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 D: By the time the game's released and I can do so, the work'll be months or years out of date and I won't WANT to show it around anymore...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
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.
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.

Reminder

Jul. 17th, 2008 03:52 pm
tania: (chickens)
I have to write one of these entries once every couple of years. It's a cruel twist of human nature that we often adjust so quickly to the good things we have in our lives, we forget that they're there, and focus only on what's giving us woe.

Lately my woe has been this: I've felt as though my friends have scattered to the winds. Uni holidays rolled up, and right when we were supposed to see the most of one another, we're barely seeing each other at all. The interconnected nature of Brisbane's social groupings has turned from a blessing into a curse. Catching up with Viv yesterday reminded me of the power of misinformation and rumor and how quickly those can move through the network, and how rapidly complications in one friendship can spread like a virus to another, and another, because everyone knows everyone in Brisbane. Have a fight with one friend and within just a few short weeks, you might find yourself unable to peacefully enjoy the company of your entire social group. Such is Brisbane.

I woke up this morning angry about something I heard last night, and that anger grew to encompass everyone I knew, and then this entire hick city. (Editor's note: Never underestimate the reach of anger powered by PMS - or, truth be told, just plain 'MS'. Stripping away the 'pre' part is some comfort though; when you're in the thick of it you know at least it's going to be over soon. Regardless of when during the monthly cycle it occurs, menstrually-inspired anger is mighty and dispropotionate. For example, yesterday morning on the bus to work I spotted an SUV on the road, a squat black tank overflowing its lane like bulldog in a cat basket - an SUV, in MY city! I experienced a moment of such rage I swear I could have punched a hole through the roof of the bus, leapt out through it and overturned that ridiculous black box of a thing without breaking a sweat.)

I got over this morning's non-SUV-related anger and got on with my day, but it sat somewhere in my lower left ventricle, waiting for next time I feel lonely or bored; an insoluable, insufferable, niggling little sadness-bug burrowing about in my chest. The worst of it is that I've always been an introvert and that people are an effort for me; in a way this should be a blessing. Yet now, without my people around, it bothers me. And it bothers me that it bothers me.

Ever solutions-focused, I've been working on making a few new friends these past few weeks, and strengthening the bonds with some people I'd previously seen as acquaintances. So my journal lately has been full of new names. And the balance here is changing too; there's more and more married couples for one thing. That's unrelated, but still interesting.

Anyway, the point of this journal entry, and the point is something I don't want to let myself forget again: Last year, it was all going to hell. I had good friends but I had a job that wasn't supporting me, no money, high stress, a difficult and costly living situation (compared to my current one, anyway), my relationship had crashed and burned, and for the latter part of the year I was in a darker place than any I've ever been in, including those few months when my parents divorced and Disney defeated me.

Where am I now? A have a brilliant job that challenges me, teaches me, pays me well to be creative, and surrounds me with awesome people every single day. I have more than enough money to do the things I've always wanted to do but never been able to manage, like travel. I live in a peaceful place where the hot water and stove and whitegoods ALL work (miracle of miracles), with a landlord-slash-flatmate who takes care of himself and asks nothing of us but that we pay the incredibly low rent and do our share, and where my cats can play safely outside with the sun on their backs.

I live with someone who I love very much; a man who isn't afraid to tell me that he loves me more every day; a man who is honest with me; who is intelligent and curious and questions everything; He makes me laugh. He likes adventures as much as I do. We've seen each other's darkest places and come back for more, and right now - and, we both believe, for a very long time to come - we're walking through life in the same direction.

I've finally had enough love, enough hurt, enough change and, as a result of those things, enough self-awareness that I have something to draw upon when I write. I lacked that before and I always knew it. I'm richer in spirit than I've ever been. When I remember how lucky I am to be so near the beginning of my short walk through the light of the world, it moves me to tears.

So this entry is for me because I'm human, and human nature is to forget good fortune and dwell on pain. This is my reminder.
tania: (Default)


That's for Joe. :D

Locals: The El Dorado cinema has a new website. It's pretty awesome, but why does everything new look like my iPod now? http://www.eldoradocinema.com.au

Also, I've got a Batman Day organised with my workmates for Saturday, when we're all going to Rosa and Mark's place in the morning to cram around the TV and watch 'Batman Begins', then tramping down to the El Dorado to watch 'Dark Knight'. Geeky good times! I'm going to pre-buy the tickets tonight and try not to get too tempted to see it tonight as well... D:

Actually, this weekend is packed to the rafters. Friday afternoon I'm meeting Damian in person. He's an awesome artist from the Gold Coast who has been living in the US for some time... his boyfriend over there died and so he's temporarily returned to Australia to think about what to do next. He found me through my art online and we're grabbing coffee this Friday, then Joe and I are heading down to his pad on the Gold Coast for the entirety of next weekend to draw, play the Wii and basically just have an awesome time. The Friday coffee thing is just so we can check in with one another beyond the constrains of the interweb, to make sure we're not wrong in assuming each other to be Awesome before we commit to a whole weekend of lulz together.

Back to THIS weekend... After coffee with Damo on Friday afternoon, Joe and I are zipping straight to work's "Christmas in July" function at the Black Forest Cafe on Friday night. It's an awesome German restaurant on Highgate Hill that I've wanted to go to for years. I'm having duck, Joe's having rabbit and we're swapping-and-sharing. I will report upon the taste at length. Brace thyselves for RABBIT.

On Saturday we've got the aforementioned Batman Day, which we're following with an unrelated party being thrown by Chris (not work-Chris, not brother-Chris, but friend-of-Sian's-Chris). Sunday morning we're peeling ourselves out of bed to go up to the farm, where we're going to chill out, recover from the first half of the weekend, and collect the TV so we can get it fixed and finally have that Doctor Who marathon we've been dreaming of.

Sunday night, I'm meeting Vix / [livejournal.com profile] quillblade for a one-on-one birthday dinner, where I can give her alla her pressies (I found quite a few but nothing that compares to the awesomeness of the Hahn & Thann massage session she bought for my b'day!) and we can play catchups. Also I can tease her about having a boyfriend. Do you guys have any idea how long I've waited to do that? A whole new avenue of friend!torture has just opened up before me! *wipes away a tear* I'm so happy. Anyway, I think we should drink a tasty beverage in acknowledgement of the fact that we've now been friends for a decade and haven't killed each other yet.

Also, last night Joey and I hung out with Viv / [livejournal.com profile] scoutlostthewar and we got red wine and Chinese food and it was good times. Slightly tipsy good times. Damo rang to organise Friday arvo right when we were saying bye to Viv, so I didn't get to say a proper goodbye, so for posterity: BYYEEEE VIV!

This is my punishment for last weekend, which was almost entirely free of socialising. Haw, and lately I've been grouchy about how my social life is slowing down. Hurrr. This weekend is a well-timed bitchslap from Life.
tania: (Kronk: The Path That ROCKS!)
Whoa, the year is going fast. I've got to spend that $600 Virgin Airline credit before it expires in November.

Right now I'm debating a couple of options. With $600 I could:

- Cover return flights for Joe and I to Melbourne at Xmas
- Cover return flights for Joe and I to Vanuatu around March next year to see AWESOME VOLCANOES
- Something else for Joe and I within Australia?
- Something else for just me outside (but not too far outside) Australia?

I think I know which one I'm leaning towards... AWESOME VOLCANOES?? :D (Can you believe that Virgin promo fares to Vanuatu are only $158? So... awesome...!

But as clumsily indicated above, I'm looking for other options too. I'd love to go see Uluru but Virgin doesn't seem to do flights there. I'd love to take them up on their new L.A. flights but those are way out of the reach of my puny credit. I'd love to go somewhere snowy, but I'd have to do that either very soon or wait 'til this time next year. I'd like to do NZ, but I'd rather go with Joe or a friend than alone.

Also, I think I'm going to swim with the seals at Underwater World sometime soon, to reward myself for paying off the credit card. I will not be paying for this purchase on credit, of course. Crap, I've got to do my taxes; with those done I'll be able to pay off the only debt I'll have left after my pay comes in today and ELIMINATES MY CREDIT CARD DEBT and then I will be free as a bird!

I found an on-sale book about adventures you can have around Australia (everything from bushwalks through to bungee jumping, skydiving, diving, horse riding, caving, driving, etc) and it's got my blood pumping; I want to make the most of this country before I nick off overseas.

Life's been calm lately and I'm itching for some new adventures. The Jenolan Caves trip is at the end of August... it can't come fast enough!

YOUR TRAVEL SUGGESTIONS, TELL ME THEM.
tania: (Statler & Waldorf)
Hello Queenslanders. Has anyone been wrestling snail-paced internet this morning? Mobile phone issues?

Rumor has it that someone broke a cable between New South Wales and Queensland, and now Queensland has the mobile phone network and internet of the 1990's.

Slow clap, Australia.

This makes the Simpsons episode that featured the Australian prime minister hanging out in a floating innertube on a dam slightly less amusing.

[EDIT] Apparently us poor sods with Optus have also lost our home phones, fun! Now I'm no longer sure I want to stick with Optus for my services 'til I leave for Canada, and I can't say I wasn't warned. :P It's a moot point, though, as I'm currently leeching all my internet off whoever work is with.

As much as I'm loathe to link to a Courier Mail story, here 'tis: http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,24022417-952,00.html

[EDIT 2] Aaaand we're back. Outage went for around 6 hours. One consequence I didn't think about 'til shortly before lunch was that all the EFTPOS machines were down too - cash only! Another consequence raised by someone else was that all phone-in alarm systems would have been down; if you wanted to rob a bank, you missed the perfect window today. An interesting addendum is that there's some sort of electricity strike being tossed about for Wed-Fri; if the phones had stayed down we would have been without phones, internet, most banking services, and potentially electricity for a few days. It would have been a really interesting opportunity to study how people get by without those things, and a little wakeup call about how reliant we've become on technology (I address myself from this soapbox too; let's not forget I'm using the internet to communicate this idea!)
tania: (Road to El Dorado - Tulio: Thinking)
A few weeks back I wrote a little about Joe's sleep paralysis. Anyway, last night I was woken up by a sort of guttural voice (think back to Ghostbusters and the 'Zuul' dog in Dana's fridge) but by the time I was awake enough to absorb what was happening, the voice had stopped.

IT WAS JOE. SPEAKING IN A GUTTURAL VOICE FROM THE DEPTHS OF HELL. BESIDE ME. IN BED. IN THE DARK.

I poked him (you know, as you do when your signifigant other starts speaking in tongues) and he semi-woke and said he'd been dreaming he was having sleep paralysis.

That's right. He wasn't actually HAVING sleep paralysis, no. He was dreaming he was having sleep paralysis. Apparently the growl was him trying to scare away whatever was coming after him this time. Once more for clarity: he was dreaming about having a dream that, in the dream, he thought was real, and responded (in the dream within the dream) in a way that cut through both levels of dream (real and false) back into the real world loudly enough to wake up his girlfriend.

That was so damn recursive it broke my 3am brain. It's only now, sitting here pondering the world while creating artwork designed to sucker people into gambling away their money (I just know I'm going to have to engage in some mighty awesome karma in my old age to compensate for this) that I remembered, and shuddered.

Null value

Jul. 14th, 2008 09:01 am
tania: (Cat: Impatient)
Workmate!Chris was overjoyed about being let go on Friday; he'd been wanting to leave for ages and this was the impetus he needed (and it benefited him in other ways I won't go into here) - but this doesn't change the fact that he was, in Neil's words, "The soul of downstairs"; things just won't be the same without him!

The weekend was slow and, I confess, quite boring - with Hammond bailing at the last minute we never managed to organise anything else; everyone else Joey and I tried to make plans with was already busy. I was PMS-y and hanging around the house was probably the worst thing for that, but I got in some reading, writing, and loads of cuddles (and the other things you do when it's just you and your partner, heh) and even a nice long back massage, so I can't complain. It makes for exceptionally short journal entries though.

My outline for the novel is about three cards (scenes) off being complete. It's quite a thick little handful... I have a feeling it's going to be a larger draft than I anticipated, but I intend to edit viciously. I'm too wordy and I don't like that. I'm thinking that once I have my research all done, I might as well wait and start the draft in November - I can participate in NaNoWriMo that way. It'll be the second time and it's quite necessary; I was only 2,000 words short of the 50K target the first time around in 2004, so NaNoWriMo and I have a score to settle. ;) Of course, this time the plan is to work with an outline so that the book doesn't suck.

I should add, though, that writing a sucktacular novel that you promptly hide and never show to anyone is a great learning experience; everyone should try it!

Today I'm on a quest to find a copy of Saturday's Sydney Morning Herald, as Viv has informed me that the Travel section has info on the Jenolan Caves. I'm also thinking a quest for coffee might be an idea, and as the cafe next door has both coffee and papers, well... my next step is clear!
tania: (Default)
We had Sarah Grey over yesterday and got drunk (easily accomplished, as I got tipsy at Chris's farewell drinks after work so I was already halfway there.)

Today is a day of quiet for a change; we had plans as per usual but Hammond had to pull out unexpectedly when a friend from interstate came to visit. So we're using the time to get a few little things done - a job application for Joe, a bit of freelance art and personal writing for me - and after that we're going for a nice long walk, possibly followed by a drive... if we can think of anything interesting and inexpensive to do in Brisbane on a Saturday afternoon. Suggestions welcome!

The Tuesday Club is regrouping this Tuesday night. Friday night is work's "Christmas in July" dinner at a German restaurant; I'm having the duck and Joe is having rabbit, which I have to try because I have this unofficial rule that if I am faced with the opportunity to do something I haven't done before, I have to take it. It's a recipe for a richer life. Saturday we're going to Rosa & Mark's place to hang with them, Katie, Chris, JB and whoever else they've wrangled. We're going to watch Batman Begins, then go to the El Dorado cinema to see a screening of Dark Knight.

We've now left the kitchen door open for hours on end and the cats have stayed safely enclosed in the roofless cat run, so it's looking like we can leave it be at that. Probably a good thing, as a netting roof would have always been catching leaves and things.

Finally getting the big TV back next weekend and I can't wait - we've been depriving [livejournal.com profile] scoutlostthewar and others of a long-promised Doctor Who marathon.

Right now I'm going to collapse. PMS-y and exhausted from a night of broken sleep (I had a stomachache), I'm feeling all grumpy and down, so it's probably a good thing we haven't got anything social planned.
tania: (Default)
Joey and I just had lunch together, as he finished work early today. We sat with our backs to a building, facing the train line, watching birds and sharing hot chips. It was good. :)

Just got an SMS from him - his bus home took him past Alkira, as always, but today there's something new there. Not only has there been a fence erected around the compound over the past couple of weeks, now there's a construction company banner too. I haven't uploaded my Alkira photos yet, but I'd like to do so before the weekend... I don't think Alkira will be around too much longer.

Tomorrow afternoon we're taking headshot photos for our friend Sarah Grey, who is going for an extras role in a Nicholas Cage movie shooting downunder. We're going to use the unfinished study for the shoot. It's surprising how useful an empty, white-walled room can be!

There's still no roof on the cat run, primarily because what I can do with a pencil is negatively balanced by what I can do with a staple gun. Having never gone through renovations before (as opposed to Joe, who never wants to go through them again), my ineptitude in this area is (mortifying) news to me. On the up-side, the cats don't seem capable of climbing the walls, though this could simply be because it hasn't occurred to them yet. We're letting them out into the run unsupervised a couple of times a day now, for ten minute to half an hour at a time. No escapees yet! I've been thinking it might be more practical, rather than roofing off the run, to just put a little inwards-pointing 'lip' (maybe corrugated iron or something like that) so that if they somehow do manage to reach the top, they can't get over the edge. I think some modern wildlife fences use this method.

My currently-developing long-term plans are shifting yet again. 'Til now the tentative idea has been to live with Richard for the next couple of years (if he can put up with us that long!), save like whoa, then buy a property somewhere and work on paying it off. There have been variations on that theme, like living with Richard longer and buying an investment flat instead, and letting the rent pay it off, blah blah, but a concern Joe and I both had was this: Where to buy?

Most Australian cities are very expensive now. They're also pretty alike. Joe doesn't want to settle permenantly in Brisbane and rightly enough, it's his hometown - if I'd stayed in mine (Caloundra) I'd probably be sick of it too. I don't particularly care for Melbourne and we both dislike Sydney. Hobart is supposed to be pretty, but provincial; the other major cities are basically big country towns.

So we thought about moving further afield, to another English-speaking country so that we wouldn't be at a disadvantage looking for jobs.

The US was out for a start - no offence, guys, but the pay is horrendous, I deeply dislike the rooted-in-religion politics and I don't want my kids running around in a place where there's such a high rate of violent crime. England was another possibility but the cold weather and cost of living put us off.

I know I've mentioned this briefly here before, but we've seriously been considering - and this is way, WAY off in the future - the possibility of Canada.

I've gotten along famously with every Canadian I've met, and apparently they're partial to Aussies over there in return. The fact that my coworker Johnny announced the other day that he was picking up and moving to Canada has been useful, because he's been able to pass on a lot of practical info - for example, how ridiculously easy it is to get a working visa.

I quite like cold weather (though I happily admit I've never encountered REAL cold, and reserve the right to change my tune at a later date) and researching it together, Joe and I have even miraculously been able to find areas that we BOTH like the sound of. The big cities like Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal are out because they're just as expensive as Brisbane, which defeats the purpose a little. Right now we're both keen on Nova Scotia, and houses in the area (and even in the major city there, Halifax) are far more affordable than those in Brisbane - basically half the price for what you get. Conversely, the Canadian dollar is worth slightly more than the Australian dollar, and wages are comparable, though perhaps a little less than I'm used to. All of this will require careful research and planning. Luckily we've got years...

Downsides:
- Lots of expense to heat the place in winter.
- Temperatures so low that my mum's Canadian boyfriend almost made the sign of the devil when he talked about it.
- Houses have basements for reals. Creepy!
- Difficulty and expense in visiting relatives
- Probable inability to take the cats with us?
- Legal difficulties in buying property without citizenship?

Upsides:
- Affordability of property
- Architectural style that is just so damn cute (except for... basements. *shudder*)
- Comparable wage levels
- Everybody will totes love our accents and whatnot.
- Healthy arts industry (with many animation studios, I hear)
- Reasonable cost of living
- Canada's society isn't batshit crazy, as a whole
- It's an adventure!

There's been talk of [livejournal.com profile] tengukun and little Rowan accompanying us. :)
tania: (Hot Fuzz)
Good lord. I've just found out there's a reasonable chance I've got German citizenship by virtue of birth.

People born to a parent who was a German citizen at the time of birth are usually German citizens on that basis. It does not matter whether they were born in Germany or not. Nor does it matter if the parent is a naturalised German.

Those born after January 1, 1975 are Germans if the mother or father is a German citizen.


SWEET! The only thing that sheds doubt on this is that my mother took the naturalisation ceremony when she was 18. Normally this would simply bestow dual citizenship on her (German/Australian) but the Germans are notoriously cliqueish about such things, so I'm in the process of investigating, on mum's behalf, whether she unwittingly gave up her German citizenship when she went and turned Aussie. Man, if she did? She's going to be annoyed. I'm talking World War III. ;)
tania: (Cats: The way to heaven)
Johnny gave notice yesterday - in eight weeks, he's leaving the company and moving to Canada. Aside from the "wow you luicky bastard!" status bestowed upon him by this change, this makes me, by default, the senior static artist here. I don't think I've ever been a senior anything before!

In unrelated news, this comic from [livejournal.com profile] beatonna made me giggle:



In still more news, after doing a quick bit of grocery shopping after work yesterday, I managed to sit next to a disabled guy on the bus (my life is running on a theme) and he felt the need to comment on everything he could see in my shopping bags. Luckily he didn't notice the jumbo-pack of condoms*.

In belated news, last Friday afternoon, between work's end at 2.30 (I love my job) and heading up to Mum's at 5, I spent an hour in Thannh Sanctuary in the Indooroo shopping centre, finally putting to good use the Body Exfoliation gift certificate Vix gave me for my birthday. Not being the sort to usually engage in any kind of beauty treatment other than rubbing myself vigorously with a bar of soap and whacking on a bit of mascara in the morning, I was nervous going in. "Body Exfoliation" sounds vaguely threatening, doesn't it?

Turns out it was absolutely gorgeous - an hour spent in a quiet, dim little room with soft music playing and a lovely girl massaging cream onto me, gently washing it off with a warm washcloth, then after a brief break for a shower, a full-body massage with scented oils. It was super-relaxing. I've got to say it's possibly the best birthday present I've ever had. Vix: You rule. Thank you. :)

* They came in handy in the middle of the night last night, in one of those happy ocassions when sex crept up on us while we were both asleep and left us half-awake afterwards going, "What just happened?"
tania: (Statler & Waldorf)
Joe and I spent the weekend up at mum's. She's in the teeny country town of Imbil, half an hour's drive out from Gympie, so it's pretty dead quiet. There's nothing to do, as a matter of fact, but relax. And did we ever!!

First up, mum texted me when we were still on the train with "Sorry, running late - I bought a dog." This reminds me a bit of Joe's mother's recent, "Hi Tani! Quick, come here, we have to make a scarecrow RIGHT NOW!" I maintain that should my mother ever meet Joe's mother - it's been two and a half years and it hasn't happened yet - they will get along great. The universe might also implode.

Anyway, so, mum's tells me she's twenty minutes late due to the aquisition of Dog.

Said Dog is small, white, and basically spherical. It weighs about the same as three marshmallows, leading me to believe that the spherical nature of the beast is an illusion formed by an overabundance of fur, and that if one were to shave the little mop, one might find something akin to a naked mole rat inside. It is a boy.

He has a little bit of a few small yappy varieties all mixed up in his DNA, and happily, those varieties somehow cancelled one another out, leaving a small yet basically serene creature. I don't think he's too bright, but that'll make him a good contrast to mum's existing dog, Bob, who is very intelligent and very neurotic to match.

If Bob is a canine Nami, this new dog is a canine Sawyer, albeit less annoying. His hobbies are Sleeping, Taking Bob's Bones, and Nomming Chins.

Mum initially called him 'Casper' because he sort of glowed an angelic white in the darkness. Her Canadian hippie nurse boyfriend Geoffery vetoe'd this name and said the little dog needed something more manly. We tossed around names and the final pick was one of mine. So Geoff and I take equal blame in the fact that my mother now has two small, girly, fluffy dogs named Bob and Dave.

Joe spent half the weekend with his nose in some sweet Hunter S. Thompson writings, I finished off The God Delusion, we went to the Kenilworth cheese factory and got some homemade ice cream and rawsome cheeses, we pretty much ate food the entire weekend, Joe and I crept off for what can only be termed a Sexy Bushwalk, and we bought some seriously old-school books from the local Red Cross. I got one that was about space exploration, published the year before the moon landing - the paintings of what they think each of the planets will look like are AMAZING. Amazingly WRONG. But still amazing. Joe got Orwell's "Animal Farm". We wound up with six or so books for four dollars.

On the train on the way back there was this partially-deaf mentally disabled woman (who we will henceforth call 'DW') muttering to herself. A chubby teenage girl (who we will call 'TG') sitting across the aisle from her coughed, and DW copied the cough in a really loud, pointed kind of way at her. TG cracked up laughing... and DW lost her shit. She stood up, pointed a knarled finger at TG and shrieked back an imitation of her laughter. TG shut her mouth damn fast, looking scared, and after yelling some abuse at her, DW scooped up her bag of groceries (crisps, and a jar of Nutella, which she was eating with a butter knife) and stormed down to where Joe and I were sitting in relative peace at our end of the carriage.

DW sat down near us and started agressively bitching about TG, and for all that she was tremulously loud she was also nearly unintelligible - this is what gave us the idea that she was quite deaf, as it seemed she couldn't hear her own voice or volume properly. Joe and I uncomfortably kept our gazes out the window so as not to attract the unwanted attention, as she appeared to be bitching TO us.

A few stops later she got off. I confessed to Joe that the mentally disabled make me deeply uncomfortable. I know this is crappy of me, but there it is: I have a lot of trouble feeling comfortable around someone whose actions don't make sense (in a generic and socially-bestowed value of "sense".)

I shall have to confront this someday, I think.

(Also, I swear to god the choice of icon for this entry has nothing to do with that; I just realised I hadn't used it for ages and I love it!)

In other news, the dishwasher has arrived but is not yet plugged in. Susan destroyed my dreams when she told me that contrary to my belief in the mystical powers of dishwashers, they do not clean sticky pans. I'm shedding one perfect, crystalline tear as we speak.

To the half-dozen of you going "aaaahhh!" over the Doctor Who season finale, I'm avoiding your entries like the plague! I haven't seen any of S4 yet and I'm waiting for it to come out on DVD.

To round off the 'D's, I'm planning to save for another trip after the Jenolan Caves - a trip to the dentist! Exciting. ;P My teeth seem fine and dandy, but it's been years since I've been so I'm guessing it's one of those boring grownup things that I should really get around to doing...

Oh, and also! When we got back to Bris on Sunday night, the boy and I grabbed dinner and saw Prince Capsicum (hee) at the El Dorado. I liked it better than the first. :)

ZOMG! Also, we have the car back again! WHEELS, BABY!

General

Jul. 4th, 2008 01:22 pm
tania: (Default)
Just a few little things:

Joe is casually looking for fulltime work at the moment (stay with me, this is going somewhere) and because we only have the weenie eeePC hooked up to internets at home, and no printer, I've been helping him out by printing relevant info for him here at work.

Anyway, I'm looking at the application form for a government admin job and near the bottom, under their 'Employment Equity' section (which is where they try to determine whether you're of a minority so they'll look good if they hire you) they ask you to indicate whether you're a member of any of the following groups:

- Aboriginal / Torres Strait Islander
- Australian South-Sea Islander
- People from a non-English-speaking background
- People with a disability
- Women

Women? Seriously?? Wow, I never knew I was at a disadvantage!

...Though I'll admit, Freud aside, having your very own penis 24/7 could be a lot of fun and I'm damn annoyed that I didn't get one. I'll just have to borrow Joe's more often. :D

In other news, we tried to put a roof on the cat run last night and failed miserably, unless you view it from the perspective of the local mosquitos, who had a good feed at our expense. We cocked it up nicely; luckily we were able to undo the mess and all we lost was a couple of hours and fifty or so industrial-sized staples. ;)

The karma gods are scrambling to make up for our disastrous move-out of Bond Street lately by sending lots of good luck and happy coincidences my way, and to those around me too. For example, today Richard texted me ebulliently declaring that rather than forking out hundreds of dollars for a new dishwasher as he'd planned, he now gets a perfectly good one for free from a workmate. Despite the fact that Joe and I have been doing our dishes as we go, the trickle-down effect of having a dishwasher in the house will benefit us - I'll never have to scrub a sticky pan again, woohoo! It'll make it easier to keep the cat bowls cleaner too.

More luck came my way via some sort of tax cut in the new financial year, so suddenly I have an extra thirty dollars per pay to play with. This doesn't sound like much, but I can't tell you how often an extra thirty dollars would have come in handy.

Other budgetary constraints have eased up too, plus I got my group certificate today and realised that between working for nearly-nothing for Interrobang, and periods of unemployment between the two full-time jobs I've held in the past financial year, on paper I've earned crap all and I should get a fairly juicy refund (though I don't yet know how the purchase of the land might affect the outcome there). Assuming it goes well, it should be enough to pay off the personal debt I have, probably with a fair bit left over to cover the land rates that have accumulated on my block on Macleay since I've had it. I'm paying off my credit card out of my regular pay and it's half-done now, and I should be able to squeeze the remaining half out of next pay. I'm pouring so much into my mortgage that the block will be entirely mine in six years if I DON'T increase my repayments any further - but I plan to do so anyway.

It's not all sugar and glee - the final phone/internet bill for Bond Street was almost $200 and the disconnection fee roughly the same again, and Joe and I have decided to cover all that ourselves as at least one of our former housemates is under financial strain. But anyway, that's do-able and it could be a lot worse. :)

OK, so that turned into a long and boring ramble about money, but you guys, those few of you who read this far, here's the deal: we did it pretty tough when I was growing up; public schools and faded school uniforms, sneakers worn 'til they disintegrated (actually, I still do this now), scrimping and saving and watching my parents stress because things were so tight. And I did it tough as an adult, going from one low-paid animation job to another, no travel or holidays - too far out of reach - and at one point sometimes going a day or so without food due to failure to make the money stretch combined with the mistakes almost everyone makes when they first move out of home (for instance, overestimating how much of your income you can throw away in rent)... and now, at age 26, for the first time in my life, everything has eased up. I have enough. I honestly couldn't ask for more. Anything after this is a bonus. And this is the first time I've ever been able to say that.
tania: (Default)


I love you, Ryan North. I'm going to move to Canada and marry you. We'll have to get a prenup though. ;D
tania: (Default)
So we wound up seeing 'The Happening' last night - sorry guys, your dire warnings came too late!

The movie itself was forgettable but the situation was awesome: Joe and I were literally the ONLY people in the cinema. We sat in the exact middle prior to the start of the film and speculated about the myriad of creepy things that could happen to two people alone in a giant darkened room designed to seat hundreds.

As to the movie, we can get enjoyment out of almost anything. There were a couple of genuinely creepy moments. Shyamalan is a decent director, he's just a crappy screenwriter. Although I did notice one particular shot stolen straight from Spielberg.

Mark Wahlberg's acting is getting worse at he gets older, what's with that? He was AWFUL, completely wooden. Don't even get me started on the woman playing his wife.

The film felt under-developed... underwhelming in general. At home in bed afterwards, Joey and I dissected it and compared to 'War of the Worlds' and 'The Mist' - two other films with very similar setup and structure - and discussed why those films worked and this one didn't. In a way, I'm really glad we decided to see it - a good film would have been nice, but this one gave us great fodder for a discussion on filmmaking.

In other news, my neck is killing me, Joe and I are visiting my mum this weekend, we got a free Indian lunch at work again yesterday (go work!!) and some sort of tax law change in the new financial year has translated into me getting an additional $30 per pay. How awesome is that?

Moofies

Jul. 3rd, 2008 07:12 pm
tania: (Default)
I need a reality break, so Joe and I are going to a late movie tonight. Only problem is that there are no late showings of Prince Caspian - which we still haven't seen - so our choices are limited to The Hulk or The Happening.

On one hand, The Hulk went down well with critics and the Happening... didn't. On the other hand I don't think I'm in the mood for an action flick. But on the hypothetical THIRD hand, I'd take Edward Norton over Mark Wahlberg any day. Decisions...

Pre-nups

Jul. 3rd, 2008 08:09 am
tania: (Harvey Birdman - Judy - To the rescue!)
Today's 'Dinosaur Comics' struck a chord. Way back when Rob and I were first dating, his mother pressed him to think about a pre-nuptial agreement, and I was deeply offended at what I perceived as a lack of trust in me on her part. I was also disturbed by the very concept: wasn't marriage meant to be about love and lifelong committment? Why was a pre-nup necessary at all?



This is a really interesting topic. I used to be intensely bothered by the idea of a pre-nup: the idea pierced a hole through my cosy belief in the infallibility of the institution of marriage. It wasn't romantic, certainly not idealistic... in fact, in every way it appeared to run contrary to what Hollywood taught me marriage is all about.

Except a marriage has to last a lifetime, over a ton of practicalities, and when you consider that, I think you'd be a lunatic not to account for the possibility that it might end. People change.

A pre-nup is "love with an asterisk", yes. When you think about it, everything in life has (or should have) an asterisk. Life is unpredictable, everyone is different, and often things don't work out as planned: this is complexity at work. It is naive to put marriage on a pedestal, immune from the changes that affect friendships, businesses, countries and individuals, and say, "NAWWWW, nothing could POSSIBLY go wrong!"

Reminds me of the time they set sail on the Titanic without enough lifeboats. The designer, captain and passengers all held an unshakeable belief in the absolute unsinkability of that ship. So when someone cynically (or perhaps just cautiously?) said, "Dude, there aren't enough lifeboats..." aforementioned designer was probably as taken-aback as I was when my ex-fiance's mother suggested a pre-nup.

Preparing for the worst doesn't mean the worst will happen. Having faith in something shouldn't preclude a good dose of reason.
tania: (Futurama: Professor: Scheming)
We don't have a TV point in our room, so we haven't been watching the news at all, so forgive me please if everyone else in the world has already heard about this.

The Phoenix Lander found WATER ICE on Mars!

http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2008/06/mars-phoenix-tw.html

More news from the same front includes a discussion on how NASA will go about detecting life on Mars (believe it or not, the current and near-future missions are not equipped to do so!): http://news.yahoo.com/s/space/20080627/sc_space/willnasaeverfindlifeonmars;_ylt=AvHDKyZ9kg.s6dm1eoQ2hcSHgsgF

And analysis of the Martian soil proved that it had once interacted with liquid water and that the soil is currently still "friendly" (alkaline) enough to support life. Like, right now. You could grow asparagus in it. http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080627/ts_afp/usspacemars;_ylt=AvQzL91vkLvYcUBGMGsRkJmHgsgF

Aaaaand, scientists now have the capability to detect earth-sized planets around distant stars. Last I checked, they were only able to detect Jupiter-sized bodies so this is a BIG (or small?) step forward! The earth-sized planets mentioned in this article are too hot to support life, but now that we've got the technology, it's only a matter of time until we find a planet orbiting in the Goldilocks zone around its star - not too hot, not too cold, juuuuust right.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080616/ap_on_sc/sci_super_earths;_ylt=Am93l.gxpe2F_FkF5MdDjqOHgsgF

If there is only one scientific discovery I'd like to see happen in my lifetime, it's the discovery of life elsewhere in the universe. I'm not a UFO nut; I don't buy that we've had unnoticed "visitors" for decades, but I am very open to the possibility of life elsewhere. I want to be alive and kickin' the day our scientists find it. Oh, it would be gloriously convenient if that 'elsewhere' was Mars, right next door... Even if there is no current life on Mars, fossils or trace evidence of ancient life would give a generation of biologists a lifetime of new data to work from.

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Tania Walker

August 2008

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