Saturday, 28 February 2009

Still scratching

No I'm not dead. Just resting - despite the fact I've been nailed to this chair.
Though it has been a while my fellow blogsters - 'real life' stuff, a bit of a jolly, visitors from far etc... all add to my long list of feeble of excuses for not just getting off my arse and writing something.
I have been busy on the novel front however, having just finished chapter 13, and heading with some speed and my eyes closed into chapter 14 rather like being pushed in a Tesco trolley.
All-in-all, I'm probably a little over half way now - which is both inspiring and depressing at the same time. Inspiring as I'm over half way, and depressing as I've got nearly as much to do again, plus the edit, and then the re-write, and then the other re-write before it'll be ready to be unleashed upon the world of publishers and agents who'll probably think it's shit.
Oh well - keeps me off the streets.

No vids or quotes today - but a bit of writing advice that I was once given by someone who does it for a living:
'Never use the phrase 'of course' (unless it's in dialogue). It just sounds a bit crap and amateurish. You don't have to replace it with anything else, just cut it out and It'll all sound better, trust me.'

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Tuesday blues and the olympics

I hate Tuesdays. The buzz of the weekend has worn off, and it's miles and miles until the next one. Given that my Monday to Friday is normally pretty shit anyway, and I live only for weekends - this is a depressing day indeed.

The wife is out to dinner tonight in Stratford - no, not the home of William Shakespeare, that's Stratford-on-Avon, a rather quaint 'what all the tourists think the whole of England is like' type place where people talk about the weather, literature, and drink copious amounts of tea. The Stratford my wife's gone to is more a 'this looks just like the set of Blade Runner' type of place, mostly due to the fact that it's where they're building lots of the stuff for the 2012 Olympic games, or as the locals call it, the slums of the future.

Not that I'm against the Olympic games or anything. I'm sure the spending of several billion pounds in the middle of the recession for something that's going to last 2 weeks is a great idea. And of course there's the long-lasting legacy that all the politicians are so keen to remind us of. Though when I last checked, they were thinking of turning the stadium into a warehouse for B&Q (that's like home depot for all my American visitors). The problem they have is that no one wants to buy a giant stadium capable of holding a squillion people. The nearest football team is Leyton Orient, whose average attendance is around 5000 - so enough to almost fill one side. Somehow I don't see them as a being all that keen in taking it over.

At least it'll showcase British engineering and building skills - it will be a proud day for us all when they finally declare it open in 2013. And don't even get me started on the logo. Described mostly as 'man on toilet' or 'Simpsons blowjob'

Anyways, Masterchef is on TV now, and Horizon is on after that - they're talking about nuclear fusion today, and why despite the odd headline and lots of money and time on research, we still don't have one powering our flying cars we were all promised 20 years ago.
Oh well..

Quote for today:
'inspiration comes after the first line'

Monday, 16 February 2009

Love day and flash mob that wasn't

As those of you who read here will know, Friday 13th was the date of the much anticipated zombie flash mob at London Bridge train station in London. The plan as I heard it was that as the clock flicked over to 19:00 - the 500 or so people confirmed to take part would start dancing to Michael Jackson's Thriller.
I was there, the wife was there, I persuaded a couple of friends to be there, waiting by the clock with camera in hand for the zombie fest to kick off. With 5 minutes to go, I took a couple of snaps of the extra police that'd been brought in:

5 minutes later and the clock flicked over to 19:00 - and nothing happened. Well, when I say nothing, it wasn't actually nothing, me, along with the whole bunch of other people who'd gathered to watch all looked disappointed. About 5 minutes later, these guys showed up:

And that was it. 500 'confirmed' - about 6 turned up. Unlike the onlookers and photographers who'd made a far greater effort:

along with the folks who work at the station who'd drafted in extra staff and had been having contingency meetings for 2 days in case things got out of hand with too many zombies.
All in all - a bit shit really. As i exclaimed in the car park - 'I travelled for 45 minutes on the tube for THIS!'
If the person or persons who organised the event are reading this - you're crap. Really crap, I mean totally "couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery" crap. This event wasn't just poor, it was butt-clenchingly piss poor.

Anyways, Hope you all had a good love day on Saturday. I got the wife some roses and a card - she read me some poetry and made me breakfast in bed. All very romantic.
We then went out with some friends to the great Vinopolis where we drank lots of wine, followed by the old favourite of "cooking-whilst-pissed" which turned out a lot better than you'd think.
My wife's souffles are amazing.
No video today - but you do get a quote:
'Behind every successful man stands a surprised mother-in-law'

Friday, 13 February 2009

I win more stuff!

I win more stuff

Thanks to Bill over at the blog of the day awards for making me blog of the day for Wednesday 11th Feb. My plan for world domination is progressing nicely Mwhahahaha!

Been a funny one this week - I started out thoroughly depressed and miserable for no apparent reason, and as the weeks gone on, I've slowly gotten more and more cheerful to arrive at my current manic status - again for no reason in particular.

Anyways, whilst I'm linking to other sites, the writers and poets amongst you may to have a look at The New Authors short story and poetry competition. Max of 1500 words for a short story, or 1 page for a poem - you've got until the end of March to enter.

Short one today - I've gotta go eat some toast.

You do get a vid though - today I am mostly listening to late 80s rock played on a kazoo and ukelele combination by a man with far too much spare time.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Flash flash, zombie zombie

I have it on good authority that there will be a zombie flash mob on Friday 13th Feb (that's this Friday for those of you without a calender - or in 3 days time for anyone who doesn't know what day today is) at London Bridge train station in London.
Should be fun - I'm gonna try be there with camera phone in hand, so if I get any decent video, I'll post it here at the weekend. Nothing like zombies annoying commuters to get you in the mood for the weekend!

In other news this week - Todd Carty got voted off 'Dancing on Ice'. Though to be fair, he never actually danced on the ice, just seemed to get pulled around at an incredibly slow speed by his unfortunate partner.
For those of you unaware of this slice of surrealism on a Sunday night, I'll attempt to explain.
Several 'celebrities' are partnered up with professional ice skaters. Every Sunday, they compete to see who can wear the most sequins and fishnets before taking to the ice to 'dance' Olympic styley. A group of ex-ice skaters and random dancing folk then take turns to publicly mock them before giving them a score out of 6 each. Viewers are encouraged to vote for the couple they want to see humiliated again next week, and the bottom 2 in the 'honest-we-didn't-rig-this-one-like-Ant'N'Dec' phone vote have a 'skate-off' - one final fling around the ice - to decide which lucky contestant gets to go home and never ever have to do it again.
Think Strictly Come Dancing with knives attached to your feet, and you won't be far wrong.
Some guy last year actually broke his leg competing in this thing - I hope they get a book deal or something at the end.

Anyways, today I am mostly watching acoustic versions of Flo Rida's Low - you'll have to imagine your own fat hairy Tom Cruise 'Tropic Thunder' Styley:

Saturday, 7 February 2009

A series of small walls...

Just watching time team. For those of you who are unaware of this wondrous show, it's kinda like speed archaeology. Tony Robinson (of Blackadder fame - most definitely not pictured left) takes a bunch of bearded archaeologists with small trowels and the 'geo-fizz' guy off to a field somewhere for 3 days where they dig trenches, do some ground penetrating radar, and try and figure out what was there however many millenia ago.Every week without fail, they discover a 'series of small walls'. Why is that? Were our ancestors all 6 inches tall? Pixies built it maybe? Anyways, I think it's interesting, but the wife calls it the 'series of small walls' show. At least it's more interesting than post holes.

Speaking of the wife, she got lost on the tube today. 'How?' I hear you cry - 'I have no fucking idea' is my answer. I mean it's not that hard, especially as we've lived here over a year, she uses it every day, and we were going were we've been about a hundred times before. Nevertheless, she still managed it. That's talent that is.We get on the Piccadilly line in the middle of London to go 2 stops so we can change onto the Central line at Holborn. I get off at Holborn, the wife (who's about 10 feet away - crowded tube today) just sits there merrily listening to her ipod and reading the paper. It's not until the trains gone and everyone else is off the platform that I realise she's still on it. Took her another 3 stops to realise she was on the wrong train and I wasn't there. Jeez, I thought I was more noticeable than that.

Anyways, all safely back home now, and we're settled in for European night. Not got enough money to go out, so we're staying in and eating Pizza and Chili, drinking Belgium beer, and we're about to watch 'Amelie' (French film with Audrey Tautou) followed by 'let the right one in' - a class Swedish film about a weiner kid who befriends a girl who's a vampire. Cue lots of blood and cats. Apparently Hollywood are re-making it - so that'll be shit. Go watch the original if you can.

I also just wanted to say thank you to Dita Von Teese today - her of marry-a-weirdo fame.
Burlesque dancing I'm sure used to be viewed as a bit sordid by many, but thanks to good old Dita, it's now 'culture' and my wife wants to take me to a show.
I am a lucky man indeed.

Today - in honour of New Zealand widget or whatever day - I am mostly listening to New Zealand folk parody (again) inventing rap:

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Paris Hilton in search of a stalker

Whilst flicking through TV channels last night, I caught the end of possibly the worst TV show ever. 'Paris Hilton's British Best Friend' - or to give it it's full title 'I want to be Paris Hilton's bitch'.
Thanks a bunch America, no really. First George Bush and now this? What are you feeding your kids, lead paint and mercury?

The show seems to be all about a bunch of sycophants in an ass-kissing contest, the prize being you get to be friends with Paris Hilton. Not really my cup of tea, but I guess some people are just plane nuts. I can already guess at the sort of events they're going to have, like 'how many Chihuahuas can you stuff in a Prada handbag'.
In a bid to find out what sort of folks go for this, I've managed to find some of the questions used by the researchers for the show to find the candidates with the 'right stuff', or in the words of Homer Simpson (no relation to Jessica) 'I'll kiss your butt and still call it ice-cream'.
Anyways, here they are:

Who should win the 2008 best acting Oscar?
a) Heath Ledger for ‘Batman – the Dark Knight’
b) Kate Winslet for 'crying at the golden globes'
c) Paris Hilton for ‘The Hottie and the Nottie’

How did Barrack Obama win the 2008 presidential campaign?
a) With a well thought out grass-roots campaign on the key issues facing the American public
b) Paris Hilton publicly backed him
c) Barrack who?

After a night out partying, you’re driving home and accidentally hit a parked car. A policeman spots you and asks you to pull over. Do you
a) Pull over calmly; perhaps he won’t notice you’ve downed 8 cans of RICH preseco.
b) Tell him you’ll do anything, no really, ANYTHING if he keeps it between the 2 of you.
c) Claim your assistant hadn’t told you it was illegal to drink and drive, start an online petition in a vain attempt to keep your ass out of jail and scream that it’s ‘not right!’ before finding God.

After meeting that ‘special guy’ at a party, he comes back to your hotel room and asks to spend the night. What should you do?
a) Tell him that you’re not a one-night-stand kind of girl and that if he really likes you he’ll respect that and take things slowly
b) Tell him he can stay but only if he wears a condom
c) Break out the night vision camcorder and ride him like a pony, claiming that the tape was subsequently ‘stolen’ and it’s only by coincidence that it’s been released on the net 1 week before your new series starts.

How did you score?
Mostly A’s – You’re a well balanced individual. What the hell are you doing here?
Mostly B’s – You’re a slut and have the intelligence of a chimp. Well done, keep honing those skills and there might be a place for you yet.
Mostly C’s – Congratulations! You’re a moron with no grasp on reality who thinks the world revolves around small dogs in handbags, perfume endorsements and drunken sex in hotel rooms. Now ask someone how to work a telephone and give us a call!

Today I am mostly watching wierd kids doing freaky things with their eye-brows in order to advertise chocolate. My favourite bits the baloon at the end.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

The right type of snow

Picture I took near my house - aren't I the arty one

Went to bed on Sunday - hardly any snow, just a few flakes falling. Wake up Monday morning, 8 inches everywhere. Fuckin' A! I do love the snow, I know most people don't (especially those who drive) but I work from home so I don't care.

The snow was that bad in fact, that they closed all except one line of the tube (the Victoria which is nowhere near where I live), cancelled every single bus in London, most trains weren't running, and a plane fell off the runway at Heathrow. This provoked the usual 'nothing-but-the-whether' on the news (guess it was a slow day) and people on my TV saying things like 'I've just got back from holiday in Alaska, and they cope just fine, it's a disgrace that the tube isn't running.'
For a start, Alaska gets significantly more snow than the UK, so is somewhat more prepared. Secondly, everyone in Alaska drives a snow plow (with the exception of Sarah 'I can see Russia from my house' Palin who drives a snow plow with a dead moose strapped to the roof).
In the words of The Blonde One - 'We had the right type of snow, just the wrong type of quantity.'

Plus as the tube wasn't working, my wife (along with most other people who work in the city) got the day off and made snow angels. Here's one of hers:
She says she's never made one before, so is pretty proud of this effort.

Sadly the tube is running again today, so she's gone off to work. It is nice having her around the house, even if I do still have to work (yet one more reason not to work from home).

Anyways, it froze overnight, so now the pavements are solid ice, and it's gonna rain later, so I guess it won't last long. Still - nice whilst it's here.

Monday, 2 February 2009

I win stuff

Thanks to Michael for giving me an award - I'd like to thank my agent, my manager, and all the little people, blah, blah etc...

Anyways, the rules of this award are:
  • If you get this award, put the image on your blog
  • List 10 truths about yourself
  • Give the award to 5 other people
  • Provide a meaningful quotation

So, first off, here's the 5 I'd like to give to an award to - I'd like to put Michael in there as he's got a great blog, but as he gave me the award, I guess that's not allowed, but check out his blog if you haven't already.

Anyways, in no particular order:

For those of you listed above, I realise that not all you guys would want a banner with 'Fabulous Fucking Blog' on your blogs, so I won't get offended if you don't put it on your blogs or pass it on.
If you're not on this list, please don't get upset, but do feel free to send me hate mail.

Now for 10 truths about me:

  1. I hate my job - hardly anyone I work with knows this
  2. My wife is much prettier than I am handsome
  3. I'm writing a novel - currently on chapter 13 of the first draft
  4. I don't write enough
  5. Some days I think I'm the worlds greatest writer, other days I think I'm the worse. Trick is to write on the bad days as well, in retrospect, some of it is quite good.
  6. I'm agnostic, and I think that if everyone else was the world they'd maybe get on a little better. Well, with me at least.
  7. I hate coriander
  8. I live in North East London
  9. I don't drive - though in London there would be little point
  10. I'm already feeling guilty for not giving the award to everyone else as well.

So there you have it. Just time for the quote:

'It is better to waste one's youth than do nothing with it at all.'