Thursday, August 28, 2008

17.18 Ten Minutes Late
A palaver.
A rash of stab vests and a buzz of anticipation.

A lot of ummm-ing and ahhh-ing. Some waiting around.

If it wasn't for the red tape and risk assessment somebody would be getting their door kicked in today.

She Still Loves You - The Lilac Time
I Want Too Much - Joe Henry
Tie Me Up - Cinerama
Wicked Game - Chris Isaak


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

You're A Handsome Devil, What's Your Name?

16.43 On Time
CanoeingInstructor had a box of counterfeit vinyl in the office last week.
Hidden among the U2 and Pink Floyd was a copy of "Strangeways Here We Come" and, as a result of the discussion it provoked, I've been listening to The Smiths quite a bit since then.

Due to massive over-exposure it's been years since I've been able to listen to The Smiths properly.

CelticErnie revealed that the fist album he ever bought was "Aladdin Sane" which we thought was pretty cool, especially for a ten year old. Though he did have the grace to go on to explain that it came about because he'd liked "The Laughing Gnome" so much.

So, work? It's not all bad I suppose.

Handsome Devil
I Want The One I Can't Have
I Started Something I Couldn't Finish
Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want
Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before

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Monday, August 25, 2008

"...the daily dramas...made from nothing, so nothing ever made it right"

Argh, too late...

Why the drought? bedshaped asked.

And I didn't answer, because it's all part of that thing that
I never ever talk about. I was sort of wondering if maybe should, because it's not like anything bad ever came of sharing stuff with strangers over the Internet is it? But it's hard to know where to start, and there's always the worry that - if I do start - I won't know when to stop.

It's not as if it's anything special.

The path he wore between the fruit machine and the bar didn’t leave much cash spare for music. Or food for that matter.
Even if it had, the very act of buying a record would have been too much of a risk, given too much away. He understood how important music was to me, how vulnerable it made me and I was learning to pretend not to care.

See? Nothing special.

After all, in the non-stop "I Have Never" of life who wouldn't be drinking to "...arbitrarily fallen into a destructive relationship with a borderline sociopath"?

It took me years to work out that, that time we came off the bike - it wasn’t an accident.

Landed - Ben Folds


"...till I believed I was the crazy one, and in a way I guess I was"


I'm listening to Ben Folds 'Landed' on repeat.

Save me from myself..? Anyone...?

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

17.18 On Time
I read this on the BBC website this lunchtime, it's my favourite Olympic-related quote so far:

"I was in the laundry and I realised I was standing right next to [Rafael] Nadal. I didn't bother him but he was shoving all his colours and whites in together. I really wanted to say, 'Dude, you're going to have a nightmare with that. You can't just put the whole bag in - there are reds in with whites'. But what can you do?"

Allegedly from Jamie Staff of the gold medaling team sprint team.

Passenger Seat - Death Cab For Cutie
Tie Up My Hands - Starsailor
Kid - The Pretenders
Are 'Friends' Electric? - Tubeway Army


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

16.29 Luckily, Four Minutes Late.
It's a spectacular new record!

Shaving an unbelievable six minutes off my previous best - from clocking off to kitchen in a sensational twenty eight minutes!!!

There will be some muttering from the disbelievers, and I don't blame them, but I swear I'm clean.

Paris 2004 - Peter, Bjorn & John
Little Britain - Dreadzone
Free Until They Cut Me Down - Iron & Wine


7.59 On Time
When we did our flit we ended up only a few minutes walk from our local football club. Last night was the first home game of the season and the lure proved too great to resist.

According to the pep talk in the programme ‘watching the Dollies really isn't for the faint hearted’ so we knew we'd feel right at home.

It got off to a dream start, with an early goal and some comically obscene linesman abuse. But by the time the floodlights had warmed up and the pies been devoured* the first penalty had been missed and the rain was teeming down. The balmy August evening acquired all the ambience of late November.

Those programme notes were right

(*sadly, not by me)

Morning Sun – The Lilac Time
Apple Bed – Sparklehorse
Such Great Heights – Iron & Wine
The First Cut Is The Deepest – Rod Stewart


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

17.18 On Time
I watched the Madison.
Without any sound, trying to pick it up from the 'live text' comments which were about ten minutes behind the action.

It involves men on bikes. They hold hands for a bit, then they go really fast for a bit. Some teams lap other teams, but I'm not convinced anyone can actually tell if and when this happens.

I am going to invent a new event for '2012'.

It will be velodrome based. There will be a relay element and the teams will be mixed. I still need to iron out the details and come up with a set of complicated rules, but I'm sure Britain will do very well.

Also: how come you get another chance in the sprint if you fall off??
(ISBW I'm counting on you for an answer here!)

After The Goldrush - Neil Young
One Sailor Was Waving - Ballboy
Cycling Trivialities - Jose Gonzales
My Favourite Game - The Cardigans


Monday, August 18, 2008

" did a perfect job last night"

8.29 On Time, but back to front.
What a weekend!
Fortunately, it's enough to take the mind off football.

Of course I am now an expert on the cycling as well as the gymnastics and the rowing. Go on! ask me anything!

Except: 'What's going on in the 'points race' then'?'
Or, 'Why are they all following that old guy on the moped?'

Stars Of Track and Field - Belle & Sebastian
Bus Stop Boxer - Eels
Racing Like A Pro - The National
Olympic Cyclist - Ballboy

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

"...and you just a plaything to me"

17.18 Twenty Minutes Late
Sometimes even I can't decide if I mean it or not - what chance has anyone else got?

End Of A Dream - TV21
Girl On A Train - 10,000 Maniacs
Bones Of You - Elbow
I Was A Playboy - Joe Henry

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Last Night I Dreamt...

7.59 On Time
An unidentified city - which was Liverpool, even though it was no Liverpool I've ever seen - with a darkening sky and rain soaked streets. A restaurant, with a menu in a language I couldn't read, so you chose for me. An evening that started with a confession and ended in a cocktail bar with glass walls and a neon pink chaise long. And rain in your hair.

What's seductive about that whole
parallel universe theory is that with parallel universes, you do get a second chance. Then a third, and fourth, fifth or sixth if you need it.

Every choice you never made can be made; in parallel universe world there is no "if only."

Army Dreamers - Kate Bush
Tell The Truth - Roddy Frame
Verisimilitude - Teenage Fanclub
...That Somebody Loved Me - The Smiths

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Boy Done Good. (The Girls Done Better)

17.18 Three Minutes Late
Unilaterally and unanimously it has been decided that the BBC's Olympic Highlights programme is shit.

Don't they understand? We've been at work all day - following what's going on via live text or watching videos on the BBC web site is not an option. When we walk through the door we don't know who won what or how close the contest was.
Two minutes into the highlights show and Gabby Logan has gleefully told us the outcome of every event we are about to see, pretty effectively disposing of suspense. Thanks for that.
Where's the tension? Where's the drama? What's sport without either?

The gymnastics ‘coverage’ consisted of a montage of the gold medal winning team, while tantalising commentary clips from the enthusiastic Mitch Not-Benn & the Ex-Blue Peter Boy hinted at what we'd missed.
The show jumping was edited - and by that I mean the rounds were edited. A round is barely over a minute long, what’s the point in editing it??

Oh, yes, it's so we can watch extended and excruciating footage of Gary Richardson making a twat of himself with Canoe Man (not that canoe man) David Florence & his family. Gary hung around them like the unpopular kid at school, who your mum felt sorry for and told you not to be mean to, but who you knew was unpopular for a reason.

"So, David, if you’d been told this morning you would definitely get a bronze medal would you have settled for that?"
The bemused sportsman replied: "No! the excitement is in completing the course. What’s the point otherwise?" He may or may not have muttered "Pillock" under his breath.

"So, David, this is the final competitor coming up now, he's very fast isn't he? How do you feel?" David obviously felt quite nervous and a bit stressed but, resisting the temptation to punch Richardson's lights out, restricted himself to running off to a better vantage point, muttering: "I can’t see the time from here" rather then the more tempting "I need to watch this Dickhead, Don't you understand? If this guy fucks up, I get Gold!"

The best line was saved for the Family Florence:
"You see that boy there? The one with the silver medal round his neck? That’s your son!"

Then there was Gabby's 'interview' with poor Mr Florence.
This consisted of her taunting him first with the fact that his mum had made him play nicely with Gary Richardson, then that he wasn't good enough to get accepted for astronaut training, before finally humiliating him with a poorly excecuted collage of his head on the body of an astronaut planting a union jack on the moon.

Ha bloody Ha.

He did his best to remain cheerful but he must have been wondering if it'd all been worth it.

The Boy With The Arab Strap - Belle & Sebastian
Boy From School - Hot Chip
Crying Boy - Astrid
The Boy Done Good - Billy Bragg


Monday, August 11, 2008

"...of every small town institution and every big town flirt"

17.18 On Time
There are the songs that mean so much more.

The ones on repeat, played to death, the ones to cling to when all else fails.

The ones loaded with a sub-text from desperate times that can make them unlistenable at others.

The songs that stop you in your tracks when you hear them unexpectedly, knocking you off balance, skewing your vision, taking the wind out of your sails.

I didn't buy much music between the end of 1981 and the middle of '84.

When the drought came to an end I was a sponge, soaking up nuance and wringing out every drop of meaning. I squeezed significance from coincidence and listened, with the absolute conviction that no one else's life had ever been so perfectly crystallised into three and a half minutes*, to the songs that made sense of the senseless.

Of course, sometimes you don't get to hear that perfect song until it's far too late, and sometimes it's wishful thinking.

Man Of Such Great Promise - The Style Council
Appetite - Prefab Sprout
St Swithin's Day- Billy Bragg
I Want You - Elvis Costello
I Was A Playboy - Joe Henry

*or six minutes forty four seconds in the case of Elvis, etc

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

"...still I'll meet you tomorrow, and look forward to see you, now I can't live without you"

8.19 On Time
Silver Lining taught me a lesson about honesty and said some of the kind of things I’ve been thinking about lately.

When I first started it was a purely technical exercise. I wanted to do it to see if I could do it. There was no intention to give anything away. No names, no pack drill, no soul searching. Observations bookended with banality and a fine sprinkling of cliche.

Times changed; stuff slipped out. Some of it was pointed, there were plenty of red herrings.

People changed; I began to regret that some of the stuff had slipped out. I tried to push the genie back into the bottle. It wasn't much fun.

I thought about going away but stayed. I started to have fun again.

I began to regret that some of the people knew.

Then I realised - sometimes you’re just bridging a gap between one part of a person’s life and their next thing - it’s no big deal.

And anyway, some of the stuff was surprising and some turned out surprisingly well.

This doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to start making sense.

Absolute Beginners
The Bitterest Pill I Ever Had To Swallow


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Don't tell him Pike!

17.18 On Time
The choices were:

a) Give serious thought to preparing for an appraisal:

"Think about your performance over the last 12 months

What has gone well?

What hasn’t gone well?

What have you learnt?

What would you have done differently?

Did you achieve the objectives from your last appraisal?

Are there any issues you want to raise?

What impact has any learning or development had on your performance, the team and the service?

What are your work objectives in the context of your current team, service or business plan?

Do you have any personal targets you would like to agree, such as work life balance and well being?

Do you have any areas for learning and development in the next 12 months?

What are your career aspirations? Take any information to your appraisal meeting.

Gather evidence/write notes to support your self assessment and your performance against previously agreed work objectives

Complete the self assessment form"


b) Discuss which colleague you would cast in which role in a remake of 'Dad's Army'

The thought of IneffectualManager as the Verger and ThesaurusBoy as Sgt Wilson was particularly satisfying.

Flower Girl - Joe Henry
Liza Radley - The Jam
Wrecking Ball - Crows and Cranes
The Butterfly Collector - The Jam


Monday, August 04, 2008

7.59 Cancelled
8.19 On Time
It's been an odd weekend.
It was a twenty minute job but it took thirty four hours.
Plans were delayed, suspended, then postponed

Meals were irregular and improvised. Left to my own devices and without supervision my natural inclinations took over and I feasted on Marks & Spencer's lemon Danish, Chinese takeaway; left over Chinese takeaway and a bag of Doritos.

On Saturday I spent two hours in the bath reading "Homicide" (We don't get FX: I've got to do something to keep my mind off what I'm missing).

On Sunday I was up at half six and didn't get dressed till one o'clock.

But the best thing of all was that I discovered a new band.
Did I mention them already? They're called 'Cranes and Crows' and they're from Wisconsin.

Wrecking Ball - Cranes and Crows
So It Goes - Cranes and Crows
Wrecking Ball - Cranes and Crows
So It Goes - Cranes and Crows

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Sunday, August 03, 2008

" whom can I run?"

I still hate the look of it and still can't find the things I want where I want them... but I couldn't stay cross with Lastfm for ever could I?.

Where else could I have spent the day flitting from Patti Page and Faron Young to TV21 and Patrik Fitzgerald only to end up discovering Cranes & Crows virtually in my own backyard? It's very pretty music. I strongly recommend 'Ruins', both musically and grammatically.

(They're from Wisconsin, so I had a soft spot for them before I'd heard a note)


If music survived The Wombles I think it can survive illegal downloading.


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