Saturday, September 26, 2009

Trauma

Lordy, it's been a week of highs and lows. Let's review some of them, shall we?

LOW!
After the wild and reckless dancing at the ceilidh on Friday evening, I fully intended to skip yoga on Saturday morning. Unfortunately, something decided to take advantage of the brief respite in my exercise schedule, and I woke up with a niggly sore throat. Harumph! As the day wore on, though, I felt better, which was good because I wanted to go to a party being held by my local comic shop which, after 22 years, is changing hands. Unfortunately, in the evening I developed a temperature, so instead of partying with boozy comics-types I ended up retiring to the welcoming bosom of my sofa and in finest teenage girl stylee watched multiple episodes of Gilmore Girls.

HIGH!
Still not feeling 100% awesome on Sunday, I skipped yoga again and decided to head off to the cinema with the equally not-quite-feeling-100% Best Mate Jo. We saw the new Sam Mendes movie Away We Go, which was written by one of my favourite authors, Dave Eggers. It was a great little movie - understated, rich in story and characterisation, and featuring some great performances; just the sort of thing I've been into recently, and waaaaaaay better than the vast majority of this year's awful summer blockbusters. So if you couldn't guess already, I highly recommend it.

LOW!
Continued to feel like crap throughout the week, so skipped both my usual run and yoga.

Not. Good.

HIGH!
Saw (500) Days of Summer at the cinema for the third time in two weeks. Seriously, I love this movie BIG TIME. It makes me smile, and each time I've left the cinema I've pretty much skipped back to my car while humming 'You Make My Dreams' by Hall and Oates. I think one of the reasons I've enjoyed this film so much is the fact that I can relate to the main character a little too much, which probably means that if anyone reading this now goes and sees it you're more than likely going to leave a comment recommending some sort of therapy.

OHMYGODZ I'M BROKEN GOODS!

In related matters, check out this music video featuring the star of (500) Days of Summer, and directed by its, er, director!



HIGH!
Two highs in a row? Is that allowed? Outrageous. Anyhoo, feeling a little bit bored on Thursday evening I decided to play around with my computer and Apple TV a bit by trying out the digital copy of the Rolling Stones concert movie Shine a Light. Digital copy, for anyone who doesn't know, is something some film companies have been trying out with new DVD releases - basically you get a second disc with the DVD that allows you to put a copy of the DVD on your computer. In the case of Apple stuff, you basically pop the disc in your computer, enter a code, then, as far as I can see, it just downloads you a free copy from the iTunes store. And it's a one-time thing only, so don't go emailing me asking for the code, you cheeky monkey.

Anyway, so I downloaded the digital copy of Shine a Light, zipped it across to my Apple TV, then enjoyed the sight of Mick Jagger dry-humping Christina Aguilera on my big telly while I did the washing up. Nice.



And, BONUS: I popped Shine a Light on my iPhone too; now I've got a little Jagger in my pocket everywhere I go, and even better - the Apple TV tells my iPhone where I last watched up to, so I can start watching from the point I left off.

LOW!
I got some really awesome looking boots last year. Unfortunately, though, they've recently taken to trying to annihilate my feet. I wore them a few weeks back and ended up with a MA-hoosive blister on the heel of my left foot. Seriously, it was like a water bed or something. And because I'm a boy and we do such things, I picked at it until it burst. I reckon at least two litres of fluid came out.

Anyway, I decided to wear them again on Friday because they can't just sit around the house looking pretty; like a wild horse, they need to be broken in. By midday I was in something approaching agony, and ended up spending the afternoon padding around the office in my socks, fending off a veritable raft of cheese jokes from sympathetic colleagues.

I'd arranged to meet Yazzle Dazzle for a coffee after work, though, and while there are many things I'll do with my socks on, walking down the Goldhawk Road isn't one of them. And so the boots went on again … and let's just say about an hour later I was walking back to my car in a most bizarre fashion.

Still, Round 3 to me: I remembered I've got some wicked-comfy innersoles at home, so I slipped them in the boots and they are my bitches now. This will be confirmed in about two weeks when the epic blisters I have on both heels have sufficiently diminished in size to allow me to actually get my feet in the boots again.

And finally … the TRAUMA.
So this morning, I decided I'd head on back to yoga after not having done any exercise for about 10 days. It all started rather well - aside from the posture where you have to reach around and hold your heels from behind, because that just *killed* my blisters - and I was even doing well when we got to Full Locust Pose and the teacher announced to the class that I always excel at this posture because I imagine myself as being Jennifer Gray in Dirty Dancing (although I maybe didn't do it so well this time because I was laughing so much). Towards the end of the class, though, it all started to fall apart a bit.

And by 'a bit' I mean 'a lot.'

It all started with me getting a bit light-headed. Next thing I know I was feeling a bit nauseous (I did not want to be the first person to spew on the new flooring they had put down last month), and getting pins and needles. In my face. Seriously - in my FACE! What's that all about?! So anyway, I chilled out during the last 10 minutes of class, and then for another 10 afterwards, and after that I was OK. It was kind of like how I felt after my first class back in June, but worse I guess because of having been a bit ill, not having done any exercise for a while, and thinking that I could just jump back into it where I left off in the last class.

I plan on going tomorrow morning just to help me get used to it again, but I'll be taking it a bit easier. Still, if I haven't posted anything by the end of next week, you can pretty much assume it finished me off. You're very welcome to send flowers or donations.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Movie whore week contines

What's the betting I photoshopped myself in under Batman's mask too?

All narcissistic tendencies aside, I've always wanted to dye my hair green. And if this is any indication, I actually think it would suit me.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Where The Wild Tims Are

As if I'm not a ridiculous enough person as it is…

And it's criminal - CRIMINAL I TELLS YA! - that us Britlanders have to wait until December for this movie when it opens next month in the Americas. Not *this* movie, because this is a figment of my warped imagination and tiny, tiny brain; I mean the real Where The Wild Things Are.

If anyone wants me, I'll be in a huff until December.

Huff!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Ceilidh!

And no, I don't mean the Marillion song.

A few weeks ago I got an email from Glittering Lee that said:

"I'm thinking of going to this - interested?"

The 'This' was a Ceilidh, and not having any idea what a Ceilidh was, I said yes.

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An aside:

After the car accident back in April, I came to the realisation that I was saying no to a lot of things. Would you like to do this, Tim? No. We're thinking about going along to this, want to come? No, not really. We should catch up! Um, another time, maybe?

This, I later found out, is actually one of the symptoms of whiplash. Strange, eh? Anyway, upon finding this out, I decided that I really needed to get over it, and in an almost Danny Wallace style I decided I'd say yes to everything. Well, maybe not *everything* but definitely most things.

Especially things that didn't involve people crashing into me.

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Soon after saying yes I decided I'd better find out exactly what it was I'd said yes to. So I hit up Google, and about five seconds after that I'm pretty sure my neighbours would've heard an almighty "Ooooooooh noooooooooo…" emanating from Sparky Towers.

Because a Ceilidh is like some sort of Celtic medieval rave.

After hyperventilating into a paper bag for a few minutes, I considered trying to get out it. But then I realised that would totally go against my newfound 'be positive, say yes' attitude. Plus, any opportunity to hang out with Lee is always welcome; he did, after all, make me burst out laughing at a rather inopportune moment during the second Lord of the Rings film, thus making it far more memorable than it would otherwise have been.

On the plus side I do have something of a track record in this kind of thing. For some inexplicable reason we used to do Celtic dancing as some variation of P.E. at my infants school when I was about seven or eight years old. Lord knows why; maybe because the teacher couldn't be bothered to get a football out? So yes, every now and then they'd get out this ridiculously old radio-thing that looked like it hadn't been used since 1934, pop on a vinyl album of Celtic music, crank up the volume, and make us kids dance up and down the school hall like we were having the time of our young lives. Of course, we all hated it. At the age of seven I was more interested in being a Transformer than learning how to dance, and it also meant we had to be in close proximity to girls, who, as any seven year-old boy will tell you, are smelly and horrible and all kinds of eeeeuuuu.

Another thing that made me think I shouldn't try to weasel my way out of the Ceilidh was that I've recently seen the movie (500) Days of Summer, and OHMYGOD it's the best movie of the year so far (as long as you don't count Star Trek, of course). In fact, I've seen it twice now, and it was every bit as good the second time around. Where was I? Oh yes. About halfway through (500) Days of Summer there's an awesome and totally unexpected dance sequence that made me wish that sort of thing happened in real life.



Of course they don't, so you have to pay to go to organised events if you want to do a big group dance thingy.

Unfortunately, the day before the Ceilidh I made a textbook schoolboy error. I went to Youtube and typed in 'Ceilidh.' The ensuing videos, which I shall not repost here because the mere thought of them continues to strike the fear of God into me, were full of middle-aged people in kilts twirling around. They were almost enough to make me start coming up with excuses as to why I shouldn't go - no, make that *couldn't* go! Things like: my iPhone needs charging; and: I need to put the washing machine on.

Then the next thing I know it's five o'clock on Friday afternoon and I have a text from Lee asking if I'm coming out to play. Um, I s'pose so?

An hour or so later and we've met up with The Boy and the delightful Ness, and are at Vinopolis in central London, getting ready to throw ourselves into some crazy Celtic dancing. Now, one thing that had really confused me about the whole Ceilidh thing was what to wear? The ticket said 'comfortable clothes/shoes' which wasn't very helpful because I always try to wear comfortable clothes and shoes. I eventually went for the classic jeans and black shirt combo, with a light grey knitted jumper and black shoes, which I thought would cover me for any eventuality - comfortable enough to dance in, warm enough for the journey home if it dropped down a bit chilly.

Stupid, stupid me. It was like Bikram Yoga in dance form.

Within about 10 minutes I was drenched in sweat. I ditched the jumper soon after it became apparent that moisture was seeping through in a rather unattractive series of patches, and went with the 'just looked like I showered in my shirt' look. We took a breather outside about halfway through just so we could dry out.

Sweating aside, it was a bloody great evening, though. There was a live band who not only played brilliantly but taught you the dance moves before the dance kicked off. Sadly, nothing the singer said initially made any sense in my mind and she just ended up sounding like the teacher in a Charlie Brown cartoon, so the first few minutes of every dance were a little bit chaotic on my part. I did eventually get to grips with them, though, and thoroughly enjoyed swinging a number of delightful ladies around and stamping my feet like a loon. About the only downside was when we got roped into dancing with a couple of hardcore Ceilidh types who frowned out us if we botched a move and then started freestyling their own moves just to confuse us. I knew they were going to be trouble when I saw the guy was wearing a kilt and the woman had deeply unfashionable sandals on.

Any-hoo, it was the most fun I've had in a long time and I seriously can't wait till the next one. If you're in London in November, you will be coming along - although I advise you not to wear a knitted jumper, or keep your travelcard in your pocket; they tend not to go through the ticket barriers when they're in paper-mache form.

It's in the washing machine right now.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

RUDE!

After a particularly arduous yoga class on Saturday morning, I returned to my car, which I'd parked in a nearby side street, only to find that it had been interfered with in my absence.

Let's get this straight right away: I do not like people attaching things to my car - y'know, flyers under windscreen wipers, that sort of thing. Mostly because it either a) rains and they turn to mush on my windscreen, or b) I don't realise they're there until I'm driving, and then they just irritate me. Plus, I don't like strangers touching Clubbie.

Anyway, on this pleasant Saturday morning I returned to Clubbie to find this attached to the driver's side window with a small rubber sucker.


As a bit of a car buff, I know that the new MiTo is Alfa Romeo's Mini competitor, albeit one that looks a little bit like a surprised frog. I detached the offending item with an admittedly satisfying and somewhat comical popping sound, initially believing that Clubbie had been targeted purely because it's a Mini; upon glancing around, however, I noticed that all the cars in the road had been MiTo'd.

I opened up the card to see what it was exactly that Alfa Romeo thought I 'might need.'


And subsequently fell about laughing, because if they think I'm going to sell my Mini Clubman for something based on a Vauxhall Corsa that looks like it once guest-starred on Sesame Street they've got another thing coming.

I feel that they need to know this, as well. The inside of the card has the address of the dealer who distributed this card, so I'm going to return it to them anonymously.


Why? Because I have too many stamps and nothing better to do, that's why.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Apple TV story

For a while now I've been thinking about buying an Apple TV. And before you ask, no it's not actually a TV - it's a little box that sits under your TV and does marvellous things. A bit like an iPod for your telly. My reasons for wanting one basically come down to the fact that I've bought pretty much every other Apple product on the market I came to the conclusion a few months back that the vast majority of DVDs I buy I tend to watch once before sticking them on the shelf where they eventually gather a rather impressive layer of dust, and it would make more sense - both financially and shelf-space wise - to rent those films I missed at the cinema but still wanted to see. The Apple TV would let me do this via the iTunes store and watch them on my big telly while sprawled out on my comfy sofa, rather than rent them off iTunes and sit in my office chair in front of my computer.

I've never actually been one for renting movies, mainly because I can't be bothered to go through the mental anguish of perusing the battered shelves of the local Blockbuster, rent a DVD that's so scratched it looks like it's seen more action than the average soldier in a war zone, and then have to return the damned thing the next day. Plus, I don't really like using things that other people have used a thousand times before. They tend to be sticky.

So, a few months back I decided I'd go the Apple TV route, because I like Apple products, I trust Apple products, it's as aesthetically pleasing as all Apple products, and I like the fact you get Apple stickers with Apple products. I actually surprised myself by not rushing out and buying one when the thought first entered my mind, and rather unusually for me I actually spent quite a lot of time reading up on the whole Apple TV situation. It seems a lot of people love their Apple TVs, but there are also a lot of people who think their Apple TVs should do more - like act as a hard-drive recorder, or have a Blu-ray drive in them. So I bided my time for a while to see whether there would be a hardware revision or something. I set my cut-off date as Wednesday, the day when Apple had their big key note to introduce the latest iPods. I figured if they introduced something new with Apple TV, great; if they didn't, I decided I'd just go buy one because I'd come to the conclusion it does what I want it to do as it is.

So, when nothing new was announced for the Apple TV on Wednesday, I finally decided the time was right to treat myself. And on Friday lunchtime, I did.

I was accompanied on the jaunt down to the Apple Store in Westfield by Scanner, who I think doubted my conviction to actually buy one and wanted to see me go through with it. For my part, I was hoping to goad him into buying one as well, because he's intrigued by it and is similarly addicted to anything with an Apple logo on it.

Within a couple of minutes of entering the store I had an Apple TV box in my clammy mitts, and was wandering around with a goofy expression on my face looking for an iDude from whom I could purchase it. I found one by the door, and the following, somewhat bizarre exchange then took place:

"Hi, could I get this please?"

"Of course. Cash or card?"

"Card, ta."

"OK. This is the 160gb version - right?"

"Yep."

"Hmmm! Do you own any other Apple products?"

"Oh, you don't know the half of it - in fact, I just bought an iPhone 3GS last week."

"Ooo, nice - 16 or 32gb?"

"Aw, it had to be the 32!"

"I thought so. You look like a 32gb man to me."

"Um, thanks…"

"Do you have an Apple computer?"

"Yeah - an iMac."

"Twenty or 24 inch?"

"Twenty four."

"I suspected as much."

He then proceeded to take my email address, ostensibly so he could email me my receipt, although I seriously wondered if he was taking it for personal reasons, before smiling at me and skipping off to get me a bag. He returned holding the bag out by the strings, and inviting me to slip my arm through to sling it over my shoulder.

Half an hour later I returned to the office, at which point Lovely Boss Lady looked at the Apple bag on my shoulder and said "that's a very girly-looking bag you've got there."

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Excitement obviously reigned in the Sparky household on Friday as I tore the cellophane off the box, ready to set up my Apple TV, although I wasn't so delirious with excitement that I didn't think to document the entire procedure.

The pretty, pretty box.

The traditional Apple legend!

The Apple TV on the left, and the Apple remote on the right. I love how Apple products are so cleanly and simply packaged. That's just packaging facts.

It's mine - ALL MINE!

It was so unbelievably, stupidly easy to set up. One end of an HDMI cable in the back of the telly, the other in the back of the Apple TV. A power cable from the Apple TV to the plug. Boom - we have lift off. After that it was just a matter of inputting my wiffy network password, and another code that linked the Apple TV to my iTunes library, then my Apple TV and my computer were chatting away with each other like two old buddies. In fact, the only problem I had was when I paired the remote for the Apple TV to my computer - but that was just me being stupid, and was easily rectified.

After that I sat back and watched an episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia that I bought off iTunes last week that lives on my computer but which synced quickly and easily to the Apple TV, followed by a bit of youtube browsing and a quick glance at some HD movie trailers. It's brilliant.

Right now, I'm in the middle of downloading a rented HD version of the movie Charlie Bartlett (starring new Chekov!), and streaming music to my telly. Good times ahoy - I might never leave the house again!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Where we last left off, and the Richmond to Windsor bike ride 2009

Sorry for my brief absence there - I was off doing holiday things and generally enjoying myself. It won't happen again, I promise.

So where were we? Ah yes! I'd been to Kingston, had an awesome haircut, bought disgruntled kitteh Snow Leopard for my iMac, and utterly failed in my attempts to purchase an iPhone 3GS. Harumph? Harumph indeed. And so we move on to Wednesday…

I returned to Kingston on Wednesday because I had an appointment with my financial advisor. Unfortunately, as I was to discover, this was not the financial advisor I'd been dealing with for the last few years, who was quite frankly a dude, not only for offering sound financial advise, but also because we spent at least half the time we should've been talking about how my money could be working for me by talking about music, books, and whether I should blow all my cash on a Ferrari just as I'm about to hit retirement age. But we'll come to that in due course.

Soon after I arrived in Kingston I found myself at a crossing. Some workmen have been digging up part of the Kingston one-way system, and so someone in their infinite wisdom had decided to assign three police officers to the crossing (I say three - two of them were those community support officers - y'know, the ones that get the uniform but none of the official powers; a bit like when I sit at home dressed as Superman). As I stepped up to the threshold of the crossing one of the officers turned to face me and said, with a totally straight face I might add: "Good morning, we are here to help you cross the road."

Now, because they've blocked off one of the lanes of the one-way system, that leaves about a three-metre distance to cross. And I'd like to think that of all the things I've learnt in my life, crossing the road is one of the things I've pretty much nailed. I was tempted to say something like "what - do I look like I'm 80 or something!?" but I ended up doing what quite simply came naturally.

I laughed at her.

And then, as a rather considerable gap appeared in the traffic, I strolled across to the other side. I was sorely tempted to whistle and put a jaunty step in my stride, but seeing as the police officer on the other side of the road was actually holding people back from crossing, ever-conscious of the fact that there was a car about 20 seconds away, I thought I might be pushing my luck a bit.

Anyway, the financial advisor. Aside from the fact that he blatantly glazed over if I dared mentioned anything that didn't directly relate to a question he asked (unlike the previous guy who actively encouraged my banal conversational habits), it was all going reasonably well - until he popped a most unexpected question:

"What would you do [i.e. how would you generate an income] if you had a terminal illness?"

My gut answers were "probably cry a bit" and "not really give a shit about where the money's coming from." He didn't like those, though, and instead tried to peddle me an outrageously expensive form of insurance to cover me (I swear, they offer you insurance for everything these days; I'm waiting for someone to offer me insurance to cover my insurance). Countering swifty, I made my excuses and left.

Definitely ain't keen on this guy.

On my way back to the car park, I again tried to buy an iPhone 3GS, and again FAILED.

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I got up Thursday morning and immediately started calling around O2 stores to see if I could hunt down an iPhone 3GS. Unfortunately, over the course of an hour and a half, none of them bothered to pick up, which as Marcosy pointed out, is somewhat ironic for a company that's trying to sell you a phone. By midday I was bored and a bit fed-up. I decided to take myself off to the cinema to see an early afternoon showing of (500) Days of Summer.

Half an later I was in Kingston again. Being a bit early, I thought I'd swing by the O2 store in person. I needn't have bothered.

"Have you got any iPh-"

"No."

"Oh."

"Is it an upgrade or pay-as-you-go?"

Ah-ha! This sounded promising.

"An upgrade."

"Oh. I was going to say you could try the Apple Store, but they only sell pay-as-you-go."

I harumphed, and walked out. But something niggled … and I decided to try the Apple Store anyway. Upon entering, I helpfully bumped into the chappy who sold me my first iPhone in February last year.

"Have you got any iPhones?"

"Yes, but only the 32gb o-"

I almost grabbed hold of him and started jumping up and down like a special.

"THAT'S WHAT I WANT! Wait a sec, though - it's an upgrade. Do you do upgrades?"

"Yes, why wouldn't we? Get in line behind that guy over there and my colleague will sort you out [editor's note: not like *that* you filthy-minded filthbags]."

I got in line and waited to be sorted out.

A few minutes later I was merrily perched on a stool while a genial genius in a light-blue t-shirt went about his business of sorting me out with a 32gb iPhone 3GS. Amusingly, he was mightily impressed with the condition of my old iPhone, claiming that he'd never seen one in such good condition and that it looked brand new. He even called a colleague over to see how pristine it was. They were rather taken by it. So I offered to sell it to them. They declined, though I could tell they were tempted for a moment.

Anyway, the upshot of it all was that while I missed the movie, I finally got my iPhone 3GS. And it's soooo pretty!

Oh, and I told the Apple guy that O2 were trying to do them out of business - HA!

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Friday was spent back in Kingston, albeit this time on one of my traditional all-day shopping extravaganzas with Sparky Ma. It was well cool, as usual. And, unbelievably, the next time we go we'll be Christmas shopping - how mental is that!?

Saturday morning I went to sweaty yoga, where the teacher congratumalated me on my toe stands (which I only started doing because he forced me to a couple of months back), and then went to see District 9 with Big Bro at the cinema. Highly recommended, people, highly recommended (that's the film, although hanging out with Big Bro is always a plus too!), if only because we spent the rest of the day shouting "get away from me, filthy prawn!" in appalling South African accents.

Oh, and I made a new friend in the evening.

video

I love the iPhone 3GS' video capabilities!

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And finally, today I did the annual Richmond to Windsor bike ride! Like last year, I was flying solo, but unlike last year (fortunately) it wasn't bucketing it down the entire day. It was a bit chilly in places, admittedly, but on the whole I can't complain. I won't go into too much detail, because nothing terribly exciting happened, but I accomplished the 39 mile route in 3 hours 38 minutes, arriving at the finish line at 12:58 which is pretty respectable bearing in mind I stopped a few times along the way to give my arse a rest from my saddle. I will admit that I struggled a bit en route, which I put down to only having been out once since last year's ride, but bizarrely I coped with the infamous Callow Hill so much better than I ever have before! Go figure. On the plus side, it was nice to see so many people taking part - last year's event felt like it was on a much smaller scale than previous years, due in part, I expect, to the atrocious weather, so it was nice to see a return to form this year.

Aside from that, I got chatting to a guy who looked remarkably like Tron Man, although his lycra was rather more colourful, albeit equally hauntingly taut, and his bike unfortunately lacked the ability to turn 90 degree corners in the blink of an eye, once more heard the wit and wisdom of the Shatner-esque compare, and for the first time ever on the bike ride I got a medal!

I'm now an award-winning cyclist, runner, and go-kart driver! Multi-talented you say?

I was home by quarter to three, upon which time I soaked in a nice warm bath before plonking myself down in front of the telly. All in all then, it was a rather good day - aside from the fact my arse *really* hurts. Anyone got any ice?

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

I went to Westfield and all I bought was a lousy milkshake

Actually, it was a really nice milkshake made using chocolate Hob Nobs, but we'll come to that in due course.

Exciting stuff, people: I'm on holiday!

Hurrah!

And by 'holiday' regular readers will know that I actually mean I'm sitting around at home dividing my time between a DVD boxset and Scrabble on Facebook.

Actually, it's not quite been so laid back this time around…

Holiday time started on Friday evening with a jaunt to Westfield with Marcosy and a promise that I'd make his trip to Shepherds Bush worthwhile by actually buying something (usually when we go shopping I make all these grand declarations of things I want to get, but never end up buying anything because more often than not they don't have my size). This time, though, I had a number of things I *really* wanted - like a shirt and a hoody in Hollister (the shop that looks like a Mexican brothel) and Snow Leopard for my iMac.


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An aside:

Is it weird that I'm genuinely excited about a new operating system? What's that all about?!

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Unfortunately - for both my Snow Leopard lust and Marcosy's pleasure at seeing me hand over cold hard cash - Scanner, the company IT guru, had told me it would probably be best to hold off upgrading straight away just in case there was a conflict with any of the software I use. So, while I did go into the Apple Store, pick up a copy of Snow Leopard, and stare at it like it was Autumn Reeser on the box rather than a disgruntled looking Leopard (we'll come back to this), I ultimately put it back - despite Marcosy pointing at some random dude and shouting "HE'S BUYING IT, WHY THE HELL CAN'T YOU?!"

To make matters worse, Hollister (the Mexican brothel) turned into an epic FAIL as well; the shirt was waaaaaay too big, despite the fact I tried on a small, and the hoody, while lovely, was … well, it was 60 quid, and I wasn't convinced I wanted to spend 60 quid on it.

Ultimately, then, I made do with the aforementioned milkshake, which was all sorts of lovely and felt a bit like an entire meal in a cup; I had to stop halfway back to my car to rest my hands on my knees and take a deep breath.

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Saturday, sweaty yoga aside, was a reasonably chilled out day. Sunday, however, was another matter.

I started the day with another session of sweaty yoga; as I said to the teacher on my way into the studio, I'm very good at maintaining a regular schedule for this - not, I think, because I know it's good for me, but rather because I know it's cost me a fair amount of money so I should really get my money's worth out of it. I didn't tell him this, of course, because I want to give the impression I'm a dedicated student. I do wonder, however, what they'd do if I happened to fall asleep in the 20 minutes or so before class where I just lie back on the mat and shut my eyes (it's almost happened on at least two occasions). I'd like to think they'd just leave me be, but the reality is that they'd probably point and laugh before nudging me awake with their feet.

Anyway, after yoga I headed home to trim the neighbour's bush. Ahem. I mean the bush that overhangs my parking space. It's been leaning perilously close to Clubbie recently, and seeing as summer's pretty much done and dusted I thought I'd butcher it trim it back so it doesn't shed its scummy leaves all over my bonnet. Job done, I took the cuttings down the tip, then headed home to shower and grab some lunch (not at the same time, mind), before zooming off to meet Best Mate Jo.

Best Mate Jo and I haven't caught up in ages, so we decided to go see The Final Destination in THREE-DIMENSIONS (sorry, I always feel the need to suggest that 3D films are some sort of schlocky 1950s B-movie or something) at the cinema. To enjoy it in all its THREE-DIMENSIONAL glory we had to wear some stupid glasses.

The fact that they're illuminated by the flash here doesn't quite highlight how ridiculous these glasses are. I look like Roy Orbison.

The film was OK, but not as good as the previous Final Destination films. The THREE-DIMENSIONAL effect was without a doubt the best I've see, though, even if it did give me a headache; unfortunately, the glasses couldn't do anything to enhance the acting abilities of the film's stars - they were all universally terrible.

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An aside:

Do you know how many pairs of 3D glasses I own now? Three. That's three; one for the 3D episode of Chuck that was on telly last week, and the other two from cinema trips. They're all on my kitchen counter, because I don't quite know what to do with them. And get this: you're not allowed to take your own when you go to Vue Cinemas - they make you buy new ones every time, the cheeky bastards.

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Clubbie's been looking a bit dirty recently, so I excepted an offer from Big Bro to help me wash 'er on Monday afternoon. What I failed to remember is that Big Bro has, this year, transformed into something of a car washing nazi wizard. He researched it on the internet and everything. Gone are the days of squirting some random detergent in a bucket and chucking it over the bonnet, oh no. There are stages; many, many stages. My ridiculously short attention span was kept in check during the early stages because I was put on hose duty (dirty) and there's nothing I like more than wielding my hose with a purpose (dirtier), but by the polishing stage my mind was wandering and I almost went running off up the road after a cat. Plus, the polishing stage is really hard work; first you've got to go round the entire car dabbing blobs of polish on, then when it's dried you've got to go round again and buff it off in a wax on, wax off stylee.

On the plus side, after two and a half hours Clubbie looked awesome, and I've got biceps to die for.

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I decided to take advantage of my holiday time today by going to an early yoga class. I've never done a morning class in the week, and as I'd hoped the class was considerably emptier than it is in the evening. Good times. Even better, the class was being taken by one of my favourite instructors, a hilarious lady who keeps you smiling through the anguish of standing head to knee pose (that's Dandayamana Janushirasana to you and me); in fact, I laughed so much I fell out of the posture. Anyway, she also did this remarkable thing to realign me in one of the postures where, I think, she basically jabbed me in the ribs and I straightened up. She didn't literally jab me in the ribs, but she sorted me out so I wasn't slouching before tottering off down the studio to make a rude comment about one of the women at the front of the class.

All in all, it was a cracking class.

In the afternoon I headed over to Kingston for a haircut (awesome, and much needed), and a failed attempt to buy an iPhone 3GS. Can you believe they're sold out *everywhere*!? Well, the 32gb black versions, at least; and I can't be doing with a 16gb one (my current one is 16gb and it's almost full - I need storage, dammit!) or one in pimpy white. Several shop assistants laughed when I said "have you got any 32gb iPh-". I almost bought an Apple TV in desperation because I want one and I was really geared up for giving Apple some money today. I resisted only because there are rumours of an Apple TV update coming soon…

Anyway, I did give Apple some money, just not as much as I'd planned. I bought Snow Leopard (Scanner emailed me over the weekend to let me know he'd installed it without any problems so it should be OK for a simpleton like me to do it).

And back home I did indeed install it without any problems whatsoever. Good times. I do, however, keep looking at the box and thinking that that looks like one seriously pissed off Leopard on the front. Who at Apple drew the short straw of lobbing a snowball at it and snapping a picture before getting mauled?


All in all, then, it's been a rather busy, but very enjoyable few days off work so far. And I have high hopes for those still to come, despite the fact that I expect much of them will be devoted to hunting down a black, 32gb iPhone 3GS…

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Oh, and my DVD boxset of choice this week? Gilmore Girls Season One. It's *awesome*.