Tags: shopping

lewis furey

Retail therapy is keeping me sane

I bought lots of goodies lately:

— Last Thursday, another digital camera to complement Joni. It looks just like a mini SLR, but is in fact a compact camera with 12x zoom (so far I've only had time to charge the batteries and glance at the manual).

— When I came home armed with my new camera a parcel of books I had ordered from England was waiting for me in the hallway (oh to have the time to read again).

— Yesterday I heard a song by Charlotte Gainsbourg on the radio and fell in love. I found it (and another song) on her Myspace, downloaded it from somewhere else and played it all day. Today I went to Fame to listen to the whole CD, because most reviews I had read were very favourable. Unfortunately the volume of the headphones was turned up so loud that it made me quite nauseous and afraid of a headache, so after trying out three sets I handed it back. To my surprise the shop assistant said that Fame will let people listen to CDs at home and they can return them within 2 weeks if they are not satisfied. Great service! I didn't take Charlotte with me though, I had already decided I wanted the CD and it was cheaper at my online store (so I ordered it there this evening).

— Then I went to Fame's DVD department to look for Slings and Arrows, except that I had forgotten the title and was looking for Swords and [something else] instead. Never mind, I don't think they had it anyway. To my utter joy and amazement I did find series 1 & 2 of The Mighty Boosh, which has never been shown on Dutch TV and of which I have caught only a few episodes on BBC2 before it moved to BBC3 and thus became unavailable to us on the Continent. The price, however, was 60 euros, a tad expensive. So after much deliberation I put it back on the shelf and headed home (and ordered it from Amazon UK this evening; including p&p and VAT it's still about 20 euros cheaper there).

— On the way home I walked into Lush to get the new Lush Times, but there is not going to be one until October. The sales assistant said they did have several lovely new soaps in and made me smell a few, and I couldn't resist buying a piece of Mud Flats (yum yum).

And now, a new series of Six Feet Under on TV. At last!

lewis furey

On a clear blue day dreaming your heartache away

Last weekend I indulged in some serious retail therapy:

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I still haven't found a resizing programme that I'm completely satisfied with. So far the screen caps programme Capture Me works best, but even those screen caps seem to suffer from a loss of definition, resulting in a slight soft-focus effect. Or maybe I am just being too critical.


Quick update

Nothing much has happened.

While shopping on 21 September I came across a DVD box with the first season of Dead like me and thinking it was a stroke of luck I immediately bought it, but a few days later I saw several of those boxes in another shop at 5 euros cheaper.

I am rather surprised that Dead like me should be released on DVD here when it was only broadcast by one rather obscure TV station, while The league of gentlemen, which has been shown several times on two Dutch stations, a Belgian station and the BBC, has been impossible to get so far, at least the complete box set including the Christmas specials. But I'll keep looking out for it.

The next Friday, 23 September, I could pick up Yossi & Jagger from the post office. When I came home I immediately tried out the DVD and fortunately this time the image was fine. I watched the film over the weekend, in bits and pieces, because I kept being interrupted by phonecalls and people stopping by unexpectedly. I was very happy to find it was the film version after all, and not the shorter TV version. The DVD also includes the trailer, two music videos, a "making of" (without subtitles, which made me want to learn Hebrew), and an earlier short film by the same director. I watched that one last week, but I must say I didn't care for it.

Yesterday Kink FM celebrated their 10th anniversary. :) They will broadcast the Outlaw 666 from tomorrow, but as it is from 9 am until 8 pm, I won't be able to hear much of it.

It also was the final day of the DDD (three crazy days) at the Bijenkorf. Most things I wanted were either sold out already or disappointing irl, but I did score The crying game for 4 euros. :)

And I had another dizzy spell yesterday. I was sitting at the computer and I suddenly felt as if I would keel over. The feeling lasted for hours, it was as if my head kept being pulled sideways. I have had those spells occasionally for about a year, I think. Maybe I should go to the doctor. Also, since I've gone back to work I have gradually started coughing again. Something in the airconditioning, perhaps? But if that were the case I wouldn't be coughing at home too, would I? Although this weekend I haven't been, come to think of it. Hmmm.

It is now 22.30 and I am dead tired. And I'm a bit unsatisfied with what I've (not) accomplished this weekend. Mail has been piling up for weeks and I haven't even looked at it yet. Nor have I vacuumed or done the ironing. *sigh* Oh well. If I go to bed early I may feel more energetic tomorrow. If the mosquito that woke me up at 5.30 this morning will leave me alone, that is..

lewis furey

For film fans only

So yeah. Buffet froid. It was very interesting to see that film again after so many years. As I wrote earlier, I had seen it in 1992, and according to the diary I recovered from my old computer some months ago, Belgian TV broadcast it on 24 September and German TV on 13 December. I hadn't remembered seeing it twice. Memory is such an unreliable thing.

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What had stayed with me was the laconic way in which death was treated. I have long since found out that (I've said it before) anything that puts life and death into perspective works as an anti-depressant for me, so it was easy to understand why this film had appealed to me. Still, I was surprised at the impact it had had. What I saw now was a pitch-black absurdist comedy, very amusing at times, but as soon as the credits rolled it had all but disappeared from my mind.

Whereas Yossi & Jagger, on the other hand, was still there and refused to go away. I figured that perhaps this was one of those films that I could love even while being aware of all its flaws, a bit like Different for girls, and by Saturday I had decided that I wanted it on DVD. So when I came home yesterday I went to Fame and fortunately they had a copy. I bought it, along with The panic in Needle Park (YAY!), Young Frankenstein, Analyze this, and Ghost world (another yay!).

Back home I immediately played Yossi & Jagger and I noticed that the things that had bothered me the first time hardly bothered me now. I've really made a complete about-turn. I still think the film is too short (a little over an hour), but that also means it has no room for sentimentality, while still being able to move the audience.

Unfortunately my copy was faulty. The images kept disintegrating, I don't know how to put it otherwise. I had never really considered the possibility that DVDs might not work (naive, I know), but last week a colleague told me she had had to go back with a DVD because it wouldn't play, and hey presto! here I am having problems too. Ack! I hope the rest of my collection is all right, there's a lot I haven't watched yet.

All the same, I was able to make several good screen caps (I learned how to yesterday, especially for the occasion).

I looked on the 'Net for a review of the Dutch release and didn't find it, but I did come across gay bookshop Vrolijk's website ('vrolijk' is a translation of the earlier meaning of 'gay', i.e. cheerful, light-hearted) and I found out that they not only have books, but also a large collection of DVDs. I thought they might also have a version with English subtitles, so this afternoon, after returning my copy to Fame, I headed for Vrolijk.

I found a British release of Dog day afternoon (very unexpected, a triple yay!), and the Dutch release of Yossi & Jagger (2 euros cheaper than at Fame). I was told that the former had no release with Dutch subtitles and the latter none with English (except the American region 1, which I can't play), so I bought both after making sure I could exchange my copy of Y&J if it turned out to be faulty too.

Unfortunately that was the case. It looked exactly like the first one. So I went back to Vrolijk and got my money back. The guy at the counter told me that he had sold many already and had had no complaints, and that it was probably my disk drive having problems with this particular DVD, that happens sometimes. That did not make me vrolijk at all, in fact I was inordinately disappointed, considering I did not even like the film that much just a few days ago. Not even having found Dog day afternoon could cheer me up, but later I remembered to have a look at Amazon UK and according to their website the British release of Y&J will be on 14 November. So there is still hope I can get my hands on a copy I can play properly. And in the mean time I have my screen caps to keep me warm. :)

lewis furey


On my Saturday-morning walk in the park I spotted two spotted woodpeckers. :) I think they were Mr and Mrs.

Monday afternoon I almost fainted, from the heat and/or slight dehydration, I guess. I was chatting with E. in her garden. She sat and I stood on high-heeled espadrilles looking down at her, and I suddenly grew dizzy. She let me sit in her chair and I asked "Do you hear crickets, too?" Turned out it was the blood singing in my ears. Fortunately the dizzy spell passed quickly.

Tuesday I went to a shoeshop that has a large selection of Camper shoes. I tried several styles, but none of them felt very comfortable, which was rather a disappointment. Although they didn't have the flamenco Twins I coveted, they had several like-shaped shoes, but I found them quite wobbly to walk on. All this has cooled my love for the Twins a bit, and I don't think I will order them after all.

I did unexpectedly find a pair of gorgeous red boots in beautiful, soft leather, but again it is not the right red to go with my pants, so I will have to return them. Or maybe I should keep them and try to find pants to go with them, hehe.

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I also bought the first Franz Ferdinand CD, at last! As I do not want to do unto my neighbours as they do unto me, i.e. make lots of noise while having doors and windows wide open (excluding my downstairs neighbour, she is quiet as a mouse), I didn't play it until this afternoon for the first (and 2nd, and 3rd) time. Because it was 30°C outside and only 25/26°C inside, I kept the windows closed and could play music at normal sound level.

Yesterday, BTW, J. and I went for another walk in the Vondelpark. Again we had picked a good day for it: very pleasant, not as hot as the rest of the week was. It was quite lovely.

And finally, I was tagged by sophyq ages ago to do this song meme:

List six of your current favourite songs and list six other people to do the same.

As I found it impossible to list only 6 all-time favourites, I took 'current' to mean 'recent':

Trouble with dreams - Eels
Versace - Bettie Serveert
Man is the baby - Antony & The Johnsons
Home - Stuurbaard Bakkebaard
Feel good, Inc. - Gorillaz
40' - Franz Ferdinand (OK, this was last year, but, see above, I only bought it now)



Sorry guys! :D

lewis furey

Odds and ends

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I took an interesting quiz from bezigebij; it gives an indication of our impact on the Earth's resources.

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And a FIVE BOOK MEME from heartofdavid:


1. Take five books off your bookshelf.

2. Book #1 -- first sentence: Mrs Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.

3. Book #2 -- last sentence on page fifty: Such a lovely day!

4. Book #3 -- second sentence on page one hundred: 'We were expecting you sooner,' Robert said.

5. Book #4 -- next to the last sentence on page one hundred fifty: That should do.

6. Book #5 -- final sentence of the book: I took a taxi back to the shop, it was that kind of day.

7. Make the five sentences into a paragraph:

I took a taxi back to the shop, it was that kind of day. Such a lovely day! 'We were expecting you sooner,' Robert said. Mrs Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself. That should do.

8. Feel free to "cheat" to make a better paragraph:

Alternatively: Such a lovely day! Mrs Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself. That should do. I took a taxi back to the shop, it was that kind of day. 'We were expecting you sooner,' Robert said.

9. Name your sources:

Book 5 – Russell Hoban – Turtle diary
Book 4 – Jeanette Winterson – Oranges are not the only fruit
Book 3 – Ian McEwan – The comfort of strangers
Book 2 – Fay Weldon – Female friends
Book 1 – Virginia Woolf – Mrs Dalloway

10. Post to your blog.

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lewis furey

(no subject)

Today, on account of Kenneth Cole's campaign for the homeless, I brought in 3 pairs of shoes my mother has hardly worn (because they are not her right size) and my collection of brown belts, since I'm phasing brown out of my wardrobe. I had expected to receive a voucher, but it turned out I had to make my purchase rightaway in order to get the discount. Ack. Not really what I wanted, but I had a look around anyway. There were no boots, and I didn't see any shoes or clothes I fancied. Saw some very nice watches and handbags, but I don't need another watch, and the bags were not the right colours.

I had half a mind to leave without buying anything, when my eye fell on a gorgeous messenger bag (I believe they are called). For years I have been looking for a briefcase and never found one I truly loved, until now. Slightly bigger than what I had had in mind, but very beautiful. I didn't take long to decide. It was quite expensive of course, and upon paying I found out that I had miscalculated the discount, it was only 33 euros and not 66. (Yeah, I know, I really have no right to ridicule others, my math skills aren't that great either.)

When I came home I saw Natasha sitting on the table and thought that this might be a more suitable bag for her than the ugly one I bought originally (the computer store only had a choice of one). It was a perfect fit. However, it was clearly not designed to be a laptop bag. I would have to wrap Natasha up in order to avoid her casing getting scratched by the metal zippers inside, and more importantly, the bag has magnetic closures. I don't know if those magnets are strong enough to do any damage to her hard disk, but I'd rather not take the risk and learn the hard way. So, no stylish bag for Natasha, it will be mine only. Here is a picture of a similar one (but mine has pretty stitching):

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lewis furey

A cure for insomnia

I had a wonderfully relaxed couple of days. Yesterday I first did some chores like the laundry and financial administration, and in the afternoon I went out. The weather was truly lovely, sunny and mild. I could sense spring waiting around the corner.

I posted some letters and took old paper and glass to the container to be recycled. At the chemist's I bought a large jar of Omega 3-6-9 capsules at 50% off. Let's see if they are any good.

When I came home again I put on a CD, burned an incense stick (something I had not done for a long time), and curled up on the couch with my beloved STW. I read on until 6, and then I started cooking dinner, because I wanted to watch an early movie. It turned out to be a rather silly film, but I doubletasked in the mean time by folding laundry and sorting out my overflowing socks drawer. A lot of those socks were ready for the dump: elastic gone, etc. By the time the film was finished, the drawer was looking organized again. I felt so accomplished. ;)

After watching Never mind The Buzzcocks and Six feet under I tried to catch up on lj, but succeeded only halfway, and I went to bed at 1:15.

This morning I rearranged some of my books and in the afternoon I went out again. Though beautifully sunny, it was much colder than yesterday, due to the wind. The shopping mall was nice and warm though. Some of life's necessities were on special offer, and I made good use of that. The money I saved on those necessities I immediately splurged tenfold on a lovely, luxurious L'Occitane cleansing fluid, but hey. Nothing's too good for my extremely hard-to-please skin. Besides I was given some samples of other products I was interested in.

When I came home this afternoon, I had a smoked salmon sandwich, and then much the same ritual as yesterday: incense and STW. When I finished a chapter, I went on to read lj. The catching up took so long that I did not start dinner until 20:45, which made me late for the rest of the evening, but never mind.

I am now seriously contemplating having an early night, after trying out all the lovely new products, of course! It's probably a good idea, because my neighbour has some furniture delivered tomorrow, and those delivery guys usually show up really early.

lewis furey

(no subject)

This morning I was up at 7, because the heating engineer would come round to check the system and for all I knew he might be at the door at 8. He arrived at 9:45 and was gone at 10:30 or so, leaving the rest of the day to me. It is really nice to have such a long day, I must admit.

I spent a successful afternoon shopping, both for Sinterklaas and myself. I bought the Angels in America DVD for myself (yay!), and also DVDs of The Big Lebowski (hey Jackie! :D ) and Barton Fink. A Dutch newspaper offers 2 Coen brothers films every week for a special price. Next week it will be The Hudsucker Proxy and O Brother Where Art Thou, which I also want. These 4 are my favourites, together with Fargo, but that one is in a set with a film I don't care for. I can always buy Fargo separately, but of course I do not have to own every film I like a lot.

Among other things I bought 2 books as presents and of course could not resist the temptation to buy a book for me, too. Windows on the World by Frédéric Beigbeder, definitely not a fun read, but gripping and compelling, to judge from the bits I read here and there. I would like to push all my current reading aside and start this book immediately, but it will have to wait until the holidays are over. Bleak January will be a perfect month for it.

A really good day, all in all. I'm afraid tomorrow will be less great. In the afternoon I'm having a talk with someone from Social Security to discuss my reintegration (i.e. into the working classes). I am so not looking forward to that. I have heard several first-hand accounts of the pointlessness of this so-called 'reintegration process'. Well, I refuse to think about it now and ruin my day.