Sunday, 30 December 2012

Looking the part

Following what my boss told me yesterday, I brushed my hair and put on aftershave in order to appease the big boss' wife who was coming down for inspection to see how well we were running our branch, sadly my efforts to actually look and smell appealing fell on deaf eyes and nostrils as she never turned up, rather anti-climatically since we were all rushing around trying to make the place sparkle. I very unfortunately missed a family party today but managed to scavenge on the left-over nibbles and drinks as I tucked into Far Cry 3 and a friendly game of Team Fortress 2 which left me in stitches as Louis was raging so hard over the microphone that Mum and Dad could hear us downstairs.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Coffee Catz

Lots of rain headed down to Newbury and to the leaky Eddie Catz roof today, timed my break just right though as I could hear the heavens opening while I was sat tight up in the office having a sandwich thinking about the unlucky few who were on shift at that moment. I also got to sample all our styles of coffees today: cappuccino, latte and americano. I can safely say that any coffee that is 90% milk is practically the devils nectar as a typical black coffee is certainly the way to go. After essentially 3 shots of coffee though I felt pretty good for a short while, my productivity certainly doubled while on this caffeine high.

Persuaded Louis to watch a documentary with me (easier than I make it sound)  called The Thin Blue Line which was an excellent tale of miscarried justice done in a very minimalist manner but it works brilliantly and is totally captivating from start to finish. The most unique aspect is how it completely drops you into the deep end of the story, there aren't even any names given for the people they interviewed, it forces you to think and piece together the story for yourself which makes you feel pretty good about yourself.  

Friday, 28 December 2012

Kent Khristmas week (Not quite alliteration there)

Another Christmas reunion of families took place for us in Kent once again, but just a short one as we went down yesterday and came back today. I did get a chance to sample one of the infamous Heston Blumenthal's Xmas puddings, while I am a huge fan of the man the pud itself wasn't anything too special, then again if he tried to make any of his wicked food inventions commercially available they would cost an arm and a leg. Louis and I got a chance to play some amusing instruments while we were visiting grandparents including the accordion and the elctro-harp! Random as they may be they were a lot of fun to try out. Just been chilling at home recently, getting ready for work in the morning, shouldn't be too busy though as there have been no parties booked for the whole of Christmas week. Here's to an easy one!

Thursday, 27 December 2012

To The Moon

Games were the theme of the day. I went over to my girlfriends house once again to play some Boxing Day board games ranging from Trivial Pursuit (which my team won) and Cranium (which our team very badly lost at.) Sandwiched between this however, I played a little indie game called To The Moon which I picked up in the sales for under £2 and it was simply a joy to play. So much so that I have stayed up quite late just to see it through until the credits roll. The writing was top-notch and witty, the visuals were charming and the music was a deal sealer with dozens of brilliantly composed piano scores. It was so good I bought it for Daniel because I know that he will absolutly adore the game as much as I did.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

Sorry again for the lack of blogging over the holiday season but there is a good reason, well a fairly good one. A few days ago I went to our Staff Xmas party which was amazingly good. Our managers spent all day dressing up this room, fitting speakers and decorations and all manner of festive bits and it truly looked great! They even prepared a short slideshow of the year which ended with a confetti bomb which shook the room! Coming home that night was simple enough as my boss gave me a lift home, walked up to my drive at 1am, can't stop thinking about Christmas and how nice bed will be, go to put my key in the door... and its got another key on the other-side of the door so I can't open it. 30 Minutes of me panicking and exhausting all my options later I decided to sleep on our porch so as not to wake our visiting Grand-parents, took one for the team lay down and tried to get some kip.

Freezing cold that night too, just about got through it happily enough to go last minute shopping with Mark and here we are on Christmas day after a very pleasent family party last night. Presents were exchanged with beaming smiles all round, my gifts to peeps went down very well, especially mine to Louis, got him a banging vinyl album. I got a nice selection of cloths and a rather swish bag along with what can only be described as a Simpsons TV guide Bible - the thing weighs a bloody ton!

Family are downstairs watching the Christmas Special of Downtown Abby while Louis and I are just chilling with some nibbles and playing with our gifts. Hope every reader out there has had a just as nice, if not even better CHristmas Day than I did.

Merry Christmas everyone!    

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Xmas Stress?

Actually, I wouldn't call work today stressful, it just threw us all through a lot of unnecessary loops and hurdles. First off, the guy who was meant to be sharing my shift was sadly very ill last night and couldn't come in so I was by myself after his replacement had to leave at 1. It was around this time that our electronic tills and internet broke down, resulting in me doing an awful lot of mental maths and scribbling down on random bits of paper various equations so I could log the transactions when the tills re-started; they didn't. Finally we had no teatowles so everything I washed up couldn't be dried unless I put it through the dishwasher and let it steam dry after the cycle. All these things added up to a very tiring day but when I got home things looked up.

Our Grandparents from Kent came down early this evening, by the time I got home they were halfway through the Strictly Come Dancing final but it was great to see them again over Christmas. We have also posted our Christmas special on our Youtube page, go check that out to put yourself in the festive spirit. Additionally, Louis has begun animating HIS Christmas Edmund and Darrel special which I assist once again with the voice acting of everyone's favorite blue cat, that wil be out in a few days time and is absolutely hilarious.

Merry Christmas!

How would you react if everything was already done for you on Christmas morning?...

Friday, 21 December 2012

Beating the 80's, one film at a time

Oh boy, recently I decided to take on two of the biggest cult films of the 80's: Dirty Dancing and Top Gun. The first being that Rom-Com everybody knows and many enjoy and simply put, it's not for me and was naff but not in an endearing way that I thought it would be. The ending was the highlight though with the final dance scene that actually did manage to put a very weak smile on my face. Top Gun was better than I thought it would be, Maverick and Goose's relationship felt genuine and it was depressing to see him go, and certain scenes were hilariously 'macho' (I'm looking at you volleyball scene!) But the romance sections dragged whereas the bromance sections were fairly decent and there are a few decent lines for an 80's flick.

We got around to film our annual Xmas sketch this afternoon, coming to a Youtube channel near you just in time for Christmas!

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Wrapping time!

Xmas present wrapping begun today! I have 75% of my presents now this year with just a few more to get downtown tomorrow afternoon after school in the morning. However it's not quite like I want to show my face in school again after the embarrassing situation myself and my parents put me through for the award ceremony this evening. I was initially quite against going at all because I knew it would be nice to see old school friends but at the same time very tedious (my suspicious were confirmed as the guest speaker did like to have a jolly good ramble.) However when I was due to pick up my certificate my name was not called, it later dawned on me during the show that I possibly forgot to hand in a slip of paper saying that I would be coming to pick up my award so they had nothing to present to me. Of course this was my own fault but then my parents whisked me out of the ceremony as they considered that any further time spent in the hall would be a waste so they beckoned me over with Mark, between us we had to time our retreats during moments of applause so to hopefully slip out unnoticed. 

I was also quite passionate about letting Mum play through The Walking Dead today, so I very kindly installed all the necessary files onto her computer and talked her through the basics. It wasn't til we started play that she bombarded me with rude, self-important quips about how to play the game, this coming from a woman who hasn't played a proper game since Dragon's Fury on the Megadrive was nothing short of astonishing. Games have come a long way in the cinematic department too, something Mum clearly hasn't quite understood yet as she tried to play most cut-scenes while failing to press any buttons when she was supposed to. I guess it is just a testament as to how generic game design has been hardwired into my brain as I know exactly what to look for in an adventure game in a given situation and how a game wants me to think. It is both fascinating and infuriating to see a new person get into gaming for the first time as we expect everything to come naturally to them as it does to us but sadly that is not always the case. Mum is a lost cause though, she has a very spiteful naivety when it comes to things like this...  Guess she just needs to stick to pinball.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Gotta write that quiz!

Had a dream about being at work which consequently almost made me late for work as I clambered out of bed. Meeting the new guy was a pleasure and we worked really well as a team and got our kitchen spotless before it got a chance to get dirty, we did so well that I got out happily on time tonight to write 30 questions about Fight Club for tomorrows upcoming lesson. With a little help from Jamie and Mark (both avid fans of the film) the task was long but enjoyable, we even learnt a few new touches and interpretations about the film as we went, heightening our appreciation that much more.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Higglty Hobbit

Spent another day at practically internet-free girlfriend's house after catching a train down to where she lives, I did have to confirm if I was on the correct platform with only twp people this time. Eddie Catz hosted a First Aid training course for us all which was actually very enjoyable due to a personable presenter of whom we constantly cracked jokes with and now I certainly feel a lot more confident if there is ever a child with some kind of symptom or injury in our centre.

Our gang had a big muddle-up trying to organize a viewing session of 'The Hobbit,' at first we couldn't see it, then we could, then someone couldn't but we did anyway and it went on and on. Eventually everyone just come over to mine to play Mario Chase which was awesome. I believe we have postponed the viewing to a much later date though. Plus my handwarmer arrived! I will be very cosy on my way to work!

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Xmas shopping woes

Went into work for a little bit today, I was originally penned i to work the whole day but on account of the glorious weather in the morning I was sent home rather early indeed. Luckily this then gave me a chance to work on my Xmas shopping. Gift brainstorming took well over an hour and I very begrudgingly hit the 'Place Order' button when my basket exceeded £200 and I still need to buy for 4 more people.

Worst part was when I went to check if they had my girlfriend's coat in stock in her size and sadly they didn't so I rather embarrassingly had to ring up customer support and ask if I could get one mailed from a shop; I got a very icy response. Otherwise I had some Bro Time with Louis playing Rhythm Paradise on the Wii, can't believe how much he loves that franchise.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Particular Party

First thing Dan said to me when I saw him at work was 'Today is going to be stressful,' he was about 50% right. The morning was choc-full of parties to host and cater for, but there was one we needed to give special care to as the Mother of the Birthday boy was very particular about what she wanted. We performed admirably however, earning ourselves a £20 tip that went toward the staff party. Bar that, I have just been chilling once again, foolishly putting off buying people Xmas presents, the one thing I really need to get around to do!  

Friday, 14 December 2012

Not 1 idea... but 2!

Aside it from being absolutely freezing still up in my room, very little has changed. Mark and I have however planned up a short Xmas sketch for the fans along with a longer short we be doing in collaboration with some other local film-makers. We have finished a basic script and are looking forward to filming both of these shorts just after Xmas so stay tuned for some more Cafe Studios magic!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Cineclub in a different school

For the first time this Winter I would have considered myself to be cold. Walking into school today I discovered that my coat pockets are not as warm as they appear and my toes were turning numb. TO top it all off, when I got home Phoebe's handwarmer arrived, shame because I really could have done with my one about 2 hours before hand, ah well. Mark and I successfully presented a meeting to students about Cineclub (the organization that got us into film-making) and hopefully at least half of the turn-out will be interested in taking up the opportunity to make some films outside of school.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012


Since I got Netflix on the Wii-U I have been looking for a TV series to get into, and since I am into animated sit-coms I first tried a series called 'Drawn Together.' It was fine but after working my way through series 1 I won't be going back to see anymore. But then I got addicted to 'Archer' as of yesterday, already finished series one and slowly working my way through the second. It is insanely funny with a great art-style to boot, it is the kind of humor that certainly appeals to Daniel and hopefully a style we could incorporate into our own sketches from now on.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Pokemon cards revival

While today's work day was not nearly as eventful as yesterday it was still packed with a lot of cleaning and tidying. I also got a chance to look at someones pokemon card collection, initially I had the intent of trading or buying some cards that took my fancy but this college had a legendary collection that I simply couldn't take my eyes off. Rather embarrassingly I had to reject all of them on account of me not being able to afford any of them.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Fantastic day at work

Had a really awesome day at work today. First half, nothing special, just doing my thing of serving customers and frying chips. Then in the afternoon I was asked to do an event outside of the kitchen while dressed up in the Eddie Suit!

Me all dressed up with my helper, thank goodness she was with me, else I would have bumped into many a lamp-post!
Walking into the highstreet dressed up as a giant tiger was very cool, I got to wave a all the cars and people without feeling embarrassed for my actions;I even did the whole 'Tap on the other side of the shoulder routine to someone.' And while it was only about 5 degrees outside it got very hot, very fast in  my suit, by the time I got back to HQ I had to extract, not remove, but extract my undershirt from my torso as it was soaked in sweat.

Instantly upon returnin I was headed for the shops to get some extra bits and even a pair of tights for a co-worker. With me being your typical male 19 year-old I had absolutely no idea what qualities to look for in a pair of tights. Hell I even discovered there were different kinds, lengths and coulours of them, and lord have mercy on whoever the hell is buying 'Footsies,' What possible purpose do they serve?

Then the coolest thing of all happened. The customer bell rang and I went out to serve as if it were any other customer but it was non-other than Smiley Dave! Cafe Studios have been big fans of his videos and they never fail to put a smile on our faces. I did have to confirm my suspicions about his identiy by flat out asking him, but when I told him I was a fan, his face lit up with that familiar smile.

His videos can be found on his Youtube channel here, and I would seriously recommend watching his accent videos which were absolute side splitters for us one afternoon.

Friday, 7 December 2012

The wait for Xmas has already begun

Had another viewing of Bad Santa with the usual crew today, lotta laughs from everyone even after the DVD cover put off a few people as it makes the film look trashy when it is actually pretty good. A lot of fond discussion was had at work about the staff Christmas party which will actually be held at Eddie Catz! It's cheaper that way and gives us much more freedom as to what we can do and eat, very excited for that one. Otherwise I am just chilling at home as I wait for my stuff to arrive in the mail and play games until Christmas comes again.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Meal at Mark's

Had an evening meal at Mark's house yesterday, while He and Dan made some pizza and enchiladas I was put on popcorn duty; I think it was a statement as to how much Mark trusts me to cook things. The home-made pizza was lush and we squeezed in plenty rounds on the Wii-U before heading off to bed. I found out that Daniel snores in a manner that can be compared to a deflating balloon.

Headed off to school for another good lesson, went into town to buy some pre-owned games, sadly they didn't have the ones I wanted but I picked them up later online for a little bit of personal Xmas shopping. I coupled them with a pair of different hand-warmers, A long lasting Zippo one for me and a snazzy electronic one for Phoebe (She has raynaud's so I thought I would look out for her, I try to be a good boyfriend!)

Finally I sat down on Mario Bros U and decided that I would get around to beating it, some mild cussing and several re-tries later I got down to the last epic boss fight and toppled Bowser yet again. Sat down waching the end credits with a glass of cola and enjoyed the serenity of the moment of the words 'The End' faded onto the screen; simple gaming bliss.

Another 2-D Mario down!

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Oh Andrew Lincoln

Spent another few days at my girlfriends house, she was quite eager to watch Love Actually and since it was the season I was happy to oblige her. However it was quite jarring seeing Andrew Lincoln playing the lovey, secretly into Keira Knightley character one day, then seeing him play the lead of The Walking Dead  this evening. Louis and I are planning on watching the first series together, so far so good!

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Not Clock Watchers!

It was strangely unanimous among my work colleges that time was going very fast, probably because we were enjoying ourselves so much. We got into a heated debated over why you would realistically consider enrolling in Hogwarts. I contested that although it would be very cool to be a wizard or witch the practicality is some-what limited in the real world as you only learn spells in incantations in Hogwarts rather than maths or English, you would leave school without any official qualifications and no means of entering a University or a well paid job. This was countered by my colleagues suggesting you could work in the Ministy of Magic or Diagon Ally (or similar location e.g. Hogsmead.) But still this is very limited as you would only ever deal with non-muggles resulting in you leaving behind the boring world for a much smaller populated one full of magic, it would get a bit boring. They eventually won me over by referring to all the awesome sounding sweets that exist in the wizard world like chocolate frogs and the every-flavor jelly beans, and they sound too good to pass up, future success be damned!

They also dared me to mix in a banana milkshake in with my coffee, as I am not one to turn down a food dare I accepted and was quite disappointed as it tasted fine but with some lumpy banana at the bottom; I though it could be the next big thing...  

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Wii-U Arrival!

After 3 very successful lessons at school I got the call from Granny Sue, the Wii-U was waiting on my kitchen table ready to be opened. I was loving every second of the unboxing, I was holding the console of my dreams and setting it up for first time installation. Sadly the lengthy 90 minute update process held me back from spending any real time with it as I needed to go into work the same afternoon, then immediately to Jamie Creed's Birthday party celebration thing. Tagged the Wii-U along with a copy of Nintendoland and had an amazing time with the 5-player multiplayer, throw in some social beers and cheese on crackers (an odd but brilliant addition to any party buffet) and you've got yourself a rocking way to have a Birthday.