May 17th, 2004



I went to "THE LONDON EXPO". I had no idea of where this was, or what would occur there. The only fear I had was getting up and staying awake: I'd fallen asleep at around 4, but had to be up for 8, to get to the Liverpool Street station at 10. This is my usual route to Liverpool Street: Home -[walk]-> Enfield Town -[train]-> Liverpool Street.

However, due to train problems or engineering work my trip went: Home -[walk]-> Enfield Town -[walk]-> Enfield Chase -[bus]-> Oakwood -[tube]-> Kings Cross St Pancras -[tube]-> Moorgate -[tube]-> Liverpool Street.

I finally catch Sacha and
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I went to "THE LONDON EXPO". I had no idea of where this was, or what would occur there. The only fear I had was getting up and staying awake: I'd fallen asleep at around 4, but had to be up for 8, to get to the Liverpool Street station at 10. This is my usual route to Liverpool Street: <b>Home -[walk]-> Enfield Town -[train]-> Liverpool Street</b>.

However, due to train problems or engineering work my trip went: <b>Home -[walk]-> Enfield Town -[walk]-> Enfield Chase -[bus]-> Oakwood -[tube]-> Kings Cross St Pancras -[tube]-> Moorgate -[tube]-> Liverpool Street.</b>

I finally catch <b><a href="">Sacha</a></b> and <b><a [lj2] href="">Rachel</a></b> hanging around in Liverpool Street, and remembering my lack of sleep, I decide to acquire ProPlus tablets. I've never been one for these things, but I sense I'd need it in this instance, what with the potentially long day lying ahead.

<lj-cut text="A long story, primarily involving lots of 'we did this, then this, then this'...">After more bizarre travelling, we finally got to where we wanted to be: at the expo itself. I finally found out this was a sci-fi/fantasy convention. There were a few actors signing autographs and smiling for pictures, a few novel and interesting tidbits from films, some robots from Robot Wars, and some people galavanting around in costumes - my favourite being a slender person in a Star Wars costume (including cheap-looking lightsabre that looked like it'd been made with toilet rolls) whilst waddling along with one of those two-wheeled carts that old ladies usually drag around. It really didn't look right together.

I ended up taking a lot of pictures for the girls and dragging them towards the people they wanted to see. They seemed to have a mild fear of getting so close to such famous people. I just shrugged. Most of these actors were having fun meeting people that appreciated them.

The first people we talked to were the people who performed as the Weasley twins from the Harry Potter films, they were nice and down-to-earth people, even after Sacha had introduced herself and Rachel by spurting "OHMYGOSHWELOVEYOUYAAAY". After talking to them and taking pictures, I'd pointed out how they'd seem to look a little different in the pictures people were taking - one of them smiled showing teeth, whilst the other kept their mouth shut while they smiled. I reckon this was done on purpose, so you knew for certain which one was which based on their smile. Rachel, being a big fan of the duo, got an early birthday present from me when I paid for the two to sign a picture for her. Afterwards, the person who played Neville Longbottom was sitting next to them. He looked remarkably greasy, or like he'd decided to go for some look involving a credible amount of hair gel. He also looked like he'd lost a little puppy fat, he didn't look as chubby as he did in the pictures of him he was signing.

Round the corner and we saw a few Lord of the Rings people. John Noble (Denethor) and Craig Parker (Haldir) were the notable duo we pestered. John Noble disappeared off for a coffee break before we could annoy especially, but we had a nice chat with Craig Parker. He was remarkably chirpy, he had a very nice accent, and enjoyed the random conversation we started, after I was told to ask (for one of Sacha's friends, I may add) if he liked pasta. It got us into a conversation about if people liked breathing or water at the same time, and other such silly random things. The man likes his wine also, he really did mention he liked his wine.

After that, we were apparently about to meet Mercedes McNab (Harmony in Angel and Buffy, I've been informed) but she disappeared off. I also saw Greg Evigan (whose name clicked when I got home; 'he' was the voiceover for the spoof "When Things Get Knocked Over, Spilled Or Fall Out Of Cupboards!" thing, for TMWRNJ) and a few other random faces that I recognised, which means they were quite famous, as I'm not good with remembering random people.

I saw a copy of Look Around You going cheap and nabbed it, before we headed off outside for a little while to eat, drink and annoy each other. Rachel seemed a bit tired so me and Sacha basically hit each other with bottles until Rachel's scowl stopped us. Or something like that, my mind's hazy on the issue from continually making Sacha despise me with cleverly-crafted ways to clip her on the forehead.

After meeting that Harmony lady, we headed back to Stratford and from there parted company, me atypically saying goodbye a couple of times after taking the wrong route initially and backtracking to pester them again before I went. Once on a train and watching them disappear away, I had to take another quirky route to get home, heading into Camden to get on a bus to Kings Cross to get home. On the upside, it meant I got to pick up a copy of Withnail and I on the very cheap.

And now I'm back home. I don't feel like I know where all the money went, but I had £60 and it's down to £5. I'm not too fussed, it was a nice day to go travelling, it's another area in London I've got to enjoy and the company was pleasant, though I think we all struggled a little with the early morning.

I noticed throughout that you could tell how hardcore the fans were by the type of camera they used to take the pictures. Us lot, who'd gone there for fun, had a disposable Boots camera. We saw several people with ridiculous-quality cameras, video cameras, etc etc. It really was a little unsettling. I do feel sorry for celebrities with the way they can get hounded so easily.

Anyway. I've got a lot to do tomorrow and I think after the lack of sleep last night I really should get some now.
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Danger! Evil smirk!

Once more, with feeling!

I can't believe how hollow that expo place was. The building had such an obvious lack of character, of a soul. Evidently due to how so many temporary groups use the place for their infrequent social gatherings, the designers don't want to create any strong feelings with their architecture, but it felt so aesthetically unpleasant as we walked out. To be honest, the buildings around the area in the Docklands stood out by not standing out in the slightest. The large banking buildings had a lot of glass used on them, and you could see a formulaic structure to a worker's area, how people were compressed into the smallest space possible without realising how trapped they were, in so many ways. It sapped a person's energy being in the presence of such lacklustre structures, the dull monotony of what you saw condensed the excitement of what was realistically a pleasant day yesterday.

I rented Pokémon Colloseum four days ago. I return the game to the shop now. I have not even looked at the manual so far, let alone attempted to play it. I picked the game up from the shop, thinking the new direction it was attempting to take may have been promising. However, I realised that I couldn't be bothered with the idea of fighting, remembering how excessively long it took to fight with Pokémon Stadiums. I especially didn't like the sound of wandering around to do such fighting. It's reminded me of how the fighting mechanic of Skies of Arcadia put me off the title a little. I didn't like how characters would sometimes move towards targets to perform manoeuvres, especially given that certain attacks could hit multiple enemies if they were lined up in a certain way. That minor level of randomness really got to me.

NB: I also hated the excessive new moves and the random types that the company began to throw together. Once water/electric pokémon start to appear, you begin to feel the designers thought of the combination first and the designing afterwards.

I am mildly intrigued with the opening of the Krispy Kreme in Enfield tomorrow. I have to force myself to do several things tomorrow, and one of these things should involve an attempt to go watch a film so I may also wander in the random direction of aforementioned donut shop. On the official site I notice mention of a 'dulce de leche'; a caramel-like substance filling the donut. The idea of this sounds pleasant and I am hopeful that this Enfield branch will produce these. If not, I will just end up buying lots of glazed krullers like usual.

I have been very lazy the last few days. The heat does that. I will be amused if I achieve every target I attempt to set myself tomorrow, but I hope I do, to prevent being shouted at by too many people. I beat myself up when I stop going forwards with myself, even on minor issues such as the "getting out more" doodah, so I'm currently not my biggest fan.

I orchestrated the creation of a fun little Advance Wars 2 level last night. In doing so, I have regained an interest towards the game again, though I am curious towards how the AI will play the level I have produced. And after seeing screenshots of the new Advance Wars being formulated... how far do the creators of this 3D real time strategy game believe this game can deviate from what worked so well and expect to continue to be so well-received? The character designs especially... they've turned from cute killers to looking like Generic Action Stereotypical Heroes!TM (with super-white teeth) against what look to be Germanic outfit-wearing vampiric baddies.

NB: Also: that texture on the short, squat man, that is done so awfully and looks so amateur, I'm actually shocked that got shown off to the public. Do these designers not know how to edit the texture a tad for the trousers to not line up exactly with the jacket?

Some kid just came in with a copy of Pokémon Colloseum to get his money back. He informed me that he'd got the game whilst his mother told him he was getting a Gamecube, but then she changed her mind. I pointed out he must have tried to play the game on some other console, due to the minor scratches on the disk and a sticker placed on the complementary Memory Card 59. I informed him we'd buy it in as a second hand game. He was quite displeased at being so caught out on the manner. This makes me wonder if I should buy it, because it'd cost me £20. Yes, I know what I wrote earlier but at that price I'm sorely tempted because then I can get into it whenever I desire. I think I'll be able to curb the old addictions and refuse this game, however. I still have a mild interest in the games but the best versions were Silver and Gold, to me. From there the new creatures were evidently looking a bit weak, the new moves silly and created almost to make everything more confusing, and the side-quests laughably annoying. Planting trees? Beauty contests? Pfft. The horse may well be flogged to the glue factory soon.

NEXT: Is it possible to divide a square into three identical non-rectangular shapes?
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