Saturday, August 18, 2007

Fingers Crossed

I heard a rumour the other day, a very exciting rumour. I heard that Videosyncratic on Cowley Road were thinking about branching out into comics. As you may know it's been about 7 months since Comic Showcase shut down on St Clements and my supply dried up. I've bought a few off the internet, but it's just not the same as browsing the shelves and flicking through the pages to see what looks good.

Anyway, a rumour is just a rumour, I needed hard fact. So when a couple of guys from the store came into the pub yesterday I seized my chance and asked them. They seemed surprised that I'd heard about it but were pleased that I was so excited. It's not a definite yet, but they're giving it some serious consideration. Score! Though this does of course mean I'll be waving bye bye to any spare cash I might have. Perhaps I can persuade other people to start buying comics, then I can read them. Yeah. We'll form some sort of nerd club, only we won't talk about about it, that'll be the first rule. I know plenty of semi nerds, they 'll only need a little gentle coaxing, then I can welcome them to the dork side. (Rubs hands together in a sinister manner.)

Seriously though, if they go ahead with selling comics I hope they get plenty of support from the locals and all the people who used to shop at Comic Showcase. This is just the sort of business venture that keeps Cowley Road interesting. Videosyncratic, I salute you! And I urge everyone to go spend some money there.

Monday, August 6, 2007

The Sunday Spesh

The Slacker's Sundays are normally a finely honed exercise in relaxation and effort conservation. Because it's the only day I don't work I use it as an opportunity to be as lazy as possible. I rise at around twelve, get the kettle on for the first of many cups of tea and get on the internet. Oh, and I spend most of the day in my "leisure suit", aka my pants and maybe a vest. Sweet. Then I sit at the computer 'til about seven when Han gets home and turfs me off. At this time I like to adjourn to the sofa where I spend the rest of the evening watching crime (CSI) on the telly and eating some kind of delicious dinner. But this Sunday was a little different.

People who know me well know that my tiny ears are constantly on alert, listening out for a certain combination of words, certain magical words, and last week I heard them. "All you can eat", "Chinese", "buffet", and they were accompanied by another favourite, "cheap".

Lee Wainwright is heading off to Australia, so Rob, Rhyannon, Sam and I joined him at Oxy Oriental for a farewell feast. Man, it was good. I love a chinese buffet, to me they are an exercise in glorious gluttony, but I always get anxious that I'm not going to be able to do it justice. I started out strongly, with a plate loaded high with just about everything, and ploughed my way through it in no time. No problems so far. Then I went back for my second plate, stacked it up just like the first and started to go to work on it. Then halfway through I started to get the fear. I'd overloaded plate number two. "A buffet isn't a sprint" I thought, scolding myself, "it's a marathon, a test of endurance that needs to be treated with respect." Another problem was the potato that seemed to have been added to the chicken curry, this too was throwing me off my stride.

I slowly worked my way through my plate and when I'd finished I took five minutes to relax and compose myself. Now I was ready for more. A plate of spare ribs this time. Delicious, and as I neared the end of this plate I started to get my second wind. Sweet! This time I hit the Teppan-yaki grill. The guy working the hot plate put on quite a show and the resulting plate of steaming meat and noodles was awesome. Not wanting to appear too greedy I followed this up with just a couple of bowls of ice cream and called it a day. Full, but not too full. Then we left the restaurant and piled into Lee's boiling hot car for the ride back to the Star.

On our return it seemed that everyone wanted to watch the match. Not being a football fan I didn't much feel like joining them so I found myself at a bit of a loose end. Then, right on cue, Darren arrived with his fishing rod to see if anyone wanted to join him in an afternoon's fishing. Perfect. We set off with high hopes of a repeat of his marginal success on "boat trip". When I say marginal I don't mean to downplay Darren's skills, but he would be the first admit that things hadn't gone entirely the way he had hoped. He was the only one to catch a fish, which, unfortunately, escaped as four pairs of hands feverishly grabbed at it to try and get it onto the boat. Not deterred, he carried on fishing for several more hours, eventually landing an eel! Not what he really wanted, but after so much time and effort he was damn sure going to eat somethings flesh. So, after a chilling scene that would not have been out of place in a horror movie, he was left with a tiny fillet of eel. This he fried in a little butter and shared with those of us present, and it was actually pretty tasty. Anyway, we spent a relaxing afternoon by the river but there were no bites. It seems the fish in Oxford's rivers are too good for tinned hot dog and sweetcorn.

To top off an already pretty sweet day, Han and I stopped off at the Oriental foodstore on the way home so she could top up her supplies of tofu chunks and pak choi which had been falling dangerously low. I wasn't planning on buying anything but I thought I'd have a mooch around anyway, and I was glad I did. I got a whole rack of ribs, about a foot and a half long, for £3.15. It was like a big meaty xylophone. What a bargain, and they were well tasty. So my day ended with me scoffing more ribs, sinking a couple of frosty brews and watching CSI, Heroes and Unbreakable on T.V. That's the beauty of simple pleasures, it's really easy to have a good time. Lucky me!