Afternoon people! I'm still here, just had a week off… :)
Having had no time off since the few days at Christmas (and before that around August time!) it was about time I had a break. I didn't get up to a lot really. Last Monday was my birthday and normally I don't do anything but this year I had a tennis tournament. It was a nice day for tennis and we won 3 lost 3 so I was fairly happy. I didn't really get a lot for my birthday this year. I seem to get less and less each year because I really just don't need anything! Whenever I want something I just go out and buy it. We had some friends over on the Sunday as my birthday was a bit busy which was nice.
The rest of the week was pretty quiet. I had thought that after Tuesday I had no tennis whatsoever but I ended up playing everyday! Tuesday we got our first win of the season which was a long time coming. With only two matches left we really need to win both in order to have a chance at staying up! So far it's really depended on my partner as the two matches I've done reasonably well in I've had a different partner to usual so thankfully she can play this week!
As for real tennis the French Open has come to and end after an interesting two weeks. Federer went out early to Soderling which to some extent was no surprise. When Soderling is on top form there isn't a lot that can slow him down! It's a shame he broke Fed's semi final streak and also stopped him a week shy of Sampras' weeks at no.1 record. The problem he seems to have is that he doesn't really win any other tournaments any more. Federer has more Grand Slams to his name at present but because Nadal wins all the Masters tournaments as well so amasses more points. The women's draw was just as interesting with the big seeds going out early. Serena Williams vs Sam Stosur was an incredible match and I've not enjoyed a women's match so much for a long time. I didn't get to see the final as I was playing in Scunthorpe but would've been pleased whoever won that match.
In gaming, I finished off what I wanted to do on Batman: Arkham Asylum. I wasn't getting much satisfaction from finding the hidden riddles so I worked my way up to the next progress achievement and stopped there. I'm pretty happy with finding 70% of them. Overall it's one of the best games I've played in a long time.
As I had plenty of time off this week I was planning on starting Fallout 3 but I just wasn't up for starting a massive game just yet. Summertime isn't a good time for me to start such an engrossing game. Instead I decided to start Gears of War 2. After I really didn't like the first game I wasn't in any rush to start the second. I wanted to play it though, as it continues the story and the first one wasn't awful – it's just not my kind of shooter. Remembering how hard the first game was I decided to pick an easier difficulty and I'm glad I did. They seem to have made a lot of improvements since the first game and I can now happily say this game is awesome! Shooting feels pretty satisfying and having a pretty competent squad is always nice. The cutscenes and characters are excellent and really help to tell an enthralling story that I've really got into. There's a couple of nice sections reminiscent of games like Bioshock and Batman: AA with a voice coming through the speakers of a rundown building.
It's not without its faults though as the driving and on rails sections are far below the standard of the rest of the game. The vehicle bit just seems to be tacked in and not really needed as the game doesn't exactly get dull. The on rails bits are just frustrating because unlike the rest of the game with its very generous checkpoints, these ones seem to be less forgiving. The only other negative seems to be that it doesn't really encourage the use of other weapons apart from the one you start off with. Apart from these minor problems I can't fault this sequel. It's very linear and not overly long but that's not a problem with me.
On tv.com, the latest podcast discusses Fringe and my own request – Burn Notice. There wasn't a lot of love for the latter which I can see why but I think it's quite good. Not a lot else has been going on really. Became editor of Eastenders again after Tom decided he didn't have the time for it. I now need someone else to take it on if they want it? I barely even care about my own guides any more so such a demanding show is not top of my list of things to do.
As for TV, I've watched lots of season finales so need to mention as many as possible!
24 'Day 8: 2:00P.M. - 3:00P.M.' and 'Day 8: 3:00P.M. - 4:00P.M.' Whilst it was not a particularly interesting send off for the world's greatest agent, it was fitting I suppose. For the film I'd love to see them forget about everything that's happened and make it standalone. That way they could bring back familiar faces that we love but have been killed off over the years. If the film features the current/brand new cast then I couldn't care less.
FlashForward 'Future Shock'. Even though it ended on a major cliffhanger, I actually thought the final episode was really good. It's just a shame out of 23 episodes I can count on one hand how many of them were actually good.
Glee 'Dream On' and 'Theatricality'. I was really looking forward to the NPH episode and as I'd already heard the songs from it I couldn't wait! Thankfully it didn't disappoint. The Gaga episode was not so good. It seems they learnt from the awful Madonna episode as they didn't just stick to her songs. One thing that really annoyed me was the song Rachel sang with her mother. She said it was her dream to sing with her mother and I doubt she really had 'Pokerface' in mind when she pictured it...
Modern Family 'Family Portrait'. Despite not really enjoying this when it started I've grown to love it a lot over the course of the season. The camera view really annoys me as I prefer the more clean cut/professional look but it's just so funny that I no longer care.
10 Things I Hate About You 'Revolution'. It's a shame it won't be coming back but I'm sure another show will just show up in its place anyway.
Family Guy 'The Splendid Source'. A silly episode to end the season on I thought. I've already seen the Star Wars one so I suppose that would've been a better way to end the season if I watched it now.
The Middle 'Average Rules'. Definitely my favourite new comedy! It's surprisingly underrated most likely because of its generic format but it's actually really funny!
The Cleveland Show 'You're the Best Man, Cleveland Brown!' I have a very love/hate relationship seeing as there are a number of good episodes and a load of bad ones!
The Simpsons 'Judge Me Tender'. I thought The Simpsons finally got back to its best this season. The final few episodes were particularly good. I never thought I'd see the day where it is better than Family Guy but it's definitely there now. Being able to say that after 20 years of episodes is an awesome achievement!
South Park 'Season Twelve' and 'Season Thirteen'. Almost there! Season thirteen was especially good after I thought twelve was a bit boring. It wasn't bad I just didn't think it had too many standout episodes.
Good – The Big Bang Theory 'The Lunar Excitation', The Simpsons 'Judge Me Tender', The Middle 'Average Rules', Glee 'Bad Reputation' and 'Laryngitis', FlashForward 'Future Shock', 24 'Day 8: 3:00P.M. - 4:00P.M.', Chuck 'Chuck Versus the Living Dead' and 'Chuck Versus the Subway', Glee 'Dream On', Rules of Engagement 'They Do?'
Indifferent – The Cleveland Show 'You're the Best Man, Cleveland Brown!', 10 Things I Hate About You 'Revolution', Modern Family 'Family Portrait', House 'Baggage', Breaking Bad 'Abiquiu', How I Met Your Mother 'Doppelgangers', Two and a Half Men 'This Is Not Gonna End Well', Glee 'Theatricality', The Mentalist 'Red Sky in the Morning', Burn Notice 'Friends and Enemies'.
Bad – 'Til Death 'Let's Go' and 'The Baby', 24 'Day 8: 2:00P.M. - 3:00P.M.', In Plain Sight 'Death Becomes Her', Family Guy 'The Splendid Source'.
My album for the day is Breakout by Miley Cyrus.
My shuffle song for the day is 'Raise The Dead' by Phantom Planet.
My thing to ponder for today is: If one man says, 'it was an uphill battle', and another says, 'it went downhill from there', how could they both be having troubles?
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