I think this is really powerful, and truthful.


Hey... So... Do you come here often?

Haha, course not, no one does, and with good reason, I know it seems I've totally abandoned the art/fad of blogging the tiny details of every drunken emo journey I take. Oh I mean, yes you're right. Whoops. It maybe because my life has drastically changed and I have no emotional space for any emo thoughts. Luckily my liver still has space for alcohol fueled nights and caffeinated ramblings.

So how has it changed I hear the vast tumbleweed haunted landscapes of my blogging audience shout. Well I only went and found the girl of my dreams, moved in together, got engaged and am now planning the purchase of our first home, as well as an extravagant wedding. I feel like I want to put down in writing every single bit of what's happened, but I don't think I have the thumb dexterity to even attempt such a task.

But maybe this'll be a hilarious sparse interlude in this barren landscape. KAPOW.

I wouldn't want to lie to

To say that I will keep this up, but the potential for such an event is greater than 2 days ago. By the time I eventually hit the sack last night, it was about 1.40am (which isn't too bad compared to some nights) and I realised, in-between watching stuff/pottering, I'd done quite a bit of work. It helps that I'm finally off live support after some sort of crazy long time, because I was on it for at least 3 weeks before America, then for exactly 3 weeks after as well. In theory I shouldn't be on it for at least 9 weeks, but everything changes, and now we have some crazy Silverlight training next week, the rota might implode somewhere along the lines.

Anyway enough about work, I'm sure that will crop up tomorrow after I destroy my face on a pub crawl. I hope it ends in me getting a Texican Whopper, as they are things sent from the Flying Spaghetti Monster's angels. Today I finally got to install Angry Birds on my hero, and unsurprisingly, the processing power of my poor year old chip doesn't quite cut it, compared to the desire at least. Or a brick. Made from tofu.

Huge gape in writing this, not because I blacked out or forgot, but cos I can. Just spent an age not only uploading September's (looks at watch) photos to facebook, but also got all Photoshoppy to bust out some 'sweet as' shopping shiz, see enclosed photos (and why has the blogger photo upload insertion not been fixed for 2 years?!). Now my right hand is cold from mouse usage, it's 20 to midnight and I think I should get an early night so I become a machine tomorrow evening. Salad eating through the day is probably advised against as well.

There are so many games I want to buy, but I really have to stop myself, not just because of presents I need to buy my mum, but because I'd just fritter away all my hours on that, rather than learning Silverlight and training for my MCPD in designing and developing ASP.NET applications, in-between the normal slew of gigs, events and mind-blowing epiphanies.

But for now, just some chillout jazz will suit me fine.

fuck.

It doesn't work does it. Keeping track of life or time. Seems like I can't observe it and live it at the same time. Argh, in my face. I so nearly documented my entire American holiday in graphic detail, but just failed slightly less bad than normal.


What are you doing? I'm probably not doing it, but I might be doing something else equally precocious or causing similar surreal based anarchy. A small part of me hopes no one is still reading this, I miss the days of unfiltered brain pouring, but I think I also need to accept the gradual growth that everyone, yes even I, go through. Even if I don't have to accept the slowly shrinking limits of my body and mind, as someone once said, 6 hours sleep is enough for anyone.

I think my sadness at my lack of recording my every move and feeling is a three-fold affair that breaches the very depths of space and time, or basically that 1) I'm terrified my abysmal memory can only worsen as the years click by, 2) By small obsession with YouTube has grown to wishing I did what some people did on there, but I never will and 3) Living deeply in the past, possibly with the thought that nothing can be as fantastic as times gone pass, even though this is disproved continually.

Maybe there is a sneaky fourth point, I want to prove to my older self, and perhaps my kids, if some equally emo girl finds me lost amongst these concrete city trees, that I lived a busy, continually fun and exciting life. I've also noticed people looking older, some physically, some mentally and some in their eyes, which is the scariest of them all. This wasn't really meant to be some emotional downer, highlighting a new found fear of growing old, as I'm actually astoundingly happy, but sometimes I like the multi-layered happiness brought on by a deep, pensive, long-lasting faux-sadness.

I suggest that everyone writes straight from their thoughts while listening to Benjamin Francis Leftwich's 'Atlas Hands' on repeat, while consciously trying to ignore it's similarities to 'I will follow you into the dark'.

They feast, like there's no tomorrow

Possibly a repeating story, but we met in a pub today, the Barrow Boy and Banker to be specific, with Dan and Tracey, and we had a nice pint watching the end of the Man City game before heading to the Southwark Tavern, where we then spent the majority of the afternoon and early evening. Really great pub, cool cubicle style area where there used to be prison cells. Nice range of beer I think. Maybe. Ooh and there food was awesome, I had 'Pork belly with bacon and sage mash, sautéed leeks and grain mustard sauce' which was phenomenal, even in a slightly drunk state. Dan and I also had to greatest conversation of all time, which lasted 30 minutes, and destroyed Dan and Tracey's soul. I can't even truely remember what it was about, it's similar to the greatest song in the world that Tenacious D wrote tribute about.


We then traversed to the so called smallest pub in England/Britain/Something, which has expensive beer, but we managed to get a seat outside somehow, and rex partially fell asleep on the table, a bar man came across in a concerned manner, so Tracey punched rex in the head. Was so hilarious I may have weed everywhere. Those three then scampered home, and I replaced them with Shing and Jon, who I met in The Rake (smallest pub).

We then attempted to go home, via the Jubilee line, but it blew up or something, so Shing and I gave up, and I was pretty fired up on alcohol/caffeine/night time air. So we fell into The Platform, where we got some awesome espressotini's, that had coffee beans in them, and tasted like awesome. Shing randomly knew a few people in there, though things were a bit hazy, then we walked towards tower bridge, and played in the water fountain, with Shing forgetting her shoes were no where near water proof, especially when running up and down what was basically a river in them. After crossing the river, we played for ages in the awesome cool playground (tower hill park) there, though I suspect that was the beginning of my downfall. We were planning on either urban bar or going to Tinseltown, but Shing needed the loo. We swooped into a Holiday Inn, discovered their bar was open till 4am, so grabbed a beer. Then I crashed harder than any man has on the Indy 500 circuit. I managed to drink about 5mm of my tetley's, and then we went home via the 86. I think I died on there.

Fantasies and Self Harm

So work began a crazy Mini-League with the Sun Dream Team, and me being the only developer in the league, I have to show that not all developers are sport-knowledgeless nerds. I may fail, but here is my team filled with dreams and hopes:


Danu mainly helped me but coming up with a team, and then I hacked it apart, mainly swapping Drogba and some crazy striker, for Tevez and Bent, the 3rd and 4th highest goalscorers from last season. KAPOW.

In other news, Rex and I then ate some lovely food and watched Wristcutters: A Love Story. Which although it sounds really depressing and emo, it's actually a really cool idea for a film, and executed well. One of those nice films that goes along gently being awesome, and I learn the lesson that "It only happens if it doesn't matter"

Afterwards, we watched Up In The Air, with George Clooney, which I really enjoyed, though not sure if rex did. I thought it had the same sort of vibe as Lost In Translation (I guess they're both lonesome traveller movies), and it was much better than films like Burn After Reading (which for some reason I always want to called Burn Before Reading, which might be a cooler name).

Enough.

Peter Shilton in Wilton's?

Unfortunately not you peculiar children, but there was an excellent cinema night to be had there after initially meeting up with Shing and Jon in the The Minories for a fast pint and all-day breakfast, for a low low price of just 4.99. Yum yum yum. Always a good start to an evening. I then was a bit worried about all my internal organs as they felt a bit like failing periodically throughout the night. But that's never enough to slow me down, so Rex and I perambulated along to Wilton's bust out some Staropramen action, with Rex investigating the Guinness surger device. Where basically a can of non Guinness like liquid is poured into a glass, it is then put on an electrical plate that sends ultrasonic waves to recreate the "surge and settle" effect of your classic Guinness draught pourage.


Anyway, moving forward, the cinema club showed a number of short films based on Great British Design from the 40s to the 80s. Some really awesome little clips, including a film on the guy who invented Habitat as well as the following highlights:
  • Designing Women (1948), where Joyce Grenfell took us through the dos and don'ts of home furnishing
  • Zandra Rhodes (1981), showing early collaborations
  • Miniskirts Make Money (1968).... oh yeah.
Gotta love the BFI archive. At some point we pootled home, mocking the cycle superhighway on the way.

Does this make you feel safe?

Rex, Rachel and I decided it was time to see what all the fuss was about concerning this whole Toy Story 3 palaver. So we accidentally ate two platters the size of Jupiter between the both of us, with Rex and I having a beer followed by half a bottle of wine each. We then swoozed over to the cinema, which has mysteriously turned into a Cineworld and seemed to have declined in efficiency and the staff increased in stupidity. Though do, however, provide a membership card where for 13.99 a month you get unlimited movies. Which, now I think of it, we should of used, as with Orange Wednesday, two tickets were 13 quid or to see Toy Story 3 in all it's Three Dimensional glory.


The film? Pretty good, I don't think it lived up to the hype, but then I was never a huge fan of the Toy Story compared to other Pixar films. Just not quite as funny, though I do admit to welling up a tad at the end. I think the best parts were with the small girl, and her toys (which had better personalities for a comical affair). Needless to say, we probably had half a bottle of wine too much alcohol for such an occasion. Still good times.

Shrug me off your shoulder

Rather than contemplate the irreparable damage done to various livers I may possess, I decided to meet up with the Katies for one last send off. After wandering in a lost manner around Oxford St, we tried to aim towards Angel, but ran out of energy so fell into a little pub near Russell Square, where we had a few recovery pints and crisps. Before long we found ourselves near the Holborn Bar One, so we got a drink and some food. The Fish and Chips I got were of suspicious construction, i.e. cylindrical in nature. Still very nice.


Soon sensibleness kicked in and we decided to all retire to our abodes early-ish, which made a change, and maybe I got some better sleep.

The less said the more read

As one would imagine, it's best that we never talk about yesterday, or perhaps today. As I think every part of me is broken, and stuffed with food/beer.


Today I am eating mostly soup in desperation.

Close your eyes, just settle.....

Because my emo self-harming for myself and all my organs has peaked at the age of 25, it seemed best to wake up early on the Saturday morning after such a Lexingtonian night and head to a beer festival (though for once I changed clothes). Bust out with Rex, and appeared moderately on time near Earls Court where there was a whole gaggle of people waiting for us. Or at least there should of been, but most people fail at getting places on time, so we got our tickets from Jon and waited for the rabble of people to come into existence.


Festival was good, but it was no beer and jazz festival, although there might at one stage have been way more beer, as it was the last day, over 50% of the beer was already sold out, and nearing end only the big brewers really had stuff left, and who cares about Fullers when you're out a huge ale festival? I was feeling pretty shoddy still from about 2 weeks of constant drinking, though obviously this didn't really stop me and I got to eat loads of awesome food, including a large bratwurst. And Shing and I bought FAR TOO MANY olives, and especially too many chilli garlic thingys. There was also a tombola and some crazy pub style games on offer and many a person in stupid costumes. A lack of seating space meant we sat on the floor quite a lot. Though every time someone dropped a pint, a Mexican wave style roar rumbled throughout the exhibition hall. Pretty cool. By around 6.30 things were shutting down and we were pretty sick of ale, so a bunch of us went to a pub to get some nice old Lager, which was much appreciated by the Tom.

Shing took us to a pub with a cool front, and I got some also cheesy bacon wedges, or something, and we played a bit of pool. Before we knew it, it was around 10pm, so we headed to Charing Cross, bust out one more pint, by which time there was just Shing, Jon, Adam, and myself, though Adam then fell off into the mystical black hole which is Guildford. So the obvious solution to most of our problems was to head to Urban Bar, where we wanted to check out if their new sign that Shing saw of "now open later" was true. It wasn't, as apparently that sign has been there for 2 years or so. Still the man gave us free jukebox plays, and we had some beer. Which is also good. Though then we had to take the 25 home. Sad Times.

Meet you in the Lexington Sir FrontleBottom?

As with most things in my life, escalation is the normal state of affairs one can expect when out with me. Meeting up with the Katies after work, I sauntered along from the office up to Exmouth market, and burst through their front door, except I was there before they were. Needless to say we chillaxed on the balcony, overlooking St Paul's, drinking some cold beer. Soon we'd drunk the place dry (all 4 beers worth), so we ventured out into the bleak London night, and fell into a weird pub along the 'market' which offered an interesting range of beer, and some weird furniture. It sort of just felt like a room with tables and chairs in, but was somehow trendier. Very wooden and Red Katie thought it was a lot like a skiing chalet, but I suspect that might have been the painting/photo of a huge snowie mountain range.


After a number of beers and the such like, it was around 10.30 or so, we tried to go into the Caribbean place at the end of the street, which appeared to still be open but everyone was very candid about what was going on and the price of entry. We eventually gathered it was open mic night in the basement, but apparently only one person in the entire place knew the entry cost, so we went down to ask her, however, we soon realised that we would really NOT fit in, and I think we were given a higher price of £10 because of it. Obviously we ran out and began to walk back towards the flat, but powered through more towards Angel. With skills unknown to the average human being I suggested the magical powers of the Lexington, which has supplied a number of fun occasions. So on entering, we managed to steal a table, and bust out some drinking. Red KT managed to get some dude to buy a round for us because he was interested in her booty, and soon it become the sort of time one would begin boogieing.

In a advantageous twist, apparently upstairs (or downstairs, I can't remember the altitude change) of the Lexington is a dance floor and bar, and once more Katie did some girl magic to get us in for free, where we had some more interesting beverages, before Sympo discovered some guys face, who was apparently an appalling kissing, on turning around to escape his wandering tongue she saw two people (and only two) dancing on the dance-floor, like absolute maniacs.

That would be Red KT and I. Far too excellent for any single person to comprehend, but I invented some form of penguin kangaroo dance hybrid that blew everyone away, and was so excellent I should have won a Nobel Peace for dancing excellence. However, I just had to be happy with the incredible fun that it was, eventually we gave up on the dance floor, as we didn't really know most of the music and no one else was dancing/they were too scared to approach us. As we were going to exit, we accidentally got another beer, and chilled on a table, while cooling down. We then wandered through the rain, with just 1 umbrella, but I mainly commandeered this, with manly prowess and a brutal chivalry. Sensibly, we visited the PFC, which we had already established served awful food, and managed to cause a vast and noisy ruckus in there. It was a valid ruckus though, seeing as they had a vast array of chicken available, but they would only serve the Chicken Burger Meal Number One. Though a nice man had one there, and said it was very nice. On returning to the apartment, we confirmed it was very nice, though I doubt my heart was too happy the following morning. But that's not for telling here! HAHAHA. shut up.

Beside myself I start to think....

Finally the day of the company's crazy secret away day was upon us, to reward us all for the stunning work we pulled off over the world cup. Especially the parts where everything didn't work, because we're cool like that. At roughly 2pm, we were all coached out to a field some way into the English country side where we were broken up into 4 teams of 12 people, and took turns on four activities, all the time trying to earn some form of monopoly style money:
  1. Powerturns: it's a two person buggy each person has one forward back stick and controls a different engine (which controls a different wheel) so steering involves collaboration, except you have helmets on, and a deafening noise of engines creating a problematic vehicle to navigate through gates and round roundabouts. Was awesome fun and we got some cool power slides going, after we discovered the tactic of flooring one engine and breaking the other. Classic.
  2. Laser Clay Pigeon Shooting: which was a bit meh, basically clays with reflective parts are flung upwards (towards the sun), and you shoot them with decommissioned rifles that now have little laser shootie things. Annoyingly the company director hit just about every single one, though I came joint second in our team, cos I am fly and all that jazz.
  3. Honda Pilots: cool buggies that feel a bit precarious, and you just race round track, (timed). Ian got it on 2 wheels for like half a lap, and was told off, and I didn't use the break, until we were called on, which was also problematic as I had to find it very quickly before ploughing into the back of Sam's buggy. Our team ended up getting 6 of the top 8 times, cos we had no due care or attention. And most of the EM team were still drunk from the night before.
  4. Rage Buggies: which are bigger and faster than the pilots, with a wider wheel base so much less precarious, and therefore REALLY power round every corner, with just a bit of power slide. Fun but the track needed a few more dangerous sections, though the floor was pretty ripped up by the time we went round.

After all of this excitement we went to a posh gourmet restaurant, which was buffet style, but amazing food. Like a sushi counter, and hot wok counter and roast counter. I had like a million chozio things, and olives etc. And apparently they could magic any drink you liked from thin air, excellent. By the end I was so full up I was unsure I'd survive the drive home. Then on the coach one of the directors came on, and had apparently just walked into the kitchen and demanded 2 crates of beer, which he then shared through out the coach.

Fucking Awesome.

fist fights versus fences in your backyard

In an ever increasingly zealous project by my company to destroy all sleep and liver functionality I may possess, my dev team had an away day in the Hospital Club, much to my delight. Not only did we get a surprisingly awesome meeting with out directors, but they paid for our drinks the rest of the night, which resulted in everyone getting rather drunk. It was probably the beer that did it. Unfortunately, I missed the last tube home, after watching my team lead attempt to sprint from Holborn to Waterloo in 15 minutes to get the last train. Luckily, I bought a kebab from the shop next to Burger King on Kingsway, which at the time may have tasted good, halfway through I decided it belonged in the bin more than in my stomach.

Then I had to survive the 25 journey to Stratford with no phone battery, and a swinging brain stem. Not great. That’ll learn me.

Probably.

Bet every dime, I'm a loose time

To avoid the practical complexities of being sensible, Rex and I met up in the Roadhouse after work to make sure their cocktail happy hour still worked. Needless to say it certainly did, even when DJ appeared from no where (although he did initially find himself in the PorterHouse). As we were very sensible and responsible we only ended up having 4 or so cocktails each, and then chose a healthy alternative to a home-cooked meal.

We had KFC.

General Ramblings and Observations by Tom Barker of Exeter/Orpington: a cryptic emotionally-driven look into the life of times of the infamous sock wearer, gadget-whore, unintentional blasphemer, hypocrite, servant of Xenu, Pastafarian, absurdist and thantophobic...without me, its just aweso

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