Friday, 30 January 2009

Friday friday friday!

Ah joy, the weekend once more. My boss is on holiday as well, so I get to do very little today. Bliss.
I'm also in a good mood today, as I won the 'spot the ciggy packets' competition over at the
Patsy Log, and won a dedication of this truly moving performance. of 'Arms wide open'. Cheers Babe.

Anyways, had lots of family come to see me this week, which means my Father is currently staying for what he claims is a week (very long story) - so not been writing as much as I'd like. Still, I'm here now, and wanted to to talk for a moment about award ceremonies. Not the kids-sports-day type thing, but the actors golden-statues-of-various-things type thing.
They had Kate bloody Winslet on TV again last night. I liked her when she was nobody, but now she's all wailing on at award ceremonies proving she can't act that well without a script.
I mean, if these things mean so much to them, why are the ones that loose all smiles and have that 'Ah, well' look that I'm pretty sure they practice in the mirror for an hour before they head out? Just once I'd like to see someone go crazy because they didn't win, like Joey in that episode of friends a million years ago that my wife made me watch (honest).
Personally I think it would be great if Angelina Jolie went postal screaming 'That's Mine you whore! I'm gonna fuck that bitch up' before smashing a bottle of cristal over her managers head.
That's entertainment.

Today I am mostly listening to KT Tunstall doing some amazing things with a loop pedal:

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Dogs are from Venus

Ok, so I know I said I'd finish my short story and post it, but I haven't edited it yet, so you'll just have to wait. Sorry, awfully bad of me, spent yesterday running followed by drinking wine and watching TV (re-run of war of the worlds - the Tom "jump up and down on a sofa" Cruise one) instead of writing.

I must say, it's one of the better sci-fi Hollywood remake offerings. My wife thinks it's scary - she's got some sort of alien invasion phobia - which I tell her is pretty weird but it still puts the willies up her. I mean, planet earth has been around for about 4 billion years (unless you're a creationist nutter in which case it's only been around 6000 years, but then the bible doesn't mention aliens so this sort of thing won't bother you anyway). And in that time, there is pretty much zero evidence of aliens ever trying to invade. As the average human life-span is around 70-80 years, you'd have to be pretty unfortunate to be around if/when they do invade.
My wife - an ex-scientist - did find comfort in the fact that they all die from bacterial infections, which she pointed out would actually happen if they where organic. - sigh

Don't get me wrong, I think that there is life out there in the great cosmos, maybe even intelligent life somewhere, but I think the chances of them coming to visit us is pretty remote. For a start, the amount of effort involved to travel here would be pretty immense. Why would they bother? I know the KFC party bucket meal is good value and everything, but is it really worth the trip out?

Some people just don't take this as a reasonable answer though. Some people think they've been abducted by aliens and had probes inserted into various orifices - but some people will think anything.
I think it's telling that in the 70's we got the odd hazy picture of what looked like the lid off a washing up liquid bottle, and lots of eye-witness accounts of grey men with big eyes - but these days when pretty much everyone in the western world carries either a camera or a phone with a camera, no-ones ever been able to get a picture of one of the little buggers.

Anyways, ran 6.1 miles yesterday, so very proud of that; even if I can't feel my legs today and my knees no longer bend. Got the day off work tomorrow as well - Whooha!

I'll leave you with a quote today, rather than inflicting you once more with my questionable taste in music:

'Friends are God's apology for relations.'

Friday, 23 January 2009

Zombies and the J-Lo

Had this weird dream last night. The world had been taken over by zombies, and I was living with a bunch of survivors in a concrete tower block surrounded by trees and flowers. Everyone was happy, though my wife was pissed off with me and I didn't know why. There was a concert in the main hall, and Jennifer Lopez was playing - which is pretty odd as I don't like her music or her acting, though I did go say hi after the show.

Probably drank too much coffee and was seeing the wrong type of dead people. Weird things dreams. There's still not a doctor or psychologist around who can tell you for sure why we have them. One of life's little mysteries I guess.

Anyways, It's raining sideways outside, apparently we're going to have 60mph winds here today. I've got no money - again, and I've got a shit load of work to do, which I'm obviously not doing right now, so that'll mean working late.

But it's Friday, so nothing can piss me off today (except zombies). I love Fridays, I really do. I know I've said it before, they they're just the shiz. 2 whole days of getting out of bed when I want, going where I want, doing what I want - free from the oppressive thumb of responsibility.

I've been writing as well you'll be indifferent to hear. Actually made a start on something for the blog (based on ksquared's suggestion a while back when I asked for a first line). Spent a whole 40 minutes on it so far, but got my 500 words. I'll edit it later today and post it up if I get chance.

Today I am mostly listening to Doors covers by people who sound like they're on an awful lot of medication.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

I see dead people [instructions...]

Tuesday already. It's been a while since my last post - just like at school - 'must try harder'.
It's not all my fault I hasten to add, had an old friend over at the weekend, and we had a lot of drinking to do. It's hard work, but we make it look easy. Not that I spent the weekend pissed mind you, I actually did some clever type stuff by going to a few talks, one of which was by Ben Goldacre - a columnist for the Guardian newspaper and a very funny man. He was talking about science reporting in the media (as he does on his blog) and about how 80% of it is just made up crap, usually sponsored by some company trying to sell you something, and copy-pasted straight out of a press release.

Anyways, I was having a read on his blog when a story about seeing dead people caught my eye. This story has had quite a bit of media coverage over here, and was printed in the Express (a large national paper) amongst others. It's basically this: If you drink coffee, you will see dead people.
Now I know what you're saying, 'I drink coffee, and I don't see dead people'. Well, you're obviously not drinking enough coffee are you. Whole story is here.

It's a big day today for all our American cousins over there today. You get a shiny new president to replace the broken one you've had for the last 8 years. Apparently the new guy is much better, he can count to 10 on his own and can even feed and dress himself, so there's an improvement straight away.
I remember a while ago, just after the last election when 'W' got in, again, and I was talking to this American women who'd voted for him. She couldn't understand why everyone else in the world didn't think that was the best of choices. I remember her saying 'he's a very clever man you know'. Well he's certainly hidden it well.
As for the new guy, well, I think people are going to be disappointed when it turns out he can't walk on water or turn grass into marijuana or anything. I think he's a vast improvement and will have a positive effect on the US and the rest of the world, but it's going to be a series a small steps rather than a revolutionary leap.

Which brings us nicely on to white supremacists. They arrested a guy just after Obama won the election for plotting to assassinate him. These white supremacist types really should take a good look at themselves - this guy lived in a trailer with no job, no money, and couldn't even spell 'assassinate', thinking that there's not a problem in the world that can't be solved by guns or god. You'd think it would occur to him that if there is a master race, he's clearly not in it.

Anyways all you lucky people in blog blog land, to celebrate a new El Presidente, today you get a quote, and a song:

Quote of the day: 'It's a recession when your neighbour loses his job; it's a depression when you lose yours.'

Old but still good:

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Ninja kittens of death

I was flicking through the TV guide yesterday, when I came across this little gem of a film tucked into the afternoon schedule:
Murder Without Conviction: 'Drama in which a former nun becomes embroiled in a murder mystery surrounding twin savant brothers who are serving life sentences for killing their mother.'
I'm sure this sort of thing happens every day.

The big question here is not who comes up with this shit, but who decides it would make a great film and pours money into it. I mean, surely at some point, someone who works on these films must say - 'hang on a minute, this is total crap' But then again, I guess they're getting paid.
This got me thinking about some other daytime made-for-TV gems, like this one:

Fatal Error: 'When a computer virus evolves into a deadly organic killer strand and a series of deaths occur, two scientists have to team up to prevent it spreading across Seattle. Can they stop the cyber-plague?'
Can they explain how a computer program manages to crawl out of the monitor in some 'Ring' type episode and starts killing people? I bet all the computers make weird beeping noises like they do in CSI.

And who can forget-
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians: I shit you not. This classic from 1964 is described as: 'The parents of Martian children decide to kidnap Santa after watching him on TV in order to make their children happy.' And believe it or not, this wasn't done as a comedy.

It's films like these that make me realise that no matter how bad I think my writing is, no matter how wooden the dialogue, or how ridiculous the plot line, someone somewhere is prepared to make a movie out of it. I mean, who can forget Tombraider 2? That alone should give hope to bad writers everywhere.

Today I am mostly listening to this:

They're much better live than the TV prog they did - in my opinion anyway.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Black day

Today is a black day - a day where nothing I do seems to matter, a day where I sit under a crushing black cloud that squeezes everything out of me. It's days like this that make you forget your dreams and dwell on your fears.
I can't wait for the weekend and it's only Wednesday. At weekends I get to do stuff with the wife. I get to go into London and do cool things, I get to stay in bed if I want and worry about nothing. In the week I sit alone and wonder why I'm still doing this shit job.
I saw a poster on the tube the other day that said 'if you don't like your life you can change it'. Maybe I should make more of an effort to change the shit things in mine.
I think I need to get writing more, get a novel finished and go see if anyone will buy it. I can sit in Starbucks most days then and just write shit down. Now that's a job.
Sorry to be on a downer today, but mid-week is never a good time for me.

'Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory.'

Monday, 12 January 2009

I want that job

Well, it's Monday. Again. Fun, fun, fun. Oh well, one day nearer the weekend I guess.

I've actually been quite busy at work today, which at least makes the time go quicker. Though It's still a shit job that's killing me one day at a time.
Never mind though, I've seen the perfect job (well, my wife spotted the perfect job and emailed me the link). Slight problem is that it's being advertised in 18 countries and there's only 1 vacancy. The job title is 'The Best Job in the World' - and no, it's got nothing to do with Kiera Knightley (excuse me whilst I drool for a while). It's a caretaker for the islands of the great barrier reef in Australia (see pic). Basically you have to feed the fish, write a blog, and er, that's pretty much it. It pays around £70,000 a year and is for a six month contract. You also get a rent free 3 bedroom house.
Details are here: if anyone else fancies applying.

Anyways, just sat on my ass at the moment watching 'celebrity come dine with me'. Great program, gonna set one up with some friends I think (though it won't be for a grand obviously). For those who don't know it, 5 people take turns in hosting a dinner party for the other 4. They then all score the night out of 10, and the one with the highest score at the end of the week wins £1000. A good excuse to get pissed and have someone else cook if you ask me.
Not much else happening in my life today. Went for a run yesterday - 4 and a half miles, couldn't feel my knees, pissed off when I got back - the usual - so sorry this entry isn't full of car chases and explosions.
Also had a cracking idea for a new book. Gotta get this one written first though, and something for the blog.
Oh, and thanks to Amanda before I forget, for sending me the link to the mysterious electric cigarette of mysterious wonder. Or something like that.

Quote for today:
'Several excuses are always less convincing than one.'

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Scratch scratch scratch

Me and scratchy (my pen) have been busy. Me and scratchy have finished chapter 11. Onwards and upwards to chapter 13 (ch 12 is a long story).

Just been watching Something For The Weekend (foody type TV show in the UK). They had an old clip of Keith Floyd in Madrid eating carbs and wrong fish. Now I don't know whether this is just Floyd, but according to him, the Spaniards spend most of the morning eating aforementioned carbs and wrong fish whilst getting slowly pissed before passing out and calling it a siesta. When they wake up, they just eat and drink some more before it's time to throw up and go to sleep.
That Floyd guy must have a liver the size of a small car, and I should move to Spain.
And is it just me, or does Mel B not look anything like Mel B anymore?

Anyways, thanks to Ksquared for the half-ass line. I'll get to work as soon as I get back from shopping.
I hate shopping in London. It's just so damn busy. There's a credit crunch on people, you're not supposed to be spending money! What's with everyone heading into town on a Saturday and wondering mindlessly in zig zags across the pavement before stopping for no apparent reason. It's like Day of the Dead out there people, Day of the fucking Dead.
And as for tourists, don't even get me started. The London underground is a mode of public transport to get people from one place to another, it is not a tourist attraction! You're not supposed to stop at the entrance to the platform, thereby blocking everyone else, so you can take a picture of the tunnel. I mean, come on, it is quite literally a hole in the fucking ground.
And why, despite the signs every 10 feet on the escalator telling folks to stand on the right, do they feel the urge to stand on the left?
There's a solution here involving cattle prods.

Thanks to Amanda for the 'encouraging' words about non-smoking. What the hell is an electric cigarette? Maybe it's because I'm a guy, but you add electricity to something and it just gets 10 times better. Now you're telling me they make electric cigarettes? That's just another reason not to quit - where do I get me one of those?

And the quote from yesterday about moving a body is attributed to Alexei Sayle. He's a slightly surreal British comedian who never used to be very funny, though he has got better with age. Well, that's my opinion anyway.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Half a gold star

And the winner is (imaginary drum roll please)... Ksquared.
The correct answer is in fact Russia (can't remember exactly where, somewhere near the middle) but as Ksquared got the closest, he gets the prize.
The actual gold star is attached to my guitar that I used to play badly, and now hardly play at all (It's on my list).

Well it's Friday. My favourite day of the week. The weekend is upon us, and I might win £50 million on the euromillions lottery - life just doesn't get any better!
What's more, I've only just had my first ciggy of the day - which means I've now got a nicotine buzz and can't walk straight, but what the hell, at least I'm cutting down.
I go outside to smoke, which is a bit of a pain, but at least my house doesn't stink. The worst part though (apart from the walk and the whether) is the mental woman who lives upstairs. She's one of those people who insist on talking to you despite you trying to look as disinterested as possible. It's my own fault for being too polite I guess, I should just tell her to go away, but in my my experience it's never a good idea to piss off people who know where you live.
When she does spot me and insist on spouting drivel, it's usually to tell me how bad smoking is for me. Well gee, I never knew that. I always thought they were full of vitamins and iron and made you look cool. I guess she hasn't figured that we call people who don't know that cigarettes are bad for you 'been-in-a-coma-since-the-50s'. Bloody ex-smokers, they're the worst you know.
Anyway, it's Friday, so I'm in a good mood, and I won't let anybody tell me otherwise. I've been for a run and didn't hate it, I've actually done some work today for a change, and I'm going out tonight to get pissed. I'm really going to try to finish chapter 11 of my novel tomorrow. Only about 500 to 1000 words to go on it, but it's about our hero and a girl having the 'first-date-do-we-have-sex-and-Christ-am-I-pissed' discussion which is kinda hard to write.
Luckily I have my vast experience of being turned down by women whilst pissed to call upon.
I also should write something for this blog, since it's supposed to have some of my writing in - at least that was my original intention.
If anyone has any ideas for a first line, I'll knock up 500 words and post it here for the usual comments/praise/ridicule. Anything will do, surreal or otherwise, e.g. 'It was only when I got home that I realised I'd not been wearing any trousers' or whatever.

And I'll leave you with another quote of the day, though please don't get used to these, as I don't have many and will soon run out:
'A friend is someone who will help you move; a good friend is someone who will help you move a body.'

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Wednesday - already?

Just been out for another run, and Christ it's cold. I know some of you probably live places were it gets to minus 80 and if you go outside for 4 seconds you get frostbite, but here in the UK we're used to it being being grey and mediocre 90% of the year, with a few days of sun in summer and if we're lucky a few days of snow in winter. Minus 10 it was last night, Minus 10!

Anyways, enough of being typically English and talking about the weather.
Today is turning out to be yet another boring day at work in my boring job with my control freak of a boss. Every week I have to fill in a time report that says what I worked on and for how long, and every week my boss calls me up and says:
'Hey, you put down 3 hours last Wednesday for (insert project here), what were you doing?'
and I say: 'I worked on (insert project here) for 3 hours?'

I mean, what do they expect me to say? Why am I spending 2 hours every week filling in these things if they're just going to ring me and ask anyway? Next time I'll tell them I was drinking lighter fluid or something.

Sadly this is typical of who I work for. Why do something easy when you can make it far more complicated, involve far more people, and make it take twice as long? I really need to get writing more and get something published so I can give up on this torrent of mediocrity I call a job.

Sorry, I'm in a bit of a ranting mood today. I'm never happy when I get back from a run. Someone told me endorphins are supposed to kick in after running, I guess mine are broke or something.
So here's a nice picture to make up for it that I took on holiday last year. I'll give a gold star to anyone who can guess the country.

And I'll leave you with a quote of the day:

'If you can keep your head while all those around you are losing theirs, perhaps you do not understand the situation'

Monday, 5 January 2009

Back to the grind stone

Well, Christmas is over, I'm half a stone heavier, and it's my first day back at work. Oh the fucking joy. What's more, it's appraisal season at work, which means I have to fill in a million forms saying how great (or otherwise) I am at just about every aspect of my job so my boss can tell me if they agree or not.
On a lighter note, it snowed last night. I like the snow, I know lots of people don't - they moan about the driving or whatever, but being a non-driver, and not having to leave the house unless I want to, I think it's pretty nice. Makes everything look clean and pretty for a while, even though as with all things that are clean and pretty, it soon turns to slush.
I managed to get out for a run today. I only did 3 miles before turning grey and wanting to puke - though I have had man flu, and as we all know, it takes almost 2 months to get over that. Also, I've still not stopped smoking, even though I said I would in the new year. Though to be fair, I've only had 1 ciggy today, which makes me practically a non-smoker.
Thanks to the folks who commented on my short story (below). As soon as I write something interesting I'll post that too so people can congratulate/ridicule me as they see fit.
I really need to add some pics to this blog to brighten it up a bit, I'll see what I can do over the next couple of days.

Oh, and Matt Smith is the new Dr Who. I mention this as I've met him - which from now on will be my claim to fame. He was a very nice chap indeed.