Thursday, November 29, 2007

"...don't you get me started now"

17.12 Five Minutes Late
The training course was delivered by a character from David Peace's "Nineteen Seventy-Four."

A 'been there, done that' retired DC from West Yorkshire; beige slacks, brown tie, crumpled face. His non-stop anecdotes were full of unnecessarily salacious detail and I failed to see their relevance or to spot the points (self-aggrandisement apart) he was trying to make. He was one of those well balanced types with a chip on each shoulder who does the stereotype of the bluff Yorkshireman a disservice. For this reason alone, by eleven o'clock, I had taken against him hugely.

Throughout the rest of the day, as his casual bigotry made itself clearer, I began to feel more uncomfortable. My long-buried CAB training stirred. I knew I should challenge him. I knew I should not sit by and, by my silence, affirm his views. I resented his making me part of his conspiracy but was unable to find the moment, or the words, to speak up.

There is not one individual, specific, comment I could quote to illustrate my point, no one story which, in isolation, merits such a strong response and yet I know, I know, someone has to say something.

Tomorrow I will listen more carefully. I will make notes and, when I have taken a dozen or so deep breaths and counted to ten at least twice I will speak up.

(Well, I will, unless someone else beats me to it)

We Laugh Indoors - Death Cab For Cutie
Go Ahead - Rilo Kiley
Botany Bay - Kate Rusby
Tear Stained Eye - Son Volt
Jed's Other Poem - Grandaddy
House By The Sea - Iron & Wine
Lord Grenville - Al Stewart


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

"...I thought she said maple leaves"

8.10 On Time
I have been ill !!! Again !!!

I can tell I have been ill because I have watched "Murder She Wrote" at 10.00am.

I think I am better now. Maybe it is that Jens Lekman has special healing powers? But ... Ssssh! I'm keeping quiet about seeing that...

(You din't see me? Right?)

Maple Leaves
Rocky Dennis Farewell Song
The Cold Swedish Winter
A Man Walks Into A Bar
The Opposite Of Hallelujah
A Postcard To Nina
You Are The Light
A Sweet Summer Night On Hammer Hill

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Vampire Weekend!!

17.12 On Time
A bloke in a peach v-neck is a few pages from the end of ' That's Me In The Corner'.
I want to point and say "Oooh! Look what he's reading!"
But it would be rude, and anyway there's no one to tell.

There's a definite Friday Feeling going on. CrazyHatMan asks SwarthyStellaDrinkingGuy for a share of his Guardian (but not, as far as I'm aware, a swig of his Stella), The Students are on their way home for the weekend flirting, making plans, breaking promises. People who don't normally speak are making connections. I keep accidentally making eye contact with a young man who might be a friend of TheYoungerBoy, but it's too much of a risk to ask.

Oxford Comma
I Stand Corrected
Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa
Mansard Roof


Thursday, November 22, 2007

"...they're sitting around the table and they're talking behind your back"

7.31 On Time
I put my "It's four minutes walk to the station" theory to the test by setting off with only five minutes to spare. I can't see TheGirlICanAlwaysCatchUp anywhere ahead of me, which is not good, but I arrive on the platform just as the lights of the train become visible round the bend.

So, it is four minutes to the station then.

Unfortunately, when it arrives, it's one of those nasty thinks it's a plane trains where the seats recline in your face and there's no place to put your knees except in the small of someone else's back.

What worried me most about yesterday's conversation was OldFishWife saying: "You don't know who you can trust anymore". And the fact that I agreed with her.

My jukebox is stuck. Every time I re-set it (I always carry a paper clip, just in case) it goes back to the same track.

That Summer, At Home, I Had Become The Invisible Boy - The Twilight Sad

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

"...nothing changes here and nothing improves"

17.12 On Time
I was a bit previous (as my mum used to say) with my optimism regarding the migration.

The initial phase appeared relatively hitch free precisely because everyone was too busy fiddling with their desktops and settings to bother trying to get any work done.

Day II went from bad-ish to O.K.
Day III is the archetypal ‘two steps back’.

HeadGeek agrees that, although his system is telling him that we are not having a problem and everything is fine, we are actually having a problem. He confirms that I am neither mad nor pressing the wrong buttons.

Even better, despite the plethora of colleagues who are ‘senior’ to me (and I’m really not bitter about that at all, not hardly ever much) none of them are here today. In fact I find that, by default, I seem to be the Boss of Me, OldFishWife & PayPeanutsGetMonkeys.

And if PayPeanutsGetMonkeys decides that a two-hour lunch is in order, then I’m not paid to argue with him.

By half four it's just me and OldFishWife. We have a nice chat and exchange worries. For a second I feel as if I might be about to cry, but then I take a deep breath, keep it in, and feel much better.

Garden Ruin - Calexico


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

"...I'm not feeling up to it now"

17.12 On Time
Looks like my biggest ever work place screw up is coming back to haunt me.

The way it's turning out has really undermined my faith in ExLineManager - well, Managers in general really - and it's not as if Managers are something we're short on.
I know it was all my own fault, but it's not as if I didn't own up right at the start.

Guess what? The trouble with our place is that nobody has a fucking clue what anybody else is doing.

Roscoe - Midlake
Like A Hurricane - Neil Young
Country Feedback - REM
Sweet Home Alabama - Lynryd Skynryd
Not Ready Yet - Eels
In Bloom - Nirvana
Late - Ben Folds


8.10 On Time
"Did you have a good time at my party?" Asked CanoeingInstructor.
I told her I had and that, as far as I could tell, so had she.

ThesaurusBoy revealed he was a little disappointed that she'd forgotten to introduce him to the one unattached friend she has who would, apparently, have been "up for it".

During the evening Charlie asked the impossible question: "Top Five Favourite Songs Ever?"

Charlie is still young enough to be able to arrive at an answer in under an hour and to maintain a degree of consistency from one day to the next.

So, Top Five Favourite Songs Ever (For one day only)
Like A Hurricane - Neil Young
That Summer, At Home, I Had Become The Invisible Boy- The Twilight Sad
All Systems Red - Calexico
Transatlanticism - Death Cab For Cutie
Our Song - Joe Henry

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Monday, November 19, 2007

17.12 Five Minutes Late
This evening: my first glimpse of Christmas tree lights through someone's undrawn curtains.

The Morning Of Our Lives - Jonathan Richman
When The Morning Comes - Lloyd & Michael
Of Angels & Angles - The Decemberists
Like A Hurricane - Neil Young
That Summer, At Home... - The Twilight Sad
Struck - Joe Henry


Friday, November 16, 2007

17.12 On Time
I have a bad feeling about the train tonight.
It proves totally unfounded and makes me think, again, of Richard Feynman's views on premonition.

The Happy Wanderer turns up unexpectedly; rosy and beaming.
"How was America?" he asks. "A long time ago" I reply "I'm planning the next one now".
He's due back full-time in another couple of weeks, which is good for us but bad for him.

On the last afternoon of the last day of the flexi month tumbleweed blows down the hall. A door-slam echoes in the stairwell. Phones ring out. The remaining few huddle together to contemplate whether (and how) ThesaurusBoy will ever meet someone new; I swallow a Nurofen and wonder if the drilling across the road will ever stop.

Far too late in the day for anyone to read, let alone understand, a line-toeing email arrives from ICT informing us that we are to be 'migrated' over the weekend and will lose our passwords, our email addresses and our shortcuts (it doesn't add "and, most likely, everything you've ever done for the last five years"). It implies that everything will be up and running by Monday morning and that our IT experience will be enhanced.

HeadGeek raises sceptical eyebrows, shrugs, and says we may as well stay home.

Scar - Joe Henry


8.10 On Time
One of the Tiny Dancers frowns at the banana she's pulled out of her bag and doubts, aloud, that she could manage the whole thing in one go.

The three compare their injuries and sacrifice, vying for the accolade of most dedicated, each secretly secure in the knowledge that, when it comes down to it, the other two can't hold a candle.

What do I know? In September I gave them three weeks, tops.

Another thing: Peter Snow is no Robert Robinson - he calls the contestants by their first names and this week accepted "woods" as a 'near enough' answer when a correct response would have been "equatorial rain forest".
I don't think so.

The Shepherd's Dog - Iron & Wine

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

"keep on trying till you run out of cake"

Feeling much better today, thanks to the therapeutic qualities of home baking (this cake is not a lie) and the miracle of potent steroids.

The music helps too.

Still Alive - Jonathan Coulton
Getting Better - The Beatles
Don't Worry Baby - The Beach Boys
Everybody's Happy Nowadays - The Buzzcocks
Treat Yourself With Kindness - Clearlake


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

"are we having fun yet?*"

Last week was pretty busy.
There was such a lot to say, but no time to say it.

This week: all the time in the world but can I string two words together** ?

You Can't Fail Me Now - Joe Henry
At My Window Sad & Lonely - Billy Bragg & Wilco
Angel, Won't You Call Me? - The Decemberists
How You Remind Me - Nickleback
Girl, You Have No Faith In Medicine - White Stripes

(*No and **No)

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Monday, November 05, 2007

17.12 Seven Minutes Late.
From nowhere, for the first time in years, I wonder what happened to the pale girl - the one with the mousey hair and the tired eyes - who had that fit that one time and then disappeared.

Then I realise that, of course, it's not really from nowhere.

23 - Blonde Redhead
Dreamworld - Rilo Kiley
When The Morning Comes - Lloyd & Michael
Indian Summer - Ben Gibbard
Boy With A Coin - Iron & Wine
Phantom Limb - The Shins
End Of The Affair - Johnathan Rice
Blooming Heather - Kate Rusby
A Postcard To Nina - Jens Lekman
Cycling Trivialities - Jose Gonzales


Friday, November 02, 2007

16.12 On Time
No! No! No!
Iamnotgoingswimming. Iamnotgoingswimming. Iamnotgoingswimming.

Western Skies - Roddy Frame
Sold - Joe Henry
Scattered Black & Whites - Elbow
The Cold Swedish Winter - Jens Lekman
Taken For Granted - Astrid
That Summer, At Home, I Had Become The Invisible Boy - Twilight Sad
Back In The Car Park - The Lilac Time

UPDATE: I went swimming


Thursday, November 01, 2007

"...get Alan from Crispy Ambulance!"

17.12 On Time

Home - Josh Rouse



7.31 On Time
I was sad when Ian Curtis died.
Or, more accurately, I was sad when the NME came out the Thursday after Ian Curtis died.

I feel sadder today.

His death seems to have been so unnecessary and so preventable. A life full of "if only"s. Control is a beautiful film (and that's not a word I use lightly or unselfconsciously). It makes the Seventies look like a very foreign country.

And it's provided me with a cracking catchphrase for situations involving desperate and doomed-to-fail solutions to dire predicaments.

"... get Alan from Crispy Ambulance!"

Chutes Too Narrow - The Shins

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