Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Linkin Park: My guilty pleasure

I can't help it, I've always loved Linkin Park, and if that makes me a sulky teenage boy then so be it. It's my guilty little secret, and now it's out. My little brother - who actually IS a sulky teenage boy - has also always been something of a fan, so we've been promising one another we'll see them since he was knee high to a grasshopper. He's now knee high to a skyscraper.

Monday, therefore, was something of a highlight to 2008 - it's been a rather good year so far, actually, which is faintly suspicious - as Best Mate, Anton, Sulky Bro and I pottered off to see them at the 02 (previously the Millennium Dome, for non-Londoners). And fuck me is it a big bastard.

As far as we could tell, from some speedy basic maths that entertained us for about an hour, it holds about 17,551 people* (as Chester, bless him, put it so beautifully, "Leave it to London to build the biggest, baddest mother of a stadium in the world").

Which meant that those of us who were too slow and bought our tickets in the second millisecond after they went on sale were at least 3 miles up in the sky. Yes, that's right, 3 miles.

It was a bit of a surprise to all of us (as nobody had actually thought to check) to find out the support act was only Biffy bloody Clyro! Never have I seen Anton beam so widely - and those who were paying attention back in about August will be desperately uninterested to hear that that was one of the CDs I borrowed from him and failed to return.

And then it was Linkin Park themselves, who, it turns out, are a million times better as a live band than on the old iPod. Darker, heavier, louder, more excitable, polished and really enjoying themselves - not to mention Chester's voice, which is incredibly powerful. He didn't do the 17-second scream I was hoping for, but I did clock him at 13 seconds and, to be fair, it WAS the end of the tour.

Quote of the night (during the second encore)
Me: Awww look, Chester's up on his box again, he does so love his box
Best Mate: I shall put him IN his box in a minute, if he doesn't get a move on so I can have a wee.

p.s. In other news, I've just disovered that the designer helping me make Open Your Mind is a punk metal guitarist whose band just finished a countrywide tour, during which they played the Astoria. Marvellous, a magazine intended to enlighten, balance, de-stress and broaden the horizons of the women of Britain and it's being put together by a lunatic and a thrash metaller.

*Actually we guessed at 10,000 and I just looked it up now to find out how wrong we were, all of which tells you all you need to know about my number dyslexia.

Sunday, 27 January 2008

A rest from the weekend

You'll forgive me if I get an early night, for it's been a weekend full of drunken babbling and I am, for want of a better way of putting it, cream fooking crackered.

Friday night was Best Mate's leaving do, for she is deserting me and moving all the way across London, leaving me with far fewer wine glasses and nowhere to turn when the milk runs out. Tut. So sorrows needed drowning in The Lot, which is a student pub very much in the spirit of Richmond: the beer is cheap, but the students are appreciatively well scrubbed. The majority of the time was spent upsetting them with camera flashes and lamenting the long climb to the loos.

Then last night we celebrated our Glitterati status with the opening party for Mojo - Laura was rightfully thrilled to welcome about 100 people through the doors. There were so many positive comments from skin lovers, one of whom confessed she'd actually bought a patch of land nearby, to be closer to the shop, and the party was still going at 4am after a full 7 hours of good company and silliness.

Of course, the bits you always remember are the cock-ups, so last night will stick in my mind for the stream problems - which meant we were treated to an ultra-slow version of Take That's Rule the World and Timbaland's Give it to Me sung by chipmunks - and the raffle ball, which had a mind of its own and was a complete Willock about everything.

In fact, it gave out so many free belt buckles, completely ignoring the manicures it was supposed to be gifting, that we've decided to build a fort out of them, with eyelashes for pillows. Strange mental image...

So that's that, I need some sleep now - I have to get the energy together to take my huffy teenaged brother to see Linkin Park tomorrow. Cripes. Night all!

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Wanna be a Glitterati?

The Glitterati Range: introducing a brand new range of elite skins.
Designed to make you look and feel like a movie star, each unique colour, tone and style has been lovingly crafted to add glitz to your natural glamour.

Live the high life with a little taste of classic Hollywood - join the Glitterati.

I'm so stupidly proud of Laura, for this week she will reach the proverbial finishing post. For months she's been slaving away over her new range of skins, perfecting every last detail, lovingly crafting the make-ups and the peachy butts, with her tongue poking out and her brow furrowed. Often not even the promise of a REALLY big cave full of monsters on WoW could tear her away.

1440 uploads later, here they are complete - the Glitterati range, probably my favourite skins of all time. She's absolutely appalling at being bigheaded so I thought I'd blow her trumpet a bit, because these are such flawless, stunning creations - how I pine to have talent like this!

We'll be having a big party on Second Life to celebrate the release this Saturday at 2pm SLT - please do come and join us, grid-fellows. There'll be a big old mirrorball and lots of floating sparkly bits and, best of all, the full range of skins with plenty of exclusive freebies. No fuss, no muss, just movie star glamour.

Maybe then she'll come kick some murloc arse again :P

Monday, 21 January 2008

How to deal with junk mail...

The key, you see, is to be unconcerned.

Yes I know I've blacked out the address in a paranoid frenzy. I know what will happen if I don't, I'll have strange people turning up on the doorstep and Laura posting me bits of bread.

Thursday, 17 January 2008


Best Mate and I made our own Lolcats over on The Rough Book. This one is my favourite...

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Soul Tribes

Sometimes I come across a place, a person or even an experience that I know, with pure but inexplicable intuition, is meant to be a part of my life.

It's a phenomenon I think might happen to us all - certainly to most people I've asked. It's pure gut feeling: of coming home, of comfort and of familiarity. It's immediate and powerful and cannot be ignored.

It doesn't happen often, but it's never let me down. The first time I flopped down on the grass in Exeter, I knew that was where I would go to university. When I walked through the doors of the Summertime office, I knew I was supposed to work there. It's happened with one or two people, who are now treasured pieces of my heart. I think they will know who they are.

Sysperia once passed along a beautiful piece of imagery: she told me that our souls travel in packs through time, that each of us has a soul tribe. Today I think I met one of my tribe on a bus journey across town.

I hope, for once, that my intuition had let me down, because I didn't say a word to him. We smiled at each other, I felt the jolt of familiarity, I carried on walking. I could see him playing the same game I'm playing on the PSP, I could hear what I think was one of my favourite songs on his headphones.

Through shyness and embarrassment, I stayed quiet, though my instincts told me I had no need to. There's a lesson in this, one I want to record for myself: it's long past time to deal with the reasons for my timidity. The irony of which will not be lost on those members of my soul tribe who know where my journey was taking me.

Thursday, 10 January 2008

How To Lose A Job In A Day

New Boss, in an unexpected spurt of anti-dithering, has gone and found us a new office within 2 days of announcing his intention to do so. This is quite exciting, but has its drawbacks, as I've become very cosy working from my sweet little (windowless) flat.

Laura had a suggestion...

Laura: trash it a bit so its out of action for another week
Willow Caldera: and then look at him with absolutely no guilt or understanding of why there's a problem
Laura k: yeh hack a wall to bits while hes not looking and then look innocent while it crumbles
Me: while holding the hammer...with a bit of dust on my nose
Laura: tie a hammer to your shoe and gradually hack away at it under the desk
Me: while making absolutely no acknowledgement of being up to something
Me: I like how that implies a sudden flurry of completely unexpected behaviour. I want to be surrounded by a cartoon cloud with lots of symbols coming out of it
Laura: he turns back to absolute destruction
Me: and he won't have a CLUE why
Laura: and you're like "omg what's happened here then?"
Laura: if he notices it was you, drill his face a bit and run, it should give you a headstart
Me: i don't think he'd want me to come in again...which has its upsides
Laura: mission accomplished
Me: and all i had to do was single-handedly bring down the wall of a building \o/
Laura: cos there were NO SIMPLER WAYS

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Quote of the Day - and a new blog!

Best Mate on the way she's been hobbling about while sick with the flu:

"A woman described it to me and I saw an image of 'early man walking under rope'."

In honour of how amusing we are (very), Best Mate and I have begun a new blog here. Click the link to see how mysterious our bovine friends can be. Oh yes.

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Resolute: I was and am

It's that time of year again when we must all look to our lives, mutter a bit and then decide, for good or ill, to make some changes. And this, I am proud to announce, is the first anniversary of the day I gave up smoking - from 30 a day to 0 in one painful wrench - and I haven't smoked a single cigarette since. Not one!

Which tells me that, if I put my mind to it, I can keep any resolution I care to, because anyone who knows me can tell you exactly how dedicated a smoker I was. I had set times, set places, set acceptable periods between nicotine hits. As Blanca put it, if I can does it, anyone can does it (she's Spanish).

So what should I set my sights on this year? At the risk of setting myself up for a fall, because I'm stupidly recording these in a public place, I shall list them and see how long they last.

1. To own my own home - I'm fed up of paying through the nose for a flat without a window, I want to set my feet on the lowly bottom rung of the property ladder. I don't care if it's a barn with a view, I want a place to call my own. And paint pink.

2. To get out more - of the country, I mean. I haven't been abroad since Cyprus, many moons ago, and Tim assures me it's not even a proper country (not one anyone cares about, anyway). I'm meant to be going to Las Vegas to see Vici next month but it's going to be a struggle to come up with the funds. Will I manage it? Watch this space...

3. To pay off my debts - maybe not completely, but I sure am bored of all the student crap hanging over my head. I'm 28, I shouldn't still be paying off my boozy years!

4. To learn at least one new skill - specifically, photography and html. In that order. My dear old dad has been a photographer for 50 years, time to leg it off with the torch, methinks.

5. To read better books - I read at such a ridiculous speed (so I'm told) that I really ought to start learning a few things from what my eyes are scanning. Enough trash, time to be a bit more discerning! Suggestions welcome...

And finally:

6. To Be Better - I was going to call this one something icky like reaching for my dreams, but my Entertainment Guru came up with this resolution and it's such a marvel I've decided to take it for myself. For me, though, it has a fairly specific meaning: moving closer to my personal goals. I want to finish the kids' book Bill (OYM's master illustrator and a man whose imagination makes me feel about 5 years old again) and I are working on, I want to expand my SL horizons (possibilities are opening with another news team), I want to try new things and write for more places I've always wanted to write for. And, most of all, I want to finish my bloody novel - the dust on it would choke a donkey.

So there we have six spanking new resolutions for the year. As far as I'm concerned, the more you make, the more likely you are to keep one and get to be smug about it at the end of the year.

Happy New Year! (and the Status Kwoo)

Happy New Year everyone, I hope your hangovers are beginning to subside and you've managed a good night's sleep, for now it's back to the grind with the forced smile of the newly resolute.

I had a lovely new year up in Northampton with WillowZ, Grumpy, the littl'uns, Holly and Sian, and Jake the Three-legged Dog. The new house is gorgeous and, pleasingly, full of alcohol and sausage rolls.

We watched I Am Leg End (shush, I shall say it how I like), which I wasn't terribly impressed with. I've since watched it again and worked out that this was largely due to being distracted by Jake tapping about on the wooden floor (which drives Grumpy mad, but I find it most entertaining) and a 2-month old being cute on my lap. More on that later.

I have nominated myself De Facto Godmother to both small fries - Holly, however, loses points in the cute stakes for looking highly dubious at the idea, even when it was explained to her that all it means is an extra present on birthdays.

After making our way through an impressive amount of cocktails (well, various spirits topped up at random with whatever mixer was closest) and discovering that Black Russians taste like paint if made with lemonade, we made poor Grumpy go and get the PS3 from the other house, which was a half hour walk away. Sorry Grumps.

Anyone who was present on Yahoo the night WillowZ and I first got merry and exercised our vocal chords will know what a beautiful, harmonious sound it can be. They will also understand why my neighbours never spoke to me again. So letting us near Singstar after half a bottle of vodka was probably a mistake.

Really we just wanted to sing Hammertime, but it requires vocal gymnastics neither of us was up to. Holly tickled me enormously, when singing the High School Musical songs, by pronouncing status quo as 'status kwoo'. She thus regains her cute points.

We made our way through all the 90s songs and rock ballads until about 4 in the morning, when Grumpy had long disappeared to the safety of the bedroom with Sian, Holly was conked out on the sofa and WillowZ had slowly drifted off to sleep while still singing, such that her final note was more of a breathy scale.

And I wasn't even hungover!