Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Lovin' That Lovebox!

It was over a week ago but hell.... I promised.

Lovebox is a 2-day music festival that has taken place in Victoria Park for the last 7 years. This year I was fortunate enough to go on the second day of the festival, Sunday the 20th of July. If you follow me on Twitter, then you got to see some of the pics I took. Unfortunately, my phone's (which was the camera I was using) battery died before I could tweet about the best band. I was, however, able to sneak in one last tweet before my phone completely went dead and I promised to blog about it.

And so not to let you down here are some pics from what I saw. Not in a wholly commentary mood but pictures say a 1000 words each or so they say.

The picture above is of The Bombay Bicycle Club. I really enjoyed them. You can check out their music on their web page or here on MySpace.

We then went to see The Chipolatas. As you can tell by their picture they are a bit of a juggling entertainment trio. I laughed and smiled so much that my face hurt. You can see some clips etc of their stuff here and of course below is a pic I took of them.

The picture above is of the Filthy Dukes. They were okay but I was more interested in what my friends were doing at the Gaymers Tree House food and beve area (eating and talking). Anyway if you want to find out more information about the Filthy Dukes, you can go to their MySpace page here.

After that we were headed to see Gary Numan, but I got side tracked by these guys and got separated from the group. I have no idea who these guys were, but they were fun.

I was able to locate my friends (after ringing them) at Gary Numan. You may remember him from the hit Cars. He's old now (but so am I). I wasn't that impressed so I watched a few numbers, snapped this picture and left. Here's his site if you're curious as to what he's up to now.

From there we went on to Noah and The Whale, who is pictured above. Ironically, it began to rain as they played. They were really quite good and I would have stayed for their entire show, but the band I've wanted to see for ages was headlining on the main stage.

And then... to my horror... my phone died. However, Marianne had a camera, thank God! As you can see from the pictures below, we were right up front for.....


Below are some pics and videos Marianne took. In retrospect, I should have asked Marianne to use her camera to shoot pictures, as these pictures are great. Better yet, I should have just brought my own camera instead of my phone.

I love Groove Armada and have for years. If you would like to know more about them, then by all means go to their web site. The only disappointing thing about their show was the abrupt ending with no encore. However, Marianne and I figured that they may well have been expecting to do an encore, but due to the legality of playing in a residential area on a Sunday they had to end at a certain time.

And so over a week late, but better later than never, that was my little experience at Lovebox. You can't say that I don't keep my promises. (You can say, however, that I'm damn slow in fulfilling some of them.)

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Who Says the Barter System is Dead?

I have a new toy!!! It's lovely and I've been playing with it for the last few days. Last night when I was out with some friends I kept yearning to play with it some more and couldn't wait to get home. No, no this isn't the Rabbit or some sex-toy along those lines. It is in fact...

a Macbook 2.4 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo with 2 GB memory (667 DDR2 SDRAM) and 250 GB hard drive. It's a year old- maybe less. I got it from the family of a student I tutor. They also got the 3 year Apple protection plan so the warranty extends from one year to 3 years giving me telephone support throughout that period. (And there's always my dear friend, Matt, if things go way awry)

And the best part about this was the price. We are doing an exchange. I simply tutor free for about 11 times at an hour a time and it's paid off.

Here are some pictures of my new toy.

As you can see Tweet Deck is all configured and I've been tweeting away.

Now I just need my iPhone and life will be perfect. Well my technological life at least.

Oh and this is my 50th blog of 2009. Whoop!

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

A Little Review on 'He's Just Not That Into You'

Lame though I may have been regarding writing, it doesn't mean I haven't been doing my fair share of devouring various forms of media- films being one. The other day not I found myself in my local Blockbuster and was thrilled to discover that 1) I could rent 4 DVD's for 4 days for £10 and 2) three films I yearned to see were in stock. So, I rented The Young Victoria, Slumdog Millionaire, The Reader and for my fourth I choose He's Just Not That Into You.

He's Just Not... didn't make the top 3 of the films I wanted to see, but I was intrigued by it for a few reasons. First, I've read bits and pieces of the book and found it to be an over-simplified handbook for women on the common sense of dating. The film was co-written by the book's author, Greg Behrendt. I was curious to see how a book, which was essentially a self-help book for lonely hearted women could be transformed into a collection of comedic stories about romance. Second, the cast was decent. I like Drew Barrymore and Ginnifer Goodwin. Bradley Cooper is hot. I've seen Jennifer Aniston do some pretty damn good acting in the film Friends with Money and Ben Affleck is decent depending on who he's playing and if he can pull it off. Finally, let's just say it's a film I felt I should see at this particular time in my life.

For the most part the six slightly over-lapping stories which make up He’s Just Not... are funny, heart-warming and go along with the basic premise of the book. However, the main story just didn’t fit.

(Now at this point I must warn you, I'm going to ruin one of the little stories for you. So if you are planning on seeing the film and don't want to know how any bit of it ends, stop reading this now. Right, you've been warned.)

At the beginning of He's Just Not... we're introduced to 'our problem' which is narrated by the desperate Gigi (Ginnifer Goodwin). Apparently, our problem, or more precisely the problem women have with dating, is that from the very beginning when we are but wee girls we are told that when a boy is mean to us it means they like us. Thus, we are programmed from the start to think that when a guy treats us badly they actually secretly like us. Now this makes sense... a bit. But of course as we all become adults guys stop being mean to the girls they like and it's all pretty straightforward right? Uh.....

Anyway, so poor, must-have-a-relationship-or-die Gigi goes out with Connor (Kevin Connoly). They date goes well and they say goodbye- no kiss just a "Nice to meet you," and Gigi waits anxiously for Connor to call. He doesn’t. (“If he’s not calling you…”) Eventually she decides to casually drop in to the bar where Connor hangs out and accidentally meets his roommate, Alex, (Justin Long) who manages the bar. It is there that Alex enlightens her to the rule, “If a guy is acting like he doesn’t give a shit, he generally doesn’t give a shit.” When Gigi tries to refute this by beginning a story illustrating the opposite, Alex interrupts her and points out that is a very rare exception and most of the time there are NO EXCEPTIONS to this rule. This is actually the primary point of Behrendt’s book. ‘Finally,’ I thought, ‘a realistic dating story,’ and was curious to see what would happen to Gigi.

Then, the story slowly goes into the toilet. It becomes typical romantic Hollywood crap. On fact it becomes the same crap that foster the illusion of the exceptions to the He’s Just Not… rule. Yup you guessed it. Eventually after developing a friendship where playboy Alex coaches boyfriend-seeking Gigi through her dating escapades, she gets the wrong idea from him. They then have a row, she says some pretty poignant things about his playboy behaviour and he comes to the realisation that he’s actually in love with her.


In real life they would have fought, probably not spoken for a while and both Gigi and Alex would have ended up the wiser for it. Their friendship may or may not have lasted, but they would never ever end up with each other. Ever!

Had this movie not been based on a book that instructs women to not over analyse but take things on face value, I would have had no problem with that unrealistic storyline. But this just seems to fly in the face of the point of Behrendt’s book. Okay so Hollywood does that sometimes, but as I said earlier this film was also co-written by Behrendt. What?? The man who wrote He’s Just Not That Into You and It’s Called a Breakup Because It’s Broken would actually allow this storyline to happen?? And thus the author who seeks to shatter the delusions women create about dating, helps to foster one. I found that to be incredibly hypocritical. Yet this is a trite romantic comedy so maybe I shouldn't have been so surprised.

And so, He’s Just Not... is an entertaining, fun and silly film (and Ben Affleck actually plays his character pretty well) but if you’re expecting it to be true to the basic premise of its namesake book because the author helped created the film, you will be very disappointed.

And now for something completely different, I’m watching The Reader.