51:32:35 l0:03:22

TGI Paul

Monday, July 31, 2006

The Highlight Of My Weekend

Actually, more like the highlight of my July!

On Friday evening, I went with my Sis and my nephew Mini J (so called as his dad is Big J, although he's taller than me now!), on the occasion of his 14th to see the Blue Man Group . It was probably one of the best shows I've EVER seen!

I was a little dubious to start because on arrival at our front row seats we found plastic rainmacs on our seats, complete with hoods. The first 5 rows all had them, so we knew we were in for a messy night.

There are three guys, with shaved heads and all painted blue, who are alien-like men learning how things work in quite a naive a childlike manner.

They are fantastic musicians, playing drums in a way
you've never seen, pouring paint onto the drums skins to create a dancing, multi-coloured fountain to accompany the soundtrack. There was also a routine with electric glockenspiels. Later on they even make music drumming and extending plastic tubing, like modern day organ pipes.

The next section after the drumming-paint opening routine explained the need for the macs; paintballs being thrown by one and caught in the others mouths, then spat out onto swirling canvasses to create their first attempts at art!

They're on stage for 100 minutes virtually non-stop (there's no interval), and their energy is astounding! They never talk; all the humour (and they are hilarious!), comes from their facial expression, you can virtually read their minds as they communicate to each other and the audience just with different glances. Its a modern mime really.

They also make excellent use of modern technology,
incorporating the medias of film and video into their show & all set to a rock soundtrack from the live band. At the end the whole theatre comes alive with movement provided by swirling day glo tubes suspended above the audience during the finale of "I Feel Love". Inspired!

Afterwards, Mini J & I had our photo taken with one of them in the foyer. As we walked away the Blue Man grabbed my arm, pulled me towards him and said quietly, "You were a great front row!". I was starstruck and so thrilled he'd broken his silence to talk to me! You'll find me outside the stage door next friday at 11pm! lol!!

We left the theatre and decided it was time to get something to eat. Mini J wanted pizza, but Sis fancied munchy stuff like potato skins, so we opted for TGI Fridays as pizza is a little like a busmans holiday for me!

We went to the one in Covent Garden, and at the door the manager said, "Didn't you used to work for Fridays?"

"Yes," I replied, a little shocked at being recognised, "For nearly 13 years"

"Thought I recognised you," he answered "Tell you what, I'll 50% your bill for you!"

Result!! Especially as I left the company 2 1/2 years ago!

I went up to the bar for a cigarette and there was a bartender that used to work for me in Nottingham; he'd transferred to London shortly after I'd left apparently. It was lovely to bump into him and catch up on all the Notts gossip. It was also quite nice to be offered a free cocktail! hehe!

All in all, it was a great night out, and lovely to spend it with my Sis and her virtually-grown-up offspring! I thanked him for inviting me to join him on his evening out and walked them both to Charing Cross to get home, proud to be a part of their lives.

Great night!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Where's Argey?

I must admit, I've been a little worried this week about Argey Bargey

It's unlike him not to comment, and not to post for over a week!

So it led me to 3 conclusions;

1) Abducted by aliens
2) Too busy at work
3) Too busy watching "Are You Being Served" on his new cable TV

Anyway, glad to report we have spoken by phone (how delightfully old-fashioned!) and it is actually a work thing

I feel a bit lonely here without his wit (?) though, so if anyone else drops by, say hello (or more if the mood takes you!)


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Fast Love

So George Micheal's been caught getting upto naughties again! Like I care. Hapmstead Heath has been renowned for it for years, way before even Kenneth Williams' days, and though I personally am a little too chicken to go there after dark, each to their own. It's not as if innocent children or shockable old dears are going to be wandering around the Mens Pond at 3am!

I feel a little sorry for George that he gets hounded by the press like this, as all 'Celebs' do. But it's so hypocritical when it's for things that you wouldn't be at all surprised if the journo's do it themselves (re: Kate Moss; 'A supermodel on cocaine?? Outrageous!! You'd never catch a tabloid reporter like me touch the stuff!! Quick, whop it all over the front page!!')

I feel a little sorrier for Kenny Goss, Georges boyfriend. I'm sure he is perfectly happy with that arrangement, but hasn't actually done anything himself (at least, not that he's been caught at!) to warrant being hounded or his relationship being speculated on. But that's Georges fault, not the press I think!

But most of all, I feel most sorry for Norman Kirtland.
The guy thinks he's just had a great time with some tall, dark stranger in the bushes and before you know it he's being hot-tailed all the way back to his native Brighton by NOTW hacks!

Of course, he feels he has nothing to hide, (or maybe it's the bg fat cheque being waved in his face), so he's happy to tell all to the friendly guys from the gutter press.

Then, lo and behold, for the sake of making George look extra-seedy, the guy gets absolutely slated, with even his flat in Brighton (which the press followed him to) being described as squallid and scruffy with 'dirty plates and cutlery lying around'. What does that matter? George wasn't there!

George didn't care what he looked like anyway, who does when you're cruising? It's just the thrill you're after. It'll wear off though George, it did for me, but probably not while you have Kenny to fall back on!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Commuter Rant

I'm tired, late for work and very very grumpy.

I couldnt finish the 'Difficult' Sudoku before getting to Uxbridge station. I got squashed into my seat by two huge men, one opposite and one beside me. Why they couldn't pick any of the empty double seats elsewhere is beyond me. A girl across the aisle had her i-pod conveniently set at a volume that you could hear the drums and bass, but not quite loud enough that you could make out the tune.

On the tube, in a PACKED carriage, at peak time, there was a man on crutches, a man with a baby buggy, and a woman with a suitcase on wheels; between them taking up the floorspace of 10 people and bashing everyone else with their respective hazards. Babies, large luggage and invalids should have restricted hours access. As should old people who don't understand how Oyster cards work at the ticket barriers whilst delaying crowds of people behind them.

I've walked into the office and no-one has spoken to me, but D (who sits back to back with me) has just sent an e-mail asking me to call the Arundel office. Chatty bunch here eh?

Friday, July 21, 2006

First week at new job (good vs. bad)

Well, its nearly the end of the first week in the new job, and here are a few of the things I've noticed;

1) Its amazing how many people get up at stupid o'clock! I'd never realised the world was so active at 7:15am! Seriously... I'm quite shocked that there's this whole other world thats been happening unbeknown to me for all this time! The trains are rammed, and very hot and VERY VERY smelly!! This is bad!

2) Its also amazing how many of these people, when listening to their i-pods on bus/train/tube/foot (I cover all four modes daily!), forget that they're singing out loud, sometimes quietly, sometimes at quite a volume, but ALWAYS in a completely different key to whats being pumped into their ears! This can vary from being quite amusing to being very annoying; dependant on the song!

3) That I CAN get up at 6am for 5 days in a row. This is good . Also, that I CAN get to Uxbridge a lot quicker than I initially thought. This is even better.

4) That Pret a Manger is ridiculously expensive, but I actually quite enjoy making packed lunches before I head to bed at 9.30. (yes... 9:30!!). This is plain weird.

5) That you have to get here bloody early to get said lunch a place in the fridge! I've deviously found a way round this; I leave my empty box in the fridge at night and replace it with a second, full, lunchbox in the morning and take the empty one home to rotate. This is flipping clever!

6) That 'office type' people are completely different from Restaurant staff. I'm not sure if/when/how I'll fit into this. Not sure if this is good or bad.

7) Also, that IT are generally looked down on by many, and we only have HR to look down on.
As the newest person here, I naturally have no-one to look down on except the stupid branch managers who ring because they've unplugged their printer and now cant understand why it doesn't work. They make me laugh, their calls are good!

8) That everyone overlooks the receptionist! She's a lovely girl with a very sweet nature. I said 'hello' to her once and now get a little conversation whenever I walk by. This is good (she's the only person who doesn't look down on me!)

9) I smoke loads less working in an office environment. This is VERY good!!

10) I can fit into M&S Kidswear. Have bought 2 pairs of great work trousers, aged 13, for £7 each.

....this is bloody excellent!!

Monday, July 10, 2006

New Job At Last!

Well as you know, I've been waiting for post regarding an interview I went for.

It came, at last, on the Friday morning. It wasn't as bad a wait as it sounds though, as the head of IT had called me on tues evening (when I was outside Comptons after a few spritzers! "Richard who? Where did I give you my number? Whats your gaydar profile?" Horror!), to apologise for not yet having written.

Luckily, (stupidly?), he didn't change his mind following our exchange and I still got the offer!

So this is the job...

To start with, I'll be spending a few months at Head Office in Uxbridge receiving full IT training on our systems and troubleshooting/problem solving etc. obviously this time is dependant on how quickly I pick things up.

Once trained, my job isn't going to be tied to the IT helpdesk luckily, as I think that would drive me mad! I'll basically, frm the sounds of it, be setting my own agenda pretty much as a HELPDESK ANALYST.

This involves filtering the calls put into the helpdesk and searching out the ones that are purely training based. then looking for 'serial phoners' and going out to their restaurants and working with them 1 to 1 with a view to reducing the number of IT calls that really aren't IT issues.

Apparently, my name was put forward for the position by the Head of Learning & Development after I went for the last interview, and its actually worked out for the best as this role is better paid and I get the IT training and experience on my CV, as well as training experience. So I'm dead chuffed!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Andrew Murray, and THAT comment

I'm sure you're all aware by now of a certain comment Andy Murray made last week when being interviewed and was asked about who he was supporting in the World Cup. (It's certainly sparked alot of responses on his own blog

His response was, according to the Evening Standard, "Anyone but England". A silly remark, methinks, made by a lad who's 19 years became evident in his naivete in dealing with a media who deviously led him into making this comment. After all, why even discuss the football at a tennis interview?

The dislike between the Scots and the English has been going on for many hundreds of years, and it's not likely to change anytime soon, especially in sporting terms. I know, from speaking to Scottish friends, that they see the English ignoring their achievements, calling them 'British' when they do well, but calling our athletes 'English' when its us winning.

I dont therefore, expect him to support England. If, say, he were to have been a long standing fan of Brazil, it would have been perfectly ok for him to use that as an answer in the interview.

However, "Anyone but England" can only be seen as ridiculously petty, if not bordering on racist and thats not how a sportsman should act! It also adds to an English perception that many Scots have chips on their shoulders that must weigh a tonne!

It is a huge pity that when one of the four countries in these Isles fails at something, they cant seem to support their neighbour who is having more success. Its more of a pity, however, when they will support anyone who knocks their neighbour out!

A very disappointing remark Andy!

Tuesday morning update...

Well, there was I saying what a great summer we're having.....

Out of the World Cup, out of Wimbledon (though after Murrays comments about the World Cup I'm glad to see him go... more of that in another post tho!), and now that
argey-bargey's coming home, the predicted thunderstorming has just started!

Thick, black clouds over Hackney and deep loud rumbles echoing through the sound of a sudden downpour of rain.

I love summer thunderstorms, especially the ones at night. However, the ones that attack like this, during the day when you're out and about, or lazing in Soho Square, or worse at Hampstead Ponds, can be a bit of a fucker!

I was planning on a visit to Hampstead today, yesterday being the scorcher that it was and with the forecast that today would be even hotter.

I'm so glad I got delayed!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Still no post...

Is it true to say "A watched letterbox never flaps"? Does it carry the same sentence as watching a kettle?

Thats a silly saying anyway... of course the kettle will boil! It has no idea that you're watching it. Does it? I mean, how would it know? Telekenesis or whatever is appropriate? Can a stainless steel appliance be psychic?

Or... do the very expensive models, (even Porsche make kettles now you know), have built in human sensors? Maybe they disable the boiling function until the appliance is left to get on with its work in private. I never realised kettles were such shy appliances.

So, it seems, is my letterbox.

Update on new job

Following the previous post where I noted about the IT job that I had been offered...

Our Head of IT called me last Tuesday to say that they were still very interested in me taking the job, and gave a revised salary offer to the tune of 10% more than the first one. Now this would be very acceptable as it would easily give me the extra needed to cover an all zone, peak time travelcard.

He said he just needed to speak to HR in order to get it confirmed, and a letter would go out to me by the end of the week.

It's now Monday and no letter has appeared.

I hate waiting for post!!