We made a Pig’s Ear of it!

As you all know, this Sunday was the first day of the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Pig. So the usual suspects (Jill, Jessy, Kaitlyn, Tracy, Sha, Adam, Dmitri, Gareth, Ioannis, Paulo, Simon & moi) gathered at Jill’s luxurious and well-appointed (two microwaves, three fridges) penthouse flat to celebrate. Some of us cooked, some brought booze, and some sponsored dessert.

My imaginative and amazingly spiced chicken chilli went head-to-head against Simon’s more conventional, staid, traditional, boring beef chilli. Let’s just say that there were no losers. And let’s also remind Simon that no-one remembers the second guy on the moon.

Ioannis made a ham n shroom bake, Tracy brought prawns and special sauce, Jessy had a beef dish, Jill made dumplings and sticky sweet, and Sha brought a wonderful cake. We even had fortune cookies!

It was nice to have an good old ISOM bash and as usual it was a rip-roaring success. Reflecting upon which, I realise that a full SIX of yesterday’s revellers were outsiders, successful infiltrators of our close-knit community. What is the world coming to??

Happy new year guys and gals!

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Ze Weekend

Well, it’s been a busy weekend. Went to see Casino Royale with Sha and her flatmate Yen Ru on Friday. The queues at Parrs Wood Cinema were long, so we missed the 19:30 show but managed to get in the 20:15 one. Sitting right at the front in the third row. It felt like I was staring close-range at a collage of objects rather than watching a harmonious scene. And when the camera went close things got really uncomfortable, especially when I had to sit staring at James Bond’s nipple for five minutes. The movie was a well-considered and well-executed break from the Bond tradition, presumably because of the competition from the more realistic and lifelike spy thrillers like the Bourne movies (and The XXX according to Ioannis).

Jessy’s birthday was celebrated on Sunday at Ioannis’, and we even managed to see Jessy for a bit before she was off to help her sister with homework. The festive cheer was all around, and we had a cozy time. (Menu: Thai or Malaysian Green Curry, rice, Not-Lamb-But-M&S-Finest-Lamb Roast, Not-Potatoes-But-M&S-Finest-Maris-Piper-Potatoes, Razzberry cheesecake, Apple Pie, and drinks)

Muscles still aching from Friday night’s footie, compounded by Saturday afternoon’s badminton. Where, surprise surprise! Johnny and Gracie showed up.  

My google homepage has automatically updated quotes from Dubyah Bush. The feature is called “Chimp-o-Matic”

Earth to Party People!!

I am really getting fed up with personal communications being transacted by our party group via e-mails. As if I have nothing better to do than read everybody’s personal comments on who’s going to do what with whom and how, and why and wherefore.

From now on, party discussions should be had via our beautiful and still-operational ISOM website, so all of us can view the comments in one go instead of opening e-mail after e-mail.

But since Christmas discussions have already been started, you can continue them here on my blog!!

Doesn’t this make it much simpler??

later: Actually, I immediately realised that there exist so-called “lurkers” who read our blogs without alerting us of their presence (except in some cases where I recognise the I.P addresses) so the solution might be to set up and use a “Partay Blog” with passwords given to cool people only. Additional passwords can be used for individual blogs as well, so that a certain special-on-the-day person doesn’t find out what plans are being made behind his/her back. Unless that person is Ioannis “I.T Helpdesk” Verdelis who will presumably have administrator access to the site!

I was also thinking of secret handshakes for the group, but I’ve got so many now that I get kind of muddled! (It was really embarrassing at the Nun Convention the other day. All I’ll say is that Sister Magdalene had never been shaken like that before!)

And since the original ISOM group has grown and included (some may say “engulfed”) members of other disciplines and walks of life, perhaps we need a renaming of this enterprise? Suggestions will be accepted and vetoed by ME since it’s my idea!! And The Winning Prize will be given to ME as well regardless of the winning entry!! 

My sis – the I.T Geek!!

My sis has started working as a publicist for a software start-up company called Atlantis based in Bangalore. A typically grandiose name for such things, however I haven’t put a link because I couldn’t find it on the net, which is unusual.

She says “Its my first geek company job. Besides, Im the sixth person to join… so its good fun. 🙂 I get to hire and fire people too! 🙂 Great work environment. All the guys have long hair, and ride Bullets! (Editor’s note:- a kind of heavy motorbike, properly called a Royal Enfield Bullet) 🙂 Muahahahaha! And they’re all weird, which is good. 🙂 ”

She also says “I was looking through your blog and laughing and my CEO came and sat down and read almost all your posts. He LOVES your blog! 🙂 He thinks you’re the funniest guy ever! He thinks you’re really cool! 🙂 Hah! Who’se brother is he after all, me says! 🙂 Shush! Im busy beaming with pride! 😉 ”

 She really uses a lot of smileys!

A pleasant read

My shower drain had been blocked for a while, so over the weekend I Cillit-Banged the Bejeezus out of it. As I was luxuriating (again, not a euphemism) myself today, I realised I was missing something. It took me a while to realise that it was the feeling of scummy water lapping around my feet! Man it felt strange, like my ankles had been abandoned after a long, vaguely comforting relationship.

Radio 2 this morning played a song by somebody called something. But it had a line that went “I can dream about you”, which sounded like the guy had actually been denied permission to touch her, or even approach within 600 yards (a pretty standard ruling, I can tell you). Which makes you think; sometimes a thing can be pervy, and sometimes it is endearing and romantic. Let me give you chowderheads an example to make it clearer. In the movie Striptease (a fantastic storyline, by the way) this senator bloke sends his underling to fetch some lint from the laundromat that Demi Moore had just used for her washing so he can sniff it. And where I was going “Awww shoo shweeet”, apparently that was pervy! Confusing, innit?

History has been made, by the way. What we (I) keep reading about in science fiction books has finally come to be. No, intergalactic spaceships are not being built in lunar orbit, at least not that I’m aware of. But an accused barman made a court appearance by vidlink. Of course, in the books it used to be called something like GlobVid or CommLink or something equally obvious. And it hasn’t made much news because we’re so used to this kind of stuff.

Coldplay’s new song tells us we should never fight our ceilings. I’m sure it’s all well meaning and such, but I really don’t think squabbles with one’s dorsal wall is as much of a social problem as they make it out to be. Atleast not big enough to warrant a song of its own. Maybe a token mention somewhere in a paragraph of a song about social ills in general, but not an entire song. I guess all the real fights like drugs and alcohol have been done to death, so they were looking for something new. And don’t get me wrong; I’m all for exploring new frontiers in songwriting/music and suchlike. It’s just that I can’t honestly remember the last time I felt so cross with my ceiling that it warranted a verbal caution. From Coldplay.

P.S. Apparently it’s your feelings you shouldn’t be fighting. Well Yoo-Hoo for originality Mr Coldplay. It just so happens that at this moment I feel like downloading music for free, thereby cutting into your earnings. Do you still stand by your song??

You can breathe now

Yes, sorrying for keeping you waiting so long, but the results of my driving theory test are now available to you. Yesterday, I was at the DSA test centre near Picadilly station for about half an hour. In that time I managed to get 35/35 on my questions, and 63/75 on my hazard perception (I deliberately didn’t wanna be too good). I thought twice about posting my score, because I didn’t want to seem like a poser, but what the heck, I am that good!!

Jill, Ioannis, Shasha and I saw “Two for the money” on Sat. SOMEBODY mistook it for “The inside man”, which I was looking forward to. I knew there was a bank robbery involved, so imagine my disappointment when nothing of the sort happened!! I was trying to link the stupid plot to a desperate need for cash, thinking “Okay, so now he goes robs a bank”. Finally, the movie ended.

But highlight of the week had to be the bizarro goings on at Tracy’s Willy’s party. Tracy greeted me with an amorous (=drunk) hug at half-seven, and I knew things were fragile. These guys were so drunk, I’m amazed no untoward incidents flared up (if you discount of course Willy chucking a water balloon at 2 girls in the bus-stop opposite, and the Turkish guy crashing onto the floor, and Blake forcing his way into a poor terrified girls car to kiss her, oh!, and two strangers off the street talking to us and then blazenly trying to break into the downstairs’ neighbours’ flat, claiming they thought it was “The Rampant Lion” pub. What, and you enter that pub through the window??? ) The flat-mates (Blake, Tom, Kev & Willy) had the kitchen table taken outside and were playing beer-pong from 4pm. Basically, two people fill themselves six plastic cups with beer and arrange them in a triangle in front of them at opposite sides of the table lengthwise. Then they take turns chucking a pingpong ball at the other person’s beer. If it falls in, the other person drinks that. Simple yet so unelegant. Marissa played with glasses of G&T, and was not seen for most of the evening. There were empty cans and splashed beer all over the place, mixing with the effluent of people not bothering to go to the bathroom to pee. Adam was there in his role as friendly neighbour, watching these antics with eyebrows constantly raised. I turned up with some Chicken couscous and a litre of whiskey, one of which was sooo delicious we promptly set to work upon it. The couscous we saved for later 😉 The Turkish guy (“I’m from Cyprus”) tried to prove his manhood by downing half a plastic cup of whiskey (pocket change, dahling!) and promptly felt the kick. He was staggering all over the place. Even when he fell on his backside he was still walking, dragging himself around!! Then Jessy & Ioannis turned up with beer, and we promptly steered them into the living room, away from the mayhem. Tom was so stoned (even more so then usual) and I myself was barely keeping it together, so I was grateful that Miss X turned up after she finished work, so I had to limit my extravagances and act gentlemanly. There were no major hangovers the next day, thanks to that timely intervention. Oh, at some point I had to drag Willy off a neighbour’s car, where he “wanted to sleep”.
P.S things are coming back to me now.
1. Oh, almost forgot to say, someone copped off with someone in half-an-hour flat after introduction!
2. There was a large group of chicas who came in at some point (Marissa’s friends) but seeing nobody good looking, left. I, of course, was evidently already snapped up by some lucky person.

Cheese nightcap

What a weirdo-mondo dream I had last night/this morning! I was tossing and turning all night, and so went to the hall to crash on the couch with a book. When I finally nodded off, I had a dream where I had just landed in Manchester in an unfamiliar airport, and was waiting for Ioannis and Tracy to come along and pick me up, but then both of them spoke to me on the phone pretending not to have understood. To make matters worse, they said they were in the Footage expecting to meet me there. And to top it all off, I heard Johnny’s voice in the background laughing and having a good time. So I starting running with my bag, because I realised that the airport was in fact just around the corner from the Footage. But I was mistaken, so I turned back and saw this red Lada with a taxi sign, so I ran towards it. It already had an elderly couple in the back, but they waved me in to share the cab. I said I was going as far as Oxford Road and got in next to this unshaven East European taxi driver, who promptly began hurling his Lada around corners. The couple had also obviously got off a plane, so I asked them about it, and we started comparing notes on Prague. Then I look up and we were in Vienna! And I started worrying whther I had enough money to pay the taxi fare from Vienna to The Footage. I believe I said something like “He’s going the long way round” to the couple. Then the couple jumped into a boat in a fountain, and it’s all downhill from there. Oh, I think it might be of importance that I had watched ‘The Bourne Supremacy’ in bed. Cracking movie!!

Busy or what?

I’ve been having a hectic life recently, what with all the legwork I’m having to do in order to find a job. Yesterday I had to go to the Post Office to buy A4 envelopes in which to place my CVs and cover letters. I also printed out my CVs on the same day! Talk about efficient management of one’s scarce resources. Ah, but then you don’t know me, my friends. Behind this calm, placid, almost bovine exterior is concealed the sharpness of wit and speed of action that a panda may well be proud of.

After gallivanting around town with Ms X, we had to rush home to cook the 5 fillets of chicken I had lounging in my fridge. (These fillets I had prepared from chicken I personally slaughtered, although catching them wasn’t half as hard as I thought it might be. The poor dears were definitely under the weather, maybe it was the flu.) WHAT? Did you really expect me to talk about chicken and NOT mention the flu??. That was made just in time for us to sneak a cheeky little dindin with Mom at Rusholme (where else?) and return home not wanting to go to Tracy’s Willy anymore. So all the Creamy Peppercorn Chicken con Asian Influenza A (H5N1) is still languishing in my fridge, although I did manage to make a considerable dent in it at around four in t’ morning.

Thousand apologies..

..but as some of my closer (better, nicer, etc.) friends will know, I have been quite busy in recent times. Or shall I say, I have been, ahem, kept busy. But let me talk about more mundane things. My driving lessons with me mate Ben are going well; he’s a remarkably good instructor, drawing a fine line between having a laugh and getting a lesson drilled in. Or is it I that is (am? are?be?) the remarkably good pupil?? In fact, the only complaints I get are “Heh heh, we were going a bit fast there, weren’t we??” and “Heh heh, you weren’t checking your mirrors there, were you?” and “Heh heh, you really didn’t see that little child you knocked over, did you?”
Only Kidding!!! Of course I checked my mirrors! 🙂

I’ll now take a purfunctory look at your blogs and leave some random remark to lead you guys into believing that I actually read the stuff you moan on about, thereby awakening your guilt feelings and forcing you to visit MY blog!!

AAAHHH! Refreshingly Honest! tm

I’ve kept you on tenterhooks…

“Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings,
These are a few of my favorite things. ”

Some I have deliberately not finished as they require more thought than is possible with Rammstein going beserkomaniacal in your brainholes.

Four Jobs You’ve Had In Your Life

You must be kidding. There was a time when I was a Bar Manager (pub tart) for a pub in Fallowfield, Manchester. Oh, and a brief and forgettable spell as a web designer for a stationery (that means paper and stuff, not ‘unmoving’) company that had no clue what it wanted. Ohh, I shudder!!

Four Movies You Could Watch Over And Over

Difficult. This is, of course, a ephemeral list.

The Last Supper, definitely.
The Life of Brian, absolutely.

Four Places You’ve Lived

I’ve lived (proper lived, like going to school and whatnot) in

Kuwait City, Kuwait.
Bangalore, India.
Moscow, Russia.
Manchester, UK.

Four TV Shows You Love To Watch

I love The Office! And Peep Show. And I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say that I can (and do) quote just about every line from Friends, as some people already know. And the fourth??? FUTURAMA!! (my needs are simple: make me laugh)

Four Places You’ve Been On Vacation

Oh, difficult!

I lurve Amsterdam, Prague is wonderful, Venice is romantic (in a stinky sort of way in summer) and I guess Luxor is the fourth mystical one. But Munich!! Oh how can I forget Munich!!! And the beautiful island of Rugen. And I absolutely loved Vienna at night. And….

Four Blogs You Visit Daily

Well, almost daily

Ioannis V,Cherryfairy,Boudica and Turboslut

Four Of Your Favourite Foods

A strong predeliction towards spicy foods, I notice now

Chicken Tikka Karahi a la Sangam Restaurant in Rusholme
Chicken Pasta Alfredo a la Wetherspoon’s
Masala Dosa a la Punjab Restaurant in Rusholme
Green Thai Curry a la Ioannis and Naz

Four Places You’d Rather Be

I see this as not necessarily a geographical place question, so

In a place of inner contentment
In the space of someone dear
In a time with less strife
and in the Caribbean!!!! YAY!

Four Albums You Can’t Live Without

I could list four of the most seminal pieces of work, but four (only four???) albums I can’t live without are different.

Mystery White Boy – Jeff Buckley (live)
Just one night – Eric Clapton (live at the Budokan, Japan)
Exit stage left – Rush (live)

Four Vehicles You’ve Owned

Since the family I lived with in India were car dealers (importers and exporters, not pushing dope from a mobile base), I got to drive a number of exotic cars from the age of about 15. My first proper drive was in an old 1970’s Left-hand drive Mercedes 220 diesel, a right beaut she was and all in green. My first car was an Indian copy of a Suzuki Alto hatchback, with a whopping 800cc under the bonnet. Enough to transport my sis, her band and all its paraphernalia to her various gigs. I’ll try to get photo links

Four People To Be Tagged

Ioannis V,
Cherryfairy,
Boudica and
Turboslut Dolphin in the blue.