New York, New time zone

Well I'm in the hotel's internet cafe because although it's 5am here my body thinks it's 10am. So, I thought, what better thing to do than blog?

This week I have been listening too Jojo's new single, reading A Spot of Bother and watching Big Brother, Ugly Betty, Almost Famous and Friends. I have also been enjoying driving our new Mini and arriving in New York.

Now I know this is a bit sad but I really like Jojo's new single. As R&B headed pop it is cookbook but that's not always a bad thing. It's good to have a nice fresh sounding track like this every now and again and the production on this latest one is top notch. Although has anyone else spotted that she looks quite a lot like Lindsay Lohan?

I've just finished reading Mark Haddon's A Spot of Bother, another tale in which he explores the mind and life of someone with mental health problems.

Although the book does not incorporate all the random drawings and diagrams of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime (his previous novel about a boy with asperger's), it still documents the lead characters road into insanity in an extremely colourful and real way. He is a writer who will go into the finest detail, normally to make you realise how extremely horrible things can be.

It's a well-written and well thought out book that is both a quick read and an extremely satisfying one. I look forward to more from this fresh thinking and bold writer.

I won't dwell on Big Brother very much as I can't say anything that hasn't been said in all the column inches and pixilated ponderings that have already been written elsewhere.

I just want to beg you all to not buy a single thing that is going to lead to Jade Goody getting money. We just have to ignore her like that mad man on the bus so that eventually she'll get the message and go away.

Ugly Betty on the other hand, I now really like. I was a little unsure at first on account of the fact that it seemed like it was going to be exactly like Devil Wear's Prada, which I've already seen and don't need to see again in a drawn out 24-episode version.

However the characters are beginning to blossom and the relationships between Betty and the Mode crew are starting to improve. I don't think I'm have been able to cope if each episode saw the loveable misfit being bullied.

It's no My Name is Earl but it will do.

I really enjoyed Almost Famous, mainly on account of the fact that I know the feeling of trying desperately to crack into the world of music journalism. I also really like it because it has Kate Hudson in it and by a rule of thumb I love everything she's in. Except may be Le Divorce; that was terrible.

I watched a lot of Friends this week in preparation for this trip to New York. God I love that show. Although it's not actually filmed here being in New York still feels like a Friends pilgrimage.

They do a Friends tour here but I can't understand where it takes you, as, like I said, it's not filmed here. I think I may just do the Sex and the City tour instead. Bring it on!

Yesterday we wondered around Central Park where I squealed with excitement when I saw places I knew from both Sex and the City and Home Alone Two. It's like being on a pilgrimage.

After that we wondered down to Rockefeller Centre where we took the lift to the Observation deck on the 67th floor. Just thinking about it now makes my hands go clammy but it was really amazing up there.

Obviously there are loads of tall building to climb in New York, and the view it pretty similar from each. The best thing about this one was the fact that you could see the Empire State really clearly as it's not too far away. Clearly this is something you can't do from the Empire State itself.

Today we're going to take a bus tour around Downtown Manhattan. We're going to get off in Greenwich Village to do a Lonely Planet walking tour. Then we'll take the bus again down to The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

It's set to be the coldest day of the year here today, and on account of the fact that I lost all feeling in my face yesterday, I'm quite nervous about that!

But this is New York so you're never far from somewhere warm.

Before I wrap up I just wanted to say we got our Mini last Saturday and she's lush. We spent all of last weekend driving her and just couldn't get enough. Man those cars will go if you want them to. Not that I want them to. But she's great fun to drive and very cute.

One final thing. My mate Dave Cornthwaite this week completed his 5000+ miles skate across Australia. It was on the Beeb and everything. Well done to him. To find out what possessed him and how to give some last minute sponsorship see the Boardfree website.

I'm going to either hit the gym now or get some more kip. Take care of yourselves guys,

Lobby dwelling Lauz xx

Photo by boxercab


Real life Sex and the City (kind of)

Today's entertainment hot topic has to be Celebrity Big Brother. The disgusting way in which Jade Goody, Danielle Lloyd and Jo O'Mara have been treating Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty has got everyone talking, including politicians in both the UK and India.

I can only hope that with their behaviour, those three have kissed their careers goodbye, not that either of them had much of a career before they entered in the house.
The Perfume Shop has removed Jade's perfumes from its shelves and Carphone Warehouse has withdrawn its sponsorship, which is bound to upset Channel 4 greatly.

I've just started watching Almost Famous, which so far seems pretty cool, and something I can greatly relate to. I love Kate Hudson in general, mainly thanks to Raising Helen and How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days, so I was always going to like this film.

I also watched What's Eating Gilbert Grape on Sunday? I'd not seen this before but having nicked it from Boston Tea House's copy of The Guardian (cool, I know) I thought I'd give it whirl. Great cast, great story, generally great. Can't believe I'd never seen it before.

Music wise I'm quite liking Mika's new single Grace Kelly and The Klaxon's. Their single is quite different to their other material so it will be interesting to see how they are marketed from here.

The rules for the chart have changed. This is making things a bit more interesting. Now any song that can be downloaded can enter the charts, which means that the songs record labels choose to put out as singles could enter the charts lower than other songs on an album.

The changes also mean that a song that was released a long time ago, could now go back into the top of the chart.
Hopefully the rules in general mean that X Factor contestants and novelty songs will be a thing of the past.

On a more personal note, we bought a Mini. Yay! It's silver and gorgeous and we pick her up on Saturday. It's going to be a weekend of driving for us, as we've both wanted a Mini for ages.

Also I go to New York next Thursday, which is very exciting. I've been reading my Lonely Planet and watching Sex and the City and Friends and feel suitably excited. If any of you guys have any tips please let me know.

I'll report back on the in-flight entertainment upon my return. Over and out.


How do you get through three Sex and the City series in one week?

Answer: get flu.

This is my third day of being bed-ridden and I'm bored and fed up with feeling ill. It has allowed me to whip through the last three series of Sex and the City.

I hate it when you get to the end of a seris, but it seems that for Sex and the City that happens half way through series five. Why Carrie decides to go to Paris for the Russian I don't know. He's a boring muppet. And all the other stories are a bit harsh and real, it's no longer the Sex and the City that we know and love. Why couldn't they string the formula out a little longer?

Also similarities can be drawn to the end of Friends: Paris, adopted babies and relocation are all involved. And I now feel gutted that it's all over. Thank god I'm going to New York in a few weeks to top up the essence of both those great shows.

I'm also still wading through The Vicar of Dibley, prompted by a great documentary about the making of the show last night on BBC 1. Richard Curtis is a genius!

In other news, my car died. And after lots of umming and ahhing Dan and I decided we would buy a Mini. We're very excited and are off to view some on Saturday.
Time for a Mini Adventure of our own (I'm sorry, that's really corny).

Picture by leonboot


New Year, New Entertainment

Happy New Year. No doubt 2007 will bring some great new sources of entertainment. At the moment however I'm currently wading through entertainment of the past.

I bought the Sex and the City boxset over Christmas and also the Vicar of Dibley boxset. Seeing the last ever episode over Christmas made me thirsty for more.

I know it's sad but it's Richard Curtis and therefore I love it.
As far as films are concerned I've seen loads over Christmas, both new and old.

Last night I saw Ben Stiller's latest film Night at the Museum.
The film also stars Ricky Gervais, Owen Wilson, Robin Williams and Steve Coogan. It's essentially a kids' film but it's a good one that seemed to satisfy the auditorium full of adults, me and the boy included.

I also watched The Life of David Gale and The Holiday over Christmas, both starring Kate Winslet. I had meant to watch David Gale for a long time and it didn't disappoint. Clever and thought provoking and topical, it's well worth a watch, as most things starring Kevin Spacey are.

The Holiday was good to but for different reasons. While some of the cast members were not natural born rom-com stars, it was Christmasy and lovely. Plus it had Jude Law in it which is never bad, Jack Black entertains well in it too.

As for music I am very excited about the next few months, mainly thanks to the likes of Jamie T and Just Jack. Both are great new male artists making original new music. You should check both out, like, now.

I have just finished reading Vernon God Little. It was most definitely in the same vein as David Gale and with it rather depressing. It reminded me a lot of We Need to Talk About Kevin.

It was ok but not particularly gripping. I prefer my books to be either heart-warming, clever or both and to be honest this was not really either. It was written with an original style though.

I also currently really liking The Feeling's Twelve Stops and Home album. It's melodic pop-rock at it's finest. My biggest wish for 2007 regarding entertainment is simple: I really hope that Christmas TV is better than 2006's. Totally shocking! What were they thinking?

Please comment...

Picture by Ozventure