Thursday, September 02, 2010


Thursday 2 September 2010

Paranoid nation.

Last night was something of a disturbed slumber.  Sleep is just not happening.  Perhaps it was falling asleep to the Tony Blair v Andrew Marr interview that filled my mind with horror and trash concepts.

This morning I almost fall out of my bed reaching for my alarm clock.  The buzz of it is unendurable.  I hope my neighbours hear it everyday and suffer as much as I do.

As I exit I bump into my Scottish neighbour downstairs.  She tells me how her dog has had the shits and made a mess.  This is nice information to be receiving as my first human contact for the day.  Comically though the dog looks pretty happy/pleased with itself now.

Soon I am driving to the station where proceedings are held up by a pottering vehicle manned by an incompetent driver.  Eventually I take so much (too much) joy in overtaking it.

The Metro is amazing today, beginning with the quote about the Mystery Jets (“they make a different sounding kind of music”), Millwall fans from the Huddersfield game on the run, Demi Moore looking great in her undies and a Doug Stanhope live review.  Of course I completely glaze over and miss the big story on the front page that is that William Hague isn’t gay.  Apparently.

At Ingatestone the train beaches as somebody gets taken poorly and an ambulance is called.  After delivering this knowledge later Information Jimmy thanks commuters for their patience.  Always at Ingatestone.  Eventually the train pulls in about fifteen minutes late, fifteen minutes of my life I will never see again.  Hope nobody died.

From here the tube ride across town is a relative breeze and as I step through the door of the restaurant so is the Filipino.  Always a pleasure.

Today is actually the first day since 27 July that our whole team has been together.  Its good to be back.

I arrive into work into my unopened email count now at 666.  That is literally a bad omen.

Gradually the others turn up and the news from nowhere is good, I was not necessarily missed last week but I sense the others are happy to see me back.  Or maybe that is just my delusional ego running wild.

I have to concede to wasting the morning putting stuff up online.  Ultimately it is productive though; it clears my thought process and mind, making room for finance tasks ahead.

All morning the bosses exude an unclear tension as they gear up for a meeting with the bank.  It sounds like the bank does not necessarily like us or our custom.

Early on word comes through from Racton regarding plans to see SCOTT PILGRIM tonight.  It looks set for the win.

From here the day goes so so, ultimately seeing me royally lose momentum around lunchtime as the network crashes and I find myself unable to do anything productive while anyone with any networking knowledge are off on holiday in foreign lands.  This is unacceptable.

Eventually we get back online and finally I begin tearing into work.  Unfortunately this is too little too late.

Today The Girl comments that I look like Rolf Harris because of my beard.  I guess that means its time to shave.

The day ends with the boss ripping into The Girl jokingly but as far as banter goes personally I feel he/it goes too far.

From here I take the post and hop out of work a bit early as I rush across to Westfield to meet up with the others to see SCOTT PILGRIM VS THE WORLD.  In the end it’s for the win as I get there by 5.50PM, much to my surprise.  Beyond this I pay £2.55 for a weird sized bottle of water, not quite small, not quite medium, just the right size to confuse a person into no quibbling the rip off price.  We take our seats towards the back of the Extreme Screen, which I feel rivals the disappointment that was the IMAX.

SCOTT PILGRIM VS THE WORLD turns out to be great.  From the off it goes 8-bit with the Universal Studios logo being presented in pixel fashion as immediately I am reminded of being young and into Kevin Smith movies.  Then even the band Sex Bob-omb sounds great, a freak occurrence considering that it almost feels like the rule with movie bands is that they must be clichéd and crappy.

So much of this movie is likeable that it is easy to happily cast a blind eye over the imperfections and occasional cheese that comes with.  Were I 22 years old I might have been harder (more cynical) in my critique but as a 34 year old aching to regain his youth and the cool he never had, for things that I know and recognise to be “in” at the moment is more than I require to be charmed by a feature.

Against expectations the cast is good.  Michael Cera never fails to impress (despite reminding me of an old work colleague from Baker Street) and Mary Elizabeth Winstead is genuinely stunning, the ideal looking lady for any young male with a bit of life and difference to them.  In support is Kieran Culkin who I always thought was great in Igby Goes Down.  Also I spend a lot of the early part of the movie trying to recognise the drummer (Alison Pill) who I eventually realise was the girl suffering from cancer in the second season of In Treatment.  Of course as ever Jason Schwartzman is good value, something that goes without saying.

Built like a video game going through levels the movie manages to avoid many clichéd pitfalls (although obviously there is the bisexual ex-girlfriend clunker).  Before the inevitable conclusion the film does that modern trick of working a twisted ending that almost feels like cheating as it undoes its original ending and rewrites the conclusion.  This is cinematic tool (cheat) that is more acceptable than it should be.

Then it ends.

We emerge from the cinema with Eleanor and I singing the film’s praises having enjoyed ourselves while Racton appears less convinced.

From here we exit Westfield with view to getting food.  Originally the plan was to check out the new Jamie Oliver Italian place but dining there this evening comes with a thirty-minute wait, which tonight we are not necessarily in the mood to entertain.

In the end we wind up in Balans which reminds me of Canteen and its style over substance manner of rebranding stock dishes and pretending they are something more than they actually are.  I order the haddock because it is one of the few things that comes with chips and is accompanied by mushy peas.  All insinuation/illusion of it being decent food gets blown away as the waitress taking the order just refers to the dish as “fish and chips”.

Tonight is one that contains weird, adult conversation.  All is very dry and very adult, dare I say perhaps lacking in a sense of fun.  For too much of the meal we discuss work and mortgages when really maybe it should still be about shits and giggles.

Soon we finish up, avoiding dessert in the process and tanking coffees for the long ride home.  Before long we are all on the Central Line hurtling across town.  After they exit at Oxford Circus I stay the course until Liverpool Street where I hop aboard a train back to Colchester.

The train back to Essex is a freak one.  Why do the passengers on it have so much luggage?  Are they homeless?

As soon as I get home I set about looking for a download of the Scott Pilgrim soundtrack.  That movie rocked.

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