Well, yes, I tripped and fell into a WoW hole again ... what can I say? I'm just clumsy like that. Anyroadhow, despite having my head buried in more guilds and realms than I have thumbs, I did manage to squeeze out some time for some quality entertainment.

Saw Iron Man last week and it gets a comfortable eight out of ten on the Bintertainment star rating system. As an avid reader of the Iron Man comics fom when I were a lad (though I pretty much dropped Marvel when I discovered 200AD) I just adored the whole thing, the story was simple but was given ample time to reveal itself, the script was (aside from a couple of pet hates of mine ... literally two sentences in two hours that I didn't like) rather splendid (including a very naughty joke that made pretty much everyone under the age of majority wonder why all the adults in the audience had just peed themselves ... clever, clever, clever. Actually, there was an awful lot of humour in the film, some slapstick, some witty, some geeky but all good. The effects were, as one might expect, awesome but had the virtue of not being as "busy" as Transformers, which led to them being both more watchable and more credible.

I think what I'm trying to say here is, go see it, it's great!

Oh, and stay in your seats until the end of the credits. I can pretty much guarantee that your inner fanboi/girl will love you forever.

Yesterday, as a continuation of my birthday celebrations and as a rather wonderful gift from s0bs0b and jul1etjul1et, we popped into the centre of London in order to see Pendulum in concert. Many and varied were the delights of the evening from watching a driver who I'd just seen reverse into another car, reversing towards me, to discovering that the Astoria's version of disabled access involves walking up several flights of stairs (to be fair there were a couple of burly chaps who were (nervously) prepared to lift me up all the way but, thankfully, I can haul myself up stairs (albeit slowly) and thus didn't have to face the indignity of being treated like cargo. Then discovering that the toilets involved so many (small) flights of stairs that it wasn't worth trying to take the wheelchair there ... just as well really because they don't have a disabled loo and there is no way on God's earth that I would have been able to maneuvre inside the gents had I not been walking. Having switched our Bluetooth reception on our phones off, s0bs0b and I decided to see how many people in the audience hadn't. Needless to say, the list was long, very long ... and contained an unexpected surprise which I shall allow him to tell you (since he has the photographic proof). Apparently, fat dudes don't like Pendulum, since their promotional T-shirts didn't get any larger than XL which, sadly, is one X short of my current size ... bah! I shall have to hunt for something suitable to sate my appetite for promotional attire online.

But the music ... by all that's holy .. it was sublime. I love Pendulum, I've loved them ever since I heard Tarantula and Slam just completely hooked me on them. Last night they absolutely didn't dissappoint, all concerns about ... well, everything really ... just vanished from my mind, pushed out by beats so hard they made my bones rattle. Looking down at a sea of bodies beneath me, surging back and forth and up and down like a single organism absolutely enslaved to the incredible, uplifting sounds coming from the stage.

That was a night not to be forgotten, and I'm sure my hearing will come back propely at some point. I'm not sure how many of you would have enjoyed it, but for those that would, I wish you had been there with us, so we could have bathed in the waves of awesome together.

Incidentally (again many thanks to s0bs0b for this) the video below is rather wonderful and I urge you to watch it just for the story, even if you watch it with the sound off ... though the song itself is bloody great.

In other news, I appear to have cut my thumb, quite deeply. There was a great deal of blood and it took several attempts to staunch the flow sufficient to actually bind the wound. This is the second time I have cut myself using our knife sharpener (now in the bin) and am now determined to get a replacement that will not endanger my digits. On the bright side, there was no scraping of bone, nor any slicing of nerves or tendons that I am aware of (I can still move and feel it ... though it hurts like crap when I bend it, so I'm not going to do that again for a while.
Well I've now seen X3 and, like many others it seems, I was distinctly underwhelmed. I mean, it's a fun old romp and the effects weren't bad, but there was something missing (aside from Nightcrawler) ... and I think that thing was depth. It seemed as though the human moments between the characters were shuffled off to one side as soon as they'd started in order to make room for more special effects. This was especially apparent in the Jean/Phoenix scenes where poor old Famke seemed to be there purely so that the CGI artsist would have something pretty to work on and around; the actual emotional conflict was never given the space it needed to make for a satisfying story.

I think it was telling that, upon leaving the cinema, none of us talked about the film at all ... instead talking about other topics.
Just watched Batman Begins and I can honestly say that it was my favourite Batman movie to date. Although it lacks the whimsy of Tim Burton's outings I think it captures rather well the feeling of The Dark Knight Returns which is my favourite Batman graphic novel, whilst not being a reinvention of that story. Also, the Ras al Ghul character pushed some very interesting NWO buttons.

Today has also seen the launch of my first 'commercial' venture into website design ... despite not being the first time I've been asked to design one by a long shot. I've had to pop up a holding page on my own domain, something I should have done a while ago, in order to channel any feedback from the site in the right direction. Working on my own site has now become something of a priority. Interestingly, I was in two minds about claiming design credit for this one on account of having my advice with regard to colour schemes completely over-ridden by the client. I don't like the final colours and I don't think they convey the image of the product particularly well but I had to swallow my pride and take the view that "the customer is always right" ... hopefully this is not a situation that will arise too often. While the design of the site conveys very clearly my 'style', the colours really aren't me at all, and that worries me a little.

Anyway, you can judge for yourself at http://www.apartments-sicily.co.uk.

July 2010

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