Friday, September 26, 2008

Positive thinking

I've read in an article that the best way to beat negative thoughts is to:
a) Stop the thought in its tracks by telling yourself "Stop!";
b) think something positive, and
c) take a deep relaxing breath.

I have decided to give it a shot but I can already add two caveats:

- don't do it at work meetings or people will think that you're hyperventilating;
- never, ever do it when you are cleaning the cat's litter box.

Warhammer happened and I am sleep-deprived and wondering when I'll be able to finish the next episode. I'll have to work on it all weekend, dammit! STOP! Hey, it's great to stay indoors on a sunny weekend, you know you love it - DEEP BREATH.

I took a political compass test and it looks like I share the same views as Gandhi! I better check out what they were because I'm not too sure.


Monday, May 19, 2008

A Dell?!?

Yesterday I went to see Ironman with a friend and really enjoyed it - it's a very entertaining movie. However I was very suprised to see that their bitchin' computers were labeled Dell (you can see it when Pepper leaves Jeff Bridges' office). I understand product placement and all that, but WTF? I can just figure Stark on the phone with their helpdesk, "yes, yes, a superhero iron suit... I pay with Visa, yeah... oh, I get a free printer with it? Aaah, your Supersaver Summer Deal, of course... Great! Thanks!"
As for books, I've finished reading The Dreaming Void a few days ago and I didn't like it very much. It only has two decent characters (Aaron and Troblum), aside from the old characters from Pandora's Box and Judas Unchained that make cameo appearances. Besides, Hamilton should do everyone a favour and stop writing about sex, he's really crap at it. The dream chapters were bog standard boring fantasy - I wanted to read science fiction, not all that crap. I like the guy, he's written good books in the past (like the Neutronium Alchemist) but this is not it - and the rest of the trilogy isn't even out yet.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

One with nature

Sometimes I have the feeling that life mocks me in subtle ways.

A while ago I noticed the first signs of spring, tees in bud, etc. while I was walking to the train station. It made me think of Disney movies, with little couples of birds in love flying from branch to branch, and I felt uplifted (I know that mental images don't get much gayer than that, but it's not my fault if I watched so many Disney cartoons when I was a child). I reached the station, sat on a bench, and two of the dirtiest, mangiest pigeons that I've ever seen landed right in front of me and had a vicious fight over a crumb.

Last night as I went to bed I had a New Age moment and I put on loop a CD that I downloaded - a relaxation track with sounds of thunderstorm and pan pipes - thinking that it'd be nice to fall asleep and wake up to the sounds of nature. Sure enough, I woke up a few minutes ago to the loud sound of the cat vomiting a hairball. Well, at least it doesn't get much more natural than that.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Sims2 - It's that time again!

How exciting, today the new expansion of the sims2 is coming out in the UK! I can finally put aside LOTRO pvp for something else - for the full three hours that generally it takes for a Sims2 expansion pack to bore me thoroughly.

In anticipation, I've been checking the official forums and there seem to be several complains about bugs and glitches. The Sims2 have the BEST BUGS EVER:

Sad: "I had a pregnant dog go to work with a bladder that needed emptied. She never came home."

Irritated: "
I am trying to work and all these sims are coming up to me wanting to talk to me through the teddy bear. Please maxis do you really think that in real life someone you don't even know is going to bring a teddy bear up to you and start talking through it to you?" Actually, that'd be awesome.

Irritated 2:
"I also noticed that my guests now use the computer to browse the web and blog about their hobbies. This bothers me a lot although it was probably meant as a feature." Sounds quite realistic to me.

Confused: "
The same sim, I called a taxi for her to go downtown. 'The taxi came, she got in, nothing happened, next thing I know, she is returned by the taxi and I am informed she had a good time and purchased a game." That's EXACTLY what happens to me when I go out and drink too much.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Simian Mobile Disco

Last week I went with a friend to a gig by Simian Mobile Disco, one of the few bands that she likes that I don't object to. I remember seeing their video Believe on YouTube last year and being really impressed because I thought it was actually done and sung by the Romanian destitute peasants that figure in it.
I enjoyed most of the show, but was really puzzled by the fact that I have no idea what the two guys on stage were doing. They seemed very busy turning knobs and stuff in what looked like an island counter in an alien spaceship's kitchen, but if they were just mixing prerecorded stuff, why did they even need to be there? Well, aside from looking cool in the dry ice and lighting effects while they cranked it to 11.
Another effect of ageing is that every time I go to a gig (not very often) I feel less and less part of the crowd. They look younger and more strangely dressed every time - I know I was a teenage rebel back in the day and dressed the part, but what's up with a flanel pijama with a strawberry motif accessorised with glow-in-the dark necklace? What the fuck, kids? Maybe it's a super hip Grampa-on-Acid look and I just don't have a clue.
A few more years and I'll be chewing a denture and complaining that back in my day we had real music, Sex Pistols, Ramones... TUNES, dammit! TUNES! Oh well, at least I still like Simian Mobile Disco, even if it's played by two strange guys on a futuristic kitchen unit instead of a village of poor peasants. Also, on the upside, I can now be mathematically sure that I do not suffer from photosensitive epylepsia, or I wouldn't be here to write this after that gig.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The tastiest battle of our time

The battle of Pelennor fields in candy form, re-created with liquorice and marshmallows by a family during the holidays. It's absolutely amazing. I wonder if they ate it afterwards, that's a huge army of candy.

Candy Minas Tirith

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


I've finally finished reading the space opera saga Pandora's Star + Judas Unchained by British writer Peter Hamilton. I've really enjoyed it, to the point of staying awake until 2-3 in the morning because I couldn't put the book down.

I have only one gripe. In Judas Unchained, it's the year 2400 something and a starship technician who not only isn't British, but isn't even from Earth, unwraps and eats a Cadbury bar. NO FUCKING WAY.

Cadbury chocolate sucks. It sucks immensely. The only reason why people in this country eat that dog puke is because they don't know any better, but it's horrible. Try Swiss or Belgian chocolate - hell, even whatever local non UK chocolate you can find - and compare. Cadbury's in-fuckin-edible. The UK has some special regulations and ingredient quotas on how to make chocolate where they use less cocoa and replace it with other stuff, arguably sweetened shit (as if anyone had to wait for the lab results to find out and couldn't tell from the taste).

Forget the evil aliens, the nova bombs, the quantumbusters, the 60 destroyed planets and the millions of dead Galactic Commonwealth citizens, the really scary thing in Peter Hamilton's book is the concept that four hundred years from now someone will still be shoving that garbage in their mouth.


Saturday, January 12, 2008

The turnip

In an attempt to eat more vegetables, I've subscribed to a scheme where you pay ten pounds a week and they bring you a box full of organic greens and fruit. I've done it before and it resulted in several pounds of carrots rotting slowly at the bottom of the fridge, but these new guys allow you to tell them your likes or dislikes beforehand. And that's not all! You can do it with smileys! I wonder if they have a japanese version. "Aduki beans: ^___^".
So that's the theory. In practice I received a box of mixed vegetables where half of the room was taken by a giant turnip. Anyone who's familiar with the old TV series Blackadder may remember an episode where Baldrick spends millions of pounds on a giant prize turnip, the dream of his life - this is not quite that big but it's getting there (probably they put the really big ones in the family sizes boxes). Now I'm wondering what to do with it. I wouldn't even know what to cook with a small turnip.
I could google giant turnip recipes, or maybe travel the world and take pictures of or with it in front of famous landmarks. I could keep it until Halloween and then carve a monster face in it.

If this was a China Mieville short story the turnip would slowly take over my thoughts and my life, I'd come to fear it and be obsessed with it at the same time, and eventually it'd open the gate to some other dark, terrible dimension. Shit, I should get up and throw it away. But now... I'm scared...