Sunday, 28 February 2010

Sunday 28 February 2010

Sunday 28 February 2010

Dream: for some reason I am hanging out with my American Friend at the NFT where they are doing a showing of the Big Lebowski.  She hasn’t bothered to get me a ticket instead she is there with The Teeth and the thumbsucker from Catford.  Obviously this niggles and annoys me but really should not surprise me.  There is some kind of BYOB motif to proceedings and I bring along some kind of curried chicken bits on skewers.  For some reason Pauly is also at the screening and I scam his spare ticket.  Taking my seat I notice that my American Friend is sat in an aisle seat on the right hand section of the cinema and with this I take up the corresponding aisle seat on the row just to annoy her.  Taking my perch I spot Pauly more central and a couple of rows in front of me but he doesn’t seem interested in acknowledging me.  Beneath our seats tonight are supposedly some kind of heater/oven where we are supposed to be placing our BYOB and I promptly put my chicken in a plastic container down there.  I begin to hear the shrieking voice of the American as I wait for my chicken to heat up.  All the while I keep looking around expecting that any moment the real ticket holder of this seat is going to come along and make me move.  It doesn’t happen and soon I find myself eating the barely lukewarm chicken as the seat cooker/oven gimmick fails to work.  The Big Lebowski is a good movie.

I awaken wondering just what the fuck that dream was about.  Obviously the appearance of my American Friend serves to upset me but why would she be appearing in one of my dreams now?  Perhaps there is some kind Wayne Bridge blanking and cutting off John Terry reminder/connection there.  Also the chicken motif, is my subconscious calling me “chicken” and accusing me of being afraid of certain things?

The time is 8.30AM when I emerge from slumber.  For a lengthy period I attempt to claw back some sleep, some rest because I know this won’t be possible tomorrow.

Per routine I put on Andrew Marr and have this on in the background while managing to tear into writing.  Today the writing is on!

All morning while I write all that can be heard is my neighbours repeatedly slamming the doors of our building, shaking the foundations with each gesture.  I don’t think it is done out of anger, it is just them being heavy handed and inconsiderate, too pumped for people in their twenties.  She (Caroline Geary) I believe is a professional trainer, perhaps she is working with steroids.  At the same time downstairs beneath my flat all that can be heard is a man shouting like a crazy person.  Annoyingly it is too muffled to make out but still loud enough to be a nuisance.  I wonder sometimes what is with those two downstairs.  I swear they are alcoholics, people having fallen on hard times and now reduced to living in my small apartment block.  These flats aren’t big enough for people on their own (me), let alone a middle-aged couple having to live on top of each other.  Sometimes I thank my lucky stars that I do not spend much time here, this flat (Bohemian Grove) resembles something of a halfway house for me.  During the week I barely spend three waking hours a day in the building and coupled with sleep hours it barely makes for eleven hours a day in my crib (sometimes only six or seven when I stay out).  I really should pay more attention to my surroundings.

Today I finally finish off the review for the new Sone Institute album, which proves particularly difficult considering my promo copy of the album has long since disappeared into the Bermuda Triangle that is my flat.  I listen to the MP3s of the record and feel that I have only managed to get half of the story.  Typically after finishing the review I then find my CD copy of it.  Oh well.

Why have I got the theme music from The Professionals running through my head this morning?

Taking a break from writing I take the time to watch a great episode of 30 Rock, the Christmas episode from a few weeks ago.  In the episode it features their version of Facebook “Youface”.  This helps inspire me today as I continue to labour over my toughest entries on the Facebook Cull.

Soon 3PM arrives and with it the routine of Sunday.  This afternoon is the Carling Cup Final, that pointless competition that really should have been put out of its misery as soon as clubs started fielding reserve line-ups.  And this is coming from a person that once shed tears over the Simod Cup a long long time ago.  Today’s final is Aston Villa v Manchester United.  No matter how hard these premier league clubs try to get knocked out at an early stage the gulf between them and the lower leagues is ultimately just too much for the football league to contend with.

I’m on the drag leaving today and by the time I am getting into my car surprisingly Aston Villa are already winning.  As I arrive at my parents’ place I find myself having to deal with the latest free car park in Colchester that is Balkerne Heights and by the time I find a place, head inside and get to watch any of the game Michael Owen has since equalised.

Just before halftime Owen pulls up injured in a manner that I have seen from him many times before.  In his place on comes Wayne Rooney who once more tears the game apart, scoring the eventual winner from another headed goal.  I then find myself even more impressed with his effort/attempt that slams off the post.  In the end Man Utd win 2-1 in a pointless final which represents something of a hollow victory.

Back in the studio one of the guests is Dwight Yorke who appears to be acting like Sidney Poitier.  Is this the right reference point?

Elsewhere television further serves to continually confuse me with the current Natwest advertisement.  In it there is a bloke who six months ago was taking out a loan to buy an engagement ring or sports car based on the response from his girlfriend.  Now as Natwest TV catches up with him it seems he bought neither.  Surely this is an act of fraud as the loan was taken out under false pretence.  What kind of message is this?

After the game I find myself channel surfing Sky in the vain hope of finding an episode of The Simpsons.  No such luck, its just no longer lives in the 6PM slot anymore.  Instead as a compromise we watch Harry Hill and I think my highlight of the series occurs in an old guy’s super animated reaction to an expensive spoon on Antiques Roadshow.

Eventually I head home in the hope of doing some writing but soon before I know it it is time for the Winter Olympics and the ice hockey final.  Knowing a couple of Canadian people now I almost have the bug for hockey.  Tonight I feel like a McKenzie brother.

In the end it is an exciting game even though I have no idea who any of the players are.  Canada scores first and then soon afterwards adds a second as I attempt to rejoice with any Canadian people/friends I can find online.

Later America inevitably pulls one back as they begin to pull back into the game and then with only seconds remaining they finally equalise taking the game into overtime.  At this point the Yanks (the septics) quite frankly look far stronger than their counterparts but after the break as overtime begins once more Canada are all over America again and eventually the score a sudden death winner to end the final 3-2.  Satisfaction guaranteed.

From here I fall asleep with the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics booming from inside my TV.

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Saturday 27 February 2010

Saturday 27 February 2010

The weekend.  Thank god.  There is nothing more to be done at this time, the week has tired me out and awaking at 7.45AM on a Saturday when the opportunity to remain in slumber really does not appear to ring much sense to me.  At least I am waking in the light at the moment.  Small things.

Of course I go to Asda, it wouldn’t be Saturday otherwise.  As I troll over to the supermarket the day looks beautiful and fresh, there is a sunny element to proceedings which all in all suggests promise for the day even though I still feel shattered from the week behind me.

Almost immediately upon stepping inside the store I am confronted by the site of The Crab red-faced and reading the local rag while his wife flicks through the lifestyle glossies.  What the fuck must he think of this?  Their routine is almost as bad as mine.

Like a sloth I stagger around the shop having barely woken up.  I don’t really know what I want today, all food now fills me with dread as it all appears to have been deemed unhealthy by one source or another in the media.  To some extent I am almost reaching a paranoid stage of not wanting to touch or buy any food stuff offered in the shops.  For a long time now my weekly basket has contained more drinks than actual food stuffs and this I suspect is a trend that will forever continue.

Food shopping makes me feel unhealthy, it embarrasses me and causes blushes.  Its all about the staples – milk, meat, caffeine, cereal.  There is no room for vegetables in this basket.  It perhaps highlights how sad this existence is when I get excited by the fact that Lipton green tea is on promotion at this time.

Eventually I get to the self service checkout where invariably the scanner winds up fucking up a couple of times.  Today the nice lady that tends to these checkouts is not working and instead it is the less charitable lady, the hardnosed lump that makes it evident that she doesn’t live a very nice existence.

The self service checkout has now become key to my shopping existence.  I realised this week that I use it in order to avoid human contact with the till girl and avoid having to make small talk.  This also comes coupled by my genuine shame and embarrassment over the contents of my basket, I don’t even like the idea of other customers behind me in the queue seeing what I am buying.  As I scan my purchases this morning it quickly becomes evident to me how I scan the most embarrassing and unhealthy stuff first, stuffing them swiftly into my bags in the hope that nobody has spotted me buying cocktail sausages and honey mustard to put onto them.  I don’t hang about.

When I get home on cue as per routine I listen to the Danny Baker show which today features Matt Dawson playing the Sausage Sandwich Game.  Now here is a person I really dislike, he reminds me of too many brownnosers from my past who act with a degree of confidence and over familiarity that just does not feel due.  As the game ploughs on he begins to sound more and more frustrated about getting involved he slowly begins to reveal his true temperament and act like an uppity wanker.  Later in the show Danny introduces the concept of the Shirt Of Hurt for Sports Relief and when his guest Adrian Chiles (a West Brom fan) comes on he makes him try on a Wolves shirt.  This concept is somewhat wack.

After the show ends I find myself still feeling tired from the week and after a failed and aborted attempt to write I return to bed to watch my Alas Smith & Jones DVD.  Surprisingly the show doesn’t necessarily hold up very well, which really surprises me.

Obviously I fall asleep watching TV in bed before reawakening panicked because I want to head to my parents and watch the Chelsea v Man City game because it is in essence John Terry v Wayne Bridge.

I fuck up royally and fail to leave in good time leaving at 12.40PM for a 12.45PM kick off.  To add to my problems the traffic is jammed and it is while listening to the game on Radio Five that I hear of the Wayne Bridges handshake snub of John Terry.

To me this is a truly great moment, an act that I’d like to think I would repeat.  For some reason in life I get criticised for snubbing people who have done me wrong, as if I am supposed to acknowledge an individual that has wasted my time and money and made me angry.  For some reason not to speak to such a person is seen as immature in this day and age of hypersensitivity and warped interpretation of political correctness.  Hopefully Bridges will not be subject to such criticism.

When I finally get to my parents’ place their old South African neighbour Bob is there.  I think this may be the first time I have seen him in a year and a half and I have to concede that despite initially really disliking him these days he is sorely missed, he truly was the best neighbour that my parents have had living in their flat (condo?)

Not longer after I arrive he leaves which puts me in the position to watch the remainder of the Man City v Chelsea game which surprisingly sees City trounce the eventual nine man Chelsea 4-2.  Included in the Man City haul is Carlos Tevez scoring perhaps the softest goal in football history, a goal made slightly suspicious by what appears to be a spring (a wire?) attached to his ear.  Regardless this is truly a great result, maybe even a great day for football.

After the game I head into town to buy a ticket for the Richard Herring gig at the Colchester Arts Centre next month.  Once I get it I stagger properly into town where the poor people have headed to like drones.

Walking through town I clock a woman staring at my crotch area.  Does she fancy me?  Does she want some?  Nope, my flies are open.  Not that there is anything to see here at this time.

Today I don’t feel too good otherwise I would have treated myself to a Starbucks.  Predictably I wind up in Waterstones where I buy “Hunger” by Knut Hamsun off the back off Billy Childish’s recommendation.

Returning to my parents I quickly learn that Millwall are beating Hartlepool 1-0 through yet another Neil Harris goal.  Eventually this is how the game ends, continuing our roll.

From here I snag some dinner at my parents while Stoke v Arsenal plays out in the background on Sky Sports.  Tonight sadly the most eventful thing to happen is Ryan Shawcross (trying to impress for England) performing a horror tackle on Aaron Ramsey and breaking his leg.  It is an incident that is too horrific for Sky to even show an action replay of (something I have never heard of previously).  Otherwise though the game is dull and as I head home the score is 1-1.  I later learn that Arsenal eventually win the game 3-1.

Originally the intention for this evening was to start but it just doesn’t happen, the words don’t come.  Instead I polish off a bottle of Jagermeister but it doesn’t kickstart the juices.

It is weird watching game shows on TV these days and viewing £100,000 as being not very much money.  Certainly it isn’t enough to afford a house in this day and age and if you are on a team of four or five other contestants it really does begin to dwindle, seemingly to the point that it will barely pay for a new car.  This however is the flash person’s investment because if an individual scores a share arriving at £20,000 it is probably more than likely they already have this in either bank loans, overdraft or credit card debt.  Quite frankly to gain such a prize could be view almost as necessary to put food on a family’s table.  This day and age.

As the night gets late I happen across Sons Of Anarchy on one of the Freeview channels.  It’s a great show, perfect Saturday night viewing for those not quite in the fast lane.

Eventually I head to bed tired and with this otherwise being the worst night in history of Saturday TV I soon pass out.

Friday, 26 February 2010

Friday 26 February 2010

Friday 26 February 2010

This morning I experience a rude awakening around 5AM as something on my TV screams at me.  Startled but secure from here instead of turning it off however I just put it on mute.

Quickly I fall asleep again before eventually being rudely awakened again, then this time by my routine alarm clock buzz.  This always sucks.

How do I feel today?  OK, not great but not bad.  I pray for no rain today, I had enough of that stuff last night.

Flipping on GMTV this morning there is no news just celebrities.  They may as well not bother broadcasting and just show cartoons instead.  I can’t help but feel they might be somewhat more informative.

Eventually I head out around 6.40AM as per routine.  Leaving our building the mystery jacket is still draped over the banister.  Even more intriguing though is how the safety latch is down on our entrance door.  What is going on?  What if it had been down when I arrived home last night and I wasn’t able to get into my own home?  That would have been troublesome.

As I head towards my car the stranger is still parked in my allocated spot and its wiper is still standing up.  I wonder what the guy’s reaction will be when he discovers this.  Will he (or she) get the message?  Will they get angry knowing that it is me?  Will they look to gain revenge?  Fortunately I don’t think the rest of the world is as petty as me.

Finally on the train this morning when it stops at Chelmsford a Before And After girl decides to sit next to me and spend a good portion of the journey applying her makeup.  I wonder if any of it is falling onto me.  I wonder if she is pretty, worth taking a glance at.  Certainly it is evident she is making an effort, even if it is just on the train.  She is young, younger than most of the other soulless females on this train.  Should I be considering it an honour at this time?  She picked me to sit next to me.

The train pulls into Liverpool Street at 8AM this morning late.  I thought it was just the 7.03AM train that let me down in this way.  What is wrong with this picture?  Why does incompetence rule supreme through my every day?

Fortunately as I get to the tube platform there is a train already waiting for me.  Small breaks.  Unfortunately however when I board the carriage it reeks of cheap aftershave.  People.

London feels quiet this morning; I guess things are already winding down in anticipation for the weekend.

Today possesses promise towards being a good day because I am at that lovely point of accounts prep where there is plenty of stuff to sink my teeth into, plenty of stuff that doesn’t necessarily require much thought to do.

The office is incredibly quiet today, nobody is around and for the majority of the day it is just our department sauntering around the second floor.  We rule the school.

Things turn exciting when I discover that the Harlem Globetrotters are playing at Wembley Arena in June.  Just a few weeks ago I spotted their dates in Ireland and I sent out a beacon to anyone that might be interested in coming along.  Nobody was.  Now that they’re playing in my yard (almost) I immediately snap up a ticket not even bothering to see if anyone wants to come along (I doubt they will).

From here my day at work eventually proves to be a productive one as the ball finally gets rolling and I begin to get stuff done.  For some reason I always discover gusto on Friday afternoons.  In the end though the day zips by.

Eventually 5PM arrives and from here I head down to Green Park and across to the Curzon Cinema on Shaftsbury Avenue where I get a ticket for the new Michael Moore movie.

As I buy the ticket from the girl in the booth she complains to her colleague about suddenly feeling sick.  Is this really the effect that I have on people?

With time to kill I head to Fopp for a browse where I stagger around the shop without actually buying anything.  I’ve changed.

Back at the Curzon I take my seat and await CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY.  Just before the screening they show that silly UK Film Council advert where Jaime Winstone thanks the audience for coming to the cinema rather than downloading it at home.  As she says “thank you” to the audience the weirdo sat next to me responds “thank you.”  At this point I would have liked to have moved seats but annoyingly at the Curzon you have to stay where they stick you.  Just as concerning is how a few people laugh at the guy.

CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY unsurprisingly turns out to be a frustrating movie.  As ever with a Michael Moore he is able to inform with revelations but then he goes and trivialises matters too much.  Quite frankly these days he could do worse than to stay off the screen.  In a time where Alex Gibney did such a good job with Enron: The Smartest Men In The Room and managing to keep everything serious while remaining compelling viewing and on the flipside we now have shows such as The Bugle providing satire and more cutting edge stuff, Moore seems stuck in a mediocre middle in comparison.

The movie begins with the sight of a house getting busted out by a convoy of police cars.  It is home video footage that you just know Moore creamed himself over.  Unfortunately it is also footage that never gets fully explained although the insinuation from the rest of the documentary lets you know exactly what it was about.

Over the course of the movie there is a strong degree of information supplied coupled with moments of pathos but when it gets cartoonised it begins to fall short of its intentions.  Unfortunately though the movie ends with Moore saying tongue in cheek that he is tired of having to make these movies and as the screen goes black it all feels like a horrible attempt at some kind of rallying call to the viewer, which judging by the lack of numbers in this day and age now feels like a message that is losing its punch.  The manner in which Moore addresses us at the end almost serves to offend me, leaving me feeling patronising and almost undoing all the positive aspects/elements of what came during the movie.  I don’t quite feel the level of anger that I did when I saw Fahrenheit 911 but I certainly feel annoyance.

Swiftly I exit the cinema and as I do so it is with a slight hump, which partly explains why I do not bother to say “hello” to my Japanese friend/acquaintance Junko when I think I spot her.  My bad.

Outside on Shaftsbury Avenue I find myself with time to spare/kill before hitting the comedy and being hungry I head to Starbucks for another coffee dinner.  From here I take a quick stroll to Trafalgar Square to check out what Nelson’s Column looks like on a Friday night before heading back to Soho. 

Once inside Soho Theatre I head to the studio where I take a central seat tactically chosen so as to not be drawn into proceedings with BRIAN GITTINS this evening.  I sit here so that I able to hide if need be and avoid finding myself dragged on stage.

Stepping into the room I spot Marcus Brigstocke and then Tim Key follows a little later suggesting that this is something of a hot ticket this evening.

Eventually the lights go down and as the room goes black the sound of snooker commentary seeps out of the PA and rings around the room for an uncomfortably long time.  During this period a late punter steps through the door letting daylight in on magic and making us all think that it is BRIAN GITTINS making his arrival.

Suddenly ELP comes booming out and so does BRIAN GITTINS gripping a mop and playing it like a guitar before switching to an ironing (irony) board for the keyboard parts.  This is how to start a show spectacularly (on a budget).

Swiftly he cuts the music dead and proceeds to assault the audience with the absurd and dig in with plenty of excruciating and awkward moments with the audience.

Early on he points out a seat that has been set out by the side of the stage, which he has saved for The Queen.  When it becomes apparent that she is not showing up this evening he drags a poor woman out of the audience, sits her down and makes her Queen.  As a gesture of putting a cherry on top of the cake he places a stamp on her forehead for that extra touch of authenticity.

Once she “the Queen” has been established in place from here more awkward audience participation occurs as he begins grilling people as part of his “Gittins To Know You” portion of his act.  Thankfully from where I am sat he cannot reach or even see me.  It is terrifying stuff.

From here he drags an overzealous man onstage in order to do his Spandau BalletGold (Goat)” bit.  The guy is slightly excitable, to the point that GITTINS cannot get a word in.  Seemingly cheesed off he then suggests that the guy read some jokes from one of his gag sheets.  Typically the guy hasn’t got his glasses so instead a thirteen year old lad gets dragged from the front row onstage to read the jokes instead.  Not one to be sentimental about such things GITTINS proceeds to heckle the kid from behind the stage.  And rightfully so.

Once things eventually return to BRIAN he does a number of knock knock jokes with himself (“knock knock”, “who’s there?”, “Barry George”, *GRIMACE*)

Eventually it all builds to an astonishing climax where he drags four more people onstage and proceeds to pull out rubber horror masks from his suitcase for them to wear.  There is an unfortunate moment when he pulls out a bald mask only to realise his stooge/mark is also bald.  An expression of awkwardness gets pleasingly posted to the audience.  Once the masks are on it makes for a truly horrific sight.  You can’t help but imagine the display of confusion on the horror expressions is only being echoed/repeated on the faces of the people inside the masks.

With everyone ugly established and in place GITTINS calls for the “Hokey Cokey” at which point he sets about leading the dance and encouraging his creations to join.  As they just stand confused exhibiting a collective shrug this only serves to infuriate GITTINS as he begins to shout at the freak show to dance.

It ends on a high as afterwards I storm out thinking that one of the people dragged onstage was a manager from one of our sites (a manager I do not really like).

I get the Friday night tube across town to Liverpool Street where I manage to snag the 11.18PM train home.

Upon getting home it comes with a sense of victory.

To get to sleep I put on Ghost Dog and soon I find myself drifting away.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Thursday 25 February 2010

Thursday 25 February 2010

Today is the brightest morning yet so far this year, not that you would know it from the way in which I emerge into proceedings.  Once again I stayed up far too late last night and now with two scheduled nights out in a row ahead of me this isn’t looking good.

Unsurprisingly I am on the drag after leaving the flat this morning, so what better time to choose than now to be sorting my Fall CDs into chronological order.  Where the hell do the origins of this distraction come from?  Unsurprisingly as a result of this when I jump into my car it becomes apparent to me that I have forgotten something.  After a quick rummage about my being I realise that I have left my iPhone (my Tricorder) back in my flat.  Without this I am lost, without this I am dead.

Eventually I find myself speeding towards the station running the risk of missing my train.  Typically today is a red-light morning, as when I approach each light it turns red, just for me.

Once on the platform I manage to easily catch my train but things fail to improve as a guy cuts in front of me when boarding the train and he steals the seat I had mentally earmarked.  Fiend.

From here the journey calms down although as we near London the fucking thing yet again beaches just outside of Liverpool Street.  Why and how does this happen?  What are we waiting for?

For a second morning as I walk across Liverpool Street station towards the tube platform I pass the lady that looks like the spitting image of a character from Avatar (albeit not blue).  Is this a symptom of Pandora Depression?  Have I been suckered?  Hand me some blue Prozac now.

On the tube platform I miss Bellalike this morning, which is a drag considering I feel I got a smile to work on/with yesterday.  Instead today I just get stuck with balloon people taking up too much space on the tube.

As I emerge from St Johns Wood it is with some kind of pained gusto and the knowledge that the wheels of work are about to begin rolling again, pending the receipt of a set of journals from the consultant.  As I step into the building I am listening to the Westwood podcast.  Its funny and all but how bad must his show suck if from the three hours broadcast they can only muster between 5 and 10 minutes of highlights.

Once in the office and at my desk I attempt to get some writing done before the start of play.  I am currently labouring over the three toughest Facebook culls, the ones that will potentially cause most trouble.  Once into the nineties those will be the vicious culls that come with a grudge but for now these marginal entries are almost too close to call.

Today the Filipino brings in more biscuits including special controversial Filipino biscuits from Spain for me.

Frustratingly the consultant has not come up with the journals.  This leaves me slightly holding my dick on the work front, unable to progress.  I stagger through the morning and give it until lunchtime for him to come up with the information and adjustments.  Ultimately the morning turns to afternoon and the adjustments fail to arrive resulting in my not having much work to do.  Why do I spend my working life having to wait on other people?

For lunch I opt back to penne with full knowledge that tonight I will be out and probably won’t be having dinner.  Now is the time to fill up.

In the afternoon despite not getting the consultant’s adjustments I decide to roll the accounts and finally begin work on January, when in reality they should have been long since completed by now.

After a late surge 5.30PM arrives and with it rain pouring down outside.  This evening I have a ticket to see BILLY CHILDISH at the ICA where he is doing a talk and introduction to a series of cine-8 movies he and his friends have made in Chatham.  With this weather however I am in no rush to leave the dry and warmth of the office.  Neither is the girl who has now apparently been burned for lateness a couple of times recently.

When I eventually decide to brave the elements and leave the restaurant I get the tube straight down to Green Park where I emerge out into even worse weather than when I went underground.

As I slowly get drenched I head across Piccadilly towards the Circus.  For an extended spell I hide in Waterstones flicking through books that I will later purchase online at a cheaper price.  For the brief respite from the rain however I do feel obliged to buy something so I get a beginners guide to screenwriting.  Curiously I have no intention to write a script.  What kind of mentality am I exercising?

Beyond overstaying my welcome I leave the shop and head back into the rain where the night only appears to have worsened as I head towards Trafalgar Square and somewhere to go in the form of the galleries around there.  Typically as I arrive they have just closed.  There was me thinking art and culture in this city stayed open until 8PM.

With the night still young and options feeling limited I wind up at Leicester Square where for some reason the square is completely rammed.  For a moment I wonder just what is up but then I look up and clock that it is the Alice In Wonderland premiere.  As things worsen and become busier before I have a panic attack I turn away from the throngs and escape seeking refuge elsewhere.

I remember that there is a CafĂ© Nero just around the corner from Leicester Square tube station so I head straight towards that.  The first and last time I came here was with my American Friend on a night where she was complimenting me with sweet nothings, telling me how she wish she had a skill, talent and ability like me (to be a qualified accountant).  Truly alarm bells should have been ringing back then.  She was telling me I was great but obviously not that great though.

Tonight is a much more sombre affair, a more drench affair/visit.  Luckily inside I manage to snag a decent seat at which point I take stock of my drenched situation.  It doesn’t look good.  I don’t think anything more than Gap combat trousers displays wetness to the naked eye.

While sitting typing misery into my iPhone Derek Pringle gingerly comes up the stairs and sits on the table next to me.  Quite frankly I am impressed, this is quite a spot.  It would appear that he immediately clocks me clocking him and he proceeds to curl up, reading tonight’s Evening Standard in the most defensive and guarded fashion.  Later when I recount this moment to Ben he tells me that Pringle was a bit standoffish when he encountered him.

Eventually I step up and brave the rain once more even though my coat has already soaked up the rain like a sponge.  As I gather myself together I get one last gawp at Pringle still all curled up and trying to hide from his celebrity.

Walking through Trafalgar Square the traffic remains insane as huge puddles gather on the roads and overspilled drains begin to resemble pools.  These are accidents waiting to happy.  By the time I get to the ICA it is with a huge dose of relief and gratitude.

Ahead of the films and poetry I check out the current BILLY CHILDISH exhibition and it is grand stuff.  His paintings are astounding, vast and peaceful.  He has really taken on the hat motif now as it is now a distinctive part of identity with many of the painting featuring himself emotionally displayed in his favourite headwear.

Moving upstairs on the exhibition the rooms concentrate more on his recorded and written output with a wall of record sleeves and a couple of cases dedicated to his various publications including the Penguin title from the book burning last month.  With another glimpse of the book I again curse my manners for not picking up a copy when I had the opportunity.

After something of a wait in the entrance we take our seats in Cinema 1.  The queue certainly brings out the ratty in the older members of the audience tonight, a couple of which have even adopted the CHILDISH look in a big way.

We take our seats doing so with the old chap himself holding court in front of the cinema screen and once everyone is in he kicks off with his reading.  As with the book burning he does a wide selection poems interspersed with background information and anecdotes pertaining to the compositions which lend a lot to their delivery proving the real gold and entertainment, all of which suggests that he is actually a really pussycat of a person.  His funnies that come attached to the reading seem to serve almost as some kind of disclaimer in order to display/confirm his sanity and wicked sense of humour.

CHILDISH looks and carries himself as if from another age.  He sure is keeping with the hat and wartime look, which is by all accounts a brave one to be taking out into public.

During part of his reading two women towards the back of the cinema appear more concerned/interested in their own little conversation.  Why have they brought it along to this event?  At one point CHILDISH even has to pause his reading but in addressing the ladies he just responds too apologetically.  Despite this tonight he seems on good form, appearing genuinely grateful to the audience and happy to accommodate and provide.

The 55 minutes of Super-8 movies from the Chatham Super-8 Club turn out to be varied and entertaining.  The movies are filmed using old fashioned cameras that I have no idea about but do use stock film that is incredibly expensive to buy and use, which lends these films as a real density and sense of value.

The first movie of the programme is “The Artist On His Way To Work” which shows CHILDISH getting himself ready and prepared to head out and paint his latest master work.  As he ties the canvas to his back and carries his palette while battling the snow and elements very quickly he paints a beautiful scene in front of our eyes as one medium captures another medium recording the vision and view.

From here we get treated to some grainy music videos for “Troubled Mind” and “Punk Rock Ist Nicht Tot” coupled with playful moments such as “The Flying Mustache”, “Smoking Yoga” and “The Impossible Shoulder – Leap Of Death” which all look like home videos from a lighter era when everything wasn’t recorded for posterity and chucked up on Youtube, when there was some value to such treats.

The final movie documents a wartime route recreation on the continent where fully garbed enthusiasts pay tribute to the people that lost their lives during the war.  Apparently this movie was shot on a particular film stock (reconditioned I think) that gives it an even more grainy feel.

After the screenings CHILDISH keeps up the appreciation with a very accommodating Q&A during which he demonstrates a very open and self depreciating attitude, not least when faced with not exactly the best line of questioning.  As ever though the questions regarding his influences are the most illuminating ones.

Soon it all ends and I find myself storming towards Charing Cross station in the rain.  From here I change at Tottenham Court Road and hit a busy Central Line on a boozed up Thursday night.

In the end I catch the 11.18PM Clacton train home.  Almost immediately after I board it, it fills with squawking women.

At 00.10AM the fucking thing beaches at Witham while Information Jimmy tells us nothing.  I just want to go to bed.  Eventually I get home around half past midnight.

When I get back to Bohemian Grove there is a car parked in my space.  I want to kick off but I have no direction to aim it.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Wednesday 24 February 20

Wednesday 24 February 2010

Today I feel improved for having had my day off yesterday, well prepared to approach humpday with the right spirit.

When I check my iPhone there is a message from Germaine asking me where my latest Facebook Cull posts are.  I know, I know, I’m slacking.  It’s pretty weird to be doing this now knowing that so many are actually reading the entries.  It is also doubly difficult now that I have come to end of the no-brainers, the deadwood and for a few entries now I will be having to delete real people from my life, people who may actually be reading.  I do feel the entries are changing now, they are no longer venomous in any capacity and instead me just reeling off various anecdotes about these people.  Whether this is a good thing or not is open to debate but I do feel it is different to the original intentions of the project, one that feels like a reaction that is now knowing of its audience.  Is this some kind of gesture of selling out, of compromising?  Have I diluted the quality of the project?  Are people now as bored of it as I am now that it seems (in my opinion) to have lost its edge?  Well, I guess this text message would suggest otherwise.

It is almost light as I leave Bohemian Grove this morning.  Daylight, we’re almost there!

I enter the train station today just as the Kym Marsh lookalike does likewise.  In the cold light of day she is beginning to look less and less like her apparent doppelganger, less appealing with her fruit.  Did I really just think that?

This morning I sit opposite an older woman that spends the entire duration of the journey typing into her laptop.  She does so with the most crazed and screwed up facial expression, seemingly pleased with what she is producing.  She looks insane.  And too old to be operating a laptop.  Should I call the police?

Eventually we get to London and as I step onto the tube at Liverpool Street I spot Bellalike before winding up sat next to an Asian due who one stop later pulls out his copy of The Koran and begins mouthing words.  He has a big bag with him and immediately alarm bells begin to ring in my tainted mind.  Here’s a deal I would like to suggest.  I don’t carry a Bible around with me and read it on public transport so please don’t you carry your little book of fairytales around either.  When the brown bible basher gets off he doesn’t thank me for moving out of his way so I make sure to clip his heels on the way.

Elsewhere on the tube I notice a guy with a ponytail apparently taking offence at the wheel motion noise coming from another guy’s Blackberry.  The reaction this guy is having to the Blackberry is similar to the reaction I am having to his stupid fucking hair.  At what point does this look still seem like a good idea to anybody?

Am I the only remaining grounded person on these trains?

After changing lines at Baker Street, on the Jubilee Line appears to be a one armed man.  This Twin Peaks shit freaks me out.

At this point I look up and suddenly the consultant Mr Stewart is there stood in front of me on the carriage.  I swear he wasn’t there when I boarded.  This guy is like fucking Nosferatu crossed with Nick Hewer from The Apprentice all wrapped up in one lanky ball of incompetence.  I really didn’t want this today.

When the train pulls into St Johns Wood with reluctance I acknowledge him and say “good morning”.  Then with further reluctance I walk with him to the restaurant, taking the wrong route and attempting conversation that never gets further than stunted.  When he spends the majority of the walk on the phone I am relatively relieved and happy.

Annoyingly I did have (personal) stuff planned to do before starting work this morning but due to the consultant’s early visit it all means that I am under the cosh from the word go today.

Things go badly from the off when I ask him about the control account adjustments I was waiting on for all of last week.  He responds “didn’t I send you the journals?  In the end it wasn’t that bad after all.”  So what was the little paddy about the other week then?  With one foul comment all his gestures and actions get contradicted in confusing fashion.

Thankfully by lunchtime he is gone at which point the covering chef is offering us all swordfish for lunch.  In the end it is a great dish, well received especially in these times of the boredom that is the staff menu the Heavy Metal Manager dumped on us a few months ago.

From here the afternoon sails out pretty comfortably as I attempt to get my head around a series of strange adjustments that the consultant has suggested.  These are management adjustments, the kind that occur in order to soothe the shape of group’s accounts.  These are not adjustments I would ever dare suggesting.  He must know something I don’t know.  Regardless racing against the clock I get them done and dusted by home time.

Tonight after a delay on the tube I eventually wind up on the 6.30PM Norwich train where I experience the joy of having the most ragged looking woman living sitting opposite me.  I just hope I don’t catch her disease.

When I finally get back to Colchester I head straight home to where Chelsea are playing at Jose Mourinho’s house in Milan.  As I switch the TV on Chelsea are already losing 1-0 to Inter.  I can’t help but take glee whenever they choke in such circumstances.  The unfortunate introduction to Danny Devito in 2005 has forever tainted me against Chelsea when surely all their fans can’t be dicks like this guy.

Bored with the game I flip the TV over to The Daily Show where Jon Stewart is interviewing Jeff Garlin who as ever proves thoroughly entertaining.  Tonight he is plugging his book and Stewart keeps commenting on his weight loss.  I hadn’t noticed.

After this I return to the Inter v Chelsea game where they have snagged an equalizer.  As the remainder of the game plays out Inter recapture the lead as Cech hobbles off in the process and the final score turns out to be 2-1 to Inter much to the chagrin of England’s apparent finest.

From here I head to bed.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Tuesday 23 February 2010

Tuesday 23 February 2010

Dream: I am driving home and just as I pull into Bohemian Grove there is a car parked across my parking space sideways.  With this I go up the wall suspecting immediately that it is the doing of my new neighbour Caroline Geary the Pig Personal Trainer.  With this vision I press down on my car horn for an extended period but the button locks/jams and subsequently will not stop.  As a result my neighbour from below comes out and asks what is up but she spots the sideways parked car straight away.  Eventually the Pig Personal Trainer comes down with the driver of the car oblivious to what I am annoyed about.  She asks me how I am and comments how good all things are at the moment.  They’re not though.  The guy heads to the car where he pulls out a box to take upstairs, not bothering to acknowledge the car needs moving at all.  At this point I am fully incensed and so I attack the car.  People react with shock, questioning why I am acting so angrily and irrationally.  Suddenly a group of people turn up with suitcases and luggage looking as if they are moving in to the complex.  One of the people with luggage comes over to me and grabs me saying “what did you say about me?”  It is Ric Flair Guy from the train.

When I awaken outside the day is light, I have managed to sleep past my usual rise time.  From the other room I actually here my iPhone vibrate.  When I eventually get up it turns out to be a text from my boss.

With instinct I put my TV on flipping through the channels to see what US sitcom Channel 4 is rolling out at this hour.  It is Everybody Loves Raymond and episodes I have somehow seen before.  How have I managed to see every episode of this show ever made?  Perhaps I used to watch it religiously due to finding his wife (Patricia Heaton) in it hot.  The first episode shown is their season jaunt out of the studio, which that year was to Italy where Richie Aprile guest starred.

Today is the one year anniversary of my American Friend deciding to ex-communicate me.  It has been a miserable year.  I truly cannot work her out or believe how self serving, fake and basically nasty she turned out to be.  It is the hypocrisy that rankles most, here is a god fearing individual that suddenly turned.  How can she possibly expect to stick to her apparent ideals when making such decisions?  And The Teeth?  Well he was just the icing on the cake, a real knock to my confidence and one of the most confusing brush offs I was ever to experience.  Once more I failed to climb out of Dating Purgatory and left it too late and suffered.  I am suffer he perspective on events is polar opposite but at the same time I doubt she has paid as much mind to events as I have.

Writing begins to flow early on.  The shining hour of 8AM comes and goes and eventually I am ashamed and embarrassed to admit that I find myself watching Deal Or No Deal.  I never got caught with this shit the first time around but this episode proves compulsive viewing as some young Beckham lookalike (wannabe) called “Eddie” with a lot of front struts around the studio larging it with some kind of weird confidence that appears to be completely undue.  With such an attitude you just pray that he is going to fail, this man is a meathead and to see so many people taken in by this programme, demeaning themselves as if it were the height of the human experience.  Early on they have to drag his girlfriend from the crowd to sit with Noel and the dickhead.  As she weeps she looks like a future and/or current victim of domestic abuse/violence.  With five boxes remaining there is still a quarter of a million in play.  The Dealer then ups his offer by two grand if “Eddie” proposes to “Sarah”.  For two thousand pounds he gets on his knee, completely humiliates himself and belittles the entire viewing audience.  In the end they compromise and walk away with £30,000.  Such is life.  I don’t think it is wise to give somebody like this (a tree surgeon) so much money.

Not longer after this travesty finishes I head out to post the book order to Brendan.  I truly hope he doesn’t think it sucks.  I avoid town and head to Prettygate where a grumpy woman behind the counter takes the book and serves me with a scowl.  From here I head to Sainsbury’s where I stock up on the essentials including their variety of fizzy caffeine drinks (Bolt) and their triple choc cereal that is always going to represent comfort eating for me.

When I get back I resume writing, producing a limited amount of words but hardly setting the world of literature alight in the process.

I have to concede I do find myself occasionally glimpsing again at daytime TV which now appears to feature the National Accident Helpline commercial during each advert block.  Truly, what is the difference between this advert and You’ve Been Framed?  I can’t see one.

Eventually 3PM comes around and I take a break to listen to Danny Baker’s BBC London show.  Today he plays “Ain’t That Enough” by Teenage Fanclub and it sounds so much more better than usual.  There is a kind of magic I feel his shows insert into such things.

Feeling relaxed I run and have an afternoon bath, indulging in such luxuries usually only afforded the rich, idle and unemployed.

After the show ends at 5PM I resume writing only to find myself suckered into gawping at Coach Trip on Channel Four.  This truly is a ridiculous programme, what kind of person seriously watches this?  Whoops, today I guess it is me.

Around 6PM I pause for dinner at The Simpsons comes on.  For me The Simpsons still represents one of those reliable things in life, it being on at 6PM everyday acts as a soothing reminder of healthy routine.

From here I stagger into the evening scratching the surface of what I was hoping to accomplish today.  Tonight Ricky Gervais pops up on The Daily Show trying too hard when speaking to Jon Stewart.  It is embarrassing to see one of my former heroes being so pandering.

Tonight Millwall are at MK Dons and eventually they run out 3-1 winners with Neil Harris snagging two of the goals.  High times.

I stay up and write until tonight’s episode of Newswipe which disappointingly is a compilation show although it is still pretty classy with it.

Eventually I go to bed watching the Joe Strummer documentary wondering if I’ll catch glimpse of the woman from Saturday.  Unsurprisingly I don’t as I fall asleep almost straight after putting the DVD on.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Monday 22 February 2010

Monday 22 February 2010

Dream: I am driving to an ATP with my dad, my uncle and my cousin.  It has now been literally years since we have seen or spoken to these relatives, perhaps as far back as my 21st birthday in 1997.  The road trip is being slightly blighted by the threat of being attacked and abducted by bikers, which is something that apparently is occurring on our motorways at the moment.  This fear is increased by the vision of a convoy of such bikers riding past up between Kirby and Weeley.  Later we stop off at a supermarket for a break.  Inside it looks like the Texas Homecare I used to work at in the mid nineties now having been transformed into a Tesco store.  My cousin heads to the bathroom to clean his teeth and freshen up and being my elder/senior he advises that I do likewise.  I however am more focused on getting a drink to refreshen me and walking up the aisles I appear to be searching for something special, something that I just cannot find.  When I eventually reach the far corner a popular fridge appears to be taking centre stage with everyone in the store grabbing at it for drinks.  People continue to scrabble through the cans, bottles and other items.  Unfortunately I can’t find anything I want but my uncle (a passive villain of the lamest kind) uncovers a large can of eggnog akin to the one I bought at Christmas and he offers to buy it for me despite being £7.  Quite an offer from a notorious tightwad.

This morning I wake ahead of my alarm clock wondering if I actually bothered to set it last night at all.  When however I check my watch the time is 5.55AM and feebly I attempt to squeeze out those remaining five minutes of sleep.  Fail.

Unsurprisingly I am slow moving as a result but at least it is moving all the same.  Annoyingly I still feel tired and my eyes actually hurt to open.  My eyesight is genuinely flagging, I blame the DS.

Outside it is pissing down, the rain is super heavy and super depressing with it.  This weather has to be the worst start to any year in recent memory, perhaps my adult life.  As a result of this I have to wait for my train under the shelter huddled with too many other extras for my liking.

When I finally get on the train there is no heating on it.  It actually feels that if anything the air con is on and I feel like it is systematically freezing my lower body, which might mean my legs will not be working by the time we arrive (eventually) at Liverpool Street.  This train is blatantly defective but with National Express being on the way out they just don’t care.  I only pay £4600 for my ticket, its not as if that is enough money to buy a half decent car or anything.  Oh, wait….

I spent the journey listening to a James Ellroy reading and Q&A podcast.  On it he sounds more interested and enthusiastic for the event compared to the one I went to.  Annoyingly he is actually a pretty interesting and entertaining (and likeable) guy but I’ll be fucked if he displayed this at the Southbank late last year.

The train eventually reaches Liverpool Street at 8.03AM.  Late.

From here the ride across town is an understated one lacking in drama and consequence.  When I eventually emerge at St Johns Wood it is still drizzling.  I find myself passing the Maggie Cheung lookalike, in not quite the same manner as a scene from In The Mood For Love (which is showing at the Prince Charles tonight, perhaps this is a sign to encourage me to head to see it).

Once into work today is yet another worrying write off of a day.  The bosses are away again but even despite that there isn’t much for me to be doing or getting on with.  Will the consultant pull his fucking finger out now, please.

In the office today it is just The Girl and I (the Filipino is still in Spain) and initially all is fine between us but eventually by the end of the day we are at each other.

For lunch I have sausage, beans and mash, our menu equivalent of “I don’t fucking care today.”  I am mature to the end.

Despite the lack of work thankfully the day doesn’t drag.  Away from this though I do begin to find myself feeling overwhelmed by everything I need to get done in my life.  This is proving such a cumbersome distraction right now, especially when so much of it is personal life stuff, a personal life that barely amounts to a couple of hours free time at home.

Eventually 5.30PM comes around and with it escape.  After a swift tube ride across town I soon find myself at Liverpool Street boarding a 6.20PM to Norwich.  Unfortunately tonight it is 7.10PM by the time it just reaches Chelmsford.  At this point the train beaches and Information Jimmy announces that the delay is being caused by congestion.  He states that the train is running 15 minutes late and it feels like a fucking lie.

When I eventually get home I endeavour to do some writing bearing in mind that I have tomorrow off work and anything I get done tonight will represent a healthy head start for tomorrow.

All falls down as soon I find myself flagging and heading to bed.