Monday, October 31, 2005

As they pulled you out of the oxygen tent...

Soundtrack: Diamond Dogs by Bowie

Friday night saw the arrival of Mrs Green, down from England's North for one night only - the dancing and the drinking at Uncle Bob's Wedding Reception left me pretty battered for the rest of the weekend.

I wore an outfit that I haven't worn out since I was 15: an off-the-shoulder polyester number in black and white with my black and white kitten-heel slingbacks. Over the party season I'll be re-hashing that look over and over again - why waste money on something new, when you can wear something already out-of-date?

I danced to some of my favourite songs by the Human League, The Velvelettes and The Knack.

So, there was much carousing, and the next day, a lot of chatting. The two of us had a frank discussion over a large fry-up on Saturday morning.

I've been feeling a lack of self-confidence recently, and not a little paranoia. But I think I'm beginning to come through that. I needed to talk to Mrs Green to confirm it, though. It's a bit like coming out of a cave. My previous entry here describes being larger than life...which reminded me, in turn, of this lyric:

'Tell you my name/F.U.C.K./50 foot Queenie/Force ten hurricane/Biggest woman/I could have ten sons/Ten gods ten queens/Ten foot and rising' from here.

These extremes are strange, but feeling like I can deflect it all with my shield of steel feels pretty good...

Saturday, October 29, 2005

This town ain't big enough for both of us

I could happily listen to this song over and over again (perhaps with Pop Muzik by M to break things up, and maybe Number One Song in Heaven every half hour for a change). See here for my views on other artistes attempting to cover 'This town...'.

Am feeling rather megalomanic today, if that's a word, so the bombastic nature of the song suits. I'm feeling bloody-minded, larger than life - I'm even dressed like a cartoon character. [Like Maggie in kitten heels and a cashmere cardigan, I hope. A mechanic in secretary mode.]

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

I feel much better

This morning I came into work listening to the Best of the Small Faces.

They made great records that were occasionally silly, they clearly found it hard to take themselves seriously. When I was younger I used to listen to 'Tin Soldier' on a loop - it was one of the big records that was played at Blow Up, back in the days when it was in a manky pub in Camden.

Anyway, the point is that listening to it put me in such a light and friendly mood...clearly this is a tactic that I need to employ more often. No more listening to Elliot Smith during my commute, then.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The occasional flicker

Soundtrack: Don't Stand me Down (The Director's Cut) by Dexy's Midnight Runners

It's been an eventful few days. See here for more details. This makes me sad. Soon there will nobody left at work worth coming in for. However, I am very pleased to see that people I like are stretching their wings and flying out of here.

Had a pleasant weekend at home with family. We saw almost everyone (bar Sister Number Two and family). We took the Small Monkeys to see the new Wallace and Gromit feature, which was very funny. Small Monkey Junior had a bit of a tantrum in the car on the way home, which brought out the very worst in me (I began to shout at him). Those of you whom have been kicked in the back while driving down a motoroway in the fast lane may possibly have shared my feelings, however.

I'd make a terrible mother.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Around my moods in a day

Soundtrack: Around the World in a Day by Prince

Earlier, I had a creeping feeling. I felt an almighty bad mood brewing.

Those of you whom have known me a while will know that I hardly ever lose my temper. When I do, it tends to be a spectacular event. Spectacular as long as you're not in the way when the things start to get thrown around, that is.

When things get like this I generally turn to the record decks and a couple of large drinks for solace. So, I've had a large glass of white wine (not my usual tipple, I must admit), just enough to impair my vision. I've put on a succession of my favourite records. This evening I've variously played:

Rolling Stones 'Rocks off'
New York Dolls 'Personality crisis'
MC5 'Rocket Reducer No. 62 (Rama Lama Fa Fa Fa)'
Iggy and the Stooges 'I wanna be your dog'
Wire 'I am the fly'
PJ Harvey 'Dress'
Bowie 'Queen Bitch'
Saint Etienne 'Join our club'
The Byrds 'Feel a whole lot better'

And I'm now listening to my favourite album by one of my favourite artists.

I adore Prince. He can do no wrong. [Well, he can do wrong - he frequently releases quadruple albums full of tedious funk workouts. But it doesn't hurt anyone, so go right ahead, la] But, his '80s output? Man, he was Mozart. So, don't diss the Prince. He rules. Right now the chord sequences on Condition of the heart are making me want to cry my eyes out. What a manipulator.

I saw him play live once. It was during one of his very worst periods (Thieves in the temple was just out). He was tiny, but he had about ten costume changes, pirouetted about on six-inch heels and played the most heart-breaking version of Nothing compares 2 u that I've ever had the pleasure to hear.

Which reminds me, the B-side of the Sinead O'Connor version has a great song on it called Jump in the river, which I used to put on the jukebox at college.

Today has been a nadir, but I feel fantastic now. I feel the very opposite of stressed. It's possible that a large amount of that can be attributed to The Booze, but I like to think that it's the power of great art that has helped me through my darkest hour.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Come down

Soundtrack: Come Down by Dandy Warhols

It's been a funny few days.

Waking in the morning has been a Herculean effort - it has felt like waking from hibernation. I'm in a really bad mood about everything. I suspect it's because the holiday feel-good factor has officially worn off.

There are things, and people, at work whom are beginning to wind me up. Tuesday saw almost four hours' worth of meetings. At one in particular I had to bite my hand to keep myself awake.

Tuesday evening was pleasant though - I caught up with Mr Gane and Ms Leveridge for a couple of pints and a gossip about some schoolmates. One old pal has been diagnosed as bipolar in recent months, which explains some of his erratic behaviour over the past few years. Terribly sad though, because when he is 'up' he destroys things (mainly perfectly good relationships, as far as I can gather). When he's down he's sensible and lucid, but you wouldn't know, because he doesn't want to speak to any of his friends.

It puts my pitiful woes of recent years into perspective.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Up and out in Stokey and Brighton

So, the weekend.

Saturday was the day of Pandaman's wedding. We got there just on time following leaving the flat late and running into every possible delay on public transport. It was one of those 'oh shit, let's get a black cab' moments. [I could really get used to travelling by cab. Decadent.]

It went off well, the vows were especially sweet and had me welling up and the reception was a laugh. Notable guests were Dr Spamela and Marcooose. On the indie sleb front, a member of Saint Etienne was on hand, as well as a member of Kenickie (not Laverne, before you ask). Wooo! There was a long gap between ceremony and food which left me drunk, and then hungover, before my time - on the whole it was a super day. Pandaman and his bride were very happy and appeared to be enjoying themselves a lot, which really is the main thing. If only the reception disco had been louder. Where else do you ever hear the superb Ultra Vivid Scene these days? [Rhetorical question. You don't tend hear them, ever.]

Yesterday we popped down to Brighton to see Francakes and Bin. They are looking forward to the arrival in March of Baby Bincakes. We sat on the beach for a while and enjoyed the autumn sunshine. We then repaired to great boozer The Heart in Hand in the Lanes where we met up with Ms Magee and her Welsh Beau. This meeting was long overdue but well worth it...we crammed a lot of news into a short space of time. The day was rounded off with some dinner that Bin made from some leftovers - as he is a chef of some note, it wasn't quite the Supernoodles/cheese on toast that you might envisage. I drove us home and was surprised at how little that worried me.

Today, I feel like something that a cat has thrown up. I wouldn't mind, but I comsumed not one drop of booze yesterday! So this can only mean that my hangover from the wedding has been carried over one day. Gah, I loathe this getting old lark.

Friday, October 07, 2005

The wonders of nature

This morning I saw something which woke me from my grumpy, tired mood and lifted my spirit and really put a smile on my face.

I was coming out of our block of flats like a grizzly bear emerging from hibernation, when I saw a leaf suspended in mid-air. It had been caught on a piece of spider's silk and was hanging just above head height. Passing cars and bikes were making it twirl in the breeze.

I took two photos, which really don't do it justice. I should have taken a video, but I keep forgetting that my phone can do this. Plus, I was already late for work, so I couldn't really have done it anyway...

...except that this damn thing won't let me upload the images! Gmail if you'd like to see them...

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Heavier than heaven

Last night's gig was a bit of a triumph.

Part Chimp played all of their slow numbers and so almost out-Melvinned the Melvins. Their lead singer, a man I have expressed a preference for in the past, has cut his hair. Thus, his allure has evaporated. I thought they numbered about six members or so, but last night there were just four of them onstage. This may be because I was terribly drunk when I last saw them play, about 18 months ago. In fact they were so loud and brilliant on that occasion that I cried with laughter.

Deerhoof were crazy and brilliant, with a tiny Japanese singer and three slightly simple-looking men. They were a bit jazz and quite rock in places, and certainly fun to watch.

Melvins singer/guitarist King Buzzo was wearing a dress/smock made from camo-style material, and as a result looked a lot like Grotbags (off of the Rod Hull and Emu Show). They played a blinder (or should that be a deafer? Thank heavens for earplugs!) and ended their set with two songs from the MC5's Kick out the Jams.

I liked them already, but any band that can make a good fist of the MC5's songs is fine by me. Merv and I had a cracking old time.

Monday, October 03, 2005

It's shoved

Soundtrack: Melvinmania by Melvins

I'm off to see Melvins supported by Part Chimp and Deerhoof tomorrow. What a rockin' triple-bill!

There are lots of great gigs coming up, and I've yet to organise our ATP tickets...I have to get agreement from all my possibles before I get us a chalet though. If you're reading (and you know who you are)...let me know!

The weekend was very pleasant. I went to a knit-fest with Miss JoJo, which was good fun if a bit bizarre. Far too much cross-stitch going on there for my liking, which was a bit disappointing. There was a superb stall which had bags of remainder yarns piled knee-high. It was like being at a jumble sale. One of the masterclasses on offer was 'Scrapbook creation on home computers'. Call me a Luddite, but an electronic scrapbook? Talk about taking all the romance out of something!

Yesterday a few notables came over for some vegetable chilli and a wander through the woodlands near our flat. It was splendid, so we plan to do it again soon.