Fish Out Of Water

After a bit of a late night I had great plans for Latin study alternated with doing as little as possible today in an effort to conserve what little remains of my sanity at the moment.  It’s heading into silly season and I don’t know why I thought I had a quiet weekend ahead of me, but that went out the window pretty quick.  C’est la vie.

Anyway, today for the first time I ended up at one of those strange cultural phenomena known as a comic conference or a popular culture festival, called Supanova (why they spell it like though, that is beyond me).  I was not expecting to be going, and was rather lukewarm on the concept to be honest… and I certainly wasn’t one of the many in the crowds who had obviously been looking forward to this event for months with great anticipation – sequins, fake blood, brightly coloured wigs and hot glue guns at the ready.  It took me a minute, but as we got near the venue; the penny dropped… aaah pop culture/comics books/fandom/geek fest = cosplay.

brisbane cute sexy outfitsI seriously had forgotten about the complete license to let your freak flag fly at these sorts of events and was initially a little taken aback at the wide and varied and excessively skimpy costumes on display.  If cookie monster hair and a Sailor Moon costume is what it takes to get you going… more power to you.  But I just somehow totally failed to make the connection before we got there for some reason… meh.

So the March of the Weirdos was extremely entertaining (and this coming from someone with 15 years of background in medieval re-enactment… yes, I am fully cognisant of the hypocrisy/irony in the sentiment) mostly because I simply didn’t have the background knowledge to know what the fuck most of these people were supposed to be dressed up as?  I mean I go to an SCA event and I can pick someone who is doing 10thC Anglo Saxon from someone who is doing 15thC Spanish which are both clearly different from 14thC Burgundian or 12th Irish!  But most of the people at the showgrounds today just caused me to me constantly ask ‘What is/are he/she/it/them supposed to be dressed as?”  Absolutely no frame of reference whatsoever for most of them.  I recognised an orc, and saw some robots (but couldn’t tell you what flavour or franchise of robot they were supposed to be), and I saw two Links (thanks Small Child, wouldn’t have known that one without you) and more Batmans than you can poke a stick at.  But past those I was like ‘what’s she/he supposed to be?’ which turned out to be a bit of a pointless exercise anyway because the answers made me none the wiser anyway… I can’t pick a storm trooper from a mechwarrior (?) in a line up anyhow.  :S

graphic novels avengers compendium

We whipped around the pavilions, saw LOT of cutesy cutesy Japanese anime Hello Kitty type merchandise right next to someone selling huge movie related replica swords, knives and quasi-military paraphernalia (paintball, tactical gear, webbing, scopes and balaclavas??)  There was stalls selling comic books, chunky compendiums of graphic novels and serious collectors items alongside with someone selling home made gingham hairbows with little skull faces in them??  Err… a little something for everyone one I think?!?

supanova brisbane merchandiseI rapidly discovered that open ended questions gave me a marginal advantage in stopping me from looking like a complete noompty – so I spent most of the afternoon saying, ‘What is that for?’ or ‘What is that from?’ or just ‘what the hell is that thing?’… :S  Because apparently it’s better to appear ignorant than to get it wrong… as in “Cool, I’m going to buy Mr K this silly figurine from Star Trek that no one likes as a bit of a shit stir! :P” whilst holding up a thing called Jarjar Binks.  Yes, I admit it I don’t know anything about the Stars… Star Treks, Star Wars, Star Gates, whatever!  They’re all the bloody same to me – aliens, lasers and good guys and bad guys (yes, yes, please keep your indignation/incredulousness down to a dull roar… ta).

supanova shopping brisbane weird stuff

merchandise series fry leila nibbler I pottered around the place with an odd feeling that I could not remember the last time I felt so ‘out of place’ anywhere.  I am usually quite comfortable in my surroundings and never feel like I don’t belong or don’t understand the place or my purpose in being there. So it was a very unusual weirdness to feel a bit ‘What exactly am I doing here, and what is this whole thing about?’  Couldn’t remember the last time I felt like such a fish out of water.

Surrounded by confusing icons of pop culture, I did what any sensible woman armed with only a Platinum Visa for protection would do – I shopped!

jar jar binks super mario marty mcfly lego WoW cards I did buy the Jarjar Binks STAR WARS (yes, I was set straight on that one) figurine for Mr K, but I also found boxes of WoW cards and called him to see which ones were which, so I could buy him ‘the right’ box.  I also found a Lego stall and after much deliberation bought the Small Child some Avengers Lego – very cool.  Ummm… I also got a ‘not for tv’ Marty McFly rainbow coloured cap, a strange Mac&Cheese smelling car freshener for the Small Child to hang off his monitor which I thought he might find amusing, and a cute Super Mario belt that spins from a red to a green mushroom (you can’t have a ten year old son and NOT know who Super Mario is so I was safe there).  😀

All up it was a rather entertaining afternoon (an interesting cultural counterpoint to Saturday’s matinee session of Carmen by the Australian Opera Company)… but not sure it’s one I care to repeat.  Been there, done that, what’s next?  🙂

I’m starting to get a little concerned here… there seems to be a pattern emerging.

What’s next?

Northanger Abbityville Horror ???


Klan’s Field Park???

Why stop at Austen?  Maybe they could smack some Henry James around the head too.  Actually I kinda wish someone would
I hate reading Henry James…. which unfortunately is on my required reading list for my uni course.

Bookworm … we love you!

Being a poncy sort of pretentious eejit who hates Sudoku puzzles but loves word puzzles, I many years ago fell in love with Bookworm.  They used to have a free trial you could download off their website and you could play six games at the end of which you’d get a prompt saying your free trial is over and click here if you wish to purchase it.


Well a free trial game of Bookworm would last me for months so I never ended up buying it.  I’d play my six games over several months and then forget about it for a while and then DL another trial copy some other time and remember how much I liked it.


And just when I thought I couldn’t love my iPhone any more than I already do… I now have Bookworm on my iPhone!   It’s probably been available for donkey’s years but I am not in the habit of trolling for games and applications for my iPhone so it went under my (not overly keen) radar until just recently.  Vee now haz zee teknolllagee unt all for zee bargan pwrice of $5.99!  No more wasting an hour in the doctor’s waiting room reading old copies of National Geographic and no more actually having to wait bored in the line to pick up the Small Child… because I have Bookworm to keep me company now  🙂  And it’s bigger and better than before with extra ‘stuff’ to do/collect.  So very small win for the small blonde this week.


It really is the simple things in my life that bring me rare moments of fleeting enjoyment atm …. but I think that’s mostly because the big important and complex things are still under continually increasing, multicoloured pile of steaming crap.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies! Oh My! (Gawd… who came up with this shit!)

I was railing against the very existence of this book before I even got my hands on it so naturally a dear and thoughtful friend (thank you yale) saw fit to purchase a copy for me as a gift.  Having received a gift so graciously given, one could hardly refuse to read it based on a predetermined dislike of the premise and a well established dislike of zombie bullshit in general.  Not to mention the fact that one can hardly offer an informed opinion (which one is in the habit of giving ‘most decidedly for so young a person’) without first having acquainted oneself fully with the object at hand.  So I set a course to read it in it’s entirety before deciding whether the exercise would prove amusing and fruitful or as (I had already surmised) absurd in the utmost.


“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”   The familiar opening line of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” immediately transports the imagination into 19th century England and speaks volumes of the text to come.  The opening lines of the new and improved “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” has a similar effect…

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.”   and from here we get to watch it go down hill with all the speed of shit off a shovel!  The additions to the story were as truly absurd as I had expected and while normally I’m quite a fan of absurd juxtapositions in art and literature, this whole book just felt like fingernails being dragged down a blackboard and in parts I should have preferred to have spent the time being forced to listen to a Britney Spears concert rather than having my sensibilities suffer through this utter crap.  How on earth this ‘thing’ got published I’ll never know.

pride prejudice zombies

The entire book ‘seemed to me to show an abominable sort of conceited arrogance’ on the part of our revisionist author.  Every chapter jars and discombobulates the Austen afficionado by starting out with the original text and being almost entirely faithful to the original dialogue until each familiarly anticpated speech denigrates into some discussion of the ‘deadly arts’ (without which ‘no young lady might be deemed truly accomplished’) or a mention of the ‘plague of sorry stricken that has Hertfordshire in it’s grip’.

There is plenty of talk about how the unmentionable menace has necessitated the young ladies being trained in swordsmanship and musketry and more than one narrative where Lizzy and her deadly sisters despatch decaying zombies to hell with their katana swords or ankle daggers upon finding themselves accosted while out walking etc.  But these liberally interspersed passages don’t hold nearly enough blood, guts and gore to appeal to fans of zombie fiction.  So I’m not quite sure who exactly is supposed to derive pleasure from this book given that the zombification of the novel will annoy loyal Austen fans and the lack of hardcore gruesome zombie brain-ingesting action won’t appeal to zombie fans either?!?!   It’s a mystery…

There were a few passages which provoked an inward giggle with their sheer unadulterated absurdity but mostly I found it excessively hard to read and only persevered so that I might see be able to authoritatively denigrate discuss it with anyone else stupid enough to finish reading this book.


“My dear Mr Bennet, have you heard that Netherfield park is let at last!  Do you not want to know who has taken it?”
“Woman I am attending to my musket, Prattle on if you must, but leave me to the defense of my estate!”
“Why my dear, Mrs Long says that Netherfield is taken by a young man of large fortune; that he escaped London in a chaise and four just as the strange plague broke through the Manchester line”
“What is his name?”
“Bingley.  A single man of four or five thousand a year.  What a fine thing for our girls!”
“How so?  Can he train them in the ways of swordsmanshp and musketry?”
“How can you be so tiresome! You must know I am thinking fo his marrying one of them.”


Mr Collins:
“Do not make yourself uneasy, my dear cousin, about your apparel.  Lady Catherine is far from requiring that elegance of dress in us which becomes herself and her daughter.  She will not think the worse of you for being simply dressed, just as she will not think less of you for possessing combat skills so very beneath her own.”


At Rosings:
“Mr Collins tells me that you are schooled in the deadly arts, Miss Bennet.”
“I am, though not to half the level of proficiency your Ladyship has attained”
“Oh! Then – some time or other I shall be happy to see you spar with one of my ninjas.  Are all you sisters likewise trained?”
“They are.”
“I assumed you were schooled in Japan?”

“No, your Ladyship.  In China.”
“China?  Are those monks still selling their clumsy kung fu to the English?  I take it you mean Shaolin?”
“Yes, your Ladyship; under Master Liu.”
“Well I suppose you had no opportunity.  Had your father more means, he should have taken you to Kyoto”
“My mother would have had no objection, but my father hates Japan.”
“Have your ninjas left you?”
“We never had any ninjas.”
“No ninjas!  How was that possible?  Five daughters brought up at home without any ninjas!  I never heard of such a thing!”


….and so on and so on and so on.   Oh and my favourite line –

“Miss Bennet, there seems to be a prettyish kind of little dojo on the one side of your lawn.  I should be glad to examine it.  If you will favour me with your company.”

‘Cause we are the champions of the web!!!

While I have a long established reputation as the Consumer From Hell… I think after today’s triumph I shall hence forth also be known as Borys – Queen of the Online Shopping!  She lurks in the long grass… the thrifty hunter eyeing off her prey…. waiting for the internets to align…. breathlessly watching the exchange rate… and when the price plummets to acceptable levels… she shops!

borysSNORC™   i got the rest of my books from the MET today

borysSNORC™   i can’t believe I got away with this
borysSNORC™   books were on sale AND I used the 20% Mother’s Day promo
Salaberge              woohoo!!
borysSNORC™   i know!!!
borysSNORC™   i expected to get an email saying no international orders
borysSNORC™   i bought $734.62 worth of books for $273.00 incl shipping
Salaberge              yay!
Salaberge              holy shit!
borysSNORC™   i know!!!
borysSNORC™   and the 40 lbs of books only cost US$32 to ship!!!
Salaberge              you are a magician!
borysSNORC™   nah
borysSNORC™   just a chick with a credit card, highspeed broadband and too much time on her hands  🙂

Today I feel like the winner of the internets!!!  By virtue of having purchased some particularly coveted and weighty tomes from the hallowed shelves of that most venerated of retail temples that is the Metropolitan Museum Online Gift Shop.  And all for a fraction of their original recommended retail price!!!   (can you see the ‘cat that ate the canary’ grin from there?)

I received an email about three weeks ago advertising an impending book sale at the Met.  Naturally I HAD to check it out and was pleasantly surprised to see a couple of books I had been eyeing off for literally years (for which I could never justify paying the steep price and hefty postage) had come on sale.  Not just a pretend piss-ant mark down… no…. two books I’d been wanting for ages were down from US$65.00 to a wee US$8.00 each and another from US$125.00 to a mere US$40.00!!!  In total I sent through an order that would have been US$543.00 (AU$734.627) at full price but ended up costing me only AU$273.00…. AND that included the shipping!  

MEDIEVAL TAPESTRIES IN MMA (HC)  originally $125.00 down to $40.00
PRAGUE:THE CROWN OF BOHEMIA 1347 – 1437 (HC) originally $65.00 down to $8.00

ENAMELS OF LIMOGES  1100 – 1350 (HC)  originally $65.00 down to $8.00 *
(I went back to try and get another copy of this amazing book… but the MET had sold out and then I found it on new for as much as  £230.00!!!)

UNICORN TAPESTRIES AT THE MMA (PB)  originally $24.95 down to $19.95

FROM VAN EYCK TO BRUEGEL – NETHERLANDISH PAINTING (HC) originally $65.00 down to $40.00
RENAISSANCE IN THE NORTH (HC)  originally $24.95 down to $9.95

and a couple of little exhibition catalogues –
MMA ARMS AND ARMOR COLLECTION (PB) originally $14.95 down to $4.00
FIREWORKS! FOUR CENTURIES OF PYROTECHNICS (HC) originally $14.95 down to $4.00

Today I’m a happy little vegemite with lots and lots to read!