Monday, 31 August 2009

Monday 31 August 2009 – BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY

Hell is other people.

It was probably not the best idea in the world to fall asleep in my new top last night. This will now serve to make it prematurely tatty.

I miraculously sleep until 8.30AM, this is great stuff, almost a decent night’s sleep and significant lie in. For this I should really in theory feel refreshed and envigored but the reality is that I just wake up feeling as cranky as ever. I guess it’s not my body that is feeling the toll currently.

Why on earth does ITV persist in showing Jeremy Kyle (the king of the Gypsies) on Bank Holidays? Is there not enough misery attached to proceedings already?

Today is intended to be about writing and hoping not to get distracted by childish things. I have to say though with recent events (pulling down the blog) the wind really has been knocked out of my sails.

As I peruse my downloads I come across the first few episodes of Hung on HBO and after a lukewarm pilot episode the realisation that it is only a thirty minute show helps lend me the patience to sit through it. And this serves me and the show well as episodes two and three turn out to be very fun and enjoyable, not least for the performance of kooky sidekick Tanya played by Jane Adams who last popped up in The Wackness but was also truly fantastic in Wonder Boys. Strangely in the current financial climate we live in its recognition in this show and the main character’s efforts to get through them is somewhat life affirming even if the premise is that he has a larger dick than the viewer. There is a shadowy, dark feel to the tone and environment of the programme, one where the lights are dimmed and sex is well represented in its full horror instead of glory. This just maybe the best working class escort since Midnight Cowboy and thus far he has managed to keep it straight.

Of course I get inevitably distracted from writing as Channel Four repeats their T4 From The Beach event showing off seemingly the cream of the current music crop. Amongst them is Peter Andre and I begin to wonder just how great it would be to be him at this time. He has no discerning talent but is still managing to cash in on the most stupid of publics, perhaps the dumbest public in the history of man so far. Idiocracy looks set to happen if watching this “music” event (actually exercise into PR and marketing event) is to be believed. When Ndubz appear you begin to wonder just when Chris Morris will come out from behind the scenes to point out it was his invention all the long. I don’t hate Dappy but fucking hell the kid can’t string a real sentence together to save his fucking life.

This is my day.

In the afternoon BBC1 premieres the movie Goal. This is fucking hilarious, the Sky Sports version of football on a big screen. The main guy’s dad is the dad from Ugly Betty which gives a bit of absurd humour to proceedings. Despite all this bollocks I do find myself getting sucked into the film and begin to think more of it as a guide to Newcastle United. What money grabbing sap at that club allowed the place to be represented in such a Mickey Mouse manner?

Before the end of the movie (I almost said game) I get a beep on my phone and it is a message from Mark suggesting a meet up at the pub. With it being a beautiful day outside I would only be a fool to waste the opportunity to sit and drink outside in it.

Again it is another reliable session of defragging these times. One of us is headed to Leytonstone while the other remains train torture bound. It’s not hard to resent this reality, this existence and this world.

Compared to recent outings tonight is a short one as afterwards I head to my parents on the blag before heading home to the reality of having wasted my bank holiday weekend.

In the end I wind up watching Kill Bill: Vol One on BBC2 where I find myself somewhat pleasantly shocked by the quality of it. Was this movie always this good? The techniques now appear breathtaking and super efficient. Maybe it is a case that I just get/understand/see the origins and references with more clarity. Impressively the movie grips me all the way to the end well past midnight. A feat seldom worked on me in this day and age.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Sunday 30 August 2009

Dream: I am in London with my parents doing the tourist haunt thing. There is a Disney gimmick to proceedings and soon we have ditched each other to go do separate things.

This morning I wake up feeling let down and messed around/about by people.

At this moment in time I am horribly unfocused, unable to cobble together any kind of strategy or scheme to my life.

I wake up around 7.30AM, which sadly constitutes a lie in for me.

After pottering around, attempting to write but instead watching a variety of video files I have download I eventually sit down to watch the Guerilla: The Taking Of Patty Hearst documentary. For some reason at the moment I am fascinated with such things as the Symbionese Liberation Army and why the happen and what their motives are. Perhaps it was reading the Luke Haines book and his descriptions of Baader Meinhof that twigged that part of my memory/conciousness, especially at a time where the world seems ripe for such a new organisation to begin creating chaos. I know we have terrorism from the Middle East but those guys just are not “cool”, their PR is shoddy and amateur and it is impossible for a person to see any real purpose and reason to their efforts and plight. Dressed up in the right clothes/fashion, some silly little liberal white middle class group such as the SLA or Baader Meinhoff do appear to have the media manipulating smarts to create something interesting and altogether more intimidating.

There is a danger of romanticising such movements as being like Robin Hood so it is pretty good when this particular documentary is thorough enough to show the reality of the group, of its accomplishments and failings and its ultimate consequences and the hypocrisy in how Patty Hearst was granted eventual pardon due to her class status while four members through guilt decide to take on delayed post event punishment. The closing footage of Hearst being interview by Gabby Roslin while four members rot in court is quite a revealing gulf.

The concept of Stockholm Syndrome has always been one that fascinated me. You see it at all levels, most definitely at school when/where developing minds are being manipulated but also I have seen it in the workplace and in social groups throughout the years.

From here I waddle across TV stations to find Johnny Cash appearing in an episode of Columbo. This is quite the vision.

In the afternoon I meet up with Mark at the Hospital Arms. As I had walked to the pub I had passed a very attractive Boho girl that looked completely out of place walking up Crouch Street and also looked pretty disgusted as we exchanged expressions. Remember her.

At the Hospital Arms we sit in the beer garden shooting the shit. I have a flat pint of some ghastly bitter called Explorer and the fucker immediately gives me a headache. What was I thinking straying away from the usual, from what I know.

Mark tells me the latest movements on Leytonstone and finally seals a “no” on the suggestion/proposal for me to have the spare room. I have to admit this completely serves to gut me as I had been giving it strong consideration recently and to get away from the commuting, even if it was for just six months, was something that I thought/felt might help rejuvenate the batteries on some kind of lasting level. Alas now it seems it is not to be. Sadness accrues.

While we talk the Boho girl turns up at the table next to us with a pint in one hand and notebook in the other. As she pulls out a cigarette she begins scribbling in the book as if she is French. It looks pretty out of place in this stuffy old people’s pub and after the one pint she disappears to leave us to go back to our indie music discussion (that old chestnut).

Eventually after a number of drinks we knock the session on its head and chip off.

Tonight on TV is The Office evening. I toy with the idea of watch it, it being one of my all time favourite TV programmes but when it becomes evident that there isn’t really going to be much in the way of any new footage or input added to proceedings it doesn’t really hold much in the way of appeal or anticipation. As ever annoyingly a Ricky Gervais product only serves to remind me of my American friend, which is not necessarily a healthy train of thought for me to be harbouring at anytime. Ghastly.

Quickly I fall asleep early into proceedings. What a waste.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Saturday 29 August 2009

Dream: it is my birthday and I get to take all my friends to a posh restaurant in London paid for by one of my bosses. When we arrive at the restaurant we are led to a large table through what appears to be a glass airport terminal. The meal is being hosted by Jonathan Ross and Alec Baldwin (in his 30 Rock character). As we walk to the table one of Jonathan Ross’s daughters is with us and I tell her how cool her dad is. It’s a fun meal but we have it made clear to us that we should not overstay our welcome or talk to our celebrity hosts too much. The sad truth is that this birthday celebration is likely to be far better than last week’s.

Thank God that I do not have to get out of bed today. However with that in mind I do still have to do the weekly Asda run which I eventually plod out of bed to perform with only the minimum of enthusiasm. There are no treats to be had here at this time, I just have to buy a little extra in order to successfully get through the three day weekend.

When I get back to Bohemian Grove I tear into some writing, hoping for it to the be the first third of a productive weekend of writing. As ever I plan too much and fail to meet such targets and standards, instead finding myself getting frustrated at my slow progression. I have reached the stage now where I want to move back to at least trying to write a second book, be it finishing off the first draft of Gestures or moving onto something else, maybe even 31 Baker Street.

Midway through the morning Mark, after being quiet all week, texts to let me know that he is on his way back to Colchester and is up for hanging out when it is convenient.

As the day slips away, originally I had been intending to put a cheque into my bank account towards my Travelcard renewal. This however proves too much of a pipedream as the bank’s closing time of 4PM suddenly arrives with the day having gotten away from me. What have I been doing with my Saturday?

Late in the afternoon I head over to the olds’ at Balkerne Heights arriving around 5PM just in time for Manchester United v Arsenal. The game is far from a classic but at least Manchester United come from behind to win as Diaby puts through his own net for Arsenal lining up a 2-1 win for the Mancs.

With the sun still out I text Mark to see if he is up for some 7ish drinks but he responds telling me how he is otherwise engaged with family matters. It was a bit short notice anyway.

Later when I head home unfortunately it is too late to do any more writing and ultimately the day ends on a flat note feeling like something of a waste and a failure.

Once home from here I settle into a weak Saturday night of watching so so TV before inevitably passing out probably some time between Shooting Stars and Final Destination 3.


Friday, 28 August 2009

Friday 28 August 2009

Has the world changed or have I?

It is with a sense of victory and mild euphoria that I reach today. Mission accomplished on the four gigs in four nights and now for my body it is all downhill from here as I sense that today it is going to make me pay. Surprisingly however as the week has continued I have found myself feeling less and less shattered. Tuesday was the lowpoint and ever since it has just felt like a nuisance rather than full on fatigue.

I wake up this morning beginning to question whether last night was real. Today I am tired and emotional and that can’t be good for anybody within the vicinity.

Again I find myself leaving the house slightly earlier and as a result get to North Station by 6.53AM, far too early by any stretch of the imagination. This does however mean I manage to get “my seat” on the train as I pray for sleep and for every other passenger/commuter to just leave me alone.

Eventually the train pulls into Liverpool Street at 8.04AM. No comment.

As I pass through the station to get to my tube platform today I honoured with the sight of Chinese OCD Man rifling through The Metro newspaper stands furiously straightening and restacking the rags. His face looks reader than ever as today it would appear he has more copies to deal with than usual. I wonder what he would be doing if he didn’t have this job/task at hand. Does he visit every station on the Central Line? Is he just passing on his way to his real job? Is he one of these people that lost their job in the recession but still leaves the house every day to go to a pretend job and in order to spend his time he now folds and stacks newspapers. Or, as I expect, is he just like Monk and Rain Man and cannot bear the thought of people causing an untidy scene, which begs the question: does he really have OCD or is he autistic? One day I will have to approach him and ask but first let me put on safety goggles and a thick vest.

Generally seeing Chinese OCD Man is a good omen for the day ahead, unlike spotting the seemingly evil Baker Street Midget.

When I eventually get through the tubes and into work almost immediately with a long distance end in sight I find myself clockwatching dying to reach the three day weekend ahead and get/gain some sleep and rest.

Today I find myself caught up in the midst of some kind of nostalgia for My So-Called Life. It happens when I find myself pining for the 90s as I read over the tracklisting for the soundtrack album. All those grunge lite alternative rock gems including even Daniel Johnston. We didn’t realise how good we had it. As I share my emotions on Facebook numerous girls hit me in response proclaiming their affection for the show also. I need to grow up.

The day is generally hassle free as the bosses appear to be locked in meetings for the majority of it, which takes the heat off me (us) until the afternoon when suddenly in a flap/panic my boss asks me to send over the July accounts to the consultant, who thankfully has been relatively mute of late.

Eventually I appease everyone and by home time at 5PM everyone is relatively happy and I am relieved to being putting my week of gigs to bed.

On the train home I listen to the Buffalo 66 soundtrack and find myself as ever being blown away by “Heart Of The Sunrise” by Yes. I find it so fucked up that my old employer was ever associated with this band. It was amusing how I once suggested to the financial controller that our boss should work with Vincent Gallo off the back of his apparent affection for prog rock and Yes. I wasn’t quite laughed out of the office but I suspect it was close.

The train home tonight is incredibly annoying. From onwards I want laughing, talking and children banned from peak time commuter trains.

When I eventually get home (via my parents) it is with a literal sigh of relief. My week ends as I fall asleep to the sound of Big Brother and the big eviction battle of Marcus vs Siavash which Wolverine sadly loses thus ending any chance of Big Brother having a good winner this year.

I wish there was more to my Friday nights.

Please don’t get depressed this weekend.
Please don’t get depressed this weekend.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Thursday 27 August 2009

It is another hard entry into the morning and day. The alarm clock buzzes just when I do not want it to and the reality of getting even less sleep than usual is beginning to take its toll now. Despite this however I leave for the station with my car clock saying 6.39AM for the second time this week, 6.39AM being two minutes ahead of when I am usually pulling away from Bohemian Grove. Am I forgetting to do something in the morning before leaving? Something like wash?

Arrival at North Station is met with the announcement that there is a broken down goods train at Marks Tey so fuck knows when I will now be getting into London.

As the train slowly grinds to a halt early on it comes coupled with a dulling headache kicking in my wellbeing. All in all this equates to my becoming a gloomy bear.

When we finally reach Chelmsford a beautiful Asian lady sits next to me and this only serves as a harsh and timely reminder of my single status.

Eventually the train pulls into Liverpool Street just before 8.40AM. This not a little late, this is a lot late, this is compensation territory. Hurray, I get to claim back a £4 train voucher in exchange for 40 minutes of my life I will not be getting back. These people are slowly murdering me physically and spiritually, one millisecond at a time.

A further delay occurs on the platform of the tube station at Liverpool Street and when my train finally arrives it comes with the smell of a combination of pork and a McDonalds breakfast. My stomach begins to rumble as the remainder of my body continues to ache and complain.

Finally I stagger into work a little late but not late to the point I feel the need/requirement to apologise.

The working day is a disaster, I do nothing. The combination of my headache and fatigue prevents me from focusing and concentrating so a lot of today’s efforts have to be used in calming down and preventing my internal tourettes becoming external.

Thankfully the day does last forever and eventually 5.30PM comes around and with it time to head home. The gods also appear to be smiling on me as the journey home proves to be smooth and lacking in drama and delay.

Tonight is the latest Flux Capacitor gig at The Bull hosted by Lee. After the last show he put on starring Kunt And The Gang all signs point towards tonight being a great night as DJ SCOTCH EGG is headlining.

After stopping by at the olds in Balkerne Heights I get in touch with Doug to see if he is heading down from Ipswich and when he responds telling me how he is already at The Bull I swiftly/immediately head down.

When I arrive people are light on the ground. With Lee already stressing about one of his acts having dropped out (PILCHARD) the additional headache for him comes in the form of people being light on the ground.

The night opens with a ZA GINIPIGGU set. Or at least an attempt at one. Due to technical difficulties frustration overrides proceedings and the set gets aborted as Lee announces that he might just as well do an impromptu MIXOMATOSIS set involving the usual lashings of screaming and rolling around in agony to mutations of popular hits amongst the well adjusted. As ever it is an ugly sight born out of annoyance and frustration, a necessary declaration and expression. Tonight the set is stepped up with the addition of DJ SCOTCH EGG getting involved, distorting and obliterating the pitch of the MIXOMATOSIS performance to ear splitting levels and super humour. Bonus. A collaboration of the nations, celebration.

Following on from this comes some stroppy mare endeavouring to stamp authority and discipline onto proceedings. The HYPNOTIQUE spiel an awkward. I guess it does not help that on a personal level she reminds me of somebody from my past I named Moriarty. With a pounding beat announcing/declaring her entrance into the room she stomps like some kind of major, hovering around the audience declaring “you lack discipline” before boarding the stage and wheeling out a selection of songs about manipulation and woe (amongst other things). Her axe is the Theremin and she expertly uses it to grind. There is something really exciting about the Theremin, of the noise it exudes and the spooky sounds that accompany its execution and abandon. To have such a sound accompany seeding sex stories though is somewhat reaching in a non-triumphant way. Ultimately though I fail to get taken in by the content, it feels disingenuous.

In the spot where PILCHARD should have originally performing now instead comes a mix that he has phoned in with view to the audience having a dance off contest instead. As a paper cut out of his face is placed onstage to look over proceedings (and judge) a few of us attempt to dance at the fragmented sounds of a mix made to offend major labels and copyright enforcers. Personally I do some Moonwalking in tribute to the death of our leader, our king Michael Jackson but when the dust settles and all is done Lee chooses to award the winning prize to some strangers (well, people we don’t know). Did he not understand that this was my Pulp Fiction?

With this DJ SCOTCH EGG takes up centre stage on proceedings and dishes out another frenetic and pleasingly terrifying set of chiptune and gabba destruction set around his table of magic toys, each warping and mashing the sound with each magical touch. As he bounces around beckoning the audience to move closer he is energy is as boundless as his musical intellect and the pulsing charge his drum and bass combination mutates proceedings in some kind of game of its own as he swoops around the audience like an overexcited dog. At some point he grabs a chair almost WWF style and for a moment it looks as if proceedings are going to go bash but ultimately he just wants an added/improved view of events.

For a musical form that is so steeped in computers and electronics DJ SCOTCH EGG really brings a new level/degree of performance to the genre in a live setting. With this explosion comes a tangible element to the music, one that serves to make a person’s heart beat faster and their body accelerate to a new degree. Basically it is unavoidable when the author and father of the music gets so positively and physically in your face. At the end of the day chiptune is chiptune, there are very few subtleties attached to and the only true way to respond is to either physically or literally scream.

Swiftly after the set ZA GINIPIGGU finds a new life as the technical difficulties of earlier get solved/resolved and the pulsing refines of random notes chosen by the audience serve to shake the room in the most nonplussed motion possible. With this the reality as the night slowly comes to an end this soundscape serves to clear the room of both audience and awkwardness. I remain to the end hoping to discover, maybe even the brown notes. Neither occur but as the set (and the evening) comes to thundering climax when silence screams out so do I in a cheer part steeped in relief, celebration and sacrifice.

Afterwards we reconvene outside feeling the victors because we were part of a special few to have bothered with the events of the evening. Away from turnout the entire evening was another victory (artistic) from The Flux Capacitor.

As DJ SCOTCH EGG emerges he asks if any of us have a light but nobody seems to smoke much in our circles anymore. Instead we begin chatting and I do my usual thing with Japanese people of grilling them about J-Pop and throwing names such as Koda Kumi and Ayumi Hamasaki into the mix. DJ SCOTCH EGG nails me immediately and says with a laugh “you like Japanese girls?” My peccadillo.

From here with the night heading towards midnight we slowly head off in our different directions. I give Doug a lift to the train station and as I turn around and head home I spot DJ SCOTCH EGG sat on the kerb outside the station. I wave and give him the thumbs up in appreciation for him coming to Colchester tonight. Slow witted as ever I get halfway home before I realise that he has probably missed the last train home. Immediately I turn my car home and return to the station to check that he is OK and offer a couch to sleep on if need be. When I get back to the station he is gone. It being a Thursday night in Colchester this is a very grotty time to be stranded on the streets. I hope he is OK. Suddenly I feel guilt for not checking that he was OK first time around. I hope this is not the last time we see him.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Wednesday 26 August 2009

I get up and go to work. I am an idiot.

Today begins badly when a Facebook comment from Nikki (my American Friend’s friend) puts a bubble bursting comment on my status about the Tortoise show last night. I know I shouldn’t react and shouldn’t allow myself to be upset by something so miniscule but with it being the first thing I read this morning it turns out to be the Facebook equivalent of getting out of bed on the wrong side. The problem with any remotely iffy comment from/attached to her is that part of my mentality is that it is also coming from my American Friend and as a result it can be taken as akin to her rubbing more shit in my face.

Millwall are on GMTV news this morning with coverage matching the strange thoroughness that was explaining the term “loan shark” a few weeks ago. Of course its all negative and exaggerated, hyperbole appears to be the only language that their demographic appears to understand. They need it is this way in order to titillate, to appeal to their senses and brains that are not in their heads but in their nether regions.

So yeah after the sensible advice from Racton last night that today I should take a sick day, like a fool I pull myself together and leave on time (actually, even a minute or two early) and trudge to the station.

After parking up and walking to the station as I near the station some chav at the bus-stop asks me for help (money). Initially I don’t hear him because I’m listening to my iPhone so when I don’t acknowledge him he shouts at me to see if I will help him. Oh yeah, that is really going to work, stupid cunt. I just shake my head, a dual purpose shake saying “no” and “you’re disgusting.” Jesus Christ do I look like such a mark to these people?

So after the waitress and her loan yesterday, Nikki and now this guy in short succession I just come to the conclusion that being nice to people really doesn’t appear to work in this day and age. Why don’t people take ownership of/for their own responsibilities and leave me alone. I will bail no one out; this will be today’s mantra.

Once on the train I flip open today’s The Metro to the sight of a pro-Palestine protestor on page 5. This guy looks like a model – is this what lost cause protestors look like now or was this an official press photo sent out by their press department. More likely though this is just the result of the combination of Getty (or whoever) taking a picture of the most photogenic person around who is the result of some kind of trust fund mentality that puts as much effort into hair as he does the cause he is protesting. For me this represents my belief that a large majority of the left these days is still made up of those being bankrolled by their parents as they flake their way through the party of education before being shit out into the real world on the other side having their parents pick up the bill. I feel like rolling up this newspaper and hitting the nearest person.

The train pulls into Liverpool Street at 8.04AM this morning, late with depressing regularity.

As I head towards my tube I see the Chinese OCD Man at The Metro standing tidying and restacking today’s issue. He is as red-faced and determined as ever.

It is a nondescript journey into work that is plagued by a headache. The Girl phones me to tell me that Finsbury Park is shutdown. She and the trains – why is everything in my life always late?

All in all though after the choppy start I end up having a fairly productive day, unhindered by outside interference I manage to get the accounts done.

Otherwise there is little to report from the day and soon humpday is gone in a blur and I am heading back home to Essex again.

Upon arrival back into Colchester I head straight for the Hole where Staff is waiting for drinks before we head to the Arts Centre tonight for the NADJA show.

When I finally get to the pub I bump into somebody I do not necessarily want to have anything to do with but immediately we clock each other and there is a sudden obligation to talk to one another. I can’t help but feel all is disingenuous. I can’t exactly recall ever overtly slagging the guy but the thought has certainly eternally occurred to me. Unsurprisingly he is still out of work and pretty much living off his tits.

Eventually I get some escape and finally meet up with Staff outside in the beer garden. It’s a good catch-up session, things sound good, busy and productive. This feels like a rare treat.

From here we head into the venue with optimism in the hope that tonight will offer up something good resembling fresh treats. With this a few old faces have been dragged out but on the whole most of the people frequenting the gig are metal heads with their metal friends.

The show takes off with some slow death or grind metal trying really hard to bring about the end of the world on some kind of tight budget. I barely catch their name and soon I forget it completely as the reality of this band resembling 99% of the other bands of their genre kicks in. Indeed I work with a guy called the Heavy Metal Manager (Simon) who is drummer in such a band. To think this music once terrified the masses as a universal scourge. These days I just find depression in their existence.

Second up is some kind of classic rock band, part Ozzy Sabbath part Southern rock. At least there is something of a more humane element to their shtick but Christ does it feel dated and unappealing at/on this day and age. At what point does a group of individuals decide to set the clock so far back in time? I blame alcohol and boredom. Again I soon forget their name as I glaze over into the ether and beyond this evening praying for an out of body experience to occur soon soon soon.

NADJA thankfully offer up something pretty different, something that doesn’t necessarily have a whole lot in common with what has just come before them. On stage the two of them cut brooding silhouettes as a glorious video backdrop plays out behind them adding texture to their onslaught.

Tonight delivering NADJA up as a bonafide metal act to a black wearing audience feels very much like the time we at Gringo Records tried to rope in a metal audience for Bardo Pond off the back of them sounding a bit like Black Sabbath. Regardless their set towers above what has already come before it this evening.

For me NADJA recall Labradford and to a small extent My Bloody Valentine, albeit in a package that would appear to condone The Crow. As the two guitarists face each other and distort their moves via their laptops you can’t help but feel the onslaught would be greatly assisted by the presence of some beats. In other words: they need drums.

Regardless it is a rejuvenating set that serves blow away many cobwebs at this time and incense my eardrums. At the close of proceedings I feel cleansed and as we all agree it was a good set the redeeming conclusion appears to be that it lacked the dynamics of beats.

From here I bid farewell and goodbye to various faces from the evening and head home having completed gig three of four for the week. Just one more to go now.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Tuesday 25 August 2009

The bad news today is that I barely clocked up four hours sleep last night and this will now mean that I will be a wreck of a man today.

The bad times continue as I check my phone to discover that it has barely charged through the night and is still on red bars. That is very bad. Why aren’t people pointing out the poor battery life of the iPhone more?

Battered and bruised after only one night of the four night stint I head to the station and London not feeling it in the least this morning. I question whether my eyes are even open as before I know it thankfully I am already on a train.

I endeavour to curl up in a corner and steal some sleep but that never happens when you want it to.

It is with rare glee that the train does not beach outside Liverpool Street and as a result actually pulls into the station at 8AM. Looking at the clock I feel like a drunk man hallucinating.


The Girl returns to work today and I bite my tongue, choosing not to comment on her blasé absence yesterday. Confused my boss seems to think she had book the day off as a holiday so weirdly that keeps him sweet and we all come away smelling of roses.

Against expectations I am a complete wreck today. There is no real explanation for this. I did not drink excessively last night but I guess I did get back later than usual/expected. Still however I feel seriously shit, verging on some kind of weird sickness which ultimately renders me incompetent today. Lucky the pressure is not then.

The morning as usual flies by as I am now into the Tuesday to Thursday blur and before I know it it is lunchtime. Today I have (plunder) lemon chicken with the mandatory fries, the mentality behind this being some kind of McDonalds-esqe fuel injection of carbs that will hopefully kick-start the system, especially with tonight’s gig in mind and being out late this evening and missing dinner.

All in all though by the end of the day it has been pretty good and I find myself being able to regard it as a successful and productive day mainly due to no major distractions.

As the afternoon goes on the accounts begin to feel never-ending, they have arrived in such a mess and as soon as I am able to put one area correct and soon us I lift another stone I somehow only manage to uncover another set of issues. It was always going to be this way.

Eventually 5.30PM comes around and as I leave the bartender/waitress asks me if I am a homeowner. As ever welcoming an opportunity to boast about my status of being an adult she suddenly hits me with a request to be a guarantor on a loan for £3000 for her. Being slow on the uptake like a BIG fucking mug I agree, actually beginning to fill in the form. For some reason I thought this was like being a reference but as the form asks me what my salary is I begin to get suspicions and when I reach the section of the form that asks for my bank details it all begins to look like a Direct Debit mandate. I pause, acting as if I am swallowing something hard and jagged. The waitress then tells me that I need to provide a copy of a recent bank statement and without this to hand I stall and I go I’ll have to look for that home and I return upstairs and file the form. Truly I must have mug written on my forehead.

With time to kill this evening I head down to Fopp to buy Coffee And Cigarettes for £4. I had awoken during the night with cold sweats for not buying it yesterday with fear that upon my return there would be no copies left. Fortunately this proves not to be the case.

From here I head up to Highbury & Islington and the TORTOISE show at The Garage tonight. The meet up point is arranged as The Compton Arms which upon arrival, after meeting Racton at the Barclays cash machine, turns out to be something of grotty pub. Inside however are various recognisable faces full of late summer joy.

It isn’t long (one drink) before Racton and I are soughting exit/escape and in a fantastic turn of events we wind up in KFC. In this day and age of such liberal social circles this is a true treat for me; an act of nihilism and a horrific gesture towards our friends.

As we enter The Garage PIVOT are finishing off their set, playing out like some lively version of Tarwater with so many instruments. We make jokes at their expense as we head to the bar.

Elsewhere this evening Millwall are playing at West Ham in the Carling Cup. From one perspective this game means nothing but from another it means everything. Soon word begins to filter through of trouble and it all sounds exciting. Upton Park is such a dump. With regards to the actual game things only sound better as Neil Harris gives ‘Wall the lead after 26 minutes.

By now Racton and I have edged our way towards the front of the stage where TORTOISE are now setting up their equipment. With so many members and so many instruments this is a chore that appears to be taking forever. Set in the middle of the stage is the drumkit that later John McEntire will be taking. Racton tells me that it is essential to get a view of him as he is a master at work.

The TORTOISE live experience is one that can be a truly classy and emotionally charged one. Behind them tonight they have video screens that display visages of flight and expanse, a kind of freedom seldom afforded within the confines of existence.

Swiftly they kick into action at a pace far outstripping my previous experiences of them but soon it frustratingly proves something of a false start when their equipment fails and the guitarist is finding himself unable to exude any kind of sound. From a long time the band and stage hands alike attempt to salvage proceedings and you can’t help but feel the problems are being caused by their American equipment and the difference in voltage creating a strained marriage between the two power sources.

At this point I check on the football to sadly discover that West Ham have now equalized against Millwall, doing so in the 87th minutes from Stanislas (whoever he is?). From here the inevitable happens as the game goes into extra time and West Ham scrape a dodgy penalty before adding a third to win 3-1 as early reports come through of pitch invasions and other hijinks with the crowd at the game. What a waste of time.

With their equipment issues finally sorted out TORTOISE proceed to quickly tear into their set and make up for lost time in an effort to grace to all new purple Garage with a kind of exuberance seldom experienced in the venue.

The set is new material heavy with Beacons Of Ancestorship being well represented in the mix and healthy for it as it displays a true sense of rejuvenation and rediscovered drive within the band. I have never witnessed the band as close as I do tonight and with it comes some kind of revelation caked in awe as it is plainly evident that these are players at the top of their game. Watching John McEntire drum feels like a sport in itself as the guy gurns and produces the most amazing set of facial ticks and expressions as he plays side on to the crowd but often turns to his right to look the audience square in the eye as if to make them aware that he is the shit. Not bad for a man that looks like Christopher Guest.

As the cascades I find myself fully immersed in the TORTOISE experience recapturing an excitement and desire for this kind of music, an enthusiasm that I have not felt in a very long time. Tonight seeing TORTOISE is in stark contrast to the last time when I was almost horizontal from drunkenness but still both sets climax with the flighty “Swung From The Gutters”. Forever this track will be one of the strongest entities at their disposal. As it kicks in immediately and sets off on adventure it goes from the motions with a true sense of intensity placed into the performance and by the time the delicate hook is zoning in, coming down for landing I find myself truly/genuinely swept away by proceedings and actually experiencing goosebumps from a band’s performance for the first time in years.

From here the set plays out like a heavyweight boxer in the final throes of a fight. Having accomplished and achieved true heights the remainder of the set ticks many boxes as it becomes more than apparent just how special this unit is and how it should not and cannot be taken for advantage. With the night getting late they pull out two encores before we leave the venue are scraping our jaws up off the floor.

As we leave the Garage we spot Thom flyering for his On The Beach club and as I grab one for a second night running he calls me “a machine” for sticking out a second night of US indie gigging. I still have two more nights of this shit to go.

Once inside Highbury & Islington station Racton and I go our separate ways (he North, me South) and while I wait at the platform a girl comes up to me asks where I got my Fopp bag from. This seems a strange question but thankfully she is genuinely being inquisitive, displaying a poor record buying knowledge in not knowing that the Covent Garden store was saved many moons ago.

The wait for the tube feels excruciating and destined to make me late home. Eventually it arrives and from here I head down to Kings Cross where I change onto the Metropolitan Line where I finally get back to Liverpool Street where unsurprisingly I have missed the last fast train (Norwich train) home. From here I settle into a slow train home, one where I feel likely to fall asleep.

From here I look further into developments at Upton Park this evening and it sounds like it was full on. To think a big distinguished Premier League club that claims to have won the 1966 World Cup for England getting all heated and carried away with us (Millwall), a third division club. They must have quite the complex.

On the train ride home I get into a strange little Facebook argument with some guy called Sam who I used to go to school with. He is the one West Ham supporter I am vaguely still in touch with and he makes smart comments and I make smart comments and nobody wins.

Eventually I get home past midnight feeling exhausted. Now that I am 33 I am probably too old for all of this.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Monday 24 August 2009

No day (or week) is ever going to begin well when you go to take a swig of the final milk only to have lumps trickle down your throat. It is a weird sensation that I do not wish to relive.

Not too happy today.

Grudgingly I have breakfast, dress myself, wash, drive to the car park, walk to the station, board the train. All with a scowl, such is my routine.

At Shenfield the weird Warhol-Humphries groomer hybrid guy decides to sit next to me much to my chagrin. I just feel the must hopping off him and landing on me. He is no longer reading Harry Potter, instead he is now reading a truly dog eared copy of Where Eagles Dare that should probably be in a museum although I suspect he probably bought it from a charity shop along with his suit while getting his haircut by the council.

The train pulls into Liverpool Street at 8.04AM after beaching and I am truly relieved to get off it. I would complain but who’d listen?

After an ill tempered nondescript walk to the restaurant I settle into a day of misery. The Girl doesn’t bother to come in which only serves to compound my sour disposition, genuinely depressing me and making me wonder why I bother to put the time and effort into any of this shit (life) when other people appear to be able to just coast through existence always landing on their feet with the help of schmucks and suckers hanging around to catch them when they fall. Thirty three years old does not seem to be agreeing with me.

Obviously I can’t maintain such levels of misery and as people slowly saunter into the office they immediately bring me round. When they ask me if I “had a nice birthday” I respond with positivity and gratitude for their wishes and messages. I do not say that this is not where I want to be at the age of thirty three.

My working day is so so. The consultant is quiet, almost silent, which gives me breathing space with which to get on with things and complete the July accounts uninterrupted and unhindered. Last week was actually pretty/very productive in the end and now it is time to tidy up and polish this turd of a set of accounts.

Tonight I am supposed to be going to see DEERHUNTER and HEALTH at the Koko with Stevo and a few others including The Pope. Checking my phone last night he had attempted to call me but I wasn’t indulging in calls at that time, instead choosing to fester in my contrived and constructed misery. Surely I can get some jokes from feeling so crappy? Anyway, as a result of missing the call plans for tonight are still hanging in the air and in this mindset I am in no real mood to push to make things happen. I do not even know if he has got me a ticket. Eventually however the call happens and vague plans get hatched but all in all this means that this evening is on.

Around lunchtime The Girl calls the office and finally we have an explanation as to just where the fuck she is. It turns out her brother hurt his foot/toe and as a result had a fit and now she is in the hospital with him and his family (kids). She tells me that she text messaged me about this first thing but it turns out that her phone has been blocked because she hasn’t been paying the bills. She asks me to apologise to our boss and tell him that she will be back tomorrow. Oh great, I’m to be the messenger and I’m to be the one that gets shot. Forget that.

The remainder of the working day pans out with no real drama and soon I am heading to Mornington Crescent and the Koko.

Things begin badly as I see the Baker Street Midget. Shortly afterwards I realise that I have left the Six By Seven CD at work. Typical.

I get to Camden well ahead of time and rather than hit and sit in a pub on my own I go into the Costa opposite the Koko where we went before GZA a few years ago.

The meeting place that Stevo wants to hit is Belushi’s. I really don’t like that pub much but I humour him and after picking up some quick dinner in the Sainsburys I head towards the pub where he should be. At this point the phone rings and it is him unsurprisingly telling me that he is going to be late. Against my instincts though I still head there and get a drink.

When Stevo turns about 45 minutes later it turns out that his phone has been playing up and that he hasn’t actually told The Pope or his Camden mate about meet up details either. Suddenly it is evident that it is going to be a long night.

Soon he pulls out his freshly acquired iPhone, which in comparison to my own aged tatty cracked handset makes me feel jealous and slightly inferior. He shows me the app that streams live MLB baseball on his phone and it is truly impressive. If only I still liked baseball, if I had had this when I was younger I would have probably exploded with glee.

Eventually The Pope turns up followed by Stevo’s doctor friend from Camden. The Doc proceeds to buy us rounds as we sit down to watch the Liverpool v Aston Villa game on the pub’s TV rather than head over to the Koko to catch the HEALTH support slot, which to be honest I would find preferable.

By the time we are wandering to the venue I have a busy buzz on. These days I am such a lightweight that only a few jars will serve to make me wobbly. Inside as we pitch up at one of the Koko’s middle levels The Doc buys another round and I notice the bar is serving that weird Pussy energy/caffeine drink.

Swiftly DEERHUNTER come onstage and it isn’t to fireworks. Unfortunately I never did click with the Microcastle album and likewise tonight once more only serves to make me question their appeal. Early into the set they do “Little Kids” which was one of the outstanding tracks from said record but tonight it just gets lost in the mix.

The sad reality is that DEERHUNTER don’t really have any songs. Onstage they may have mastered the Pavement stance and pose but against that they lack the humour and fun of Malkmus et al. Musically at other moments they appear to endeavour to be My Bloody Valentine but ultimately they fail to hurt and eventually they thud melt into some kind of shoegazing nightmare.

DEERHUNTER do not thrive in these confines. They look lost at sea without a beacon of hope or any major device for capturing an individual’s attention.

The sad reality comes when the highlight of the evening for me occurs in the human touch of comedically being trapped in the corner of the Koko’s labyrinth toilet while some guy fronts his ability to piss for longer than me. This surely must hold in the meaning of the music of DEERHUNTER, the ultimate metaphor for their music and general reason for existence (this I believe I typed into my iPhone while very drunk).

Partway through the set my iPhone rings. It is not a number that I recognise but I find myself intrigued. Did I recently give my number to a pretty lady? I respond to the number by text with “Best text. Who are you?” The number responds with “You no me” which totally suggests it is a female messaging, have you ever noticed how it is mainly the fairer text that uses text speak. Cheekily (and drunkenly) I respond, “I probably really like you” to which I get back “I like u too darling.” Suddenly this is worrying, this is terminology not usually used by females I come across. There is some strange irony in the usage of “u” instead of “you” but the accomplishment of correctly using “too”. Undaunted though I replay “Good. So how can I be of assistance?” in the vague hope there may be some poonani at the other. Here however the texting ends.

As does the DEERHUNTER that closes with a whimper and apologies from Stevo that are unnecessary. I don’t think any of us thought the band were any good so to make amends immediately we begin hatching a plan to catch Mudhoney here at the Koko in a few months.

Staggering out of the venue I spot Thom flyering for his On The Beach club. I leap on him with a big drunken bearhug (beerhug). Sounds like he’ll be out later in the week so I guess best speak then when I am sober.

Stevo the star as ever drives us home dropping the Pope off somewhere in North London (via Finsbury Park). Originally a kebab had been promised but with working days ahead of us tomorrow sensibly he doesn’t make good on this promise.

Eventually we get back to Colchester at 1AM where Stevo drops me off at the Embassy Suite. I wave him off thanking eternally for the lift home.

When I get back Bohemian Grove I set about flicking through my old phone to see who the mystery phone number is attached to. Rather than being who I had hoped it would be I cringe in horror as it turns out to be an old work colleague from Ghana called Victoria. Was I really text flirting with a lady pushing 60 earlier? Yuck!

Elsewhere things pick up when I check my post to discover BOS have accepted my credit card application and I should now be able to slap my annual Travelcard renewal onto that at a 0% rate for nine months. Why is it nine months these days? Is it purposely related to the period between conception and birth?

With the night fast approaching 2AM I go to bed feeling sick passing out while the Big Brother live feed plays out on TV. I’ll have a heavy head tomorrow.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Sunday 23 August 2009

An arrival time of 6.30AM on a Sunday morning is not any kind of ideal scenario. Today is another warm warm day and while ordinarily most people would appreciate this, it only serves to make me feel uncomfortable.

A mild dulling headache comes through from yesterday and emerges to serve and disrupt proceedings today upsetting my first few steps into the haggard old state of 33.

As a result of such morose leanings I spend the early part of the day in bed watching DVDs. What else are you supposed to do on a Sunday? I can’t think of anywhere I am supposed to be.

The first thing I watch is the remaining episodes of season 2 of Saxondale. Tommy Saxondale is easily one of my favourite Steve Coogan creations/inventions, even despite the drastic hair change between seasons. Obviously there are elements of Partridge in him with his delusions, anal persona and hidden perversions/kinks but with the rock background this brings a whole new set of issues to the table.

Moving on I dig out the Region 1 SNL Best Of Tracy Morgan DVD that I ordered from Caiman. I’ve said so many times this year that Tracy Morgan is my new comedy hero so obviously I love this disc with his recurring characters Brian Fellows and Astronaut Jones amongst his great creations/inventions.

Next I pull out another Region 1 disc in the form of the No Wave cinema documentary Llik Your Idols which was made by some French people I briefly befriended on Myspace a year or so ago. This however is a proper release etc and with it looks a great package along the line of a release Plexi would issue. The documentary is interesting but also hard work. When I first came into money and discovered Ebay I bought a Richard Kern video (“Essa presents Deathtripping: The Films Of Record Kern Two”) off the back of the Sonic Youth connections. The tape turned out to be a tawdry watch of horrid visuals and (pleasantly) pummelling relentless soundtracks. Lydia Lunch would pop up in the films from time to time as the most recognisable face which probably more likely gave birth to my affections and crush of her than any of her music or literary feats, of course those didn’t hurt either.

The old unpoliced Ebay was a beautiful place circa 2002 where I could discover videos such as these dubbed at home complete with photocopied covers (if coming with covers at all). I managed to come across some real gems included the Shellac second stage headline set from Phoenix 1994, the infamous Sonic Youth South Bank Show appearance blah blah blah. Hey I even tried to sell a used butt plug one time but that is a whole different story. I also used to sell audiobooks of The Koran in MP3 on CD-R which The Sun once listed in its Top 100 weird Ebay sales. This used to get me a small flood of abuse with people with funny names. Heady days that early part of the noughties.

Unfortunately before Llik Your Idols ends I find myself falling asleep. This may be due to the content of the documentary or this may be due to my headache and fatigue. To be decided.

With lunchtime looming and with it a visit to the Chinese buffet with my family, I slip on series two of In Sickness And In Health to watch a couple of episodes. This is pretty bittersweet viewing. The first show is the post funeral episode of the death of Alf Garnett’s wife Else and I can’t decide if its down to the show not ageing well or if it is me being depressed remembering those times but I find the experience of viewing the show utterly glum. There now appears a kind of guilt attached to this comedy and humour and after years of hoping the pinko elements of the BBC would release the program now it does not live up to nostalgia. It has been weird to note the fairly high chart placings in high street chains of these discs but I don’t feel it any more and because of this I feel conflicted. Perhaps it is more about me not wanting to be transported/transplanted back to the mindset of the ten year old me watching it with my parents. Or maybe I don’t want to be reminded of how things were probably better at those times despite the apparent personal misery of my previous sentence. I watch a second episode just to make sure the emotion wasn’t a one-off and it fails to thrill also. It comes with a sigh of relief when the episode ends. Maybe it was just even the laugh track.

I do the Facebook thank yous still surprised by those who did not bother with birthday wishes. Wow, the obvious ones blew me out and didn’t even bother. As per my petty ways, this will not be forgotten.

Eventually I head to the olds and we do the usual Chinese buffet on Crouch Street. As ever with me these days I struggle to get through more than two plates. Ironically with my belly getting bigger and bigger these days you would think I’d be able to scoff more than ever. Go figure.

Afterwards I head into town. Colchester looks crappy today. I go into Gap for trousers and they have none. I go into Waterstones for books and they have none.

Back at the olds on Sky this afternoon is Fulham vs Chelsea which is a fixture no person in their right mind could ever be bothered with. Afterwards we switch over to see The Ashes trophy presentation, a trophy that looks like it has fallen out of an expensive Christmas cracker. We won this series not through being good but through Australia being crap. Fact!

When I head home I feel in a fairly decent mood and to celebrate I watch two episodes of Entourage and smoke a cigar. The cigar makes me feel ill and almost kills me. For some reason today it is too heavy for me. Is this an indication of what it is like to be 33?

From out my writing desk window in the distance I hear somebody playing “Radio Ga Ga” at a ridiculous volume. To counteract this I respond by playing Lydia Lunch’s “Big Sexy Noise” at a ridiculously loud volume.

After the combination of the cigar, Berocca and Alli I spend the remainder of the evening feeling dizzy and sick.

Looking for refuge I come across School Of Rock on TV. Wasn’t this only on recently? Then as I wander to the internets I come across the appearance of Simon from Diskant on the fourth plinth as part of this One And Other thing. I find his appearance truly inspiring, even to the point it moves me to applying for it myself. I know what I will do if I get on there.

Eventually I hop in the bath that I ran about two hours ago before ending the day with watching the oil wrestling task on Big Brother in the hope that Sophie will look hot. FAIL.

Later I fall asleep watching TV, that’s my life.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Saturday 22 August 2009

Today I am 33 years old. As I honestly attempt to fight back the blues, I only feel depressed.

Early on a few birthday wishes trickle in but its not the flood of messages I was hoping for and even expecting. Maybe its because it’s the weekend, maybe its because my stock has dropped over the past year. Its too early to tell.

My day begins with sitting down to watch some more episodes of Saxondale season 2 before getting out of bed and starting the day (my birthday). The episodes are much better than I remember but perhaps watching the episode with a suicidal Kevin Eldon isn’t such a good idea. Also Ruth Jones reminds me of Zoe which has always been a bit funny considering at some point in the past I was told I looked like James Corden (pre-fame when he had flies circling him in Hollyoaks). As the on-off thing happened between those two in Gavin And Stacey wackily I always hoped that it would be echoed in my reality with Zoe and if they eventually came together in the TV show she and I would come together in the real world. Often I am a hopeless romantic bordering on blind fool with not necessarily both feet firmly planted in facts. Obviously it never happened, that would be too Disney. And obviously she is not going to get in touch today but I dearly wish she would.

Eventually I head out to Asda, later than usual. Outside the store some kind of photoshoot appears to be going on. Stood at the doors are ladies in boots and shiny leggings looking and sounding loud. For a moment I think they are dressed up as superheroes before I realise that they are on their way to the V Festival. Yikes, when did the festival demographic turn into this? Maybe when Britpop replaced grunge and pop music television began covering bands playing guitar and suddenly Ocean Colour Scene were handed to the public as a credible going concern. My confusion at the dressed up punters only serves to feed the unfortunately reality of how closer than ever I am to resembling my parents.

Inside Asda my heart is truly not into the shopping this week, which is subsequently reflected by my bill only being around £17 this week. When I stagger up to the self service checkout my milk is spilling out everywhere as if to represent birthday tears.

When I get home it is to a few more birthday wishes but not enough to make feel popular as of yet but it is still early in the day.

Soon I find myself heading to my parents’. The dog is much happier to see me today, which is great because he means the world to me. This I guess is my happy birthday greeting. My parents chip in and wish me a happy birthday before mum hands me four birthday cards, one of which is apparently from the dog but I am sceptical that the handwriting on the card is actually his. All the cards come from relatives. This is what I have become.

Shortly afterwards dad is giving me a lift to the station and I am boarding the train to my laboured birthday celebrations in London. The train is surprisingly lacking in as many V Festival dwellers as I was expecting. I think the last time the V Festival was on my actual birthday Pavement, James Brown and a post-Trainspotting popular and pre-Stooges reformation popular Iggy Pop were performing. My memory may be failing me there though.

When I board the train I wind up sat opposite a guy in a QPR t-shirt. He looks like a paedo and also an older version of the boyfriend of my American Friend who I refer to as “The Teeth.” Go figure, this shit still haunts me, even on my fucking birthday.

As the train reaches Chelmsford a loud person sits to my left repeatedly talking on his phone in an annoying chav accent at an antisocial volume. He then begins pull out piles of £20 notes and counting them. I begin to wish I possessed the muscle with which to clout the mug and rob him. While envisaging the scenario I look at the fat scary looking guy in a Motorhead shirt sat with his family a few rows down and I wonder if I should enlist him in the scheme to rob. One phonecall later it transpires that guy has been touting V Festival tickets for £250 a pop and before the event has even started his day is done.

Eventually I get to Liverpool Street a 12.20PM. From here I grab the tube over to Tottenham Court Road in search of a can of Red Bull to liven me up.

With can of Red Bull in hand Soho Square looks truly beautiful today. With time on my hands I search out the Private Eye offices on Carlisle Street and the building is none too subtle. I would so dearly love to go into this place and write for them, which would be a dream for another life. I find myself very excited by the sight (yes, I am sad like that) and would even have taken a photo were it not for people having a fag break in a doorway nearby.

Still with time on my hands I head into Sister Ray and flip through the records. This is a dead record store these days. I look for some prized seven inch singles but those are truly dead also.

I get to Argyll Street for 1PM but Racton is nowhere in sight. I take another glance towards Facebook to see who now have added birthday messages. It’s a surprising mix, especially considering the number of old school chums who I have not seen in over 15 years. I guess they know the same boat that being this age is.

When Racton eventually turns up it is just as an angry red-faced guy walks past me. As Racton pasts me on the back for a moment I hop in fear that this is redface starting on me.

Ready for birthday yucks we head to Great Marlborough Street for Ping Pong dim sum and cocktails. As we order up the waitress flirts with him over his choice of cocktail but completely neglects me. This I resent with it being MY birthday and all. In response I fucking steal their Ping Pong pencil. I think that makes us even.

Gifts occur as Racton hands over Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon and a Great Gatsby mug. These gifts are too cool. I have to admit I am not familiar with the book but its by the guy that wrote Wonder Boys which pretty much guarantees it will be great.

I make one last valiant attempt to snatch the waitress’s attention by ordering the same cocktail as Racton but I fail miserably. Didn’t fancy her anyway. The cocktail is great though, it comes with a tiny flower bud that you are supposed to chomp before drinking and it is one of the most pleasantly sour sensations on the gum you could ever imagine. In the cold light of day my facial expression and clown jaw must resemble across between a cocaine fiend and Snowy when we used to give him toffees.

An original plan for today was to hit Madame Tussauds but knowing that it will be a true pricy tourist trap at the height of summer our feelings towards the idea have been slightly lukewarm.

Recently on the Scott Mills show his girl assistant mentioned a horror thing housed in the Trocadero called Pasaje Del Terror. Like a couple of real marks we buy tickets in a supposed two for one deal. It’s a weird thing to be doing and our efforts are most definitely fuelled by being a little bit tipsy.

It all begins with a 3D film but I suspect my contact lenses undermine the affects of wearing 3D glasses. Its utter hogwash and then at the close of the story the Richard O’Brien lookalike comes storming through a door on the left and leads us to the beginning of the passage of terror where there is lots of noise occurring.

We enter with a family ahead of us, big tourists and marks than us. We let them go first and trail towards the back which doesn’t really serve Racton at the back well as he misses a number of the frights as they occur but then finds himself being chased most closely as the various monsters leap out at us. I have to admit with shame that I do jump as Freddy Kruger, Regan from The Exorcist and Leatherface etc all jump out on us. The truly classic moment occurs when Leatherface runs across the other side of some bars trying to get at us before the bars suddenly fly up and he “escapes” and begins chasing us out of the passage. Should I really be having this much fun indulging in something so tacky?

It ends with us being spewed out into the recesses of The Trocadero. Was it really dizzying or is it the drink? We look over at the family and smile who gesture back with a sense of fun and friendliness. We got through this together man.

From here we head for more drinks at the Cheers bar on Regents Street which I now want to turn into my new birthday tradition. Shock horror then when the fucking thing is gone. Disaster.

Shouldering another birthday blow we head across Soho to pick up tickets for Terminator 4 at the Prince Charles Cinema before heading over to Chandos for some drinks. Easily we snag some seats and settle into birthday conversation.

Eventually it comes time to head over to the cinema stopping via the Chinese supermarket Yang Guang on Newport Court (just off Great Newport Street). Inside this shop I love buying all kinds of weird drinks and sweets that I have no idea are about. This is the place in London where you get your Pocky.

Terminator 4 turns out to be a very loud movie. I have to concede that I had a lot of fun watching it in the cinema and having my head blown off by the sonics emitting from the screen in addition to Christian Bale feeling the new to shout every line. The plot is full of fucking holes but when wasn’t it going to be? It is fun to note that the first music in years to be heard in the future turns out to be “Rooster” by Alice In Chains. Elsewhere there are some truly harsh moments but when the movie makes throwback references by playing “You Could Be Mine” by Guns N’ Roses and the eventual CGI Arnie turns up it is tough not get to get caught up in proceedings. I still can’t work out what the deal with Helena Bonham Carter’s character was though. And I find it kind of sad that despite his infinite talents as a rapper how Common feels the need to appear in such a mindless movie. This was very much a big screen experience and a movie that’s flaws will be truly revealed when watched on a small screen when it won’t have its action dynamics to paper up the cracks.

Afterwards Racton and I emerge out onto Leicester Square/Chinatown feeling somewhat shellshocked. At this point I feel it is probably best to cut my (our) loses and call it a day. In the process I thank Racton profusely for his efforts on this day. Were I more popular possibly more could be made of my birthday but really I would prefer not to bother but thanks to him I was not given the chance or opportunity to get/feel morose on such a tough day. What a guy!

Swiftly I head over to Leicester Square tube station with view to heading up to Holborn and across on the Central Line. As I board the train a lady smiles at me, perhaps this is my real birthday present. Then however as the closed doors behind me decide to reopen I almost fall out of the carriage onto my arse. These turn out to be my birthday blushes. Now the lady is smiling more than ever.

In the end I find myself on a weird 9PM train back to Colchester that only stops at Chelmsford on the way. I have never encountered this train before, maybe it is the birthday express. On the way once more I fire off a message of thanks to Racton that does the job to appease my gratitude and guilt all at the same time.

Once back in Colchester as I head to collect my car from my parents flat I notice a light on at home so I pop in and make the most of the remainder of my 33rd birthday.

Inside Bobby is still awake and bouncing to see me; even to the point during one leap I accidentally catch his foot causing him to do a mid air flip and painfully land on his back. I immediately reach to him with concern but luckily he is OK despite the hard tumble.

With The Shadow on the TV in the background mum hands me a bag of presents. There is no DS inside just toiletries and food treats. Sometimes I forget that I am an adult now and still desire days of old. I fear I react ungrateful as I focus on what is missing from the bag rather than what is in it, although I suspect I am actually being hard on myself. I do not exhibit such ill manners externally anymore. That has come with maturity.

As the day heads towards its end I leave and head home before my birthday is over. Upon arriving home I discover that Mindy has left a comment on my Facebook in response to my remark about last year being at Ripley’s at this time. In a way I engineered this response, partly in the hope of garnering it but also partly in the hope of her not responding and it giving me more capacity to highlight/bemoan her shortcomings in some fashion or other (despite not really having an audience for it). Her message bums me out and closes the day on a confused, downbeat note. I don’t know whether to be happy or sad about this. In the long run I suspect this will be a bad thing as I find myself reminded of what I have been down about all year and how close I think I may have come to happiness. The response/remark is along the lines of “has it been a year already” coupled with “I hope you have a great day.” Is this the extending of the olive branch I have desired?

Beyond this I fall asleep watching some shitty Clive Anderson clip show about the history of TV in one area or another (I forget). Around 1AM I am awakened by my MSN beeping profusely by Justin just as Jay And Silent Bob begins on TV. I speak to him briefly as he sends me birthday wishes and now 33 I crawl into the early hours of my new age.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Friday 21 August 2009

Welcome to my last day of being 32 years old. Its been a slice.

I didn’t bother to set me alarm clock last night and now this morning I can barely be bothered to pull myself out of bed. This is the week that the Essex cricket team comes to Colchester and I really wanted to go this year but did I have the time to make arrangements for it? Nope.

I have decided all blame for this sudden downturn of events is once more the result of the Brazilian/Mexican (and now Albanian apparently) chef at work dumping his big gobbed dark cloud onto proceedings. Can’t he just fuck off back to the cardboard box in the shanty town he acts as if he grew up in? Gracios Elton. This man is one of the reasons why people now vote for the BNP.

As I pass through Balkerne Heights this morning I fully see what is angering my old man about the complex. Just driving to the car park vehicles are littered everywhere, parked anywhere they want and often obstructing the unnecessarily heavy speed bumps that were put in which I swear the residents have had to pay for although I have always been told otherwise.

After a nondescript journey to Liverpool Street as ever the fucking train pulls in fashionably late.

While I struggle to get to the tube platform I find myself stuck behind some twatting couple bogged down with luggage but still holding hands all the same. When I finally get on the tube all I can smell is the putrid stink of some kind of fried food, possibly being consumed. When I look up it is in the hand (hand of God) of some Maradona lookalike who is scoffing from a BK bag. Maybe it is the real Diego given the notoriety of his diet in recent years and belly that goes with. When we exchange glances I half expect him to offer me an autograph.

I’m piss off to fuck today and my way of letting people know is by listening to “1000 Hurts” on full volume. If anyone challenges me over this I’ll probably wimp out and turn it down and reach (comply) with apology but in the meantime IT IS ON!

I proclaim today that I am in a shitty fucking mood but muse whether it will be internal or external. In other words will I be sulking or moaning. Is it still acting immature if you are able to acknowledge that your actions are childish? Fortunately I am the easiest person in the world to bring round so it doesn’t last long, not least when the lady gets into work and I finally have someone to talk to and make things begin to feel better.

Last night I dreamt that Bobby was a much bigger dog and then the lady tells me how she had a dream about the coffee machine and making our daily morning cup.

When The Girl eventually comes in (late) I am in the middle of a painful telephone conversation with the consultant. I acknowledge her with a wave in the hope that today will not be a continuation of the way that yesterday ended. Fortunately it does not prove so and after a little walking on eggshells in the early part we are soon once more cool again and a nice/fun atmosphere returns to the office. This is office politics in full affect.

I get little done today; the phonecalls from the consultant come in erratically and feel as if they are barking up the wrong tree, taking things in the wrong direction. He has a couple of nags about areas that are a low concern. Does he actually know what he is doing?

For lunch I have breaded parmesan chicken with flat (pad?) noodles. It’s a good plate.

The rest of the day flies by as I wrestle with yet another method of accounting for the wages. It sure is fiddly.

Towards the end of the day my boss phones from Mallorca and he sounds in great spirits, ready for next week. Family holidays can generally go either way for any family I guess.

5PM arrives and we waste no time in getting away, heading home and beginning the weekend. Eat our dust.

I’m not very happy today. I think/suspect I secretly desire a birthday fanfare that is not forthcoming. Deep down I want to be the centre of attention and would really like it for somebody to make a fuss over me.

Today I am thinking too much of absent friends. Events such as birthdays and new years sadly annually serve to highlight how my social groups and friends are dwindling and right now I am feeling particularly vulnerable and sensitive. I ceased complaining to people about this years ago when I realised nobody was listening. Instead I now keep it all inside were it slowly ferments into cancer.

At the end of proceedings I get to Liverpool Street in time to catch the 5.30PM Norwich train but luckily I quickly remember that it doesn’t actually stop at Colchester. What the fuck is the point of such a train?

Instead I catch the 5.38PM Clacton train that doesn’t stop at Chelmsford which generally ensures it is a quiet journey without any of that rabble. Partway into the journey Nina begins texting me regarding the Big Brother eviction this evening at which point I realise that the guy sat opposite me playing on his laptop looks like Marcus from the show, if he ditched his chops and mullet. Spooky.

I get back to Colchester well before 7PM which is a rare treat for me and as I pop into the olds’ the reaction of the dog towards me is only lukewarm. What did I do?

When I finally get home to Bohm Grove I am shattered. I would like to write but the wind has been royally knocked from these sails.

I manage to watch an episode of 30 Rock in an effort not to go to bed before 9PM, as is my instinct this evening.

The last evening/night of my 32nd year is a beautiful one. This would be a good time to check out. Tomorrow I will awaken one year older but I fear not one year smarter. Mistakes that were made in my 32nd year will no doubt be repeated in my 33rd also as life still remains and mystery to me, one shrouded in pain and sadness that never quite catches up with or goes.

Eventually I fall asleep during Big Brother. When I re-awaken Bea has been evicted from the house and it would appear she sees no wrong in her actions. This means she doesn’t realise she is crackers.

I stop being 32.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Thursday 20 August 2009

Dream: I find myself back working at Baker Street. First I meet up with James at some kind of gig held at a university and we meet in the library and he fills me in on what has happened. One of the things that shocks me most is that Zoe has in the meantime been married and divorced which suddenly hits home that it has now been almost eighteen months since I have heard from her. Amusingly the guy she married had the surname “Grunt” so her name became “Zoe Grunt”. I am in a different version of the Baker Street office. A new person has joined the company and is being welcomed into our team. The Korean is nowhere to be seen. That cunting fuck of an attempt at a manager Moriarty is there though and she makes introductions and cracks a joke about being fair provided things are done her way. Seems in the 18 months since I have been gone the woman hasn’t learned one fucking thing.

Things are lucid this morning. The forecast threatens rain but outside it is still warm and I am melting. Rain looks unlikely.

When I get to the station “our section” of the platform is empty, there is no sign of any of the regulars. What happened? Swine Flu?

Unfortunately however when the train arrives the twattish woman from yesterday reading “Behaving Like Adults” by Anna Maxted is again sat in “my seat.” That book is a fucking prop.

Later on the journey joining us is a fat version of Anthony Head who sits opposite me followed by the girl with dyed red hair which appears to have now had a fresh purple dye job.

The train pulls into Liverpool Street at 8.05AM after beaching outside the station yet again. Is this now to be the consistent late time for the train? Dear National Express please stop fucking checking/scrutinising the possession/purchase of a ticket and sort this lateness out to ensure that my ticket anywhere near justifies the financial rape fee it current costs.

The sweat stain on my Gap trousers by the end of the journey is again embarrassing to the max again today. I do my best to try to hide/disguise it but to diminishing returns.

On the tube today I find a copy of the Daily Mail and pick it up for a read. As if I were not right wing enough already.

Work sails out slowly today. The day begins light and lethargic. The bank situation isn’t good and neither is attendance of management.

When I finally/eventually get going I find myself disrupted by one of our central theatre locations/sites asking me about employment law and why our usual consultants are now saying we do not have an account open with them. These I believe were cost cuts. Realistically though for employment law queries I ought to be perfect considering the manner in which some of my recent history jobs ended but unfortunately the manager of the site is not very forthcoming in/with information regarding the incident. As a result I just direct him towards the big boss in the absence of the vacationing operations manager.

Just after lunch the IT Guy comes in with horror stories regarding his family at the weekend – no wonder we haven’t seen him all week, it sounds like he has been licking his wounds.

Today feels warmer than yesterday and at lunchtime I royally fuck up when The Girl catches me uploading a couple of entries to my blog. Sneakily peering over my shoulder she proclaims that now she finally knows the name of my book (and as a result blog) and she proceeds to Google it. Royally I watch in horror before panicking and after failing in my attempts to divert her away from it she reacts like a dog with a bone and now in the possession of my apparent little secret and a key to privileged information about my world. Frustratingly I had just been thinking how good the site was now looking but as a result of this I figure I have no option other than to delete the blog in order to secure/save my job. It is maybe with a too guarded overreaction that I proceed to take down every entry since 28 February 09. Rip it up and start again. Once I am finished I fill physically sick.

My heart sinks as all the work is suddenly gone. Clocking in at around the 150K word mark with photographs to accompany the new blog this represents (represented) a major body of work suddenly all gone due to the snooping of a person generally regarded as thick with a Jordan-esqe mentality that has never done or accomplished anything creative in her life.

Unaware of what she has panicked me into doing she begins quizzing me further about the book but she’s just too well adjusted in that chav manner to understand the conceit of it. With each question I just get more and more defensive and stroppy feeling that I am being unnecessarily forced to defend my beliefs and actions. She is one of these “stop feeling sorry for yourself” type persons that acts/feels that a person should accept whatever is handed to them without responding.

The loss of the work hits me hard. This week wasn’t supposed to contain this.

Returning to my work she says to me “do you remember that game?” to which I respond loudly and abruptly “WHAT FUCKING GAME JENNA?” to which she obviously responds to with a strop. From here onwards the remainder of the day is one long atmosphere.

Eventually the day comes to an end and with it a sigh of relief. From here I get the tube down to Bond Street where I see the Irish girl from Baker Street – this is a truly bad omen to experience/witness at the end of the day. These fucking ghosts.

Out of Bond Street I head towards tourist Oxford Street where I am met by the usual tourist apocalypse. If there is anything more likely to send a shot of anger and fear into the heart of a London local/native it is Oxford Street filled with out of towners. I avoid Gap and barely do HMV where I am depressed to find that the seven inch singles section has finally been dispensed of. Defeated I head back to Oxford Circus to discover that the Oxford Street Borders has already been closed. I had heard the rumours it was shutting but not as swift and merciless as this. During my pained tenure at Baker Street more mornings than not that store was my refuge. It was only a shop but it will be missed.

When I see the carnage that is peak time Oxford Circus tube station I immediately turnaround and decide to walk to Euston and Bloomsbury this evening.

There are definitely worse places to walk in London.

Eventually I find myself typing/writing this drivel into my iPhone in a Starbucks on Goodge Street. Tonight I have little, if any, enthusiasm for RICKY GERVAIS and I don’t even know if this will find it’s way online at all.

Getting over myself I finally saunter over to Bloomsbury Theatre where I step upstairs to realise that my ticket is standing only. This ticket was cheap for a reason.

Again RICHARD MORRIS provides support and does almost exactly the same set as Tuesday night. That is the sign of a true professional. Again I love the joke where he steps on the cat’s tail where it goes “me owe” to which he responds “me sorry.”

Likewise RICKY GERVAIS does his thing and delivers a similar set to Tuesday night albeit with a few chops and changes here and there. Again he opens with some kind of declaration of his feats followed by rolling onto and promptly off the stage via Segue.

Tonight he opens once more by declaring his intentions to go on Britain’s Got Talent now that he has accomplished so much and proved himself to be in possession of so much talent.

The performance and set tonight is very similar to that of Tuesday as he goes through the process of tell the tale again of the lady rubbing herself during the Ken Dodd performance which then leads to a harsh critique of other subhumans in the form of autograph hunters.

Eventually the science portion of the show begins and again it culminates in his dismantling the religious ideas as expressed via the Dove childrens book about the Noah story. Again GERVAIS takes the tale apart with the proficiency of a tutor holding a lecture and once more it is very convincing.

Returning to the set tonight is a barrage of fat jokes which for me tainted the Fame set a few years ago. To me these seem mean and unnecessarily hurtful but then again if I were of one of the other minorities he was taking aim at I might feel aggrieved by those jokes also, jokes such as the “reach round” demonstration.

Again though he rolls out his justification spiel about context being the key to certain elements of his material before leading into the joke from the dinner party about the daughter telling her dad how she was almost molested.

Tonight he cuts out the clitoris joke, which perhaps proved too close to the bone for some but personally I feel slightly cheated and definitely less invigorated as the show suddenly feels less edgy and dangerous, no longer taking Lenny Bruce-esqe risks. With this in comparison the set ends with a whimper.

Afterwards I stomp to Euston Square where typically the train is not moving. As we wait there is the sound of liquid splashing against the floor and summing/capping my day a girl vomits in the carriage. As the stink begins to overwhelm I make the sensible decision to jump off this carriage and onto the next one. A number of other people echo my assertive act.

When the tube finally reaches Liverpool Street I run to catch the 9.30PM Norwich train, which I just about catch. On the train I bump into Paul Ryan in a bicycle helmet. Very metal. I say “hi” and he doesn’t acknowledge me so I pat him and scream “hi” into his ear to hopefully get a reaction. Why don’t people give me the time of day anymore? What happened?

On the train home I spot the spit of Andy from the restaurant, even to the point that for a while I think it is actually him. He certainly has the front and definitely the jowls. When the train finally gets back to Colchester I head straight home where I flick/flip around the TV channels before quickly falling asleep with a chuckle.