Thursday, March 29, 2007

7.31 On Time
On the platform, sheltering from the wind behind the smokers wall, I thrust my hands into my pockets and come across a crumpled piece of paper. On it, in capitals, is scrawled the word 'CIDER'. It seems like a decent idea, but it is probably a bit early in the day.

Then I remember the conversation I had with The Wanderer. I am to lend him the Cider book and, in exchange, he will allow me to borrow the Pie book!

I have given him the closest I can come to a Stuart Maconie anecdote and he has informed me that EvilNemesis (who hails from Wigan but still manages to be a total arse) is mates with some blokes who went to school with Stuart and don't have any time for him. Then again, EvilNemesis is a complete tosser who seems to enjoy the company of tossers.

I must warn The Wanderer that the book will fall open at "Simply Thrilled Honey".

Black Sails In The Sunset
Kid About It
Episode Of Blonde
The Delivery Man
Hoover Factory
Shot With His Own Gun
Poor Fractured Atlas

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Another Football Post

Open letter to David Healy:

Dear Mr Healy,

If I could fix it for you to:
a) play;
b) play in position;
c) play in green.

Please could you score us some goals?

Yours hopefully

x (kiss)
x (no kiss)

UPDATE: See how effective I am when it comes to letter writing!

Dear Mr Healy

Thank you very much. Keep up the good work.

x (kiss)

Strachan - The Hitchers


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

7.31 On Time
Yesterday was frustrating.

The printers refuse to acknowledge that they are not in possession of superior intelligence and are being actively encourged in this belief by ChiefGeek, who has issued an edict not to solve the problem by physically switching the 'headed' and 'plain' paper around.

How else are we to outwit them and get them to do our bidding then? Pray tell? Huh? Not so clever now are we?

Or maybe he's seen which way the wind is blowing and gone over to their side.

And no one can work out the number for the fax machine in our office. Or make it work.

And no one knows where the post trays are.

For most of the morning our phone system refused to allow us to make calls to mobile numbers. For most of the afternoon we were allowed to call whatever the hell number we liked, but not speak for more than ten minutes without being cut off.

Maybe it's the council's latest cost cutting exercise?

It was my particular misfortune to be cut off in the middle of a call to MrsStroppyDon'tYouKnowHowImportantMyHusbandIs? She will never be convinced of anything other than that I hung up on her.

As if I would hang up in the middle of a fight.

When I Was Cruel - Elvis Costello


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

10.10 Ten Minutes Late
Miss Pinto has gone.
In her place is a deceptively smiling, smooth faced young man with heavy hands and a lot to learn about women.

"What do you snack on?" He demands.
"I don't snack."
He cleverly changes tack: "When do you eat chocolate?"
"When I have an emergency."
He looks worried: "What do you mean? Are you diabetic?"
"No, chocolate when I have a crisis." I look to the dental nurse for support. "Do you know what I mean?"

She nods ruefully.

I try to clarify
"I don't eat chocolate that often, but sometimes" I tail off weakly "you've just got to have it."

He shakes his head and moves on; Do I floss? (No) How often & for how long do I brush my teeth? (Often enough and long enough), Do I time myself? (No. I'm not a freak) Does my toothpaste have fluoride? (Probably. Don't they all? I mean who checks?), Do I know what 'fluoride' is? (What? Am I nine years old!!!) and, finally, am I manual or electric?

I'm manual of course. He is on to a loser here and he is beginning to know it.

In revenge he makes me have some x-rays, during which time he & the dental nurse hide outside the room. It's not reassuring.

The final straw comes when he tells me his is going to replace a filling for me, there and then, because there is a tooth which has become chipped, and it may become decayed unless we act quickly. Oh yeah, right. That'd be the tooth I chipped on a Nutalls Minto in 1997 then? We decide not to proceed with the urgent filling after all.

I wait at reception to hand my credit card to the UsuallyFrostyReceptionist: "What happened to Miss Pinto?"
"She left."
"She was nice"
"She was wasn't she" agrees the SlightyThawingReceptionist.
"She wasn't patronising." I say, putting on my nine-year-old-in a-sulk face. The UnusuallyIndiscreetReceptionist smiles and says "He's leaving soon."

Lydia - Dean Friedman
Sunken Waltz - Calexico
All This Usless Beauty - Elvis Costello
On The Border - Al Stewart
Ramblin' Man - Lemon Jelly
Six Shooter Annex - Ellis Island Sound


Monday, March 26, 2007

8.10 On Time
Woke up having forgotten that I was annoyed with myself, but then it all came crashing back.

Look what I let happen! I take my eye off the ball for a couple of weeks and am thwarted! Again!!

Anyone would think my holiday fun consists of habitually travelling thousands of miles with the sole intention of finding new ways to snub Ben Gibbard.

I am gutted. And seriously considering ebay.

Short Song For Strings - Johnathan Rice
7.00AM - Blue Nile
1776 - Hope Of The States
Tart - Elvis Costello
Rose Parade - Elliott Smith
Venus - Air
From The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea - The Cure


Thursday, March 22, 2007

17.12 On Time
The people from BottomOfTheBarrel rang this morning.
I was caught off guard and unable to deny that I had indeed expressed an interest in their production. Luckily, when I described what it is that I actually do Shaz lost her enthusiasm somewhat.

Her: "You just sit at a desk making phone calls? Don't you go out and meet people?"
Me: "No, not me." (That's what I like about my job, minimal face to face contact)
Her: "Might you be going out at all in, say, the next few weeks?" (God, your job is boring isn't it?)
Me: "Nope. Not me. Not ever." (Not if I have any say in it. I like it this way.)
Her: "Not even a tiny bit?"
Me: "Not even a tiny bit".

I could hear the life-force draining from her.

Me:"Well, sometimes I...."
Her:" Yes..."
Me: "...write letters."

Her: "Oh. Oh...right....well...I'll send you an email. If you think you might be doing anything a bit more" (searches for a word other than 'interesting') "...visual ... over the next week or so ...give me a bell."
Me: "Yeah, yeah - no problem!"

I am a dud and a non-starter in the world of reality TV.

Fade To Grey - Visage
11.11 - Rufus Wainwright
One day I Will Walk - k d Lang
Do You Remember the First Time - Pulp
Beyond Belief - Elvis Costello
One Of These Things - Nick Drake
Don't Think Twice, It's All Right - Susanna And The Magical Orchestra
I Lost My Heart/Philippe Philippe - Paris Motel


8.10 On Time
In a display of initiative, what the words "bread" and "cheese" being scrawled on the "stuff we have run out of" blackboard yesterday morning, My Love and I, separately and without prior consultation, both went to the supermarket last night.

We've now got more bread & cheese than Soft Mick.

The rest of my haul consisted of reduced pies (various, but all of them meat based), discounted individual rhubarb crumbles and a carton of cream. My Love brought home apples, peppers, pomegranate juice and whole grain cereal.

Hmmm. Then I wonder why I struggle to keep the weight off.

Black Coffee In Bed - Squeeze
I Want To Be The Boy - The White Stripes
Nom De Plume - Calexico
Sunny Came Home - Shawn Colvin
Leave The Light On - Johnathan Rice
Cemetery Gates - The Smiths
The Wrong Girl - Belle & Sebastian


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

7.31 On Time
My first penpal was called Alison.
The Deputy Head decided it would be a good idea if our whole class of ten year olds could buddy up with a whole class of ten year olds from a posh school. (Not The Posh School just up the road, a posh school sixteen miles away) And I got Alison.
I can't remember what I wrote to her about, or what her replies consisted of. As I was into marbles and making up stories about elves & puppies, while other, more developed, class mates played kiss-chase and sang mucky songs at break, my letters were probably supremely dull.
Then one day we all met up - she had a very thin, oval face and very thin, mousy plaits. We played rounders. That's all I remember.

There were never any more letters.

My second penpal was Debbie.
She lived in Plymouth. I got her out of 'Fab208'. We both liked football & Donny. We wrote for years and years, even after she'd given up on becoming a Mormon and moving out to Utah to increase her chances and got herself an actual boyfriend, but we never met.

I wish I still had her letters.

My third penpal was Wendy.
We wrote a couple of times before she came to stay for the week on a 'school exchange'.

She provided us with a running joke when, in response to my mum asking her if she was a vegetarian, she replied "No, I'm an Aquarius".
After the visit, we never wrote again.

Whatever made me think of that?

Saint Simon - The Shins
Way to Blue - Nick Drake
Your Twisted Sister - Ellis Island Sound
You Fall - Jason Anderson
Private Universe - Crowded House

Essential Wear For Future Trips To Space - Ballboy
Love & War - Rilo Kiley


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

17.12 On Time
When I arrived at my desk this morning there was an ominous pink message slip waiting for me:

"Please ring Shaz at BottomOfTheBarrel re filming Tuesday"

My first thought was "But that idea was dead in the water months ago...wasn't it? My second "Thank god I washed my hair." My third "Oh crap! I'm wearing black boots with a brown skirt!"

I notice there is Someone Else's name on the message as well, Someone whose name is quite similar to mine. Someone who's emails and messages I've been sent in the past ... this message is for me or Someone Else. I wander into the office next door. It's empty. Unobtrusively and unobserved, I slide the message onto Someone Else's desk and casually wander out.

Narrow escape.

Sara - Ben Weaver
Gold Rush Brides - 10,000 Maniacs
You Turn me On - Cinerama

Go Let It Out - Oasis
Photograph - Air
Treefingers - Radiohead
Dumper Truck Racing - Ballboy


7.31 On Time
The WomanWithJonathanWoodgate*Eyes is scowling again.
It's definitely at the boots today.
I want to tell her "Look...I know...I know I'm wearing black boots with a brown skirt. I know it's all wrong, but the brown boots need re-heeling, OK? And stop scowling. The wind will change and you'll stick like that."

(*Incidentally, is it just me or, since he stopped hanging with the wrong crowd, are his eyes noticeably less tortured?)

Fidelity - Starsailor
By Heart - Sylvie Lewis
Alison's Starting To Happen - The Lemonheads
Move On Now - Hard-Fi
Love Will Tear Us Apart - Joy Division
Epitaph - Leaves
Close To No One - The Cure/The Beatles
Heart Shaped Bruise - Elvis Costello


Friday, March 16, 2007

People off the internet, in a real book, for charidee!

Whatever will those crazy guys think of next.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

17.12 On Time
New office, new kitchen, new challenges.
Spent the morning collating corkscrews and scrubbing the brown stains off a million teaspoons. It's good to feel useful.

ThesaurusBoy and the Thespians returned from their Overnight Adventure in high spirits.

The rumours are scurrilous will go no further.

I Want You - Elvis Costello
Police & Thieves - Junior Murvin
The Night - Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
Moonlighting - Leo Sayer
Arms of Mary - Sutherland Brothers & Quiver
Summer (The First Time) - Bobby Goldsboro
Walk Away Renee - Billy Bragg


Monday, March 12, 2007

Pondered for a little, sadly. Then got on with what she had to do...

17.12 On Time
Despite fears (or secret hopes) of chaos and anarchy everything seems to have gone pretty smoothly. Thanks to ThesaurusBoy, who spent his first hour under my desk fumbling with my sockets, I had everything up and running by half ten.

Being able to see the sky is a nice change, but I'm not keen on people appearing from nowhere and standing behind me without warning. I could be doing anything.

There was a brief "but, Miss Jones, without your glasses you're beautiful" moment when Lovely, who's lost the best part of two stones since Christmas and went shopping at the weekend, turned up in a casual but stylish jeans and jumper combo which could only be described as 'charcoal'.

Perhaps it's as well we've been split up.
We don't want to be harbouring those sort of thoughts in the workplace now do we?

Liza Radley - The Jam
The Carnival Is Over - the Seekers
My Eyes Adored You - Frankie Valli
Wild World - Cat Stevens
Fire And Rain - James Taylor
Ode To Billy Joe - Bobbie Gentry
Dust In The Wind - Kansas
We're Gonna Change The World - Matt Munro


Friday, March 09, 2007

16.12 On Time
Finally, after much protest, wailing and gnashing of teeth and many false starts, it really is ending. This weekend 'the office move' is on. Official.

It meant Wednesday was my last day with Lovely, and it was overwhelmingly anti-climactical.
He spent all day packing then left early while I was on a call. It's not as if we're never going to see each other again, but things are not going to be the same.
As a confidante he is perfect as while he is insightful and non judgemental, he has no real curiosity. He is without shame but easily embarrassed. Hard as nails but mortified by a possibility that he may have caused offence.

When I didn't get the job it was his spontaneous hug that reduced me to tears.

I will also lose Leanne, who has been both my Jiminy Cricket and co-conspirator for years - goodness knows how I will cope when I'm left to flounder alone, relying on my own flawed conscience.

And Charlie. Kindred spirit of project books and the only person I know who is more organised than I am (oh, not counting Leanne). One of the stubbornest, honestest, funniest people I've ever met.

This afternoon I left all my work-worldly goods packed in a crate - goodness knows where they'll be by Monday.

Friday I'm In Love - The Cure
Western Skies - Roddy Frame
The Year Of The Cat - Al Stewart
Baker Street - Gerry Rafferty
My Little Town - Simon & Garfunkel
The Night - Soft Cell
You Wear It Well - Rod Stewart
Another Girl Another Planet - The Only Ones


Thursday, March 08, 2007

Think Of Me And Try Not To Laugh

16.12 On Time
I always wanted to be the woman in 'You Wear It Well'.
She is clear eyed and level headed, but enigmatic. Shrewd but uncynical. Detached but not aloof. She is enthralling but not exasperating. She had the sense to leave Rod Stewart but he's still pining for her.

I long to be pined for.

I long to be pined for in much the same way as I long to be able to wear frocks in the daytime and carry it off, knowing full well it will never happen because I'm not that kind of girl.

I quite fancy being the one out of "Year of the Cat" as well, although I suspect she's not much good in a crisis and her charms would soon wear thin.

You'd wake up one morning with a dry mouth and a thumping headache wondering how in God's name you'd got yourself involved with the neurotic bitch. You'd creep out of bed and silently, frantically, root through your pockets till you found that pesky lost ticket then you'd be out the door without a backward glance.

When you thought of her (because you would think of her) it would be with relief at your narrow escape and not regret for the one who got away.

You Wear It Well - Rod Stewart
White Horses - Jackie
Eleanor Rigby - The Beatles
Downtown - Petula Clarke
Whiskey In The Jar - Thin Lizzy
I'm Not In Love - 10CC
Dec '63 - The Four Seasons
Year Of The Cat - Al Stewart


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

7.31 On Time
While the Cat's away the Mice place orders with Ocado.

The WomanWithJonathanWoodgateEyes scowls a lot. This morning she is scowling at me. Or at my boots, or my skirt - I can't work out which or why, but I don't care.

It's a 'glad to be alive' morning, and I still feel like dancing.

Electricity - OMD
The Night - Soft Cell
Getting Mighty Crowded - Betty Everett
I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down - Elvis Costello
Can't Stand Losing - The Police
Heatwave - Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
Eton Rifles - The Jam
Daydream Believer - The Monkees
Cum On Feel The Noize - Slade
It's Not Love (But It's Still A Feeling) - The Pipettes


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

I'm Eternally Grateful To My Past Influences

7.31 On Time
I'm listening to The Fall, and I'm thinking "We danced to this?"
Is it my memory playing tricks? We did dance to it didn't we? But how?

I know what my "Into The Valley" looked like, and my "Gangsters" and my "Night Boat To Cairo" (all quite similar, truth be told - very angular) . I can still do the "Eton Rifles" (bouncy) and I can recreate (though not sustain) "Electricity"(flailing).

But how did we ever come to be dancing to "How I Wrote Elastic Man"?
Who on earth decided that was a good idea?

In my head, and knowing the opportunity won't arise, I'm working out how my "Standing In The Way Of Control" would go. Conclusion: red-faced & sweaty for me, embarrassing for any unfortunate onlooker. Unseemly, but I really want to give it a go.

Oh heck. I feel like dancing.

How I Wrote Elastic Man - The Fall
Do Anything You Wanna Do - Eddie & The Hot Rods
The Boys Are Back In Town - Thin Lizzy
Cherry Cola - Eagles Of Death Metal
On Top - The Killers
Hard To Beat - Hard-Fi
Standing In The Way Of Control - The Gossip
This Fire - Franz Ferdinand


Monday, March 05, 2007

17.12 On Time
With forty-five pages of the wretched book still left, and (I swear) the print getting smaller and smaller the 'On The Road' dilemma kind of got taken out of my hands.

Friday night I realised all seven books were due back on Saturday and, knowing we wouldn't be around when the library was open, rang the 24 hour automated 'renew your books without running the risk of having to speak to the freaky librarian' line. The automated (but less distressing than having to speak to the freaky librarian) voice informed me that six items had been successfully renewed, but that "one item could not be renewed" to find out which one "press button 2".

Which I did.

No need really was there?
Some other poor fool has put in a request for it.
Now, adding insult to injury, I'm going to be fined for the privilege of having the damn thing overdue!

Citizen's Arrest - Wolf Colonel
All In Your Mind - Beck
Something To Live For - Ed Harcourt
Love and War - Rilo Kiley
3 Feet Tall - I Am Kloot
Be Here Now - Oasis
Just A Day - Feeder
Royksopp's Night Out - Royksopp
Praise You - Fatboy Slim


8.10 On Time
Woke up at six to a headache and someone else's alarm . Slept badly again, unable to make the most of the opportunity to occupy space.

Consequently, spent the journey sifting through the contents of the jukebox, oblivious to the mini-dramas unfolding around me, looking for tunes to suit the mood and discovering that it's chock full of over-sensitive singy songwriter shit when what I'm after is some no nonsense fuck-off-noise.

What have I been thinking?

It's A Hit - We Are Scientists
Babylon's Burning - The Ruts
Broken Boy Soldiers - The Raconteurs
I Predict A Riot - Kaiser Chiefs
All These Things That I Have Done - The Killers
Hate To Say I Told You So - The Hives
Take It Or Leave It - The Strokes
Alternative Ulster - Stiff Little Fingers
When The Sun Goes Down - Arctic Monkeys

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

8.10 On Time
The train smells like a second hand bookshop this morning.
A dry, dusty one - not the damp, mildewed sort.

At Preston the station car park is still full of replacement bus services.

Made quite a hefty investment this week, it'll all be worth it in the long run I'm sure.

Wild Like Children - Tilly & The Wall


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