Monday, March 29, 2010

Someone's got the decorators in

I don't know whether I mentioned this before, but Big Bro bought himself a flat a while back. This is exciting because if my experience of getting my own place is anything to go by he'll have a great time, and secondly, I'm utterly fascinated by what Sparky Ma and Pa are going to transform his bedroom into. When I moved out Sparky Pa turned my room into an office (quite startlingly quickly, it must be said), which leaves all sorts of exciting possibilities for Big Bro's former abode.

I'm hoping for a holodeck or a disco room. Or a panic room. Maybe a Panic at the Disco room?

What I remember most about getting Sparky Towers was that I absolutely loved the whole decorating process. As I've said countless times before, the stupid girl who owned Sparky Towers before me must've been either colour blind or, well, blind, because she had appalling taste in colour and decor (and men, according to the neighbours!). Thank God, then, for the fact that I was still living with Ma and Pa at the time because it gave me two months to sweep through the place like some sort of Dulux angel and eradicate all evidence of her mismatched touch.

Sparky Towers midway through its transformation. The red and white were my colour choices, covering forever a horrific wishy-washy shade of light blue. Note also the lilac in the porch. Outrageous. That was obliterated in an evening. Promotional consideration supplied by Evian Natural Mineral Water: Live young, live Evian.

Big Bro's place, however, is a new build, which means that it's fully decorated in neutral, inoffensive tones. When he put his offer in I actually got a little bit giddy at the prospect of breaking out my rollers and brushes and working my painty magic through another property, but he shot my dreams down pretty quickly by saying that he was happy with the existing colour scheme and wasn't planning on changing it.

But then last week he texted me to say he'd decided a splash of colour wouldn't go amiss in his bedroom. This made me clap like a speshul and bounce up and down in my chair a bit, even if the way he phrased his text did make it sound a bit like I should be honoured to have been asked. A day later, though, he changed his mind. Again. I came to the conclusion that Big Bro was just a tease, and was trying to generate as many peaks and troughs in my emotional state graph as he could.

I was not happy.

Until he changed his mind again.

So Sunday afternoon I found myself standing in his bedroom wearing the same old paint spattered clothes I'd worn when I decorated Sparky Towers four and a half years ago; fortunately, they're quite dark, so don't show up the red paint too much. This is good because otherwise they do kind of make it look like I'm Dexter or something.

Everyone's favourite happy murderer (he'll want to pop some Vanish on those blood stains - they'll come right out).

My initial thought when Big Bro put me in charge of the big roller was that he must've been well impressed with my decorating skills at Sparky Towers, but in hindsight what it actually meant was that I did most of the monkey work while he did the delicate little corner bits like a proper 'artiste.' And at one point he buggered off to buy some more paint, leaving me to effectively do three entire walls and the complex bits around plugs on my own. He'll find this amusing until I put an invoice in; I'm not as cheap as I look.

The colour he picked was some sort of light green, which sounds a bit disgusting but actually looks rather nice when it's on the wall and dry, and will no doubt conceal any bogeys he might decide to stick there. My overly vigorous roller-action meant that a rather unhealthy amount of paint sprayed back on to me (hence the need for a second tin), effectively pebble-dashing my arms and face. I ended the afternoon looking a bit like a Suliban from Star Trek: Enterprise, albeit without the ability to slip under doors or turn my head around completely.

No doubt I'll be picking paint out of my nose for days to come.

Naturally I did a sterling job, and was rewarded for my efforts with … a can of coke. There's nothing like settling down after a job well done, but seeing as Big Bro hasn't got any chairs yet, I made do with the floor instead.

Seriously, I will hunt down and thump the first person who makes a sarcastic comment about why I have a white stain on my leg.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hello Dave

So my last post was about meeting William Shatner (albeit briefly), and this one is also about meeting someone well know. The concern here, obviously is that I might start sounding at best like I'm hob-nobbing with famous people all the time, or at worst like I'm turning into some sort of hanger-on or star-f**ker (not literally, mind). Neither of these two scenarios are true, which, for all involved, is probably for the best.

So who was I hob-nobbing/NOT star-f**king this week? Only Dave Eggers, one of my favourite authors!


Swiftly cobbled-together biography

Dave Eggers has written a number of books, both factual and fictional, but is perhaps best known for A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius which does actually live up to the promise of its title by being both heartbreaking and a work of genius. He also founded the independent publishers McSweeney's, as well as 826, a non-profit organisation that tutors and inspires kids aged 6-18 to write, and co-wrote the screenplays for Where The Wild Things Are and Away We Go, both of which I loved and suggest you watch at somepoint (preferably when you've finished reading this and left a witty or inappropriate comment, but I'll wait if you're that eager that you have to go watch them, like, now).


I'd heard that Dave (I'm going to say we're on first name terms because he seems like the sort of chilled-out chap who would be comfortable with me calling him Dave) was going to be doing a reading from his new book Zeitoun at Book Slam, a literary event that takes place once a month and is hosted by another author, Patrick Neate, who I'd seen give a reading from one of his books in Shepherds Bush a few years back (OK, this post really is beginning to make it sound like I hang out with famous people and attend posh events all the time).

I'd actually first heard about Book Slam a couple of years ago and had been meaning to go to one long before now; the fact that Dave was going to be there was the excuse I needed to actually follow through (not literally) on that and pop along. Anyway, long story short, I bought a couple of tickets and toddled off with Yazzle Dazzle on Wednesday evening. Book Slam is held in an *awesome* venue called the Tabernacle Notting Hill way; it's got a really rather nice looking bar/restaurant downstairs and what looks like a dance hall upstairs. Book Slam was held in the latter, with tables and chairs arranged around the dance floor, and people wandering around taking drinks orders. I genuinely felt like I should've been wearing a top hat, or at the very least a bow tie. Preferably one that span around at inopportune moments.

There was a very cool animated backdrop on the stage - kind of like some sort of literary Matrix-style thing. At one point three of the animated letters started to move towards each other and I thought they were actually going to spell 'BUM' in giant green letters. Sadly someone turned the projector off before they could properly arrange themselves. This was the sole disappointment of the entire evening.

The evening kicked off with a poet named Malika Booker. Now, I'm not usually one for poetry; it generally doesn't tickle my fancy, but there was something honest and lyrical about Malika's reading that won me over (see, I'm on first name terms with her as well now). Later on in the evening I walked past her and told her how much I'd enjoyed her stuff. I rarely do that sort of thing, which just goes to show that I really did like it.

Anyway, Dave came on after Malika and, as I said, read from his new book Zeitoun. Despite the fact that I've still got a stack of books so large the little LACK table beside my bed is bowing slightly, I bought a copy of Zeitoun because it was signed; I'm a sucker for signed things. The books were all pre-signed by Dave, which I was initially a bit disappointed by because while I like signed things, I like personalised signed things more (at some point I'd still like to go all rock star groupie on someone and ask them to sign my chest; it all depends on which celebrity is least likely to thump me or have a restraining order taken out, quite frankly). Fortunately, I didn't need to get my knickers in a knot, because after he came on stage the second time, Dave announced that he'd be chilling out at a table by the stage where he'd be personalising stuff.


Here's the man himself reading from Zeitoun. I did think about taking a video clip of him doing this, but I wasn't sure if this was the done thing at a literary event. I mean, it's a bit more dignified than the Foo Fighters at Hyde Park, isn't it? Look, that person in silhouette on the left is wearing hipster glasses.

Yazzle Dazzle and I got in the queue pretty damn quickly so we didn't have to wait too long to shove our books in front of Dave and give him a jaunty thumbs up. While we were waiting, though, I was thinking about what I'd say to him: I really wanted to ask how he went about setting up McSweeney's - how a small independent publisher can thrive in a market dominated by large corporate publishing empires? But I wasn't sure he'd be able to answer that in a couple of seconds, and I didn't want the hundred or so people behind me to start glaring at me with murderous looks in their eyes if I tried to hog his time. It would probably be a bit rude to ask Dave about small business advice at something like Book Slam anyway. So, I fell back on the tried and trusted statement we all utter to people whose work we like: "I love your stuff, man!"

Yes, I called Dave Eggers "man" like I'm some sort of time displaced 1960s hippy throw-back.

Actually, I did preface it with the fact that I am currently reading his adaptation of the Where the Wild Things Are movie, called simply The Wild Things. Amusingly, when I told him like a gushing literary fanboy that I'd read all his books he apologised as if I should find something better to do with my time; anyone who uses self-deprecating humour is OK in my book. That and fart gags - fart gags are always good.

All in all, then, the evening was a complete success - a poet whose stuff I liked, a reading by Dave Eggers, a personalised edition of his new book, and a bit of witty banter with the man himself.

On the downside it totally pissed it down on the walk back to my car and I got thoroughly drenched; can't have it all, though, eh?

Monday, March 22, 2010

My best, Bill

I've been on Twitter for about five weeks now, and I'm still finding it a diverting enough waste of time when I'm waiting for someone to take their turn on Facebook Scrabble. I'm following a combination of people I know and adore, amusing strangers who have been recommended to me, and celebrities I'd like to be friends with I admire. Among the latter are Autumn Reeser, who despite having gotten married without telling me is every bit as perky, down to earth, and likeable as I'd hoped she would be, and William Shatner.

What I love about Shatner's tweets are that he signs off every one with 'my best, Bill' - almost as if he's sent you a personal letter or a greetings card. I don't know if The Mighty Shatner actually tweets his own tweets or whether he has employed a red-shirted lackey to unleash his many and random thoughts upon the internet, but the whole 'my best, Bill' thing adds a personal touch that genuinely does make it feel like the message was written specifically to you.

I've made no secret about the fact that William Shatner is one of my heroes - actually, scrub that: he IS my hero. I've been watching the remastered versions of the original Star Trek recently (the ones with the spiffy new visual effects), and it's served to remind me just what I find so entertaining and damn likeable about the guy; he's warm, funny, and charismatic, and in the role of Kirk, a commanding officer I'd follow anywhere. No wonder all those guys in red shirts didn't think twice about beaming down into a hostile situation with him.

Did I ever tell you I met Shatner once?

No? Hmmm…

It was at one of those weird signings that they used to do in the middle of the shopping centre in Milton Keynes. It never really fails to amuse me that I met a considerable number of actors who appeared in Star Trek outside Debenhams in Milton Keynes, but that's beside the point.

Anyway, it was in October 2005 that I found out that William Shatner would be appearing at one of these signings. There was NO WAY I was going to miss out on seeing The Shat in person, so I recruited Marcosy, and we zipped off up the M1 one Saturday morning. A reasonably heavy right foot (but nevertheless still within the legal limit I might add) meant that we arrived at Milton Keynes relatively early, where I immediately started bouncing around like Tigger on poppers wanting to go get in line. I think I conceded 20 minutes to grab a coffee first, but I refused to allow us to be diverted by any shops on our way to the signing area.

A short time later we joined a queue along with a load of other Shatner fans/worshippers. Somehow I'd allowed Marcosy to get in line before me, which probably wasn't a good idea bearing in mind The Infamous Starbuck Chewing Gum Incident, but I was too excited to think about that at the time. And we didn't have to wait long.

After about 10 minutes of standing in line I happened to glance over my shoulder and saw a pair of automatic doors parting - and then in strode William Shatner. It could only have been more perfect if the doors had made the Star Trek wooshing sound. He had a bag slung over one shoulder (he carried his own bag!) and was shorter than I'd thought he would be - which in a way only made him seem more formidable; he looked stout and determined, as if he'd been out doing manly things like chopping down trees before being reminded he had to go meet his adoring public. I imagined that if anyone tried to hurl themselves at him he'd Kirk-Fu them in the neck without breaking stride.

I made a mental note not to hurl myself at him.

He breezed past the queue and settled at the table where he'd be signing pictures. There was a smell of nervous excitement in the air. Either that or the majority of people had neglected to spritz themselves with their aftershave of choice that day.

A couple of other people had accompanied Shatner as he arrived, and one of them now stood beside him and shouted for the attention of the crowd. We all turned with big nerdy smiles on our faces. Unfortunately, they were not to last.


This was fine by me - to quote Star Trek V, "God's a busy man" and I just wanted a signed picture and a little chat.


A little bit disappointing, but OK.



This was a disaster! I'd come millions of miles all this way to see my hero, have a brief life-defining exchange of words with him - and now I was being told I couldn't?! Outrageous!

While she was saying this The Mighty Shat was sat at the table examining the pens that had been provided for him to sign the pictures. He was looking at them intently, as if trying to determine which one would work best as a weapon should a crazed fan decide to fling themselves across the table at him - the black sharpie or the fabulous silver one?

I decided not to fling myself across the table at him.

And then the queue started moving. Ridiculously fast. Basically, the abrupt, dream-destroying woman was taking each picture to be signed off the fan, then flinging it in front of Shatner. It was like a sweatshop production line; he was having to slam his hand down on each one to prevent it from flying off the end of the table. I seriously thought at one point that she might have a go at him for not signing fast enough.

This pic isn't mine - I just found it online - but it does show The Mighty Shatner merrily signing away. I didn't take any pictures because the abrupt woman also said we'd be chucked out of the queue if we tried.

Before I knew it, I was a handful of people away from Shatner, a recently-selected picture of Kirk from Star Trek II clasped in my increasingly clammy hands. And it was here that I decided I would not be denied my moment with The Shat. I would embody the same fearless, devil-may-care attitude that he imbued the character of Kirk with. I would speak to William Shatner regardless of the consequences.

The next thing I knew the abrupt woman was snatching my picture out of my hands and throwing it across the table to Shatner. He deftly brought his hand down on it as it spun in front of him, extended his hand, and began scrawling on it in silver.

And as I passed in front of him I looked down, smiled, and said "congratulations on your Emmy."

(This was just after he'd won his first Emmy Award for his role as Denny Crane on Boston Legal)

He paused mid-scrawl, looked up, turned toward me, fixed my gaze, and in that familiar Shatner way replied "thank … you!"

Time kind of ground to a halt in that moment, for me at least. I grinned MASSIVELY, took the picture, and then the world caught up and another photo landed in front of him, the production line starting once again.

To anyone else, this obviously wouldn't be quite such a big deal, but those few seconds are so perfectly etched in my mind that I can remember them like it was yesterday. I've met lots of actors from the various Star Trek shows over the years, but it's the stars of the original series that have always held a special place in my geektastic heart, and Shatner is top of the pile. And, of course, I got a souvenir of the event.

I don't know if the man himself will ever see this, but on today, William Shatner's 79th birthday, I'd just like to take the opportunity to raise a glass and say (in best Shatnerian-style of course): my best, Bill.

Friday, March 19, 2010

I really don't know why I bother sometimes

A couple of weeks back I noticed that one of my beloved boots - a really cool pair of distressed brown leather ones with more zips and lace holes than are probably strictly necessary - was coming apart at the sole. Aside from the fact that they're awesomely cool and make wicked, authoritative clomping sounds as I stride around the office, it took me the better part of a year to actually break the bastards in (and even then I had to resort to popping some insoles in them); that being the case, I wasn't quite ready to chuck them out.

My course of action, then, consisted of this: pop the afflicted boot in a Sainsbury's carrier bag and swing by a cobblers at lunchtime.

As I was about to head out for lunch, however, a colleague asked why I was carrying a solitary boot around in a cheap plastic bag (it's not like it's the most eccentric thing I've ever done, truth be told). I told him what had happened, and he replied:

"Why don't you just use some super glue?"

I recoiled in horror, clutching the boot to my chest.

"Dear Sir!" I said, or words to that effect. "I won't be performing a slap-dash fix on this, my treasured boot! I want it done professionally."

And with that I stomped out of the office (with significantly less impressive clomps as I was wearing rubber-soled trainers at the time).

I arrived at the cobblers about 15 minutes later, and was pleased to see that there was a) no queue, and b) a very impressive stout looking gentleman wearing a leather apron waiting to serve me; his whole being said 'I know how to mend a shoe, and I'm going to mend yours.' So I took my boot out of the bag and presented it to him like it was the Holy Grail, explaining what I wanted doing.

He puzzled over the boot for a couple of seconds, then pulled the sole and upper further apart than they already were. I squeaked a bit. Then he pointed to the gap and said:

"D'ya know what you wanna do? You just wanna dab a bit of super glue in there an' hold it together - that'll do the trick."

I sighed, put my boot back in the bag, and went off to buy some super glue.


My journey from Sparky Towers to work has been, at best, nightmarish this week. For some reason *cough* roadworks *cough* it's taking twice as long to get to work as it usually does, not helped by the fact that I seem to have lost the ability to get up on time. And so on Wednesday evening I decided to do something about it: I actually had an early(-ish) night.

And guess what? It worked - hurrah!

As I left the house Thursday morning, earlier and a little fuzzy-headed as I stepped into the morning sun, I noticed that something was a little … different. After a few seconds my attention turned towards a couple of flower pots that were outside - they had been knocked on their side. And then I noticed … IT.

IT was … I'm going to say mouse, because I don't want to say r*t. I honestly don't think it was a r*t. Anyway, this dead mouse had obviously been deposited there, or chased by a fox or one of the local cats before expiring in a dramatic fashion at my door. Either way it was disgusting, and probably explains why we call animals animals. I digress: anyway, by this time I'd locked my front door and was ready to roll. I really didn't want to unlock everything and go about disposing of a dead rat mouse.

So I did what any normal person would do in the circumstances: I left it there and merrily skipped off to work (figuratively, of course; it would take me ages to literally skip to work, and chances are I'd look a bit speshul in the process). I rationalised that I'd deal with disposing of it when I got home, but quite frankly I was hoping one of the aforementioned neighbourhood cats might get a whiff of it and carry the damn thing away somewhere.

And guess what? That's exactly what happened - hurrah for me! I think that's what you call intelligent thinking, people. Consideration for the food chain, that's what that is.

Quite frankly, though, it's just as well, because I'm pretty sure me trying to dispose of a small dead mammal would've turned out, not a bit like this, but rather EXACTLY like this.

Thank Heaven for small mercies.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Things that make me go "HA!"

While I may appear to be a suave and sophisticated gentleman around town, the truth is that there's nothing I like more than base humour and simple jokes that will make me laugh like a speshul. And recently I've encountered quite a few things that have made me guffaw and point excitedly, not least this, which I saw on the always awesome Filmdrunk:

It's funny because it's a llama - THAT LOOKS LIKE TAYLOR LAUTNER! I'd wager it's a better actor, too.

And don't even get me started on Teen Wolf Pug.

So what else is there? How about…

This comment I saw on Facebook?
About 18 inches in the backyard? No wonder the unidentified individual couldn't leave the house for a couple of days.

Or this fantastic review left on iTunes for the television show When We Left Earth?

That's high praise indeed!

Oh, have you popped into your local Starbucks recently? Apparently they have used coffee grouds you can fertilise your garden with. Grouds? Don't I mean 'grounds'? Of course not, silly.

I'm sure your garden will look fabulous with all those grouds strewn around it.

A constant source of amusement is my blog's sitemeter. While Dinah is regularly and inexplicably plagued by people searching for naked pictures of Michael Landon, the most popular searches that have lead people to my blog recently have been 'A Season for Peaches' (a novel that was featured in The OC - Josh Schwartz really should write it, because lord knows plenty of people evidently want to read it), a title I used while reviewing a cold drink, something about the G.I. Joe movie, because my review of it is getting plenty of views, and 'my milkshake brings all the boys to the yard,' which rather than leading to a post dedicated to the delightful Kelis actually gives unsuspecting readers a glimpse of hunky me making an exceedingly complex milkshake.

Among all those hits, though (hi newbies!), I recently noticed these exciting Google search topics:

Always one to be helpful, I'd say…

I really don't know. I'd need to do some hands-on research to be sure.

The search term that really made me laugh, though, was:

Now this is a hard one (stop laughing), because to answer this I'd really need to know what she wants it for. Is it purely decorative, like a fancy necklace, or does she live in a particularly rough neighbourhood and want to have it to hand should she need to fend off an attacker (apparently penises are the weapon of choice at the moment)? Maybe this guy could work out some kind of time-share agreement with his sister - y'know, like maybe he gets it during the week and she can have it at the weekend or something? Either way, I'm pretty sure I can help them out, bearing in mind I already know someone who has got a detachable device.


Not all things have made me go "HA!" this last week, though; one thing made me go "ooo" followed rather swiftly by an "ugh." I got a free sample of the new Marmite cereal bar the other day, y'see, and while Marmite's tagline is 'love it or hate it' I was left on the fence a bit. At first I thought it was delicious, but after every bite an excessively Marmity after-taste kicked in which sent shivers down my spine and made me think I was having a yeast-based aneurysm.

I'm really not certain, then, but if Marmite would like to send me some more samples I'd gladly see if I can come to some sort of decision.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

You've been framed!

I shit you not; if I look to my right, I can see Zachary Quinto in full Spock guise. If I look behind me, Chris Pine is smirking back at me in that swaggering James T. Kirk way.

OK, so it's not *actually* them, of course; as much as I'd like to, I'm not in the habit of holding soirees in my living room for Hollywood stars. And if I was it's pretty doubtful I'd be able to convince them to turn up in character (although it wouldn't be for want of trying).

No, the reason I have Quinto-Spock and Pine-Kirk in my living room is, essentially, because of Best Mate Jo. Back in 2008, y'see, she topped off an utterly shite year with one of the best birthday presents a strapping young lad like me could get: she somehow, possibly using her boobs sassy feminine wiles, managed to get me the complete set of teaser posters for the new J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie. Now, remember this was a full six months before the film came out, and fanboys the world over were going mental at the prospect of trying to get hold of these; I can say that with absolute authority because I was one of them.

I distinctly remember the moment I got home and opened the large cardboard tube she'd given me, because the moment I unfurled the role of posters within I got a special tingly feeling all over, squealed like a girl, then passed out. She totally nailed her role as Best Mate Jo.

Since then, I've been promising, and promising, and PROMISING that I would get at least some of them framed and hoisted up on to the wall. I don't think I can manage all eight, because quite frankly they're big buggers (69 x 102cm) and Sparky Towers is quite small intimate cosy. On the downside, this would require me to be proactive, which any visitor to Sparky Towers will tell you I'm not because I've not bothered to put any pictures on the walls yet; they're all lined up around the skirting boards like I'm about to flee the country.

As a result, those eight beautiful posters have remained rolled up in the cardboard tube they were given to me in a year and a half ago. It still has the ribbon and pretty bow on it.

But a miraculous thing happened a few months ago: I actually took the posters out and measured them. Of course, the sheer fact that I said 'a few months ago' meant that I then put them back in the cardboard tube and rolled it back under my bed where it could continue to gather dust and begin to look unerringly like something Indiana Jones would bung under his arm as he escaped from a horde of Nazis in that funny running style that makes it look a bit like he's shat his pants.

Two weeks ago, however, I awoke one Sunday morning to find an email from If, like me, you've ever bought anything off this website, you'll know that they do like to send you plenty of email vouchers. I tend to ignore these for the most part, though, because however enticing 20% OFF EVERYTHING IN THE STORE! might sound, you know if you wait another week they'll send you one for 25% PERCENT OFF EVERYTHING IN THE STORE! On this particular day, though, I decided I'd leap into action at their offer of 22% OFF EVERYTHING IN THE STORE! and specced up a shopping basket with two 69 x 102cm clip frames. The total was a mere 21 quid. I was well excited.

That is until the moment I was just about to hit the confirm sale button, when a brief glimpse at the total payment figure made me do a double take that a Looney Tunes character would've been proud of; I swear my eyes shot out on stalks. They wanted £26 for postage. TWENTY-SIX POUNDS?! The postage was more than the two frames! Outrageous! I deleted both items, huffed audibly (which was pointless because no one was around to hear it), and watched Lesbian Vampire Killers instead. It was surprisingly enjoyable.

Anyway, being, I only had to wait a short while before they emailed me another of their awe-inspiringly frequent special offers. And oh-boy, oh-boy, this one was definitely worth waiting for, because it was for FREE POSTAGE.

I headed straight for their site, added two 69 x 102 cm clip frames to my shopping basket, tapped in the voucher code and … BINGO! I was so excited that I shouted "PYSCHE!" in a way that "pysche" hasn't been shouted since the mid to late 90s.

Fast forward to yesterday, when the frames were delivered to the office. While I delighted in inviting various colleagues to "come checkout my massive package," my enthusiasm dimmed when it became apparent that the packaging in which the frames had been delivered would not fit in Clubbie. I think you'll agree that constitutes a massive FAIL. I considered various solutions from tilting them in the boot slightly to hack-sawing Clubbie down the centre in order to add some extra width. Ultimately the easiest solution was to simply take the frames out of the packaging, then strap them securely together with gaffer tape. This was satisfactory on several levels, not least of which was the fact that, being a boy, I love wasting copious amounts of gaffer tape by wrapping it around and around and around things.

Eventually, and with noticeably less arm hair than I had when I began, I had taped the two frames together in such a way that they would comfortably fit in Clubbie's boot and still be decently protected should I decide to randomly take a shortcut home via a very bumpy cobbled street (although in hindsight, if you've driven down any of the horrifically potholed roads I take to and from work, you'll probably agree that a very bumpy cobbled street would be infinitely preferable).

And so, much fun ensued in Sparky Towers Friday evening as I wrestled the Pine-Kirk and Quinto-Spock posters out of the tube (inevitably they'd somehow found their way into the middle of the roll so I had to sift through ALL OF THEM) and set about encasing them in their new plastic and chipboard homes. Honestly, if I'd known how exciting I'd find popping two posters in clip frames to be I would've done it a long time ago.

Shall we have some photographs?

Here's the frames safely entombed in my rudimentary stripped down version of the packaging they came in. As you can clearly see, I did a very neat and professional job of it. You can barely tell the difference.

Here, the two posters are weighed down by Star Trek comics (yes, I'm a nerd, get over it) and an unopened Amazon package as I attempt to reverse the effects of 18 months spent rolled up in a cardboard tube. Pine-Kirk is under Quinto-Spock, thus fulfilling the fantasy of many Star Trek slash-fiction authors.

For some unfathomable reason I decided to perform the framing operation on my bed. I guess if things started to go wrong I could've pillow-fought the bastard into submission.

The moment I almost suffered an aneurysm; note how the dimensions on the frame say 68 x 101cm, not the 69 x 102cm that the posters measure, and which I specifically ordered. Fortunately, some dumbo obviously can't measure properly because the posters fit perfectly (and no, before you say it, I am not referring to myself as a dumbo. I can measure extremely well, thank you very much; lord knows as an insecure young gentleman I've practised on my penis enough).

Quinto-Spock in place and the protective wrapper coming off the plastic. I'd like to say glass, but it's plastic. That doesn't make it any less classy though. This bit was fun. Just thought I'd say that.

Aaaaaand … repeat with Pine-Kirk.

And here's Quinto-Spock all done and dusted…

… And Pine-Kirk. Bunging up access to my bookshelf and generally getting in the way. Bad Pine-Kirk, bad. I don't think Shatner-Kirk would do that. He'd be chillaxing on the sofa with a cognac and a fat cigar most probably.

All in all, then, I'm WELL HAPPY. Well, aside from the fact that I'd managed to put the Quinto-Spock poster in upside down so the hangy bit (please note official technical term) was at the bottom rather than at the top, which would've made hanging the damn thing a tad awkward; don't worry, I unclipped it all and turned it around with minimal huffing and rolling of eyes at my own incontinence incompetence. Oh, wait, the hanging thing. Hmmm… yes: THAT. Well, with a bit of luck I'll get round to getting them on the wall before another 18 months is up, not least because Pine is in the way of my bookshelf and threatening to hog the sofa too.


Before you sigh and whisper "thank god THAT poorly-written example of procrastination is out of the way," I just thought I'd mention that today is not my first, not my second, not my third, but it is in fact my *squeal!* fourth blog anniversary. Or bloggyversary. Or blogday. I don't know what the correct term is - whatever! Either way, I'm raising my glass to you, dear reader, for sticking with me this far. I don't know where we're going from here, but quite frankly it can't really get any worse.

Or can it…!? Duh-duh-daaaaaaaah!

Good times.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

The week in pictures

Went to see Local Natives in concert on Tuesday, and quickly discovered that one of the postures I do at yoga (awkward pose, where you stand right up on your toes, if you're interested) proved very helpful in thwarting the efforts of the tall people who inevitably end up standing right in front of you at these sort of things.

Local Natives. They were VERY good. I'm off to see them again at Shepherds Bush in June and can't wait - particularly because I've got seats.


I'd never considered using the side of a truck as a canvas, but obviously someone thought it was a good idea.


Feeling in a particularly Star Trekkie mood, I whipped myself up a new iPhone background image.

Red alert, red alert! Although saying that always makes me think of that Basement Jaxx song


Had a look at the personalised cakes on offer in Marks and Spencer in Westfield.

Crikey, they must be knocking on a bit…


Without having actually heard any of their music, I would actually consider buying tickets to see this band if they added an "Ooo…" to the beginning of their name and an exclamation mark at the end.


Aaaaaaand adopted a new catchphrase courtesy of Chris Pine (see below, starting from around 15 seconds in).

Duh-na-na-na: LET'S GO!

Believe me, I've been saying that so much in just the last three days that it's already gone waaaaaaay beyond annoying. I even do the throwing motion. Good times.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The captain's chair

As you might know, there's nothingI'd like more than to be captain of the Starship Enterprise*. Unfortunately, seeing as I was annoyingly born about 300 years too early, I have to make do with living in a fantasy world, one that could be enhanced by actually owning a captain's chair. The problem here, though, is that a captain's chair costs a rather silly 1500 quid, and would appear to take up rather a lot of room, which kind of puts the kybosh on that. Fortunately, however, salvation would appear to be at hand from our dear friends, the Swedes!

And no, they did not appear in Star Trek - I mean Swedish people. Y'know, from Sweden.

On Saturday, you see, Big Bro and I made another jaunt to IKEA to sort out some bits for his new place, and if this is all sounding a bit familiar it's because I'm kind of treading old ground here, but with a new improved punchline, so bear with me. For those of you who can't be arsed to hit that link, IKEA do a chair that looks a little bit like the captain's chair from the new Star Trek movie, called the Karlstad. It's really rather cool looking, and Big Bro, who actually rather surprisingly liked the new Star Trek movie after professing to hate all other Star Trek (mostly because I *j'adore* it), was very taken with it too. In fact, he went so far as to tell me that he was going to buy a Karlstad and it would be *my* chair for when I go over to visit him.

That made me beam (as in smile, not, like, dematerialise and appear somewhere else).

The real captain's chair. No doubt I would've made him put some random controls and blinky lights on the armrests just to make me feel particularly captain-like. Then barked orders like "MAKE ME COFFEE, ENSIGN BITCH!" Or something like that.

On this IKEA trip, though, he decided that he'd spring the revelation that he's no longer going to buy a captain's chair Karlstad because he "doesn't have the room for it."

This, I think you'll agree, is a pitiful excuse, especially after he raised my hopes so much before dashing them so swiftly. It also kind of thwarts my plan to goad him into buying the IKEA desk chair that looks a bit like one of the regular chairs on the bridge, thus ruining my plan to surreptitiously transform his new flat into some sort of awesome/semi-tragic replica of the Enterprise.

To add insult to injury, he then made me sit in a Karlstad and pose like it's the last time I'll ever have the opportunity to do so.

Not only did I feel depressed by this unexpected turn of events, but my hair looked particularly unflattering in this picture, which is why I've taped a picture of William Shatner's glorious face over mine. Also, I don't know why the photo is all blurry; either Big Bro's just not very good at taking pictures with my iPhone, or he's in the early stages of Parkinson's. Maybe I should get him tested?

I'm really not prepared to let this go without a fight. I'm thinking about setting up a Facebook petition, and I rather like the idea of a protest rally. I'm imagining hordes of people in Star Trek uniforms carrying me aloft through the streets of West London. Preferably with me sitting in a Karlstad making out with a green Orion slave girl, although that would actually mean buying one which would kind of defeat the object of the whole thing because then he'd probably just suggest I donate it to him (the chair I mean, not the slave girl). Anyway, these are little details that we can iron out later. Who's in?


* If you're ever unfortunate enough to meet me in person just call me "captain" and see me snap to attention like my true purpose in life has just been revealed.