Today I missed The Tuttle

Today is Friday.

Every Friday there is a little thing that happens in London, just round the corner from Soho (here we go again), above The Coach & Horses Pub on Greek Street
Over there look ———————->

It’s official name of this thing is The Social Media Cafe, but – to it’s regulars – it’s fondly referred to as The Tuttle Club.

It’s a lovely place. Everyone is welcome. People come, people go, and the great thing is everyone is so, for want of a better descriptor, nice .
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It’s great – You turn up, have coffee and occasional croissants, chat to like-minded folk, meet interesting people and generally have a bloody good time.

Lloyd Davis, Chief Proprietor and all round nice chap, set the place up as a prototype with a genuine vision to one day soon have a proper space, coffee an’ all, set up and running like a Cafe should. For us geeks innit.

So far it, in my opinion, has been a resounding success. I went along and met OH so many folk that I had been chatting to over Twitter/Seesmic and also a whole bunch of new people too. All of them lovely. I loved it so much that I took my friends along.

I even managed to get SpinVox along one day to sponsor the coffees et al in exchange for a discussion about The Future of Voice (but you can read about that elsewhere)

Anywhoo – The thing is, I’ve been a regular at the SMC now for a good 6-8 weeks – would that be fair to say? Has it been that long? Probably. Time goes so fast these days. Yes. Well. Today I had to miss it and miss it I did.
I’m pretty sure it looked something like this:

Lots of folk chatting around – having a good time – learning from each other – making contacts – developing new ideasοΏ½ – sharing stories – catching up etc…all of that kind of thing – Top stuff.

Don’t get me wrong – it was good that I spent today in the office. Can’t go into it. I’m just happy I was there.

On the flip side however I really missed the hustle and bustle of my friends at the Coach & Horses.

Boo.

I’ll be back next week, that’s for certain.

And hopefully that will stop Lloyd looking so glum –>

Hehehe…

In the meanwhile however? What else has been going on? Well – I’m still making inroads to getting off my backside and moving this here blog you’re reading.
Got some lovely folk to help me out with the techie stuff. Just waiting for the go ahead and I can start the big move.

Everso excited.

What else?

I think I’ve managed to get through the last list that I wrote – oop, no. Tell a lie.
Still need to cover – SF, T-Shirts , 6mths with SpinVox aaaaaaaaand The BBC. Balls.

Ok – Parking all that for now. First, something MUCH more exciting…

This Sunday I’m taking part in a Blogger Cook-off aka Food 2.0 aka Nom Nom Nom.

Can’t wait.

More to follow very soon – but I did a post about it over here along with a fun slide show, (just go for the pictures)…

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Bye for now…

PS – My friend Roger got an Xbox 360, for free and I am NOT a Happy Bunny.

Adventures in Soho Part 2: The Sarah Marshall Chronicles

You may remember, back when I had Less than 24hrs in San Francisco, that everywhere I looked I kept being reminded of The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

Not that I kept seeing Sarah Connor-themed posters… Oh no.
(could’ve made an interesting new angle for the next Terminator mind)

The ones that haunted my vision were for someone called ‘Sarah Marshall’.
This, out of context, made no sense to me…

However – all was to be revealed when I returned to the UK when a reasonably new (and good) friend of mine, Mike Sizemore, (blogger, vlogger and all round jammy film reviewer), invited me along to a top secret blogger screening of Judd Apatow’s latest film, ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’.

Having never seen or heard of the film before, aside from the aforementioned US poster campaign, I was quite pleased that Mike had thought of me and the invite was even more attractive as a) I managed to swing a ‘plus one’ and b) it was as the Soho Screening Rooms (which sounded suspiciously seedy if you ask me).

To whet my appetite even further, Mike even included a link to the latest Forgetting Sarah Marshall trailer…

DO NOT WATCH THIS YET

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9podUETps8

Ok. Judd Apatow is someone I’ve only just got to know. Having steered clear of Knocked Up (it didn’t look like my kind of film) I recently rented out – (check me, old school) – Superbad.
Which is easily one of the best films I’ve seen this year.

I watched the trailer, laughed a little… wasn’t sure… saw a couple of guys from Superbad… saw Russell Brand… realised it was a free screening.. and made my mind up.
One quick call to the girlfriend later and I had an evening of free entertainment in Soho, with blogger buddies AND I get to impress the Girl.

Who cares what the film is like right? Wrong.

Hand on heart I went into the cinema descended into the depths of said screening rooms not really expecting much. ‘Expecting much’ is not something I do often. Not expected anything is the best way to a) avoid disappointment and b) be pleasantly surprised. Fortunately, this time round, the evening fell firmly into category ‘b’.

Y’see I had this horrid COCK SHOT feeling that the trailer had given away all the funny bits and, for a little while, I thought COCK SHOT I was right. But, I am happy to report that COCK SHOT there’s still quite a lot of amusement to be had throughout the rest of the film.

That aside, COCK SHOT, for maximum enjoyment, I would recommend avoiding the trailer for this film as much as possible because as much as it does entice you into watching the film itself; it also gives away its fair share of funnies… I found myself knowing which joke was next as I’d watched the trailer several times and kinda knew which bit came when y’know? Please – don’t let this put you off – this film IS very, very funny.

Something that took me that took me completely by surprise was that beardy man over there on the right ————————————————>

He was actually very good in this film.

Although I can’t say I’m surprised.

Russell Brand is one of those comedians who I tell everyone I can’t stand and yet find myself often watching him on the tellybox and chuckling away at his dickensian wiles as he meanders his way around our fair language like a blind man on a bicycle…

I want to hate him, but I can’t.

Git.

And as I said, in this he is cast perfectly.

Git.

I don’t do film reviews often – although coincidentally enough, the last one I reviewed was a comedy also (albeit an unintentional one) – so for me actually sit down and bother to write this up means it’s actually worth seeing.

I laughed that hard I nearly wet myself.

No really. Forgetting Sarah Marshall has the some what strange honour of being the first EVER film that I was able to leave the room for. EVERY film I see I always make sure I go before I sit down.
I hate those people that pay Β£8-Β£10 to go and see the latest blockbuster and end up missing a massive chunk of plot because they forgot to have a number one before they went in.

I mean REALLY. It’s like 2 hours people!
You’ve just paid to watch the damn film – so sit down and watch it!

*sigh*

Anywhoo – I won’t be doing that again in a hurry, on the way back I was blinded by the light from the projector and ended up tripping on the step, stumbling up the stairs and then hitting a fellow blogger in the chops (sorry Annie!).

I digress.

This film is funny. See it.

Finally – Props to my mate Scott who saw this outside Hammersmith Tube Station last week…

It seems the hate campaign is spreading…

The iPhone aka The iBone

Before I hit you up with Part 2 of my Adventures in Soho, a brief comedic interlude:

That up there ^ is my friend’s iPhone, last week after his dog had got hold of it. Ouch.
Cue much laughter, finger pointing and merriment at his expense.
The iPhone’s screen is strong. But it seems it isn’t that strong…

‘Dave’ is a bit upset about this (I’ve changed his name to save him further embarrassment)

*giggle*

Anyway – after snapping that pic I asked ‘Dave’ if I could blog it, “Sure..” he said, “…and I’ll update you too.”

“Update?”

“Yep. Get this…”

Turns out, after the aforementioned mauling, Dave tried to claim on his home contents insurance. Note: ‘Tried’.
He has since discovered that he can’t actually claim ‘accidental damage’ as the dog did it deliberately.

(clearly a Nokia fan then)

After that Dave tried to claim it on his business insurance. Still no dice. Thing is, this policy doesn’t cover ‘phones‘.
It covers PDAs. Dave is trying to claim the iPhone is a PDA –

“…which it is!” Dave tells me…

However, the insurance company have never had a claim for an iPhone before…
(they don’t even know how to spell it look)

…and what with it having the word ‘Phone’ in its name, Dave’s hitting another brick wall.

Double Ouch.

Insurance companies can be tough little beggars at the best of times (trust me – I know) but are they in the right in this instance?

Is the iPhone a PDA? Or is it a Phone?

‘Dave’ sold his dog over the weekend.. and I am really, REALLY not kidding.
He was that upset.

So much for man’s best friend…

Adventures in Soho Part 1: Me & Mrs JoJos

Soho isn’t my usual haunt. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

But – for some strange reason – since returning home from San Francisco – I have found myself in London’s Centre of Seediness three times in as many weeks!

“But why? WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY?!”

I hear you cry.

Well for the first jaunt to the ho of so you may have two clues….

Clue 1 – The picture above

Clue 2 – If you remember way back when I was telling you about the best conversation I ever had

There was a sentence that went a little something like this:

“Yeah man, I know. Then I’ve got my show on the Sunday at Madam Jo Jos!”

Well ‘my show’ was in fact not my show at all. More like Lisa Devaney’s Show. Actually. To be completely correct it was:

“Lisa Devaney’s Hee-Haw Whore House!”

How did I get involved? Funny story. AGES ago (and I mean AGES – like August last year) I got Blogtagged by my dear friend Helen Keegan. Which basically meant I had to write up eight random things about me.

Did that. Job done. Sorted.

Well, in March this year I get a call from one of a mutual friend, (Lisa), saying:

“James! I remember what you said in your blog post! Ya wanna be in my show!?”

“Err… Yeah! OK!”

At this point I remembered – item number five: “I studied at Drama School” – Bugger. All makes sense now!
Note – when writing blog posts, remember that ANYONE CAN READ THEM! πŸ˜‰

“Oh and by the way James, I need a Burlesque Dancer too… You don’t know any do you?”

“Err… Funny you should say that, my girlfriend is a burlesque dancer – I’m sure she’d love to get involved…”

“FANTASTIC! I’ll in be touch!”

Anywhoo, not soon after committing to this project, I discover that SpinVox need me in Las Vegas.
CTIA to be precise. I’ve been over this.

But what I haven’t been over is that when I landed back in Blighty on the Saturday afternoon I actually went STRAIGHT to rehearsals (suitcase an’ all!), worked for the afternoon, then went home, slept all night and all day and THEN went to Madam JoJo’s to perform (with some fantastic co-stars) The Hee Haw Whore House!
(and we were on first too dammit)

Hand on heart I didn’t publicise it as well as I could.

For a bunch of reasons really –
First and foremost I hadn’t been on the stage in over a year. Not that I was nervous (LIES) but I was just a bit anxious you see…

The last play I did was a Tacit Theatre Company production of
The Office Party.’

That’s me over there, in character ———>

Playing ‘Gavin Chapman, MD of ‘Chapman & Howard’

Anywhoo – yeah – that was back in February 2007 so I hadn’t done any real performing for AGES.

Plus, given the time constraints that we had, (what with me soddin’ off to Vegas and everything), we barely had time for two decent rehearsals…

TWO I TELL YOU. TWO!

So yeah. Anxious would be understating it.

All of that crap aside – I can’t tell you what a resounding success the night was. In all seriousness I doubt it could’ve been ANY better. We were up first and we gave the crowd such a riot it really helped warm the place up for every act that followed.. When I first trailed this post I said:

“I was in a cabaret show the other day. Must blog it.”

And I had every intention of doing a blog post on the events of the entire evening of performance etc… BUT!
I was beaten to it.

Lisa Devaney not only did a fantastic job of writing the piece, but she also did a fantastic job of reviewing it too!

I strongly recommend you go and have a read… if only to look at the pictures πŸ˜‰

See you back here real soon for Spending Time in Soho – Part 2.

Less than 24hrs in San Francsico

I mentioned in my last post that I felt like I had to write a little bit about very short stay in San Francisco.
After the madness that was CTIA in Las Vegas, stepping off the plane that Thursday evening at SFO was like a breath of fresh air…

I flew to Las Vegas (via Dallas Fort Worth), on Sunday March 31st.
Did a bunch of SpinVox things (worth a click through – great video) for them whilst I was at CTIA.

Lots and lots of fun.

I hung out with some cool folk, took part in some cool events and generally just had a good time… You get the idea.

The following Thursday however, I had to fly to San Francisco.

THANK YOU LORD.

I don’t think I can actually find the words to say how much I love that place. Really. It’s just… Brilliant.
Regular readers will know that this wasn’t my first trip to SF, so I kind of know my way around a little bit.. which was nice.

I landed at something like 9pm and I was scheduled to fly home the following evening around 7ish so I had :
*adopts film trailer esque voice*

“Less than 24hrs in San Francisco!”

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So what did I get up to?

Well, after sharing a cab with some new friends that I met in Vegas, I must’ve got to my hotel around 10ish I guess?
Checked in, took my cases up, chilled out… I was gonna hit the sack then and I thought…

“Y’know what? I love the bar here. If I’m only here for a short amount of time, I best make the most of it. I think I deserve a Gin & Tonic…”

 

So off I trotted down to the Redwood, (beautiful bar this – it’s got Harry Potter Paintings on the walls… if you know what I mean), ordered myself a glass of Tanqueray & Tonic (extra lime) and just sat… and chilled.

Lovely stuff. About a half hour or so later I decide to go for a wander outside, get some air etc… and I end up chatting to this random guy, Tomas was his name, Danish chap, chatting to him about SF.. where’s good to go out etc.. He was in town on business with a couple of friends and had just been turned away from a club as they weren’t allowing large groups of men without any women. It happens.

Anyway – he and I head back into the bar and there are his (also Danish) mates talking to these women.

“Right, I can see where this is going…” I thought to myself “…I’m gonna have one more then head to bed”

I got it half right…

I was chatting away to Tomas just off to the side of the group when one of his mates called over to get the round in…

“Gin & Tonic!” I replied… and suddenly I had a LOT of attenton!

“Oi! You’re not Danish!”

“I never said I was!”

 

Que much laughter and explanations etc… These girls were in SF for a friend’s wedding. Great bunch they were too. The lot of us all ended up going clubbing together. (A place called ‘Slide‘ – Yup. It had a slide. Brilliant).

Fantastic night. Great company too.
Was really refreshing to be out with a group of girls who weren’t out on the pull or who weren’t looking for anything etc… They just wanted to have a drink and a chat and maybe a little dance and generally just enjoy their evening.

The Danish guys were mental. But we loved them for it. Hehehe…

All in all a great night was had Β  πŸ™‚
Friday rolled around so I went shopping… Bought LOADS of T-Shirts (more on that soon), some new boots, some DVDs and, surprise surprise, a new suitcase to bring it all home in. Heh heh…

Before I sign off – A blog post wouldn’t be complete with me adding in some relevant media…

First – some photos from SF.
A few from my recent trip but most from my trip in October last year… Hope you enjoy them.


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Oh – and as a point of interest – ALL of the photos above were taken with a Nokia N95.
LOVE that phone! πŸ™‚

San Francisco

And second…

One of the great things about being in the States is you get to see some of the latest shows/films etc…

And you also get to see some of the awesome posters etc and you often get a hint for what’s coming too…

So for instance, last year, there were Heroes posters everywhere.

This year however I kept seeing things like this one —–>
And variations thereof…

Had no idea what it meant. No idea what it was about. Nothing.

For some reason I kept thinking of The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

Good thing is these posters became suddenly very clear to me upon my return, when my new (and actually quite cool) friend Sizemore invited me along to a ‘Blogger’s Screening’ of the new comedy, ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall‘.

And bloody good it was too, (thanks dude).

Full write up to follow…
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Things to make and do…

So I’ve kinda got the blog-bug back again.

I don’t know why it’s back, or where it’s been etc…
All I know is that I’ve got a bunch of stuff I want to write up.

I could just mass-post the lot, like I did last time, but I think too much content is a bit of overkill.

So here’s just a quick list of things I’d like to write up:
(thanks to Mr Lloyd Davis for the photo too by the way)

  • I was in a cabaret show the other day. Must blog it.
  • The BBC interview I did. Must blog it, (properly).
  • Some general life things, 6mths with SpinVox etc.
  • The (self-imposed) T-Shirt Challenge
  • San Francisco (I covered Vegas already)

And I think that’s it…

I’m going to try and cram everything in over the coming days. But it won’t be more than one post a day… Can’t suddenly increase the words for my loyal readers!

Thanks by the way – whoever you are…

On that note. I’m painfully aware that only VOX members are able to comment on my posts. Which is kinda sucky. So I’m moving… not yet, but soon… to a decent blog-hosting page etc.

A good friend is helping me sort it out at the moment, once we’ve got the template finished, then starts the massive (again, self-imposed) job of consolidating.

I’ve been blogging all over the place for the best part of three years now. So I’m going to go way back to my very first blog and pool all my posts together under one roof…
Like a back catalogue see?

Cool. Expect that sometime before the Summer… (hopefully).
In the meantime – if you want to comment and you’re not a member of VOX, then just drop me a text and tell me what you think… my number is +447774898681.
Looking forward to hearing from you…

And finally…

I got my ticket to Glastonbury! Wheeee!

Kinda has some special resonance on this here VOX as Glastonbury was the reason why I started here, remember?

πŸ™‚

EDIT – This is a re-post from VOX so you’re looking at my new home now -Woo!

Speaking Freely – The Rickmob

“I’ve just been to the Rick Astley Flash Mob at London’s Liverpool Street and it was frigging hilarious. I should be uploading a video as soon as I get in front of my laptop. Fantastic.”

spoken through SpinVox

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EDIT – As promised, here’s the video:

EDIT 2 – Thanks to the immediacy of this post – I ended up appearing on The BBC’s ‘Pods & Blogs’ programme. I’ll see if I can get my hands on the audio and put if up for you…

Whee! πŸ™‚