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Animation for Kids…Too Kiddy for Me

kids party venue hire CanberraThe greatest downside of my life at the moment is that there aren’t enough hours in the day to watch new anime. If it were up to me, I’d divide my time quite specifically: the hours of 9am to 5pm are for normal, boring life stuff. Break for dinner. 7-9pm are for watching current or ongoing series, then 9-11pm are for sampling and reviewing new ones. I’d stay up later, but Mum would be really angry. She hates it when I go to bed too late.

One I’m really considering writing a strong review about at the moment is ‘Castle Dream Kid Squad!’, which everyone is going on about online right now. I don’t really see the appeal.

You’ve got find kids party venues for hire close to Canberra, and they all look pretty normal, like a standard play centre. The story is about a bunch of really young kids who, when they go to the play centre, transform into adult knights and go on massive adventures. I’m only on episode four, and one thing I do kinda like is how you can’t tell if it’s just their imagination or actual magic. I remember being a kid…like a few years ago. I used to go to a play centre, and I sometimes genuinely managed to convince myself that I was Drago-tron, Ravager of Dimensions, Lord of Torment and He-Who-Eradicates-Goodness. None of the other kids wanted to play that specific game, so I just played myself. But play centres are cool

Still, I’m not sold on the plot progression. They don’t GO anywhere. They’re always defending this one castle against mutant elephants and the Parental Devastation Squad, armed with coffee bazookas. It’s really kid-friendly, with long speeches about friendship and how awesome ball pits are.

I’m thinking this really is an anime just for kids, and also the parents watching with them. Maybe it’s supposed to make people think back to when THEY used to go to kids parties around Canberra and remember their childhood, and the imaginary games they played. But I gotta be cruel. 4/10, needs more magical girls and dream explosions. Not cute.

-Dylan-kun

I Object…To People Not Watching This

Melbourne property solicitorsKAWAII.

Sorry. I just had to express my excitement at the amazing discovery I’ve just made. I thought I’d pretty much watched every single anime of 2017, even if I dropped most of them after the pilot episode for being inadequate. When there are so many around, you can’t afford to get too invested in those that aren’t up to scratch. Everyone knows that.

But then my tomodachi sent me a link to Hai, Objection!, which didn’t win any awards and thus totally passed me by. I was blown away, for real. Hai, Objection! is slice-of-life, a genre I’m not usually too interested in due to the lack of dragons and magical explosion battles, but it was a recommendation from my nakama. And if there’s one thing us otaku cannot ignore, it’s that. And gosh, as soon as I saw the opening scene- protagonist-san, rushing to school, with a piece of toast in their mouth- I was bowled over by the animation budget.

And I’ll tell you what: I’m learning a lot about commercial law in Melbourne, because that’s what the show is all about. Who knew establishing an animation studio in Melbourne would produce such quality content? Anyway, it’s all about protagonist-san and their quest through law school to become an esteemed business lawyer and…conduct business law, I suppose. It’s been their dream, ever since their father died in a freak sentencing hearing explosion. Already, the backstory is all there, along with the motivation.

Apart from that one explosion, it’s mostly been dialogue, and the occasional lecture on the nature of solicitors and their role in the legal system. Still, protagonist-san as plenty of misadventures outside of class, like when he accidentally got himself into a situation where the girls thought he was a pervert, and the many other times that happened in the first couple of episodes. Also, they hosted a cultural fair. I didn’t even know legal schools in Melbourne had those, but there you go!

All I know is that if I ever need help with understanding the role of a property solicitor, in Melbourne, I’ll get all I need from Hai, Objection! and its totally-accurate depiction of law school, and cat-human hybrids. Apparently it gives them the edge in a court of law, probably because most people don’t have tails. Pshh…they need to watch more anime.

-Dylan-kun

Coming Soon: The Phantom Artisans

decorative glassMelbourne’s art scene is great and all, but I say it can be loads better. So, SO much better. That’s why I’d like to introduce the internet to the Phantom Artisans. You’ll probably be getting to know us by our work in the very near future, but here’s a handy guide about us for anyone who wants a bit of insider info.

Now, look…there’s a lot to love about our great city of Melbourne. The interesting weather. The historical buildings. That hot beverage that everyone likes that in my opinion is a little bit overrated. But a true city of the arts should look a little different, in our opinion.

This whole thing started when one of us did an apprenticeship with a company in Melbourne that does office decorative glass. Some company that needed their glass to be tinted orange in an attractive pattern…and what an excellent colour, I might add. Now, they might have gotten the idea, but take a walk through the city centre. There might be sculptures of sorts, and a few dedicated areas to artistic pursuits, and there’s also that giant battery. That’s…fine. But the office buildings are all the same: uniform, metal and glass, the same colour…boring. How can we call ourselves a city of the arts if THAT is what people see from a distance?

And so, our aim is to steadily transform the city, and show that even the world of business can benefit from a touch of colour and life. We’re seeking to transform culture, basically. Obviously the old commercial decorative glass industry can help us out there. Got a window that needs replacing? We’ll be there, with a gentle suggestion that instead of boring regular glass, why not add a dash of colour and make something truly unique? That’s going to be our starting point, anyway. We have quite a few other projects in mind other than decorative glass. But it’s a start…and you’ll be seeing a lot more of us soon.

-Donatello

Australians and Their Strange Sport

cricket nettingAustralians are strange, I’ve concluded. I like the special kind of strange they are, but for my culture, some of the things they do are just really odd. I got here in December, so I was prepared for how much Christmas is a big deal over here. But having Christmas on the beach? Weird. I even saw some people setting up a Christmas tree ON the beach, as if they were totally proud that they were doing it wrong.

Sorry…doing it their way. Got to watch that. I was still warned about a lot of stuff though. Like the whole…sport thing. It’s not a 100% sport loving rate, but I’ve noticed that around the office, even people who wouldn’t usually talk about or show interest in sport will get all excited when there’s a game, or an intense discussion. It’s some serious business, especially around grand final day. There’s even a guy in the office who says he’s responsible for setting up the tennis nets at his local club, and he brings it up really often. Like, that’s fine. You need nets to play tennis; I know what the game involves. I didn’t even think that Australians were big into tennis, until I came to Melbourne and I realised they devote basically an entire month to it. Although…I don’t think they win very often. I guess it’s the joy of taking part!

But maybe that makes it important enough to mention the tennis nets a lot. Now, if you set up netting at the Australian Open…that’d be something. I bet even the ball boys and girls go back to their local clubs and brag about the one time they threw a ball to…Lleyton Hewitt, maybe? I don’t know who’s big at the moment. In fact, he’s the only Australian tennis player I could name. So, if you said you were a big deal in sports or cricket netting and you got to meet…some famous cricket person, I’d be pretty impressed, maybe. But no one else. Maybe I need to go out for more after-work drinks?

-Jei

Husband Loves Renovations

painters MelbourneI’m a long time fan of home improvement and renovations show. I must have watched every episode of every renovation show on tv in the last month. I simply can’t get enough of them. I’ve been thinking about my own bathroom renovations and getting idea. I have a notebook that is almost filled with sketches and other ideas of what my dream bathroom will look like. I have a pretty strict budget so a lot of the great things that I want I know I won’t be able to afford. I’ll do the best bathroom I can within my budget, I have to be strong and not be tempted to go overboard. I’d love to be involved with the project myself but I have no skills or experience with tools or building. I’ll leave the task to the experts, I have a lot of trust in my bathroom designers. Melbourne has this obsession with luxury bathroom lately and I’ve been swept up in the craze. I don’t know a hammer from a chainsaw; that’s how bad I am at bathroom renovations. I’m going to show the Melbourne bathroom contractors my ideas and work with them to come with a floor plan that will work well within the limited space I have. I know I have to stay on budget but I am happy to spend what it takes to get the best mini bathroom renovation Melbourne has to offer. It’s important to be willing to pay professional for their superior work and not want to cut corners. I mean bathroom are pretty important, you use them every day after all. I have faith in the abilities of these experts, they have a great track record according to their website. I just hope the update won’t take too long, I’m eager to have a nice long soak in the antique claw footed bathtub I found at a garage sale.

The reason I’ve have to be so careful with my money is that my husband and I just spent a lot having the house repainted. I was watching one of the new high definition channels on television the other night and came across a program that sparked my interest. It was all about making modern homes look vintage, which is something that I’d wanted for a long time. It’s amazing what a coat of paint in the right colour can do to transform a modern home into something special. I turned to my husband once the program was over and he could see in my eyes that I was excited to make a drastic change to our home. The very next day I was looking at colour swatches and contacting the house painters. Melbourne was coming into the warmer months, a perfect time to paint a house. It’s difficult to paint a house in the winter because it rains so often. You need a few days of warm weather before planning to do any exterior house painting so that it has time to dry. My husband was a little wary of the colour I had chosen for the outside of our weatherboard home. He didn’t say anything but I could see it on his face that he wasn’t sure about my antique palette. In the end the house ended up looking great and didn’t take long to paint at all. My husband even compliment me on my style choices, not something that he had ever done before.

Are You Afraid of the Dark? You Should Be

home lighting solutionsYou know what? I don’t care who knows it any more. I’m afraid of the dark, and I think everyone else should be too.

I think I managed to push it down for most of my adult life, but then I ended up house sitting and things got complicated. Okay, so this was a three-storey home. The bedroom I’d be using was right at the very top and the living room was at the bottom, so the locking up procedure was nerve-racking. I’d have to turn off all the lights on the bottom floor, then high-tail it up the stairs while horrible blackness threatened to eat me up. And then I’d have to turn off the lights on THAT floor and go through the same thing to get back to my bedroom.

Every night. Three weeks. And then I went back to my place, and I’m slightly terrified just climbing up my ONE flight of stairs. That’s why I’ve been feverishly searching for commercial LED lighting services around Melbourne, because I need something a bit more high-tech to stave off the danger. Well, I say ‘high-tech’. I’d just like a few simple things.

First, a system whereby I can turn off the lights from the upper floor, so I can ascend the stairs in fully-lit comfort. Second, the ability to turn on the lights anywhere in the house, no matter where I am. Sometimes I’m in the living room, and it’s gotten dark and I have to go out into the entrance hall and fumble for the lights…it’s no good. And third: I want my lights to be BRIGHT. As in, switch them on and every single inch of every single room is illuminated like it’s broad daylight. Right now I have to rely on these horrible energy-saving bulbs that come on dim and take five minutes to give proper light.

I need zero-monster-assurance NOW. I’m sure Melbourne home lighting solutions have something for me. I mean, I can’t be the only one who rightfully fears what lies in the darkness.

-Ivan

Things Getting Heated on the Beach

Lorne beach appartment

The depth of my feelings has to count for something. Like, the latest episode of ‘Week of Our Lives’ was so impacting that it spontaneously caused a number to appear. It’s some very deep stuff.

Maybe it was partly to do with the fact that it was a beach episode. I hear the whole team got an anonymous donation from a fan than sent them all to film in a Lorne hotel for a weekend. Wow…being an actor is such a cushy gig. So they’re doing special episodes from the beach, and the summer sun is causing everyone’s tensions to flare up. Turns out that Judith has a saucy secret past with Adam, since Lorne was where they met all those years ago when they were both part of the cult that believed the Earth belonged to a secret breed of rabbit people and one day there would be an adorable, fluffy reckoning. They fell in love while walking on the beach and dreaming of how they’d one day be in charge of carrot flavour research, which is now bringing Judith into conflict with Yelena. Turns out Adam lied to Yelena and told her that he used to be part of a charity that sent agents to other countries to rescue treat rabbit addictions, and now she’s very ticked off. Doesn’t help that the hotel they were in turned out to have a zero-tolerance policy when it came to camels, so Pamela’s efforts to start a camel rental business from her hotel room were stifled from the get-go, and now she can’t pay Pablo back. And when Pablo is the leader of the clown mafia? That’s no good for anyone.

At least I’m getting some GREAT ideas for holidays in Lorne. Luxury beach apartments just look lovely. And in real life they’re probably not full of camels, either.

-Leticia

Your Little Local Salon

St-James' hairdresserLife in the digital age SUCKS. I wasn’t even born in the seventies- in fact, I barely made it into the nineties- but I’m pretty sure I know what things were like back then, and they were definitely better, probably. Things were probably even better in the fifties, to be honest. Those two big wars were out of the way, everyone had to be nice to each other and you could go along to the drugstore and buy lemonade and macaroons for a dime. Or…whatever it was in Australia at the time. Beer and lamingtons?

What I really miss, despite never actually experiencing it myself, are the little communities and loyalty to certain places. Like, nowadays you just get on your phone and look up where’s got good reviews, or wherever’s closest. Need a hairdresser? There’s nothing that brings you back to the same place, if something else is more convenient. If there’s a hairdresser on St James’ Place that gave you a great cut the last time you went…well, that itself might bring you back. But it won’t be with a sense of community loyalty. You won’t go back because you know the lady who owns it, and her name is Maria, and you want to support her because she’s trying to feed four kids, and it’s all beneficial anyway because Maria will then visit your family’s greengrocer and buy her vegetables thus continuing to wonderful, economic circle of community life.

No, you just go there. Because maybe the internet said it was good. You don’t care about the struggles of that hairdresser, not at all. It’s all about you, isn’t it? What can I get for ME? Well, if there were a way to bring back that community mentality, you better believe that I’d give it a go. Things were great in the seventies and sixties, and probably fifties, you know? Like, even the hair salons based in the Melbourne CBD had their own special place in the community, instead of being treated like walk-in service providers. People were just nicer. I know that for sure, even though I never lived then. You can just tell.

Anique

Solar Energy, Not That Bad

commercial solarA year ago, I was convinced solar energy was ruining the planet. Now I’m going to have to go back and rewrite basically everything, because I’ve been convinced that the case is otherwise and most of my opinions are no longer valid. This is turning out like the who anti-vaccination thing all over again. Vaccinations: the Root of All Evil might have been a bestseller if I’d ever got around the publishing, but mostly because people would read and laugh at it for how wrong I was. I also owe some apologies to companies in Melbourne, commercial solar protests may have gotten out of hand. On account of all the abusive emails and staged protests.

It’s not completely my fault.  Was raised in a rural town and sent off to a pseudo-science academy at a very young age, where they taught us all kinds of things. I left not having joined the cult mentality, but all my scientific information has been repeatedly proven very wrong. You’d think I would’ve learned to fact check by now…well, that’s what I’m doing starting from now. For example, I recently learned that the ozone layer is not designed to protect us from harmful vitamin D, and that harnessing solar energy is not a wild and imprecise science that has killed thousands due to the instability of stored solar power. Basically, we were taught very early on that solar panels were ticking time bombs, ready to explode with all that stored energy, and that greedy corporations were just using it because it came freely from the sky instead of getting off their butts and mining it themselves.

So I have a lot of apologies to make, both in Melbourne and to the wider scientific community, who showed me that commercial solar solutions might just save the planet. I guess Solar Energy: The Greatest Assassin doesn’t really work as a title any more. Although Solar Energy: Golly I Nearly Screwed Up doesn’t work so well either.

-Baxter

Fish Burgers, Not Motor Repair

outboard motor repairSo, employers check Visage-Tome accounts before job interviews now. Okay…great…wasn’t aware of THAT before I went for the interview, but I sure am now, after they brought up my holiday in January. Look, it’s not really fair to say that was my fault. That camel was out of control from the moment I got on it, and the whole Gatorade thing didn’t help. And the picture makes everything look WAY worse than it actually was, especially since the guy lost his arm in a simultaneous yet unrelated incident. Nothing to do with me. That’s the truth.

They didn’t care though, so I guess I’m back to selling fish burgers by the docks. Yep, just watching the world go by. Watching all of Melbourne’s outboard motor repair people going about their jobs, wishing I could do that job, because I’d be great at it.

At least they didn’t look at my Tweeter, because they probably would’ve found even more stuff they didn’t like. That’s the thing about Tweeter…people send you all sorts of crazy and incriminating things. But then, I don’t see how my crazy camel holiday works into boat repairs, so it shouldn’t have any bearing on my job prospects. That’s what holidays are for! You go and do some fun things that you wouldn’t think of doing, things that have NOTHING to do with your job because that’s the entire point of a holiday in the end. Obviously.

See, the fish burger people seem to be perfectly fine with what I get up to on vacation. The lesson here is that life is unfair…people are unfair…job interviews are definitely unfair. The fact that I can’t do marine trailer repairs shouldn’t be held against me, as well as my complete lack of any sort of mechanical knowledge. I can make burgers! Also, ride a camel!

-Brent