Friday, June 26, 2009

Without him, Timberlake is nothing

As a pop fan, I would like to make a brief comment on the death of the self-styled King of Pop.

Michael Jackson's legacy, as far as I'm concerned, are the songs Don't stop til you get enough and Can you feel it. With the latter, it's to do with the tubular bells/timpani and the chord sequence. An astonishing piece of work.

I stopped giving a chimp called Bubbles about him in the 80s, when Bad came out. I remember cringing at the song I just can't stop loving you, which was just...well, weak...and Dirty Diana of course, which all the heavy metal guitaring in the world can't save from being cringeworthy. It all seemed so mannered, in a way that his earlier work didn't. By the time Bad had been released, I had given over my life to The Smiths and The Cure. Jacko didn't figure.

There were the stunts, of course. Oxygen tents. Floating a gigantic statue of himself down the Thames. Singing the Earth Song at the Brits, and having Jarvis waggle his arse at him. Dangling his kid over a balcony. Marrying Lisa-Marie Presley (and not living with her). Altering his face to look like Liz Taylor, and ending up looking like a melted version of his sister Janet. And the many allegations, of course.

That aside, and crazy weirdness aside, he was one of a kind (he was the original Michael Jackson, if you see what I mean). Hum this song and remember him before he went rubbish.

Back in the real world...cor, innit sticky? Living in our flat is a bit like being a boil-in-the-bag haddock fillet. As long as I'm outdoors, all is well. I'm thinking of constructing a bivouac down at the allotment.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

You have to put the death in everything

Summer is properly here, which is excellent. On Sunday night I took a walk down to the allotment to pick blackcurrants, and was pleasantly suprised with the haul - in an hour, I picked just over over a pound [I work mainly in Imperial]. The only problem with blackcurrants is that to make them palatable, you have to cook them with a ton of sugar. This is generally fine, but I am trying to shift some of my excess weight: so the chances for me to eat crumbles and delicious pies every other day are reducing.

I did my fruit picking while listening to the sound of either a) a remarkably good Rolling Stones cover band or b) the actual Rolling Stones, drifting across the river. I'm unsure which.

The weekend itself was a bit of a wash-out, as JJ had been ill for the majority of the week, and he was pretty feeble until Sunday morning, when he was suddenly galvanised to get well by a trip to town to see David Mancuso do his thing. Primarily, I spent my time doing jobs that I had been putting off for ages, like cleaning limescale off of bathroom tiles. The glamorous life, indeed.

It's a landmark birthday for JJ this week. He is pretty sanguine about it. This whole getting older/decaying thing is inevitable, and I think it needs to be approached with a light heart. The topic of death was never tiptoed around in our household. In fact, my parents used to row on a frequent basis about who would go first. Looking back, I suppose that this was pretty odd, and it didn't exactly prepare me in any way for my father's sudden and untimely demise. But it at least put the subject out there in the real world.

The title of this post is from Wake up Boo, of course, a song which on the face it it is a happy romp, but it has some depressing lyrics. The song begins with a jolly "Summer's gone!", after all. I tip my hat to Martin Carr.

I don't know why I went off on this tangent, but why not, eh.

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Too many dicks on the dancefloor

Welcome to post number 250! Wooooo!

Life continues on in the same kind of fashion. Most of my updates are nuptials-related, and so won't be appearing on this blog. I'm sure if you are desperate for information that you'll ask me!

We've been out and about visiting, worked on the allotment and laughed hard at the Flight of the Conchords episode with the Australian girlfriend Keitha ("What about your children? They'll be aberrations!" "That's Aboriginies"). At Ham Fair, our yearly opportunity to watch a companion dog show and buy home-made jam, we both got sunburnt. I've started watching this year's Big Brother.

So far, so early summer.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Move along please!

Good news, everybody! I have found a venue for blogging about my wedding. It's a members-only community for mental women, I mean brides-to-be (I prefer the term "future wives", which puts me in mind of an early-to-mid-period Bowie song). So that means I won't have to bore you here. The only thing I'd like to add at this point is that the date is 2nd October. Oh yeah. We don't hang about here. Ya know it.

Back in the real world, all is relatively well. The post-holiday buzz is just beginning to wear off, which is a shame, but it had to happen sometime. My mind appears to still be riding a cable car around San Francisco, as my standard reaction to most things is "oh well, never mind, that's fine".


Friday, June 05, 2009

It's a institute you can't disparage

Since we've been back, things have been a bit of a whirlwind. We're looking to get wed in late September/early October. Currently, I am up to my eyes in venue suggestions, proposed expenditure spreadsheets and half-formed ideas about outlandish bridal attire.

I don't feel stressed at the moment, but I probably will soon. I'm not exactly a Bridezilla type, but given some of the stuff that is already being said to us by all sorts of parties, it's possible that I may lose my rag/smash up a large Japanese city soon.

Strangely enough, for a hardened cynic, I am very pleased and excited to be getting married. I never thought I would feel like this. That either goes to show that a) I don't know myself particularly well or b) I still have the capacity to be surpised.

I will try not to let this blog become too wedding-sodden. Shout if you feel I'm chuntering on too much.


Walking on the sidewalk, hotter than a match head

The final leg of our journey took us to New York City.

I should preface the following paragraph with this statement: I am not especially finickity, hygiene-wise. Neither am I very tidy. However, there is a difference between a bit untidy and dirty.

Upon arrival at our hotel room, I noticed quite quickly that something wasn’t right. After some inspection of the little kitchenette area of our room, I discovered some mouse droppings on the worktop. Down to reception we went. We couldn’t be moved that evening because the hotel was full, but we were promised a new room the following day. Despondent, we traipsed to the nearest cinema for something to do to get us out of our depressing environs.

On arrival, we made a split-second decision that cost us dearly. Instead of going to see Wolverine, we chose Angels and Demons. I can’t really be bothered to type much more than this about it: utter shit. Ewan MacGregor presumably took a role in it to finance another motorbike ride in some developing countries with that posh idiot mate of his. Pah! As our hotel room was so grim, we weren’t really inclined to walk out. I left the cinema feeling annoyed and disconsolate. The holiday had been going quite well up to this point, could it get any worse?

Thankfully not. Our hotel room was changed, and the rest of the week was blinding.

It was very hot while we were there - that Lovin' Spoonful thing makes total sense.

Fun stuff: we took a three hour boat-trip around Manhattan in the blazing sunshine. This was much more fun than I thought it would be, primarily because we had a very funny and knowledgeable guide. We saw yet more art. We ate a picnic in Central Park in the blazing sunshine. We wandered around Williamsburg, and soaked up the hipster vibes. We went to the Top of the Rock to see the city from 70 floors up.

Some things we did a lot of: thrift store shopping, and eating at the Chipotle Mexican Grill. On the former, we were depressed at not being able to find what we christened Thrifty Street from last time (a run of about five thrift stores somewhere on the Lower West Side). It wasn’t all bad though, as I managed to pick up a red version of the ‘Get dirty for god – go lay a brick/Teen missions’ t-shirt that JJ has in navy blue (from his time in the US 20 years ago). On the latter – I LOVE MEXICAN FOOD. It’s official. If I could eat burritos every day from now until the end of time, I would.

Our final night in the US was crowned with a drink or five with DC and his lovely girlfriend. Russian cocktail bar + mediocre food in Nolita + 1980s themed cocktail bar in Chelsea = a bit tipsy.

I was gutted to leave, but strangely elated to arrive home. We returned to a UK battered by MP expenses scandals and Britain's Got Talent. It seemed like a strange and unusual place. Which I suppose it is...