Monday, July 31, 2006

Goodbye President Bartlet. Hello Josh!!

After 7 seasons, I saw the final episode of the West Wing last night. I find the end of this show kindof painful, as I have been watching it religiously for the last 5 years.. I discovered the series (well to be honest had it forced upon me) whilst I worked/lived in Brussels, and would watch the DVD's all weekend when I was stuck out there by myself working.. So the fact that it's over now leaves me kind of empty.

However, I can now rejoice in the fact that Aaron Sorkin has obviously not been in jail too long for posession of illegal substances and has got 2 of my favorite actors in his new series Studio 60!

Brad Whitford and Mat Perry. Now this is my idea of heaven. I love both of these guys. Brad Whitford, cause he was Josh from the West Wing. Not only did he have some of the best lines, but he was funny, crazy, sarcastic and cute. Mat Perry because he was the definitely the best thing about "Friends". I even loved Fat Chandler better than Skinny Chandler.

Aaron thankyou. You've made TV worth while again.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Your Friday Moment of Zen: Possibly hell bound

Wow today has been busy! How ever not too busy for me not to put up a more hell bound Friday Moment of Zen. I laughed my arse off watching this, but then again, I'm geeky enough to find this funny...

Hope you enjoy it!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Love and Hate For The Colonel

I have few extravagances in life, however the one I know I don't need the most but still love is The Colonel, aka a 1992 sky blue Volkswagen Golf.

My car is called "The Colonel" not because it's seen any military action, but because when we used to get hire cars we always went to KFC (yeehaw we is so classy, we is gonna eat our food outta bucket and and not outta da sink like normal people!). When I got my car, it seemed only natural that it should be named after its spiritual leader, hence "The Colonel". He is kept company at nights by Lumpy, the pink Hefalump elephant that came from a MacDonalds kids meal I had the first week we got the car (I don't really eat that much junk food.. it just seems I do). Just another small aside, not everything I own has a name.. For example, the couch, no. The bean bag, yes (Steve. Because that's what it said on the wrapper when we got it). My bike, no. The bookshelf, yes (The Bartlet Memorial Library). My handbag, no. My small overnight suitcase, yes (Rover. Because that's the name that's on the case.. go figure.)

Every year the gut wrenching ritual of the government MOT test rears it's ugly head, which means The Colonel gets grilled by mechanics to check if he's road worthy. Last year I took The Colonel to a VW dealership, where they prompty sent me a 3 page report of everything they believed need fixing, coming to a grand total of £2000. And these weren't even dangerous life threatening things, like faulty steering or lack of break lights or anything that could help knock over old ladies in the street. This VW dealership wanted to charge me £180 to replace a seat belt because it was "worn". And when I mean slightly, I'm mean it had 2 threads hanging off it. ON THE EDGES. How fucked up is that?! When I pointed out to the mechanic the ridiculousness of their estimate, considering the car was bought for £300, and I clearly am not made of money because if I was then I wouldn't be driving around a 14 year old car, they backed down and just replaced the brake pads. For £230. Yup, 70 less than the car is worth.

This year in an attempt to not get ripped off again by a dealership that clearly can't see that if the car is 14 years old and it's bonnett paintwork is so severly faded that it's gone from a sky blue to a pale sick bluish/grey, then it's owner isn't loaded to the eyeballs, and maybe she does have a little bit more sense than money. So I've taken it to a government MOT station, and then then waited frantically by the phone for them to call, hoping to god that I wouldn't have to sell one of my kidneys to be able to pay for the repairs.

And did it pass so that The Colonel can go and tear up country lanes, terrorising local wildlife and children? Of course it bloody didn't. Their reasons?
  1. Lost the pin that keeps the back seat from locking in place
  2. Need a new rear tyre
  3. Need a new windscreen wiper.
These are the things that are keeping me and The Colonel from another year on the open roads.

It's funny. They failed my car because they picked up that I've got slightly bad windscreen wipers. However, the fact that The Colonel doesn't start sometimes if it's been driven around for a while and it gets too hot, thus requiring me to convince people to help me push start it? Nah, that's not a problem at all..

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Geeky Cooking - the Nintendo DS way

Yesterday I wrote about the new fridges from Electrolux, and made some remark about how the fridges computer could tell you what to make for dinner ("Computer, can I please have something other than cheese on toast for dinner again tonight?"). So I was shocked to find on slashfood today that those groovy nerds at Nintendo have created something that does just that for the Nintendo DS Lite Touch! The new game(?) called Shaberu! DS Ryouri Navi (aka "Talking DS Cooking Naviagator") is no so much a game but more an instructional program. This works by having you cook whilst the chef bark orders at you and as it's voice respondent, you reply back when you're done each step.. much like a real kitchen but you don't end up having food, insults and knives thrown at you when you fuck up... You can even input a list of ingredients that you have and it will suggest dishes or pick a main ingredient and it will give you a list of available options. Plus the program has got pictures and nutritional information for each recipe. Unfortunately Nintendo have said they have no plans as of yet to market it outside of Japan, which really sucks.. but watch out for it if it comes out, cause that is one cool gizmo!

Hopefully if/when they do release it in the UK they won't have that twat Antony Warrol Thompson doing the English version, as I don't think that shouting at the DS "I've finished slicing the onions you goat faced git" would make me want to do any cooking...

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

War On White

Electrolux have declared a "War On White" in their new range of household appliances. They say they've taken inspiration from different design principles including fashion, interior decoration and architecture. These fridges are part of their Screenfridge range which is a state of the art fridge with an LCD screen on the door to allow it to be programmed (with what exactly I'm not sure... maybe it'll note what you've got in there and then give you ideas for dinner? Oh look, it's cheese on toast again).

Whilst I think they are really cool, you'd have to hope that in 4 years time you wouldn't hate the floral pattern, or the way that the fridge lights up the entire kitchen in an LED blue glow... still, if you've got the kind of cash to spend on this sort of thing in the first place, you've probably got the cash to get rid of it when it is longer a la mode.. These fridges do kick arse of small mini bar fridge I've got in my kitchen...

Ah, to be able to get to the milk without having to bend down and move the miniture bottles of JD out of the way... Sigh.

A new type of terror

I've discovered a whole new type of terror that I'd never thought would happen to me. It has nothing to do with poisonous spiders biting and then paralyzing me before sucking my body dry of all my blood (already terrified of that) or flying (scared there too), or even the fear of poking my eyes out with the large and extremely sharp knife that's inevitably stuck point up in the dishwasher (now that is scary).

No, my brand spanking new fear is the one I currently have after going to dragon boat training tonight. In the middle of what can only be described as an overly optimistic view of how fast our team can go, I felt the bone of my right arm pop out of it's socket, squish against the muscle in my shoulder, and then pop right back in.

I'm currently terrified of ever moving my arm again. I will sling it to my body and call it George and it will become my sad, limp and useless pet. And believe me, George will never be separated again from my shoulder as long as I have breath in my body.

Monday, July 24, 2006

I'm so hard work because...

I actually went back to the kitchen in the office to get myself a second plate to put my toasted tortilla wraps (cut in half, then put in the toaster, not just laid on top, or else they don't brown evenly), because heaven forbid that they might possibly touch any part of the tomato salad I was eating in case they get in the slightest bit moist and soggy. Can't be doing with soggy toasted torridly.

I'm not sure if I'm so much hard work or perhaps the onset of obsessive compulsive disorder....

Friday, July 21, 2006

Your Friday Moment of Zen: Shoot London Lite

Four of us took part in the Shoot London Lite photo treasure hunt last Sunday. Naturally we didn't win, because the picture of the "Budgie Man" did. The Budgie Man is a guy outside of the Tate Modern, who has a bunch of budgies. He makes the do tricks like walking up and down a ladder or walking along a rope, and other RANDOM things that budgies do, all the while singing "I'm the Budgie Man, I'm the Budgie Man, blah blah blah, look at my birds, I'm the Budgie Man". HOW THE HELL THIS WINS I DON'T KNOW. I have not done the show my displeasure foot stamp yet, but I can feel it's coming....

The Shoot Experience people have a few of these events organised around the year, so have a look. It's a good excuse to a) see more of London, and b) use my expensive digital camera that I never use....

Anyway, here's a couple of ours that I like, and none of them have random budgie men in them.. Enjoy:

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Not letting the neighbours see

I can't remember if I've posted this already, so if I have I appologise, however I really love Emma Jeff's adhesive window coverings. I saw them about 9 months ago, but she's got some new ones out now, so I thought I'd share. These self adhesive covers go on the windows, letting in the light, but not letting your neighbours see you... Great I guess for kitchens and especially bathrooms. Her new designs White Clover and White Adelphi can be bought from but for stockists around the world check out Emma Jeff's website

Being kinda nerdy I quite like her Pixel range (above) as well as Otto (below). Enjoy!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Superman Returns.. and so does my stupid crush on him

Yes it's true. Oh yes and it is so, so, so fucking sad. I am looking at myself with a new level of self loathing as I realise that the reason that I've moved all the documents on my desktop into nice organised folders isn't because I'm tidy but it's because they were obstructing the view of my new Superman background!

I've just been to see Superman Returns at the Imax, and I have say it's a pretty good movie! I really enjoyed it, but then again, this is from the girl who can recite you all the words from Superman II. They had all the original music, and that pretty much was enough to keep a stupid smile on my face. However having come home, I have this horrid dawning realisation that the wierd feeling in my gut isn't because I'm suffering some nasty side effects from too much salt in the large bucket of popcorn I helped demolish, but from a fear that I'm developing a high school like crush on Superman... And this crush isn't even necessarily on Brandon Routh (though he is helping) but on bloody Superman himself!! How fucking sad am I? What level of randomness have I sunk to? I mean SUPERMAN? He's not even the dark man of mystery, anger and gadgets like Batman, or the funny man like the Flash. He doesn't have problems juggling his life and saving people like Spidey does, nor does he have any of the bad boy qualities of Wolverine... I mean he's the fucking uber good guy! He wears his undies on the outside of his jeans!! He fights for truth, justice and all that crap! I usually hate that... But now he comes with bags and bags of angst! And that just fucking KILLS ME!!

And unfortunately I have previous on this too. Back in high school (where this sort of thing would be more acceptable) I had a really random dream where I was talking to Superman (back in the Dean Cain days) on a pay phone, asking him questions about himself, when I then suddenly felt dizzy and said that I was going to faint. However before I hit the floor, Superman rushed in and saved me, then we flew off together, like he does with Louis Lane in Superman II. I went gaga for Dean Cain for years after that...

Oh god, I have reached new levels of sadness... I pray that this is a reaction from too much salt, in which case I say bring on the high blood pressure, bring on the health problems, but please do not bring on a new obsession about the Big S. Because having a crush on a superhero really does push you so far into the land of the geeks and nerds that you'll never be able to come back.... God damn it!! I've just looked at my desktop again. If only he wasn't so god damned cute!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Democratic Right?

I've just had a massive argument in the S&M cafe (btw that's sausage and mash not sadism and masochism cafe).

Voting? Should voting be a compulsory or not? What do you think? Leave our comments here, and tell me. Persuade me. Move me by your arguments.

BTW. If I have one post that contains the words (or words that mean this in any way shape or form) "YOUR WRONG AND I'M RIGHT SO SHUT UP" then that is not democratic in any way.

Ok GO! Write in, tell me what you think.

Your Friday Moment of Zen: It's Now Free

What's now free? Film Four. To explain, if you're not in the UK, Film Four is a cable/satellite movie channel which shows the coolest and more independant films, but you have to pay extra for it. As we only have free to air digital tele, we don't get Film Four... that is until the 23rd of July.

However this is not my moment of zen for this week. No, the zen comes from the ads which Kevin Spacey has directed to promote the fact that Film Four is now free, which consists of loads of movie stars like Lucy Liu, who calls Christian Slater and Ray Wiston "muppets" as she flies over their badly posted bill board, with her own flag from the plane flying upside down. Or Mackenzie Cooke and Willem Defoe both being bike couriers trying to get the message out.

However whilst these are all funny, the absolute moment of genius, and this week's raison d'être has to be Dame Judy Dench dressed up as a giant lobster, talking to Ewan McGregor, dressed up as a giant tomato. Whilst she operatically sings "Film Four is Now Free!", he tries to come to grips with his own sense of being:
- "Why did I have to be the tomato? I mean, am I a fruit? Am I a vegetable? I don't know who I am"
- "But that's the mystery of you!"

Watch the ad before they take it away, and we have to pay for it... watch it whilst it's free!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Just Like Hawaii Five-O

I'm not a really sporty person. I don't really do competative sports (racing people to work on a bike doesn't count because they don't realise it's a race and if they own a bike that is in any way half decent, they'll win because my crappy decathalon £170 job only does a max speed of 20.4 mph... doesn't matter how hard you paddle, if the gears aren't up to it, it's like treading soft water). However last week my friend from Oz convinced me finally to go Dragon Boat racing with her at the local dock in Canary Wharf. So we came back yesterday for our second day out on the boat, for what I fondly have labelled the exercise to "rid me of my flabby northern arms", only to find that the boat club was holding a dragon boat racing charity regatta. And there were loads of teams from big corporate names there like Accenture and Barclays, and all these corporate teams where full of corporate uber fit gym loving employees.

There were 4 heats in all, and the 6 fastest teams would end up in the final. I have to say, unless I nearly drown, I think I've found a fantastic sport I really enjoy. Actually this can't be called a sport cause it's so much fun. You go out on a boat, you race until your arms feel like their gonna drop off (adieu wobbly northern arms!), it's social, you get soaked from the splash of the padles in front, you get yelled at by people telling you to paddle harder, and, in the true spirit of a charity event, as you start to pull away from all the other boats, and you see that you're gonna win by at least a boat length you get to scream "eat our DUST!!". I ask you, what is NOT to love?

To cut a long story short, not only were we the fast boat coming into the final, we were the fastest boat out of the final too! We beat "The Champions" (with a name like that, they had to loose surely?!), and I have finally won my first sporting medal. EVER. At school I wasn't even good enough to get a medal at one of those "everyone gets a medal" days. If only my PE teacher could see me now! That sad girl who couldn't even walk on a gymanstic beam without falling off! The girl who couldn't dribble a ball! Who was one of the slowest kids running around the oval 4 times! Who was part of the year 10 volleyball team who got beat 103-1! HAHA!! I can hold my head up high with me real metalic medal proudly slung around my neck and say "YES! I was in a team in came first for once, I too am worthy!". My sporting accomplishments are done.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Faster than you can say "Get Off The God Damned Pitch"

So the World Cup is over again for another 4 years. All in all, the feeling I have most about this tournement is, well, disappointment. First from Australia being robbed of extra time by the now World Cup champions. Then for England being knocked out by the cheating Portugeuse. Then Germany losing to Italy (again watching Italy).. and finally for France losing on penalties. That means all the teams I was rooting for due to my nationality, my soon to be nationality, my nationality of one of my parents and the nationality I would one day love to be, all lost.

If you'd read past posts you'll know I lost spunked an awful lot of my partially hard earned cash on poorly chosen bets during the World Cup. I did finally find a way to stop my loses though, It wasn't following tips from the awfully good Calvstar site (though they did do exceedingly well, as they won 142.2 points (though Mappy got 133 of them on his own, so what the rest of them are doing god knows (ha!)). No if you want my tip on not losing money, here it is, direct from me to you. Do NOT log on to BetFair. At all. Every team I put money on got knocked out, because I do obviously control the 'verse, and a football team will lose not because their players did badly, or because they were playing against diving cheats, or because they had players sent off for losing their cool, but because I put money on them, and the universe does not want me to win. Ever.

However a couple of good things have come out of it:
  1. We saw Ronaldo blubber like a spoilt child. Anything that makes that git cry is good. (Waaaaa! I got subbed. Waaaa! I fell down! Waaaaa! I dropped my lolly pop!!)
  2. Despite the dissapointing end, the mighty Soccerroos didn't embarrass themselves and did make it out of the group stages. If it's good enough for the Netherlands, it's good enough for us.
  3. I won £12 from the company sweep thanks to France. And the girl who had Italy left the company last week so now I'm on a mission to try and convince people that the prize money should go, if not exclusively to second place, then at least to second and third... This was working well until until people found out that the crusader for this change in prize money is me, and I stood to gain £32..

Finally, as a quick aside, one has to marvel at the speed in which things happen on the net. It was barely 24 hours ago that Zizou decided to use his head as a battering ram and knock the Italian lad off his feet, and already already there are internet games you can play. Grab your own red card right here

Very amusing.

Update: The original link no longer exists, however you can find it here too:

Friday, July 07, 2006

Your Friday Moment of Zen: Don't Hassle The Hoff

God bless the internet. Without it, we wouldn't have random things like David Hasselhoff doing a remake of the 1975 Aussie classic "Jump In My Car" (originally done by the Ted Mulry Gang).
A friend of mine sent me the link from video google to me, and it's fucking halarious. Even if you don't like the Hoff, you have to admit, he sure knows how to take the piss out of himself and this is one of the fucking funniest things I've seen in ages. Apparently this was filmed in Sydney, and as an original Sydneysider, I can only appologise for my home town.

Watching The Hoff jumping around on screen like a dirty old man trying to lure barely legal girls into Kit is actually halarious. I especially love the "Don't Hassle The Hoff" t-shirts (which you can buy here).

Enjoy your Friday moment of Hoffilicious Zen.

365 Days Later

It's been a year today since the bombs ripped apart London, and any feeling of safety I had in this capital. I can't deny that almost every day I get on the tube to go to work, I think about it. And I have to confess sometimes when I'm alone on a train, even now I still start to panic. I think about what those people must have felt when it happened, or the fear of the people on the train with them, or my own fear when I realised I would have gone through the tunnel near Aldgate at the same time as one of the bombs went off if I was ever on time for work. And I feel like a coward when it takes all my strength to not run off the train at whatever station I'm on.

Whatever god you pray to, I hope he keeps us safe, even though I know that's too much to ask. My thoughts and prayers go to all those who died and their famillies.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Little peas made from little chicks. Délicieux

I feel very proud today. Every week I go to the supermarket at lunch, and come out with food for the "week" which inevitably I end up not eating because I honestly have the attention span of a gold fish and get bored very quickly. Not this week though. No siree bob. Due to my thriftiness, I bought up big on hommous and felafels which were on sale, and have been living on a consistent and (now seemingly never ending) diet of hommous, salad, and fellafel wraps.

Since moving to the UK, I have discovered the what can only be described as fantastic world of chickpeas. I have to have my daily fix of my favorite pulse.. I will use ANY excuse possible to pop open a can and use them in a meal.... left over cold couscous? Need some chickpeas in that to bulk it out. Got some chorizo? Don't have it on bread, have it in a salad with roasted peppers, rocket and chickpeas. Ordering a take-away curry? Surely we can spend an extra £3.50 and get Chana Masala. Besides, it's not an authentic take away unless you're not lying on the floor with an exploded and painfully full belly, groaning as you try to finish the last mouthfuls of chickpea curry... Once, whilst home with a cold, I desperately wanted some crips, so I dragged my sad carcus up the stairs to the kitchen to make some hommous. From scratch. After I brought him down a bowl, the Flat-Mate (who works at home) wanted me to stay everyday and make him random snacks.. (It has to be said that, no, I do not use dried chickpeas, and I do not soak them overnight, then boil them for an hour with a carefully prepared bouquet of herbs, because frankly, they cost 40p for a can, and I can not be arsed. It's not very authentic, and this is one of the reasons I haven't chucked my day job as a nerd to become a chef.)

A few observations:
  • If you put regular tortilla wraps in the toaster for a while (not so long they burn) and let them cool, they crisp up into some real yummy and crispy chips. Perfect for scooping hommous. And working out what to do with those annoying left over wraps that end up sitting there getting mouldy after you've bought too many for that Mexican meal.
  • Cathedral cheese comes in little individual portions, which is fantastic if you're anything like me, and once you open a family block of cheese, you just can't stop nibbling at it (they are like my pringles). This with some spring onions and homous is delicious..
  • It is not high maintenance to sit at your desk and scrutinse each piece of watercress before you eat it, especially if it comes from one of those chlorine washed bags which have been in the fridge for 4 days. I can be hard work sometimes, but that's just a necessity.
  • I can not spell at all today. Bouquet. Why do my fingers want to spell this 'bouchet'?

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy To Serve

I've been bursting to post about these cool ceramic coffee mugs, but couldn't as I was waiting to give them to my friend my friend Calvin for his 30th birthday (happy birthday Calv!), but since he now has these safely collecting mould in his dishwasher, my self imposed ban can be lifted..

The famous NY greek paper cups apparently around since 1963 have made into a ceramic mugs, for, essentially, a pretty non cheesy souvenir of NY, and are available at . If you're in London, you'll be pleased to know you can get them at the Design Museum at Shad Thames, otherwise I guess you'll have to get them online.

I think they are really cool, though if you're in NY, you probably think they're as kitch as getting a Beefeater from London...

Still, at least someone is happy to serve..