Jul. 18th, 2008

tania: (Road to El Dorado - Tulio: Thinking)
In the immortal words of Sawyer, "Waaaaugh..."

Chasing up some (very) old loose ends, I just found out that I owe $7000 on my HECS debt. HECS is how we pay for uni in Australia; the government sort of gives you a loan to cover it, and then you can either voluntarily repay the loan, or they trim it off the top of your wage when you start earning above a certain threshold. Up 'til now they haven't been trimming my wage because I wasn't earning enough. This year they have been, but I'll get it all back at tax time anyway because my yearly earnings are altogether quite low due to the lean periods when we were getting the business up off the ground.

Anyway, I was making toast while on hold to the tax office, the toaster got stuck, and had it not been for Mark's quick action, I might just have burned down the kitchen. (Ultimately we had to actually take the smoke alarm off the ceiling to shut it up.) Our toaster here at work is known for such hijinks, and I would happily buy and bring in a new one if I hadn't just found out that the tax office owns my ass.

Also, those were my last two slices of toast and I haven't had breakfast. D:

Seriously, though - not a problem. I'll save up and pay it off in one hit next year so I get the 10% discount that comes with a voluntary repayment-in-full. This makes me sad, though. Seven grand, that's an overseas holiday! Financially, the hits never, ever seem to stop coming but at least these days I can keep my nose above the waterline.
tania: (Harvey Birdman - Mentok - Oooweeooo)
Incidentally, despite plans to see The Dark Knight on Saturday with my work buddies, Joe and I grabbed Sarah Grey last night (she was in her PJs, which we declared Appropriate For Consumption Of Superheroics) and went to see it. We're still seeing it on Saturday, we just figured beforehand it'd be so good we'd want to see it twice. And we were SO RIGHT.

It's awesome. It's amazing. It's thoughtful. It's clever. It's everything I'd hoped for and more. My high expectations were nowhere near high enough! I can generally pick twists in films before they happen but this one got me more than once.

Also, I enjoyed Iron Man, but this film? This is in another league.

Heath Ledger, who I've been a fan of since his Aussie-indie-film days ("Two Hands" - rent it, watch it, admire it!) is stunning. He owned that role. I have never seen another envisioning of the character, even within the comic books themselves, that was anywhere near as effective as this one. The Joker plays a part in the epilogue but we only really get to know him in what I consider his true entrance: he enters with a bang in the "magic trick" moment that had Joe and I laughing, guiltily, for two solid minutes, and leaves with an icy whisper. The Joker's last couple of minutes in the film and the brilliant framing of that sequence by Nolan sent chills down my spine. The entire film was tinted with sadness for me because watching Heath Ledger play the Joker so brilliantly is a constant punch-in-the-guts reminder of what a great actor he'd have grown into: our generation's Brando, perhaps. We'll never know.

This film obliterates the memory of the Burton series of Batman films. It even makes 'Batman Begins', the director's previous film, look like a lighthearted frolic in the park. Relentlessly paced and utterly dark from beginning to end, THIS is what Batman should be. And it's the most successful comic book adaption I've ever seen. Spider-Man, X-Men, Iron Man, they're all great superhero films. The Dark Knight is more than that: it's a great film, period. The fact that it originated from a comic book is incidental.

When the Academy Awards roll around this year, I'm rooting for Nolan for Best Director, Ledger for posthumous Best Actor. Not sure yet if I'm cheering for this as Best Film as I haven't seen everything else that's come out this year, but since the Academy neatly snipped away any chance an ANIMATED film ever had of winning that title (can't have a cartoon win best film! The Oscars are SRS BZNS! Let's marginalise them in their own little category from now on!) I know I'll get a little shot of glee if a superhero film manages it.

Painting

Jul. 18th, 2008 02:02 pm
tania: (The Incredibles: Artist At Work)
So I'm right in the swing of this painting thing now. The idea of 'outlines' is receeding into the distant past. Slowly-built-up blobs and streaks and feathers of colour are taking the place of my older, linear efforts.

Listening to Crowded House and Icehouse (themed name thing not deliberate) while painting chills me out.

I just wish I could show you guys what I'm doing. D: By the time the game's released and I can do so, the work'll be months or years out of date and I won't WANT to show it around anymore... how frustrating!

Developing a teensy crush on the man you're painting: Creepy? Y/N

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Tania Walker

August 2008

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