Thursday, August 30, 2007

Fun time

As if you couldn't tell by the title of this post - it's fun time, bitches.

As you know, I do like a degree of interactivity with you guys, despite the fact that some of you are deviants and perverts. So let's have some fun. Are we all ready?

Right, there are two elements to fun time. Here is the first, which I like to call:

Text offender
Isn't it funny how you can look back through your text messages and not have the slightest clue what some of them mean when read out of context? Exactly that happened to me yesterday while I was deleting some sent messages. That being the case, the aim of this ridiculous game is to devise an amusing little story that will serve as a lead-in to a text message that I wrote.

And the text message that I wrote (that, truth be told, still baffles me a little) is:
"Ha! I remembered just as I got home! I'll stick with the shoe for the time being."
Seriously, don't ask me what that's all about, but I'd love to know what you think it's about…

Desperately seeking someone
Game number two was inspired by the speed-dating event I went to some years back where I met a number of emotionally scarred monsters. Ever since then, y'see, I've been sent emails listing 'girls in my area' (chance would be a fine thing). These emails reveal a small portion of the ladies' profile with the idea being that if you're intrigued by them you follow the link to the website. I never have, but I realised the other day that in their truncated form these profiles are ripe for abuse from shallow, horrifically offensive, and easily amused bloggers. So, with that in mind, and with all identities changed to protect the reasonably innocent, I ask you to finish this profile:
"I'm a bubbly type of girl, like to have a laugh and go places. I'm fed up being single and looking for someone for a relationship that could lead to more. I don't mind meeting people for fun either but..."
And although I'm protecting identities, I don't mind saying that for a lady on the wrong side of a nervous breakdown, she really needs to learn some freakin' punctuation. I won't share with you the corrections I had to make. Anyway, go wild and rude - I love it when you're dirty.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


OK, so there's a good reason why I haven't posted anything over the last few days - I've been watching the entire second season of Boston Legal: god, I *love* this show. I think it might be my new OC (which probably means it'll be axed at the end of the fourth season). And before you say anything, I don't just like it because William Shatner is in it; that used to be the case, but I've grown to appreciate it's many virtues beyond the inimitable Denny Crane. James Spader, for example; I never used to be a fan, but his performance as Alan Shore is just sublime - and don't even get me started on the magic that is the Shatner-Spader double act: TV gold.

I'm also finding myself strangely attracted to Candice Bergen, who plays Shirley Schmidt, she of Crane, Poole, and Schmidt fame. She's a sassy old gal who proves to be the perfect foil for Shatner and Spader. I like the way she articulates her words. And how she peers over her glasses. Rawr!

What I'm really liking about the show, though, is the way it manages to be both comedic and intelligent. Quite often I found myself rewinding Alan Shore's closing speeches - covering everything from the Iraq war to poverty - to enjoy them on various different levels. It's a quality show.

This is not one of Alan Shore's closing speeches, but it is one of my favourite Denny moments.

All this Boston Legal watching has had a bit of an effect on me, however. I've started saying my name over and over like Denny Crane, and I've got an overwhelming desire to re-train as a lawyer. Of course I won't, because I really can't be arsed to go through years of law school, but also because I know that in the real-world it simply wouldn't be as fun as the BL team make it look; it's probably really boring and tedious. That said, I do like the idea of saying "objection" all the time, and using the phrase "in perpituity" whenever possible, most likely in the office. Marcosy and I also think we need to have a balcony scene like those featured at the end of every episode, where Shatner and Spader smoke cigars and drink scotch.

I think we probably wouldn't dress as flamingoes, though. Although I do have the legs for it.


You can't say I don't live like a king, and this manifested itself in my choice of dinner tonight: microwave noodles. I had a bit of an urge for noodles, y'see, and the idea of microwaving anything always excites me. Anyway, the cooking instructions were fairly easy: open top, fill with water to 'fill level,' bang in microwave. Not wanting to make life easy for me, though, I stumbled a bit at step two: the f**kin' noodles float when you add the water, making it a bit difficult to judge the correct water-to-noodle ratio. I eventually sorted it though, mainly by not caring and just microwaving it regardless. Tasted alright too, although I honestly wouldn't be surprised if I saw them again before I go to bed tonight.


Ooo, by the way - how bionic are you? I'm upto 76%.


My return to work after an awesome week off has been an unmitigated success, if by 'unmitigated success' you mean I don't really remember what I'm supposed to be doing. Here's where my Denny Crane-isms can come into play: it's the mad cow disease. Any-hoo, I did have a most bizarre experience today. There's an old biddy who lives near the office who is notorious for butting into other people's business; she's shouted at me in the street for listening to my iPod, engaged a group of us in random conversation about classical music, and has a go at little kids for riding their scooters. Well, today the mad bint topped her own league of crazy: I was chatting to Janice, queen of the office, mistress of stationary in the street at lunchtime, when the old bat rolls up near us (she uses a walking frame). "Aaaaah!" she yells, "hello young lovers!" before wandering off leaving Janice in hysterics and me going "huh?"

Clearly I'm not the only one with mad cow. Crazy old bitch.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Loose ends

Well look at that - doesn't time fly when you're having fun? It doesn't seem like five minutes ago since I was sitting here last Friday, in my captain's chair, looking forward to my week off with high expectations. And now, here I am sitting in my captain's chair with just a weekend and a bank holiday Monday until I have to roll back into the office and regal the troops with my tales of excitement and derring-do.

While we've covered the excitement of this week's excessive gigging, that's not all I've been upto over the last few days. So put your feet up, grab a snack, and enjoy the blogging-equivalent of the special edition bonus disc cut scenes…


After Monday's immense Sainsbury's shop I kind of feel like I've descended into some merry junk food hell which, combined with my shocking absolute lack of exercise over the last nine days has conspired to make me feel a little "meh." I'm justifying today's diet of a McDonald's, a chocolate and vanilla cheesecake (in a little glass ramikin no less), and a packet of Hula Hoops as a special holiday treat, and shall tackle my lethargy when I resume running and cycling next week. Now, where's that bar of lard…


Although Tuesday was, of course, dominated by The Rolling Stones at the O2, I spent the earlier part of the day in Kingston in an attempt to carry out two very important duties; the first was my annual financial review, which was scuppered by a computer failure in the bank (a reminder, perhaps, that we really do depend on technology), while the second was a much-needed haircut. This time around I've shunned asymmetrical styling in favour of a more conventional short cut because the asymmetrical cut had become so familiar that it felt conventional, so I thought I'd be daring by returning to a conventional style. Does that make sense? You better believe it!


Wednesday: financial review the second, this time with working computers. I love financial reviews, because it's nice to have someone impartial tell you you're not a total f**k-up and you actually seem to be doing something right with your life and money.

Best piece of advice this time round? When I hit 60 I should "blow the lot on a Ferrari, drop a load of acid and just go crazy."

Good times!


If I was a Sesame Street toy, I think I'd be 'Tim'll be emo' rather than 'tickle me elmo.' After Wednesday's Decaydance Festival, you see, I seem to have become the clown prince of the emos. How do I know this? Well, the heaving mass of comments that appeared in my inbox after I posted six videos from the aformentioned gig on youtube are a pretty good indication. And bless them, they're actually quite sweet. Terrible at spelling, but quite sweet. Maybe we've been too hard on the emos in the past? I mean, they might sulk, mumble, and have horrific fashion sense, but essentially they're nice people. One even smiled at Yaz at the gig, albeit in a way that implied he had the weight of the world on his shoulders. And another admired my trainers. I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt - at least while they're rating my videos so highly.


Post financial review, I received a letter from the bank along with a handful of leaflets - you know, the ones you pretty much bin without actually looking at them. One did catch my eye though:

Holy crap! I thought I was starting a pension, not signing up!


I've started watching my second season boxset of Boston Legal. God, I love this show; it's both funny and startlingly eye-opening - one of the episodes I just watched had an incredibly touching moment where one of the lawyers opened a trial by steering the jury toward considering what would happen if their families where in the same position as the guy she was representing. In contrast, a previous episode had William Shatner shooting a fish.

Anyway, I'm about five episodes in, so I've got 22 left to go. That being the case, you can pretty much expect me to start writing in the style of Denny Crane; God help them when I go back to work and start making inappropriate comments while a cigar is stuck in my ear.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I write blog posts not tragedies: The Decaydance Festival at the Hammersmith Apollo

Another day, another gig! Having just gotten home, I had the option of watching tonight's Heroes, cracking open my Boston Legal Season Two boxset, or settling down in bed with my book. But what am I doing instead? I'm sharing people. Can you feel the love?

Today was the Decaydance Festival at the Hammersmith Apollo, and for those not in the know, that meant five bands:

• Cobra Starship
• The Academy is…
• Gym Class Heroes
• Panic! At the Disco
• Fall Out Boy

Right, I will say straight off that the audience was full of ungainly and awkward looking emos, most notably the rather bizarre one in the row in front of us that danced like an electrified monkey. It was also quite clear that Yaz and I were decidedly lacking in emo apparel. Neither of us were wearing strips, socks on our hands, mascara, or Converse trainers. Or t-shirts saying 'I LOVE YOU PETE WENTZ!' (mine was in the wash). And we missed the first band because Yaz had to get a couscous salad from M&S (it was either that or she'd fall over), and the queue was massive so we didn't get in until they'd finished. Hey-ho.

I'll be honest - the first two bands we saw, The Academy is… and Gym Class Heroes, didn't really do much for me; I only really wanted to go to this to see Panic! At the Disco and, to a lessor degree Fall Out Boy, and remember I'm still in the process of coming down from The Rolling Stones last night. In fact, I'm beginning to think that I should have a gig exclusion zone for about a month after seeing the Stones because it's unfair to compare anything else to them.

Anyway, on the plus side, Panic! At the Disco were bloody awesome, and they appear to be shedding some of their emo-esque tendencies, possibly in an effort to increase their appeal? I don't know. What I do know is that their show was massively toned down from the theatrics they've used before (which I've seen via the delights of youtube), but they were still very engaging to watch. They played a cover of some old song I rather like but can't remember the name of which was cool, and two new tracks which sounded very summery and uplifting, and dare I say it, rather Ben Folds-like. Who'd-a-thunk-it? Ha - and Brendon Urie made a reference to the infamous bottling incident (if you don't know what I'm on about, search youtube for 'Panic! At the Disco Reading Festival bottling') after he threw a plastic bottle into the audience: "I hope I didn't hurt anyone," he said, "I know what it's like…"

Anyway, with another band on my 'desperately want to see' list ticked off, I could've gone home a happy bunny after seeing Panic! But why go home when there was more to come?

Fall Out Boy were the last act on, and they were pretty damned good. Not upto Panic! levels if you ask me, but good nonetheless. You can't complain when they play covers of 'Beat It' and Huey Lewis' 'The Power of Love,' even if at least two thirds of the audience weren't born when the originals came out. I should probably say that I'm slightly scared by the lead singer's resemblance to the actor who plays the chief suspect in the movie Zodiac, and the whole 'This Ain't a Scene…' thing has been slightly ruined by the "I'm a little man … also into cats" video that popped up on youtube a while back.

All in all though, a good evening that probably would've been an amazing evening if I'd not seen the Stones last night, and if Panic! At the Disco had played for longer than 40 minutes.

Obligatory youtubey-ness! First up - Panic! At the Disco!

Next up - Fall Out Boy!

Off to bed now.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Start me up! The Rolling Stones at the 02 Arena

Exactly a year and a day after we last saw them at Twickenham Stadium, Sparky Ma and I hauled our way over to the 02 Arena in North Greenwich to once again worship the greatest rock 'n roll band in the world *EVAH* - The Rolling Stones.

This was my birthday present to Sparky Ma; OK, her birthday's not until next month, but I could hardly ask Mick 'n Keef to come back in September, could I? Or *could* I…? Anywaywe got up their a little bit early and had a stroll around the dome. I said it in my Prince post a few weeks back, and I'll say it again now: the dome is cool. There's actually quite a lot of it that's still empty, so it'll be cool to see what it's like in a year or so when a few more shops and restaurants are open. But in the meantime - it's got a beach! I kid yee not, people, there's a frikkin' inside beach with real sand an fake palm trees (best keep Keef away from them, I thought…).

Anyway, we went and got our seats after a little walk around. Unlike when I saw Prince, we were right up the top of the arena, but hell, you still get a cracking view, and it's at least half the size of any other venue I've seen the Stones play, so I'm not complaining.

Despite having seen posters that said the support act were going to be Jet, they'd either changed or I'd misread it, and we got The Kooks instead. Now, loooooooong time readers might recall that I bought The Kooks album just after I'd started blogging, and wrote a post saying how I thought it was OK. Well, after about two weeks I promptly went off them, and to be honest I can't say I was massively impressed by them live. The reasons for this are two-fold:

1. I don't really like their songs anymore, and I don't think they actually played that well.
2. The lead singer didn't make any attempt to engage with the crowd, and at one point said something that seemed a bit dismissive of the audience. And when they finished, he dropped his guitar on the stage and just walked off. Rude little shit.

Here's a clip of them anyway - you can make up your own mind. But whatever you think, they were a bit rubbish.

After The Kooks we sat there with expectation building for the main event. I’m always excited at gigs, but the Stones are something altogether different. Then all of a sudden the lights went down, and they exploded on to the stage; seriously, they don’t amble on – they literally explode out in front of you (well, maybe not *literally*, but you know what I mean). They started, appropriately enough with ‘Start Me Up,’ and awesomeness ensued.

This was The Rolling Stones like I’ve never seen them before; the stage set was stripped back – there were no massive constructions like there were at Twickenham last year, just a big video screen and four rock gods. And they proved, as if there could be any doubt, that they don’t need elaborate theatrics to put on a stunning show. Jagger was all over the stage, shaking his hips and waving his arms like a crazy man, while Keef just played out phat (yes, that’s with a ‘PH’) riffs and smiled. Ronnie was bounding around like a toddler after too many Capri Suns, and Charlie… Well Charlie was just like he always is: sitting behind his drums looking like he’d rather be at home watching Corrie, but a vital part of this rock ‘n roll circus nevertheless.

A moment of hilarity occurred just two songs in when, during ‘Rocks Off,’ Mick obviously thought he was finishing the song but the band kept playing. After a moment of what looked to be brief indignation, Jagger threw himself back into it, and when it really did finish he turned to the audience and said “how does that song finish anyway?”

I love the way that Jagger works the crowd; from running from one side of the stage to the other, to his exaggerated dance moves that would look, quite frankly, rather ridiculous if anyone else tried to pull them off, and inviting us all to Ronnie Wood’s party on Friday (seriously, can I go?), there’s no doubt in my mind that he is the most engaging and talented frontman ever to step onto a stage.

Then there was Keef and Ronnie violating the new smoking ban; Keef took a looooong drag on a ciggie, then knowingly said “that tastes gooood…” as he threw it to the stage. I mean, really, who the hell is going to tell Keith Richards to put his cigarette out?

And things only got better. When they wheeled the stage out into the centre of the arena to play three songs in the round I could literally see their eyes, could see the impish glee in Jagger’s face when he took a swig of water then drop-kicked the bottle into the audience. And they JUST. KEPT. GOING. We had an amazing rendition of ‘Paint it Black,’ and the audience were whipped into a frenzy of “WOO-WOOS!” during ‘Sympathy for the Devil.’ Finally, just before 11pm they came out one more time for ‘Brown Sugar’ (how could they not play that?), before taking their bows (in Jagger’s case, such elaborate and over the top bows that they made Sparky Ma laugh and call him a “prima-donna”) and leaving the stage.

AMAZING. I said it last year, and I’ll say it again: if you get the chance to see the Stones, TAKE IT. Now, should I go see them again on Sunday…?


OK chaps, my photos turned out a bit crappy, mainly because the lighting in the arena made it look like I spent the evening watching a supernova explode, but, y’know, here they are anyway.

And here's my video clips!

WOO-WOO! You can just about make out a tiny tiny Mick Jagger bounding onto stage at the end of this one!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Easing myself in gently

Three days into my break from work and things haven't exactly been going swimmingly. I developed a headache on Saturday which ended up making me feel slightly nauseous, though I managed to hold it back and did not redecorate the interior of Marcosy's car during our failed trip to buy multiple iMacs/steal some random's iPhone.

On Sunday I woke up to find that the headache was still lurking; it was thus probably not the best thing in the world evah, then, to sit in front of the telly all day playing Xbox. By the evening I felt just a little bit horrific.

Today I was rudely awoken by the groundskeepers tending to the lawns. I was rather tempted to stride on to the veranda and ask them to keep it down*.

On the plus side, the headache's gone.


So with my first proper day of holiday ahead of me, what the hell did I do? Well I'll tell you: I went to Sainsbury's.

Now this might not really sound like something that would generally induce a round of fresh pants, but it was just a little bit more exciting than usual because they've refurbished my store! It was like a food-based adventure, though starting off was a bit tricky because they'd replaced the fruit and veg bit with ladies clothes. Not that I usually hang around in fruit and veg too long - it's generally just the bit that guides me towards puddings.

Anyway, bypassing ladies clothes and fruit and veg, I managed to find the normal food bits, and proceeded to fill my trolley with all manner of delights. The Covent Garden Soup Company's honey porridge (comes in a carton, not too sure whether it's one serving or two), new limited-edition orange Coke (tastes like flat tango), and Stony's chocolate yoghurt (tastes awesome, and helps save the planet - everyone's a winner!). There was some other stuff too, but I shan't bore you by typing out my receipt.

What was mildly perplexing though, was the fact that as I was rolling my trolley towards the back of the store, I noticed that it felt heavier. My initial thought was that they'd initiated a dense gravity field the further into the store you went, and at some point, possibly around the bakery, it might collapse into a black hole. But no, parking my trolley by the milk I realised that there was actually a gradual incline the further into the store you went. Weird, I thought, before noticing that sweets and cakes are located at the back of the shop; this is obviously a cunning ploy by Sainsbury's to tackle Britain's obesity timebomb.


OK, I finally caved people: I joined Facebook. So far it's been one completely confusing mess; I've been poked several times by a variety of people, and Lee took my wall virginity, which was surprisingly painless. On the plus side, I've been befriended by several awesome people I have worked with/currently work with/met via blogging/am in danger of being stalked by, so all's just ducky.

I don't quite understand why it's supposedly better than Myspace (which in my opinion so far is a lot more user friendly), but it's only died on me twice today, so it seems infinitely more reliable than Myspace.

Lord knows how the hell you link to it, so if you want to friend me, or face me, or book me, or whatever the hell it's called, just search for me by my real name. Shouldn't be too difficult…

*And by that I mean: today I was rudely awoken by some nutters with lawn mowers butchering the communial grounds in my road. I was rather tempted to lean out of my window while rocking crazy-man hair and shout "keep it down, you f**king f**kers!"

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Failure to buy

So I met up with Marcosy yesterday for what was supposed to be the shopping spree to end all shopping sprees. I literally expected to see money burn.

We started off by heading to Sweatshop in Teddington because Marcosy wanted to buy a Nike+ running top despite the fact that he doesn't own an iPod Nano or a Nike+ running kit, and he doesn't run outside in the real world. Sadly for him, they didn't have any, or maybe they saw him coming and hid them? Who knows. What they did have, though, was a black Nike running top with blue shoulders - which looked exactly like the uniforms from Star Trek: Voyager. Despite constant badgering from me, Marcosy did not buy one, I suspect because he doesn't want to look like Voyager's Emergency Medical Hologram.

On to Kingston we went, where we met up with Yaz. As I mentioned yesterday, all three of us want new iMacs, but unfortunately I can't buy one until we upgrade our clockwork software at work. But Yaz and Marcosy have no such problems! So, after a delightful coffee in the market square where we were rained on a little and harrassed by starlings, we wandered up to the Apple Store where I hoped to see credit cards igniting before my very eyes. There we were perving over the 24 inch iMacs, when some Apple dude (or should that be iDude?) came up to offer us advice. He was called Dave, and Yaz became rather besotted with him.

Apparently he had twinkly eyes.

Anyway, they stood there for a while chatting away, maybe exchanging phone numbers, so I walked off around the store. And lo, what did I discover? An iPhone.

Yes, I said: an iPhone.

It was owned by a customer, and bizarrely for me (I'm always constantly aware of stranger danger) I actually started talking to the bloke about his iPhone. He'd bought it off eBay for 400 quid, but it wasn't unlocked so he actually couldn't use it to make calls. It was effectively the most expensive 8GB MP3 player in the world. Anyway, he wanted to buy a speaker dock and an Apple remote so he could control it from across his living room. At one point he put his iPhone in an iPod hi-fi, and stepped back about five metres. I'm ashamed to say for the first time in my life I actually had a vision of me stealing something; I pictured myself dashing forward, nabbing it, and running off, never to be seen again.

Thankfully I restrained my thieving urges. And anyway, he had some really crappy music on it.

When iPhone guy left I turned back to Marcosy and Yaz, who for a variety of dismal and pathetic reasons had decided "not to buy today." I scowled, because of all of us I had ended up spending the most money and I'd only bought one sheet of wrapping paper and a 45p tag, and told Yaz that Dave would be disappointed in her.


On our way back to the car park I tried on a jacket that I'd seen and really liked. Unusually for me, it's a rather smart jacket, and it does kind of remind me a little bit of the maroon uniforms from Star Treks II-VI, which I probably shouldn't admit to. I really liked it, but I wasn't sure I wanted to spend 150 quid on it. Still, Sparky Ma and I are heading to Kingston on Friday for one of our traditional marathon shopping sessions, so I have time to think about it and decide if I should buy it then. If anyone's interested in what it looks like, click here. It's called the Battle Denim Blazer, and I think it would make me look quite dapper during the winter months.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Done and dusted

So, after a furious week of non-stop work and looming deadlines, everything is finished, wrapped up nicely with a pretty little bow on top - and I am on holiday!


I have 10 days to do with as I please, oh yeeeeah. So whatever shall I do? Well, I started well last night by popping along to my old haunt - the Irish pub, or the 'oyrish,' as it should probably be called - in Putney to help the lovely Nikki celebrate her *quitely mumbles* somethingsomething birthday, which was great because it gave me the chance to catch up with some old friends I worked with long ago and hadn't seen for ages. Good times!

Today I've woken up with crazy-man hair, which must mean I slept a much-needed sleep of the gods last night. When I've flattened it down, I'll be popping out with Marcosy in an attempt to make him spend thousands of pounds on a new iMac.

Did I just say new iMac? I just said new iMac.

*insert mental image of Tim drooling like Homer Simpson*

I so badly want one, but because the software we use at work is so old it's incompatible with them. *makes note to self to push for software upgrade upon return* That being the case, I'm going to live vicariously through Marcosy. I could also knee-cap him and steal it. Hmmm…

So what else is on the agenda for the coming week? Well, let me tell you people, excitement and imagination await at the final frontier!

• Tuesday will see Sparky Ma and I bear witness to the greatest rock 'n roll spectacle on Earth!
• Wednesday will see my transformation into an emo become complete!
• Other days are still to be determined!
• But I do have an appointment at the bank scheduled!
• And a haircut!

Wow. I think I need a lie down. The excitment has gotten to me already.


While I plan world domination, has anyone else noticed the similarity between the new Foo Fighters song 'The Pretender' and the classic Sesame Street 'One of these things is not like the other'?

The Foos:

And now Sesame Street (although I'm using an advert for the new Mini Clubman 'cos it's funny):

Can't you just tell Dave Grohl's got a kid now?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I'm a guru!

And to prove it, I've got my very own protége!

Last night I played badminton with Sweatband. We've been meaning to play for ages, but she kept wimping out with excuses like "oh, I've go too much work," or "oh, I've not played in years, I'll be all spackerish." After endlessly harrassment, however, she finally caved in and I booked up a court.

Truth be told though, work's been a bit mental this week, and we both admitted that if I hadn't booked it a week ago, we could've done with the time to carry on with our respective day jobs. Still, it was a nice, and probably much-needed diversion from our computer screens, so, er, hurrah!

Sweatband was still complaining as we wandered onto the court. "It's been five years since I last played, blah blah blah," so to shut her up I made a concerted effort to whack her with the shuttlecock. I think I got her left thigh and this seemed to have the desired effect of forcing her to make more of an effort and stop complaining. Sweatband is the last person I expect to show a lack of enthusiasm for sport, y'see; earlier this year she ran the London Marathon, and she kept reminding me of this as we knocked the shuttle around, almost as if I'd suddenly say "shit - you're hardcore," and concede the match. At one point in her badminton-fuelled delirium she actually shouted out "I won the London Marathon," which was pushing it a little bit too far.

Anyway, aside from reintroducing Sweatband to the joys of badminton, it also gave me the opportunity to put my long-dormant teaching skills to use - can you believe I actually qualified as a badminton instructor about 12 years ago? I shit you not, kids. Never used it aside from helping mates improve their skills, but it looks good on the CV. So yeah, there I was telling Sweatband what to do, and she was actually doing it. How cool is that? She was like my little jedi padawan, the Saavik to my Spock! She called me her badminton guru!!

And bless her, she did the most hilarious little dance when she scored her first point. If I'd had my phone on me, I promise you now that thing would've been straight up on youtube.

Monday, August 13, 2007

That was the weekend that was

Yet again I've done nothing of immense interest over the last couple of days. I say: why change the habit of a lifetime? Others might just say: shut up.

Others might just be right.

Anyway, there has been the odd burst of excitement and drama since I last posted an- Actually, I'm just going to pause there. Glancing through the comments on my last post, I've come to the admittedly fairly obvious conclusion that you lot are a bunch of perverts and deviants. Never have I seen the word 'penis' used so freely and easily. Lord knows what sort of weirdos Google will direct my way now. That said, I still like you.

Now, where was I? Oh yes…

At around eight o'clock in the evening I decided I'd wash my car; it was either that or go for a run, and quite frankly I couldn't be arsed to do that. That and the fact that my car was looking really dirty, and recently someone else has moved into my road and he also owns a red 'n white Mini but his is clean. And I'm really not happy about someone having a cleaner Mini than me. So out I went, and washed the little bugger down. It looks much better now, and - sticks two-fingers up at new bloke - my wheels are cleaner than his. *snaps*

On Saturd- God. What the hell did I do on Saturday? I remember watching the Thunderbirds movie on telly, followed by Tomb Raider II: The Cradle of Life, which I inexplicably confused with a Disney show tune and renamed Tomb Raider II: The Circle of Life. But beyond that, well, the daytime is just a blur. Whoosh. Oh, I had an awesome time in the evening, though. I ended up playing Project Gotham Racing 3 on my Xbox against some dude from Sweden. He was very drunk and confided in me (and the six other people that we were playing against, though I don't think he was particularly aware of them) that the northern areas of Sweden are now devoid of women (they've all moved to the warmer climes of the south apparently), and he's had to resort to killing and f**king polar bears (in that order, I believe). This spurred a Mexican chap on to add that the only animals in his country are chickens and pinatas, but he didn't divulge whether he enjoyed them on any sort of meaningful or sexual level.

Best evening of Xbox I've had in a long time.

Sunday was noticeable for me doing some work (bleeugh) and going to Mr. Chunt's surprise Birthday gathering in Barnes. A good time was had by all, even, I believe, by Mr. Chunt, who rarely shows emotion; I swear, the man is a Vulcan.

Anyway, next door to the pub was an American car specialist, which deals in all the huge muscle cars we're deprived of on this small island. I spent a couple of minutes perving over two Ford Mustangs, which were apparently "fully-loaded" and yet cost a very reasonable £21,000 apiece. But then I noticed this mad bastard of a car:

This, my friends, is a Roush-tuned Mustang, which makes me feel really quite horny. Roush add a supercharger to the bog-standard V8, giving it 427 bhp and I expect a 0-60 time somewhere in the realm of the Starship Enterprise. All this for the bargain price of £46,000; yes, that's right, you could have two ordinary Mustangs for the price of this one. But god, look at it. I'd love to know what the C02 output of this mutha is; I keep having visions of it cruising down a road with everything behind it either dead or dying. Isn't it awesome?

I almost left a little deposit on it, but fortunately I managed to wipe it off with my hanky.


Favourite news bylines of the day:

The always excellent trekweb with their headline 'George Takei on Zachery Quinto and Leonard Nimoy' conjured all sorts of weird mental imagery, while the free Chiswick magazine 'Westside' caught my attention with the strapline 'Tempting tarts in Chiswick.' Sadly, it was just an article about a bakery.


The last word goes to Marcosy, and ties back in with something I mentioned earlier in this post. I popped into the Apple Store in Kingston over the weekend, and spent a few minutes checking out the new iMacs. Gorgeous machines - I want one. And Marcosy does too, so this morning I sent him an email that said:
"Guess what I was playing with over the weekend?"
Knowing him, I really shouldn't have been surprised when I got the following response:
"Was it your penis? Everyone on your blog says it was your penis."
You people are on the verge of being obsessed. Restraining orders will be forthcoming.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Choose your own adventure: The return

So, regular readers might recall that back in October last year we played a little game that I liked to call 'choose your own adventure.' The idea at the time was to make it a regular thing (or "thang" if I'm talking in a Southern twang; occasionally I like talking in a Southern twang), but for some reason or another it fell by the wayside. But fear not, you kerrrrazy kids: IT'S BACK!


The rules:
Below is an outline of my day, with 20 words omitted and replaced by a sexy number. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to fill in the blanks to make my day sound as super-sexily-exciting or mildly demented as possible. Post your answers as a comment, either by listing the numbers and the words that replace them, or by pasting the entire thang (thing) into a comment with your words in place.

Get it? Got it? Good!



I woke up pretty early this morning, but decided that I would spend just a little more time in [1], eventually leaving at around 7:50. I was halfway to work by the time I realised that I'd forgotten to put on any [2], which worried me a bit because it was a hot day. Things didn't improve by the time I got to the office because [3] was waiting outside. Despite this, I made a [4], and got lots done over the course of the morning, which was good. At lunchtime I met Yaz and we went to [5] where I had an awesome [6]. The [7] were quizzing me about my [8], but I didn't give them much information.

Things went well in the afternoon too; I managed to get a load of stuff done for [9], and even sorted out some [10]. The most exciting thing, though, was that I declared [11] on [12]. To be honest, I think I'll win purely because there's more of us [13], and it was just [14] and two [15] upstairs. Maybe I should just plant my [16] in their [17]?

I left work at around five, jumped in the [18], and drove home, where I had a [19] and chips for dinner. Now I think I might go wash my [20]; lord knows, I haven't done it in ages and it looks filthy.


Over to you, peep-holes!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

As dictated by his lordship

I knew it was coming, but the inevitable email from Marcosy still came as something of a shock when it exploded into my inbox this morning:
"Where's your latest blog post? I'm getting impatient!"
So, Marcosy, this one's for you.


I went out on my bike in the glorious sunshine at the weekend. Ah-ha! I thought, maybe even thrusting my pointed finger into the air while a cartoon light bulb appeared above my head - here's a perfect opportunity to sort out those blasted tanlines! An earlier bike ride, y'see, left me with some pretty severe lines at around the arm level of a short-sleeve t-shirt - the kind of thing that leaves you looking like you're wearing a pasty, flesh coloured t-shirt when you pull your top off.

My stroke of genius here, then, was that it was so hot I decided to go out in just my shorts; of course, I say 'just my shorts,' but then you have to figure in my camelbak - a rucksack with a water-filled bladder I can suckle from while cycling. What my stroke of genius failed to take into consideration was that my camelbak has straps; thus, the result is that while I'm rid of the original tanlines (they've now been incorporated into some sort of weird tan-based gradient), I now possess some stunning new ones that make me look like I'm wearing a pasty, flesh coloured wife-beater. But only on my back.

Sometimes I *just* can't win.


My hair looks awesome today.


I arrived home to something of a surprise last night: a huge wheelie bin parked outside my house. And then I noticed there was a huge wheelie bin parked outside everyone's house. It was like a really cheap episode of Doctor Who. Being laden-down with shopping after a trip to Sainsbury's, I pretty much gave my wheelie bin an ironic look, and walked straight on past it. Ten minutes later, though, I was back out to have a look at it, and pretty much just stood there looking like a spacker checking out a wheelie bin. About all I was able to glean from it was that, yep, it was a wheelie bin. So I wheeled it round to the side of my house. Then I figured I'd put some rubbish in it. I mean, why the hell not?

A few hours later, I was doing some work (did I mention I'm really busy at the moment? I'm rushed off my tanned titties, people), when a letter popped through my letter box - it was from my resident's association, and was all about the exciting new bin situation. Being a little bit eager to get the full skinny on what was going down, and being even more eager to not do any work for a couple of minutes, I went outside to talk to the dear old lady in charge of such matters.

To cut a long story short, it seems like we'll be getting another exciting wheelie bin for recycling soon, giving each little house two ma-hoo-sive wheelie bins. Now, in the grand scheme of things this is a super idea, but it's going to make my little road look like a bit like a retirement home for wheelie bins. And I'm pretty sure some drunken chav will, at some point, take utter delight in upending the whole lot and leaving us to pick up the pieces.

*shakes fist at chavs*

Anyway, I was talking to this little old lady for about 10 minutes, when all of a sudden she abruptly turned the conversation on its head and started trying to sell me on the prospect of becoming a director of the resident's association. Oh blimey, I thought, desperately trying to extricate myself from the conversation; sadly, my excuse that I simply *had* to press on with a four-page gatefold on the asteroid ship Yonada (as featured in episode 65, 'For the World is Hollow and I have Touched the Sky') fell on deaf ears. It was at that moment that I briefly considered picking the dear thing up and popping her in my new wheelie bin. And I really would have, if I could've been bothered to wrestle an old lady at nine-thirty at night.

I'm blaming her if this issue goes late.


And now an apology:
Dear Channel 5 weather girl Lara Lewington - please accept my humblest, most sincere apologies. Recently, I put a video of one of you weather reports up on youtube, where, it seems, you have attracted the lascivious attentions of a number of youtube users. It was not my intention to put you forward as an object of sexual desire for tinternet users, and I regret that this is the case.

On the plus side, you may like to know that you've been rated five out of five, and at least one user would "totally knob" you.


Bunny watch:
Regular readers will recall that I went for a midweek bike ride last week. And I enjoyed it so much I've just done it again! Obviously what with it being the evening and the Met Office issuing a severe weather warning there was little opportunity for me to try and correct the aforementioned tanline issue, but it did provide me with another chance to check out the little bunnies on the towpath by Hampton Court. Aaaah, they were there again, and still looking sweet and adorable. Although I am thinking that I may have to stop doing this route, because the law of averages suggests that one day I'm going to have a bunny-related incident, and I really don't want to have to either swap insurance details with a rabbit, or have to put one out of its misery after it gets caught up in my chain. Hmmm… I suppose I could alway lob it in the river…

Anyway, I was going to take a little video of the bunnies milling around for you all to see, but when I arrived at a place with sufficient lighting I glanced over and saw this rough-looking beast of a bunny sitting on his haunches glaring at me, totally at odds with all the other cheerful looking bunnies. It was like a bunny godfather. If bunnies could speak, this one would've said "No picture! No paparazzi!" in a threatening east-european accent. That being the case, I just kept pedalling.

I really didn't want that disease ridden, grizzled old bastard launching itself at me on a Tuesday evening.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Gett Off (the tube at North Greenwich and turn right): Prince at the O2

Right, let's get the only disappointment of the evening out of the way first: he didn't play 'Batdance.'


I went 2 c Prince per4rm at th- Oh, wait, I can't keep this Prince-speak up all the time. I'm reverting to regular speak.

I went to see Prince perform at the O2 last night. Now, I've not been to the O2, or the Venue Formerly Known As The Millennium Dome before, so this was something of an adventure in itself. And I've got to say - what a wicked place! The tube station is super-close, and there's a nice open plaza in front of the dome, sorry, the O2, which has meridian lines and stuff (well, it is in Greenwich); yes, like Hiro from 'Heroes' I was able to straddle time (still working on the space bit).

The O2 itself is quite deceptive. Up close it actually looks really small, but when you get inside it's like a little town, with bars and restaurants and a little street. It's very cool. As a gig venue though… well, the O2 arena just became one of my very favourite places. It's deceptive in that while it has a large capacity, it actually feels rather small. It also has comfy seats and cup holders. And as Prince was playing in the round we were actually quite close to the stage. Good times!

There was one slightly annoying thing though - a message that flashed up 'Prince has requested that you do not take photos or videos of tonight's performance. This show is for your memories.'

This was followed by: 'Anyone caught taking photographs will be ejected from the arena.' Which made me look under my chair in case there was an elaborate ejection seat system hidden away. There wasn't, and using a technical loophole I snapped a pic of the funky stage before the show started (clever, eh?).

There was no support act, and Prince kicked off a little after 20:30. Oh. My. God. I really don't know what to say. This was one of the best gigs I've been to in a looooooong time. He had an awesome band, complete with legendary saxophonist Maceo Parker, a woman who looked like 1960s Diana Ross in a gold-sequinned dress and the biggest false eyelashes EVAH on drums, and some sassy woman in what looked like a cape workin' the crowd (she was about as close to 'Batdance' as we got). And Prince appeared through a hatch in the middle of the stage; in fact, he appeared and disappeared through the hatch several times, which makes me think he quite likes his hatch, even though I think it's technically a health and safety accident waiting to happen.

Anyway, to the music - over the course of a couple of hours he pretty much did everything I hoped he would, from 'Controversy,' to 'U Got the Look,' 'Purple Rain,' 'Guitar,' and 'Let's Go Crazy,' which was awesome because he teased us with the first line, "dearly beloved…", then left the mike to wander around the stage while whipping the crowd into a frenzy. That man had all of us in the palm of his tiny, tiny hand. He even invited some randoms from the audience onto the stage at one point where they danced in a slightly awkward fashion to 'Play that Funky Music,' which he stopped playing briefly to tell one bloke he was clapping in the wrong place.

All in all, then, a gig of EPIC proportions. And with Prince's promise that every night will be different, I'm thinking I might have to go back later in the run to see him again…

I'm gonna give the last word to my bro, who summed up the show best when, during one of Prince's virtuoso guitar solos, he lent across to me and said "Hendrix isn't dead."


So, yeah, that no photo thing… yeah, that means no pics, and no youtube videos, which is a bit of a shame because I'd loved to have shown you at least a tiny glimpse of the man in action.

Oh, you know I had to take at least a couple of pics - in a totally Secret Squirrel fashion of course!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Of rabbits and robots

I know it's only been three days since I last posted, but I've gotten rather anxious about not writing something new. I think it's Marcosy's fault; he gets awfully vexed if I don't post regularly, and I've been fearfully awaiting an irate email from him telling me to get my arse in gear.

So: aye, aye - clutch is down, and gear is engaged!

To be honest I've had good reason for my brief absence - for the simple fact that I've been (gasp) busy. Or as they say in Star Trek episode 60, 'And the Children Shall Lead,' "bizzy."

Post the 'Dear JJ' post (still waiting, JJ, incidently) I cracked on with some work. I'd promised to write an article for the Japanese version of the Fact Files, and while I'd gotten the bulk of it done over the weekend, there were some loose ends and fact-checking I wanted to get done. So I got it done, and everything is groovy.

Tuesday was a beautiful day, wasn't it? Well, actually, I don't know what it was like in your area (snigger!), but in mine it was awesome. I even convinced the lovely Janice, Queen of the Office, Provider of Stationary to finance some company ice creams out of petty cash, which makes us both awesome because I suggested it and she agreed to it. Anyway, it was such a nice day that I decided spur of the moment to dispense with my planned evening run and ventured instead into uncharted territory with an evening cycle.

(Cue collective "ooo," a bit like those three-eyed green aliens in 'Toy Story,' if you would be so kind)

Now I haven't been out for an evening bike ride since I was about 13, and even then it was only over Terminal Four Hill by the airport, which was about 10 minutes from home at the time (Terminal Four Hill is, incidently, right by Heathrow's Terminal Four. Which maybe explains why Terminal Four is called Terminal Four; I like it when things are named after local landmarks), so this was all rather exciting. I decided that I'd only do a short-ish ride, maybe about an hour in length, because after all the evening does tend to lead into the night, and I haven't got any lights on my bike. So off I set in glorious sunshine for my cycling adventure at exactly 19:17.

My plan was to cycle along the Thames to Hampton Court, down the towpath to Kingston, up into Richmond Park, through the park to Richmond Gate, then zoom down Richmond Hill, rejoin the river, and retrace my steps home. Easy. Turns out, though, that that journey takes rather more than an hour. It actually takes about two hours, and by the latter stage I was furiously peddling in an effort to chase the last rays of sunlight all the way home. Which was a bit difficult coming back along by Hampton Court because the towpath was overrun by freakin' bunnies. They were *everywhere*. Seriously. There were *masses* of them, and they were *fearless*. They just would not get out of my way and I had to serve around them, which can be a bit difficult when they're moving. Maybe I should've rung my little bell? Anyway, I was going to take a photo of one; I got right up close to it, and it just sat there wiping its ears with its little paws, but then I realised that by the time I got my phone out of my bag, and took aim the little shit would've moved. Oh, and you probably wouldn't have been able to see it anyway because, did I mention, it was getting FREAKIN' DARK BY THEN.

To sum up, then, here's what I learned on Tuesday night:
• Evening bike rides are great.
• I should probably buy some bike lights.
• Bunnies are *fearless*.

Big plans on Wednesday evening: Nandos with Yaz and El Deanio, followed by Transformers at the cinema with my aforementioned accomplaces and BSH. Due to a bit of a balls up, El Deanio missed out on the Nandos, but Yaz and I did indulge in some chickeny-goodness which was good, and 100 percent chickeny.

Now, Transformers was an intriguing prospect, because like many others of my generation, I had a pretty big fear that it would just shat on one of my golden childhood memories, despite the apparent winning combination of BIG ROBOTS+SENSELESS ACTIONxZERO PLOT=BEST FILM EVAH.

Imagine how pleasantly surprised I was, then, to discover that Transformers was one of the best blockbuster movies I've seen in a long time. Yes it had the aforementioned BIG ROBOTS and SENSELESS ACTION, but it actually did have a plot, and it was genuinely funny; I actually think I laughed more during this film than I did during The Simpsons Movie. Maybe there is hope for Michael Bay after all?