started. I did pick up some new shoes... well, new as in new versions of the ones I bought last year and have grown fond of.

Then we had to try and FIND Fork on the Road. Which previously has been simple. But this time not so much. It turned out to be much further back from the road than it was the last time it was in that spot... and because we were on the opposite side of the road as we went past... and we ended up going all the way around the North Adelaide, then up to the Morphett Street bridge, because coming back around and finally finding it tucked away amongst the trees.

forking it 2017 - looking backforking it 2017 - honey puffs
I don't know if it was just a very spread out location, or if there was just a lack of trucks, but it did seem a little bit light on for people, at least at the start. But then there are also about 150 different things going on around the city this weekend, so that may have been part of it.

We ended up trying a number of things, and the photos in this post correspond with the order...

We started with a Notorious P.I.G toasted sandwich from Cheesy Street, then the Bucket O'Balls from Delectaballs (I'll be honest, it was mostly full of corn chips, with only two actual meatballs... but the whole thing was tasty).

Then we stopped for a Bubble Tea (not pictured, because it's not a very interesting photo, but it was a very tasty lemon Bubble Tea)... and then headed in a dessert direction. We started with dessert fries from a new outfit, Hipster Chipster. And yes, dessert fries... they're savoury fries, covered in soft serve icecream and chocolate sauce, with little fried apple bites on top. The whole thing is really like dipping your Maccas fries in your sundae, which I haven't done a hell of a lot, mostly because I hardly ever get sundaes. And they were wrong... so, so, so wrong... so wrong in fact that they were VERY right. Totally insane but perfect.

And we finished up with way too many of the honey puffs from the eponymous Honey Puff Ladies... they're really, really good, but we really only needed the smaller amount.

So that was my day... full of food, a little bit sunburned around the edges, but generally okay.

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