"D&D" @ Engadine, with TC and LPO
Time to find out whether my Dungeon Mastering muscles have atrophied after years as a player.
"Rational romantic mystic cynical idealist"
Time to find out whether my Dungeon Mastering muscles have atrophied after years as a player.
A brutal clash in which their sword and shield were no match for our net, trident and crafty tactics - 34-16.
It was a false alarm caused by burning toast on level 25.
Should I ask if Fedor Emelianenko is a "hidden" character?
A life in front of the boob tube has culminated in my becoming temporary caretaker of our TV column :-)
I haven't seen a genre flick this skilfully constructed since "The Lord Of The Rings".
The theme decks for the "Magic: The Gathering" expansion "Eventide" ranked from best to worst based on a century of duels conducted over several weeks.
Such is my abiding passion for college drama "Greek" that I have an official "Dobler's"* XL ringer tee en route from Yankland. FOX8 finished broadcasting the first series on Thursday and I was stoked to discover a heap of the second on YouTube. Sure, the episodes are chopped into five parts and defaced with a URL, but spurning them for those reasons would be like kicking Bar Refaeli out of bed for eating crackers.
Half-cut and loathe to watch Waratahs vs Chiefs on my lonesome, I foisted myself on PB and saw it with him and top fella D. at Albert's in North Sydney, where I also developed a liking for West Indian cricketer Viv Richards' professed fave tipple: Mount Gay Rum and dry. From there, we migrated to The Oaks in Neutral Bay, collecting PB's good lady wife VB and their friend M. along the way. At some point, we wisely switched to imbibing dihydrogen monoxide and split a few delicious pizzas. More rugger was viddied, I struggled to co-ordinate a pool cue, and I suspect I bugged all and sundry by playing Steve Earle's "Copperhead Road" on the jukebox and loudly singing along. Twice. Doubtless I woulda continued repeating the offence if the pub hadn't shut. The 'Tahs won 11-7, by the way, which is the important thing.
Caught up with PB for yakizakana at Sakae, then "Dean Spanley", a masterful piece of mannered storytelling, at Greater Union.
"A Pain In The Arse". It's a new French farce*, set mostly in adjoining hotel rooms, in which the comedy is of the physically violent kind. An assassin on a crucial assignment rescues a suicidal bloke who turns out to be the most annoyingly persistent and troublesome fellow imaginable. Trust me, I've just had an advance viewing and wanted to throttle him.
Lunched at Anan, a relatively recent arrival in World Square. Entree: grilled pork balls with lettuce, carrot, bean sprouts, spring onions, fried peanuts and a sour dipping sauce. Main: shredded duck fried rice with prawns, egg and various greens. Delicate flavours like Vietnamese mint and lemongrass left me with a pleasantly complex aftertaste. I dug the atmosphere, too - the happy bustle of a marketplace.
Made a flying visit to my sister's place for a minestrone-ish Jamie Oliver soup and fresh sourdough bread. Always nice to see her, VK and CK. Then rushed to mine to record "Underbelly: A Tale Of Two Cities" for screen-grabbing purposes. The bloody Foxtel box chose this moment to misbehave and interfere with the signal - don't think we'll be getting a lot from that disc. When the program had ended, I hard reset the unit and crystal clarity was instantly restored. Arrrgh! Technology is evil! Smash the looms! Gotta quit typing this twaddle and expertly evaluate "Futurama: Into The Wild Green Yonder" (2009), so I can (a) review it in our DVDs section, and (b) return the loaner copy to the PR firm.
Went to my first live Twenty20 cricket match and sat in the SCG's brand-new-boogaloo-flu Victor Trumper* Stand (formerly the Doug Walters Stand and Yabba's Hill). True to the format, it was an exciting spectacle - the Kiwis slogging the final delivery for six to fall a run shy of our total of 150. Adam Voges took an astonishing catch for us where he realised he was gonna carry the ball over the boundary rope but had the nous to throw it straight up in the air. He stepped across the line, stepped back, stumbled, dived forward and regathered. Equally miraculous was the fact the blanket of grey clouds waited until sporting matters were settled before unloading. By the time I joined the bus queue, it was absolutely pouring.
There wasn't a patch of snow on the ground, but the sky was what Simon and Garfunkel would call a hazy shade of winter*, so I hibernated with some anime. Episodes 1a-3b of "Ninja Nonsense: The Legend Of Shinobu" (2004) and eps 1-4 of the classic "Yawara!" (1989), both original DVDs given to me by RS, plus eps 1-4 of "Welcome To The NHK" (2006) via YouTube. The last is different again to the manga and book - probably better, if the 20 subsequent episodes maintain the improved pacing.
AZ and I took a circuitous, rainy route to Doorae, where we shared spicy octopus, teriyaki chicken, silky tofu stew, rice and all the usual sides such as kimchi. I guzzled OB Lager (it stands for Oriental Brewery, not Old Bastard), while she sipped a "gentle" tea. We discussed shoes, ships, sealing wax, cabbages, kings, why the sea is boiling hot, whether pigs have wings, etc. Afterwards, we procured provisions at Coles 'cos their profits for today are going to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal. Apologies to the ghost of Lewis Carroll.
I hear the $10 "600-day grain fed" wagyu beef burgers at Plan B, an offshoot of fine Frog restaurant Becasse, may soon be exported to mighty Odin's table in Valhalla. Toasted bun, a little lettuce, a little more beetroot, melted cheese and one of the tastiest (Viking-sized) patties I've eaten. Foodie blog Grab Your Fork, which clued me in to these hidden treasures, listed caramelised onions in the ingredients. Have to say I didn’t detect the presence of those. I was too busy finishing my first burger and reaching for my second.
I'm off to Sony Pictures HQ to peak sneakily at French movie "Paris 36", which judging by the invite is a tribute to the music-hall era.
Though hardly a stoic, I never expected an automotive documentary to bring my tear ducts online. But "Love The Beast", detailing actor Eric Bana's quarter-century affair with a 1974 Ford XB Coupe, is as moving as it is singularly beaut. I was fortunate to attend a preview organised by the distributor, Madman. The official cinema release date for the flick is March 12 and I unreservedly recommend it.
As I approach a decade of doing essentially the same repetitive task, ie. subediting, the desire for life-change is strong. A trio of theoretically feasible options present themselves:
Ensure your poster isn't wider than 84cm or it won't fit into the machine. Then lug it to FedEx Kinko's, sign a waiver (there's a miniscule chance they'll botch the job) and specify whether you want a gloss or matt finish. If things aren't too hectic, they'll laminate it while ya wait. Otherwise, give 'em a few hours. It won't cost much – the Liverpool St branch charged me $10.75 to have a souvenir from the 2005 Oasis world tour protected for poster-ity. Next, go to your kitchen "useful drawer" and grab the packet of Blu-Tack...
So I'm conquering "Puzzle Quest: Challenge Of The Warlords" (2006), the Nintendo DS equivalent of crack cocaine, again - at speed. As a petite, manga-style druidess rather than a burly, manga-style knight. Skipping the story and ignoring the shops, citadel building, enemy capturing, mount training, item forging and besieging of cities (who wants an empire, anyway?). Allowing my character only equipment from the spoils of combat. In other words, reducing the game to its gem-matching puzzler essence. Have already passed level 12.
That was the final score in the Hyundai car soccer after extra time. What am I talking about, Willis? "Top Gear" Live at the Acer Arena, starring Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond, with Steve Pizzati subbing for James May.
Due to unexpected cancellations, there were only half a dozen of us gathered around the hallowed green felt: BW, DL, AP, CM, AM and me.
How would a psychologist interpret the previous blog entry, I wonder? "Subject relies on alcohol to overcome the stress of social situations in the short term, but inevitably regresses to escapism and comfort food"? There's truth to that.
Lunchtime drinks ("first to five") at the Mac begat post-work birthday drinks for NP at the Civic and no dinner, which ultimately led to a pilgrimage to one of those Darling Harbour nightclubs with AH, DP and three pretty ladies. Except our group got separated. Then, while contact was being re-established, it suddenly occurred to me that I was over my limit, exhausted and there was a taxi parked 10 feet away... Awaking at midday in a sweaty heap on the lounge, The History Channel broadcasting in the background, I was surprised to find myself relatively unscathed.
I fancy I know a fair whack about the realities of professional wrestling (through my friendship with DL) and of strip clubs and exotic dancers (thanks to a misspent...um, late 20s/early 30s). "The Wrestler" nails these topics like an angry yeti with a steamhammer. Mickey Rourke's performance as Randy "The Ram" Robinson is MAGNIFICENT. I will certainly purchase this film on DVD. PS. Did you notice RR drives a Dodge *Ram* panel van?
He didn't make eye contact as I got on, just stuck his hand out and continued reading whatever he was reading. A timetable maybe.
There's a small Metropolitan Museum Of Art Store on the top floor of the Queen Victoria Building. Its wares either replicate or feature the likenesses of items from the New York institution's presumably vast collection. The majority are ornaments or jewellery/watches, which is fine if you're a Russian oil magnate. Those searching for an affordable, classy gift that the recipient won't have clocked before (unless they've visited the Met) will find some nice gear in the stationery section.
As good as it was sampling sizzlin' steak nigiri and chuckling through the above average rom-com "Ghost Town" with CM, AM and PB, the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLIII immediately followed by Olivia Munn's French maid-costumed dive into a giganto-pie was gooder :-)
Fresh from our deserved thrashing by the cricketers from RSA, we drop the opening one-dayer against a plucky NZ. I'm already hating this "rebuilding phase".
There was another "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" reference in this week's "Greek". As Dean Bowman (Alan Ruck) exited his car to speak to Cappie, he turned to the brunette babe in the passenger seat and apologised, "Excuse me, Sloane".
Lo, it was as I foretold: St-Pierre defeated Penn by TKO after four rounds. Curiously for an MMA card, no matches ended with a submission - in fact, 8/10 were "left in the hands of the judges".