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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Wedding Photos

Okay, so I realised it'll be our first anniversary by the time I get photos of the wedding up if I carry on trying to play catch-up, so here they are, more than you could ever wish for! Choke on them!

I will be adding more, by the way, as people send them in to us. Special thanks to Ed, who played official photographer on the day!

Carry on reading...

Things I Did Yesterday 31/08/08

As the world turns, so yesterday I:

- Woke up fairly early, so I twiddled my thumbs in an electronic fashion until Alex woke up.

- Got out and had some breakfast with Alex and then we walked into town, bound for Covent Garden. Alex had gotten in her mind that she wanted to buy me a new wallet (which I sorely need), and there was one from Fossil that she particularly had in mind.

- Was given a new wallet as a gift from my lovely wife. I find wallet shopping really difficult, as each different wallet seems to be missing one feature that I like. Why is it so difficult to find a wallet that has all the features I like? Anyway, I was to-and-fro-ing on several wallets, but in the end decided to go with the one she liked in the first place, which is very nice (but doesn’t have any zipped sections!)

- Wandered back home via what must be some kind of special Slow Service branch of Subway and the always entertaining Cass-Art.

- Thanks to some kind weird time-compression it was suddenly 7pm. So we got some dinner and watched X-Factor (just so I can stay topical in the office), then I was off to play some TF2.

- Watched the final two episodes of season two of The Wire. It really is great television, though this time around things are left a lot more open-ended than they were at the end of the first season. The story of the dock workers is wrapped, but everything is still ongoing for the dealers, distributors and cops. And me, of course, with three more seasons to go.

Carry on reading...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Flickr Dump: South Island Day Three

Day three of the South Island trip is now up! Travelling from Franz Josef down to Wanaka, taking in Fox Glacier, the Blue Pools, the Gates of Haast and lakes Wanaka and Hawea.

Go have a look!

Carry on reading...

Things I Did Yesterday 30/08/08

Saturday, it's a Saturday. Yesterday I:

- Worked a long day to try and get the filing done. Didn't manage it, but I did alright I reckon, given the size of the week.

- Came home and pretty much collapsed. I played some TF2 and watched some Wire and then basically flaked out. Meh. Who needs a Friday anyway?

Carry on reading...

What I Did The Day Before Yesterday 30/08/08

To be honest I'm a little sketchy, but the day before yesterday I think I:

- Worked. Long weekend meant that the delivery arrived on Thursday, and it was a biggie.

- err...I really don't remember what else. I came home, had dinner.

- Oh, and read comics! Of course! Jeez. Got through pretty much this week's entire pile. Highlight was probably the first issue of Grant Morrison's Final Crisis: Superman Beyond, which is nuts and has some great 3-d sections. Kickass #4 was okay, but the book is very slight, as is Millar's "Wolverine in the Cursed Earth" storyline Old Man Logan. They're quick, easy reads, but his stuff does tend toward the comics equivalent of candyfloss. Oh, and I forgot to mention the other day that I have seen the first 5 pages of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen 3 #1, and it's looking very nice indeed!

- Started reading Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets, the book that spawned the tv series, which has been kindly lent to me by Mr Kane.

Carry on reading...

Curse You Fransham!

You and your bloody talent! You're like an octopus of creativity.

Carry on reading...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Things I Did Yesterday 28/08/08

Curiously, one of my old Gore Watch posts has caused a sudden spike in my stats (such that they are). Oh well, yesterday I:

- Had the day off. Got out early and did some actual, honest to god work, which involved digging out all of my notes on Winter, assembling them into something like an order and indexing them. I then started going through them, noting what I liked, what I didn’t and where I think the story might go.

- Wandered around Borders wishing I could read faster. I love books. Love flicking through them, love browsing them, love buying them, love getting home and pulling them out of my bag. I have so many treasured memories of time spent reading and of books that completely swallowed me. Even now, in a time where I don’t keep fiction at all once it’s read, I still dream of having an expansive library somewhere in my house. One day, I guess. I have come around to the idea of owning property, something I used to have no interest in. Really what attracts me is the notion of having my own place that’s essentially a gigantic toy for me to play with. The chance to do what I want with the place. Well, nice theory, anyway.

- Came home and read a bunch of comics. I’m almost caught up on my outstanding reading now, with a few notable titles to go. Catching up on Brubaker’s Captain America made me realise how much better the book reads in chunks, though he is careful to set up a cliffhanger at the end of each issue. I also caught up on his Daredevil, which I’d lost a lot of enthusiasm for, and was happy to discover that latest storyline is great. A nice little mystery, wrapped up in healthy doses of conspiracy and legal procedural.

- Played a bit of TF2, which was okay, but I may well be coming to the end of my attention for it. The trouble with these kind of death match games is that nothing is being achieved, and sooner or later you realise it. At least with a good solo game you should have some kind of story to work through. Diablo 2 still sits unfinished, for example, and although it’s hardly War & Peace, at least I feel like I’m progressing to some ending. Let alone the supposedly wonderful Psychonauts, which is on loan from Tom and gathering dust on my desk.

- Watched a couple of Wire episodes. Similar to season one, there’s a mid-season quickening of pace that’s really starting to gather steam now.

- Finished off my Nigel Kneale biography, which was a real joy. I don’t read enough biographies, but then it could be argued that I don’t read enough of anything. Except comics.

- Had an Amarula & milk nightcap. Mmm....

Carry on reading...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Things I Did Yesterday 27/08/08

Did we really need Kid Rock back? Maybe we deserve him. Anyway, yesterday I:

Yesterday I:
- Had the day off, as I’m working at the end of the week.

- Did more flickr.

- Rather annoyingly faffed about until midday, when I had intended to get out early and do some work.

- Wandered down to Angel and met Alex for lunch. We went to Mucho Mas, a Mexican joint down there that can best be described as Subway with burritos. Justin’s mate Rob works there in a management capacity for the chain, but was behind the counter fixing his own lunch, I think. Anyway, good timing on our part as he gave us our lunches for free. Result! It was bloody nice, too. I’ll be going back for sure.

- Went home and cleaned like a demon while watching The Mindscape of Alan Moore (at last). I did enjoy it, but on the whole it was nothing I hadn’t read in interviews with him before. Felt good to get some cleaning done.

- Played some TF2, which had a major update over the weekend introducing a new play mode. Arena mode is a fast play game where you don’t get respawned after you’re killed. The winning team in a round either wipes out all of the other team or takes the capture point on the map. A team wins on a map when it wins 5 consecutive rounds. It was good, but really highlighted how crap I am. I was also pleased to discover that my total play time on TF2 so far has been about 26 hours, which isn’t too bad, really. Not as big a waste of my time as I’d feared.

- Alex’s folks came into town to have dinner before they head back to SA at the end of the week. Had a couple of drinks at the Scolt’s Head before dinner at the reliably tasty Bavo, a Mediterranean place around the corner. Good food, as ever. Then it was a quick drink at The Perseverance, a rough as hell pub at the end of our street. Luckily Tuesday night was pretty quiet. It’s a funny thing about these kind of “local” pubs, actually. When they’re busy they feel all a bit threatening and nasty, but when they’re empty they usually provide incredibly friendly service, as the bar staff are usually older characters who have seen it all. Anyway, a quick drink and then it was home to bed.

- A quick note for Jon: the small press thing is always tricky. I don’t want Gosh to be seen as hostile to small press, and I do really want to support it, but basically it came down to the fact that staffing is going to be a little tighter after Matt goes, so the time it takes to effectively manage small press is going to be harder to find. In addition to that, nobody actually wanted to pick up the job. Managing small press is something which does require some enthusiasm, because without that it would all fall into disrepair pretty quick, which I don’t think would serve anyone’s interests well. At least this way we are still taking small press we believe in, while (not to slight yours and Tony’s excellent spreadsheet in the slightest) removing the hassle of managing a sale or return system. The problem we have at the moment, and something I will strive to make sure is resolved, is giving the small press a decent place to sell from once it has come off the new shelf. Hopefully, though, the amount we have left over will decrease as we tighten our belts on what we buy in, as we would with any stock. I’m sure that will take a bit of time as we don’t have the knowledge that you guys have on what does actually sell, but we’ll get there.

Carry on reading...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Flickr Dump: South Island Day Two

Day two of our South Island trip is now up on flickr, covering Cape Foulwind down to Franz Josef, taking in the pancake rocks at Punakaiki and the Franz Josef Glacier!

Go look!

Carry on reading...

Things I Did Yesterday 26/08/08

Shake well before opening. Yesterday I:

- Worked. Caught up with Josh and did a bunch of bitty jobs, culminating in some kind of attempt to sort out our small press section. Not too difficult, but sloooow.

- Came home and had a stir fry for dinner.

- Watched some Wire, watched the final Venture Bros of the season.

- Jesus... was that really all I did? Man, I gotta get out and do something.

Carry on reading...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Things I Did Yesterday 25/08/08

Like the beat that my heart skipped, yesterday I:

- Worked. Did the count for Nat, cleaned a bit and generally got things ready for Josh to come back from holiday. Fiddled a bit with the look of the work blog.

- Wrote in the morning for the first time in a while again. It’s amazing how fast the daily habit can be broken. Oh well, I’m getting back on track.

- On the way home I had a craving to have steak, mushrooms and egg for dinner. Being a grown-up, I was able to make that happen. It’s good to be alive!

- Wrote a thank you letter to The Plough for being so great with regard to our reception.

- Watched a bit of X-Factor, which included an absolutely shameful segment where a woman who had a serious obsession with Louis Walsh was put through even though she really didn’t have any talent. Why shameful? Well, because the woman has been put through for no other reason than to humiliate her. Cringe television is good television, after all. Couldn’t keep watching and went to carry on watching The Wire instead. Some old familiar characters popped up and the strands of the story were starting to come together.

- Stayed up too late. Because I can!

Carry on reading...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Things I Did Yesterday 24/08/08

Sweet mama jama, where did the year go? Anyway, yesterday I:

- Did housework.

- Did internet things.

- Met up with Andrea, briefly back from the US and on her way to India, for a coffee. It was great to catch up and as always her life seemed a whole lot more interesting than mine. Which is great, because I get vicarious busy life while chillin' back here in relaxed life. Best of both worlds!

- Came home and faffed about for a while before settling in to watch some stuff. Watched the US version of Funny Games, which was great. I never saw the original, so I can't really compare, but from what I understand Haneke has just made the same film only in English. Very good film though, which quite deliberately (to the point of satire) plays with viewer expectations. Nasty stuff. I also watched the final part of Richard Dawkins' Genius of Charles Darwin, which I've enjoyed. Then it was time to start in on season two of The Wire...

- Watched Wire episodes until 1am, rediscovering just how fantastic this show is. After finishing season one a while back, I decided I didn't need to watch any more. I loved it, but it ended so well that I was quite happy to walk away. There's only so many hours in the day, after all. But just lately I came around to a very simple idea: if I can't justify the time to watch what is considered (and what my experience confirms) to be one of the best shows in recent memory, then what the hell can I justify time watch? I dropped 90 minutes of my life the other night watching The Mutant Chronicles. Don't get me wrong, I laughed my ass off, but really...

- Dreamt I was climbing a high tower on a rope made of pure, silken hair. My love was imprisoned at the top, her locks providing my only means of access. Her hair smelt sweet and grassy, each clutch of my hand into the thick, luxurious mass releasing a burst of scent that spirited me to sunny childhood afternoons, freshly mown lawns flavouring the air. With a mix of pleasure and regret I reached the top and there lay my love, gazing longingly into my eyes. I weighed up my options, blew her a kiss and in one swift movement hoisted myself back down that wonderful golden trail of olfactory memory. Not sure what it means.

Carry on reading...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Flickr Dump - South Island Day One

Okay, I've uploaded photos from our ferry crossing and the first day of our trip driving around the South Island. Here's our route:

 Go look!

Carry on reading...

Things I Did Yesterday 23/08/08

Strike a light Guv, yesterday I:

- Played catch-up on a number of admin things, just so I was able to feel like something positive had been achieved from the day. Sat back with a satisfied feeling, then ran out the door to catch a couple of movies. Didn't clean the kitchen. Oops.

- Saw Wall-E, which I thought was very good, but falls short of being great. Its problem lies in the fact that for the first 30 minutes or so you feel like you're watching something quite special. The almost wordless storytelling, the vision of this toxic future earth, it is, no word of a lie, amazing. I appreciate that the movie needed to progress beyond this, but everything that happens once they go into space just feels like a standard kids film. Which is all fine and entertaining, but it just doesn't live up to the promise of the first part. Still recommended, but doesn't quite topple The Incredibles as my favourite Pixar flick.

- Saw Hellboy 2, which was lots of fun. Not perfect by any means, but better than the first one. As I was watching it, the film's willingness to be a bit playful while still handling serious material really brought to mind the biggest problem with The Dark Knight: it's so bloody joyless. Hellboy's other great strength is that it's made by one the great visionary directors working today. Del Toro's commercial films always suffer a little in comparison to his more personal works, but even Blade 2 looked gorgeous.

- Met up with folks for Billy's stag night. I stuck to the red wine and had a pleasant drunk buzz going, and the company was good, so a fun night in the end, despite some dodgy pub choices. :-)

- Dreamt I was at a job interview, waiting to be seen by the panel. For some reason I was behind a curtain, which opened to reveal glaring, multi-coloured lights. Three women were seated in front of what I now realised was a stage, and with horror I looked down to find myself dressed in chaps and a thong. Slightly lost, I began to gyrate around the pole that sat in the centre of the stage. Not sure what it means.

Carry on reading...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Flickr Dump - Paraparaumu & Levin

In an effort to catch up and get some of the wedding photos up I'm going to be putting a lot of stuff on Flickr over the next week. Ridiculously that starts with the remainder of the Oz/NZ trip photos, beginning with the time we spent in Paraparaumu and Levin (and a day trip to Palmerston North) just after we arrived in NZ.

So head on over!

Carry on reading...

What I've Done The Last Month Or So

I'm still alive! And for the last month or so I:

- Had a visitation from Sphenodon himself, Mr Norris. Bruce arrived early last month and then his partner, Sharla, arrived a little later in the month. Needless to say we drank some beer, talked some shit, played a lot of N64 and went and saw some prog rock. Good times! Bruce and Sharla took off travelling from the middle of the month, including a jaunt to see Tom Waits in Dublin. Lucky bastards. They were back for the end of the month (though Bruce flew over for the stag do the week before).

- Flew my mother over from New Zealand. It’s the first travel she’s ever done and she took to it like a fish to water. Seriously, I was worried she would find London a bit overwhelming but she absolutely loved it. Everywhere we went she was wide-eyed and excited and it was a real pleasure to show her around the city. She stayed with us for a week then went up to my sisters in Stockton for a week, before coming back down again.

- Had my mate Lisa fly in from NYC for the wedding, which was great. Didn't get to see her as much as I would have liked (sorry!) but we did hang out one day, where she pretty much spent the whole time talking me back from stresstown.

- Had a stag do! Organised by Doug and Dana, I had a great day. I had made it clear that standard stag hijinks weren’t gonna fly with me and bless ‘em they took me at my word! Not a humiliation in sight and a better day all around for it! Anyway, we started out at 8.20am with a trip out to Sidcup to play some laser paintball, which is light (hur hur) years ahead of the laser tag of my youth. American military spec laser rifles that have a range of 400m and can shoot through light foliage? Hell yeah! In the words of much-loved gaming classic Cannon Fodder: “War! Never been so much fun!” (followed by the immortal lines “Go to your brother, Kill him with your gun, Leave him lying in his uniform, Dying in the sun.”) After this it was off to London Bridge for some quality pub time (where the pub in question had weirdly laid a carpet of grass on their floor) before the heading to Smithfields for some Karaoke. After shaming myself with some awful renditions there we came back into the West End for a rock club, by which time I was about ready to collapse. Seriously, half an hour there and that was it. So off home for cocoa, slippers and the cold realisation that I’m not as young as I was and death creeps ever closer. Good day! Thanks to everyone who was involved, I had a great time and it was much appreciated.

- Got married! Yes, I’m now officially a married man, with paperwork and a ring and everything! We couldn’t have asked for a better day, to be sure. The sun was shining, everything seemed to work the way it was supposed to (despite a number of last-minute panics involving accommodation and transport) and everyone seemed to have a pretty good time. We’ll put photos up as soon as we get ‘em. In the mean time, could anybody who took photos on the day supply us with copies? Either uploaded to a website, or on a disc or the like. Anyways, it really was like a dream for us and yes I may have blubbed a bit at the altar. What of it? They were manly tears! MANLY TEARS! Thank you so much to everyone who made it and to those who sent their good wishes. You all helped us have the wedding we dreamed of. Thanks also to those who had their special roles on the day (you know who you are) and also to everyone for the generous gifts we received! We’re just catching up on life at the moment, but we’ll get to thanking each and every one of you very soon.

- Went on honeymoon! Paris. Montpellier. Sunshine. Deluxe hotels. First class train travel. Good food. Lots of wine. All in all a bloody fine time!

- Came back home and began to reassimilate to Life Without A Wedding. Started a joint bank account with HSBC, which felt very grown up. Spent the better part of a day just catching up on my web reading...

- Got back to work, where I'm still settling back in, not helped by the fact that the holiday season still reigns, so lots to do with not many people to do it.

- Caught up with Morgue, who was over briefly, which is always welcome!

- Saw Turisas play as a part of the Kerrang week of rock. They were great, as ever, though I foolishly went along with the idea of going for more drinks after the gig. Stumbled in at 1.30 and then spent most of the next day feeling bloody awful.

- Dreamt of an endless, verdant plain stretching out before me, filled with the promise of unexplored territories and unknown frontiers. Was excited and happy. Not sure what it means.

Carry on reading...