almostwitty: (monkey)
I used to devour apocalyptic literature – I read a lot of it as a kid, watched many a movie about the end of the world, and even wrote essays about it at University. Back then, it never used to phase me or scare me as a topic – I’d have a kind of horrified fascination with it, and during the height of the Cold War, the End could potentially be no more than four minutes away for the United Kingdom.
Fast forward to now, though, and I’m living in West London and a married father to a kid who really couldn’t even begin to fend for himself for another seven years… so oddly that puts a totally different spin on things. I’m not so much horribly fascinated by “black” topics so much as just horrified and actively repelled by them – so that’s another thing that changes in the transition to fatherhood…

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (monkey)

Disney characters starvingOne of the many many reasons for living in London is that it’s meant to be a world-class city, the place people flock to.

Well, I hope they don’t want a simple takeaway delivered on a Saturday night because it seems nigh on impossible.

Our first choice was Sufi – a Persian restaurant round the corner rated by Jessie J and Time Out, amongst others. We’ve ordered from there before without any problems, but of course that was on a weeknight. We called them tonight, to be told they don’t deliver on a Saturday night.

Next stop, another Persian restaurant called The Piano in Chiswick. We ordered it via Hungry House seemingly without a problem – thirty minutes later, with our hunger pangs getting ever more desperate, we get an email only to be told they rejected our order without any explanation as to why. I really should have checked the website earlier – they manage to spell Persian wrong on their homepage. Seriously.

Ditching the notion of such exotic cuisine as Persian altogether, we thought we’d retreat to the safety of Chinese food. So tried to call the Drunken Tiger restaurant (great name, amiright?) in Shepherds’ Bush. After five minutes of them not answering their phone, we gave up.

We finally resorted to the tried and tested Seven Stars takeaway round the corner – really, we should have stuck with them from the start, because they took our order without any problem and it’ll arrive in thirty minutes. Fingers crossed.

And now we’re starving and ready for bed at the same time. Not a great combo!

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (monkey)

I’ve:

  1. started rehearsals with an Oscar-winning director
  2. been on national television
  3. AND had lunch with Chris Evans. Technically.
  4. An old colleague said I’d lost a lot of weight too!

If I went back in time and bumped into my 19-year-old self, he’d be rather surprised to hear all these things. However, he’d probably also be disappointed once I went into the detail of how these things came to happen.

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (monkey)

Amongst all the time-sucking hassles that December brings along is the need/desire to set up Christmas decorations.

Admittedly, only those with a true heart of rock-solid stone could fail to be impressed by blinking fairy lights and tinsel chasing away the dark December nights, but oy vey, the hassle of setting it all up.

First of all you have to get all the decorations, tinsel, lights and then the huge plastic tree from last year down from the attic or your storage arena. Or struggle to wrestle a new natural tree all the way home from the local dodgy pop-up market around the corner, covering yourself with thistles and thorns in the process.

Then you have to carve out a space in your living room area near the window just to put up the tree. Assuming you had any spare space to begin with. For bonus points, if you have a crawling baby, you have to put enough obstacles on the living room floor so that he can’t actually try to climb up – or more likely, eat – the tree.

Then out come the fairy lights out of the box. Which are all hopelessly tangled, so you have to spend a good 30 minutes untangling them to begin with – while also keeping an eye out on the baby to ensure he doesn’t try to chew the fairy lights. Once you’ve untangled them comes the joyful task of tangling them again around the tree. Before realising that it’s all too far from an electrical outlet so you’re forced to decide whether to move everything else out of the way so you can put the tree near the electrical outlet, or try dangling an extension cable in such a way that the baby won’t eat it.

Then you open the box of last year’s tree decorations, and hope to goodness none of them have been smashed. Then you realise you can’t use any of them anyway because the baby may just decide to try eating a glass globe.

Which is why, this year, my wife’s taken the initative and set up a unique Christmas ‘tree’ of our very own, incorporating books and a fez. Because fezzes are cool.

Our Christmas tree, 2011

I still wish I had the time to set up some more fairy lights around the place, though.

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (evil)

When I was a young teenager growing up, drinking was seen as something cool for all teenagers to do. And, let’s face it, drinking is relatively easy. Even I managed to have a few drinks during my teenage years in an attempt to look vaguely cool.

So when Emma Watson (aged 21) spends three minutes on David Letterman talking about alcohol before finally confessing that she only got drunk once, you do have to wonder just how isolated/isolating the Harry Potter stars were, when at least two of them can’t do what British teenagers have been doing for years up and down the land – get drunk, and then carry on the next day.

I also wonder how that played in bi-alcohol America – where people either drink till they punch people in the face, or stay away from that demon drink. Alcohol does seem more integrated into the British way of life, but with notable exceptions, they tend to moderate it.

Mind you, I’ve started drinking a bottle of beer a day, and a tiny part of my mind is a tad worried I’m going to end up being a mild alcoholic.

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (evil)

So, being Chinese, I tend not to have moustache-growing capabilities. I tried once before, but it didn’t get very far.

With Movember, I thought I’d have a go again, on the pretext of raising money for prostate cancer research, a very worthy cause.

So please donate for all the sterling work I put into this, and for the vague notion that I could somehow look like this handsome chap.

Oh, and please donate some money towards prostate cancer research via Movember

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (evil)

I shall be returning to America – well, Ohio – for May/June 2011. And I’ll be bringing a wife and child with me. (Assuming US immigration lets me in and the British government actually returns my passport).

If you fancy coming to our wedding/christening celebration in the shadow of one of America’s most famous rollercoaster parks, then please let us know a good date on the Facebook event or in the comments below. or you can, y’know, email me

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (Default)

Apparently, Hong Kong is all a twitter about the sit-in demonstrations (complete with riot police and pepper spray) that have been taking place as the Hong Kong Legislative Council rubber-stamped a decision to build a high-speed railway line through Hong Kong to China, demolishing ancient villages in the process. (Interestingly, the official Chinese news state agency thinks the protestors barely deserve half a sentence in their report).

Anyway, cnngo.com had a photo-essay featuring the village at the heart of the railway line, and it’s rather striking how it looks an awful lot like the village my parents grew up. Even if I haven’t been back there in 20 years.

Oh, while we’re here, 50 reasosn why Hong Kong is fab. Now if only I spoke Cantonese…

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (Default)

Apparently, Hong Kong is all a twitter about the sit-in demonstrations (complete with riot police and pepper spray) that have been taking place as the Hong Kong Legislative Council rubber-stamped a decision to build a high-speed railway line through Hong Kong to China, demolishing ancient villages in the process. (Interestingly, the official Chinese news state agency thinks the protestors barely deserve half a sentence in their report).

Anyway, cnngo.com had a photo-essay featuring the village at the heart of the railway line, and it’s rather striking how it looks an awful lot like the village my parents grew up. Even if I haven’t been back there in 20 years.

Oh, while we’re here, 50 reasosn why Hong Kong is fab. Now if only I spoke Cantonese…

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (Default)

Lookie here! (Thanks, @zsk!)

and she has revealed that on Boxing Day, it got 21,500 hits. Now if only I had 1p for everyone who clicked… :)

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (Default)

Lookie here! (Thanks, @zsk!)

and she has revealed that on Boxing Day, it got 21,500 hits. Now if only I had 1p for everyone who clicked… :)

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (Default)

Since I’ve been tagged by a few friends on Facebook and elsewhere, I thought I’d try to come up with 25 random facts about me:

  1. One of my first websites was lauded by Microsoft, Yahoo and the BBC. Of course, this was back in 1997.
  2. I’ve been in Stephen Fry’s bedroom
  3. I love peas. Love them. If I had a big enough freezer, all my stir fries would come with peas included.
  4. I also love snow - the way it can make a city like London be frozen, cold and yet clean and crisp. Of course, I've never had to go to work in the middle of a blizzard.
  5. I also love the cold. It awakens the senses, keeps everything sharp. Then again, I’ve never had to walk to work during a very very cold snap.
  6. Ben Elton thinks I’m a wanker. Long story.
  7. In my younger days, the only time I cried at a film was during E.T.’s resurrection.
  8. Unfortunately, these days, any old thing can set my eyes moist. A moving montage, a soaring piece of music…
  9. This may be why I don’t really go to the cinema any more. In 2008, I managed four trips. and one of them was to the terrible Indiana Jones movie.
  10. My favourite film is Brazil, a tale of a man who battles bureaucracy by going insane.
  11. I’ve worked in the BBC, in four different places, over ten years - with a lot of time off for good behaviour.
  12. Emma Freud is the best Radio 1 DJ that ever existed, IMHO. and she gave me an online snog once.
  13. I am petrified of zombies. Terrified of them.
  14. and crabs. Crabs will take over the world. You mark my words.
  15. I hate unfriendly people.
  16. I love living in London, full of unfriendly people. Go, as they say, figure.
  17. When I’m sat on my sofa, I wish I was in the pub.
  18. When I’m in the pub, I wish I was sat on my sofa.
  19. Chef Ainsley Harriott gripped my thigh once.
  20. So did Pet Shop Boys lead singer Neil Tennant
  21. I once tried to bore a friend to sleep by summarising every single Doctor Who episode ever broadcast. It didn’t work. She’s still my friend.
  22. I wore a kilt once. Loved it.
  23. I can’t stand sour foods. Salt and vinegar crisps are the devil’s condiment of choice.
  24. I haven’t programmed a computer in years. Must learn again.
  25. I was once asked to take part in a local carnival as a Chinese person on the grounds that I didn’t need any make-up…
  26. I used to be terrible at cooking. I couldn’t even make a bowl of cornflakes properly.
  27. People seem to confide in me. I have no real idea why, but I like it.

So… go and write 25 random facts about you in *your* blog!

Originally published at almost witty. You can comment here or there.

almostwitty: (blank)
Me and Ewan McGregor in Rogue Trader In the late 1990s, inbetween freelance web jobs, I spent a day as an extra, being a Singaporean stock trader in the film Rogue Trader, a film about how stocktrader Nick Leeson managed to bring down the United Kingdom's oldest investment bank. The film starred Ewan McGregor and Anna Friel.

 

Alas, any glamorous notions I had about finally being part of the film industry were somewhat thwarted by the sheer tedium of waiting around on film sets waiting for filming to start, with nothing to do except talk to equally disillusioned Chinese extras, who were mostly Filipino actors/actresses who’d come to London with dreams of treading the stage or doing some good acting, as opposed to ending up with a bunch of extras. Although I did manage to walk around the Pinewood Studios shop and buy a jacket.

After one day of work, being on/off set for about 10 hours and wasting three hours being shuttled between central London and Pinewood for £80 (and they were very keen to get people back for more extras shooting, but I’d rather sit in front of a computer pumping out webcode!), the net result is the picture you see. If you watch the film itself, I’m about 40 minutes into the film, just after Nick Leeson is celebrating Christmas with his girlfriend (Friel).

The only other time I saw it was when slightly drunk and waiting in eager anticipation to see The Matrix. One of the trailers that featured before it was for Rogue Trader, and I yelped in surprise when I saw a strangely familiar moon-shaped face staring at me on the screen before I realised it was me.

I kept meaning to track down the DVD but then to my surprise, when I stumbled in after a hard day at a works do summer party (football, softball, Pimms, quizzes and the odd bit of chat) to find the film showing on ITV4. And finally, I manage to capture my moment of fame alongside Ewan McGregor.

To come … how I had dinner with Frank Skinner and was in Stephen Fry’s bedroom…

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (Default)

Me alongside Ewan McGregor in Rogue Trader

Me alongside Ewan McGregor in Rogue Trader

In the late 1990s, inbetween freelance web jobs, I spent a day as an extra, being a Singaporean stock trader in the film Rogue Trader, a film about how stocktrader Nick Leeson managed to bring down the United Kingdom’s oldest investment bank. The film starred Ewan McGregor and Anna Friel.

Alas, any glamorous notions I had about finally being part of the film industry were somewhat thwarted by the sheer tedium of waiting around on film sets waiting for filming to start, with nothing to do except talk to equally disillusioned Chinese extras, who were mostly Filipino actors/actresses who’d come to London with dreams of treading the stage or doing some good acting, as opposed to ending up with a bunch of extras. Although I did manage to walk around the Pinewood Studios shop and buy a jacket.

After one day of work, being on/off set for about 10 hours and wasting three hours being shuttled between central London and Pinewood for £80 (and they were very keen to get people back for more extras shooting, but I’d rather sit in front of a computer pumping out webcode!), the net result is the picture you see. If you watch the film itself, I’m about 40 minutes into the film, just after Nick Leeson is celebrating Christmas with his girlfriend (Friel).

The only other time I saw it was when slightly drunk and waiting in eager anticipation to see The Matrix. One of the trailers that featured before it was for Rogue Trader, and I yelped in surprise when I saw a strangely familiar moon-shaped face staring at me on the screen before I realised it was me.

I kept meaning to track down the DVD but then to my surprise, when I stumbled in after a hard day at a works do summer party (football, softball, Pimms, quizzes and the odd bit of chat) to find the film showing on ITV4. And finally, I manage to capture my moment of fame alongside Ewan McGregor.

To come … how I had dinner with Frank Skinner and was in Stephen Fry’s bedroom…

Mirrored from almost witty.

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