Thursday, November 30, 2006

Love nor money

The sheer fact that I'm writing a blog entry today, on what should be the Holy day of the mighty Xbox, should be enough to let you know that once again "the best laid plans of mi-"

I think you know the rest.

So I am without Xbox. Sans Xbox. I have no box of the X. Basically because the comics shop sold out of the bundle pack I wanted, and I didn't want a different combo deal with a different game that I pretty much know I won't like. But that's OK, because they're going to get me another one in, probably for Monday, and you know that they say about absence making Jane Fonda.

Henry Fonda?


Something like that. So I'm biting my lip and clenching my butt cheeks in anxiety, because I'd really worked myself up to getting it today in an uber-nerdy sort of way.

Maybe I should hyper-ventilate into a paper bag?

On the plus side, it does give me a bit of time to catch up on some things I've been meaning to do, chiefly finish reading I am Charlotte Simmons. Did you know that Tom Wolfe won the Bad Sex in Fiction Award for that book in 2004? I read that scene (at least I presume it was that scene) a couple of days ago. Charlotte described her boyfriend's penis as a ball-peen hammer, which struck me as a slightly unsual description for that particular part of the male anatomy, but no worse than a baby's arm, I suppose.

So, yes, I'll hit Charlotte again (not literally), polish her off (again, not literally), and move on to one of the other books I've got sitting in my stack. Probably the Star Trek Manga anthology, because I know one of the writers (he used to write for me on the Star Trek Fact Files) and he's eager to know what I think.

So... um, this is me... Xbox-less... signing off for today...

Oh, hang on, Scrubs is just about to start. Awesome!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Loitering with intent

"The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry."

As regular readers of this blog will know, I'm currently hankering after an Xbox 360. In fact, I intend to buy one tomorrow. At least, that was the plan... until Xfm started givin' 'em away...

To be honest, I wasn't really paying too much attention to this competition on the first day. The basic idea is that they're sending someone out to a specific location in London with four Xboxes, and you have to decipher three ridiculously easy clues to work out where he is. Then you go there and he gives you an Xbox. Nice.

On Monday he was outside Buckingham Palace. On Tuesday in a pub near Leicester Square.

And today, I decided I'd work through lunch, leave early, and bag myself one of those bad boys. I conspired with Martin so that he would call me and let me know the location I needed to head toward; to be honest he wasn't getting anything out of it, except, perhaps, having an extremely happy Tim bouncing around the office tomorrow. So, at 15:30 I left the office and tubed it up to Leicester Square.

And what did I do then? Well, I loitered outside Xfm's office like a stalker, of course (I figured that it was quite possible I might see Xbox chappy staggering out with the four machines, and I could then tail him - a bit like how Marty follows Biff in Back to the Future Part II).

So I stood there, rather close to Joan Collins' handprint.

And I stood there.

And I stood there.

After about 25 minutes, while I was fiddling with my mobile and acting all nonchalent, a shadowy figure appeared in front of me. Shit, I've been rumbled, was my first thought.

Turned out it was actually Lee. Now, it's always a pleasure to see Lee, although quite understandably on this occasion he was rather intrigued as to why I was lurking in London. So I explained about the Xbox competition.

"How marvellous," he said, although I'm pretty sure he actually meant "standing around on the off-chance of nabbing a stupid games console? I still can't fathom why you don't have a girlfriend, dear boy."

Then he merrily slapped me on the arm, said "do let me know how you get on with that" (i.e. "you're a bit of a twat sometimes"), and scooted off to do important Lee things.

So I went back to my solitary stalking. Then a man came out of Xfm's offices, and looking quite shifty, went and settled on a chair outside a pub.

Ah-ha, I thought!

Suddenly, my phone rang! It was Martin!

"Where do I need to go?" I shouted excitedly!

"Erm, Camden," he replied.

"Bugger," I said. Camden is, you see, not exactly in the immediate vicinity of Leicester Square. They obviously got wise to my plan.

I hung up, and took one last look at the shifty guy outside the pub. Maybe I should just strut up and ask him for an Xbox, I wondered? Then I looked a bit closer, and thought probably best not to. He might steal my iPod.


One post-stalking coffee later and I was walking the streets of Londinium town with the intention of maybe filling the last remaining gaps in my Christmas shopping list and perving over the Xbox stuff in HMV. As I was pounding the streets, I saw the actor Geoffrey Palmer.

Sadly, he was not accompanied by his regular onscreen wife, Dame Judi Dench, but his legendary jowls were in attendance; he looks like he's storing food in his mouth for winter. When he realised that I'd recognised him he quickly looked the other way; I wonder how interested he really was in HMV's seasonal sale? V for Vendetta on DVD for under a tenner, Geoffrey?

He toddled on down the pavement where a young couple pushed passed him and he gave them a bit of a mouthful. Awesome.


Anyway, chances are there won't be a post tomorrow because I fully intend to walk into the comics shop and say "Xbox me up, bitches" (though probably not with the word "bitches" as I don't like to offend), so I'll be playing that all night and through into Friday morning.

To be honest, you're lucky you got this post; Yaz convinced me yesterday to eat some out of date roast potatoes that I had in the freezer, and I was certain I was going to wake up dead this morning.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

When franchises collide!

I was a little bit bored at work this morning, and this was the result.

Oh, sorry, should've said: NERD ALERT!


Yaz and I went to see Hollywoodland this evening. Now, this movie - which is about the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of George Reeves, the guy who played Superman in the 1950s - was originally called Truth, Justice, and the American Way, which strikes me as a better title. Seems that they were made to change it by the studio that owns the rights to Superman; they also, apparently, almost made them remove all traces of the name Superman, and the 'S' logo on the costume, from the film. Which, quite frankly, would've made the film a bit odd. Because then he would've just been 'man,' and no one wants to see a film about some random man, do they?


Anyway, it was quite good - more intriguing than entertaining. There was certainly something weird about the way in which George Reeves died, and quite frankly the movie leaves it to the audience to make up their own mind as to what actually happened; some might view this as a bit of a cop-out, but seeing as no one really knows what happened I'm comfortable being left alone to formulate my own conclusions.

And here's a sentence I never thought I'd write: Ben Affleck in good performance shocker.

Good grief, what's next? A movie about tap-dancing penguins?

Monday, November 27, 2006

Blitzing Christmas

First of all, I don't mean blitzing in the WWII stylee. I thought about titling this post 'Blitzen Christmas' with a little pun on the name of one of Santa's little ol' reindeer, but that's exactly what it was: a little pun, barely worth my time, certainly not yours.

So yes, I 'blitzed Christmas' over the weekend. Jo and I had planned to do a monster shop (not "Grrr, arrrgh" monster, just big) for a couple of weeks, and we'd planned an early start. Terrifyingly, and somewhat biblically, my alarm clock went off at nine, and as I hit snooze and rolled over for "another five minutes" the LARGEST CLAP OF THUNDER EVAH rocked my little house to the core. It was like God was commanding me to shop for Christmas. My heart was thumping like a teenage mum chastising her vile offspring; dare I say it was almost worthy of a "save me Tom Cruise!"

So to Kingston we went! We started with a coffee. Well, I did; Jo doesn't drink it, but I bought her an Innocent juicy water which she seemed quite happy with. Then we shopped. We were there for almost six hours, and I came away particularly laden with bags. And just to rub it in for those of you who haven't started (it's only next month - what the hell are you thinking!), I might start wrapping this week.

On the other hand, being so organised does lead to the nagging feeling that I must be forgetting something...


I spent the rest of Sunday finishing off my My Name is Earl DVD boxset, and came to the realization that this is definitely one of my favourite shows - quite possibly my favourite live action comedy ever. It looks vibrant, it's well written and acted, and most of all it's damn funny; I think I'm falling for Jaime Pressly who plays Earl's trailer trash ex-wife Joy.

They even filmed a special 'extra' episode for the DVDs in which Earl is influenced by Stewie Griffin from Family Guy to make a list of all the people he wants to get revenge on.

And who the hell knew Jason Lee actually grew his moustache for the show? It takes serious guts to have something like that on your face for eight months of the year. I expect.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Finally we meet, Meeeeester Bond

Sweatband and I finally got to see Casino Royale last night. And what did I think? Well, to be honest, I preferred The Prestige last week.

Don't get me wrong, Casino Royale is a good film - a very good film, in fact - but I just felt it could've been... better.

My main problems with it were three-fold:

1) It really felt like they'd shoe-horned an action film around the content of the original novel (I haven't read Flemming's original novel, but I somehow doubt it has Bond engaging in a long action sequence to save a prototype jetliner, and a cameo from Richard Branson).
2) And then when you get to the actual poker scenes at the Casino Royale the pace of the film alters noticeably.
3) It was sooooooooo loooooooooong... You know how the final Lord of the Rings movie felt like it had about three or four different endings? Well this was exactly the same (although Bond never went home to Hobbiton). There were at least three instances where I thought the credits were about to start rollings, but nope - then he was off for another action sequence.

There were other niggly things too - particularly the woman who played Vesper Lynd. Everytime she tried to say something serious her voice kept getting deeper and deeper and deeper until she was croaking sentences out as if she was talking while being throttled. Sexy? No.

And as Sweatband pointed out, for a film that the producers claimed was cutting down on gadgets, there were rather a lot of gadgets that were integral to the plot. And possibly the most obvious piece of product placement I've ever seen in my life:

"Nice watch - is it a Rolex?"
"No, it's an Omega." (turn to camera, show watch, apply charming grin)

The villains were all pretty obvious too. There were at least two bad guys who had scars on their faces, which says to me that Bond villains are either pretty clumsy, or it's a rite of passage. Seriously though, facially-scarred villains are becoming something of a cliché, methinks. Although at least I'll be able to recognise them when I'm walking down the high street.

So this makes it sound like I really hated Casino Royale, huh? Well no, I didn't. On the plus side, the action sequences were very well done, and Craig David or Daniel Craig or whatever he's called does make a very good Bond. At several points throughout I wondered how Pierce Brosnan would've handled the film - and I actually found it quite hard to imagine. This is nothing against Brosnan - I might even go so far as to say that he's been my favourite Bond - but this film required someone considerably less suave and considerably more emotionally stunted and violent, which might've come off as something of a character-based handbrake turn if Brosnan had returned. Maybe they should alternate Bonds between different scenes?

All in all then, a solid start to Craig David's Bond career. I'm intrigued to see where they're going to take it from here, as long as for the next one they get a bloody editor to cut about 20 minutes out of the damned thing.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Show me the monkey! Muse at Wembley Arena

Sorry for the lack of an update in the last day or two; I know that Marcosy in particular gets a bit antsy if he doesn't have anything to read. But I've got a good reason! And what is it, you ask?

Why it was Muse at Wembley Arena!

Now, I generally hate Wembley Arena, because it's a bit of an arse to get to, and ... um ... oh yeah - it's a bit of a shithole! In the past I've only dragged myself there if it's someone I REALLY want to see, like David Bowie, and in this instance the very wonderful Muse.

But wait! I was pleased to discover that it is a shithole no more!! They've only been and gone and done it up! The exterior is awash with colourful lights, huge glowsticks, and a new plaza outside that has a super-funky fountain that quickly endeared itself to me by drenching three emo-girls.


So Yaz, Simon, and my good self (well, my self), trotted inside, to be welcomed by a quality pat-down body search the likes of which I have not enjoyed in a while. We then went straight to our seats, which, as the person who booked them, I'm not ashamed to say were SOME OF THE MOST AWESOME SEATS IN THE ENTIRE VENUE.

How good were the seats? Well Simon took a panoramic photo!

(Simon and Yaz, I'm actually not sure you've thanked me quite enough yet...)

Anyway, the support act were The Noisettes. None of us were familiar with their material before the show, and none of us hope to be familiar with their material ever again. They were, how can I put this politely, erm, disjointed at best; none of the three band members seemed to be playing the same song, particularly when the lead singer (who was dressed in a tutu and mismatched silver acrylic leggings with strange facial makeup that made even Yaz suggest that she looked like a Klingon) began to sing 'How much is that doggy in the window' during a guitar solo.

Bizarre. It is worth noting, however, that the drummer looked just like Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson.

Between the end of The Noisettes and THE MAIN EVENT, all three of us began playing around with our phones. It seems that Yaz and Simon have the ability to take photos and surround them with amusing frames. Such as this 'gem.'

Hmmm... So, after much hilarity (ha), it was time for THE MAIN EVENT, and to the strains of 'Take a Bow' the Muse boys hit the stage. Matt Bellamy, resplendant in white was as engaging and exciting to watch as ever - without a doubt the best frontman of any modern group; he strutted, he postured, he slid across the stage on his knees (and almost fell off it). It must be noted, however, that the wonderful Wolstenholme handlebar moustache that was in evidence at the Shepherds Bush Empire a few months back was no longer present, although Chris Wolstenholme's constant head-banging did make a return; I seriously worry about that man's neck.

Anyway, from there, they went on to play pretty much the entire Black Holes and Revelations album in track order, finishing up with a killer version of 'Knights of Cydonia' that had us all singing along as the lines to the chorus flashed up on the big screens. Then they came back on and did some classics. Then they went off again. Then they came back and did some more classics - 'Plug in Baby' anyone? 'Feeling Good'? Damn right! And as the gig drew to a close, they released some massive balloons into the crowd, and Matt Bellamy smashed his guitar to pieces.

It was AWESOME. Except for one thing; it was only after the show had ended that I noticed there was a small, flat raised area next to my seat. If I'd realised earlier I might've been tempted to jump up on it and bust some moves like a Muse-tastic podium dancer.

As we left the arena we couldn't help but look up at the new Wembley Stadium and wonder how long it would be before Muse would be playing there - and filling it (and I mean REALLY filling it) with their incredible sounds. Not long, I expect - although it kinda depends on the stadium ever getting finished, I s'pose...


More Pictures? OK!


Oh, I promised you some monkey action in the title didn't I? Another of Simon's amusing photos. Never let it be said that I don't make fun of myself.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I'm lost in music

Caught in a trap.

Oh, yeeeeeah...

So now I have a case to protect it, I've actually started using my new iPod Nano. First thoughts? Absolutely amazing. Design wise it's perfect - thin, small in stature, and sexy, rather like yours truly, then.* It has just about the right amount of memory - 8gb - to store a pretty darn good selection of my most favouritest tunes EVAH, which all sound somewhat richer than I remember them sounding.

The thing I like about getting a new iPod (this is my third - iPod #1 now serves as a back-up hard drive, while my iPod Shuffle has the privilage of getting sweaty with me down the gym and when out running) is that it almost feels like your entire collection of music is something brand new to explore. Just sorting through my iTunes threw up some quality tracks that I'd forgotten about (the Smallville soundtrack, for instance, has some really good songs on it - 'Nuclear' by Ryan Adams?). Of course, the old favourites are getting a good airing too - live Rolling Stones, classic Bowie, and - don't laugh - The OC soundtracks, which have been the gateway to me discovering artists such as Sufjan Stevens and Nada Surf.

So iPod Nano gets two thumbs up and a broad grin. The jury's still out on the case, though; it's silicone, and seems to attract copious amounts of dust. It looks like I'm carrying a flap of hamster skin around with me.


My gym is becoming an increasingly weird place. Tonight, some tubby middle-aged woman was huffing away on a treadmill next to mine at walking pace, and kept stealing rather obvious glances at how fast I was running, how many calories I was burning, etc. I almost told her it was rude to stare. But then her treadmill beeped, and cut off after 30 minutes.

And what did she do then? She got off, checked her mobile, got back on, and started walking again. Why doesn't she go the hell out for a walk in the REAL WORLD if that's all she's going to do?

Elsewhere, some middle-aged man was exercising away while dressed in a shirt, suit trousers, and work shoes. Now that is just weird, unless the gym is instigating a dress code. Should I wear a tie next time? I'm sure it would look very dapper tucked into my sweaty vest.

Anyway, just as I was leaving, guess whose treadmill beeped to indicate 30 minutes was up? Yup. And guess who she walked over to? Yup. Peas in a pod. The weirdos hang together.

*Please excuse me. Constant references to my physical form stem from either:
a) A desire to be completely honest with you.
b) An incessant need to boost my own ego.
c) A sure sign that I'm a pathological liar.
d) Delusions of the highest order.
You may apply whichever one you prefer when thinking of me.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Counting down the days


In one of my very earliest posts - I actually can't be arsed to go trawling through the archives to find it and link back - I wrote about how I was thinking about getting an Xbox 360 just because there was an awesome looking Star Trek game coming out on it. Well, that day is around three weeks away, and I cannot wait.

I'm practically vibrating with excitement.

What's even more exciting is that I was reading that you can actually perform a lot of the ship-based maneuvres from the films and TV shows!

And this is great why?! Well bear in mind how I spend my working week - I practically wrote the book on these things - or at the very least commissioned the text, edited it down, and wrote the picture captions!

I don't think I've felt this nerdy since the day I said "congratulations on your Emmy" to William Shatner and he looked at me and replied "Thank... YOU!"

So in about three weeks time, if this blog goes quiet for a while, I'm probably sitting wide-eyed in front of my telly, hands fixed rigor-stylee in the shape of an Xbox controller, all pale and sweaty and quoting dialogue from Star Trek.

It's gonna be the most awesome thing EVAH.


In other news, check this out - scientists have pieced together a photo-fit image of what Jack the Ripper supposedly looked like. Now, bearing in mind that ol' Jack was pretty thorough in completely killing all his victims and basically smearing their insides around quite a bit, these 120 year-old corpses have helped provide a highly detailed image.

An image that seems to show that Freddie Mercury was responsible for the crimes.

I don't know about you, but I think I'll file that one in the "hmmm..." drawer of my unsolved crimes filing cabinet...

Saturday, November 18, 2006

The day in reviews!

As I said in my previous post, today is all about checking out some new stuff, and reporting back on whether it's the dog's danglies, or Parappa the Crapper.

First up: The new, new Mini!

Now, when I first saw pictures of the new, new Mini (erm... let's just cut one of the 'new's huh?) a couple of months back my reaction was something like "hmmm..."

Which is the distinct sound of the underwhelmed.

I may have even mentioned to Marcosy (a fellow Mini owner - we're car buddies!) that I thought it looked like a six year-old's interpretation of the current model, what with the slightly bulbous arse, bigger headlights - generally an all-round exaggeration of the existing styling cues. But, being the whore that I am there was no way I was going to say no to driving one.

Arriving at my dealer (sorted for eeeez and whizz) I wandered in to confront a new Mini. Once again I said "hmmm..." But this time there was something different about the "hmmm..."

Because the new Mini looks... kind of awesome in the metal.

There seems to be a clarity of purpose to the changes that have been made. It looks chunker, funkier, and no less huggable. The interior, which I feared would be a mountain of bare plastic, is warm and inviting, friendly, functional, and freakin' neat (the boot is still the size of a shoebox though!).

And then I was plonked in a gold/silvery Cooper S for a test drive, which I have rendered here with the aid of some hasty photoshopping.

WHAT STRUC- oh, sorry, caps lock was on. What struck me first was that it felt much like the 5-Series I drove the other week. The keyless start was the same, the parking sensors and navigational screen were the same. Hell, even the indicators were the same!

And then we were off. Into a traffic jam. Although seeing as I spend a fair bit of time in traffic each day, this was quite a nice way to see how the new Mini compared to my Mini. And it meant that my 15 minute test drive stretched out into about 35 minutes. Bo. Nus.

There's been a lot of comments in the motoring press about how this Mini has grown up a bit. Matured, like a fine wiiiine, I suppose. And that's true. The lovely lady who sat in on my test drive compared my generation of Mini as being like a teenager, while the new one is a twentysomething - a bit like me then! Y'know, basically it's got responsibilities, but it still likes a bit of fun and wants to watch Star Trek every now and then. Maybe even sit around in its pants on a warm day. Yes? No? Um, OK.

It's all very refined, but hit the twisties and new Mini is up for a laugh.

I liked it. A lot, in fact.

And when I'm in the market for a new motor, I will definitely be buying one (I'm particularly interested in the Clubman estate that is due around 2008, just to have something a little different).

Fingers crossed I win the lottery soon.


To the movies!

First, let me say that I absolutely loved Casino Royale - without doubt the best spy movie ever made. If you replace the words 'Casino Royale' with the words 'The Prestige,' and the word 'spy' with the words 'dueling magicians,' that is.

Casino Royale was, you see, completely, totally, and massively sold out. "Are you here to see Casino Royale or Borat?" said the tuxedo'd man outside the cinema. "Yes!" I replied. "Sold out till 10:30," he fired back.

So, Sweatband and I decided to see The Prestige instead, which I wanted to see anyway, but I think it was a little disappointing for Sweatband who seemed to be quite eager to see Daniel Craig in his little blue trunks.

"Are you here to Casino Royale or Borat?" said the tuxedo'd man outside the cinema once again.

"Not now," I replied.

For those who don't know, The Prestige is all about two magician friends who ultimately become rivals as they try to steal each other's tricks and generally out-do each other on stage.

And like the new, new Mini, I absolutely loved it. It was extremely well plotted, engrossing to follow, beautifully directed, and very well acted (even if Christian Bale's English accent sounded really dodgy - which came as something of a surprise considering he's... well, er, English). It also had David Bowie in it, and as a big fan of his music and acting (Labyrinth anyone?) this was a particular treat; he's very well cast as a mysterious and eccentric scientist.

You know how sometimes you realise the twist in a movie before the big reveal - which often spoils the denoument? Well I realised the twist - it's not so much a twist, more a particularly important plot point - here, and it didn't spoil it at all. In fact it merely added to the sense of foreboding as the movie came to a close. I genuinely think that this is one of the best movies I've seen this year.

Brilliant, brilliant film - go see.

Unless you want to see Daniel Craig smuggling a banana.

Friday, November 17, 2006

And here's my Friday bits...

Excitement abounds (abounded?) in Starbucks today (I almost said Star Trek then - how very 'stream of consciousness' of me). I don't know if this has thrilled anyone else to their core or not, but I got my Starbucks card through the post the other day!

The basic idea of it is that you whack a bit of cash on it, then you don't need to deal with that fiddly handing-over-the-cash thing when you pick up your daily/hourly coffee-based beverage. There's no additional perks - in fact, when you think about it you're actually just giving Starbucks a load of money rather than having it sit in your account - but it does seem to be convenient, and it does make it feel like you're not actually paying for your coffee. I suspect it'll also make me feel slightly superior to all those people who have to use dirty old notes and coins.


Anyway, I went into Secret Starbucks today and plonked a tenner on my card - it's very convenient! They were also playing Christmas songs which made me hit a solid three on the Festive-0-meter. But then lovely barista lady stopped by my table and handed me a cardboard package tied with ribbon. What was it? Why - it was a limited edition Starbucks card that is only handed to the very finest customers! It's matt black and gold and quite lovely, and it comes pre-loaded with £2.60!

I feel super-blessed in a very special way.


After work I headed up town because I wanted to go to the Apple Store. The tube was packed and it was pissing it down with rain; the sooner that Apple Store opens in Kingston the better. Anyway, the Regents Street Christmas lights were up, so at the risk of looking like a complete spacking tourist I took a couple of photos.

I took those for you. Yes, you. I hope you're grateful.

So... the Christmas lights... Um... Pretty crap aren't they? This year's lame theme appears to be the new Aardman Animation/Dreamworks film Flushed Away, which having just tanked reasonably spectacularly in the States probably needs all the help it can get. I hate the corporate nature of the Christmas lights in recent years, and I suspect somewhere something - possibly one of Santa's elves, or a flying reindeer or something - dies when every one of those little bulbs is switched on.

Hamley's are a bit better. On the plus side, in a week where environmental issues have come to the fore, I hope Ken Livingstone is having kittens at the carbon footprint that lot is generating.

On to the Apple Store!

I love the Apple Store for the sheer fact that it's full of shiny loveliness. But tonight I was on a bit of a mission - and I do worry that if I linger a bit the next thing I know my bank account will be empty and I'll be the proud owner of the complete Apple product line. So with my sensible head on I headed for the iPod accessories; Sparky Ma and Pa in league with my grandparents got me a new iPod Nano for my birthday last week, so I was after some additional lovely bits.

First up was a case of some sort. I want to keep my Nano in tippety-toppity condition, so this is a must. I'd been considering iPod socks, just for the fact that they look kinda fun, but an Apple man (do you like my play on 'Apple Mac'?) told me that the new Nanos tend to fall out of the socks, which kind of defeats the object. Instead, he recommended a silicone glovey thing, so I bought that.

Next up was a new dock; if you saw my desk at home you'd see a 3G iPod dock, an iPod Shuffle dock, and a Nano wire; I've run out of USB ports on my machine, and have had to unplug my drawing tablet. The new universal dock removes the need for the chunky old dock and the Nano wire, which is nice. I almost bought a universal remote too, but my desk is like two metres from the sofa, so if I can't ever be arsed to get up to skip through a track something is seriously wrong.

I'll probably buy it next time I go up then.


Intriguingly, the Apple Store no longer hands out printed receipts - they email them to you. And to prove that you've actually bought what you've actually bought, they slap stickers on the boxes. I jokingly said to the assistant who served me that he could "put one of those on a 24-inch iMac" for me. He subsequently looked at me with an expression that suggested he thought I was about to pull a 'kerchief up over the lower half of my face and shout "IT'S A STICK-UP" while holding my hands out in front of me in the shape of two guns, rather like the Hamburglar.

I thought it best to leave after that.


One thing I did notice in my brief jaunt up taaaaaaahn was that in the torrential rain that kicked in at about three this afternoon, all those copies of TheLondonPaper and London Lite that have been forced on unwitting pedestrians by pushy paper peddlers and subsequently dropped on the ground had the unforeseen effect of turning Regents Street into a vast sea of papier maché. The adult in me was disgusted at the gratuitous waste of natural resources and the disgusting effect on one of Londinium's most prestigious areas; the child in me was tempted to squat down on the floor and fashion something out of the pulpy mess, probably something with boobs on it.


Saturday will be a day of reviews on Sparky Malarkey!

First up: At Marcosy's request I'll be writing a road test of the new, new Mini, which I'm testing at midday!

And then: Casino Royale at the cinema with Sweatband - she's already admitted that she'll probably swoon at the craggy-faced Brosnan-toppler! I won't.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Ear, ear - I can hear!

Yes, you read that right - I can goddamned well hear again!

(Closes eyes and throws head back as a wave of applause washes over)

Yeah - I. CAN. HEAR.

Dinah in Canadinia - say something!

(cups hand to left ear)

Yes, I sure do - but only on a Monday!

Miss T in Austraaaaaaaalia - say something!

(cups hand to right ear)

Yes, but most people consider it a blessing!


To be honest, I actually thought I was going to miss my appointment. I left work with plenty of time to spare, but I got caught at every red light, and then stuck behind a load of old farts driving at 25mph in a 40 zone. Honk-honk, out of my way coffin-dodgers!

Still, I got there just in time and was ushered into a small side room by a nurse. There, she used what appeared to be an electric toothbrush to dislodge the copious amounts of wax from my ears. Which was very handy, to be honest, as I inexplicably went deaf in the left one again this morning.

Initially she had a bit of difficulty - the right ear wasn't playing ball, and she really had to brush hard. I mean syringe hard. I had to hold a cup to my ear, and that filled up with waxy water pretty quickly, which was lovely.

And then, after a good few minutes, I felt something move, and the next thing I know she's taking the cup from my hand and pooring the water into the sink. Then she showed me what came out: it was nasty. It was brown. It was a sizeable ear poo.

The left ear gave up it's ear poo a lot quicker - possibly because there was EVEN MORE. Seriously, I've seen labradors shit less than this.

I almost asked if I could keep it - but she might've thought that was weird.

Anyway, I got back to my car only to experience a revelation of the ears! Who knew my clothing rustled as I sat down? Who knew I'd had the radio turned up THAT loud. Who knew indicators made that clicking noise when you turn corners?

So here I am, back at home, an auditory explorer on the verge of discovering a brave new world... I just hope they keep the noise down a bit.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


My nemesis reared his particularly ugly arseface today for the first time in ages. Annoyingly, I'm pretty sure that he thinks we're actually friends on some sort of level - rather like Batman and the Joker; neither can really exist without the other. Trust me - I can.

(I don't want to specify which I would be, because although I'm younger, buffer, have more "wonderful toys," and occasionally drawn to periods of quiet, inward contemplation, the Joker does tend to be lot funnier, and I like to think I'm at least reasonably amusing, and would look pretty hot in a purple suit with green hair...)

Anyway, up he pops like a turd that won't flush trying to be all superior sounding and witty, when all he's actually doing is getting on my tits and making me yawn. A while back he even made the suggestion that we should meet up for a drink. I haven't laughed so hard in ages (maybe he is witty?). I declined, once I'd caught my breath; after all, I'd only have wanted to taint his beverage with Smilex.


Pest the second also collared me today. This pest, while at least not as overpoweringly annoying as my Nemesis (probably ranking at around Riddler level on our sliding Bat-scale), has the remarkable ability to take a subject you like - hell, maybe even love! - and transform it into something you really, REALLY, don't ever want to talk about again. Ever.

During today's conversation I actually sat there, bottom jaw hanging way down and with a really stupid, openly spacker-tastic expression on my face and yet HE INSISTED ON CONTINUING TO TALK TO ME. Good grief, it's lucky there weren't any sharp objects within easy reach; my dilemma then would've been between murder or suicide...

Monday, November 13, 2006

Disjointed brain lumps

There's a complete lack of coherency to what I'm posting today, but bear with me - some of it might be entertaining!


It's a work tradition that we buy our own chocolaty delights for the office to mark our birthdays, so first thing this morning I headed down to Hammersmith and ram-raided Marks and Spencers. And by 'ram-raided' I mean that I 'bought some delicious treats.' And by 'delicious treats' I mean some belgium biscuits, and three of the little tubs of chocolate cornflake bites, chocolate roll bites, and oaty flapjacks bites (which were handily in a buy three for £5 deal).

At about 12:30, by which time I was feeling slightly naseous from too much chocolate (who the hell knew that was possible?!) my boss came in carrying a chocolate Dalek cake for me and - because that was a little bit too small to cater for everyone in the office - a long sponge cake.

Note to Doctor Who: did you know Daleks have a chocolaty base? No, neither did I, but I recommend you attack them from that angle in the future.

Now feeling a tad weighty.


Marcosy and Yaz FINALLY retrieved their cars after the events of Friday evening. Poor Marcosy had to get the train in because he lives in a castle in the middle of nowhere. It was, by all accounts, not a pleasant experience. But on the plus side it did mean that I had a delightful lunchtime coffee with him and Yaz. Apart from the mouthy college students who descended on Cafe Nero at the same time. Good God, what hideous semi-human creatures they were. One had the worst dyed hair I've EVER seen; another had such a huge head that I thought he was suffering from elephantitus.

No wonder I'm pro choice. Can you abort a 17 year-old?


I realised earlier that today marks the 10th anniversary of me starting work in full time employment at my old company, Visual Imagination. I remember that first day well: the nerves, trying to remember everyone's name, the giddy excitement of getting my own desk and a real computer.

The laughs from my new colleagues as I looked at it and said "how do you turn this thing on then?"

Watching their smiles fade as they realised I was actually asking a serious question. Ah... those were the days!

I also remember having to rush home from work that night in order to go to an awards evening at my old school where I was to collect my A-level certificates. I remember shoving a KitKat in my pocket on the way there (one of the old foil wrapped bars!), and remember standing on stage, putting my hand in my pocket and realising that it had melted and all I was left with were four bare wafers, a chocolaty pocket, and a headmaster waiting to shake my hand in front of about 400 assembled teachers, parents, and students.


Advice from my Grandad over the weekend:

"Make sure you marry a midget - they work twice as hard."


My beard and moustache continues to flourish in a weirdly cool and not at all pervert-looking style. In fact, I think I look a little bit like Terrence Stamp as General Zod in Superman II. Maybe "kneel before Zod!" could be my new chat-up line?

Rather disturbingly, though, I seem to be taking great comfort in sucking the beardiness below my bottom lip. Is this weird?


In other hair-related news, did I mention that I had a haircut last week? No? Well I did. And now it's quite short (about 3 inches at most) and scruffy looking. I do keep having that amputee reaction though - y'know, where they think they can feel a phantom limb?

In my case, however, I keep brushing phantom hair out of my eyes and tucking phantom hair behind my ears. I hope it stops soon because it makes me look a bit stupid.


As promised - the Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers album cover/Sparky party invite
picture comparison:

Which is which?! Who the hell cares!


I watched the entire fifth season of Family Guy over the weekend, and I thought I'd share two of my favourite moments with you.

I love Stewie. Probably explains why I keep saying "what the deuce..." and "DAMN YOU TO HELL!" all the time...

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Because something *always* goes wrong...

"Why on Earth would you ever need a bigger car?" Said Marcosy.

"Well... sometimes it would be handy..."

"No it wouldn't - when have you EVER needed a bigger car?"

Prophetic words if ever they were spoken...


Jo and I arrived in the Hammersmith/Shepherds Bush area bang on 17:45 ready for the big birthday celebrations, and I parked up on the street, rather than on the trading estate where I usually park during the week when I go to work.

It would turn out to be a very wise move...

We wandered over to the pub, grabbed a drink, and plonked ourselves down on the comfy sofas that I'd reserved for the evening. We were shortly joined by comics pal Graham, then Yaz, then the flood gates opened and within half an hour we'd filled our little area to capacity. Although I wasn't drinking, I can't really remember much of what we were talking about, but a good time was certainly being had by all.

I do, however, remember Yaz saying that she'd left my present in her car, and she should go across to the trading estate where she and Marcosy had parked to get it. "No," I replied, "give it to me later!"

I also remember Jo saying around 22:30 that some cheese and mushroom wedges had made her feel a little queasy and that she was thinking about getting the tube home. "No," I replied, "the pub closes at 11, and if you wait until then I can drive you home far quicker than if you left now!"

But of course, my tiny brain had forgotten about late licensing.

We left the pub at quarter to one in the morning, and after a quick farewell in the rain we wandered back to our cars; Yaz and Marcosy back to their respective motors, me, Jo, and my bro back to mine.

Unfortunately, it seems that someone had locked the only exit to the trading estate, and Yaz and Marcosy's cars were... imprisoned!

We tried various different combinations, but nothing seemed to work. After about 40 minutes of trying a multitude of different exit strategies we had no other option but to give up. We settled on a plan by which I would leave Simon with Marcosy to shelter from the rain in Marcosy's car, while I dropped Yaz home to Ealing, with poor Jo - who was probably thinking she could've actually walked home quicker - sitting in the back watching the world go by.

Thirty minutes later I was back in Shepherds Bush to collect Simon and Marcosy. While I was gone, Marcosy had been driving his car around the trading estate like a caged tiger. He even tried to shatter the gate with sound waves from the ma-hoo-sive bass amp sitting in his boot.

That was when I reminded Marcosy that occasionally it might be handy to have a car that can seat five people. We did have a bit of a giggle as we drove Marcosy home (he lives... god - waaaaay outside London!).

So eventually, having dropped Simon and Jo off, I got home and into bed at bang on 04:10.

One day - I suspect when Yaz and Marcosy have freed their cars - we'll all laugh at this BIG TIME. But by god it was a great evening anyway!


Highlights include:

• Sweatband ordering me to do the London Marathon next year. I just sat there shaking my head "no." Sweatband does not take "no" for an answer. I think she is trying to kill me...

• Skillz came along! Dude, I realised after you left that I owe you a beer for hosting my comics pages on your webspace and I totally didn't remember!!

• El Deanio placing a large semi-transparent red perspex vase over his groin and propositioning us all. Talk about "being prepared."

• Lee. Lee is just one of my favourite people EVAH. And now he's one of Jo's too. Actually, he seems to be forming a harem comprised solely of my lady friends...

• Lorna gave me some TimTam Balls! Have you ever had a TimTam? They're possibly the best biscuits on the planet, and now they're in ball form! How many can I fit in my mouth? Who knows - but I intend to find out later!

Twenty-nine is pretty goddamned awesome so far!

Friday, November 10, 2006

It's my birthday (and I'll cry if I want to)

Er, actually, no I probably won't.

I tell you what - when I first imported the picture of me into the layout it was massive - my groin filled the damn thing. It looked just like the Rolling Stones' Sticky Fingers album cover...

Anyway, it's my birthday. Hurrah!

To the pub - and don't spare the horses!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Party planning

So, tomorrow is my birthday.

(Waits for cheers)


Anyway, for the first time in a couple of years I've decided to throw a little berfdee bash. In a pub. Hopefully with some friends.

A few years back I had a ... 'gathering' in the same pub as this year's event in which I conspired beforehand, along with Yaz and the lovely Lorna, to develop a theme. After some fitfull starts, Lorna and I hit the nail on the head during a trip to the cinema to see a film that may have been The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. While watching the credits, Lorna and I acted like complete children and sat there giggling at people's names. And the best one - the one that had us both crossing our legs to stop ourselves from peeing - was Courtney Vanderslice.

Which immediately made us think it was a porn star name.

And thus was born the porn star name themed birthday party.

Initially we were just going to have a bunch of white stickers and get people to write stupid slutty names on them. But then comics pal Graham started messing around in photoshop and made this amazing perverted name badge. So then we all did. And none of us did any work that day. And we might've broken the colour printer in the office printing out filth.

This was my name:

No comments are necessary here.

Everyone was given fair warning to come up with a name. And anyone who thought they could get away without thinking of one could think again. Because we created a long list of standby names, and had marker pens and stickers ready to make badges on the spot.

There were even a few spare photoshopped badges, like this one I made.

I can't remember which lucky soul got assigned this beauty.

Hilarity ensued, let me tell you.

Anyway, back to this year. Yaz and I have spent a good couple of months trying to come up with a decent theme, but really, I think we peaked a bit too early with the porn stars. And you should NEVER repeat yourself.

Eventually, we settled on a theme of sorts, although I've decided not to enforce it so strictly this time round. And what is it?

Trailer trash.

Oh yeah...

It's all My Name is Earl inspired, with initial thoughts being that I'd grow a trailer-trash stylee moustache (think Taylor Hawkins from the Foo Fighters). The thought of having to face my parents and grandparents looking like that, however, nixed that idea. My brother's really into the concept of it though; he wants to ride around the pub on a tricycle just like Earl's brother Randy did in the episode The Professor (which I would post a picture of if I could find one). I told Yaz and she said she was going to fight him for the tricycle. Who would win? Who the hell knows?

Then I was going to draw a load of moustaches, print 'em out, and make everyone wear them. But then I forgot to do it when I was last at work and I don't have a printer at home. And I'd sort of feel bad standing in the pub pointing at people shouting "PUT YER F&*£IN' MOUSTACHE ON OR GET OUT!"

Whatever! It should be a laugh anyway!!


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Shop till you drop

I've got the week off work. Christmas is approaching. What does that mean?

The annual Sparky and Sparky Ma Christmas shopping trip of course!

Ever since I got my first car this has become something of an annual tradition; Sparky Ma and I pile in my car, we drive to Kingston, we head to Starbucks and we plot what we're going to buy and for whom. And then we ignore that and go buy shitloads of stuff for ourselves - hurrah!

To be honest, we were actually reasonably well behaved this time. Hell, I didn't even buy anything for myself! But I did get Christmas cards, tags, and the biggest roll of wrapping paper I have ever seen in my life. Even the assistant in Paperchase muttered a surprised swear under her breath when I heaved it over the counter and she struggled to maneuvre it under the barcode scanner. In fact, Sparky Ma and I considered running down the high street whacking chavs over the head with it. It would be like a festive Grand Theft Auto without the stealing of cars or the explosions. Or the gang wars.

So, some presents were bought. Some ideas for others were formulated. A huge Nandos was eaten. Lots of coffee was drunk (red cups are back - yay!). Good times!

The holidays are coming, the holidays are coming...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Erm, stalker...

I think I'm being stalked by a Mini dealer. Basically, I got an email from BMW the other week asking if I was interested in checking out the new, new Mini.

Well, durrr, yeah.

So I clicked the link that said 'YES!'

Now, let's back-pedal a bit here. I've owned three cars in my life - a reasonably ancient Ford Fiesta, which, bless it, was an awesome first car; even when the window-winder broke off, the exhaust fell off, and it dumped various fluids on the floor. I nevertheless have very fond memories of the Fiesta.

Next up was a Mini Cooper - one of the very first of the new style Minis back in 2001. Again, an awesome, AWESOME car. Loved it to bits. But then I caught a glimpse of the Cooper S... and, well, just over two years later I decided to ... indulge myself.

And so we arrive at the Mini Cooper S, my current ride of choice. An absolutely stonking little motor. LOVE. IT. TO. BITS. Sometimes I've been known to hug it, but not in a special way. Just a normal hug.

Anyway, I've got no intention of changing my car just yet, but I'm happy to accept any invitation to check out a new car - especially a new Mini. And bearing in mind that I've bought both my Minis from the same dealer (a dealer who, when I popped in yesterday to BOOK A TEST DRIVE OF THE NEW ONE, which they have penciled in for me, actually remembered my name from about two years ago!), I sort of figured that they'd be the ones to, y'know, give me the chance to play with the newbie...

Think again. Seems another dealer has managed to nab my details.

Saturday afternoon: I can't quite remember what I was doing, but I recall that I was a tad dazed. I might've had some food in my mouth. Anyway, my phone rang. So, I pick it up, and there's this guy on the other end who immediately starts off on this ramble about "blah blah blah blah Mini blah blah blah..." and I'm just about remembering to blink and breath.

So he goes on a bit more, then says "is that OK then?" and I say "yes. What were we talking about?" And he laughs, says he'll call me back, and hangs up.

And I go "huh?"

Anyway, today is the first day of my week off, and I'm still in bed at about 10am, and my phone starts ringing. Now, I'm not one of these people who don't answer if they don't recognise the number, but seriously, this was just rude. I looked at the number, didn't recognise it, put the phone down, and rolled over. After a minute or so my phone beeped: a voicemail...

By this time I was kinda awake, so I picked the phone up, and listened to the message.

"Hello, this is [name withheld] at [a Mini dealer I do not frequent]. just calling to let you know that I've put a brochure in the post for you, and I'm ready to talk to you as you move forward with you purchase. We've got the launch on..." And so on.


Minutes later I stumble downstairs to find two letters on my doormat - a bank statement and a LETTER FROM THE MINI DEALER I DO NOT GO TO!

And how does this letter end?

"Once again, thank you for choosing [Mini dealer I do not frequent]."

Erm... I didn't?


I've done some freakin' gardening today! Well, in the loosest sense of the word, anyway. Y'see, I've got this creeping bush thing round the side of my house that has kind of crept round the front and over the front door, making entry a tad difficult. I thought that the cold weather we've been having would kill it, but it seems quite resilient.

So I borrowed Sparky Ma's garden... pruning... things with the intention of tastefully cutting it back a little. It seems, however, that I got a little carried away, and now all that is left is a small wooden stump sticking out of the ground.


The way I see it, though, is that it'll grow back eventually, right?

Gardening is fun!


Just got an email from Marcosy with the title 'cute puppies.' I haven't opened it yet, but knowing him, that means it's a picture of some boobs.

Monday, November 06, 2006


Remember, remember the fifth of November... yadda, yadda, yadda.

So yesterday was Bonfire Night, the annual celebration of a failed attempt to blow up Parliament back in 16-something-something-who-really-cares-when. I used to love Bonfire Night when my family would gather in the back garden and shoot a relatively hefty sum of money up into the air in the form of fireworks and "ooo" and "aah" at them, then pray to god that the remnents wouldn't fall back down onto us. Aah, I remember that time that the catherine wheel fell off the fence and went shooting across the lawn... those were good times! But now I find it all a bit annoying. This is mainly because everyone now seems to be using fireworks that are at best of a professional grade, and at worst something that King Jong-Il might set off in his spare time.

Seriously, it was like the goddamned blitz round my way last night. And I'm sure at some point someone started firing off some photon torpedoes; I would've raised shields if my house had any.

And I swear my neighbours were actually aiming them at my house. What the hell have I done to upset them?

I went out for a run after the bulk of the fireworks and gone off only to find that the streets were awash with a thick, acrid smoke - someone's carbon footprint has seriously gone off the scale this year.

Anyway, it now being the sixth of November there's still a few stray explosions courtesy of stupid people who can't work out what day it is (dudes, seriously, there's a damned rhyme to help you out there...), but other than that things are almost back to normal...

For my part, I rediscovered the joys of PlayStation over the weekend, and my brother just lent me Black, so I'm off to make some frikkin' huge explosions of my own now - and bearing in mind I'm off work until next week, I might just have to spend a couple of days playing the PS2 in my pants.

(And for any American readers: I don't mean trousers)

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Stop humping the keyboard: The Feeling at Shepherds Bush Empire!

'Tis gig day! And, to be honest, the first in quite a while - there was a time, many moons ago, when Yaz and I were gigging pretty much every week. Not so anymore, but hey - that made tonight all the more special!

And tonight was: The Feeling!

This is my third time seeing them this year after a very small gig at the 100 Club in Oxford Street back in February/March, which was in turn followed by their support slot at the Nada Surf gig at the end of March. That did not diminish that little pre-gig thrill I always get, though.

So Yaz and I rendezvoused at 17:40 (she'd tell you that I was late which is *SO* not true), and we stormed down to the Bush where we grabbed a McDonalds for a quick lifespan reducing dinner on the go. Yaz even bought two apple pies for 99p, which led us to scour Shepherds Bush Green for a reasonably respectable looking homeless person to give it to (homeless people are two-a-penny in the Bush, but finding one that looks like he wouldn't trade it for some crack is pretty goddamned difficult). I thought about suggesting that we make two homeless people fight over it, but time being of the essence meant that I'll save that little gem of an idea for another time...

Anyway, mission successful (Yaz even warned him to let it cool for a bit so that he didn't burn his dirty little fingers on it), we jumped into the queue, and, well, queued. Over the years, Yaz and I have developed a little plan to getting our prefered seats in the Empire. Basically, I get my ticket checked first, while she holds the queue up by having to get her immensely massive handbag checked for WMDs or some such thing; I've seen people fall into that thing and never come out it's so big.

So, again, mission successful. While waiting for the support we settled back for some convivial conversation about... God, I haven't got a freakin' clue? We talk about such inane topics... Oh, yes, for some reason we did talk about trying to smuggle some raw meat into the Empire, but why we would even think about that completely escapes me.


Anyway, the support act were Captain, who I kind of liked, even if their street team had given me a flyer promising three free downloads from the myspace page - although I subsequently discovered that the offer EXPIRED LAST MONTH. Harumph. I won't hold that against them (much), because they were reasonably enjoyable, and the lady band member was wearing no shoes and an ill-fitting dress. Good times.

On to the main act: The Feeling were, as usual, awesome live. They're actually one of those bands whose songs I love, but I feel that their album is a little bit too slickly produced. Live, though, they're super-rockingly great; hell, they even did an amazing cover of Video Killed the Radio Star! The lead singer is a bit nutty, spinning and whirling all over the place like the Tazmanian Devil; I actually thought he was going to wipe out the other guitarist at one point. At the end he was jumping off amps, throwing his jacket at the drummer by accident, and even dry-humping the keyboard, which is a sight I didn't really think I'd witness in my lifetime.

And - how great is this? - they recorded the frikkin' gig and we got to buy a double CD set of it immediately after it finished! I'm listening to it again now!

Here's some freakin' pictures:

Honest to God it does say THE FEELING there, it just got kinda bleached out.

This is Captain. They were good, but not enough to make me buy their album. Maybe I would've been swayed by some FREE DOWNLOADS, hmmmm?

Rock on!

More, um, rocking on...

...And the crowd goes wild - WOO-HOO!

I don't know what's going on here, but it kind of looks like that bit at the beginning of Superman The Movie when Marlon Brando shoots his kid into space.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A most unusual barista

For a variety of bizarre reasons, mainly consisting of Yaz faffing about trying to find an appealing sandwich and dragging me around and around and around Boots the Chemist, lunchtime coffee got a tad truncated today. So, rather than head over to Secret Starbucks, we decided to try the most recently opened and conveniently located of Hammersmith's three Starbucks, which is located just along from chavvy ol' Primark.

The décor is traditional Starbucks, but it has a nice airy feel to it, and lots of big cushiony things. Yaz also complemented them on the quality of the foam on her coffee (she's all about the foam, let me tell you). In fact, everything combined to almost be enough to make us shift our allegiance to this branch - almost, but I think they were trying a little too hard...

Whhhhhy? Well let me tell you. They have obviously scanned my brain in an effort to cater this branch to my peculiar/particular tastes. The cushioned stools, you see, looked exactly like the U.S.S. Enterprise's escape pods from Star Trek: First Contact. Look:

Some Starbuck's stools in space (seriously, if you wrapped the top in leather that's exactly what they'd look like).

Anyway, that wasn't the most obvious example. Because the barista who served me was Lwaxana Troi's servant, Mr. Homn.

It was uncanny. But I'm definitely going back to Secret Starbucks tomorrow because, to be honest, it's a bit freaky to be served by a seven foot smiley-faced mute.

The bitch needs some help

This just cracks me up - hell, I should've recommended it to pedestrian woman yesterday!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Someone's going to get a slap

Two incidents occurred today - within the space of about half an hour - which almost resulted in me unleashing, to quote The OC, the twin ambassadors of pain.

Incident 001, approximate time: 1306
A few minutes after leaving the office en route to meet Yaz by the tramp's urinal in Hammersmith, I encountered a female pedestrian aged approximately 30-40 years in one of Hammersmith's leafier back streets.

Said pedestrian was wearing a bizarrely ill-fitting saggy dress sans bra, which was horrifically mismatched with black and red-spotted high-heeled shoes done up with laces; I'm by no means a fashion guru, my wardrobe consisting almost entirely of variations on the tried and tested formula of jeans and t-shirts, but goddamn she looked like she'd been dressed by Stevie Wonder. In the dark. While he was tied up.

Anyway, horrifically dressed pedestrian woman was attempting to text while she was walking, and both acts were suffering in the process. Not only was she punching the buttons on the phone while holding it about 20 centimeters from her face, looking for all the world like she'd never seen a mobile before, but she was also weaving across the rather narrow pavement, and walking at around the same speed as a bewildered toddler.

So, rather quickly, I was stuck behind this woman (her hair was really raggy too, but I'll let that slide). After trying to discern a pattern to her weaving (which reminded me of that bit at the end of The Phantom Menace when Obi Wan and Darth Maul are stuck between the randomly activating shieldly things), I plumped for a quick maneuvre using an outstretched hand to indicate my desired path, as she veered to the left.

Approximately halfway through said maneuvre, just as I said "sorry…" as an "excuse me" substitute, the woman noticed me. This led me to believe that she would merely step aside to let me pass.


She did THE most spectacular double-take I've ever seen. Now, I don't know if she actually was a cartoon character (although she certainly dressed like one), but she then followed the double-take up with an incredible jump into the air. I literally expected her eyes to come out on stalks.

This woman clearly thought I'd snuck up on her in an attempt to mug her for her shitty old phone or something. And to be honest, her amazing reaction to my presence made me wonder if I shouldn't disappoint her and should at least maybe make an effort to steal her mobile, or push her to the ground and conduct an impromptu happy-slapping incident.

In the end, I realised the silly tart really wasn't worth my time, shook my head in disgust, and continued on my way.

I'd loved to have seen the text she subsequently sent, though.

Incident 002, approximate time: 1324

Nestling a grande misto in my hands and enjoying convivial conversation with Yaz outside Secret Starbucks (not so secret any more - there was no seating inside!), I crossed my left leg across my right. After a couple of minutes, I began to loose feeling in my left leg, so I decided to uncross my crossed legs, and sit with both legs a gentlemanly distance apart.

Midway through the uncrossing maneuvre, a tall man in a business suit walked past us, passing, I note, WITHIN the perimeter of our personal bubbles in the process (and we all know I *hate* people entering my bubble). Of course, this almost led me to accidently kick said man in the gentleman's assets. Disaster was averted by a swift sidestep by him, and a quick mid-leg-uncross maneuvre abort procedure on my part.

The man then glared at me as he strode on.

"Sorry…" I said, before wondering why *I* was apologising for *him* entering my bubble. So I glared back.

And then Yaz shouted "RUDE!" at him, and we returned to our conversation, safe in the knowledge that, as with incident 001, it was we who were in the right.

Goddamn pedestrians.