Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Josh Pyke at the Borderline: AKA "three quid for a f*ckin' diet coke!?"

"I may be smiling, but I'm actually a teeny bit angry," said Yaz to the waitress. "You're kind of spoiling my peri-peri experience.

And thus began events leading up to out first gig of 2007 - Josh Pyke at the Borderline!

Reuniting the good times gig duo of, well, me and Yaz, we headed to Nandos for some pre-gig spicy chicken. Obviously things went slightly awry, and Yaz basically got into a … let's say 'a discussion' with the waitress (who looked a little like Ugly Betty) about a little bit of over-pricing. Eventually she got some money back, downed her by this time cold chicken, and we were off!

A short tube journey later and we were wandering down Charing Cross Road in search of the Borderline. Bearing in mind that neither of us had been there before we looked like two simple tourists walking along in search of Manette Street, me holding a small piece of paper with some directions on that just said "two minutes from the tube station." Yes, but where?! Eventually we found it - right next to Foyles bookshop. Why didn't they just write "next to Foyles bookshop," I asked, throwing my arms up in the air (not literally).

But what a cool little venue it is!

It's subterrainean people!

So we walked in past a decidedly dodgy looking bouncer, and headed downstairs. Awesomely, we found a little breakfast bar-like arrangement about three metres from the stage, so we grabbed a couple of stools and sat there with no intention of budging until Josh left the stage. And while we waited we tried to do TheLondonPaper's crossword, but it made our heads hurt, so we resorted to drawing on the celebrities in the Oscar photos.

After a short while, Yaz decided that she was thirsty and toddled off to get a drink. She returned a short while later visibly perturbed, exclaiming rather loudly that her diet coke cost "three f*ckin' quid." And she continued to shout it throughout the evening. On the plus side, she should thank her lucky stars that I didn't accept her offer of a drink; she'd have to of broken into a tenner!

While we waited for the support act to come on we indulged in our old pastime of people-watching. Obviously the entire place was full of Antipodean-types out to support Josh, and we were highly amused by the chap in front of us, and his utterly pathetic attempts at pulling. Basically everytime a girl stood anywhere near him he'd smile at her, turn and smile at his mates, and at their direction he'd turn back to said girl and say "So… where are you from?" "London" was quite a popular answer, and it didn't seem like he had any response to their reply, as if he wasn't quite expecting them to say anything other than "who cares – take me now!" We laughed heartly. Good times.

Anyway, the support act came on. She was a - and I'll be brutally honest here - unusual looking lady by the name of Karima Francis. Unusual looking maybe, but a fascinating voice, and some decent tunes. We kinda liked her. The only downside was that there was some hunch-backed Kirsten Dunst look-alike baggy dancing in front of the stage and shouting over Karima's songs. I swiftly renamed this wench Snaggletooth after the marvelous What Would Tyler Durden Do? website's name for Kirsten Dunst.

On the plus side, Karima picked up on Snaggletooth's actions, and, awesomely, HAD WORDS WITH HER AFTER HER SET! YES!

And then it was time for Josh Pyke. Permit me a moment here to reveal a little part of my sensitive, emotional side here; I got a little shiver as he took to the stage and began playing because I felt a real connection to Dora and T-Bird, who first brought Josh's music to my attention. It was bizarre to think that you two had also seen him play up close, and that I was there on your recommendation. It was a powerful reminder of the bond of our blogger's circle, despite the millions and millions of miles that separate us all. But then I brought my hardcore man-side back to the fore, whooped, clapped, and punched the air.

Josh was great, a throughly good set, beautifully played and brilliant to be up close. Shame Snaggletooth kicked off again, hollering at him between tracks and pointing out how Aussie he was just because he was drinking a can of Fosters. Fortunately, like Karima before him, Josh verbally bitch-slapped her by saying that he hated Fosters and was only drinking it because it was free. He then proceeded to ignore her even when she stood right in front of him and screamed that she'd seen him several times before.

Anyway, he rounded off the set with a fantastic version of Middle of the Hill, and then noted that he couldn't be bothered to leave the stage and then come back for an encore because it was a waste of time, so he just played on through. Quality.

So that was it. A cracking start to the gigging for 2007.

(The evening was slightly ruined when I got home by an unexpected occurance of the Barrys - and super-kudos to anyone not from the UK who can work out what that particular piece of rhyming slang refers to).


How's about this for a musical handbrake turn? I'm writing this listening to a free frikkin' Dolly Parton CD that came in the paper on Sunday. I've got a bit of a soft spot for Dolly, I must admit; 9 to 5 and Jolene are great songs. And she's got awesome boobies too.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

It always comes back to monkeys

There's something a bit fascinating about monkeys, isn't there? They're so much like us, yet they're not limited by social niceties and will quite happily fling poo around like there's no tomorrow. To be honest, though, once a monkey gets above a certain size I think they're a bit threatening. The little ones - like the one in Friends and the disease-spreading one in Outbreak - are awesome. The big ones are scary because they could break you, and then throw poo at you.

Lovely Janice at work was telling me the other day that when she was a kid there was a guy in Shepherds Bush market who had a monkey and you could pay to have your photo taken with him (the monkey, not the dude). But he's no longer there now. She theorised that the monkey, or the dude, possibly died, but I think it's more likely the monkey was found to not be paying his tax and national insurance and was sent to prison. Or deported for being a filthy asylum seeker.

Recently (and I say 'recently', but I actually mean 'about a year or so ago') London Zoo opened a monkey enclosure where you can walk through and, erm, touch the monkeys, so to speak. Part of me likes the idea of this, because monkeys are cool. Part of me fears the monkeys, however, because I've seen camcorder footage of what happens when cars drive through safari parks and all the wild animals rip bits off them. What's a giraffe going to do with a wing mirror, I ask you?

Anyway, part of me is scared that the monkeys in this special enclosure might be a bit chavvy and while one distracts you with a display of utter cuteness there's another one stealing your wallet and car keys. And when you confront them about it they'd do that thing where they bare their teeth at you and screech. I don't like the idea of that.

Last night I was discussing this with someone who shall remain nameless, and I happened to mention that "monkeys are very unpredictable." My unnamed companion (a phrase that makes me sound like I'm Doctor Who) pondered this for a moment, then looked me straight in the eye and said "Monkeys may be unpredictable, but then so are people." Which is an incredibly profound statement.

On the other hand, the chances of a person whipping down their nappy and hoofing poo at you are, I think, pretty slim, but I will admit that I am currently rethinking my monkey unpredictability scale.


Crumbs I was feeling energetic this morning. I got up, and literally went straight out for a run. Which in hindsight was a little bit stupid because I always find it a little bit difficult running in the morning, and today turned out to be no different. So it turned into more of a walk-run-walk. On the plus side, I finally got round to posting the letter that informs my gym that I'm leaving it. Which I'm hoping is the right thing to do; hell, I haven't been there in two months and I've not descended into obesity just yet…


Book update. I'll be brutally honest, things have levelled off a bit in the writing department. Why? I can't really say, to be honest. As I said in a previous post, the initial idea to write 1000 words a day has pretty much flown out the window, and the grand total now stands at around the 16,500 mark. Part of me thinks I should take a little break, and actually rewrite the first half before throwing myself into the second half. I'm beginning to think that there are some bits that I want to move around anyway, so that might help me in the long run.

On the plus side, I did write the very last scene yesterday which I'm quite pleased with. I've just got to write the however-many thousand words that come between what I've just written and that last scene now… I really must engage my brain.


Finally: why, why WHY do people keep finding my blog by googling phrases such as 'Katee Sachoff boobs', and 'Katee Sachoff nipples'? I wrote one post about Katee Sachoff about six months ago that I'm sure didn't mention the words boobs or nipples. Leave the poor girl alone you perverts!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Dear diary

Have you found that diaries are full of rubbish these days. And I don't mean the entries in mine that say things like "Friday evening - no plans…" and "Saturday evening - no plans…"

No, I mean the things like the pages and pages of crap that tell you how to convert from miles into kilometres, cubic yards into cubic metres, and inches per second into millimetres per second. And don't get me started on the public holidays listings - it seems that EVERYONE gets more public holidays than us Britlanders (something to look into when I'm mayor, perhaps).

Today though, while I was noting something down in my work diary, I found something tres bizarre: a New Year Resolutions page.

Now, this is odd, I thought. Who would write that sort of information down in a diary unless it was the sort that had a little lock on the side. No, resolutions are the sort of thing, I think you'll agree, that you should write down on scraps of paper then eat, because we all know that's how to make them come true. It got a tad weirder when I actually read the headings on the page, each of which had five lines underneath, and accompanying tick boxes. Here are said headings, and what I think I might write in:

Physical - Let's get physical, perhaps? Was that Olivia Neutron Bomb? I think so - tick!

Mental - I can be, if you really wind me up. Tick!

Self development - Another arm would be handy, I s'pose. Not tickable just yet, but I'll work on it.

Money/Finance - Are you offering? Um, tick?

Career/work - Only if I really have to. Tick!

Family - Already have one! Tick!

Social - Depends how I'm feeling. Tick-ish.

Spiritual - OooooOOOOOOoooooOOOO! Tick!

Emotional - Only when I watch ET, or Spock's death in Star Trek II.

Property - of Tim.

So I think I'll maybe go scribble all those in using a red crayon, with all the vowels backwards. Other exciting diary-based information - did you know that Japan's international dialling code is 0041 010? That's a lot of numbers.


Isn't it weird where car designers are getting their inspiration from these days?


And in a smiliar vein, I've just re-read Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, and I don't think I'm the only one. Methinks someone's new look was influenced by the mutant leader that Bats goes up against…

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

It's official - you heard it here first

I'm going to run for London mayor.

Bet you weren't expecting that, hmmm…?

It makes sense, you see, because quite frankly I couldn't be any more of a doofus at it than the existing one, and I've got chiselled good looks and well-defined thighs on my side. OK, so it might be a bit of a snap decision, but ol' Ken has only got himself to blame, what with his stupid congestion charge extension. Admittedly this doesn't effect me - the office is about a mile away from the zone now - but I honestly don't think the greasy little money grabber will stop there, and it strikes me as a bit self defeating seeing as all those Chelsea tractors have paid their residents charge and can drive through the zone whenever they please now.

Favourite quote of the week comes from Ken Livingstone:
"Congestion levels have already dropped in the new zone."
Yes, that's because you launched it in half term, you tit. It's like saying classrooms are a bit empty this week. Or pubs tend to get a little busy on a Friday evening - but the opposite, if you see my meaning.

I'm not a fan of the congestion charge, although admittedly it made sense in the centre of London; I mean, really, who wants to drive round there anyway? The tube makes much more sense. But Kensington and Chelsea? That's pure and simple greed. I'll also admit to not being a fan of people who feel the need to drive around in massive gas-guzzlers, but I suppose they need to compensate for small penises somehow. Really, there's no need for huge cars, unless you've pumped out quintuplets. Smaller ones are much funkier, anyway.

I also find it funny how when the congestion charge was introduced Ken stated that it was a charge on congestion, not for environmental causes. And yet now he keeps playing the environmental card - make yer bloody mind up!

On a related issue, I notice today that Ken has negotiated cheap oil from Venezuala to power London's buses, and will use the savings to cut bus fares for people on income support. First of all - oil from Venezuala?! How naive is he? It'll probably be half cut with instant coffee. Or three-quarters cut. Or it will simply be instant coffee. And secondly, how embarrassing will it be for the those on income support when they run their 'special oyster cards' over the scanner? It'll probably make some snide comment, or they'll have to ride on the roof or something. Or they'll make them ride in 'special' buses that look like they've been drawn by four year-olds, with wheels of differing sizes and painted in weird, childlike colour schemes. Oh, hang on, that's London's buses as they are.

I also love the fact that Friends of the Earth attacked Ken for bargaining for oil anyway. What do they think buses run on - hugs and kisses?

So yes, I think I should run for mayor next time round. I'm already planning campaign slogans: something along the lines of "championing sexy good-times in London" or "a vote for me is a vote for insanity!" because people love a bit of wackiness in their lives. I think it could work. I think we could wash the streets clean of problems and congestion with sexy good-times. I'd also release monkeys into the streets of our capital because everyone loves monkeys and they work wonders for tourism in Gibraltor. We could dress them up as Beefeaters at the tower, in swinging sixties garb in Carnaby Street, and as the Queen at Buck House. Awesome.

Are you with me? Are you?!

Feel free to volunteer your services (for the campaign effort, you perverts!), or ask questions regarding any political issues in the comments. Thank you.

Sunday, February 18, 2007


As you might recall, February is my 'novel-writing month.' I've been a bit quiet on the subject, haven't I?


Well here's an update for you: all is good. In fact, I've literally just crossed the point where it's become the longest work of fiction I've ever written. Yes, at 13,126 words, it's just exceeded the Ziggy Stardust graphic novel script I tried writing over the course of a year from September 2003 to October 2004 before giving up on it at 13,125 words. And all this in just 18 days. I'm quite proud of myself.

OK, I had planned on writing 1000 words a day, so I've clearly fallen a little behind schedule in the grand scheme of things, but, y'know, life gets in the way sometimes. So what was the illustrious 13,126th word, you might ask?

It was a 'but.' (And I actually copied and pasted that from the original document so you can revel in it's glory as the recording-breaking word. That's quite an important 'but,' I'll have you know. A big 'but,' you could say)

I'm pretty pleased with how things are going on the story; nothing seems horrifically out of place at the moment, and I'm at the very least reasonably happy with everything I've written so far. Of course, some things might change in the re-write stage, and some things will definitely change at the re-write stage, but that's what the re-write stage is for, so, y'know, rock on!

Anyway, I can't sit here wittering away all day - I've got a book to write! And for anyone who's interested, here's a little tease of my work in progress:

Annie Taylor’s bicycle was found leaning against an old wooden fence beside the old wooden bridge on the road leading out of Paytonville, just one hour after her mother had telephoned the sheriff’s office in a state of some distress.
There was no sign of a struggle; only the flowers scattered across the dusty ground, the vibrant colors of their petals dulled by the grains of dirt that blew across them in the gentle breeze gave any indication that something was amiss. There was no sign of anything particularly out of the ordinary if one were to look upon the scene as a mere observer.
But there was no sign of Annie Taylor.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

The emo strikes back

Marcosy and I met up today for one of our increasingly commonplace jaunts to Kingston. But today we had a purpose: because today marked the opening of Kingston's very own Apple Store.

Oh, the excitement!

Of course, such was our enthusiasm we got there … well, quite late, actually. Apparently they were giving away free Apple t-shirts to the first 1000 people through the door from 9am, but the chances of me being awake and coherent at 9am on a Saturday morning are about as slim as one of those size zero models everyone's been bitching about at London Fashion Week.

So I suppose we got there around half two in the afternoon, and quickly decided that we'd save our Appley excitement up just a little bit more by heading for a coffee first, settling on Cafe Nero, Marcosy's preferred coffee shop (barista hotness rating: 2). Immediately Marcosy was pissed off because they've banned smoking, and he does like a ciggie with his cappucino. Yay for me though; I've become increasingly intolerant of the smell of smoke over the last couple of months.

Anyway, there we were chatting and getting all caffeined up, when this gaggle of emos turned up, and started doing their typical emo thing of just being incredibly annoying and shaking their big fat heads to get their stupid hair out of their stupid eyes. My advice? Get a friggin' haircut, nobwits. Then, though, one of them lit up a cigarette, the little emo-bitch. She was totally trying to be all anti-establishment, but there's quite a difference between burning your bra and lighting up a ciggie in a coffee shop. I felt like whacking the 'thank you for not smoking' sign round her stupid emo head, but I figure she'll have enough regrets in life later when she looks back on her stupid emo-past.

We drank up and left.

The new Apple Store ain't that big, to be honest, but it's full of Appley goodness and size isn't everything (though I wouldn't mind if it were just a little bit bigger). Previous experience with the Apple Store in Regents Street has shown me that the actual selling of Apple products is secondary to its use as an internet cafe for pikeys and asylum seekers wishing to check their hotmail or watch pornographic video clips in public, and I was braced for this new store to be similarly afflicted. Kingston, I soon came to learn, has its own unique Apple Store problems.

And it is emo-based.

Good lord. They were everywhere in their mascara, stripey tops, and stupid haircuts. But they weren't checking their email accounts, oh no; they were using the iSight cameras that are built into all new Macs and the photobooth program to take INCREDIBLY STUPID PICTURES OF THEMSELVES doing strange emo-hand gestures, including many, many images of them flipping the bird at the camera. Oh, they're *SO* intelligent!

All in all, I learnt something today: I really, really want a new iMac, and I fear for the future of the human race based on today's teenagers.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Obligatory smutty post title failure (although you know I'd like nothing more than to give you one)

Can you believe I had a beard-based disaster yesterday? As you might recall, I've been rocking the fashionable beard for some time now, but, annoyingly it does tend to grow out of the comfort zone length. So there I was last night trimming it with my mach-5 (using a combination of the five-bladed head and the single-blade trimmer for those hard to reach places), when all of a sudden I trimmed a little too excessively and took a chunk out of it.

I looked at the smooth patch in utter disbelief. How long have I been shaving? Years or days? What an elementary mistake to make. I looked like I had alopecia.

My initial reaction was to swear a bit then shave the whole lot off, but I like the beardy look; my boss told me it made me look "dangerous" the other day. So instead I've gone for the goatee look, which isn't something I've really tried before, to be honest. It's not amazing, but it's OK, and truth be told it fits in pretty well with the next issue of the Star Trek magazine we're working on; one of the featured episodes is 'Mirror, Mirror,' also know as the 'Spock beard show.' I'm my own evil twin.



Met Yaz up town for a post-work coffee to mull over her five days worth of work on a book about juices. She seemed to enjoy it, but the whole meeting up town thing was a bit of a stupid idea. Every time I go to Oxford Street it seems to be full of more and more complete dunces. On the tube up there I had some dopey tourist standing in front of me, completely oblivious to the fact that he was well within my personal bubble, and happy to wedge his bag against right my groin; I was gonna have a word, but I figured if someone set off the emergency alarm and the brakes slammed on, at least I wouldn't fall over. Surely things would be better when I got off (the train, you perves…)? You'd think… I remarked a few years ago that I thought a significant proportion of people in London where perverts and psychopaths. We may now add to that list dawdling pedestrians, spack-tastic old people, and emo-children who were congregating EVERYWHERE. And then there was that stupid woman in an electric wheelchair in HMV. Now I know I shouldn't rant or take the mickey out of the disadvantaged, but she was driving past the Top 20 DVDs not looking where she was going and almost ran me over. I felt like popping a copy of 'The Last Kiss' DVD on the back of her wheelchair so she got caught for shoplifting on the way out.

That would've taught her.


Yes! Dancing on Ice is on tomorrow! Remember how I got right into Strictly Come Dancing during the last series? How I grew to appreciate the skill of the routines, and the beauty of ballroom dancing? Well none of that applies to Dancing on Ice - I just want to see D-list celebs smack their faces on the ice!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

We all like to put it in our ears occasionally

I've been thinking about music a lot today. This has been for a number of reasons:

Firstly, I've woken up every morning for the last couple of weeks to find some kind of eighties power ballad rockin' my brain. I'm blaming Marcosy because he insisted on playing Bonnie Tyler's 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' in his car the other week, but I'm not exactly innocent either; there was, of course, that spontaneous T'Pau-based karaoke session in the office the other week. Other early morning power ballard examples include 'I Want to Know What Love is' by Foreigner, 'Too Shy' by Limahl, 'Nothing's Gonna Stop us Now' by Starship, 'Physical' by Olivia Neutron Bomb, and 'If You Leave Me Now' by Peter Cetera of Chicago (which, admittedly, I love).

Then, Scanner Dave and I had a musical conversation at work this morning. And by musical conversation I don't mean we chatted in the medium of song and dance, rather we chatted about songs. Because - and I promise you now that usually I'm not judgemental about other people's taste in music - Dave's taste in music is pretty shitty. We did, however, eventually find a song that we both like.

I think you'll agree, that is a beautiful thing. A snapshot of a glorious era. It's a stunning example of car-crash viewing. I mean, really, this could've been the end of not one, but two of the world's premier singer-songwriter's careers right in front of us, but they pulled it off big time. Those clothes go against everything that's good and holy though. And what's with all the flailing arms? Could've had someone's eye out.

Geez. I can't stop watching it. I think I know what'll be playing in my brain tomorrow morning…


Another reason for the musical focus was yesterday's Brit Awards. My thoughts on that? The Killers were awesome even through Brandon Flowers dances like a mental monkey, Amy Winehouse is hideous but has an interesting voice, Joss Stone is off her tits these days, Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers needs to put a top on because at his age and in this weather he'll catch his death of cold, and after 10 years I *STILL* hate Oasis.


I'll round off the last couple of days worth of Valentines posts with this handy hint for people who've forgotten the big day: the last time I sent a Valentines card I sent it after the event, but by turning back the date on the franking machine at work I made it look like the post office was responsible for its late arrival. And that, I think you'll agree, is officially *TOP THINKING*.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Let me touch on it again

As we all know by now, it's Valentines day. Hurrah! Did we all get lots of nice cards and wot-not? No, me neither. And this was despite me spending a good 45 minutes hack-sawing a bigger letterbox in the front door last night.

Snubbed - harumph!

The day started a bit weirdly, to be honest. I massively over-gelled my hair this morning, by accident I should note, and have spent the entire day looking like a combination of a complete mentalist and a massively-wired ketamine addict. There's an immediate turn-on for any potential Valentines, particularly if they're looking to score potent horse tranquilisers.

I must say, there was a suitably Valentines-type atmosphere going on at work. No, we didn't indulge ourselves in an orgy of delights beside the water cooler or leave bum-prints on the photocopier; rather, I spent a significant portion of the day zipping through a DVD of 'The City on the Edge of Forever,' Star Trek's most emotionally-charged episode in which Cap'n Kirk tries to get it on with Joan Collins. Captain Kirk forming a lasting relationship with the slutty one from Dynasty? Surely not! Of course not - he takes her out, shows her a good time, then she gets hit by a truck! What a superb conclusion, admittedly not for Joan, but definitely for Kirk who gets to continue his rampant womanising across the vast expanses of space without being tied down to just the one*.

Shall we veer back towards the day at hand? Yes!

So how have I spent this delightful day of romance and bliss. Generally being my usual studly and brooding self, to be honest. But of course the day hasn't ended yet, oh no! Despite the fact that Sweatband told me that Jude had no plans and we could indulge ourselves in a boy's night out, I've decided instead to arrange my stuffed toys on the sofa, crack open the Quality Street and fizzy pop, and settle down for a gala showing of 'Sleepless in Seattle!'

It's either that or wash the gel out of my hair.

One of these two choices will happen, I assure you - good times!

* Please note that I don't condone pushing helpless women under the wheels of a truck at the end of a night on the town. What works for Captain Kirk might not work for you; I say this from experience.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Light some candles, put on some music - I'm in the mood, baby

As if you didn't know, tomorrow is Valentines day, and everyone seems to be going crazier than usual. The amount of blokes I've seen carrying huge bouquets of flowers around is insane; I mean, dudes, it's not even today - where are you going to hide the flowers, and how are you going to stop them wilting? Think, chaps, think! I should've taken those flowers off them and beaten them with them.

I usually pretty much ignore any Hallmark moments that aren't Christmas or birthdays; Secretary's day, anyone? I don't have a secretary, but if I did I certainly wouldn't be buying her a card. My theoretical secretary might be crap for all I know. She might make a rubbish cup of tea and have a pathological dislike for picking up the phone. Maybe I will buy her a card. I could pop her P45 inside. You're fired, theoretical secretary!

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, Valentines day. So, yeah, not so big on it. Adding to the annoyance is the fact that about nine years ago I got an anonymous card and never found out who it was from. I hate pissing unsolved mysteries. I asked one lady friend and she sounded a tad horrified that I thought it might be her. One time I did get a card from a lady who actually bothered to sign it, but she did herself no favours by comparing her love for me to a cabbage "because it was the only thing that rhymed." A lyrical gangsta she was not.

I can't believe how these Hallmark moments are turning into such huge events. Christmas is over and - BANG! - Valentines looms. And the shops are full of naughty red undies and the like; I'll be honest, most of them look bloody uncomfortable, and christ knows what she's supposed to wear. I think I'll stick to the established jeans look, although I might break out my 'Bed Taker' t-shirt if I'm feeling particularly naughty.

I suppose the other thing is that there's no point making an effort if you're single (putting on special undercrackers, lighting some candles, and cracking open some fizzy pop? That's just a normal day for me anyway). That doesn't really bother me, to be honest, because, well... well I don't really know, actually. Maybe I'm just super laid-back about it all (although not, obviously, in the biblical sense). I'll probably spend tomorrow evening out on a run. A sexy run, perhaps, but still a run.

Or maybe I'll just go for a coffee.


On a related note, the speed-dating thing I went on almost two years ago sent me an email telling me that they were giving me three days free 'flirt-messaging.' They also 'strongly advise' that I upload a picture of myself; I 'm thinking about whacking up a picture of someone reasonably heinous like Meatloaf, then messaging a load of women saying "I would do anything for love … but I won't do that you pervert!"


Look here - I've been meaning to post about this for aaaaaages, and I keep forgetting, so I'm tacking it on here. Superman - hero, yes? Yes? No. You are wrong. Check out this site, because it is clear that Superman is a dick.

My particular favourite bit is the cover gallery, specifically THIS ONE. Man, he's such a dick.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Cast your freakin' vote

OK, so if you're reading this you'll probably have noticed that I've been faffing about with the appearance of my blog. What you won't notice is that I'm writing this with a spoon in my mouth (I'm just about to have some soup).

And if you haven't noticed (about the appearance, not the spoon) look up. Not at the ceiling, at the top of the page. Yes, there.

What do you think?

Now look, I'll be honest with you. It's pretty much taken me all weekend to do that (which admittedly isn't quite as bad as it sounds when you factor in that I've slept SOOOOOO much over the last couple of days), and I actually didn't mean to. It's just that there was something gnawing at me Saturday lunchtime that kept pushing me to meddle. So meddle I did. And I'm not afraid to tell you that the air turned blue in Sparky Towers. HTML is *NOT* my friend.

By about four o'clock Saturday afternoon I'd just about wrestled everything back to how it was, but I really wanted to get that new banner heading up because it's been sitting on my desktop since about last May waiting to be used. So this morning I got up and INEXPLICABLY STARTED MEDDLING AGAIN.

Thing is, because I'm so used to the old-style heading I'm not too sure about the new one now. So I'm going to do what I always do in these instances - ask someone else to decide for me.

Cast you votes in comments, people!

I thank you!

Friday, February 09, 2007


I have wormed my way back onto the Xfm website. Again.

This time they're asking for drawings of Boycie from Only Fools and Horses, and who am I to turn down such a request?

So this afternoon I wasted a bit of time sketching one out, and I emailed it in.

Don't judge me - everyone else was down the pub. What? It was a Friday afternoon.

Anyway, you can see my pic in its natural setting HERE, but for anyone who can't be bothered to click the link, here it is with accompanying caption.

I'm quite pleased with it, even if my pen did begin to run out towards the end, and one of his eyes looks a bit wonky.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Snowed-in Thursday

So, having decided to work from home today, I stayed up a bit later than usual last night, safe in the knowledge that I wouldn't have to get up at 06:30 for the drive into work. At 00:40, I peered out my window to note that it was not snowing.

Bugger, I thought, deciding that it was probably best to go to bed based on the fact that it looked like it actually wasn't going to snow and I would need to drive into work.

At 06:30 I woke up, pulled the curtain back, and was presented with a vision of white loveliness spreading as far as the eye could see. "Hurrah!" I holla'd to no one in particular, threw the duvet back over myself, and whacked the snooze button on my alarm clock.

Just after 08:00 I woke up, and decided that as that's around the time I usually start work I better actually, well, start work. The journey was terrible, mainly because it was a bit cold going from my bedroom to the living room; don't worry, though – I made it OK. Soon enough I was sitting in front of my computer and working away.

As exciting as that sounds, it kinda wasn't. On the plus side, I got loads done. But by around 13:00 I was in need of a bit of a break, and the snow was melting ("melting, MEEEEELTING," for all you Wizard of Oz fans) and I wanted to enjoy it just a little bit before it was gone.

I decided on a jaunt to Richmond for a coffee. Which proved necessary because I'd drunk so much tea and was running low on milk.

This of course meant that I needed to clear the snow off my car. Following on from the other week, here's some more gratuitous photos of my snow-covered car.

Look - it was quite deep.

Any-hoo, it can't all be snow-covered cars. Here's a classy pic of the snow-covered Richmond Green.

To be honest, it'd all started to melt by this point and it was more of a mush-covered Richmond Green. Beggars can't be choosers though.

I suppose the only bad thing about working from home is that I always feel a bit guilty about not going into the office, so I actually end up doing more work. Dammit! I was re-writing a George Takei interview until 17:30!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Wednesday post

Here's today's most notable points:

• We had the telly on in the office today hoping to catch sight of our advert for the new mag 'n DVD collection. We tuned to ITV, and were watching This Morning with Phillip and Fern. The postman, who I must add is a little bit too talkative, walked in and immediately confessed to a, erm, fondness for 'Fatty Fern.' At that moment she was sampling a cocktail, and I mentioned that she was 'hitting the booze.' Postie thought I said 'boobs,' and proceeded to tell me how she probably has to have custom bras made (at a shop near Harrods no less) to accommodate her lovelies. Cue fixed grin, and attempts to end conversation with postie, who was by this time apparently drifting off to enjoy some special mental time.

• Flicked over to BBC2, which was showing an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. I guessed the episode purely from a Troi/Riker scene. GET IN! Bow down before me, for I am truly king of the nerdlingers!

• Flicked back to This Morning with Phillip and Fern in time to see informative features about about spousal abuse and bull's semen hair conditioning treatment. Interesting.

• Met Marcosy for lunch. Marcosy does not like Starbucks coffee, but was quite insistant about wanting to go there today. The penny dropped, and I told him I was not going to allow him to come into contact with new favourite barista lady. Forced him to go to Neros in Chiswick. He did however, ask three questions, the answers to which were 'yes,' 'no,' and 'I don't know.'

• Lunchtime conversation consisted of discussion based on yesterday's naked housework theme. General consensus: I don't do many things naked. Am I repressed?

• Return to office after two hour lunch. Doesn't time fly?

• Engage in friendly office banter that ultimately ends up with semi-serious discussion about whether I would sexy-dance for cash.

• Editing and re-write of T'Pau article becomes a rather long drawn out affair due to me researching, playing loudly, and miming along to 'China in you hand' by T'Pau. Give a little bit of heart and soul, people.

• Weather warning - snow tomorrow! Make executive decision to work from home. Might make a snowman on the front lawn first thing, though. I'll see how things go.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The post in which I once again spread my wisdom via the medium of radio

Here's an interesting fact for you peoploids: one in seven people do their housework naked.

Yes, that's nude, nekkid, sans clothing.

One. In. Seven. Take a good look at your friends, because yes, one in seven is a SEXUAL DEVIANT. Hang on, that's a bit harsh, isn't it? OK, one in seven is a bit weird.

How do I know this, you might ask? Well, Marsha from Xfm read it out as a fact of the day this morning. And she's never wrong, because she's also the person who told me that Panic! At the Disco are awesome, and they are.

Anyway, so I heard this little fact this morning, and I felt compelled to email Marsha with a comment. It went a little something like this:

Naked housework? No, no, no, no, no, no, no, NO, NO, NO! That's just wrong! It's definitely an accident waiting to happen, and undoubtedly a health and safety violation!

So I sent it off, and got back to work.

Next thing I know, Marsha's calling me up asking if I'd be happy to go on air. Well of course I am - I'm a media whore! She told me just to repeat what I'd emailed, and I sat there on hold waiting for the song to finish.

When it did, Marsha said "I've got Tim on the line," and asked me what my thoughts on naked housework were. Truth be told, what with my appearance on Radio 2's Star Trek documentary last year I've gotten a bit used to this radio lark, so I decided to adlib a bit; I kept saying "it's wrong!" before chucking in the health and safety thing. London was undoubtedly in awe of my words of wisdom.

What's even funnier, though, is that I was probably on air longer than I was during the Star Trek documentary! There's no denying the 'on-air experience' bit on my CV now - you know it makes sense!

Back to naked housework. Am I the only one who thinks that's a bit, um, weird? I did some hoovering on Sunday, and the last thing on my mind was shaking off my little clothes and doing it nekkid. Some things just *SHOULDN'T* be done naked, and housework is one of them. Can you imagine how much it would sting if you got Cillit Bang on your dinkle? I know the boys in the audience are wincing at the mere thought.


Do you want some more from the media whore? Damn right you do! My new magazine and DVD series is out in the UK tomorrow! For the princely sum of £2.99 you get a quality magazine and three - not one, not two, but three! - episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series! What more could you ask?

So do me a favour, dudes, pick one up if you see it - I'd a) love to know what you think, and b) appreciate the fact that you're contributing to my continued employment.

And don't think you get out of it by living in the southern hemisphere, oh no! It'll go on sale in Australia at some point in the next couple of months, so you can join in the fun too! Only you wily Americans have an excuse, because we won't be selling it there. But it doesn't stop you from checking out the website HERE!


Sunday, February 04, 2007

Me versus the Huxtables, apparently

So there I am this evening having a post-run, pre-dinner go on Star Trek on the ol' Xbox, and this dude enters into a battle with me. Must be said - he liked his microphone. Him and all his family, apparently.

I don't use my mic so much when I'm playing Trek; I don't know why, it just seems more suited to Project Gotham Racing malarkey. When I'm trying to blow the crap out of someone's starship I don't particularly want to know what the weather's like in Utah.

Anyway, as I said, this guy was rocking the mic big-stylee. I couldn't quite make out what he was saying, but he wouldn't shut up and the word "asshole" was definitely said when I blew him up the first time. And I could hear all this yammering in the background - it seriously was like I was playing against the Huxtables or some other stereotypical family all gathered around the telly. There were "ooos" and "aaahs" and gasps, singing, and a few other choice 'rudy' comments. I bet Captain Kirk never had to put up with this sort of behaviour.

So do you know what I did? I only went and submitted a player review and listed him under the category of 'off-putting, inane, or senseless chatter: avoid this player.'

Yeah, you know I did. Snaps.


This weekend's not all been about being verbally harrassed by someone in Queens, oh no. Writing on my novel(la) is proceeding apace! I'll openly admit that maybe I'm not throwing myself 100% into it, but I figure it's healthy not to spend every waking hour glued to the computer; firstly because I don't actually want to glue myself to my computer, and secondly because I'll probably go nuts. No, when creativity dips, I bugger off and do something else for a while, such as read a book, watch some telly, or be verbally harrassed by someone in Queens.

I've been pretty consistant about writing, though; two hours on Thursday, and four hours spread over Saturday, with another four-ish today. Friday was a bit rubbish because I got stuck in traffic on the way home, then went to play badminton. All in all, though, I'm quite happy with how things are going, and I can definitely feel the story unfolding. Of course, there's still some unknown, unplanned patches ahead of me, but that's half the fun, right?



Friday, February 02, 2007

Mighty oaks

Like many other people, I'm deeply concerned by the state of our planet, and there are only two ways I think we can resolve the problem of global warming:

1. All pull together and be more aware of our planet's needs; we've only got one Spaceship Earth*, so we better look after it.

2. Let our kids from the next generation sort it with their advanced future technology. If I'm alive in space year 2100, I think I'll be more concerned by the fact that I'll probably be pissing myself rather than if the world's heating up; old people always feel cold anyway, right? I'll probably appreciate the warmth.

Anyway, in all seriousness, I have been thinking of ways in which I can help the environment. Hell, I even did a carbon footprint test the other day - and guess what? I'm pretty damn clean! The average UK household puts out around nine tonnes of carbon dioxide per year; I put out three.


OK, it's only a guestimate, but that still gives me a pretty good margin compared to everyone else. Just because I can I might turn on all the lights in my house and leave the car running for a couple of hours (only kidding Greenpeace activists - don't hurt me!).

Which leads me round to junk mail, one of the biggest wastes of resources I can think of. We get a lot of crap through the post at work, most of which goes in the bin. The recycling, um, bin, I mean. But today we got possibly the best package ever.

It was from EDF Electrickery, and they sent us this:

An acorn.

Which is, quite frankly, genius. The idea is that you plant the acorn, and once it's fully grown it'll mop up around 13% of your company's C02 output. And as we're a small company, I reckon it'd suck up a higher percentage. On the downside, oaks take ages to grow to full size, and it was a bit of a scaby acorn; I think even Mr. Ed, our resident squirrel, might stick his nose up at it.

But hey, I'm all for the green, so I'm definitely gonna whack it in some soil and see what happens.

Unless someone's chucked it in the bin, that is.

*True story - I saw a documentary at infant school yeeeeeeeeeeears ago in which the narrator asked if anyone had ever wanted to go on a spaceship. Loads of my classmates nodded 'no' in silence. Then he went on to say we didn't have much choice in the matter anyway, because Earth is a spaceship and we're stuck on it. Some kids went visibly green at the thought.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

The post in which I am referred to as 'shiny'

Picture the scene people: there I am in sexy Starbucks, just settling into a comfy chair with my grande misto. I see one of the baristas across the way, nod and say 'alright.' Then I get out my writing pad, turn up my iPod, and get down to some writing.

Five minutes later said barista is standing beside my table wiping down the bit where you get your napkins and chocolate sprinkly-things. I glance up and notice that he's talking, so I take out my headphones and say "sorry?"

"You one of our special customers, yes?" (His english isn't that great, as he went on to admit). Now, by special, I hope he meant 'prized' and 'venerated' rather than 'simple' and 'often displaying spackerish tendencies.'

"Um, yeah, I s'pose!" I replied.

"Ah." He smiled at me. "Always a misto, yes?"

"Yeah," I acknowledged, raising my cup in a manner that I think suggested that the coffee was good and I'd like to get back to my writing, thank you very much.

And that's where the conversation took a bit of a bizarre turn.

"So…" He looked around nervously, then squirted another shot of cleaning fluid on the counter. "Are you single?"

Dear reader, misto almost shot out of my nose.


Now this is where we take a closer look at my mental processes in the few short seconds between his question and my reply.

Firstly, I wondered what was the easiest, least wordy, way of saying "I'm very flattered old chap, but I think you've got the wrong end of the stick…"

(Realised 'wrong end of the stick' might be an inappropriate metaphor, and decided upon 'I think there's been a misunderstanding.')

Secondly, I wondered if it might be possible to wangle a free coffee before reverting to point 'the first,' because I'll pretty much do anything for free coffee.

Finally there was always the old "no - I'm married!" because it's simple and effective.

Truth or lie, truth or lie…?


"Erm, I am, but-"

"Good! Because you know [NAME OF LADY BARISTA DELETED TO PROTECT THE INNOCENT]? She always talk about you. I think I might get you two together. She's shiny, and you're shiny. It will be good!"

And with that he wiped the counter once more and walked off, leaving me wondering if I was perspiring excessively or if he was a big fan of Joss Whedon's Firefly


I'm pretty sure my new haircut has something to do with my newfound, er, shinyness; comments from family, friends, and colleagues have all fallen into the overall category of 'awesome.'

My favourite hair-comment, however, came from Rob at work, who in passing mentioned that it made me "look sinister." And I don't know why, but that is definitely one of the coolest things anyone has ever said to me.

I am officially 'sinister and awesome,' and I think it's about time I seized control of the world…

That is all for now!!