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June 28th, 2011

11:11 pm - Murray's Random Thoughts #54
Five things in the media
1. I visited the BBC's Broadcasting House just off Oxford Circus for the first time and got to hear a live recording of a radio sitcom. Comedy is like restaurant pasta: it's hit and miss but you know immediately if it's good or not. That night with Sarah was 50/50.

2. Game of Thrones is one of my new addictions mostly because it doesn't treat me like an idiot and plays out unexpectedly almost every episode. The fact that two major storylines were told in a primetime show but neither intersected in the first season was a level of brilliance and guts that I haven't seen filmed in a while.

3. The Hunger Games series is like banana cake in that I'll eat it mercilessly if it's put in front of me but soon forget about that 'hunger' when it's not presented.

4. I have a thing for fictional women that can kill me with a finger. Buffy. Dark Angel. Trinity. It came as no surprise that I enjoyed the first season of Nikita but I was overjoyed that it got renewed when other gems haven't been so lucky in the past. The Event though, should have been buried by episode 2.

5. I predict I'm going to love Smash.
Current Music: Gigolo

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April 27th, 2011

04:30 pm - The meaning of life
I've morphed into the computer-phobics that I used to laugh at while in computer support at Uni.  They were the type of people that were convinced that the lab computers hated them and that these machines could smell fear - like dogs - and would turn on them in an instant.

I think my laptop keyboard abuses my psychologically.  Over 99% of the time, it chooses not to work correctly.  Keys just go on strike or they nominate important keys - like "Enter" - to take a sick day in protest.  Today - for no reason I can fathom - everything is working as it should and now I'm too scared to turn the machine off or walk away from it, lest it decides to punish me further.

Today, because it's working well, I love it a little bit again.  As I said: I think my laptop keyboard abuses my psychologically.

Fighting the good fight

As a result, I have a million posts stored in my head and a string of your unreplied-to entries that stay in "Favourite" limbo/purgatory until my keyboard decides to work properly.

A while back (January, yes, I hate this keyboard), ivonava posted about the meaning of life, and that got me thinking.

The meaning of life

Thist post could have been much longer than it's going to because I started to get caught up on qualifiers and ifs and buts.  I wanted to make a profound statement about my thoughts on this topic that involved thinking through every possible combination in the human equation but then I realised it's actually quite simple.

I think the meaning of our life is to find a way to live it happily.

The reason that I've kept it simple is because happiness is what really drives us.  We don't pursue things because of the things themselves, but for what we think we'll get from them: happiness.  Our greatest triumphs and our best moments are lived in the pursuit of that one thing - whatever it means for you, your friends and your family.  Sure, it's a complex puzzle but then life wouldn't be life if there was an easy to reach solution.
Current Music: The Event, Game of Thrones

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April 18th, 2011

06:39 pm - They do it in New York too!
I spent yesterday afternoon being an Accomplice and I can't think of a better way to spend Sunday. We teamed up with some interesting strangers and basically wandered around London in the sun doing a treasure hunt with actors prompting us along our merry way. I love puzzles, I love Pims and I love the Southbank/Borough area in good weather.

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April 13th, 2011

06:15 pm - All the lovers
When your shin moves more than your face, you should be a little worried, no? After Friday's aborted attempt, I got to Kylie through work on Monday and thought the most interesting part of the show would be the attempts she made to show emotions through the mask that used to be her face.

Eye act! Eye act!

But despite my general ambivalence toward her music and my specific dislike of her voice, the Aphrodite world tour was too lavish, too camp, too, well, Kylie, not to like.

Despite the evident cash and flesh she's thrown into the Event - and don't miss that, it was an "Event" - my favourite part of her performance was when she stepped away from the show with just a mic and wandered into the middle of the o2.

Laughing and joking, you could easily identify an Australian human being under all the glitz and glamour. She transformed into a person, easily likable, although precariously stationed atop heels too ridiculous for most mere mortals to attempt.

"What would you like me to sing? I'm taking requests."

After some minor negotiations with the front-row fans she couldn't hear, she opted to go with the fan that had morphed into a quickly moving train (arms vigorously going choo-choo) to sing Locomotion a cappella. Although I don't enjoy her voice, she can sing a bit and I found myself whooping with delight. Everybody is doing a brand new dance now, after all.

In stark contrast to simply having Kylie out the front talking with her fans, Aphrodite's finale was a spectacle of staging and grandiose ideas. The middle section of the o2 suddenly elevated into a human-strewn fountain with four couples flying about their heads.

The golden circle (i.e. wealthy ticket holders) was given rain coats while those that had queued for the standing cheap seats simply got wet. But that's showbiz, darling, and - frankly - given the show they got to see, I don't think they gave a damn.

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March 29th, 2011

11:36 am - Murray's Random Thoughts #46
1. Some people bite their finger nails. Others pick their nose. It seems, I occupy my hands by clasping them together like a Royal - in my lap, on my right leg, over tables in meetings. It's a horrible feeling to casually look down at least five times in a day to discover that your hands think they're posh.

2. Civilised dinners are the cancer of my partying ways. I had three in a row the other week. Thank goodness for ML, Vinnie and St. Patrick's Day. I was able to drink beer and wear green whilst doing it.

3. If I know where the exit is, I will always board the Tube that will get me nearer to it.

4. "You've done some bad things sweetie." I saw Animal Kingdom last Tuesday with Sarah. I had trouble with the middle act (how can something so dense feel so poorly paced?) but Jacki Weaver demanded to be watched with a danger-filled voice of sweetness and light.

5. I've started watching The Event and feel I have a new fixation. I'm dismayed that viewing figures have fallen off a cliff.
Current Music: The Event, Buffy S3, playing guitar

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March 24th, 2011

11:22 pm - If you had no limits
The premise of "Limitless" is that by taking one pill, our hero is able to use 100% of his brain where we mere mortals use just 20%. In 30 seconds he's able to access and draw on everything he's ever seen, heard or experienced. Using these new talents, he becomes popular, learns languages over night, writes a book in four days and then builds a formula that conquers the stock market.

This begs the question - if you took the pill, how would you spend the time?

First, I'd become an information sponge. I would know more than the Internet but be able to access and cross-reference that knowledge faster than you can recall your own name.

Second, I'd create. I'd write. I'd draw. I'd design. I'd grow the hundreds of worlds that are seeds in my head.

Third, I'd solve complex problems. World hunger, global warming, virtual reality, what people want - are all at their core questions awaiting answers.

Lastly, I'd give up my friends because it struck me that the guy that knows everything has to feel alone. And for someone who hates stupidity in others, having a world full of people stupid by comparison, it is unlikely I'll want anyone around me.

So, would it be worth it?
Current Music: American Idol, Buffy S3

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March 17th, 2011

12:05 am - Bowling
Because I'm loving his very public mental breakdown and because it's as true of him as it is of me, I chose "Made of Win!!" (two exclamation marks) as my name for Suzanne's birthday bowling last night.

If only it were true.

"Bottom of the leader board" or "Unable to hit any pins with his second ball" would have been more accurate but neither would have fit on the screen.
Current Music: Glee, Walking Dead

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March 13th, 2011

06:32 pm - Murray's Random Thoughts #44
1. Whilst I love the brute strength of my manly musk, I also appreciate the benefit of other, more feminine smells. So, I bought a Glade product for my room. It is so overpowering; it smells like a family of toilet ducks died in my room. Tastes like it too.

2. I loved "I am number 4". Ignore all the bits that made you laugh and appreciate the fun that it was.

3. Spoiler alert. John Henry takes Cameron's chip and travels into an apocalyptic future that's never heard of John Conner. John and Shirley Manson - who is actually on Team Good - follow them into that future where they meet the recently deceased Reece and John's dad Kyle. Sarah and Ellison stay behind to defeat the flying attack robots. THIS is how they chose to end Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles?

4. I love the photos on this site.

5. As I sing the last bars of "Greased Lightning" in a room full of strangers, I realise this experience will get sadder and sadder as the years go by. It's bad enough as it is: three women and two men in their 30s howling "Summer Loving" at a Grease movie sing-a-long. By the time we turn 50 it will be downright objectionable.
Current Location: Home
Current Mood: Week-long sore throat
Current Music: Debt of Bones, Walking Dead and Hunger Games

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March 8th, 2011

04:35 pm - No longer visa issues
Principles of my visa:
  1. I came into the UK as a highly skilled migrant, meaning I was young to hold the position I held and make the money I made.
  2. That visa allowed me to stay in the country for five years.
  3. At five years you can apply for "indefinite leave to remain" (ILTR) in the UK.


My visa to continue living in the UK expired on 7 January and, after a mad rush to collect pay slips and bank statements from the last five years, I finally got the forms in.

That's when the worrying began.

To get it in on time I made the decision to not include some of the things they asked for. In addition, I didn't have everything they needed. Ignoring the fact that I looked like a convict, I was also worried that I'd submitted an incorrectly sized photo in the rush.

I don't remember a time where the direction of my future was so completely out of my hands.

Imagine for a second - as I did - being kicked out of your country. Having to leave your friends, your job and your life. Imagine also, having to move back to 2006 or your past-life equivalent.

The prospect should have given me hives.

But on Friday, I was granted indefinite leave to remain, got teary with relief and thought I'd better start hiding my accent in preparation for the application for a British passport.
Current Music: Adele

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March 7th, 2011

09:30 pm - Dinner, ma'am?
Taryn and Hamish invited me and Shannon around to their place for dinner. Hamish dished up and I smiled at the seafood risotto being spooned onto my plate realising that Shannon doesn't eat anything pulled from the ocean. Through the meal I happily picked mussels and prawns off his plate while our hosts politely ignored the fact that Shannon - a constant eater - was eating nothing.

Finally, all was revealed and after a short negotiation, Shannon called Pizza Hut.

Shannon began his order and while we're not sure what Pizza Hutt said, Shannon's response was: "I'm not a ma'am, I'm a sir."

We laughed at his expense as the phone operator explained that the mistake was made because Taryn, Hamish and I were being loud in the background. So loud, in fact, that we made Shannon sound like a lay-dee.
Current Music: Supernatural, Tron, Life As We Know It, Skyline, Whitecollar

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