Stepping into “Dexter”

So I went to, hands down, THE coolest event last night…to mark the release of Dexter Season 4 on DVD and Blu-Ray.

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It all began with a twitter feed, #DexterLive – classic Dexter quotes were popping up, and all I knew was that it was leading up to ‘something special’ – I tweeted and retweeted…some friends saw my tweeting and followed…and then, a couple of days before, we were told to be at The Old Abattoirs at 7pm on Thursday 25th.

This was the perfect place to hold the event! So eerie…

The first sign that you’re on the right track is “Dexter Live” painted on the pavement…a member of the Miami Police are at the door to check who I am, and then I’m escorted in, by torchlight, with another cop. I go past crime scene tape, down the stairs and am handed a mask before being warned that it was a mess down there.

I’m then faced with a body…blood…all under a plastic covering!

Evidence has been marked. I put on some shoe covers and join the forensics team, looking at the evidence and the body…

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I moved into another room, where screens were set up to show us some “visual evidence” – a short film summed up the previous happenings in Dexter, and was followed by the season 4 finale…

The episode ended with a scream in the room – someone had been murdered, and that room became a crime scene, with the team taping off an area.

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It was so exciting!

After more movie time, we were given a copy of season 4 on DVD…- a great surprise!

It felt great to really be a part of the evening – the agency, OnlineFire who worked with Paramount to organise it did a stellar job!

Puccino’s

The best branding I’ve seen (which I’ve fiiiinally got around to blogging about) is for the Puccino’s coffee chain.

It sounds like they’ve suffered from the old credit crunch, and a few of the Puccino’s I used to go to (Windsor, Exeter, High Wycombe) are no longer there… 🙁

I did stumble upon a Puccino’s in Maidenhead the other day though, which made me smile, and helped me with my collection of sugar sachets. (Yes, I said sugar sachets. You’ll see).

The great thing about the Puccino’s branding is the weirdly quirky humour (with a pinch of attitude thrown in for good measure).

It gets you as soon as you walk in…

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I found that (although I never had to wait long) I never cared how long my drinks and food took to arrive in there, because there was always random stuff on the walls to keep me entertained.

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Then there are the sugar sachets. This is my collection…

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I’m hoping to increase the collection – no matter how much of a loser it makes me – before all the Puccino’s restaurants disappear.

He’s designed so many quirky coffee cups for them too. This is my favourite:

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Inspired by Ralph Steadman’s scratchy drawing style, the Puccino’s design genius is the handywork of UK-based designer and illustrator Jim Smith. Check out his website: waldopancake.com.

Oh, and more images of Jim’s doodles for Puccino’s can be found by clicking here.

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Vodafone Sure Signal

So, it hit me last night that I’ve had a mobile phone since I was 12 years old. I still remember my first brick. A retro Motorola. I’ve always had to live without signal at my parents’ house.

I joined Vodafone and found a bar of signal when I hung my phone from a Velux window in the roof. Still not enough to make calls though…and texting wasn’t exactly easy 🙁

Then, a couple of months a go I saw this…

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I was pretty dubious. I Googled it…honestly thought it was too good to be true. Come Christmas last year, I went home to stay with my parents and was going out of my mind not having signal!

I’ve been away at uni again, but have just returned home to my parents’ house with one of these…

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Although I resented paying £50 for this, when Vodafone should just supply them to people without signal, I couldn’t be happier being able to take my phone around the house with me and have FULL signal!

The Sure Signal hub was super easy to set up, and adding phones to use the hub was equally as simple. Within an hour, it was up and running, and before I knew it I was sat in the living room, next to my Mum, and with my phone by my side, bleeping away, receiving texts and e-mails! Brilliant!

I felt this was worth a Blog post, because I know how skeptical I was about buying this, and fear of it being a load of stress and/or a waste of my time…

…but it is great. I totally recommend it if you get no signal in your home, or, like me, hang from an upstairs window to get just a bar to receive texts from hours ago.

Twipple

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Using Twitter, the lovely Floyd Hayes (of Cunning, New York) started a ripple effect with random acts of kindness, through tweets.

It’s all about doing little things, on the spur of the moment, to make someone’s day…whether you know them or not.

“Call in a radio song request for someone sat near you in the office” … “Call I.T support just to ask how they are” …or… “Let someone read over your shoulder” – a little random act of kindness goes a long way.

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of the new twipple book last week, which never fails to make me smile when I flick through it, or tell someone all about it…

I am tempted to do some twipple shopping and invest in a mug or two. They sell a few pieces of merchandise, 50% of all profits of which go straight to New York Cares (offering support to 900+ non-profit organisations) reinforcing that lovely twipple effect even further!

Nice one Floyd! Keep up the great work!

Find out more about twipple here.

Paranormal Activity

I’m a lover of pretty much any film,pretty much any genre – I’ve been on a constant quest for a film that really, truly, scares me…
…well, last night came pretty close!

I went to an advanced preview of Paranormal Activity. Should’ve known it would be a bad move, being Friday 13th and all…but I just had to see this film.

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I found out this morning, it was actually a super low budget movie (spending just $11,000)…and was shot in the Director’s own house!
The movie was shown at Slamdance film festival…then there were some midnight screenings…followed by a 40-city release. People could ‘demand’ the film was shown near them. What a great way to seed the movie out to the public. Brilliant.

If you don’t know anything about this film, all I will say is that it hinges onto the most basic of childhood fears…”there’s a monster in your bedroom”. In an attempt to figure out why they are hearing whispering voices and other odd sounds at night, San Diego couple Katie and Micah start recording the strange occurrences that take place whilst they sleep.

Oh, and when I got home after the movie, I was just scared very nearly to death by a breeze closing the bathroom door on its own. Thanks Paranormal Activity. Thanks a bunch.

Edward Monkton & His Interesting Thoughts

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I don’t think I’ve ever read a musing from the mind of the lovely Edward Monkton, and not smiled…
I remember my first encounter with a Monkton insight. A friend bought me this, on a keyring:

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(Ok, ok…so I used to be quite obsessive about making sure my hair was ‘perfect’ – clearly that didn’t go unmissed by my A-Level friends!)
Anyway…I have built up quite a collection of Monkton merchandise over the past few years, and was over the moon to hear he was going to be in John Lewis Oxford Street earlier this year! It made my month, meeting him. Such a lovely fellow.
We had a little chat, which was lovely…and he signed a limited edition print for me (see above), which is now on my wall.

Oh, and he really does look like this…(well, kind of)…

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A Beautiful Sunset

Dorset. September 27th. I haven’t seen such a gorgeous sky in a long time…

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There are two things I never get bored of: roads that look like they could go on forever (California’s Desert Center is a good one for that!)…and beautiful sunsets.
(Suffice it to say, the day to follow was pretty overcast…which crushes the “red sky at night, shepherd’s delight…red sky in the morning, shepherd’s warning” phrase I have grown up believing!)