Mini update

Oh dear, a full week without any new posts… Very naughty…

My excuse is that I’ve been captured by aliens made primarily of selotape (the sticky side out) and they’ve been interogating me for the where abouts of their arch enemies the blu-tac aliens… I made my escape during the suddenly monsoon on Thursday night when I found a velcro suit. I crawled through a nearby warehouse and managed to reach home and setup a business selling tennis balls that I’ve collected on the way.

Once I’ve depleted my stock (which I anticipate will be by tomorrow morning) I will write a proper post to explain what’s been happening this week. The good news is that I’ve ticked a few boxes on my list of challenges, some I hadn’t expected to be able to tick for a long while:

  • Film making
  • Drumming
  • Social Meetup
  • Film Review
  • gumtree ads
  • Dating

Disclaimer: above excuse may or may not be valid and certainly contradicts the next blog post in terms of time frame and events.

TWKM Time Sink #1 – There’s a Blue Whale in my Bedroom!

TWKM knows that I spend a lot of time on the internet crawling interesting videos, articles, pictures etc. I often come across really interesting stuff but can’t necessarily share it with others easily. So why not collect them into a weekly blog post?

So welcome to the first edition of TWKM Time Sink! The links below might provide you with some amusement if you’re bored on your computer.

Art

Alberto Salván Zulueta photography (through Booooooom!) – Alberto’s photos all carry this haunting stillness, almost as though he’s exploring the very fabric of “still imagery”. He describes his photography as an attempt to explore human presence, seemingly through their absence and what they create and leave behind. Very interesting stuff.

Atticus Jackson photography (through Booooooom!) – There’s something very magical and almost nostalgic about Atticus Jackson’s photos, particularly in the use of light sources and subject matters.

Claire Morgan‘s Floating Installations on B0000000m!  – Very asthetically pleasing and interesting floating installations that portrait order and chaos using objects from nature. I’ve never been a big installation art fan but works like these could easily convert me!

Lane Coder photography (through Booooooom!) – Lane’s photography style mixes in between striking and subtle and all atmospheric. I just love the use of negative space and composition in some of the photos.

Life size Blue Whale in your room – This is random and interesting at the same time, click on “Close” at the top left to understand the page in context.

Videos

SOUR – ‘日々の音色 (Hibi no neiro)’ music video – SOUR is a 3 man Japanese indie band with a pretty unique sound (to my uneducated ears), but I’m much more interested in their very unique and original low budget indie music videos. Hibi no neiro absolutely blew me away and puts a smile on my face every time I watch it, and it’s damn right inspiring!

Are We Giving Robots Too Much Power? – Interesting political debate about how our society is being shaped by the increased use of robots in our modern world.

What’s in the Box? – Test Film 2009 – An rather interesting first person short film based in the Half-Life world, not the best short film ever but sure beats the hell out of many feature length ones (remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still comes into mind)!

Whodunnit? – Test your awareness with this video. This is one of a few of this type of videos I’ve seen recently, another one I saw yesterday revolves around a neat little card trick.

Blogs

Birmingham’s Best Budget Eateries (through David Nikel) – An example of many of Dave’s blog updates for the local Brummies, you should definitely follow his blog for other interesting local news (which expands beyond Ladywood) which may or may not have made it to the papers / tv!

Kinn @ The Asylum (through Shaun Joyce Photography) – Shaun Joyce is a talented local photographer who’s not afraid of low light photography at dark music venues. His photography are always full of energy and colour, and I wish him the best of luck becoming a successful full-time gig photographer one day :)

Tango marketing (through “Because of Advice”) – Because of Advice is an interesting West Midland’s blog I came across. I don’t know the mysterious author at all but I really enjoy the little updates which usually comes with an interesting insight into the world of media and marketing.

Misc

RunPee.com – What a genius idea! A website that recommends when to go to the toilet during your film going. Might not be for the spoiler weary type, I personally suggest intentional dehydration before going to the pictures.

Springpad – Springpad is basically a quick note taking web-app. I’ve started using it to jog down ideas on my mobile before reviewing them when I get home, and I will review how I feel about the application in time. Meanwhile why not give it a go yourself and see what you think?

Film Review: The Hangover

Count the number of exciting elements in the poster; then count the number of them explained in the film.

The poster promises the best drunken tale ever!

TWKM knows that I’m not a big fan of slapstick comedy. It’s not to say they’ve never put a laugh or smile on my face, it just tends to feel harder work to enjoy them for me. So I was somewhat reluctant to go watch The Hangover with PoppyMan and Phee.

Iwalked into the cinema late not because I was researching the director or looking up reviews about the film. I was waiting for the aforementioned usual suspects. But upon checking the imdb stats just now, and shocked to see the film has hit #145 in the top #250 imdb films with a score of 8.3/10, I have to ask myself – have I just missed the point somewhere?

Looking at the history of our director’s previous films, I realised it’s not the first time I had to sit through his “creative work”. I had the luxury of sitting through Road Trip a few years ago, a film in which Tom Green shameless tried to steal the limelight with his bizarre antics, only failing at it, and leaving behind a trail of cringe-worthy repetitive moments.

In case you hadn’t detected the tone of underwhelmness and cynicism in the previous paragraphs, let me do the slightly outta place thing – give you the final score first, before explaining how I arrived at my conclusion, and see if I change my mind after having thought about the film.

5/10

Not a bad score considering what I think I’m about to say. Let me open with the premise:

The Hangover is a deceptive title, the film is not at all about the hangover the boys were having on the poster. Truth be told they should well have been having one given their supposed experience the night before, except they seem to have forgotten all about it 15 minutes into the film, or the director has saved the hangover cure for the director’s cut. The film, instead, is about a typical Vegas bachelor party gone wrong / wild, where the budding trios have managed to lose their groom, whose marriage they were celebrating. We see the gang wandering around the big screen and the city, getting into implausible yet “hilarious” situations, trying to retrace their footsteps and hopefully finding their groom for the wedding.

Throughout the day, they slowly discovered how they came across a baby, a tiger, minus a tooth, plus a police car. They quickly find themselves confronted by the dramatic consequences of their prior actions, still clueless as how on earth they actually did whatever the hell they managed to do. Surely what happened the night before promises to be a greatest drunken tale of epic proportions!

You would be, and I was too, very much mistaken.

The Hangover feels like it was written by a couple of guys who just randomly came up with the most outrageous thing to wake up to after a drunken night out. They probably then passed out half way through the night while having Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas playing in the background, and quickly presented the premise to the producer. Of course they then struggled to come up with plausible explanations to their ludicrous ideas, and did a Sherlock Holmes (rule out the impossible, leaving the only possible, if just damn right stupid, explanation).

Somehow the actors carried the film a bit with their decent chemistry, and semi-likable “The Sensible, The Crazy and the Plain Weird” combination. The cinematography was reasonable and at times pretty well done, without surpassing the current cinema expectations. Most of the jokes were well timed and generally performed as well, but however well timed and executed a bad joke is, it remains just that – a cringe worthy moment when I felt like I had to laugh only because I’d already paid to see the film (ok that’s a lie but I still have to pay for my cinema pass).

The lazy script puts no effort into explaining the character relationships (except perhaps everyone loves the drunk and the crazy); the more interesting minor characters only afforded limited screen-time each (even through re-occurrences); and the utterly underwhelming explanations of the various “mishaps” really didn’t justify the 100 mins of my life in the cinema, and most certain not the extra time I’m wasting writing a review for it! And of course, to rub salt in the wounds, the film ended with a poorly executed deus ex machina before rewarding the 3 stooges and the groom for their completely random and irresponsible behaviours. Hurray for the movie message!

If you really are desperate to waste your time on this high rated comedy of 2009, let me implore you to merely consider a rental when you’re seriously out of options on a Friday night in. And no, I have not changed my mind about the score.

Local Shorts Film Club looking for extras!

Got this email through today. Depending on what I’m up to this weekend, I might go along. Anyone fancy joining me? TWKM knows that I don’t dance nor club, so this will very much be breaking out of my own skin to do something different!

Dear Local Shorties,
thought some of you might be interested in this…
Sabine

——- Forwarded message follows ——-

Hello,

we’re shooting a pilot (test episode) for a TV comedy called Townies and are

looking for lots of lovely people to be a part of it as clubgoers, in amongst the
actors!

No experience necessary, just a keenness to be involved in a film/tv project
and a few spare hours this Saturday.

We’re shooting on Sat 11th July in Tamworth (20 mins on train from Bham!).

All you need to do is look like you’re going out on a Friday night and be
prepared to dance (often to no music, when we need to record sound!) or just
hang out pretending to chat with mates etc.

As it’s low budget there won’t be pay but it should be fun and the bar will be
open! (Though we’re not encouraging people to get drunk and free tea and
coffee and soft drinks will be provided!)

Then at the end you’ll get to attend a premiere, see the finished thing online
and fingers crossed even see it on TV.

If you’re interested please get in touch by emailing Louise at
iwannabeintownies@live.com – also do feel free to pass this on to anyone
else you know who might be into it too!

Once we hear from you we’ll send you an email with full instructions for the
day, including location and times etc.

All ages welcome, from 18 upwards. Or people who are nearly 18! NO upper
age limit! You’re never too old to go clubbing, as any visit to Chicago Rock
Cafe will tell you!

THANK YOU THANK YOU!


It’s About Time Productions
59 Brandwood Park Road
Kings Heath
Birmingham
B14 6QY
0044 – (0)121 – 244 5369
info@itsabouttime.org.uk
www.itsabouttime.org.uk

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

A New Beginning (again)

TWKM might know that today was my first day back to work since May. Those who didn’t know, I’ve been off work since May, I went back to work today.

I’ve actually written this blog entry earlier on my netbook, which promptly forgot what I wrote, but instead of giving up like a defeatist, I’m gonna write it afresh!

So… it’s been an exciting day, I woke up at 5:30 and refused to go back to sleep. I quickly realised that I need more American and Canadian friends to chat with during these rare days when I’m awake at such ungodly hours. Alas it goes against my challenge of incrementing my real life interaction with friends and people (not all my friends are people, oh no…).

I turned up 30 minutes early at work for a cuppa with my colleague Malcolm. I was then introduced to the lovely Janine at the newly opened cafe, and her soft spoken colleague Bicky or Becky (did I mention she’s soft spoken?) who explained to me why there were big cookie crumbs on a plate at the counter. Apparently customers have been rejecting the lesser portions of their morning confections which prompted the need for a dedicated dish. Of course Malcolm just picked a big crumb up and munched it before Bicky answered my question. He was still alive and well last time I saw him.

Hungry box in store-room living off old Xmas cards

Hungry box in store-room living off old X'mas cards

30 minutes later I was breaking out a sweat, limping (still recovering from badminton on Friday) between the up and downstairs store-rooms, moving shits in and out, optimizing the storage arrangement (and hence capacity), to accommodate more crap which will inevitably be shoved into the store room later.

It’s a task I had proven myself in the past to be very good at. In fact I was offered a job as Storage Arrangement Consultant by a Cadbury’s World Manager when he witnessed my ability to fit 100 donated Easter eggs of various box sizes into a single trolley earlier on in the year. I rejected the offer on the grounds that I’d likely have to account for constant missing stock and deal with the impending lawsuits.

Another 30 minutes later I was having my second and last cuppa with my other colleague, while hogging the fan’s airflow to ensure a less sticky version of me emerges. Gossips were not in abundance, but since there were no other colleagues present I was able to avoid earvedropping on shopping tips and Heat magazine columns.

My two hours was up before I knew it, and after a confrontation with a group of people who had been trying to unlock our fundraising storage room with their various keys; 3 rearrangements of the same 13 boxes of “The Lost Rabbit” story-books due to an implosion caused by the weak structural integraty of the box vs weight of the books they contain; and a delicious beef burger and chips meal in the staff canteen; I was sent home on my merry way minus my iPod, which was lost during one of the previous missions.

All in all, it’s been an emotional day, to be followed by an emotional goodbye dinner with my friend Colin who’s heading back to America this Thursday, after visiting the UK on a business trip. We had a traditional bangers a mash send off, something he explained he’d been struggling to find back in the States.

As we munched the posh-nosh bangers and mash at the Mash House, I recalled two things: it’s the 4th 3 meal days I’ve had in the last two weeks; and the 100 push-up challenge which I’d taken up earlier in the day, after a twitter invitation from Scribble and Gingell over the weekend. Colin seems more keen on doing sit-ups due to imminent increase in waist size – which was also on the site incidentally.

Basically, it’s a 6 weeks training program to help you get up to 100 consecutive push-ups. It’s actually rather good and upon reading I quickly realised the fundamental mistake I’ve been making in the past. Okay… actually the fundamental mistake in the past was that I got too lazy, but the other thing I did wrong when I got the rare motivation to do push-ups, was to start the first set of push ups by pushing myself to the limit. This training program basically reminds you not to push yourself to the limit till the 5th set, and all in all makes you do less consecutive push-ups in more sets, boosting your overall total and endurance.

I did the initial test yesterday and gave up at 23, could probably have pushed for 25-30 if my life had depended on it. So I’m starting on the week 3 program and managed 19 on the last set. Pretty happy about it, although looking at my target tomorrow… I’m not exactly excited!

Two things had inspired me over the last 3 days to blog about rather negative things. I’ve decided against it in the end but feel the need to at least express what’d happened.

  1. On Thursday I confronted some teenagers who were chasing down, and subsequently capturing a young seagull which was unable to take flight yet. They showed no remorse and told me to “Call a vet then.” when I expressed their animal cruelty. Unfortunately RSPCA couldn’t do shit especially after the kids left the park still holding the seagull in their arms. Nobody else in the entire park did anything other than giving the kids the evil eyes, and we wonder why kids don’t respect authorities these days?
  2. I bumped into a crying kid today in a busy shopping centre. He had obviously lost his mom and didn’t know what to do. Being a man, I was actually too worried about getting too close to the kid when asking where his mommy was… Luckily after talking to the boy, it finally raised more people’s awareness of the situation and a very lovely lady came forward to look after the kid while I looked for help. Best part was seeing the mom returning and having a tearful reunion with her son, before I managed to get help from security. Still… how could you lose a kid, and why did everyone just ignore the kid until someone else stepped up first?

Finally, I’ve come up with some new challenges and ideas for myself and the blog. The obvious challenge is the 100 push-up. Daily / Weekly update to follow. Another idea is that I’m going to compile a list of interesting links I’ve come across over the week here, links ranging from interesting youtube videos, music videos, artists, tips and odd articles. This will mean less random embedded links from here onwards, only genuinely relevant links will be inserted, like the 100 push up challenges one above :)

So all in all, it’s a new beginning to both my job, and this blog hopefully. I’ll end with a cliched Peace Out!

Weight: 8st 5.5lb