Friday, June 09, 2006

You need another element...

...You need it right away

I've just been to watch Germany - Costa Rica and Poland - Ecuador in the garden of a pub in Osnabruck. It was rather good. We got given free horns, whistles, flags and t-shirts. Would a similar thing be done in England? Probably not. Still, I'm off to Hamburg tomorrow. Hopefully I won't get confused as a hooligan and arrested.

Steve Beale - suited up - How I Met Your Mother
Every summer I appear to go on a magazine buying spree. I try to find a magazine that speaks out to me and manages to be entertaining yet also educational (or I think I'm learning from it anyway). I think the order went:
  • Your Sinclair
  • Amiga Power
  • Loaded
  • Esquire
  • Possibly back to Loaded
  • Total Film
  • SFX
  • Hotdog
  • Word

Part way between SFX and Hotdog I started buying Arena. It was witty, amusing, had people like Kevin Smith writing for it and had pictures of Eliza Dushku in it. It was most enjoyable.

Then Steve Beale started writing for it.

His first article was him having plastic surgery. Mostly to get rid of his bitch tits. His conclusion was 'if you have poor self esteem, having plastic surgery could make you feel better'.

Then he 'gave up' hash. Again his conclusion was the pretty much obvious 'I felt more alert, didn't laze about so much & was more effective with my time'. However despite the benefits he found from giving up weed he still started smoking it by the end of the article.

When he started shagging ladyboys for the purposes for an article I started going off Arena's idea of a black collar worker (which I think is pretty much a guy in a suit, but a bit more independent than usual). In fact I stopped buying Arena completely. If any cute girls are in there (like Linda Cardellini) then I simply download the scans from the internet.

I think it's a bit bad that one guy managed to stop me buying one magazine, but it's that Steve Beale appeared to be considered to be the kind of man that Arena readers should look up to. And I just couldn't do that. Perhaps I'm too middle class for that kind of stuff.

However, since I stopped reading Arena I have actually started 'dressing up' for work as Arena would've wanted and worn a suit to work. For the first few days I got the jibes of "Are you going to a funeral/interview?" but I also got compliments - and mostly from girls!

Wearing a suit has made me feel more confident at work and I think people have altered how they deal with me accordingly. What a difference a tie makes.

But what made me wear a tie I hear you ask? It was Barney from How I Met Your Mother.

For those of you who don't know How I Met Your Mother is a sitcom with less of a standard sitcom way of going about things. It stars Nick from Freaks & Geeks, Doogie Howser MD and Willow from Buffy so already has my seal of approval for the casting alone.

It also gets further approval for having Doogie as a suit-wearing Quip-genius. Because of how Doogie is on the show is the only reason why I've started wearing a suit to work.

I recommend you watch it. Apart from the last two episodes in the first series, which have far too much plot and not enough comedy for my liking.

DS lite
My attempts at getting the frag dolls and readers of this blog to make me buy either an Xbox 360 or a DS lite were a bit crap. The frag dolls just sat on the fence and said "what you want is best for you". God I just wanted an answer either way!

Anyway, when I found out that the DS Lite was being released at the end of June I decided to pre-order one. This is the first time I will ever get a console on its release date. Except the DS has been out for about a year already.

I shall be getting Mario Kart, Animal Crossing and Brain Training before I even have a DS. This is kind of strange, but I think I'll like it.

But now, I feel so weak...

...Dead trees and traffic islands never sleep

So I've spent my first night away from Freya since we've moved in together and I miss her terribly. I know that's a soppy thing to say, but I really do. So why am I spending four (count 'em, four) night away from my girlf? It's because I'm going to the World Cup.

Not to go and see England as I'm not patriotic enough. I've never watched an England international all the way through since about Euro 96. Probably because ever since then they've played ugly, boring, depressing football. This stance causes friction with work colleagues (like at the Larry David Meal) but I don't care. Perhaps tomorrow I'll be swayed when I see England play on the big screen in Hamburg tomorrow. Who knows?

One thing I know I won't be doing is wearing a shirt with the St. Georges Cross on there shouting my head off about England and how we're the best team in the tournament. What's strange is that in the village in Germany where my Mum & Dad live* some cars here have the annoying small English flags hanging out of their windows. I'm sure that if a German tried the same thing in England they'd have a much harder time than the people over here have.

I don't have any evidence to support why I think this. I just have a feeling. And surely that's enough right? ("I agree" - Derek Acorah)

Horse racing
A few weeks ago, just before my second retake of my final CIMA exam, my team went horse racing. Like the previous time I went horse racing (for Sarah's birthday) none of my horses came in. In fact I don't think I've won any kind of gambling thing (apart from a few hands on online poker). But it's not as though I've got bad luck - I correctly told my Dad that Minnehoma was going to win the Grand National. So the problem is that I'm rubbish with my own money.

Best keep it well invested instead then eh? ("I agree" - Nick Leeson).

* In case I didn't mention (which I didn't), I'm staying at my Mum & Dad's house

Saturday, June 03, 2006

I've got my hand in your head...

...and I'm pulling out all of your mind.

Ergh. I have a hangover/migraine today and it's not very nice. It's even worse because I only had two drinks (admittedly cocktails) so I have no real reason for feeling like someone just shat in my cereal. Anyway what happened yesterday kind of connects one of the topics I still have to talk about.

Gemma's phone number
Thanks for reminding me.

In case you weren't aware I am crap around girls. I'd say I've fancied around thirty girls, spoken to around ten of these and been on a date with five of these. Most of my girlfriends arose on a drunken journey. This is because girls like confident people and a sober Ben is not confident.

Therefore I am very happy to have a wonderful girlfriend who actually pressured me into calling her back. It takes a lot of pressure away when someone says "I like you". When no-one clarifies that you're left to thinking little things mean someone is saying "I like you". Which brings me onto Gemma's phone number.

I've been getting my haircut by Cube in York and especially by the Lovely Gemma. She is very cute, wears nice clothes (this really means a lot to me) and is into good music. She's been cutting my hair for about 2 years and whilst at the beginning I had a major crush on her this has slowly moved into (gach) friendship.

So anyway, last week (before my accounting exam) Gemma - no, but yes! - was cutting my hair and we were chatting. Mostly it was her stressing about getting a flat with her boyfriend (and me trying to calm her down - it's very scary having a panicky person with big scissors behind you). She was giving the impression that she wasn't happy about moving & settling down - which I'm sure is pre-match nerves and she's probably happily tucked up in bed with said boyf now.

Last week, I calmed her down as best as I could, got a shave by the Turkish guy there (for the first time ever - which actually I should talk about later as well), picked up some leaflet by the cash register and left. When I got home it turned out that the leaflet I picked up was actually some competition entry at Principles that Gemma had filled out and had her mobile phone number on. As I don't know where Principles is I shredded the leaflet* and forgot about it (until now, obv).

So what would I have done if the same thing happened two years ago? Probably the following:

I'd have thought Gemma's worrying about moving in was her saying that she fancied me. Then when she looked at me in the mirror I'd have thought that was a moment between us. Then when she brought the leaflets and I took them home I'd have thought that was her slyly trying to give me her number.

Totally wrong conclusion, natch, but this is what boys do when they are after a girlfriend.

And a similar thing happened last night.

What happened last night

Jon at work has got a promotion & will be moving back to Norwich. So I showed up at the local cocktail bar Monteys where Jon was at the bar with Laura and Lorna. Laura is quite nice (a few too many tattoos for me**) and greeted me by rubbing my arms and touching me lots.

She did a bit more during the afternoon as well. Again I would have taken this as a hint that she fancied me. Then, as I have done now, I would have done absoutely nothing about it. Although at least now it's because I'm happily co-habiting with the lovely Schatzipuss and not because I'm far too chicken to do anything.

Confidence is key.

Bic Runga & bad gig people

So Freya & I went to see Bic Runga at Fibbers on Wednesday. My Uncle Andrew and his girlfriend showed up as well. Aside from a few racist comments by Andrew & Lisa it went ok. Bic Runga was very beautiful and sang amazingly well. Her backing band was in London, but it was much more intimate and special as a result.
What wasn't good was bad gig goers:
  • Don't dance by thrusting your groin area in and out. Some bald guy was doing it at the Bic gig and a Boris Johnson a like was doing it at the Goldfrapp gig. Therefore groin thrusting is now called 'doing a Boris'.
  • Take pictures if you want, but don't keep putting your digital camera up in the air and taking pictures throughout a song. One or two pictures are fine.
  • Don't use a mobile phone for pictures as they will look shit. Dark rooms with bright lights do not mix for phone pics.
  • Do fiddle with the settings on your digital camera. But Don't if it keeps bleeping when you press a button. It's very annoying, especially at a quiet acoustic gig.
  • Don't go off and get drinks for everyone halfway through the set. And then don't say "Cider" in a loud voice. People may hear that rather than the lovely Bic's voice.
  • Sing along to the songs but don't if you don't actually know all the words.

What I should do is now have a Bic Runga video, but they don't have any on youtube. So let's have Cake's Short Skirt and Long Jacket. For a brief period I was looking for a girl who fitted all of the criteria they said. God I was useless. This is a good song, but apparently misses the 'rising action'.

* Don't worry there were loads of competition entries there so Gemma would still have entered it (I hope).

** Actually one tattoo is too much for me.