Saturday, April 23, 2011

52:16 Moving on out...

This week Helen and I have finally given into the reality that as badly as we want to relocate to the Brighton area, it isn't going to happen any time soon. Swallowing that bitter pill with smiles on our faces we have actively begun searching for our first home as a married couple. 
We don't want much (and we can afford less) but after looking at a small flat yesterday we are very aware of compromises we are willing to make and those we aren't going to consider.  This is an odd experience for me for a couple of reasons. It is the first time I have had to look for a new place as part of a married couple. 
Both Helen and I have expectations and reservations about our new place and finding a happy balance will be the biggest challenge in this move. Luckily we both are fairly agreeable and willing to compromise.  
One of the other reasons this is an odd experience for me is that I have never rented a flat in England (or any country that isn't America for that matter) Though I have lived in a couple of different countries the military handled the living quarters in each of those circumstances. There are so many little rules and taxes (council and television) that are alien to me it just seems to be incredibly overwhelming.
 The fact is we are both very excited about having a place to call our own, and while this first place may not tick every box on our wish lists it is with out a doubt a step in the right direction.
As of this post we have seen two flats and learned areas we are willing to compromise on  and areas we are not. 
Random Fact: Giraffes and humans have the same amount of vertebrae in their necks.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

52:15 @Kapow

One of the things I enjoy most about weekends away is the tiny things you do that you wouldn't normally do. Helen and I spent last weekend in London, with our friends Kim and Ross, they live together in Brighton and unfortunately we aren't able to hang out nearly as often as we would all prefer.

The four of us get on really well, and spent the majority of the weekend laughing at one thing or another. We all met up the Friday evening before the conference at our hotel. The St Athans Hotel was the only hotel on the street with a seedy looking neon light sign above it's door, but all in all it was a decent hotel, and even though we shared the three available restrooms between two floors I didn't have to wait to use the showers or bathroom once. After settling in to the hotel the four of us set out to look for a place to eat dinner (we chose a nice little place called Gourmet Burger Kitchen that had amazing delicious burgers) after our meal we jumped on the underground, went to Covent Gardens and found a small comedy club where we watched a few comedians tell jokes and after the show we headed back to our hotel and called it a night.

We spent the majority of Saturday either walking around the convention centre or waiting in a queue for one cool thing or another. We were lucky to get pretty decent seats for each panel excluding the very first one we went to where we were in the second to last row and could hear the people on the panel but couldn't actually see any of them. The four of us were all blown away by the Thor footage that we saw, and I even got to ask the actors playing Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Loki (Tom Heddington) a question during the Q & A portion of the panel. I asked them if the fact that Iron Man 2 had gotten a lot of criticism for cramming so many nods at the upcoming Avengers film that the actual story seemed a bit muddled had affected the production of Thor. Hemsworth answered diplomatically and said it was a definitely film in the established Marvel Film Universe, but Thor was very much its own film.

On Sunday the four of us all dressed up as comic characters, Helen as Rogue, Kim as Bat Girl, Ross as The Spirit and I went as Beast's alter ego Senator Hank McCoy. We had a lot of fun and took a ridiculous amount of pictures with a lot of different people, we even did a couple of interviews with different forms of media like Bizarre magazine, (the article will apparently appear in June/July issue.) Though I think we had the most fun when we went out to lunch in full costume we got quite a few looks from children and adults. We all had an excellent weekend and eagerly await the next convention on the horizon...

Random Fact: Over 50% of all singles in America have not had a date in more than two years.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

52.14 Sin-ema

Helen brought up a topic during the He said, She said, VEDA project on Monday that I have very strong feelings about, and I thought I would weigh in this week with my own cinema peeves, of which I have a few. I should preface this by saying that I am sure at one time or another I have been guilty of at least some of the following things that really annoy the piss out of me. 
The following are in no particular order. 
Cinema sin 1  Texting/answering calls and or generally fapping about with your mobile phone during the film. 
This was the subject of Helen's video on Monday so I wont spend too much time on this particular issue but seriously unless your significant other/family member is either in labour or otherwise seriously ill, TURN THE DAMN PHONE OFF!  
Cinema Sin 2 Full volume conversations (and or dumb ass comments) through-out the entire film. 
I don't expect you to be completely silent during the film, even Helen and I talk to each other now and again. (although mostly we just give each other knowing looks and discuss things on the ride home) The point I'm making is that there is an acceptable volume to use with the person on either side of you, if the person on the other side of them can hear you, you are using the wrong volume.  
If you are one of those people that struggles following complicated plots (Like those of Inception, 2009's Star Trek, or Unknown ) I encourage you to do one of three things, (1) sit as far back or to a particular side in the cinema as possible (in order to limit the number of people you are likely disturb) (2) Refrain from asking questions until the credits role. or (3) Wait for the more complicated films to hit DVD, that way you have the ability to pause the film at your leisure.
 Cinema Sin 3 Loud snack/sweets packaging and or glass bottles. 
There are a number of reasons why your local cinema has numerous signs posted restricting outside food and drink. The biggest reason is that the cinema's profit margin is derived from concessions, another reason is that these products are made to be as quiet as possible the large cups and sturdy popcorn buckets are intended to minimise the rustling noises you get from bags of crisps (chips) and similar items.  
There are ways to make your Pick 'n mix bags quieter as well, If you tear off the top of the excess bag it will rustle less (Helen and I usually do this as soon as we sit down.) as you paw around trying to get at your sweets, you can do the same with the popcorn bags during the film but, it can be loud if you aren't careful. Helen and I rarely ever have popcorn at cinema but know from experience how loud the sweet sacks can be.  
I have never understood the need to sneak alcohol into the cinema; usually those that do get belligerent and disruptive and pay little to no attention to the film they paid to see. Anyone who has been in a cinema when someone drops a glass bottle is well aware of the amount of noise one makes let alone multiple bottles. If you need to be drinking to enjoy a night at the cinema, perhaps you would be happier in a bar with a big screen.  
Cinema Sin 4 Children and age appropriate films. 
I'm not implying that people with children shouldn't be able to go to the cinema. I do think that bringing your small infants and toddlers to films that are obviously not intended for them is frankly rude to other theatre goers with out children or with the presence of mind to find a baby sitter.  
Obviously if my wife and I are seeing the latest Disney/Pixar or Dreamworks animated film we expect to share the cinema with small children and the noises that go along with them, we shouldn't how ever have to share a cinema with a screaming chorus of infants when watching Unknown, or Source Code or the like.  
You may not agree with the things I have said, but really most of my Cinema Sins annoy me because of the lack of consideration for others that is displayed when they aren't heeded. I love everything about the cinema, really and truly no matter how I am feeling, I genuinely leave the theatre feeling happier. Call it escapism or mini vacations or what ever just please don't disturb the theatre patrons around you.
Random Fact: Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light bulb, was afraid of the dark.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

52.13 Oh right... this...

Yep, totes didn't write a blog this week, and as I have less than 2 hours before next week starts you aren't going to be getting much out of me...

Today is mother's day in the UK so Helen and I spent the day with her parents and her Sister her husband and our nephew. It was Helen's sister's first mother's day (Phew that was a mouthful to say) and we had a fantastic roast lamb meal, that I couldn't possibly do justice to in blog format... Know that nomz were had.

I have every intention of writing more in the weeks to come, but this is all you get today....

Random Fact:
When Heinz ketchup leaves the bottle, it travels at a rate of 25 miles per year.