Thursday, 30 April 2009

Thursday 30 April 2009

Old too soon.
Smart too late.

Today I wake up fairly amused. Getting up and going is a relative breeze.

When I get to the station again the platform is packed for another day running. Why the sudden surge of commuters? They are also on the whole new faces. It is only a matter of time I feel before I begin to see ex-work colleagues and certain school “chums.”

Included in this batch today is whom I affectionately refer to as the “Weird Couple”. These are not to be confused with the “Boring Couple” that get on at Chelmsford; these two are just horrendously looking individuals with a distinct evil tone to their expressions and the manner in which they carry themselves. They barely look out of their twenties but rigor mortis does appear to be already setting in. He sits with a constant sneer and sports a smug superior expression on his face with a look that translates as “you are dirt to me.” He is explicitly thin on top (his hair) in the style of some kind of TV movie serial killer. I have no idea what his job is but no doubt it involves the eventual killing of people in the third world. He reminds me of a bumpkin type that exercises nepotism to get a really good in the city. When I was a school I punched one of these types and proceeded to live my next three years at school getting occasionally roughed up back by the bumpkin. I have heard the guy speak once rocking a country accent and a goofiness with it.

The girl though looks even more evil. I have never heard them speak to each other and in actuality the chances are that they are just as likely to be brother and sister as they are a couple. She is short and hostile and looks like pure torture. A person would not like to get on the wrong side of her it would seem. I try not to stare at them but I feel I have to so that they are unable to suckerpunch me.

This distraction comes to an end however as a bovine moose of a woman rocking the Susan Boyle look decides to squeeze into the seat between me and some other lardy bloke on his laptop. As she squeezes and shoehorns her way in I find myself being shifted in my seat to the point one buttock is almost on the floor. Room for a little one? Yes but only a little one not this fucking pig of a person. What on earth ever possessed her with the notion that there would be room enough for us all on this seat? I persist however grimacing and hating.

I look opposite me at the row of the three seats ahead. I almost sense amusement on the faces of the weird couple as it becomes evident there is a real contrast in those three svelte people sat together opposite us. Surely there should be some kind of sensible rearrangement going on here.

The large woman sat next to me is sporting a neckbrace and it fucking annoys me for no rational reason. To bug her I turn up my iPod in the hope that she bites and complains giving me the opportunity to snap back “well don’t fucking sit there then.” This does not happen. Instead I clock that the pair of us are wearing green trousers and blue tops – Jesus, we are twins! I look around and begin to worry that my fellow commuters/passengers might begin to think that we are related.

Then this distraction comes to a close as the train fills up at Chelmsford prompting some woman to stand in the aisle behind me and proceed to accidentally (yeah right) hit me on the back of the head with her bag for the remainder of the journey.

The ultimate insult occurs when I look at the lady opposite me and realise she is wearing mirror sunglasses and now when I look straight ahead of me all I can see is my bedraggled and suffering reflection and grimacing expression.

It is with a great deal of relief that this train journey comes to an eventual end and I am able to amble into work in a fairly good mood happy to now be far away from all the strange people on the train today.

Once more today feels very much like the calm before the storm at the work as I piece together groundwork on the April accounts (always a task with April not actually having ended yet) coupled with busy work. In the end I manage to sail through the day without too much drama.

Looking on Facebook and Myspace today I see some pictures of a Japanese friend (through Mark) Yuko getting married in Japan. It is really funny and amazing to see so many people from Hanami all dressed up in their home country. Mark is on the photos looking dapper and immediately I feel drawn to emailing/messaging everybody in the photos that I am vaguely in contact with. Such events blow my mind. Yuko responds (from Tokyo) almost immediately and it is really great to hear from her.

Again our boss lets us out slightly early which is a relief as the sunny evenings are lush and I find myself wanting (desiring) to be home as soon as possible.

On the tube ride again some frumpy bovine woman squeezes into the seat next to me – what is the deal with today and people squashing me on public transport? And the circle is complete.

Against the grain today I catch the 6.00 to Norwich instead of the 6.20 and for a few minutes I panic wondering if it is one of those weird Norwich trains that doesn’t actually stop at Colchester.

My question gets answered when I see Sarah on the train. Swiftly I scoot past her half hoping she doesn’t see me, half hoping she does and responds, half feeling smug and half feeling ashamed.

I cannot remember the last time I saw Sarah in any capacity. It is something that I have thought about many times, often with regret, as it is probably why I never hear from Azmei any more, why she doesn’t reply/respond to my emails.

Back in Colchester while I walk all North Station Road to my parents’ to my car I bump into another ex-work colleague in the form of John from Disney. It is almost awkward for a moment as he had wanted to head out Good Friday and I ignored his message but we don’t mention this instead choosing to compare current positions at work. Despite the ten year age gap it is obvious that we both think we are better than each other at our respective jobs. Our moment doesn’t last long thankfully.

This is the most gorgeous evening, perhaps the best this year so far. In an ideal world I would have somewhere to go right now, a place to be and somewhere to take full advantage of the summer sun and breeze. This could be the healthiest way to live.

When I call around the old people’s home the dog still appears to be out of sorts, down, ill and/or knackered.

As dad takes the dog for a walk with mum not home I grab my Wii guitar and bash out some Guitar Hero 4 action. This game now allows you to choose a setlist and with slim pickings this will now always have to include “Kick Out The Jam”, “Freak On A Leash” and “One Armed Scissor” – the surprise hits of this title. Sadly I am bored of the majority of the remainder of the song picks.

Eventually I manage to get home to Bohemian Grove where I blaze up a Cuban cigar (cheap) and excitedly watch my download of the Tyson documentary.

The Tyson documentary is truly amazing. It is very candid and very emotional. I have personally always loved Tyson; he was the ultimate bad guy and a real killer with it. The fact he went off the rails so crazily only added to his HUGE legacy. Here was a man that had it all and blew it. He went to prison and came back returning to the world champion status once more.

The documentary by James Toback is strangely empowering in a perverse kind of way. The mentality of Mike Tyson is really level in a strange and scary way for a person supposedly so violent and dysfunctional.

I have to admit I had never before seen the footage of Robin Givens humiliating him on television and in a way you figure the Desiree Washington incident (whatever) was always going to be inevitable.

As a portrait of the man it appears to get him perfectly as a tortured and flawed person of wasted ability and a real understanding/knowledge of life that has come with age. To see him well up and begin to cry is bordering on emotional for the viewer who while emphasising with the loss and pain of a father figure cannot help but recall the balance of horror and negative gestures.

At the end of the film it feels too short, as if the surface has only be scratched and that Tyson is a person you could listen to for hours or maybe days because he is offering something of a fresh perspective and isn’t afraid of upsetting people with what he says provided it fits in with his beliefs. What a beast.

Mike Tyson is however a prime example of how you can never trust a person with a lisp. Chris Martin has a lisp, my ex-partner on Gringo Records has a lisp and Mike Tyson has a lisp.

Afterwards I fall asleep during the final episode of Newswipe this series. The sleep and the quality of the show are not connected.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Wednesday 29 April 2009

Today the alarm buzzes while I am in the middle of a deep sleep. This is a rude awakening to barely four and a half hours of kip.

On the news this morning it is reported that the government are sending out leaflets to every home about swine flu. How is this supposed to help? Are we supposed to cover our mouths with them?

I struggle to wash off the ICA stamp on my wrist from last night and as a result now the blue smudge on my right hand that now looks here to stay serves to make me look like a complete tramp.

As I leave my apartment to get in my car I notice a guy putting stuff into his van giving my purposely bad parking from last night a judgmental look of shock and horror – it gives me a little punch of amusement. Mission accomplished. Then I realise I am five minutes late leaving. Karma.

It is a tough stagger to the station this morning, my eyelids feel heavy and my joints are stiff. I am getting too old for late nights and early mornings.

Remarkably (for me) I still manage to get to the station on time but it is to the sight of a crowded platform and many newbies. As a result of this I don’t get my usual seat on the train and suddenly OCD and Feng Shui panic kicks in.

The train pulls into Liverpool Street at 8.05. Should I accept that this is the arrival time now that the train is now running a poorer service by consent? I guess if I do accept this then the terrorists will have won.

As I type this into my iPhone I swear I catch an old guy looking over my shoulder at it, at the kind of contents that probably will blow his mind. Or am I just being too paranoid.

Now aware more of my surroundings I look around to see another guy in a London Marathon t-shirt. These guys are so proud of themselves and boy do they like to exhibit the fact to the populous.

This morning I am first into work, into an empty restaurant and it is pretty peaceful. The day pans out as another calm before the storm type days as I attempt to get as much groundwork done before things kick off.

A real result today is managing to find and download a copy of the leaked new Sonic Youth record. This doesn’t come out until 8 June so this is both a really good thing (for me) and a really bad thing (for Matador and Sonic Youth).

At lunchtime I once again find myself called TOFFS to find out just where the fuck my Millwall shirt is. Again the guy gives me some kind of spiel about waiting on fabric and it placates me enough to wimp off into the distance. I really really hope these guys aren’t going under and out of business in the light of this current financial climate/crisis, which such service would unfortunately suggest. He tells me I will have it by the end of next week. I fucking better have.

On Facebook today people appear to appreciate my “Jade dies and swine flu starts. Coincidence? I don’t think so” comment even though I think it is perhaps one of the worst things I have ever said on there.

Bored in the afternoon I wander across to Pilkipedia to see just what the latest developments in that cliquey little world are. The visit to the site serves to tickle me and expose you know who as one of the biggest hypocrites that I always suspected/knew she was. As if I didn’t already know. It would appear that she is annoyed at the thumbsucking prick for having gone to a secret warm up show without telling her. Hmm, sounds like the time she went to see Ghost Town without telling me amongst other things.

After work I stay behind for drinks with my boss. During the course of discussion I gain more privy details about the current bank movements and comments. Basically the company’s relationship with the bank (bad) now appears to be personal rather than professional.

I leave the restaurant around 6.30 slightly staggering. By mistake, unable to work my iPhone, I accidentally phone up Stevo. This is a mistake as the Deerhunter gig in Brighton on bank holiday gets mentioned again. Nah.

The train I board is the 7.18 loser train to Clacton. The first trains out of Liverpool Street post peak time (post 7PM) are always full of drunken commuters and tourists with luggage and a language spoken in a different tongue. These trains are shanty at best and make for a toxic combination.

During the journey home Justin texts me about his anniversary dinner and how they have arrived at the restaurant only to discover it has been closed down. Is it really three years to the day already?

I get home to Colchester a bit tipsy at around 8.30. It’s a dull evening and I have missed the first half of the Manchester United v Arsenal game that United are already winning 1-0. I stick around the olds for the second half but it is dull beyond any words I can muster at this time.

I head home to catch the boardroom scene of this week’s The Apprentice. After too much bickering Noorul gets it. He is a teacher after all, possessor of no common sense. When his episode of The Apprentice You’re Fired comes on it just serves to send me asleep. The Apprentice is not very good this year.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Tuesday 28 April 2009

This morning I wake up spluttering. On the news the swine flu coverage is terrifying. Are these two linked?

As I step out into a relatively nice day while walking past the field towards North Station the cows are all at the fence eating the grass there this morning. I am unsure as to just what it is that is drawing them to the edge of the field but they are all looking at me dead in the eye. It is as if they know that they are going to end up inside my belly. These animals are actually pretty gorgeous and majestic but also terrifying with it. With the looks and expressions they give me as their eyes follow me as I walk past them it all feels like the beginning of some kind of horror movie.

Beyond that it is a boring journey into Liverpool Street with the train pulling into the station at 8.07.

I find myself getting depressed and pissed off on the tube this morning. There appears to be no one element responsible for this just a build up of frailties and awaiting admissions.

Things pick up as Nora brings me in a bunch of Hershey chocolates and then the IT guy comes accompanied by croissants (some chocolate) for us all. More food less depression – connection?

Early today Stevo texts me about the band Phoenix and whether I am still up for going to see Deerhunter in Brighton at the end of the month (bank holiday weekend). That weekend has now be realloted to the play offs final in addition to a proposed trip up to Manchester (I have already booked the Friday off). As ever I find myself trapped into an awkward situation. I really cannot see the appeal in Deerhunter though.

I have to concede to being unfocused at work again today, sleepwalking through the day as I embarrassingly struggle/wrestle with the new Sage system.

The big news of the day is how the bank is pissed off with us and despite our working our arses off for the past two months to meet their requirements they still have a real hard on for. What the fuck was the point of them arranging such strict deadlines if our performance in meeting them on time would never suffice? In reality it actually sounds as if the poor relationship between our company and the bank has suddenly become quite personal. All in all it just points to one hell of a set of months ahead of tough work that may not even guarantee the future of the organisation. Precarious.

What the really fucked up thing is is that the bank have handed us with some kind of ultimatum to get an audited set of March 09 accounts in their hands in a month. I have never EVER in thirteen years of accountancy come across a set of audited accounts having such a quick/fast turn around, this is unheard of. This request from the bank is absurd at best and impossible at worst. This is gonna make the next few months suck.

The remainder of the day sails out like the calm before the storm. With such pressures as detailed above this really is not the time to be introducing a new system that I find myself already struggling to find my way around.

Thankfully this evening I have some fun on the cards and with meeting Germaine at the ICA planned for 8.30 this leaves me with a gap to fill so I scour the listings for a movie to go see. My instinct is to opt for either the new Seth Rogen or the new Paul Rudd but then I see a movie called Raiders Of The Lost Ark: The Adaptation listed and I investigate that and discover it is some kind of full-length homemade version of the movie showing for one night only. It comes Lucas and Spielberg approved so I decide to take the once in a lifetime opportunity and see the homemade movie on a big screen.

In the afternoon my boss comes into our office and appears to be bored as he speaks of the benefits of taking an afternoon nap/sleep. We half suspect he has been putting this theory into action. Unfortunately to coincide with this (unrelated) I begin to develop a headache.

Again I find myself ditching kickboxing this week. I feel let down and ripped off by that club. It was supposed to up my self-esteem, push me to become more healthy and active but ultimately it has only served to make me feel worse about myself, to turn into a nuisance and barrier to my world. I have no time to waste on this shitty class smacked in the middle of my week sapping any remaining energy that I have. Oh well.

As the working day ends and the playing one begins I head out towards the West End and at Baker Street I see the Baker Street Midget which is a sure-fire indication that something is playing on my mind at this time.

I actually find myself slightly short of time for getting to Leicester Square to catch the Raiders Of The Lost Ark: The Adaptation movie. As I hit the queue I find myself clockwatching and anxious of the amount of time the people in front of me are taking to book their own tickets.

Leicester Square is freaky to me these days. The last few times I came here were always with my American friend so today I half expect I might be seeing her waddle through the zone. Alas this is not the case.

Finally I get to snag my movie ticket. Upon requesting the guy in the booth says “that will be £17.50” and I almost have a heart attack before realising/accepting that it is for charity.

Staggering upstairs it is into a busy room full of Raiders memorabilia up for auction, quickly it looks like some kind of fundraiser full of people where everybody knows everybody. I begin to feel awkward but the offer of a free margarita helps chill me out but I do turn down the offer of sliced sushi disguised cunningly as snake.

It turns out there is a Q&A to proceedings also which makes meeting up with Germaine on time this evening looking next to impossible. As we enter the screen (one of the more enormous screens) we are handed a small container of blue liquid with absolutely no explanation as to what this might be.

Entering the room I see an empty seat right at the back on an aisle, perfect for a quick exit when necessary later on. I ask the geek sat in the seat next to it if it is free but he does not respond for with any indication of possession or territory I sit down. Immediately I am met with a sarcastic nerdy “help yourself.” Under my breath I utter the word “cunt” as it becomes apparent it was being saved for another nerd after all. However this seat is more perfect than perfect.

Sat in the arm of the seat is a free bag of popcorn and bottle of coke and suddenly the £17.50 doesn’t feel like such a rip off after all.

There is a slight delay in the movie beginning causing my evening to look even more delayed than ever for later on and after a quick introduction from the filmmakers the film begins and the positively baying audience are met with a VHS camcorder quality version of teenage kids re-enacting the original movie scene by scene.

It turns out that this movie was started in 1982 and eventually finished in 1989, which represents a huge amount of dedication perhaps not seen since Mark Borchardt in the amazing American Movie (I always thought the blind passion of Borchardt resembled that of my Gringo Records cohort towards the end of days). To give it an extra edge of credibility Daniel Clowes (the legend that is Daniel Clowes) is apparently working on a screenplay of the making of the movie Son Of Rambow style.

Referring to notes the movie was originally the idea of three friends Chris Strompolos, Eric Zala and Jayson Lamb (with Strompolos playing the role of Indiana Jones) and if production values were ultimately low the entertainment values are very high.

Obviously made on a shoestring budget, although ample in Ed Wood terms, the ingenuity of the young filmmakers was and is DIY gold. As the kids try their best to deliver their lines the scenes around them work as recognisable representations of the original movie. Early on a huge round applause sounds for the scene where Indiana outruns the rolling ball booby trap.

The movie turns out to be great fun. The decision to use a little terrier as a substitute for the troublesome monkey gives birth to many accidental comedic moments, not least the moment the fake Indy grabs the poor dog by the legs and swings him onto his shoulders. The expression of confusion on the poor dog is priceless, easily one of the funniest moments I will see on a big screen this year. This emotion in me is echoed by people in the row next to me unable to stop laughing at the scene/moment.

The absolute highlight of the piece is the re-enacting of the van chase scene that comes late in the movie which is expertly done, not only for a bunch of teenagers but any set of would be filmmakers.

As the movie winds to an end it is funny to see the kid actors change as puberty visibly hits and their voices have changed because the scenes have taken so long to reach to film. It is however slightly worrying/troublesome to consider that I am finding the Marion of the piece Angela Rodriguez a lot more attractive than Karen Allen, which isn’t too healthy considering the probable age of her. That said it was filmed a long time ago and the lady is probably older than me. Phew.

When the movie comes to a close there is rousing applause all around the cinema at a job well done. Having had one eye on the time all evening I quickly hop out before the Q&A, which probably would have been a lot of fun.

Stomping out of Leicester Square, down Trafalgar Square and through to the Mall to the ICA obviously I arrive first before Germaine (she is a girl after all). After a brief wait outside she turns up seemingly really happy to see me.

We step inside the ICA and immediately I am reminded what a lovely venue this place is. On stage are tonight’s support band LET’S WRESTLE and I know good things about these guys.

LET’S WRESTLE appears to be a dirty by design pop noise outfit. The frequent comparisons to The Fall (obvious) does them some kind of dishonour as there is a youthful kind of anger and nonchalance to them that such a comparison does not cover. The songs are catchy and this represents some kind of subtle grunge revival in indie music at the moment, the band even remind me of Teenage Fanclub perhaps during their “The King” phase and definitely at their most fuzzy and loud.

Germaine is less impressed. She doesn’t appear to think they have put much effort into their material and she comments, “they could have least washed their hair.” Dirty hair though, surely that’s what rock music is about?

We head to the bar to pick up/at some drinks. Leffe is on tap and it makes me shrink with memories of overdosing on the stuff in Notting Hill and attempting to chat up Damon Albarn platonically in the process. He was actually a very nice and accommodating person but the evening could only be summed up with the fact that I had to piss on the platform of Harlesden tube station, I ended up throwing up on the floor of the house we were living in leaving the dog to lick up the puke and over the course of the night said dog would give me a black eye while I in the process would throw up around ten times. So no Leffe for me. This might however explain Germaine’s mini strop at the bar when the guy gives her the wrong beer that isn’t Leffe.

MICACHU & THE SHAPES are fantastic. MICACHU has a lot of rugged personality. Whether it is completely sincere in its roughness is perhaps open to debate but her music talent most definitely is not to be questioned. Using an arsenal/array of seemingly shitty instruments MICACHU and her two friends tear through a greasy set of memorable songs mainly taken from her fantastic “Jewellery” album. That said the absence of “Worst Bastard” this evening hits me hard.

MICACHU reminds me a lot of a girl I used to do kickboxing with. She speaks like her and they share very similar mannerisms (womannerisms?) The girl who I used to do kickboxing class with however had arms covered in scars that looked from self harm and this could perhaps be taken as a metaphor for how MICACHU makes her music off the back of broken equipment and instruments that scream of improvisation and ingenuity. Also the songs pack a punch and a kick. When the band tear into “Vulture” there is a true urgency to proceedings and proper hook at the end.

After the set Germaine and I stagger out onto The Mall into the beautiful glowing London evening. This truly is the greatest place on earth. In one direction in the not too far distance is Buckingham Palace and in the other is Trafalgar Square and Nelson’s Column, which this evening stood against dusk looked as staggering as ever.

As we go our separate ways I thank Germaine profusely for the plus one and speed towards my train home to Essex.

When I arrive at Liverpool Street it is to the sad reality that I have missed the 11.30 (the last fast train) by one minute. This is always the way. In a good mood I head upstairs and get a McDonalds and when the train (11.48) pulls out of the station I settle down to watching episode 2 of season 2 of In Treatment (a girl with cancer) before chilling out by listening to “When” by Vincent Gallo which helps me get some brief winks of sleep.

The sad end to the evening is the reality that I get home at 1.30AM with an alarm clock set for 6AM the same day. Four and a half hours sleep does not seem sufficient.

Pissed off I display my dissatisfaction at this by parking really crap, as if drunk, as if I could barely be able to stop my car before ploughing into the front room of a neighbour’s apartment. Rebellion.

Monday, 27 April 2009

Monday 27 April 2009

It is with a relatively easy awakening that this week begins. This is coupled with a cool walk to the station of little effort or ache. As I pass through my parents’ apartment complex I once more see the crazy woman walking Alsatians appearing to shout at them every step of the way.

The news is alarming filled with tales of Swine Flu from Mexico today. The timing of this is terrifying as it comes coupled with my latest cold of the year, a real dog of a cold dragging me down and making me suffer. Do I have Swine Flu?

There appear to be very few regular commuters on the platform waiting for the train this morning. This point is only emphasised when a wide brown eyed girl (I think Spanish) attempts to shove me out of the way to get on the train in front of me. Such rudeness. I had at first thought she pretty until she almost tried to kill me by pushing me under the train. Later I notice her sitting next to some built guy (probably a squaddie) and suddenly it comes clear that she was pushing me out of the way to ensure she got to her beau. Now is that any excuse for fatality?

Upon boarding the train something is different. I look down and notice the floor is a speckled white/light grey instead of the usual putrid stained green hybrid – why is this? For some reason it is unnerving.

With the train not even having left Colchester some wild haired crazy woman (in appearance) decides to sit next to me – no fun.

By the time we reach London outside it is raining as forecast and as unprepared as I am I do not have a coat today. The train pulls into Liverpool Street at 8.05 wet and late.

On the tube as the it stops at the Barbican some scary guy looking like an anorexic Charles Manson gets off the train saying (I think) “Jesus Christ” in the process. I half think that this was aimed at me.

This morning arriving at the restaurant is like walking into a morgue. For a Monday morning there are a surprisingly amount of people already in the house and nobody appears happy with it.

By lunchtime I finally finish off my management pack for March. This has now taken me three and a half days to complete, something that I can rush/cobble together in a morning sometimes.

I have to admit that I sleepwalk through today. And it appears that I am not the only one either as I catch my boss asleep at his desk late afternoon. This weather inspires nobody and nothing. As a result of being caught in the act I think that this is why he lets us out early.

The tube ride from Baker Street to Liverpool Street is carnage this evening. At no point do I get anywhere near to sitting down and a couple of times I find myself having to hold in my breath as a rucksack gets in my face while a dirty old man appears to be trying to get into my pants.

When I finally get to Liverpool Street it is to the discovery that my regular 6.20 train home has been cancelled, which this evening appears par for the course. Instead I opt to squeeze onto a 6.08 Clacton train, which is absolutely no fun. In comparison to the Norwich intercity trains, it appears that these are the trains poor people catch.

By the time I get back I pop my head into the olds (as ever) and tonight the dog at least appears to be somewhat happier with a bit more life in him again.

Beyond seeing Bobby I head home to Bohemian Grove relatively early to get some writing done but as ever time is of the essence and very short at disposal. Such is life.

After squeezing out some words soon it is time to put my head down and drift away.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Sunday 26 April 2009

Dream: I find myself in London doing tourist things with a group of my various music acquaintances over the years. Our shared hotel room is centrally and perfectly located right on the Thames overlooking the most beautiful of sights. With us is our Canadian friend and he is bothered by something, to the point of being pissed off. While everyone else goes sightseeing I hang back to speak to him and see what the problem is. My friend from Holland Park has a place close by and I go visit her where we play and experiment. There I meet some members of her family and it is as strange and awkward as you would imagine it would be.

The dream concludes with our group at an airport returning to wherever. The airport is distinctly tight, very American. In attempting to catch planes many members of our group fall to the wayside but I am sped through due to all of my papers being intact (even if they not organised being crumpled up in the bottom of my bag). The officials seem to like me and let me through with no hassle. The dream ends with me rearranging the contents of my case just before the plane takes off so that nothing in the case gets destroyed.

When I wake up this morning it is to the sound of “Hallelujah” in my head. I am still not sure whether it is the Jeff Buckley version or the Alexandra Burke version (or some sick combination/hybrid). The time is 9.30, which is a miracle for me, meaning I manage to attain some kind of sleep in this Sunday.

I am coughing and spluttering this morning, shouting out sneezes while struggling to breath through the most clogged of throats. Where do these colds come from?

Today is the London Marathon – here is an event for the stupid, well intended but still stupid. Bella used to have this thing where she would shout, “stop running!” at joggers and it remains of my fondest memories of her.

I feel dizzy this morning and before I know it the day has already reached midday with a sensation of it having been wasted in the process. On TV I find ITV3 showing Vertigo and it fits perfectly to my morning, mood and momentum.

Honestly, I genuinely try and do something of use but I just feel beat and there is a sweet indulgence in this movie that reminds me of the weekend in Harlesden post 7/7 where I caught the Hitchcock double bill (including Rope) at the Mayfair Curzon.

Next I find myself watching the first episode of Entourage to see if the series was/is actually any good. For the longest time I have been put off this show by the fact that The Korean was a fan of it and anything she liked could only ever come with suspicion, much like her. It’s a good show though.

Out of the blue Racton calls me and suddenly I have some kind of contact with life, with reality. I am really happy to hear from him and talk at 100 words a minute. Wow, that hints at desperation on my part.

As per the Sunday routine I find myself heading over to the olds for 3PM and lunch. It sounds as if they had a really nice time in Seville, which is something of a relief and surprise but mum sounded pretty dubious about the visit/break.

The dog is back but with it he appears subdued and out of sorts, out of character. I worry about how he was treated by the people that had him.

With the game on Sky being Blackburn vs Middlesbrough I avoid it like the plague choosing to instead watch Notorious the Biggie Smalls movie, which totally delivers.

As another boring Sunday comes to a close I head home, do a little writing before jumping in a bath prior to settling down to watch a docudrama about George Best’s mum being an alcoholic. What is it with football docudramas at the moment? The Damned United now has a lot to answer for.

Long before the end/climax I fall asleep and lose interest in the story. So what did happen to George Best’s mum in the end? When I reawaken The Business is on Channel Four and somehow once I find myself transfixed by it. All the great films over the years that I have fallen asleep watching and missed, this piece of shit has the complete opposite affect on me. I can’t believe at one point I thought Danny Dyer was talented and amusing. Tonight I just find him nauseating and phony. Afterwards Chinatown arrives on TV and guess what, I fucking fall asleep immediately during that. Go figure.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Saturday 25 April 2009

This morning I am awoken by the sound of a pile of books, DVDs and old Guardian Guides crashed to the floor. Looking at my watch it is only 6.20AM; this is far too early to be arising after an evening that went on far too late. Thankfully my plan to cut down and reduce on a hangover worked and up I only feel tired and not nursing a headache as well. Bonus.

Today I finally finish off watching the Sam Kinison documentary DVD and as suspected it is really bad. I thought I liked this guy but I guess not, he wasn’t so great after all.

Just before 9AM I head out to the post office to collect my Cuban cigars. I feel ashamed and embarrassed by the extravagance but they are a great treat and gesture of celebration at a time when I have something to celebrate.

The troublesome reality of having left my bankcards at work hits me as I check my pocket to discover I have six pounds and change. This means I am unable to go get my haircut today and it finds me scrapping around frantically searching for pin numbers for my various retired credit cards.

The sun is in, the sun is out – today cannot make its mind up.

Eventually I get down to East Gates to collect my parcel. While waiting I hope the contents is not too explicit on the package so that the people inside the post office think I am too indulgent. Why do I care what these people think? The sad thing is though, regardless I do. There is always this great musty smell attached to waiting in line at the post office although I think were I too have to suffer it for too long I might go insane.

I make the legendary mistake this morning of going grocery shopping while hungry. As the post office is close to a Tesco (Hythe) I head there instead of Asda this week in order to bring some kind of spark of diversity/change to my life.

It has been a while since I was last down this way. When I first moved up to Colchester into Bohemian Grove this was where I always got my groceries as well as regularly making trips to the place in evenings with various friends, most notably Bella.

The place has not changed much. If anything it now appears duller but otherwise a supermarket is a supermarket although this one does appear to lack the light and subsequent glow that Asda possesses. This branch is situated in an awkward part of town surrounding it is the university, one of the poorest and roughest parts of town, the run down quay area (being regenerated) and likewise a run down old area that would appear to house some kind of decadent poverty. As a result the patrons that frequent this site are mixed and amusing. There is a larger branch slightly further out of town that people seem to prefer. I would not say this shop is run down but it is hardly excelling but as a result of this it is easy to get parked.

I shop with caution with the fear that when I reach the checkout I may not possess the actual means to pay for my goods. Searching the aisles I come across few items of difference. For some reason I buy bacon cocktail sausages and BBQ cocktail sausages in some kind of 2 for £3 deal. Really though, does foodstuffs sound healthy? Or even real for that matter.

Eventually I nervously approach the checkout with my found credit card and dubious PIN number. When I am finished swiping all my items the bill comes to a round £25. Impressive. Luckily the PIN works and I am able to take home my groceries and not starve this weekend.

On the way home I have a drive around the quay area of Colchester (the Hythe) to see what is going on with the regeneration. This area has really changed over the past five or so years and some of the apartments look pretty nice but generally the area does still resemble too much of a wasteland in certain areas. Also the appeal of the place really suffers through a distinct lack of transport. With this in mind I check out the Hythe station (where the girl famously got her fake Ugg boot stuck in the rails and perished) and they have done nothing with. I remember a couple of years of standing on the platform while I went to youth training college just down the road. In theory I should now be recalling those years (93 to 95) with some kind of depressed echo but those were weird years for me any way (the formative ones) and despite the hellacious daily travel to a hellacious college it was also a period in which I was discovering great music, great books and great movies. Generally though driving around this area now is a very sobering experience. I try to work out what kind of person lives here and can only come to the conclusion that they are white middle aged and working class hardly at the top of the tree. Welcome to Colchester.

When I get home I am still hungry and with it I tear into bacon cocktail sausages. So what actually are these fucking things? I barely get the opportunity to wonder as I tear through the entire packet swiftly. I suspect there just might be some trans fats in these fuckers.

After eating I resume pottering around the apartment and doing some writing. I do both in some and unsuccessful doses.

Around midday bored I head back to bed, an early start at the weekend is always going to prove fatal.

When I re-emerge into the day I find myself taking in Elizabethtown while sitting at my desk trying to write and produce something. I have to give the movie credit; it’s a pretty decent one. Very Cameron Crowe.

After staggering around my apartment mentally trying to be productive, trying to write, trying to sort things out eventually I find myself flipping on Punisher Warzone. For some reason I am really excited about seeing this movie at the moment. I don’t know why all of a sudden Punisher fever has grabbed me but he did used to be my favourite comic book when growing up.

It is with astonishment that Jimmy McNulty turns up in such a b-movie as the villain. I really hope it was a good payday because it certainly has cost him a lot of cred in the process. Wayne Knight (Newman from Seinfeld) is the only other recognisable face in the piece and he comes off/away far better from the mess of a movie. I seem to be remember the first Punisher movie a year or so ago being passable (and the Dolph Lundgren one back in the day was great) but this is awful. It shocks me these days as to just how easily I am stunned (and almost offended) by movie violence. I guess if its schlock and unbelievable it is rendered impotent but still I hate the thought of people even seeing this shit and believing any part of it. I come away from it all unimpressed.

With my parents return to the country (and their apartment) now mere hours away I begin make the necessary trip to their gaff to tidy up. I get there around 6PM with the day almost over.

Thankfully in the end I haven’t actually made too much of a mess of their flat and quickly the job is done.

I play my last licks of Guitar Hero 4 on the Wii for the final time for the foreseeable future and the addition of “Kick Out The Jams” and “One Armed Scissor” are welcome songs to a still fairly tepid list.

As I potter around checking out my latest torrent downloads on their computer it becomes evident that this Saturday night isn’t going to reach any real heights, especially with My Best Friend’s Wedding playing out on the TV in the background.

I head to my apartment in the full knowledge that The Good Girl is on TV tonight and that is the way I sail the remainder of this Saturday night, although watching The Good Girl again something that turns out rewarding reminding me of the time/period when I first saw it (back in 2003) and how things in a way were better than they are now.

With that thought I fall asleep trying not to be morose.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Friday 24 April 2009

This morning I wake up feeling so so.

Again today I appear to have no clothes wear. Miraculously somehow an old large black v-neck fits me and loosely. This is a top I had long since written off as too small for me (in addition to verging on tatty). Once more going from one day wearing an XXL top that fells snug on me down to an L that fits loosely is really playing havoc with my self-image and esteem. Talk about a rollercoaster of mind tricks. I thought it was only women that went through this nonsense.

I leave the house at 6.48; this is very late - the latest time this week. Somehow I manage to catch my 7.03 train though.

At Kelvedon the Baker Street boss’s wife lookalike gets on the train accompanied by another doppelganger in the form of that rapist Mr Pan in chubby form. Actually perhaps that is him having let himself royally go. I’m convinced, he does look like the cross pollination of Jeremy Kyle, Paul Morley and Mr Bean.

As I look out of the train window at a wonderfully fresh morning I also notice a long hair wedged in the frame/groove of the window – how on earth did that get there?

After last nights debacle on the trains it actually pulls into Liverpool Street on time this morning. This is not a fair exchange, be on time in the evenings, despite my protestations delays in the mornings are actually semi acceptable in comparison – that is work time not MY time.

Despite this optimism of my corner of the public transport system running on time today typically as soon as I get on the tube the fucker pauses between Liverpool Street and Moorgate for too much of an extended period/spell. God hates me.

At work today turns out to be another relatively easy coast of a day. I actually find myself able to email friends and update them on my movements for the first time in weeks. For a third day running I slowly plug away at the management pack for March which is a low priority on the agenda but its there all the same as something of a no-brainer task.

Our work computers are currently having a new version of Sage put onto them AND a major update of the antivirus software and as a result they are really flagging and suffering. This cuts into my productivity also.

Regardless of this the remainder of the day sails out relatively comfortably.

After work I head over to Vertigo 42 with various people from work to celebrate the manager’s birthday. En masse we stack aboard a Central Line train to head over to Bank.

From the off I sense and fear that tonight will be a struggle. Firstly I am the only person headed along that comes from the admin/head office level rather than actually working in the restaurant which means this is an already tight social group I am attempting to work my way into. Secondly most of the group are foreign and I am just so shit at understanding foreign accents. God bless them but I can’t understand these guys for the life of me.

En masse we hop aboard a train at St Johns Wood changing at Bond Street to head over to Bank and The City. This is exciting stuff. Prior to hitting the big place we go on something of a tour of The City, being shown old bullet holes from the war before hitting a bar where the manager used to work.

The night is slow starting. Like a fish out of water I soon feel as if I am drowning. Looking around the bar it is nothing but city professionals blowing off steam and burning wodges of cash. Credit crunch, what credit crunch these guys are still laughing, sometimes in our faces. It is strange to think that only a few days/weeks ago this part of London was supposedly a war zone. How fast the world turns/changes. Feeling uncomfortable I make the decision that I need to get drunk and fast.

As we eventually head to Vertigo 42 I receive a call from the IT Guy asking where the tower/building is. I tell him we are about to get there and to wait for us.

When we arrive at Vertigo 42 it is amazing. Looking up towards the top it is almost as if you are looking up forever. Outside at the entrance the IT Guy is nowhere to be seen so I call him up and when he answers he goes into some kind of rant about how the guys at the reception are “up their own arses” and it has pissed him off so he has headed off home. OK, I’ve seen this side of the guy before quite recently. Best let angry dogs lie.

There is a real dedicated sense of security attached to this venue as after our group gets signed in we have to go through a metal detector, emptying our pockets and feeling like we are about to board a plane. Some home for some reason this only adds to experience and serves to make me feel even more special, albeit a person held under suspicion.

Our group misses out on the first elevator to the top and as we compare countries of origins after many foreign tongues flow it turns out that I am the only English person in this half of the group. Never let it be said I am racist, even when they mock me for acting flash and having an iPhone.

For climbing 42 floors the elevator is very swift when we eventually board it and upon arriving at Vertigo 42 the view is as magnificent as I was hoping it would be.

The manager timed this evening almost perfectly; our 90-minute window coincides with dusk and terror twilight making the landscape of London as breathtaking as possible. This is the kind of venue where you would take a person to propose to.

Our section is based facing the East and beneath us the twinkling lights of Liverpool Street stand out (once pointed to me) and that would be the place I would nominally be at at this time.

As the champagne flows people begin to loosen up and have a lot of fun. This is the type of place that does not require words.

The Albanian sausage chef and I begin to click as we take the piss out of certain ladies in our group and his front in taking photos of their breasts fairly impresses me.

Getting a whole panoramic view of the landscape the London Bridge area is perhaps the most recognisable part of London and then I realise just whose workplace I am gawping at and I wonder if she is currently in that grotty Globe bar next to it at this time.

I don’t know if it is the altitude or the copious amounts of champagne that I am lucky enough to grab/snag but eventually I find myself becoming quite overwhelmed and emotional by it all. As I turn into a complete and utter fanny I do some kind of Facebook status along the lines of “I wish I had somebody to share such times with.” Even though it doesn’t I find myself getting wet (as in wet bastard).

We go past our 90 minute window with the night becoming dark but luckily none of the staff are looking to rush us out and there does not appear to be another party waiting to come in to take our place. As the view turns from a sight of historic buildings to millions of twinkling lights it is no less impressive.

As everyone else gets into their own thing I begin to space out and attempt to reconcile my position in proceedings and somehow I fail to do so.

When people begin to mention being hungry I soon snap out of my apparent trance, especially when McDonalds is mentioned. In no hurry to leave though we look at the menu and the cheapest item is canapés for £36. When they deliver the canapés it is just eight portions of nibbles that our entourage swarm upon like ants at a picnic. This is the most expensive food in history.

Eventually we head out but not before the manager offers to foot the bill. With the champagne bottles coming in at just under £100 embarrassed by such generosity on his part we have an impromptu whip round.

Outside we linger before heading on to somewhere else. With no destination planned our group obviously begins to meander and wander aimlessly. As we take a break at a bench it turns into something of a photo shoot to capture good times. As I drunkenly take photos I suddenly notice a police van of which I take of photograph of for fun before remembering that this is now illegal these days and could get me into trouble if encountered by a jobsworth.

The point of this little break/stop/pause becomes obvious when a controversial figure turns up to join our group. No one famous, just infamous at work.

As we move onto our next destination we pass a shrine/mural for Ian Tomlinson I hear one of our group (a foreigner) say, “who is Ian Tomlinson?” I think this is why I don’t feel part of the group.

At Bank we arrive at a bar called Abacus. We join the queue now as a gaggle of around fifteen people, predominantly male. As we shove the ladies to the front of our group, attempt to pair off and not look too drunk the plan appears to work as the doormen let us in after a little conversation. I guess we soothed their egos enough.

Inside the place it is a heaving throng of disco tarts and mainstream drunks. For some reason I take an almost instant dislike to the place. As people clamber towards the bar I no longer feel in the mood for socialising, partly because suddenly I feel invisible and uncomfortable. That is not to say that there are not girls in this place I wouldn’t want to fuck.

After standing around observing for five minutes for me the night feels beached and over so I head over to the manager whose birthday we are celebrating before heading home.

As I emerge onto the streets of Friday night Bank I find myself falling into some kind of conversation with a young drunken arsehole. It begins asking me how to get somewhere I have never heard of (meaning it is probably in Zone 6) before he begins having a go at me for being foreign. Just because I am drunk and slurring does not mean I am a chitchat. As I front up and begin some solid conversation he begins telling me how he earns a lot of money. I ask him what he does for a living and he says, “I’m a drug dealer.” In an effort to piss him I slowly shake my head and go “but you’re not black.” Annoyingly he doesn’t bite as I wish he would try dealing drugs on the streets of Baltimore as featured in The Wire. That would be quite a short episode.

Thankfully I don’t have to put up with him for long before we reach Bank station and I fly over to Liverpool Street before catching my train home to Colchester.

Back in Colchester the night is relatively young, I would appear that I ditched the evening just after 10PM.

As I leave the station I find myself following a chunky girl in blue trenchcoat/raincoat up the stairs. I don’t think it is the case but I do accidentally fall up the steps at this point, which might have been the result of me trying to look up her dress. Although I do think it was. Honest. Annoyingly as I stumble and fall I probably expose my arse while also landing on my hand holding my iPhone. Luckily I don’t destroy it. I do however bloody my hand. What’s the about?

When I get back to my parents I chose not to immediately get in my car, instead I pass out on their sofa watching South Park, which appears to have been the theme for most of the week.

When I wake up Fahrenheit 451 is on TV. I was really hoping to watch this tonight but once more I have fucked up my plans through drinking. Disheartened I lock up the flat and head home. Back in Bohemian Grove I put the remainder of Fahrenheit 451 on my TV home before passing out but not before I wonder whether when it happens if somebody will be kind enough to memorise my book (JGRAM WORLD) and walk around a wood/forest reciting it. I wonder.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Thursday 23 April 2009

I wake up this morning trying to work out just what last night’s good mood was all about and where it came from. This is in an attempt to rekindle that feeling and mentality.

Today is St George’s Day a day about slaying dragons. I do not currently have many dragons in my life to slay I have just left them today. I hardly slay, more ran away. Is this a better method? Regardless, wouldn’t it be nice to have St George’s Day as a public holiday, especially on the gorgeous sunny day that today is.

On the train at Witham this morning the really tall guy from the other day boards the train, the guy that crowded our seats and caused my legs great discomfort. Thankfully he doesn’t sit opposite me today, I think he clocked me as he walked past.

The train journey today mainly consists of a feeling of regret as my mind wanders back to the incident with Zoë and how I fluffed a great opportunity. How would things be now if I had just acted against my instincts, in an assertive and positive manner? Would we have turned into something regardless of the many excuses she held and used against me?

These thoughts I think are triggered by the lady that is boarding the train at Shenfield these days. There is absolutely no resemblance to anyone I know but with her fringe I just find myself thinking about such things. This is a crush.

Regardless of all this thinking too much I arrive at London in a really great mood. As I board the short tube ride from Baker Street to St Johns Wood the occasional gorgeous Japanese lady is on there and she is actually strange/funny. I genuinely try to muster up a smile but she doesn’t seem receptive or biting.

Such sense of wellbeing was always going to be fleeting as soon after getting into work I discover that a file (and a lot of work) has been zapped. I remember now the exact point yesterday at which this went wrong, when remotely my work computer just decided to restart itself and it booted me out of Excel. When a weird looking file appeared on my flashdrive I did what would appear to be the sensible thing – I zapped it. So now, now it is gone and with it potentially a hell of a lot of work. I think I took a backup at home of it but as to how recent that was is open to question. I really haven’t had any luck with work recently.

Once again this a timely reminder of just how much our computers are struggling with the sudden addition of both a new version of Sage and antivirus software, these old machines just do not seem able to cope.

Generally though today is another quiet day. It is weird, after all the intense hassle of the past couple of months to now be approaching work at a leisurely pace is somewhat disconcerting. Not that I am complaining.

I even manage to chat to Dave briefly on MSN about Roy Keane’s appointment at Ipswich. Personally I think it is a bit of a joke and it appears he is less than enthused about it also. It just does not fit in with the Ipswich Town mentality/persona.

Today out of boredom I get away with saying some of the worst things imaginable to the office girl. She says I’m only saying them because the other lady isn’t in. My response to this is “yeah, she’s nice.”

Ultimately today ends up being one of filing and housekeeping in the office. Doing this appears to take up just as much time as doing real work and the way in which my desk is currently drowning more than suggests that this is a job that was long overdue.

When I get on the tube back to Liverpool Street it is a journey once more accompanied by the Jack Lemmon in Glengarry Glen Ross lookalike again. The look is all in the pained expression and defeated body language. And then he begins to have a conversation with himself, which truly makes me aghast.

Tonight my teeth hurt. Is this a sign of stress or bad weather? Probably neither, more a mark of poor oral health (although I’m not feeling it).

At Liverpool Street I easily manage my daily 6.20 train. Sat opposite me is some gruff salaryman in glasses tearing into the business section of the newspaper and two cans of Adnams. Then just before the train pulls off some distinctly rural woman with crazy hair literally shoves her way past me into the spare seat to my right. She only needed to ask.

If this look isn’t bad enough I scan a woman rocking the look of Ronnie Corbett in drag. She looks uppity and not the least bit funny.

On my iPhone I am finally down to the last three episodes of season one of In Treatment just as the second season begins in America (on HBO). With gusto I tear into watching these in the hope of finishing off the series this evening one way or another. I take great joy in wowing the rural lady next to me reading her wildlife magazine and eating her Boots Meal Deal (annoying me in the process, ban food on trains NOW!).

A tempered journey only gets worse when we slow down at Hatfield to be told by the conductor that the train will now be subject to a 45 minute delay. Collectively the train sighs in disgust but my mentality is that I at least have something to amuse (the episodes of In Treatment) while these schmucks around me can/will sit and stew.

As the train finally grinds to a halt the Ronnie Corbett with fanny begins to kick up a minor stink. Fucking privileged bitch, you can tell she comes from rich stock and has been pampered too much of her life. How else could a person get away with thinking looking like a bloke be acceptable. OK, I admit in clear daylight I wouldn’t ordinarily take such a disliking to her but tonight she wields such a pissy and arrogant attitude towards a bad situation that we are all suffering from, not only her, and she is only serving to make it all worse as she begins to wind up the other passengers.

Slowly and gradually the train begins creeping forwards but this is with the knowledge that it will completely ground to a halt between Marks Tey and Colchester where the real delay is in fucked signals.

Eventually the train reaches Kelvedon where it stops teasingly with the doors of the train remaining slammed wide shut. Not long after arriving here the latest announcement from the conductor informs the stewing train that the hold up will now be an hour.

With this announcement the Ronnie Corbett in drag becomes more vocal and gets up out of her seat to find the conductor (or driver) in the hope of getting the doors open at this station and letting us off. Half the train silently scoffs at her while the other half appears to support her. Personally her mere appearance has already caused me to side against her in absolutely anything she says and any decision she might make.

Less vocal and more proactive about things suddenly the guy sat opposite me who has a red face from a combination of the delay and attempting a broadsheet crossroad gets on the phone and begins to drum up somebody to pick him up from Kelvedon. Having knocked back two cans of Adnams and with a taste of alcohol in his belly he soon storms up out of his seat gathering his belongings but not his rubbish (the two empty cans of Adnams and his broadsheet) and he stomps to the nearest carriage door where he pulls the emergency lever and suddenly the train makes a huge whistling noise and scary sound of deflation. I later discover that this is the sound of the brakes deflating in the name of safety. And that was just off the back of two cans of Adnams, just imagine what he might have soon exhibiting Stella rage.

For a few minutes we look around at each other wondering what it was that he just did. Suddenly our delay was looking longer than ever as people slowly gathered up their own stuff and took the same route off the train. With my parents in Seville unfortunately I found devoid of such options and instead began filling with a new sense of loneliness as it became apparent that in such circumstances there was nobody I could call to come pick me up.

I would estimate half the train got in a pissy mood as the rookie conductor paced from one end of the train to the other trying to put things right.

His first mistake was announcing how long the delay would be. There is something about the commuter psyche that holds some degree of optimism that during a delay the train is always on the verge of pulling away any minute. To put a timespan on a delay will only ever serve to infuriate your average man and your average woman even more (especially those on the blob). It wasn’t long before people realised that they had boarded the train with the driver and conductor (and National Express) in full knowledge that the lengthy/hefty delay lay ahead.

Not long after the exodus calmed down the conductor came along to where the Ronnie Corbet she-male had been sitting and now suddenly it would appear she was suspect #1 in the pulling of the lever. Personally with the act now done I was more concerned with the train getting up and running once more as quite frankly the hissing sound was making me feel part of a party sitting on a dead duck. The strange looking lady was still sitting next to me having chosen not to get off the train; she was a Suffolk I guess. As the conductor asked about the person who pulled the lever she happily grassed saying “he was annoying me anyway.” That’s the spirit.

At this point the woman begins annoying me as she obviously wants to begin talking to anyone that will listen. At first I think she finds a like mind in the lad sat on the opposite side of the aisle that happily informs that the fine for pulling the emergency lever these days is £1000. What kind of person knows that? Overhearing her loud phone conversations they start off at “I’m happy to wait, means I’ll be able to reclaim a free ticket” to eventually “I’ve finished what I was reading and I’m bored now.” She had been reading a fucking natural trust pamphlet; surely she was bored from the beginning.

Later she gets up to get a can of cider (Adnams also I believe) and I turn my iPhone up louder in fear of her attempting to engage me in conversation again. By this point all three final episodes of season 1 of In Treatment are long gone and now I am listening to a Tank Riot podcast on Stanley Kubrick.

When it is announced by the conductor on the PA that all drinks are now free in the buffet compartment there is a literal stampede. Humans love a freebie, especially in the face of adversity.

By this point I begin thinking I am making eyes with a funny looking lady that looks like Kristen Schaal. It’s definitely better than nothing and I figure if this is to be our final train journey on this mortal coil this is who I have decided to hook up with. Our exchanges are awkward and ugly. Unfortunately as it gets later and later (and darker and darker) when the train eventually curmudgeonly moves on one stop closer to Marks Tey the doors open again and she decides to get up and get off. As she gets up I suddenly clock just how fucking young she and immediately I begin to feel dirty. This was wrong.

The train eventually/finally pulls into Colchester station at 9.29 representing a two hour and thirteen minute delay, which strangely felt longer, and when counted on fingers was actually a delay shorter than expected after all the shenanigans with Adnams man and the emergency lever. I do realise that by this point both red-faced Adnams man and Ronnie Corbett in drag have probably been home quite a while and have had their respective dinners.

As it feels that the service National Express provides deteriorates by the week it is hard to feel angry about tonight’s delay as I stagger home a broken man defeated by public transport and my life ruined from it.

I get back to my parents place at 9.50 where I catch the end of the High School Musical spoof episode of South Park. No question, it is great. This is then followed by the South Park episode where an episode of Family Guy is showing a cartoon of Mohammed. All in all both episodes cheer me up and raise spirits.

Again this evening I dip into the Kahlua, which is a pretty unwise decision/choice at such a late hour on a school life. Such is the life of a downtrodden commuter though being buttfucked by incompetence. Once more I pass out as a result only to awaken in the early hours to a Chris Rock special on Comedy Central.

When I rise I notice I haven’t finished my drink so I polish it off before getting in my car and heading home to bed. That was a reckless decision.

I need a girlfriend. One to pick me up from stranded broken down trains and one to stop me drinking alcohol late at night.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Wednesday 22 April 2009

Dream: another day another dream of hanging out with my former boss the producer with the guy acting friendly and courteous, the complete opposite of how he is to be remember for the way he acted (and still acts?) for the two and a half years of my tenure. Scarily I am now earning 18 grand more than his tight arse was paying me.

Today is the first day this year that I am not wearing my coat to work and it feels liberating.

I leave home slightly late this morning and driving to the station I find myself being frowned upon when I beep/honk my horn at the car in front of me that stops to allow an old lady walking her dogs cross the road - I know, I’m a dick. As I look at her she is angrily shaking her head in disgust at me in that non-threatening way that little old ladies do. I fire back a sarcastic smile mouthing unapologetically the word “work” at her. Yup, I’m a dick.

On the platform at the station the day becomes topical as I notice a man that looks like Susan Boyle waiting for the train with us. He doesn’t look like he would be very good at singing either but I bet that means he has the voice of an angel. I think this woman has tapped into something (or rather Simon Cowell will have by the end of it). Her look is so everywoman and everyman and the support for her will always be unending and infinite. Not that the circus is pushing anything forward.

By the time the train reaches Liverpool Street for a second day running the Piers Fletcher-Dervish lookalike is really grimacing again. As we get up to leave the train I ask him if he is “all right?” breaking the fourth wall. He tells me he has fucked his knees up and he doesn’t know how. Nasty.

Today is Earth Day, whatever that means. It is also Budget Day. OK, lets see just how this government intends to drag us out of the shit without dragging through it further first.

At work it is a slow day. Until midday it is only The Girl and I. I still get hassle from people dropping off deliveries and one particularly unhelpful chump just dumps a pallet of new china wear on the street outside the restaurant which could easily see us get in trouble. Where are the people that are supposed to be dealing with this?

Later I get a call from one of the sites and some guy from EDF (collection agent) has turned up threatening to cut off their power supply. Likewise I deal with this shit but again where are the people that are supposed to be dealing with this?

The morning flies by without me accomplishing anything that I had wanted to. This annoyance is then coupled with the new software on my PC slowing it down to new extremes revealing to the IT guy that I just have too much stuff on my hard drive.

In the afternoon one of the chefs comes up with a query he has about a self-assessment letter (and fine) he has received in the post. I thought we had sorted this out at the end of February. To be honest I don’t really know what I am doing but I do my best.

The boss lets us out half an hour early meaning I get back to Colchester this evening before 7PM. This is a true accomplishment.

When I stop by the olds I would appear that I have broken their computer. As I play with it a bit more it begins to make booting noises which suggests the problem is more with the monitor than the computer thankfully. It still points towards things costing money in replacement but luckily I eventually get the thing working. I do have a history of breaking other peoples’ computers so I do have something of a complex and easy guilt trip in this area.

As I spend the evening at my parents nicer and more comfortable flat once again I take The Simpsons in preference to the yawn fest that appears to be Chelsea v Everton on Sky.

At 9PM I watch The Apprentice for only the second time this series. It is the breakfast cereal challenge featuring Pants Man and half way through it becomes obvious that the team managed by the Yank is making an utter balls up of the task and that the Septic is fucked. Too many times she reminds me of you know who. Eventually and unsurprisingly she gets the sack but not before making a spectacle of herself in the boardroom get all dramatic as the evil little fucker in glasses stitches her up.

It’s a drag that this bird gets the hoof as she was the only one I ever really fancied and once the attractive competitors are removed the show suddenly it means you have to begin to pay attention to what the candidates are doing.

As I begin to watch The Apprentice You’re Fired I notice the squaddie with the dog outside so I head out to see them. As soon as Bobby sees me he comes running over jumping up to me seemingly really happy to see me. I am relieved that he is still alive as yet again these people are walking him without a leash (this is bound to end in tears). After the initial flurry of excitement Bobby soon calms down and begins go off adventuring again leaving me to talk to the couple looking after him. These guys are from a different world to me so it is difficult. By nature I am weary of squaddies (it is drummed into at an early age when going out in Colchester) so I don’t really let much go. That said we get on, they’re ok and I’m ok.

It is headed towards 10.30PM when I get back inside and buoyed on by seeing the dog I tear into some Guitar Hero 4 action tearing into “Kick Out The Jams” for the first time, which just might be one of the greatest songs ever to appear on Guitar Hero.

As I wind up and shut up shop (the flat) for the night and begin to head home I read online that Roy Keane is emerging as the favourite for the job of manager at Ipswich Town. Are you fucking kidding me?

I decide to stick around for this weeks’ Newswipe before finally heading home but this week turns out to be a compilation of the previous four episodes, which tastes slightly lazy but does come with the humorous sight of Charlie Brooker in an Avid Merrion neckbrace.

Finally I get home to Bohemian Grove and immediately head to bed.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Tuesday 21 April 2009

Dream: in my dream I wake up to find that all the information on my iPhone has been wiped and all the applications and icons have been moved and/or changed. The lost data devastates and panics me.

When I wake up again (for real this time) it is with a sense of relief that my iPhone has not actually been tampered with in reality.

Getting dressed this morning is difficult I just have no clothes that fit me any more. Its not so much I have overgrown the old ones its that the sizes of the new garments are just smaller. Is this a subliminal measure and tactic by the government, The Man and the world to make people trim down? This is a measure and tactic that appears to be failing miserably.

I leave wearing my big coat walking into a misty and chilly morning in full knowledge that by the time I reach London the coat will be rendered unnecessary as the day blooms into something distinctly summer-esqe. It’s a hassle leaving at this time.

Upon arrival at the station this morning trains are cancelled and delayed – welcome to the week proper.

Once on a train though I watch as the Piers Fletcher-Dervish lookalike sits opposite me grimacing with an apparent gammy leg. After yesterday I can thoroughly/totally/completely empathise with this/him.

Sat next to me today is a guy with a laptop. Oh the joy of being nudged in the ribs every five seconds for an hours journey while this schmuck finishes off spreadsheets he should have completed last night at home. I guess he can’t rock the “my dog ate my homework” excuse.

During the journey I think about Beaumont Seymour today with my most mature head to date. This probably has something to do with my payrise and how I am now earning £22K more than when I was when they sacked me but some kind of fondness towards the place resonates with me at this time as fond memories of that job return to me.

Today is an 8.12 arrival into Liverpool Street just because I am busy and could really do with being on time into the office or even getting a head start on/to proceedings.

At Kings Cross a little person in a suit gets on the tube only to shuffle through passengers panicked and run off the carriage before the train even has chance to leave the station. Is he a modern pickpocket?

As I arrive at St Johns Wood station the train (and my life) syncs perfectly with the close of “First Big Weekend” by Arab Strap. This is my soundtrack at the moment; this is how I positively view life – bedraggled and wasted.

Walking towards the restaurant I see Harry Enfield dropping his kid off at school. There is something about seeing a celebrity that will improve any day and make it better.

My walk to the restaurant concludes with “Rickys Theme” arriving on my iPod which coupled with the beautiful sunny morning truly paints a picture that equates to all feeling right with the world.

The optimism is short-lived unfortunately as entering into work people are already in and I sense an atmosphere in the air that does not feel/bode well.

Despite my clothing (and body) issues this morning unfortunately I find that before 10AM I have already been handed a bacon and egg sandwich followed by a jam doughnut. What is it with people feeding me? It has always been the way and I suspect it will always remain so.

Today is another busy busy day but today is the BIG deadline day – make or break.

Nora tells me how the Jeff Buckley CD I gave her to give to her little girl had made her daughter cry. Whoops, that wasn’t supposed to happen but with hindsight I can see how.

By the end of the day we get there – we meet the deadline when met with an excessive amount of pressure and people becoming quite flustered in the process.

£3672.89 is the magic number.

Shattered I don’t even bother with kickboxing tonight, especially with Liverpool v Arsenal on TV. I leave slightly late and wind up catching the 6.30 to Norwich instead of the 6.20.

On the journey I come to the realisation that I’m not materialistic on purpose it has just been thrust upon me.

Tonight I sit next to a guy on the train that is watching The Simpsons on his laptop. Even without sound the show is fucking funny.

When I stop by my parents’ place the time is 7.45 the place looks like a bombsite. Hungrily I tear into more bad food in the process of raiding their cupboards.

In addition to nibbling on the food tonight I dip into the booze as a real urge for a White Russian overcomes me. As I look into the old man’s booze cupboard it is stocked sky high with bottles a plenty of duty free hooch that he hasn’t really had the desire to polish off. A few years ago he went through a short phase of wanting to learn how to make cocktails but ultimately that proved something of a fad. So as a result this evening I benefit as I find not only one but two large bottles of Kahlua. When however I mix it with the milk, the milk seems/appears distinctly off.

As I sup at the off alcoholic beverage I find myself once more veering away from the football on Sky Sports (Liverpool v Arsenal) instead choosing to watch The Simpsons instead. When these episodes eventually end I flip back over to the football to discover Arsenal are surprisingly beating Liverpool 1-0. The noise coming from Anfield is impressive although it is tough to imagine anybody getting too passionate about the Premier League. As the game reaches half time, the real time reaches 9PM and once more I find myself distracted and veering towards more cartoon comedy in the form of South Park on Comedy Central.

Early into South Park I find myself falling asleep and/or passing out. Whether this is the work of the Kahlua and off milk is open to debate but all I know is that it makes for a rude awakening back to the Liverpool v Arsenal game, which appears to have suddenly sprung to life, and is now 3-3.

With ten minutes to go I suddenly take interest in the game and when Arseshavin (or whatever his name is) scores at the death it thoroughly reminds me of Michael Thomas’ winner in 1989 on that dank Friday night a few weeks after Hillsborough. When he scores and it goes in I don’t even realize it is his fourth of the evening, such is my confused (and possibly drunk) state. Despite this Anfield remains a noisy fortress of a football ground and unsurprisingly they squeeze out an injury time equalizer that can only serve to make the casual viewer spit out loud.

For a second Tuesday running the match on TV between two of the top four ends in a 4-4 draw. Just what this says about the modern state of top flight football is another thing. To be honest with teams bogged down by foreign names I do not recognize that are coming in at a rapid rate through a revolving door that is seeing just as many names going the other way it slightly cheapens what could be regarded as classics in another light. Unfortunately however with stars missing from these games (and Arsenal being full of fucking no-names) they are just like reserve and/or practice matches. If I were at Anfield I do not think I would be making the noise that their fans were tonight.

Not long after the final whistle I head home where Danny Baker laughs it up on this tonight’s 606 show.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Monday 20 April 2009

Dream: some how for some reason Andy who used to be at the restaurant and Zoë from Baker Street appear to be getting it on while playing mobile phone games. This is a weird one. And Jesus what is it that I don’t have?

Things feel strange this morning. Outside it is misty and slightly chilled. I bet by the end of the day it will be sunny and warm meaning my coat will be unnecessary and a nuisance.

Today is a bad hair day. Not my first one of recent memory, I seriously need to go get a haircut.

On the train this morning I do not manage to get my usual seat, the one tucked away in the corner meaning I have nobody behind me and where I can just curl up against the wall and fall asleep. Instead the seat I sit in this morning has noticeably less leg room than my usual throne, this doesn’t look very good.

At Kelvedon some guy in a suit sits next to me and thankfully doesn’t crowd the plate too much. This unfortunately cannot be said for the man gets on at Witham and decides to sit opposite. This man is the tallest man in Essex, the tallest person I have probably ever seen on the commute. As a result of this his lanky fucking legs protrude meaning I am unable to move my own. Every morning I already sit on the balls of my feet but now I am expected to sit completely still and frigid.

As the journey continues my legs begin to tighten up and I begin to experience the most painful train I have ever had – this is why people wear silly socks on aeroplanes. The shooting pain begins to overwhelm me I make my agony clear to the lanky cunt opposite me in the hope he will move also. No dice. Soon thankfully though the unendurable ride is over and as soon as it is possible I stand up and get off the train almost running. As I do so I walk wonky to emphasise to the tall guy just how close he has come to crippling me. He doesn’t care.

By the time I get to work thankfully the blood has returned to my legs and normality resumes. Today I remember to bring in the copy of “Grace” by Jeff Buckley to Nora for her daughter that I actually bought for Gyle as a present about three or four years ago. When I picked the CD up this morning it was caked in dust and still in shrinkwrap. It is pretty coincidental that it will now be eventually ending up in the hands of another Filipino person as I do my part to fuel and improve the music tastes of a future generation and guide it towards good music and away from Alexandra Burke.

Today is a fiery morning, I am very busy in the build up to tomorrows BIG deadline. I begin the day still with a long list of jobs/work still to do but soon it gets added to extensively.

My boss is today processing the monthly wages and mid morning he informs me that they are increasing my salary backdated to January and that having met the deadlines (in theory) we are still getting the bonus. This is scary money.

I manage to suppress my glee at this good news. I do not tell anybody in the office, not even the other person getting a bonus. Also I barely tell any of my friends for appearing to be gloating too much in the style of David Brent at the end of the first series of The Office. That said it is slightly sad that I have nobody to head out to celebrate it with.

As the day paces by my list, being added to by the hour, doesn’t get any shorter and the day becomes something of an exercise into papering up the cracks in certain areas. At the end of the day there is some kind of inquisition into the accounts, as the directors get involved in reviewing.

Eventually I get out the office at 7PM tonight. When I get to Liverpool Street the trains are fucked due to signal/cable problems at Bethnal Green meaning I wind up getting home around 9.40PM.

Back home I wind up cooking lots of bad BBQ chicken wings in the microwave (that I swear are not fit for consumption) while grazing/picking at Jalapeno houmous with pitta bread.

Tonight is the final Stewart Lee Comedy Vehicle, the religion episode that was supposed to have been broadcast last week (at Easter) originally. This week’s episode comes complete with a Jesus Lizard joke and alt rock credibility. It’s only a so so episode in an OK ending to a great series.

In the end I fall asleep watching the Sam Kinison DVD I had on back order from Play. It’s not great.