Archive for August, 2009

Classic Burg: The UK Diary 2003 (Part 3)

August 31, 2009

—————————————————————
8 October 2003 – Diwali, KFC & Bus Turbulence?

Not much happened yesterday, other than walking about town and getting to know the area.

The real fun began early this morning.

Up at about 9am this morning to head into the City Center of Leicester to catch a ride. The bus arrived at about 9:35am, where I then purchased a £3.32 return ticket and what I experienced next was only a taste of things to come with local bus drivers.

The hour trip saw me venture through Bitteswell, Ashby Parva, Ullesthorpe, Claybrooke, Frolesworth, Leire, Dunton Bassett, Broughton Alley, Cosby, Littlethorpe, Narborough, Fosse Park and eventually on to Leicester City Center.

Now the roads we traveled are wide enough for one car, coming in one direction at a time, so oncoming traffic is literally, oncoming traffic!

In town – straight to the shops.
First store I visited was HMV, where despite their large selection, did not find much of interest, although I did come away with a Mario Bobblehead, Defenders Of The Earth dvd and a Hindi DVD called Chalte Chalte, which I have been looking for for a while.

Next stop was breakfast at McDonalds. Checked out a few of the local shopping centers, The Shires was my fave, some cool stores, and an awesome toy store where I got some WWE merchandise wahoo! I know realize I should of saved the shopping till the end of the day as after 7 hours of walking they would feel like bricks.

During the month of October, Leicester was celebrating the Hindu festival of Light, so anyone who knows me and my love for Indian culture, knows how enjoyable this was for me.

I began my search for the first tourist attraction. The National Space Center Museum. I quickly located a sign stating “National Space Center Museum This Way ->”, so I went that way. That way did however, took me past the Leicester City College 3 times. I promised myself if I passed it once more I would enroll in a course in Advanced Geography.

After the 3rd rotation I decided to take a shortcut through Abbey Park. By this time I needed the toilet rather urgently – there was one inside the park. Now, I dunno, call me crazy,but blue florescent lights and a notice on the door that says “for c*ck fun call Henry on *mobile number*” wasn’t my idea of fun in the park.

I survived the Gents bathroom and after a close call with a gaggle of geese, I came out through the other side of the park 1 hour later.

3 hours had passed and still no museum. 1 more hour saw me test the mighty powers of a pedestrian against the speed and driving skill of lunch time traffic. After giving up hope on ever finding the museum I decided it was easier to go ask someone over the age of 70 to show me around there house instead.

Found a comic shop where I managed to get some old Green Arrow comics. Hey…comics aren’t for geeks. man alive 40 comics are heavy when carried in a plastic bag.

Lunch saw me at KFC again where I tested their Peking twister. mmmm gooood.

The time was now about 2:30pm so I headed back to my bus stop, but instead of finding that I found a ….museum!!!

The New Walk museum welcomed me into their establishment, with a Cappuccino and flyers a plenty. After viewing the Egyptian, Roman, Dinosaur, Nature, Space and Victorian art gallery I felt somewhat satisfied with my outing and rewarded them with a purchase from their gift shop.

Checking my bus schedule I saw I had 25min to catch the second last return bus to Lutterworth.

With a rib cage that was now aching from carrying bags and eyes that were glazing over I began my walk down main road to my bus stop, making it there 10min early I tried to find confirmation that I was at the right bus stop.

I realized I had put my male pride in my backpack with my gift shop items, and so asked a man nearby for help. “No, the 140 doesn’t come through here, what u wanna do is head straight down this road go past the Virgin Megastore and into St. Margaret’s Bus Station.”

After thinking to myself, “Wow…an actual megastore for people with no girlfriends like me” I raced down the road and finally made it to the station and the correct terminal according to my bus schedule with 3 min to spare.

I waited.

The bus never came,I must of missed it. but alas, there was one more at 5:25pm. So I waiting for another 2 hours, watching the many wondrous people that come in and out of the station.

I waited.

5:45pm… the bus never came.

I confirmed all my details were right on my bus schedule, I watched that damn terminal for 2 hours straight…what went wrong!?!?

*note to self, when getting bus schedules, ensure that the schedule is indeed for the same year that you will be in the UK*

2002 Bus Schedule.

…I was fortunate enough to catch a bus 5 minutes later however, which would eventually come through Lutterworth.
This trip was fun, the bus driver was a friendly fellow, one who took great pride in his job. The only bad thing I could really say about him was that he was a psychopath.
I was sitting on the top level of the bus and witnessed several small children who were seated at the back fly past me and hit the front window.

Speed bumps to him were a challenge, almost as if he thought if he hits the first one at a fast enough pace, he could jump the next three.

7:10pm, I arrive back at Lutterworth and crawl my way through the front door.

The only words I could muster out are “Now that’s what I call a day out”

Classic Burg: UK Diary 2003 (Part 2)

August 31, 2009

———————————-
6 October 2003 – Braided & British

Day 2 In Leicester, sees me taking some time to actually sit down and reflect on the last 32 hours, and let you in on whats been happening.

On Saturday night I arrived at my boarding gate at JHB international about 8:09pm, so I took a seat next to a fountain watching the monitors to make sure i saw when flight 226 to Heathrow would be boarding. I waited and waited and, in the meantime noticed a large queue forming in front of me. I decided to ask them what was going on, only to find out the display board was broken and I was now right at the back of a line I could of been first in.

Needless to say by the time I got to my seat, all the luggage compartments had been filled up, so I had to sit with my hang luggage by my feet, a factor that would come into play about 5 hours into the flight when I realized that my body had cramped into a sitting position.

The food wasn’t too bad, The choice of Chicken or Beef wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. The free Beef will always win. Since this trip was all about new experiences I decided to brave the Greek Salad that came with the Beef and try an Olive and a piece of Feta Cheese.I began with the Olive…Looking back at it now, I realize I did not think it through properly, as Olives are now up there with Crime and Billy Ray Cyrus’ acting ability as the worst things known to man.

For some reason the air hostesses were not amused at me bellowing out “It’s coffee time!!” every hour or so, it’s times like this I miss Richard.

The on-flight movie was Alex and Emma. The on-flight response to this was ZZzzzzz. Oh btw, I was traveling with Angelique Kidjo. If you don’t know who she is, look it up!

I arrived at Heathrow at about 7:30am and everything seemed to go fairly smoothly…Too smoothly actually. By the time i got to customs, I was rather happy everything was moving so quickly, everyone took about 20 seconds and was free to leave the airport. Then came my turn. Exactly 18min of questioning by customs, including trying to break me and prove I was responsible for the JFK assassination was over. I was a free man!

I met my cousin and his girlfriend…and the cutest dog in the history of dogs, Peanuts, at the airport and my day began.

After a loooong drive home, we arrived in Leicester. ( Where the man who invented the Jet engine is from. Fun fact #1). I got freshened up and we took a ride to the town called Rugby. Yes the birthplace of …Rugby (fun fact#2), then checked out a few stores.

We all learned a valuable lesson on this day. Stores in Rugby, are NOT open on a Sunday.

A stop off at Safeways for a few supplies for the day.

KFC for lunch..Chinese food for dinner.

A nice early nite and early morning has me ready for day 2.

I wonder if that hot teller at Safeways is working tomorrow…

Bye All

Speak soon!

Classic Burg: The UK Diary 2003 (Part 1)

August 31, 2009

As an attempt to try and motivate myself as a travel writer, I’ve revisited my beloved UK Diary I kept in 2003….which I’d like to share with you here on the eve of my 6 year anniversary since going to the UK.
Enjoy Part 1

————————————————————–
4 October 2003 – 5 Hours To Go

Wahoo! 5 Hours left till I leave for the airport, and I can’t wait, the reality of everything is definitely setting in. I have decided to NOT do the “swallowing of sugar packets” in an attempt to make a joke at customs.

Was up at about 7:30am this morning, as I had an appointment with my hairdresser to braid my hair again.I got there at 8am…my hair dresser got there at 9:30am.

3 Hours later I was done and dusted. I personally don’t think she did a great a job as she did the first time, but I will let the ladies of London be the judge of that, and for those wondering, no The Ladies of London, is not a brothel….

By 11:30am, I met up with Rory, Roxanne and her bro for some lunch at East rand Mall, and while the image of Rory arranging his leftovers in the shape of a certain body part – found only on a man- will probably haunt me the entire flight there, he did make up for it by serenading me in the Cash Convertors across the road. What no stairway to heaven?…Denied…

I heard several fans gossip whether or not Rory would now be going solo, and no longer play for the legendary Saint Dragon. Once I heard him play though, I knew there was no chance of that. Remember http://www.saintdragon.com for all your Patron Saint Of Dragons needs.

Got home at about 1:30pm, and found all my bags basically finished packed, thanks mom 😦

Managed to set my tape to record the next 3 episodes of Survivor, and next 3 Episodes of Beverly Hills 90210, which should be exciting, as Dylan and Brenda seem to have begun reconciling last week, and things look good for the young lovers. Man Luke Perry rules!!! Hey if you don’t believe me, as Mr. Richard Sweetnam.

Liverpool lost….

That Sux

I am gonna catch a power nap, then take a bath before leaving for the airport.

Love ya all

The Burg
—————————————————

The Pact!

August 30, 2009

There’s a pact that exists between a man and a woman, a pact that has much more meaning to it than the jovial promise behind it.

If you’ve been in the “friends zone” with the opposite sex, you’ve undoubtedly made this pact at least once (maybe 100 times) in your life.

The light bulb is starting to go off now isn’t it?

That’s right I’m talking about the “if we’re both still single in (x) years, let’s get together” pact.

Now, let’s clarify the true meaning behind this shall we.

If you are a girl who initiates the pact, it means:

– You have just recently become single again.
– This is about the 4th time in 2 years you’ve become single
– Your best friend is a guy who is always there to listen to teary “I’ll never find anyone” complaints.
– You have no intention on following through on the pact, but it’s nice to feel like you have options
– You conveniently forget the pact when the next future failed relationship cons you into believing ‘this is the one’.
– You’ve already changed your facebook status from single to in a relationship and back to single since you’ve started reading this blog.

If you’re a guy who initiates the pact, it means:

– You have been single for quite a while, and in fact cannot find anyone interested in you for longer than 12.8 seconds.
– You REALLY are in love with the girl you’ve made the pact, and want her right now.
– When you make the pact, you actually think you’ve told the girl your true feelings, when in the meantime, she still doesn’t have a clue how you feel.
– You genuinely believe that you will finally have a shot with her in 10 years (or whatever the time frame is for the pact to come into effect is.)
– You fully intend waiting for the girl, and convince yourself that every time she’s in a new relationship, you just need to wait it out.
– You already have certain girl in mind for a pact since you started reading this blog.

I don’t think I’ve spoken to the last person I made the pact with for about 4 years, but at least I only have 9 years to go before we finally get together…wahoo!

sigh on three.
1.
2..
3….

Dear Hawk Girl…

August 29, 2009

hawkgirl-justice-league-cast-movie1
Wow…so this week has been weird huh?
It’s been killing me that things have changed suddenly here at the Watchtower… there’s nothing worse than have an awkward work environment.

We both know why, maybe it’s an embarrassment thing, or an ego thing, but I guess we just been trying to ignore the obvious.
Truth be told, I miss you. A lot! I miss my friend first and foremost.

Even Super Girl and Black Canary have been asking me what’s happened. So it’s become something that people have noticed – which I know you hate, because you just want to go about your daily tasks of helping the humans on earth, and not draw dagger stares from those in the league who like to toot my horn.

I blame myself for this situation.

Gotta be honest here Hawks, I really think I messed things up for myself, and I’m worried it’s beyond repair.

I have issues around women…especially those who…ok well; let me rather start at the beginning.
justice_league
I’ll never forget that day some 2 and half years ago…we were both fairly new to the Justice League, and you were sent down from your planet for one of Batman’s dreaded debriefings (sometimes they come across as damn sales meetings). I was asked to sit in to see how it all works…and there I noticed you sitting next to Power Girl… you were wearing an animal print outfit and a yellow utility belt, that’s when everything became slow motion and I just melted.

Then you went back to Thanagar. And I was left to go on with my life…I didn’t think we’d ever work an assignment together.

The boys here at the Watchtower mocked me about my crush on you…but it was never an issue really…how could it be right? Id only seen you once.

Over the years we became interplanetary email buddies, you on Thanagar and me here on Earth.

Then I overheard Batman and the Man of Steel talking about how your powers would be a great asset here on Earth.

You and I both bonded over this news. I felt an excitement in me, (which can be embarrassing considering my limbs can stretch at will!)

The thought of seeing you every day and getting to know you on another level, man alive…the Gods were on my side for a change.

I remember the “seek and observe” assignment we were both given back in April, you remember when we thought Animal Man had switched sides and was working for the Injustice League??
Animal+Man+colored
Man the guy may have issues, but he’s on our side. And I know you had a thing with him back in the day…so I ended up being jealous, and couldn’t wait to expose him as a traitor. ( but deep down it was about making you happy that weekend)

When you finally got reassigned to Earth a few months ago, I was like a schoolboy again (see I previously had a thing for Catwoman, and while nothing happened, it was so draining, that I had become a bit cold to the *ahem* opposite sex).

We got along so well you and I.
Our private jokes about the other superheroes who thought their powers were better than ours…good times!

I knew something was changing however.
I tried to avoid it, nay stop it… I really did.
There was no denying it, and despite warnings (some out of concern, others out of jealousy), I began to fall for you.

I didn’t want that to happen, because hey, lets be honest here, Guys like me…they don’t get girls like you.

Last week of course we had our Super Villain seminar that The Flash put together in an attempt to get us all on the same page – Lord knows crime fighting has changed.

We spent so much time together, there was a definite awkwardness I could feel coming from you… I knew something was up. But then on Day 2 of the Super Villain seminar, all my fears were realized. When you were so close to me, and I looked into your eyes, I knew that was it for me.

That was the exact moment I fell in love with you.

When I watched the surveillance video of the seminar, I realized how absolutely perfect you were….and how flawed I was. Confidence plummeted. (yes despite you saying you can’t fit into your cape and tights some days, to me, I had never seen someone so beautiful).

Then earlier this week I heard you were going to see Animal Man again at the annual Superhero Convention…I panicked, what if he was setting you up…No…this couldn’t happen. You deserved better!

I tried to warn you against him and ended up coming across as a jealous A-hole. Then in a passing comment you said something which shattered me completely – you were seeing Aquaman.
Aquaman
The world stopped…I didn’t even notice the attack by Starro on the Australian Reef…I was numb.

Being the guy who is always funny and keeping others entertained comes with a price behind the scenes. There is no place for personal hurt.

Plus as you know Wonder Women was leaving the Justice League this week, and she’s one of my dearest friends. I felt like I was about to lose everything in the space of a few days. I began to swing emotionally.

I closed up….and I’m hurting so badly because of my own silly heart and I know it’s not because of you’re actiona, you’re just living your life , and I don’t begrudge you at all…Aquaman is an awesome guy, and if he makes you happy… I really am happy for you. I did have a feeling your mates Red Tornado & Red Tornado II were trying to set you up with someone…but I didn’t think it would be Aquaman!

Deep down I know all the nice moments we shared, the little things like the ice coffee while we checked out super villains personal files, the stealing of Martian Manhunter’s candy coated sweets when we had a craving, and the gifts we gave each other, they were all just done because you are a genuinely nice person.

I’d never had that sorta attention before… I mistook it as the “signs” Green Arrow always talks about which women supposedly give us guys.

Hawkgirl – these last few days we have hardly said a word to each other and it’s killed me. You don’t visit, you don’t look me in the eye, and you don’t email me random things like we ALWAYS do…

So I’m writing you this letter…I don’t even know if you will read it…

What I do know is you don’t know how to react to me, and I don’t know what else to do.

All I can say is that I will lock away my feelings for you, I just want to be your friend again, your happiness is so important to me, and I don’t want to be the cause of any sorta tension here at the Watchtower, Bats would have my ass if I missed another invasion.

If you read this…and you want to talk. Please message me. You know where to find me. If you don’t…I guess I’ll just go on hiding in the men’s locker room every time you come past.

I joke, I joke.
The fate of the known world depends on us.

Yours always
Plastic Man
20080716_plasticman

“Thank You For Being A Friend…a pal and a confidant”

August 28, 2009

Over the last couple of months I’ve had to say goodbye to two very important people in my life. One was my absolute hero, who still holds the title of the funniest man on the planet, and today was someone I consider one of my best friends.

Now my belief in the word friend and my philosophy behind friendship has been discussed at length with some of you readers out there. Therefore the magnitude of which I use the words “best friends” should not be lost on you. Especially those who didn’t know how close this friend and I really are.

I may not have the 10-15 year history with her, or the having kids and getting married stories other may have to share with you… but I do have this –

When I starting writing this, I thought: Gee, this could be awkward, must hold back some things or can’t reveal too much. Then thankfully, my twisted common sense said “just say what you mean Burg” (yes, my twisted common sense and I are on a first name basis).

I started work at Sony Music 3 years ago, and when you start at a new company the question you get most asked by your outside crew (read: guys) is “Are their any babes there?”

Never being one to shy away from brutally offensive honesty, my answer this time round was “Naa, not really, but there is this one exotic looking chick who’s quite hot”.

Her name was Ilona.

And thus began my (first) work crush at Sony Music.

Over the year that followed I went on a proverbial rollercoaster of trials and tribulations in my personal life, then, a random discussion about a girl I had fallen for sparked a friendship with the exotic beauty I had previously only really said ‘good morning’ to, or had the odd conversation with when she was around my office talking to another friend.

As my personal/love life went down in a ball of flames, my friendship with Ilona became more and more genuine – blossoming into one of trust, honesty and respect.

I became an emotional wreck (far worse than I am now), and confided in her about pain and anguish I was going through, whilst battling the worst depression of my life.

While everyone went on their self righteous “chin up”, “It’s not that bad”, “she doesn’t deserve you” crusades, Ilona was the one who always supported MY decisions, and encouraged me to never give up on what I wanted. Even at my worst, she always allowed me the space to follow what I believed was right, yet still offering words of advice that never once came across as condescending.

In October 2007, at my lowest point, I set out on my birthday for my epic 11 day Into the Wild style road trip.

Alone and broke I drove around the country.

The entire time I was gone, there was one person who constantly checked up on me, with the caring and understanding that nobody else could offer. Always letting me know that there would be one true friend for me to come back to.

I came back a changed man.

With the promise to myself I would never get that point again I began a new journey to love myself.

Once I returned, our friendship was at a new level, and along with our third musketeer we began setting time aside to actually talk with each other.

We became the Coffee Club.

Twice a day, near every day for the last 2 years, we have set time aside for each other. A friendship like I’ve never had before.

Ilona knew the worst about me; she knew the best about me.
She was the one person I trusted above all others.
For pete’s sake…she was the first person I told when I lost virginity! (To all you people who didn’t believe I was a virgin for so long…Ilona knows the details 😉 !).

Fast forward till today.

Our final cup of coffee.
No….let me correct that.

Our final cup of coffee as colleagues, but never in a million years, the last cup as…friends.

I may have held back the tears today (only just), but if I had said the words I’m about to say now….there would have been a flood!

I love you, I thank you, and I am going to miss you more than I could possibly begin to explain.

“All the best in your future endeavors” 😛

I can’t stop watching this…

August 27, 2009

I think my mind is warped..but this makes me feel so good…

The Irony.

August 27, 2009

So remember a while back i mentioned that I was debating over when or not i should send someone who made my life miserable an SMS for her bday?

Well, i didn’t send it…

Last night, the emo idiot in me checked out her face book page, and realized what a godsend it was that i was brave enough not to send it.

Her status reflected that she has no longer got her phone and has a new number (which she foolishly posted, and i impressively didn’t take note of…yay me)

Can you imagine how that would of done my head in if I HAD sent it.
she would never have gotten it and i would of driven myself insane with over-thinking the radio silence.

Anyways…I’m done with her….totally and completely…and I’m ok about it. There are plenty of other fish in the sea to over-think about.

(PS. her new pics also seem to show she’s really happy with her new guy…i think that’s the 3rd since she said she’s done with men and relationships in order to prevent me from asking her out again)

If I died, this would be my heaven

August 26, 2009

New York Apartment View

I dream of it every day.
Just give me a reason.
Nothing here….its all there…i know it…i close my eyes and its all i see.
One word describes the culmination of all these emotions and feelings.

Home.

Let’s play a Love Game

August 26, 2009

I’ve written a lot of blogs about love and the matters of the heart over the years, so much so that these days, every time I address the subject matter, I feel like I’m stuck on repeat mode.

If you’ve followed my writing prior to this blog, I’m sure you’d agree.
But don’t worry, this isn’t another of my woe is me blogs. (Ed’s note: yes it is)
It’s not even about how I’m in love with the girl I’ll never get. (Ed’s note: yes it is)
In fact, this blog is probably the complete opposite of anything I’ve ever written about love. (Ed’s note: nope… it’s pretty much exactly the same)

Love is, and always will be nothing more than one big high school game.
As friend of mine says. Don’t hate the game.
We like to play though. All of us do, whether you want to admit it or not. Some are good at it, others think they are, some cheat, others change the rules.
Then…there are those of us who can’t even figure out which game piece to play with.

It’s a silly game that always changes when you think you’ve figured it out.

– The good looking players tend to score more often (see the innuendo I used there?)
– The misunderstood genius watches the girl he’s after get the guy she’s after – this happens more than once depending on the degree of genius.
– The good guy keeps missing out on his turn to play because he’s too nice to interrupt everyone else.

It’s the same old story…and the only way to change the outcome of the game, is to
a) not play it
b) wait for someone to get injured, then substitute in at the exact right moment.
c) Cut your losses and get out the game while you still can.

I’ve been playing it for a very long time now….I’ve seen players come and go. I’ve envied them, I’ve hated them, and I’ve outright loved some of them.

How do I change my outcome?
Well, I’ve decided to go for option C.

I may be love’s slave, but no longer am I its victim.

Then again…there’s always secret option D…

…..start you own damn game….
Who wants to play?

(NO! trick question this is how they get you back in….)