Sunday 7 March 2010
Dream: I am at some kind of festival, a mixture between what I expect from Wednesday and ATP, albeit with a large section of proceedings occurring outside. For the first time in an eternity I am meeting lots of new people and feeling confident about what I am doing (with the writing). After a great time as things begin to wind down to an end I find myself talking (flirting) with a gorgeous Asian lady who is actually interested for a change.
Today I awaken at 7.15AM, which for a Sunday is truly something of an own goal. Unfortunately I’m the kind of person that once awake remains awake and despite a few efforts to snooze and regain some semblance of nap/kip it all points towards failure.
With time on my hands I plump for watching the past two episodes of Saturday Night Live and catch up on my comedy viewing. The first show is hosted by Ashton Kutcher and features Them Crooked Vultures as musical guests. I feel somewhat ashamed to concede that I think I like Them Crooked Vultures even though they are whores of the worst kind when it comes to alternative rock and milking legacies. Sure they sound like Queens Of The Stone Age but how! The show ends with perhaps my favourite SNL sketch in years as Fred Armisen leads a gang of dads (including Dave Grohl) reforming their old band from twenty years ago to perform a song at his daughter’s wedding. The band turns out to be a hardcore band singing about Reagan, fighting in parking lots and even dropping into “Institutionalized” by Suicidal Tendencies. While Armisen shouts his way through the song he also trashes his daughter’s wedding. When the wedding was announced as the “Hetson/Cadena Wedding” that really should have been a clue. This performance is up there with the legendary Fear appearance on the show in the early eighties.
The second episode is hosted by Jennifer Lopez who doubles up as musical guest. She is looking too thin but still great, something which is emphasised by the way she looks during the opening monologue. During Weekend Update Fred Armisen pops up as David Paterson and it is still one of the naughtiest impressions imaginable.
After these two episodes the morning still has not reached 9AM which gives me time to check out the first episode of the new HBO series How To Make It In America. Apparently this is the new Entourage set in New York. In the end I actually like the show a lot more than I was expecting to even though I come away from the first episode still with reservations about the main characters (too much bravado). They’re losers though and being a loser is what this modern age is about, about having personality traits that the people can attach and cling onto.
Eventually I get up around 9AM and begin writing while Andrew Marr is on in the background. Unfortunately soon I find myself getting distracted with watching old avi files on my new DVD player. As a result of this I wind up missing Harry Shearer on Andrew Marr. My bad.
Following on TV its another episode of The Big Questions and another big question about Islam and Muslims. Bored already, do they really broadcast such subjects with view to offending people that could care less? Why does this programme have to express these things as being so important, in essence telling me that I should give a fuck about some pie in the sky issue that really rests a long distance away from really affecting my life. What a waste.
The intellectual collapse of me and my entire nation continues when I wind up watching Something For The Weekend on BBC2 where Louise Redknapp is beginning to resemble a bag lady more by the week, especially today as the glint in her eyes coupled with vacant expression would suggest that she may be off her tits in more ways than one. Why isn’t she on a Thomas Cook package holiday right now? Surely her and her husband wouldn’t be advertising a product that don’t really use. Surely the world is not that dishonest and crooked. Surely.
Basically in the space of just two hours I feel I am privy to the sight of everything that is wrong with this country, of the squeakiest wheels making the worst points (but getting most attention) while some truly hollow individuals serve as good examples of people that the population should be looking to aspire to be like. This is Littlewoods catalogue version of television.
After all this I try to muster up some lifeblood, some energy and purpose but unfortunately all falls short and I achieve little in the way of writing. Instead around midday I head back to bed where I attempt to watch Days Of Being Wild which turns out to be a movie that makes absolutely no sense to me. Is Maggie Cheung really in it? I don’t remember seeing her.
Bored but enlightened I carry myself through the remainder of the early part of the afternoon until routine calls and I have to head off.
Just before I head to my parents I watch TV as Reading play Aston Villa live on ITV in the FA Cup. It is somewhat surprising to see Reading get into a 2-0 lead for halftime, at which point I have to pull myself together and go to my parents for the ritual of Sunday lunch.
As I leave my flat I smell soap and water on the landing and it appears that someone has cleaned the downstairs marks from where the bike has been knocking into the wall. Was this an act by my troublesome neighbour the personal trainer?
Upon arrival at Balkerne Heights it turns out that Aston Villa have managed to perform a full 360 and have somehow come out for the second half and quickly scored three goals in ten minutes to take the lead. All of which I miss.
When I step into my parents place their old South African neighbour is just arriving also, which ordinarily would cool but today he has two annoying kids in tow. This certainly breaks from routine. From here I get jovial abuse from the off. So much for watching the rest of the football.
As I eat my dinner in the kitchen I suddenly read that there is a 100 Days project article in The Independent today. Almost immediately I run out of the flat to buy a copy. When I find one in the Tesco Express on Crouch Street it is pretty exciting. Unfortunately when I read the article I find that I have been shunned which creates the question in me: what are we doing this for?
Eventually the kids get too much for mum so the South African suggests that we all take the dog out for a walk around the Hilly Fields. I have to admit I have not been up here before and it is a pretty impressive and pleasant spot. The view is great and the air feels fresher. There is also a guy lingering who looks like a nonce but we choose to ignore him. As the kids run off with the dog he goes crackers, loving the opportunity to run free. A few times other dogs come along and briefly they sniff each other’s butts before starting to growl at each other. Then invariably one of the kids starts crying as the other has Bobby’s lead for too long.
A couple of times during the walk Bobby has a go at dogs that are bigger than him which creates cause for concern but he survives.
We waste about an hour doing this, which constitutes fresh air and exercise, things I am not necessarily sure or positive are healthy for me. When we eventually get back the South African and the kids head off with him forcing the kids to give us all a hug before leaving (“get off!”)
At this point I begin watching the BBC4 heavy metal documentary on iPlayer and it’s really well done although I am afraid that there are still people in my life that take this music seriously. For some reason though with time this music improves in reputation and stature. Why is this?
The second game on Sky today is Chelsea v Stoke which predictably goes the way of Chelsea 2-0. Less expected however is John Terry’s reaction when he scores the second goal and yanks his sleeve and captain’s armband up. Is he trying to make some kind of point? He’s a fucking fool.
After this the time is now 6PM and I go looking for Sunday Simpsons on Sky but its just no longer there. This has historically been an essential part of my routine.
My parents head out to their neighbours not long after this which lends me the opportunity to unwrap Guitar Hero games for the Wii that I have had for months now.
As the dog runs off for cover I smash through the latest selections on Guitar Hero 5. After the initial disappointment of the Nirvana songs (“Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “Lithium”) not necessarily working I then decide to get into the “real songs.” And by “real songs” I mean the rock and metal songs with chunky riffs and long hair.
It is actually the White Stripes which provide the first big hit with “Blue Orchid”, which always sounded like a Fugazi song from “A Steady Diet Of Nothing” to me anyway (“Latin Roots”). From here the tracks from Arctic Monkeys, Beastie Boys and Vampire Weekend all work surprisingly well. Then a major hit pops up in the form of “Nearly Lost You” by the Screaming Trees and you begin to wonder just how this song got on there but you thankful for it all the same. From here the late surprise then turns out to be “Sweating Bullets” by Megadeth. Who would have thought that?
After exhausting this disc I tear into Guitar Hero Aerosmith, which I have had for Playstation 2 since it came out but have never played my Wii copy. It has to be noted just how much more fun (and better) this is than the Guitar Hero Metallica. On this disc scarily “Sex Type Thing” is very appealing to play on Guitar Hero. The song reminds me of San Francisco in 2003 and while trying to be cool discussing music the actual coolest guy in the group (someone called Michael) just shrugged with cool resignation “I dunno, Stone Temple Pilots had good songs” and secretly it seems that he was right.
Of course the first song anyone plays on Guitar Hero Aerosmith is The Kinks cover, basically it is just one of the greatest songs anywhere in music history. From here how far you delve into the Aerosmith back catalogue is down to your mood and the individual. On a day such as this for me it goes little further than “Love In An Elevator”, “Sweet Emotion” and the Run DMC version of “Walk This Way.”
By now I find myself looking at the clock, slightly concerned at just how much time I appear to be wasting. Despite this I remain undaunted and continue to roll with Guitar Hero Greatest Hits. This game does “set lists” and when I line up “Heart Shaped Box”, “Killing In The Name”, “Monkey Wrench”, “Stop”, “Them Bones” and “In The Meantime” it is fucking magnificent. “Heart Shaped Box” is particularly good, surprisingly one of the better songs on Guitar Hero. So why are their other songs such an epic fail on Guitar Hero?
While the dog continues to hide from the sound of the TV farting (the speakers just don’t cut it at this volume) the olds return. I wonder if they could hear me from outside, if they despair at what their 33 year old son is doing with his life. Regardless this is Guitar Hero and you can usually tell the gamers vs. the music fans by the volume (this was something I learned the first time I played it).
With Sunday night getting late I head home where In The Loop is on BBC2 tonight to coincide with it being shown in anticipation of inevitable Oscar failure. In the end it proves too wordy to get through at this time and soon I fall asleep.