Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Beards, Jacko and general lunacy

As regular readers will know, I'm nothing if not suave and sophisticated. You at the back - stop sniggering. Any-hoo, over the last few years (and if you've been reading this for that long, God help you) I've experimented with growing a sophisticated beard to match my debonair appearance; on one occasion Sparky Nan said it made me look a bit like Clark Gable (not that Clark Gable would accessorise his neatly-trimmed beard with a hoodie and skate trainers, I imagine). The thing with beards, though, is that they can literally turn from 'sophisticated' to 'hobo-esque' in an instant. And no one likes a hobo. Unless it's of the littlest variety or you've got a particularly nasty fetish. Pervert.

The only course of action then is to shave it off, and I'm not keen on the completely shaved look because it makes me look like Linus from Peanuts.

That being the case, last week I bought myself what the packaging promised was a 'professional beard trimmer,' and I would like to state now that my purchase was in no way influenced by the fact that it looked like a phaser from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Anyway, I actually didn't use it for about four days after buying it, mainly because the instructions said it needed a long initial charge, but also because I needed to get over my paranoid fear that a gentle beard trim would inevitably end up with me sporting a one-inch wide shaven patch from my forehead back to my crown. Oh, and there was also the fact that I'd shaved the day before so I actually had nothing to trim unless I wanted to carve my name in my chest or accentuate my nipples.

Come the weekend, though, and I decided to give it a whirl. Now, if you've seen me in the stunning flesh you'll know that I like my sidies. not massive Elvis-style sidies, but reasonably trim ones that reach down to the bottom of my ears. Over time, though, they can get a little unruly, and keeping them in order with a normal razor is nigh on impossible; they inevitably end up looking like they've contracted a minor case of alopecia. Enter the professional beard trimmer/phaser.

So, Sunday evening there I am poised in front of the bathroom mirror, delicately edging the beard trimmer towards my prized right-hand sideburn. A few seconds later and I was beaming with pride: it was perfectly trimmed and looking awesome. Time for the left-hand one now!

And that's when I got cocky and took a chunk out of it. Oops.

So, the gist of it is, that, while the beard trimmer is awesome and I now know what to do with it, I'm currently sporting significantly shorter - albeit perfectly trim - sideburns. At least I'll know what to do, or rather 'not' what to do, next time…


You may have heard that Michael Jackson is playing a residency at the O2 in London this summer. Well, back in the day I was a bit of a Jacko fan, and despite all the stories and gossip about him over the last few years, and the fact that his last album was mostly shite, I've always thought that he's one of those artists that you should see if you get the opportunity. I mean, you think about it, the guy has got an astounding back catalogue of material from the Jackson Five right up to the handful of songs off his last album that weren't shite; all the talk of surgery, baby dangling and general weirdness seems to have overtaken that fact at some point, and it's a shame that there's probably an entire generation that genuinely don't think of him as one of the most influential recording artists of all time and only regard him as nothing more than a freaky byline in a cheap gossip magazine.

I think I digressed there but I'm not too sure. Anyway, yes, O2. London. Residency. Must go. I talked Yazzle Dazzle into accompanying me, countering her argument that she saw him the best part of 20 years ago by saying that's all well and good, but that was 20 years ago and now he looks like a totally different person. She soon caved under the weight of my logic, and I was up at the crack of dawn this morning to use my status as an O2 mobile customer to buy tickets in the O2 Michael Jackson ticket presale! Good times.

Sadly not.

The whole thing was a massive exercise in how to make something you knew was going to be wildly popular go amazingly tits-up. I was online at 7am this morning at which point O2's servers crashed under the sheer weight of traffic. After half an hour I finally got onto their website and into a queue. I queued *forever* before getting fed up and deciding I'd go to work and try again there. I got to work, tried again, and queued online for another 15 minutes only to be told that the presale for the date I'd requested had sold out. So I had to go back, chose another date, and queue again only to be told the same thing. I went back, chose anot- oh you get the idea; chuck in some totally unnecessary password validation errors, copious amounts of swearing, and then a message saying 'SORRY! ALL TICKETS TO THE O2 MICHAEL JACKSON PRESALE HAVE SOLD OUT!' and you get little glimpse of how things went.

That being the case, I now have to try for tickets on Friday when they open them up to general sale for all the civilians. Bah! On the plus side, Jacko's now doing 24 dates rather than 10. Poor bugger's going to be exhausted after that…


Yazzle Dazzle and I have decided we need to start recording our lunchtime coffee-fueled conversations and turn them into a podcast or something, because we've been on fire the last few days. In the space of half an hour today we played leaflet roulette (in which you have to guess which members of the public a woman handing out leaflets for a gym would actually hand leaflets to – she tended to ignore old people and, rather bizarrely, fat people), assigned celebrity names to various passersby who looked like famous people (we have a Michel from Gilmore Girls, a William Shatner, a Michael J. Fox, and a, um, notorious serial killer) and discussed whether you could knock a car over by throwing an Argos catalogue at it (our answer? Possibly, depending on the angle of the throw, strength of the throw, and height of the car). We've also been discussing the creation of our own dictionary; at the moment we only have a handful of words, but we're working on more:

Amrazing - The defination of something that is amazing, but graded in comparison to singer-songwriter Jason Mraz.

e.g: I'd give the Watchmen movie four out of five Mrazs; it was amrazing!

Huzzah! - Like 'hurrah' but with more pizzazz and often accompanied by magician-like 'ta-da!' hand movements.

e.g: I found a tenner - huzzah!

Gilwhoring - To show ones appreciation of, and addiction to, the television series Gilmore Girls.

e.g: I can't stop watching Gilmore Girls - I've cracked open the season two boxset and will be Gilwhoring it up after dinner!

Additions to the dictionary will be gratefully received. No doubt the compilers of the Oxford English Dictionary are quaking in their boots.


Ponita said...

What!? No before and after photos of the phazer trim???

What kind of blog is this, anyways....

*stomps off, muttering under breath*

missyandchrissy said...

agreed! we were hoping for a beard-trimming demonstration video after all that!

and i wonder who actually got the michael jackson tickets after all that server-crashing and queue-ing? hopefully you will get your paws on a pair soon!

Ponita said...

Hey, Tim, you've been tagged! Details at my place.

The Tall Red Head said...

I had the same thing when trying to get tickets for a music festival here. I was number 15 in line..then the server crashed and when I got back on I was number 3,764. Not happy! It took another 3 hours to get the tickets. I would honestly like to see Micheal in concert just to see what it was like. I wonder if he will lip sync like Britany Spears, but have his microphone on so people can hear him say embarrassing things like, "My pussy was hanging out in that song", which is what Ms Spears did at her concert a few days ago.

And, I also am upset that there was no before and after photos. Not that I am going to do that tommorrow. Mine is a bit different.

the projectivist said...

i am SO freakin' jealous!
leaflet roulette?
and the dictionary?
i want to play those games.
i reckon i'd be a natural born champ at leaflet roulette, what with my AMAZING retail skills, i'd kill at that game.
i'd let you be on my team, Tim.
cos you know i like a man with a beard.

Tim said...

Ponita - You can come back - I did that once before! And to prove it, I've just trawled through my archives to find the proof!

MissyandChrissy - Well, if you believe what's being said in the press just about everyone other than me is getting tickets in the presale. On the plus side, he's now doing 50 (!) gigs at the O2, so hopefully I won't have too much trouble getting tickets tomorrow!

Ponita - Intriguing!

The Tall Red Head - Oh god, isn't Britany such a lady?! On the other hand, she probably shouldn't be taking her pets on stage with her. Lord knows what would've happened if her puppies had escaped as well…

The Projectivist - We were playing leaflet roulette again today - it's such good fun that we were constantly facing the threat of having to spit out our coffee from too much laughter!

the projectivist said...

i work in designer surrounds - there's no leaflet-giving 'round here!
what can i play that will offer the same satisfaction of Leaflet Roulette? spot the botched plastic surgery or fake & real (handbags). not as much fun, see?

Tim said...

The same two people have been leafleting outside Secret Starbucks for three days now - I think we might be getting a bit too used to Leaflet Roulette; what will I do when they disappear?

Here's what I'll do: I'll come up with another game that can be played anywhere and then you too can join in the fun! Huzzah!

CyberPete said...

Hope you get tickets!

My mate and I are attending a Madge concert - that old and bitter show at the O2 only days before he starts his run. Poor timing because I can't get off work for it.

Ponita said...

Okay... I came back. I went and checked out the archives... personally, I liked the beard, but then, I am a bit partial to facial hair on a man. Provided it is neat and trimmed. No scruffy beards allowed.

You could always try a goatee and have the best of both worlds.... facial hair with shaving (a la phazer) required.

Tara said...

No photo of your uneven but well-trimmed sides? (frustrated sigh)..Well until you grow them back evenly, just walk with the side you were happy about facing out. Run and walk sideways for awhile and you'll be fine.

Tim said...

Cyberpete - You didn't hope enough: EPIC FAIL, despite the fact there are now 50 dates!

Ponita - I'm not sure about goatees, I just don't think it suits my face. I'm happy with beard at the moment though - and the phaser should keep it in check!

Tara - Sound advice! They've mostly grown back now, and I'll be more careful in future!!