Sunday, December 31, 2006

Let's all meet up in the year 2000...

...won't it be strange when we're all fully grown

It's my review of the Year 2006!

Album of the year:
Stefy - The Orange Album
Bit of a hit to my indie styling here, but Stefy have produced a great pop album that cheered me up no end whenever I listened to it. The ballads are bearable, which for a pop album is a thumb up from me. Having sexy groaning on Hey Schoolboy also helps too.

Also rans: J Lewis, Pipettes

As with Stefy the Pipettes have produced an adult pop album, I enjoyed dancing to Pull Shapes whilst doing the washing up. I was really grooving to it. J Lewis & The Watson twins made a country album that was great. No surprises that all my favourite albums had female singers.

Film of the year:
Little Miss Sunshine
Funny, funny film. The ending is a dance scene which is hilarious but also sweet. Made me feel good. Watching this got me into the American Office (due to Steve Carell starring in both) so that's another plus point.

Also ran: The Squid & the Whale
This is the only other film I can even remember seeing at the cinema in 2006. Pretty good, but I still preferred Steve Zizzou (sic?).

Game of the year:
UEFA Champions League (GC)
A game that was released way before 2006, but the most fun I've had at a TV screen with a joypad in my hands. Pretty basic football game, but made better by the presentation. Made me actually feel as though I was the manager. Plus points for having referees that made wrong decisions & including handballs.

Also rans: Psychonauts (Xbox), Phoenix Wright (DS)
Psychonauts should really have been an adventure game rather than a platformer. But the plot and attention to detail in this shone through in the end. Still haven't completed it though. Phoenix Wright was an adventure game and was much better for it. The only problem is that the last episode shows what all of the episodes should have been like. As a reimagining of the graphic adventure though - it succeeds.

Magazine of the year:
Although to be honest all magazines I've bought in 2006 have disappointed me in the end. Hotdog has disappointed me least. Apart from the rubbish subscription distributors - the current issue has been in the shops for two weeks and I still haven't seen it.

Also rans:
NGamer had a great first few issues, but is now going downhill. PC Gamer is alright but I'm never going to get that into PC gaming. Retrogamer is purely good from a nostaglia perspective - if you're looking for anything interesting to read look elsewhere. 2006 was the year I woke up to the fact that men's magazines are useless - the one remaining class act (Arena) was shown to be very superficial and had absolutely nothing of interest in. SFX is doing ok, but doesn't really make me feel included in it. This may be due to the fact I only have a passing interest in Science Fiction.

TV show of the year:
Veronica Mars
Buffy but as a detective show. That's pretty much the best recommendation I can give it.

Also ran: How I met Your Mother
Freaks and Geeks but if it were more of a sitcom. I'm a bit worried that getting Ted & Robin together might Moonlight the show, but hopefully they should be splitting up soon.

Gig of the Year:

Bic Runga @ Fibbers
Bic's backing band was away so we pretty much had an unplugged session. Great voice & great music. Shame I forgot to go and book the tickets for when she returned.

Also rans: J Lewis @ Manchester, Tilly and The Wall @ Fibbers
J Lewis & The Watson Twins sounded sublime. Tilly rocked as much as you can with a tap dancer instead of a drummer. I saw a few of them hanging around before hand and as usual didn't speak to them.

Plans for 2007:
Go to Japan have a great time
This one should be easy (once Halifax let me take money out of my ISA)

Lighten up a bit
I need to be a bit cheerier and not let work affect me so much.

Perhaps join a gym
I think I'd not feel so crap if I did a few exercises every now and then.

Gadget of the year:
G6 U link
Allows me to try before I buy on DS and Gameboy games. Next on my to buy list: Starfox DS - nothing like the original, but still great fun.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

That's no way to tell a lie...

...sha la la, sha la la

I've had one beer and already I'm falling asleep.

Perhaps it's time to give up the booze.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Separated by motorways...

...the A14 and the A1 (so long!)

I suppose my Feast was slightly negative, as people have pointed out in comments. There's been lots of good things that have happened to me in 2006. Moving in with the Schatz is probably the best decision I've ever made. I know finally feel that I'm finally in a home for the first time since I left my parents house.

The problem is that I'm going into 2007 unsure that I'll have a job by August. It doesn't help when I come back from Germany to a letter saying I won't even be interviewed for one of the internal jobs I went for. Boo. Positive thinking will get me through this. And winning the lottery*.


My friend Cathy has told me a few things which are making me very nervous about Japan. Not the country itself, but what I'm planning on saying to Freya there. Ladies, do diamonds matter? Is there a way of making an proposal ethical? Any advice is always welcome.

* Although by mentioning the lottery I'm sure that weird geordie lottery syndicate guy will comment again. Boo.

I wish I was in Dixie...

...away, away

Friday Feast No. 3

How do you usually celebrate on New Year's Eve?
I hate celebrating New Years Eve. When I was growing up I tried to be babysitting on New Years Eve. Nowadays I hate New Years Eve as if you go out in town everywhere charges a fortune to get in, is totally packed and has a rubbish atmosphere. I think this year we're staying in and having some Champagne. Much better.

Name one thing unexpected that happened to you in 2006.
Getting the sack(ish). I reckon it should be sorted out soon though. In A Good Way too.

Where was your favorite place that you visited in 2006?
Didn't really go anywhere this year. I'd say going to Hamburg to see the football world cup was the best fun I've had away from home.

Main Course
What resolution is your top priority for 2007?
Get fit (again).

Using just three words, describe 2006.
Tense, nervous headaches.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Glory, Glory, Hallelujah...

...and His truth goes marching on

Damn. Was going to write my first ever Thurday Thirteen about my Christmas Presents but including my flickr pics was really hard to do. So I'll leave it until next week.

I'm so tired. And for once it's not due to being overworked or staying up too late. For some reason I just couldn't get a good nights sleep when we stayed at my parents. Freya was totally the opposite - usually she's up by eight on days off - this week she was up after ten every day. Do I have any explanations for this change of events?


Freya's explanation is quite simple. In Germany you get big shutters that roll down before you go to sleep. Freya is used to being woken up by the Sun. If you remove the Sun from the equation she will lie in for longer.

My explanation is also quite easy (apart from the bizarre stinker of a headache I had on Christmas morning) the bed was too hard for me to drift off to sleep.

So how come in my first night back in York in my nice comfy bed I couldn't get to sleep and was chatting to people online? Lord knows.

Oh and I had a comment posted today on my very first post which I wrote two and a half years ago. Ben C, if you get this far, I didn't get that girl but I got an even better girl. Just like in Gregory's Girl.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

And I've seen, some younger people happier as can be...

...but not especially happier than me

So we've got to Germany in one piece but I still feel particularly ill. However a few early nights and some playing of Zelda on the GBA should sort me out.

Coming back to Germany you see how some things in England are done so badly. Take Motorway Service Stations. In England they're seen as a chance to rip off the people who go there for a quick meal by charging five quid for something that you wouldn't pay ten pence for if you weren't starving. And they seem to make it into a shopping mall by offering three fast food restaurants, one cafe and a newsagent/supermarket.

In Germany you get this: One restaurant which although not amazing is cheap and the food isn't totally covered in grease and a mini supermarket where you can buy basic fodstuffs. And to be honest that's all you need. Germany 1 - 0 England.

I missed the Friday Freast yesterday (was flying over when the reminder e-mail got sent out), but I'll answer it now if that's ok:

What is one of your Christmas traditions?
It was to wake up really early like a six-ish. Even when Mum told me we wouldn't be going downstairs until Nine O'Clock. I just got so excited. This was when I was twenty years old by the way. I guess it stopped when I realised that if I drank myself to sleep I could also have the lie in. Not really got too many traditions now, other than having to have willy sausages (everyone else calls them pigs in blankets, but willy sausages is our family name for them) for our Christmas meal.

Who is the easiest person on your list to buy presents for?
Dad. Get him a sports related autobiography and you should be ok.

What is your favorite Christmas scent?
Pine trees. Although the smells of Christmas decorations comes close. That almost plasticy scent you get from them just smells of Christmas.

Main Course
If you could give a fellow blogger a Christmas gift, who would it be and what would you give them?
Probably momopeche could do with a madarin dictionary so that she could think of more way to insult queue jumpers.

What's something on your Christmas wish list that you need (not just want)?
Absolutely nothing. I am a material girl. Or boy.

Oh and Jack Templeton who wanted the Gamesmaster vids, could you send me the list again of the episodes you need? I left my list in England. Whoops.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Why don't you fool me, feed me...

...say you need me?

One thing you don't want to do in the morning with a hangover. Accidentally turn on the cold water rather than the hot water for your shower and then step under it without testing it first.


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Everything we do...

Originally uploaded by uppi17. driven by you

I really shouldn't drink. Not because it ends up in pictures like this one, but because I got so tired that I was in bed by 11pm. And I'd have preferred to have stayed out much longer.

There's also the fact that I've never been good the morning after the night before. Eurgh. My head is terrible. And my tummy too. I could have just drunk water and still done a stupid picture like this because I don't really have that much holding me back from doing stupid stuff like this.

But if I stop drinking I should (in theory) be able to stay out longer, have better quality sleep and not wake up feeling like someone has shat in my cereal.

In good news I have finished work for the year. Hurrah!

Friday, December 15, 2006

C S S...

My first ever Friday Feast:

What was your very first job with a paycheck?

Working behind the counter of the local Naafi/corner shop. Have absolutely nothing of interest to say about it. Except once I put frozen fridge in the fridge section. Felt a bit stupid about that, but both sections looked the same!

Did you ever lose something really important to you?

I've lost things I'd still like to have around. But thinking about it, if I wanted them so much I'd have made more of an effort to keep them.

I'm annoyed that I got rid of my Transformers comics though. Particularly as now I'm buying them for even more money as graphic novels. Bah.

What is the best Christmas present you ever received?

My favourite ever EVER present was probably my Spectrum computer. Just opening it I think I was dead excited. It was the future in my living room! Now it's stuck in my loft without a TV to plug into. How sad.

Main Course
Tell about a favorite "hang out" place for you and your friends when you were in high school.

It was the Chip Shop about ten minutes away. The best bit was that it had a little arcade section with Point Blank and some others. It also had some pinball machines and somehow I became excellent at playing The Shadow. It had a little section at the top called the Battlefield. I could get the ball up there well easily and score loads of points. I was always on the high score and always got a free game. I'm such a cheapskate.

Name something that always brings a smile to your face.

Vic and Bob's Masterchef sketch.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I killed the zeitgeist...

...ground it into dust

I hate, Hate, HATE having to complete application forms. Particularly when it's for people who I know and who know me. What's the point?

And while I'm writing this blog I should be finishing my application form and revising for my Japanese exam tomorrow. Darn it.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

All we want... to be happy

Oh dear:

Someone bought a random lucky-dip ticket instead of the usual numbers for their lottery syndicate. Then the usual numbers came up. Whoops. I don't like how they're trying to get a bit of the jackpot though. Definitely bad losership there.

I did something just as bad today*. As I've moaned about far too often on this blog I'm trying to sort out another job before I leave at some random time next year. Luckily there's an internal job that looks quite good. So I rang on Monday to talk to the person who would be interviewing for the role. He was busy, but said he could meet me at 4pm on Tuesday.

At 4.20pm I got a call. It was the interviewer. I'd forgotten about the meeting and he didn't sound too happy. What's worse is that he came to our building to meet me. Whoops.

He has agreed to meet me tomorrow though, but I have to go over to meet him. I think a great amount of humble pie will need to be eaten there.

* OK, so not as bad in terms of money, but perhaps in terms of embarrassment.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

One dark day...

...the trees began a trumpet sound

I really should learn to listen to people properly. Too many times I find myself drifting off during conversations and having to drag myself back to what the person was talking about. I reckon it's worst when Freya is telling me to do something and I totally ignore what she said, then she gets angry at me. And for good reason too.

It's terrible that I can't just sit down and talk to her. I have to have something in the background to distract me. The TV, radio, mp3 player, the internet anything in the background is needed - it's what I grew up with. Freya on the other hand is used to a quiet house. Now that unnerves me.

Even now as I'm writing this blog I have mp3's on in the background. I was one of those people that did homework on with music in the background and even though it distracted me I preferred it that way.

The thing is though when I'm listening to podcasts I have to purely listen to it, as soon as I do anything else my mind wanders and by the time I realise five minutes have gone and 1up yours is chatting about a totally different game. So I give it my full attention.

I need to treat Freya as a podcast. If you see what I mean.

Friday, December 08, 2006

I was a teenage Jesus...

...I bought into the dream

It's been so nice not having to have to blog every day. I mean I enjoyed doing it, but some days I was really having to stretch to think of something to say. And in the end it wasn't really that interesting anyway. Amazon are sending me a book about blogging and how to do it better* so hopefully January should be a lot more interesting for everyone.

Today was the day that I was going to go to Tescos and buy a Wii at midnight. So how is it? I wouldn't know as I decided not to buy one. The day before they went on sale.

I think it was when Freya found out how much I'd saved towards our trip to Japan (£300) when we needed at least £1,200 each. And as we're planning to go in May that's a lot to save in not a lot of time.

My subscription has now been cancelled. No more magazines bought that I won't read (got enough subscriptions already & two Neal Stephenson books to read). No paying subscriptions of World Of Warcrafty (also I wouldn't as it's rubbish - which I'll explain in a later blog) No buying of things I don't need need. Generally it's save, save always save for me at the moment (I agree - Uncle Alvin Hall).

Because I want this holiday to be amazing.

Not just a nice two weeks away from work. I want to have a great time. Possibly because I'm planning on doing something there that I can't describe as if Freya reads this it would spoil it. Momopeche has something on her page that relates to it though.

Plus we haven't been away this year other than two nights in Manchester so a holiday without any worries, spending all my time with my girlf, enjoying another culture and pronouncing my Japanese words all wrong.

That sounds better than having a Wii now doesn't it?

Well I think so.

* After I paid for it, natch. They're not that nice.

Saturday, December 02, 2006


...I wanna reach out and grab ya

Although I've said for the past week that I really want a Wii (out this Friday in the UK), I'm now having second thoughts. See, Freya & I are saving to go to Japan in May. Well I'm saving as Freya already has the money she needs. I need to have about £1,500 saved before we book the flights & hotels. Current total: £300. I need to save £250 per month. Does a Wii fit into that total?

I guess I'll be getting some money for Christmas and my Birthday (17th Feb) so that will help. I think I can afford the Wii but for the next few months I'm going to have to stop buying magazines that I don't need, perhaps put a freeze on Lovefilm for a few months (I've had the same DVDs on rent for about three months) and don't go out at all (actually I'm quite good at this one).

And I'll just buy the Wii. Don't need the new Zelda as I still haven't finished Wind Waker yet. Or Champs League. Or around seven Xbox games. And the GameCube will go to be part exchanged even if I only get two quid for it.

Friday, December 01, 2006

We're on the road to nowhere...

...come on inside

I realise it was a bit cheap of me to do a best of for the end of NaBloPoMo, but I thought it was best to see what I'd learned over the past month.

Which as expected was not a lot.

It's coming up to our second anniversary (on the fourth). We're going to Leeds on Sunday to go Christmas shopping and I think I'm going to try and find something special for Freya. Haven't a clue what it is though. I'm such a great boyfriend.