Archive for the ‘Anecdotes’ Category

Is it possible to fall in love with a pub? I don’t mean in any weird, sexual way either. Seldom do people reach climax upon entering their favourite establishment and those that do are promptly escorted away from the premises to never be seen again (as per their restraining order). No what I mean is, have you ever stood at the entrance of a pub you’ve never frequented before, hands on hips and making slow nodding gestures as you gaze at the decal, and felt a rich warmness fill your entire being? If you have, I assure you that’s not custard, but the unequivocal attachment you to feel to a local drinking…er…building.

I don’t think it’s weird at all. Why would you judge so harshly?

Let me set the scene. I walk into a local pub I haven’t stepped into since its renovation some time ago. I pause after the double doors close behind me. The interior unleashes a burst of rejuvenation, like a patient that’s been given good news about an unusual growth. The bar gleams in the distance and bottles and taps wink cheerfully in my direction. I see the chalkboard dailies announcing some equivalent of a regal banquet. The air is bouncing with musical vibrations and a sense of welcome. Also it’s totally happy hour, yo.

"Wooooo!" Said everyone except you because you're totally classy...

“Wooooo!” Said everyone except you because you’re totally classy…

The pub is called The Alb and my god what a difference a building can make to a weekend. Do you not think the discovery of a pub you haven’t been in before is like discovering the librarian you’ve had a crush on also likes ICP and neo-liberal values? Externally she may not have everything you think you want in a woman, but inside she embodies your soul interests and disgusting fetishes.

Sometimes it’s hard to really appreciate what a pub has to offer. I don’t just mean the drinks (maybe). What I mean is, so many places you’ll go into because it gets you out of the rain, or it has cheap food, or the mafia have traced your IP address. But to happen upon a new establishment that simply ovulates personality is a joyous moment. To seek a place of temporary refuge that encapsulates everything you desire in a public house is such a heart soothing sensation.

I genuinely feel sorry for people who don’t drink. They’ll never know this feeling. The closest they’ll ever get to experience this is finding a new brand of flavoured water in between their daily sobs. It’s an immense discovery in most adult’s lives to find that special place where the world is separate from them and they feel a fresh pang of revitalisation that speaks to them in an entirely awesome holy crap you can tell I’ve had four pints at The Alb this afternoon…

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A Pseudo-Easter Entry

Posted: March 31, 2013 in Anecdotes
Tags: , , ,

Am I the only person who doesn’t like Cadbury’s Cream Eggs? Like, in the whole world? I feel there’s some sort of closet for people like me. It wasn’t so bad when I told everyone I didn’t like Turkish Delight. No, not even the chocolate covered ones (the food, not the people). At least with Turkish Delight there were a handful of us dissenters. We could hold secret meetings, at the very least.

But there’s always been this cloud hanging over me, with this comic-style finger pointing down and a huge sign that says “LEPER”. And all because some people seem genuinely dumbfounded when I say that I actually don’t like Cream Eggs. Maybe it’s the way I’m being interpreted. Maybe “I don’t like” is being confused with “I would like to make smelly love to”. And “Cream Eggs” sounds a bit like “Adolf Hitler’s soup spoons” to some people.

(Yes, that does mean this is the second entry in a row where I mention Hitler in a derogative manner. If that doesn’t let the KKK know I’m not interested in their meetups, then I’m out of ideas…)

Did you used to watch F.R.I.E.N.D.S? Of course you did! Everybody did. And it wasn’t so much that you liked it, either. You bally well adored that show! Again, everybody did. Guess what? I didn’t. Kind of hated it, in fact. Had no idea what the appeal was so I skipped the phenomena. Yet, I don’t feel the least bit guilty about admitting to that. Even though I was pretty much alone in admitting to it. While everybody was talking about their Chandlers and Ross’, I was probably bewildered as to why someone would inject a white, thick substance into an otherwise hollow chocolate egg. Ugh. All those years wasted.

So yeah. I hate Cadbury’s Cream Eggs. What is wrong with you people?! Wait, I didn’t mean that. Please don’t leave. I’ll even put my pants back on…

Yeah. I know this isn’t really a long or interesting post. But you go to do something before the serotonin kicks in…

What things do you hate that everyone else loves?

I was going to do this week’s post on kittens and bunnies and rainbow dragons. Then I discovered the following image and now I am struck with this empty feeling of melancholy that I cannot shift. And I’ve just eaten my last Oreo. So it’s not going so well…

"Also we were going to buy you a puppy for your birthday, but then we realised it was inevitably going to die anyway..."

“Also we were going to buy you a puppy for your birthday, but then we realised it was inevitably going to die anyway…”

It’s not a depressing image as such, but the original caption imparted a home truth about how we eventually become bored of celebrating birthdays. I would probably stretch that further and say that the whole idea of partying loses it’s appeal later on in life. Hey hey, whoa now. Calm your dangly bits for a second there Mayor Overreact. I didn’t say anything¬†about not drinking or having a good time. While I have halved my intake over the past year (to that of a roadie for Motorhead) I still love to drink.

No, what I’m talking about is the point in life where you either stop drinking or cut back to some extent because “hey, vomiting on walls and loss of limb muscles are perhaps the only things less appealing than a Hitler mustache.” Let me put it another way: Have you ever been out somewhere and either been completely sober or you’ve only had a few drinks throughout the night? Just enough to keep adult responsibilities at bay, but not enough to attract the attention of authority figures and/or the clergy.

See that drunk dude over by the bar? See him holding onto a support beam that isn’t there? See how he sways with the panache of a not very graceful swaying thing? Don’t you feel superior to him? I know I do. And yes, that is how we all look when we’re that wasted. And it’s precisely that image that makes me glad I don’t allow myself to get to that stage. Not anymore, at least.

To summarise: Drink? Yes. Drunk? Sure, why not. So wasted you set evolutionary leaps back three centuries? Pass.

It’s not just weekend’s in the pub either. Last year my housemate and I would host parties at our place, usually once a month or so. Ignoring costs and clean ups, they were pretty stonking shindigs. People drank until the wee hours of the morning, some hooked up with others, punches were thrown and people converted beliefs. Good times. But now, for whatever reason, the thought of hosting another party, or even just attending one, tires me. Tires me like a trophy wife when she’s presented with a slightly inferior diamond ring.

"[YAWN] How tedious..."

“How tedious…”

This isn’t a snobbish thing. I’m not saying I’m better than people who do drink like ‘there’s a party in your face and everyone’s a chihuahua’. I genuinely just think I’m done with it. Hangovers physically hurt now. And I’m in a comfortable, stable relationship where I don’t feel the need to impress someone with how much booze I can hold in my stomach.

But back to the topic of birthdays. People get drunk on their birthdays. Christ, some people just untie their inhibitions from the sacrificial altar and downright liquify themselves. It’s a bit more acceptable on this occasion but I wonder if it’s just an automatic reaction. It happens across all ages but for different reasons. For teens it’s about staggering over the threshold into adulthood and doing the things adults do when they’re not folding sheets and filling out forms (or whatever it is they do). For people a wee bit older it might have more morbid connotations…”Holy shit, I’m getting so old,” says every person in their twenties ever, for some reason. And so drinking almost becomes a race. Like time is running out and the window of opportunity is being closed, and the pie that’s cooling on the windowsill is slowly being eaten.

So is that a celebration? Is the morbid realisation that age is creeping up and our inevitable demise is kept temporarily at bay when we down enough alcohol to freak out the Merchant Navy – is that what drives us to party so hard? Who knows…

Good lord is that a depressing thought! What the hell is wrong with me? I’m going to go play in the snow with the neighbours cats while you all click the ‘unsubscribe’ button…

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While it’s not really justifiable for me to seem overly relieved to be moving on from a night job seeing as I’ve only been doing it for around eight months, it’s still nice to be know that now the twilights can be reserved for their intended purpose – solving crimes and peeing in people’s empty milk bottles – rather than for being at work. There are people who I’ve been working with who have been doing it for well over a decade after all. While I haven’t hated it as such there has been this feeling throughout that, just maybe, human beings should not be staying up throughout the night and sleeping in the day. It doesn’t seem…I don’t know…natural.

I am not a surgeon. Nor so I have clock face. This image is not an accurate representation of myself...

I am not a surgeon. Nor do I have clock face. This image is not an accurate representation of myself…

No, the reason for my sudden elation that you’re all picking up on and hence why you’ll be shitting rainbows this evening, is because as of Monday I begin a new job. Full time. Working days. Switching back to days is going to be nice and everything but this generally wouldn’t be nearly as exciting if it wasn’t for the fact that my new job will officially label me as a ‘paid writer’…

Friends and fair maidens know that this is pretty much what I’ve been gunning after for several years now. From my job interview with GamesTM magazine to making desperate phone calls to local newspapers scoping for work it’s nice to know that finally someone has deemed me worthy enough to drop money in my bank account each month as I type-ety type-type for them.

But I fear I must pull in the reins just slightly. While I am over the oddly spherical silver thing that hangs in the sky at night (it’s been a while since I’ve seen it properly) this isn’t writing quib, witty jokes for The New York Times. Nor will I be working with a team of writers on a new up-and-coming sitcom about a horse that can drive a tractor (hang on, shut up for a second I want to write that down…) What I will be doing is a bit more shirt ‘n’ trousers. I will be an official copywriter. While it may not sound fancy and glamorous it’s not as sales-y or ‘spammy’ as you first might expect. And quite frankly if you think being a writer is glamorous in any industry allow me to present you with this bucket of sand. Consider it an acquaintance for your head…

I left the bucket of sand under this here rock...

I left the bucket of sand under this here rock…

This new job is definitely on the right tracks but if you were to ask me about where I want to take this I’m not sure how I would be able to answer. Because your mouth would be full of sand. While I have plans on the side too I’ve always maintained two things when it comes to settling into a job:

1) I’ve been determined to make a career out of writing in some way or another
2) I genuinely believe I would be happier in a job that pays enough but is interesting and uses my talents, rather than a job that has an enormous salary but is excruciatingly boring and soulless

This new job certainly fits the first criteria. Will it conform to the second? Let me the answer that question with the magic of time travel…give me a week or so…

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I’m going to just straight up confess right now that the title refers to nothing I say in this post other than the fact that I actually was once served by a midget when I attended the premier of the Jackass 3D movie in London a few years back. Many of you are scoffing into your poorly made Cosmopolitans right now, I realise. But I assure you this happened. Will I regale the story in full? Only time will tell…so go ask Him…

The title of this blog is yet one more vacuous attempt to garner some attention around here by exploiting the Title bar and conjuring up more enticing names. Will it work? Again, that Time bastard knows best. He’s not doing anything right now. Go bother him some…right after reading my post…

Father Time: Barely giving a crap since, like, forever...

Seriously, Father Time does not give a crap…

But what I wanted to talk about was birthdays and the people we share them with. While a solitudinous annual affair many of us are perhaps curious about the kinds of people that share this day with us. And until recently I’ve never really bothered with the whole idea of sharing my birthday with someone because, well, I already do. For I am a twin. And just to stop you in your tracks: 1) No we don’t have a secret, made up language that only we know. 2) No, we don’t feel each other’s pain and quite frankly such a question has only sadistic meanings behind it. And: 3) No, we cannot read each other’s minds for such an act would be most uncomfortable for each of us as we are different genders.

So now that we have that out the way let me go back to my original point: it has never been a major thing for me to look up possible celebrities who may share the same day of birth as me because I already share this day with someone. She may not be Liza Minnelli or one of those fabulous chaps but then again she’s not Hitler either, so you take what you get.

But one day I did decide to go snooping around them Internets and see if there was any recognisable personalities whom I shared a birthday with. It was out of mild curiosity, really, and not because I’d masturbated myself out of one working lung and needed a rest for a moment. I’m not quite sure what I expected to get out of looking for a possible celebrity who I shared my birthday with but the technology and the inclination was there and as they say in New Zealand:…actually, I don’t know what they say about this sort of thing but I bet it’s charming and amusing in equal parts.

So who is this mystery guest with whom me and my sister share our birth-iversary with? Why, it’s none other than comedian and actor Omid Djalili.

That's the pose of a man who wants to get to know me...

That’s the pose of a man who wants to get to know me…

While I may have been intoxicated at the time of finding this out I was, somewhat, comforted by this discovery. Is comforted the word I’m after here? Who knows?! The (heavily blunted) point here is that I somehow feel bound to have more in common with this man than I did when I saw him in The Mummy all those drug-free years ago. Having a celebrity share your birthday is like the Zodiac equivalent of having them re-tweet your posts or say sorry to you when they brush by you in the street that you probably sleep on.

It’s not amazing news and maybe it’s not the most intriguing of topics for a Saturday night blog post. But it beats having to hook up my new washing machine whilst under the influence of alcohol. Much better.

Tell me who you share your birthday with

…For I have a Best Man Speech to write, ladies and gentleducks. Yeah you heard me right: BEST man speech. I am the Best Man. THE GREATEST MAN IN THE WORLD! As I have come to interpret it.

Okay okay okay, enough tomfoolery. No, seriously I am writing a Best Man Speech at the moment. This entry is merely a break from that and not in the least bit because I’ve hit an empty spot in my head that should have been filled with witty and masculine best man one-liners. Apparently such a spot has been left vacant so here I am using all my word count to update my blog.

The thing is, you’d think I’d be able to conjure up hundreds of anecdotes and heavily filtered stories for the groom, seeing as he’s, you know, my brother and all. I know, I’m a crappy sibling. Like the time I accidentally broke my brother’s front tooth with a plate. Ooh, that’s good…I’m writing that one down. [ABSENCE OF WRITING SOUNDS]

See, I know there’s going to be a lot of pressure on me to be funny. And that isn’t speculation on my part either; my sister has actually said to me that “Heh, you’re funny you. It’s going to be a funny speech this. I can’t wait…Funny” Yeah, great. Funny. I can do funny. Look at me…being all funny and what-not. Oh I’ll certainly make every effort but with my audience consisting of my Nan, several small and easily corrupted children and my Nan it’s going to be a tough gig. And seeing as how the vast majority of my jokes involve penises that go into places penises don’t normally go I’m sort of up a certain watery body without the correct paddling equipment. (I’m shit at expressions too)

But it’s not all bad. It is, in fact, quite an honour to be given the task of warming the guests up. I’ll get to toast my brother and his new wife, quaff champagne the way working class people do whenever they’re presented with expensive alcohol. But until that point I am just digressing. I must get back to preparing this speech. I wonder how many vagina jokes I can get past my god-fearing Nan? I reckon twenty-six…

"Vaginas. They're good aren't they?" [MANY SOUNDS OF WRITING]

“Vaginas. They’re good aren’t they?” [MANY SOUNDS OF WRITING]

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I’m secretly Mussolini. That business about me being executed? Nope. I’m fine. Old as balls but fine…

No, okay I lied. I mustn’t make a habit of doing that. The little children depend on me to be altruistic. What I meant to say was that I’m a big fan of Youtube “Let’s Play” videos. I’ve been watching them on a frequent basis for some two or three years now and if you don’t know what they entail let me fill you in somewhat.

Shame about that really. I would have made a great bald Italian fascist...

Shame about that really. I would have made a great bald Italian fascist…

Let’s Play videos are game-related playthroghs with commentary done by the person doing the recording. Most of the time they’re prerecorded with editing and cuts implemented for brevity but some are live recordings. As dull as this may sound I have been following a number by people who I deem to be rather entertaining. It could be their reactions to what’s happening on screen (many have webcam inserts of their face showing them playing the game). It could be their nonsensical diatribes when things go wrong. They could just be funny fuckers. Either way it’s these multitude of video game commentaries that give me yet more reason to not bother with a TV license (the scam that it is).

Seriously, I genuinely think this shit is more entertaining than the vast majority of what television has to offer. Don’t believe me? Try watching a whole evening’s worth of Saturday night programming without succumbing to the arbitrary desire to punch a vole or scream at buses.

So I’d like to share with you some of my favourites. Now, these aren’t people who are scrambling for subscribers. Most have thousands (if not millions!) already. So this is not some cheap plug towards my friends’ Youtube channels. I don’t know these people but if I did I would buy them a cake. Any cake. Not cheesecake. That shit’s for weirdos.

And no I’m not posting a link to Pewdiepie here…Get out of it you…

ChaoticMonki (AKA Cry)
For a guy who’s never once shown his face on camera there is definitely something about him that has men and women alike simply encapsulated by him. Many say it’s his soothing voice. I would have to agree with them. Just thinking about it makes me grow ovaries. Also: never, ever ask him to show his face. Death awaits those who do.

BlueXephos (AKA The Yogscast…AKA Lewis & Simon)
Some of you may already be familiar with these two. They do (or did) podcasts before getting involved with Let’s Play videos. While fans like both of them equally I think it’s generally accepted that Simon is the funny one of the two. Is it because he’s portly? Only time will tell. I actually haven’t watched their videos for a while but I did enjoy the ‘Shadow of Israphel’ series.

CinnamonToastKen
I actually became aware of this player via Cry but I’ve been enjoying his stuff ever since. I particularly love how professional his videos look. I don’t know how he’s managed to superimpose his webcam image on the screen the way he has. Seriously guys…this is about as nerdy as I get…

Markiplier
Me and my girlfriend happened upon this guy while looking for amusing videos of the horror indie game Slender so he’s a new addition to my subscription list. While amusing to watch he also gets a lot of respect from me as he uses his video channel to help raise money for charity. But he does scream a lot. Yeah, there is that.

Maybe I’ve give a little back to the community by posting these links. Maybe a few of you reading this now have a better understanding of what I do in my spare time and why important shit in my life never gets accomplished. Maybe I should start doing some Lets Play videos and put an end to this unnecessarily cruel act of depriving people of my glorious face and voice.

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