Friday, September 24, 2004

It's All Fun And Games Until Someone Loses An Eye

Isn't that typical?

I pop in here to throw a dust sheet over everything for a couple of weeks and what do I discover on the way? An email forwarded to me by ConscientiousColleague (aka Leanne):

"[UncorrectedPersonalityTraitColleague] has obtained a job which more closely meets his skills and aspirations and will be leaving us. LineManager".

Blimey. I turn my back for five minutes and look what happens.

I wonder if there'll be a leaving do?

to be continued...

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Say The First Thing That Comes Into Your Head...

17.17 On Time
That's it. I'm on holiday now. Yes, I am exited. No, I still haven't made enough lists. When I said I'd packed I was lying to keep LovelyTeamMember happy. And if there is a power struggle in my absence, my money is on Charlie.

Where am I going? See list below for clues...

American English - Idlewild
Don't Go To Pieces - Hope of the States
Last Harbor - American Music Club
Don't Change Your Plans - Ben Folds Five ("the leaves are falling back east")
At The River - Groove Armada ("if you're fond of sand dunes and salty air...quaint little and there")
America - Simon& Garfunkel
More Than A Feeling -Boston
A New England - Billy Bragg

But that wasn't really what I was going to say at all. I had this great title and then some stuff that would've been almost relevant to it. Somewhere between the typing fingers and the brain there was an edit. Possibly because I came up with the ideas last night while under the influence of truth serum.

Anyway. The BarLad at The Railway has some really good cd's. If you give him a break by not putting Nena on the jukebox you can have Jeff Buckley and The Kings of Convenience as well as the Elbow/Eels/Radiohead combo. Oh and Snow Patrol of course.

"If it looks like it works, and it feels like it works, then it works."

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

I Don't Wanna Be Your Lover, I Just Wanna Be Your Victim

17.17 Five Minutes Late
LineManager is in efficient mode. We have an agenda for tomorrow's meeting. Item 6 is "Fireworks" which sounds like a prediction. Item 9 is "ANOB". Which is worrying us slightly.

True Confession Time
Oh dear. I've been under the influence of Elvis Costello for years. Twenty seven years,off and on. But mostly on. The inevitable happened at lunch time - I bought The Delivery Man (I bought some other stuff to, but that's hush hush at the moment). The best I can do is stand up and admit it "My name is Beth and I am an Elvis Costello addict". Hell, I've even got 'Goodbye Cruel World'.

It got off to a slow start. 'My Aim Is True' (Alison excepted) didn't knock me off my feet, and I was a little bit frightened of "Red Shoes" at the time, but 'This Year's Model' was the first album I became genuinely obsessed with. I still love it. I love the way the beginning of 'No Action' makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, and the fact that it lasts 1 minute 59 seconds. I love that I still don't have a clue what it's all about, but I understand it anyway. I love that I have to make up my own words in a lot of places, but it makes sense to me. And, most of all, I love the vocal squeak in "The Beat" which announces "I don't wanna be your lover, I just wanna be your victim". The effect is unhealthy, so unhealthy!

Years later, a similar effect was to be had by ad infinitum repetition of " you go, and you stand on your own, and you leave on your own, and you go home, and you cry and ..." you know the rest. But that's another story.

Selected Elvis:

The Beat
You'll Never Be A Man
Indoor Fireworks
Brilliant Mistake
When I Was Cruel No 2
Beyond Belief
Party Girl
Funny Valentine

Monday, September 20, 2004

It's not fair.
Today UncorrectedPersonalityTraitColleague had the gift of chocolate bestowed upon him by a grateful punter. It was a gift which he so does not deserve and which he conspicuously failed to share with his more deserving co-workers. Didn't bother me though. After all, there's a fair chance they'll turn out to be poisoned.

I, meanwhile, was required to spell 'paraphernalia'. Just because I stopped a 'gentleman of a certain age' in his tracks when he began to spell it for me with "I think I can manage that" in my best "There's no need to patronise me, I'm not illiterate" voice. He called my bluff didn't he?

To be on the safe side I googled, while keeping him talking. He was suitably impressed.

I'm not expecting any chocolate though.

8.13 On Time

Who'd Have Thought It (part I)
Who'd ever have guessed that
this one would become my new favourite player? (Well, after this one )

Who'd Have Thought It (part II)
Who'd have given much for the chances of Elvis' new album being actually quite good, when I've already sworn not to buy it? (I know I've said THAT before)

Who'd Have Thought It (part III)
Who'd have thought that the most interseting and challenging part of my working day would be doing THIS at lunchtime?

Ran For Miles - Gemme Hayes
Left Of Centre - Suzanne Vega
My Favourite Game - The Cardigans
Queen Of THe Coast - Laura Cantrell
Constant Craving - kd lang
Beacon Street - Nanci Griffith
All My Life - Rosie Thomas
Goodbye To Love - The Carpenters
Don't Come The Cowboy With Me Sonny Jim - Kirsty MacColl

Friday, September 17, 2004

Your Time Starts Now

17.17 9 Minutes Late
The eggshells atmosphere is still affecting the office. I found it particularly difficult to concentrate today, despite Leanne's absence. Spent two hours writing a letter and got no further than "Mrs Blah appears to be experiencing some difficulty..." Mrs Blah is not the only one. My desk is completely dust free though.

Being a Friday the train is packed and there is quite a lot of alcohol being consumed. I forsake my 'normal' seat as it's a bit close to a scary looking Scottish family who are all swigging Fosters. (Well, all except the three year old). GirlWhoTalksWithHerHands' Friend sits next to me, which is comforting, and soon I'm dozing. The smell of lager is very strong. It's not unpleasant, it just makes me want some. It really is very strong. In fact I can almost taste it. I'm jolted awake just in time to see GirlWhoTalksWithHerHands' Friend neatly crushing an empty Grolsch can and tidying it away into her lunchbox... that explains it then. But she could've offered me some.

I Want You - Elvis Costello
Into My Arms - Nick Cave
Love Becomes A Savage - The Lilac Time
Hoover Factory - Elvis Costello
Butterfly Collector - The Jam
Out Of Time - Blur
I Didn't Understand - Elliott Smith
Feeling Oblivion - Turin Brakes
Powder Blue - Elbow
Just A Memory - Elvis Costello

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Tears Before Bedtime

8.13 On Time
UncorrectedPersonalityTraitColleague is still with us but, following issues raised by LineManager, ReceptionBoy has walked out. It's not quite as dramatic as it sounds, as he was working his notice anyway , but still. The words displacement, denial and soft target spring to mind. Some might even be appropriate. LineManager also decided that yesterday would be a good day to examine our internet use. There are Policies in place. These are not exactly clear. The result of his surprise inspection is that we are all guilty of abuse. I think we knew that anyway, but warnings were issued. We are suitably chastened and subdued. And bored.

(OK and I do have a tiny, tiny headache. Just a little one mind.Cider huh!)

Random Elvis Jukebox II

Accidents Will Happen
White Knuckles
Pump It Up
Shot With His Own Gun
Busy Bodies
Love For Sale
Lipstick Vogue
Human Hands
Secondary Modern
Everday I Write The Book
Spooky Girlfriend


Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Man Out Of Time

7.35 Two Minutes Late
UncorrectedPersonalityTraitColleague's contract is up in a month or so. It's tricky, because on the one hand he is a charmer who is capable of displaying wit, warmth and good humour. On the other, he is a spoilt baby who has out of control, teenage sized tantrums of which we are all heartily sick. Hoping that someone will lose their job seems small minded and mean spirited in the extreme. But he is impossible to work with and LineManager appears totally unable to manage him. ThesaurusBoy has been on the point of resigning for the past couple of months and even LaidBackColleague has reached the end of his tether.Things are getting tense. Again.

Random Elvis Jukebox

All This Useless Beauty
Talking In The Dark
Big Sister's Clothes
Tears Before Bedtime
Big Boys
New Amsterdam
Clowntime Is Over
Ghost Train
Kid About It
What's So Funny 'bout Peace Love & Understanding?

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Leave well alone

7.35 7 Minutes Late
The roof of the train started leaking this morning. Only in one place, only two people got wet. One moved, unfussily - resigned. The other sought out the conductor and told her what was happening. Why? What possible good can come of this? She can't pop out on top & fix it can she? She can't stop it raining. Hopefully, she won't be so concerned that she informs Control and gets the train withdrawn from service...we'll all be in trouble then. Thanks pal.

Oh, and Charlie & Leanne think I should sell the BDB Kinder Egg on ebay. Some people have no soul.

Apocalypse Please - Muse
Don't Go To Pieces - Hope of the States
Me ves y Sufres - Hope of the States
Ruled By Secrecy - Muse
1776 - Hope of the States
Blackout - Muse
66 Sleepers To Summer - Hope of the States

Monday, September 13, 2004

8.13 Five Minutes Late
Monday morning...yeah, but
It's cold and I'm back in my winter shoes...but
LineManager's back from his holidays...but, still

I've never actually seen a 3-0 victory before.

(And I can do links now)

I'll Do It Anyway - The Lemonheads
Big Gay Heart - The Lemonheads
Verisimilitude - Teenage Fanclub
Alison's Starting To Happen - The Lemonheads
Mellow Doubt - Teenage Fanclub
It's About Time - The Lemonheads
Neil Jung - Teenage Fanclub
Don't Look Back - Teenage Fanclub
Into Your Arms - The Lemonheads

Thursday, September 09, 2004

8.13 On Time
I'm on a roll. Following the Belle & Sebastian set list triumph I have had a Badly Drawn Boy autographed kinder egg victory. The support band threw it out to the 'crowd' (quite sparsley dotted around the Bridgewater Hall at that point) it flew straight towards us. Tim and a Lad in the row infront both went for the catch - there was fumbling. The egg fell to the floor. There was some scambling.I had a flash of insight and realised that if Tim got to it first he was going to give it to the Lad anyway. I put my foot on it and pulled it towards me. Tim is a LovelyPerson. I am not. It went into my pocket.

Anyway, Badly Drawn Boy. Odd little chap. First half of the show - needed to loosen up. Second half - needed to tighten up. Someone got married on stage and BDB announced his retirement.

But I don't think either was legally binding.

Bottle Up And Explode - Elliott Smith
Switching Off - Elbow
Dirth Dream Number Two - Belle & Sebastian
Fall On Me - REM
How Soon Is Now - The Smiths
Thoughts Of A Dying Atheist - Muse
Shipbuilding - Elvis Costello
There's A Light Beyond These Woods, Mary Margaret - Nanci Griffith
High And Dry - Radiohead

Post Script: Stuart's Diary entry for the 8th September is full of the sort of detail I really want to read about the Mercurys!

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

And sometimes my head is full of stuff.
Which is why I'm wide awake at 4.00am thinking I don't know who won the Mercury Music Prize and hoping it wasn't Franz Ferdinand*
And, who's is the mystery bottle of Stella in the fridge at work? And if it's still there at 5.00pm today (or maybe sooner, if today's as hot as yesterday) it might be mine.
And how come some people say "I've wiped it up" when all they've done is spread it more thinly.
And what about my impulse this evening to walk up to the door of the PoshPlace that wouldn't let me in on Friday when I was wearing baseball boots, hover on the threshold for a second, turn on my heels and walk away exclaiming "Nah! don't think so". Yes, I know the Bouncers wouldn't be mortified, I know it's childish, petty, stupid even. But is it not an understandable impulse?
So, in the unlikely event of anyone wanting a good (not cheap, but very good) place to eat in St Annes I'd recommend a visit to Jack's. Don't bother with Joya, across the road (and when I've got up to the chapter on Links in my book that is where some would be)**
Why am I wide awake? It's not even as if I had RedBull or am obsessing over that "20 Best Songs" question......

*I know now. Shame it had to be the third best Glasgow Based Band that won.

**I can do links now

7.35 15 Minutes Late

Not A Playlist, But The 20 Best Songs
Hallelujah - Jeff Buckley
Ever Fallen In Love...- Buzzcocks
Anchorage - Michelle Shocked
There's A Light Beyond These Woods Mary Margaret - Nanci Griffith
High And Dry - Radiohead
How Soon Is Now - Smiths
Wichita Lineman - Glen Campbell
Switching Off - Elbow
Dirty Dream Number Two - Belle & Sebastian
In My Life - The Beatles
Another Girl Another Planet - The Only Ones
Friday I'm In Love - The Cure
Thoughts of a Dying Atheist - Muse
Fall On Me - REM
Alison - Elvis Costello
Beautiful Freak - Eels
Bottle Up & Explode - Elliott Smith
Alice Childress - Ben Folds Five
Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana
Don't Fear The Reaper - Blue Oyster Cult

(valid for 24 hours only)
Oh, and I already want to swop Alison for Shipbuilding, and Fall On Me for Country Feedback ...

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

17.17 On Time
What goes on in Garden Street?
TheOfficeWhereTheyParty was partying again. They have tinsel and music and hang out of the windows, but they're all wearing headsets. Is it CallCentreHeaven?

For tomorrow's meeting I need my Top 20 songs for a "best songs ever" compilation CD. I know it's impossible, but it's a classic question, and not trivial at all. And I'm going out tonight, so how can I possibly narrow it down in time?

I'll need to take a pen, so I can scribble hastily on the serviette when inspiration strikes.

Human Beings - Lorien
Quick Before It Melts - Cinerama
146 Degrees - Cinerama
Your Time Starts Now - Cinerama
So. Central Rain - REM
Fall On Me - REM
Gardening At Night - REM
To Sir With Love - Natalie Mercahnt & Michael Stipe

7.35 On Time
Somedays there is nothing in my head.



At all.

I can do a list though....
Alpha Bets Gaga - Air
Wasting My Time - The White Stripes
I Need You Back - Ben Kweller
Love - Cimerama
Each & Every One - Everything But The Girl
I Wonder If The Snow Will Settle - Clearlake
Yesterday Once More - The Carpenters
Air - Ben Folds Five

Friday, September 03, 2004

Miss Petty

17.17 Five Minutes Late
22 Days to go til the Holiday. Flexi Time is building up nicely.

I ate the last donut this afternoon. I didn't need it. I didn't really want it. I wanted to stop UncorrectedPersonalityTraitColleague having it (he'd already had two). Are there some issues here?

A man from the RSPB, who I emailed only yesterday, says there probably isn't anywhere in the North West that still keeps humming birds, so I'm not going to get to see them. According to Leanne, 'Animal World' probably has some suitable alternatives - but what's a suitable alternative to a humming bird? There just isn't one.

Random Tunes:
God Put A Smile... - Coldplay
A Most Unpleasant Man - E
Another Girl Another Planet - The Only Ones
...Gulp..It's happened...I'm hearing the intro to the most embarrasing track on my (anyones?) mp3 player ... What do I do? Denial - airbrush it out and pretend it never happened? Do nothing - don't try to defend the indefensible, there's no excuse for this, but it doesn't matter. Or, explain? O.K. how do I explain...
Wind Of Change - The Scorpions
(I visited Russia, stuff was happening, this reminds me of the time)
Reel Around The Fountain - The Smiths
Cannon - The White Stripes
Dave the Moon Man - Looper
Rainy Grays & Blues - Roddy Frame


Thursday, September 02, 2004

7.35 On Time
Since the retirement of the OrganisedCommuter, GeekBoy and RelaxedMan seem to be forging a closer allegiance. The situation will need monitoring. ill effects

To The End - Blur
Beautiful Freak - Eels
Switching Off - Elbow
Fake Plastic Trees - Radiohead
Eye of the Needle - Divine Comedy
Bedshaped - Keane
Thoughts of a Dying Atheist - Muse
Dead of Winter - Eels

(Hmm. Did I turn a bit morbid there?)

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

22.49 Five Minutes Late
The trick is, spotting the regular 17.17ers who are more pissed up than you are. Tonight - One only.

There was a hedgehog snuffling along the gutter on my street. I didn't get close enought to check out it's whiskers, but I did re-direct it out of the road and into a garden. I hope it didn't turn round and head back out again the minute my back was turned.

There are the tunes I'm listening too, and the tunes that are in my head...

Beautiful Freak - Eels
Switching Off - Elbow
Don't Fear The Reaper - Blue Oyster Cult
Good Souls - Starsailor
99 Red Balloons - Nena
Another Brick In The Wall - Pink Floyd
Wichita Lineman - Glen Campbell
Another Girl Another Planet - The Only Ones


I Get Knocked Down But ... Then I Go To Lancaster

8.13 On Time
Another glorious morning. Last night's virtual trauma is but a memory and I am Lancaster bound. I enjoy going to Lancaster, but don't tell LineManager or he might stop me. I get to take more trains. I also get to have lunch in The Sun Cafe (follow the signs for 'the music room' or 'the samaritans')

8.42 Six Minutes Late
Luckily for me, as it pulls onto platform five just as I do.

11.58 Twelve Minutes Late
So I can catch it at 12.10* (things are going scarily well)
I bought a book called 'Quick Fix HTML'. Had I more money than sense I would've bought "ipod & itunes for Dummies" for UncorrectedPersonalityTraitColleague (his is still in the box) fortunately the £11.99 stayed in my purse. I'll be spending it this evening instead, on drink, with Leanne.

* had to call it late breakfast in the Sun Cafe - but it was still good.

Alice Childress - Ben Folds Five
I Play Music - Rosie Thomas
Chuck E's In Love - Rickie Lee Jones
Because I'm Beautiful - Cinerama
Commuter Love - Divine Comedy
My Little Town - Simon & Garfunkel*
For You - Bruce Springsteen
Stacey's Mom - Fountains of Wayne
Lydia - Dean Friedman
Stay - Lisa Loeb
Torn - Natalie Imbruglia
The Boxer - Simon & Garfunkel
A Piece of My Mind - Everything But The Girl
Don't Leave Nobody But The Baby - Gillian Welch/Alison Krauss/Emmylou Harris
Constant Craving - kd Lang
Learn to Live With What You Are - Ben Folds

* something in this track, for some reason, starts me worrying about Josh Lyman (yes, I know, it's not real) and how great it was when Bartlett kicked ass last night (though not before time!)

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