Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Wednesday 31 March 2010

Wednesday 31 March 2010

Dream: the angry boss knocks on my office door which is now also my bedroom door and he pops his head in and tells me to wake up and transfer/cancel the divert on the telephones.  The wakeup transfers itself into real life.

Thankfully I do not have a headache this morning.  I do however awaken to the news that Wayne Rooney limped off in the Manchester United game against Bayern Munich last night.  Suddenly our World Cup chances look fucked.

For breakfast I opt for cereal, not really being in the mood for bananas.  That little fad didn’t take long to evaporate.

In the end I trot out of my flat with a skip in my step.  As I pass my neighbour’s door there is a different set of trainers outside the door compared to yesterday.  Does this represent/indicate she slept with a different person last night?

The drive to the station this morning is another excruciating one.  Basically cars are just driving too slowly.

It is raining again.

This morning National Express East Anglia decide to put out a shorter than usual train with it only being eight carriages long.  Now in the long run this will equate to it being more crammed and uncomfortable as the journey nears London.  This feels like contempt for the customer.

Later at Kelvedon the train slows down and all but stops at the station/platform and just as people reach for the door suddenly the train pulls away doing that old cruel wanker trick/stunt that teenagers do when they get their first car (usually a Ford Fiesta) and pick up their mates.

Today there is some fucking annoying man sat to my right typing things out into his phone/Blackberry.  He is annoying because he hasn’t bothered to switch off his touchpad sounds so full the early part of the journey he just sits there beeping away like a fucking shit robot.

Elsewhere on the train a chubby blonde girl sat opposite me marks homework before getting off at Ingatestone.  No wonder kids are fucking stupid these days if their teachers are doing their own homework (marking) on the train.  At Ingatestone too.

A little later the train beaches at Romford and our misery is almost complete.  Eventually the train pulls into Liverpool Street after 8AM and late.  I guess eight days of slacking ahead of them have kicked in early (prematurely).

When I finally get to work today turns out to be another stunted one.  Bless her heart though the Filipino brings in hot cross buns for us and the day gets off to a good start.  From here I scrape though the day doting Is, crossing Ts and not much else.

Soon we reach lunchtime where today I have sausage, beans and mash.  So much for my new healthy eating regime, instead I appear intent on digression.

In the afternoon the consultant finally makes his first appearance of the week.  From here the PM sails out in distracted fashion.

Eventually 5.30PM comes around.  Again tonight the tube is a nightmare, which ultimately sees me on the 6.30PM instead of the 6.20PM once more.  Fail.

On the train home I listen to the new episode of Doubling Up podcast which features an old telephone interview with Bill Hicks that has never been aired before.

Tonight this train gets delayed.  Things are falling apart.

When I eventually get home Arsenal v Barcelona is on TV.  From here I proceed to spend my evening flicking from watching this to watching Wrestlemania 26.

In the football Arsenal stand stoic and make it to the halftime without falling behind thanks to some wonder saves from Almunia.

Meanwhile Wrestlemania 26 is proving impressive stuff.  This current crop of wrestlers is generally not a classic batch but the effort in polishing them up is efficient and admirable.

Back to the football and within 25 seconds of the restart Almunia returns to form as he fucks up and Barcelona lob him to take the lead.  Not long after this Barcelona add a second and suddenly the lights are out on Arsenal.

By now on my Wrestlemania 26 download it has reached the Bret Hart v Vince McMahon fight.  This is why I have spent the week downloading a 2.2GB file at work; this is thirteen years in the making.  Unfortunately it turns out to be the worst match in WWF history.  Where to begin with this?  The plot is paper thin.  McMahon adds extra drama by working some kind of double cross into the story, which is hard to believe in the first place.  This is then followed by an even more ridiculous double double cross.  Once all this nonsense is out of the way and the fight begins it never really starts.  Bret Hart has not come to the event to wrestle it would seem.  Perhaps he can’t wrestle anymore; perhaps his body won’t let him.  Surely he has a few chops remaining but this showing fails to display any possibility of this.  Instead he pretend pounds McMahon with a chair as he bloodies himself all in a spectacle that could be something from a Saw movie.  When all is sad and done it is fucking rubbish.

Returning to the football and on TV I spot Theo Walcott coming onto the field as substitute and swiftly pulling a goal back for Arsenal.  Later they then get an unexpected equaliser from a penalty kick and a hard earned 2-2 draw against Barcelona, much against many people’s expectations.

From here I head to bed, again falling asleep to my Frost/Nixon DVD.  I am beginning to wonder if it is any good after all.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Tuesday 30 March 2010

Tuesday 30 March 2010

Today is met with a rough welcome.  Once again I wake up in a funny position in my bed and as a result a slight headache accompanies my arrival.

I can’t get a decent reception on my TV again this morning.  What is this the fucking sixties?

Eventually driving to the station upon arrival I manage to snag a very decent spot although it is a true squeeze due to the wanker car to my left parking like a true cunt.  I hope he gets keyed and that when opening his door he does not dink my prized Focus.

Every morning now there is a gaggle of middle-aged men sat on my carriage.  Generally they spend the journey discussing football although I don’t hear much in the way of sense out of them.  They are led by a Paul Sturrock lookalike and amongst their number is a Ralph Steadman lookalike complete with severe jowls.  It’s literally a gang.

At Witham a slightly frightening moment occurs as a beast decides to sit opposite us.  I hope she doesn’t wig out and go mental before the end of the journey although I have to admit she looks liable to.

Later at Ingatestone a plate crowder couple plop themselves next to me.  From here onwards he proceeds to crush me to the point that I get a dead arm.  All journey I think he and her make smart comments/gestures about the volume of my iPhone and the podcast playing within.  Please Ingatestone will you one day give me something to suggest to me that everything that comes from you is a piece of shite.

Once up town and on the tube a black guy stands in our carriage with a rucksack and a badge attached that says “my ass tastes like candy.”  What the fuck is that about?

Finally I reach St Johns Wood and work with me being the first person into the restaurant.  With this acknowledge my efforts by treating myself to an orange juice from the bar.  It’s the same things.

Unfortunately the computers are fucked again.  No emails but I do get everything else.  It’s a sad state of affairs when our chef is the person trying to repair our network.

The restaurant today is the scene of the quarterly manager’s meeting when all the heads from the various sites congregate around our circle table and get shouted at before launching into laughter before ending with group applause.  It all seems a weird state of affairs, a most interesting management and motivation method.  Truly I am glad/relieved that I don’t get dragged into them.  I think the shouting would cause me to blush too much.

Annoyingly today gets written off due to my headache and I never really get going or accomplish anything.  Things are then not assisted when the Filipino comments to me that she is bored, already missing The Girl who by now is well into Ghana.

Eventually 5.30PM comes around and with it a truly shit journey home tonight.  When I arrive at Baker Street the notice board declares a twelve-minute wait for the next tube.  This does not suit.  Ultimately this is the kind of journey that truly makes me hate humanity.

In the end I wind up on the 6.30PM Norwich train and as I sit down I spot that Richard Readings guy from Balkerne Heights.  We clock each other and I give him a halfway smile, not really knowing him well enough to fully acknowledge but possibly enough to cause him to threaten me with a lawsuit over the website.

Halfway through the journey Information Jimmy says that he has two announcements to make.  First it turns out that during all four days over Easter the line to London is going to be wrecked by engineering work.  Then secondly Information Jimmy reminds us of the industrial action being threatened for next Tuesday to Friday.  Really what kind of mentality are we supposed to take from this?  First the rail service is going to cause chaos for four days and THEN it is going to hold a strike?  As I’ve always said the levels of contempt these people (National Express East Anglia) show to their customers is truly the stuff of disgust.

Once back in Colchester I hit Asda.  Tonight I buy Chinese chicken wings in an act of self-pity and comfort eating.

When I finally get home I watch Jon Stewart and happily this edition of The Daily Show features John Oliver twice, the second time during a bit about a racist basketball league.  Well I guess it is a little bit unfair that black players are far superior to their white counterparts meaning honky never gets a game.  It’s like the Harlem Globetrotters all over again only this time in reverse.  Power to the (white) people!

From here I watch episodes of 30 Rock and Wilfred before heading to bed and falling asleep with Frost/Nixon playing on my TV.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Monday 29 March 2010

Monday 29 March 2010

It is dark again this morning when I wake up.  There are some downfalls to changing the clocks after all.  I seem to recall that this darkness doesn’t last too long but regardless it arrives as something of a culture shock this morning.

From here the drive to the station is stunted by being part of a convoy of cunts all poodling in regulation.  Quite frankly we are drowning here.

When I finally find myself on the train platform this morning it appears to be full of lookalikes.  I think I am experiencing new week hallucinations.  Before long this comes coupled with drizzle as the day begins slowly raining on me.

The train is pleasantly quiet this morning, which is always a bonus when it comes to starting the week.

Eventually it gets into London without drama and before long I find myself walking down Loudoun Road towards work.  This morning it is very noticeable how the kids from the rich American school are on Easter holiday while kids from the poor Ndubz school are still dragging themselves into class; a resentment that their faces physically display.  One day I can’t help but think these little fuckers will turn on and attack me.

I step into work and the place appears to still be standing after my two-day absence.  When I ask the Filipino how things were it seems there were no major dramas while I was away.  Things get boring like that sometimes.

Today is the first day that The Girl is away doing charity work in Ghana.  In theory this now means that the Filipino and I are having to cover all her work but in reality this doesn’t necessarily amount to much.

Away from her duties I find that I appear to have forgotten how to do my own job.  After the rush of last week, today now I truly cannot recall at what point I supposed to be picking things up from.

Soon lunch arrives and with it my hunger.  Predictably I have penne with chicken, happily throwing caution to the wind.

From here the afternoon plays out in much the same manner as the morning.  It turns out that the consultant is due in tomorrow now but not even that can spur me into action.

At 2PM the Filipino heads off to watch her daughter play violin at school, which leaves me alone to man the ship.  Then the boss comes in and wants to get involved.  Unfortunately despite his best intentions he just gets in the way as I finally begin to get my head around the task ahead.

This afternoon provides a rare treat as I am able to listen to the Danny Baker show on BBC London following up on my “appearance” on the show on Friday.  Again today he is fucking around with the two different Facebook groups, much trivia out of trivia for no real reason.

As the news comes on the radio the story of the day is linked to Mephedrone (or “Meow Meow” as some are calling it) and my boss asks me if I have encounter.  My response of “yeah, my mate had some at Christmas” is perhaps not the perfect answer to be exhibiting at this time.

When 5.30PM arrives it comes with guilt and relief.

Scarily the tube across town tonight is filled with lookalikes of various friends and acquaintances.  One day they won’t be lookalikes again.

Sing hallelujah as today’s episode of The Bugle (109) contains an appearance from The American.  Today you can hear the frustration in John Oliver’s voice as he tears through the idea of healthcare in America and how Nicolas Cage and National Treasure are to blame for putting ideas in American people’s heads.  Later when he realises that the show he is recording is not on the radio and air of disdain appears in his voice even though he still shouts out the number as 1-800 BRITFUN.

As a result of this podcast I get home in a good mood this evening.  From here I tear into writing and experience my most productive night in ages.

Eventually I fall asleep watching the Naked Lunch movie.  This is not a healthy movie to nod off to.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Sunday 28 March 2010 – WRESTLEMANIA SUNDAY

Sunday 28 March 2010 – WRESTLEMANIA SUNDAY

Dream: strange dreams last night, ones that transplanted me back to the house that I grew up in Little Clacton.  There life seemed more simple, less confused and steeped in the more basic surroundings of Clacton where I grew up.  None of this information overload that I suffer from today but more solid based focus on family and relations.  My aunt was in the dream and it played like a movie, an air of affection screamed through proceedings and there still felt like there was optimism to be had in that existence.  Returning home I found myself back in my old bedroom at the back of the house with free time excited by what movie may be on television that afternoon.  It is Good Friday.  In the end on TV it was a Sherlock Holmes double bill and this felt like a treat (while also possibly being a nod to my experience at Baker Street).  Back in the kitchen I find myself watching the old white portable TV and GMTV where suddenly they are addressing on of my peccadilloes without realising it.  The weather girl Clare points out how short she is with regards to a prize they are giving away and suddenly I find myself inclined to report this on the internet and suddenly the illusion is broken because there was never any internet in the house where I grew up and the dream suddenly comes to an end and a set of credits roll on the TV where we look for our names.  I roll out of my childish apparition and realise that I am an adult still doing childish things and it concerns me more than ever.  I begin to worry about the future and funerals.  I need to make changes.

From here I emerge around 8.15AM.  The clocks have changed so this late hour is really a misrepresentation of the time according to my body clock.  I find myself lying awkwardly in my bed with my head at a strange angle creating a headache.  When I look over my TV is still on, it has been on all night and instead of switching it off at some point I just put it on mute.  Did I have to the intention of resuming watching it after a quick catnap?  Such are my failures.

Yesterday with hindsight was a disaster.  I don’t know what was up with me, some kind of mental block appeared to take hold and I never regained momentum from there.  Thankfully this morning I appear to have a bit more intellect and a bit more gusto, an enthusiasm towards proceedings and one where my approach seems a little more philosophical.

Am I wasting my time?

The dream was probably based around the early nineties.  In my head this morning is the song “The Shining Hour” by Grant Lee Buffalo from the album Fuzzy.  I am writing and feeling this during the 8AM hour so I guess this is my shining hour.  In a true act of nostalgia I search out the CD and put it on to see if it holds up and if I can fully transplant myself back to those times.

As the hour passes through 9AM the sun persists and a larger air of optimism looms over today’s proceedings, which was distinctly devoid and missing from my Saturday.

From here I actually achieve a decent bout of writing, hitting the ground running and finding something I didn’t have yesterday.

This week Stephen Merchant appears on Something For The Weekend and it is just depressing, whiffing of the most desperate shilling possible.  He is currently on the promo circuit for Cemetery Junction, which I hope will be really good.  Shame about its audience and fanbase.

Taking a breaking from writing I watch two episodes of 30 Rock that feature Michael Sheen in a guest role as Liz Lemon’s destiny.  I think this is the first time I have ever seen Michael Sheen play someone other than a historical figure and as a result not doing his impression act he comes over as a much more fun performer with a keen knack for comedy.  Playing the old English buffoon in an American TV show can be a real snakepit, as nasty interpretations of British culture are expressed a sensible person could be forgiven for feeling offended.

Soon my Sunday heads towards 3PM and the usual routine visit to my parents’ for Sunday dinner.  As ever when I arrive the dog is happy to see me.

The game today on Sky is Liverpool v Sunderland, which in the end Victimpool wins 3-0.  The real highlight of this game turns out to be catching glimpses of the lady sat behind Kenny Dalgish in the stands, she is a genuine honey.  Ultimately I have little interest in the game so instead I choose to watch a download of the WWE Hall Of Fame 2010 inductions.  It all ends with Ted Dibiase and dollar bills falling from the ceiling.  I always thought he was an overrated performer.

Today my main source of entertainment continues to be trying to get/make the dog bite mum’s feet and ankles.  I got to say he is getting pretty fucking good at it.  In a way it serves her right for wearing such stupid slippers.  At the same time I worry for the dog though, surely it is not healthy for him to be getting exposed so closely to her stinky feet.

As ever I linger around to grab some dinner while in place of the missing 6PM Simpsons slot I again subject dad with the Harry Hill repeat repeat.

Eventually I head home winding my way through the car park maze that is Balkerne Heights these days.  Things have never been so bad, it is almost to the point now that I can’t squeeze between the various parked vehicles.  As ever I sound my horn in disgust, as if anyone is going to take notice of that.

Once home I do some writing and have a bath while basking in the glory of a night of TV showing 28 Weeks Later, Mean Streets, King Of Comedy, Jersey Girl and The Commitments.  This is an unbelievable schedule of great movies all being squashed together in the listings at a time when the remainder of the weekend’s TV was pretty much the pits.

Elsewhere tonight it is Wrestlemania but unfortunately it is years now since I have had Sky at my disposable for such things.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Saturday 27 March 2010

Saturday 27 March 2010

Things feel right today, feel good and this probably explains why it is that I awaken at 6.30AM when I do not necessarily have to be up at this time.  In fact it is probably detrimental to do so.

With time on my side I decide to finish off watching The Damned United, which I fell asleep during last night.  It zips past faster than I recall it did when I watched it in the cinema.  This time I find Michael Sheen’s performance less like Mike Yarwood.  It’s a good film but as I’ve said before it doesn’t hold a candle to the original book by David Peace.

The early part of the morning is slow moving.  As I went to Asda yesterday I do not feel the necessity to hit the store today.  Thank God.  Still there are Saturday newspapers to buy so around 8.30AM I pull myself together and walk down to the paper shop on Layer Road.  It feels like years now since I used to regularly do this walk every Saturday morning, a different kind of routine but one that was perhaps better for me.

Leaving my apartment my neighbour has struck again and once more there is a black bin bag dumped on the landing making our exit hall stink.  Why were these people dumped into my lap?  As ever I open a couple of windows in a futile gesture of letting air in while wondering if when I return the latch will be pulled down on the door.

Walking past the old football stadium it now cuts something of a truly depressing silhouette.  It has sat dormant for about two years now; I can’t even remember the last time a game was played there.  I miss the atmosphere; I miss living so close to such a relevant part of my hometown.  Now it is just going to ruin.  By now there should have been a new set of apartments put up in its place making the area more desirable and sending all our surrounding property values up making it a good time to move out and away.  Nothing ever goes to plan.

Once returned with newspapers in hand I flip on the radio to listen to this week’s Danny Baker show on Radio Five.  In some degree I am still reeling from his reading of my blog book description on his radio show yesterday.  It was a surreal moment and I can’t help but feel he lost interest in it mid flow.  Suddenly all my efforts are feeling distinctly amateurish and without point.  My writing indeed feels too wordy and bloated but perhaps this is what some people like.  Maybe this is the worst in hyperbolic.

In order to relieve the moment from yesterday I set about looking for a programme online that rips BBC radio streams.  I send out a call via Facebook, which garners a few responses before I eventually discover an application that just allows you to download the streams for it.  This will surely end in tears.

The remainder of my morning flies by.  After the Baker radio show I flip over to Jonathan Ross and while they hang in the background I attempt to write but nothing is coming today, everything feels stunted.  I try to energise things by dropping brain vitamins, drinking juice, eating fruit, slurping fizzy caffeine drinks and then even desperately having a cup of tea (more caffeine) but nothing is coming today.  I have reached a block.  And it is worrying me.

Today I was toying with the idea of going to Millwall but soon the drizzling rain puts me off that idea, killing the urge in addition to the reality that if I go along I will probably curse them and make them lose.

Instead from here predictably I attempt to write as ever (this is all I appear to do when I am home these days) and before I know it the day is already well into the afternoon.

In the afternoon I check my bank statement and to my pleasant surprise there are thousands of pounds in my bank account, a few more than I was expecting there to be.  There are no errors with this just a new sense of discovery coming from what are apparently the good times.  So I have more money than I need in my possession and nothing to do with it, no life to put it towards.  This is pathetic.  How did I get to this point and place?  Would ladies find me more attractive if they saw my bank balance?  What a joke.

Eventually I begin to hit some kind of wall so instead of labouring over words I watch I Love You Man.  It is a funny movie and all and I really fancy Rashida Jones but nothing seems to happen in the movie.  Instead of having an arc all it appears to be is a series of comedic scenes linked by a most flimsy of plots with ultimately a very unsatisfactory conclusion.

Around 4PM I head to the olds and into town.  As ever Colchester on a Saturday afternoon resembles the usual band and collection of lost souls all badly dressed like people from a certain George A. Romero movie.

As I walk around town I check the Millwall score and they are already winning 3-0 at Stockport come halftime.  Had I actually gone along with my cooler effect this would not have happened?

From here I head to HMV where happily I find How To Lose Friends And Alienate People for £3 which is a movie I genuinely really like despite being the source of an American Friend memory with it being the only movie we went to see together.

When I return to my parents’ place I discover that Millwall have beaten Stockport 5-0.  We are going up.

With this we have pancakes for dinner, which is an amazingly indulgent dinner.  Its wrong but tastes right.

In the end up I wind up watching You’ve Been Framed with my parents on a Saturday night.  I need to make some serious changes.  Afterwards though while channel hopping I come across 30 Rock, which I proceed to foist upon them to zero reaction and no laughs.

Eventually I drive home winding through the crazy car park that is now Balkerne Heights.  What happens when these cars get scraped?

When I get home I put on Walk the Line that only serves to remind me of the crazy date with Jay from Korea.  That was a strange experience.

Soon I fall asleep.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Friday 26 March 2010

Friday 26 March 2010

Today immediately begins better than yesterday.  For starters the sun is out, already glowing when I awaken at 6.48AM on my day off.

As ever with a day off I spend the first part of the morning laying in bed watching Channel Four and cheap American sitcoms being repeated for the Nth time with view to filling schedules.  I can’t help but wonder what type of person actually sits down and watches these daily, viewing them as part of their schedule.  Why are they on TV now?  I know for sure Channel Four can’t afford or be bothered to produce news or light entertainment scheduling anymore but to show these instead does confuse me slightly.

It begins with Everybody Loves Raymond then onto Frasier (actually a programme that still oozes quality) before ending with Will & Grace.

I feel a sense of pressure today, one to make up for the waste that was yesterday.  Yesterday was all about slumber and as a result the day trickled through my fingers and the time spent at home instead of work actually came to nothing.

Once out of bed my day begins with a phonecall from work.  It is actually a missed call but there is a voicemail attached.  With reluctance I call in and it is just my boss looking for some wage sheets from last month that I have failed to file.  I tell him where (I think) they are and with it I prompt an irksome rummage from him through a pile of papers I sense he is going to uncover lots of stuff in that he shouldn’t.  This is not a good start.

Eventually I begin the day and endeavour to redeem myself.  With the morning remaining sunny ironically the idea of heading to Wales weekend suddenly begins to seem/feel appealing again and as a result now represents something of a missed/lost opportunity.

A certain buzz has followed through from last night where the Richard Herring show stormed and meeting him at the close of proceedings was a brief but genuine thrill.  For a person that appears standoffish in those fleeting minutes he was a lot more friendlier than I had given him credit for.

In order to discover some life and energy today I make a point of heading out to Asda early on.  Yesterday I can’t help but feel proceedings were slightly blighted by the lack of fizzy caffeine fodder, my damaging fuel for helping the writing flow.

As I drive to the store and head down Butt Road while passing my old employer I see a shorthaired guy emerging from Chernobyl that looks like a mini version of Jock.  I guess that’s what they like.  Stevo has never mentioned this guy.  He doesn’t look like fun.

Walking into Asda on a Friday morning is an experience away from my usual Saturday morning routine.  I have to concede there are more yummy mummies.  What am I going to do though?

From here I grab a basket and bag up in usual fashion.  When scouring through the cheap DVDs I come across a copy of The Burbs that I do NOT buy.  I can’t help but think I will be experiencing nightsweats and a panicked return visit in the future over this decision.

As food shopping proper begins I keep up with my best intentions of reinvention and rejuvenation and buy more fruit.  Here’s genuinely hoping that this shit sorts me out.  As ever I find myself tempted to buy cocktail sausages but as I pass them there is a person in the way meaning that I cannot reach them without manners.  I take this as a sign to negate from buying them.  From here I stroll out the remainder of the journey buying my caffeine drink, buying green tea, buying Frijj and also buying Bombay Mix in an effort ween myself of the Wasabi Mix.  Avoiding the cereals (I have lots already) when I reach the booze I find myself genuinely agonising over whether to buy any or not.  As I stand staring into the alcoholic abyss some craggy middle aged skank walks past making her decisions.  She has alcoholic written all over her along with the word unappealing.  Despite this I plump for a bottle of Jagermeister, sometimes it serves me well.

When I get home I actually manage to get more into writing today, producing on a level that I was hoping for from yesterday.  Soon lunchtime arrives and with it I am spoilt for choice with so much new stuff freshly purchased.

I genuinely miss London on my days off, pining for the streets and the things I could be doing there on a day freed from work.

On Channel Four in the early afternoon is Warlords Of Atlantis, a Doug McClure joint.  The listings actually state that The Time Machine is supposed to be on but in some ways this is a better way to indulge wasting part of my afternoon.  In tow following Doug McClure is an almost unrecognisable John Ratzenberger.  He actually did something other than Cheers?

In addition to this I also discover The Million Pound Note on Film4 which is a truly underrated and classic movie.  Not that I have time to watch it today.

As usual with 3PM comes a break to listen to Danny Baker.  Today he is naming his new Facebook group in an effort to move on from Star Garter.  As he plays around it sounds as if he is sending Baylen Leonard into despair.  It’s all a tease and very funny radio.

Also as part of the show is a call out for experiences of being a failed writer and like a true sadist I jump to respond, quickly firing off a message to their Margaret Rutherford email address.

To my surprise and pleasure he begins reading my email out which basically resembles the spiel I wrote as the book description for the Asking For Trouble website.  It is all very wordy and soon he finds himself getting tongue tied before apologising and abandoning the reading.  I have to say hearing him read the description it all sounds like the heaviest, darkest, most humourless piece of writing.  For a moment I consider sending him a copy but I come to the conclusion that might not be a good thing.

After the show I briefly resume writing before breaking for two episodes of The Simpsons.  This will always be the most comforting of television programmes, as long as its on the air somewhere everything will be all right.

This evening I get quite the revelation from an old school friend regarding some girl we all used to know in our Gringo Records circle/scene.  Suddenly it’s a scarily smaller world.

Out of boredom I watch the Shane MacGowan documentary that has been sitting on my PC for literally years now.  The interest now comes from seeing the Marcia Farquhar show the other Saturday and I watch it morbidly half wondering if she will pop up in it.  She doesn’t but various other names I used to encounter at Notting Hill do.  It is especially interesting to put a face to the name Joey Cashman after hearing so many stories from Danny Devito about him over the years.  Looking at the guy, I can almost believe them.

From here my Friday night proves a dead end.  When did Friday night TV become so fucking bad?  What happened to the sitcoms they used to put on to prevent single people getting sad and depressed?

In the end I plump for my DVD of The Damned United, which I fall asleep within ten minutes of.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Thursday 25 March 2010

Thursday 25 March 2010

Today I awaken unsurprisingly grumpy.  What on earth was last night about?  Why did I have so much slung at me in one go.  Quite frankly I feel exhausted today, they say these things get sent to test us but why must they be so sapping of my energy?

On cue the day begins with my watching the US comedy repeats on Channel Four in between scouring/scanning the mainstream channels for news (there is no news).  My ETA turns out to be 7.15AM which is pretty much par for the course when I don’t have to rely on the alarm clock.  Outside the day is open the sun is out but it isn’t out very far and a sense of gloom has attached itself to proceedings, which is a shame because the first half of the week was suggesting (if not promising) so much.  This is not how I had envisaged things.  And it is perhaps a good thing that I am not going to Wales this weekend after all.

I watch Everyone Loves Raymond, Frasier and Will And Grace before my options run out and I have to leave my bed and attempt to make something of my day.  Slowly I hear my neighbours head off to work, not least looking out for the guy who had his van parked in space 15 (my neighbour) last night.  Who on earth drives around in a van advertising that they are a window cleaner?  Did he do exams?  Am I right in thinking that he is the latest in men that my neighbour has had around to jump in the sack?  It was actually probably him that pulled down the latch on the door last night and I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt by acknowledging that it wasn’t done on purpose or as a personal gesture against me.  It still happened though.

With this in mind one of the first things I do today is write an email to my management agents bemoaning the incident that occurred last night.  By rights surely somebody should be knocking on my door and apologising to me for the incident but life does not work that way.  Even better it might be fun for somebody to knock on my door and have a go at me for nearly kicking the door down last night which would then give me more than excuse and a platform for which to kick off in.  This never happens though, I’m too passive to ever put myself in such a position to air such things.  I suck.  So then at the end of the day all I can do is send off these stupid, snotty emails to the management agents hoping that they will issue some kind of formal complaint that will carry more weight and authority than my childish acts.  I don’t have the balls or the time.

Today is my second anniversary of beginning work at the restaurant.  The place is completely different now.  I still remember the morning I started there and how it all felt intimidating and more officious that it eventually turned out to be.  The Financial Controller was certainly an intimidating factor and the woman I was working with opposite was just old and useless.

It has to be reiterated: today is fucking horrible.  The environment chokes me and the climate kills my enthusiasm.  I still feel depressed and fearful after being locked out last night.  Will there be any comeback?  What fucking tricks will my neighbour be up to next?

This afternoon the Dad’s Army stage show is having a matinee performance at the Mercury Theatre and earlier this week I half suggested to the old man that we go along.  That said I don’t really think it is his scene though and being a weekday matinee I can’t help but suspect the demographic will be demeaning to both of us.  As a result I shy away from pushing the idea forward.

With no real heart for writing I find myself instead watching a Straight Edge documentary.  It is fucking nonsense, so horribly removed from the Minor Threat origins that now it would appear that being straight edge is considered to be akin to being a gang member like a Crip or a Blood.  Are they fucking serious in America?  I thought it was bad enough the way all new hardcore bands just sounded like thrash bands with short songs and how the whole emo thing occurred but to see these kids will all humour and fun squeezed out of their existence is just disheartening and so wide of the original point.  To hear Thurston Moore provide the voiceover feels like shilling of the worst kind and when the credits later display that Brendan Canty did the score suddenly DIY ethics are not only ignored/neglected by the piece, they feel thoroughly trampled over.

By now the day reaches lunchtime and with it comes an attempt/effort to eat healthy and be good.  Easier said than done.

From here I resume attempting to write and I experience only limited returns.  At 3PM as usual I break to listen to the Danny Baker BBC London show which provides a calming element to the afternoon.  This is radio to relax and fall asleep to.

When the show ends the time has now reached 5PM and with tonight’s RICHARD HERRING show at the Colchester Arts Centre looming I only really have a couple of hours left to get some writing done.

Eventually I get to the Arts Centre just after 8PM where it is already pretty packed.  Soon after I arrive Lee arrives and it all begins to look good for the evening.

As I head to the bar to get drinks I find myself confronted by an old face from better times in the Colchester scene, I haven’t seen him for years and it’s really great when he recognises/remembers me.  We do the briefest of catch ups as it transpires he has ditched teaching (he even used to teach at my old school in Frinton at one stage).  Briefly vague plans get hatched to meet up and hang out in the future.  Some people transcend.

Tonight is fun.  RICHARD HERRING emerges onto the stage wearing his currently trademark toothbrush Hitler moustache and proceeds to dissect and super analyse the ridiculous concept/conceit of evil and racism being attached to his piece of facial hair and then onto the ridiculousness of racism in general, of how the field can get so muddied that ultimately it actually takes more effort to be racist than not.  In addition he brings about the question as to whether people become more right wing, even racist, with age.

RICHARD HERRING is a master comedian.  He has very thick skin; otherwise he wouldn’t have persisted with this premise in the first place.  Additionally he is happy to send himself up when frailties and imperfections of his being emerge.  He also appears to be fond of the double standard, its all right for him to be absurd but don’t dare anyone anywhere else misbehave or toy with hypocrisy.  Those people would be sick and wrong.

After a strong hour of set we reach an interval at which point he leaves the audience on a cliff hanger as to whether he did grow back his moustache, the one that currently sits/hangs above his top lip.

When he returns it is with jubilation that he points out how he was not discouraged from keeping the moustache.  As the show continues he moves onto his now infamous story of when he had his iPhone stolen in Shepherd’s Bush by a black man and how when the police were trying to retrieve the stolen phone for him as they drove past bystanders out of context what would be seen would be Adolf Hitler sat in the back of a police car, as if they had finally got him.

From here a poser occurs when in the middle of his Hitler Moustache run HERRING has to attend an important family function.  With this he has to weigh up the pros and cons of jeopardising his show against potentially ruining all the future family photo albums but looking like an eccentric weird nasty piece of work.  In reality this proves a real quandary for him, posing a difficult decision he would rather have to deal with.  Bloody families.

Later at another point he actually mentions the name of Day 68 of my Facebook Cull.  Now that is truly strange coincidence.

As one ridiculous conceit gets considered by another the whole situation and basis of his show continues to get confused as the absurdities of live override any opportunity of a rational argument other than to shut the fuck up and just get on with things.  The reality is that it just takes too much time and effort to be racist and an incredibly lazy mind to get annoyed by a style of moustache.  Eventually HERRING ties it all up with a bow and offers everyone out to collect and wear a free toothbrush moustache being handed out at the exit to anyone that wishes to sport and that we should fight to win the moustache back to represent Charlie Chaplin, to represent comedy.

After the show HERRING proves very accommodating as he sits at his merch desk signing copies of DVDs and books and having his picture taken with the people of Colchester.  When it comes to Lee and my opportunities to meet the man a guy behind us in a wheelchair offers to take our photo while I get HERRING to write “cumpkin” in my copy of Bye Bye Balham while I show him my cracked iPhone in search of sympathy from another iPhone obsessive.

With this ends another great night at the Colchester Arts Centre.  As I head home I worry slightly about the door to our building being locked again (as per last night/this morning) but thankfully when I pull up and in all is well, the sign magically strategically placed on the wall has done its job.  Celebration!

Once inside I check Question Time where tonight Baroness Warsi is once more on the panel.  I find her strangely attractive; she looks like a mucky mucky lady.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Wednesday 24 March 2010 – BUDGET DAY

Wednesday 24 March 2010 – BUDGET DAY

Today I feel more tired than I was expecting to.  It’s technically Friday for me, the final day of a short week.  Originally I was supposed to be going to Wales (Portmeirion) this weekend but it never got arranged.  In a way though this is a good thing looking at the weather today.

The drive to the station is an excruciating one, not least for getting stuck behind a car with a fucking yellow smiley face sticker on it.  Does this explain why the car is driving so slowly: the driver is fucked up on drugs at this time and all the time.  What kind of backwards mentality sees a person sticking a fucking yellow smiley face onto their car.  Surely beyond anything else it devalues the book value of it immediately to the value point of scrap.

It’s a dull, dull day.

Again the train journey is OK as nobody bothers to sit next to or crush me.  Over my shoulder I can hear somebody snoring over the top of my iPhone but that’s his problem.  Around Maryland and Forest Gate frustratingly the train slows down to a crawl.  I guess that is because these are tough neighbourhoods.

Eventually we get into town and on the tube I find myself sat opposite a boring (and bored) Zoey Deschanel lookalike.  She just can’t pull the look off.

At the moment I am on a genuine self improvement kick, last Friday night has truly triggered something in me.  I need to get better, I need to improve, I am not getting any younger and soon I fear it will be too late for me.

Today is a busy day filled with trepidation regarding the consultant’s impending visit.  Not that this sense of urgency transforms itself into work, I have better things to do.

The consultant is due/supposed to be in at 11AM but eventually he makes it in just after 1PM while we are eating.  His lateness suits me as it lends me the opportunity to get a lot of stuff done before his arrival but unfortunately when he steps through the door there are still tasks and chores that require my attention.  As a result lunch gets cut short.

He seems in a good mood today though and with this I get a sense that he is going to be easy on me.  Its not that he is necessarily awful all the time it is just that he sometimes makes qualified observations about aspects and areas of our accounts he really does not the full understanding that I do but due to his seniority my input gets railroaded.  Also being a busy man he is not necessarily always 100% concentrating on our accounts which can occasionally lead him to contradict himself which obviously makes me life/job difficult as a result.  It then turns out to be a real break when he stays only an hour.  Result.

From here the remainder of my day comes with a full workload but at the same time it is manageable.

Around 5.15PM our boss announces that we can pack up early.  Unfortunately I still have a bit of work to do and it holds proceedings up slightly before eventually the others just leave that little bit early.

When I leave at 5.35PM it is in full expectation of knowing the boss may want a drink and indeed as I attempt to race out of the building he is sat downstairs.  He calls me over to join him.  Despite being in a rush I indulge him.  The guy looks shattered, there appears to be so much going on in all elements of his life right now and he just wants a chat.

At 6PM I make a move feeling bad about ditching him.  Once out of the restaurant I head straight for Shepherd’s Bush for the TINDERSTICKS show where we are all meeting at the Defectors Weld beforehand.  When I eventually arrive there cocktails are already on the go, promising much.

We have some dinner in the form of another expensive pub burger while I express my angst about reaching forty soon (in six and a half years time).  I also try to coerce people into coming along to the Toots And The Maytals show at the Barbican in June as well as wowing everyone with the story of the dying person at the Australian Film Festival last night.  I feel on form tonight with these tales and the “What Up With That” song from SNL in my head (now also hopefully in their heads too).

Eventually we head over to the Shepherd’s Bush Empire.  As we step through the door we quickly peak at the merchandise store to see the Andy Nice CD in amongst the TINDERSTICKS stuff.  That should make Justin happy.

As we take our seats VILLAGERS are already onstage doing their support slot.  Apparently they have just been signed to Domino but I can’t help but think that this is a lie as I witness the simpering musings of some soft sod performing songs in a style that is prematurely ageing and demeaning to us all.  It is a farce.  When did society become so dull that professional nobodies such as these can get signed to decent labels?  The best that I can say for him (them) is that I am reminded of Alasdair Roberts (who I dislike too).

The set soon concludes and it is at this point it occurs to me that the seats upstairs at the Shepherds Bush Empire are no longer large enough for human comfort.  They were designed in better times, when people were physically slighter and in theory healthier.  This dawning also comes coupled with the reality that the guy sat to my left is soon winding the shit out of me as he finds it impossible to sit still, taking up the armrest and regularly scratching his huge hair probably pulling out nits in the process.  It is without doubt that this winner gets laid more than me.  Such is life.

Without too much waiting TINDERSTICKS soon take to the stage and promptly launch into the title track from Falling Down A Mountain.  It’s a majestic piece, great and encapsulating a pulsing tension and urgency that befits such a luxurious band.  Tonight they all look dressed down, more relaxed and less regal than usual.  You sense from the new record that this is now the way in this camp.

Ultimately it is a frustrating set, a true mixed bag naturally focused on the new record but painfully neglecting too many gems that sit obvious.  Unpredictably they include “Peanuts”, an excruciating song from the new album that I just cannot tell whether they are conscious of how awful the song is.

A rare beacon glows in the form of “Black Smoke” as the velvet luxury of the band begins to become hinting at once more but frustratingly little else serves to storm the show.

Throughout the set sat upstairs I find myself being bludgeoned by the guy with apparent nits continuously scratching his huge head of hair throughout the set.  To say it niggles and distracts me would be an understatement.  Fortunately halfway through the set after checking his text messages he disappears never to return.

Onstage the TINDERSTICKS grind to the end of their set before returning to perform two encores after which I don’t wish for a third.

After the show we exit, heading outside where rain is now drizzling down.  As Racton and Eleanor wait for their friends to emerge I split the joint and head home in full knowledge/realisation that it takes forever on the Hammersmith Line to get across to Liverpool Street.

In the end I wind up on the 11.48PM Colchester train and minutes before it pulls away Day 80 of Facebook Cull boards the carriage and waves at me “hi…..”

From here something of an awkward and uncomfortable journey takes place.  I try to avoid eye contact, try to pretend she’s not there but it’s impossible.  I try to fall to sleep but I ain’t got game for that either.  At least she isn’t hurling shoes or abuse at me, perhaps she doesn’t know about it.

It’s funny to be bumping into her now, so close to the entry.  It is now over two years since the last (and first) time we saw each other on a train home, a night after which ZoĆ« had thoroughly upset me and Emma actually helped cheer me up at a bleak time.

When the train arrives back at Colchester the time is around 1AM and I make a point/gesture of speaking to her, to ensure that I don’t make more of a fool of myself.  Much like last time she is really friendly once more having been out on the last with clients in a corporate sense.  Maybe I shouldn’t have culled her after all.

By the time I get back to Bohemian Grove it is now after 1AM and as I stumble out of my car and put my key into the door of our building it doesn’t work, fails to turn.  I check that I am using the correct key and indeed I am and as I toggle it soon it becomes apparent that the safety latch has been pulled down on the inside.

Without doubt this is the work of that idiot personal trainer next door to me in flat 15.  At this point I feel truly fucked off by her latest action and I proceed to buzz all the doorbells in our block and pound on the door at an ungodly hour.  I realise just how antisocial this is but quite frankly so is locking me out of my own home (fuck, she isn’t even an owner, she’s a scumbag renter which would suggest why she goes around with her “don’t give a fuck” attitude).  How fucking dare they do this?  Why have they fucking done this?

After no response to my initial flurry I begin kicking the door in again and making real noise.  Eventually I hear the bedroom window of flat 15 open just as the lady downstairs (Michelle) emerges with bedhead and opens the door for me.  I apologise profusely (three times) as she acknowledges that it is “the stupid people upstairs” in flat 15 that have done this.

As I step through my door I slam it in a final gesture of anger.  If I was worth my salt I’d pound on the door of 15 Hollytree Court but by now the damage has been done so it is anything for a quiet life that now prevails.

Fucking idiots.