Saturday, 28 February 2009

Saturday 28 February 2009

This morning I accomplish something that almost resembles a lie in. Today the sun has gone and the dull drab climate has returned and with it something of a sigh of relief – I am just not ready for the heat just yet.

Soon I find myself sneezing. What was a hint/suggestion of a cold yesterday is now a full on bout of snot. I cannot believe how I am falling prey/foul to every cold symptom that is going around this year and how every five minutes I appear to be suffering (suffering in lowest dominator).

As I type the clock is just passing 9AM and the sun is slowly beginning to hatch, to threat to come out but potentially it is too little too late. It would be nice to see the sun but not the probable closeness and warmth that comes with it.

Originally I was planning to go to see Millwall today but those retards that be on National Express railways have chosen to fuck with the lines again this weekend and I really am not committed enough to the cause to catch a bus from Colchester to Billericay. If those arseholes are going to pull such stunts they should really not have the fucking gall to charge for their “service.” How on earth can they justify such engineering on a Saturday? The upheaval and no-go service on Sundays that put me off heading to London are bad enough but when they pull the stunt on Saturdays also it really takes the biscuit and screams a big “fuck you” to their customers.

OK, I spoke too soon and the sun is now out in full flow/glow/power. This does not however ensure that today will not be a flat day.

When I hit Asda it is with the kind of mentality that permits me to buy Hanna Barbera cartoon DVDs again. Today is Dick Dastardly. When will I grow up? When I reach that awkward moment at the check out when/where the girl has to crunch the security tag, today I am met with small talk. What is going on? Am I looking good this morning? Do I look paternal buying cartoons? She comments on what a beautiful day it is turning out to be and that she only has to work until midday. What, does she want me to meet her from work at midday and plan a nice afternoon in the sun? This ain’t wishful thinking.

Upon returning to the flat I spend the morning listening to Jonathan Ross on the radio while flipping/flicking through the weekend newspapers and procrastinating whether to attempt some writing or to do something with my flat. I think so hard that the morning flies right past and I do neither.

With the morning wasted I debate whether to get into touch with Mark and I do so just as I settle down to watch Thriller In Manilla. Swiftly he texts back and we are set to meet up in town within the hour.

Out of character for me I leave for our meeting late. I am already running late when my neighbour downstairs snags me for a chat. She is cool just old, Scottish and with awful teeth. She has a dog that waddles around older than the hills it shits on. I go down to pet it but she tells me “he growls.” I have had worse. I make nice nice as we small talk (second time running today) while she waits for her friend. She discusses finance and work with me. Her fucking mortgage is only £300 a month! I remember those days. Discussing work it sounds as if I either earn four times what she does or potentially the same (in take home). There is a real grey area when it comes to salaried work and shift/rated work. She tells me she is struggling financially – yeah, aren’t we fucking all love. As I become later and later for my meeting with Mark, thankfully the friend that is waiting for eventually turns up and I get going, heading into town.

As I pull into park up where my parents live I see Mark already waiting for me. It really is so out of character for me to be late for anything. When I eventually see Mark I apologise profusely, I’m very impatient when it comes to timekeeping and being prompt. When people turn up late when meeting me it always gets noted as rudeness and ignorance; a general gesture of a person failing to have their shit together.

When we finally meet up we head into town with no real solid destination/plan in mind. As we walk up Long Wyre Street I notice a very old school friend from primary school I have recently rebefriended (not a real word I’ll concede) on Facebook. He clocks me too and I see the glee in his expression to which I promptly reject, look away and keep moving on. Why would I want to know this person almost twenty years after I last saw him? Back in the day he was bigheaded and arrogant and now with a wife and kids to rub in my face I cannot imagine him becoming any more pleasant over the years. The guy reminds me of Vernon Kay and vice versa whenever I now see the fake, gormless yes man on TV I can’t help but think of this guy. Basically it was right to avert him.

We wind up in the Purple Dog, a pub in the centre of town that has taken on many personalities over the years. I remember spending a new years eve here a few years ago and it wasn’t quite the summit of my existence. The last time I was in here was last summer with the guy used to work with at Disney. It had a different name then and a different demeanour generally.

Today its nice though, not too busy and not too obnoxious patron wise. This is until four loud lads come in on the lash wanting to be the centre of attention in not only their worlds but also all worlds surrounding. Shortly before they had arrived Mark had suggested we moved seats/tables and I can only but think this was the result of a premonition of his, ESP and his spider-sense. Mark has his back to the twats and it is probably a good thing as I sit cringingly watching them in hidden disgust. I cannot work out if they are squaddies or just mental losers let out of their factory existences for the weekend. With their Northern accents I suspect the former but really if that were the case shouldn’t they be displaying more discipline? What is going on with these people?

Things descend most when two of them step outside in the street seemingly in a Fight Club scenario squaring up to each other for some reason looking as if they are about to have a fight. I say Fight Club but Fight Club without any indication of purpose of intellect. I think they are hoping to start a fight and draw (drag) some hopeless member of the public, an innocent bystander, into their shit and make them collateral damage. Does this stuff really happen in the real world? I have to say I cannot believe my eyes, I thought this stuff went out of fashion years ago when our generation got loved up on ecstasy. When they return inside thankfully no one has been hit, no one has been injured. Already aware of their noise, Mark is now aware of their appearance and it is boring and annoying how they have truly interrupted our conversation and train of thought.

I watch as they continue with their chimps at a tea party act and as one painfully slowly tips the end of a pint into the lap of one guy as part of a dare the receiver promptly shoots up and throws his entire pint over the tipper. Jesus, Chav TV is turning into real life before my eyes. Happily after this they fuck off and as they pass us on their way out I brace myself for a comment or action, which thankfully does not come. As they waddle off into the distance with one of them drenched in beer I hope that it attracts a swarm of killer bees or wasps to him/them and stings him/them to death. Get a room!

Resuming back to normal Mark and I sink more drinks in a distracted fashion before heading back fairly tipsy.

I head home back to my parents where my car is and food is in the fridge and cupboard. Upon returning like a 32 year old teenager I attempt to hide the fact that I have been drinking. This is actually easier done than expected when I throw a childish strop/wobbler because mum didn’t cook me any dinner. Soon after a makeshift meal she is saying to me “you haven’t played your new Wii game yet” and thus my regression is complete.

Once again I find myself hanging around the olds on a Saturday night. I am such a chump.

Eventually I go home and briefly watch the Paul Merton Hitchcock thing before passing out.

Friday, 27 February 2009

Friday 27 February 2009

Today is one of those days where I want to feel young. Through the climate I am able to snag a glimpse of that feeling but I just cannot grasp it fully and am only able to find myself pining for times past when I was younger and fresher.

Once again for a February, today is like summer – this is what they mean by global warming and climate change.

This morning I woke up feeling short of sleep. Annoyingly my foot still canes and it is a hard walk getting to the train station and then onto work. Basically I feel bloated and bad about myself.

When I arrive at the restaurant it is deserted, it is peaceful but unrewarding. Early in the morning my head cold kicks in and it is plainly going to be an unproductive day.

Things improve slightly when The Girl brings in M&Ms and Mini Eggs – yeah, that’ll help the bloating.

Away from work my mind is occupied with thoughts of Fellini, Bergman and Salinger wrapped in a desire to be home watching Rushmore – the misfits and the oddballs have my heart all. I wonder how do you play on people’s sympathies and get away with it in the manner of a Holden Caulfield. More importantly what the fuck about him is it that my American Friend finds so adorable. This would however explain her affection for the depressed Catford Guy. There are elements to what I write about that are similar to Holden but my writing just does not tie together in the way The Catcher In The Rye does despite my apparent share of traits.

From here I think about writers block and once more I read that it is something that can be brought on by social circumstances and the writer possessing too many distractions derived from financial and work concerns etc. This allows me some kind of self pity and helps me justify my apparent own writers block as anything but my own laziness and lack of talent/ability. Oh to be middle class or silver spooned.

Around lunchtime I hear Bono say “wanker” which causes me to think “that’s a bit strong for daytime, is it now permitted?” It later turns out that the Geldof (and Gandolf?) wannabe is calling Chris Martin a wanker and suddenly Bono ups significantly in my estimation. What brings on such a piece of public mudslinging remains cloudy but he really is not far off the mark, in fact he is hilariously ON the mark. The moment Ricky Gervais jumped the shark was when he befriended Chris Martin and likewise the moment the current music climate took a swift nosedive was the moment the public accepted his new rock star persona around about the time of Live 8. Ranting about the cunt reminds me of the argument I had with a colleague from my old job at Baker Street (also their accountants) over how he has a lisp and cannot be trusted. The Chav Girl responded by telling me I am a fool (peppered with expletives) and that he does not have a lisp but listen it is there hidden in the shade under his posh, wet accent second only to James Blunt in the fucking moronic idiot stakes. I lost that argument.

On a similar music note I find myself getting into an argument with the restaurant manager over how Nirvana are the best band we will see in our lifetime. I struggle with my arguments as I take some kind of angelic high ground in which I know I do not have to argument in order to be proved right. The manager is a metal fan and plays metal drums (not literally) in a metal band. Immediately he snaps back how Metallica are better and more important for starters but really are they any more than a cliché? In my statement of being important it comes as an acknowledgment of a band being accepted as great by both pop and critical sectors for starters and producing the kind of legacy that lives on and makes so much that comes afterwards a tepid piece of homage (“homage” being the French word for copy). Metallica’s “mainstream breakthrough” came down as the result of their sound being watered down by Bon Jovi’s producer, by putting a compromise on their record with viewing to succeeding in one direction while casting a blind eye towards another direction (popularity vs. credibility). Obviously I fail to find these words in our discussion/argument instead just laughing off the argument and later claiming what ruins Metallica are the solos which to me genuinely makes their early work unlistenable. Fuck me, what an unmarried marriage counsellor I can be at times.

Interestingly today I get told by the girl in the office (“The Girl”) that when it comes to women I am too fussy. I have never ever been accused of that one before but I am more than happy to adopt it as the reason I do not have a girlfriend, happy to use it as a veil to cover up the reality of being crippled by a shocking self image actually brought on by many years of many people happily confirming this fact to me in an effort to cover their own insecurities and make them feel better about themselves. It is a vicious circle and now I am also fussy with it.

The afternoon turns out to be a write off work wise; Friday kicks in early as clockwatching subtly becomes the way. Joe messages me from Japan for the first time in a long time to highlight the story about the sixteen year old girl being sacked from her job for her Facebook comments. I already knew about the story and thought it was pretty funny but the stakes are upped when I read that the girl is from Clacton. As Joe points out in his message “another JGRAM?”

For a moment the fact actually plays on my mind. I guess this means she is getting coverage in the local press, our local paper the Evening Gazette. Four years ago my bosses on Butt Road hinted at legal action were my own sacking situation to reach said newspaper but for five minutes I suddenly think about contacting them with my own story along the lines of “yeah, ha ha, what is it with us people in Essex getting sacked for internet stuff” as a subtle nod towards “look, mines now a book.” Ultimately I wimp out of such assertive action; anything for a quiet life. That and I am too lazy.

As suggested by me, my boss tells The Girl in the office that she is being kept on but under a three month probation period as if being a new employee. This is my suggestion; it would seem somebody up there listens to me after all. Quietly she hits me on MSN from the other side of the room to tell me about his decision. She has no idea it was my idea to do that. She tells me that she is still looking elsewhere though and asks me if I will look over her CV for her next week. If she was a focused person in what she wants to do and wants from a career I would be concerned. I play ignorant to everything she says, its something I am good at.

The afternoon ends with Mr T on Radio One on the Scott Mills show. This just might be the funniest piece of radio I have ever heard. It is a shame Mr T is over here whoring himself for Snickers bars, the public still loves him and if he just had real product to push, even just a book, he would clean up.

The working week ends to sound of Mr T on the radio. Originally The Girl in the office had suggested drinks but I really want to get home. Ironically after she has gone home I get talked into after work drinks with my boss. I only have one as I look to getting home and beginning my weekend. He comments that I am quiet this evening I just point towards my belly not feeling good. It’s a fun short session all fuelled and boasted by the impending visit from the angry Scottish boss on his way from the West End pissed off and expected to rant.

From here/there I rush public transport and actually miraculously manage to catch my usual 6.20 to Norwich. It is a so so ride home; nobody is hurting themselves to get home this evening. When the train nears Colchester I get up to get out and not get caught in the rush for the train doors. By accident I cover my nose wrong when I sneeze and only manage to shower a guy sat directly beneath me. I apologise and he does not bother to conceal his anger. Even though I did say “sorry” I find the reaction kind of funny in the face of being so disgusting and evidently the guy sat behind him found it pretty funny also as embarrassed I smile at his recognition.

On the way home I stop by my parents briefly to see the dog and snag some food. As ever I get caught up in their world of watching soaps and see Eastenders. The reality of such an act then hits me and I make sure I am home on a Friday instead of hanging out with my parents.

When I arrive home the latest Sub Pop Singles Club record is on my doorstep along with The Tony Hancock BBC Collection 8 DVD boxset that I ordered only for the Face To Face interview on the bonus disk.

I ride out the remainder of Friday night falling asleep too early to too much bad television. Would it be a better life if I had somewhere to go at this time?

So my week ends without my American Friend Mindy bothering to get in touch when my responding email to hers left the door wide open for her to get in touch. It depresses me to finally see the true colours of a person I had invested a lot in. What a dirty phoney.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Thursday 26 February 2009

Like a drunk this morning I wake up with a headache and with the TV still on from last night. If only I drank I could justify this lifestyle.

After getting myself ready, pulling myself together the walk to the station is surprisingly and reliefily painless considering last night was kickboxing. I probably stink from it still but I can’t tell the difference.

Despite this some guy still commits the faux pas of sitting next to me on the train at Colchester when there are still plenty of alternative seats spread across the length and breadth of the carriage. Fortunately he does not take up too much of the seat especially considering that I probably take up 60% of a double seat on the trains these days.

All in all though it is a slick trip into town and happily I bowl into work with my blister only giving me the minimal of trouble on my left foot.

Today I attempt to have a productive day and mildly I get there.

The morning starts off successfully when I pay off £2500 on my Tesco credit card. The fear of the impending interest based on me coming out of my 0% interest period is terrifying and really throwing money at the wall, money I can piss away against another wall.

The Girl trots in late again today and my boss has another pop at her, which doubles up as a pop at me thus meaning I will need to complete the circle by having a pop at her – something that I am not very good at.

The consultant comes in for a board meeting and I give them P&Ls, which the posh boss promptly throws back at me.

My foot continues to cane today; the blister is unbelievable.

As soon as the work is over I head over to Barbican and Szesze’s restaurant “New Era” in the evening. Its nice to see her but not necessarily fun. Her brother Martin is working the counter and he is as super friendly as ever. Since I was last at the restaurant it would appear Szesze has since let the two waitresses go, one of which was very pretty.

The restaurant is quiet but the takeaway is busy as I spend the entire evening sitting at a table near the counter watching the night occur while not really feeling part of any kind of meet up or even date. I manage to snag occasional conversation with Szesze but it just feels pointless as I begin to feel like one of those people you see sitting in restaurants just hanging around, usually a former manager or family member. Just what am I getting from being here at this time?

At one point I swear I watch as an old guy does a runner. Then a young lad comes in and struggles to order as he counts the pound coins in his pockets to see what he can afford. He looks like student but also equally he looks like a skaghead. Later some Indians come in to order, equally tight with their money but thoroughly lacking in manners and I really feel like saying something to them. Instead however I just give them evils and frown.

It is weird watching/witnessing first hand the machinations of a Chinese restaurant. As a takeaway order for duck is completed I watch as Szesze and Martin snap at each other in Cantonese before she stomps back down into the kitchen with the food. Apparently the duck is a strange colour, too neon and not subtle enough. While they argue the customer in question comes in to collect his food and Martin only manages to give the guy one tub of grub before realising and having to run out of the restaurant and down the road to give them the rest of their order.

Eventually Szesze and I head into the restaurant to eat some food. The sweat and sour pork her kitchen produces is to die for and soon she is bring this out along with plenty of noodles as I am served several dishes of glorious food. Occasionally she even joins me in eating as I spend the majority of the sitting on my own like a divorced dad.

Again she grosses me out when she eats noodles, feeding it into her gob and then sucking it up/in like an industrial machine. Is she actually a robot? Conversation is laboured but pleasant and there is at least effort behind it. Sadly we have very little in common. Briefly we discuss the world of accountancy and then the world of restaurants and soon we burn out. She again talks of her desires to go away on holiday this year but also points out the restrictions/responsibilities holding her back. Bored I begin asking her about the kids and then the father who it turns out is holding onto their passports. Suddenly a whole new can of worms is opened as the reality of their separation hits hard. It is a tough thing dating a mother because the kids are such baggage. I’m sorry if that sounds bull-headed and uncaring but that is the reality of the situation, these are responsibilities I did not give birth to now and ones that I need in my life like a hole in the head. The passport thing however looms large in conversation, the guy (the father) sounds like an arsehole, that black bastard.

As conversation dies down again she begins saying to me “tell me something” and really I can’t muster much up into putting into this context, we just don’t have enough in common. I try to make funnies but it barely works.

Eventually I leave around 10PM making my excuses about needing to get home for a busy day at work tomorrow.

When I finally get home I just feel exhausted by it all.