Saturday, July 30, 2005

Baten Kaitos

Tonight I have been playing Baten Kaitos. The reviews warned me about the voice acting and they were right. The voice acting is TERRIBLE. People who reviewed this game recommended to turn the voices off, but I won't do it because, as bad as they are, they are also very funny at times.
This game has a card battling system and one of the cards is for a *voice attack* which means when you play that card, the character taunts the enemy. One of the male characters, Lyude, has the silliest and most amusing voice, and when you play the voice attack card for him he says things like, 'I'm ready for battle!' and 'Looks like I don't need to fight too earnestly!' and my favourite, 'You must be in a mad panic!'
Also, a female character, Xelha, has a good line she shouts just before using one of her special attacks: 'Watch out! I am not so innocent!'
Ha ha! Watch out monsters! This girl is not so innocent that she won't heat your ass up with a Fire Burst Lv 2!
Something else funny about the Lyude character is this: whenever you make him use a healing item on himself, he says, 'This is for YOU!' He talks to himself like that. Isn't that funny?

Friday, July 29, 2005

Half Life

Thank God Almighty it's Friday night and the week of work is finished. Now what? I have two days to do whatever I please. I can sleep in two mornings. Can do whatever I want for two days and not have to worry about going to work. I can do whatever I want on my two days off, but what difference does it make? I'll be back at work on Monday and get through the week and another weekend is there to do something with for a short time before work starts again. The same thing over and over again. Get through another week and then two more lousy days off to pass the time before going back to work. Sometimes I get the feeling there is more somewhere, but it's just out of reach. I feel like I'm flopping around on the ground like a fish, gulping stupidly for air, not really for air but for something, I don't know what, but SOMETHING. What is life anyway? Is this life? Am I alive? Of course I am, but it seems to be a kind of half life. I see people on TV and they seem to have a life much different to my kind of *life*. What is their secret? Their eyes are white, bright. Well, many of them seem to be idiots, so I guess that's some consolation. But I look in the mirror and my eyes are barely open, and bloodshot.

Thursday, July 28, 2005


I bought another Opeth album (Still Life) on Tuesday just before I went into the movie house to see Sin City. Inside the CD cover was a catalogue of other releases on that label. One of the albums had a title that I heard of years ago and have ever since been fascinated by - the pictures it created in my mind.
What is that album title? You must know immediately! OK. Are you ready? Here it is:


Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Sin City

This afternoon I went and saw Sin City.
Frank Miller's Sin City comics (the ones that this movie is based on anyway) came out in the early-mid '90s and they were great. His writing was lean and powerful, the stories were strong - hardboiled/film noir type themes - and his art style was unique. There's even a guy who does illustrations for the Sydney Morning Herald who has blatantly ripped off his style.
The movie is made up of three stories all taking place in the one city.
The first one deals with John Hartigan (Bruce Willis) a cop on the last day before his retirement (classic!) and he's chasing a sadistic freak who rapes, tortures and kills young girls. He is also the mayor's son so he gets away with it all. He's just abducted an 11-year-old girl called Nancy O'Callaghan and Hartigan is racing against the clock to stop him before he has his fun.
In the second story there's Marv (Mickey Rourke) an ENORMOUS tough guy with a Frankenstein-type head. A gorgeous girl called Goldie spends the night with him and he can't believe it because he is not a handsome devil, you might say. It's really a case of Beauty and the Beast, and very touching too. Aw, the big guy! But when he wakes up, Goldie is dead, yet mysteriously without a mark on her. He goes off to track down her killers.
The third story is Dwight (Clive Owen) who is now with a girl called Shellie. He's basically saving her from her ex-boyfriend Jack (Benicio Del Toro) who beats her up all the time.
The way this movie looks will knock you out, your eyes will pop out of your head. It's absolutely stunning. Mostly shot in black & white with colour here and there, like a car or a pair of shoes, or the evil stinking Yellow Bastard.
It is violent too. One of the most violent movies you will ever see for sure. But usually the violence is happening to the evil guys so you will find yourself laughing and cheering, but if movie violence makes you queasy, you better stay far away from this one because you will be sick for weeks.
Mickey Rourke's performance in this was the highlight for me. His face is truly monstrous. In real life he started a boxing career and got his face badly smashed up. I hadn't seen his face since hearing about that so first seeing him in the movie thought that this was really how his face looked now! Ha ha. But anyway, Mickey Rourke steals the show here hands down. Bruce Willis is excellent as well, along with Benicio Del Toro's awesomely sleazy performance. And I cannot forget to mention Jessica Alba (as the grown-up Nancy O'Callaghan) - heartbreaker!
It was also strange and funny to see Elijah 'Frodo' Wood in the role of ninja cannibal Kevin.
This movie was great. GREAT! It easily moves into my Top Five Movies of 2005 with almost zero chance of getting squeezed out.
The audience in the theatre was quiet and well-behaved. How boring! Boo!

Birthday Sugarcubes

This morning when I went inside the place to get my muffin, I heard Birthday by The Sugarcubes playing on the radio. That was the band Bjork was in before she went solo. I always liked that song, but I remember that at the time a lot of people in the media were getting upset about it. They said it was about a man molesting a little girl. These people were idiots. There are people like that everywhere today. They see the worst in people, their perverse minds working overtime to create the vilest scenario.
Here are the *incriminating* lyrics, decide for yourself:

Today is her birthday
He's smoking cigars
They sit in the bathtub
And they're naked.

If you imagine a big hairy cigar-smoking man in a bathtub with a small girl, do you imagine that he is doing some not very nice thing to her and she is crying, or do you imagine he is giving her a happy bubble bath for her birthday and they are having a nice fun time and laughing?
What kind of person are you anyway?

Monday, July 25, 2005


On Saturday night Anders and I worked at a rave party called Scattered. This one was in the city, at the old Pitt Centre movie house in Pitt Street.
The night got off to a bad start when we saw the tiny cramped space we were gonna be working in. Also, my tooth had started pounding again from a beer I just had.
We got set up while a DJ started playing his records. The bass all of a sudden went right up and I felt the sound waves hit my stomach. Got a sense of nausea and turned to Anders with a horrified expression. He told me he got the same sick feeling in his stomach from those bass tones. It was uncomfortable but we couldn't just leave or move to another part of the room. That was our glowstick stall, all set up with tables and everything. We were stuck right there in front, getting BLASTED.
The night was really shaping up to be quite a miserable one for the professional glowstick salesmen.
Kids kept coming in and the place quickly filled up, the bodies in front of us absorbing most of the sound waves. The Nurofens I popped kicked in. The music the DJ was playing sounded not bad, pretty good, not bad.
It wasn't gonna be so horrible after all.
Everything was going smoothly and it was coming up to 1:00am when DJ Dean would start playing. He's a German DJ who plays what he calls *Tunnel Trance* - he was gonna play a three-hour set and I found myself looking forward to hearing his stuff.
Somebody came up and told me that a bunch of cops had arrived with a sniffer dog. Somebody else said there were 18 cops there, searching the kids for drugs.
DJ Dean came on and started playing his Tunnel Trance records. It sounded OK but nothing special, but that was only three tracks. Maybe he was only warming up.
The sound was cut halfway through the next track and the promoter jumped up next to DJ Dean and announced that the party was about to be shut down by the cops, but DJ Dean could play a couple more tracks. The music started up once more but was cut again after only a minute or two. A cop had reached over and ripped the needle off the record.
It was over.
There was DJ Dean and the promoter and two or three cops up on the stage. Some of the kids started yelling and abusing the cops. Bottles and glowsticks started flying towards the stage.
Most of the kids are mellow (*Candy Ravers*) but there are also the Hardcore brigade, *the Lads* who wear white baseball caps, those fiends who like Gabba, *Nosebleed* techno. Maybe they threw the bottles. I later heard that DJ Dean got hit in the head with a bottle. The kids were aiming at the cops of course.
I also heard that this was one of these Project Viking raids the cops do here every few months or whatever, where they move into a club or rave party in large numbers and shake down everybody for drugs.
Well, those cops were just doing their job I guess, but those duty-bound men and women of the NSW Police must live with the knowledge that on this night they deprived hundreds of bright-eyed raver kids of DJ Dean's Tunnel Trance.

Tooth Problem

If it wasn't enough that I had yet another bad headcold last week, just as I was at last getting over it, one of my teeth started giving me a hard time. It really started revving up on Friday and by Friday night it was roaring. Pain was howling through my lower jaw, throbbing in breathtaking pounding waves. It really hurt! Yes indeed, and it hurt so much I barely slept that night. The strongest painkiller I had was Nurofen Plus - which is usually pretty good (Codeine rules!) - but that night all each two-pill dose got me was another half hour of half-sleep, which, EXACTLY thirty minutes later, was brought to a brutal end by the return of THE PAIN. (Terry Goodkind has THE MAGIC, Stratu has THE PAIN.) It was almost funny, how much it hurt. That pain, so close to the brain! I found myself fantasising that the pain would move to my big toe, the furthest point, but sadly that wish did not come true.
Anyway, after a million years spent in HELL, 9:00am Saturday morning rolled around and I phoned the dentist and told the receptionist that if the dentist would not help me IMMEDIATELY I would start bawling like a baby right down the phone into her ear and she would be sorry. She said come as soon as you can. I broke the speed of sound then the speed of light getting over there and sat in the dentist chair. He looked at it and said, You have an abscess! You poor bugger, it must have been quite painful! I said, Ha ha! Yes! You got that right, all right!
He told me he wouldn't have to give me the needle because the nerves were all dead. He got the drill and drilled down to that nasty old abscess. When he got down to it, he shouted triumphantly that there was an enormous surge of pus pouring out of it and that I should be feeling a diminishing of THE PAIN. I slammed the tooth with my tongue to test his theory but THE PAIN slammed back in answer. Cruel! OK, then he kept going away and coming back and asking me if it was improved, but each time it was not so he decided to leave the hole there and plug it up with a little piece of cotton wool and I would come back first thing on Monday.
Well, does this saga ever end? You wish!
THE PAIN did eventually diminish, but not completely, so this morning before work I went back and he put some high-powered anti-bacterial nukejuice down into the tooth before filling it. I left and THE PAIN had grown again. How did it do that? That was not very fair was it? So at work I popped two Nurofens and they worked a little but only after 90 minutes. Then at lunch while I was trying to chew on the right side, I kept accidentally hitting the rotten tooth and THE PAIN came back amplified and bellowing. Plus the lady put way too much chilli sauce on my kebab! What a day! When I got back to the office at 12:45 I dropped two more Nurofens and this time they did not even do anything.
I had to leave work early (3:00) to return to the dentist, and would you believe it! by the time I got to the dentist THE PAIN had disappeared! Dentist told me that THE PAIN was a result of the battle raging between the nuke liquid he put under the filling and the abscess pus minions. He also showed me the bottle of the stuff he used and told me it was the same stuff used to treat gangrene. But even that stuff is the second most powerful weapon in his arsenal - next Monday I have to go back and get THE most powerful abscess napalm put in there. UGH!
No that is NOT the end!
But all I will write for now on this compelling subject.
Make sure you keep coming back for any future update of my tooth saga!

Sunday, July 24, 2005


Where has he gone? Here I am. I've had six hours sleep in the last 48 hours. (HERO.) Some exciting things happened like a BIG tooth problem and working at another rave party last night that got shut down by THE FUZZ.
I will write about it all tomorrow night.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Medical Condition

If you work (or ever have worked) in a crappy job, you will probably relate to this:
Sometimes in a cop movie there will be a scene where the rogue cop (usually a Dirty Harry-type character) gets a lecture from his boss, and the boss at last says something like this, "Look, you got some vacation time coming to you, why don't you take the next few weeks off? Go on a cruise! Go fishin'! Anything! Just go away and come back when you are not so insane!" Well, that is a scene that I have always wished I would be in, in real life. The cop never takes the advice, but I sure would.
Guess what? That scene happened to me today! (Well, sort of. Close enough. As close as I'll probably ever get anyway.)
I was at home playing Baten Kaitos. I was at home because when I called work yesterday to tell Boss I was still sick, she told me to go the doctor and get a certificate proving I was really sick. The doctor of course could plainly see how sick I was so he gave me a certificate (I have a "MEDICAL CONDITION"!) saying I didn't have to go back to work until Friday. Yay! Happy sick boy!
So here I am this afternoon doing battle with Cancerites, Pul-Puks, Stripers and Boss Thunderfish when the phone rings. I pick it up thinking it must be Anders probably just got home from his crappy job to tell me all about his sneaky colleague Bongo. But it isn't Anders, it's my boss! What the hell is she calling me at home for? Is she calling to make sure I will be in on Friday or she will throw an insane fit? No sir. She asks me how I am feeling. Much better I say, I will be in tomorrow for sure. She says well you sure don't sound better, you still sound sick. How about you take tomorrow off as well and just come on back Monday? You got plenty of sick days left, you ain't gonna run out.
I am speechless for a moment, wondering if it could be some kind of trick. Maybe I am asleep, dreaming. But no, it's no trick, and I'm awake, not dreaming at all.
I say to her yes, well maybe that would be a good idea, Boss. Maybe you are right!
So tomorrow I get to sleep in again!
Only went to work one day this week!
Hurrah! for sickness and rogue cop movie scenes that happen in real life!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The Magic

Didn't go to work today. Why? Because I was sick. Am sick. Yes, sick again. Sick for the third time. Sick in May. Sick in June. Sick in July. Now I am sickety-sick of being sick. Although my voice has dropped a couple octaves and that is fun. Spent an hour making the sound of haunted house door creaking open and closed.
At least I finished my book, Wizard's First Rule. Will I read the next one in the series? No sir I won't. Terry Goodkind is no George RR Martin, that's for sure. And the quote at the top of the book about how this book would sweep the country like Tolkien's work did, that's ridiculous. Did it sweep the country like Tolkien's stuff did? I doubt it. But could it have? I know a helluva lot of people bought it, and the series is now up to part nine or something. But what about the Samuel character who says "Mine! Gimme!" all the time and is clearly based on Tolkien's Gollum? Was that a tribute to Tolkien? Probably. Yet a poorly executed one. And what about all this *THE MAGIC* business? Whenever something strange happens it is because THE MAGIC did it. This thing could float in the air because THE MAGIC was in it. Or the man could not move because of THE MAGIC. THE MAGIC this and that. Goodkind definitely abuses THE MAGIC. Maybe Goodkind sells so many books because of THE MAGIC? Goodkind, is that your secret?

Monday, July 18, 2005

Fantasy Sadist

I won't write very much tonight (yes depressing) because I am trying to finish my book. What book? 'Wizard's First Rule' by Terry Goodkind. Ah! Happy Fantasy book with wizards and dragons and big shiny swords and nice magic, right? Well smarty pants, why, right near the end of the book does it all of a sudden turn into EXTREME SADISTIC S&M THAT GOES ON FOR PAGE AFTER PAGE AFTER PAGE?

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Saturday Night Top Ten

1. Gackt - 'Secret Garden'
2. Slayer - 'Angel of Death'
3. Opeth - 'Bleak'
4. Sonic Youth - 'Superstar'
5. Placebo - 'Special K'
6. Antony and the Johnsons - 'Hope There's Someone'
7. Sea and Cake - "Sound and Vision'
8. Kreator - 'Betrayer'
9. Cocteau Twins - 'Iceblink Luck'
10. Smoking Popes - 'Days Just Wave Goodbye'

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Pretend Busy Office Robot

When I did the mail run this morning pushing the trolley at light speed on level six, Wakachin came zooming around a corner and I almost ran her down. She was moving fast too, holding a DOCUMENT. She looked busy but saw me and jumped.
"Don't worry, I won't run you down today, because you look busy," I said.
"It is easy to look busy. Just hold something in your hand," she said and continued on at high speed down the corridor.
As I sent the mail trolley flying once again in the opposite direction, I thought about what she said and realised it was true. Often, in the office, you don't really have anything to do but if Boss sees you standing or sitting idle, you will be asking for trouble, asking to be interrogated. But all you have to do is jump up with a paper or some kind of document and move in one direction with a look of intent, stride up to a machine and make a copy of that document. Then you could move to another machine and fax that document, fax it to NOWHERE. Just press buttons randomly. If you do that, you look busy and everything is OK, you will never be suspected of having nothing to do. The illusion of activity, of productivity. As an office robot you will learn to master this ability until you are so convincing that nobody can tell whether you are working or pretending working.
Another good one, in the mail room, is taking a bunch of letters from one side of the office to the other, slowly going through them one by one and reading each address. You don't even have to read the address, only pretend to. Meanwhile you are really thinking of an interesting anecdote to write about in your blog that night.
When you have pretended to read or check each address, and everything seems to be in order, you make your way purposefully back to the other side of the office, pick up a pen and make some squiggles on a scrap of paper. You can draw a funny face, but you will probably draw a mad face with eyeballs rolling around and the mouth a wavy squiggle representing OFFICE MADNESS. But don't let Boss see it. If Boss comes around the corner, flip the page and write down some numbers and pretend you are making a complex calculation. She will look and nod, impressed at industrious worker bee, and go off grinning insanely to get her seven hundredth coffee of the day.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Fifteen People

I came across a good quote the other day. The article was about bloggers. It went something like this:
Andy Warhol said that everybody would be famous for fifteen minutes, but now everybody will be famous to fifteen people.
Even in that simple definition of fame, I am not there yet. Only half a dozen different people have made a comment in my blog, so that means I am only halfway to a very simple kind of fame. Does that depress me? No way. In my mind I am already famous superstar and find it surprising and strange that people do not stop me in the street and ask for autograph and to sign body parts and get their photo snapped standing next to me smiling. Perhaps they are only shy or don't want to bother me as I go about my day in search of next fascinating experience to write about here.
Yes that must be it.
*leans back spinning in chair with enormous idiotic grin on face*

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Rock School

After work today I went to the movie house but didn't see a movie. What? What else to do in movie house but see movie? Good question. Trick question! Easy answer: it was a documentary, or maybe a ROCKumentary, because it was called Rock School.
This doco is about a guy called Paul Green who (in 1999) started a *Rock School* in Philadelphia to teach kids (from 9 to 17) how to be rock stars.
We see Paul shouting at and berating the kids often, and he swears a lot, but the kids all laugh along with him mostly. They like him because he comes down to their level and is not dry and boring. He's actually a very likeable guy, even when he is yelling at the kids.
One of the kids (Will O'Connor) tells his story. When he was born, his head was overlarge and the umbilical cord got wrapped around his neck so the doctors had to do a Caesarian. With his big head and his odd way, other kids always called him 'retard'. He grew up to be depressed and suicidal, but admits that Paul's Rock School saved his life. At one point he says, "If it wasn't for Paul I would be dead. And even now I am only barely alive."
One of the other kids, a girl, grew up in an Amish town. I got confused at that point because the town had signs everywhere saying Amish this-and-that, but then she admitted she was a Quaker. Maybe the Amish and the Quakers like living together(?) Anyway, there was some amusing footage of these Quaker rappers she sang with, and one of them was called Funk Master Friendly. Their music was awful, so really, going to Rock School was like escaping a fate worse than death.
The other interesting kids were these twin boys who must have been 9, right at the bottom age limit for the school. Watching them perform Black Sabbath songs was a highlight, as was watching their mother putting Ozzy make-up on them as she sang along with them, helping them get the lyrics and timing right.
Paul Green said a lot of things that will surely upset some viewers, but who cares about them. We get it. The kids get it. The guy is a brilliant teacher. At one point he says, "OK. Any of you who fuck up, we're gonna go round and kill your entire family! Then we'll bathe in their blood!" They all laugh. It was very funny. But then he'll go and say something deep like, "When you hone your craft, you hone your humanity."
So he makes them learn Sabbath songs and they put on a Sabbath show for some people, but the big show they are all revving up for is an annual Frank Zappa festival in Germany. They have to learn all these awesomely complex Zappa songs, and when they finally get there and do their thing (and one of the original Zappa bandmembers joins them on stage) they blow everybody there (and us) away.
If I haven't made it clear enough by now, I thought this doco was excellent. It's impossible not to walk out of it not feeling good and not doing air guitar on your way to the bus.
There were about half a dozen of us at this peak time session. I guessed that most of the other idiots were there to see Fantastic Four. (Yes, I LOVE superhero movies but am really not excited to see that one.)

Monday, July 11, 2005

Ultimate Fantasy

Yesterday I at last finished reading The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien (did I even have to put the author's name? Who doesn't know that? Is there anybody left on the planet who does not know the name of the author who wrote that book?), the heaviest book I've ever read, and also one of the best. What a great book. GREAT!
Then I went and watched the movie (LotR: Return of the King) and right at the end after Sauron had his ass handed to him by the little Hobbits, they went back to the Shire. When they got to the Shire, everything was normal and happy there, sunny, with the trees still there and everybody smiling and laughing. I thought, What! What! That's not how it was in the book! That's not the way it was, in the book!
So even though the movies were really damn great and made by a man who is himself a big LotR fan, and even looks (or looked - he's lost a lot of weight and looking pretty Hollywood these days) like a Hobbit, I began to wonder what Mr Tolkien would have thought of the movie. I think he would have been impressed with EVERYTHING except for the ending.
Anyway, after work today I jumped on the bus and got off at the library and went inside, returned LotR and got two books: Wizards First Rule by Terry Goodkind and Perdido Street Station by China Mieville. More fantasy? Yay! Having a girlfriend with an insect for a head? Hurrah! Only in fantasy. Ultimate fantasy. Final fantasy? No! Endless fantasy!
Fantasy world opens arms to Stratu! Happy ever after!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Baby Terrorists

Scroll to the bottom and check out these photos. God Almighty. WTF?

Friday, July 08, 2005

A Survey of Some Recent Blogs VII

I think it's time for another tour. Not a tour de France, but a tour of some recent blogs. Have those horrible nasty adblogs finally taken over? Let's find out!

1. Dolly Wolly - Wow, more boring tales of some schoolkid and their boring school life, and how their mummy woke them up early, etc. At the top of the screen it says, CAN SOMEONE KILL ME PLEASE! Killing you might get me thrown into prison, and that would be no fun. But I'll volunteer to kill your stupid boring blog, how about that?
2. me, myself and i - Here's an Indian university robot. Oh wait, now he talks about a new Bollywood movie. Oh wait, now he's back to university robot institute monologue. Next!
3. Tree Speaker - Oh great, here's a technology robot. "Interface... concept... highpad... intuitive... synchronize... networked..." Are you sound asleep yet? I am. Goodnight.
5. ORTHODIXIE - Friar Joseph is a priest of the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church in Western North Carolina. His blog is not easy to make fun of, but at least I found this news item: "A convent where a Romanian nun was crucified during an apparent exorcism ritual was not sanctified by the church and has been closed, an Orthodox Church official said today."
6. fadelnas - A Malaysian Muslim's blog if I'm not mistaken. Looks terribly boring, only five posts, can only read the *poem* (in English) in defence of *Jihad*. So what's the deal with these terrorist Muslim bastards anyway?
Wait a minute. Six blogs and not one of them an adblog? What's going on here? Have my threats worked? Have these rotten bastards come to their senses and killed themselves horribly in a long drawn-out very painful agonising fashion?
7. INFOYOUNEED85275 - I knew it was too good to be true. Here's one of the foul smelly things right here. Hey adblog robot! Yes I am talking to you! Your dumb stupid annoying adblog is not wanted here! Get rid of it then kill yourself! Or better yet, wait a minute and we will come over and do the job for you! Then we will go to Zurich and proudly receive our Nobel Prize!
8. VANCOUVER - What? Vancouver? I thought they spoke (and wrote) English in Vancouver. This is all in German or something. But there's pictures of people in red jumpsuits and grizzly bears and people jumping and showing their ass, so that sort of makes up for it.
So where's all these porno blogs I've heard about?
9. oli - Hey wow, somebody else from the country I live in. Pretty rare to find. Most Aussies are too busy obsessing on stupid sport and watching Big Brother and the contestants giving each other tit massages. But yes here is another *Aussie* with a blog. Is it as good as mine? Of course not. Silly.
10. Wild Rose - This is Josephine's blog. Josephine seems to be obsessed with somebody called JoJo. Can anybody explain what this means? "I think I have finally come to the realization that I only wish to find out things about JoJo thru two sources: JoJo himself and/or God."

That was ten in a row. No skipping. Same as last time. Hard to believe only one adblog among ten. Could it be the tables are turning? Or has it been a freak night? I guess we'll find out in...
*massive drumroll and metal guitar squeal with awesome pyrotechnics and lasers flashing across sky*

Thursday, July 07, 2005

God of War

Anders came over and we spent all night playing God of War.
Well-designed games like this one are addictive, very addictive. Gamers call games like this *gaming crack* for good reason. When somebody else walks into the room and sees that person playing, they see glazed eyes, some kind of zombie. You can say something to that person but they will not hear you. The game is ALL.
Even though I have enjoyed playing this game, tonight I got angry. Got up to one part where you had to jump from moving platform to moving platform but between those platforms were circular saws zipping back and forth. AND there was a time limit where you jumped on a switch to open a gate then had to quickly make your way across these platforms and sawblades to the other side and through the gate before it closed. I kept dying over and over again. And I would jump and swear I had made a good jump, but would die. I was sure the game was cheating and got so angry I yelled and raged and swore and threw the goddam controller with great force onto the floor. Did this over and over again. At one point I even got up and punched the door. Anders was laughing. I said here ya fuckin smartass you have a go. He had a go and died instantly. Once twice three times. Then I started laughing. It was ridiculous. Is this training to keep cool under great pressure?
We must continue our training.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

War of the Worlds

I was still sick today but went to work anyway. Now that's dedication. Plus there was the anticipated half day, and if I took a sick day there would be little chance of making it out of the house.
So I got through the morning with not too much grimacing but lots of nose-honking, then bid farewell to my healthy colleague and boss, and took myself along to the movies.
I saw War of the Worlds. Got my coffee choc-top and joined the stampede into the theatre. Got a good seat but you won't be surprised to learn that three people came and sat right next to me even though there were still plenty of empty seats all over the place. It's not surprising, is it? That kind of thing happens to me. People are inexplicably drawn to me in the theatre. This time it was three Asian teenagers, two boys and a girl. Naturally they kept the girl in between them and neglected to put her next to me. Not very considerate, is it? No.
Oh well, but at least the seat to my left was empty and so I didn't go into a claustrophobic fit.
Anyway, after half a million goddam previews of stupid dumb movies like that new Jennifer Lopez atrocity Monster In Law, the movie got started.
I haven't read the H.G. Wells book so you won't get any fussy eggheaded point-by-point comparison here.
Tom Cruise plays Ray Ferrier, a crane operator in New Jersey, a regular Joe Sixpack-type character whose domestic life has sort of gone down the toilet. His wife is with another much more *together* dude and she drops the kids over to spend the weekend with him. The place is a mess, Ray doesn't know how to cook so gets the kids to order food delivered, he's obviously not the perfect father, and he makes a lot of goofy gurning faces (not purposely).
The weather turns peculiar and they go look at it. There's some big strange clouds spinning round like the beginning of a Bizarro World tornado and they all go wow hey that looks pretty cool. Then it quickly gets UNcool when lightning starts striking right in their backyard.
Everything then goes quickly upside down when big tripod machines bust out of the middle of the street and start blasting everything with lasers.
That's all I'll say about the plot. It's an alien invasion movie right? You know what's gonna happen. Anyway, I don't won't to spoil it for you (whatever little there may be to spoil), although most people who read this will probably be Americans or Canadians who have already seen it. You bastards get the movies way before us, you bastards.
This movie was LOUD. They really cranked the volume up in the theatre I was in, it was easily the LOUDEST movie I have been to so far this year. I didn't mind though. If it's too loud, you're too old. Right? MAN?
The sound of the alien machines was pretty amazing too. Good job. If you haven't seen it, wait until you hear the sound of the machines cranking up their lasers. If you HAVE seen it, wasn't that sound EXCELLENT, when the machines cranked up their lasers?
The movie managed to effectively convey a REAL sense of confusion, terror and impending doom. People like to think that if there was an alien visit, it would be like ET, or that the aliens would be so advanced that war and atrocities and all that nasty business would have been left behind, and they would be all Star Trek and smiling and showing us their cool gadgets and maybe taking us for a trip around Uranus. But these War of the Worlds bastards are not like that. They are not nice aliens and the only technology they want to show you is their lasers, and they do that by aiming at you and blasting you into oblivion.
Tom Cruise is not one of my favourite actors, but he did a good job here. Forget about all that Scientology baloney, and his jumping up and down, and pretend you have never seen him before. You will then see that his acting job was right on the money. But something in his favour was that at no point in the movie did he do one of his big stupid trademark grins. There are probably people who love that smile. I'm not one of them. It makes my skin crawl.
The audience was well behaved. No mobile phone action and no whispering.
Sadly the man who yells YEAH! WOO! was not at this session.

Monday, July 04, 2005

This Mutinous Body

Well that's just fantastic. I'm sick again. Was on the edge of sickness yesterday. Now fair and square and firmly planted right in the middle of sickville.
How did it happen? How did those bugs get inside my body? Flying through the air? Jumped aboard my hand when I touched something? What the hell is my immune system doing anyway? Slacking off on the job. Missing in action. Traitor!
I have a half day tomorrow and by gum I had better be feeling 100% because when I split that House of Pain at midday the plan is to go directly to the movie palace and see War of the Worlds.
If I'm still sick tomorrow God help me I'm gonna give this goddam MUTINOUS body of mine one HELL of a kicking!
*rushes off to polish enormous black steel-capped self-kicking boots*

Sunday, July 03, 2005


I've spent most of the weekend plowing through The Lord of the Rings. It's almost impossible to stop reading. Do I really have to? I really don't want to, and don't want to go to work tomorrow either. Easy to think of something better to do, like stay home and continue reading this wonderful book.
Don't want to write anything tonight either. A better idea might be to share this grim and excellent passage, which seems to me quite appropriate for a Sunday night, being the dark eve of another Monday:

At last, on the fifth morning since they took the road with Gollum, they halted once more. Before them dark in the dawn the great mountains reached up to roofs of smoke and cloud. Out from their feet were flung huge buttresses and broken hills that were now at the nearest scarce a dozen miles away. Frodo looked round in horror. Dreadful as the Dead Marshes had been, and the arid moors of the Noman-land, more loathsome far was the country that the crawling day now slowly unveiled to his shrinking eyes. Even to the Mere of Dead Faces some haggard phantom of green spring would come; but here neither spring nor summer would ever come again. Here nothing lived, not even the leprous growths that feed on rottenness. The gasping pools were choked with ash and crawling muds, sickly white and grey, as if the mountains had vomited the filth of their entrails upon the lands about. High mounds of crushed and powdered rock, great cones of earth fire-blasted and poison-stained, stood like an obscene graveyard in endless rows, slowly revealed in the reluctant light.
They had come to the desolation that lay before Mordor: the lasting monument to the dark labour of its slaves that should endure when all their purposes were made void; a land defiled, diseased beyond all healing - unless the Great Sea should enter in and wash it with oblivion. 'I feel sick,' said Sam. Frodo did not speak.

Who Cares

Yes it's late, but who cares? I don't care. I'm gonna have another drink goddam it, just watch me. Don't have to get up early groggy and bleary-eyed and stumble to the shower and bump my head, stumble out again before I want to, put on my uniform and walk to work, grab my stupid muffin and newspaper and go find out how insane Boss is today.
Why thank you. Another drink? Don't mind if I do.
Can stay up real late. It's the weekend and tomorrow is Sunday. Don't have to work on Sunday. Can do whatever I please. Get out of bed in the afternoon if I like. Stay in bed all day if I like. Spend all day reading if I like, or all day playing videogames, or watching movies. Listen to Gackt's Secret Garden or Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings all day, all day. I am free. Crying freeman? Laughing freeman!
Ah so it's 2:38am now is it? Really that late? Well who cares? Not me that's who. I feel better than I've ever felt in my life. I'm vibrating with mad joyous energy and if I touch the walls I know they will crack.
How does another drink sound? Well, just super since you ask. Yes yes don't mind if I do, at all. Why thank you! Capital! Splendid! Smashing!
*spins around on spinny computer chair falls off laughing insanely*

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Tour de France

I just finished watching a two-hour documentary on the 2003 Tour de France.
It was a real eye-opener. I always thought of this *race* as being little more than a bunch of guys who looked liked tennis coaches riding bicycles around lots of pretty scenery.
Although the scenery is indeed very pretty - especially the mountains - the only people who really get to enjoy it are the spectators. To the riders all it means is another goddam big uphill part that is very steep and hard to ride up.
Then there are the injuries. Apparently, almost every rider falls off his bike at least once. They are usually going pretty fast when this happens, and the results (unlike the scenery) are not pretty. Rider after rider had large sections of skin missing from arms, legs and elsewhere.
Bones get broken too. One rider continued riding with a broken coccyx. Another rider finished a race only to find out he had broken a collarbone. "He has an incredibly high pain threshold," said a commentator.
At one point an injured rider turns to the camera and says, "Why didn't I choose surfing?"

Friday, July 01, 2005

Winter Snapshot

I managed to get an early night last night. Went to bed at 9:45. Haven't gone to bed that early in YEARS. Still woke up groggy. Can't figure it out. The mysteries of life.
Went to work today and on the way I bought an apple and toffee muffin. Yes, Apple & Toffee. A new thing. A major discovery. It was sensational. I will get another one as soon as possible, which will be tomorrow morning.
Boss has not been psychotic lately, her rage has subsided. But for how long? It's like watching the news every day, waiting for the next natural disaster somewhere in the world. An earthquake, tidal wave or tsunami, flood or cyclone, tornado, hurricane, or volcano. If not today, then a greater chance of it happening tomorrow.
Winter here, it's almost dark when I leave work. Walking to the bus stop it's harder to see people. It has been raining a lot lately and heads are obscured by umbrellas. The wind blows strongly and I laugh out loud to see people struggle with their umbrellas as they turn inside-out. Then mine turns inside-out and my laughter turns into shouts of furious profanity. People turn to look at the swearing man abusing and berating his umbrella.
How easily the tables are turned!