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July 1st 2004

Well, there's good news and there's bad news. I am officially the only person in our year still doing exams, with a second STEP maths paper tomorrow, which I am not looking forward to. I did the harder of the two yesterday, and it was an absolute joke: I've never been in a situation where I've been so sure that I've completely failed. There is absolutely no doubt that I've got a U, since I didn't have a clue what I was doing, and spent much of the three hours - three hours! - looking at the clock. I very much wish I hadn't entered for this thing: to be fair, yesterday was the first time I've ever even seen a STEP paper, so I didn't expect to do very well, but I didn't expect to do as badly as that. Tomorrow's will be easier, but I'm not sure how much easier, and I'm not in a position where I can really do much in the way of revision - supposedly it's the same syllabus as the A-Level. Well, it didn't depress me too much - surprisingly - and I think I did okay in the 2 hour english exam later that day, although after five hours of exams and with another three hour exam on Friday, I didn't much feel like going to Ned's... sorry, Ned... I said there was good news, but there isn't particularly. Other bad news includes the fact that I haven't done anything about getting a job this Summer, the Journal decided not to use the stuff they got about the FM (can't be bothered to explain), and as I write this, it's started to rain very heavily and we only partially managed to get the washing in. In fact, when picking up a bowl to put the washing into, I didn't realise it was full of water, thus spilling water onto the worktop and floor. However, I'm still upbeat... the FM starts in three days, and we've been buying microwavable curries and pot noodles in preparation (food we can cook while watching Friends). Also, Portugal are in the final of Euro 2004, backing up my prediction, and Cristiano Ronaldo (mentioned earlier on these pages) scored the first and set up the second (sort of) of Portugal's goals. To cap it off, Peter Schmeichel, whom I have already made clear my admiration of, was alone in criticising Overmars (Motty, Hansen and Wright all disagreed with him)... yet it was Overmars who was taken off at half-time. Of course, the Dutch went on to lose, but still... on a similar subject, I am not a good football player. However, every now and then and think that I am - I kick the ball around in the back garden, score in an empty net, perhaps improve my keepy-uppy record (currently standing at 174). I then play football with some other people, and realise again how rubbish I am. I only write this because another humiliating instance happened the other day... more bad news. Maybe the news will be better soon. I've been advised to create Crazy Doug Loves Man (see last diary entry) although that in itself does sound a bit like one of the examples. Perhaps I will someday soon... see this week's poll for more attempts. As well as some subtle insinuations about the excitement Friends can cause.

July 2nd 2004

And so it is over. My last exam finished this afternoon, and although it went a lot better than the last STEP paper, it was still pretty rubbish. Thankfully, I met Mr. Cooper on the way out, and asked if it's possible to withhold my results from Warwick Uni. He took this very understandingly, pointed me in the direction of Miss Dunning (who just walked round the corner) and she said she'd see what she can do. So God does move in mysterious ways. I don't know whether they're going to send this off then just not pass on my results, or not send it off at all. So long as Warwick never finds out, I don't care: anyway, they don't know I'm doing the papers. Well, this more or less symbolises the end of school: Speech Day in a week (although funnily enough I've got other things to think about before then) and that'll be it. Except for results day. And I know that this will be the last thing on anyone's mind, but we can get our Henricians sometime soon... I'm looking forward to mine, since I've got two articles in there. Woo-hoo!

July 3rd 2004

A fair bit to mention... yes, if any of you have made a cursory glance at the cover of the Evesham Admag, that is me. Click here for more. So far I've met few people who respect me (and James) more because we're doing the FM - if so, they are hiding it well behind scorn and something akin to loathing. Anyways, after my last exam yesterday, I waited for Dad to pick me up - he'd said that if he wasn't there by 2.15pm, he wasn't going to turn up. At 2.15pm, when Pete Spencer had been picked up and I hadn't, I went back into the school I thought I'd left forever, and was quietly sitting in the library. After about twenty minutes, the LRC alarm went off - I looked up, as you do, to see Dad coming through the door that we're not allowed to go through (hence the alarm), which was an extremely surprising and rather embarrassing experience for me. Mrs. Bennington just looked confused. Dad then asked me why the door was alarmed - a difficult question to answer with Ms. Bennington sitting close by ("It's because our librarian has a power fixation, and discovered that there was still 500 left in the library budget after she'd bought all the German magazines and pop-up books about the Armada that she could find"). Rather than give him this answer, I mumbled 'You'll have to take that up with the staff' and got out of there as quickly as possible (forgetting to save a fair bit of Crazy Titles Man, which - gasp! - isn't yet available to the general public). Later that day I went to Brett's end-of-exams type party, except I turned up early, so no-one else I knew was there and there were a lot of people shooting clay pigeons, or watching clay pigeons being shot. I joined the second group. After a while it livened up, as others turned up - Scott with the news that I was on the front page of the admag, which I didn't know since we don't get it. He also told me I looked stupid, about which I wholeheartedly concur. Anyways, when the shooting brigade had gone home (and taken all the cups with them) we played a bit of football, which was good, and watched a home-made DVD featuring many of us present. Of course, James and myself were used to being media stars by then, so it wasn't particularly exciting. In other news, Sharapova has just won the tennis, which is nice, since she's one of the few good-looking tennis players around. Why is it that so many female tennis have big noses? I'm not one to talk, but still... although I'm no judge, I've been given to understand that several male tennis players are good-looking (obvious exception of Tiger Tim) so it does seem rather unfair. Perhaps it's got something to do with ancient people like Navratilova wearing short skirts. I realise I said that I would leave Crazy Diary Poll Man for another week, but it looks as if everyone who's going to vote has voted, so I'll probably put up another poll this week, only a couple of days early.

July 9th 2004

As you've probably worked out, the reason I've not updated for a while is that I was doing the FM... check Crazy Marathon Man for an overview of what went on. I realise that it doesn't say much, but how much is there to say about watching Friends for 18 hours a day? It pretty much tells its own story... perhaps for the Friends fans reading this I'll mention the programme itself. I've regarded Series 7 as the worst, and the beginning of it was hard to watch at times, but it certainly improved along the way. I'm also sure now that Series 9 is the best since Series 5, since Series 8 kind of tailed off after an excellent first couple of episodes; also, Series 3 is probably more 'classic Friends' than Series 2, although I probably would still say I prefer the latter. It was kind of weird the first evening after we stopped... I kept expecting there to be audience laughter after every joke I told. Naturally there was not. Anyways, Speech Day today, as dull as it is boring, but I did get a large Friends book... I told a couple of people that it was really a maths book with a Friends cover. Roz laughed... H believed me... McGarvey ignored me. I was thinking about teachers at our school, and about the Sixth Form: when I first came into Yr 10, I expected GCSE teaching to be massively above Yr 9, and was determined to prove my worth. When the first history lesson involved colouring in flags, I wasn't so sure. Then again at the beginning of Yr 12 I expected A-Levels to be much harder (after all, that's what people said) and the level of teaching to be higher. Of course it was harder, but I hadn't thought that, for english in particular, we had been in sets and now we were in mixed groups, so people who had been in (eg) the third set were now with people who had been in the top set: thus the standard of teaching - or perhaps learning - was much lower for english when compared to GCSE. Chemistry, Mrs. Lungley was - and is - definitely much better than the combination of Dr. Patel and Mrs. Campbell/Miss Bishton that I had at GCSE level, but I have to say that Ms Bell wasn't, really. I can't really compare maths, since I went from a class of twenty to a class of three, and soon two, so the level obviously went up massively. And for German AS, it was much harder: I think I kinda hit a ceiling, and only got a C at AS Level, so I dropped it. Having said that, Mr. Tennant was as good as ever - a teacher I very much respect and like - and Mrs. Bannister was one of the few teachers who actually likes me (she laughed at my jokes... that's all I'm looking for, really). I enjoyed German, but I knew that I could never get anywhere near the grade I would get in english, a subject I neither like nor respect. In other news, after this rambling, I removed Crazy Doug Loves Man because enough is, frankly, enough. Look out for Crazy Clipshow Man and Crazy Wooo Man coming soon, as a result of the FM. Thankyou Amsterdam, goodnight.

July 12th 2004

Have you ever been in a situation where people around you are debating something, and you disagree with all of them, despite the fact that they cover all sides of the argument? I was yesterday - a few of my parents' friends were discussing the gypsies in Eckington (all anyone talks about now anyway, when they're not asking me why I haven't got a job and why I'm not taking driving lessons), and nobody put forward anything resembling a good argument. Anyways, they also mentioned Twelfth Night, and I said that I tend to go for a level of humour slightly above wearing yellow socks and saying the word 'belch'. And that put me in mind of Shakespearan comedies... I was going to write something for the Henrician about Shakespeare plays, but in the end I didn't, for two very good reasons: it had nothing to do with anything that had happened during the school year, and I could only think of one joke for it. It went a little something like this: "Shakespearan comedies are not particularly funny, and a wedding happens at the end. This is a definition that could also apply to Series 7 of Friends and St. Paul's Cathedral." At this point, one of two things has happened... either you've fallen on the floor in gales of laughter, or you've thought to yourself that it's a good thing I didn't finish the Henrician article, of that's the best I've got. Most likely it's that second... well, you try making a joke about Shakespeare. In other news, las week's poll was a bit rubbish... I had about a minute to make something, and that was the result. This week's is still rather pointless, but I like it...

July 13th 2004

Yesterday was pretty good... went to the Coconut Lagoon in Stratford for the second time, for what may well have been a celebration of the end of exams, or just a chance to see people again. Not sure. We'd booked for 9pm, and arrived in Stratford at about 7.30 (me, Doug, Powly, Pete and some kid called Rich who supported Man Utd) with an hour and a half to fill. We decided to find a pool table (so that we could play pool, rather than as a tourist attraction in itself) and soon accomplished this, albeit a red one without a white ball or enough red balls... the missing spheres had been replaced with pool balls of the 'spots or stripes' variety. Anyways, the five of us teamed up three against three, with Powly playing for both teams, taking consecutive shots... a more intelligent man could have made good use of the state of affairs, although it probably wouldn't have helped since I potted the black on my second shot (having potted a red on the first, thank-you very much). We decided to make one of the odd balls the black, since the other was the white (with me so far?) which meant that, in effect, I'd potted a red. This worked out okay until one of us potted the 'white' ball... since it was not the correct size for a cue ball, it didn't return as expected, meaning that we had to make the 'black' the cue ball. This meant that we no longer had a black ball of any variety, and the game soon petered out into 'trick shots' (Peter's trick shot: missing the ball. Rich's trick shot: potting the ball). Anyways, we soon left, and went onto another pub, which wouldn't let me stay because they didn't think my ID was good enough... apparently I should have brought my passport, something I'd neglected to do since I hadn't expected to leave the country at any point during the evening. It's not even as if I was buying a drink. Well, rather than leave me on the pavement, everybody decided to go to a different pub, where we debated the saltiness of Salt and Vinegar as opposed to Ready Salted, the virtues of Satanism, and how to make a plan for Pete. We then wasted lots of money playing Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. I'll cut to the chase, since this isn't a particularly interesting account of what went on... the food at the CL was good, although not paticularly spicy, even though we didn't really know what we'd ordered (Powly asked twice, but was still none the wiser). Because we'd gone for the Feast, there were lots of dishes so we could have a bit of everything, with a straight choice for starter and dessert... if an Indian ever offers you kulfee (or something similar that sounds like coffee if you're not listening carefully) do not take it... it means 'horrible'. Most of us chose this option for dessert, and largely agreed that it was the worst thing we'd ever tasted (except Doug, who ate all of his). Ben might be putting a picture or two of it on his website, I'm not sure. Anyways, I think 25 was rather expensive for what I had, but there you go... afterwards we were sworn at by a man getting into a car (last time I went there, we paid to see a stand-up comedian... Rich Hall was rather better than drunk man by a car) and saw some naked people dancing in a fountain. Other than that, and a couple of people trying to start a fight with a police car, Stratford was pretty much dead... even Powly trying to smoke two cigarettes at once and failing couldn't really excite us to the same levels that the crisps debate had, so we journeyed home. As you might have guessed, I have nothing to do, which is why I've spent so much time writing this... I'm waking up to the reality that I probably won't get a job any time soon... in other news, I saw a trailer for a BBC3 comedy called The Smoking Room the other day... I'm not normally someone who goes for BBC3 comedy, which is supposed to be hilarious and daring, but the joke I heard this time was absolutely superb: "When I was a boy, I wanted to be a surgeon." "What went wrong?" "They don't let children perform operations." There may have been other jokes in this trailer, but I was laughing for so long that I don't know.

July 14th 2004

Went bowling with Jimbo and Simon. Lost first two games. Won third one. By a point. Bored. Goodnight.

July 16th 2004

Well, there was excitement on Neighbours both yesterday and today... first of all, Steph came back home (yay!) yesterday, and was (of course) a little surprised to hear that Evil Gus was, well, evil. You'd have thought that the name would have made that clear. Anyways, yesterday's episode ended with Gus hiding behind a convenient pile of stuff, and both Max and Boyd looking around for him. Today, it got even more exciting, as Gus jumped out, pushed Max over, and ran... onto an old building site (perhaps where Joe is hiding?) Not quite sure where this site came from, but anyway, it allowed for a lot of running around, hiding and climbing. There were several scenes which involved Max shouting, and Gus hiding, becoming more and more surreal, until Gus revealed himself and spouted some crazy nonsense. To cut a short story shorter, they both fell through a hole in the floor, with the result that Supermax injured himself (in a neck brace, he was shaken by some fat guy who asked him if he was okay) whereas Gus ran off, presumably unhurt. Despite ending up in a hospital bed, Supermax (I wonder if that'll catch on) claimed to be fine, although Steph wasn't convinced. Well, I was excited, anyhow... in other news, I now have Office (sort of) from Bradley, so thanks Bradders; I can create slideshows and stuff to my heart's content. He also gave me Dreamweaver, perhaps as a hint that my site needs some redesigning... although by the looks of his site, he can't really talk. (I'd like to apologise to anyone reading this in the distant future, because Bradley might by that time have actually made a website... as it is, there should be an almost blank page).

Kulfi...Slight break there while I found a picture of kulfi (thanks Ben) which I mentioned a day or two ago. There it is, in all its glory. And while I was doing that I also thought that I might mention the book I've just finished reading, 'Diary of a Nobody' by somebody... I can't remember who. Anyways, it was written over a hundred years ago, so it was never going to be the cutting edge of satire, but it is good enough, I suppose. Never unpleasant to read, but never particularly funny, and nothing of interest really happened either in the story or in the narrative, perhaps intentionally, since it is written by a 'nobody.' Again, I have to compare it with Adrian Mole: both diaryists (?) are naive, Mole more so, and the main difference is that Mole always ends up worse off, whereas good things happen to Pooter (diaryist in DoaN) as well as bad. This is the second book that I've read at Simon's recommendation, and again I don't like it as much as he does... the next book I plan to read is Hogfather, since I thought I ought to give Terry Pratchett a go, even if I am a bit older than most people are when they read him. Hey, I'm taking maths at Uni, not english.

July 19th 2004

There'll be excitement today for my female readers (do I have any female readers?) since today's diary entry will deal largely - indeed, almost to the exclusion of anything else - with Pride and Prejudice. Yes, I know that it's largely regarded as a woman's book, but what are you gonna do? I like it. Anyways, last Saturday (Sat-ur-day-night in the words of one Chandler Bing) I went with the family to see a production of 'Miss Elizabeth Bennet', which you will probably know is an adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, written by A. A. Milne. If you're Simon. Long before the play had started, I rather wished that I hadn't come, since we'd arrived with two hours' grace in order to eat a picnic, which wasn't the most fun in the world, and when the play itself started, it didn't seem much better: Lizzy was something of a dawg, whereas Mary was quite good-looking (and appeared to be of Asian origin, surprising considering neither of her parents nor any of sisters were anything other than bright white). I realise that I am assuming any reader of this page knows the characters of P&P, but I can't be bothered to explain more fully. Anyways, the play certainly got better, apart from some annoying children who came on and played with a ball, but it was difficult not to compare the play with the superb BBC series, which, if anything, is better than the book itself (Simon, or one of his fellow Janeites - seriously - would kill me for saying so). Obviously the play could not compare: it would be like comparing Reeves and Mortimer with Morecambe and Wise, or Lisa Tarbuck with Angus Deayton (in HIGNFY-presenting ability, of course) but it was still enjoyable, and encouraged me to start reading the book again (for those of you keeping score, I stopped reading Hogfather yesterday... I may continue it later, but probably not: the humour is far too much like Ben Sharples' sense of humour). I have very little to complain about the book, except the spelling: I can just about make my peace with Shakespeare not being translated into english, largely since it has nothing to recommend itself other than its language, but what is the point of keeping 'ancle' instead of 'ankle' in P&P nowadays? It hardly lends the novel olde-worlde charm. Speaking of the book, I was horrified to see that my 5-off voucher for The Making of Pride and Prejudice in the back of the book expired in December 1995... I was surprised to find that the book itself (that is, this issue of it) was published in 1999, meaning that the voucher could not have been used even when the book was new. Ah well. I'm not done with P&P yet... to go off subject for a while, I've been looking for a Bible notes book (daily reading) for a while, since the most recent ones I've been using are either designed for people younger than me, or people older ('what to do when your children leave home...'). On Saturday I bought a new one, and when I read the section for 17th July, I was astonished to see that the title of the page was Pride and Prejudice... God works in mysterious ways. And to finish with P&P for the day, I've started watching the TV series again (in fact, it's on now). In other news, here's an amusing anecdote... I got on the bus in Pershore to go home this afternoon, having completed something akin to a day of work, and met a kid I know from the village, who was rolling his bicycle onto the bus because he couldn't be... bothered... to cycle the three or so miles home. Once on the bus, he phoned someone (his mother? his girlfriend? who knows) to tell her he was on his way home. Then he said 'nobody. why?' Obviously a suspicious mind on the other end. He then claimed he was at 'grandma's'... unlikely, given two things: firstly, he had already said he was on his way home, and secondly because he was on a bus. Unless his mother was the result of an improbable affair between a man and a motorvehicle, it is unlikely that he was at his grandma's. Then the radio started playing ('You Sexy Thing' by Hot Chocolate) so the kid said he was watching TV. Had I been in his situation, I would have said something along the lines of "Yes, I've hired a hooker and she's just launched into an impromptu rendition of You Sexy Thing," because people get confused when I get sarcastic... as it was, his TV excuse could fool no-one, especially considering the engine of the bus started as soon as he had finished his sentence. Rather than explain it away by means of a lawnmower, a low-flying aircraft or a very, very loud television, he went for "Okay, I'm on a bus." Well, that's it for the day.

July 20th 2004

Today was good... Powly came over, and since we didn't have much of a plan for what to do, and it was sunny, we went to Upton. Didn't do much there either, but it was still pretty cool... we then got home and watched The Last Samurai on DVD... we were gonna watch Lost In Translation, but Powly had put it in his car and then lost it. This was displeasing, since I had to make the obvious joke - you know me - but it was a poor joke, and I couldn't think of any way to make it better. I tried using a trailing-off voice, but it didn't really come off. Anyway, the Last Samurai wasn't too bad, although nothing particularly special, and Powly did eventually find LiT, which I'm watching now. I realise that it's supposed to be a big deal, but how it won so many awards is beyond me... granted, I'm not paying 100% attention, but it doesn't seem much to me. Actually, that is a problem with multi-tasking... I tried it the other night... we men really aren't cut out for it. This could be a fantastic film, and I wouldn't know... this reminds me of I Know What You Did Last Summer, which I watched while falling asleep, so again didn't get the full benefit of. After Powly left, I had a microwavable curry (one of my favourite things in the world... this one was beef madras. How interesting), and then phoned Ian, and we talked for a long time... also good. The result of this is that we plan to see Spider-man 2 tomorrow... although I might be (gasp!) working. Anyways, this has kinda petered out, so I'll leave you with a correction from yesterday... I discovered that the Bible notes I was reading were actually a week out, so what are the odds? Not just that the day was labelled Pride and Prejudice, but that I also got the date wrong... wow.

I apologise for missing The Independent off this week's poll... it just didn't occur to me that anyone would read it. Actually, I thought about it a couple of hours after putting the poll up, but couldn't be bothered to change it. And guess what? I still can't be bothered.

July 21st 2004

What is it with the BBC nowadays? I'm not referring to the whole Hutton/Dyke fiasco, simply to the quality of their programming... from watching Pride and Prejudice, which was shown in 1995, I believe, I realised that the BBC hasn't made a programme like it since. The Beeb used to be excellent at costume dramas, and the likes of the Narnia chronicles were absolutely superb, but nothing even remotely as good has been made in years. Has it even really been attempted? We all know that Channel 4 has shot downhill faster than... I don't know, a sledge... since its schedules are packed with documentaries about sex, Big Brother and rubbish house programmes. But the BBC was an institution, one of the most respected institutions in the world, and now can only churn out rubbish comedies on BBC1 and lifestyle programmes/American imports on BBC2 (as well as antique-selling programmes for most of the day). Obviously in the changing climate of the British family, sitting together and making watching television an event doesn't happen as much as it used to... there have been many programmes in my childhood that we sat as a family and watched, usually on a Sunday evening, the likes of Little Lord Fauntleroy, Narnia, P&P, and so on, and when The Darling Buds of May was reshown last year, we did something similar, watching it together of a Monday night (or whenever it was). Perhaps I'm mourning my lost childhood, but I think I'm mourning the loss of that great institution, the BBC. That sounded like an ending statement, but I've just remembered something else I was going to add, so I've ruined the effect... I understand that both P&P and The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe are being remade in Hollywood (at least, as films... maybe not Hollywood...) some time in the future, and I understand that Keira Knightley is to take the part of Lizzy Bennet (there is no hope of her doing as good a job as Jennifer Ehle)... before I start to go on about the evils of remaking, the BBC P&P was not the first adaptation, since Laurence Olivier had been in a previous (rather poor) production. Speaking along the same subject, Bollywood has made Bride and Prejudice, an adaptation for modern-day 'India', with names and situation subtley changed (Mr. Collins the clergyman becomes Mr. Kholi the hotel chain owner). I will not be watching this.

I've just come back from seeing Spiderman 2, which was very good, surprisingly so. Okay, it wasn't deep, and had no pretentions to being anything other than a blockbuster crowd-pleaser: but I reckon it's the best of its kind I've seen at the cinema. The first film (my first and last usage of pirate/copied DVD) was okay, although nothing special, and was only really marked out by Kirsten Dunst, who, to be honest, was also a major factor in choosing to see the sequel (although I had read that the film itself was much better than Spiderman 1). Although I said before that the film didn't aspire to any depth, it played its emotional scenes well, especially when Peter cannot admit his love for MJ: the acting was good on both counts. In the style of impatient cinema, (and beware that I may be spoiling the story) Peter revealed his identity to the woman he loved, and that too was very well done, although I'm sure that the original comic went for many years without that occurring (well, I'm not that sure, but nobody's gonna correct me). The villain this time was better than the Green Goblin (and, interestingly, played by a guy who played Hercule Poirot in a recent adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express), since there was always something a bit stupid about the Green Goblin (which is why it's unfathomable why the GG will - almost certainly - be making a return in Spiderman 3), whereas this guy wasn't ridiculous... in fact, I reckon that the film should have been a 12, not a PG, as some scenes with the villain in could have been very scary to kids. The set pieces were excellent as well, and on such things can blockbusters succeed or fail: although there was nothing particularly memorable, they flowed well, and there were often funny moments both in the big action sequences and elsewhere: I laughed out loud on a few occasions. Having said that the villain was good, it was the emotional scenes with Peter and/or MJ that really made an impact, so there could be huge chunks of film without Dr. Octopus (as the villain was called) and I didn't really feel anything missing... this is more credit to Maguire and Dunst than criticism of the baddie. Anyways, overall I thought it very good, with the leads both putting in good performances... I have said before on this page that there aren't enough helpless females in cinema any more, but Dunst managed to be defenceless when she needed to be as well as having a strong character. And, of course, she's exceedingly good-looking (she was darn sexy in her last line of the film... darn sexy). I expect I'll go and see the third (it'll be interesting to see how they develop the Peter/MJ relationship), although it probably won't be a matter of terrific importance to me: it's also highly unlikely that I'll buy the DVD when it comes out; perhaps by nature of being a blockbuster, it would lose a lot coming to the small screen.

July 22nd 2004

In all the excitement of writing about Spiderman 2 yesterday, I forgot to mention that the good people at Vue accepted my connexions card, allowing me to have a student discount (from 5.60 to 4.30, or thereabouts) which is a first. When I tried it at odeon, they wouldn't let me use it because it didn't have NUS written on it, and in a pub in Stratford they wouldn't accept it as ID... but it got me my discount yesterday. Sweet. In other news, I think it's a mistake to watch films/TV productions of books before reading the book itself... just something I was pondering on in the long hours between episodes of Neighbours... going back a long way, I made the mistake with The Borrowers (another superb BBC series) and The Secret Garden (first film I ever saw at the cinema), and never got very far into the books (about a page each, I think). There are books I have read after seeing them on TV/at cinema, such as Briget Jones's Diary, P&P, Little Lord Fauntleroy, Chronicles of Narnia... er... Woof. Anyways, in most cases, I think of the screen version as being the 'real' one: whenever I think of Narnia, for example, I think of the TV series rather than the books. I realise that my train of thought has been very similar over the last few days (P&P, BBC programmes...) and I apologise, but really I don't care that much. I could write about other things I've done this week, like putting the rubbish out this morning (in the rain) or beating my Pinball highscore, but they're even more boring... almost as boring as runescape, which I've been instructed to say is excellent. But it isn't. The one time I was persuaded to play this role-playing game, I walked over a bridge, then gave everything my character owned to a passing stranger in return for a stick. Some among my friends, however, have persevered longer than I, so now have built themselves armies and, no doubt, intergalactic forces. I've also been instructed to say that Powly and I went to Texas the other day... although we were in Upton, we found much evidence that we were really in Texas: 1. It was hot; 2. There was a field (wasn't sure about this one); 3. At one point Powly thought that he was driving on the RHS of the road; 4. We saw an American car; 5. In Spar there was a pack of Texas BBQ flavour pringles. Pretty convincing, as I'm sure you'll agree.

July 23rd 2004

Last three films seen at cinema: Spiderman 2, The Whole Ten Yards, Eternal Sunshine. Women fancied in films: Kirsten Dunst, woman playing Matthew Perry's wife. Women not fancied: woman playing Bruce Willis's wife, Kate Winslet. Reasons for choice: uncertain. Films watched on TV in last week (approx): Face/Off, Charlie's Angels, Bridget Jones's Diary, The Last Samurai, Lost In Translation, Bowfinger. Women fancied in films: Cameron Diaz. Women not fancied: Lucy Lui, Drew Barrymore, Renee Zellweger, Scarlett Johannsen, Heather Mills. Men (also not fancied): John Travolta, Nicholas Cage, Matt Le Blanc, Bill Murray (twice), Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Tom Cruise, Steve Martin, Eddy Murphy. Conclusion: too many men in films. Number of actors called Crispin watched on TV in last week: two (Crispin Bonham-Carter as Bingley in P&P, Crispin Glover as Creepy Thin Guy in Charlie's Angels). Am currently reading Bridget Jones's Diary, hence style of writing. Must stop reading chick-lit. Not sure what should start reading though. Well, I've had enough of writing like that, so I shall revert to my normal 'style' to let the world know that the Crispin Glover mentioned above is the very same who played Biff in the Back to the Future trilogy... this is incredible if you watch the two films, and shows what a talented actor the man is [Edit: As pointed out below, this is all baloney]. In other news, a while ago there was a survey that asked why people eat: it turned out that people eat because they're hungry, and everybody (HIGNFY team included, I believe) laughed at the monumental pointlessness of search a survey. But I don't think the result is actually true: instead, I think that people eat because it is a meal-time. For example, when I was still at school, I would eat breakfast in the morning, have lunch at lunchtime, and have tea sometime around six o'clock, because that's when Mum made it for: now, I am tending to eat whenever I feel like it, or rather, I am not eating when I don't feel like it. I usually eat breakfast, but this week my breakfasts have comprised (imagine this in BB-type Yorkshire accent) Day 1: glass of water, Day 2: peanut butter sandwich and glass of water (normalish), Day 3: raw carrot, Day 4: cup of tea, Day 5: nothing. (BB accent ends here) This is not a very successful week, breakfast-wise. But when it comes to having lunch, I have strict personal rules: lunch must commence between noon and 1.59pm, since it feel extremely weird to start eating outside of those times: I don't know why, but while 11.59am is not an option, 12.00 is fine. Similarly, 1.59pm is okay, but 2pm is just weird (although, to be honest, I'll be watching Neighbours anyway). And since, as I type this, it is 12.57pm, I think I might go and start preparing lunch.

I have come to the conclusion that the film of BJD is much better than the book: perhaps largely because it makes the most of the similarities between BJD and P&P (except, strangely, in one rather important case) and in the warped organ that is my mind, better equals more like P&P. Don't worry, I'll get over it.

July 24th 2004

I went to see Shrek 2 yesterday... it was okay, although nothing much more special than that, and I didn't enjoy it as much as Spiderman 2. To be honest, I wasn't as wild about the first Shrek film as a lot of my friends were: yes, it was good, particularly for a kids' film, but not as brilliant as everybody was making out. This time, there were several funny moments, but I also had to sit through several unfunny moments and fart jokes that I have never found funny at any age in my life, but appear to be a staple of comedies nowadays. In the trailers there was one for Shark Tale (I think) a cartoon that rejoiced in voices from Will Smith, Renee Zellweger, Robert De Niro, Martin Scorcese (I think, despite the fact that he's a director) and Angelina Jolie... there might have been more. I doubt I will see the film, but I was amazed that there were so many stars attached (starfish, as Jimbo brilliantly pointed out), even if Jolie is a freak in real life and was responsible for the travesty that was Tomb Raider (I noticed that the fish she voiced bore quite a resemblance to her... clever). Despite films like the Shreks and Monsters Inc, I'm still not that keen on going to see kids' films, which appears to be more and more popular. In other news, don't expect any updates any time soon (and probably not even a poll next week) because I'm going away for a bit.

what was I listening to?
You Sexy Thing - Hot Chocolate
what was I reading?
The Diary of a Nobody - George & Weedon Grossmith
what was I watching?
Shrek 2
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