Friday, 22 June 2012

wakey, wakey

I was up at a stupid time again this morning.

3AM this time.

I've discussed it before, but this time of year is terrible for me because it doesn't get dark until really late and I find brightness the most difficult thing to overcome when trying to get to sleep.  But then, as a double whammy, it gets light super early as well, so a bit of my body clock kicks in when it sees the brightness and goes "it's morning, wake up."

The real problem when waking up at 3AM is that for the first few hours while I lay there I feel totally wide awake and alert.  This makes it impossible to get back to sleep.  I therefore try doing something else, like watch recorded TV or read.

However, after a few hours this initial wide awake feeling wears off, but by then it's generally too late to try to get back to sleep.  I therefore end up getting up and going to work.

I got to work at 7AM this morning.  But what makes this horrible is that we don't work flexi, so I can't then go home at 4PM or anything - No, I'm here for the best part of 12 hours.

The other problem I have this summer is I'm trying to find a new job so that's throwing into the mix two things - nervousness and excitement.  Naturally I'm nervous when doing interviews and nervous about my current employer finding out I'm looking for a job.  But I'm also finding it all quite exciting - new possibilities are opening up for me and I'm actually quite enjoying it (as well as also, obviously being nervous about that too - what if I make the wrong decision?).

On that front I've gotten another interview arranged for next Friday.  This one actually seems like a bit of an off the wall choice, but it seems all the more interesting for it.

It's the Valencia Grand Pr... *snore* - Oh, sorry, drifted off then.  Could be the lack of sleep, but I'm guessing it's more likely to be an attempt at a humorous reference to how terribly boring the Valencia Grand Prix usually is.

You never know, the tyres may liven it up, or we may get yet another winner.  Who knows, maybe there's been some secret cabalistic agreement that all the drivers get to win this year?  If so they've made a bit of an error of judgment as there are only 24 drivers and only 20 races!

Thursday, 21 June 2012

2 fast 2 furious

So this was the first sequel to the fast and the furious.

It's also actually pretty difficult to review, since almost anything I could say I've said about the other two fast and furious films I've watched, since it is very similar to the other films.  It is, in a word, formulaic.

I guess the real highlight of the film is the cars and the driving about and racing.  Generally in this film the cars feel a bit more realistic, I guess.  They don't do quite as many stupid things with them, although there is still plenty of stupid.

The other highlight here is the buddy-buddy relationship between the two leads.  This works surprisingly well, though it's riddled with cliché and is a long way from original.  However it is quite entertaining.

Let's see, what else?

I guess there's the plot.  It's just as daft as in previous films and makes little to no real sense.  But then it would be shocking if it did.

There seemed to be slightly less in the way of cheesecake and hot babes.  I'm not sure if this was a real shift or intentional in any way.  I know these films have quite a large female fanbase as well, so perhaps there was a conscious decision to tone that element down, although it's not gone altogether.

One thing that is clear is that the budget was obviously higher.  The stunts are more spectacular and clearly a lot more money has been spent on the production as a whole.  Given the type of film this is that means it does tick the boxes in a better way.

The only real problem with the film is a lack of Vin Diesel.  I mean, the stuff that's here is fine, but without the Vin Diesel aspect it didn't quite feel like a Fast and Furious film.

So yeah, I'd say if you were into cars it's a good film to check out.  If you like brain dead action films then it's okay too.  Otherwise it's probably one to steer clear of.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012


Well, I'm back at work after my whirlwind tour of interviews.

Okay, there were only 2 interviews, but it's left me drained.  I say that, but the drained feeling may be something to do with waking up at 4AM this morning and being unable to get back to sleep (to the extent I go bored and watched some recorded TV instead).

I mean I blame the interviews for the lack of sleep anyway - it's all been quite disruptive to my routines, to say the least.

Anyway, point is I had two interviews.  One was in Sutton, which is in London... or Surrey.  It was a bit confusing, to be honest, as their address said Surrey, but maps say it's Greater London and there were all these London 2012 banners up like in the rest of London.

I mention this mainly because it would have to be a serious consideration for taking the job.  I've always tried to avoid big cities and London in particular.  I'm just not a fan of places without lots of green and gaps between the houses.  However, Sutton actually seemed quite green - there were a couple of parks close by and there were a surprising number of trees.

It was quite... multi-culturally.  I'm not saying that in a racist way, it's just it's quite a shift from where I am currently and again backs up the idea of it being London, rather than Surrey.

Anyway, the interview went well, I felt.  Indeed it went better than I was expecting.  I'd been a bit put off with how they'd treated me in arranging the interview.  There does appear to be a reason for that to some degree in that this job is to replace someone who leaves very soon.  Most of the other jobs appear to be newly created.

It was also a bit more senior than I was expecting - I would have an assistant (blimey!).  To be honest it became clear to me I'd gotten a bit confused as to which job it was.  The problem is most of these jobs have identical descriptions and I had forgotten this was for one of the few that was slightly different.

The focus of the role wouldn't be writing the reviews as such, but more doing Quality Control of them and helping to maintain a bid library - that sort of thing.

As I say, the interview went well, but I'd have to think long and hard about whether I want to move to London (or closer to London, anyway).

The second interview was almost the flip-side of that.  Where the first one I went in thinking it wouldn't be for me but then coming out thinking maybe it would, this second one I went in thinking this is where I want to go and came out thinking perhaps not.

Part of the issue in both cases were the people.  In the first the person who'd got my back up was actually HR and wasn't anything to do with the interview itself.  In the second the issue was more like the top boss was on my side, but the top colleague was not keen.

The second interview was in Cambridge, which I have a little familiarity with.  It's obviously a lot more pleasant a place than London, but I understand it's about as expensive; housing wise in particular.

The real problem with it is that it's quite technical and this guy pounced on the fact I didn't know anything about that technical area.  He also seemed to not quite get the fact that I want to go in that direction - my point that I wanted to go in that direction, but appreciated I'd be coming in cold / from scratch and would need to learn everything seemed to be a real stumbling block.

Now as I say I always thought it would be, but I dunno, it was like he didn't believe me.  It was also a little annoying in that they both asked the same questions one after the other - like the second guy hadn't listened to what I'd said.

However I've just heard they want to do a second interview.  Well, I say interview - it sounds more like they want to give me a test about the technical area, so I need to learn about it.

I have to say I'm not that impressed by this - okay, it's a weakness, but I'm left a little puzzled as to what they're trying to achieve by doing it.  I'm hardly going to become an expert in a short amount of time.

I mean, the first interview wants me to take some online test things, but that's okay, because they're of a more general nature.