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[personal profile] lederhosen
Back from Melbourne. Got up at 4 am, v. sleepy. [livejournal.com profile] brandtotter very generously drove me to Spencer St. in the wee hours of the morning; next time I book a Melbourne trip, must think more carefully about return flights. (Living as close to the airport as I do means I forget to factor in to-airport travel times & costs when choosing flights...) Also, much love to [livejournal.com profile] asagwe & [livejournal.com profile] shadow_5tails who picked me up on arrival in Melbourne on the Friday evening.

Went to my mother's not-a-birthday-party. All the drama we'd been hoping to avoid by making it a not-a-birthday-party had managed to happen anyway; fortunately, only one faction plus noncombatants actually showed to the party, so it went well. I got to catch up with my brother, who I don't mention here very often simply because there's not much to mention; he's a good lad, I love him dearly, and he's very easy to get along with. Poor fellow is rather injury-prone, and has torn his anterior cruciate playing soccer, but has headed off to Vanuatu with his girlfriend for a scuba-diving holiday, which should be fun. Also, they have a puppy, who tries to shake hands with everybody without even being commanded after an overly successful food-based training program. Lots of yummy food, although I seem to have inadvertently eaten something with onion in it, which had me v. unhappy later that evening.

Watched Steamboy. Full of Sons of Ethery goodness and giant contraptions. Was v. amused by a certain character's repeatedly-frustrated attempts to die a heroic death. Zeppelins!

Saw Khepri ([livejournal.com profile] asagwe and [livejournal.com profile] shadow_5tails' beautiful Abyssinian) batting curiously at a tempting dangling thing which happened to be the tip of Gwyn's tail. While this is a perfectly respectable feline endeavour, we thought it probably ought to be discouraged before the other seven feet of Gwyn took exception. Went clubbing with [livejournal.com profile] shadow_5tails and enjoyed myself. Music was decent - surprised to hear them play 'Unguarded Moment' - and we bumped into [livejournal.com profile] alchemon. Got back late, slept till midday.

Went to zoo with [livejournal.com profile] brandtotter and [livejournal.com profile] silverblue. Many v. beautiful animals. Got to see tree kangaroos being trained to cooperate with keepers by means of avocado bribery; I don't think I've ever seen a creature so focussed on a single task as those kangaroos were on their avocados. They have quite comical, Norman Lindsay-esque faces; otherwise, they're a bit like amiable monkeys. Also admired porcupines (I don't think I'd ever seen how much they resemble guinea pigs in the face before), and the Reptile House in its entirety, and the big cats.

BTW, this is what the tree kangaroos we saw looked like:

Then back for dinner & watching Xchange, which was rather better than the combination of low-budget scifi & a Baldwin as lead had given us to expect. There were strong echoes of Robert Sheckley's Mindswap, and the director was obviously working very hard to avoid a repeat of the Great Scifi Movie Breast Famine of 1999... But I'll forgive a lot for a movie where the female lead, after being characterised as smart and capable in the first act, actually *stays* smart and capable all the way to the end of the film instead of turning into a liability somewhere in the third quarter.

Had intended to play SPANC or Strange Synergy, but by that time I was feeling tired, and with that 4 am start the next day decided to get, if not an early night, then at least an earlier one.

All in all, had a lovely time, as usual. Was once again reminded that I have the sort of friends who *will* get up at 4 in the morning for me, although next time I hope that won't be necessary. Really need to get down for longer than a weekend so I can see more people, but not sure when that'll be, since leave is short at the moment. Maybe Christmas or something?

Oh, also, got to see how big Byakko has grown - I think he will be the Monster Cat that Cuddled Melbourne to Death when he's fully grown. Think of something white and fluffy, add more fluff, and give it Elijah Wood eyes and you have the idea.

And an amusing shindy at the petrol station when we stopped for snacks last night. I didn't hear the beginning of it, but it seems to have been a case of a condescending & difficult customer and a long-suffering checkout guy who wouldn't let her buy her cigarette papers for less than the listed price. I walked in at about this point:

CUSTOMER: "You know what you are? You're a rude little boy. I'm going to make sure your manager knows about this."

CHECKOUT GUY: "You know what? This is my last day. I'm not going to be here tomorrow. I don't care. And there's nothing you can do about it."

CUSTOMER: *froths* *complains some more about 'rudeness'*


She then rounded on the other clerk, who was also grinning, and then on all of us who were waiting in the queue, before stomping out. It was a guilty pleasure; I don't think it's right to taunt people, even when they're being unreasonable... but some of them surely *deserve* taunting, and I know plenty of my LJ friends have to deal with people like that customer every day.
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