tania: (Cats - Sawyer: LOLZ!)
You guys. You HAVE to click on this link. It's an auction currently up at Ebay.com.au and may well be the funniest thing I've ever seen on there!


I LOL'd so hard. That woman is awesome! I hope she does the Harley next!
tania: (Default)
PMS time again. It's such a weird sensation. My latest analogy (because I can't go for more than 24 hours without coming up with a crummy analogy for something) is that fighting off PMS is like fighting off drunkeness, except instead of struggling to overcome cheerfulness and dizziness, you're fighting off grumpiness, paranoia and sore boobies.

I use alcohol as an example because the effects of alcohol have a physical (rather than a mental) origin: an overabundance of a substance in your system. PMS is rather the same, it's just a different type of substance at work: bloody hormones.

For NEXT month I have a weapon, though. I got a new Pill presciption. Gonna start after this coming period. Three months worth are sitting in my wardrobe and supposedly they're good'uns, so... field testing time!
tania: (Cats: Techno!)

Pay no attention to the giantess in the background. You find some odd things at your local McDonalds on a Friday night spirit-walk.

Yesterday Joe was working at the Ekka all day, but I was at home, chillaxin' on the Ekka Day holiday. Joe's been jonesing for a Wii, which he would have been able to afford out of his coming pay packet, but due to pay dates and practicalities he wouldn't have been able to get it until the weekend.

He was all bored and "meh" at the Ekka, and my pay had come in, so I went out and bought all the gear, all sneaky-like, and put it all on the bed so it'd be the first thing he saw when he walked into the room that night after work.

We've started unlocking stuff in Brawl. :)

In other happy news, my Jenolan accomodation tickets are booked! This weekend I have to call and book the cave tours. Less than two weeks to go!
tania: (Default)
So you guys remember how I was upset because the Jenolan Gatehouse room rate had doubled from $30/night to $60/night in the time between me enquiring, and contacting them again to book?

Well, I explained my situation to them on the phone last week and asked to negotiate with the accomodation manager there. My phone has been really funky lately... I had a return phone call from that number on Friday afternoon but I'd missed it, as I was on the way home from work at the time. Apparently no message was left.

Today my phone finally gave itself some kind of digital ass-kicking and went, "oh! Shit! By the way, you've got a voicemail from, like, last Friday... hurr hurr... :B"

And it was from the Jenolan accomodation manager, who is letting me have the room for the four nights I wanted at the original rate. One single phone call saved me a hundred and twenty dollars. Or at least it will, when she calls me back, because I just called her, she was on break, and so we're still playing phone tag.


In other news, someone on [livejournal.com profile] brisneyland posted an entry asking about gyms in Brisbane. My reply was slightly off-topic, but I've seen so many friends join gyms (against good advice) and then kick themselves a few months later when they realise they hate it but they're tied to a contract... and yes, I'm one of those people myself, from way back... so I thought this was worth saying. And if it's worth saying on Brisneyland, it's worth saying here:

"I know this isn't what you're asking, but as someone who lost 25 kilos in a year, I can tell you this: gyms didn't work for me. They don't work for a lot of people. The atmosphere can be awkward and uncomfortable if you're in any way shy or body-conscious and not only do you have to motivate yourself to excercise, you have to motivate yourself to actually GET there. I've known countless people who've joined up and then found themselves stuck in expensive contracts long after they've decided that gyms aren't for them.

What worked for me was just walking, briskly, roughly 6 kilometers (approx an hour's worth) every day. It's good, natural cardio and from the moment you step out the door to the moment you arrive home, not a second of workout time is wasted.

Rather than spending fifteen minutes getting to a gym, half an hour of excercise interspersed with waiting for your turn on sweaty machines, and fifteen minutes getting back home to wind up with LESS excercise than you'd get wandering about in the great outdoors for that time, you can walk anywhere, anytime, and it's absolutely free. These days I include my walk in my daily routine by walking home from work (from Taringa to Kenmore). It costs nothing, saves me public transport money and I feel great. The same trip by bus in afternoon traffic takes almost half an hour anyway!

That's my 2c, hope it helps. I'd hate to see another person put off the overall idea of fitness just because of the limited and expensive nature of gyms. Save your money and buy an iPod to take on your walks instead.

(Gym fans, forgive me - I know it's totes awesome for some of you, I've just found it's not for everyone!) "

End comment, but I should've added that a stretching / yoga regime would be good (and free) too... crawling about in the tunnels under Coopers Plains, I couldn't help but notice that my strength is good but my flexibility is shot to shit.
tania: (Blackadder - Blackadder: Scheming)
Our plans to check out the Doulos on the weekend fell through, as we were all buggered by Sunday night, BUT the rest of the weekend was amazing!

On Saturday we went through the Coopers Plains stormwater drain system again, this time with Rose ([livejournal.com profile] rosequoll). Joe got some photos, which hopefully we'll see on Facebook before too long, and Rose made a new friend in the form of a very large skink that we rescued on the way out. Joe has now broken Ruby's record for farthest distance travelled, which resulted in him scrambling on hands and knees down a very small, tight tunnel while Rose and I waited at the junction between that and the tunnel we'd just arrived through. We weren't game to go any further; the one we'd arrived through was bad enough - sort of crawling on hands and feet (walking on all fours like a baby who is beyond crawling but not up to walking yet) the whole way. I ached for the rest of the weekend!

We found atmospheric shafts of light, gross clusters of roaches, grafitti dating back to 1979, a circular hidey-hole accessed by a crawlspace where we took a long break and talked in the dark, and one rather large Huntsman spider. We were underground for over two and a half hours.

After that we bid Rose farewell and took off to Joe's parents place, where we observed a routine bush-burn get out of hand a few kilometers away and turn into a short-lived but scary-looking bushfire.

That evening, Joe and I got into his dad's arc welding gear (with permission) and Joe taught me how to weld. For more info on arc welding, see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arc_welding

Apparently I picked it up pretty well, and my last practice-weld of the day was A+! Welding piqued my interest like nothing much has since I first put on a pair of rollerskates at age ten, or realised I could draw at age twelve, so I think I'll be revisiting that. The feeling it gave me was as welcome as a sorely-missed old friend: a kind of excited, stubborn determination, a thirst for more information, more practice, and patience for the learning process - I'm happy to start small at times like this, whereas I tend to be more impatient when learning something that doesn't interest me as much.

I remember this feeling clearly from the first time I skated, when I thought to myself, "I want to do this more. Lots more. And I want to be GREAT at it." From that point on I skated twice a week, every week - Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings - and after a year and a half I got good enough to get an invite into the competitive figure skating group, but turned it down because all the leaping and twirling wasn't anywhere near as fun as just skating super-fast. I kept that habit up for years and I'm still a good skater to date.

Same thing happened with drawing when I did a poster of a snow leopard in grade seven, and my teacher asked me if I'd ever taken drawing lessons. I told her I hadn't, and she told me I should. I never did get those lessons, but I drew so much and read so much about how to draw from that point on that I developed the skills without them.

There's been a lot of things since that I fancy I'd LIKE to do - learn an instrument, for example - but nothing has grabbed me this way since the above two examples. It's not a fancy, it's more of a pride thing... I've found something which I absolutely must get good at, Upon My Honor. I can't explain it any better than that. This one may pass the first time I badly burn (or electrocute) myself, but I damaged myself in a whole slew of ways learning to skate and it never put me off.

So I've been bitten by a new bug, and it's name is welding. Weird, I know. I just really like the stubborn strength and weight of the metal, and the welding itself is a skill that seems to require grunt and determination but also a delicate touch... finally, a real-media art option that actually appeals to me! And just think of the amazing things I could make, all with materials I can get from Reverse Garbage, or as factory offcuts!

Unlike rollerskating and drawing, though, this skill requires some serious equipment, so I'm not so sure this will go anywhere, and I don't want to outlay a lot of money for a hobby which I might not want to pursue when I get to know it better. We'll see...

After we came out of the shed, ashes were falling from the sky like snowflakes, but the bushfire was out.

We stayed the night, and the next day we piled ourselves and the dogs into Joe's mum's car, and she took us to the dog beach on the Gold Coast (where we drove right past Sea World, where Hammond and Adders were celebrating their anniversary) and had a picnic lunch sitting out on the pier where they've been filming scenes for an upcoming Nicholas Cage movie.

We got home late Sunday afternoon and had some home-based funtimes (use your imagination), and thus was completed another awesome weekend. Aside from a bit of fuel, it cost us exactly NADA!
tania: (Calvin & Hobbes: Destroy)
Bear with me for a moment, I'm just going to rain fire and brimstone down upon a local business. I'm a bit DOOM-y because I sense the first stirrings of PMS, but that doesn't invalidate what I'm annoyed about (it just increases what should be a Mild Annoyance Factor to Unwarranted Blistering Rage.)

For the purposes of this warning, I should note that Joe and I don't drive to work, ever. We ride the bus or we walk. This saves us fuel as well as wear and tear on Joe's car, which isn't the mighty she-demon it once was.

So: We've now had our TV in for a service at Radio Electronics in Taringa for almost a fortnight, contrary to the repairman's original estimation of a couple of days. This, I don't blame him for - the TV seems to have an overheating issue, and though he says it's nothing major, he's being thourough, which is to be commended. (Ask me again when he gives me the bill, though - he hasn't once asked me to approve any additional costs along the way, yet I'll be very surprised if the total bill remains true to his original quote. I'm bracing myself for at least an extra fifty bucks...)

Anyway, we've now bought the car in on TWO seperate ocassions to pick the TV up, based on checking the evening before and to make sure if it'll be ready for pickup and being assured that, yes, it's all good to go - and BOTH times, after we're driven the car in specifically to do this, he's turned around and told us "Oh, wait, I found something else wrong."

This man has Joe's mobile number, by the way. He's had plenty of opportunity to phone, both times, and let us know that pickup wouldn't be available when he said it would be. He could have saved us time, effort and fuel money. On neither ocassion did he bother picking up the phone. The first time I figured it was an oversight, but the second time, AFTER he'd already clearly inconvenienced us and I'd told him that we could only make pickup at a pre-arranged day because we DON'T drive the car daily - failing to give us a quick call was just weak.

I usually cut people a lot of slack, but after being stuffed around almost daily for two solid weeks, it's becoming difficult to maintain politeness towards this guy. Joe and I have both been doing full-time hours this week and we had concrete plans for the weekend, all weekend. Now if we want our TV before NEXT weekend (thus making it THREE weeks he'll have had it) we're going to have to mess with our plans. And that's assuming he'll actually have it ready this weekend, because if he doesn't, it'll only be about the fourth time he's told us the wrong date for pickup. This time I'm going to call him FIVE MINUTES before we leave the house, in the hopes that he won't find some other reason to do more to the set in the half-hour it'll take us to get there.

It's not the TV, it's not the fuel cost, it's not the wasted time I'm angry about, it's his shoddy customer service. Richard told us that he's had a bad experience with this guy before too... unfortunately this was after we'd already left the TV there. I won't be using Radio Electronics in Taringa again, ever, and I strongly recommend that if you live on this side of the river, you find someone else to fix your electronics.

Hooray for word of mouth, the blessing of a good small business and the curse of a bad one.


Aug. 7th, 2008 12:30 pm
tania: (Cats - Sawyer: OMGYEY!)
I found a faboo little budget calculator online this morning and after filling it out in a brutally honest manner, discovered that under my current 'budget', I'm spending slightly more than I make. *facepalm*

Link, for anyone who's interested: http://moneytools.news.com.au/banking/calculate/flash/budget-planner.asp

New budget time!

In other news, I got a coffee this morning (a budgetary mistake, I'm sure) and the dude who runs the cafe made it for me. I don't know what he does that the rest of his staff doesn't, but not only was it a very good coffee, it super-caffienated me to the point where I was over the road at lunch nearly three hours later, waiting for my food order, jiggling and thinking "IwannadanceIwannadanceIwannadance!" I have to go out dancing with Damien or Hammond one day, 'cos I'm willing to bet they'll be up for it - what's with the straight-guy no-no-dancey thing, anyway? The fact that I WANT to dance doesn't change the fact that I can't dance well in the slightest... But it's cool, I'm barely 5'3, which means that everything I do is automatically sort of endearing (even when it's completely retarded), so I roll with it.

Got awesome and varied plans this weekend with Joey, Rose and Hammond.

It could just be my imagination, but it seems that I'm seeing a lot less pewp in the cats litter trays, and a lot of disturbance in the soil outside. This makes me want to throw back my head, cackle wildly and screech, "IT'S WORKING!! AHAAHAAHAAA!" mad-scientist-style.

This just in: Damien is applying for the Static Artist position at SGRT. Could this turn out to be completely awesome? Yes, yes it could.
tania: (CD - Zakiya: Bounce)
With the cat run operational, the cat flap unsealed, and the cat litter prepped and raked into the soil, I've been trying to get the cats comfortable with the new setup. Obviously we'd be idiots to take away the litter trays before the cats are pooping outside with confidence. At this juncture I'll note that this entire entry will NOT be focusing on cat poo, so just skip the next three paragraphs if the poop thing bothers you. :D

So my plan was to use scent as a lure. I waited until Beckett made a particularly stinky contribution to the litter trays, scooped it up with a small shovel I found BURIED in Richard's garden (I know, right?? I was hoping for treasure) and dropped it through the netting (that almost went unimaginably wrong) into the litter-dirt.

Curiously, it's Sawyer who is adapting fastest. He turned up, sniffed the offering, and promptly buried it. Then he proceeded to walk about the place digging various holes, not to use them, just 'cos he seemed to get a kick out of it.

This morning, as Joe and I scampered out the door to work, we spotted Sawyer in the garden again, and watched with baited breath as he dug a small hole, positioned himself, adopted a look of intense concentration, and PEED OUTDOORS. Angels sang. I made a note to apologise to Sawyer for all those times I've told everyone he's "the dumb one". (He still is, but I'm going to be more respectful for a while!)

Onto non-poop-related matters: The Wii purchase has suffered a setback. Joe's weekend Ekka shifts, which were previously going to make him a "thousandaire" (his term), were given to a new recruit who needed the experience. Around the same time, I rang the Gatehouse backpacker lodge at Jenolan to make my booking and was informed that the room cost has DOUBLED since I made my enquiries a month ago. As you can imagine, I'm kicking myself for not scraping together the funds and booking it then.

So the upshot is that the Wii has been put back to early September, as it's all savings and my Jenolan trip between now and then. To make up for lack of Wii, Joe and I planned a weekend of dazzling adventure which, to be honest, is probably going to be a lot more fun and memorable than hours of Super Smash Bros Brawl anyway.

On Friday night we're repeating our Spirit Walk to the old site of Amazons water park, now a bunch of factories which, though less fun, are no less awesome late at night when you're a long stone's throw away from sober. If we can get Sarah Grey to come along, all the better.

On Saturday we're hitting the stormwater drains at Coopers Plains once again, this time with Rose ([livejournal.com profile] rosequoll) in tow. This is mostly because she complained, upon reading the previous entry re: stormwater drain exploration, that nobody she knew ever did awesome stuff like THAT with her, so now we're going to prove her wrong.

Joe has been using Google Maps to chart various things, such as our Spirit Walk route, sites of interest in Brisbane, and entrances and exits to the stormwater drains. I'm not going to link any of those here, however, as he hasn't updated his journal in months and this will give him an excuse to do so. Go, Joey, go! Time is of the essence!!

Saturday night we'll go up to Joey's parents farm, eat his mum's delicious cooking, steal a few pumpkins again and watch some shooting stars.

Sunday we maaaay be going to the Ekka with my dad, if Jeanne gives him the go-ahead... he called before wanting to make plans and I could hear her in the background saying, "Oh, but we've got to do this, and this, and that..." SHUSH, CHATTY MONKEY! ( <-- +10 cool points if you get that reference.)

Either way, we have great plans for Sunday night: along with my gorgeous-boy Hammond, we're going on a tour of the Doulos (http://www.doulosdownunder.org.au/) which is an internationally-travelling library-on-water... basically, an immense old liner which is now run by a charity and travels the world selling awesome old books at great prices. Rosa said she picked up the entire Sherlock Holmes collection for ten dollars. As you can imagine, having heard that, nothing can stop me going to see if I can find the same! Either way, apparently the books are cheap, the tour is interesting and SERIOUSLY, FLOATING LIBRARY? WHY AM I EVEN EXPLAINING THIS?

Today I bought a new, very ancient-looking, very large parchment-style map of the world off Ebay. I also sourced a sheet of cork roughly the same size, and will be attempting to either source some thin MDF, plywood or veneer to use as backing, and possibly some sort of frame just to ensure the edges stay flat and undamaged. Essentially, I'm creating an enormous pinboard map, into which I'll be sticking map pins of various colours as I plot my world domination travels. I figure all up the setup will only cost me about $60 plus my time, which is drastically cheaper than what it would cost were I to have it done professionally.

In other news, Joe got his first real haircut since the Airforce (I don't include the times I shaved him) and he looks hot.

I spent a good portion of the day laughing at the news that when Stephanie Meyer released her final Twilight novel, legions of fans returned it to their bookstores in disgust.


Aug. 4th, 2008 12:08 pm
tania: (AAAUGH!)
Joe and I are getting a Wii next payday. The newest gaming system we own is a secondhand Playstation 2, so we're thinking it's time to upgrade... alright, I admit it, that's all beside the point. Truth is, we really just want to beat the crap out of each other some more in Super Smash Brothers Brawl. :D

So, have you guys got any advice on how we should approach this mighty purchase? Is there a particular bundled deal you can recommend? A particular store or chain that throws in sweet freebies?

The main things we want are:

- The Wii
- 2 controllers
- Guitar Hero (with two guitars)
- WiiPlay

That's really it at this point. It'd be nice if I could get an old-fashioned controller too, I prefer those. Do you recommend getting the Wii Classic controller or should I get a Gamecube controller secondhand and connect it? Also, a classic-style controller that is also wireless (like X-Box controllers) would be sweet, but I'm not even sure such a thing exists for the Wii.

Any other recommended games?
tania: (Cats: Techno!)
The weekend was nice. Hammond came over and we all 'ooh'ed and 'aah'ed over his new iPhone. I'm generally not much of a technophile - computers are tools, not toys - but even I was enchanted by this magical device. Not enchanted enough to sign up for a $60/mo plan for the next two years though; I don't even know if I'll be in the country anymore in two years time!

I love the multi-point touch system, though. I'm waiting for the day when Wacom Cintiqs meet Macs and result in a single, flat tablet-screen that is light enough to be carried around with you, large enough to read and do artwork on, and touch-sensitive enough that the keyboard is a touch-operated digital (not literal) graphic on the screen which can be 'slid out' when needed and 'slid away' when not, and when a mouse is a relic of the past. My ideal computer will be just one big shiny square that works with nothing more than fingers and, in Photoshop, a stylus for art.

Later that night, Joe and I went on a little 'spirit walk' down to the motorway, across the river, to the place where Amazons used to be. Amazons was Brisbane's waterslide park until competition with Wet & Wild on the Gold Coast took it down. It's gone now and there's just houses and factories where it was, but it was still a pretty awesome nightly trek. The backlots of factories in particular can be creepy fun at night.

In completely unrelated news, I picked up The X-Files seasons 1, 2 and 3 on a really good deal - all of them were very much on sale, and on top of that it was buy two, get one free. So we watched a fair bit of that on the weekend, reminding ourselves that the show was much, much better than that awful recent movie, and as a result I have a neckache today. Woe. This is what happens when I watch too much TV in bed.

And this reminds me, in five minutes it'll be 9am, and then I can call our TV repair guy and find out why he wasn't answering his phone on Saturday. -_-

In other news, the cat run is FINISHED! Thanks Richard's Dad, Thrad! I bought a rake and some environmentally-friendly cat litter and created a toilet area in there. The cats have picked up on how to use the cat flap (Jangles was first, but happily, even Sawyer has twigged to it now!) and they LOVE the run - racing back and forth in joy, rolling in the dust, flopping in the sun, and all in complete safety from cars, dogs, and unkind humans - but as yet they haven't twigged that it also has potential as a bathroom. Any ideas on how to encourage them to switch their pewping activities outside would be appreciated.

The best and most interesting thing we did on the weekend happened when we caught up with Greg ([livejournal.com profile] greg_merlo) on Sunday. On a whim, we drove out to Coopers Plains, where Joe spent some of his teenage years exploring the underground stormwater drain system with his sisters. To date Ruby holds the record of farthest distance reached, as she was nine years old at the time and could wriggle further.

Wriggle room wasn't a problem for us that day, as we were sticking to the main routes, many of which are so large you can walk upright through them.

We had one small LED torch and a green laser pointer to light our way - and those tunnels are completely black. We chose a cloudless, dry day and it hadn't rained for a week, but beyond that we were ill-prepared. Next time it's miner's helmets and knee-pads,a nd for me, proper boots instead of sneakers. There was a bit of climbing to be done but the water level was very low, just a trickle in most parts. I found one completely dry area but the tunnel was quite small so I was the only one who was game to go in.

At one point, when we were deep in the bowels of the system, something exploded with a crack-flash between Greg and I. I yelled at Joe straight away because I knew what it was. Poor Greg wasn't so lucky. ;P Joe has these little tiny paper pouches full of small stones and gunpowder. When you throw one, the impact of landing causes the gunpowder inside to ignite with a loud CRACK! He misuses these frequently.

The echoes in the tunnels are amazing. We also found some really funky little white toadstools growing out of a crack in the wall. Joe's camera ran out of power almost immediately, but we're going to go back on a planned expedition with proper gear and charged cameras. I postulated a scenario where the torch dies and we hear something coming toward us, and the only way we can see is by flashing the camera again and again. Joe added that in that situation, it should be one of those cameras that charges up with a slow whine before each flash, just to add to the tension.

I'm sure the real trip will be less eventful, but still awesome.
tania: (Default)
Another beautiful Friday! The week went by in a flu-ish daze. I'm really starting to pick up now though; all I've got left is a persistant cough and a bucketload o' plegm! (Sexy, no?)

Anyway, the activity for this afternoon is to head over to the doctor in West End and get my third and final anti-cervical-cancer shot. Can you believe they now have immunisations against some types of cancer? (Okay, I'm aware it's more complicated than that, but really, that's what it boils down to.) We're living in the future, guys!

Tonight we're going to catch up with Sarah Grey, as we missed our (now usual) Thursday night movie this week. My theory is that we were all still reeling over how awful the X-Files movie was. I think SG wants to see Mama Mia, which is a romantic comedy which Joe would never, ever go to see if I suggested it, and I'm going to tease him mercilessly about this small turn of hypocrisy, which is really quite cruel of me because he's been lovely lately! All in all I can't complain because the movie has got Colin Firth in it, and he's the Chuck Norris of romantic comedies.

On Saturday we're finally, finally picking up our fixed-up TV. We're going to need a hand getting the wall unit from the garage into the living room; Joey, me and two other men ought to be able to cover it but I'm not sure how to organise that or who to bribe yet. ;) Once the wall unit is inside I can set up the surround sound and such, and next time Joe gets a big pay I promised him I'd go halves in a Wii, so we will have A MIGHTY FORUM FOR SUPER SMASH BROS BATTLES in our very living room.

We're meant to be seeing Damien on Saturday, so if by some miracle we get the wall unit moved and the setup sorted, maybe we can watch some Pixar movies and draw or something.

Saturday night my workmate Pat, our resident mathematician, is throwing a Disco vs Glam Rock party and I'm thinking about going.

We're meant to be catching up with someone on Sunday too... I think Joe was going to ask Greg?

In other news, Chris is doing the partnership tax return, which is the final bit of Interrobang paperwork I'm still involved in, so once he's done that I can do my tax return and knock a personal debt out of the water. Sweet! We discovered a paperwork error means that we still each owe $120 from the last BAS to the tax office, but these things happen.
tania: (Me - Smirk)
This is what Damien did to us on the weekend (well, that, and getting us addicted to Super Smash Brothers Brawl, and attempting to force a paradigm shift on my plans for the future...)

Joe's gone straight!

...Sort of. Good god, are his eyes RED??

I'm the forties, lol lol lol!! I'm carrying too much winter chub. :( And my eyebrows need waxing.

I love that my previous entry, being about boobies, got like a zillion comments. YOU CANNOT DENY THE POWER OF THE BOOBIES.

Amped on coffee again. *twitch* *zzt*


Jul. 30th, 2008 12:26 pm
tania: (Cats: Techno!)
Played more Super Smash Brothers Brawl (that title is a bit of a mouthful, innit?) over at Hammond's last night, and met his friends Zoe and (oops, I've forgotten her fella's name), who were both awesome, and who I'd like to get to know better. Diz and Luke were in attendance too, and Diz provided us with stories of the latest evolution of her little brother, complete with wild hand gestures to impart his growing insanity.

I'm slowly getting hooked on SSBB. A Wii may be in the near future for Joey and I. Halvies, Joey? I've been playing Pikachu and Chibi Link 'til now, but last night I got hooked on Meta Knight because he can fly, which as you can imagine really helps with my inability to rescue myself when I fall off the battle platform. Plus he's all spinny and bladey and crap.

Joe being Joe, he always plays on random character and random level, which is always fun.

Speaking of games:

Screenshot from the new Soul Caliber game. Crikey, what a costume! Why don't we just dispense with the formalities and let her fight with her tits out? You've gotta admit, it'd be a hell of a distraction technique.

Seriously, though? No point getting worked up over this sort of thing, gals. A good ol' bellylaugh will accomplish volumes more than pages of internet whinging. Speaking of a laff, when is some savvy female programmer going to design a game where Antonio Banderas and Bradd Pitt whack each other with their giant erections? I'd play that. Admit it, so would you.
tania: (Default)
Best day EVAR! At work someone ran into the room telling us that the DVD rental store downstairs was shutting down and selling off all their DVDs at $2 - $3 each. Rosa and I sort of looked at each other...

Rosa: "I must... go to the bathroom..."
Me: "Yes. I must also use... the bathroom..."
Both: *runawayfast*

I came back twenty minutes later with:

- Prince of Persia for PS2
- Season 1 of The Muppet Show
- Season 2 of The Muppet Show
- Season 1 of Fraiser
- Season 1 of Harvey Birdman
- Dilbert: The Complete Series
- Neverwhere: The Complete Series
- Black Sheep

I also managed to accidentally buy a single disc from season one of Boston Legal; I picked it up while looking for its companions and forgot to put it back when I couldn't find them. Oops. Oh well, it was only $2. The entire cost of the above was $46! Some of the cases aren't pretty, and they'll take up space because each disc of each season takes up its own single case, so I'm going to drop into JB Hi Fi next chance I get, pick up some multi-disc cases and swap the cover inserts into those.

Also, Rosa and Mark loaned me the box sets of Seasons One and Two of 'Avatar'.

So yes. As far as DVDs go, today was manna from heaven day. Tonight Joe and I are heading to Hammond's place for pizza and funtimes. All in all an A+ day!

Best part is that when I got back to the art room, it was completely empty because everyone else including our manager had caved to temptation and run off to the sale too. ^_^
tania: (Default)
So I spent the entire weekend in the company of Joey, Hammond and Damien playing Smash Brawl on the Wii (I play the small, irritating characters like Pikachu and Chibi Link) which I'm surprisingly not bad at, unlike that bloody Mario racing game, my abilities at which can only be described as heinously awful.

Spending the weekend in the company of two charming gay men led to lots of delicious cooking, and ultimately, Joe and I swapping hairdos: Joe's hair is now straight, mine is wildly curly. The curls were supposed to drop out by the end of the day but much to everyone's surprise they remained. I slept on them, brushed my hair this morning and it is STILL curly. So that's fun and new. Joe loves it and says I look like a 1940's gal. We have photos, nothing online yet though.

Joe, with straight hair, looks like... Greg. Hee.

Damien is an amazing ball of energy. By the end of the weekend he was insisting I apply to Pixar with him so we could all move to LA, and Joe could get a job doing something, and Hammond could be a radiation therapist in LA too, and... the frightening part is at the end of a mere two days he'd just about convinced us all to do it. 9_9 That boy has magical powers, I swear.

Anyway, as 95% of you don't know half the people I'm talking about, I'll move onto a more generic piece of news, which is this: John Barrowman, who plays Captain Jack Harkness in Doctor Who and Torchwood, has entered the fray of casting possibilities for CAPTAIN AMERICA.

I couldn't have cared less about Captain America 'til I heard the news from my workmates this morning (none of whom have been exposed to the mightiness of Doctor Who yet) and totally lost my shit in front of them. I was like "YES!! AWESOME!! WOOO!!" and they were all "..."

I still have the flu and am currently pretty busy. Back to it!

Flu dreams

Jul. 25th, 2008 01:25 pm
tania: (Thoughtful sunrise)
This flu is bad enough that I took the day off today. Last night was a bit hellish; sleep + flu aren't a good match, but the night sort of divided itself into two pieces.

The first was guilt-dreams. I hate it when things are bad with anyone I care about, and I don't hold grudges, so the net result is I have guilt-dreams where I'm making amends by either speaking to or writing a letter to whoever has a problem with me. My sleeping brain tries to make everything alright again in a completely nonproductive and frustrating way. Thanks brain, thrain.

I woke up from that, drank a little water, and fell into Sleep Part II. All the knots in my head untangled. I dreamed that Joe and I walked into the azure sea together, each clutching a bodyboard, and we lay on the boards - just like I used to do at Kings Beach as a kid - and turtle-paddled out way out to sea in slow, lazy strokes of our arms. Our legs trailed in the water behind us. The air was tropical and the water so clear that when we were out in the middle of open ocean - calm ocean, no waves - and I looked off the side of my bodyboard into the water I could see clear forty feet down and the sea was filled with enormous turtles, all stroking and swimming, just like us.

I'm sure at this point of the dream I wasn't sure where we were going, and at some point Joe told me he was heading back, and I wasn't concerned in the slightest... it was just me and the turtles after that. The ocean and the sky became gray and land appeared on the horizon, and as the waters cooled, the turtles left me alone. I paddled into a narrow bay of mangroves and pulled my board ashore, gingerly stepping around the hundreds of stubby black mangrove shoots, my toes squelching through the dark muddy sand. I found a road and walked along it. There were little beach houses all about; it was a coastal town, and it reminded me of the town I grew up in, before the town grew up too. I found the local police station and asked them where I was.

They told me. They asked where I'd come from, and were amazed when I told them. I showed them my drivers license. After that there were lots of questions, and things became blurry; all I knew was that what had happened, that swim which had seemed so nonchalant at the time, was something unbelievable. They must have found Joe and they flew him over, and when I met him I laughed and told him: "I wound up swimming all the way to Canada...!"


Jul. 24th, 2008 09:30 am
tania: (Cats - Sawyer: OMGYEY!)
Today I have the flu and feel reeeaaally lousy, but I'm at work anyway (and will be tomorrow, too) because there's a couple of things I need to get done here before the weekend. I shall be meek and quiet and try not to infect anyone.

I called mum last night, wished her happy birthday, and read her the itinery over the phone. She was so happy she cried. We're going on the Ghan!

The Ghan

Jul. 23rd, 2008 02:37 pm
tania: (Cats: The way to heaven)
After having dinner with Vix the other night I was taken aback when she thanked me for listening to her. Thinking about it afterwards, it reminded me how important it is to have someone around who'll listen to you when you're feeling down, and that thought led me to recall how much my mum was there for me when I went through a black time last year.

Mum let me stay and put up with me when I was at my most morose. When I phoned her, upset, she'd take the time to listen to me, day or night. I'm 26 years old, well capable of looking after myself, so the fact that she looked out for me so much is something I'll always be grateful for. After leaving Vix at the bus stop and settling myself in at the local Dark And Creepy Park to wait for Joe, I sent mum a quick SMS, thanking her for being there for me.

Today Brigitte Walker turns 51. In about a month, she'll be a grandmother for the first time. I'm in no position to fill her life with adorable babies, so in the spirit of the one-upmanship my brother and I playfully engage in every birthday and Christmas with mum, I thought for her birthday this year, I'd offer her something completely different. Stay with me, I'm getting to the point... slowly...

Last weekend Joe's mum alerted me to a fare sale for The Ghan (http://www.gsr.com.au/our-trains/the-ghan/the-journey.php), which is a legendary train route that runs from Adelaide in South Australia, up through Alice Springs (gateway to Uluru / Ayers Rock), then up still more through Katherine (gateway to the world-famous national park at Katherine Gorge), terminating in Darwin in the Northern Territory. It's got comfy seats that recline into beds, and food, toilets and showers on board. It's a bit like a luxury hotel on wheels and it cuts across the continent from south to north, covering a variety of stunning landscapes.

The fares are going ridiculously cheap at the moment - $79 Adelaide to Alice Springs, and another $79 Alice to Darwin with a day-stop at Katherine. The catch is that tickets must be purchased by the end of July, and the journey must be taken by late October.

Around the same time, I got my usual airfare sale alert email from Virgin Blue. $99 Brisbane-Adelaide, $129 Darwin-Brisbane.

I did some quick calculations, researched backpacker websites for tour group options and ratings at Uluru (around $320 for a highly-recommended three-day tour with food and accomodation) and crunched the numbers. The journey will take a week, leaving Adelaide on Sunday, stopping at Uluru for three days, and arriving in Darwin the next Saturday. The cost of fares and tours will be $710 each. The only cost not included there is food, and I'd intend to cheap out a little by taking a supply of muesli bars and portable foods, so that only dinners need be purchased (and only those on the non-tour days).

Essentially, it'll be an epic overland journey through the heart of Australia, and whilst I briefly considered going with a friend, I realised that most of them won't be able to pull the funds together in time, let alone get a week off. Joe would like to go but he wants to focus on getting a fulltime job, and he can't do that if he's depending on being able to nick off for a week in October. I'm still going to take him to the volcanoes, anyway. In the meantime there's a massive opportunity here for me to do something good for mum in return for what she's done for me - and whittle away some of that pesky airline credit before the December deadline in the process.

Soooo, I'm going to cover her plane tickets and handle all the bookings and organisation for the trip. I'd love to cover the whole cost for her but I can't - she understands, though, the plane tickets are already worth a lot more than I'd usually be able to give her for her birthday and they reduce the cost of the trip down to something like $450, which is a very reasonable price to pay for a week traversing the Aussie wilderness in style. I've already run it by her and alerted her that there'll be some cost for her. She says it's fine, as Geoff is moving back in with her as a boarder and covering a good portion of her mortgage, leaving her with extra moneys. We're going to hash over the details tonight.

I haven't actually told her what the plan is yet, either... all she knows is that I want her to take a week off in October, and that I have an adventure planned. OK, so you're probably thinking it's pretty daggy to do something like this with a parent, but my mum deserves awesome adventure too - when she was my age she didn't get to travel, she was too busy raising me! Soon she'll get to ride on this:

...and spend three days touring and seeing this:

...and having a half-day whistle-stop tour of this:

Not to mention bountiful quality time with her daughter. :D

In other news, I've caught Joe's cold/flu thing but judging by his progress through it, it's just going to be a sore throat and tiredness for a couple of days. I'll kick its arse.

Also, the bigass TV is currently in for repair. Brace yourselves for marathons including, but not limited to: Californication, Invader Zim, Doctor Who, the Christian-Bale-a-thon, and many more. I'm also hoping to find a couple of strapping young men to help Joe and I carry the entertainment unit from the garage into the living room. Volunteers will be rewarded with pizza if it's evening, pancakes if it's morning! I'm looking at you, Hadders. ;)
tania: (The Incredibles: Artist At Work)
Painting (of course) has filled my day again. This piece is almost finished. At a loose guess, slicing out my frequent breaks to check Ebay / LJ / Facebook / email, I must've put about 20 hours into this... I'm a slow artist, painting or cartooning. This weekend with Damian is going to be GREAT practice though, lots of sketching. The subject matter will most likely be 'sexy toony pinup babes', because of course that's exactly what you'd expect as the favourite subject matter of a gay guy and a (mostly) straight girl.

Anyway, to get to the point in a roundabout way, today's working music is Evanescence. Laff it up, guys, I know they're totes emo, but for some reason they really get my drawing groove on. I think it's because their music is all "I R INTENSE AND SRS AND OBSESSIVE AND STUFF" which is lines up precisely with my natural drawing groove... even when I'm drawing small, goofy toons. CARTOONING: SRS BZNS.

What do you guys listen to while drawing? Does it differ from your usual music choices? Do you find you have trouble focusing if the music has lyrics? (I can't listen to anything but classical or score while writing, but drawing is another matter.) Your artsy habits, tell me them.

On Wednesday night, Joe's having dinner with a friend who is having some troubles, so I'll be at loose ends. At least, I would have been at loose ends once upon a time. This time, I thought about rustling up a mate or two for hangout time, but then I thought... nah. Being single left me with a huge appreciation for me-time. I'm ashamed to remember how often I was at loose ends if Joe went off and did something without me before the breakup. Let's not even mention how long it took me to adjust to being on my own FULL-STOP. Palm, meet face.

So I guess that off-topic last paragraph was me being all, "Dude, I was kinda lame, but now I rule?" I have now evolved to the stage where I supply my own asspats. If I were a pokemon I'd just have turned into asspatmon, and be wandering around squeaking "Asspats. ASSpats!"
tania: (Cats - Sawyer: LOLZ!)
Thanks for the reminder that my HECS debt is smalltime, you guys. You all have my intense sympathy. o_o

The weekend was intense. We all got very drunk and badly-behaved at my work Christmas-in-July party on Friday night. The highlight was Neil mooning us all while hugging one of the bosses. Joe caught it on film. Dynamite stuff! We laughed 'til we cried and drank the German restaurant completely dry of apple schnapps. COMPLETELY. And then we harassed the German accordion player into playing the Batman theme for us. It was amazing. Oh my god. I love my coworkers so fucking much!

There was other stuff, like the farm, and bushwalking with Joe's mum, and meeting fellow-ex-Disney artist Damian. He worked for Disney Adventures magazine rather than the studio, which is why we hadn't crossed paths 'til now. His sister is called Tanya, so to avoid confusion he just decided to call me Red from the outset. Not the first time I've been called that... I think it's kinda cute. :) This weekend we also had our Batman Day with aforementioned coworkers, all of whom, like me, seem pretty hangover-proof, but the German restaurant was definitely the highlight. We'll never let Neil forget it (which is good, because at present he doesn't actually remember anything after tucking into his giant plate of duck). But yeah... we crammed all that and more into two days and it rocked!

Joe has some sort of flu... aching joints, sniffly nose, the lot. I'm not trying to avoid snogging him (he's extra cute when he's sick); if I catch it, I catch it. I might eat an orange today though.

I drank a coffee at ten and a Red Bull at midday, and got severe headspins a couple of hours later. Coincidence?

Got some freelance work to do tonight, SO NOT TAKING ON MORE AFTER THIS, even though I just love this client. :( Work doesn't leave me with enough time, and what spare time I do have, I'd prefer to devote to my own creative pursuits.

I'm so proud of my digital painting I want to cry. :D I'm enjoying this feeling while it lasts; knowing me, I'll finish the piece and loathe it two days later.

I've been trying to buy an old-school wooden library card-file drawer off Ebay and finally found a double-drawer unit that I really LOVED, but was thwarted by a last-second bidder. I accept that this is karma for all the times I've inflicted that on others.

Joe's at home making pumpkin soup from one of his mum's fresh home-grown pumpkins. Try to top THAT for awesomeness! I'm bringing home the rolls. I so feel like the man of the house. I need to get me some britches so I can stride in the door at home, snap 'em against my chest (ow) while observing Joe barefoot in the kitchen, and shout "WOMAN, MAKE ME A SAMMICH!"

Haha, old-school Michael Jackson just came on my iPod - this day gets better and better!


tania: (Default)
Tania Walker

August 2008

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