Sunday, 28 June 2009

Sunday Stealing: The ABC Meme

You can play here.

A – An advantage you have – A good upbringing

B – Blue or brown eyes – Blue

C – Chore you hate – Don't particularly hate any; just like to put off most of them as long as possible

D – Dad’s name – Roy

E – Essential start of your day – Waking up

F – Favorite color – Blue

G – Greatest thing you’ve ever done that made you feel really good – Not particularly great, but a couple of decades ago I once wrote a few pages in a comic book (Trigon Comics' Totally Alien #5) and was ridiculously excited when the issue turned up at my local comic shop.

H – Habit you have – Telling unfunny jokes

I – Issue you hate that the world tries to make you pursue – None in particular, though maybe I'm just being unobservant and failing to realise the issues the world wants me to pursue

J – Job title – Senior Software Engineer

K – Kohls or Target – Neither, since I haven't a clue what either of them are

L – Living arrangements – Live alone in a chaotically messy flat during the week, visit my mother at the weekends

M – Music you like – All sorts; for further details you can check out my profile page, or click on one of the playlists on this page

N - Nicknames – Marky Mark, Barker

O – Overnight hospital stay – Not so far

P – Pet Peeve – People who listen to their music too loud on public transport

Q – Quote that you like most – That'd be Alan Moore's “Quitting my job and starting my life as a writer was a tremendous risk. It was a fool’s leap, a shot in the dark, but anything of any value in our lives--whether that be a career, a work of art, a relationship--will always start with such a leap. And in order to be able to make it you have to put aside the fear of failing and the desire of succeeding.”

R – Right or left handed – Right

S – Siblings – A sister, plus a half-sister and a couple of half-brothers

T – Time you wake up – It varies. On weekdays, I've woken up by 6am, on Saturdays by 8:45am and on Sunday it could be any time before lunch

U – Underwear – Yes

V – Vegetable you dislike – Brussels sprout

W – What makes you run late – Delays on public transport

X – X-rays you’ve had – The only ones I can remember having are when I've been at the dentist's

Y – Yummy food you make – Paella with prawns, though it's out of a box so there's no skill involved.

Z – Zoo animal – Black Panther

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Saturday 9: I Want You Back

Here's my answers to this week's questions from the Saturday 9 Meme:

1. Where were you when you heard that Michael Jackson died?

I was in work, and I read it on a blog.

2. How do you think that he will be remembered?

For his music.

3. What was your favorite Jackson tune?


4. Did you watch the original Charlie’s Angels?

Yes, every week.

5. Did someone you know have that poster of Farrah?

No, but I'm not sure it was available in the UK.

6. Did you consider her battle with cancer heroic?

I wasn't really that aware of it. Having said that, I'd find anybody's battle with cancer heroic.

7. Were you a fan of The Tonight Show Starring Johnnie Carson?

I've never seen it.

8. Did you like Ed McMahon on the show?

I can't comment, since I've never seen it.

9. What else will you remember McMahon for?

No disrespect intended to the man, but he's fairly unknown over here in the UK so I really won't remember him for anything.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

100 Truths

It would appear that somehow, despite my tendency to be non-productive, this is my 100th post, so I thought I'd appropriate a meme that I found at Blog In The Rough:

1. Last beverage→ A can of Tango

2. Last phone call→ Probably to a customer at work

3. Last text message→ Can't remember. Nothing too exciting

4. Last song you listened to→ Probably something by The Jonas Brothers, as my niece got their new CD yesterday

5. Last time you cried→ A week or so ago


1. Dated someone twice → No

2. Been cheated on? → No

3. Kissed someone & regretted it? → Yes

4. Lost someone special?→ Yes

5. Been depressed?→ Yes

6. Been drunk and threw up? → Yes


1. Blue

2. Black


4. Red


1. Made new friends → Yes

2. Fallen out of love → Yes

3. Laughed until you cried → Yes

4. Met someone who changed you → Yes

5. Found out who your true friends were → Yes

6. Found out someone was talking about you → Yes

7. Kissed anyone on your friend's list→ Only virtually

8. How many people on your friends list do you know in real life → None so far

9. How many kids do you want to have→ One or two

10. Do you have any pets → No

11. Do you want to change your name→ No

12. What did you do for your last birthday→ Started a blog

13. What time did you wake up today → Somewhere between 8 and 9

14. What were you doing at midnight last night- Sleeping, perchance dreaming

15. Name something you CANNOT wait for → My next holiday

16. Last time you saw your father→ Twenty years ago; at first I thought he was the video repair man

17. What is one thing you wish you could change about your life → That I were able to come up with snappier answers to meme questions

18. What are you listening to right now → The sound of the fan in my computer whirring round

19. Have you ever talked to a person named Tom → No.

23. What's getting on your nerves right now? → Nothing, right now

24. Most visited web page → Probably google

1. What's your name→ Mark

2. Nicknames→ Marky Mark

3. Relationship Status: Single

4. Zodiac sign → Aquarius

5. Male or female or transgendered → Male

6. Elementary→ My Dear Watson

7. Middle School → Sorry, you're talking weird American terminology here. If you carry on like this, I'll just give another stupid answer

8. High school → Musical

10. Hair color → Mouse

11. Long or short → Short at the moment

16. Height → 5'11 (or maybe 5'10, I can never remember these things)

17. Do you have a crush on someone? → Most definitely

18: What do you like about yourself? → I like my taste in music

19. Piercings → None

20. Tattoos → None

21. Righty or lefty → Righty


22. First surgery → Stitches after a rock landed on my head

23. First piercing → Never had one

24. First best friends → A kid called Stephen, who lived next door

26. First sport you joined → Soccer

27. First pet → A cat called Ringo

28. First vacation → Butlins in Minehead

29. First concert → Showaddywaddy (dragged there by my sister)

30. First crush → Some girl called Nicola in Infants School


49. Eating → Not eating anything at the moment

50. Drinking → Not drinking anything either

52. I'm about to → Type this answer

53. Listening to → nothing. The fan's stopped whirring

55. Waiting for → these questions to finally cease


58. Want kids? → Wouldn't mind

59. Want to get married? → Wouldn't mind

60. Careers in mind? → Writer


68. Lips or eyes → Eyes

69. Hugs or kisses → Kisses

70. Shorter or taller → Shorter

71. Older or Younger → Younger

72. Romantic or spontaneous → Romantic

73. Nice stomach or nice arms → Nice stomach

74. Sensitive or loud → Sensitive

75. Hook-up or relationship → Relationship

77. Trouble maker or hesitant → Hesitant


78. Kissed a stranger → Yes

79. Drank hard liquor → Yes

80. Lost glasses/contacts – No

81. Sex on first date → No

82. Broken someone's heart → Not that I know of

83. Had your own heart broken→ Yes

85. Been arrested → No

86. Turned someone down → No

87. Cried when someone died → No, though I really felt like I should have done

88. Liked a friend that is a girl? → Yes


89. Yourself → Not totally

90. Miracles → Yes; otherwise Smokey Robinson's been fooling us for years

91. Love at first sight → Yes

92. Heaven → I'm fairly skeptical

93. Santa Clause → Of course

95. Kiss on the first date? → Yeah

96. Angels → I'm fairly skeptical there too


97. Is there one person you want to be with right now? → Yes

98. Had more than one boyfriend/girlfriend at one time? → No

100. Posting this as 100 Truths? → Yes

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Saturday 9: Never Say Never Again

Here's my answers to this week's questions from the Saturday 9 Meme:

1. Do you like James Bond films? If yes, what’s your favorite?

Yes. My favourite's probably Goldeneye (although any with Gold in the title work for me).

2. Are you daring enough to go snorkeling in the water fountain at the mall?

Is 'daring' really the right word? Anyway, the answer's no.

3. Do you sometimes hate everything and everyone around you?


4. Do you secretly or openly believe the world revolves around you?

I believe I'm fairly open about it.

5. Would you rather buy a moped or a Harley Davidson?

A moped, since I'd have less chance of killing myself on it than a Harley.

6. Do you water ski or ice ski?

I briefly water-skied on holiday as a youngster until gravity decided to intervene. If you mean snow ski, rather than ice ski, then I briefly dallied with it on a school ski trip as a teenager.

7. Tell us about the last time that you tailgated.

As a pedestrian, such delights are beyond me.

8. What was the last concert that you attended?

That would be a Rockbitch concert I was dragged along to.

9. What’s the most exotic food that you’ve ate?

Nothing that exotic. I once had crocodile, but it didn't taste particularly exotic.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Wednesday Media Mix

Here's a meme from over at My Digital Ghost.

[Listen] Do you now, or have you ever, listened to new-agey music with sound effects like waves crashing and birds singing? No need to be ashamed.

No, apart from at a shop where they had a collection of CDs containing that sort of stuff and they had this display where you could select the albums to hear excerpts from them, so my nephew took great delight in switching between them. A collection of whale dirges seemed to be his favourite.

[Watch] What is your favorite coming-of-age film?

Well, struggling to think of many such films but Stardust comes to mind (or maybe The Little Mermaid if that counts).

[Read] Which writer, living or dead, would you like to hang out with for a day?

Alan Moore, though I'd no doubt get totally tongue-tied in his wizardly presence, as I did on the few occasions I met him in the '80s, where the only time I ever spoke to him was to ask the burning question of where he'd gotten his shoes from (they were really great shoes, I hasten to add - they looked like they were made from real dragonskin, and I suspect they might well have been).

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Sunday Stealing: The Blue Rene Meme

You can play here.

1. What is thing nearest to you ?

Thing nearest to me is keyboard.

2. What is your ringtone ?

Depends who's ringing. If it's family then it's a barely monophonic version of Simon & Garfunkel's 'Homeward Bound', otherwise it's one of two tunes from the Buffy musical episode.

3. What was the last message in your phone inbox ?

It was a message from my niece saying what she wanted me to buy for her while I was out. To quote, "Biscotti also and other stuff".

4. Who is your best friend ?

Probably my sister.

5. What is the band of your TV ?

I don't understand the question. Sorry.

6. What schools did you attend?

Shakespeare Road Infants School, Milton Street Junior School, Devonshire Road Junior School, and Fleetwood Grammar School, which joined with another school to become Fleetwood Hesketh High School.

7. Do you own a MP4 ?

I've got some MP4 files on my PC somewhere, if that's what you mean.

8. What song are you listening to now ?

I'm not listening to any song right now. I usually blog in silence.

9. Did you kiss anybody for the past 2 days ?

Two whole days seems a long time to be kissing anyone. If you mean during the past two days, then only virtually.

10. Have you ever kissed someone you met in the blogosphere?

Not so far.

11. What would you be wanted to call if you weren't your current name ?

No idea. Maybe one of those fake name's Bart uses when he rings up Mo's Tavern, then it would be fun when someone called my name.

12. Would you be happy if you have everything ?

No, I wouldn't have anywhere to keep it.

13. Are you always thinking of someone ?

Not always, though I'm thinking of someone most of the time.

14. Tell us of your most desperate dream ?

My dreams tend to be ones of hope rather than desperation.

15. When did you last laugh till you cried ?

Can't remember doing that since back when I was in university, when I was laughing at something that would just looks plain dull if I typed it here now. You really had to be there (and even someone who was there didn't think it was that funny).

16. If you had a crush , would you tell them you love him/her now ?

Well, I do have a crush and I've told the person, but it took a good while, so in general, no.

17. If you could be anywhere in the world now , where would you want to be ?

Somewhere within walking distance of the person I mentioned in the previous answer.

18. When was your heart last broken?

Ages ago. 1993 to be precise.

19. Whose birthday(s) is/are coming up?

It's my mother's birthday this very Sunday, and my niece's birthday round the start of July.

20. How many email accounts do you have?

A few, maybe five in all, though I only really use two - my googlemail one and, to a lesser extent now, my AOL one.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Saturday 9: Games People Play

Here's my answers to this week's questions from the Saturday 9 Meme:

1. What was your favorite active game as a child?

I used to play soccer all the time.

2. What was your favorite board game as a child?

It was a popomatic game called Headache.

3. Tell us about a friend you played these games with in your youth.

I had a friend called Graham, who was a year older than me, who I used to play football with a lot (when we weren't doing that, we were asking for our ball back). Nothing that interesting to tell; he was an Elvis fan, a Batman fan, had a dog, was a terrific artist, and we sort of lost touch when he went to a different school. He once threw a rock that landed on my head that left me covered in blood and I had to go to hospital, but it was an accident.

4. What is your favorite card game?

Not sure. I used to like Pontoon, and we used to play Whist a lot as a family, but I'm not sure I have a favourite.

5. What board games do you enjoy now?

I don't really play any now, unless coerced by my nephew and niece, and I'm not sure I really enjoy any of them that much.

6. Do you play video games? Which ones?

Got a few in various states of unfinished at the moment: Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines, No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy In Harm's Way, Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, So Blonde, Secret Files 2: Puritas Cordis. I also get the episodic adventures from Telltale Games (Sam & Max, Strongbad, Wallace & Gromit) for my nephew, so play those with him if he'll let me.

7. Tell us about the friends you play games with now.

Probably just my nephew and niece who like me to help them get through adventure games, or just watch while they play really dull games (as I write this, my niece is playing Sims 3).

8. Do you play any sports now?

No, though I attempted to play soccer against my niece last year (she beat me), and there's some mini-golf in the offing for next month.

9. What’s your favorite sport to watch?

I don't like watching sport, unless you count Chess, which I followed avidly around 15 years ago when they televised the Gary Kasparov Vs. Nigel Short chess games.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Wednesday Media Mix

Here's a meme from over at My Digital Ghost.

[Listen] What are some of your favorite film soundtracks?

Beauty and the Beast, The Blues Brothers, The Little Mermaid, Little Shop of Horrors, A Mighty Wind, A Nightmare Before Christmas, Something Wild, Terms of Endearment

[Watch] Did you see the TONY awards? Had you seen any Broadway shows over the past year (or shows that began on Broadway but traveled to other cities)?

No. No.

[Read] In what ways has technology hindered your reading/writing styles, and in what ways has it enhanced them?

I'm not sure it's changed my reading style at all, although it's now a lot easier to get the books I want by ordering them online, and I've a lot less time to read them because of all the time I spend online.

As for writing, word processing applications just make it a lot easier to do, and more importantly edit, than it was in the past.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Tuesday Tunes: Hot Stuff

Over at The Music Memoirs, with the weather warming up, it's time for a little "hot" word association:

Songs/Bands/Artists/Albums you think of when you see these words:

Steamy: Steamy Windows - Tina Turner
Heat: The Heat Is On - Glenn Frey
Hot: Hot In The City - Billy Idol
Summer: Summer In The City - Lovin' Spoonful
Dry: American Pie - Don McLean
Desert: A Horse With No Name - America
Beach: The Beach Boys
Sweat: Keith Sweat

Monday, 8 June 2009

Monday Movie Meme

Feature Presentation...


This week Molly and Andy at the Bumbles Blog are asking all about movies we love from the '80s, so here's my pick:

Airplane (1980)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
E.T. (1982)
After Hours (1985)
Back To The Future (1985)
Big Trouble In Little China (1986)
Little Shop of Horrors (1986)
Adventures In Babysitting (1987)
Broadcast News (1987)

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Sunday Stealing: The Hate Meme

You can play here.

1. Most hated food: Brussel sprouts.

2. Most hated person: I don't hate anyone.

3. Most hated job: Don't particularly hate any job (only ever had one myself).

4. Most hated city: Nope, don't particularly hate any locations.

5. Most hated band: Don't think I hate any bands (check back when they do the Apathy Meme and I'll be full of answers). Oh, wait, let's go for Showaddywaddy which my younger sister loved so I kept getting dragged along to their concerts (also, being an annoying brother, I always felt obliged to hate any music she liked).

6. Most hated (non-blog) website: Ones that don't turn up when I click on them in google.

7. Most hated TV program: There was a sci-fi TV series Time Slip that petrified me as a kid when this woman aged prematurely and her face went all cracked, so I used to go and sit on the stairs when it was on. Wouldn't say I actually hated it, but it's a slightly better answer than saying I don't hate any TV programs.

8. Most hated politician: Adolf Hitler

9. Most hated artist: Me. If you saw a drawing by me, I'm sure you'd side with me.

10. Most hated book: Hate's possibly too strong a word, but that would be my novel, just because it's been taking up so much of my time with editing it recently. Also, for other reasons, it's my most beloved book. Go figure.

11. Most hated shop or store: Well, there's a Subway in the Manchester Arndale I don't go to anymore because I saw the manager being really nasty to one of the staff.

12. Most hated organization: SPECTRE

13. Most hated historical event: There was an IRA bomb that went off in the middle of Manchester in 1996 causing widespread damage. Call me petty, but it meant I was without a comic book shop to go to as a result. I also had a friend there, unhurt, who I later found out was fairly traumatised by the event.

14. Most hated sport: Hate all sports equally.

15. Most hated technology: My mobile broadband, which always seem to be dropping its connection to the internet.

16. Most hated annual event: Used to be New Year, where it always seemed nothing had changed in my life since last year, beyond my growing older and wider. Actually looking forward to it this year.

17. Most hated daily task: Not a big fan of having to get up for work.

18. Most hated comedian: Unfunny ones.

19. Most hated blog: Don't hate any blogs of the ones I've checked out.

20. Most hated song: Not got a most hated song. I actually used to collect really bad records as a teen (no doubt to karmically balance my sister collecting really good records).

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Saturday 9: It's My Party

Here's my answers to this week's questions from the Saturday 9 Meme:

1. Do you prefer to host or be a guest at a party?

A guest, since it's far less work.

2. Would you rather go to a large party or a small dinner party?

Probably the large party, but it depends who's at the small dinner party.

3. What is your worst flaw?


4. What is your best character trait?


5. What habit in others annoys you?


6. What qualities in others do you admire?

Integrity, intelligence, wit,

7. If you could change something about yourself, what would it be?

Probably my hair, which seems to be going invisible in places.

8. Do you tend to be shy with strangers?


9. Do you prefer to lead or follow in a group of people?


Friday, 5 June 2009

Top 5 On Friday

Over at The Music Memoirs they ask for the top 5 albums that make the weekend better, so here goes:

1. Casanova by The Divine Comedy - to be honest the weekend's pretty good on its own without resorting to musical stimuli, and there are a ridiculous number of albums I could choose between, so let's go for weekend-related ones because otherwise I'd just bore you with the albums I usually mention. Anyway, I went for this one purely because it's a great album and it also appropriately enough contains the song Something for the Weekend.

2. The Cure Greatest Hits - Contains the brilliance that is Lovecats. Sadly YouTube won't let me see the video in this country, so apologies if the link doesn't work or you're similarly restricted; YouTube should be above regional-encoding if only for the sake of us bloggers. Also, even if you can't see it, it could be worse; I was recently going through the songs on my iPod putting together a playlist, chose Lovecats, but then discovered to my horror that I'd clicked on the Paul Anka version (which I thankfully couldn't find a YouTube link for). Another song from the album, and also on the same playlist as it happens, and more in tune with the weekend theme is Friday I'm In Love.

3. Saturday Night Fever Original Soundtrack - I can't say I've ever owned this, but it seemed to fit the bill. Having said that, while the Night Fever part is more than amply represented in the songs, I suspect that none of them might actually contain the word Saturday.

4. Saturday Morning: Cartoons' Greatest Hits by Various - A great collection of Saturday morning cartoon cover versions (such as The Ramones' Spider-Man and Matthew Sweet's Scooby Doo), although in the UK most of the cartoons were shown at weekdays.

5. War by U2 - Great album but chosen by me purely for the weekend connection of Sunday Bloody Sunday.

Yet Another Just To Let You Know

Book editing's finally finished, at least until the next round (which thankfully isn't deadline-dependent), so normal service should be resumed. That's right, I'm back. Back with a vengeance. Back with a future. Back with too many sentences beginning with the word back.

Anyway, great to be back, missed you all tons, and now I guess I better actually go and find a meme to answer to keep up this momentum.