Published December 31, 2008
Life , London , UK
Tags: New Year's Eve
Ah, another New Year’s Eve to celebrate. Almost as bad as Christmas and I’m not saying this because I’m getting older and cannot get many friends to come out for the evening. New Year’s Eve has always been an anti-climate. Expecting so much from it and then it is always rubbish. For years I have spent a ton of money on tickets for clubs or pubs, spent money on overpriced taxis and drinks are always double the price to what they normally are. The past few years I have been away in the Lake District for New Year which is a much nicer experience compared to being near the City. A nice walk on the mountains the following day is always a good way to start the year.
This year we are going in to the City and hoping to watch some fireworks on the South Bank. But this might all depend on the weather as I have heard it will be going down to -5C tonight, so might just stay in the pub (if we can find one that is free to get into) or come back to Essex early. Is that another sign of getting old when getting home early doesn’t sound that bad at all or it could just be that I’ve still got a cold and the idea of being warm indoors sounds more appealing. Anyway, hope everyone has a fab New Year’s Eve and all the best for 2009!
Published December 30, 2008
Life , Shopping , thoughts , UK
Tags: cold, Ikea
I’m not going to write much today as I’ve still got a stinking cold and spent most of the day feeling sorry for myself. Well, not really as I had a trip out to Ikea. Woowho! Ikea is one of those shops that puts the fear of dread in to me. It is too large for it’s own good and compels the shopper to buy stuff they don’t really need. Also, you have to be very lucky to buy what you actually wanted to buy. Surprisingly, I managed to get everything I needed – a desk chair, desk drawers and a noticeboard. Still managed to buy some items that weren’t on the list but they were some Swedish food – crisps breads and sweet cinnamon mini rolls. It wasn’t even that busy, normally if feels like a kiddies playground. Still, there is always a fault with something from Ikea, the holes in the desk drawers don’t line up so that will have to go back. Tomorrow I will start setting up my desk area with a new bookshelf and noticeboard for all my coursework and HTML documents. So that was the highlight of my day along with watching War Games on the box while drinking lots of hot drinks. Don’t you just love the holiday season!
I’m writing this with a snuffle head as I have a slight cold – I knew I would get a cold after Christmas as I always do – anyway, this might mean lots of rambling words as I write through the fog. It’s almost been a year since I got my iPod touch, after that I started writing this blog and then I decided that I needed to learn something new like HTML. All this has meant that my laptop has got slower and slower as I keep adding music to the iTunes library, downloading Firefox toolbars and all the applications that I have that constantly need updating every five minutes. In an age when most of my work is all online and I rarely use Microsoft products I’m surprised that the memory just keeps getting sapped. My Sony Vaio is nearly five years old and is still good for a few more years as a PC in the house but I need to get a new laptop.
I’ve been looking at MacBooks for my new laptop. Or maybe a MacBook Pro. It really depends on how much I can save up but I would like to get a MacBook Pro. My Vaio has been great but it’s about time I joined the next generation and got myself an Apple. Since I love my iPod Touch it seems like the logical step and I have a few friends who highly recommend Macs. So with my birthday coming up in a few weeks I’m hoping for some money to go towards it but the sooner I can get it the better. I keep finding music that I would like to download but with limited memory, I have to be picky over what to download. When I get the new laptop there will be a downloading frenzy. Learning a whole new system should be interesting as well – I wonder if I should do what Eddie Izzard says in one of his stand-ups and just “throw the instructions out the window”. Well, I’m sure it is easy… Accordingly, I will have great fun in the Apple shop when it comes to buying my Mac and will have great delight when writing my first blog post on it!
Published December 28, 2008
Life , thoughts , UK
Tags: films, Grease
When I’m ironing I have to have the TV on otherwise I would never get the ironing done! So, today I decided it was best to tackle the huge iron pile that has been building up. Luckily I don’t have to iron shirts as my other half does his own ironing and I avoid buying shirts due to the fact that I don’t really enjoy ironing. While flicking through the hundreds of channels I come across Grease and it was the best of a poor selection of films on the movie channels. I don’t mind Grease as a film but I despise the soundtrack – I have been to one too many weddings and discos that play music from Grease, that it is just cringe worthy.
I do remember the school play one year being Grease and my closest friend’s brother playing the lead role of Danny. Since he was her older brother and I had known them both since I was about five he was the horrible older brother that the girls didn’t like. Also, he whistled too much – don’t think I have mentioned that he is solely responsible for my dislike of whistling! So it was quite disturbing seeing friends throwing themselves at him all because he played Danny in Grease at the age of 15. Another odd thing about Grease and many other films that I had watched as a young teenager is that you (well, I didn’t) get all the rude bits and innuendos until I had watched them again in later years. I have one small question about Grease – how old where the characters meant to be in the film? They all look about 25-plus but I’m assuming that as they are in high school they are about 17-18. I suppose the director couldn’t find any good teenage actors at the time.
I have regressed, the whole point of this post was about school and grammar and Grease provided the idea. But I might have to write about my own school experiences another day as I have seemed to have created a post all about Grease! Strange days.
Published December 27, 2008
Books , Essex , Food , Life , Music , thoughts , UK
OK, Christmas wasn’t that bad but it’s still a pain in the arse before, during and afterwards. Christmas day was at my in-laws, with eight adults, two kids and two babies. Busy and noisy. Luckily I took my cocktail bar with me, so I could have Manhattans all day. I even got my brother-in-law drinking the rye whiskey. Christmas was nice but as always my mother-in-law didn’t get to eat much (a classic Peter Kay observation) and then everyone was full up with food by four in the afternoon. Then mayhem ensured as it was present opening time. As always there was one too many presents for all the kids. More eating and drinking in the evening but a few good games of Boggle and chatting made the evening whizz past. Followed by an extremely uncomfortable night on an air mattress. Fun, fun, fun!
Boxing day was at my parents, which is always a much quieter affair – just six adults. A quick exchange of gifts in the morning and a lovely dinner of roast potatoes, turkey (veggie kiev for me) and Christmas pudding for dessert. Christmas pud is definitely one of the best things about Christmas. Spent most of the evening playing Monopoly, which my brother’s girlfriend won! I always seemed to end up in jail and was the first to be made bankrupt! So now it is all over and all I’ve got to do now is find places for the gifts that I was given. I didn’t do too bad this year – new travel iPod speakers (after the last ones broke), Sex and the City DVD, jeans, hats, make-up and lots of books: Stephen Fry in America, My Grammar and I, Bleak House, The Count of Monte Cristo, A Prayer for Owen Meany and The Grapes of Wrath. So the plan over the next few days is lots of reading while listening to music on the new speakers while wearing the new jeans and if it gets chilly I’ve got a selection hats to wear! Now that is fun!!
Published December 24, 2008
Essex , Internet , Life , UK
I’m not going to write anything over the next couple of days mainly due to lack of internet access at my in-laws and parents homes. Also, it would be classed as rude if I had to quickly disappear to write something especially as most of my family don’t know about my blog. The ones that do, just don’t understand what a blog is! Anyway, I’m off out soon (after a quick shower and a Manhattan!) with friends for dinner. Hope everyone has a great Christmas and I’ll be back in a couple of days!
Published December 23, 2008
Education , Life , technology , thoughts , UK
So the stress of everything is nearly over – Christmas and my course. My issues with worrying about my health won’t past as quickly as I’ve still got two more tests for my kidneys but I’m going to have those later in January. All the Christmas presents have been purchased and just need wrapping, which I can do tomorrow as I’m off tomorrow – yippee. Just not travelling in to London for a week or so will be a dream and then I can catch up on some reading at home in a comfy chair. Before I know it, Christmas itself will be over and then I will get my annual cold, which I always do as I start to chill out after Christmas.
Also, my course has now finished – today was the last day for submitting the report. Yesterday I submitted a very rough report and one HTML/CSS document. It was really incomplete but I did well in the three previous computer assessments so maybe I will get over 15%, which will still be a fail but means I can resit the final project again for free. If I don’t pass at all then in the summer I will re-take the course again. I did learn a fair amount and now have the bug to keep learning HTML and CSS so I suppose it wasn’t a waste of time and money. So I have three text books on web design and HTML to work my way through but at least it will be at a leisurely pace. My goal will be to master CSS so I can redesign my blog page instead of using one of the WordPress templates (as nice as they are).
Published December 22, 2008
Life , thoughts , UK
Tags: films, movies
Sometimes I find chatting in my work chat room offers me with ideas as what to write about on here. Hope all my colleagues are OK with that but I suppose if I had more colleagues in the real office then I would write about those conversations as well. Anyway, I asked what was their favourite film of all time? As I may have mentioned on here before my favourite film is the The Lost Boys – vampires and good looking actors, what more could a teenager (and a 35 year old) want! I also have other films that I like a lot, like Pulp Fiction, The Goonies and Shawn of the Dead. Choosing one is quite hard – should it be on how funny a film is like Coming to America or a serious classic like Goodfellas.
I’m not much of a film goer – can’t stand the cinema. I would rather watch a film at home where I can have a drink and sit in a comfortable seat. Also, I don’t follow the latest films – have Sky Movies at home and I would rather just see what is on there. One of my colleagues said her favourite film for a long time was The Matrix until the two and three were released and they ruined the first for her. It must be for money that sequels and trilogies are made – some are good (Back to the Future 2) and some are crap (Star Wars 1-3). Even if a book/screenplay is written as a trilogy, it doesn’t always mean that they should all be made in to films. Actually, the list for rubbish sequels is endless, here are some off the top of my head: Spiderman 2, Grease 2, Shrek 3, Speed 2, Highlander 2. So, what is your favourite film? I’m not really expecting lots of replies but thought I would ask a question for once.
Published December 21, 2008
Internet , Life , Music , thoughts , UK
So the X-Factor version of Hallelujah won the race to be the Christmas number 1. Damn! I don’t watch reality TV shows but you can’t seem to miss it due to the news and radio coverage. The Jeff Buckley version did make it to number two though, which is amazing as it was just on downloads. Shame it didn’t get to number one just to piss off Simon Cowell. But it does show the power of the download. Years ago if you knew there was a better version of a song then it was tough to find a copy or you had to buy the album, if you could find it in the discount bin. Now all those with a decent taste in music can download a better version. Even the Leonard Cohen original made it back in to UK charts – I’m sure he is pleased. A bit little a Christmas bonus!
Published December 20, 2008
Life , thoughts , UK
Tags: contact lenses, eyesight
I’m not really blind as a bat but it’s a good phrase for when you have to wear contact lenses or glasses. I do have friends who are pretty much blind as a bat and can’t see much without their glasses. I’m short-sighted but my eyes aren’t too bad. I can get up in morning and see quite well. I have been known to get ready in the morning and then suddenly realise after about 30 minutes that I have forgotten to put my contact lenses in. Occasionally I will wear my glasses (like today) but it’s not every often, which makes it tricky when I’m at the Opticians and I have to say of course I wear my glasses at least once a week. But wearing contact lenses is so much easier and I prefer to wear them. Oh well, I’m sure in years to come I will regret that but I’ll be a lot older and maybe a lot less vain by then!
Short post today as it’s the weekend – have a pleasant weekend everyone!