Friday, October 30, 2009

The greatness of post-its

When I'm struggling for inspiration at work I do what many other office workers do and doodle. But I'm very particular about what what I doodle with, and what I doodle on. I have to use a specific black felt-tip pen, and I have to have a post-it note to draw on. And by post-it note I mean the regular yellow, square post-it notes - proper post-it notes, I mean, not some cheap knock-off.

Over the years I've come to regard the post-it note as the perfect canvas for quick illustrations. It's perfectly sized for a quick BAM-BAM sketch that takes no more than a minute or two to bash out. And usually when I've finished a doodle I'll roll the post-it note into a long thin tube, crush it, and chuck it in the bin.

(Though I did once keep hold of a load of these tubes, and over the course of several months attached about 20 of them together to form a long, thin stick with the intention of using it to poke other members of staff without having to leave the comfort of my chair. Sadly the uber stick was somewhat lacking in structural integrity and collapsed under the weight of its own greatness during the course of the inaugural prodding)

Anyway, over the last couple of weeks I've found myself unable - or rather unwilling - to bin some of the doodles I've created, and not really knowing what else to do with them I thought I'd share them here with you.

So here you are.

Fun with post-it notes begins with a pretty obvious Dingbat that I directed towards a colleague in jest.

A really quite crappy sketch of the Enterprise. Notice the blue deflector dish; I generally don't use colour in my doodles, but I thought this lifted it a smidgeon.

Odo from Deep Space Nine. I'm rather proud of this one - I like the way he's offset to the right of frame, and he's got a particularly melancholy look on his face that I find strangely appropriate. Obviously the whole Star Trek theme is something of an occupational hazard.

The Joker. I didn't actually intend to draw the Joker, but I started with a particularly demonic pair of eyes enshrouded in shadow, which kind of lent themselves to him. Again, I used a little bit of colour for effect.


An aside:

I'm really hoping it starts dropping down cold soon because I rather fancy the idea of wrapping myself up in an old vintage muff.


Actually, I've always rather liked the idea of organising an exhibition where you just get loads of people to draw whatever the hell they want on a normal post-it note then show them in a gallery. I'm sure it's been done, but I'm strangely drawn to the idea of several walls just lined with hundreds and hundreds of unique post-it illustrations. And really, who doesn't have the time to scrawl something on a small yellow square?

Oh, but wait! That's not all they're good for - why this very afternoon I also fashioned one into a tiny hockey stick.

Actually, this is a reasonably poor facsimile of the original which proved necessary after an ill-timed combination of iPhoto crashing moments after I'd clicked the 'delete originals' option, wiping about five photos I'd taken today. Take my word for it when I say the original was *awesome*.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Meet Fred

Longtime readers will know that I do love a trip to IKEA; easy to assemble furniture, cheap and colourful teeny tiny tables, chairs pulled straight out of the Seven Dwarves' house, and the opportunity to arrange stuffed toys in filthy poses - quite frankly it's like I died and went to Sweden.

And just the other week I seized the opportunity to go again - good times!

So, the reasoning here, like I EVER need a reason to go to IKEA, was that I wanted a new LACK table. No, before you even think about suggesting it, I have not worn the little red LACK out through too much LACK love - although now they've knocked it down to a bargain £4.99, I was sorely tempted to get a couple more (a bit like Pokemon, maybe I 'gotta have 'em all'); instead, I wanted one of the classy new wood effect ones for my bedroom.

Since I started living at Sparky Towers y'see (actually four years ago last week since I bought the place!) I've been using a comics long box as a bedside table. I left my books on it. I left my alarm clock on it. I left my iPhone on it, and it was one horrifically early morning when I failed to reach over to turn my iPhone alarm off and it vibrated across the box and onto the (fortunately carpeted) floor that I decided I really should invest in a proper bedside table.

And so IKEA called to me, and I called to Best Mate Jo to accompany me.

To be honest, I totally picked the wrong night to go because it was Divali and Wembley was jam-packed with people celebrating. It took ages to get to IKEA, and then when we got there we were dismayed to find that loads of people were parking in the car park then wandering off to celebrate somewhere. Eventually we got a space, though, and the IKEA-fest could begin.

The first thing I saw was a limited edition bookshelf that looked like it had been graffiti'd with quotes from Shakespeare.

It was only 39 quid, and I desperately wanted one. Unfortunately, I couldn't for the life of me think of anywhere in Sparky Towers where I could actually put it, so just looked at it longingly, before Jo managed to tear me away.

Next, I got a little bit obsessed with a plush shark from IKEA's range of terrifying children's toys, but Jo made me put that back as well.

Elsewhere, it looked like IKEA was branching out into publishing with a book that, without actually taking a look inside, I can only guess is a guide to auto-erotic asphyxiation.

Antique-stained Bumerangs? ACK! TOO. MANY. JOKES.

I really liked this light, but again I didn't have a clue where I might actually put it. There was something slightly hypnotic about it, and I'm pretty sure I stood there staring at it for about 10 minutes before Jo managed to tempt me away with the promise of some terrifying plush shark action. It looked like a visual effect from Star Trek (the light, not the shark).

All in all, then, it was a pretty good expedition. I got my new LACK, which is great even if the wood-effect ones are still priced at £7.99 (outrageous), as well as three tiny cacti which have replaced the ones that I killed died in my little Mexican-themed earthenware pots.

Purchase of the night, though, has to have been Fred, a large houseplant I decided to buy. I don't know why I ended up calling it Fred, but the name has stuck, so Fred it is.

Although in hindsight, it does look quite a lot like Sideshow Bob from The Simpsons. Anyone care for a wager as to how long it'll take Fred to drop dead under my care?

Friday, October 23, 2009


I've noticed two things recently. One is that there appears to be an inordinately high number of short people around at the moment, and the other is that I think I'm developing some sort of variation of Tourette's Syndrome where I feel compelled to tell people the truth. At lunchtime today these two things collided in what could've been a very nasty incident.

Because I saw a short woman smoking and I had an overwhelming desire to tell her that it would stunt her growth.

Fortunately I managed to bite my tongue at the last second, because not only would it have been a smidgeon rude, but also because short people fight dirty. I mean really dirty. They go for the groin, mostly, because it's about the right height and generally the most vulnerable area. Anyway, I digress, because this little almost-incident reminded me of something that happened last week when I genuinely did put my foot in it.

As per my usual lunchtime routine, early last week I popped down to Secret Starbucks for a coffee. Because I know the baristas in there by name I usually stand around at the end of the bar chatting to them for a few minutes before going and grabbing a seat. And it was while I was here waiting for my grande misto and generally engaging in some inane banter, that an old lady walked up to collect her drink. I believe it was a tall caramel macchiato, and she looked a bit like Dame Maggie Smith if that helps you build an accurate mental image.

So, anyway the barista pops her drink on the counter and she wraps both hands around it, smiles with the expectation of that first sip, and lifts it to her lips. She takes a short drink from it, closes her eyes, and lets out a deep "aaaaah" and – well, you know how sometimes you MEAN to say one thing, but a visual stimulus kind of unconsciously MAKES you say something completely different? Well, I MEANT to say "you *sound* like you need that," but it was as I looked at her that I noticed she had a mad wonky-eye and I … well, I actually said:

"You *look* like you need that."

In kind of an alarmed tone.

She looked at me. Well, I think she looked at. It's conceivable that she was looking at me and the menu board that was positioned at a 90 degree angle to her, but the gist of it is that she knew I'd made something of a faux pas. She didn't say anything, though, and just went and took a seat - the comfy seat by the door, I should add; the one I'd wanted. I bet she did it in revenge. Bitch.

Anyway, I blame Yazzle Dazzle for all this because she's not been lunching with me recently, and as pathetic as it sounds, she's the nearest thing I've got to a moral compass - mainly because she jumps in and talks over me whenever it looks like I'm about to say something inappropriate (which, to be honest, happens with alarming regularity these days). That being the case, I went and grabbed a table by the window and hurriedly tapped out a text to her explaining what I'd done. She replied instantly and told me I was a rude doofus, which I guess I pretty much asked for. While I pondered a reply I looked over to the comfy seats only to see Dame Maggie glaring back at me.

Well, I think she was glaring at me - quite frankly she could've been staring at the muffin display behind her.


So *ahem* apologies for the fact I've been a bit distant recently. It's not you, honest; it's me. Really. I've had some … stuff going on. I'd love to quote my new hero Bronson Pinchot and say I've been off f**king "until the skin came off my dick" (I kid you not, check out the brutally frank interview HERE where he also massively slags off Tom Cruise - bless you, Balki!), but the truth of the matter is that I've been working.

And not work working. I've been doing some stuff outside of work - proofreading a book, to be specific. It's not really my place - well, actually it's not my place at all - to tell you who the author is or what it's about, but I thoroughly enjoyed contributing to it in some small way and I can't wait to see the end product. All will be revealed in due course, and when it's available I'll no doubt be screaming it from the rooftops, even if it's not my book.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Up yours!

So, Up's a good movie, innit? But has anyone noticed how young Mr Fredrickson looks a bit like Hollywood golden boy J.J. Abrams…

…And old Mr Fredrickson looks a bit like Martin Scorsese?

Just, y'know, sayin'…

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Because Tara demanded it

Apparently my horrific foot was putting her off visiting my blog, so she requested a kitten to replace it.

This is Blister Kitty. Blister Kitty says hello.

Sorry for the lack of updates recently - in true IDV-stylee I'm going to lay the blame squarely at the feet of life, which has somewhat disturbingly gotten in the way of things a bit recently - in a good way, I should add (fortunately no retina-searingly horrific hot-tub nudity, though).

With a bit of luck I'll have some time over the weekend to let you all know about my recent shenanigans.

Yes, there has been shenanigans.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Behold - the dark lord!

Is it just me, or has the massive blister on my foot started to look like the Eye of Sauron from Lord of the Rings?

The Eye of Sauron.

A blister.

At this rate I'll have a zit in the shape of Darth Vader sometime around the end of next week…

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Blaze of glory

So what's the betting that title made you think of THIS?


When I go to yoga during the week I always try to get there really early, because unlike the weekends where you pick up a mat and plonk it down anywhere that takes your fancy, at peak times the staff put the mats down in advance and it's a first-come, first-served sort of thing. Basically that means if you get there a little bit late you get stuck under the heating vent where you're left to recreate the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark with you in the role of the melting Nazi.

I don't know who the surfer dude is here, but you can't deny he doesn't add a certain something to proceedings.

Anyway, so I get to yoga nice and early tonight, and I get a good spot so as to avoid a repeat of Saturday's pins and needles IN THE FACE debacle. Usually I lay there with my eyes shut while I wait for class to begin, but for some reason today I thought I might nod off, so I decided I'd look at the ceiling for a while.

The ceiling, it must be said, is exceedingly dull. But something nevertheless caught my eye. Just above me and a little to the left was a moth. A freakin' huge moth. Seriously, I've seen birds that are smaller (I mean of the winged variety, not diminutive ladies); this thing could've given a sparrow some serious grief.

So I watch this thing for a while, hoping that for some reason it's not going to take a fancy to me and land on my face or something because I genuinely would've screamed and run around shouting "GET IT OFF, GET IT OFF!!", but it's pretty static and doesn't appear to be in the mood to do anything exciting, so I start looking around to see if I can find something else of interest because I've been a bit listless recently and seem to have developed the attention span of a labrador puppy. In the meantime, though, someone comes in the studio and cranks the heating up to full blast (we're nudging the start of class by this time). This gets the moth all jittery, and it starts walking around and flexing it's wings like it's looking for a fight.

Then, just as the instructor is reaching up to pull a small window shut, it makes its move.

Have you ever heard the noise a VW Beetle engine makes when it starts up (an original one, not the new one)? Well this is exactly the noise this moth's wings made as it leapt off the wall and headed straight for the window. I'm not entirely sure, but think it made it; certainly if it hadn't it could've just body-slammed the window, shattered the glass and got out that way.

What really made me giggle like a special, though, was that as it zoomed past my head, I thought it would be really cool if the extreme heat made the moth burst into flames or something. It would've been like the destruction of the Enterprise at the end of Star Trek III - y'know, when Kirk and the crew are standing on the mountaintop watching the burning hulk of their ship plunge through the atmosphere.

It would've been epic. I totally would've stood up and saluted that little fiery bastard in front of the entire class.