Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Couple Of Videos.

A just plain funny one....

And a funny, but makes you think one...

These both had me laughing down the street.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

What I done did on my birthday.

1. Woke up. Drank coffee.

2. Schlepped a heapin' helpin' of parcels (like two huge bags full) to the post office to send off to eBay folks.

3. Sat on the sidewalk outside a cafe stealing their free Wifi and twittering.

4. Meeting not one but TWO people from my team on the street, one of which tried to ask me a "quick question" about work. LALALALALA it's my day off! Ask me Monday!

5. Went off to Harris Farm at Broadway to get supplies for Sunday dinner. Contemplated getting fancy rum at Vintage Cellars.

6. Realised that despite a huge revamp and renovation, Broadway Harris Farm is still (despite wider aisles) full of choke points where people pile up and have to wait.

7. Realised that Swiss Brown mushroomns are expensive. Like 3.99 for 200 grams. Tanja's list said 600 grams, but I thought she must not have meant THOSE mushrooms and got regular ones instead (hint: she did want THOSE mushrooms).

8. Stopped in a Vintage cellars on the way back to get my fancy rum (after having, like a wuss, discussed it with Tanja, who said it was okay). Then noticed that the Monty Python's Holy GrAil (tempered over the fires of burning witches), which usually costs between 7 and 10 dollars per 500 mL bottle, was on sale for $2.50 per bottle. So I grab 6 of those and bring them to the counter, along with a $50 Origine Caribbean rum (I told Tanja how much that was later and she went "Oh, I thought you were going to get on of those 80 or 90 dollar ones." Argh!). The guy behind the counter looks at them and says "Listen, mate. I'll tell you what: if you take the lot, I'll give them to you for $1 per bottle." Me: "How many are there?" Him: "Well, two more in that cooler, and then another 9 over there." "So 17." "Yeah. Do you want them?"

9. I make a rash decision.

10. I struggle out of the shop, holding a box with 8.5 litres of beer, plus the two shopping bags. After 5 steps try to flag a cab. No good, all full. I spot one empty, who makes an incredibly expressive gesture that I should go further down the block. I struggle down, take too long, and he leaves. So I call a taxi. And wait. And wait. It's stinking hot. I have no hat, no sunglasses, and dairy products in the bags. It's stressful. I eventually grab a bus that gets me closer to home, and struggle to the house, having to stop twice to rest.

11. Once inside, a realisation occurs: the beer was in the fridge at the shop. I was only able to fit 9 in the fridge. Short-term solution? I drink one. Longer-term solution? I call Craig and Adrian. Adrian can't make it, but Craig's conversation went like so:
"Hi Craig. Due to a confluence of circumstances, I've ended up with 17 bottles of Monty Python's Holy GrAil for $1 per bottle and I can only fit 9 in my fridge."
Craig: "I'm on my way." *click*

Gotta love friends that'll take booze off your hands.

12. Cleaned up.

13. Once Tanja got home, headed to Bentley Bar for tasting degustation menu with matched wines. Wonders. Delights. Almond gazpacho with caviar, something-something berries and an oyster. Squid-ink kingfish with seared scallop and coconut custard. Sesame dumplings (which tasted like peanut butter made from vegetables. but in a good way) with mint, sweet pea and other things. Smoked, deboned, then rolled quail with perfumed fruit. Roast duck breast with... okay, I don't remember, because of all the wine, but it was rich and lovely. Their version of lemon-lime-and-bitters (butterscotch toffee, whipped lemonade froth, and lime gelato, which all together, looked shockingly like a fried egg). More things. And stuff.

14. Got up to leave an realised, whoops, all that wine had gone to both our heads. Stumbled into a cab and home. Nearly fell asleep on the couch.

And now I'm 27.

Friday, March 13, 2009

There's Noel in Christmas.

Is it me, or is the song "The First Noel" an example of bad song-writing disguised as old-timey language?

A few examples:

[-]"The first "Nowell" the angels did say
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay;
In fields where they lay keeping their sheep,
On a cold winter's night that was so deep."

Firstly, Why repeat the 2nd line by slightly mangling it into the 3rd? You've just started, and you're making callbacks already? Okay, so it was to certain poor shepherds in fields where they lay. Okay, that I get. They lay in fields. I'll accept that, even though you're changing around the natural grammatical placement of the words to get a rhyme with "the Angel did say". But then to follow in immediately with "In fields where they," in the next line is redundant. You just said that. Even as a little kid I thought it was a typo. Or maybe that was an important thing to get across in the 16th century. Maybe it was a conversation point.
"Hey, you know shepherds?"
"Of course I do."
"They lay in fields."
"No kiddin'?"
"Yep. In fields they lay."
"Imagine that. Wacky guys those shepherds."

Also, When was the last time you looked out at a cold night in Winter and said that it was "So deep"? The SNOW may be deep, the thing the person next to you may be "so deep, man." But the night? Really? Again, it's a cheap rhyme with “sheep”. But is sheep so hard to rhyme?

[-]"They lookèd up and saw a star
Shining in the east, beyond them far;"

Okay, so the shepherds, in these fields, in this really incredibly deep night, they see a star. Apparently, this night-time miracle is shining in the East, “beyond them far.” Do you mean “far beyond them?” Nope. Beyond them far. It seems either Yoda (“Hrrrm, Myrrh, I have brought you.”) or Billy Joel (who's still ordering “tonic-and-gins” whenever he's in a bar) is writing this.

[-]And then the chorus. Everyone knows it. It goes “Noel” a bunch of times, then tells us in Yoda-speak that “born, is the King of Israel”. And then something about how "Hard to see, the Dark Side is". It occurred to me as rather handy that Jesus is to be King of a place that so nicely rhymes with the word for the night of his birth. Had he been King of Saskatchewan, would we be singing about the first Hakeem-Elajuwan? Or the first Nahasapeemapetilan?

Oh, and an added bonus? When researching this post, I saw that there are three old verses often omitted from modern renditions:

“Between an ox-stall and an ass
This Child there truly bornèd was;
For want of clothing they did him lay
All in the manger, among the hay.”

I know why this was left out. Some of us kids had a hard enough time keeping from laughing when a minister uses a word like ”Hosannah” (Oh, Hosannah, oh don't you cry for me, 'cause I'm come from East of Canaan with a banjo on my knee). Hearing about a naked kid next to an ass would have had us rolling in the aisles.

“Then did they know assuredly
Within that house the King did lie;
One entered in then for to see,
And found the Babe in poverty.”

Leaving out the unnecessary “assuredly” (which is now verging on Calvin-and-Hobbes G.R.O.S.S. Motto rhyming), that last line? Finding a babe in poverty? I've seen films that start that way. And not the kind of films that win Oscars: “C'mon, baby. You wanna be a star?” Come to think of it, I've heard jokes that start that way. “You can spend the night, but don't touch my daughter.” Cue banjo-chase music and farmers with pitchforks.

'If we in our time shall do well
We shall be free from death and hell,
For God hath prepared for us all
A resting-place in general.”

A resting place... in general? In general.
“God, we've been good, we're here, where should we stay?”
“Oh, someplace in general. You know, over there.”
“Anywhere specific?”
“No, just somewhere.”

I think if I'd led a good life, abstaining from drinking, dancing, various sins of various fleshes, God would have a room picked out for me. You know, corner suite, not too near the ice machine, good view of the clouds. I was unaware Heaven would have worse seating plans than the Big Day Out festival.

Anyway, clearly I've put too much thought into this. Well, this is what happens when you make me wait for a desk to be delivered all day, and I work in the garden to kill time. Be told.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Watching Men

I’m not going to spoil. Promise. I’m not even going to dissect. The only thing I didn’t like about the film is that they’ve basically given the various heroes superpowers without stating it to be so. They’re meant to be good fighters (even scarily so, in Adrian’s case), but they’re not supposed to be leaping up to the second story or, in one egregious case near the beginning, pressing a huge guy up over their head and throwing them in a way that a wrestler would have difficulty doing. It took me out of the film.

Also, I played the demo Watchmen downloadable game for PS3, which was an okay beat-em-up in the style of Ultimate Alliance, but without the squad aspect. What got me about the game, though, was it had new writing, comic panels, and a narration from the guy who played Rorschach in the movie. Listening to it, I realised something: Sin City is like a whole movie/Comic Book series written/starring characters like this. No wonder I like the Sin City movie less and less each time I watch it.

On a completely unrelated note, I can barely watch the Transformers movie now, despite it looking lovely on an HDTV and played on a PS3. The plot just seems full of holes and meandering, and the stuff with Anthony Anderson and Sam’s parents just grates and then… yeah.

The Altos

Tanja and I started watching the Final Episodes of the Sopranos on DVD last night. It’s been a while since we’ve tuned in both in real-time and in show-time. Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve been watching the Wire recently, but I’m finding I just don’t like the tone of the Sopranos anymore. You watch an episode waiting for Tony to hurt someone, either physically or emotionally. It’s like watching a car wreck in slow motion. I’ve found that I have little or no emotional involvement with the characters anymore. I find some of the psychological aspects interesting, but that’s all I’m now kind of waiting for the show to end. Maybe it’ll get better. I don’t know.

Birthday thoughts.

I’ve never considered myself hard to buy for, but lately I’ve had two requests for What I Want For My Birthday (both from Mums, oddly enough) and I haven’t had a clue what to say. I’m pretty sorted with movies and TV series, CDs too, and I’ve got 4 newish video games for the PS3 and a bunch of demos, so that’s no good. Books, I’m sorted, apart from back-catalogue Robert Rankin. Comics, I tend to buy myself as I find them. So yeah. Don’t know.

Conversation this morning:

*We’re having Hot Cross Buns with jam for breakfast. Tanja has gotten up before me and made herself one, then cut mine in half, but did not apply jam*
Me: “Hey, you didn’t make MY Hot Cross Bun!
Tanja, from bathroom: “Make it yourself, the jam’s right there.”
Me: *big theatrical sigh* “The honeymoon’s over.”
Tanja: *cackle*
Me: *notices she made his coffee* “I totally retract that last statement. The honeymoon is back on!”


Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Eventual bad morning.

I had a crappy evening/morning combination. See, I got home at 10 or o, and decided to work on the logo for Tanja's intramural office thing. So I did that for a while, and Tanja went to bed, reminding me to set up "breakfast stuff". You see, when one of us needs to get up early, the other usually set up the coffee-maker and the dishes for cereal and juice and stuff so the morning person can just switch it on and avoid thought and responsibility. After a while of struggling with the PC and its inability to handle having more than two things open without shutting one down, I gave up and shut down for the night. I also noticed that the light was on in the bedroom and I heard the unmistakable turn of a page. Tanja was still up reading, of course, looking guilty. Next morning, wake up around 7, and Tanja's informing me that I forgot to sort out the breakfast things. I shamble, unrequested, out of bed and attempt to help, but she tells me to go back to bed. I try, but never really get back to sleep. Got up later, and finished work on the logo. After that, I realized that I'd better hightail it to the gym if I was going to get back in time to get ready. So I decided not to go to them gym. And then did nothing with the extra time. I tried to watch the Blu-Ray of Batman: Gotham Knight, but I couldn't get into it. I kept focusing on the bad people animations in the first story. So I turned it off. Tried watching Looney Tunes: Stranger than fiction, but again, the animation quality was terrible, and the jokes weren't funny. Turned it off. I got distracted, watered the plants, and then boom, hour to go. Showered, tried to fight with hair, which was big and frizzy. Hated it. Went to get dressed. Felt like none of my clothes were fitting. I get myself halfway sorted and head out the door, almost immediately sweating thanks to the blasted humidity. I start walking, knowing that I need to stop at the post office to send off something for eBay. On the way to the post office, I start to listen to my new Cat Empire live album. For some reason it seems really all over the place, badly mixed or just uninspired (although I blame my state of mind). And let's not forget the BIG HUGE TRUCKS and busses that drive by revving their engines and deafening those of us on the sidewalk with roaring sonic mud, completely drowning out any music, headphones notwithstanding. Then huge line at the post office. Takes forever to send off my parcel. Grab a bus afterwards, and get a pile of noisy high school kids sitting around me. Tanja calls to say she got the logos, and asks if I hung out the washing the way I had said I would. Crap. Of course I forgot. I offer to hop off the bus and go into work late, but she says no, it's okay. Throughout the whole thing I could barely hear her.

So there you go. A crappy morning. Not that I had construction outside the window to wake me up, or that I lost $20 or anything like that, but lots of little annoyances. Also, later, at work, the pasta I brought wouldn’t reheat all the way, so I ate it mostly cold, and my throat rejecting it about three-quarters of the way through.

You know, sometimes, I daydream about breaking my leg or something that would sideline me from the day-to-day for a little while (is that strange?). Not that I hate work or anything, but I think that the last couple of weeks of constantly having something due has left me in a slightly frenzied state where I feel like I’m constantly slacking off, even when I have nothing I need to do right then. Weird.

And my feet are aching for some reason.