Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Tuesday 31 March 2009

Tuesday morning and I awaken exhausted; last night’s late one was a really bad idea in retrospect. I think I had energy once.

Walking to the station I am confronted by the sight of a scummy guy in a orange hi-vis vest and hoodie pissing up against the wall at the corner of the Matalan’s car park (or rather pissing OVER the wall – it is angled so). There couldn’t be a better endorsement of their product.

At Witham some dickhead takes the seat next to me on the train and for the remainder of the journey the prat appears to be fucking incapable of sitting properly. As a result of this arm feels as if it is lodged in his armpit for 45 minutes.

The train pulls into Liverpool Street at 8.08 – why is my train company fucking incapable of arriving on time?

With my left foot now playing up again I am beginning to wonder if maybe it has now come from me putting on a lucky wank sock by error. It guess its feasible/possible.

An already bad day continues to get worse as after the girl arrives late as I help her downstairs with the coffees she is talking away to the Brazilian chef who once more proceeds to make comment and call me “Fat Boy”. No, that was his nickname for my predecessor a person that not only deserved such a moniker but could also take the humiliation due to a distinct lack of dignity. Perhaps it’s the guy’s shitty fucking food that is apparently making so fat. Jesus, the guy looks like Erik Estrada with Lego hair for fucks sake. Its not as if I got around calling him a “Spick Cunt” because that would be rude, insensitive and racist and somewhat frowned upon.

So off the back of this I just storm off ignoring him (but stewing) and as I do so flustered I pass the restaurant manager who’s gig it was I blew out last night. He is hobbling down the stairs and asks where I was last night. I just shake my head and ask him why he is hobbling although I’m not really interested.

Soon afterwards upstairs the office girl pulls out her codeine for her neck and all things calm down.

Beyond the annoying/frustrating start it turns out to be a flat day. The auditors are in which unfortunately means questions and obstacles/obstructions to my duties for the day. At least when work doesn’t get done my bosses understand.

At the end of the day I leave work feeling depressed and deflated. Walking down Loudoun Road there are lots of police around the American school complete with scary looking machine guns that don’t really look real. You begin to wonder with the Obama’s heading into the country is St Johns Woods preparing itself for a visit.

Today Justin is down in London going to a Rocket Number Nine gig in Hoxton at the last minute. There was an invitation but with the realities of a tough period at the moment I blow him out (second gig second night running) and head straight home. One day these social invitations will cease and I will feel even more unpopular than I do now (if that is at all possible).

The train home at least offers yuks as the deaf Eugene Levy lookalike is back on the train, evidently once more eager to engage in conversation. Fortunately tonight he is on the table opposite me with three other lucky potential buddies for him. Once more he pulls out a large bag of mixed dry nuts and begins chomping his way home. When he offers the bag to the (pregnant?) lady sat next to him it is a hilariously stupid gesture, could he be any more obvious. Or perhaps this is my mean spirited streak reading far too much into a genuinely kind gesture. Either it would seem the guy sat opposite thought it was funny also as I swear he begins occasionally having brief bouts of uncontrollable laughter at it, even to the point he has to get up and go get something from the canteen bar. Or maybe he was just listening to a really funny podcast.

The train crawls on its way home. This is so common now. As much as I record the times of arrival in the mornings, in the evenings this is next to impossible to do, especially when I don’t even know when the train is supposed to arrive back in Colchester. I believe the length of time for a non-stops intercity Norwich train from Liverpool Street to Colchester used to be 48 minutes but there is no way we are achieving those times these days. Unhindered however they still continue to religiously check our tickets every night in the prospect being able to cream some extra pounds out of people with the wrong tickets (off peak).

When I eventually get home I begin watching an episode of SNL and fall asleep immediately nodding off before 9PM tonight. I awaken briefly but do not bother to check out either 606 or The Wire I just turnover and head back to slumber.

Monday, 30 March 2009

Monday 30 March 2009

This morning I wake up feeling flat. For a few weeks now the mornings will be slightly dark once more and it is rubbish. Its not this however that is dragging me down this morning – people, who the fuck needs at a time like this.

To my saddened surprise today once again I find myself having to scrape frost from the windows of my car. I thought these days were now long past/behind us.

On the walk to the station again I find myself trailing a woman walking two Alsatians strangely. The last time I was behind her she took a strange detour into walking them around a car park for no reason. Today at various points and junctures she suddenly turns sideways on them hindering their flow. I bet she’s a right belligerent cunt in real life. I hope one of those dogs mauls her eventually.

Not long into my walk today I suddenly realise that I have left my flashdrive at home and I curse.

The train ride is relatively eventless. At Chelmsford a James clone gets on the carriage and for a minute I actually think it is him. Instead its just a uniform.

In the end there are no RMT actions it would seem today (as opposed to what was threatening last week) but this still does not prevent the train from being late and bowling into Liverpool Street at 8.04.

Today the auditors are in as ever they are a pain in the arse (not really their fault just bad timing). That said I have been told I will be kept away from them because I have bigger fish to fry. Thing is, they’ll begin asking me questions eventually. They always do.

And this is not helped by the girl in the office getting on my tits.

Interestingly Bella (my Annie Hall) today adds herself as one of my followers on Twitter. Where did she come from? It appears she is launching (relaunching) the same thing she was doing five years ago. I doubt I’ll be returning the gesture and following her.

With London already panicking over the potential/promised riots and demonstrations on Wednesday news comes through that in Plymouth the police have raided and arrested potential march troublemakers manufacturing weapons in the name of chaos (and possibly a little more). Being Plymouth my mind immediately springs to suspicions of it being my ex-boss’s son, the silver spoon socialist already with a history (record) of stepping out of line. When however the ages of the people come through they are too young to be you-know-who. It would appear however I wasn’t only person wondering this as Ben responded with the same on Facebook.

Later in the same news broadcast (on Radio One) there is a story of a family of four that weighs 80 stone and feel subjected to too much abuse. I guess so but when the mother is quoted as saying along the lines of “its cruel when people say I look and walk like a Teletubby, I don’t” it is a quote straight out of Brass Eye and impossible to take seriously. This is Broken Britain, both the lady receiving the abuse and the spiteful people hurling the abuse. This is where we are at. This however does shock me at a time when hardly anything shocks me. Ever notice how fat people rip on other fat people? Its pure chronic self loathing.

In the afternoon the IT guy turns up for the first time since last Wednesday and his little rant. In such an emotional state during the subsequent days of no show we would have been forgiven for think that he had gone missing and done a Reginald Perrin.

Regardless the re-appearance puts something of a dampener onto proceedings and the afternoon, giving birth to an atmosphere as he goes on as if nothing had ever happened. The distinct lack of an apology brings me down.

Soon the working day ends and I find myself dragging myself back over London to Liverpool Street. As I change tubes at Baker Street from the Jubilee Line to the Hammersmith we find ourselves being bombarded by black girls running for the train we just exited. As one bangs into me almost falling onto my cock I actually find myself tripping her up as she regains herself to get past/around me. Where the fuck has/did this tripping thing come from? Off the back of yesterday’s tale of the old man shoving drunk women I would guess I inherited it from him.

Tonight I make a conscious decision to blow out the restaurant manager’s metal band playing at the Purple Turtle in Camden. Like a fool I handed over £10 for a £7 ticket on Friday when I really knew then that I wouldn’t be going. The gesture I guess was intended to shut him up and make sure he never asks me to another one of his gigs again. Friends in bands are such a pain and the whole manner in which he went about foisting these tickets onto us really caused ill feeling towards the event.

Looking at the “ticket” it has scam written all over it. We were told the tickets were for a charity event but on the ticket there is absolutely no mention of any charity involved. In fact on the ticket there is no name of the band’s name, the venue or the date of the gig. Basically the band has been caught up in one of London’s famous “pay to play” scams whereby the more tickets they sell the more likely they are to get future dates. The band never gets much in the way of payment (if any) for these shows and seldom do A&R men or industry types attend, more the venues fill with fat family members and loyal friends with an emotional attachment to individuals rather than bands or the music. Perhaps I am wrong but remembering the toilet circuit from the Hirameka and Gringo Records days this is exactly how it worked. So there, having squeezed all possible fun out of the evening I head straight home disappointed at disappointing other people.

As a bad day grinds to an end there is a beacon of positivity as Staff sends out a group message asking us remaining Colchester types if we want in on the Pappy’s Fun Club show at the Arts Centre on Thursday. I jump at the opportunity having already earlier today committed myself to the evening regardless of it being a blag. There is a god.

Tonight represents the first evening this year that I get home to Colchester in the light. As a result of this I notice how I inadvertently end up trailing the girl/woman that I used to work near who I quite fancy with her big eyes, funny mouth and round face facilitating the Disney-look fetish I have recently accepted.

Just by the nature of us both living in the same direction I end up following her which makes me feel like some kind of stalker. This is soundtracked by the Nick Cave “Live Seeds” album, the perfect soundtrack for stalking and awkward situations. I had forgotten how amazing the version of “From Her To Eternity” on this record is.

On the way to my car I pop into the olds’ place before heading home to watch the Japanese failed salaryman documentary on BBC4 as part of its Hidden Japan season. So my Monday evening in consists of writing and running a bath before watching the documentary from Japan.

It turns out to be a heartbreaking a film called Japan: A Story Of Love And Hate focusing on a strangely matched couple in a situation that really sees them painted into a corner. The man is 56 compared to his girlfriend’s 29 and the pair of them are slightly dysfunctional but very charming and hard working. The gentleman is called Naoki was previously a very successful businessman in Japan until the economic crash of the early nineties who now finds himself broke and alienated from his family. A former Yuppie in essence he now finds himself doing a menial job at the post office while slowly grinds him into moments and depths of depression. Naoki’s real strength (and saving grace) appears to be his grounded sense of humour as he shows the filmmaker around his home and his job where his fellow workers are classically disciplined and castrated for poor performance in the way only Japan seems to. This is new poor of Japan and while Naoki works at the post office earning about £4000 a year his girlfriend Yoshie works three jobs of her to keep them afloat living in a room that resembles little more than a storage unit. As their conversation dwindles so does their sex life as their mutual reliance on her comes to the forefront and the relationship becomes distinctly paternal, not least with Naoki taking care of Yoshie with her medication. Often Naoki expresses his concern at being so close to becoming homeless were Yoshie to suddenly drop him if their relationship were to end. These tensions surface horribly in a moment of clarity at a local bar where Yoshie gets drunk and really gives it to him, breaking his glasses and undermining him by talking to the camera in an argument predicted by Naoki. The real source of tension however appears to be Yoshie’s connection with her family and the security that comes with it, something that Naoki does not possess with his own. Unfortunately with Naoki being the age of Yoshie’s father he is not accepted and finds himself uninvited on weekends she goes to visit her family, unlike the camera crew that accompanies her. During this visit a truly comical moment occurs as her reserved father asks the documentary maker about the quality of Viagra he can buy. As the documentary plays out to no real conclusion (only reality) there is something of a happy ending as Naoki finally finds himself invited to Yoshie’s family home to visit and meet her father. It is a touching moment and a glimpse of optimism as Naoki is welcomed into the fold, much to his surprise, and somewhat accepted by her father. At the close of proceedings you come away from the documentary caring about these characters and hoping the best for them, a true mark of a good documentary.

Afterwards plays this week’s Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle, during which I unfortunately fall asleep (not a slight on the quality of the show, just a reflection of my stamina).

When I awaken I finally jump in the bath and suddenly find myself wide awake heading towards the beginning of BBC2 showing the first season of The Wire. I had forgotten just how slow this first episode is and soon I find myself wandering away in distraction.

Once The Wire is over I flip channels to discover This Is Spinal Tap on ITV. It has been some while since I last saw this movie. I believe the more recent time I watched this movie was just after I bought my first DVD player and the double disc version of This Is Spinal Tap was a truly spectacular package, back when real effort was put into producing the extras. Watching the movie now the jokes never get stale.

Now with the night reaching the early hours I strike more TV gold as Channel Four shows I Heart Huckabees and the evening is finally confirmed as the greatest night of television ever. Not that I get very far with the movie soon falling asleep early on.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Sunday 29 March 2009

Thankfully no headache this morning as I awaken with a backache instead. My bed is now royally fucked roughly a year and a half after establishing that really I need a new mattress.

I awaken today with no idea what the actual time is. The clocks changed last night but I took my watch of anyway. So last night we time travelled for an hour but which was it? This reminds me of that episode of The Adventures Of Pete And Pete “Time Tunnel” where it is Riboflavin found in cereal that helps facilitate the time travelling function.

When I check my phone this morning freakily it is to the exact same message I woke up to yesterday morning but from a different person. Instead of Nina this time it was Stevo that sent me the text “hey” at 23.03 last night. That’s a strange coincidence.

After watching the New Zealand tourist board episode of Flight Of The Conchords (guest starring Lucy Lawless still looking amazing) I manage to tear into writing early. Today again I am covering the visit/holiday to Sacramento and San Francisco in 2003 and I am really nailing it, overcoming my fears the writing is good, true and funny. I find myself short of breath as I fail to write/type fast enough to keep up with the material.

As soon as the time arrives (and the shops are open) I head out to Sainsburys to pick up a copy of today’s Observer. Its not for any interesting articles or grand pieces of journalism, its because it comes with a free copy of Heathers on DVD.

I remember watching that movie on video one afternoon at Richard Walley’s house skiving off school in our final year (well, mine). I’ve always had the biggest crush on Shannen Doherty. No doubt the bad girl image always served to excite me no end but she also reminded me of a girl called Sarah that used to live down the road I grew up on and who one year gave me my first (and only ever) Valentine’s Day card. These days one of Mark’s Japanese friends really reminds me of (and looks like) Shannen Doh. These are great memories.

Back in the flat writing begins to slow down and wind up. To inject some kind of thrust and life into proceedings I put on the last Extreme Noise Terror record (“Law Of Retaliation”) and it sounds better than ever as I begin to pick up on the samples tagged onto the beginning of songs including the famous Mickey Rourke as Charles Bukowski quote from Barfly.

As time to head over to the parents’ for the Sunday ritual closes in another frustrating writing day of starting lots of stuff and finishing nothing ends.

When I get to the olds it turns out that there was trouble outside their front door last night. In the early hours (3AM) some pisshead was making a lot of noise outside the door and when the old man went out to tell them to “shut up” and/or “fuck off” the dog followed him out and when a pissed girl screamed “get this fucking dog off me” dad helped her on her way to the ground with a shove/push. That’s my dad.

With no football due to the internationals I take over my newly purchased copy of I Am Legend. I remember solemnly watching a download of this on my own just before New Years 2007/2008 on the occasion Gyle got back in touch with me just before we finally fell out at Easter last year. As a result I have only ever seen the first half of the movie and have always wondered what happens in the remainder.

It would seem the best parts of the movie are in the first half. To say the rest of the movie disappoints would be an understatement and eventually works out at two hours of my life I won’t get back. I notice on the second disc that there is an alternative ending. It is actually another version of the movie with the alternative ending taped onto the end over the top of the original ending. This is poor and disappointing also, I don’t remember/recall Omega Man being this rubbish. Then again Will Smith vs Charlton Heston – one guy walked the talk while the other one rapped.

All while this is going on the dog is running around being a nuisance and wanting to play before suddenly going quiet at which point it becomes evident that he has a boner once more. This dog needs to be fixed.

My elation experienced this weekend turns to deflation in early evening – I remember the void that there is in my life and how futile it all is in the long run.

I sail out the evening watching The Simpsons and the beginning of White Chicks before heading home after nearly pissing myself being sloppy.

My night ends watching two episodes of Flight Of The Conchords before passing out.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Saturday 28 March 2009

Dream: I find myself at some kind of music function representing Gringo Records. This means unfortunately I have to communicate with Matt (my Don Revie). There is an Asian (Middle East) girl there that I really fancy and I have to pretend that I am still active and currently involved in the label. Amusement at my expense ensues. The girl has a boyfriend and is almost ten years younger than me so why am I bothering? Possibly it is because everyone else fancies her too but I feel I can get somewhere with her, which would really get up their backs (being money and all). Elsewhere in the dream I read a piece of writing which completely rips off my style. This is the work of the egoist guitar player that imitates everybody.

When I wake up it is 7.35 but I fear it is later. Last night I did nothing and achieved nothing which only serves to make me feel bad on this morn.

I check my phone to discover a text from Nina last night at 23.41 with the message “hey.” Must have been a dull one.

With boring regularity I do the Asda run even annoying myself in the predictable manner with which my life is now running. As my belly rumbles another time however, the promise of a building full of food tickles its fancy.

Inside Asda for the Nth week running I see the goalkeeper from one of the teams we used to play on Wednesdays when I worked at Butt Road. His nickname was “The Crab” for the way he would move across his goal when guarding. My nickname was “The Cat” given to me by an ex-Ipswich Town youth player (reject) for the way I would stick my hands/arms out when protecting my goal. That guy was a legend (although Bobby Robson didn’t think so apparently).

Today I am blighted with a headache that prevents me from being productive and really angers me. This is probably God punishing me for my opinions of yesterday.

As a result of my migraine very little occurs today. I manage to scrape some writing at various intervals but each time I only end up coming away from it with my head pounding. In a particularly successful bout/period however I write some really great stuff about the last works Christmas party I attended (for Gestures). The memories of that night flow back and are fantastic.

When the post arrives it contains the new(ish) live Butthole Surfers CD from the Forum gig last year. There is no tracklist on this? What gives? Also unfortunately with the post comes another reminder from my accountancy professional body chasing me up on evidence for my CPD (continued professional development). I fucking knew this would arrive today.

I spend a lot of the day with my eyes glued to BBC24 looking for news on the protest march occurring in London today. The predicted 40,000 people turn into an estimated 15,000 people. I wonder if the boss’s son is there. I remember when he attended a 100,000 Stop The War march a couple of years ago and ended up boasting how a quarter of a million people had actually been there. It was probably a good thing when they arrested him.

This afternoon Millwall play at Crewe. During the week Crewe did Millwall a great favour by taking points off MK Dons holding them to a 2-2 draw. As a number of results go Millwall’s way today as many top of the table clashes occur, Crewe hold Millwall 0-0. As the results begin to flood in Millwall’s is lagging behind the rest of the division due to some apparent late kick off. Against the grain this season Millwall have been scoring last minute/injury time goals and today I acknowledge this mere minutes before Jason Price pops up and scores on his debut. As the score comes in I literally scream in my flat potentially causing embarrassment with my neighbours. This is the kind of fortune you get in a promotion season.

Being an international weekend all eyes are really on England. Ironically all eyes are not on Setanta, the shitty fucking channel that has half stolen England’s games now. To make things doubly worse they have also stolen the Scotland v Holland fixture this evening also. When will this channel die? As a result of this I find myself listening to the commentary on Radio 5. It has been literally years since I have done this and just as the England game kicks of Alan Green lets off some pure venom about the new England kit, the etiquette between national anthems and television holding up the kick off. After enduring so many months of the fake smiles of Sky’s football coverage the bile is genuinely/truly refreshing.

Back to Sky and Sky Sports News I catch an interview with Kevin Moran ahead of the Republic Of Ireland’s match with Bulgaria and suddenly I notice his distinct resemblance to the old promoter in Colchester that we at Gringo Records used to have trouble with occasionally. Moving on he now does one of the biggest new festivals while all involved at our end still languish – go figure.

My day/night ends with retreat home and an inability to accomplish anything else today. Instead I settle down to watch Brokeback Mountain on Channel Four. I have never seen this movie but I get the impression that it rips off Vito’s story from The Sopranos with less tragedy and tragic results. It is an arse achingly slow film that reminds me of an even more comatose version of Old Joy. I have to say when they first bum it comes out of the blue to me; I really did not see it/that coming. Admission has to be made that I do titter and beyond the scene I don’t last much longer before falling asleep out of boredom and disgust towards the peeping eyes and attitude of Randy Quaid playing a character far removed from the lovable Cousin Eddie.

Friday, 27 March 2009

Friday 27 March 2009

Today the news on GMTV is littered with reports and titillation of the threatened riots coming next Wednesday from protesters as the G20 hits London. It is very well timed holding the event on April Fools Day. We all remember Seattle - wasn’t that cool, kids in Nike trainers sponsored by Starbucks kicking in McDonalds “restaurants” to the soundtrack of Rage Against The Machine. Rage they did.

GMTV appear determined to install a sense of fear into middle England about this upcoming event. As the credit crunch sees/means more people unemployed and angered it is looking as if it will be very well attended by people with a lot of time on their hands. Also keeping it confined to the city’s business district will save on their Oyster cards. The riots are also well timed with the kids/students on holiday for Easter, those privileged spongers and silver spooners will be able to head along for a lark.

It all sounds as if the promise of the event serves to threaten my way of life as the day could descend into a fucking circus.

Outside in the real world this morning is eerily quiet. It is pleasant but also scary and unnerving. Is it Game Day? By the time I am boarding my train that is sparse also. Maybe we won.

Despite the complete success on the work front yesterday, the situation with the IT guy remains unresolved and hanging over our heads. This is a situation that fills me with dread, tarnishing what should be high times.

On the train the munter that works at the Docklands (well, gets off at Stratford) sits opposite me. She has this terrible demeanour about her and you can easily imagine how she probably carries herself around the office, domineering and throwing her ugly weight around (not that there is any flab on her body, its probably all on her brain). Usually she rides the train with two friends (but more likely just colleagues) and I get exposed to such awful stereotypical Essex chit chat, mean spirited, judgmental and unforgiving. She wears a harsh hairstyle atop her crown and god only knows who recommended it to her or told her that it looks good; surely it must have been the work of a practical joke or snide remark. It is currently brown. Last year it was blonde but the style/shape remains the same. It would seem that overnight it just changed colour in the style of Twin Peaks and Bob. In the real world this bitch would probably tear me apart.

Today Bike Boy from Kelvedon is in a suit so doesn’t feel the need/necessity to sit next to and rub up against me. Typical, the one day he probably isn’t sweating. Also on the train is a new lady that reminds me of a thin Zoe (reminds?).

The train slopes into Liverpool Street at 8.05. Late.

Things perk up to a terrifying degree when on the tube some black guy with a large rucksack (with bombs in maybe?) reads from a bible very badly before holding a kick lecture to his fellow passengers. If he is going to bother to do that the least he could do would be to read from it clearly. Around his neck is a sign that states “Jesus Loves You” but I suddenly find myself more concerned as to where this guy’s loyalties lay with us bystanders. I look at the map and think, “oh shit I have another seven stations of this before I get off.” Then he moves closer to me.

The man’s mantra of “you work, go home, watch Eastenders” amuses as he repeats it to a near tearful carriage of people that probably do live that way. Thankfully he gets off at Barbican station singing “Amazing Grace” (also badly). His exit is with the reality that he has just probably provided the highlight of everybody’s day.

Did I say he got off at Barbican? I hope he doesn’t go eat in Szesze’s restaurant.

I don’t know, religious types are fucking weirdoes. I have suffered at the hands of religious types more than the most uncivilised of individuals I have had the misfortune to encounter. Religious people possess a horrible sense/set of unused superior morality that are just soaked in hypocrisies but somehow serves to abstain them from responsibility in their eyes and methods. If you are a “committed Christian” you are a fucking idiot suffering from Stockholm Syndrome devoid of humour, energy and a large chunk of being able to think for yourself being removed/missing. Free thinking individuals do not need to have a set of values imposed onto them and should be able to make judgements for themselves. The concept of religion is a blessed one at heart but in action is crippling to the masses, as was the intention of its invention with view to brainwashing the blind and hopeless. It all makes me want to work in an abortion clinic.

This morning I feel as if I am beginning to win the battle of the bulge slightly (still a LONG way to go). Unfortunately as I pat and grab my flab on the tube to check/see just where we’re at I notice other passengers basically seeing me appearing to feel myself up.

When I finally arrive at the restaurant one of the director’s is outside grabbing a cheeky smoke. We have a brief positive chat about the accounts. I then address the little (large) rant from the IT guy on Wednesday directed towards us (especially me) and the director shrugs it off telling me not to worry. This is good news to me as I was really concerned about someone heavily criticising my output/performance and how it would be received by persons that count/matter (management). Additionally I feel I am also gifted a certain degree of positive feedback regarding output/performance/production and subtly made privy to some interesting suggestion/information for/in the long term.

This morning I make a clear decision that I am going to see The Damned United this evening. Without fawning I can safely say that this is one of my all time favourite books and the arrival of a movie version could hold gold.

Again today I find myself slow in getting started on work, especially when queries flood in from the director. I hope he understands/acknowledges those are only draft accounts that I gave to him and what he has picked up on I would have also done so in the due course. Here’s hoping.

During the morning the manager begins harping on about the tickets to his band’s gig once more and when I see him at lunchtime it is the first thing I mention and I respond by querying “when have you ever had to buy a ticket for a toilet gig?” He responds once more “its for charity”, something of a scam I have to admit we pulled at Gringo Records with the All Dayer back in the day. To just shut him up I stuff a tenner in his hand.

After the morning flies by the lunch break blurs and I find myself not stopping all day on working on these accounts.

In the afternoon the manager brings the gig ticket up. It is classic. Even though it is for charity there is no mention of any charity on the ticket, since when has Second Life been a charity? I know it’s used by the housebound but surely those are the housebound out of choice, the Tron of this world. In addition the ticket has no date, no venue, no event detail and no band names. Is this even a ticket I am holding in my hand? It’s a pay to play scam and we all (I hope) know it. The “ticket” costs £7, I give him £10 and the remaining £3 goes…….

Thankfully the afternoon flies by but this is the result of being VERY busy. I do however find myself having a boredom break at one stage buying WWE DVDs online that end up costing me almost £30 in the process.

At 5PM I fly out of the restaurant like Bart Simpson leaving school. I head directly to Oxford Street to Borders, HMV, Fopp – all the shops that sell the shit I like.

In Borders I buy Sherlock Holmes books to cater my Baker Street obsession. Trust me you’ll be into him too this summer.

At HMV I got seven inch single crazy picking up any release remotely interesting. I know these are the dying days of vinyl but should I be so loose in my tastes? It would appear selection wise I stopped just short of buying the latest Oasis release. Even I am shocked when at the checkout they come to £31.87 in total. Lucky it is payday, not that that is a factor.

As I cut through Soho towards the Shaftsbury Avenue Odeon (and Fopp) I invariably wind up on Old Compton Street. I should really work on my mince if I really want to fit in here (I don’t). In Fopp my tastes are shrewd and tasteful to counteract against the seven inch extravagance.

When I hit the Odeon on Shaftsbury Avenue it is with a thirst. After buying my ticket (£10.50) I check out the drinks in concessions. No drink appears to be under £2.50, bottles I would be paying about 60p for in Asda. I allow my tight-fisted mentality to get the better of me. Really though, after a day of spending money like a Nazi why stop here?

For a long time now I have been really excited about seeing The Damned United. When I read the book last summer it was one of the greatest things I have ever read. The exaggerated humanity came over as believable and in Brian Clough suddenly I found myself with something of a new hero, even if it really wasn’t him in the book.

In comparison to the book tonight I unfortunately come away from The Damned United feeling disappointed and let down. The story felt slightly watered down and the reality of a bio pic about people I am familiar with is always going to struggle to run true. As great as Michael Sheen is, he is not very convincing as Brian Clough. Instead it feels like a Mike Yarwood impression of Brian Clough and unfortunately I am never able to detach/separate the reality from fiction enough to enjoy the story. Similarly Timothy Spall, Jim Broadbent and Colm Meany are already stars and recognisable individuals in their own right in my mind so to pass them off as people I have read and watched through the years really stumbles the movie. And don’t get me started on how wrong the racist from This Is England (Stephen Graham) as Billy Bremner is.

Had I not read the book, had I not grown up watching Brian Clough as a boozed up manager, held on its own merit I would have loved this film instead of only liking it. One final gripe though – for a football movie there wasn’t actually much football in it.

Moaning aside/over in his performance Michael Sheen displays a lot of convincing humanity/personality portraying Clough as a flawed by necessary individual with strong beliefs and convictions that would sometimes unfortunately alienate and freeze him out from those around him. This was the real strength of the book turning Clough into a hero for the ages and by the time you reach the eventual showdown with Don Revie all the antihero gestures, quirks and sensibilities begin to make more sense than ever.

As far as great football movies go there are slim pickings and this towers above the majority of movies as a class above.

Afterwards I struggle out onto Shaftsbury Avenue at the height of a drunken Friday night with all the disco tarts in their shiny leggings. When I get on the train at Tottenham Court Road I notice a girl crying her eyes out. This seems the true legacy of Friday night. Rather than do anything gentlemanly (ie interfere) I just sensibly leave her to it as I wonder what her story is.

At Liverpool Street I board the freaky 9PM train to Lowestoft that stops at Colchester. This is the shanty train with a puke orange interior and weirdly shaped seats that are exclusive to this train and serve no ergonomic purpose, maybe they were designed for special people. With its tinted windows it is difficult to look out of this is like a train from The Twilight Zone.

The people that ride this train are always strange, never commuters and nearly always tourists. As the train pulls out of the station I overhear some posh boy on his phone telling his friend how he has discovered libraries! He boasts about finding books about comedy writing and how he is excited about what the books will teach him. I don’t know, its not really something that be learned surely, you are born with comedic talent and you can only enhance your skills/talents with tools. He continues the call by telling his friend about a Simpsons episode he has just seen but it’s from an episode about ten years ago! Wow, here is a guy really with his finger on the comedy pulse. Ultimately though all this is nothing to do with me and I shouldn’t even be commenting on a telephone conversation I am eavesdropping but the guy just annoys me as I begin to resent him because he will get the opportunity and time to give comedy writing a go and with his resources (and apparent no discerning talent) he may be able to cultivate it into something.

When the train finally gets back to Colchester as I get off I see Steve from Hirameka. He is in the distance and it stays that way as I wonder who ultimately ignores who here.

Finally I get home around 10.15 and it is to my foot giving me pain yet again. This is turning into something of a serious problem.

My night ends with me falling asleep watching Date Movie (not good despite featuring Fred Willard) but this is not before I see an advert for Green Street 2 (straight to DVD).

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Thursday 26 March 2009

It started as a mistake. Obviously after last nights distinct lack of sleep there are no dreams to report although I do think at one point the MD gives me a cup of coffee, as is the occasional ritual. Instead however I wake up with a belly full of regret.

There could be trouble/problems ahead today. As I enter the day there is a sinking sick feeling in the pit of my stomach dominating proceedings. It has been there since last night and has not gone away as I now am feeling undermined and the requirement/need to regain ground and more importantly face. That said, I really do not want to go to work today if it is going to continue to make me feel lousy. All in all, the signs say/point to something has to happen.

It is in an almost dream state that I walk to the station this morning. Only half of the walk registers with me and is taken in. By the time I am on the train wheels are setting in motion.

For a third day running the bike guy from Kelvedon sets his fold up bike down and sits down next to me. That sweaty motherfucker. I’m beginning to feel stalked on a minor level.

Eventually the train bowls into Liverpool Street at 8.06. Late again.

When I arrive at work there is a little bit of an atmosphere in the office but this soon blows over due to no sign of dickhead.

In the early afternoon the girl begins dishing out the Codeine she was given for her bad neck. Seemed like a good idea the time.

At the end of my working day as per my routine I get the 6.20 train to Norwich. While sitting on a table a Eugene Levy lookalike with hearing aids sits himself down at our table and plainly/obviously wants to talk to somebody (us!). As we pass the Olympic stadium in Stratford he makes random comment of it looking like a dump site and how will they ever be able to clean/tidy it up. We smile at the guy and nod at him in acknowledgment while increasing the volumes on our iPods, not that he can hear this of course. He goes back to eating his bag of mixed dry nuts.

Back in Colchester on the way home I stop via the olds and discover the Louis Theroux Weird Weekends “Thai Bribes” episode on Sky (Dave channel). That always freaked me out as one of the weirdest episode of any of his shows – the man that finds love with temper issues is just downright terrifying, I have always found myself fearful of winding up like that. The lady that marries him obviously has no love for him. Oh well, this show is ten years old now and they’re probably all dead by now.

By the time I return home it is beginning to get late but I want to stay awake for Newswipe with Charlie Brooker because the guy is a legend. The show is not until 11PM so in an effort to keep awake I begin listening to Slayer at an uncivilised hour. Eventually I reach Newswipe and annoyingly find myself asleep within minutes of it beginning.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Wednesday 25 March 2009

No dreams. Instead I get up early in anticipation of a heavy day ahead.

In spite of having no dreams today when driving to park up I still find myself privy to the absurd sight of a Corsa swinging all over the road (Layer and Butt). Upon closer inspection I see that it is the stupid fucking woman brushing her hair while driving. Hope she wraps herself around a lamppost.

I hate the way that women claim that they can multitask; it always ends in spilled milk and broken tears. When they tell you they are multitasking it actually means that they are doing two things badly.

Getting on the train this morning a woman reminds me of one of my new fetishes – women with faces shaped like Disney cartoon characters. Now hear me out. In other words these are ladies with round faces and round features that serve to enhance their looks who also frequently smile with exaggerated gestures that somehow come over as wholesome due to possessing some degree of resemblance to cartoons for our youths. This would also probably explain my American friend.

At Kelvedon the bike man gets on the train and decides to sit next to me again today – the cunt.

Later on during the journey some grumpy old bastard gets on the train at Shenfield and takes apparent exception at the volume of my iPod as I listen to a Collings and Herrin podcast of all things. It is probably not assisted that he unfortunately pays attention and eavesdrops at a particularly excitable moment in the podcast of Andrew Collins’ Mr Bean voice screeching. I watch the grumpy chubster shake his head as I comply and turn the volume down noticing a scar on the side of his head probably received the last time he complained about somebody else’s iPod on the train.

This is something however I have never been able to work out, how is it that the volume of my iPod can occasionally annoy and infuriate other commuters so much when at the same time the actual sound I am listening to through headphones is getting drowned out by the sound of the train hurtling to town. Am I going deaf?

All in all though the man’s glare/stare comes at a bad time as I find myself struggling with my iPhone and it’s screen freezing. It is a good thing I was not looking at pornography on it at the time. As great as this iPhone is turning out it is still prone to such deficiencies.

Today is my one year anniversary of starting here in the restaurant and things are VERY different. For starters I am working with (heading) an entirely different team. Also with all the administration drama of last summer I am dealing with a different amount of sites that I was originally. The job has not got any easier, if anything it is more hectic, but I would like to think we have (almost) shed the deadwood.

I am slow in getting going today but once I do it is with gusto.

In the afternoon the day takes a strange turn when as the girl is having the weekly trading reports explained to her by the restaurant manager the IT guy comes in and quickly/soon gets involved in the explanation gradually ranting and raving over how nobody produces the reports correctly and how operations and accounts do not speak to each other enough to get a full understanding of the system. At this time as the girl speaks to the manager it would appear/occur to me that is just what she is doing in order to find out why there are discrepancies. However for some reason the IT guy takes it upon himself to really get involved in the discussion focusing more on the ineptitude of the system rather than remedying the differences in the figures.

Now this is not the first time he has gone off on one of these rants and at this time it is not really welcomed as the rant is coming in at the eleventh hour criticising the origins of the error/situation when the solution is what is required as soon as possible. Still he rants on about the system.

As the rant is going on I begin to notice/feel some of the spitting is aimed towards my direction and with enough already on my plate today (and strict deadlines) I really do not want to get involved but then the direction of the rant suddenly appears aimed solely at myself as a lot of finger pointing is put towards to me coupled with “its down to YOU to get YOUR department, ignore me again if you want to but you are always going to have these problems if you don’t sort them out.” As the rant gets right in my face I lay shocked, gawping like a rabbit caught in the headlights. When the fuck did I get involved in this bullshit? Also when did it become MY department? I haven’t cashed any large cheques or received a payrise.

While the rant proceeds to gain in volume one of the directors comes into the room asking what is up and in the midst of his strop the IT guy goes “nothing, its nothing” before being led into the directors office where the rant continues.

With our office now quiet (somewhat stunned) we begin to wonder what was that about? The lady sat opposite me asks “its nothing to do with you is it?” and I shake my already ruffled head.

The girl and the manager finish off their discussion/explanation of the reports before the manager churlishly jokes when leaving “you’re in trouble.” What the fuck did I do? Or what the fuck did I not do?

Eventually the IT guy heads home. We make joke about how in that temper he is likely to go home and smash his gaff up. Still though there is a weird atmosphere to the room now raising a lot of questions and doubt in my mind. And whats more, my performance has now been brought into question with manager to a severe degree when I don’t really think it is warranted.

There is a genuine insecurity to this knock. After the disastrous way in which Baker Street ended, after having a ridiculously obsessive hypercritical manager more focused/concerned on error rather than correction and progression, I have a potential question/doubt in my mind. Luckily this does not appear to be echoed by my current bosses who are happy with my efforts even though the accounts are messy from my inheritance of an acquisition incorrectly accounted for and a financial controller (supervisor) that lied about his qualifications (apparently) and lacked ability (actually).

In many ways I am and will always be my own worst critic. I get angry when people point out my flaws because usually I have already acknowledged them and castigated myself over them. So in this example to be criticised for my work on this job in one context would be justified considering there is still a lot of work to be done but moving forward the work being produced now does not warrant such criticism. As you can see the gesture does nothing but ties my head up in knots. Then again it is just the IT guy criticising the work and department, which is far enough down the food chain not to worry about.

It would appear I am not the only person in the office pissed off by the outburst as the girl whines about him also. Whereas in my mind I am trying to see where he is coming from and to justify the rant, she just thinks he’s a dick. She isn’t worried just angry.

As the dust settles I try to bring a conclusion to the room that he was already having a bad day and we had found ourselves caught up in the storm. Here is a man going through a divorce, which is something that is never going to raise sunshine on every day.

Unfortunately my lack of response to the vocals aimed in my direction do make me feel as if I wimped out and now in addition to worrying about my standard/quality of work and my bosses’ new opinions/verdict of said work from this exposure, I now feel as if I have lost face in the office, in MY “department.”

The afternoon sails out. When the other two directors return the three of them huddle into some kind of meeting and in our office we become paranoid that it is regarding/relating to the IT guy’s. Eventually we find out that the meeting is dealing with something much more important, a real issue – the bank.

The manager pops his head into the office to report that Kate Moss has been in the restaurant. While he reports this, our room is still reeling from IT guy’s rant so I just respond, “I hope she didn’t bump into IT guy on the way out.”

Thankfully the day ends. I hang back a little late half expecting words from the powers that be but they don’t come. Just before leaving two of the directors call me into their office. I fear it is regarding IT guy’s rant but instead they are just letting me know that the auditors will be in next week and it’s a general catch up as to where I am with the accounts (oh yeah, I forgot that I was busy doing monthlies to a strict deadline). The chat is laughs so thankfully ultimately all appears well with the world.

As I leave the restaurant I have a quick chat with the manager about the rant earlier and to him it appears to be water off a duck’s back. He does acknowledge it was a bit OTT but not to worry about it and let it fester, which is probably the best thing to do. I raise concerns about feeling as if I wimped out though and he acknowledges this also the swine. I guess I’ll have to do something then.

I leave the restaurant with my head throbbing and racing against the clock to catch my train. With only minutes to 6.20 I arrive at Liverpool Street with view to possibly catching the train I had long given up on. With this my iPod perfectly syncs with my life as “Sabotage” by the Beastie Boys comes on as I have to run across Liverpool Street to board the train. I fucking make it too - *HIGH FIVE*

It always worries me when I decide to run across Liverpool Street to catch my train. Unfortunately on days like this it is a necessity but still I must look ridiculous bouncing around fellow travellers running the risk of having my trousers falling down comedy fashion/style. There is also the worry about spooking policemen but thankfully I think (THINK!) my skin is white enough not to be mistaken for a Brazilian illegal or Muslim terrorist.

By the time I am on the train home I have come to the conclusion that the “argument”, well rant, is the low rent equivalent of Alan Sugar tearing us new arseholes for no longer using his white analogue satellite dishes to pick up Sky on. Zing!

As I near home I am guarding the two free London newspapers to look at home but some Asian twat in the seat opposite just points at them and takes one. I look at him in disgust and react as if he just shat on my living room carpet. Doesn’t mean he returns it though. Fucker, there was a picture in one of them I was going to masturbate to.

Eventually my hell day is over as I return to Colchester. At the station there is a sign reporting (warning) of potential/possible RMT action on Monday. Oh yeah, that is deserved. Regularly late running trains, next to zero service at the weekends, yup that action has all my support.

When I finally pop my head into my parents place the young rich soft guy that dad “runs” their residents association with is there in some kind of discussion. I say “hello” not acknowledging the fact that when we see each other on the train occasionally we wilfully ignore each other. I don’t trust this guy, unfortunately he is on a different educational level to my father and as a result knows certain things about business and administration that dad doesn’t. Also the guy doesn’t like dogs, you cannot trust people that do not like dogs.

Soon I am home for the first episode of this year’s series of The Apprentice. As ever it is a strange collection of individuals that tend to be edited in to appear like imbeciles and backbiters before the people with the real talent for leadership (and little else) emerge. Alan Sugar hams it up more than ever as the contestants look younger than ever (I would be afraid to work out how many of them are now younger than myself). The contestants, although leaked announced a couple of weeks ago, are:

The first person we are shown is Kate Walsh. I suspect she is going to be the looker of the gang/group with her blonde Aryan hair but the look also comes uncomplimented by a wonky mouth PJ Harvey could take the piss out of. She is visibly rubbish on a mobile phone and when back in their penthouse at the end she eats the men’s leftovers suggesting she swallows.

With a very (very) slight resemblance to Tommy Carcetti from The Wire (and Queer As Folk) this unfortunately is not the Ben Clark from Pappy’s Fun Club that we all know and love (and some girls quite frankly fawn over). This one soon announces that he enjoys business more than sex which means he either has a really small cock and/or he doesn’t know how to shag properly or good. At the close of the show though he utters the either genius or completely wankerish quote “turnover is vanity, profit is sanity.” I guess it is now down to him over the next couple of weeks to display, which this is.

I once used to go out with a couple of sisters called “Shah” (in some capacity) and wonder if this is the missing demon triplet. She declares that she is outstanding and that it is a given. She can also add to this that she is fucking ugly with it. She describes herself as the “complete package” – strong words. This complete package also includes the weirdest looking mouth on television when not pulling an expression similar to Pob. Every time she speaks she reminds me of my old manager at Baker Street (if I close my eyes it is her). Unfortunately when she winds up in the boardroom on the way to being first fired she makes new comment that she “did not want to be a strong individual.” No fear there love, did she really say that or was it clever editing? By the end of proceedings though you begin to wonder just how the fuck she got this far (and on the show) in the first place.

The first lady of The Apprentice that stands out this year is for having a horse face that would destroy The National. Over the coming weeks this woman will give babies nightmares. She says that she is a “winner” and is very smug with it, especially when she winds up in the boardroom at the end. You could accuse her of being two faced but then why would she pick that one? As a result of this however she is able to slay the other two ladies in the boardroom finale. You come away with the feeling that she is already preparing herself for some kind of show on UK Living and a guest spot on Loose Women.

If appearances are supposed to count (and they do), this guy with THAT beard is going to find it impossible to be a man taken seriously. Potential fireworks lay ahead as his apparent Islamic beliefs will hopefully clash with Sugar’s Jewish background/heritage and the boardroom at some point will hopefully resemble an office version of the Gaza Strip. He states he was “born to do great things” in between making various sexist comments.

Unfortunately this is not Annalise from Neighbours; instead this is the Yank with kitten features. Currently along with the rest of the right thinking world I have little time for Americans and their hypocrisies so this is something of a no-brainer. If she is so great as she announces it begs the question why is she on Alan Sugar’s Apprentice and not Donald Trump’s more luxurious version (original)? She’s from New York, as if that is supposed to impress us. That said with her amazing dark brown eyes and round Disney face features she is very attractive.

With a surname scarily close to quim this guy looks Eastern European and a real bruiser. It also makes him look thick coupled with his dim movements and comments made during the task. That said it makes him probably the most tasty of the bunch in the event of a fight.

Sadly not Phil “The Power” Taylor, this is the non-darts player version. In the movie version of this series Paddy Constantine or Martin Freeman will play him. He’s a Geordie so he has that likeable cheeky chappy element to his character. Unfortunately he is also an estate agent so is probably on the show because he no longer has a job (well, no commissions). He’s all right.

This man possesses the most punchable face of the bunch. He is also an oddly cocky character despite being a teacher and apparently having put no business acumen into action. Armchair Apprentice. This theory is backed up by the reality that he does fuck all during the episode.

Looking like Luke Skywalker and running pubs for a living should have made this guy the perfect team leader/project manager. In practise such credentials did not quite work but to his credit his team did win the washing/cleaning task. It would appear his biggest handicap is going to be looking like a teenager, slightly bug eyed and crater faced. He won though, the Force is (possibly) strong in this one and he might have the Jedi Mind Trick in his arsenal to unleash during an eventual boardroom facedown. Unfortunately the most lasting impression from this task/impression is that he is pretty adept at shining shoes.

Potentially the ugly offshoot and offspring of Lennox and Leona for some reason she really wanted to be project manager. Suspicion comes with her for a reason. Her accent is funny, South African? I hope so; I know how to swear in that language. At the close of proceedings my only impressions are that she is rubbish and a real flapper.

I once accidentally wound up seeing a brass called Yasmine. Her surname may easily have been Siadatan but it definitely wasn’t this lady. This one is weird looking, near mute it would appear with crappily framed hair like the woman from Cutting It. And that is it.

Is there really somebody in the UK called Rocky? Obviously the poor lad (21) has been brought in for working class comedy value, my gut instinct about Rocky Andrews is that he looks too much like ex-Millwall player Jody Morris. This connection brings to mind my favourite all time Apprentice contestant Ansell Henry, a big loveable lunk that (almost) lined up for Millwall before experiencing a career ending injury. This guy will not win.

Again somebody stealing her name from someone else, this is unfortunately not the Paula Jones that sued Bill Clinton for sexual harassment in 1994 (thanks Wikipedia). This is this year’s ginger, a person that makes the suggestion of wanting to “clean people” in the task and then she is allowed to name the team! She looks like a bashed up version of Grace from Will And Grace but we have already had one of those in a previous season of The Apprentice. She is annoying early.

This is the last person to be identified. One word for Lorraine: glasses. She looks stupid and gormless. She acts and speaks like an Irish spinster and does nothing but fade into the background. Her clock is ticking.

After the show and Anita Shah’s sacking I watch The Apprentice You’re Fired and find myself beginning to warm to the useless cow that suddenly displays humour and humanity.

Tonight ITV shows its Brian Clough documentary timed to coincide with the release of The Damned United. I fall asleep mid way through, probably due to Clough’s widow being annoying and his son attempting (and failing) to use some of his father’s traits.

At 1.30 I awaken unable to sleep. Once again the incidents of the day, the ones with the IT guy bother me and it disturbs me. To help me get to sleep I put on the “Born Into This” documentary about Charles Bukowski and before I know it the time is 4AM and I am in line to get very little sleep tonight/today/tonight.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Tuesday 24 March 2009

Dream: I am going away on holiday with my parents. It appears that they (especially mother) fear that I am going slow them down and embarrass them as I get out of my depth with regards to the elements of the holiday. I do not know why I care and why I am going on this holiday, it is a strange scenario. When dad calls me a “fat cunt” I explode, tearing into him for tearing me apart and I blame the pair of them for all the woes in my life I have experienced (and still do). The scene of the incident is a hotel room in a warm climate suggesting that the holiday has already started.

In the real world, today is CHILLY. I cannot believe how over the course of a week we can go from summer levels back to this. It is somewhat disorientating.

As I drive to my parents to park up for the station I notice a wannabe Banksy has tagged the side of the useless computer shop that has three times performed really shoddily when working on my PC. I wonder if this is the work of another disgruntled customer. The mark/tag appears to be of a person staggering and falling over. Culture comes to Colchester! Profound that.

The walk to the station is brisk but coupled with my trousers wanting to fall down in a non-comedic style. On a brighter note my left foot is now feeling back to new.

When the train pulls into and stops at Kelvedon the bike guy sits down next to me. This guy is a fucking nuisance, every day his little folded up bike sits in the gangway of the train getting in the way. If ever there is an emergency and we need to escape we will all perish at his hands? He reads a book and I look over his shoulder to see what it is, to see what kind of a person this guy is. It is a book about riding bikes. Is this guy a one trick pony or what? I’d fucking hate to think what he is like when having sex, I can only imagine what he uses as handlebars.

Today there is no surprise as the train gets delayed just because I am busy at work with deadlines to meet and I could really do with getting into the office as early as possible. The excuse given is a trackside fire between Hatfield Peverel and Chelmsford – that’s a pretty long stretch to be on fire, must be one of those bush fires you read/hear about in Australia.

Annoyingly when we pass the fire engines it is a time when I am attempting 50 winks and I only just about manage to catch a brief glimpse of the trucks. I fail to see any fire – was there really ever one?

Also on the train is a Richard Madeley lookalike. Are times really so tough for those guys? I hope so.

This morning I have the fear. There are a number of possible reasons for this but ultimately it stems from the fear of how my life is getting away from me and evaporating. My friends, my people appear to be leaving me behind and I don’t know why or how.

Looking on the Latitude Festival website I see that Nick Cave has been announced as a headliner. This is looking likely to be the first Latitude Festival Racton and I have not bothered with as we have both consciously decided that we are not attending. I wonder however if my friends at Baker Street will be doing the accountants and blagging their own freebies.

The other two headliners this year are also ghosts from my past being former ZTT artiste Grace Jones and the Pet Shop Boys who were produced by Trevor Horn (like Jones) and were recording in the studio a couple of years ago while I was there.

Eventually the train gets into Liverpool Street at 8.25. This is truly pathetic, not quite criminal but certainly the kind of act and gesture that could cause a person to do something criminal as expression of lashing out.

At Liverpool Street the Chinese fella with OCD has returned. With all loose copies of The Metro being read and slung back in the racks it would appear this guy goes around picking out the used copies and refolding them so that they do not go to waste. I wonder if he solves crimes like Monk too.

On the tube at Great Portland Street a crazy lady runs to get on the train. When she makes it she acts as if everyone is impressed by her feat and that this gives her licence to make comment and engage in conversation with other passengers. She looks like Ms Moriarty from Baker Street, a sexless being from the country that does not care about her appearance but still thinks that people are interested in her.

Despite the crap train I manage to arrive at work only a little late this morning. Walking to the office I purposely miss two calls from The Girl knowing that it probably means she will be late at best or absent at worst. Upon arrival in the office it is greeted to the site of my boss seething about the office girl suggesting she is going to her old GP in Reading this morning to see about her neck. Apparently he (correctly) snapped down at the phone for her to go to an NHS call in centre instead.

Today is a wicked busy day for work as it becomes evident that a deadline that I thought was Friday is indeed Wednesday (tomorrow!). The bonus opportunity then gets announced to the room, extended to the new lady but not the absent bad neck office girl. There is some kind of poetic justice in that.

Around 11.30 the girl turns up and I have to admit I am genuinely surprised and very relieved to no longer having to answer half the phone calls coming in.

Today I put in a very solid afternoon. Reports come in from downstairs that David Gest was in eating with a footballer today. Whether they were eating together is something I am unable to fathom and work out.

For a second day running our boss lets us go at 5PM. When I get on the tube tonight it fucking stinks and it makes me feel queasy.

As I sit next to a couple of discarded bottles of Lucozade to my right a Polish dude (I think) is sat passed out – what is his story? Halfway towards Liverpool Street he sneaks out a can of Holstein on the tube – deport him!

Seriously though what does he do? For a days entertainment does just get loaded and ride the Circle Line all day occasionally waking from his slumber from time to time?

Eventually off the tube, away from the wino and on the train I manage to board a 6PM train meaning I get back to Colchester ever so slightly earlier this evening.

When I stop by the parents on the way home the old man’s taxi driver friend John is visiting. As I arrive John is in full flow with all his cabby stories and opinions. It is fucking great these are ideas that are frowned upon by the media even if acknowledged at all. As a result these may not even exist so in a world where everybody acts permanently tongue tied and afraid of putting a step wrong these wild proclamations are some kind of fresh air.

Over the course of an hour combined he and my father come up with a reason and remedy for everything. Of course it is all the fault of the “bloody foreigners” and if we want to end this credit crunch now all we have to do is have another war or wait for the Olympics in three years time to save the day with its tourist pound. When said like that, its simple.

His visit ends with tales of local Colchester gangsters, stories of Colchester United footballers and closing with reminiscing by the pair of them of days working on building sites together. All in all it means that getting any kind of dinner gets delayed.

Eventually when I head home as I near my home Layer Road is awash with the screaming lights of police cars in the distance and the road is closed towards the Shrub End area. It is a genuinely unnerving sight and I do not feel safe.

Fortunately I do manage to get into my apartment complex and outside my neighbour the nurse’s door is a package. I do not know her name so I look at the address label on the box. What an awful time this would have been for her to open her door. Explain your way out of that one Jase. Luckily though it doesn’t happen and I find out her name and promptly forget it.

Knackered I sail out the remainder of the day before inevitably hitting my bed in minutes.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Monday 23 March 2009

Dream: I go out to work and accidentally leave my flat door open. Upon returning home from work my flat has been striped and most of my belongings taken including both my PCs with all my work and writing on. Annoyingly the thieves/burglars do however leave my big TV behind because it is not a flat screen but is cumbersome and not very valuable. It is old and not very good, like a lot of things in my life.

This morning is freezing which makes leaving my coat behind at my parents last night extra annoying as I have to make a brief detour to their flat this morning, sneaking in and trying not to disturb and set off the dog in the process. Somehow miraculously I manage this though.

My walk to the station is a reasonable breeze and on the train just after leaving Colchester station a ticket inspector checks our tickets – shall I rant about this impotent act of authority again or would just be too boring?

My hair is fucked this morning – it just won’t sit down. I see now why so many of my generation just lazily clip it so short. I fear I will eventually live to realise the nightmare of having a Steve McClaren mushroom at the front of my crown while it all falls out elsewhere on top.

The tube feels like a scene from Wings Of Desire this morning as everybody, myself included, appears as if deep in thought and worry. What is it about angry looking women that make them the most attractive?

Walking down Loudoun Road I find myself almost getting run over by who appears to be Paul Weller driving a mini and not using his indicators. Grey haired old cunt. Its pretty cool though, what a way to die. Oh, I should have jumped out in front of him and got an ambulance chasing solicitor to sue him to the point I would never have to work ever again. So what if I would need to spend the rest of my life waddling relying on a cane. Evidently he drives as well as he plays guitar.

Monday morning takes another dip when my boss runs something of a preposterous idea past me regarding the accounts of our new company. The preposterous idea becomes a preposterous decision. Not for the first time management is panicking causing them to rush work which I feel is half the reason things have been in a mess. I attempt to compose a strategy to avoid this scenario but I am already too busy to dedicate time to anything else.

Despite this I do manage to find myself online being wowed by the new set of music videos from Ayumi Hamasaki. My jaw literally drops.

The office girl spends the day complaining about her bad neck. This comes after she shows us all the bruises on her arms that came from play fighting with some guy at the weekend. She is adamant she never lost.

I sail out the remainder of the day in standard mode until the boss mentions a “four figure bonus” for meeting March and April deadlines. My ears suddenly prick up; this is quite a good incentive.

Despite this regained vigour the boss then proceeds to tell us we can leave early this evening. Any other boss and I would suspect this some kind of test. This one however, he talks me into having after work drinks with him. As ever I hold my tongue after having learned the errors from binge drinking with my bosses in Colchester circa 2003.

Ultimately leaving early sees me catching the 7.08 train home instead of my usual 6.20. I board the train feeling tipsy and wobbly, a fact that is not assisted by the necessity of having to stand on the train until Chelmsford. As a result I begin to feel sick.

On the way home I stop by the olds’ place as ever and tonight do the “haven’t been drinking” trick that teenagers do. The dog is very happy to see me; I wonder what my parents must do to him during the daytime while I am not around.

After a quick drive-by to get petrol I finally get home around 9.15. Upon returning home the new Rup CD (“Just Woke Up”) has arrived in addition to the Tony Hancock CD I ordered. Good times.

I manage to squeeze out a little writing before the Stewart Lee TV show comes on. This week it is less vicious than last but still very inventive. At one point however I do find myself becoming paranoid thinking that I hear a friend laughing in the audience at a joke he would find particularly funny and topical. Did my friends go to the taping and not tell/invite me? The clues match. Paranoia.

Unfortunately for a second week running I find myself falling asleep before the end of the show awakening an hour later with Not Going Out on TV instead. What kind of comedy vortex was this?

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Sunday 22 March 2009

Mother’s Day. Some kind of occasion. Wow, there is really nothing to report from/for this morning. After such a disturbed and restless night when I awaken at the rare hour of after 9AM for me and I only want to remain. Outside the sun is in full flow but it fails to inspire me into action.

After three failed attempts I finally watch the remainder of last week’s Saturday Night Live hosted by Tracy Morgan. This guy is a revelation to me why have I not heard of him sooner? He possesses this natural dumb shouting voice that verges on camp and rules hilarious without even trying. From this performance you get the impression that he really is close to his character on 30 Rock which makes for an exciting, dangerous and most importantly sincere proposition made all the more believable by his faubles.

Other than that, I accomplish very little before midday, scraping a little unsatisfying writing in the process. I do catch the final two episodes of season two of Californication which are great despite the series’ overriding set of clich├ęs.

Just before heading out to a Mother’s Day lunch at the Chinese buffet I send Szesze a text message saying “happy Mother’s Day, are you doing anything nice?” She never replies. The women in my life, aloof to their deaths.

I almost manage to get to my parents’ for 1PM but I’m close enough to keep the peace. As a unit we head over to the House Of China for lunch instead of trying out the new place. Like an idiot I had a late breakfast at 11AM and so say I am not hungry as we head there would be an understatement.

Inside the restaurant two girls are giggling at each other loudly. I know I shouldn’t be bothered by them but I am. And this despite the fact that none of the apparent hilarity is aimed in my or our direction, so its not even through paranoia they annoy (disgust) me. One does have three stars tattooed behind her right ear, so she is probably not a cancer cure.

While browsing my Twitter during the “meal” I discover that I am royally out of the loop when I read on Stephen Fry’s Twitter that Jade Goody has died. I wasn’t a fan and became even less of one with the recent footage born by Max Clifford made her into some kind of martyr.

As I watch the loud girls become even louder I feel it is a fitting tribute to the real legacy of Jade when I watch the pair of them look down each other’s trousers to see where their fanny hair begins it would seem. I can’t help but feel it is thanks to such inhibited social pioneers such as the generation of Jade that they feel they can do such things in public (pubic).

Turning away from the sight before I catch a glimpse of chav minge I notice that to my right the table has been reserved. Who the fuck reserves a table at a Chinese buffet? This also has Goody written all over it.

After the meal I head into town to go shopping. Today is the first day this year that I do need to wear my big coat – it’s a bonus.

At Waterstones I panic buy the copy of Breakfast Of Champions because it has the old cover that does not appear to be on the current printing of the book per the online stores and retailers. Next I buy an Observer and I still manage to beat the oldsters’ home.

Together the old man and I watch Liverpool v Aston Villa and I take zero joy from the trouncing Liverpool deals out. The fact that they’re getting the run of the grass/field currently with dubious decisions galls me somewhat today. Ultimately it is more a case of Villa being bad rather than Liverpool being good, in my opinion.

Beyond this I linger around the olds before watching the beginning of I-Spy mainly for Famke Janssen who I have been a big fan of since Love & Sex with Jon Favreau. I-Spy is actually one of those DVDs I have knocking about at home somewhere still in shrinkwrap.

As the evening reaches its end I capture a view of my reflection in the window of my kitchen and it is a good one. In an open message to my absent friends right now, you should be with me. This moment is a rare peak in my morale and one you could enjoy.

Getting home I feel the need for a bath so I splash into one an hour after running it (with it still scolding hot).

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Saturday 21 March 2009

I feel slightly lost this morning. If there were ever an actual condition such as “abandonment issues” (and there isn’t) I would feel inclined to admit that they are there in my psyche.

Just one weird dream last night during a long lengthy bout of sleep that came following passing out at a ridiculously early hour again on a Friday (and weekend) night. Surely this cannot be healthy; as the world acts and interacts I opt out through a degree of laziness.

The dream was hilarious. Somehow I ended up with Trevor Horn in my flat hanging out checking out my record collection with enthusiasm. This was a Horn the polar opposite of the man I worked for a couple of years ago and now had the kind of friendly demeanour that my current boss has. Unsurprisingly looking through my CD racks he knew of very little of my artists/albums but surprisingly picks up on the Brian Jonestown Massacre CD enthusing about the nasty attitude of Anton Newcombe. Did he turn into Stevo during the dream at some point? All the while during our hangout I felt nervous, seemingly afraid to put a foot/step wrong and get the sack (as was the rate of staff turnover at the studio). Funny.

Beyond the news but obvious first stop is Facebook just after I get up – this is the real (social) CNN. Nothing happened on that overnight either. Too many of the Facebook statuses from last night appear to be bemoaning the lack of things to watch on TV, this is my generation.

The one notification I have is pointed towards a friend suggestion by/from one of the girls/ladies featured in Gestures. The suggestion of a girl I used to fancy at school that lived in the village/town that bordered my own (Weeley onto Little Clacton). Obviously I never spoke to her; I was too intimidated to do that. With curiosity I click to see if she has an open profile. I have absolutely no idea why the girl is suggesting this girl to me but regardless I find myself immersed in yet another school days memory pitfall. Sarah has two photos on her new-ish profile and both look awful. What on earth happened to this girl and what made her think posting a picture of her swigging from a giant beer glass while exposing the mother load of spare tyres beneath would be a good look. This sums up the mentality of the majority of people I went to school with and just how little they appear to care or cared – that smalltown mentality that offers no plausible opportunity for a person to claw their way out of their rut. It is perhaps wrong that I can derive such a conclusion from one photo on just a guarded profile but regardless I do so anyway.

Just before 9AM I do the Asda run. This summer I would really like to do shirts but fear I am too fat to pull the look off without looking either man pregnant or housed in a tent. Undaunted I buy a couple of shirts from Asda, albeit humungous and cheap ones.

From here I do my Mothers Day part and buy the requested Girls Aloud CD in addition to a slightly soppy (but not too soppy) card. At the end of the self service checkout I am shocked and depressed when my bill comes to £43.41, especially when the only food stuffs I buy are some chicken tikka sandwich filler, wholemeal pitta bread and a box of Cheerios.

This week I change my caffeine energy drink from Relentless to Rockstar Punched – it fails to energise and spur me on as I write today.

In the early afternoon Nina texts me to see if I am going to the art event at the Arts Centre this evening. I didn’t think anybody was going but I definitely want to.

I head to the olds in the afternoon. When I arrive the old man has his former workmate called “Santa” visiting. This guy is great, he looks insane with as you can imagine all white candyfloss hair.

As I head into town Millwall are already losing 2-0 to Hartlepool, so much for that.

Town is sedate today. With less open shops now (and more empty shop windows with “For Lease” signs) it means the surviving shops are more packed. At the same time however the recession also means shoppers are staying away giving a nice amount of breathing space in so many shops. Not that there is anything worth buying in any of them.

Upon returning to the parents the old man tells me that Neil Harris has scored a hat-trick. I think he is taking the piss and I get annoyed by this. When I check the BBC website and Sky Sports and Jeff Stelling (Hartlepool’s most famous supporter) finally this is confirmed and I believe it. To me this is the world being turned upside down as a hero I thought had long “lost it” displays a superhero feat. My mood explodes through the roof.

Things improve through the roof as Doug gets in touch about heading out to the event this evening also and suddenly we have a social gathering.

I head out in my grey now knackered American Apparel hoodie. For an arty event this really is attire a bit too chav to be turning out in. As I stop by the cash machine to get some money the ATM initially rejects my car. A quick lick and rub of the chip later and we have money. Beyond this as I head towards the Arts Centre I see a girl called from Dani from my dark past. She looks different and I barely recognise her as she appears to immediately clock me, thus explaining why she gives me a funny look. In my hoodie at this time I must look like a zero progressed loser compared to the last time I saw her (2002 or 2003) and I had called her a “prick tease” much to her chagrin. Before realising/acknowledging all this however I just responded to her with a natural (and perhaps confused) smile.

When I get to the Arts Centre Nina is already inside and going through the door I immediately bump into Lee who is really happy to see someone bother to head out for his Mixomatosis lecture set tonight.

We get locked into conversation about the new David Lynch Lime Green Set boxset and it sounds great.

The evening begins with the first act being Rebecca Nevset dressed regally reading a whimsical and kitsch story that most people in the audience probably do not really understand including myself. I guess the piece is all about the delivery and the usage of mysterious prop held between her legs in her lap.

Next on the agenda is a stage full of brown paper bags. In anticipation of the performance more brown paper bags are handed out to audience members as Dot Howard takes to the stage, herself encasing her head with a brown paper bag. She requests that the audience put the bags on their heads also before launching into a set that sees her crawling across the stage and wriggling around the jungle of bags like a creature suffocating at the hands of its own fate. A video camera comes into proceedings as its viewpoint is beamed via two screens either side of the stage. Dot Howard then proceeds to use the microphone as a pretend penis piercing the brown bag and making rude noises. Eventually she introduces herself to the audience while dragging her head from the paper bag and inserting it into her mouth.

Rebecca Wigmore follows with a monologue delivered shortly after she decides to strip off and whop out her vagina. No one told me that there would be fanny at this do, yay! Her monologue is very female delivered at one hundred words per minute at a psychotic rate. On either side of the stage the two video screams detail her shaving her bush and with all the decoration/distraction around the actual verbal content of the piece gets lost in delivery. I sense the length of it is intended to arouse embarrassment and shame. And it does for all parties involved.

The Dr Mixomatosis lecture provides the highlight of the evening. Entitled “Originality In Music” the set serves to expose in an edutaining manner the borrowing and down right theft by popular and modern composers of elements and structures of songs. The first individual to fall foul of the accusation is Andrew Lloyd Webber who is exposed as the tune burglar that he is three times. Moving onto pop music the biggest/most familiar example displayed is the lifting of Nirvana from Killing Joke on “Come As You Are” that even forty year old accountants argue about in pubs. To prove his point further Mixomatosis proceeds to unveil an expertly crafted mash up of the two that is seamless which actually enhances both the originals rather than degrades those involved. Following on the finger pointing comes Kelly Osbourne’s electroclash effort that aurally (and probably orally) lifted wholesale from Visage. With an audience now riled up by the theft disco Mixomatosis now takes centre stage unveiling more obscure but obvious thievery in the form of Ray Parker Jr (the black guy from the 118 118 adverts) constructed the Ghostbusters theme around a Huey Lewis groove. As Mixomatosis bounces about the stage he hands over to the audience to sing/retort “Ghostbusters!” to a Huey Lewis verse and with such a baying response the fourth wall is broken prompting something of an Andy Kaufman moment. Here is a man with a message and it is getting over! As the strains of a Steve Winwood mash up of the man wrestling back “Valerie” from Eric Prydz and once more making it his own the “lecture” has proved the undisputed highlight of the night so far.

With the unenviable task of following the most popular performance of the evening next is a staged piece by Ilona Sagar delivering an alternative but convincing history of Colchester read by Joel Sams while minions scale the room creating some kind of border/pattern taping the floor and giving plateaus to related objects with a video backdrop illuminating proceedings. The narrative is very entertaining and causes the spectator to question their own knowledge of the surroundings and really works.

The next piece is performed by Holly Rumble without people actually realising what is happening. As the lights dim there is a buzz around the room which nobody can quiet pinpoint and as people begin to suspect the sound is emerging from the floor the brief act is over and was a “mobile disco.”

Tristan Burfield follows setting up all kinds of Nintendo paraphernalia on stage including an NES which completely takes me back to my childhood. Wowed I find myself fully submerged in his set of 8-bit computer sounds as the Mario orchestra kicks out the jams. The set is played out fairly cohesively, generally as “proper” music compositions which feels slightly lacking in adventure/experimentation when considering what people like Scotch Egg have been doing for a few years now. Regardless of this though it still sounds great and….he has an NES!

The final act I see is Dawn Rose. Her act compromises of a well dressed and turned out late middle aged lady circling the pillars of the Arts Centre with duct tape before slightly undressed, slipping into a white painters overall full of dirt before proceeding to toss the dirt in the ear making an ungodly mess while letting off a shrieking scream. From here the lady proceeds to attempt to clean up the mess by blowing the dirt into little manageable piles seemingly with the view to making them easier to tidy up at the end. We get more screams and a climax whereby the lady proceeds to tie herself up in duct tape (face included) in a real messy struggle I guess in a gesture and expression of exorcising some kind of set of demons with view to making a statement. It is an unnerving set/piece from which many of the crowd emerge feeling uncomfortable. It felt unnecessary and I didn’t like it but it definitely left some kind of mark on my memory of the evening.

It was during this act that I decided things had gone too far. Suddenly I found myself in a thought space considering what her gestures meant and as I attempt to read into them with too much depth in a sudden moment of clarity and realisation it occurred I was beginning to think in the horrible manner of a pretentious wanker.

As the lights come up and the woman begins unwrapping herself from the tape I make my excuses and say “goodnight” for the evening heading home in a moment that felt like escape, which is a slightly cynical and unfair way to consider things.

Happily I find myself home by 10.30, tired and entertained happy to have actually got out on a Saturday night for once. I fall asleep watching last week’s Saturday Night Live.

When I awaken in the early hours as I channel hop I come across a strange drama on BBC2 tucked away as if the Beeb didn’t want anyone to actually see it. Looking into the listings it is a movie called “The Announcement.” It being filmed in DV actually made me think it was a TV show at first.

The movie is a British film from only a few years ago featuring many familiar UK TV faces including David Baddiel and Morwenna Banks. It centres around a dinner party held in Greenwich featuring many upwardly mobile and trendy couples. Friends this is not. The film looked like a UK attempt at Dogme movie and as a result featured dark humour, strange cuts to strange acting and the inevitable announcement. The movie captures my attention and I cannot believe I have never heard of it before. It ends with the suitably dark conclusion of broken marriages, regret, fights, death – basically anything that was not expected.

Looking into the movie it would appear it was Morwenna Banks’ baby. There is surprisingly (and frustratingly) little information on it on the internet but it does confirm that I recognise the actress playing the most attention seeking female character as being the prostitute they save in Mona Lisa who it turns out is actually Bill Oddie’s daughter.

I hate discovering these kinds of movies in the early hours on TV. I doubt I will ever have the opportunity to see this film ever again when I would really like to and its distinct allusiveness begins to make me question whether I actually saw it or it existed in the first place. Thank God for IMDB.