Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Finding things to do

I'm all over the shop at the moment. Finding things to do that keep me occupied. Like making a model for the children. Watching DVDs. Playing videogames. Reading books. Downloading podcasts. Blogging. The deadline for the job I thought of applying for is this Friday and I haven't done anything about my application. To be honest, the thought of going for a job for less money has put me off big style. I think I'm doing all of these things to fill in time, so I have an excuse not to apply. It's not like I'd be a dead cert to get it, on one hand I don't know why I'm bothered and on the other I really want my heart and soul to be into a job before applying. The other thing at the back of my mind was my wife commenting that the job didn't sound very interesting (it's not a million miles away from what I do now). I tend to agree with her and this has probably put me off more than the money thing. 85% of me has decided not to apply and 15% thinks the practice might be good. That's not enough of an incentive.

I've got the KT Tunstall CD Eye To The Telescope out the library to listen to. Last night I watched The Transporter again and it is an excellent film. Most of all, I admired the really cool soundtrack by Stanley Clarke that I'd not really noticed before.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Euro Lottery Rollover

I was just thinking that I've nothing to post about today. But it has come back to me: today we won a few quid on the Euro Lottery - 8.90 to be exact (we paid out 7.50 on tickets, so not a massive win obviously). My wife prompted me to go and get the ticket checked, I didn't think they did that - I just thought they sold tickets so I learned something today. I might have thrown the tickets away, knowing that we didn't win the 100 million jackpot, but my wife insisted and true enough it was worth the effort of checking, I was pleasantly surprised.

We both had to buy a car tax disc today too, I can't believe that we have to pay 170 pounds a year just to use the fucking roads! I'm annoyed that having just been paid, all our money is draining away before the month has started.

I got some bad bad news about a friend this week too, it's really blown me off my feet. I don't know what to do or say to her. Last time I saw her, about 10 weeks ago she looked fine, but now I hear she's got advanced C - I just can't believe it. It's not the first time a friend of mine has died young of C and after that I didn't expect another friend to have it. I'm probably naive to feel like this - doesn't it affect 1 in 4 people or something? It scares the hell out of me.


I'm glad Chantelle won Celebrity Big Brother but I wish she had something more interesting to say other than "Oh my God", like "Pete Burns, you are a cunt!"

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Galloway leaves the house

We can’t really know what prompted George Galloway to enter the Celebrity Big Brother House. He surely considered it from many angles and consulted with other “celebrities” before going in. He must have reasoned it as a Win/Win situation, yet how wrong could he be? It revealed his personality as petty, two-faced, full of his own importance, condescending, patronising, jealous, vindictive and bullying. Nobody wants that kind of reveal. But he shouldn’t be singled out – there were others in the house that shared these and worse traits. The fact that George is a politician and that this was potentially an innovative way to reach many more ordinary people is something to be applauded, the unfortunate thing is that in this case, it was na├»ve. George’s political reputation has been damaged by this. I find the suggestion that the House of Commons will receive him with a cacophony of cat meeows saddening. The MPs who engage in this behaviour are no better than the tabloids and certainly no better than George himself. But there you go, they’re MPs afterall and we unfortunately have to live with the fact that most of them are somewhat less than the “ordinary” people they represent. As Preston sarcastically put it: “a cheating politician – what a surprise!”.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Hidden

The last few nights I've been retiring to bed to watch Alias on my laptop, trying to beat the one week loan period limit at the library. There were just too many episodes and not enough time in the end, so I had to renew it yesterday. At least I can watch the extras now, I don't think I'll bother with the audio commentary all the way through (does anybody?). I mention this because I have missed Celebrity Big Brother and the news and most of the other stuff in the world I usually pay some attention to, so I feel like I've been hidden away on planet Alias. This is the danger with DVD box sets! Anyway, I'm sufficiently interested in Alias that I'll probably take out series two from the library soon. I do think they should extend the loan period for box sets, I mean who has time to watch all those episodes in one concentrated period? Whilst I'm on the subject, Jennifer Garner is an amazing actor - my judgement is clouded to some extent because I think she is beautiful but I think she works really hard. Her fight scenes are excellent and I learned from the extras that her fight instructor said she learned moves really quickly because she was a dancer. She is very graceful as she blocks, kicks and swings her fists - that kind of movement doesn't just happen. She has my respect.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Whale of a time

The whale in the Thames is the big news story of the last couple of days. It's an extraordinary event, I'm not surprised it has attracted thousands of onlookers. I feel a little uncomfortable about all the spectators though, I suppose they are there because they feel sympathy for the poor creature and it's not a bullfight/bloodthirsty kind of thing. The last I heard, the prognosis doesn't look too good for the poor thing.

Underworld Evolution looks like an interesting film to go and see, doubt I'll get to see it at the cinema though with the need for childcare. I haven't seen the first Underworld film either but that has some good reviews. Where have I been? I don't think I've ever heard of these films. They sound like a computer game, I should do some research and find out if they're based on anything. This probably sounds like the dumbest post to Underworld fans but hey ho you've got to start somewhere haven't you?

I had to take my car to the mechanic yesterday, the MOT is due on Monday. Picked it up today and it was 200 quid. Another lump of money taking me further into the fucking red. What made it worse though, was that I stupidly asked for a service at the same time. I don't use my car much: like last year I did 5000 miles, and three quarters of this bill is for a 9000 mile service. When I asked for a service I should have made it clear I wanted a 3000 mile service, I'm sure he's done something like that for me in the past. If I was half a man I'd service the car my fucking self! I hate the car trade!

The Lemsip Max strength isn't helping much. I'm off to bed soon to watch more of Alias, great series. There's a new Argos catalogue out, pity we didn't pick one up today - I could have taken that to bed.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Which celebrity do you look like?

My wife showed me this site today, which I thought was quite funny. How do some people get the belief that they are the spitting image of a celebrity when they clearly look nothing like them - apart from wearing a similar pair of sunglasses or similar hat?

It has set me thinking about the experience of being compared to a celebrity. The only person I remember passing comment on who I looked like was an old friend of mine who told me when he first met me that he thought I looked exactly like Mike Mills. This was back in '93 or something and yes I did have long hair and round glasses in those days. Not now though.

When I first met the woman who was to become my wife, I was spellbound by her beautiful face. I remember waking up with the sun streaming through the curtains and looking at her face and thinking she was Pocahontas, apologies for the Disney cartoon but this was the only image of Pocahontas I had in mind because the real Pocahontas was not pretty imho.

So come on, which celebrity have you been compared to?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Faria goes

Well, as predicted since I knew who was nominated Faria has been chosen by the public to leave the Celebrity Big Brother house. I liked some of the backchat she gave Dennis because he deserves it but it was obvious she has a lot of anger and other issues she needs to deal with to get the chips off her shoulder.

Today my cold is worse than it was yesterday. And I've started thinking about whether it will develop into some time off sick from work - it's kind of like I'm planning my sick leave on some subconscious level. For instance, I know I've got to do some travelling for the next couple of days so I'm looking at possibly extending the weekend rather than taking sick leave at the moment. Where does this come from? I'll probably be alright and not take any. It's almost like I want it to get worse so I can take some time off. Does this mean I don't like my job or am I just lazy?

I'm really starting to get into Alias now. I've watched 4 episodes now. It's great so far.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Here we are, another Tuesday

I watched the first episode of Alias last night. I liked it but not as much as I thought I would. It's good, don't get me wrong, and Jennifer Garner is an excellent lead. I'm sure it will grow on me, I think because the first episode was an introduction it may not be representative of the rest. The worst bit for me was when she was with her fiance, I didn't like him at all and felt no remorse when he was murdered. The rest was OK though. I'm worried I won't be able to get through the whole season this week.

I'm a bit tired and confused today, my son woke me up at 3am after wetting the bed and even though he settles down really well in our bed I just wasn't able to get back to sleep until about ten to six. The alarm went off five minutes later. I managed to lie in bed until quarter past seven but I was just trying to catch up on my sleep.

On the job front I was looking at the Guardian online and saw absolutely nothing that interested me in the locality. I'm still deciding what to do about the one job I have seen anywhere near here. I'd like some professional advice but I don't know who to ask.

There's chocolate in the house and its driving me MAD that I can't eat it! It's wrapped in cellophane and I can't disguise opening it. Agghhhh!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Alias

I have been wanting to watch this for ages. The complete first season DVD box set was in the public library today. I took it out and will watch as much as I can this week. Can't wait! I'll let you know how I get on.

Begging

I've always been split on the issue of beggars. I do sometimes consider if I lost everything and was forced to live on the street how I'd feel about begging for money. And sometimes I'm angered by people using that old dodge "Can you spare a pound to help me catch the bus home?", which someone tried on me today. Thing is, I'm pretty sure that I can tell the difference between someone who is genuinely unable to get home and someone who wants some money to spend on booze or fags or drugs. The person asking me today was heading into the Job Centre for fucksake. If the beggar is busking I'm much more inclined to drop some change into the hat, the term busker is softer than beggar because they don't ask directly and they don't say how much they want. Teenage girls having a laugh and pretending to be in need of either "fake sponsorship" or money for a bus really annoys me, they're so fucking obvious. I have a friend who busks and can make fifty quid a day. At least he's working for it.
If someone asks me for money for not doing anything in future I am tempted to say something like "Yeah, I'll give you a quid for your jumper" just to see their reaction. What's wrong? I'm offering them a chance to redeem their dignity by exchanging money for something instead of money for nothing. Am I being harsh?

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Baggies Win!

Victory today away from home at last. It was an eventful match. We're now 16th place, 5 points clear of the relegation zone. Today was an important match.

Exhausted!

The weekend is nearly over and I'm totally fagged out. I don't know why, it's not like I've done anything particularly strenuous. It's probably down to emotional stress of trying to sort my life out jobwise. I've had some doubts about the job I've seen but not enough doubts to stop me applying. I'm just very worried about money at the moment. My car has it's MOT on Friday and I'm fearful that it'll be need some work to get it through. I was also planning to treat my darling wife in the summer to a night out in London, see a show, have a meal, stay in a hotel - just the two of us. But the reality of our money situation has put the breaks on that. I can't justify spending that kind of money - my daughters birthday party has to take priority. We've put a deposit down on that this week. All these bits here and there mount up to a fat heap of expenditure. :(
ON the BRIGHT side though, my wife bought us some Smirnoff Vodka gift packs really cheap in the sales - they include flashing icecube things and miniature Smirnoff bottles. She got them because she thought the icecubes were cool and wanted to stick them on the wall. Until I pointed out that they would have to be ON and flashing all the time! We'll be quaffing the vodka tonight I hope, they're chilling in the fridge...
AND I bought a couple of boxes of chocolate for the price of one.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Anyone seen Brokeback Mountain?

My wife mentioned this film to me while we watched TV on the sofa the other night. Stephen Gately is apparently in it - he was a member of the Irish boyband Boyzone, I personally didn't like their music. But I can respect the guy for coming out when they had an ENORMOUS following with young girls. I don't know if the film will ever come to our town, nothing slightly alternative ever gets shown: I don't know anything about this film except there is a gay love story thread in it, is it alternative at all in any other way? I suspect not.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Jobs and Money

I'm in a bit of a dilemma. I have seen the perfect job for me. However, it has a salary a few thousand less than I'm currently on. Some people might consider it is a backwards step to take a job that is not as well paid as the one you are leaving. What is your view? If I got the job I've seen, I would probably be able to earn a higher salary in the long run. I think I will apply for it and see what happens, can't hurt can it?
We saw the mortgage company today and talked about debt consolidation. I hate having to sort money out. It's horrible when you live outside of your means, even if its not extreme (which our case isn't) it is still a bit scary to have to even consider a loan secured against our property. We tend to be very conservative with money and risks. Why is finance so complicated, I wish I understood it or knew where to get really independent advice from - someone to analyse our spending and lifestyle and tell us what to do would be good.
Last thing for tonight: at last I went for a short jog yesterday lunchtime. First time since early last summer really. My thighs ache today, which I think is a good sign. I must do it again. You've got to keep fit haven't you?

Jodi evicted

I've been thinking for a couple of days how Jodi probably isn't the worst person in the house. I watched her eviction tonight with a hint of sadness. Especially after seeing Michael Barrymore have a massive flare up with her; I think faria was actually the cause of that one and Barrymore took it upon himself to put the boot in again. Watching the post-eviction interview with Davina I'm really surprised that there wasn't a set of clips of all the people having a go at her. Jodi did achieve what she wanted when going into the house, just not in the way she thought: she showed a vulnerable side, which I think will do her good in the long run.

China discovered America?

Chinese sailor who discovered Americas. I thought this was an interesting story, I wonder what the real truth is?

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Celebrity Big Brother

It's been a mixture of entertainment and torture watching CBB. I do like conflict in the BB house and there has been plenty of that. I do find it interesting how Jodi has been demonised by Michael, Pete and George. They have started to turn Maggot and Dennis against her too. I hope George is voted out tomorrow night, he's vile. Pete is funny but a bitch. Michael is emotionally and psychologically unwell. Jodi is bitter and twisted. Dennis is just gross. Rula is a lovey. Traci is a hippy. Chantelle, Maggot, Faria and Preston are OK. The Big Brother's Big Mouth show on E4 is funny, a bit of light relief after the tantrums and tears.

Jobhunting

I've decided to look for a new job. I rang up about one today and spoke to the recruitment company. I don't know if I'll go for it, it's 15,000 more than I'm earning and I don't think I've got the experience. The money would come in very handy and my wife could give up work until my little boy is old enough to go to school.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Hell Boy

My wife bought me this film this week. She saw it really cheap on VHS at Tesco. I had read the graphic novel recently, borrowed from the public library. The novel intrigued me. I wasn't expecting the film to be very good, I imagined it would be as disappointing as Daredevil or Blade were. Infact, I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was. John Hurt's performance is very good and the central character is oddly believing. I thoroughly enjoyed watching it and can recommend it. I like nice surprises.

Friday, January 06, 2006

JCB Song

I saw the video and liked this song a couple of days ago and it has really stayed with me. It is really great!

Derren Brown - The Heist

This guy makes great TV programmes. The Heist explores how ordinary people can be persuaded to perform extraordinary acts. He selects susceptible people and puts them through a two week programme of activities beginning with a fake seminar. It's funny where he asks them to steal sweeties from a shop. At the end of the programme the real reason for putting them through the period where subliminal messages and heightened emotional states are passed onto them is revealed: passing a security guard standing by a green van with a passing car loudly playing "Can you feel it" by the Jackson Five - how many will try to rob the guard with a replica gun (handed out as a freebie at the end of the seminar)? Well, remarkably 3 out of 4 did. Like the best tele it made me uncomfortable and excited at the same time.

Celebrity BB

A bit of a disappointment yesterday evening. Am I the only person who thinks Traci and Jodie are lookalikes? They're both orange too. I don't understand why they are regarded as 'babes' by the papers and magazines etc. They're odd looking in a sort of cheap plastic doll way.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Celebrity Big Brother

This is going to be great! I can't wait - there'll be lots of madness in the house with these leaked guests:
  • Anna Nicole Smith
  • Michael Barrymore
  • Shane Macgowan
  • Pete Burns
  • Lisa Tarbuck

I don't know exactly how many of these will end up actually being in the show but it should be good whatever.