Tuesday, June 30, 2009
So it wouldn't be surprising if I was running out of steam.
Hold Time - M Ward
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
The pissed-up Scot opposite hails everyone who passes his seat with an incomprehensible greeting. Other than that, he's no bother.
The dapper man who sits down next to me has the white hair and beard of a not-quite-incognito Father Christmas. He takes out his phone and begins to compose a text. He decides "Sorry I was grumpy" is too much of an admission and changes it to "I'm sorry if you thought I was grumpy".
It seems to do the trick anyway. Both of them look forward to him getting home.
Alone Again (Naturally) - Gilbert O'Sullivan
Richard Pryor Addresses A Tearful Nation - Joe Henry
City Middle - The National
Tea And Sympathy - Janis Ian
Monday, June 15, 2009
I was only half-joking at the end of Dan Haywood's New Hawks when I said that was probably the most fun we were going to get all night. I'm coming round to the New Hawks: plenty to watch, occasional tunes, light & shade. Next up, Mary Hampton held the room in the palm of her tiny hand and sang about some spine-tingling scary sounding stuff that I didn't quite understand but was hypnotised by all the same.
It is desperately ungrateful to say it, but actually, two bands a night is probably enough for me - although if I'm sitting down I can sometimes enjoy three. It's all about engaging. For me, Mary Hampton did it, Diane Cluck didn't. Alasdair Roberts attempted it but struggled with the language barrier. Dan Haywood does it - although, I did get an uneasy feeling that he'd really rather be doing it with himself.Anyway, had a good night, met a fellow Cheesehead and, until Richard comes back in his new incarnation, guess we'll just have to make do with Richard and Richard.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
"...it's four in the morning and everyone said that she'd taken some asprin and gone back to bed"
My phone rang (which, of itself, is an unusual occurrence) and the question was: how did I feel about spending an evening playing games I wouldn't understand with some people I didn't know?
It's the kind of question that would normally cause distress. I'd need ten days for the panic to subside enough to allow me to even consider such a proposition but - I don't know what came over me - I had to say it sounded like a great idea to me!
It seemed to work out OK. And Sundays were made for struggling through, right? I'd forgotten that.
Not Every Moment Rules - New Zealand Story
Monday, June 08, 2009
Sunday, June 07, 2009
"...bruised black and blue"
I was already a bit concerned that last night's event was going to be less easy to love than John Bramwell's Yorkshire House performance - which was pure joy (and he did do 'Black and Blue' and (in my head) it was because I asked for it (I know others were shouting for it too, but I like to think adding 'please' made the difference)).
It was an ambitious programme - Belly dancing, Dada, 'Improvised' 'comedy' (that's just asking for trouble), spoken word, sensitive singer songwriting and Mikey Kenny But, aside from the dour poetry, I enjoyed it all. I think the German was my favourite.
Something needs to be done about those annoyingly noisy doors and the audible hand dryers though.
Friday, June 05, 2009
Feel like shit again.
My head's all over the place – can’t concentrate – can’t focus – can’t be off sick due to the three line whip – so I’m rambling instead ... and thinking about stick insects.
I wasn’t allowed pets as a child, so the pets I did have were unavoidably imposed. The first was 'Twinkle', named after the comic. A goldfish given to me as a birthday present by the woman my mum cleaned for. The fish, the bowl, the coloured stones for the bottom of the bowl. No other ornamentation. I can’t remember being especially thrilled to have been given a fish. When she (?) died I’m pretty sure my dad flushed her (?) down the toilet. I don’t remember being overwhelmed by grief.
The next thing was the stick insects. I can’t remember who they came from. Was it someone at school or maybe even the school themselves, desperately trying to give the wretched things away and stupid me being dumb enough to be keen to have them. Why? What was I thinking? They ‘lived’ - for want of a better word - in a coffee jar and ate privet culled from Grandma & Grandad’s hedge. When I eventually became bored with them I released them into that privet hedge to an almost certain death. I don’t feel remorseful, even today.
The third pet I wasn’t allowed was a mouse. Patrick (I was into a big horse racing phase at the time) was much more interesting. He was given to me by my best friend, TheVegetarian, and I saved up my own pocket money to buy him an aspirational, state-of-the-art mouse cage from my Mum’s Freemans catalogue. I'd had him for a couple of years, then he went to stay with my best friend, TheVegetarian, while we were on holiday. When we got back he was dead. She said his cage had been in their greenhouse and, somehow, some wild mice had "got at him" and he had died. It sounded a bit odd at the time and it sounds even more suspicious now. Although I was sad when it happened, I was also a bit relieved that I wasn't the one to have to have discovered the body .
During the years we don’t mention there were a couple of unpleasant hamsters, a half-wild black rabbit, an unfortunate semi-feral tabby and … I might be going crazy, but, I’m sure at one point, for a brief time there was a goat – how could I not know if that was true? I don’t know…but hiding a goat on some waste ground and then building a shelter for it and, ultimately, ‘giving it away' to a school comes to mind. There was definitely a shelter building episode. And it wasn’t even a nanny: there was no milk, just an evil-eyed billy-goat wtf??? Anyway, none of them were my idea.
Jess was my idea.
My only proper pet ever and sometimes I think: should we get another cat?
But I don’t think we ever will.
XO - Elliott Smith
Thursday, June 04, 2009
As I try to work out how to express the sentiment: 'please, just sort this thing out, otherwise I'll have to actually read the four page letter I'm enclosing and work out for myself what’s gone on and then explain to you why you need to fix it, so please just do it now and save us both some time' only in not those exact words, I bat a squeezy rubber stress-ball from hand to hand. It's not really necessary. The letter isn't all that difficult, but it makes it look as though I'm struggling, having to think things through, means I can spend longer doing a job that should take five minutes tops.
To make it look even more serious I'm using my glasses again, which I don't really need for the screen, but I do so enjoy looking over the top of them, especially at ThinksHe'sAllThat, I think it unnerves him. At least I hope it does. Taking a break between paragraphs I hold the stress ball against my bottom lip, giving the impression of a person deep in thought.
When I was about nine years old, for Christmas, I got a huge, rubber, bendy Pink Panther. It smelled fabulous. Sometimes I was tempted to take small bites from it and, in the same way, I’m tempted to bite the stress ball now.
Eventually it perished.
Veckatimest - Grizzly Bear
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
This afternoon I found myself composing a reply to an email that hasn’t been sent yet. An answer to a question I haven’t been asked. But then that’s nothing new. Most of my conversations don’t make it outside my head. The overlap is scary.
Afternoons are when I succumb. When I have least resistance. Yesterday I found myself making a list of names which I now seem to have misplaced, scarily enough - if it turns up in the wrong hands I may need all my powers of invention.
Afternoons are where I’m tempted to put my glasses on and pretend to be much busier than I actually am. When I have nothing at all to do I make sure I'm wearing the glasses, so I can gaze into the middle distance in a way that makes it look as though I’m seeking inspiration and pondering really important things and not just staring at nothing and having conversations in my head. Which is most likely the case.
Which is most likely the case?
Wrecking Ball - Cranes & Crows
Interstate 5 - The Wedding Present
Inner Flight - Primal Scream
Monday, June 01, 2009
A man on the train keeping notes in a Moleskine.
I’m jealous of the weight of his fibre tip and the firm flowing lines his fine black nib is making on the cream paper.