So. Things I've been up to lately:
* Saw Finding Nemo
. It's a wonderful feeling to sit down to watch a movie and know you're going to enjoy it. With Pixar, you already know you're in good hands. From all the interviews - and from the quality of their work itself - they seem to genuinely care about their stories. One of the best things about Pixar is that their stories have heart - and they don't get heart confused with cheap sentimentality.
* Saw Pirates of the Carribbean
. Very swashbuckly, surprisingly intelligent, and a lot of fun. How cool was Jack Sparrow? He had all the best lines, and his attitude just rocked. It was also interesting for me to see Orlando Bloom in a non-Legolas role for the first time. He did a decent job, although his character was a pretty standard noble-young-hero type. Jack Davenport from Ultraviolet was also in it, but I didn't recognise him in costume, only his name in the credits. The special effects for the pirates were pretty amazing - probably a far cry from the original Disney ride, which I actually went on once when I was little. The slashiness I'd heard about was rather light - still, I'm interested in seeing what the fanfic does with it.
* Heard back from Clarion South
about my application. I didn't manage to get one of the seventeen places, but I've been put on the reserve list. I wasn't expecting to get in, so I'm pretty pleased I got as far as I did.
* Received my first ever rejection letter, for Original!Story. It's a milestone on the road to becoming a published writer, but I wish they'd given me more feedback than the very unhelpful form letter they sent. Ah well.
* Attended the AnimeUNSW
AGM on Friday. One of the more interesting AGMs, I'll admit, being only the second time in the club's history that there's been more than one contender for a position. Six years now since the club started - bloody hell. We were dreaming about the fifth year anniversary once, and now even that's passed. It'll be ten years before we know it - but with all those fresh new faces joining the exec, I'm hopeful at the thought of reaching that ten year mark. I've met some of the best people in the world through this club, and made some unforgettable memories. I never could have imagined it, back when it all began.
* Saturday was spent at Magic Casements, the first ever speculative fiction festival held at the NSW Writers' Centre
. The panels I attended were a bit of a mixed bag. The panel on sources of inspiration was kind of wishy-washy, as you'd expect from the topic, and it also looked like one of the scheduled panelists had piked out. The world-building panel, on the other hand, was excellent, with different approaches from each of the four authors on it. I'd had high hopes for the academic panel, after the Fantastic Fictions conference last year, but it turned out to be pretty dull. I did enjoy the panel on breaking into the business though, with several newcomers discussing their experiences. I also managed to catch up with some of the people in my writing group, who were involved in helping out with the festival.
* Monday morning, at nine sharp, I rocked up to an address on Broadway in response to an ad in the paper. They were looking for hair models for a show - in exchange for lending your services for the day, you got a free cut and colour plus $150 worth of hair products. It was an interesting experience. They picked out eleven of us - ten girls and one guy. Most of the others were uni students, and a few were actually still in high school, which made me feel rather old. I was kind of nervous at first - I wanted a change, yeah, but my hair is probably my one vanity, and what if they wanted to crop it short and dye it lime green or something? They actually made far less radical changes than I'd expected, and it was kind of cool to get a haircut from a topnotch professional. I was there for twelve hours. Most of the day was spent waiting around - I remember thinking, this is probably what it's like to be an actor on a set. They had a professional makeup artist come in and work on us, and they picked out clothes for us to wear, and in the evening we had to get up on a catwalk in front of about seventy hair industry professionals while the organisers demonstrated their work and spoke vigorously about the issues affecting their field. (Undercharging for colour is a major one, apparently.)
* My room has, over the past few weeks, deteriorated into the worst state of disorder I can ever remember. Today I decided to tackle that problem. One of the things I found in my digging was the Madman anime sampler DVD from Manifest. As I was checking it out, I found not only the usual trailers but also a couple of sample first episodes. One of them was .hack//SIGN. Well, well. Some people I know, especially leenabeans
, are really into this series. Now I can see why. The sampler DVD only had the dubbed version, but the pull of the story was strong enough to overcome my reservations. My experiences with RO also added another layer of appreciation. I don't know the names of all the characters yet, but I did recognise Subaru. Favourite moment was when the fuzzy yellow hippo creature - is *that* a puchigosu? - was bumping its nose into the wall. I nearly melted. So. Damn. Cute. I want one now - a lifesize one to hug and feed and ride everywhere.