Monday, January 31, 2005


After watching Creep [sic] a film by the Waylan brothers would have been a relief. Forget I said that actually.

Sideways is a film by Alexander Payne who directed About Schmidt. It stars one of my favourite actors Paul Giamatti. It's a story about 2 men reaching a mid-life crisis, one of which is about to get married and another who has been divorced 2 years and has been in depression since the break up. Can you tell this is a black comedy?

They spend a week in California in an attempt to have a final bonding and blow out session before married life gets in the way.

I'll not give anything away because you should really go and see it. Suffice to say you'll laugh all the way to the bank and come away with a smile on your face.
There's some great little comedic moments, mostly involving wine. I just hope you're not a fan of Merlot.

I would give this 4 glasses out of 5.



I saw Creep last night. It's a horror film directed by Christopher Smith who hasn't done any big films before and, after watching this, will hopefully not get the chance to do anything again.
It stars Franka Potente who you'll recognize as the girlfriend of Jason Bourne from the Bourne Identity and Bourne Supremacy films, which are good movies you should definitely check out.

The film begins in a swanky London party where Franka is being hit on by a slimeball male character and she flips him off and leaves the party to seek out another secret party where George Clooney is said to be attending. She goes to catch a tube but seemingly falls asleep on the bench where the tube trains pull in. I don't know if you've ever been on the tube but there's no way you could still be sleeping when one of those stops right beside you. This badly thought out plot turn marked the beginning of a slow decent into absolute dirge. There were no pyschological horror moments, only blatent gore sequences which were slightly squirmy but instantly forgettable.

I'd give this film 1 chainsaw out of 5.


Saturday, January 29, 2005

Is there anything it can't do?

Once again beer has proven its worth. They should make it a first aid requirement. Plasters, gauze, TCP and a 6 pack of fine ale.

Just don't eat the yellow snow.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Gamespot #2

Yeah! Friday at last. This has been a long week for me. So, if it has been for you too then take a breather and have a go at this.

I'm not sure if it's Japanese or Korean but it's good for a wee bit of time wasting and relaxation.


Holocaust Memorial Day

Today is Holocaust Memorial Day to remember those who lost their lives at the hands of the Nazi regime during World War 2.

Click the above link for an overview of the history and aftermath of the holocaust.

"Forgotten? No, we never do forget: We let the years go; wash them clean with tears, Leave them to bleach out in the open day, Or lock them careful by, like dead friends' clothes, Till we shall dare unfold them without pain,-- But we forget not, never can forget."
[Dinah Maria Mulock]

Thursday, January 27, 2005


I didn't sleep well last night. This was largely due to too much vino being drunk but also my upstairs neighbour. If you're a country yokel and miss being woken up by the crow at 6am then you can take over my lease and let this man wake you up every morning with his weight lifting. At least that's what I think he does. The noises are something you hear in a horror film when it builds up tension by suggesting what might lie beyond that which you cannot see. Of course it doesn't help that the walls are paper thin and since we're in a middle flat in a terraced house you can hear noises on all sides.

"These walls are paper thin
And everyone hears every little sound
Everyone's a voyeur, their watching me
Watch them, watch me right now"
[Modest Mouse - Paper Thin Walls]

He's German and regular like clockwork. This means you get the added bonus, if you're unlucky to be awake at the time, that you can hear his bowel movements too before the general creaking and squeaking noises begin. I guess the ideal ad would read:

" 2nd Floor, 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, - £200 monthly.
Economy 7 heating, Washing machine, recently decorated.
Suits professional nutter with interest in scat."

So, if you're interested then please don't contact me.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Raising the Bar

Today marks the 2nd anniversary of the relationship with my wonderful girlfriend Lou. We will be dining out tonight at Café Milano - an Italian restaurant where we met on our first date.
There's not much I can say except that I'm very happy and content. Yesterday I even managed to get her to eat some haggis - which went well with some home made chutney although I'm sure Burns would have disaproved. I'm sure tonights menu will be a little more palatable.
Anywho, may you all have a great day. I know I will.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

An Ode To A Tim'rous Beastie

Today is Burns' night. For those not au fait with what it is then here's a little synopsis.

To celebrate I will try and get my hands on some haggis and devour it. Burns wrote a poem about haggis. In todays terms, that's like writing a song about steak and kidney pie. Genius.
If you want to get into the mood, then you can try and write your own Burns poetry.
Here's my attempt. Can you do better?

Aft beastie can brae in brattle compar'd
His cauld chittering bonnie
Her fair fa' hamely luve

Awa roar'd tim'rous sonsie
Ne'er promis'd ne'er play'd
Skinkining the sleekit mind
Whare thee melodie only compar'd

That's right, you can't. After reading my poem you'll probably want to celebrate Phils' night and shower me in gifts of ale and Findus crispy pancakes. So next time you're cruising down the frozen food section, pause and think of me.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Grey Matter

I was reading this interesting article regarding brain composition in men and women.

They found that in intelligence tests men use 6.5 times as much grey matter as women, but women use nine times as much white matter.

Grey matter is brain tissue crucial to processing information and plays a vital role in aiding skills such as mathematics, map-reading and intellectual thought.

White matter connects the brain's processing centres and is central to emotional thinking, use of language and the ability to do more than one thing at once.

However, I found this particular finding the most revealing:

Women can speak 20,000 to 25,000 words a day compared to a man's 7000 to 10,000.

Which says a lot. If you're a woman.

Mistakes & Regrets

What a weekend. Where to begin? Should I even attempt it?

It all began on Friday night after watching State & Main [sic]. I had foolishly placed a glass of wine on a side table within arm gesturing reach. Soon after an explanation of something I can no longer recall, I struck my wine glass, cascading its contents over the couch, the carpet and myself. Sods law dictates that 87.23% of wine spilt is red. The remaining 12.77% is used to try and clean it up.
After spending the next hour clearing it up, I was ready for bed. I had also sobered up which was probably a good thing. Booze 1, Me 0.

I had a very rewarding lie in on Saturday morning and despite spending the remainder of the morning picking up loose bits of wine glass from the carpet, it passed without incident. Then came lunch.
I decided to fry some sausages using this new oil that Lou had bought. It's a spray of olive oil at 1 calorie per spray. After spraying and heating the pan I threw the sausages in and they sizzled away. The sausages started to brown but the pan dried up much too quickly so I added olive oil from an old bottle. Acrid smoke rose from the pan and I was temporarily blinded. I moved the pan from the hob and rushed to open the window. The fire alarm went off. I turned swearing into an art form. A string of profanity sprayed from my mouth and was certainly not a 1 calorie serving. I raced downstairs and reset the alarm. Then ran back up the stairs to find that the pan had been happily charring away in my absence and was still smoking away. The alarm went off again. Not happy. I reset the alarm a second time and opened all the windows in the kitchen and adjoining corridor. My sausages were burnt black on one side and I was damned if I wasn't going to eat them. I sat down and shoved them into my mouth feeling thoroughly dejected.

Saturday afternoon I went over to my friends house to play some Fantasy Role-play which I haven't really done since I was 15. It was a good laugh and gave me the opportunity to drink 3 litres of cider. Just like I did when I was 15. Afterwards, we all headed out to the Spring & Airbrake for some pints. Tony & I found it a little dull so we headed to the Empire and a good cover band, Tusk, was playing. After soaking up some rock classics, I hooked up with the rest of the gang in the Spring & Airbrake again and they finished up their pints and we headed back to Keith and Heathers house for some nightcaps. Now, whilst waiting for said group to finish their pints and minding my own business, Bert grabbed my right nipple and clamped on it like a crocodile clip. Despite my protest his grip remained tight. I resorted to kicking him in the shin in order to escape the clutch. He finally relented. I conspired revenge.

After consuming some wine at Keith’s house I spied an egg box on the kitchen counter. I discussed a rough plan with Keith. After luring Bert over to look at some alcohol I landed a satisfying egg splat on the top of his head. He was not amused but neither was my bruised pectoral region. Bert 1, Phil 1. A satisfying draw.

I then engaged Rok in an argument of some sort involving his name and it got rather heated [his birth name being Richard, which he hates but I keep calling him it because I can't get used to calling him Rok] and of which I now regret as it got out of control. Alcohol 2, Phil 0.

My conclusion therefore is that if you consume 3 litres of cider, don't go out. Never fry sausages when you can grill them, and never place a glass of wine to the side of you when you're prone to fervent hand gestures. Most of all, if you find yourself in a drunken argument, leave the room immediately, pour yourself a glass of water and wait 5 minutes before re-entering the room.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

State And Main

Watched a great film last night called State And Main. It was written and directed by David Mamet, probably most famous for writing The Untouchables and Hoffa.
It's a comedy set in a small New England town of Waterford, Vermont. A Holywood film set descends upon the localé and takes over for the duration of filming including the main hotel where a lot of the film takes place as the director and producer argue over the filming and each other including the writer of the original screenplay. It has excellent performances by William H Macy and Philip Seamour Hoffman. The most important aspect to the success of the film is its attention to detail and background humour. There are running gags throughout the film and fantastic one liners.
So if you see this on the shelf at your video store, grab it and enjoy a rib-tickling night in.


Gamespot #1

I think I'll make this a regular feature on Fridays. I'll submit a flash based game of some sort so you can squander those vital working hours before knocking off for the weekend.
This week it's a game that's taken up some of my hours earlier in the week. It's a rehashed version of a late 80's classic that I enjoyed playing on my Amstrad CPC 464 called Pipe Mania.


Thursday, January 20, 2005

Sexlexia - A very erotic disease

Check out the Durex 2004 survey. Very interesting results. You know when people say they look for a person with a sense of humour? It's a lie. In order of attractiveness the results show boobies, body and butt. What a shocker.

Outposts of Tyranny

Old and busted: Axis of Evil
New hotness: Outposts of Tyranny

Cuba? Oh yes, Cuba with their Weapons of Mild Discomfort.
If you add some manna and wood, your workers can upgrade your Outpost of Tyranny to a Perimeter Wall of Despotism. Then you can concentrate on getting your War Elephants up to Pachyderms of DEATH. (6/5 weak against mice)

I've noticed Luxembourg getting a bit lippy lately too. Better keep a spare eye on them.

Also Groundhog day is coming up so if Bush sees his shadow on Feb. 2nd, will there be six more countries to invade?

Still Got It

I haven't checked this site out for ages but it's still hilarious. I'm trying to stiffle giggles in work.
Check out the rest of the site too.

Hell is listening to 30-something women talking about weddings

On my lunch break today I was shunned into silence while 10 women discussed weddings. Preparations, the day itself, reflections on the day and other peoples wedding days. I suppose that's the problem when you're out sexed 10-1 in your workplace, conversation invariably circles around clothes, accesssories, hair cuts and make-up. No kidding. I'm not suggesting they take an interest in scart leads and DVD burners but we could at least talk about something asexual like social, economic or political issues. I was just relieved that I wasn't quizzed on my personal life. Did I have a girlfriend? How long had we dated? When was I going to get married? What I think about patterns or sequins on THIS design? [It's always worse when they involve you to make you feel more welcome but you're just waiting for an appropriate momment to announce you've forgotten about something and sit at your desk for remainder of your lunch]

I should at least mention one good thing about a 10-1 ratio and that is chocolate. There's always a steady supply. Biscuits, sweets, boxes, bags, white, dark, you name it, it'll eventually find it's way to the table at break time. But then they talk about how much calories are in them, how much weight they'll put on, how much weight they have put on, all whilst taking one more because they've already had too many.


Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Garden State

Watched the film Garden State last night. It was written and directed by Zach Braff of 'Scrubs' fame. It's a sort of coming of age film for 20-somethings who don't know what to do with their lives and then suddenly find a ray of hope at the end of the bleak rainbow. It has its laughs but I wouldn't call it a comedy although there are some great little sketches in it. There are certainly little snippets of truth that apply to my life and probably most 20-somethings without being cheesey or covered by a million other films of similar genre. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good film that doesn't necessarily fit any particular genre but is just a joy to watch. If you liked Amelie or The Station Agent, you'll enjoy this.


It's a boy!

For those that don't know, my good friends Suzy and Ian have had a boy yesterday. Well, Suzy had it, Ian probably has no fingernails left from pacing around the waiting room.

Here's a link to the first pictures.


Irene & Nans

We decided to go to Irene & Nans for lunch today to take away from the snow-blues. Update: Woke up this morning to find inches of snow and the cold white stuff falling from the grey skies.
However, I quite enjoyed the walk in. I was wrapped to the nines and had Lamb playing on the CD player:

"No one said it would be easy
Did anyone tell you the road would be straight and long
Relax your mind and give it all to me
'Cause you know and I know our love is strong enough
To weather the rain
To weather the snow
To weather the storm"

Quite apt really. It was crispy snow plodding - crunch crunch with every step. Then when I reached Shaftesbury Square it turned into a greyish sludge and walking became more difficult. But the hardest step is always the first foot over the office door.

We soon found out that the oil had ran out and there was no central heating. We'll have to make do with an electric heater. There's a white board in work where everyone signs in and 1/2 the spaces read "Snowed in". If only I had lied and said I live in the country I could have phoned in and said I was trapped behind a snow drift.

At least it's well into the afternoon now and there's only a handful of hours left.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Let The Nagging Commence!

Hey peeps, welcome to my on-line blogging spot. A place for me to while away my day working in a crappy little office and voice my overblown opinions on modern life.
Feel free to reply and let me know if your day is as boring as mine.

Let the ranting begin!

Saturday, January 01, 2005


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