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Sim Sickness and Movies

Good evening everyone! We have had a busy past few days around here. Madam Lash got dropped off at Kmart again on Thursday for her new seals, and Vickie picked her up on Friday night on the way to work. Unfortunately, she's back there again right now; on Saturday afternoon, after doing some shopping in Thornleigh, we noticed a puddle of oil on the concrete underneath her. I changed parking spots and watched as more drops fell onto the concrete. One of the guys at Kmart says it might be excess oil from the engine wash they gave her, but the engine temp and that hot metal smell on the way to Kmart imply a different cause. We're hoping that they'll actually get her fixed by tomorrow so we can book her in for a rego check soon.

Whilst browsing Electronics Boutique on my Friday lunch hour with John T (in anticipation of Freelancer's Oz release), I saw a copy of Star Wars: Jedi Knight II - Jedi Outcast sitting on the shelf for $50. Having played the demo, and having a little cash to spare, I decided to give it a shot - but after an hour of trying to get through the first level, I had to shut it down, un-install it and put it back in its box. Once again, my case of First-Person Shooter Motion Sickness had kicked in, and I knew I'd never finish the game. The default mouse sensitivity was far too twitchy, and when I tried to tone it down, I could barely keep up.

On Saturday morning, we went off to the Castle Hill Farmer's Market (Warning: link loads slowly), on at the Castle Hill Showground until 1 PM, every second Saturday of the month. We blew the budget and picked up some great food, including a lovely smoked chicken and some great sauces and dips. Unfortunately, we ran out of readies before we could pick up some delicious sun-dried tomato dip, but we'll be sure to next time, in April.

Mandi called us while we were out - we'd left our mobiles at home - and when we called back after we got in, she told us that Roger, despite us replying to his e-mail asking whether he could still come over after the InSpectres playtest was cancelled due to lack of attendance, had decided to go out and have some drinks instead. Thankfully, Mandi still came over (she was wavering until we mentioned we'd already bought food) and we had a very pleasant evening watching our rented movies; Life As A House and The Cat's Meow. Life As A House was a predictable sentimental movie made great by Kevin Kline and a wonderful cast (if you need proof that Attack of the Clones' Hayden Christensen can actually act, just watch this movie), whilst The Cat's Meow was a great period pic / character drama with an excellent, well rounded cast, including Kirsten Dunst and Eddie Izzard. (There you go, Boots - schedule a game on the same day as my playtest and we'll watch a movie with your favourite actor in them! So there!) Eddie was, surprisingly enough, playing Charlie Chaplin.

After sampling our food, Mandi decided that she wanted to come with us to a market day at Thornleigh, her pay schedule permitting. We leafed through the calendar and determined the next compatible day was Saturday, the fourteenth of June.

We were intending to submit ourselves to the dreaded Housework and go see Chicago yesterday (cheap tickets thanks to the Greater Union Cinebuzz newsletter), but we'd been playing a little Neverwinter Nights before Mandi turned up on Saturday, and Vickie suddenly felt in the mood for some more on Sunday morning. We wound up playing for nearly eleven hours straight, making some good headway through Chapter Two of the Campaign. So much for housework! I think my Evil Plan to Turn Vickie Into a Geek was a little too successful; at the end I was the one who begged off. I was getting eyesore from looking at the screen, and I needed to get some sleep in for work today!

So we saw Chicago tonight instead. Having seen it performed at the Capitol Theatre a few years ago, I wasn't quite sure what to expect from the movie adaptation of the musical, but I very much enjoyed it. I was especially keen to see Queen Latifah perform as as Warden "Momma" Morton (I first saw her in The Bone Collector), and she really got to show her chops here (on top of that, you should just see her in her "show" dress). The biggest novelty for me was the all-singin', all-dancin' Richard Gere as the super-smooth lawyer Billy Flynn, and I have no doubt plenty of reviewers have gone ga-ga over Catherine Zeta-Jones and Renée Zellweger. Easily worth seeing.

I'm also glad to report that my friend Cameron was able to sell his computer kit to Jake, thanks to my notice on the IMAGinewS group. Al and Boots had expressed interest in it, but Cameron reckons they hadn't got in touch. See guys, ya gotta move quick 'round here...

Of course, today wouldn't have been complete without a downer of some kind. I'd brought Jedi Knight II back to EB to take advantage of their one-week grace period and use it toward Freelancer. The problem was, Freelancer wasn't in. It was due to be on the shelves today, and the EB staffer I spoke to had no idea why it hadn't arrived. So I added the $50 from Jedi Knight II to my pre-order, and was promised a phone call as soon as it turned up.

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