June 2006 Archives - wibbler.com

Television saves lives

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I’ve never been into taking holidays very much, which tends to infuriate the hell out of Michelle. I’m in the minority, of course – most people love to get away to sunnier climes, forgetting their troubles while the dips various toes to warm seaside water. I don’t have many troubles, though, and so I’m more than happy to sit and while away my days working and playing in and around Guildford. I do travel a lot for work nowadays, which means I’m even less likely to want to go away on my time off – which again doesn’t help Michelle’s hankering for all things sunny. So, I agreed to a holiday this year for a week or two. We selected a destination, a five-star hotel and organised some time off work.
Luckily, we jacked in the holiday idea and bought an enormous 40inch television instead. And why, you ask, is that lucky? Well, we’d booked a nice hotel in Antalya, Turkey – where it seems Turkish bombers have been quite happy to sow their seeds recently

Musical Cathartics

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When it comes to music, I’m not fussy. I like all types and genres, from classical to rap, to electronica and indie. Pachelbel, Eminem, Daft Punk and Fall Out Boy all feature in my eclectic musical collection.
There are a few musical quirks in the wibbler back catalogue that I’m surprisingly unashamed to admit, however. I never fail to get groans whenever I want to put a Meatloaf CD on. Michelle was made to listen to a whole album once, bless her. I remember buying a CD of his back in 1994, then watching the videos, and deciding that on top of the clever lyrics and music, he at least deserves respect for treating all his songs and videos like feature productions. The songs contain outrageously overblown guitar riffs, while the videos house all sorts of Hollywood-style shots and actions. He is larger than life, and isn’t ashamed of it.
The other one that should seem a little embarrassing is Fatboy Slim. For some reason, I’ve got the impression that he’s a sort of chav hero, someone I really should know better than enjoy music from. But the first time I hear most of his songs, I’ve no idea they’re his – but that doesn’t stop me tapping away and singing along. It’s actually a bit of a shock when I find they’re Fatboy Slim’s musical numbers. It’s happened with songs like Praise You, Weapon of Choice, The Joker, and now today with That Old Pair of Jeans (here’s an archive of videos, if you’re interested).
And like Meatloaf, the videos seem to be more “off the wall” than the standard ones plastered over MTV. They seem to point out that music and rhythm is everywhere, whatever you do. I remember Praise You was just a home video of a group breakdancing. Weapon of Choice was a constant stream of Christopher Walken dancing. And with That Old Pair of Jeans, the main video is of a man juggling. It’s certainly impressive, and has spawned a whole series of copycat videos, many of them almost as good. If you’ve got a spare half an hour, have a peek at them
Anyway, here’s the video (archived here):

And here’s one of the best copycat ones:

Elli gets spliced

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It’s been a long time coming. In fact, scrap that. Who am I fooling, it’s been an undercurrent in my group of friends for a while. I’m talking marriage. George and Ala’a did it unfeasibly early back in 1999, and Milly did it in style with my colleague-turned-friend Alex back in 2004.
We’re all getting to the creaky late-twenties, and it’s probably about time to settle down, hitch up and get with the family life. For a good few years, my good friend Elli was destined to be waiting in vain for the perfect man. She was hankering for the handsome knight in shining armour and now – as always with the nicest people – her knight has already turned up and rode away with her into the sunset. Yes, ladies and gentlefolks, Elli is now married to her longtime boyfriend Ed Russell. That’s another one to strike off the list then…
Elli’s parties were always debaunched and ultimately brilliant, and so we knew we were in for a good time when the wedding invitation popped through our letterbox a few months ago. The day arrived, and Michelle and I dolled ourselves up for the occasion. Michelle had bought a whole new dress, top and shoes. I had bought a new tie – no expense spared. Still, I cut a dash. We arrived at the church in Shottermill, near Haslemere, with minutes to spare thanks to the unhurried taxi driver and the infamous Hindhead crossroads, and dashed to our places in the pews. It was a hot day – perfect to be sitting in a church in full wedding gear. St Stephens Church – surprisingly from its traditional exterior, a modern, open-plan building, with one big main room, several large windows and doors, and two large screens on the main wall – which I later found a great help in following the less than familiar hymns. There were large hats everywhere, and as we sat down, I saw Ed looking a tad white and very nervous. Last chance, I thought as we sat down for the ceremony.
It all went without a hitch, and after the event we all bundled into cars and drove to a large former school near Hindhead. It was an enormous place, and turned out to be the old school of several of the guests. As they reminisced about the good educational times, I started to wonder how much hotter the day could become. I was aching to strip off and dive into a pool of cold water, if only I could find one. Elli had opted for a free bar – a large mistake, I surmised, as I saw the guests waiting three-deep at the bar. Still, better make the most of it, I thought as I waded in…
After a hearty meal, we heard speeches full of anecdotes and laughter, and then there was nothing for it but to get down to business. The tie came off, the music came on, and we all jigged around into the early hours to a live band that managed to be utterly brilliant. David H turned up half way through to show us all up on the dancefloor, and even managed to drive us back to our house without throwing me out the car for stupid drunken conversations.
So, that’s Elli married. Congratulations to them both. But i’m a little worried. Who’s next, I wonder?!

Withdrawing Bush – My new favourite quote…

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Just had to write this down somewhere:

“Just his being there for five hours makes a statement. It told the Iraqi people: ‘I’m with you.
I stand behind you. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m getting the fuck out of here.'”
— Rob Corddry, on George Bush’s surprise visit to Baghdad Tuesday.