Thursday, August 31, 2006

Too Many Cupcakes?

My bike has a fantastic way of breaking on me when I'm as far from home as I'm going to get, and it knows never to wait when I'm close enough to walk. Last time one of the pedals broke off exactly 1 minute after I left the office. You really miss pedals after you have to push along the ground with your feet the entire 4 miles home, whilst cars and buses are rushing past you, honking you for going so slowly.

Yesterday, as I got to London Bridge, I thought I was about to get impaled on my bike post as the screw which holds the locking mechanism on the seat snapped clean in half, collapsing the seat underneath me. I had to scrounge around in between buses and taxis to pick up the bits and pieces of my crappy bike that had disintegrated as I was going around the corner. Cycling home standing the whole way is not very comfortable, and people kept looking at me like I'd stolen the bike because the owner would have taken the seat in an attempt to disuade theives like me from stealing it.

On my way I stopped at a bike store to get it fixed. I took the new bike seat post to the guy to fit it for me, and he looked at the broken screw, the seat, then at me, standing there sweat oozing out of every pore on my face (oh so very attractive), and said "That's curious, I've never seen this happen before, these screws are really very strong. There must have been alot of pressure on the seat for it to break in half like this", and you could just tell he was thinking "You've clearly been eating too many cupcakes you fat cow".

I'm off to Australia today to spend 12 days with my parents, but will try and blog whilst I'm away, to keep you up to date on my incredibly boring stint at home. It might sound like fun, but lying on a couch for 12 days is really not entertaining.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Lelouch - C'├ętait un rendez-vous

This is a bit long I'll grant you, but it's still quite cool. Watch the red lights he drives past... don't worry if you miss the first one, there are lots and lots.

What driving around should be like! Enjoy

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Ethnic Cleansing? No, Not Me Mate...

After 5 years, I finally get to apply for my British citizenship. Part of this is a Life in Britain test which has multiple choice questions about British history, politics, how best to conduct conversations about the weather, proper tea making techniques, and how to start a fight with people in the pub who insult your football team.

I'm filling out the obligatory application form, 2 weeks early because I'm uber eager, and I particularly love question 4.8: "Have you ever been involved in the commission, preperation or organisation of war crimes, crimes against humanity, or genocide".. ummmm.. not that I remember, no.... but if I had, would that affect me getting a passport?

Friday, August 25, 2006

Friday night QVC Hell

Oh my god. These people should NOT be allowed to be on TV on a Friday night after you get home drunk.

QVC is a tv shopping network. And it is SO addictive. Especially when it's "Crafting For Christmas". SAVE ME OBE WAN KANOBE. Please don't let me buy the brushed metal effect appeture cards and envelopes or the 60 AF Vellum sheets. I don't even know what A4 Vellum sheets are. Why do I feel obsessed with buying them ??!! NO!! They're using the words "we've used our glue sticks to make these beauftiful cards!". How much of a geek am I? By day I work in IT. By night, all I want to do is make cards... I despair at my geeky sadness.

Oh god. I have no money left. I have a horrid feeling that lots of red wine is about to be responsible for metalic cards and christmas inspired stamps.

This is the best thing tonight, after the 10 police cars (2 police vans and about 30 police people (? - police men and women... not sure what these collectively are called) that turned up outside the flatmates room tonight. Very scarey since I'm here on my own, and, lets be honest, I'm a big fat scaredy cat.

OH NO! They're selling the Let It Snow Paper, Sticker & Embellishment Pack. Only £22.38. Don't pick up the phone. Don't pick up the phone!!

Your Friday Moment of Zen: Five O'Clock World

(pic from here)
I'm currently obsessed with songs from the 60's: The Rolling Stones "Can't Always Get What You Want", Beach Boys "God Only Knows" (that's clearly Big Love related). Plus the Good Morning Vietnam soundtrack is getting a good workout: Them "Baby Please Don't Go", The Marvelettes "Danger Heartbreak Dead Ahead", I really love Martha Reeves & The Vandellas "Nowhere To Run".

Though the song that I've got on endless repeat for the last hour has been by The Vogues "Five O'Clock World":

Up every mornin' just to keep a job
I gotta fight my way through the husslin' mob
Sounds of the city poundin' in my brain
While another day goes down the drain

But it's a five o'clock world when the whistle blows
No one owns a piece of my time
And there's a five o'clock me inside my clothes
Thinkin' that the world looks fine, yeah
Holiday, yeah...

Tradin' my time for the pay I get
Livin' on money that I ain't made yet

Gotta keep goin', gotta make my way

While I live for the end of the day

Have a good 60s inspired zen like Friday!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Phantom Lamps

I love these lamps from cb2 (in Chicago) for around $100 so much that I've even emailed them to ask if they'll ship to London. If not, does anyone live in Chicago and want to ship it to me? I don't know what it is about it that makes me want to own one so much, but the clear glass is so pretty, and I think it'd go fantastically with my black couch.

For more info have a look here. Thanks Design*Sponge!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Do geek books = a sign?

After my whole buying house debarcle, I've gotten on the mega expensive horse again and had a look yesterday at a house closer to my price range and the area I'm desperate to stay in. And apparently, like the perfect high heeled shoe, the perfect house, with the perfect price does not exist. And to make matters worse, there are lots of buyers, and lots of greedy sellers who are waiting for the market to go through the roof, and aren't willing to sell their their properties until the prices go up by £30K next year. Well that's just fucking dandy isn't it. I'm glad all the sellers are holding off waiting to drain me of my life blood like fat vampires. It also seems, what with so many buyers, you get only 5 mins to decide if you want to buy a place. "Ok great, I've spent more time trying on a pair of jeans than looking at this house, but what the heck, I'll take it. Here's the cheque with more zeros on it than I can count". The estate agent told me I was the first person to view the house and they expected it to go that day. It was 6.15 when I had a look. 6.15 in the evening.

Bloody hell. I was so depressed when I got home, I actually went out again to go to the corner store to pay idiot tax and buy myself 2 scratch cards in the vain hope of winning £10K (see, not greedy, just £10,000). When that didn't work, I went home and drank 2 large glasses of red wine. Alone.

On the plus side, I'm wondering if the place I looked at yesterday was the one. It wasn't exactly where I want to live (like not in the street I want, heck I am that picky) but the guy who was selling it had a book shelf chock-a-block full of computing geek books: Java in a Nutshell, Oracle 9i, Sybase books, C++ books. He had a media PC in the corner and no tele, just a flat screen monitor. And he had another bookshelf full of books about catholisism, plus a cross on the wall. Heck I'm a geek who owns most of those nerd books, I'd have a media pc if I didn't own a Tivo, and I'm catholic.

Is this a sign?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

General Angry Rant

OOHH things are going to cop it today:

Taking My Foot off the Lader
I've taken my foot off the property ladder and have decided after much deliberation to not go ahead and buy the house. It wasn't just because of the grief I was getting, but also because if I wanted to rent it out, I couldn't afford it. Actually it was mostly due to the fact I couldn't afford it. So now I am "homeless" again (though obviously not in the traditional sense, and not meaning to offend anyone who is actually homeless, but for gods sake you get my drift). At the very least this has helped me work out what I want in a house, and gets me out of living in coo coo land for what I can afford. So it's back to the searching on the web.

Stupid Property Websites
I am so sick and fucking tired of property sites where they don't a) put the address of the property b) don't put a picture up and c) have no details about the house other than "1 bedroom flat located close to tube". How is someone supposed to know if they are wasting their time with descriptions like "flat, somewhere in the postcode with some stuff in it". What fucking use is that to anyone? No fucking use, that's what.

Not Going to Hong Kong
Someone in the office is going to HK & mainland China to train people, and as you can imagine from the fact all I want to say is shit fuck fuck bastards fuck, that that someone is not me. Shit fuck fuck bastards fuck. (it's not big, it's not clever but it makes me feel better).

Not going to watch Arsenal in the Champions League tomorrow
I've already prosponed my 24 hr ECG to go to my teams Dragon Boat Racing regatta finals so we can panick in the water and come last to teams in all body lycra outfits who train 3 times a week, are all extremely fit, stretch before and after, do one handed push ups (just to show off), and group hug and pray before they race. So since I've prosponed tests to see if my heart is fucked (which it isn't), I can't really go to watch Arsenal tomorrow instead of going racing. AND it would have been at the new stadium AND it would have been really, really, really good seats AND the tickets are only £20. Fuck fuck bollocks wank (different combination to my HK rant).

The Colonel Getting Hit by Some Arsehole last night
The first time I'd ever had a car accident in the Colonel. There we were, sitting at the lights, minding our own business, dripping wet after our last dragon boat training session before the big regatta tomorrow, and some idiot slams into the back of my car. I get out, slightly dazed (because, heck it's not every day you get hit at the lights) and the arse who hit me was very appologetic (and it seemed slightly drunk) and was very keen not to exchange details (probably because he was DRUNK). On the plus side, The Colonel is ok, I'm ok, my friend from Oz is ok, and I couldn't care less if the other guys car is internally fucked or not, because they drove off.

And take a big breath in. And relax.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Not like buying a pair of Manolo Blahniks

I bought a house on Saturday.

Well, technically, Saturday afternoon I put an offer in to a house that I saw that morning.

And now I feel, well, unhappy. There's no crying, or screaming of joy, or happiness. Just worry and unease.

Ever since The Flatmate told me he is going back to Oz, I decided the only way for me to stay living in London, by myself, was to buy a place. I've been saving up for this from the first month of my working life here, and I have enough to get a small 1 bed flat in the south east of London that I've called home for the past 4 years. Somewhere that I could put my bed, my lovely couch, maybe get a cat. Put up paintings and pictures, get new tiles in the bathrooms. Have cool halogean lights in the hallway, and enough kitchen space to put 2 fry pans and 2 pots on the stove at the same time! Somewhere I would feel safe and at home. However, weeks of looking at houses has led me to realise that the dream house I want is not coming on the market. And the part of me that tends to shit all over my dreams, and worries about every tiny detail and keeps me up at night, is making me think this house will never turn up.

So yesterday, I took my first foray into my undiscovered country called compromise, and looked at a 1 bed, 1st floor, ex council flat in Borough. Great location (it's a 10 min walk from London Bridge, right smack in zone 1). And after I saw it I was excited. No, I was dead excited. So excited that I thought, fuck it, if I get it rented, it'll practically pay for itself. PLUS I quite like it and the area and I could live there too.

This euphoria lasted all afternoon, even after I called the estate agent and said I wanted to put an offer in. I went around in a daze all day. I put an offer in for a house. This is a step into adulthood that I didn't think I could do. Something I'd thought about for years, but never imagined I'd ever say the words "I'd like to put an offer on this house please." I was stunned, and slightly giddy. That was until I dragged my friends to have a look, and one of them went, well, nuts, at the prospect of me living there. You've never seen someone get so angry, just because I wanted to buy an ex-council flat. They called me all sorts of things, and as my shoulders dragged further and further to the ground, until my knuckles dragged along the gutters, I'd never felt like sinking into a hole so much in years.

So now, all I have is intense unease. When the estate agent came back to me to say the vendor had approved it, there were no roars of joy. No "congratulations!", no "yay! I've bought a house! I won't be homeless!". No champagne. No cava. Not even a glass of spakling Babysham. And whilst I know it would be a great place, I have no back bone and what with my constant need for approval, I feel like I'm making the biggest mistake of my life. Is this a sign that I shouldn't buy this and wait, hope, pray and beg that what I want is coming? Or should I face facts that, whilst other people can find their dream houses, for me finding the perfect house is as much a myth as me finding the perfect pair of high heeled shoes that don't make me fall over, cut my feet to ribbons, and end up being ruined when the blood from the blisters soaks through the leather? Or is this just me? Surely people find their perfect houses all the time. Well, maybe not perfect, but a house which, when bought, actually makes them feel happy to be taking on the biggest debt of their lives.

Ahh, it's the little things I want. It all sounds so rubbish doesn't it, especially if you weigh it up against real life problems like world poverty or starvation or war. But that's me I guess. Constantly sweating the small stuff.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Your Friday Moment of Zen: Random Veg at Borough Markets

After my little trip to the arm mangler yesterday, I decided to treat myself to food from Borough Market before tripping of home.

I always thought that a Romanesco was just a light shade from Habitat. If anyone has any ideas how to eats one, drop me a line. I have to say, they are much prettier in real life than hanging upside with a light blub stuck in them!

Random foodie zen love. Enjoy!

Not my type of comfort

I had to go to the hospital today to get some blood tests done because my doctor has no idea what's wrong with me, so in an attempt to cover her arse, she's put me down for one of everything.

This is a conversation, trust me, you never want to have with the nurse whose holding a needle to a major artery in your arm.

Nurse: "Ok come sit down and we'll take some blood."
Me: (sit in chair, slightly shaking with fear) "Ok, just have to say I hate needles."
Nurse: "You hate needles eh? Why?"
Me: "I dunno, I just don't like them I guess" (hey stupid me, of all my fears, I thought that one was actually rational, not like my fear of the tele losing reception and ghosts escaping from other dimensions).
Nurse: (stops, rests with the needles just above my arm, looks up at me with a glazed look in his eye) "Strange. I don't hate needles. I love needles. Needles bring me comfort."
Me: (eyes going wildly from side to side) "umm.. ok then..."


Thursday, August 17, 2006

Stupid uncoordinated fingers

GRRR... Talk about a complete waste of time.

I've spent the last part of an hour trying to learn how to spin a pencil backwards. Spinning the pencil forwards is no problem, since in my year 11 eceonomics class I was more interested in learning how to do that than work out how to calculate a countries GDP. Even now I still think that was a better use of my time, as I can still spin a pencil, pen, drumstick (both the intrumental, and probably the chicken variety) around my thumb with the greatest of ease, and I've never been asked for my assessment of the UK's gross domestic product.

Though an hour into it and for for some reason, my stupid unco hands still can't make the bloody pencil spin backwards. The trick is to keep your middle, ring and thumb still whilst getting your index finger to flick the pen around. But when I try it, the index finger starts to flick the pencil, and then all of a sudden all my other fingers spasm and the pencil goes flying. Sometimes across the floor, sometimes hitting the desk, occasionaly hitting my forehead.

GRRR. It's really starting to piss me off. Not only am I wasting time trying to learn how to do this most useless of tricks (who has ever impressed anyone with their pen flicking ability?), but I'm mostly annoyed because I thought I was a bit more dexterous than this. So, due to my constant need to blame everything on something other than myself, today I'm going to blame it on the medication that I'm on, which is currently fucking with my brain. Apparently this medicine is used to help treat people with mild anxiety. However it's making me more anxious about rubbish nonense things than I've ever been before.

I am also laying blame at the door of WIKI-HOW . DAMN YOU! Why do you have things on your website that look easy but aren't?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Cycling past, seeing Jean Luc Picard

I've lived in London for about 5 years now, and I have to say that the number of times I've seen a famous person has been abysmal low. The only 2 famous people I've seen whilst meandering around town has been:

  1. Scary Spice roller blading around Regents park. She realised we were looking at her and started to do some pathetic attempts at roller blading tricks. Unfortunately she didn't fall over and break her back ad legs in multiple places. Pity really.
  2. Stephen Fry near Soho, with cute boyfriend in tow.

However, today, I hit the big time baby! I had the male equivalent of seeing Kylie Minogue in the street! Whilst I was cycling to work along the Thames, I noticed a bald man, with a baseball hat jogging in front of me. As I was coming up to him I thought "gee he looks a bit like Patrick Stewart". As I got next to him I thought "no, he really does look like Patrick Stewart". As I passed him, I took a good look (and slowed right down) and thought "OH MY GOD!! I'M CYCLING NEXT TO PATRICK STEWART! I'M CYCLING NEXT TO PATRICK STEWART!!!"

PATRICK STEWART! I mean WOW!! Captain Jean Luc Picard of the Starship Enterprise!! Professor Charles Xavier!! Captain Ahab! The gay guy in Frasier!!! I LOVE Patrick Stewart! He is so cool in all his bald glory!

Naturally I didn't talk to him. I would never talk to him for several reasons, some of them rashional, some of them, well... Here are my top 6 reasons for not stopping and chatting to Jean Luc Picard:

  1. I don't want to talk to my heros, because what there is no way my heros are going to be anyway near as nice in real life as they are in my head. I mean, I doubt that Patrick Stewart, in the middle of his morning jog would say "Oh hi you slightly scary girl who can't stop grinning like she's just broken out of a mental isylum and is doped up to the eye balls. Why don't you come and join my circle of friends, and you can step of the daily mediocracy that is the very definition of your life and hobnob with other Star Trek actors!"
  2. I wouldn't want to distrub Patrick Stewart whilst he was excercising...
  3. What if it wasn't him? I mean, I am about 99.999% sure it was him... If it wasn't.. how embarrasing..
  4. I think there was another more beefy guy running behind him... if that was his body guard the last thing I want to get thrown off my bike, and dangled by the ankles into the Thames, because I dared to say "oh. My. GOD! You're Patrick Stewart!".
  5. I don't want to look like all those other sad pathetic geeks who see one of their favorite Starfleet captains and go all gaga. I have self restraint. Even though I had the dumbest grin on my face the entire ride to work, I can hold my head up high and rise above those other geeks and nerds.
  6. (mostly) I'm a big fat coward.
Pity though.... I would have loved to have asked for his autograph and have him say "Alright, make it so". I would have died right there on the spot. I'm such a sad geek.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Mash and Scream Techniques of a Street Fighter

If you were a child of the late 80's and early-mid 90's (ok and a geek) you probably have fond memories of wasting lots of your money playing Street Fighter at an arcade. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, Street Fighter was a cool game which involved picking a character, say Ryu from Japan (on the left here), or Chun Li from China, or Dhalsim for India, and in later additions you could even get Bison the super boss, then you would, yup you guessed it, fight in streets, to see who would win in a best of 3 matches. The aim was to beat all the characters to then eventually beat Bison to be the Street Fighter of the WORLD!

Now, the skill wasn't in the ability to jump around, kick and punch but in the ability to remember and know how to do the special maneuvers with the joystick and keys to get special combos (like Chun Li's spinning bird kick). These special moves only worked if you did something like: for Ryu to do a Hadoken (fire ball) it would be Press D, DR, R + any punch button and Ryu would release a glowing blue projectile ball.

Now, just because I'm a geek, and I had geek like qualities when I was 14 didn't mean that I could play this game. No, I completely and utterly sucked at it. And I know the special moves don't sound difficult, but I found it nigh on impossible to do. My little cousin, who is 6 years younger than me, would play Street Fighter at the arcade, and always let me play the second round, knowing full well I would never win. The thing is, even after 100s of fights, he would always look up at me, his little 8 year old face full of disappointment as I mashed frantically at the key pad, to try and get him to do SOMETHING other than just get his arse pummled, all the while screaming "Come the fuck on! The special move doesn't work! The special move doesn't work! I'm DOING it right though! What the fuck is happening??!?", After the inevitable defeat my cousin would then sigh, look at me, shake his little 8 year old head, take over and defend his honour.

Last week, Calvin downloaded Street Fighter II Hyper Fighting for his high definition, fully spec'd, really expensive XBox 360. I'm not bad at console games. I can kick butt with a sniper gun and a sword on Halo. But nearly 14 years after I first played Street Fighter, my street fighter techniques are still as pants as ever. Playing it on Sunday, it got to the point where my thumb and hand was so badly throbbing with pain and cramps after I would constantly try to push the kick button to get Chun Li to beat Honda, that I eventually just put the Xbox controller on my lap and just mashed all the keys with my fingers at the same time. Let me tell you, mashing does no Spinning Bird Kick make.

Ah. If my baby cousin (now 22) could have seen me on Sunday. He would still be shaking his head in disappointment. Then take over and win the 3rd round for me.

Here's a video of what could happen if you actually knew what to do, and you weren't, you know, me. Look at the geeks and nerds!! Enjoy

Monday, August 14, 2006

Say it with Tomato Sauce and M&M's

I really don't know what to make of this. My M&M's and My Heinz are the latest brands to allow you to customise their labels with your messages (though I don't know too many companies in the UK that let you do this).

My M&M's allow you to write your message, select your M&M colours and the packaging that goes with it. On their site they've got example messages like "Express yourself" and "Say it Sweetly" but obviously if I did this I would put messages like "Get Fat Here" or "Eat this" or other very grownup messages. I don't know why exactly you'd want to do this, but if this is something that interests you, please I beg you do not put lovey dovey cutesy messages on your chocolate.. There's a reason why It should not be valentines all year round.

A more saucey version (sorry couldn't resist) is an offering from "My Heinz" where they've got different bottle types you can put your personalized message like the original bottle, the squeezy bottle and the little pots of sauce and mustards. On their website they've got occasion suggestions for when you would want to have these, such as showers, birthdays, tailgating (what the hell is this anyway?), graduation, weddings and anniversary. I ask you, why would you want this for a wedding or anniversary??? Here darling, happy anniversary, I got you a bottle of high fructose corn syrup flavoured with tomato to smother your deep fried, starchy, high fat chips with. Does this really say "I love you" better than a Hallmark card?

Friday, August 11, 2006

Your Friday Moment of Zen: I'm the boy to keep you up at night.

GODDAMNN!! Tim Rogers, from You Am I, and Tex Perkins from The Cruel Sea, are playing in London tomorrow night and I'm going to get my yearly fix! For some honest to goodness fan-fuckin'-tastic Aussie rock and roll, Timmy Rogers is your man. I know he is a skinny arsed, big nosed, drug taking, alcoholic rocker, but my god he makes some of the finest tunes around, and makes me go weak at the knees like some pre-pubescent teenager.

My particular favorites are:
Purple Sneakers: "For every trouble you've found there's a drink to lose it and drown. Do you need somebody to feel somebody?"
Get Up: "See the man in the corner trying to make them all smile, and missing the one that matters all the while, she'll beat him senseless, but he just can't see, it aint for the crowd that you bleed. So be good to your bar keep man, it's more than your drink he's got in his hand"

Here's your Friday moment of zen. Timmy Rogers doing what he does best. Rocking his skinny, beautiful arse off.

God bless the fuckin' lot of us.

Ammendment: For a great write up about this gig tomorrow night check this out from the TNT

No news reports but at least I know not to wear sandals

After a nightmare trip home at midnight tonight, when I finally got in I decided to watch some of the news whilst getting ready for bed. It's not that I normally feel the need to be on the beating pulse of the world news after a night out, but I just wanted to see if anything significant has happened during the last few hours (I mean, hey, when I went to bed on Wednesday night, the news was either about the Lebanon/Israel war and how the News of the World were listening to the royal family gossip on their mobile phones. 7 hours later I wake up and all of a sudden it's about the 10 bomb threats on planes out of Britain.. gotta keep in touch with the news... ).

So rather than watching the BBC's World Business report, I thought, heck, lets go for some sensationalist crap and watch Sky instead.. I managed to catch the last 5 mins of the American CBS news, which was all "America on security alert level SUPER DOOPER HIGH IN THE SKY APPLE PIE CRAZY. Terrorists, terrorists everywhere!" along what I've noticed American news does best: lots of human interest stories which mostly consist of people complaining about having to get rid of their hair gel and perfume because they might be bombs. Ok so this CBS. I kinda expected this.. Then the British Sky news reports starts up and it goes like this:

"Police foil biggest terrorist threat! Mass murder on an unimaginable scale! More details to whip up the public to a frenzy!!!! TERRORISTS TERRORISTS EVERYWHERE!!.... But, first here's todays weather"

That's right. The weather. That's the report Sky news started their hourly news with. Not who has been arrested, or how their plans where foiled. Not even whether or not any planes are flying now or if should expect more threats. No, Sky felt that the people must be kept informed ABOUT THE WEATHER. At 1 AM. That's the most important thing obviously. Thank god Sky have their priorities right. THIS is what I care about most: knowing that I can't wear my sandals tomorrow because it's gonna rain.

It's all alright people, it's alright. Crisis averted. Stand down from red alert Mr Spock, we're gonna be ok.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Avenue Q: It sucks to be you

Went to see Avenue Q last night. If you haven't seen it, and I heartily recommend it, because when a musical involving people and puppets comes with an advisory sticker, you know you have to see it. And because if you haven't seen crazy puppet sex, you really don't know what you're missing.

Amoung my favorite songs were: "Everyone's a little racist", "The Internet is for Porn", and "If you were gay". However today all I've been singing is "It sucks to be me" because, today, it does. I hope love enjoy this song as much as me. Here are a few lyrics. Enjoy!

BRIAN : Me too! I mean, look at me! I'm ten years out of college, and I always thought -
: No, it sounds stupid.
Aww, come on!
BRIAN : When I was little I thought I would be...
: A big comedian on late night TV But now I'm thirty-two And as you can see I'm not
: Nope!
: Oh Well, It sucks to be me.
: Nooo.
: It sucks to be me.
BRIAN : It sucks to be broke and unemployed and turning thirty-three. It sucks to be me.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Arms waving in the air, singing in rounds

I blogged a few weeks ago how the HBO series "Big Love" was on channel 5. I have a sinking feeling the Flatmate and myself might have been the only ones watching it in all of the UK because they really rushed through the last 4 episodes in a fortnight of Monday night double bill madness. And now it's over. If you've missed the series then shame on you and I cry for your misfortune. Here is a really good mini review from Time magazine:

"Here's the thing they don't tell you about polygamy: it's murder on your cell bill. Early in Big Love, Bill Henrickson (Bill Paxton) checks his calls. He has 16 messages. He's got three wives, three mortgages and seven kids. His father (Bruce Dern) suspects Bill's mother of poisoning him. Bill is opening a new branch of his Salt Lake City, Utah, hardware store, and his shady, polygamist-patriarch father-in-law Roman (Harry Dean Stanton) is demanding a cut. Then there's the matter of, er, keeping up with three wives. Pharmaceutical assistance is involved."

I really, really loved this show, and always kinda thought the Flatmate was watching it with me cause he was being nice, and it reminded him of being on holiday. However I think I've misjudged him. Last night, after a painful 2 hour train trip back from work, the first question he asked me wasn't what's for dinner, but "Can we watch the last episode of Big Love now?". If you know the Flatmate you'll realise this is a huge thing, because he always thinks with his belly first. I guess this show about Mormon polygomy has really touched us all.

A few things I'm going to miss about Big Love Monday Nights:

1. Even though we have watched every episode week in week out, there are still moments when the Flatmate and I thought we were in some nether region of reality, and would look at each other and go "This show is fucking RANDOM! Is Wanda seriously about to ANTI-FREEZE in Albe's drink? Why is Bill's father pissing in the kitchen sink? What the fuck is going on?"

2. Our debates on how I find Margie annoying and the Flatmate tells me to get off her case, she's 3rd wife, and she's not that childish.. And besides she's a much warmer mother and sister wife than Nicky, who is action packed with serious 2nd wife issues, and her lying and jealousy doesn't seem to really live up to "The Principle". (oh look, I'm making commentary on polygamy and the mormon religion based soley on a tele show, and no actual evidence)

3. I'm mostly going to miss when the opening credits come on to the Beach Boys song "God Only Knows". That's when the Flatmate and I sit there, our arms raised about our heads in the air waving gently from side to side, and sing in rounds:

"If you should ever leave me, then life would go on believe me"
"The world would show nothing to me, then what good would living do me?"

"God only knows what I'd be without you"

"This is our random mormon show"
"This is our random morrrrmmooon show"

"This is our random"

"This is our show"

"This is our random mormon show"

"This is our random"
"This is our shoooooooooooow"

Ah Big Love. God bless your randomness. I'm gonna miss you. Come back soon.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Never Ever Wash Me

Doing my daily stumbling round the net, I found these from That's Hot. Scott Wade is an artist whose medium of art is what most people would try to wash away. Car dirt. Check out more of his masterpieces here. Some of which are really cool and if you're feeling artisitc, he's even got step by step details of he makes them.

This kicks arse over the usual crappy "wash me" comments left on dirty cars...

Monday, August 07, 2006

Tobi Wood is Pretty

Looking through lots of design sites, I've found these beautiful prints from Print & Pattern's blog. These Tobi Wood designs are really cool, not only because of their patterns, but because their bold colours, which I find really incredibly funky.

For the past few months I've been very, very slowly painting a set of 4 canvases, and I'm on to the last one, and have been looking around for some inspiration for colors. These beautiful cards and prints are definitely helping me fill my boots with ideas.

From Tobi's website you can buy her cool cards, wall prints, magnets and journals. Enjoy!

Friday, August 04, 2006

MY Friday Moment of Zen: Where I'd Rather Be

This is MY Friday Moment of Zen. I'm having a fucking stressful day at work, what with people constantly riding my arse trying to get things done. So this is where I'd rather be. This brings me zen.

Death Valley, California. Because it's fucking beautiful, and I'd rather be there, even when it's over 100F than at my desk in London. Roll on the mother fucking weekend.

Your Friday Moment Of Zen: It Scares the Shit Out of Me

Sorry if you've seen this already, but this ad makes me giggle, and anything that gives me the slightest bit of pleasure today is zen like to me.


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Pimp That Snack!

In the never ending glory that is the internet, a very cool site I've found is "Pimp That Snack". Here people take everyday snacks and document how they've pimped it, i.e. disassemble it, work out what goes in it, then make a massive version of it, documenting their work the whole time!

Some of the best ones include Jaffa Quake (done by the posh food critic from The F Word):

And the GIANT Oreo (which I have to say looks mighty impressive!)

Started in April 2006, when Pete (aka Pimp Daddy) bought a Peanut Butter Kit Kat and decided to reassemble it by replacing the Peanut Butter inside the bar with some store bought variety. After documenting his triumph on a website, he received a lot of interest, and he turned the concept into the PimpThatSnack website.

Each project has details and pictures of how they were constructed, and makes for some really fun reading. Some of my other favs are the giant flake, and the giant alphabet soup (though I only really like the noodles, as I never liked the yucky tomato soup it came in anyway) and the giant chocolate digestive.


Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Upcoming Festivals : GBBF & SCCF

Two upcoming festivals in London which are worthy of note:

GBBF: The Great British Beer Festival
With more than one and a half pints served every second from the 700 ales and ciders available, the Great British Beer Festival is the biggest real ale festival in the world. Starting from today and going through until Saturday, this will be the first year it's held at it's new home in Earls Court. I've been every year for the past 3, and it is allot of fun. Not only are there hundreds of ales and ciders to choose from, but it's the only time of the year I play on the tombola "every one's a winner!", and get to buy bags and bags of pork scratchings. The best way to do it is to go around with a pint glass and only ask for halfs because they're cheaper than full ones, you get to try more before you fill up on beer, and you always get 3/4 of a pint for the price of a half. Some say "cheap", I say "thrifty".
  • Highlights: Seeing "real ale" drinks with their huge beer bellys and big beards (they seem to go hand in hand). Eating copious amounts of pork products. The inevitably large cheese platter we can't finish. Bags and bags of pork scratchings & ale.
  • Lowlights: Not remembering which beers you liked last time, and walking around endlessly trying to find it again.
  • Things to say: "hmm, now I've had 1/2 a pint of Dragon Smoke Stout, Fursty Ferret and Ice Maiden, but I remember from last year that Summer Lightning, Gannet Milk where good too... OOH I might have a half a Black Prince next!"
  • Things to not say: "Can I get a pint of Fosters please" - unless you want to get beaten up by one of the scary looking "real ale" drinkers.
For some cool pics of previous festivals

SCCF: Singapore Chilli Crab Festival
If ale, cider and pig are not up your alley, then the Tiger Beer Singapore Chilli Crab Festival is on this Saturday and Sunday might be more your thing. A free event, held at the Vibe Bar in Brick Lane, East London, the festival is held simultaneously in New York, and is an "Asian street market with traditional hawker-style food stands". Chilli Crab is the unofficial "national dish" of Singapore, it comes with a yummy sauce of fresh red chillis, tomato sauce, fresh eggs and spring onions. Best eaten with your hands!
  • Highlights: Eating yummy Singaporean food. I'm mostly looking forward to, guess what, the Chilli Crabs.
  • Lowlights: Possibly being hungover from the GBBF, and not being able to face Chilli Crabs.
  • Things to Say: "Crab and beer. Lets all cheer"
  • Things not to say: "Ooh this Chinese festival is good innit? Where's the sweet and sour pork?"

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

New Beetle Art

Mibo whom I know mostly as a designer for cool lampshades, is one of the 4 leading artists and illustrators who are part of the new Beetle Arts Volkswagen range. The designs include: Mibo's "Taking Flight" (you can get the matching lampshade!), the stylized puddles of art in Mud Splats by Jamie Cullen, Steve Wilsons' Chasing Rainbows, and the "It's All Mine" by Parra. Check out their website, where you can play around with the designs, the colours of the cars, and even choose if you want the cabriolet or hatchback version.

I do think they are pretty cool, however it's a worry that if you want to get rid of them you simply "Using a hairdryer, gently warm the graphics. When warmed, slowly peel off"(!). Thank god that this is a cold climate where 2 consecutive days of 30 degrees is considered a "heat wave, threatening to shut down the very fabric of society, by melting roads and buckling train lines", or else those lovely birdies mightn't look so nice when they're half sliding off the car...

Still, it's a cool concept, and if anyone would like to donate one of the VW Beetles, I'd happily accept any of the groovy designs (I quite like the cabriolet, in light grey, with the Mibo design in green).