Sunday, September 30, 2007

Havin' it large

So I was out on the town with who I shall collectively call 'mah bitches' last night. Well, kind off. For a bit, anyway.

Basically, it was a mate's birthday during the week, and she'd done a sedate sit-down meal thing on the day, and decided that she also wanted to large it in a club. When she first announced this idea I was all "yeah, awesome, I haven't been to a club in *ages*," but come Saturday morning I was sitting on my sofa thinking "y'know, maybe I should blow the whole thing out and watch my Battlestar Galactica season three boxset. In one sitting."

Having already said yes, though, my conscience kicked in, so I pulled on my posh shoes and off I went.

Our first, pre-club port of call was a bar called Barcadia. Ohmygod, I almost turned round and went straight home then. I don't think it's so much that I feel old in these sort of place these days, but I just like being able to get a drink easily, find somewhere to sit down, and have a good ol' chat with my mates, rather than feel like I'm on a rush-hour tube train, wait the best part of 15 minutes to be served by a vacuous woman who genuinely looks like she doesn't know how to serve a coke, then spend the next hour shouting "WHA?! I-I CAN'T HEA- I CAN'T HEAR YOU!"

Onto the club.

Birthday girl had put us on the fast-track queue and guest list thingy, which actually meant that we queued for exactly the same amount of time but on the lefthand side of the building rather than the right, and then despite her having a printed email from the club that said we'd get a super-cheap discounted entry fee, they claimed a word was missing and tried to stiff us. Birthday girl is fortunately quite argumentative, though. Anyway, after having to show some ID (WTF!? I haven't had to do that for *years*), then having to empty my pockets in front of a very masculine-looking security woman, we eventually we got in.

Erm… and that was about it. We walked around, bumped into two guys dressed as Shrek and Scooby-Doo, had a little dance, bitched about some people's clothes (there were some truly awful outfits), and then sat down. There were no "handsy women" as Marcosy had suggested there would be when I told him I was going, although I did find a mirrored wall where I could grind against myself in a comedy fashion.

I was home by 1:30am.

Now I'm going to go watch some Battlestar Galactica.

Perhaps the most awesome part of the evening was Caz's decision to do fancy dress for her birthday in January - she's thinking pirates or superheroes!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Muddy funster

I was thinking the other day how I've done three sporting challenges this year of which I'm rather proud: the Dysart Dash 10k, the Richmond to Windsor bike ride, and the London Freewheel bike ride (which I'm including because despite the course being only 8.7 miles long, you have to take into account that I cycled up to London, and then back from London in a rather circuitous route; I don't know exactly how many miles I did on Sunday, but suffice to say it registers in the millions).

Anyway, you'd think that trilogy of sporting excellence would be enough for me, and that I'd sit back on my lovely sofa, kick off my sportin' shoes and watch the Battlestar Galactica season three boxset that conveniently turned up on Monday. But no. I'm kind of finding myself itching to do something else, something that'll top the lot. And that's how I found THIS.

Which quite frankly, sounds insane.

Nevertheless, there's something in my tiny tiny brain telling me to do it, and I think I might have to give in to it. I've actually been putting out feelers today to see if any of mah pals are up for it, because I think it's one of those things that you'd be so emotional at actually finishing that you'd need a good hug and a cry with someone who's been through the same experience, but aside from a few who haven't replied (I think because they're busy rather than that they're ignoring me), the response so far has been decidely lacklustre. The only positive one was from Marcosy, who said he'd pay money to see me running around in mud.

Which quite frankly is a little bit weird.


I've been wearing my new jeans today, and dear-god-of-all-that-is-good-and-holy they are *sooooooo* comfortable. I actually described them to Marcosy via email as feeling like my lower half is wrapped in kittens, which admittedly is a little bit of an exaggeration, but the denim is really soft. That said, they're quite a dark blue, so I'm half expecting to take them off later only to find that I've got blue legs, and quite frankly I don't have the time to sit in the tub and scrub my legs because Heroes is on at 22:30.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Slightly stalkerific: The London Freewheel

Just three weeks after the Richmond to Windsor bike ride, I've been back in the saddle for another day of peddle-tastic cycling - this time for the London Freewheel event.

The basic idea of this, the very first but undoubtedly not the last, Freewheel event is that the car-hating mayor of London shuts off load of roads in the centre of town, and then unleashes hordes of cyclists. Now, I love my car, but the chance to bomb it down the mall was too good to pass up. I did not, however, wear the car-hating mayor's bib-based propaganda.

Bearing in mind the course wasn't opening until around 10:30, I was in no massive rush to get up early, and eventually left home at bang on 09:37 and headed towards Ravenscourt Park to meet-up with Mr. Chunt, my wingman in Freewheeling madness. I arrived almost exactly an hour later (which is nice to know in case I ever have to cycle to work) having survived a huge pack of REALLY slow cyclists by Kew Gardens, almost cycling into a high curb, almost witnessing a car accident, and almost getting hit by a tit on a scooter.

We didn't hang around after meeting up, and were soon following a very badly marked route through Hammersmith, Kensington and Chelsea, and on into the centre of town. And we didn't hang around upon arriving at the start of the route by Buckingham Palace (the flag was up so the Queen was in; bet she *hated* the inane ringing of all those bicycle bells); straight away we were onto the course and bombing it through London - although replace 'bombing it' with 'getting stuck behind lots of children and getting stopped often by marshalls with big stop/go signs' and you get a better idea of how it went.

To be honest, I wasn't massively impressed with the event by this point, particularly because it was so massively oversubscribed that at times you literally couldn't move because of the sheer number of cyclists. And then when you did start moving and were just getting into the flow of it some bastard marshall turned his sign to 'stop.' They were like the anti-fun police.

Anyway, there was one awesome moment that *completely* made the day worthwhile. On the road that runs alongside the Thames there's a massive tunnel, and Chunty and I managed to get ahead of the pack so that we really could zoom through there like men possessed. And what made it super-cool was that everyone going through the tunnel was ringing their bells and shouting so that it echoed. Mr Chunt doesn't have a bell; he has a marine-approved air-horn. By god there were a hell of a lot of startled looks and wobbling bikes when he set that off; I expect some people's hearing won't return until at least the middle of the week. Rather lacking in the air-horn department, I just shouted "RAWR!" really loudly.

As I said in an earlier post, I was a little disappointed with the route; it was pretty much a straight line, and totaled about 8.7 miles. It felt like we did it in about 15 minutes - and we stopped off on London Bridge because I was a bit peckish and Chunty wanted to take a picture of Tower Bridge (shame we couldn't cycle over that). Admittedly you could cycle round the route as many times as you wanted, but after stopping off back at the start line we could see that even more people were turning up; hell, it took us about 10 minutes to cycle up the mall towards the exit!

We cycled back via Clapham rather than Hammersmith, mostly just for the hell of it, but also because if we'd wanted to find the exit for the Ravenscourt Park route we would've got caught up in the heaving throng again. Anyway, it made for quite a nice end to the day as we cycled through Clapham and Putney, before we parted ways by Richmond Park. At the top of a hill in the park, I turned round to look out over the capital and got a good idea of how far we'd actually come. And then I continued on through the park to Kingston, Hampton Court, Sunbury, home, shower, and a nap on my bed. Phew!

All in all, then, I love the idea behind this event, but hated the anti-car message that seemed to play a big part in it; it was a tad preachy at times. Also, there were far too many people - I read that about 37,000 signed up, but the fact of the matter is that anyway could cycle the route if they just turned up. God knows how many were actually there. Maybe next year give people numbers rather than crappy bibs, and don't allow people without numbers on the route? Oh, and make the route longer - c'mon, it's a Sunday!

That said, I'm glad I did it.


Some pictures! Chunty's part cyborg and has a camera built into his head, so there's more pics than if it had just been left up to me. Let's start with the slightly stalkerific inspiration behind this post's title - upon arriving in Ravenscourt Park, who did I find but T-Bird's favourite comedian Bill Bailey! He was with his kids, so I didn't go and trouble him (if he'd been alone I would totally have gone over and said "hi"). Nevertheless, here's Bill Bailey in situ (taken from afar):

He's the figure in the middle in black kneeling down like he's being knighted. As if you couldn't tell. Here's another one:

Look - there he is with his back to the camera. Let's move on from stalking Bill Bailey.

This is the Ravenscourt Park start hub - which is incidentally very close to my office. They were giving away free sugar-free mints here. The main ingredient in sugar-free mints is sorbital. If you eat too much sorbital it makes you poo a lot.

For some reason they were playing the theme tune from ET at Ravenscourt Park, so, ever the showman I did the "El-eeee-ot" pointing thing. I was kind of going "ooo" too, but in this picture I just look like a special. A special with awesome pectorals - just look at those bad boys!

I bet Her Maj *loved* the fact that her house was on the start line. All those cycle bells must've driven her insane.

I swear, I was totally giving two thumbs up when Chunty got the camera out, but he took so bloody long in actually pressing the button that I flipped him the V – and whadya know? He took the friggin' picture.

I wanted to cycle over Tower Bridge. Denied!

A throng. Heaving.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Crotch rot

Rather disturbingly, I noticed earlier this week that my very favourite pair of jeans – classic G-Star Elwoods, if you're interested - were, after about five years, finally giving up the ghost and beginning to fall apart. And where were they showing their signs of deterioration? In the groin, of course.

Now I'm not one of those guys that feels the need to splay his legs apart at right angles whenever he sits down, but I will admit I do like a bit of air around the boys. Imagine my distress, then, at noticing three frayed patches threatening to tear into noticeable holes at any minute; there are many things I like to do in the office, but exposing myself is not one of them. I spent the rest of the day sitting at my desk with my knees clenched so penis-crushingly close together that I was the complete antithesis of Brittany Spears getting out of a car and flashing the world her hee-haw.

My mind was set: I needed to buy some new jeans. Fortunately, Friday night I was invited to the lovely Lorna's birthday party in Covent Garden - and what else is in Covent Garden? Why, the G-Star store of course - hurrah! So, straight after work I zoomed up town, and meet up with Marcosy; I'd told him to met me by the Starbucks in Leicester Square, but he complained there isn't one there. I very firmly told him there was, and that he should stop being stupid.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, seems there's not a Starbucks in Leicester Square any more - they shut it. Damn! Eventually we met up, and strolled purposefully toward the G-Star store. Holy crap, it's like awesome man-clothes heaven. I literally could've spent thousands in there. But I kept my eyes on the prize, and restricted myself to the wall of jeans. And there I found … NEW ELWOODS!!!! RAWR!!

They're basically the same as my old ones, but with funky bigger back pockets and some kind of industrial looking buckle on the arse. More importantly, though, they're cheaper than they were five years ago. I had to have them. And when I bought them, I was surprised to find that instead of some crappy old plastic bag, they give you an awesome hard-wearing woven bag that I can reuse when I go to Sainsburys! Good times!

After that, we headed off to the party. We met lovely Lorna at the door, and she was immediately drawn to my G-Star bag.

"What did you buy?" she asked.

"Some new jeans!" I replied. "My old ones were wearing out in the groin area."

"Really? Why's that," lovely Lorna asked.

And always one for an inappropriate or vile joke, I replied, with a completely straight face "because I have a huge penis."


The hilarity didn't end there, though, because El Deanio was also at the party, and conversation quickly turned to the iPhone, as it quite often does with everyone I know at the moment, possibly at my instigation I should add. Now, I'd previously mentioned that El Deanio had asked me to queue up outside the Apple Store with him the day before the iPhone is released, and he was shocked to discover that I wasn't going to get one straight away. He brought this point up again.

El Deanio, I should point out, is renowned for spewing forth incredibly amusing-slash-ever-so-slightly-offensive, but nevertheless profoundly wise statements, and my willingness to wait until the initial iPhone furore dies down – by which time everyone will have one and that *wow* factor will have gone – before getting one myself manifested itself in this comment:

"It's like shagging a slut."


"It's like shagging a slut. You're just stirring another man's porridge."

Somewhere in there he's kind of got a point.


I had to go to Kingston this morning for a meeting to renegotiate my mortgage. I shan't go into the hellish amount of hassle that was involved in trying to arrange this meeting, suffice to say that one irate phone call yesterday morning led, all of a sudden, to a 10:30 meeting today with a woman who was all smiles, kittens, and rainbows.

Anyway, a jaunt to Kingston inevitably involves a brief visit to the Apple Store, which at 10 am this morning was pleasantly devoid of the brat-children that are usually in there checking their Bebo accounts and generally being annoying. And what delights awaited me today? Ooo-la-la - the new iPod Touch!

Now this was exciting for several reasons - it's basically an iPhone without the phone bit, and it's awesomely sexy. I quickly picked one up and started playing around with it. And awesome it is. It's all touch-screeny goodness, and it's got a web browser on it that you can zoom in on just by moving your fingers apart. But what website did I decide to test on it? Why THIS ONE of course. Taa-daa! Yes, at 10 o'clock this morning, I officially touched myself in the Apple Store. Good times indeed! I think that calls for a sexy "rawr!" RAWR!!


When I got home I decided to take action. My car parking space at Sparky Towers backs on to a wall, and the garden on the other side has a big tree-type-bush thing in it. It used to be the case that the guy who owned said house would come round every now and then and trim his, ahem, bush. But recently he hasn't, which was pissing me off quite a lot because I was having to park my car in his, ahem, bush. Anyway, I noticed this bloke was outside his house today, so I strolled over to him, and asked if he'd mind me having a go at his, ahem, bush. He looked at me blankly for a while, and I was very close to asking him if he was retarded or in the midst of having a stroke or something, but then he sort of mumbled "yeah, whatever."

And so I grabbed the secateurs I'd borrowed off Sparky Ma (although bearing in mind the amount of time I've had them, she'd probably use the term 'stolen'), and headed over to the car park. Now, I'm not a gardener in any way shape or form. In fact, I'm kind of like the serial killer version of Alan Titchmarsh - I start with the intention of delicately pruning things, but then I CUT CUT CUT and I can't stop so I CUT CUT CUT some more, and then there's nothing left but stumps, and my hands are bloody and I've got binbags of evidence to dispose of.

Long story short, then - this guy's gonna go apeshit when he sees his, ahem, bush. It looks like a monkey on crack went at it with a chainsaw. On the plus side, I can park my car properly now, and maybe next time he'll cut his own f**king bush.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Apple-based goodness

Earlier this week I made my very first eBay sale. Not that I've set up an account or anything - I did it via Scanner Dave's page, because I only had one thing I wanted to sell: my very first Apple Mac.

Gosh, doesn't that sound like a super new gadget for kids? Sparky's first Mac. Someone call Steve Jobs!

Anyway, it was one of the first blue iBooks - y'know, they ones that were universally derided as looking like either a toilet seat or a handbag. I always thought they looked cool (otherwise I wouldn't have bought one, obviously), but then again I've always been ahead of the curve with this kind of thing. So I listed it the other week, and last Thursday I watched the final minutes of the auction up until it sold for the startlingly high figure of … 42 quid. Hmmm… Quite a good return on the initial cost of £1500 seven years ago, I think you'll agree. OK, don't say anything. Hell, it was never about the money anyway - I'd not used it in ages, so I was just glad to get rid of it, and £42 is better than a kick in the nuts I think you'll agree. Well, some of you, anyway. Maybe not the ladies in the audience, because the only nuts I hope you possess are of the dry-roasted KP variety.

So yeah, it sold, and on Monday some dude who looked like troll-based comedian Bill Bailey came to pick it up. And that's where I bid farew- Holy crap who the hell cares - the iPhone's coming out over here!


OK, calm. But this is exciting. They're so sexy, and unlike everyone who's ever issued a restraining order against me, just begging to be touched. I really want one. But I am going to wait a while. It only seems like five minutes since I got my flip-top Kirk-stylee RAZR (which looks soooooooo oooooold now - damn you, constant march of technological progress!), so I shall bide my time. This despite the fact that I got a text from El Deanio today asking if I wanted to join him in queuing outside the Apple Store the day before it's launched. Which, incidently, is the day before my birthday.

*smiles expectantly*


Well, looks like we've seen the last of our pitiful summer. It's feeling decidedly autumnal at the moment, and I've even started listening to Sufjan Stevens albums in the car, which is a clear sign that we're heading towards winter because they make me feel all cosy and wintery. That and the fact I'm wearing a fine-knit jumper and a jacket when I go out to lunch. Bloody weather. Oh, and I've even started wearing trackie bottoms when I go out running; doubtless my times will suffer, though - there's nothing quite like being chased by the police for public displays of nudity to get you running faster! Rawr!


I went to see 'Disturbia' after work last night - y'know, the new thriller starring Shia LaBeouf. What the hell kind of name is Shia LaBeouf? Isn't that French for Shia the beef? Shia? Sheer? Thinly-sliced beef!? Good grief. Anyway, it was mildly diverting rather than out-and-out brilliant, mainly because - and this is spoiler free - you know the creepy dude next door is going to be a serial killer despite the fact that all the evidence goes against Thinly-sliced beef's accusations; he's a troubled teen, see, so no one believes him. And it would make a pretty shitty movie if it was just a pleasant old man rather than a psychopath. Although that would be *quite* the unexpected twist, huh?

A couple of things stood out though - I'd recommend that any actor who gets a job opposite Thinly-sliced beef keeps their distance, because that dude spits when he talks, and particularly when he's aggravated (which is often in this movie, because he's a troubled teen). The other thing was that I sat through the entire film thinking that his onscreen mum looked familiar. Turns out it's Carrie-Ann Moss from 'The Matrix.' Holy crap, one thing that's evident to me is that *someone* hasn't maintained their 'Matrix' exercise routine. She's swapped the rubber catsuit for baggy knitwear, and by god she looks old. And she certainly could've saved a lot of hassle toward the end if she'd dropped back into the old "whoa! I know kung-fu!" routine and woo-pah, woo-pah, woop-assed the bad guy rather than gotten banged on the head and fallen over. Seriously, she's only got herself to blame.

Monday, September 17, 2007

A long overdue rant by yours truly

I've come to the conclusion that people are inherently stupid and annoying (with notable exceptions, you lovely, lovely people). Over the course of today, I've had numerous encounters with various people who I'd happily file under the heading 'numpty.'

Let's consider the evidence:

• YOU! Woman who pulled out in front of me on the Chiswick roundabout without looking. How very dare you glare at me in your rearview mirror when I beep you and mouth "f**k off" at me - you were so totally in the wrong. Bitch.

• YOU! When I ask if you had a good weekend, just say "yes." Beyond that, I don't really care.

• YOU! Woman in Starbucks - don't complain about the air-conditioning being cold. You chose to sit under the vent. Put a coat on. Or f**k off. I don't care which.

• YOU! Bizarre-looking old man wearing cycling gear - don't stand next to me at the level crossing like we're together. If I was so inclined I could do *so* much better than you. And stop walking in front of me in Marks and Spencers. Annoying!

• YOU! Posh old woman in Marks and Spencers - don't perch your glasses on the end of your nose then step back so you block my path to the food department while you admire a fetching pair of purple velour trackie-bottoms. No they wouldn't suit you, and no purple is not your colour - live with it!

• YOU! Two women dragging toddlers, one of which looks like a potato-headed albino - of course I don't mind that you take up the entire pavement so that I have to step out into the road in order to get past you. Posh wenches and your heinous offspring - damn you!

• YOU! Middle-aged man clearly in the midst of a middle-aged crisis driving a tatty Jaguar E-Type on the Chiswick roundabout - I saw you cut up the person behind me, then swerve into the right-hand lane. That being the case, I was annoyed, but nevertheless not terribly surprised, when you undertook me and then cut into my lane. I take solace in this: your car is a shit-heap, and you are a dick.


Would anyone else care to vent today?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Out 'n about

I've had a busy day! Up early and straight out on my bike for a morning ride, mainly because I'd planned a meet-up with Marcosy for the afternoon and it would be rude to go off cycling leaving him to stand outside my house ringing the doorbell like a special.

The ride was pretty uneventful aside from getting pelted by stones on the same road where I got pelted by stones while running the other night, and getting caught up in two sponsored bike rides; one was a palace-to-palace ride, while the other was something to do with Octopuses. First off all, if I'd known about either of these beforehand I'd probably have done one of them, but I have to say I got a little bit pissed off when the marshalls for the palace-to-palace one tried to direct me on their route; I thought about shouting "I'm not doing this!" or taking a different route in defiance, but actually what happened was that I just smiled and did as I was told. Interestingly, the Octopus one had Hell's Angels as outriders, so lord knows what charity that was for.

Oh, there was also a moment where I almost turned into a lycra lout (road rage just doesn't sound right for cyclists). Anyway, bascially what happened was that I was zoom-zoom-zooming down a road in Twickenham when this woman and her teenage daughter literally walked out in front of me. The bitch could see I was coming, and just looked the other way! I thought about crashing into them and shouting "CLAIMS DIRECT!" but the possibility of skinning my knees and crying in the middle of the road put me off. I almost shouted "LOOK!" which would've been an even more potent message if I'd dropped shorts and moonied the wench, but I ultimately decided better of it; they were actually on their way to church, and shouting at church-goers allied with the incredibly bad taste joke I've been telling this week (which I will not be repeating here) might make me a target for God's wrath. And I don't want to be smote. Smitten. Whatever!

Marcosy was coming over at 13:30, so by the time I got home I had just enough time to shave, shower, and have some lunch. And ponder over the fact that I've eaten an entire marble cake in the last two days. WTF?! Oh who cares - I'm a growing lad.

Anyway, when he did arrive we toddled off to Kingston - as we usually do - where I proceeded to walk like John Wayne, mainly because I'd ridden over a pothole on my bike ride which propelled my saddle up into my man-bits at a rather alarming velocity resulting in a general achy-ness.

So what did we get upto in Kingston? Well, we coffee'd, we walked around the shops, we quoted Boston Legal, and we both bought stuff; Marcosy got a top, and I got 6 pints of milk and some Nandos Perinaise dip. Oh, and we also went to the Apple store where I was surprised to find that the new fat-Nano iPods are actually rather cool. And some diminutive little tart wearing far too much makeup shoved her arse into me while she was checking her Bebo account.

Highlight of the day without a doubt occurred as we were leaving though. Marcosy was queuing for the car park ticket machine when the woman in front lent over to pick-up her change. Marcosy pushed the ticket towards her arse, made a noise like the machine was taking the ticket, then shouted "BINGO!" I collapsed with laughter, she turned to give him an odd look, and the people behind pretended they hadn't seen a thing. Awesome.


Another moment of hilarity ensued on the way home. We got stuck in traffic outside a shop with a curved front window, which made Marcosy's car look really dumpy. For some reason I found this hilarious. I'm not sure a photograph will do it justice, but here's one anyway.

No… It doesn't really work, does it? Shit. S'pose you had to be there.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

I refuse to wear a potato sack

I got home last night after seeing Superbad at the cinema (amusing in places, but too long) to find a card from the postman. Not a greetings card, mind - a card to tell me that he'd tried to deliver something but I was out and it wouldn't fit through my letterbox. Well, duuuuh, I was at work.

So this morning I've just been for a walk down to the local sorting office to pick up said package. It's my entry pack for the London Freewheel event next weekend, which is good news because as I just said it's next weekend and I'd signed up ages ago. Anyway, I got home, and ripped the package open - what delights could possibly await within!?

These are the delights contained within:

• A letter from London mayor Ken Livingston (Ugh! UGH!! VOM!)
• A map of the route (slightly disappointingly it's pretty much a straight line from Buckingham Palace to London Bridge, but hey, it's a day out)
• Some London Freewheel Top Trumps card (won't I crash if I'm trying to eye up other people's bikes?)
• A list of bread varieties made by chief sponsor Hovis.
• An incredibly girly bicycle bell.
• And, most disturbingly off all, a bright red bib made out of what appears to be coarse 18th century potato-sacking.

Look, I know this was all free, but if they think I'm going to wear a horrific bib like that they've got another thing coming. I'd pop it on and take a picture to show you what it's like, but I think I'd be sick if it got too close to me. I mean, seriously, I didn't spend good money on the finest sweat-wicking cycling gear I could get just to ditch it all for something chain-gang prisoners would refuse to wear. Geez! And do you know what's even worse? It's got a huge anti-car message printed on the back.

I think I might use it to wash the wheels on my Mini.


For some reason over the last couple of days I've been thinking that William Shatner should make another album. And that's got me thinking about what songs I think he should perform in his unique … spoken word … STYLE. I think 10 tracks is a good number for an album, so what d'ya think about these:

1. Black Hole Sun - Shatner does Soundgarden. "Black … hole sun … won'tyoucome? And … wash away … the RAIN!"

2. Girlfriend - For some inexplicable reason, and despite the fact I absolutely abhor Avril Latrine, I've become mildly obsessed by this song recently, and I can just hear Shatty reciting it in a wry, slightly cheeky fashion.

3. Copacabana - Time to up the tempo with a jaunty Barry Manilow cover. "Her NAME … was LOLA. She was … an … Orion slave girl" On second thoughts, that might sound somewhat sinister.

4. Rollin' - Yes, that's Rollin' by Limp Bizkit. I'm just picturing Shatner doing the exaggerated steering wheel-style dance moves.

5. Stronger - Despite not liking Kanye West that much, this is a pretty awesome tune, and I think Shatner could do it justice. Especially if he were to perform it in character as Denny Crane. "Let's get lost tonight … You can be my black Kate Moss tonight … Play secretary, I'm the boss tonight … Denny Crane."

6. My Hero - I seriously think Shatner could pull off a Foo Fighters song. SERIOUSLY. Hell, this one's almost spoken word anyway.

7. Children of the Revolution - "Oh … you … WON'T fool … the children of the … Revolution. Oh no." Oh no indeed.

8. Gett Off - I think you all know how much I like this Prince song, and it would possibly be the bestest thing EVAH to hear the mighty Shat recite the "No little cutie, I ain't drinking, scope this, I was just thinking…" bit.

9. Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' - It was a toss-up between this and Stevie Wonder's 'He's Misstra Know It All,' but the thought of Shatty doing this in a club lounge-stylee is just too good to ignore.

So there we have it, my propos- wait. That's only nine songs. Hmmm…! We need another one people! WE … NEED … ANOTHER ONE! Any suggestions? He's my Myspace friend - we could actually pitch this! Thinking caps on!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Under attack

What the hell have people got against my pretty pretty face at the moment? First I'm bitch-slapped by a kitty, then tonight my own brother's aiming for my goddamn money-maker. There we were, play fighting as two grown men in the twenties and thirties are prone to do, when he damn well scratches me on the forehead! He was flailing his arms around and he just snagged me. Holy crap, he fights like a four-year old girl! And the thing is, Simon's a nail-biter, so he's got really scraggily nails. I've probably got a foreheard infection now, y'know, in the same way as people get horrific infections after they're bitten by komodo dragons and stuff in exotic locations such as far off jungles and Whipsnade Zoo. If my head swells up to cartoon-style proportions I'm not going to be happy.

After a tactical retreat home (OK, I did crush his fingers and push him on the sofa first), I decided to go for a run. But what's this!? The council are resurfacing a road I run down, and at the moment it's just loose gravel. Of course, the council have put up big signs saying 'TEMPORARY ROAD SURFACE - 20 MPH!' but who the hell pays any attention to those?! No one, expecially not that friggin' Land Rover that shot past me on what looked like an attempt at the goddamn land speed record. Naturally I shielded my face, but I'm surprised the shower of gravel it kicked up didn't leave me covered in little red welts and looking like I'd just got back from a hunting trip with Dick Cheney.

I might have to start wearing a face mask like the dude from 'V for Vendetta.' And no, I don't mean Natalie Portman.


I've got a new toy courtesy of Sparky Pa. It's small, it makes a mechanical noise, and it cuts things up good. It's a shredder - yay! For some reason, though, I keep wanting to say stripper, which would be an altogether different, somewhat unexpected, yet not altogether undesirable gift from my Dad.

Last night I finally got round to unpacking it and taking the time to read through the instructions. Lord knows why I bothered though, it's pretty straightforward: put stuff in top, shredded stuff comes out bottom. It's rather like the human body but with less poopy. Anyway, it's big spider season here at the mo', and I've already had about four in Sparky Towers; three have been whacked mafia-stylee with a shoe (one exploded - I was finding legs for days), while the other one got a light dusting with fly spray and crawled off to (hopefully) die somewhere. Being the machiavellian type that I am occasionally, I'm beginning to think that I might use my strippe- shredder to as some kind of nefarious supervillain-type death machine - a bit like the dastardly death traps fashioned by the Hooded Claw in Penelope Pitstop cartoons. I can just picture myself lowering a chunky spider into the snapping jaws of a strip-cut home office shredder while cackling maniacally. The only thing stopping me is the fact that it might end up spraying spider-juice all up my nice white wall. That's something the Hooded Claw never had to deal with - mostly because the air-headed bimbo always got away from him. Seriously, they should do an R-rated version of that show - he'd probably just pop a cap in her face or something. Job done - lol!

Saturday, September 08, 2007


As you all know, I'm in the process of auditioning a replacement for Steve the cat. During the week I saw Tig, who was quite the charmer aside from the drool issues which you all launched at me for moaning about, but which nevertheless stand out as the only negative mark on an otherwise clean score card.

Today on Kitty X-Factor I saw another hopeful. This cat is black with a white paws, and is rather small - just out of kittenhood, I'd say. She also has rather lovely eyes, but then so does Tig. I actually first met this cat last Saturday when I was round Sparky Ma and Pa's, so this was a bit like a call-back audition. The little bugger is a little nervous, but nevertheless quite affectionate when it gets used to you.

This evening it popped round again. It wears a little collar with a tag, but so far we've been unable to read its name off said collar. As such, we've dubbed it Bumfluff. It now responds to the name Bumfluff, which is probably causing it no end of problems when it actually goes home to its owners and they call it something else. Anyway, I spent a fair bit of time playing with Bumfluff today and we were getting on like a house on fire - and not a house on fire that needed copious amounts of drool to put it out, I hasten to add, which is lucky because Bumfluff does not drool. Bumfluff does like having her back scratched though; I thought she might actually pass out when I scratched her back for the first time.

A little later on, Simon went to play with Bumfluff, and after about 10 minutes came back to tell me that the letters 'A,' 'T,' and 'Z' are listed, in that order, on the name tag. Hmmm… whatever single letter could precede those to create an imaginative name for a cat? Simon told me to go investigate further.

I found Bumfluff sitting at the end of the kitchen looking out into the garden, so I knelt down beside her, and began to lean around to look at the tag. Suddenly, Bumfluff turns back to face me, looks at me invading her personal space, and bitch-slaps me on the cheek! No claws, I hasten to add, but a bitch-slap nevertheless. Then as I recoil, she slaps the back of my hand!

How rude!

Laughing as I stood up, I noted that Bumfluff didn't at all look angry. This was clearly all a game to her. Cheeky little minx.


Is my name really that difficult to get right? It's three frikkin' letters long. Twice yesterday, I had moments where people got my name wrong. On one occasion I was called 'Time,' while the other … well, while going to Secret Starbucks at lunchtime, the conversation with one of the baristas went something like this:

Her: So is your name Tim or Timothy?

Me: Just Tim.

Her: Justin?

Me: No, just Tim.

Her: Justin?


Me: Yes. Yes, that's my name. I am Justin.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


I've come to the realisation that I've got too much going on in my life and something needs to be done about it. I turned my PVR recorder on last night to be confronted by a huge list of stuff I've recorded and not yet watched. I went upstairs and saw a mighty stack of books waiting to be read (and two more added today!). Next to that was last week's comics waiting to be read (to which can now be added this week's comics). I look at my computer desktop and there's a list of articles waiting to be written, and my book waiting to be finished. I look at myself in the mirror and I want to go for a run or jump on my bike.

There's just *so* much to do and not enough time.

That being the case, I've decided that I'm going to declutter my life. I reckon within two weeks - three at most - I can get all my books read, all my articles written, and all my TV shows watched. Then, and only then, do I think I'll be in a position to sit down and finish writing my book. I really, desperately want to do it, but I don't want to do it just to finish it; I want it to be finished and good. And there's also the added incentive of I know what I want to write next.

Also: then, and only then, will I get round to buying the third season of Battlestar Galactica on DVD.

Let the de-cluttering of my life commence.


So the kids went back to school this week. Not my kids, I hasten to add; I don't have any kids. I mean 'the kids' as in 'kids in general.' Anyway, I'm having to get used to walking past the school near the office again when all the parents are dropping the squealing little spawns of their loins off at the gate. God, parents can be bumbling spackers when they mill around outside schools, can't they? They're completely oblivious to anyone other than themselves and their little ADD-riddled sprogs. I want to bitch-slap the lot of them.

That said, I got really wound up the other day when I heard an interview on the radio with some chav wench whose daughter plays truant all the time. She was moaning about the government's plans to punish parents whose kids skip school, and said that she phones the school the moment her daughter leaves the house to ask them to phone her back when she arrives. My first thought was this: rather than sit there watching 'Trisha' and 'Dale's Supermarket Sweep,' why not get up off your fat arse and walk your slacking little troglodyte to school? Problem solved. I really should be in politics.


Anyway, I found it particularly amusing on Wednesday to see the age-old 'first day back' sight of a little girl in her brand new school uniform crying outside the gate. Admittedly I maybe shouldn't have pulled her hair, pushed her over, and stolen her packed lunch, but these kids have got to learn someday that this isn't a perfect world we live in. Better to get used to it now.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Someone has drool issues…

…And it's not me.

Since I lost Steve, I've been starved of cat-based affections (you can insert your own dirty joke here - I'm too tired to bother), and have been on the look out for a new kitty who will give me their undivided love and attention without me actually having to go to the trouble of buying a pet of my own.

There's a been a couple of random encounters – the beige cat that wanders into the office, the crazy kitten across the road from the office, and the big cat I've named Buddy who I see most lunchtimes - but none of them really mean anything; they're just the feline equivalent of friends with benefits (just without *those* sort of benefits, if ya sees mah meaning).

That was until yesterday. I was round visiting Sparky Ma and Pa when I noticed a cat outside their house. Now, I've seen this cat before; he was actually Steve's special friend for a time, so I figured that he must also be feeling a bit emotional and empty since Steve was taken from us. That being the case, I thought we could, y'know, get together and hang out.

This cat, who I'll name Tig, immediately responded to my attentions. He's a dear little thing - huge eyes and tiny paws; he's actually quite dainty for a tomcat, which makes it all the more surprising that Steve went for him because she was a bit of a tomboy herself. Anyway, so Tig comes in the house, and wanders around a bit, and after a few minutes big bro Simon starts playing with him. This is cool, I'm thinking, we've got a dainty Steve-substitute. That is until I heard Simon yell "eeeeoow! Someone's got a drool problem!"

I looked up half expecting to see Simon dribbling down his chin, but no - he meant the cat.

Dear god - to you remember that scene in the classic Tom Hanks movie 'Turner and Hooch' where the dog (not Tom Hanks) has huge strands of slobber hanging down from his mouth so that it looks like he's swallowed a shoe? Imagine that on a cat.

I seriously almost vomed.

Within seconds Simon was trying to get the thing out into the garden, but it thought he was playing and kept trying to rub around him. His reaction to this, obviously, was to back away because he didn't want cat slobber on his jeans. And then it got worse; Tig clearly felt the sensation of something hanging from its face, so kept shaking his head to try to get rid of it. All this did, though, was to elongate the drool strands and eventually flip them up so they got stuck to the side of his head. For such a dainty little kitty he ended up looking like a freakin' monster.

Anyway, eventually I worked up the courage to get some kitchen roll and wipe the little bugger's face clean - again almost puking in the process (why they hell is that?). It's then that I noticed that, whereas other cats like to rub their faces against things to leave their scent, Tig just bangs his frikkin' head against things over and over again. Which leads me to think that he's maybe retarded or something. I don't know. Either way, that's not the way these non-cat owning relationships should be - if I wanted to wipe faces I'd buy my own cat. So I did the only thing I could think of to nip this in the bud before Tig thought we'd moved our relationship to the next level.

I got in the car and went home.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

The conqueror of Callow Hill - AKA, Richmond to Windsor bike ride 2007

Another year, another Richmond to Windsor bike ride. It doesn't seem like a year since the last one, but as I enjoy this event so much I won't complain. In fact, bring it on.

So I got up early this morning (6:45 am!), had breakfast (oat cereal - thinking of the slow release energy there people!), and a cup of tea, then sauntered about getting all my bits together. I eventually set off for Richmond at EXACTLY 8:14 am, and arrived at EXACTLY 8:57 am. While chilling out pre-ride, I sat on Richmond Green trying to work out exactly how many times I've done this event; I'm pretty sure it's at least the fifth, if not the sixth time. I must check. Any-hoo, this year was a bit different from those previous occasions. Why? Because I was doing it without my wing-men - Mr. Chunt and, from last year, Sweatband. They'd both cited social engagements on Saturday evening as their pitiful excuses. So what did this mean for me? Well, three things:

• Fewer photos than normal. Chunty takes pics of everything, whereas I usually can't be arsed to get my phone out of my bag unless I've stopped.
• Less opportunity for mid-ride conversation.
• No opportunity to cycle in a visually-stunning wedge formation.

To be honest, I'm not too bothered by the lack of pics, and when you think about it, a 37 mile bike ride isn't exactly the best time to natter with your pals. But I did miss that wedge formation.

Anyway, just before I was about to set off for Windsor, I received a text from my compadre in all things Star Trek, BSH. He was joining me for the ride, but was only just leaving home at the point I was about to depart. Bearing in mind that he lives waaaaay north of London, we decided that it was probably best if I set off.

So I joined the queue to set off. And almost got very angry with the posh lady behind me who kept bumping my back wheel. I very nearly hit her on the head with my pump. Fortunately, the hilarious witticisms of the familiar event compare, who Mr. Chunt and I have nicknamed fake Shatner over the years (due to his resemblance to real Shatner, I should add), kept me in a good frame of mind.

And so, around about 9:30 am, as fake Shatner said "another band of heroic cyclists cross the start line, passing the assembled throng of papparazi, and crowds of weeping relatives here to bid them farewell as they begin their arduous journey down the long and winding road to Windsor," I began.

Without wing men to keep an eye on, I decided that for the first time I was going to go hell for leather and see how quickly I could do the ride. That being the case, I immediately swooped past the slow-coaches in front of me, and before I knew it I was out ahead of the pack. Fortunately, I knew where I was going.

All in all, then, the ride was going swimmingly, even the bit where it passes so frustratingly close to Sparky Towers that last year Sweatband suggested we stop in for tea and biscuits. There were a couple of annoying bits, though, including some guy cycling right behind me who clearly loved the sound of his own voice and thought that every one else would too; he wouldn't shut up. Another problem was some bloke who'd hitched a stereo up to his bike; now, I like a bit of ingenuity, but for the 30 minutes or so I was level-pegging with him, I came to the conclusion that he had exceedingly questionable taste in music. That was until we were freewheeling down a hill and 'Ride of the Valkyries' came on; that was rather inspiring. The last time I saw him 'Intergalactic' by the Beastie Boys was playing, but as I thought it couldn't really get much better than that I decided to overtake and zoom-zoom-zoom into the distance.

Knowing that I'd be wing-manless, I'd briefly thought about taking my iPod with me, and in fact many people had, but I decided against it based on the fact that I like to be able to hear cars approaching from behind. That being the case, I took to humming tunes in my head, and kinda got snagged on Matchbox Twenty's new song, 'How Far We've Come' (rather apt, huh?), which you can hear for yourself HERE. It's very good. In fact, it was cool, cool, it was just all cool (which will make sense if you listen to it).

Anyway, my mental recital of Matchbox Twenty led to one of two moments when other riders spoke to me. The first, non-Matchbox Twenty-related moment occurred when I decided to slow down a little bit. Some lycra-clad bloke raced past me on a road bike and shouted "GO UP A GEAR - YOU'RE WASTING ENERGY!" Which I suppose was helpful, albeit unwanted advice.
The second instance occurred when I was so engrossed in singing the song in my brain that I actually missed a turning. The bloke behind shouted "left - LEFT!" which was actually very helpful, and gratefully received advice. See, this is what happens when I don't have wing men.

After that, all that was left to do was conquer the horrifically steep Callow Hill (which I did with something approaching relative ease!), before finally reaching Windsor at bang on 13:00, which was a smidgeon quicker than we've done it in previous years. And I was greeted by fake Shatner who called me "sir!" Good times!

After that I waited around for BSH who took another hour and a half (and he did the short route!). Fortunately, fake Shatner was on hand to entertain me, and at various times referred to the tent that marked the finish line as "the tent of triumph," "the gazebo of glory," and the "marquis of miracles." That chap is one of the reasons I do this event every year.

All in all, then, a good day. I'll leave you with the three photos I took, while I go off to see if there's any chance I'll ever regain sensation in my genitals.

The start line…

…and the finish line.

Fake Shatner, resplendent in yellow!