mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Default)
[personal profile] mundens
It's four in the morning, (just after) the end of December, I'm writing you now just to see if you'll recognize the Cohen reference.

Actually by the time I post this it will probably be much later in the day. But I started it around five AM, after having got up at four due to lack of ability to sleep and fear of imminent zombie apocalypse. I spent some time fixing up spam attacks and other suspicious activity on the Mage Wiki which may help make the other sites on my server more stable, seeing as it seems to be the spurious activity on the Mage Wiki that is causing the server crashes.

It's odd activity, looks like a large number of different IPs posting short encrypted (or binary) strings. May be it's a form of bot communication? I'd be interested if anyone has heard of MediaWiki being used for anything like bot comms or similar.

Anyway, here's an (image-heavy) update

I seem to have adopted a black cat. He's technically the neighbour's cat, but has taken to spending most of the night with me, and is purring and kneading my knee with his claws as I write this. I'm calling him Susuwatari, or Su for short, after Miyazaki's soot balls. Yep, A Boy Named Su.



In an example of that interesting congruence that often seems to occur, [profile] evie_fae & [profile] jarratt_gray turned up in the weekend before christmas bringing me birthday presents and dessert, and one of their prezzies was a real, licensed, susuwatari.



Can you see the resemblance? The very next morning I had to rescue the licensed susuwatari from the cat, as it looked very much like a cat toy to him. I also got a lovely Totoro and a Cat-Bus keitai strap. As [profile] evie_fae said when she fitted the Cat-Bus for me, I can now be a Japanese school-girl.

    



Getting back to cats, the weeks leading up to Christmas resulted in various cats catching and bringing in various things. [profile] seraphs_folly & I awoke to the sound of Noo crunching something as it flapped about trying to get away. When we investigated, all that was left were these two wings.



We think it may have been a fairy (of the Hemiptera Cicadidae variety). Not to be out-done, a couple of nights later Kohaku brought in the following large green puriri moth :



Over Christmas I went up to Tauranga with [profile] seraphs_folly and [personal profile] tyellas. They travelled up by car before me, so I took the bus. I have to say that bus travel is great for getting to Tauranga at least. It's cheaper, more comfortable, and you don't have to worry about stupid baggage rules like you do on aircraft. Sure, it took almost eight hours to make the trip, but it gave me a good opportunity to read, and I got a much better look at parts of New Zealand I've only driven myself thru before.

It was very hot in Tauranga and we did a lot of lazing around and eating food. I'm told that's the point of Christmas, though the prezzies also helped. [personal profile] tyellas gave me a copy of Kushiel's Avatar which I'm still enjoying (those who know the series will have some idea why). [profile] seraphs_folly's Mum gave me some very expensive slippers, and my lady gave me a selection of good quality clothes. Not exciting perhaps, but very useful.

I slept most of one of the days, laid low by either a migraine or heat stroke, I'm not sure which. Got some more reading done, walked around the Mount (during which I got sandwiched by the two ladies), had some lovely meals, both at restaurants and prepared at home ([personal profile] tyellas really seemed to enjoy the kitchen there), and saw a couple of movies.

The first was Avatar and the second was Sherlock Holmes. As I tweeted at the time, all the bad things you've heard about Avatar are true, and so are the good things. Basically it has a horribly patronizing, racist, ableist, and predictable, plot, and the environment makes no sense unless you assume it's artificially constructed. I won't bother going into the details, you can read about them all over. It's unfortunately just a technology showcase, but given that it's competing with the likes of Twilight : New Moon maybe in comparison it is the equivalent of War & Peace.

Having said that, there are some wonderful visuals and some lovely design work. Given the beautiful work on the mechs in Avatar and in District 9., I'm really looking forward to seeing a "live action" Gundam series soon. I really like the "helicopter lizards" regardless of whether they'd actually work, and there were a lot of little touches of realism on the "human" side of the show that I enjoyed, such as those helicopter lizards actually rotating under their rotors due to lack of a tail rotor, people having to pull the blanks from the intakes on the turbofan before making a getaway, and that the mercenaries didn't have access to nukes, being a commercial operation and not a military one, making the classic "take-off and nuke it from orbit" solution infeasible.

Sherlock Holmes was great, and very accurate to the source material. Many don't seem to think it is, but I think they must be basing their opinions on other movies or television shows, rather than the original stories.

For example, some people didn't like the scenes where Holmes was involved in fist-fighting, but in fact it's a well established part of his character that amongst his many other achievements Holmes was a remarkable pugilist. In The Sign of the Four, Holmes introduces himself to the prize-fighter McMurdo as : "The amateur who fought three rounds with you at Alison's rooms on the night of your benefit four years back." McMurdo responds by saying, "Ah, you're one that has wasted your gifts, you have! You might have aimed high, if you had joined the fancy." Holmes often gets involved in fights during his adventures, and invariably wins, I think people miss the fact that Doyle's stories were the late 19th - early 20th century equivalent of this movie.

Others mentioned the lack of the deerstalker, but Holmes usually only wore his favourite deer-stalker when "in the country" or "walking on the common", and while many of his adventures did in fact occur in the country, this film's story did not, and neither did it occur on the common. Some complained that he wasn't shown injecting himself with cocaine. This is unsurprising, as doing so would have resulted in an R rating for the film rather than the PG which it gets in most locations, and is to me an entirely reasonable studio trade-off of accuracy for exposure and profit.

I was a little worried that the script was going to ruin it by having actual supernatural vents in the movie, which, while putting the ultimate logician up against the supernatural is a fun idea, would in my opinion have broken the genre. Luckily, as he usually does, Holmes explained how Blackwood had managed to achieve all of his seemingly supernatural events.

Sherlock Holmes also deserves mention for it's visuals. The panoramas of 19th century London, although only backgrounds, were remarkable in their authenticity and completeness.

We drove back down the day before New Years Eve, our trip documented by [profile] seraphs_folly here (if you're privileged enough to be able to access it) , and had more lazy days, not bothering to do any NYE celebrations at all.

When I got back I got a second Christmas, opening presents from the family, including a Bluray of District 9 from [profile] panda_pitt , the first issue of Joss Whedon's version of Astonishing X-Men from [profile] ferrous_wheelie, and the two-disc collector' edition of Kurosawa's Ran from Ben. [profile] wasup_bro had given me his present before christmas, before I left, which was a piece of abstract art he'd created himself :





BTW, near the end of this post there are minor spoilers for Avatar and Sherlock Holmes, so skip if you haven't seen them and wan't to maintain your purity.

Oh, also, I got a hair-cut. Supposedly I look ten years younger.

Date: 2010-01-03 02:39 am (UTC)
vostoklake: (emeter)
From: [personal profile] vostoklake
Auckland is humid, but I like where I'm living. The music on Great North Road right through the evening...

Date: 2011-02-24 04:06 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] faldov
I just created an account entirely so I could comment on this and tell you that I ALSO have a black male cat named Susuwatari. I call mine Sus for short. And I thought I was so creative...although technically, since I've had mine for three years, I have the first Sus :P

Actually, at first I was impressed with myself, but then I realized almost know one understood the reference. Everything thinks his name is either Zeus or Seuss. It's kind of nice to see someone who not only understands but went through the same thought process to name their cat.

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