Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Like Jesus, I like wine - warning: GIFS EVERYWHERE


Oh my god – would you look at that – I'M NOT DEAD!!!! Its like a Christmas Miracle.
Yeah… well… I technically was.

I actually got off my ass and did something!!
And I have done many things in the past few months.

One – I have finished my masters! I AM A MASTER



….i am a master…. master, master, master….

Yes, I have finished my masters studies – and now that its done, I will never make any intellectual propositions ever again.  I shall cease to cogitate at higher levels from now on.

All I will think about from now on are kittens and Turians.  (And shoes) - And Christmas!!!!




Seriously, these studies have sucked the everliving crapping life out of me.  I feel so tired and so, so drained and oddly, slightly lost.  I feel like there should be something I should be stressing about, but I no longer have any assignments or exams to stress out over.
Its weird, I have yet to make up my mind as to whether this may lead me to darker paths – like considering another degree. (My wallet agrees with my gut in that it does not want to be taken on another wild financial ride until I consider buying a house).

I am now catching up on a fuckton of TV shows that i've been abstaining from in order to read my source materials, except not really because I've been watching re-runs of The Thick of It.  As such I can succesfully claim I still havent watched the Walking Dead, except one or two relevant episodes.
Bear with me, there's a reason why I am woefully behind the Walking Dead and always fucking know the fucking story in fucking Bala-fucking-mory.  (I am told there are good looking guys who possibly kiss each other, if that's not yum fodder, I don’t know what is, except – its not true – the actors on the show sometimes kiss each other, is that better?)

I mean, because Malcolm Fucking Tucker is amazing that's fucking why, and he's also going to become a mother-fucking Dalek Fucker.

Look at that intense Angry Doctor Face...
I don’t know, it was partially relevant to my studies (not really), it was Malcolm Tucker.  Need I say more?

But um… yes.
Oh, I went to PAX!!!! the one is Australia that is, the first one ever on Aussie soil, I was like, a pioneer, like Captain Cook, except without the racism (much) and the getting stabbed in Hawaii (well, I did get drunk in a Mexican themed bar, but I did not inappropriately touch ANY chieftain's daughter). Ok - this is super old news.  But still, that's sort of exciting rights? I'm also going to PAX 2014 - yipee! I smell a nerdy tradition involving Cards Against Humanity.

PAX was lovely, I made new friends and had a great time playing card and boardgames.  I actually ignored a lot of the video games because, well, I play video games at home, there's no point.  I tried out some of the indie Aussie developments like Black Annex, which gives me a headache but is really, really cute. (the pixelated graphics animate rather jarringly which is not good on the eyes, but the slightly bland color palette helps a bit).

I also got so see Beyonce live, it was a religious experience and damnit, I cried, I went like a loser Beyonce nerd to the concert on my own, stood next to some kids and a tourist and whooped and cried my way through two hours of booty shakin. 
I have been waiting a long time to use this .gif
I have no regrets.

I also went to a packed Bon Jovi Concert - I didnt really know a lot of their newer stuff but did go bananas because I am wanted.... dead or aliiiiiiiiive.
taken with potato...

I am almost fully caught up on Game of Thrones – yes, FINALLY! the books that is.  I had read the first book when I was like 14, and found it a bit too confusing for my tastes at that time.  Now I am managing to make my work commutes super dramatic and I am really, enjoying the ride.  I wont watch the series because its just too much.  My Daenerys looks wildly different to the one in the series (same for Drogo) and god, Brienne.  Lordy, the TV Brienne is so beautiful in comparison to book Brienne (and oddly, my Jamie is more handsome in a different way). 
I am also planning on maybe, possibly (i'm so lazy so let's just assume I wont) doing several fan pieces of art and sculpture to sell for next year's SydNova.  This includes some baby dragon eggs, some paintings of the Summer ilse's landscapes (guize, Volantis is beautiful guize - re-read the descriptions). 
yeah - that's as far as i go...

Oh, but Jorah Mormont – YUM, Bronn – DOUBLE YUM (I have been, as a result been in love with Ripper Street).
Never my delicious Bear, NEVER
Other than PAX, I have been up to absolutely nothing because, did I mention? I finished my masters!!!!

I have about 4 months' worth of podcasts to catch up on and OH SO MUCH ART AND CRAFT.
so much – I think I am going to cry…

Oh – and in my usual late to the video game party revelations – THE WITCHER MAKES ME FEEL SO DIRTY, HOLY SHIT GERALT WHY YOU SLEEP WITH ALL THE WIMINZ
I guess being a mutant means he won't get STDs. But god, he is such a sleaze, I tried really hard to not get the sexy times conversations – I kept thinking you'd get advice or new entries in your glossaries (like that one swamp lady that reaches you all the swamp herbs – so useful) and sometimes, I just slept with the ladies thinking that would award me some skill or alliance (eg the Dryad) but no, just a collectible graphic.

His pickup lines are terrible! which is why I probably ended up sleeping with a few ladies that I didn’t want to sleep with, the lead up was awful.  I only actually bothered myself with Shani.  She's cool, and actually has proper social interactions with Geralt.  AND WHO PAYS 70 ORENS TO SLEEP WITH A PROSTITUTE?!?!?!?!
Triss, well, I re-loaded an old save file and avoided that pile of crap.

Geralt, you're skanky. 
That having been said, the Witcher is a phenomenal game and I love the crap out of it regardless.

Also… my computer is dead.
Not completely dead, just the hard drive – all my data, corrupted, the partition, dead.

This is the second time its happened guys, AM I CURSED?

will I never see my hentai from ten years ago that I am no longer interested in ever again?!?!?!

what a life.
I have started prototyping for next year's crafts table at Supanova (badly).  To be honest I am so run down that again, I am resolving that this will be my last year.  I don’t know for sure, I don’t even have the energy to set up an etsy store.  I feel very creative but I don’t feel I can do anything with it.  If anyone would want to buy stuff off me that would be nice, but I'd rather do my usual art exchanges.

Speaking of which!
I did a canvas exchange with the Sketchbook Project in August.

I made this:

And got this in return from California!

Pretty cool huh?
Oh and in case you didn't know, or got bored by my last slightly emotional entry - I help out on a lovely movie reviewing podcast, hosted by Miles from www.mustlovefilm.com - he talks and reviews movies and dude, it is so very informative, I learn so much awesome stuff. And also I am having a hell of a fun time.

So – finally, a blog post, not that it matters much, but yeah, I'm somewhat alive.  And obviously still committed, sort of.  Hopefully I can write better things soon and have less reddit ripped gifs to show for my new found creativity – And yes - its Xmas time and I have a surprisingly alrge amount of babies to babysit or play with.  I am super clucky this year, its really perturbing.
But let's not get too excited.



I may eventually change my blog design too - I have been sort of drawing... sometimes...

OH GOD WHO AM I KIDDING I AM GOING TO SPEND THE REST OF MY LIFE PLAYING MONSTER HUNTER.

GOODBYE CRUEL WORLD. (Merry Christmas and Happy New Year - I promise I'll post again, super duper promise!!)

Oh - and I got a beautiful Intuos Wacom Tablet doodler for my birthday.  You are now obligated to nag me - in particular on facebook, to get on with the drawing of the things and the artings.  GODDAMNIT DO NOT WASTE SUCH AN AMAZING GIFT!!!

Peace out fellow canines!


Monday, 9 December 2013

Dancing on the streets of Soweto


OK – so I had a long post for November with jokes and happy things and tidings but I was lazy and forgot to post it and now its December and things happened.

Also - before I get morose I want y'all to know that there is an awesome local podcast by Melbourne fella Miles about film, film reviews and movies and movie related stuff (I may or may not contribute to it *winkwinknudgenudge*) at www.mustlovefilm.com - its super informative, simple, clean, and real cool, listen to it folks!!! you'll learn heaps, I know I did.
As you know, I normally don’t do serious pieces, even my pope piece was a lame attempt at angry people humour that frankly, prompted a Christina blogger to attempt to get me to follow his blog in the hopes of, I don’t know, softening me?

He failed in garnering my interest because there were no pictures of unicorns and dragons, I mean, come on.
But last week and important, probably the most important human being in our generation passed away and I kind of wonder what that actually means.

Madiba was a world hero, but his passing marks the end of an era that remembered a time in our recent memory where real, genuine, concrete injustice and cruelty occurred.
His life's work was this genuine fight against real oppression, not the butt-hurt, demands to check one's privilege on tumblr and youtube that seem to get so much social media attention and frankly, do little to create positive effect on our new online culture, let alone IRL.

Because I can genuinely look at some people who keep screaming about their desire to have their trans-kin-colourism respected and recognised and I always sit there and wonder – 'are these weird first world problems? or are these genuine concerns?'
I can't even begin to talk about how genuine his struggle and how inspiring his life was.  Go to BBC, watch the documentaries, in particular a documentary called the Long Walk of Nelson Mandela by NITV.

I think he's also personally touched a lot of lives, not just in South Africa, but world-wide.
Which sort of leaves me wondering, what exactly does he mean to me, on a personal level? (does he need to have an effect on me on a personal level? not really to be honest)

He's an inspiration indeed, a man who was a rebel, a revolutionary, a fighter, who also evolved as a human being, who was willing to do anything for his cause but later learnt that compassion and understanding would do more for his cause than violence.
That's hard to swallow, I can see why the ANC doubted him for a while, I can even see how Winnie may have lost faith in him back then. 

And its easy to look back on his history and agree that what he did was the right thing to do and that he chose the path of the righteous man.  It didn’t seem like that, he once supported violence, its what many apologists keep pointing out when the media and his fans gush about how admirable a man Mandela was.  But he changed and with that change of perspective he succeeded in bringing to South Africa a peace it so sorely needed after decades of horrendous oppression, cruelty and violence.
Its also a kind of cruelty we cannot even begin to fathom.  We still have racism, bigotry and injustice but seeing old photos of whites only signs on streets and public facilities is just horrendous and mind boggling in ways that simply cannot be explained nowadays.  Even a hard-core racist can't sit there and happily justify apartheid without being uncomfortably aware (they may not care but they know it's not a popular way of thinking) of how awful they may sound by justifying it.  Which is why they act like apologists and try to find some sham justification for their stupid ideas.

At it hits me hard because it could have easily been a part of my life, but it wasn’t, so I don’t get what makes me strangely confused about the depth of my emotion, and why there's a small part inside of me that takes this so very, very personally.  In the end, I was lucky, this is not my history and that's something I am grateful for.
For someone who grew up in a country that was quite homogenous, I never really got race except as a label that was as superficial as saying that you liked tomatoes.  Growing up in Spain; straddling the Spanish, English and Filipino divide, I never felt like ethnicity or even skin colour were particularly big deals except in the aesthetic sense.  I never even puzzled why my mother was so much darker than me (her explanation was that she drank coffee and I drank only milk back then, ok, mind you, I was 3 years old).

The implications of what it meant to have a white South African father didn’t even register until I was a teenager, but that was because I lived such a full life with my mother that a not having a paternal figure alone was very far from my mind. 
But one day my mother explained racism to me.  She explained that it was racism why some teachers looked at me funny when I talked about my home life, or when children didn’t want to play with me because I was dirty, ugly and Chinese (as a kid I didn’t get it, I was more angry that they weren’t listening to me when I said I wasn’t Chinese and that I was Filipina and damnit I showered every day) and that yes, it was difficult being a foreign female who had to work a ga-jillion times as hard in a country that was extra racist and extra sexist, but hard work and guts and grit will let you achieve anything.

Even then though, I find it hard to understand.  I simply couldn’t fathom how anyone would be so silly as to dislike anyone for anything other than maybe thinking that Dragon from St. Seiya was the coolest zodiac knight (I took that one personally, he was a douche). 
After all, I lived next door to a Chinese restaurant, I spoke perfect Spanish, I had a British accent and why the hell would you not think it was cool to be able to make fun of people in different languages (especially Tagalog).

Skin colour was stupid, you just drink more coffee or coca cola and Bob's your uncle, you're black. Besides, its just skin , it gets all pink and purple and red and wrinkly and if you're covered with enough mud (especially as a kid), you're all frigging brown.
And it was only later that I understood the implications of my mum's jokes about my dad and why she didn't marry him.  Social justice was probably low on the list, but I only realised them until later.

Would my parents have been arrested upon return to SA? would I have been sent away? seen as a product of not just a socially undesirable, but also an illegal union?
Never mind the fact that now that I am older I am aware that when mum joked, 'your father's mother literally had a heart attack on the phone' wasn’t actually funny when you think about it.  At first I thought, aww geez dad, poor grandma…

now its just… aww geez, my grandma is racist and had a heart attack because of me (and mum). 
Its mind boggling.  For someone like me its just incredible to think about.  My father's family would have despised my mother and me and that just blows my mind.

In my blood there flows the blood of cruelty and bigotry and the more I think about it, the weirder I feel. 
I mean we could day that about all our ancestors (I guess if I go far enough G-daddy Gengis Khan, was doing some really, really questionable things with his… er… swords, and all the Conquistadores are fucking a-holes of the nth degree) but this feels recent.  It feels so, strange and so foreign to a person like me. 

It was the last years of apartheid though, we probably wouldn’t have experienced that much drama, although there may have been some awkward Christmas lunches I guess.
Maybe my paternal family would have eventually learned to like mum and me, who knows.  As the ghost of apartheid faded, maybe it would feel less strange to have a mixed race grandchild, but it would have been a 'thing' damnit if that doesn’t make my head (and heart) hurt. 

I remember meeting a girl in Uni who was also South African, her mother gave her up for adoption because she was, back then, a member of the ANC at the time and she had to be given up for adoption for her own safety.  Her adoptive mother was also South African, an activist lawyer who also supported that anti-apartheid cause and she grew up happy with her new family and remains close to her biological mother now that time has managed to smooth over the scars of the past. 
I've also met plenty of white South Africans who are genuinely wonderful, beautiful people.  But looking at them I keep seeing a shadow of that possible life I could have had and wonder, were you a part of this strange system? did your parents think that what happened was ok? did you NEED TO BE TAUGHT THAT RACISM IS UNACCEPTABLE? DID YOU NEED TO CHANGE THE WAY YOU THOUGHT?

Again, it boggles my brain.  I get it at a psychological level, at an intellectual level, I get their bigotry, I understand this weird idea of needing to exclude a people for X reasons, but wow, it's just such a weird thing to do.
So here is Madiba, a very ordinary human man who wanted nothing but justice for his people, justice against the people like those my father came from, someone who I can totally get behind and understand and like and hell, even relate to on a small level. 

He is amazeballs.  Seriously.  He is an incredible human being.
He forgave the people who imprisoned him for nearly 30 years.

Think about it.
30 YEARS

30 YEARS of imprisonment and generations of racist cruelty.
And he shook hands with De Clerk and genuinely liked him and forgave all those people.

Watch his presidential inauguration, it is bizarre.  He shakes hands with the general who enacted the systematic violent oppression of his party and his people, who personally persecuted his wife.  And there he is, happy and thankful and smiling and willing to listen and move slowly because not everyone can accept change easily and he totally gets it.
Can you believe it, he understood and got the fear that fuelled this racism and he nurtured it and coddled it until it was ready to go away.

Sorry, what. the. fuck.
This man is a saint. 

Men like him are a once in a generation type.  We cannot hope to have anyone in this generation to have the same euphorically inspiring effect that he had on so many people.
I can only hope to have half the integrity he had in his left pinkie.  I hope everyone aspires to have at least as much integrity as he had in his left pinkie.

If we could all be like Madiba's left pinkie, I think we'd have world peace.  And the Asari would totally dig us (and then I'd have to get over my discrimination of Asari, seriously boring omni-gender blue people is boring).  And there's my cheesy humor again.
Rest in peace – there's a theory that you are a modern age Bodhisattva.  I cant argue with that and it makes me feel even more privileged to have lived in your time.  I may have been to young to understand what an effect you have had on my life, but by your actions, you have definitely been a part of it in some convoluted way.

I thank you from the bottom of our planet's cesspool of a heart.
Enjoy your sky-pie and say hi to Luther Vandross and Da Vinci for me.


Lots of love
T

Saturday, 6 July 2013

The epic ballad of Supanova 2013


Hallo!
I hath returned! with tidings and...stuff.

I was meant to post this last week but considering that I was sick, exhausted and dealing with End of Financial Year at work, I haven't really had any time to type anything other than a text message (badly).
So, if anyone remembers from last year's post, Supanova is Sydney's biggest Nerdy Con of the year, it is actually a nationwide tour starting in Brisbane, then Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and then even gets itself to New Zealand (maybe not in that order).  Sydney's one always happens roughly mid-year.

This year I decided to be a vendor, seeing as I detest selling at Animania and figured I might have a better market to blow out on.
I also said this would be my last year as a vendor, I said that last year too… and the year before that…

um…
Yeah.

About that.
Ok, so let me explain things first.

People are evil.  Really, really, really evil.  And cruel too! they enjoy seeing me slog on through my exhaustion and get stressed and panicked and make stuff and worry and work hard.
Yeah! damnit!

Yeah…….. ye…ah…
So I set up table next to the always amazing and awesome and fabulous and super duper effing frekkin talented guys at Nekochii! We even teamed up and went steampunk theme together!
Theirs was a bit more sideshow/circus themed while mine looked like a Victorian Travelling Bazaar. 
If you want to see the rest of the stuff, i'll be posting all my products pics on Deviantart soon.
On the other side of my table were newcomers and new friends from Artitude Memories.  DR WHO STUFF ALLOVER THE PLACE!!! I bought a cute pair of Tardis earrings and got a Wooden Tardis cookie jar for a friend's belated bday present.

All in all, I did super well.  The antlers flew off the table like no one's business, and people said that maybe I was selling a bit too cheap. 
  
Admittedly, I think that maybe I was, however, considering that I haven't got my sculpting technique down pat and that I am terrified that the pieces are still too fragile, I think the price is fair.  I do include care guides for my pieces because they are still delicate and in any case, I was just happy to see people like the stuff so much because of the craftsmanship AND the price.  But as you can see, I am getting better with detailing.
My accessories went well too.  Mainly with my mini terrariums proving a popular success – maybe I'll stick to these two things and not do the other stuff.  My bibs were not as popular as I thought they would be. 


Another thing was my steampunk pocket watches, I was surprised how some people came back asking me to make more.  I am considering making these a steady product as well, except they take so long to make and damnit I get tiiiiiired.
TAKES FOREVER!
By the end of the convention I had 4 items left on my table.  So all in all, SUCCESS!!
I pretty much sold out of all the important pieces and got to spend a lot of time just bumbling about and reacquainting myself with old friends and making new ones.

Special Kudos goes to my good friends on the other side of artists alley who totally rocked it!!!
I like Shinies, which is run by the brilliant and magical and amazing A! (and don’t let her tell you otherwise, she's bananas good!)

Mogo & Co – run by G and M and are so utterly adorable and cute its just unbelievable.
My epic comic buddy Paul, writer extraordinaire of the indie comic Pandeia, which is getting a lot of press lately and has been signed up to do a panel at the next con SMASH!.  I am one of his biggest fans and am so excited to gush over his work any time.
Paul also shared a table with Daniel DeLafoix, who does this incredible historical horror comic called Morlock.  Volume two is coming out soon and eee! its so exciting. (I need a link here, can't find his site yet – check on Facebook, its amazing!)
creative buddies, (left to right) Paul of Pandeia and J from Nekochii (OMG LOOK AT HER AMAZING LION CORSET!!!!!)
I also caught up with an old friend I also made last year, S, who is the writer of the ridiculously ridiculous and good Zombie Cities graphic novel by Silver Fox comics.  He also gave me issues one and two of the first ever published Zorro comics that he is writing.  Needless to say I was stoked.  I got the comics as an extra prize for supporting one of their Kickstarter campaigns and he also knew I was probably the only one excited for Zorro that he knew of.

I also made new friends among which is Julie Dietrich of Elf-fin/Black Mermaid Productions (the other half being Jozef Szekeres), a true-blue aussie graphic novel about elf mermaids… its like, a fugging glittery double whammy of… glittery… things.  It's great for young people and is preposterously and beautifully drawn.

I also mega bought the shit out of almost every DIY Darling made by the ridiculously talented and what-the-hell-how-did-I-not-know-that-this-girl-was-local?-amazeballs fantasy artist,Selina Fenech.  I bought like eight of her make-your-own-plushie kits and I am currently working on a small cat during lunch at work.  Let's just say I'm pretty rubbish at following instructions…
And suddenly… cosplay.
pretend I am not pointing at my crotch and imagine my lower hand has a gun ok... OK?!
So, ok – it wasn't that bad this year. 

Or I didn't take photos of bad ones anyway…

AMAZEBALLS
And some were just really… cute.  I mean… LOOK AT THE REALISTIC ATTEMPT TO MAKE FLAMEY HAIR IT’S A+ FOR EFFORT.

There was a yelling guy who I thought was a rally angry Dovakhiin.  Turns out he's an actor who was pimping this new indie fantasy show he's on by staying in character and scaring the everloving shit out of every poor socially maladjusted and introverted and shy nerd that walked by.
SO ANGRY
Us amused bystanders just yelled out 'Now Kiss!' as often as possible.  Because whjo doesn’t want to see burly angry man making out with all the people cosplaying other swarthy men.
It seems slash is a fast growing thing? or is that just Reddit?
Oh – and the hottest Jean Grey…. oh my goooooooood.

Dr Who shizzle was out the bizzle too.  There was a life sized Tardis two tables down from us and all the fangirls 'singing' the Dr Who theme song. 
FUCKING 'EY - Vashta Nerada....
I also got things autographed!!!!
Chris Claremont, writer extraordinaire of Xmen (in particular, my fave story arc, the Phoenix and Dark Phoenix Sagas) signed my Dark Phoenix issue.  And George Perez, who wrote Wonder Woman in the 80/90s signed my 1987 issue of Wonder Woman (part 2 of the Challenge of the Gods, one of my utter fave issues!!! Hippolyta is amazing!).
I also got Karl Urban to sign my #1 issue of the new editions of Judge Dredd.

SO MANY COMICS EEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!
Ok – strange story time! (maybe not so strange and I'm just starstruck/think I'm funny):
<When Karl signed my comic he sort of did a double take, or most likely, as it was 4 in the afternoon, a blank-face.  I cannot even begin to imagine how weird it must be to constantly sign photographs with your own face on it until maybe you start forgetting what you look like or become insanely narcissistic from looking at yourself so many times.  Anyway, he sort of just paused, maybe realising that what he was signing wasn’t even his own face.  Or maybe he couldn’t remember that he had done Judge Dredd and he just stared at the comic jacket until he started to write.

He was doing fine, writing my name and then, he wrote ' I am th-', and paused.  I kind of got worried and wondered I should mention that, in the King's English (or Queen's), we generally put an 'E' in 'the'.  I didn't because I would have been a serious douche and prat even if it would have been a joke, he was most likely exhausted and hard to think really hard.
Eventually he finished it with 'I AM THE LAW' and, I think he wanted to draw something but ended up drawing a HUGE exclamation mark. 

Either way, I kinda went ' Whoo, you rock!' and he suddenly looked up mildly surprised and thanked me. 
Anyway.  It seemed funny.  It was funny, right? It was funny.  Yep.>

/Story time over.
Aidan Turner, Adam, Brown and Jed Brophy, better known as Kili, Ori and Nori in the Hobbit were also there.  Of course everyone wanted to see Kili (the pretty not an Elf but damn close dwarf why wasn’t Thorin there damnit he is glory and majestic and awesome and holy shit who knew the dude from Spooks could be so hot).

Mr Turner seemed pretty cool with all the fans and took time to chat to the mostly girls in line and seemed quite entranced by one girl's leather jacket and all the girls wearing Tolkien Black Milk Leggings.  Which are all awesome but ridiculously overpriced (but damn I want the map of Middle Earth one, wow!).
Alan Tudyk was there in all his friendly and charming Wash-y glory and a friend took a photo with him with some toy dinosaurs for the feels.  He is a leaf on the wind.  Ugh, if only the lines weren’t so fucking looooong – he was like, the biggest thing at that con since the double edged light-saber.
And Bambi put shit-tons of effort on his cosplay and came as an obscure Anime character...
Either way, it was another great year and I really enjoyed myself as always and there was no sleep to be had, and barely any food and sore feet, and early starts and bad hygiene (not from me pfffft, hand sanitiser EVERYWHERE) and loud, delirious yelling of 'You know nothing Jon Snow' every now and then.
not Jon Snow... but you know, I didn't know where else to put this
Oh, and every one was evil because they've somehow convinced me to do next year.
I also have a project coming up involving a certain pimp-y and Sassy Wizard.  Stay tuned…
Also, my last Masters course starts in a few weeks and then after that, its all fair game.  You have been warned.

So with that, I am out! (ALSO CLICK ALL THE LINKS BECAUSE THE MORE YOU KNOW)

NB: - I'll be redesigning the layout of this blog but honestly, I am lazy, so put up with it for a while ok? shanks!

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Return from the West (holiday in California)

So my adventures in America-land have been AMAZING!
We arrived in LAX completely destroyed from sleeping in prehistoric United Airlines and immediately checked into a hotel in Beverly Hills for the night. We arrived at around 8am on a Friday morning and we didn't want my Aunt to take time off work to pick us up so we stayed a night in comfy disinfected bedsheets and slept ourselves into an American cable TV coma.
Also, we raged about immigration procedures at the airport.  It took THREE FUCKING HOURS! There were about 600 people waiting in line in both US passport and non-US-passport lines and, there were 4 staff processing us all.... FOUR.  Thankfully we got a relatively shipper and cute guy so I partially forgive you America, but only just.
I woke up the next day marvelling at how cheap the coffee at starbucks was… $2.70 for a medium Chai!!!!!!!! this would have cost me double in Sydney.
We spent time with the family of my Aunt and the family of her brother (hence, my… uncle) in equal parts. I think my uncle still thinks I'm a toddler so he just kept taking me to places that I wanted and pretty damn near well spoiled me. There were lots of repeated questions about going to Six Flags Magic Mountain.
It is a sad, sad day that I have to tell a full grown adult that I can't go on a roller coaster ride because I have back problems and my bones wont take it. SAAAAAAAAD.
Stayed at my aunt's house and hung out with mostly my adorable niece/cousin/sort (let's call her Big Little) of younger sibling. She is 11 years old and she is a good head taller than me. ALSO SAAAAAAAAAD.
But adventure was had! and not many hijinks ensued but boy oh boy oh pantsy boy, did I have a shit ton of fun.
Did you know for example – LA has a lot of SPACE! whooooooo
Ok, maybe not like that really, but still. I got to see and do a lot of spacey and sciency stuff.
First we went to Griffith Park Observatory, IT HAD A TESLA COIL! does that give you a decent enough impression of how cool this place was? BECAUSE TESLA COIL!
It also had a Foucault pendulum that was ultra cool too but TESLA COIL TESLA COIL TESLA COIL.
…I bought a Sextant.
More importantly, Griffith Observatory - just like in the movies
I also went to the California Science Centre.
Ok – so, guys, you need to prepare yourselves now because what I am going to tell you is so incredibly awesome that your skin might explode from the shock and your brains might melt and your eyeballs will pop from the sheer eyeball popping jealousy. So you know, prepare.
I saw a real spaceship.
No shit assholes, a motherfucking space ship (shuttle).
I saw a thing that was in space… I saw a thing that soared to infinity and beyond (disclaimer: I don’t like Toy Story but that's a cool catch phrase).
So yeah… space.
I also saw this IMAX 3D movie of the Endeavour and its missions including proper 3D images of Hubble's pictures. (although now, according to some children who did their science projects on the Endeavour – it's the Hubble Tubble).
Its Hubble Tubble... get it right
So yes, there was a lot of science in this trip – I felt super duper nerdy. Also I discovered Hot Topic, scourge of young impressionable people; had a shit ton of Dr Who paraphernalia. I am not opposed to this kind of crass commercialism if it is teaching kids the right things to like.
Aaanyways – I bought quite a bit of inadvertent hipster/nerd stuff… because its cute hipster/nerd stuff.

DR WHO DRESS
And suddenly…
DISNEYLAND

FUCK YEAH DISNEYLAND – THE HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH OOOOH YEEEEAAAAH!!!!

Yes.
Its SO BEAUTIFUL!!!! how did I never admire this before?
So, the last time I went to DL I was 14 (I think) and it was looking a bit under the weather and lots of the areas were either under re-construction or renovation. I mean, I remember Frontierland had less rides than before and most of it was closed that time.
If you want to see more beautiful old timey Tiki Lounge art - go see Kevin Kidney's website - its so lovely
This time, it was open and clean and shiny and restored and frucking amazing and beautiful and so, so, so much prettier than I ever remember it. Maybe its just cause I am older now and I don’t have that snarky, sarcastic, arrogant teenaged attitude anymore where everything is sucky because, whatever, man.
how lovely is Toon Town?! I can't even tell if that is a fake sky or not its so bright! (note: its the real sky and I am an idiot)
I went on silly rides like Splash Mountain with Big Little who was freaking out because it was her first time and she had so much fun and it was so cool that we got to experience Disney Land with her at her current age. (Also – 11 year olds on Instagram – is this a thing?? holy crap).
Also, my favourite ride is still there and now that I'm a crabby old bint, it was even more fun. Toad's Wild Adventure through Toad Manor is the cutest neon painted glow in the dark kiddie ride ever.
My mum also tried to stalk Belle, that was fantastic.
Oh – again, please hold your jimmies – they're going to rustle. This announcement is twofold.
1.    Disneyland has a Jedi Academy
2.    I met ASIMO, the fucking awesomest of awesome REAL robots.
He's like... a real boy........
That's right, bring on that jealous hatred.
We have made it a habit to visit the Getty Museum as well. That place is amazing. It's technically a fortress of the top of a hill filled with art. It's like, Jon Paul Getty knew there was a zombie apocalypse coming and he created the museum to ensure that even if all of humanity's brains were eaten, you could not eat the amazing result of said humanity's brains.
Yeah man, art
There were pretty things everywhere and we ate some fancy ass food.
Speaking of food.

Poor Guacamole Guy, making all the Guacamole for me... ALL OF IT
GUACAMOLE. 'Nuff said.
I got fat, so very very fat on guacamole, and peanut butter m&m's. Oh god and everything is cheap! I went to bath and body works and they had a 7 handsoaps for $20 deal and… and… I may have gone overboard on buying toiletries…
there.... there was a sale...
And chocolates…
6 kilos of heaven
My only possible peeve is WHY DO YOU NOT INCLUDE TAXES IN FULL PRICE ALREADY?!?!?! WHY YOU FORCE ME TO DO MATH?!?!?!?!
Seriously, we have VAT/GST here and its ALREADY INCLUDED. And yes, its different in some states and different for different products, it doesn’t matter, your inventory and stock take should take it into account already.
Anyway, to calm my nerves of all this brain strain – I discovered a wonderful, heart-felt, soul energising and faith invigorating TV series while watching the History channel.
(haha, you thought I was going to talk about that Jesus tv show they had didn't you? ….NOPE, NOPEY NOPE) Someone needed to compete with HBO and Game of Thrones I see. But still, The Vikings is AMAZING!!!!
Not Jesus
Vikings by the History Channel - cause someone has to make another sexy tv show to compete with Game of Thrones
no I dont watch it because hhhnnnnnnggggg *splooosh*  Vikings are cool
We also went to the Huntington Gardens, which is really lovely and full of cute plants and mini gardens for different climates, even an Australian one which made me chortle cause it felt so unusually normal that I didn't see why anyone would be fascinated with seeing those.
 




We also went to the Aquarium of the Pacific – I GOT TO PET SHARKS I AM SO BADASS
They're small leopard sharks actually, but they're still cute. I even made friends with a sting-ray – we high fived.


Note: I did not pet this one...   
ALIENS
All in all, it was a wonderful two weeks. I spent time with my family who I missed terribly and now miss even more. I am so glad to have spent time with Big Little cause she is adorable and cute and so fun to watch and she's gonna grow up and be awesome. The same goes for her cousin (youngest kid of Uncle) who is a smarty-pants super trooper like his big brother who is going to be some sort of badass doctor once he graduates from Irvine.

Aren't UNI students just ADORABLE?!?!?!
Oh, yeah I visited Irvine and got super jealous of their swanky campus. I even got a shirt and pretended to be a student again.
Embarrassed Children everwhere.....
All we had at my uni was the admittedly cute boathouse and our fucking run down dorn at Stationsweg (aaah memories).
I also got to spend some time with Aunt's oldest Kid Mr Marine (asklasjhdjkjsdhfjkfdghfkjghb!!!!!!!) and I am so gosh-darn proud of him!!! He's also adorable and I made it a point to say that to his face and embarrass him. Because that's how I roll and that's how I'm badass.
Either way, I miss my family there terribly and I miss grandma and uncle and aunty and all their kids and all the extended uncles and aunties there and man, even if I miss them like crazy I don’t think I could get up and move to California.
There's too much driving around and the highways there freak me out. I'm also a really crap driver so I'd probably die within the week.
Nonetheless, the cheap prices and the possibility of going to the East Coast instead is a possibility.
Also….chocolates.
Anyhoo, my shopping haul was insane. Did I mention how good the deceptive but still good prices are?! THEY'RE AMAZING!!!!
Official NASA patch means IR ASTRONOT
I bought makeup, so much, and OPI mini's set of four for $18, AMAZING I TELL YOU.

And then, all the chocolate.
TL:DR – SPACE AND CHOCOLATES FUCKING HELL GUYS IT WAS AWESOME.
ok...