Monday, April 30, 2007


When did legs stop being the primary mode of transport?

I ask this because as I left work tonight I was almost mowed down by some middle-aged woman on one of those stupid little fold-up scooter things that were all the rage about seven years ago. She was chasing her sprog who was also on one. Well, I assume it was her sprog; it could've been a diminutive diamond thief or something equally exotic, but I'm pretty sure it was her sprog.

Anyway, between the mum on her scooter, the sprog/diamond thief, all the kids on their Heelys*, and Lindsey, I fear that the next stage in human evolution may either see everyone turn into the fatties from Judge Dredd, or our legs will wither up and drop off, and we'll all have to roam around like Stavros. Or was it Davros? I alway get confused by those peeps.

I've also noticed that there's a growing class division between the rich kids who can afford the official Heelys, and the poor kids who can't; I've seen a number of chav-sprogs sporting what I can only describe as the sort of contraption you'd attach to a dog that's had its two back legs amputated. By this I mean two grossly oversized wheels attached by a cheap plastic frame to a regular shoe (a fake Nike, for example); and as if that wasn't bad enough they've got LEDs in so they flash garishly while the frankly quite embarrassed kid wheels along in the rather microscopic hope that they'll look cool. The wheels are probably different sizes too so they end up wobbling down the road like an old drunk. And then the kids with real Heelys zip past them, tut, and spit on them.

If I was a kid and someone bought that obscenity for me when I'd asked for Heelys, I would totally dry-slap them.

Anyway, the point I'm getting at here is this: Heather Mills could totally have a wheel built into her foot next time she buys a new leg. I can just picture her sailing down the street with Paul McCartney's money fluttering in the breeze behind her.


Well, if anyone cares I pretty much finished all of that work I needed to get done over the weekend. I completely felt like I spent the entire weekend sitting at a desk - which is probably because I spent the entire weekend sitting at a desk - so I think I'm going to get out running again this week just to make me feel a little less lethargic. It might also help me forget about The OC-shaped void in my life between 9-10pm tomorrow night.

I might see if Sweatband is up for a run. She did the marathon last weekend (in the very respectable time of 4 hours and 19 minutes, I might add - kudos to Sweatband), and when I texted to ask her if she wanted to go to badminton on Friday she just called me up and said "are you having a laugh?" No question about it, I think she would've punched me out if I'd asked her to her face. Who the hell knew that running 26 miles would basically make you legs stop working for almost a week?

Maybe she should get some Heelys?

*By the way, check this out. I love the fact that it says "They save your legs and allow you to get places much quicker." Save your legs from what?! Leg eating monsters? Being dry-humped by small dogs? Screw the wheels and get some exercise! Damned kids of today!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Be strong

It feels like ages since I last posted, although I know it was actually only Wednesday. But for me that is ages, because I've got verbal diarrhea which I express through my fingers into my computer and directly to you, and I like to do it quite regularly, because I'm a slut.

Like this.

Another reason I might not have posted could be because I wanted you all to keep reading the post about the tramp making baby gravy in the street, because I genuinely want everyone to share my pain over that incident.

Anyway, the reason I've been a bit quiet is because work's gone crazy-tits busy. I am rushed off my feet. Not to the point where I'm tearing my hair out in frustration though; no, I'm actually approaching the various tasks I need to complete with grace and style, wit and wisdom, and all that other crap stuff that people preach about on inspirational posters and the like. And by that, I mean I'm just about holding myself together with glue and string and working all the hours I can just to get things done in time for Monday, which is when my various deadlines all converge together like some huge monster deadline rampaging over my face and stamping on my brain. Crazy bitch deadlines.

So yes, I've been working during the day. I've been working in the evenings. And I'm working this weekend. And I'm trying to keep to a rigid schedule, which literally has short windows for things like 'eat lunch,' 'wrap Jo's birthday present,' 'go visit the family,' and 'watch Doctor Who.'

Part of said-rigid schedule involved 'go buy new windscreen wipers' because I'd noticed that mine were a bit knacked and the rubber bit was falling off, and lord knows the weather's been crazy enough over the last couple of weeks that a massive downpour could theoretically happen and then I'd be in trouble. So I jumped in the Sparky Mobile this morning for a jaunt over to my Mini dealer to purchase new windscreen wipers - and, while I was there, I figured I'd book a test drive of the new Mini Cooper diesel, or the 'Dooper,' as the kids are apparently calling it; I would not drive it today, I vowed - because today I have LOTS of work to do. So I allotted myself an hour in which to get there, make my purchase, book the test drive for NEXT weekend (that's NEXT weekend), and get home ready to resume work.

"I'd like to book a test drive for the Mini Cooper diesel, please," I beamed at the lovely sales rep I first drove a new Mini with back in November.

"We can do it now if you want?" She replied.

Be strong, be strong, be strong…



I won't bore you all with my test drive tales; suffice to say the Dooper is one super little car. Super-dooper, in fact. It doesn't feel all dieselly at all. Plus it gets 64 miles to the gallon, road tax is 35 quid per year rather than the £205 I pay now, and it looks like it might be made congestion-charge exempt next year because it's so super-clean. So clean in fact that you can put your mouth over the exhaust pipe and breath in fresh air with a hint of strawberrys*.

Um, I think I want one!

*Um, OK, so maybe it's not that clean. Don't put your mouths over exhaust pipes kids!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


I was going to add this to the bottom of my last post, but then I realised that it was quite a nice, warm, reflective post, and this is just vile.

While walking down to Hammersmith yesterday lunchtime I noticed, via a large billboard, that the British Heart Foundation have started a new campaign designed to encourage us to get 30 minutes of exercise per day. They advise us that we can do this in a variety of ways, including walking, gardening, swimming, and sleeping with old people.


OK, so I might have taken that a little too literally, but the basic gist of the poster that I saw was that older people can get their regulation exercise by shacking up with each other and getting it on in the advert break between Corrie and The Bill (I doubt they could manage a full-on 30 minutes without a little blue helping hand). Anyway, as if the mental image of two oldies banging each other isn't bad enough, they illustrated the point in this fashion.

Sorry it's so small, but I couldn't find a bigger version, and quite frankly, even if I could I'm not totally sure I'd want to splash it across my blog. Anyway, so imagine that spread across a huge billboard in Hammersmith.


So after copping an eyeful of that, I carry on my merry way to Starbucks only to encounter (and those of you with weak stomachs may want to turn away now) … a tramp bashing one out in a bush on Hammersmith Road. Nice. Sadly he actually looked a bit like Father Christmas which has now ruined all future festive periods for me, but I suppose he was only paying heed to the BHF's timely advice.

Needless to say, on the way back to the office I gave wide berth to where he'd been standing; I had no intention of ruining a perfectly good pair of shoes by stepping in a puddle of hobo-spunk.

Ode to The OC

So that's it then. No more quality Seth/Ryan time. No more Cohen family traumas, or Julie Cooper shenanigans. No more leering over Taylor Townsend.

Because I have seen the final episode of The OC. It has finished. Expired. Over. Done and dusted.

But by god, it was awesome, wasn't it?

Let's back up a bit.

Yaz and I had long-standing plans to make the final episode a bit of an event. Some quality Tim/Yaz time, you could say. In fact, you could actually go so far as to say that The OC was an important part in defining our friendship; yes, we'd known each other for a year or so before it started, but a common love for The OC made us firm friends while quite possibly alienating everyone else around us as we slipped into OC-talk at every opportunity. I mean, I almost gave up on the series after the first episode (fool!), and it was Yaz who convinced me to give it another shot (phew!).

Anyway, for a long time we used to text each other throughout the episodes with sarcastic comments; that tradition died out though when my monthly phone bill quadrupled, then I got a mortgage, then I got cable TV and was able to watch it on E4 ahead of the terrestrial screening. This latter point also gave me the opportunity to taunt Yaz with texts such as "ooo, best episode evah - shame you won't get to see it till Sunday," and " I can't believe what I'm seeing!" and "you're a bitch."

So, yes, Tuesday's screening of the last episode was something special, not least because I realised that if the show was ending Yaz and I will have very little left to talk about in the future, so we might as well kill the friendship at the same time. She laughed at that, in that nervous sort of way that people laugh when they sorta realise you're not kidding. Anyway, I was going to wear my regulation Ryan Atwood grey hoodie and wifebeater in celebration of the event, but the hoodie was in the wash, and it was a tad too chilly for a wifebeater. But no matter! To Feltham we went for a pre-OC Nandos!

Now, I haven't been to Feltham in years, despite the fact that it's spitting distance away. This is mainly because it used to be a complete dive, heaving at the seams with chavs, and I generally like to get back to my car to find it still has four wheels. Or, actually, to find that it's still where I left it. Feltham has, however, been undergoing a bit of a regeneration recently, and actually appears to be reasonably… OK. Admittedly there's still a load of chavs around, but the overall atmosphere is nicer, and it has an awesome new Nandos (which I expect the chavs'll wreck within a month or two). So we spicy-chickened it up, popped to Asda, bought two chocolate and vanilla Gu puds, and drove back to mine for the gala screening.

OK. I'll admit that this episode had A LOT of ground to cover in order to wrap up the many storylines that have weaved through the series since it started, and the moment the words "six months later" flashed up I kinda got the feeling that they may have taken the easy way out by trying to resolve things with throwaway lines. But in Josh Schwartz we trust, and the pre-credits teaser contained revelation after revelation, with a couple of surprises thrown in for good measure.

I'm not going to wade through the episode scene by scene; suffice to say that it was vintage OC, and to my mind at least, it managed to wrap the entire series up in a very satisfying way - almost as if they knew it was only going to run for four seasons from the start, and certainly to the point that I'm not sitting here whining about wanting a follow-up TV movie or something. For once I feel that a TV show has followed a natural course and I'm content to leave it at that, which surprises me, because I thought it would leave me gagging for more. That's not to say that I wouldn't want to see more if they suddenly announced that this axing thing was all a big lark and they actually are making a fifth season, because I would. But I kinda feel they told a complete story. Have I made that point enough times yet? No. OK, well, it was one of my favourite TV shows ever. THE favourite TV series ever if you take Star Trek out of the picture. Damn. Why do all my favourite shows get axed?


I was going to round this up with a youtube clip of a Schwartz Report' from T4. If you're not familiar with The Schwartz Report, the basic gist of it was that the presenters of T4 dressed up as OC creator Josh Scwhartz and ripped the series a new one in an incredibly funny low budget fashion. They were hilarious, and would've made fine additions to the DVD boxsets. Unfortunately, no one's bothered to upload any to youtube (damned lazy kids of today!), so I'm going to veer off on a tangent.

Phantom Planet, whose song 'California' was used as the theme tune to The OC, are one of my very favourite bands, and over on their blog they used to do short video clips that were always great fun. Now they've uploaded some of them to youtube, and this one is perhaps my favourite; if it doesn't melt your stony, stony heart you *must* be inhuman (the song that plays over it isn't theirs, it's by Simon Dawes, and it's quite, quite beautiful).

Monday, April 23, 2007


I'm so behind at work due to unforeseen things taking place last week that I should be doing some now, but instead I'm writing this because - ohmygod - I just spent 10 minutes queuing in Sainsbury's behind some old woman with an obscene amount of facial hair and I need to tell someone about it.

Seriously, it was EPIC. I was at times both repulsed and enthralled by it. You could've seriously plaited it big time. It would've been like a tiny viking on her top lip. It was either that or take a Gillette razor off the display and throw it on her pile of stuff. Which, bizarrely, consisted solely of mushrooms. She was there with her daughter and granddaughter, and they were just buying mushrooms. And not quality mushrooms, old mushrooms; the ones that Sainsbury's have knocked down to 20p a packet because they're about to go off big-stylee and stink out the shop. Anyway, the granddaughter kept patting the mushroom packets and alligning them perfectly on the conveyor belt like she had autism or something. It was all very strange.

And don't get me started on the fugly middle-aged hippy woman behind me who was only buying herbs and olive oil. Weirdo.


I was so exhausted over the weekend. But for good reason - we had an *awesome* meet-up with a load of people who used to work for my company on Friday night. Some of these peeps I hadn't seen in almost four years, and it was almost like no time had passed. We all immediately slipped into making inappropriate jokes at each other's expense, and coming up with strange little in-jokes that only made sense in the moment, and looking back now aren't actually funny… that being the case, I shan't repeat them here. Especially not the three incredible new TV shows that Yaz and I devised on the tube journey up town. You had to be there.

Comics pal Graham turned up with his lovely wife Astrid, who upon seeing my grand stubbliness noted that I was, in proper Rugrats fashion, "all growed up." We used to all work together, and I was, like, seven or something at the time, so it undoubtedly surprised Astrid to see that I'd progressed from boy to man(-boy). She then followed it up with the comment that I looked like Thom Yorke from Radiohead, which isn't exactly the nicest thing that anyone's ever said to me because he's got a wonky eye and is a bit of a hippy, but she could've said I looked like a badger's arse, so all things considered I probably got off quite lightly.

Oh, and one dude who used to work for me asked me if I hated him when we worked together. How odd is that? I suppose the odd wry look sometimes gives the wrong impression, but it was never meant to. In those years we all worked together I couldn't have asked for a better group of people to have around. So, Ant, if you ever read this: you're a top fella, and it was a privilage to have you on the team.

Anyway, it was great fun, and I stayed hours longer than I'd planned to. We're going to do it again sometime; I hope it's sooner rather than later.


So tomorrow is the last episode of The OC, and Yaz and I are going to celebrate in grand style - a takeaway Nandos at mine, followed by the final ep on E4. And I suppose if we're so traumatised by the sheer finality of it all we could flick over to E4+1 at 10 o'clock and watch it again. Think of us crying into our spicy chicken at 9pm… and 'End of The OC' consolation cards will be gratefully received at the usual address. Seriously people, this is a Hallmark holiday just waiting to happen.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Power out - AKA: Tim by torchlight

There I was Thursday night, sitting at my computer having just revealed my latest efforts in the media whoring, um, whorefest, occasionally doing a bit of work, sending a few emails, and iTuning up some new music when - ZZZZT! - went the lights, swiftly followed by everything else.

Everything went dark, and I did what any other super-awesome hero of this age would do. I sat there in the dark, blinking, and wondering if I should phone my mum.

After about 30 seconds I decided that I should probably do something, although I wasn't entirely sure exactly what. Eventually I settled on heading upstairs in a spacker-esque Frankenstein-stylee with my hands held out in front in order to retrieve my Star Trek-branded maglite torch. And it was as I walked into my bedroom that I looked out the window and noticed that *everything* was dark. One thousand people in the Sunbury and Shepperton area plunged into utter darkness, I would later discover while on the phone to the delightful Sue from Southern Electricity, after a major outage.

There's something about complete darkness that gives you the sense that the apocalypse has finally descended upon us. I left my house and walked out into the street, standing in the middle of the road and spinning around slowly like they do in movies - like Marty at the end of Back to the Future Part II. And that's when the irrational thoughts started entering my mind. Would the base instincts of all those torch-less troglodytes kick in and I'd become the target of attacks intended to wrestle my light-source away from me? After all, I was clearly the most technologically-advanced individual in the area. How long before Laura Ashley, Halfords, and Blockbuster Video became the focus of marauding Sheppertonians organised into feral packs of crazed looters? And what about the undead? Would they rise?

Then I noticed another light source. It was the elderly couple across the road. Surely they'd have some good advice?

"Ooo, we should have a party," said the lady. We eventually decided that it was more a good excuse to have an early night, so we all retired to our homes, locked and barricaded the doors, and retired to bed.


Media whore update! I'm like some human-whore-magnet now! Celebs are *literally* throwing themselves at me! And by throwing themselves at me I actually mean my boss told me that there was a world-famous celebrity sitting outside the pub just around the corner from the office, and I made an excuse to go and have a look by taking the letters out of our post tray and walking them round to the postbox.

And, yes, my boss was quite right. There, sitting in the sun, resplendent in a purple suit, and blinged to the max, was the Prince of Darkness himself - Ozzy Osbourne.

I resisted the temptation to run upto him and say "Dude! I *love* Bat out of Hell!"

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Media whore strikes again

I'm totally on a roll this week - and no, I don't mean a small bap (although I have nice baps, I've been told).

Back up, back up! A couple of months ago I was reading the at-that-time current issue of Love and Rockets, and I noticed that there were email addresses for its creators, Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez. So I emailed Jaime.

I've never emailed or written to a comics creator before (about the closest was when I wrote to Jeri Taylor in 1996, then-producer of Star Trek: Voyager about advice for starting a career as a writer. Lovely lady, she wrote back a long, detailed and very sweet letter. I framed it), but as I've said before I *love* Love and Rockets so much. So I whipped off a short email saying how much I like it.

And Jaime, bless 'im, replied a few days later to thank me for complimenting him on his work.

Anyway, zoom forward in time to tonight. I stop off to pick up my comics, and note that there's a new L&R issue (it's, like, quarterly or something). Yayness. Then I pay for my comics, go round to see Sparky Ma and Pa, and don't get home until after eight (nothing to do with the after dinner mint).

Just minutes ago I thought I'd have a quick flick through the issue to see what japes my favourite characters are getting into now, when lo and behold I notice that my email has been printed in the letters column! How cool!? (It's national high-five day, by the way; this is definitely deserving of one!)

So there we have it - some all-round quality media whorage this week. I am totally spent.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Voyage of discovery

Here's an admission for ya: I've never flown anywhere. And by that I don't mean in a superhero way, but rather in a "leeeeeeaving on a jet plane" kind of way.

There are several reasons for this, many of which would probably lead a therapist to have a field day with me, but the gist of it is that a) there's something in me that prefers to be in control of my chosen mode of transport, and b) I have an irrational fear of plummeting to my doom.

And bearing in mind that for the first 27 years of my life I lived quite literally at the end of one of the runways at the world's busiest airport, you'd think I'd know that planes generally go up and come down in a rather controlled and orderly fashion.

Anyway, now, at the end of a rather awesome day, I find myself in the unexpected situation where it's a distinct possibility that I might get to/have to go to New York on business (this is the bit where you imagine me being driven round in a stretched limo, standing up through the sunroof and marvelling at the bright city lights like I was a character in The Beverly Hillbillies). It's all very exciting, not least because Americaland is pretty much the only place in the world I've yearned to visit, but also because the pound-to-dollar exchange rate is incredibly favourable at the moment, and I could shop like the little bitch I am. Yay!

Just two things to do:

• Get a passport.
• Find someone who'll tranquilise me like B.A. in The A-Team; I always felt I had much in common with B.A from The A-Team.

I shall keep you updated.


Can I moan about my knee again? No? Well tough - but feel free to skip this bit if you want. Basically, I thought my knee was well on the road to recovery, but an otherwise lovely, warm, summery run on Monday evening set me back a little bit. Well, quite a bit, actually. Because I was in *chronic* agony afterwards and through to last night, and, um, today. I ended up watching The OC last night with an icepack held against it while resting it in an elevated position. It feels a bit better today, which I'm betting is something to do with the ibuprofen gel I keep smearing over it; incidently, I inadvertantly left some on my hand and it went slightly numb - how exciting!

Anyway, that being the case, I'm going to stick to cycling for the time being because it's relatively low-impact, and it doesn't seem to hurt afterwards, and swimming because I look dreamy in Speedos. I mean because it's a good way of exercising while suffering from an injury. Ahem.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Media whore

Here's a surprise: first day back at work - not horrible!

There I was, all braced and ready for a torrent of disasters, and all I get back to find are a few emails that were easily dealt with, and a pressing need for a cup of tea. It was all very calm and lovely, and it made me feel a teeny bit super. Maybe the sunny weather had something to do with it too?

Anyway, emails and tea aside, I spent a few minutes talking to Scanner Dave, and for some reason mentioned to him that there was a thing on the Radio 6 website where you're asked to send in a picture of yourself holding your favourite word. Scanner had his new supery-doopery 70 kajillion megapixel digital camera with him, and convinced me to do it.

So I did.

Geez, I am such a whore.

Anyway, the fun didn't end there; no, because later I found out that I'm on the homepage for Shaun Keaveny's breakfast show as a stud-tastic advert for this particular feature.

(I screen-grabbed this because no doubt it will change and I'd hate for any of you to miss out on such quality Tim-based action)

But it didn't end there, oh no. Because later in the day we were all talking about my whoring, when someone made the suggestion that I should've done it naked, with the paper covering my boy bits.

We all laughed heartily at that one, then one by one everyone stopped laughing and began to look at me with *that* sort of look that seems to indicate that I should definitely do it.

"That's all very well," I replied, "But I'd have to hold the paper in a portrait orientation."


Photographic japes didn't end at the whoring, however. No, because Scanner also captured me as I prepared for the working day and let anyone and everyone know that I was NOT to be messed with. I'm a serious professional, don't ya know.

Unlike Rose in Titanic, though, I wouldn't let him photograph me "like one of his French girls."

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Hello sunshine **UPDATE - now with super-awesome photoshoped evidence!**

Phew! This weekend has flown by, probably because I've got to go back to work tomorrow, which always seems to make those last few days of holiday just disappear like that *snaps*. But there's also been some good things too. Today has been my brother's birthday, for one.

The main present I got Simon was an ickle helicopter, like this one. And, surprise, surprise, it's actually quite good! Which can't really be said for Simon's piloting skills at the moment; he can fly up. He can fly down. He can land it on his hand. But if you wanted to, say, fly a note from one end of the room to the other… well, he can't do that (yet). And his landings are… bumpy at best. Put it this way, I can't say I'd fly with him if it was a full-size chopper. Neeeeeeeeeeeeeaaahh - SPLAT!


It's been such a nice day today - soooooooo warm. So warm. So, as I have on the last couple of Sundays, I decided to go out on my bike. Over the last couple of weeks I've been doing pretty short rides (by which I mean 'quite short rides,' not that I was cycling through meadows with kittens bounding along beside me), about an hour at most, but today I decided to push it baby, push it real good. I was off like a shot. Pretty soon, though, I realised that the typical Britlander mentality was coming to the fore; there were acres of unnecessary exposed flesh on view - enough, in fact, to make your eyes water. I mean, really, I just wanted to pull up alongside some people and say "blimey, put it away!" and because I was on a bike I'd've been able to make a quick and clean getaway without fear of reprisals. Now, it must be said, I was looking a tad pasty up until about 30 minutes into the ride, but then I started turning a nice crispy tanned colour. There's a scary amount of people around at the moment whose semi-translucent skin just seems to turn a rather vibrant shade of pink.

I tell you, those moisturisers around at the moment with the hint of self-tanning would do a roaring trade if they were handing out free samples.

Anyway, just over an hour and a half later I returned to Sparky Towers, slightly worn out but feeling awesome. Sweaty and awesome, but awesome nonetheless.


This weekend was noticeable for one other thing aside from Simon's birthday: someone claimed the illustrious 10,000th visitor spot on my sitemeter at 14:26 on Saturday afternoon. Now, admittedly, the true 10,000th visit probably took place sometime in the middle of the week, because I didn't actually add my sitemeter until a few days after I started the blog, but numbers talk, and I don't want to guestimate a 'real' 10,000th. So, which lucky reader claimed number 10,000…? Was it one of you regulars? Was it a first-time reader?


It was someone in the UK Googling 'knee boots and sexy legs presenters.'

And if anyone's interested, Google directed them to last August's posts, although I don't recall ever posting about 'knee boots and sexy legs presenters.'

Has someone hacked my blog?

Ah well, not to worry. Congratulations to you, number 10,000. I hope you find what you're looking for, ya crazy pervert!


Dad just emailed me this pic of Simon and his ickle helicopter.

Hmmm… That's a nasty case of red-eye there… or is it…


Thursday, April 12, 2007

The last couple of days have all been about the moobs

Let's review the last couple of days:

• Yesterday - shopping with sparky Ma in Kingston and a trip to the cinema with Marcosy.
• Today - shopping in Londinium with Marcosy.

Does anyone get the idea I like shopping?

So yesterday was cool. Sparky Ma and I got to Kingston pretty early, had a pre-shopping coffee, then hit the stores. Sadly, my recent dry spell of shopping did not seem to want to come to an end; yes, I bought the new Maximo Park album (very good, definitely a step-up from their first album, if not quite as immediate), the Klaxons album (WOO-WOO! It's nu-rave and it rocks!), The Prestige on DVD (awesome movie), and some soap, but aside from that I couldn't see anything that grabbed my fancy. Which is a shame, 'cos I was right in the mood for buying some summery clothes.

Evening came and I raced over to Uxbridge to meet Marcosy for our delayed-by-a-week-due-to-a-crisis-at-work screening of My Big Fat Sweaty Greek Battle, AKA 300. As I've probably bitched about before, I wasn't really too sure I wanted to actually see this movie. Yes, the trailer looked amazing in that very stylized graphic novel stylee, but there's a vast difference between a two minute trailer and a two hour movie. Still, I got it on an Orange Wednesday 2-f0r-1 deal so it was at the very least a cheap evening out.

So the world waits with baited breath - what did I think? Well let it out, world, I'ma gonna tells ya! To be honest… I thought it was OK. Yes, it was visually stunning, and not over-powering in the same way that I found Sin City to be. But, and this is a big but ("I like big butts and I can't deny…"), I thought some of the acting was atrocious to the point of it being unintentionally funny, Gerald Butler was so obviously Scottish, and it was faaaaaar toooooooo loooooooong for my liking (seriously, if they'd not done all those slow-motion action sequences the film would've been, like, a good 30 minutes shorter). I think Marcosy summed it up best, though, when he said that once you've seen one battle sequence where a sweaty Spartan in his leather pants* whacks a Persian dude with a sword you've pretty much seen them all. And the fact of the matter is there were loads of them.

But, kudos to the filmmakers for making an interesting film. It's definitely something of an achievement to have made it so visually close to the original graphic novel, but I'm not sure I would be bothered to sit through it again. Unlike Sunshine, which was awesome. GO SEE SUNSHINE!


Regardless of what we thought about the film, Marcosy and I both had interesting experiences in the cinema. He was plagued by a dude with a massive head who sat in front of him and blocked his view, which is something of an achievement bearing in mind that the seating was quite steeply angled, while I was seated next to a woman who a) virtually placed her face in my groin while she wriggled out of her jacket (I resisted the temptation to say "while you're down there…"), b) slightly snuggled up to me at one point, c) crinkled sweet wrappers throughout the film, and d) shoved her arse in my face when she got up to leave. I don't know what her boyfriend who was seated next to her thought about all this, but it kinda felt like we'd had a break-neck relationship for the duration of the movie.

Call me?


Shopping in Londinium with Marcosy. I'll sum this up for you as quickly and succinctly as possible: absolute failure. Aside from two coffees and a juicy water, the only thing I bought was a freakin' travelcard. Goddamnit! I used to be so good at shopping - it was my superpower!

The most illuminating experience of the day came with a trip to the new Abercrombie and Fitch store just off Saville Row. Marcosy had gone there on the day it opened, but said it was *s0* busy and wanted to go back for another look. He told me it was like a nightclub. But with clothes.


Anyway, as Marcosy is prone to exaggeration and whimsy, I didn't quite believe this description. A shop is a shop, right? Well, erm, no…

We were greated at the door by some dude smiling inanely and asking us how we are. Now this is a bit of a bug-bear with me. Unless I actually know the person working in the shop, I don't want them to talk to me unless I initiate conversation. They're also not to look me in the eye. I gave this dude the benefit of the doubt, though, and walked into the store to be confronted by…

Now, I saw enough half-naked men in 300 to last me a lifetime, so I was understandably a tad confused as to why there were two half-naked dudes standing in the entrance to the Abercrombie and Fitch store. "That's what they're employed to do," said Marcosy, as if it was perfectly rational for two half-naked men to just be standing in the entrance to a shop**. God forbid Primark start using this promotional tactic…

The store itself is interesting to say the least. It's a very cool concept - yes, it is like a nightclub, all pounding music and really dark; so dark, in fact, that you can barely see the clothes. But maybe that's why… Y'see, behind all the beautiful people working there, the nightclub ambience, and the like, lies the fact that, for me at least, the Abercrombie and Fitch range just seemed decidedly average. Average jeans, average polo shirts (admittedly in just about every colour under the sun), t-shirts, shirts, shorts, and hoodies. It was like Gap with the curtains drawn.


Let's finish up with some photos.

Marcosy tried to get me to buy a life-size manga-stylee Princess Leia. I did not.

Who needs half-naked dudes when you can have a monkey with a football?

And just for Missy&Chrissy and T-Bird … THERE BE NO MULLET HERE!

*I tell you though, EVERY dude on the planet who goes to see that movie is going to go home, stand in front of the mirror in their pants, suck it in, clench up their stomach muscles, and regardless of what is actually reflected back at them is going to go "Hell yeah, you're one sexy bitch…"

**I'll admit, however, to wondering if they were supposed to be, like, some sort of Abercrombie-style guard, like the ones at Buckingham Palace. Where they just supposed to stand there, unflinchingly oblivious to everything and everyone around them, until they were relieved of duty and replaced with another? Intriguing… and worth investigating! Fifty quatloos to the first person to give 'em a nipple-twister and test the theory!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Everything is officially awesome

So I woke up today, the first day after the Easter weekend, yawned like a newborn kitten, bitch-slapped the alarm clock, and went back to sleep … because, oh yeah, I'm totally on holiday baby!

Then I woke up again, and realised that I kind of needed to get up because I was getting my haircut at 10:20.

Back in 2003 I went through a phase of trying, um, how shall we say, 'unconventional haircuts.' My personal favourite was 'the skunk,' which was an awesome bleached Pepe le Pew-stylee stripe across my head. And bizarrely, everyone else kind of liked it too.

Recently I've gotten into thinking that I wanted to experiment again in some way. I knew it needed to be short, but how to funk it up a bit…?

My stylist had the answer: oh yes - I am now sporting a funkadelic asymmetrical haircut. I'm rather chuffed with it, to be honest. It's edgy; it's hip; it might even be a little bit dangerous. You may gasp… NOW!

(There was one area of experimental hairstyling that I nixed, however; as she was cutting the back, my stylist asked if I wanted to retain a little 'tag' of off-set length. There are two reasons why I told her to cut it off: firstly, I know that after about a month it'd curl out in some strange orphan-Annie way, and secondly, it'd drive Sparky Ma mad, and she'd snip it off the first chance she had)


After returning home and Xboxing it up for about an hour, I spontaneously decided to head to the cinema to see Sunshine.


My favourite film of the year sooooooo faaaaaaar!* I absolutely loved it. What a great, intelligently told, beautifully-shot science-fiction film (there was an amazing sequence where the crew watch Mercury pass in front of the sun - it lasted about a minute but was so gorgeous I would've been content if it had lasted half the length of the movie)! It was reminiscent of Alien in many ways, but I don't mean in that it ripped it off, because it didn't. It was quite a low-key cast, too - only Cillian Murphy, Chris Evans (the American actor, not the ginger UK television 'personality'), and Michelle Yeoh were familiar to me. To be honest, I was sort of expecting not to like it too much - I thought it might be slow, and slightly up itself, but I'm so glad to be proved wrong. I read recently that director Danny Boyle said he wouldn't make another sci-fi film after this - I hope he changes his mind.

Sunshine - go see it when you can; I don't think it's getting released in North America until the end of the year which makes a pleasant change to the usual way these things go.

(Tomorrow: My Big Fat Sweaty Greek Battle - it has a lot to live up to!)


Perhaps the only downside of the mid-afternoon cinema expedition was the weirdos that turn up at the cinema mid-afternoon. While I was queuing to buy my ticket some rotund ginger mouth breather wearing a Pantera t-shirt practically ended up standing next to me, so it looked like we were 'together.' When the ticket-booth monkey appeared ready to question my request for "one ticket to Sunshine (please)" I brought the dangerous aspect of my new haircut into play. He didn't - or rather couldn't - look me in the eye after that.

There was also some chav-wit in the cinema who turned to his mates after the film ended and said "that was bollocks." I almost bitch-slapped him back to Feltham Young Offenders Institute. The film was NOT bollocks - he was just too stupid to understand anything with more plot than an average episode of The Tweenies…

*OK, admittedly it's been slim-pickings so far, but don't let that take anything away from how much I liked Sunshine. It was awesome!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Everybody needs good neighbours

The same day I bought Sparky Towers, Sparky Ma and Pa got new neighbours. I seem to recall my first comment to them was "hi, I'm Tim and I'm moving out," which in hindsight kind of made it sound like I wasn't going to hang around because they repulsed me on some level. Which they did not, because they appeared perfectly normal.

Well, I say "appeared perfectly normal…"

Y'see, we've since discovered that they've got this horrible tendency to just latch onto you and engage you in conversation for no apparent reason. I can be getting out of my car on one of my parental visits and they'll just open the front door and just start talking to me. Or sometimes they'll just stand there smiling at you like they've just returned from a holiday to the village of the damned. OK, they generally appear quite nice and neighbourly, but they're not my neighbours and I'm not there to visit them, and they're quite difficult to shake off - rather like an elephant's pee-pee, one assumes. Now of course this doesn't bother me massively because I don't live there, but it pisses Sparky Ma off something rotten.

I'll be honest, my idea of good neighbours are the sort of people who generally keep themselves to themselves, the sort of people you can have a quick chat to if you bump into each other, but you don't really want to know their life story and family history. In that respect I'm kind of lucky with the neighbours round my way. Of course, this doesn't help Sparky Ma when she's pounced on by the neighbours as she's hauling the weekly shop out of the car, or when she's watering the garden and they lurk over the fence. She's told me that she's taken to covert measures to check the area is clear before leaving the house, like looking through the letterbox or the keyhole.

What does piss me off, though, is when I'm leaving to come home, and as I get to my car I turn to wave to Ma and the neighbours are in their front window waving goodbye to me as well. It makes me feel awkward, and it's just plain weird. Tonight was even worse: I was literally just getting in my car, Ma is saying goodbye to me, their front door opens and out filters the whole family. They stand next to Ma and start waving me off. Ma, understandably, rolls her eyes because she thinks it's really weird and she knows she's going to be stuck with them for the next half an hour and Corrie's starting in 10 minutes.

I can only think of two solutions to this problem:

• An electric cattle prod. Like training a dog, they'll soon associate any interaction with us with a sharp, shooting electrical pain to the gut.

• Next time they're waving at me from their front window I'm going to run across their front garden, mist up the window with my breath, and write "F**K OFF!" with my finger. And then make a very stern face. Grrr!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Tick list

So, last time I posted I mentioned a few things I had planned for the week ahead. And by jove, I've only been and gone and done some of them!

First up, on Friday, was a walk in the park with Jo. Now, Friday was a weird day, because I woke up thinking it was Saturday, then the idea of going for a walk in the park made me think it was Sunday, because my Dad always took us out for walks in the park on Sunday afternoons when I was a kid. Anyway, that's not your problem, it was mine; throughout the walk, I kept saying to Jo "is it Saturday or Sunday?" but because she was just as confused as I was she just kept giving me her patented "ya-huh?" look.

The park - I say park, but it was actually Virginia Waters - was lovely. The weather was awesome, and there were lots of people out having fun which gave it a rather lovely summery feel. I took some pictures too!

Look! It's the totem pole!!

I'm totally trying to trick you into thinking it's like, a pencil or something. But it's actually real.

Anyway, there are two lakes in Virginia Waters, and we inadvertantly walked around both - a total of about seven or eight miles. We saw a dog on a lead trying to pull its owner into one of the lakes, and I was totally on the dog's side just for sheer comedy value. In fact, I was standing there watching them with my camera phone in hand ready to snap it for posterity, but the dog gave up in the end, the big wuss.

Having finally made it back to the car, we decided to go for a drink because we were sooooooo thirsty. We were going to go to a pub called the Monkey's Forehead, but drove past it too quickly, so just ended up going and sitting in a pub by the river in Staines, which was nice. It's been a long time since Jo and I just hung out and chatted. Good times!


I pretty much did nothing on Saturday except go to Sainsbury's to buy sugar, and came away without buying any sugar - duh…

Today was more interesting, though. Well actually it wasn't, but I definitely did more. First up was washing my car, which was a bit of an epic task because I haven't done it in so long. It was pretty dirty (and not in a Christina Salguilera way).

But it washed up luvverly.

Oh, wait, we should totally do this like an advert for a new cleaning product!

Although the fact that the angles aren't quite right on the pictures does kind of make it look like my car's a cut 'n shut… It's not though!

After that herculean task I decided to go out on my bike (ooo, get me, Mister Exercise!). I actually thought about cycling to Virginia Waters and going off track, but that sounded like a little bit too much hard work, so I just went out on the roads. Still, it was good fun, the sun was really warm, and I've got weird tanlines now. Hurrah!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Punch to the groin, jab to the face!

Despite power outages and all the odds, I somehow managed to get everything done this week that I needed to get done. Admittedly I haven't taken a lunch break the last couple of days, had to work at home in the evenings, and had to skip out on a screening of My Big Fat Sweaty Greek Battle (AKA 300) with Marcosy, but by god I'm now awash with that feeling of utter tranquility that you get when you just know the JOB. IS. DONE.

Strangely, though, the last four days have taken their toll - in a most bizarre way: I've got bruised and bloodied knuckles. Now, this might be acceptable if I'd at some point had to push my colleague in all things Trekkie to the ground and beaten him up (maybe for not putting sugar in my tea, perhaps?), but I haven't. I can only imagine that I'm developing a Tyler Durden-esque split personality that I can't tell you about.

I'll know for certain if Meatloaf turns up outside my house.

"You're too old, fat man. Your tits are too big. Get the f*ck off my porch!"


So, done and dusted, and on holiday for the next 10 days. Yay-ness. I've not really got any concrete plans for my time off, but I there are a number of things I'll be slotting in:

• A walk in the park with Jo. We're going to Virginia Waters! It's been years since I've gone there - I might take a picture of the Totem Pole for you!
• A bike ride. I think I've got the cycling bug again (no doubt a cream is available to clear it up).
• Wash the car. I called the wheel repair dude today - he remembers me from over two years ago, I'm clearly too cool for school - and he's coming Monday. He needs the wheel to be clean to do his thang, and I'd feel a bit of a tit driving round with one clean wheel. Anyway, the Sparky Mobile has been gagging for a wash for ages; somewhere under all that grime is a Mini, apparently!
• Haircut. It's just about reached unmanageable proportions. Must… look… awesome…
• Shopping with Sparky Ma. Something of a tradition, and we always goad each other into buying things we either don't want, don't need, or will never use.
• Shopping with Marcosy, perhaps? (email me, dude!) We end up like a pair of giddy school girls skipping between stores. He usually goads me into buying things I either don't want, don't need, or will never use.
• And scatter in there plenty of reading, DVDs, Xboxing, and sleeping.

Good times, ahead, methinks.


I've started my week off with what turned out to be a pretty good run*, in a fairly decent time I might add. I've noticed something over the last couple of runs I do, however. There's a little side road in Sunbury, and whenever I run down it one of the street lights just blinks out. Just like that *snaps*. It's really weird, and I can't help wondering if it's all part of some candid camera-style TV show; I can picture the producers hunched over a control panel now, pressing a button to turn the light off in the hope that I'll stack it big-time in pitch darkness. Third time and still no luck, eh chaps? Better look for some other sucker…

It's also possible that it's connected in some way to the power outage at work on Tuesday. Am I developing some sort of electrickery-nullifying super-power, perhaps? Will I be a danger to mains generators and electrical goods everywhere? Or is it just the gleam in my eye, the skip in my stride, and the fire in my soul that's over-powering these things? Only time will tell, people, only time will tell…

*What? You don't get awesome thighs and a quality ass by sitting around playing Xbox, y'know. Or do you…?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Darkness falls

Isn't it always the way that when you're at your very busiest, when the very slightest distraction could throw your well-laid plans into disarray, when the smallest sneeze could send the Earth spiralling off its axis and plunging into the fiery depths of the sun, that something *always* goes wrong.

And so it was this morning, as I laughed in the face my deadlines while racing to complete two issues before taking next week off, that there was a mysterious whine and all of a sudden the office was plunged into utter and complete darkness.

Ooo! I thought. Was this the initial stage of an alien invasion, or some natural disaster? I've seen Hollywood movies; natural disasters are just an excuse for awesome dudes like me to save the day. It was kind of like 'The Towering Inferno', except my office isn't in a tower and there wasn't an inferno. Unfortunately it quickly became apparent that as our neighbours' power was still on it was just the result of some shabby electrical thingy. Nevertheless, it's quite startling what a bit of power outage can do. The food situation was foremost on ours minds; would we have to start eating the weaker members of staff before help arrived? The ol' blitz spirit soon kicked in, however, and someone mentioned about popping out to get bacon sandwiches. That soon put an end to the murderous glances that had been spreading like wildfire. Eyes off the thighs, people!

The mere act of loosing power does kind of leave you feeling pretty helpless, though. I think everyone, at some point, said something along the lines of "I can go work at home. I just need to email some files to myse- oh." So we stood there in darkness. The whole thing reminded me of that bit in Star Trek, episode number 003: 'The Corbomite Maneuver' when the Enterprise is left adrift in space, and Kirk has to threaten to blow it up in order to save the day. I suggested we should blow the office up, but no one seemed too keen on the idea, so I just stood around for a while ready to fireman's lift anyone out of the danger zone if they needed it. Most people were quite happy just to use the door though.

Eventually, with main engineering unable to give me a repair estimate on the warp dri- er, I mean with the electrickery still off, I decided to head down to Starbucks to do some proof-reading; at least there it would be warm, well-lit, and with a ready supply of hot beverages.

An hour or so later I wandered back to the office, which was still listing helplessly in space. But in short order a bloke from the electrickery board turned up and set to work. I thought about offering him a drink, but obviously our facilities were greatly impaired. Neither cold coffee nor the offer of a teabag to suck on sounded particularly inviting in my mind, so I just left him alone to get on with the job. Twenty minutes later main power was restored and, bugger it, I had to crack my knuckles and get back to work. A horrifically burnt-through piece of cabling was revealed to be the villain of this particular piece, I might add. But we vanquished it, we totally did!


Monday, April 02, 2007


Thank god it's the Easter holidays. There are several reasons for this, most notably that there's less traffic on the roads, which makes my journey into work quicker, which means I get to stay in bed a tad longer - yay. There are additional benefits, however. If I'm a tad late for work, you see, I have to run the gauntlet of the school that's located near my office. And by that I mean I have to fight my way through hordes of children and their stupid, stupid parents.

I swear, the other week some woman yanked her kid by the arm, causing him to swing round and nearly head-butt me in the groin. I glared at her, as well you might imagine.

Fortunately, the road works in Chiswick haven't been holding me up too much in the last week or so, so I'm getting to work at normal time. But a new terror is lurking in the leafy back streets of Hammersmith. And I call it: Lindsay.

I first encountered Lindsay about two weeks ago, and I've faced her pretty much every morning since. First contact occurred like this:

I was strolling down the road to the office, which has a bend on it (the road, not the office). From around the bend came a reasonably attractive, if a tad chavvy, woman on a bike. She was dressed a bit like a footballer's wife, all fake orange tan, fake fur-lined coat, and so on. But as I got closer to the corner I could hear something approaching from the other side. A sort of … gutteral breathing. Did this WAG have a pitbull terrier following her at a distance?

No… it was much worse…

As I rounded the corner I found myself confronted by a small girl wearing smart school uniform, no older than about seven or eight, on a tiny, tiny bicycle, pedalling furiously, her snarly little visage, red and contorted by sheer determination as she attempted to keep up with the woman who I now assumed to be her mother. What I wasn't sure about was if the mother was trying to get away from the dimunitive pitbull, troll-like offspring trailing along behind her. What I was sure about was that the kid looked like the tennis player Lindsay Davenport.

It doesn't get any less scary as the days pass. And this is why I'm totally relieved it's the Easter holiday, because any day where I'm not confronted by Lindsay thundering towards me first thing in the morning must be a good day.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Getting things done

This has been what I believe should be called a "productive weekend."

And what does a "productive weekend" entail, you might ask?* Well, I'll tell you!

I have finally gotten moving on the preliminary stages of decorating my bathroom. I kid yee not.

Let's back-up a bit. When I bought Sparky Towers back in October 2005 (that long ago!?), my idea was to decorate it from top to bottom in one foul swoop. Sparky Ma and Pa, bless them, allowed me to continue living with them so I didn't have to live in squalor and insanity while I blitzed my new place. Because it officially needed blitzing. When I'd checked the place out with the estate agent, it looked pretty mank. I'll be honest, the crazy bitch** that lived here before me needed some help. She must've been colour-blind, or simply just blind, because downstairs was painted in some vile light-blue colour that she'd then stenciled dark blue squares over the top of. The crazy bitch. And then there was upstairs. The bedroom walls were a really gruppy white, and she'd used black masonary paint on the window frames and skirting boards. The bathroom was the only room I classed as 'passable'; It was lilac and white, both inoffensive colours.

You might now be thinking "so, erm, why the hell did you buy this house?" Good question, and the answer is simply because I could see the potential. And my idea had always been to decorate whatever I bought before moving in anyway. I looked beyond the blue squares and the black masonary paint, and I saw a home.

Fast forward to Christmas 2005, and Sparky Towers was ready for ME! Downstairs I'd replaced the light blue walls and dark blue squares with a three-red walls and one-white wall combo; the grubby white and black masonary paint was replaced by a golden saffron-colour (that glows in an awesome way when the sun shines in) and, call me a staid traditionalist if you must, white window frames and skirting boards.

The only thing I left untouched was the bathroom.

Fast forward to this weekend. Like all great thinkers, I devise some of my most brilliant ideas while on the lav. And there I was on Saturday morning, when I thought, "goddamn, I meant to decorate the bathroom last Easter." And now it's almost this Easter. I resolved to do something (I mean about the bathroom, not 'do something' as in the main reason why I was in the bathroom. I take that as a given - there's no point sitting on the toilet just because it's there).

Something else the crazy bitch who previously owned my house liked aside from insane colour schemes was little shelves. Tiny little shelves. Some she left behind, some she took with her when she moved. But the walls were riddled with holes, and plugs for putting screws in. On the plus side, I soon discovered that I *love* polly-fillering. Anyway, she'd obviously had some little shelves in the bathroom, because when the sun shines in at a certain angle you can see where she poly-fillered over the screw holes, and then painted on top.

Stage one of my bathroom prep work entailed removing the plugs she'd left in the wall. So I got my little knife, dug a hole in the wall, and eased them out. Then I poly-fillered over the hole. God I *love* poly-fillering.

I did this several times, which is quite amazing because it's not a big bathroom. She REALLY loved her shelves. Then I poly-fillered some dents in the wall (god knows how they got there).

So all in all, although the white smears of poly-filler do stand out quite shockingly against the lilac walls, if all goes to plan said lilac walls will be lilac no more if I get my act together. It's really quite exciting.

Some holes. Filled.


Something else I've done this weekend that I'd been meaning to do for ages was to get out on my bike. I've been feeling guilty. Everytime I walk in the door, there it is, looking forlorn, dusty, and deflated (well, the tyres at any rate). So yesterday, after the hole-filling extravaganza, I washed it down, oiled it up, and inflated the tyres. From looking sad and dejected it all of a sudden shouted "RIDE ME!" So I did.

I'll be honest, as this was the first time since last September's Richmond to Windsor bike ride that I've actually gotten on the thing, it wasn't my finest cycling hour. I didn't fall off, but I was hardly Lance Armstrong. It was a bit breezy as well, which didn't help, and as I'm easily distracted by things this contributed to me veering off towards the centre of the road every now and then. I was out for about an hour, shorter than I used to cycle on a Sunday morning, but it did feel good to be back on the bike so I'll probably make more of an effort to do it again.

And, major plus point: I haven't lost all sensation in my groin. Bonus.


The other good thing about cycling is that it seems to be good for my knee. I went for a run on Friday night and while it wasn't completely pain-free, it was certainly better than it has been. I've decided that I'm going to blame my knee support for some of the pain I've experienced recently; I've come to the conclusion that it's too small for me now, and might've been cutting off the blood supply. That being the case I'm running without it from now on.

Anyway, so cycling was definitely good for my knee; it's completely pain free at the moment, which can only be a good thing unless I've severed a nerve or something. The other thing I've been contemplating to help my knee as we fight to fitness is swimming. Now, I used to *hate* swimming, but a few years back I taught myself (I'll admit there's lots of splashing; I ain't the prettiest swimmer, but at least I can do it), and I actually began to enjoy it. There's a pool about five minutes walk away, so I'll probably dip in*** at some point, if only to tease the local ladies as I emerge from the water like Daniel Craig in Casino Royale.

*And if you didn't ask, feel free to skip to another post, or failing that, another blog.

**I'm entitled to call her a crazy bitch. She clearly lied to me about her reasons for moving because a) she wouldn't let me have her forwarding address so I could send her mail on, and b) to this day I still get her SkyCard bills. She's obviously trying to outrun some debts. But I'm wise to her moves! I return the bills to sender with the estate agents' details written on the envelope because they've got her new address!! Muwahahahaha!!! Cheeky cow though, just after Christmas she got the estate agent to call me to ask if a present had been delivered for her. It had, but I'd sent it back. Ha.

***That's a little joke there.