Monthly Archives: December 2010

Play magazine, and all that

Today’s entry veers dangerously close to some kind of marketing, or even sounding like I’m a Company Man – those who know me know this is nonsense as I hate everything. If anything, it should mean there’s a greater impact behind the words* as it shows I do genuinely have a place in my heart for this sheeit.

See, today the 200th issue of the magazine I write for, Play, has been released. This is actually quite a big thing in the world of gaming magazines, as there really aren’t too many that have lasted this long. It’s such a transient, fickle business that what seems popular enough to have a magazine based on it one month will have fuck-all interest in it by the next week. So yeah, 15 years is a decent effort. In fact, I think there’s only a few gaming mags out there now that have hit this mark.

Anyway, this does matter to me beyond boasting on behalf of Imagine Publishing. I actually used to buy Play every month – I bought the first issue, back in 1995 whenever it was, a tiny 12-year-old with the hopes and dreams of a nation on my shoulders. Either that or I just wanted something to fill the Amiga Power-shaped hole in my heart, and a magazine edited by Dave “Games Animal” Perry seemed perfect for task. It wasn’t, but I still liked it.

The mag was genuinely one of my favourites through that point of my life, and up to a certain point, which I don’t know, I would buy it every month. I even had a subscription at one point. And a letter printed. I’m so fucking cool, bet Anna can’t wait for me and my cool to arrive later.

Anyway, that’s why it means something to me – if not a life-changing amount, but something. I went from loyal child-reader, to not reading, to loyal subscriber and idiotic letter-writer, to not reading again, to writing for it and helping make the 200th issue. Which is nice.

Go buy it! Or something. I’m well good at advertising, me.

*Hahaha, twat.

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Schooool’s (“work’s”) out for summer (“winter”)

I finished work today, at least until early January. It’s weird that even at my old, old age the process of having a last day for a while still conjures up the exact same feelings I had when similar situations would arise at school.

It’s nothing mental, weird or even major in any real way, it’s just that strange feeling at the back of my mind that I associate very deeply with breaking up for whatever holiday at school. I feel I should go around and say goodbye to everyone, wish them happy whatevers and some other platitudes. But then when it comes to it, I just don’t bother. It isn’t out of rudeness – at least not intentionally – it’s just I either forget or my brain asks ‘what’s the point?’ so much I just cave and listen to the squelchy mushball. Exactly what always happened at school and exactly what happens at work too.

Weirdly, I never had these issues in my mind when at uni, but that’s probably down to the fact we always went out. So we’d just go out again, only this time claim it was to say our goodbyes. In fact, I remember a time where a male friend broke down in tears because we were going home for the summer. Definitely wasn’t me. No, really, it wasn’t.

Seriously though – it wasn’t.

I have a headache, so this is a short one today. Also I Tweeted something about a Frankie Boyle-based entry today, but I can’t be bothered thinking about him. It angers the blood. Though not because he made a joke about Jordan’s kid.

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Oh piss off, weather

I do wish there was a genuinely accurate manner with which we could predict the weather – something that wasn’t about as accurate as guessing, or only marginally more accurate than forever saying “tomorrow’s weather will be the same as today’s” (both true, the internet told me so). While it would be nice to know that in four years time it will be 23 degrees on the 17th of June, that isn’t what concerns me right now.

No, what concerns me is getting to Gatwick airport and seeing that they are still running flights, and not intermittently cancelling the route I’m supposed to be flying on Thursday. I keep on checking the weather for some clues as to what will be going on in the area that day, but I know it’s pointless. On average (again, internet), weatherpeople get their predictions right 30-40% of the time. I am no longer a gambling man, bar the brief foray back to the glory days with fake money at work’s Christmas party, so those odds don’t really appeal. As far as I’m concerned, that’s a 60-70% chance the prediction that it will be ‘partially cloudy’ and ‘between 0 and 1 degree through the day’ is utter bollocks.

But I went through this exact same thing last year – I ended up getting lucky, my flight was delayed by about an hour but I got to my destination (the same one again) and shitloads of other people had their flights cancelled. It was similar weather last year. I was catching similar trains, going to the same airport and blah de blah. Probably the only things different are I’m fatter now, I let the hair on my upper lip grow for some ungodly reason and I have Tiny Laptop to entertain me.

So yes, TL;DR: I really bloody hope Anna’s flight tomorrow gets her home okay, and I really bloody hope my flight on Thursday gets me out there okay.

I don’t much care if it knobs up on the way back. Extra holiday!

This isn’t an interesting blog, I’m aware. I couldn’t actually think of anything else because I’m worried. Stupid brain. I do not like uncertainty in these kinds of situations.

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WE DIDN’T LISTEN!

I remember this feeling from last year, seeing as it all happened in a very similar fashion. Let’s take things back to a simpler time: it was known as December 2009 – suddenly! – cold weather struck. We were… unprepared. The greatest minds of our nation had predicted things, they had noticed the air was getting colder – at least colder than it had been a few months before. But they never expected that. How could they? Temperatures plummeted by a few degrees, some frozen rain fell from the sky and the country… well, the country came to pieces.

I was just one man back then, trying to make my way in the world. Some called it a pilgrimage, others said I was a fool to pursue it – but I had to get to the Holy Land of Zurich, even if it killed me. Well, not if it killed me, but I did really want to get there with the minimum of fuss. But the weather. The weather. In the days leading up to my attempted departure, things had been grim. Temperatures had hit the lowest we’d ever seen in and around Gatwick airport – 1 degree, 0 degrees, and at one point I swear it got to -1 degree, but that may just be an urban legend.

But somehow, some way we got through it. Call it luck, call it the indomitable nature of the human spirit – call it whatever you want. It was close, it was frightening and it wasn’t something I wanted to go through again – but we got through it. I got there. After the Attack Of The Weather we promised ourselves it would never happen again. We would never be caught off-guard. We would always be alert.

But it’s happening again. How WEATHER slipped past our keen defences I have no idea, but slip past it has. I’m scared, people. Last time we barely managed to scrape by – I arrived at the final destination on my pilgrimage a whole two hours later than I was supposed to. I don’t know if I can go through that again. The doctor says I suffer from something – PTSD, he calls it – all because of last year’s events.

I can’t go through it again. We should have seen it coming. We should have been prepared.

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The final stretch, pretty much

We’re fast approaching the point where my 365 (mostly) consecutive entries will be up. This is number 345, meaning there are 20 to go. Less than three weeks. As you can still see on right-hand side of this page, I expected to get bored or annoyed with the One A Day thing after no time at all. I did, but I also carried on for a few reasons, probably the main one being that I do very little in my life and it’s good to have something to live for*. In that time I’ve grown somewhat as a writer – and as a fatty – and have learned some techniques I’m sure will stay with me forever. Like writing a 100-plus word intro that says nothing, for example.

Anyway, I’ve been asked a few times in recent days and weeks – both in real life and the Cyber Future World of the Information Superhighway – if I will be continuing on with this. Plus Pete blogged about that very thing today, so he acted as my inspiration. My answer has remained the same to everyone who has asked: I do not know.

Right now the most likely course of action is that I will blog as and when the need hits me. Unfortunately that’s the most dangerous way I can operate, as I am notoriously not-so-proactive. If I set myself no timeframe to work within, I will simply not bother doing it more often than not. I honestly don’t know if I’d be fine with that, which is weird. I’m so accustomed to churning out a few hundred words each day it feels wrong whenever I forget to do it, or can’t for whatever reason.

I could always set myself new goals – one a week, or one a month. But then I think there would be a burden of expectation on the average of 40-or-so readers I get every day. If I were in their shoes, I’d be expecting something actually good if the writer had more time to come up with it. Hmm.

There are other ways of doing it, I’m sure, and I honestly don’t know what’s going to happen a week into next year when I’ve finished my One A Day run. We’ll burn that bridge when we get to it, because for now I can pre-prepare the celebrations for actually finishing this thing. See – confidence! Who’da thunk it?

*Melodrama. I actually have about three things worth living for. One of them is this badass dressing gown.

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This post does not contain SATIRE! about iThing owners becoming zombies. Damn.

Why did nobody warn me the iTunes store is as dangerous as it is? I’ve only ever bought one thing on it before, and that was a single song about a year ago. As such, my brain isn’t up to speed on how it all works. As a result of the life-changing, twat-becoming news the other day, I went to browse the available games to see if there was anything I would actually want to play on the iPad.

Now, fortunately I didn’t go mental and only spent about a tenner, but it struck me as decidedly odd that you can make it – literally – a one-button purchase. You click the price of the app, it’s yours. Obviously that’s brilliant in that it’s simple, to the point and you don’t need to dick about, but I can see myself being drunk, bored or drunk and bored and ending up with £50 of stuff I do not want or care about.

As for the… jesus.

I’ve just realised it’s already started. Twice in one week I’ve written a blog about my iPad. Which I don’t even have yet. I’m already turning. I’m like the bloke on the zombie films who hides his bite, slowly watching the infection manifest itself into an orgy of gore and brain-fuelled sustenance before his one-time friends have to put him down by destroying him in whatever way they can. Either that or I’m the one who gets bit and everyone knows he’s been bitten, but they decide to keep him around as he’s useful and they like him until ohmygod he starts to turn and it becomes the heart-wrenching moment where the best friend doesn’t want to pull the trigger and then he has to because his former friend is now lunging at him, trying to claw his eyes out with his dirty zombie fingers.

Something like that. Read into it what you will my talking of iPads before going off on a tangent about being a zombie. It could almost be devastatingly arrogant satire, if it weren’t for the fact I only noticed I’d done it after writing it. Sigh. This comedy career will never go anywhere.

Still – I got Harbour Master HD!

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Musings on not existing, or something

I paused the game I was playing at about half past seven – I know as I remember looking at the clock then. I sat for a bit, did a bit of surfing the information superhighway, ate some delicious, life-giving toffees and clementines and generally got my dressing gowning on. Then all of a sudden it was half ten. That honestly felt like about 20 minutes had passed, but I’ve actually been sat here three hours doing nothing of consequence or worth.

See, in this situation even playing the game I paused (which is still sitting there on pause) would have been productive, as it’s for the mag. But no, I have done nothing, accomplished nothing, I’ve barely even said anything funny to DSG. I may as well have not existed for the last three hours.

If I hadn’t existed – just for that period of time – would it have mattered? I honestly doubt it. Nobody would have missed much. Even DSG would have just written it off as me not talking to her for a bit, rather than me being sucked through a tear in the fabric of space-time. Which is what it would be, naturally. And not just because I watched Star Trek earlier.

I think it’s interesting to put things into that kind of perspective – that I am so thoroughly unimportant the world wouldn’t even consider maybe thinking about possibly ever breaking its stride if I was to cease existing. And I reckon it’s the same for most, if not all of you reading this too. Just consider that for a second – aside from a (relatively) small group of people who know and love you, what would it matter if you disappeared tonight? It wouldn’t. You are as insignificant as the billions of people who have died before you.

I mean, I don’t actually care about any of this. I’m just filling up words. I like sitting around doing fuck all, and I’m clearly really good at it. Loads of people I know can’t spend four minutes in their own company with nothing but a computer in front of them. I reckon they just need dressing gowns. I’m going to try and blink away six hours tomorrow, then nine on Sunday. I might let you know how it goes (I won’t).

As for not mattering? I could go into my real, genuine feelings on that but I’d end up sounding like a BUMMER GAY, so I won’t. Needless to say, nobody is insignificant. Well, apart from you, obviously.

Christ, that was almost like free writing.

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