Monday, 31 December 2012

2012: a year of change and great things

Well 2012 has certainly been a year of change, some bad, some good!

We got off to a bad start with Toni's mum passing away. This was a serious knock to our world.

Next up was the upheaval of having to move Sam out of SWF unexpectedly but this all came good when we ended up moving into our wonderful house that we are in now.

On the moving front things continued with my office relocating from Queen Victoria Street to the The Gherkin which wasn't all bad as it's actually a nice place to work.

Things went well for Orpheum, we released our first EP and did loads of gigs.

I made a permanent name change as I legally became known as Glitz and don't regret it for a minute!

2012 was also the year that I fully acknowledged and embraced my transgender feelings and emotions. This meant there was lots of change in the way I present myself to the world. It was an amazingly positive and liberating move for me.

Of course all of this fabulous journey has been made with my split apart, my soul mate by my side as we loved and supported each other. The best change of 2012 though was becoming one with Toni and having our hand fasting and forming a permanent union, for now and for ALLways.

Avengers marathon continues and the way forward for Marvel

The Avengers marathon continued today with The Incredible Hulk. It was certainly the worst of the series although it did have it's moments. We watched it for completeness although it could have been skipped apart from the last five minutes.

Captain America: The First Avenger continued proceedings. I actually enjoyed it more than the first viewing. What's not to like about Nazis dealing with technology and the occult! I love The Red Skull and the work of HYDRA as enemies of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Next up was Thor. Anybody notice that when Red Skull disappeared at the end of Captain America the effect was the same as that of the Bifrost Bridge in Thor? I have a feeling we haven't seen the last of Red Skull! Thor was a good film, a good combination of action and Marvel humour.

...and so we came to out grand finale, The Avengers (or what is now known as Avengers Assemble).
Poster version one

Poster version 2

Whatever you want to call it, this film nicely links up Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America and Thor (plus good appearances from Black Widow, Hawkeye, Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D.) into one cohesive unit. The story arcs are pulled together very well with a strong plot involving Loki (from the Thor movie).

I'm quite looking forward to the upcoming Marvel offerings. We have Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World not to mention the TV series of S.H.I.E.L.D. in 2013. Sadly Avengers 2 won't be with us until 2015 but we do have Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians Of The Galaxy waiting in the wings for 2014!

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Last.FM 2012 Overall TOP 20 Charts

Here are my top listening habits on Last.FM for 2012.

So here it is:

01 - The Dolmen
02 - The 69 Eyes
03 - Moi dix Mois
04 - Inkubus Sukkubus
05 - The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing
06 - Rammstein
07 - Chumbawamba
08 - Sleep Chamber
09 - Zero Boys
10 - Abney Park
11 - The Cult
12 - Madonna
13 - Deathstars
14 - Psychic TV
15 - Nightwish
16 - Blackmore's Night
17 - Conflict
18 - Faub
19 - Enya
20 - Queen

01 - Zero Boys – Vicious Circle
02 - The Cult – Choice Of Weapon
03 - The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing – Now That's What I Call Steampunk! Volume 1
04 - Kronstadt Uprising – Insurrection
05 - The Dolmen – Above And Below
06 - Miserylab – From Which No Light Escapes
07 - Various Artists – Short Music for Short People
08 - Conflict – Ungovernable Force
09 - The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing – This May The Reason That The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing Cannot Be Killed By Conventional Weapons
10 - Moi dix Mois – Nocturnal Opera
11 - The Dolmen – Ahryah
12 - Soho Roses – Whatever Happened To...The Complete Works Of
13 - The Dolmen – Winter Solstice
14 - The Dolmen – Songs from the Cauldron
15 - The Dolmen – Dolmen Folk
16 - The Dolmen – Spirits Of The Land
17 - France Ellul – Spirits of the Moon
18 - The 69 Eyes – Framed In Blood: The Very Blessed Of The 69 Eyes
19 - Taloch – Communion
20 - The 69 Eyes – Back In Blood

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Tas Ev, Treadwell's and Iron Men

Toni and I ventured out of the house today as we headed up to London to meet Dad and Stephanie. Our destination was Tas Ev in Southwark for a Turkish meal. It was a lovely restaurant hidden away under the railway arches with some great decor.

The food was absolutely delicious and we'll definitely be going back there again. It was great to meet up with Dad and Stephanie and catch up on various bits of news across the families.

After our meal we parted ways at Waterloo and Toni and I headed to Goodge Street to have a mooch around Treadwell's Books. We spent a long time browsing in there and could have spent much longer (and a vast fortune) but we had a great time and will most certainly be going back on a regular basis!

On our return home we had a quick snack and then settled down to start an Avengers marathon, kicking off with Iron Man and Iron Man 2.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Late start, To Wong Foo and Superman movies

There were no early starts today as we got up pretty late. We had breakfast and watched To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar.

Superman The Movie (extended Donner version) was next up on the list. It was interesting watching this and seeing a whole load of scenes that had been axed from the theatrical version.

Taking advantage of an empty house we then popped round the corner to Rishta and treated ourselves to an Indian meal.

Suitably fed we then returned home to Superman II (extended Donner version). This one made much better viewing than the theatrical version with some of the many plot holes at least being partially fixed and various questions being answered.

The Superman fest continued with Superman III. I'd completely missed how much slapstick and silliness there was in this take on a Superman story. Not to mention dangling cherry nipple tassles! That sad though, evil Superman is pretty cool (especially the way his clothes turn a darker shade of Supercolours)! Angry Clark Kent is also a bit of a giggle!

Needless to say we couldn't go to bed without rounding things off with Superman IV: The Quest For Peace. Definitely not the best in the series but mildly entertaining nonetheless! Well, very mildly! (For mildly entertaining, read shite - Toni)

Friday, 28 December 2012

Chilling and films

We did very little today. Making the most of an empty house we just chilled out and relaxed. We worked our way through a few films
Batman Forever
Batman & Robin
Blade II
Blade Trinity

The rest of the day was accompanied by lots of snuggles plus toast, chips and dips!

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Specsavers, boiler fixed and just the two of us

Had to get up early this morning to meet Sam and go to Specsavers for the pair of us to have an eye test. Sam was a little grumpy to find that he needs to wear glasses (albeit mainly for things he needs to concentrate on). He did, after a short while, manage to choose some nice glasses though once he had got used to the idea. I also had a change in prescription and will be picking up and trying out some varifocals soon.

When I got back I found a note through the door saying the British Gas man had called but nobody had been in. This was not the case as both Jade and Toni had been in. One grumpy phone call from Toni later and a British Gas engineer was dispatched to Glitzville and we were once again blessed with hot water and central heating. YAY!

Once the engineer had been we took Jade back home and then it was just the two of us together back in the house. It was lovely seeing people over the last few days but it was a real novelty for Toni and I to have some us time together on our own. BLISS!

We chilled out and watched The Full Monty and The Adventures Of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Boxing Day with family

Today was a busier day as the family gathered over at Glitzville for a Boxing Day meet up. Pam, Bob, Leanne, Antony, Shivaani, Indie, Jamie and Iain all came over for a buffet lunch and drinkies.

It was another good day and everybody seemed to have a good time. At the end of the day after everybody had gone Sam and Aaron went back to Jamie's leaving just Toni, Jade and I.

Last.FM listening post

Here's last week's top picks music lovers!

Top weekly tracks:

Top weekly artists:

Overall top tracks:

Overall top artists:

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Yule decorations and food

Thought I'd share a few pics of our minimal Yule decorations and foods

We all had a good day, some fantastic food and drink and a nice low key affair.

Yuletide Wishes & Season's Greetings everybody

Yuletide Wishes and Season's Greetings to all my family and friends. I hope you all enjoy your holidays and time off no matter how you celebrate!

Monday, 24 December 2012

Fuck you British Gas, WFH, tidy up/baking, Snowman & goodbye Merlin

British Gas engineer turned up really early today, I was most impressed as it is Xmas Eve. Unfortunately after about 30 minutes he called me through to talk to me. Turns out the heat exchanger that he was supplied to fit in the boiler was the wrong one. He said that he didn't know if the wrong part had been ordered or just the wrong one picked off the shelves. He tried to ring around and source one for today but sad that this wasn't possible. He double checked exactly what is required and will be back again on Thursday to fit it. That's just great! The festive period with no hot water or central heating, deep joy! That will be over five days that we've been without them by the time he comes back on Thursday.

We have registered a complaint with British Gas although this still makes no difference to the timescales. Fuck you British Gas!

The only saving grace is that we have a gas fire in the living room and the oven will be working overtime over the next couple of days so we won't be completely freezing to death and it is, thankfully, fairly mild at the moment rather than freezing!

I was working from home today but there wasn't really a whole lot to do which made the whole experience much better than usual. That's the beauty of have skeleton crew cover over holiday periods, there is never any urgency to do anything which I have no objection to LOL. I tried to keep my spirits up listening to Xmas albums from Abney Park and Twisted Sister, namely:
Through You Eyes On Christmas Eve (Abney Park)
Dark Christmas (Abney Park)
A Twisted Christmas (Twisted Sister)

The good thing about working on Xmas Eve is that we get to finish early. At 14:00 I signed off for the last time and don't have to go back until 2nd January! No rest for the wicked though as it was then time to start doing some tidying up to get the house ready for tomorrow! Boooo! While I was straightening various bits out, throwing stuff away and changing light blubs Toni and Jade got the Xmas baking underway!

I managed to grab a crafty ten minutes on the PS3 and had my first crack at Batman: Arkham City which would appear to be a very good game based on my initial quick run. I look forward to playing it more. The final episode of Merlin was delayed to iPlayer so that Jade could watch The Snowman And The Snowdog (and because Sam was over at Jamie's and would want to watch it). It was a sequel to Raymond Briggs' The Snowman and a worthy sequel full of the usual cute charm that we've come to expect.

This has nothing at all to do with the festive season but I thought I would spread a little joy by sharing this ever so wrong picture of Boba Fett and Han Solo in carbonite!

Evening finished off with crackers and cheese and the last ever episode of Merlin. Oh my gosh, what an amazing series. It's going to be weird not seeing it again and it will be sadly missed. It was all finished off very nicely to fit in with Arthurian legend.

Dustbowl Steampunk Western Extravaganza

I promised the creators of this little Kickstarter campaign that I would give them a push on my blog as it looks like a really exciting project!

Dustbowl is a grizzly western set in an expansive and dangerous steampunk world. Expect train robberies, conspiracies and men in dresses.

Dustbowl is a hardhitting comic series from new writers Luke Merrifield and Russell Petch with art from veteran artist Tim Larsen. Set against the backdrop of the Deep South of what would be the U.S.A in an alternate 1901, the series follows waning hitman for hire Hamilton Vurse. The alternate 1901 is a world of political upheaval where the American Revolution was won the British Empire and the southern states are now the Southern People's Confederate Republic and that's just the start!

This is a world where Steam power has run rife for centuries and man has progressed to have vast and powerful machines/mechanisms/tools fueled by Steam! This progress has led to a world where nothing is unexpected, Steam technology can help man achieve the strangest and deadliest creations.

The first Volume of Dustbowl follows Hamilton Vurse as he becomes wrapped up in a conspiracy that seems to have no end, leading him all across Morrison City, through prisons, robberies, slaughterhouses and the terrifying steam powered belly of Morrison City. Enveloping criminals, secret cults, the military and most powerful men in the world, there is no telling where Hamilton and his trusty (or not so) friends will be taken.

Check out the Kickstarter campaign and make a pledge if this is the sort of project that you would like to support!

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Shopping, Pizza Hut, XIII and Men In Black marathon

Toni and I popped out to get the last of the things that we need for our festive celebrations. As we were out on our own we decided to pop into Pizza Hut for lunchtime goodness. We were delighted to find that they were playing almost tolerable Xmas tunes!

When we got back I started watching the series XIII. Six episodes in and it is pretty good and certainly improved as it went on. I'm about half way through now and am looking forward to seeing the rest.

The day finished off with a Men In Black with us watching all three films back to back! They might be cheesy as hell but they are most entertaining.

Forgot to post this yesterday but the heat from the gas fire in the living room had an interesting effect on one of our candles!

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Saturday, 22 December 2012

Dead boiler, Coffee Town, elusive DVD, foods, British Gas and Bill & Ted

We woke up this morning to a very chilly house. The boiler appeared to have packed up again and had been leaking water and so wouldn't restart. We called the Letting Agency to let them know what had happened and decided to let it dry out and see if it would fire up later. Toni, Sam and I headed off to Eltham to meet Jade and Jamie in Coffee Town before going shopping. You can't beat a good breakfast to kick start shopping on a cold wet day.

Sam and I headed into Bromley in search of an elusive DVD as part of our essential Xmas viewing and Toni and Jade went off to Deptford to get food stuffs. You wouldn't believe how hard it was to try and find a copy of Iron Man 2 on either Blu-Ray or DVD! It's almost as if they have been withdrawn by the film studios to force the fans to "upgrade" to the full Avengers boxset as all the other films in it seemed to be available. We tried a number of stores before finally managing to pick up a copy in CEX of all places. That and a few other goodies like Underworld Awakening and Men In Black 3 on Blu-Ray and also The Full Monty, Seven and Sixth Sense (the last three films having been owned by both Toni and I but mysteriously disappeared over two house moves). Still we have them safe and sound now.

We got home to find that Toni and Jade had already returned from their expedition.

Toni and Jade bought me this!

Now that's what I call a block of cheese!

The boiler was still dead so Toni had called British Gas when she got back. A couple of hours later British Gas arrived and confirmed our worst fears, the boiler is indeed out of action. We have been told before that it needs to be replaced but thankfully it can actually be repaired for now as any replacement would need to be signed off by the owners via the Letting Agency (presumably after getting a number of quotes) which would take weeks! The downside is that this cannot be done until Monday morning so until then we will have to survive without hot water or central heating. Deep joy!

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure accompanied Toni's delicious fish pie. After dinner we dropped Jade back home and had a cuppa before returning home to complete our film fest with Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey! Two great films and memories from our yoof!

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Friday, 21 December 2012

Bus fun, pointless work, doughnuts, HMV, end/start of an age & Wayne's World!

Hahaha, saw this at the bus stop on the way to work this morning! What a great name for a beer! I'm sure the name is a sign of what it makes the consumer do after a few!

Got on the bus and met a couple that I'd seen a week after an Orpheum rehearsal. They had been very drunk and kept asking me to play them a song. They had forgotten that day and were most disappointed that I didn't have my guitar with me this morning LOL! Still it was nice to have been remembered and also nice that they were still nice people even when they were sober!

Work was utterly pointless. There was bugger all to do as most of the developers had already wound down for Xmas as they are all off on Monday! On the plus side, it's Mike's birthday tomorrow so he bought doughnuts, a working day always has meaning when there are doughnuts! LOL

Popped out at lunchtime to pick up a couple of cheap DVDs that will make up the rest of what Jade considers to be essential Xmas viewing. Bizarrely the guy in HMV pretty much had the same list so maybe there is something in it! LOL I haven't been in an HMV in ages and I was shocked how much things have changed. Films that I thought might have been essential purchases weren't even on their shelves, it was pretty much a mediocre selection plus the usual top 20 lists of DVDs, CDs etc. Once upon a time I would have spent ages scouring the CD bargains but I didn't even look today, who'd have thunk it!

As expected most of the day was spent listening to people banging on about the end of the world, apocalypses and such like. *sigh* Don't you people do any research? The Mayan Calendar never talked about the end of the world, it was merely the passing from one age into another! On the plus side by tomorrow most people will have got bored going on about it!

Once again the day dragged on so I was so glad to make a break for it early and get home for snuggles! I only have part of Monday to work now and then I am off until 2nd January. I shall be working from home on Monday so it isn't going to be too bad a day!

Got home and was once again in the arms of my gorgeous Toni, YAY *happy dance*

Kebabs for dinner and then some excellent party time with Wayne's World, followed by Wayne's World!

The evening then ended with more comedy as we stared watching Series One of The IT Crowd.

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Yule Blessings

Yule Blessing to all my friends and family! This is the day we really celebrate in the Glitz household!

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Great sleep, slow work & Orpheum recording

Had a fantastic night of sleep last night. We put the new mattress on the bed with nice clean sheets and it was SO comfortable. I normally struggle to get up in the morning and it was even harder today!

Work was SLOOW! Everyone is starting to wind down for Xmas so the amount of work is reducing. It's nice to have no pressure but the day does start to drag when you have to pace yourself to make tasks last throughout the day.

When I got home it was time todo sone Orpheum recording for a little Xmas treat that we have lined up for you all. Part of my task was to do some backing vocals so I asked Gemima to join me so she will now be featured on our surprise which she is delighted about! What is it you say? You'll just have to wait and see!!!!!

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Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Last.FM listening post

Here's last week's top picks music lovers!

Top weekly tracks:

Top weekly artists:

Overall top tracks:

Overall top artists:

Monday, 17 December 2012

Andrew O'Neill Is Easily Distracted @ Aces & Eights

Toni and I met after work at London Bridge and made our way to Camden Town for a trip to our favourite vegetarian/vegan restaurant Qing Xi. Suitably fuelled we then headed off to Tufnell Park to Aces & Eights to see occult comedian Andrew O'Neill perform his new show Andrew O'Neill Is Easily Distracted.

Despite tickets advertising a 19:30 opening of doors it actually turned out to be 20:00 so we entertained ourselves at the bar.

We were surprised to find the venue itself was very small and intimate, not what we had expected at all. We reckon there were 50-60 people there which left standing room only. The stage was tiny although perfect for a stand up show.

As for the show itself, what can I say? It was a laugh from start to finish. I don't really want to give anything away as it's a new show but Andrew O'Neill was on fine form with some wonderfully crafted words. The audience seemed to be on form too and got some of the more cerebral material LOL

If you haven't seen Andrew O'Neill before then you must, that is an order. He is very funny and well worth going to see. If you have seen him before and enjoyed it then you will LOVE this new show. There is so much I could write but I really don't want to put out any spoilers so I shall just finish by saying that this show contains very strong material with great execution and timing. Oh, and a Princess Leia shirt in the second half, that alone makes it cool!

Toni and I had a quick chat with him afterwards and he is just a genuinely nice person, very appreciative of his audience and anyone who gives strangers hugs is OK by us!

You can find out more about Andrew O'Neill at his website:

It's been a month already...

It's 17th December today.

We've been married for a whole month already. It doesn't seem more than a couple of days since we were racing off to the registry office then rushing to get ready for the real celebration at the Tudor Barn.

It's true. Time really does fly when you're having fun.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Fish fingers, shopping, OUR bedroom

Fish finger sandwiches are an amazing way to kick start a Sunday morning! Especially when they are gluten free!

Shopping was the priority today. Toni and I headed to Argos with a vast quantity of gift cards that we had received as wedding presets. Three DVD racks and a brand new mattress were picked and ordered and will be delivered to us on Tuesday! Our vast collection if DVDs will soon be removed from cardboard boxes and once again have a home on shelves. Once we've done that we will also be able to sort out the remaining bookshelves and then that will pretty much be everything finally unpacked.

Toni and I did more sorting out in the bedroom and it's now starting to really feel like OUR room with our little personal touches.

It also looks amazing with candles by our bookshelves:

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Saturday, 15 December 2012

Clearing boxes, counting, naps, steak, Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy & A Death At A Funeral

We got up early today and had a tidy up of the bedroom. Part of the task was to clear out the last boxes from our move. We now have order in the bedroom and it's lovely I must say!

Later than planned we headed in to Eltham for breakfast/lunch. Gluten free pizza at Pizza Hut. I love the fact that they have gluten free offerings now, so delicious!
Next stop was an adventure in Poundland! I was fascinated by this device, what does it count? *whistles*

We then went home and crashed out. Well, Toni and Sam did. I watched QI, Have I Got News For You and Russell Howard.

Great big huge steaks with cheesy chips was a great addition to watching the film version of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy. Alan Rickman makes an awesome Marvin The Paranoid Android.

We ended our night watching Death At A Funeral. This was the 2010 US version as opposed to the 2007 UK version. Bizarrely Peter Dinklage appeared in both of them! We had worried about what it would be like but it turned out that it was actually pretty funny!

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