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Archive for the ‘Christmas 2010’ Category

Two Hundred

This is my 200th Blog Post.

Yay Me.

That’s kind of scary and sad and awesome all mixed into one.

So to celebrate that and 2011, which I am going to own,  a new look. It’s still a work in progress, the redesign. I’d like the font colour not to be green but can’t work out how to change it yet. Ah well, challenges, challenges.

It is New Years Eve and I will be working. I know. I rock!!!! I’d like to write something about 2010 however there will be navel gazing galore over the next few days. 200 posts seems more than enough of a milestone.

So to all the people who may be reading this; it is an hour and fourty minutes from being 2011. I hope you have a fantastic new year and that all your deepest desires come true. And thank you, as ever, for reading this silly little thing.

Next year will be even more ramblings. I pity you already.

And to all the police I am about to send out on welfare checks of the sad, drunken people who ring me tonight, on this night of nights for suicidal drunks, my deepest apologies. Let me know who you are and I will buy you a drink. If you’re cute and in uniform, I’ll buy you two.

Happy 2011.

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Firstly apologies, my two parter planned event for today couldn’t happen as something happens tomorrow that threw my entire schedule off. You will have to return tomorrow to see what it is. Oh, the suspense. Try not to lose sleep, it aint that interesting. So this was something quirky that I can throw in here. And put what was intended for today in tomorrow, or the next day. Or the day after that.

Anyways…..

Little known fact, or a fact possibly not really worth knowing. Films don’t magically get nominated for Oscars by the Academy. Nope. Film studios spend millions of dollars to get their film under the noses of the Academy to even be considered for nomination. That’s millions BEFORE the film is nominated. There is even more spent after a film may receive a nomination.

The concept, therefore, that a film wins under its own merit is ludicrous. The best films out there may have abysmal Oscar marketing and therefore not get considered. Obviously the major Studios, who have more financial power, have more chance of scoring nominations. Doesn’t the whole Oscar winners make more sense now?!

Having said that, to even be considered for a nomination means the marketing of the film has to be incredibly clever to make them stand out from all the thousands being presented to the Academy at the same time.

With that in mind, presenting Pixar’s Toy Story 3.

Pixar is aiming to be nominated for Best Picture this year. While their nomination ( and eventual win) of Best Animated Picture is certain, Pixar is aiming for the top spot. This would be neat from a couple of points of view. Firstly,  Disney has never won a Best Picture Oscar yet. They’re completely overdue. Secondly, it probably really does deserve the title of Best Picture, it really was a top film.

To remind the Academy of this, Pixar have come up with an excellent series of full-page ads, currently being run in Los Angeles. The focus being comparing Toy Story 3 to previous Oscar winners. Full marks for cuteness.

Here then, for your amusement,  are some of the better campaign posters (click on them to embiggen them):

And my favourite:

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Nick Cola

If you respond to my blog, eventually you’re gonna be part of it. Wesley, Brad and Trey have discovered this. Today was Nicola’s turn.

Nicola invited me to her birthday dinner tonight. I am not sure how old she is and as I am a gentleman I do not ask, however I would guess late twenties. I cautioned her that I was on nights. However, as the event started at 6 and I had to be to work for 8, theoretically there was a decent enough time frame to get there, eat and move on.

I am a crap friend though. Anyone who knows me knows getting together with me is fraught with drama. Either I blissfully  plod along in my own little world and then realize six months has passed since seeing people or else I make plans to see people and some crisis (deaths, work, meteor showers, work, plagues, work) occur and I am left floundering or cannot make it (See, Christmas party last year and the reason KB is not on this blog yet).

So today I sleep in. I am wide awake throughout the day as it is hot and the air con is still on the fritz and so sleep is a sweat infused fidgeting aerobic session. As ever with these things, I fall asleep ten minutes before I am to get up and sleep through the alarm. I ring Nicola 20 minutes after I was due there and race through showers and driving and get there 50 minutes late. This for me is not too bad. Thank God I don’t have an anxiety disorder about time keeping.

I order a steak on the telephone  through Nic and by the time I get there the meal is ready which works out well. I am able to briefly catch up about important things like this blog and the christmas movies ( my life is soooo small!) Nicola is worried the Snowman will be scary which, when she finally watches it, will make her laugh at her neuroticism. Evidently, as I like scary films, I am not a source of good tele watching. If it had been The Snowman of the Dead then maybe I could understand the concerns. As is… HA! You are going to be embarrassed, Nicola.

I manage a whole hour of quality time before I have to run off to work. I do manage to snap this picture which I know doesn’t flatter either of us but is at least in focus. The really nice picture of us that I thought was in focus was hopelessly fuzzy but iPhones are so small you can’t tell. Curse you iPhones.

So Happy Birthday Nic. Look forward to breakfast soon, barring meteor showers.

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The Bird

So I am minding my own business at work ( for those coming in late I work alone at night on a telephone crisis line). The colleague I have replaced hands over and goes home. When I arrived she had the door open to allow fresh air in. I am a big fan of fresh air however we have not been allowed a screen  door on this doorway (as it will upset the air conditioning or some rot ) so I close the door so as not to spend the evening with a thousand bugs.  This is important. I close the door at 2030.

I also close the one other door to the hallway for the night. My theory being if a killer comes in at least I will hear either door open so I can be aware and terrified before I am killed as opposed to not knowing it’s gonna happen…. hmmmm, wait a second…..

So I am sitting in essentially a closed room all night, other than when I go to the bathroom down the hallway, and am minding my own business. I go to the bathroom at 6 in the morning and there on the floor, in front of the door to the hallway is a bird. Quiet, head under its wing, not moving.

I assume it’s dead and get something to pick it up and it scares the bejesus out of me by moving its wings. It clearly is a very sick bird and I have no idea what to do with it. So,  when in doubt, ask. Fascinatingly the first person who I think will know what to do and who will be awake is Wesley who I try to call but end up texting cos the phone line doesn’t want to work for me for some reason.

Now stop a moment to marvel at this. In a situation of which I am unsure, the person I am able to rely on lives in the US AND I am able to contact him incredibly easily. This is the most incredible age. Ten years ago I would have sent him an air mail and waited a few weeks for him to respond.

While I wait for his reply I remember that one of the security guards  is a complete Grizzly Adams and would be able to care for the bird. I ring security but the person I am thinking of isn’t on shift tonight. However, I am told, another one of the security lads also takes in stray birds who need getting back to health. (Why do all these security guards take in stray birds? Is it a sideline?). He will come around and take a look.

Wesley writes back with some sound advice and I do as he suggests. The security lads come to see the my poor bird and deem him to be “stuffed”  (I also thought that was probably the case as the bird must have been in the room with me all night and didn’t make a peep.  It was clearly dying a long time.) 

One of the security lads takes the bird away to ‘take care of’ the ‘stuffed’ bird.  I am not sure what taking care of it entailed and I am sure I do not want to know either. He brings me back the empty box though which was thoughtful. Sheesh.

I dread to think what they do with the birds they take home.

So, there you go. Poor Bird. Evidently it was one of those bastard birds that swoop at you as you walk so I am not as upset as I probably should be.

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In the midst of coping with the silly season, I completely forgot to tell you about the days themselves. This is what my brain is like at the moment. A steel trap.

So Christmas Eve/ morning was spent at work dealing with a number of very sad, very drunk people who were very unhappy that they would be spending their Christmas alone. Dealing with them finished at 7 am and I was intending to get to my brother, Robin and sister-in-law Allison’s house straight after. Their rationale was that Rebecca (3-year-old niece) would be up at 6 anyway. So I arrive at 730, having stopped at the garage to get some much-needed extra caffeine coke, and Rebecca is still fast asleep. Fast asleep. Woke up eventually at 8 which would have been a Christmas miracle had I also been sleeping.

The rest of the family joined us at 9 by which time Rebecca had opened her pink scooter ( which was all she wanted for Christmas) and a play dough Mr Potato Head set (which I personally found very therapeutic).

Presents shared and breakfast outside with Robin and Alison’s mad dog, Rupert then we all traipsed to Jane’s house, Alison’s sister (my sister-in-law in law) for Christmas lunch. Now the Vanstones are incredibly set in their routines and have not ventured outside their homes on Christmas day for all of my life. However, this year, Jane had recently lost her husband and so we were there as a diversion/ distraction for Jane and her children on their first Christmas without him.

Equally oddly, this was the first year ever the Vanstones had taken advantage of the hot weather and had a cold lunch. Normally we do the proper Christmas turkey and trimmings etc… this time it was cold turkey roll and salad. Given the circumstances it was a pleasant afternoon, all told. We all spent time in the pool which was necessary for me as by this time I was awake for 3000 hours or something and was lapsing into a coma.  Rebecca enjoyed ‘swimming’ even if she does constrict her arms around your neck and stop you from breathing as you swim with her. Rebecca is also completely in love with her 16-year-old cousin, Alexander, who was incredibly patient with her. Importantly, I think Jane had a decent day.

Eventually, when the day is over, I collapse into bed after being up for 36 hours.

Boxing day is spent having the Christmas Dinner we should have had yesterday. Dinner is lovely although I have been ruined for turkey forever, I am afraid. The day works out well for two reasons.  One reason is that I teach my nephew how to make martinis (bless him, he wanted to learn). Phillip develops a knack for this – I am so proud. What he doesn’t develop a knack for is measurements ( which can be a good thing, depending on your preference.) As such one of his martinis is the equivalent of three. My brother Robin is under the table with just one glass, the light weight.  I take three before I am officially blind. The rest of the day is spent being incredibly happy and missing people who would have enjoyed the day.

The other reason; this:

This is what you get when you have a gay uncle and a niece who loves dress up.  Tomorrow, the princess Dress.

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Boxing Day

Coming from an English background, the concept of Boxing Day has never seemed alien to me. The day after Christmas, the second of the twelve days of Christmas, the day you also get presents.

Boxing Day began as a tradition ( though competing theories differ) when people, such as my grandparents, who worked in service (ie worked in  Manor Houses for the gentry) were given a half day off and presents from their masters on the day after Christmas. As the servants were required to work on Christmas Day they were allowed time off the day after to spend time with their families.  It was the custom of the time that the Lords and Ladies of the Manor would give their staff boxes of leftover food and presents in the morning of the 26th as a thank you for their servitude through the year.

My grandparents, coming from being in Service, kept the tradition of Boxing Day presents alive in their years. Sadly over the last few years, financial restraints have prevented this from happening. However the custom remains adorable. And you can never get enough presents.

So, in the spirit of boxing day, here is my present to you.

Remember this. The best ever Christmas show.

Well, here’s how you can go and watch it. Allow yourself 26 minutes of not being interrupted and enjoy.

Sadly the video where it is in one piece is missing so had to go with the three parter, sorry.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Enjoy and Happy Boxing Day!!

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So, given that in the last 72 hours I have probably slept 7 due to the silly season being very silly indeed, I am giving myself  a Christmas present of a night off and will be back tomorrow with wit and repartee once I have slept.

Much to discuss about today, many interesting things. However since it is now 2200 on Christmas night and I have been going since 3 pm Christmas Eve, it can all wait.

It was a nice day and I hope yours was,  or will be, as well.  Bless my US readers…

Time to shower and sleep. Tell me what you got for the day, either pressies or memories, while I slumber…. Dazzle me

Night.

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