Posts from 01st Aug 2006 to 31st Aug 2006.
Hooray. Today it's been thundering, lightning and generally pissing it down. But I'm not phased by this at all, for I am journeying across the globe for my Summer Holiday shortly.
Having popped into a branch of Thompson for a mostly unhelpful search for holidays in the Agaean Coastal regions of Turkey or Greece, we were a little worried our meagre budget of £250 for a week somewhere sunny with a beach was almost unattainable.
After a quick break to grab some quality lunch from McDonalds we tried popping into Thomas Cook. What a lovely bunch of staff they were; all in jovial chirpy moods. Rebecca browsed through dozens of package holidays throwing most options out of the window because either a) the destination didn't have a nice beach or b) it was above our price!
We exhausted Thomas Cook's options and went on to look through the First Choice packages... On about page 4 of their suggestions was a £43 holiday. Too good to be true we thought.
It was to Turkey (Gumbet in fact, near Bodrum) - just where we wanted to go. Too good to be true we thought.
It was flying out of Birmingham International - precisely where we wanted to fly from. Too good to be true we thought.
The travel dates where perfect for us! Too good to be true we thought.
The accomodation was a named hotel, not one of these silly assign-you-a-crappy-appartment-in-a-building-site-on-arrival schemes! And not only that, it was a 4 star hotel! Too good to be true we thought.
So having rushed through the booking process, Andrew and I are off for a week in Turkey for an incredible £103 (there are fuel suppliments, airport passenger tax and transfers on top of the £43).
Little Richard, Evil Richard, Andrew and I all went round to the Lodge for the Sunday Quiz last night.
It's a popular quiz - there were just 2 teams. We've only been the once so we're not sure if it's always that quiet, but if so what happens most weeks when we're not there?
Anyway, disregarding this absolute twat interrupting, it was a good quiz. Laura, one of the bar staff had politely asked a group of people to stop being rowdy and for this idiot to stop cycling around the pub. One chap from their group took a disliking to this and was shouting a stream of profanity at Laura, threatening to "fucking smash her face in". That kind of behavious really really angers me. I was so pissed off that someone can be like that, especially unprovoked and to a member of staff at a place like a pub where she has an obligation to defend the pub and stand her grown. She had no way of walking away from the situation. I want a licence to harm. Killing would be a little over the top, but I want the Government to issue me with a warrant to chainsaw people's faces off or to remove this chaps tongue and bollocks (he shouldn't be allowed to breed).
Anyway, the quiz... It wasn't sport or celeb's related at all. Which is refreshing. In fact, we were made speechless at the end when we were told that we'd won. Yes, that's right. For about the second time in my life I've been on a pub quiz winning team! Haha! 8 pints to us!
Oh dear. I have a confession to make... This is a serious breach of sanity and self-control. Last night, after our weekend guests had departed, Andrew and I were watching telly. We were flicking through various channels and realised that these days those silly quiz channels are all that's broadcast at night.
So with little better to do we decided to work out what they were all about. The idea is that they have a question (Who are the top 10 popular film villains?) or a crossword (Instrument or Bird themed, for example). They entice viewers with hundreds of pounds to ring the premium rate number (with a small chance - it's not guaranteed) to get through to the studio. Then you get to state your answer and if you're right, win loads of cash.
Now I'm not proud but we did some research into which competitions were best to enter. The crossword style ones are, of couse, great because you can see all the answers on the screen rather than having to guess which villians they're looking for. So having had a number of beers, we kind of - accidentally I stress - called up. In just one night it's got to the stage where we have a money pot specifically for throwing coins into when we call these channels so we can pay the phone bill.
Someone save us!
Occasionally I get those evenings when I'm just in the mood to listen to music. Which is why I'm up so late posting on my website. The reason I wanted to remark about this evening was that it struck me listening to random tracks through my stupidly large collection that generally I remember what I was doing or where I was the first time I heard most music.
For example, I'm currently listening to Weary We've Been by Peatbog Faeries and I can tell you that it was a sunny late afternoon/early evening and I was playing the computer game Trackmania: Sunrise waiting for friends to come round to go to the pub.
Now Winamp has randomly Save Tonight by Eagle Eye Cherry. For this I doubt my connection is when I first heard it, but for some reason I remember Tom's bouncy castle party on the evening of 22nd June 2001.
Does anyone else have this ability to recall particular situations and settings by listening to music?
The film industry is wondering why there is a decline in cinema-goers and an increase in piracy. Now I'm taking the wild assumption that any of the big wigs at the major film corporations around the world have not been to a cinema themselves in the recent years. I'll tell you why...
To begin with you arrive and the sales office asks you to empty your wallet, hand over your card and pay an anormous amount of money to get into a film. I mean... £6.50 for an adult these days. You can rent the film for that much! And if there's a group of, say, 6 of you going, that's almost £40! You can fly to Hollywood and watch the movie being filmed for that! Christ!
You attempt to enter the screen and are foricibly stopepd from taking a bottle of mineral water into the cinema. Instead you, of course, are allowed to get a cup of tap water for free from the concessions stand. Someone, please dear God, explain the logic of this to me. Of all the pain and suffering around the world and all the things that matter, some pathetic fool in a non-descript managerial role decided that "No, let's not allow our patrons to provide their own alternatives to our free refreshments." It just makes no bloody sense what so ever.
But you reluctantly agree to leave your bottle of water at the ticket checking person - who by the way, is always grumpy and never greets you with a warm welcome - and you enter the cinema room and take your seat. You are now subjected to 30 incredibly drawn out minutes of advertising - beginning at the scheduled start time of the film itself! If I wanted to waste half an hour of my life watching adverts that offer nothing of use to me, I'd sit infront of a cable TV channel at home - not pay through my teeth for the priviledge of doing so infront of a big screen.
Then just before the film starts, you're subjected to a short propaganda piece about how piracy is bad, how you will go to jail if you record or download movies illeagally and how you will become a lower class citizen. Fine, protect your intellectual property by asking people to kindly refrain from activities such as those, but you don't do it through fear and paranoia that "they're out to catch you". And you also, whilst we're talking about it, don't lie. The claim that pirated films have low quality shound is just bullshit to be honest. Anyone with an ounce of sense can find DVD quality picture and sound quality film downloads!
So, you get over your frustration at being told you're going to jail and you sit happily watching the film. That is, until 10 minutes in and someone is bored and has lost interest. Those arses that start talking, or crunching on popcorn, or fidgeting or pushing the back of your chair. Then a little later into the film, having forces those noises into the background, someone stands up to go to the toilet and blocks the screen during that vital plot scene. All the while you're struggling to keep the blood flowing through your legs and prevent DVT as you have less leg room than if you were on an international flight.
And if you get a backache or you need the toilet yourself, you're in a cinema and can't, of course, pause the film. Nor can you alter the volume from some defening level, or adjust the air conditioning so that you don't shiver.
So, pray tell me, what on earth is the benefit to watching a film in the cinema. Large televisions are cheap nowadays and films come to rent within weeks of release (rather than months back in the 90s). You can eat cheap pop corn and take your own water, you get to sit in a huge comfy arm chair, start the film when you want, pause it and go to the pub half way though, rewind bits if you don't quite get what happened or want to see that amazing explosion once more. All the advantages to film watching are at home!
And disregarding all of this, surely the top dogs at the film companies can see that the quality and enjoyment factor of the films they're throwing out these days is sub-par. People just aren't interested in the crap that they're releasing. I ask you... think of your favourite film in the world, ever. I bet you it wasn't made in the past 5 years.
[Edit: By the way, Cars isn't the best Pixar film. It's too long but does have a few funny bits. It's most certainly not a genre progressing or changing film.]