Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Things to make and do

I kind of feel like I've not been posting much recently, which actually isn't true, but it's nagging at me anyway. Not only that, but time seems to have been very strictly regimented over the last few weeks; I can pretty much break my life down to:

1. Work
2. Yoga
3. Running
4. Crashing out in front of the tellybox
5. Twitter

And so this is where you come in, lovely reader. I'm looking for some excitement and adventure in my life and you're going to help me find it (or at least I hope you are; this could prove to be an epically spectacular FAIL if you all shun me like a diseased street urchin). To accomplish this I'm introducing a new competition, and the very first (and probably last) item of official Sparky Malarkey merchandise (and, for some people, the answer to long-held, slightly rapey desires).



1. Click on the picture above and print out your very own OFFICIAL SPARKY TIM CUT OUT 'N KEEP ACTIONLESS FIGURE.

2. Now glue your OFFICIAL SPARKY TIM CUT OUT 'N KEEP ACTIONLESS FIGURE to a piece of card - something like an old cereal box will do, although classier alternatives will be noted at the end of the competition. Cut carefully around me (do try to keep within the lines - I don't want to lose an ear or something). Maybe consider adding a rudimentary stand if you're sufficiently adept at cardboard engineering.

3. Relive your awkward childhood dress-up fantasies by accessorising your OFFICIAL SPARKY TIM CUT OUT 'N KEEP ACTIONLESS FIGURE with a stunning outfit.

4. Pop your OFFICIAL SPARKY TIM CUT OUT 'N KEEP ACTIONLESS FIGURE into a stunning background - either a real location (if you live somewhere awesome) or a picture you've stolen off the interwebs (if your present location is crushingly dull).

5. Now tell me about the awesome shenanigans your OFFICIAL SPARKY TIM CUT OUT 'N KEEP ACTIONLESS FIGURE is getting up to, either by posting on your own blog, or emailing it to me. At some vaguely undecided point in the future (let's say May 15th) I'll do a round-up of your childlike scrawlings awesome work (yes, I'll be cutting and pasting your posts into my blog to make it look like I've written a load of exciting content) and pick a winner. There's no prize, although I may be tempted to send some beard shavings random tat out if I'm overcome by your sycophantic efforts.

There we have it then. I dread to see can't wait to see what you've got in store for my little cardboard clones!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Tweet repeat

Today was pay day, and with no iPad in sight until the end of next month, I thought I'd treat myself to a little bit of a post-work shopping spree in Westfield. And being a social networking, iPhone-toting whore, I found myself live-tweeting the experience to my 35 heaving throng of Twitter followers, who were no doubt on the edge of their seats wondering what shenanigans I'd get up to.

But because most of you who read this are a) not on Twitter (why not?) or b) not following me (WHY NOT?!), I thought I'd repost my adventure here for you to enjoy, with added notes that would've taken me past Twitter's 140 character limit. Think of it like a director's edition - y'know, where I add in all the pretentious bits that were sensibly cut out first time around and throw in some ridiculous new CG effects.

*waves at George Lucas*

Here we go then:

• Converse shoes are making farting sounds. Westfield shop assistants are clearly unamused.

Seriously, my Converse make a ridiculous noise. Quite frankly it's embarrassing. I try scrunching my toes up, but it doesn't work. The looks I was getting from the snooty assistants in House of Frazer were sufficiently potent as to be on the verge of vapourising me. A word of warning: next time we go out for drinks and dancing, you probably want to glance down at my feet to see if I'm wearing my Converse, because if I am chances are in a few more hours I'll be waving my hand under my nose and trying to deflect attention from the farting sound I'm generating by pinning it on you.

• Westfield smelling a bit like my #bikramyoga class - i.e. Sweaty.

It was weird, Westfield really did smell a bit like your mum's armpits today. Not a massively overpowering OHMYGOD - UGH smell, just that kind of salty sweat smell that hangs in the air. The funny thing is, after doing Bikram Yoga for almost a year, I actually quite like it now.

(notice first use of a '#' tag - or #ashtag as we Twitterers call them. I don't really know what they do, but everyone else uses them and I don't want to be left out)

• New ice cream stand looks like it's selling fruit sorbet and poo.

It did! There was, like, this really quite nice looking dark berry sorbet thing, but right next to it was this gross looking swirled brown mess that kind of curved up to a point like a massive dog had just squatted over the counter and pushed one out.

It made me feel a bit sick to be honest.

• Dear Next shop functionary: please do not look at me like I'm scum when I stray into the suit department. Kthxbai!

There must be something about me that shouts 'SHOPLIFTER!' because at least three shop assistants in various stores were clearly following me around, all of whom were ignorant to the fact that I was wearing slim-fitting jeans that I could barely get my keys in, let alone a handful of stolen merchandise. The guy in Next was the worst though. I rarely go into Next these days, but I was running out of places I could try to spend money so I thought I'd give it a bash. Next in Westfield is really quite big, and I wandered around the ironic t-shirt and checked shirt departments for quite some time (after skipping out of the sportswear section when some tubby old guy sidled up to me and started feeling - I mean REALLY feeling - a pair of Adidas running shorts I'd been looking at). After a while, and admittedly somewhat accidentally, I found myself in the suit department. There was no reason for me being there because I very rarely wear a suit, but I thought I might as well just walk through it to get to the exit.

About halfway through this dude just kind of leapt into my path, forcing me to come to a sudden halt. He literally looked me up and down like I was trash, then said something. I was listening to music on my iPhone at the time, and this sort of thing really annoys me; I mean, these people can clearly see I've got headphones in, and there's a reason for that: stop talking to me! I popped one headphone out and went "WHAT?"

"Can I *help* you?" he said again, as if to suggest I might tarnish the fine garments on display in his department with my mere presence.

"No - no you can't," I replied, sneering just enough to put the fear of god in his mind that I might thump him on my way out.

(thanks to Glittering Lee for making the term 'functionary' one of my favourite words)

Westfield shopping FAIL. Clearly subconsciously saving money for #ipad. *so* jealous of @indiaknight.

Yes, yes, another iPad mention. I do really want one; if you think it's bad now, just wait until I finally get one. India Knight, if you don't know, is a writer and Sunday Times columnist, and one of my favourite Twitterers. She tweeted earlier that one of her friends is bringing an iPad back from the States for her. I say again: JEALOUS.

• There are too many people in Hollister, I can't see anything, and it smells like a tart's boudoir.

I went into Hollister (Abercrombie and Fitch's younger, hipper, cheaper off-shoot) to look for t-shirts with tits on, and ended up seeing a shirt I quite liked. Annoyingly, though, Hollister stores are really dark and always packed out, so you can't really see what you're looking at and some random is always bumping into you. The queues for the changing rooms and tills were really long, and while the staff here don't glare at you like you're about to pocket something, they do act like they want to be your friend; some dude that looked like James Franco just started talking at me, but because I had my headphones in I really couldn't understand a word he was saying. I eventually just said "cheers!" in a jaunty fashion; for all I know he might've been saying "I'm going to hunt you down and pound your face in with my shoe."

As for the smell, it was slightly overpowering but I actually quite liked it. I think that says rather a lot about me and my preferences.

I left after a few minutes because I was feeling somewhat disorientated.

• The escalators in M&S are like a bloody Escher painting. I just want to go to the food hall!

I swear I went from the first floor to the ground floor about three times.

• Just saw some kid massively stack it in the middle of Westfield. He's not crying, it's OK to laugh.

Yeah, that was pretty sweet. To be honest, I would've laughed even if he had cried. That probably would've just made it even funnier.

• Was just eyed up by some mega wasted cougar by the champagne bar. Feel so objectified.

Oh god, she was pretty gross; she was sprawled across the champagne bar in The Village part of Westfield (i.e. the posh bit) and trying to have a conversation with her equally wasted gal pals. It was like the West London equivalent of Sex and the City without the botox and more pendulous boobs. She was so drunk that when she leered at me one of her eyes was moving independently of the other one like a chameleon.

I felt DIRTY.

• Chap on till in Waitrose has hair like Prince circa 1984.

This was awesome - he was totally all like this, even down to the little moustache:

It could only have been more perfect if he'd been wearing a raspberry beret.


And to end … Morris Dancers in Hammersmith at lunchtime in celebration of St. George's Day!

Listen carefully and you'll hear a little bit of commentary from me and Yazzle Dazzle here. At one point I say we should get closer, but "not too close"; Morris Dancers really used to freak me out as a kid.

What you don't see here, though, is the guy dressed as St. George (full armour!) riding a BMX made up to look like a horse with a massive pantomime horse head and body, pedalling furiously around Lyric Square. No. Expense. Spared.

I almost shat myself laughing.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Pizza and coke

Totally did a double take (with cartoon-esque eyes popping out on stalks) upon seeing what looked like a pile of suspicious white powder on the back of a discarded pizza box.

"Each pizza is ever so slightly different." Yes, this one will get you off your tits and heading out to an illegal rave.

Before anyone calls the rozzers, though, turns out it's a picture of FLOUR. Yes. Of course.

That is all.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

That's how I Bieber

There's been a vicious rumour doing the rounds recently that I … *shudder* … am a closet fan of Canadialand's latest singing 'sensation,' Justin Bieber.

It all started last week when I was shopping in Westfield - ironically the very same place where I first became aware of the Bieber due to an influx of screaming teenage girls bunging up Starbucks in January while I tried to get a coffee and they waited for him to do an in-store appearance in HMV (some would say Mothercare would've been more appropriate).

So anyway, I was milling around Westfield trying to find something for Best Mate Jo's a mysterious friend's forthcoming birthday. Failing somewhat, I decided to do the easy thing and send a text asking for ideas. Our conversation went something like… well, exactly like this:

So we laughed, and I carried on shopping (she has got a lovely big toe, though).

When I got home I might've then posted something on Facebook about my mystery friend saying she thought Bieber was "fit," which led to some *HI-larious* comments and a significant amount of embarrassment for the friend in question, culminating in…

At this point I was still laughing my tits off at the whole thing, but events were about to take a disastrous turn.

On April 1st, y'see, the website Funny or Die had played a prank where they made it look like Bieber had taken over the website and renamed it Bieber or Die; as a result, every piece of content on the site that day featured Bieber in some capacity.

Autographing lady lumps? Paying people to slap them? Lollipops? I like the cut of his gib!

Now, I don't particularly like the Bieber, but the whole thing was pretty inspired, and very, very funny. Especially Dramatic Bieber, which had me giggling like a speshul for a profoundly disturbing period of time.

In the process of the 'mystery friend thinks Bieber is fit' thing rolling out across my Facebook page, I thought I'd post links to a couple of the Bieber or Die videos because they're, well, funny. Unfortunately, this backfired on me massively because people started echoing mystery friend's comment and adding things like "OMG - I think it's YOU that likes Bieber!!!!1!"

And as a result of watching too many of the Bieber or Die videos, all of which start with a snippet of his annoyingly catchy song 'Baby Baby,' I actually began to doubt my convictions. What was it about Bieber I disliked? Do I dislike him? WHY?! I constantly have to remind myself that he sings like a pre-pubescent girl and dances like he's hopped-up on blue Smarties. You can't really dance to the music I like - you nod your head to it; at most you pump your fist in the air while mouthing along to the words! I don't do pre-programmed dance routines like a human Big Trak!

To make it worse, I've been telling people how funny I thought Bieber or Die was, waffling on like I'm a long-time fan eager to spread the Bieber word. Not only that, but I've started to use 'Bieber' as a verb! It's like the how the Smurfs replace random words with Bieber Smurf! Goddammit, it's just a fun word to say: Bieber!! Say it with me: BIEBER!!! SAY IT!!!!

To top it all off, I've got a new favourite website: Lesbians Who Look Like Justin Bieber. It's a collection of Justin Bieber pictures mixed in with lovely young lesbians who look like him - and what's particularly worrying is that half the time I can't tell which is which!

Essentially, then, I think I'm losing my Bieber mind. I'm giving serious consideration to Biebering one of these to keep me sane. So while I'm off crying in the shower until 'Baby Baby' stops playing on rotation in my head, the question I want to Bieber you is: HOW DO YOU BIEBER?!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Make your own iPad

OK, that's it. I want an iPad, but I'm bored of waiting. There's been no news on UK prices, and no news on when we're actually going to get it save for the somewhat vague 'late April' that's plastered across Apple's website.

So I've made my own. BEHOLD:

OK, so it *might* look a bit like an iMac with a hastily-drawn iPad-style home button stuck on it, but it does everything I want it to, and I'm sure *no one* would notice the 2000 metres of extension cord trailing behind me as I make my way down to Secret Starbucks at lunchtime, nor the keyboard and mouse tucked precariously under my arm.

I think you'll agree it's the future of computermabobs.


In unrelated matters, and as if you needed any more evidence of my childish sense of humour, I present to you a pub called cock.

I laughed so hard I almost needed oxygen.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

One of those faces

I've now been told by at least three people that I bear a close resemblance to the new Captain Kirk who features on the massive poster that now hangs on my living room wall (yes, I finally got around to putting it up).

So, question: is it exceedingly egotistical to have a huge poster that sorta/maybe looks like you hanging in your own living room? Discuss!

Apologies for piss-poor photography.

To confound matters, I was reading a Love and Rockets book the other day that featured Joey, a character that … well, see for yourself.

What we've learnt here, then, is that if Chris Pine pulls out of the next Star Trek film, or they ever decide to make a Love and Rockets movie, I'm quids in for either role.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Lame Friday (and other misadventures)

Oh gosh, hello! You still there? I hope so. I have missed your cheeky grin. And that outfit looks gorgeous - is it new?

*awaits return compliment*

Oh OK, it's going to be like that, is it? Fine. Well *I* think I look good in these jeans.

Anyway, sorry I've not been around this last week. I don't know why I'm apologising for having missed one week of blogging. I think it has something to do with it feeling like an eternity; I seemed to have crammed so much in that I've lost track of time. Easter completely passed me by. Did baby Jeebus come back?

I think the highlight of the last week was actually Good Friday, which actually felt like a Saturday, and consisted of me heading over to the East End to meet two of my favourite pals and hit up an American Apparel rummage sale that was taking place in Brick Lane.

Now, if you're in the London area, chances are that you might've read in the papers or on the interwebs that, well, things didn't exactly go too well for American Apparel and their rummage sale. We kind of figured poor naive AA might've been thrown something of a curve ball when we found the queue to get in stretching about a mile down the road. And while we wandered off in disgust to get a coffee (at a surf shop of all places, run by two Bill and Ted-type dudes; the service was appalling, the coffee excellent - swings and roundabouts I think you'll agree) things deteriorated further.

Basically, there was an emo riot and the Police shut the whole thing down.

With our plans shot to pieces, Good Friday was swiftly renamed Lame Friday, and we instead began an aimless wander into the centre of town.

Lame Friday ended up, however, being a rather good day:

• We hit up a second hand book store where I almost bought an original copy of a H.G. Wells novel from 1896 for a fiver (decided against it in case the damn thing disintegrated - it was, after all, 114 years old), and sniggered at a book called 'The Temple of Hymen' (which was not 114 years old).
• Wandered through the British Museum where I saw a Crystal Skull (decided against staring into its eyes in case it melted my tiny brain).
• Spent £40 on two books I didn't need but so desperately wanted.
• Had my first Gourmet Burger Kitchen experience (was nice, but a tad on the expensive side).

And late in the afternoon after bidding "adieu!" to my pals, I wandered from Oxford Street to Waterloo in the sunshine and hopped on a train home.


So, Spring tides at Richmond, eh? Probably not a good idea to park your car down by the Thames … though the ducks appear to be enjoying it.

I occasionally run down this road. Speedos and flippers might be more appropriate at the moment, though.

Saw this movie, and HIGHLY recommend it:

If only because the Daily Mail has its knickers in an almighty knot about it.


If you ever visit Westfield, I can heartily recommend the pretzels from, erm, Mr. Pretzel.

Cinnamon and brown sugar? It's like an orgasm for your mouth.


Clubbie's come in for a bit of unwanted attention this last week. First of all I noticed football prints embossed in the dirt along the passenger side door where one of the neighbourhood oiks had decided to kick his ball against it. This was sorted by 'having a chat' with one of their dads, who was understandably slightly mortified (I can only imagine he too knows how expensive BMW body shop work can be). Then, on a Saturday night trip to IKEA with Big Bro (we're such regulars these days I'm sure the staff think we're a couple - particularly after we sampled mattresses together) he turned to me and asked why I had a lip imprints on my passenger side window. I replied with a "huh?" but he was right; someone had kissed Clubbie on the window (saucy).

Now, given the choice between football prints or big sloppy kisses being left on my car, I'd take the latter, but in all honesty I'd just rather people left my little motor alone.

Or is Clubbie cheating on me? Hmmm…

Anyway, things reached a head this morning when a cat jumped of a wall onto my bonnet and left delicate little paw prints in the dirt. Not only is my car a filthy little thing, but, in finest 'Are You Being Served?' style, it's obviously just out for a bit of random pussy.

In the end, then, I gave it a quick wash this afternoon; Clubbie is now ball print, paw print, and kiss-print free. AND LONG MAY THAT REMAIN THE CASE!


Talking of IKEA, Big Bro bought some Soong-type cutlery.


I'm being taunted by things I want but can't have; the iPad came out in the States on Saturday, and I'm going to have to wait until at least the end of the month before they're out here and I can get my grubby little mits on one, and Best Mate Jo keeps showing me pictures of an adorable little kitten I want but really shouldn't have (simply because I'm not around that much to give it love 'n attention).


Wouldn't it be awesome if I could just combine the two together though? Y'know, sort of like…

Ta-da! I'm a freakin' genius. Someone get Steve Jobs on the line.