Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Peddled into a corner

Walking home from school with Louis proved to be a little bit awkward today as were jumped by a activist from the Canal Trust. Now don't get me wrong here, I have nothing wrong with people peddling things in public, heck, I've dressed up as a giant cat to do that, so as long as your not promoting Scientology I am cool with it. These guys were pretty awful though, not as human beings, that honor goes again to the scientologists, but they just seemed desperately unprofessional. Their stand consisted of a petite gazebo with a couple of empty energy drinks strewn in the back for good measure. Whenever I am pressed into a situation where I have to interact with someone like this I am often judged to hell by Louis so I tried to do everything I could to get away, without seeming too rude. I asked for a leaflet, they didn't have any, I told them I hadn't any cash on me, they only accepted debit card numbers. At this point alarm bells starting ringing rather loudly in my mind as I sought for an escape route. I told them I'll swing by the same way tomorrow with my wallet, but for now there was nothing I could do to help. Now I just need to make sure to never walk that way home again!  

Monday, 29 April 2013

Come and See

Bad luck lingered on me like hangnail today. Got up nice and early to head off to the post office to pick up my parcel (a new Wii controller). Someone supposedly tried to deliver it to our door, but apparently it was 'too large' so they gave up and took it to the post office. Bit miffed about having to make the extra journey, but my pissed-off level hit a new high when I opened the package. They sent completely the wrong item, I was stuck with a really dodgy looking PlayStation 3 controller instead... I don't even own a PS3!

'But hey-ho, lets just get on with life and head to work' said I. If I am brutally honest though, I really could not be bothered with work today. I was only put down for a 3 hour shift and the entire time I was walking in I was having gloomy thoughts. Walk in through the front door and I am met with wide eyes of disbelief from my boss at reception. 'Didn't you get my message' she asked? 'We don't really need you in today since it's so quiet.' I felt like screaming.

A last minute shift swap was hastily organized however for better or worse and I was stuck cleaning out paint pots and rollers for a fair while. I still have all this blue paint under my nails, it looks like I tickled a smurf with leperacy.

No matter how blue my hands are though, it was nothing compared to how blue Come and See made me feel. This was a Russian war movie about the real tragedies of war in their countryside with the most accurate portrayal of the Nazis I think has ever been put to film. The amount of extras was just astronomically huge, every big scene easily has more than a hundred people in full costume up close and personal with the camera, usually in extended takes which gave it a gritty realism. There seriously were no limits to where the camera could go and what it will show us, the film grabs you by the throat after the first explosion and it's harrowing and shocking nature just builds and builds until it's epic crescendo of a conclusion. 

Somebody on Icheckmovies very tidily summed up this film by saying 'It makes Apocalypse Now look like a date movie.' While I can't top that, I can certainly agree with it. Come and See is miles better than Apocalypse Now although it is a lot harder to watch, but if you can sit through the first 30 minutes you will experience a cinematic wonder.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

! Hour 3 Birthdays

Lunchtime loomed towards us at work today. It was suspiciously quiet up until 1 o'clock, barely any customers, very little to do aside from cleaning, it was your classic: Lazy Sunday Afternoon. All hell broke loose pretty quickly though as a pair of back to back parties cornered over half of our work force into the kitchen. Matters got even worse when a surprise party turned up, ordering over £80 worth of food, all of which needed to be prepared simultaneously with a pair of parties. I was surprised that we didn't spill more stuff on the floor since we had so much to do. Miraculously however, we did everything we needed to. As an added bonus we even assembled all the available staff to sing Happy Birthday to the surprise Birthday Boy! He was a little bit scared of Eddie however and since he was very wee he couldn't quite blow out the candles in time for it to make a hell of a waxy mess on the cake but the parents were chuffed and I found it delightfully different. 

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Quiz victory?!

For the first time ever, our team was a (near) roaring success at a quiz night. We came 6th overall, but more miraculously, we managed to beat my parents team, who once upon a time, would often win at everything; how times have changed.

Immediately after I got back from work I was asked if I wanted to go to a art 'experience' in Newbury high street. I have been to a handful of these things over the years but today's was possibly the weakest. Basically there were around twelve tripods set up with rotating speakers on them and they eventually came together to created surround sound by spinning above you, the effect was kinda cool but it got old pretty quick, even though it only lasted 30 minutes.

Today I also discovered that there IS such a thing as too much Reggae Reggae sauce as everything south of my nose was on fire

Thursday, 25 April 2013

My Left Foot (Has healed up nicely)

Super chuffed with the Dualshock 2 controller that arrived in the mail today. Couldn't believe how comfortable it was to hold, now I have another excuse to replay Metal Gear Solid 3! After watching In the name of the Father yesterday I decided to watch another Daniel Day-Lewis film: My Left Foot. It was a triumph. In terms of acting, you really cannot beat anything Day-Lewis does, you just instantly believe that he is whatever character he plays. Even though I watched 2 of his films back to back it's almost unfathomable to believe it was the same person in the lead role. It was a humble story too, it never really had that Hollywood feel of sugar coating a physical disability so it gets a lot of points for that. While not as grand in terms of film-making as The Kings Speech I would happily rank My Left Foot alongside it.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

The Red Socks

Found out the hard way that my smart shoes hadn't been worn in very well. Walking to the post office I noticed them rubbing a little bit on my heel but thought very little of it. The pain got reclassified from 'Minor itch' to 'Cause of physical limping and suicidal thoughts' walking in them for another 45 minutes. My worst nightmares came true when I took my shoes off to find that one of my socks was soaked in blood from my raw heel. I think that I'll pace my use of these shoes from now on...

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Sun Run

My goodness, is it Summer already? There were people sitting in the park after 7pm enjoying the sun. In fact it was so nice I decided to start running once again. This is also partially due to the fact I looked at my calender and said 'Oh crap, that 10K is in a months time.' But we can chalk it up to me enjoying the nice weather.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Blunt knives

I had Louis keep me company on my day off today as he developed a nasty sore throat. He spent most of the day making this neat little fantasy game and tried to replace the internal battery of his Pokemon Ruby game. This required a pocket knife, the likes of which I was rather baffled to find in my sock drawer, It was a cheap one though, a bit like the one in 127 Hours, fortunately we didn't need to use it for self-mutilation though.

I also got around to watching Volver. It's basically a Spanish Secrets and Lies, with a bit of Hitchcock murder at the beginning and Amelie-like cinematography. In other words, it was a very pretty soap opera with a good yarn to follow. Not quite the 'hilarious' movie the DVD blurb promised but still worth a watch. 

You've got Mail

Same routine as yesterday for going into work. Early wake-up, double espresso, good music, better weather. Yes siree, it's gonna be a lovely day. 30 minutes later I was already sent home due to the overall lack of customers. I actually spent longer walking to work than I did physically working there.

Oh well! Since I have been watching a lot of old films recently I only felt it fitting to watch a 90's rom-com to break the mold. You've Got Mail is a spiritual re-make of the 1940 film 'A Shop around the Corner.' While the re-make doesn't quite capture the spirit of its predecessor it certainly captures the spirit of the 90's. With the now goofy, over sized computers and dial-up tones it certainly provided me with a unintentional chuckle along with a few genuine laughs mainly earned by Tom Hanks. A fun one to watch on a lazy afternoon, especially if you suddenly get the day off!

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Clock watchers

I take back any negative comments about my Wii transfer last night, it's pretty sweet. Got all my Rockband songs intact and was jamming along to a bunch of them at 7:30 in the morning before work. With the Wii transfer a success, a beautiful sunny day and a double espresso in my belly I was in a pretty wonderful mood. That said, today was the first real time I noticed just how slowly time can pass at work. It wouldn't have been so bad if we didn't have a private hire party in the evening. This typically means a late on and today was no exception as Eddie Catz was the host of a woefully bad quiz night for a local youth football club.With eye-rollingly bad questions, time ceased to even crawl, it just kinda did a death gurgle and gave up. At least it's gonna be a nice short one tomorrow and then practically a week off afterwards, maybe to peruse some personal projects!

Friday, 19 April 2013

Wii U Transfer

Massive pain in the backside the Wii U system transfer. Since I dropped my old Wii console about 2 years ago, it no longer plays games. Must of busted up the laser or something, very sad time that. But now, I have finally caved and decided to transfer all my save data onto my Wii U after getting a classic controller off Amazon. I have just spent the past 40 minutes on message boards fretting about my Rockband DLC, my questions were not really answered but I took a gamble, so to speak, and hit 'Transfer.' At least I get to see the cute little Pikmin animation,

Nothing else to report, aside from finally getting the knack of cooking omelettes and probably and other egg/batter type thing you throw into the pan. Key is to heat the pan first I found, kinda obvious when I think about it now, but better late than never!

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Spring Clean at work

Long ol' day today. 12 hours shift in total due to the awesome deep clean I took part in. The gang and myself just completely stripped out the entire centre, dusted, vacuumed and sanitized the lot for some incredible results.

All the mats taken out, and those things ain't light!
I also did a hell of a lot of mopping that probably gave a lot of workout to a lot of every-ceps. Hope I'm not sore in the morning. 

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Two extremes

One of the bigger parties I've had to cater for today. 40 children honestly is a bit too many for a child's 4th Birthday party, I seriously doubt he is even that popular at school. Perhaps he can stand on his head or perform another party trick that instantly impresses his classmates. So yes, I had a busy morning. After that party left however there was nothing more to report aside from some seriously sweet thumb twiddling. Might be more of that tomorrow too, although I have been asked to help out with the deep clean in the evening. 

Monday, 15 April 2013

Damn you, Fruit Loops!

After giving in to my brother's request I opened up my bag of 'Sour Apple Fruit Loops' which I proceeded to eat over the course of the day. I was previously unaware that 2 of the sweets contained 11% of your recommended daily sugar intake, and boy did I feel it a little while later. I have never felt so crap about my body after eating those, my tongue is sore  and it still feels like my stomach hasn't digested them.

I'm just about to grab a beer and watch the final two episodes of Arrested Development. I was pretty excited to hear they were going to do a comeback series for May featuring the original cast members, even though 8 years have passed since it stopped. Just hope in can keep up the quality of the older episodes with it. 

Sunday, 14 April 2013


Went to a staff karaoke night yesterday at a semi-local pub. Me and Dan went and sung Summer of '69 and Dancing in the Moonlight respectively.  I was actually quite excited to go seeing as I thought it would be a good chance to be in a more social environment with my colleges. Dan and I aloso really fancied a pub dinner so it was an almost win-win situation. When we got there though they stopped doing food and only 2 other staff members turned up. This did somehow work in our favor though considering what an embarrassing sight it was to behold as we both got up on stage for a sing-song; at least only 2 people will remember us singing.

We have finished filming our new short and I am excited to say that it will be up within a fort-nite!

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Naff all

Run of the mill would be an excellent way to describe my day. We did get started on another short film this morning and will continue tomorrow. I am also planning on going to a staff karaoke night tomorrow. Never done it before, Don't really know if I can sing or not, my money is on the latter.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Sofa in dah house!

How we managed it, I have no idea. The sofa-bed previously mentioned in yesterdays blog actually did fit in my room. We asked a friend who is a pro at the lifting and moving of furniture to help out. Between the two of us it took an hour and a half to finally jam the thing in. Main issue was a choke-point we encountered right at the end of our travels as I measured width of the corridors but not the height. Put bluntly we had a lot of twisting and shifting but the taste of victory was oh-so-sweet.

Hell yes!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Disassembly paradise!

The final 2 nerf guns arrived today, much to my delight as I got to play with them for a bit. Managed to jam one of them tough and I got all disheartened because I thought I broke it. Being the man;y man that I am I thought to myself 'Nuthin' a screwdriver won't fix.' So I proceeded to disassemble the weapon as 2 springs flew loose and I had no idea where they belonged. 30 minutes of marveling at the gun ingenuity and watching various youtube videos later I managed to fix it, with only one mystery spring left over!

In fact, I even got to disassemble my work desk which has been out of use since September as I don't use my computer in a traditional manner. That job also took longer than expected as I couldn't find an allen key anywhere. This is in preparation for the new sofa coming into my room tomorrow. At least hopefully tomorrow. We didn't measure the dimensions so we don't know if we can even sqeeze it through my door yet.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Fight Test

I could have slept in for another hour, I could of but I recently I have been sucked into watching Arrested Development. It's like this little indie US TV program that does everything right and quite literally has me laughing out loud at several instances yet I also care deeply about some of the characters. I was also trying to fill my head with amusing thoughts because I knew we would be busy at work.

Recently I have been listening to The Flaming Lips, one song in particular, (Fight Test) got me thinking during my walk in. The lyrics were:

'Cause I'm a man, not a boy
And there are things you can't avoid
You have to face them
When you're not prepared to face them'

They certainly rung true when I got to work as the place was packed but we had prepped most of the stuff we needed bar some party food. A co-worker quickly came in and asked if we could have it 20 minutes ahead of schedule and my mind turned to the song as I prepared for the suddenly unexpected. Who knew that Eddie Catz would teach me subtle lessons about manhood?

Monday, 8 April 2013

2 more in the pipeline

We are currently in the process of making 2 more short films for everyone, one will be a little side project for fun and the other will be the first part of what might turn into a mini-series of more frequent videos. Stay tuned for more information. We finalize our scripts tomorrow after I deal with the full force of a soft play centre during half term.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Return trip from Wales

Back home now and I have just had a generally mincing around day before I'm back at work tomorrow. Be nice to sleep in my own bed again, the place we were staying at had these freaky, square duvets that you never were too sure if you had them round the right way, but even when you thought you sussed it your toes still stuck out. Just bought a couple of Nerf guns for Bournemouth next year and general tom-foolery around the house, as long as I don't nearly blind myself in one eye it should be lots of fun.

Friday, 5 April 2013

A Tribute: Roger Ebert

Ever since I received Roger Ebert: The Great Movies for Christmas a few years back it has been one of the most re-read books I own. His writing style was graceful, fun and above all, enthusiastic. It was infectious to say the least as I found myself watching any film cited in that book just so I could read another one of his retrospective reviews. He helped me develop an understanding of film and made watching them a higher pleasure. No other critic can quite articulate film in a way to sound infinitely intelligible while remaining simple enough for anyone to enjoy. He has been a big influence to my essay writing style, especially during my A-levels. Enough good things cannot really be said about him, basically he was the man when it came to criticism.

He passed away yesterday, his final words were 'See you at the movies.'  

You can still visit his website here, it has all the fore-mentioned 'Great Movies Reviews' there and they are certainly worth a read.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Happy 50th Birthday Dad!

It's was a bit of shock to me to find out what a rather sunny place Wales has been in the past few days. If memory served me correctly, during my DoE expedition, the Welsh weather was absolutely atrocious, almost hyperbolically bad. But the sun is shining, and the views have been quite lovely since were in staying in a small aprtment by a cove/beach for Dad's 50th Birthday. Which is also today.

So far we have been on what Louis has called 'The longest walk I have ever been on,' in reaitly the whole walk was only about 5 hours. Been to a few pubs and there has been plenty of chill time, I have already re-played Phoenix Wright with a big ol smile on my face. And yes, Breaking Bad has been watched with only mild grumbling about the show's pacing. Whenever something really awesome happns it takes another 3 episodes to effectivly 'do the paperwork' to deal with the consequences of what has happened, usually in drawn out hospital or homelife scenes. Plenty of time for it to get awesome again though.


Monday, 1 April 2013

Happy Easter/April Fools 2013

Crumbs. I forgot to mention that I would be visiting my grandparents over the past 2 days for the Easter Holidays! But I had a nice little get away before heading off on ANOTHER little get away to Wales for Dad's 50th Birthday. Basically we are going to hole ourselves up in a small apartment and watch Breaking Bad, at least, that's my understanding of what we will be doing. We do have internet there though so I will indeed be keeping you updated on Wales.