Monday, 21 February 2011

catch up

Had a splendid Christmas with family 'n' that, during which we taught the Pixie how to play/cheat at such games as Sorry (ludo for bastards) and Uno (snap for bastards).

Whilst there I pilfered my sister's old bicycle, so I could harvest it for parts in an attempt to make the rusty blue aids bike functional; but in the end all it needed was some new brake pads, cables, derailleur, pedal, gear levers, mudguard, saddle and rear wheel. I suppose I could have just used my sister's old bicycle, but... well... it's a bit girly.

It also needs some new brake pads, cables, derailleur, pedal, gear levers, mudguard, saddle and rear wheel. No bother, I now have a mostly functioning rusty blue aids bike that I keep safely locked up with a £3.29 Tesco Value bicycle lock that would take even the most determined thief several minutes to gnaw through.


Made and wore this mask for Matt and Laura's new year's eve masquerade cocktail apocalypse.

Subsequent issues with peripheral vision and depth perception ensured I spent much of the evening trying (and on many occasions failing) to dock Long Island ice teas with my face, with almost - but not quite - hilarious consequences.


I started the new year fretting about exams and coursework, but after a few weeks that gave way to fretting about assessment centres. The good old fashioned interview is apparently no longer deemed stressful enough by many big employers, and so I got to endure a day and a half of group exercises, drive & motivation essay writing, business scenario presentations, written exams, technical and competency interviews, attempting to undermine the confidence of other candidates by the unusual method of being very nice to all of them, and panicking about whether the cling film covering the plate of biscuits is part of the assessment.

Thankfully, it looks like I never have to do any of that crap again - I successfully blundered my way through it all, and have been offered a place on the graduate scheme starting in September. All I have to do is graduate... I figure it's probably best not to actually name the company I'll be working for; suffice to say that if you happen to be flying somewhere and the wings drop off, it will almost certainly have nothing to do with me.


Went to see the very splendid Mogwai last weekend. Although saying that, the gig itself was mildly disappointing... It wasn't bad, by any stretch of the imagination, it just wasn't quite the all consuming and life-affirming wash of despairing euphoria that I expected. It didn't help that the venue was The o2 Academy, which somehow manages to combine the muddy sound and impersonal nature of a large venue with all the claustrophobia and poor views of a small venue. Here was our view for the majority of the gig.

The muddy sound wasn't much of a problem, partly because Mogwai are old hands at getting their levels right, but mainly because the crowd consisted of a lot of rude bastards that would chatter loudly through the quiet bits. Occasionally the crowd would shift, and our view would be improved slightly.

All this, plus they charge £3.90 for a pint of medium strength domestic lager beer. Jerks. Every time I see a band at the Academy I swear that I'll never go back again...

No, a far better venue is the far more modestly sized Croft, where we found ourselves two weeks earlier watching frenetic Brummie post-hardcore oiks Shapes. And they were bloody brilliant, as were Hymns and Idles... in fact the whole evening was great, it played out like a mini festival with six bands playing across two rooms and a wicked DJ in the front bar. The Boy turned up halfway through to show off some of her new grapple/throw techniques, and the evening was rounded off nicely standing on chairs and shouting along to Edwin Starr records.


And finally, some top notch tinkering with the replacement of my rear brake pads. The extent to which I got my money's worth out of the old set of pads is illustrated below.

Plenty of life left in 'em. Thanks to the Pixie for cups of tea, Rich for some quality bodging, Matt for turning up with three types of lubricant, and Laura for doing most of the actual work.

Friday, 4 February 2011

i'm not dead

Probably busy with schoolwork or something, I don't know.

Watch this, it's funny.