Thursday, May 31, 2007

Job done

Hello - I'm back! Not that I ever really went anywhere, mind, but I've kinda been neglecting everything because of my spontaneous decision on Sunday to begin painting my bathroom.

And guess what - it's done!


Well, by 'done,' I mean actually mean that I've sloshed lashings and lashings of paint on the walls, and I don't think I can see any of the manky old lilac - of vile-ac, as I'd taken to calling it - that previously adorned them (I won't go on about former house-owner's taste in colours again, suffice to say that the bitch was colourblind. Or maybe just blind - in which case her dog deserves a kicking). Aaaaaaanyway, yes, the difficult bit is over. Here's a recap on what I've done:

Sunday: began prepping - clearing bathroom of manly toiletries, sanding woodwork, washing walls and woodwork, glossing woodwork (first coat).

Monday: first coat on walls, second coat on woodwork, first coat on ceiling. Partially distracted by Star Trek Nemesis on the telly.

Tuesday evening (because friggin' work took up the daytime): second coat on walls. Dismayed at persistancy of vile-ac to show through blossom white emulsion. Second coat on ceiling. Realization dawns that painting in an enclosed space and forgetting to open windows is not a good idea. I thought when you got high on paint fumes you were supposed to have hallucinations of dwarves and rainbows; all I got was a massive headache and a desire to lie down. Pissed off at the lack of dwarves and rainbows.

Wednesday evening: Still irked by lack of paint-induced hallucinations I take the evening off and trundle up town to see Pan's Labyrinth with former work pal Sarah at the Prince Charles Cinema. It's an odd place, with a bar named after Quentin Tarantino, and a cubicle in the gents named after Kevin Smith. The cinema itself dips in the middle for some bizarre reason, which actually helps aid viewing, particularly if a large-headed person sits in front of you. And it's only £4.50 to get in - bargain. Reminded that former work pal Sarah laughs at anything and everything; resolve to refer to her as the giggle-a-tron from now on. Pan's Labyrinth is very good, and I'm glad I got this belated chance to see it on the big screen. It's a curious blend of fantasy elements and a story set during the Spanish civil war, which is really rather brutal in places; it's also visually stunning, and intriguingly left to the viewer to decide for themselves if the fantasy elements actually took place, or were all in the main character's head. And, I should add, the sound effects are incredible - from the creaking of the bad guy's leather gloves to the noises the Faun makes when he moves. Never thought I'd say that about a movie. It sadly does not, however, feature the Lost Boys or Captain Hook, nor David Bowie as the Elf King as the title had led me to believe.

Return home and notice that I can *still* see splotches of vile-ac through the blossom white.

Thursday - oh, that'll be today! Daub paint over said splotches. Yes, I've spent this evening touching up my bathroom. It's funny how you can look at a perfectly white wall for several minutes and then start to see vile-ac showing through. Maybe this is a sign that the hallucinations are finally kicking in? Think I've covered them all, and quite frankly don't care if I haven't. I'm pretty sure I've slapped so much paint on the walls that the room is actually significantly smaller than it was on Sunday morning.

So there we have it. The painting work is complete. Now it's just down to hoovering the crap off the floor (not literally crap, I mean the painting debris), putting my manly toiletries back in place, and then sorting out the details - like a mirror, towel rails, a venitian blind for the window, and some lino for the floor in place of the mank-tastic carpet. I'm also thinking about putting a plant in there. I actually don't own any plants, and think one might look nice in there. Anyone know any that would like a steamy bathroom environment, and wouldn't wilt upon seeing me nekkid? I know bugger all about plants. Marcosy has already suggested a triffid, but I'd worry that would try to nibble on my ding-a-ling while I'm showering.

Monday, May 28, 2007

If there is one thing decorating has taught me…

… It's that you girls pay *way* too much for a French manicure.

Seriously, all you need is some white gloss and a slap-dash approach to painting. Fabulous!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Man of action

After a suitably lethargic Saturday, I totally kicked things up a gear today.

First up, Sweatband and I had planned on doing a bike ride this morning, but because it's been raining pretty much all day she chickened out, so we decided to meet up for coffee instead. OK, I say she chickened out, but really she's actually got a bit of a lurgy-thing, and she did run the London Marathon a few weeks back, so me calling her chicken is, quite frankly, horrifically unacceptable. And deciding to meet for coffee gave me a cracking excuse to have a bit of a lie-in, which I'd like to say I haven't done in a while, but I totally have. Whatever. I yawned like a kitten, rolled over, and dozed for an extra hour.

Anyway, we met up for a coffee in Richmond at about 11:30. Well, I say 11:30, but there was rugby on at Twickenham, which resulted in stupid traffic that delayed me a bit. When I parked up I found that Sweatband had left a series of voicemails on my phone in which she became increasingly paranoid that she'd a) got the venue wrong, and b) got the time wrong (because I'm usually super-punctual, unless I'm being fashionably late). In hindsight, I really could've messed with her head big-stylee, but I really wasn't thinking about it so I just met up with her and apologised for being late. It was quite lovely catching up, because we haven't seen each other for a while and had plenty to talk about. Oh, and I introduced her to the delights of Starbucks' grande misto – I think she was sold on it.

After a couple of hours and too many mistos we went our separate ways. On the way back to the car I saw a little squirrel. It wasn't too bothered by me being close to it, so I decided to take a photo of it. The little bugger clearly thought I was going to offer it some food, though, and came close. And closer. And closer. No word of a lie, as I was taking the picture I really began to worry that the little tree-rat might lunge at me, and too be honest I can think of nothing else that would shatter my innate coolness by shrieking like Ned Flanders as a squirrel jumped on my face.

I took the pic and scurried off.

I mean, look: his tail was twitching! He was GONNA jump!


On the way home, I did something that I've been vowing to do for well over a year now: I stopped in at Homebase and bought all the paint an' stuff I need to decorate my bathroom.

God, I can't believe it's taken me this long to sort it out. It was the only room I basically left untouched when I got Sparky Towers, because it only really needed a bit of paint slapped on the walls, and I figured I'd do it about a month after moving in. And then I was going to do it the Easter after I'd moved in. Then last summer. Then this Easter. I just. Kept. Making. Excuses. But no more! Well, actually, the thing that tipped me over the edge was that I noticed the doorframe around the front door had chipped a bit and needed tarting up, and I thought that I might as well get that sorted then just carry on with the bathroom. Understandable, huh?

So I dug out my old painter/decorator t-shirt and trackies. You can tell my painter/decorator tracky bottoms by the paint splashed on them.

And before anyone says anything untoward, that IS paint.

So I got to work, and by 'got to work' I mean that I started by daubing a small streak of paint on my face, because if there's one thing that Brush Strokes taught me, it's that painter/decorators always end up with a streak of paint on their face. Then I REALLY got to it. I sanded and washed down the porch doorframe, and gave it a first coat. Then I went up to the bathroom, and sanded all the skirting boards and the door, and anything else that needed sanding. And simply the *best* part of it all was that I finally got rid of the manky old bathroom cabinet that's been hanging on the wall since, like, forever. Seriously, it was so vile that I actually really wanted to smash it off the wall with a sledgehammer, but I figured I'd probably end up taking half the wall off with it, so I sensibly removed it like a real grown-up with a screwdriver. I also don't actually own a sledgehammer, so would've encountered problems in that respect.

I was going to post a picture of my bathroom, but it's quite small, and I really couldn't get a good angle other than one featuring the toilet and the shower curtain. I figured you already know what a toilet looks like, and don't necessarily need to see a picture of mine.

Anyway, more decorating fun shall ensue tomorrow!


I was only disturbed once during my decorating fun, and that was when my doorbell rang. Having painty hands and a wet doorframe downstairs, I decided to answer the door by hanging out of my bedroom window.

"Hello?" I glanced down to see a middle-aged woman with a quasi-beehive hairdo and elaborate spectacles.

"Oh, hello," she said. "Is this your van?" She pointed to a white van. "It's just that it's blocking my car in."

Now, I was very close to responding by saying something along the lines of "Madame! Do I look like the sort of person who would drive a white van?" but then I realised that as I was wearing a paint-covered t-shirt and had a streak of paint daubed across my face, her answer would probably have been something along the lines of "yes," and quite frankly she would've been right. So, instead, I just said no, closed the window, and went back to my painting. Then I remembered to open the window again, because I didn't want to be overcome by paint fumes, however exciting and exotic they might smell.

Friday, May 25, 2007

You're a yeasty codpiece

Ha ha - only kidding! Just got back from seeing Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, and that was my favourite line in it. It was actually a slightly longer line than just "yeasty codpiece," but it was too complicated to remember, and Yaz and I both latched on to that bit; no doubt we'll be calling each other "yeasty codpieces" with alarming regularity come next week.

So what did I think of the movie? Well, on the whole I loved it. I stand by my past belief that the Pirates films would be standard blockbuster fare were it not for Johnny Depp's Cap'n Jack Sparrow, but fortunately he's in this one pretty much all the way through, and I was very close to pissing my pants whenever he said something. I also stand by my belief that there's something slightly 'special' about Orlando Bloom, and Kiera Knightley has a few too many teeth in her mouth, but I don't think I can mark a film down for physical abnormalities in the cast. Oh, the undead monkey's in it again, too; I do like some quality monkey action. And talking of the undead, Keith Richards is great in it as well.

All in all, it was well worth almost three hours of my life. Not quite as good as Zodiac, but a peg-leg above Spidey 3.

Splice my main-brace!


I seem to be all about films at the moment. Zodiac on Wednesday, Pirates today, the possibility of catching a film over the weekend (lord knows what - though hopefully not Lovewrecked…), and next week I'm off to see Pan's Labyrinth; Yes, yes, I know I should've seen it already, and it's out on DVD an' all, but I missed it first time round, and it looks like a film I think should be seen on the big screen. Now there's a cinema up-town showing it for a limited time, and former work pal Sarah has convinced me to see it. Apparently the cinema is cheap as chips and has real armchairs too!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Now that we're edging towards summer, all the big summery blockbuster movies are looming. Already we've had the slightly sticky mess that was Spider-Man 3, and this week, arrrr! Cap'n Jack Sparrow be back in the third Pirates of the Caribbean, arrrr! And of course after that there'll be Shrek, Transformers… blah-dee-blah-dee-blah.

The downside of all these big budget plot vaccums is that the smaller, more interesting, less mainstream films get blown out of cinemas. Which is why today I ran out of work to catch Zodiac, because I noticed that the number of screenings for this film were dwindling in light of the impending and aforementioned Pirates. Arrrr.

Now, I'm a huge fan of David Fincher's movies. I'm one of the few people that actually like Alien 3; OK, it might not be the best Alien movie, but it's certainly visually interesting and there's some nice moments. Then of course there's Se7en and Fight Club, which pretty much speak for themselves, and Panic Room, which succeeds in making an interesting movie out of the fact that Jodie Foster's stuck in a box (hey, Jared Leto's face gets toasted too!). The only Fincher movie I haven't seen is The Game, but that's more to do with the fact that it's got Michael Douglas in it and he annoys me slightly.

And so, my Fincher-worshipping credentials established, I was very much looking forward to Zodiac. I was not disappointed. I'd actually approached the film with two slightly apprehensive notions; one being that it's nearly three hours long, and I thought my bum might fall asleep, and the other being that as it's based on a real life killer whose identity was never established, it might not have a very satisfactory conclusion. I needn't have worried - Zodiac has bitch-slapped Sunshine off the top spot as my favourite movie of the year so far. It was chillingly awesome. And despite my constant professing of not being a fan of Jake Jiggly-balls (as Marcosy calls him), he put in another cracking performance in another cracking movie.

Go see it before it's barged out of cinemas by the big guns.


Ooo - nice weather!! How gorgeous has today been? Let me tell you: very gorgeous. And I enjoyed it all the more upon deciding to walk to Chiswick to look at trainers in Boardwise. After the pretty dismal response to the trainer vote, y'see, I did some more research on t'internet, and discovered that the Boardwise website is selling my beloved Kingpins at the knockdown price of £27! I can replace my worn-out trainers with identical shoes! So I thought I'd see if they had them in the shop.

They did not.

I did, however, buy something I've lusted after for a few years now: camouflage shorts! Yes, I know *everyone* is wearing them these days, but I still wanted a pair, and these were rather tasty. Those toned lower calves will be flashed around town before you know it - as long as the weather holds…


OK, back on the weekend, Tara meme'd me with a post about eight random facts about everyone's favourite subject - me! (What!? Stop looking at me like that…). Anyway, the reason I've not done it yet is because I've been trying to think of eight interesting facts, and have found myself sadly lacking. But who cares - here's eight random and potentially crap facts about ME!

• When I was a kid, my dream job was to be a bus driver, and I amassed such a vast collection of toy buses that Sparky Ma and Pa considered seeing if they could get me on Blue Peter as 'Britain's most bus-obsessed child' or something. Seriously, buses *everywhere*.

• When I was about eight, big bro Simon dropped a big rock on my foot while on holiday, and the nail on my big toe turned black and eventually fell off (don't worry - a replacement grew!); I took the toe nail to school in a paper bag for a show-and-tell type thing, which, I seem to recall, went down very well.

• The first album I bought was 'Cloud Nine' by George Harrison on tape. Picked it up on CD a couple of years back, and still like it.

• Earliest cinema memory: watching Return of the Jedi in 1983, and leaning round Sparky Ma during the scene in which Admiral Ackbar first appears to say to Simon (in possibly the most incredible instance of pointing out the obvious EVER) "that's Admiral Ackbar."

• I once owned stick insects. And I seem to remember they went on hunger strike one holiday because we didn't have the right sort of leaves to give them. Fussy bastards.

• Once appeared on The National Lottery show when my school got a lottery fund grant; I was giggling 16 year old in the background in the canteen. I actually have it, but sadly only on VHS, so I can't share it with you.

• Was an avid fan of TV's Beauty and the Beast until Linda Hamilton left.

• I worked in the bar at Thorpe Park for two weeks after leaving school. Could never remember what each drink cost, so charged people pretty much what I wanted depending on how nice they were to me.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Sparky's speed-dating malarkey

Seeing as absolutely everyone demanded it, here is the story of what happened when I went speed-dating. Oh, first, let's get this straight - this all happened about three years ago.

So, basically, I went along with a couple of mates for a laugh. There were more girls than guys, so I thought that was automatically a bonus. It was held in a bar in Richmond, and the idea was that you got two minutes with each girl/woman (the ages ranged quite dramatically from, say, 19 to what appeared to be 50-odd. Apparently there's a growing market for toy boys), and then you marked down on a card whether they were a 'yes,' 'no,' or 'friend.' It was rather like bingo but without the possibility of a cash prize.

So anyway, us boys had to do all the moving around, which was a bit of a pain, and the further round you got the drunker and older the women got. And I'll be blatently honest, there were some monsters there. I remember one woman who was about 20 years older than me asked what I liked doing, and I said "going to gigs," and she said "awesome!" in that kind of embarrassing why that older people do when they're trying to act young, and then suggested that we could go to a Bon Jovi gig together sometime because she loved Jon Bon Jovi. I smiled, and moved on.

So at the end of the evening I had a card full of 'friends,' which was just a polite way of saying 'no,' and that was without even getting to meet all the ladies. We ran out of time, you see, which was a bit of a pisser because there was actually one girl - girl number one - who I thought looked rather lovely.

In the days after the event, you had to upload all your 'yeses,' 'noses,' and 'friendeses' to the speed-dating website, which then cross-referenced all the data and let you know which monsters liked you, or just wanted to be your friend. The future Mrs Bon Jovi wanted to be my friend. I did not, however, want to be hers. On the other hand, it was quite a stroke to the ego to see that quite a lot of the ladies had marked me down as a 'yes.' Rawr!

Having not had the chance to meet girl number one, I threw a mild strop and decided that I didn't want anything more to do with it, though.

And then…

About a week later, I got an email from a girl who'd been there, but hadn't had the chance to meet. She was not, alas, the elusive girl number one, but did say that I'd spoken to one of her friends and she'd reported back that I was lovely. Well, duuuuuh.

So for the next couple of weeks we emailed back and forth, and got on quite well. Then she told me that she wanted to meet me. However would I recognise her, though? And then she dropped the following bombshell:

"My friends tell me I look like Elizabeth Hurley."


So we arranged to meet up. Things did not start well.

She did not look like Elizabeth Hurley.

She looked like Carol Smiley.

I was told to expect:

And I got:

Carol frikkin' Smiley.

Now, before you all start accusing me of just going on looks alone, let me tell you that the evening completely died on its arse. We had nothing in common; she had no interest in what I did, I had no interest in what she did, there were long, awkward pauses, and she kept ordering the most expensive drink on the menu and not getting a round in herself. I was not amused. We departed promising to get in touch and meet up again, and quite tellingly neither one of us bothered.

And do you know what the worst thing was? About a year later I logged into the speed-dating website for a laugh, and super hot girl number one had emailed me shortly after I'd logged in for the last time post-'the event' to say she would've liked to meet up.


So, anyone wondering why I was dressed as Superman/mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent over the weekend? No, it's not something I do when I'm spending the night in on my own - I went to the 20th anniversary party for They Walk Among Us, the comic shop I go to!

Look with your eyes!

This is me with Jon, who owns the shop and tolerates me going in and spending an inordinate amount of time just hanging around there on a Thursday evening. Embarrassingly, I rained on his parade a little bit by wearing exactly the same costume. In my defense, I hastily claimed to have gone as the Earth-Two Superman. Plus, he has glasses which showed a bit more dedication.

There are more photos here, but there's very little variation in the pose I'm striking throughout.


Oh iTunes, how witty you are! I was listening to my music library on shuffle yesterday, and it followed up a Michael Jackson song with Kate Bush's 'The Man with the Child in his Eyes.'

How I laughed!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

How Sparky got his groove back

My efforts at playing badminton recently have, I'll be honest, been decidedly lacklustre compaired to my badminton-ing prime of, say, five or six (maybe more) years ago. I'm putting it down to a combination of things:

• I've been doing free-weights about three or four times a week, and I think - surprise, surprise! - I've actually built up some muscle. Years ago I had just about the right amount of strength to whack the shuttlecock and send it literally to the back line of the court. Now if I whack it it sails out of the court and bangs into the back wall. Oops.

• I always used to keep track of the score, regardless of whether anyone else was, because some of the people I play with are (looks both ways, whispers) a little fruity with the truth. But recently I've fallen behind with my ability to do this, and usually end up standing in the middle of the court saying "duuuuuh, wots der score?"

• My knee. Yeah, I know I've gone on about this before, but it's annoying, and it makes it difficult for me to scurry around the court like the racquet-wielding weasel of old.

• Being able to hit the shuttlecock with any degree of accuracy. I used to be able to send the shuttle anywhere I wanted with little effort - the back corner, just over the net, someone's groin. It was easy.

So as much as I've enjoyed going back to the old club over the last few months, I sort of felt like a highly-regarded rock star making a big, high-profile comeback, only to get on stage to find he can't sing anymore. Rather like Bob Dylan, or so I've read.

That is until last night!

Admittedly I started off all spacker-tastic, but after finishing the first game I realised that there was, by that time, six of us - and there was a spare court. So I dutifully announced that I was sitting out the next game of doubles, grabbed the guy who I enjoy playing against most, and dragged him onto the other court. We didn't play a game, just knocked it amount a bit, but it gave me the opportunity to better judge the size of the court, get used to moving about a bit and finding my knee-based limitations, and working out how hard I should hit the shuttle, which was just what I needed.

Then, after the next game finished I announced that I'd sit out again - and this time grabbed the son of one of our players who is a wily little devil at badminton in his own right. "Watch him," I was warned.

We played a game, and I won 15-10. Close.

So then we played another game, and I won again. 15-01.

And then I turned to the other players, held my arms out wide, and said "bitches - I'm back, who wants me?"


I'm reading an awesome book at the moment. And by book, I mean a proper paperback novel; I realised that I've read sooooooooo many graphic novels recently that I actually kinda needed to read a book with words all over the page, and not just scattered around in little bubbles.

So the book I'm reading is called The Average American Male, and it's all about some dude shagging his way around L.A. It's really good, and very funny, although maybe not if you're a girl, because it's written in the first person and kinda really delves into the male psyche, which is pretty much all "ooo, ooo, she's hot," and "ooo, ooo, I'd do her." In the first 25 pages the main character eyes up a girl on a plane, cheats on his girlfriend at a party, and has dirty thoughts about Marie Osmond.

Perhaps the only downside is that the cover is made of really thin paper, and the book keeps flopping about while I'm trying to hold it open. Unless… unless, perhaps, it's me… Maybe I've forgotten how to read a normal-sized book?


The most fascinating email of Friday came from someone called Vickie:

Since the ancient times men were trying to enlarge their dicks. Today we created Penis Enlarge Patch especially for you.

With Penis Enlarge Patch all your underwear will be too tight for you.

She's not backwards in coming forwards, is she?


I need some new trainers. I've worn out my Kingpins because I wear them pretty much every day. (And before anyone raises the point about not buying shoes off t'internet, I know that I take a size 8 in Etnies trainers, so don't worry!)

Thing is I'm not sure which ones to go for. I've seen two pairs I like, which probably means I'll buy both eventually, but in the meantime let's put it to a vote!

Pimpy white or Secret Squirrel camouflage?


Thursday, May 17, 2007

So we call on mini heroes*: Willy Mason at the Shepherds Bush Empire

"Erm, was that Willy having a sneaky fag by the side door?" Said Yaz, as we strolled down the alley beside the Shepherds Bush Empire.

"Yes," I replied, but acting too cool for school to turn back and say "hi."

"We should go back and say hi," she said.

"OK then."

"No I'm too shy."

So we faffed about for a while, me pushing her to go and say "hi" while she hid behind a copy of The London Paper. After a couple of minutes she finally stumped up the courage and turned to scurry back down the alley, only to see Willy get up and go back inside.

"[Swear]," said Yaz.


So yes, Wednesday night with Willy Mason at the Shepherds Bush Empire. I'd been looking forward to this gig for ages, actually; I love both of Willy's albums (pushed to choose a favourite, I'd say the first one - mainly because, although I think the second one is a consistantly stronger album, I think the first one contains his best songs, and I appreciate the slight roughness about it. Also, for a long time I thought it was called 'The Humanzie,' not 'Where the Humans Eat,' which probably says more about me than anything else), and have been eager to see him live for a fair ol' while now.

Unusually for a Yaz/Tim gig, we were standing; on the plus side we were closer to the stage, but on the downside, my knee's still slightly buggered, and Yaz is quite short. Still, we nabbed a reasonably quality spot to the left of the stage, and for the most part (we'll get to that later) had a good view.

The support act was some dude called Elvis Perkins, who I wasn't instantly enthralled by. Nevertheless, he did win me over eventually, thanks to some songs that had a distinct whiff of The Beatles and Bob Dylan about them. There was quite a nice ramshackle vibe about him and his band too, and in hindsight they were the perfect fit to accompany Willy Mason's sound (some of the band even joined Willy onstage towards the end of his set).

Willy came on without any fanfare, almost as if he was slightly shocked that anyone had turned up, and proceeded to plough through his material. Straight away I decided that, while a Willy Mason gig doesn't have much in common with a Rolling Stones gig, the one common feature of both is that their music sounds so much more vibrant and alive on stage; like the Stones, I think, given the choice, I'd rather listen to a live Willy Mason album than a studio one. It just sounded so *right* played out to an audience.

Another thing that I liked was that there were a couple of technical hitches - a broken string first ("it's all gone tits up!" bemoaned Willy), then some other guitar problems - that only served to endear him to the audience as he joked around and engineered a solution to one problem by tearing up his setlist and wedging bits of it into his guitar (I don't know exactly how that worked, but it certainly looked impressive). And then, after he'd done his encore and the audience collectively thought about heading home, we all cheered as he came running back on stage saying "oh, I forgot to play this song for you," before launching into an amazing version of 'Oxygen.'

It was a quality laid back evening that felt more like he was playing some songs to a load of friends rather than a paying audience. I'd definitely see him again.

(On a side note, though, I've just read a review in the Evening Standard that basically suggested that his laid back attitude was a downside of the gig; I'd disagree - it's rather refreshing to see a singer not full of attitude and self-importance for a change. Mind you, they were also a bit negative about the Chris Cornell gig at the Astoria that my bro went to, and he said that was awesome. So *snaps* to the Standard)

Downsides? Oh, yeah, I was saying about the view, wasn't I? Well, soon after we'd grabbed our bit of turf in the Empire, some couple rocked up and sat down on the floor beside us (seriously, on the floor - they've cleaned the floor of the Empire - it was shiny! Well, until after the gig had finished…). Fine, I thought, until I realised that the guy was basically cuddling upto my leg, almost as if he was trying to use a personal space issue to get me to move away. Then when the support act came on, they both jump to their feet - and START TALKING TO EACH OTHER! I mean, seriously, erm, trying to listen! Not only that, though: the guy started making calls on his mobile! And he had a massive head that kept obscuring my view when he lent in to listen to what his girlfriend was saying. Lord knows why, though - I could hear her well enough.

Anyway, revenge was on hand in the form of some little kid who kept literally shoving his camera over their shoulders and in front of their faces in order to take pictures of Willy. And he took A LOT OF PICTURES. I think the little dude basically assembled a flick-book of the entire evening.

(Oh, there was also some old dude standing right by me sketching Willy as well; his pics were pretty cool, and I can't help wondering if he'd been hired to do them for a DVD cover or something; the gig was, after all, being filmed…)

Some pics, yes? Crappy pics - but pics nevertheless!

*OK, so I know the actual lyric is "so we call on many heroes," but this is a case of me mishearing it long ago, and my version getting stuck in my head. And anyway, I like to think that if I needed help I would call on a box of small chocolates.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Someone's got a moral dilemma

OK, so I've got a … friend who is in the midst of quite a dilemma and is thinking that he needs some advice.

My … friend, you see, has been seeing a lady for a while now, but he has, by his own admission, decided to act a little bit childishly. Before you judge, er, him, let me explain why (for him).

Basically, my … friend feels that he's putting all the effort in. He is always the one to ask her out, he always picks her up, he always choses where they go, and he always has to pay for everything; she refuses to do any of those things. He's generally more than happy to play the gentleman whenever it's expected of him, but what he's being childish about is the fact that she never asks him if he wants to do something; never even asks if he's free, or says that she'd like to see him. If he doesn't ask, all he gets is a text on a Sunday morning that sort of feels like it's intented to make him feel a smidgeon guilty for not asking if she wanted to do something Saturday night.

Part of him thinks it's a cultural thing, because she's from somewhere south of Mexico or thereabouts, but the other part of him would at least like to see some effort come from her side, because although he's a serious chiselled hunk who constantly has to turn down offers for modelling work, he does have a warm fuzzy side and he thinks it may be feeling a tad neglected.

Everyone wants to be wanted, right?

Anyway, my … friend was wondering what other people might think about his situation. In the meantime he'll be sitting at home playing his Xbox (I expect).


28 Weeks Later does not star Sandra Bullock

Which can come as a bit of a surprise when you're expecting a romcom. Anyway, so yes, I scooted along to Shepherds Bush this evening after work to catch the sequel to 28 Days Later, which I seem to remember liking when I caught that at the cinema a few years back.

And I liked this too. It had all the prerequisite features of a zombie film - lots of gore, lots of things going wrong, and lots of zombies. And those buggers can move, let me tell you. Rawr!

Just like its predecessor, this film was full of shots of an empty London, and it's every bit as disturbing to see it here as it was to see it in the first film. There's something inherently creepy about seeing the normally bustling streets of the capital devoid of life, and to be quite honest it was nice to leave the cinema at the end of the film and find the streets packed full of people; the vast majority of them pikeys and weirdos, but at least they weren't zombies.

So yes, I definitely liked this movie. Perhaps my only quibble was that it fell foul of that typical Hollywood thing of having to show EVERY landmark in London as if they're all conveniently lined up on one road. At one point the two kids in it steal a moped and leave the safety zone on the Isle of Dogs to go back to their house. And they seemed to do it by zigzaging across the Thames whenever they reached a bridge. Later on they run from the Isle of Dogs to Regents Park in what seems to be a matter of minutes, only to find that it's been transformed into some immense country park with rolling hillsides and an ice cream van. Then it's only a short walk down the Piccadilly Line to Wembley Stadium (consult your tube map people) - hurrah!


I've been in an inexplicably chipper mood today. If my life was an episode of Ally McBeal chances are I would've burst into song at some point. Even walking down the Goldhawk Road I felt a bizarre burst of enthusiasm and joy, as if I could take whatever life threw at me, dispatch it with a swift gut-punch, then headbutt life into submission. I don't know why this is the case, but I was certainly enjoying it - at least until I was stirred from my reverie when I was approached by the guy who *always* stops me on the Goldhawk Road to ask for change. God knows why - it's not like he's homeless; in fact, he looks pretty respectable, but he must be on to something good to keep doing it. Maybe he's raking it in?

Anyway, I scowled "no," resisting the temptation to say "dude, seriously, you ask me every time I walk down this road - bugger off!"


Marcosy emailed me today. He was amused by my post yesterday where I revealed my new habit of quoting Prince lyrics. He sent me a snatch of lyrics from 'Gett Off' in an uncomfortably large font, after which I told him that I'd liked that song since I first heard it when I got the 'Diamonds and Pearls' album years ago.

And now he's doubly amused by my recollection of the young and innocent me sitting in the back of Dad's car singing along to:
"Gett off - 23 positions in a 1 night stand
Gett off - I'll only call u after if u say I can
Gett off - let a woman be a woman and a man be a man
Gett off - I u want 2 baby here I am (Here I am)"
How the hell was I supposed to know what it meant? I mean, really?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Cranking up the randomosity

Sorry, I've got nothing really cohesive to say, so this is just going to be a spatter of little 'bit's; vignettes, you could say. I hate to use the word random, because it's awfully overused in the blogosphere, but there's going to be some random… ness here.

Right, down to business.

Satuday. I went for pancakes with the lovely Jo at My Old Dutch in Ealing! They have clogs hanging off the wall, but sadly not the waitress who used to work there who looked like Subcommander T'Pol from Star Trek: Enterprise. But how could I stay sad about that when the pancakes were so good? I had a pancake with vanilla sugar, three scoops of ice cream, and a pot of chocolate sauce. It was awesome – and so big I could've gnawed a hole in the middle and worn the damn thing as a poncho. I also had a coffee milkshake, which might sound gross, but it was some quality shit my friends.


On Sunday I finished off an article that I'd started writing last year (hey, I make the deadlines, I can break the deadlines, mmmkay?), because it was just sitting there on my desktop making me feel guilty every time I booted the 'puter up. There - done now. I followed that up with a bike ride, despite the fact that it was pissing down with rain. High point? Cycling in the rain is good fun. Low point? Having a chavvy little munter shout "TWAT" at me. Between that and last week's attempted spitting incident I'm beginning to think that I might need to change my route…


Sunday evening - Supernatural. How good is this series, and how HILARIOUS was last night's episode? This was my favourite scene:

Seriously, since The OC finished this has become my personal TV highlight of the week.


We've got some newbies starting at work soon, and one of them phoned up the other day.

"I'm the guy that's going to be starting there soon," he said.

"I'm the guy that sits in the corner and swears a lot when things go wrong," I nearly said.


Oh, god - um, YAYNESS! I got tickets to see Prince at the O2 in August (which, as regular readers will know is also where I'm seeing The Rolling Stones), and by my own admission, I got effing awesome seats. I'm soooooooo looking forward to it; gosh, I hope he plays 'Batdance.'

Anyway, in anticipation, I've slapped my Prince greatest hits CDs in the car and have been listening to them pretty much constantly. I'm also quoting lyrics from 'Gett Off,' one of my favourite Prince songs, quite a lot, although I'm hesitant to think that "so here we are, here we are in my paisley crib" is an especially good line to use when inviting people round my place, mostly because my crib ain't paisley.

Oh well. Back to the drawing board.
"Now move your big ass 'round this way
So I can work on that zipper, baby
Tonight you're a star
And I'm the big dipper"
Nah-nah-nah-nah, nah-nah-nah-NAH!

Friday, May 11, 2007

It's the shoes

About five weeks ago I ordered a pair of shoes off the intermaweb. Note I said shoes, not trainers: shoes. Rather posh shoes, too. I thought I'd try to add a dash of suave to my feet, you see.

I usually try not to buy footwear off the web unless they're a new pair of trainers from a brand I know I take a size eight in, because I think they're the sort of thing that you really need to try on, unlike, say, a t-shirt. Or some pants. But I decided to take the plunge with these shoes because they looked awesome, and were reasonably priced (which was important because I figured I'd probably tire of wearing shoes and revert to trainers after a couple of weeks of trying to look smart and sophisticated).

Anyway, long story short: they got lost in the post. And then I had to wait about two weeks before I could declare them officially lost. Or, most likely, stolen by some chavvy postman.

The situation was resolved this week, and finally, long after the guaranteed 1-3 days delivery schedule, they turned up. Yay! Excitedly I ripped open the packaging and whipped the lid off the box and there they were and they looked-


Really freakin' pointy and massive.

A little aside here: I don't like pointy shoes. I think they look weird. And these hadn't looked terribly pointy on the intermaweb. I'll try them on, I thought - I bet they'll look awesome on my feet.

They didn't look awesome on my feet. They looked like massive pointy lady shoes.

So I took them off, put them back in the box, packaged it back up, and put them back in the post (recorded delivery, mind). And I'd waited over a month for these?! Bad times.

If I EVER say I'm thinking about buying some shoes of the internet again that are anything other then Etnies trainers, please remind me not to. Perhaps the only amusing thing to come out of the whole affair is the fact that somewhere out there, there is a chavvy, thieving postal worker who has feet that look like they belong to a cross-dressing clown.


I've noticed recently that there's a lot of songs on the radio that have swears in them that the radio station need to cut out when they play them on daytime shows. The most apparent to me has been Jamie T's 'Sheila,' which is a song I love, and which has two cut swears very close together:
"well done jack, glug down that cider,
your right she's a slut
and you never f**king liked her"
Great lyrics, huh? Anyway, I've begun entertaining myself during the day (usually in the afternoon when I'm a tad giddy) by filling in the blanks whenever the song is played. I literally just sit there and pipe up with two random words, like 'potato,' and 'bleeping.' It keeps me happy.

Anyone got any better suggestions?

Talking of 'Sheila,' it's been re-released but they've filmed a different video - with Bob Hoskins of all people! Here they both are.

As much of a coup as it to get Bob Hoskins to do a music video, I think I prefer the first one; it has monkeys in it!


What is it with teenagers trying to sound all hip and street these days? I bought some milk in Tesco on the way home tonight, and the guy who served me at the till, who was clearly a young, white, middle-class kid, looked at me and said "Dat'll be wah poun six-tee" while jigging away behind the counter like an incontinent hippity-hoppity star.

I looked him straight in the eye and was this close to saying "dude, this is Richmond-Upon-Thames. That is *so* not your accent," but I really couldn't be bothered, because by that time he'd begun struggling to work out what combination of coins he should give me for my change - and that, let me tell you, was not a quick and easy task.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Someone's made a sticky mess…

…And it's called Spider-Man 3.

OK, Let's be truthful: I did actually quite enjoy the latest Spidey flick. On the downside though, it's not exactly Spidey 2, and certainly not Superman Returns.

I won't get all spoiler-rific, but here are the bits that I thought made Spider-Man 3 a bit of a mess:

• It's too loooooooong.
• Sandman's a bit dull compared to the Green Goblin and Doc Ock.
• Faaaaar toooooo much Mary Jane. I can't stand the sight of Kirsten Dunst and her weird teeth at the best of times, and I seriously thought at one point that this was the Mary Jane movie and not a Spider-Man movie.
• Ugh, she sings too. Twice. Shut her up. And it doesn't even work - it's like she's lip-syncing to Louis Armstrong.
• Eeeeeeeeek… Good grief - what's that noise? Oh, its just the writer's shoe-horning Venom into the plot. But…
• …Not enough Venom. Sandman = dull. Venom = Ooo! And which of the two is neglected? Yep… Don't tingle my spidey sense and not follow through on the promise ya teases, OK?
• Ohmygod Spider-Man goes emo! He has the emo fringe, dark eyeliner, and he even does the emo hair flick.
• What is it with Spider-Man ALWAYS getting half his mask ripped off during a fight? Maybe Toby maguire has a clause in his contract - 'It's not enough that I spend half the movie as Peter Parker; I demand that my nerdy, awkward-looking face be visible AT LEAST 75% of the time I am in Spider-Man costume.'
• Some really bad dialogue and overly cheesy moments. I mean: OVERLY. CHEESY.
• And while I'm at it, erm, butler dude - couldn't you have talked to Harry about his Dad's 'incident' before he tried to kill his best pal?
• Gwen Stacy - um, what was the point?

It wasn't all negatives, though - there were some nice bits. I just can't really remember them… But no, wait, I did enjoy it. I just expected more from the first real popcorn flick of the summer, particularly based on the previous two films.


Ooo, talking of popcorn flicks, isn't it a bit of a weird term? I can't think of any situation where a film-goer might say "this film is far too highbrow for corn - popped or otherwise. It is far more deserving of a bag of minstrels - or at the very least a small tub of Haagan Daas."

And why did the basmati rice I just eat smell of popcorn?

Mysteries of out time, people, mysteries of our time!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


Sorry, nothing of particular note has happened today, aside from my tyre-inflating, um, device expelling air from one of my tyres (in the exact opposite manner to what its job description details) then expiring. Queue quick drive over to Sparky Ma and Pa's followed by Simon inflating my tyres for me - result!

About the two only noticeable things that have occurred today were a) coffee with Yaz, and b) an email from Marcosy.

Firstly, Yaz and I discussed Friday's road rage incident. She doesn't seem able to recall much of this, to be honest. While I could see she was incandescent with rage at the time, it's almost as if she descended into some kind of feral state of being while mouthing off at her adversary. She certainly doesn't recall calling her a "f*cking wench"; fortunately I do, and it will remain one of my most cherished memories. On the plus side, with some time having passed between now and Friday we felt it was appropriate to take the opportunity to sit back and laugh at the whole experience.

Although I did plant the seed of an idea in her mind about just going back and knocking on the wench's front door for the sole purpose of giving her snaps in the face.

Marcosy was also incandescent with rage, although for an entirely different purpose. You see, as I explained the other day, I saw a shirt I liked on Saturday when we were shopping, but I didn't buy it - although I did go back on Sunday to get it. Marcosy isn't too happy with this, because he likes to goad me into spending money in front of him, and recently I've gotten good at worming my way out of it by claiming (truthfully, for the most part) that they "don't have my size." A typical exchange might go somewhat like this:

"Ooo, this book looks good."

"Are you going to buy it?"

"No, I don't think so."

"Why not?"

"They don't have my size."


It's actually getting quite funny to taunt him in this way.


Ooo-ooo-ooo! Fun, fun, fun planned for July. I'm *so* going to get myself a super-soaker and take part in this.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Fun on the bank holiday

Well, has the bank holiday been fun for everyone? Assuming you're British, because if you're not chances are you didn't have a three day weekend, so nyehh-nyehh-ne-ne-ne-nyehh!

Ahem. Sorry about that. A tad childish, eh?

I've had quite a good one, must be said. Aside from yesterday's bike ride, I met up with Marcosy and laughed at emos in Kingston on Saturday, and was incredibly proud of myself by resisting the temptation to buy a fancy new shirt while browsing the shops.

Oh, but then I went back on Sunday morning and bought it.

Um, what else have I done. Oh, yeah - I literally cleaned Sparky Towers from top to bottom today. Well, actually it was bottom to top because I find it easier to hoover downstairs first and then do upstairs. It needed a good hoover, must be said; I'd left it so long there was dust-tumbleweed blowing across the floor. And I cleaned the bathroom, poly-fillered some holes in the wall (still prepping for decorating the bathroom!), dusted, AND sorted out some dinks in my wood flooring with an awesome wax repair stick; seriously, I'm looking now at where stupid-former-owner-girl had gouged this massive hole in the floor and I *can't* see where it was - result!

What else… Oh, Stand By Me was on the telly last night, and - can you believe this - I've never seen it, so I started watching it. But it got to about 00:10 and I was nodding off so I taped the rest and watched it this afternoon. What a great movie!

I had actually planned on washing my car today as well, seeing as I had a bit of a cleaning vibe going on, but because the typical British bank holiday weather kicked in I decided against it; I figured the neighbours might think I'd gone loopy if I was washing my car in a torrential downpour.

Anyway, all in all, it's been a pretty good one. My only decision now: watch Cheaper By The Dozen on Channel 4, or Agent Cody Banks on Channel 5. It's a veritable smorgasboard of Hilary Duff!

Sunday, May 06, 2007


I came to the realisation this afternoon that I'm maybe not as energetic as I once was, or perhaps should be now. Because, basically, I'd planned on going for a bike ride this afternoon, and then decided against it because it looked a tad breezy out.

Let me say that again: it looked a tad breezy.

Before I moved out from Sparky Ma and Pa's I got into the habit of going out on my bike every Sunday morning at about 8:30 for a couple of hours. And I mean every Sunday morning. Come rain or shine I was out on my bike; hardcore, you know the score. In fact, the most fun I ever had on a bike ride was one day when it literally chucked it down about 30 seconds after I left home. I did think about turning back because I was only at the top of the road, but by that time I was soaked through anyway, so I just carried on. The real fun came when I got to the path that runs alongside the Thames. It's a dirt track you see, and had turned to a mud bath, so I had the choice between cycling really slowly in the hope that none flicked up and taking about five hours to cycle two miles, or go hell for leather and get caked.

I got caked.

I remember getting home and literally getting into the shower fully clothed. The only downside was that I had to wash the bike too (I decided against taking it into the shower with me).

Anyway, that memory flashed through my mind this afternoon as I looked at the gentle breeze. And by god, I realised, I was not going to let a breeze put me off. So I got ready, and went out! It was awesome, apart from the fact that some chavvy kid actually tried to spit on me at one point; he missed, but if he'd gotten me I would totally have flattened him.


I've pondered long and hard about whether to post about this or not, but last Monday something bizarre happened. I was driving home and decided to flick through a couple of radio stations. A new one's started recently - Smooth FM - which seems to be OK. The thing is, they were playing 'Cherish' by Madonna, and it was there, at 70 mph on the M4, that I realised I knew every word to it.

I am not proud of that fact. Please forgive me.

Friday, May 04, 2007

The wench of Twickenham

Well, this evening turned into something of an event.

At the beginning of the week Yaz and I planned a jaunt to the cinema to see Spider-Man 3, but today a new plan took form: we decided to go to Twickenham because Capital Radio were broadcasting from a pub on the green. The added benefit of this was that Yaz didn't finish work until 17:30, Spidey didn't start until 19:00, and it's about two and a half hours long. And as Yaz was a bit frazzled after a busy day we thought a nice drink and a bit of a chillout might be quite, well, nice.


The journey from Hammersmith to Twickenham was pretty good, despite the fact that we left in the midst of the rush hour and that Yaz had to do some pretty awesome driving to continue following behind me (she nicely cut-up a BMW at one point by basically swinging in towards him - ha!). But the real drama took place when we got to Twickenham Green.

We drove down one side of the green, past a gold - well, metallic beige - Honda, and found a big space. I parked up, reversed, and Yaz parked in front of me. Next thing I know the metallic beige Honda has pulled up beside Yaz and the driver is talking to her. Then, the Honda drives around the green, and comes back round to park up outside a house. And suddenly a tubby middle-aged woman in a business suit is walking over to us.

Ooof! She launched into this huge diatribe about how we "drove past her" when she was clearly "indicating to pull out," and how she lived there and she could never get a parking space and how we KNEW she was going to park there and we maliciously stole her spot.

Let me stop here to tell you that Yaz is the kindest, friendliest person I know, and while this woman was exploding, she was doing her utmost to calm her down.

Then – BAM!

Yaz held her arms out wide, stepped closer to the mouthy wench, did a head wobble and shouted "MAYBE WE COULD TALK ABOUT THIS SENSIBLY IF YOU'D STOP VERBALLY HARRASSING ME!" She was this close to giving the woman snaps in the face.

Mouthy wench paused momentarily, then launched again. But Yaz was well up for the challenge and by god she GAVE. And when the woman stormed off, Yaz followed her; in fact, I thought she was going to roundhouse her rude adversary. The thing is, though, even the woman's teenage kid was telling his mum to shut up. We thought about inviting him to join us in the pub.

Anyway, Yaz scowled a few more times, and we went to the pub where she decided to bypass diet coke in favour of the full strength stuff. Believe me when I say there was fire in her eyes. By this time the radio show had finished, so we went to the beer garden where the engineers were taking everything down, and where I tried to calm Yaz down. Eventually, after a multitude of swears, she saw the funny side and the true weekend chill commenced.

The thing is, I can completely understand parking hassles, and I was going to offer the wench my space until she started mouthing off at my friend. The bitch!


Incredible development at work, people! For some reason, what looks to be Klingon symbols have been seared into the driveway leading to the office!

They weren't there on Sunday when I went into work, but had mysteriously appeared on Monday morning. Ooo…! Isn't that amazing? Prepare for the invasion, you patahks!?

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Nothing to be sneezed at

Well, hayfever season has started then. I know that because I spent much of yesterday pebble-dashing my computer at work.

I'd had an inkling that it'd kick in soon - it always does around this time of year - but I always live in hope that I might still outgrow it. Never happens, though. So there I was yesterday, sneezing *everywhere* and I had no piriton to banish those hayfever blues.

Fortunately my comrade in all things Star Trek did. At least that's what he claimed they were…

Half an hour after popping one of those pills, y'see, I came over all drowsy and almost fell asleep. Somehow I managed to get home and have dinner, but by six o'clock I could think of nothing more than throwing myself on the bed and taking a nap. And by 'throwing myself on the bed and taking a nap' I pretty much mean standing at the end of the bed and collapsing onto it unconscious in a comedy stylee.

Two and a half hours later I wake up.

Yes, that's right. I am missing two and a half hours of my life.

Bearing in mind that I've taken piriton for over 20 years without any ill-effects, here's the question I put to my comrade in all things Star Trek this morning: was that rohypnol you plied me with, and did you date rape me?


Apart from the innumerable "bless yous" proffered by colleagues yesterday before I popped a pill and was maybe violated while passed out, I was offered an altogether different kind of blessing today.

Soon after I got up this morning – well, while I was pulling my undercrackers up, to be honest – I glanced out the window and noticed a rather stern looking ginger woman putting leaflets through all the doors down the road. Now, because some previous leafleting deviant appears to have torn my 'NO JUNK MAIL' sticker off the letterbox, I initially thought about opening my bedroom window, flashing her a copious amount of ME, and waving my fist around in a comical fashion if she even tried to stick something in my slot, but then I thought I can't be arsed; I'm seriously considering just attaching a bin to the other side of the front door though.

Anyway, a few minutes later as I'm just about to leave I pick her leaflet up and give it a quick read. Seems she's organising a clothes-drive for orphans or polar bears effected by global warming or something; *whatever*, because that's beside the point. What really grabbed my attention was the tagline at the bottom, which read:


WTF?! You mean to say I've done all those charity bike rides, donated money to numerous worthy causes, and been a sweet, good-natured cheeky chappy when all I had to do was stuff some old clothes in a bin bag and shove 'em on the street in order to get to Heaven? Awww, crap!

If anyone wants me I'll be in a gutter somewhere snorting 'piriton' off a hooker.