Tuesday, 29 December 2009

What with 2009 rapidly approaching its end, my lack of anything remotely approaching a life, as well as the vast amount of time since I sat here and tried to string some coherent sentences together, I thought now would be the perfect time to sneak up and unleash another blog on the world. So that's what I'm gonna do. Right here & right now.

Haircut 100
So, a highlight of my year came last Saturday when I got my hair cut for what I think was the second time in the year. Once again it was a triumph over irrational fear, but I haven't got carried away just yet. I know that I'll have to face it again in the coming weeks. You'd have thought that after all these years I would have learned to deal with the whole ritual but I haven't. Each experience seems exactly as horrendous as the last, although this time I'll admit the result was pretty much what I'd wanted. Often I'm so traumatized by the aftermath of a cut that I need months of recovery before I can even contemplate a return. Usually within those months I'll hit a three or four week window when I am happy with it, but then, once the window is closed, the old fear will creep in. That awful realisation that at some point in the future I'll need to go through it all again. This stage - the dread stage - will go on for a good 18 weeks before I start the transition into the arguments with family stage. Here I'll complain at least once a day that "I need to get my hair cut" and then make up a variety of excuses as to why I can't. A popular one being that I can only go first thing in the morning. Nonsense really, but true. At this point dad will mention the place where he goes - Cousinz - and I will point blank refuse to go there. Ever. This will go on indefinitely until the day of the cut. I honestly cannot remember a day in our house when the word Cousinz has not been used. So, last Saturday, I'd made up my mind. Today was going to be the day. But then I start thinking about where I can go... and what do I ask for... and how much is it going to cost... will they only take cash... and what kind of chit chat is it going to be. Do I have to prepare some kind of interesting back story? Anyway, before I know it it's no longer first thing so the opportunity is gone. So I gave up. Dad calls me from work - he's on the old hands-free - and asks if I've done it. I told him that I hadn't and that it was too late now & there was nothing I could do, to which he replied "Get your fucking hair cut!" and hung up. After that I thought it best that I got my hair cut.

This was going to be that big round-up kind of piece, the showpiece entry where you go on about the year's highs and lows and all that shit, but all that stuff about the haircut damn near killed me. I'm in the middle of a cup of tea now, just trying to catch my train of thought. Took it right outta me, it did. You know, I had the proverbial shitload of really interesting things to write about and everything. I'm telling you, these things were absolutely mindblowing. Even mindmelting. But they're gone. Shit, shit, shit... I'll just have to talk about my work instead!

Pottering about in my studio (which is rather cunningly disguised as a plain old suburban garage, right down to the wheelie bin by the door) I've stumbled across something mildly exciting. I have these little 'breakthroughs' all the time, but this time I mean it. I've hit upon a process and a range of techniques which are giving me some pretty encouraging results and, more importantly, some pretty ambitious ideas. Don't want to say too much about them, as they're yet to be fully realised, but the outcomes so far have been promising. I've been working on a reasonably small scale - about 2ft x 2ft - but I think I'm ready to scale up in size. This stuff gives me a headache just by looking at it. I want to look away, because, frankly, it's horrible... but I get drawn back to it. It pushes me away. I want to keep looking but I can't. It makes my eyes feel like they're straining too hard. And this is on a small scale. But I plan on going large. I'm thinking 8ft by 3ft, that kind of size. I want to make something that's so aesthetically disgusting, and so overwhelming, that you feel physically sick just looking at it. I'm eagerly awaiting some resin that I ordered online a few days ago. I think this is gonna be the key. If what I'm thinking can't be realised with the resin then I think the work will die the death. Anyway, I've lusted after resin for a long time - albeit for use in another piece - so I've finally taken the plunge. It's a weird thing really, because the stuff I'm going on (and on and on) about didn't exist until a week or so ago. If anything it was the least exciting thing that I was doing. It's funny how that happens.

Anyway, enough of that, I'm boring myself now. Sorry you had to read all that. Let's talk EastEnders. Roxy did it. Mark my words.

I'm devastated over Archie's death. Not that I really give a fuck about the character or the show though, it just saddens me that I'm not gonna see Larry Lamb's seemingly lifeless face anymore. I suppose we've still got the final episode of Gavin & Stacey to marvel at it, but what's gonna happen after that. I mean, seriously... what is going to happen to Larry Lamb?

Saturday, 28 November 2009

"Ladies and Gentlemen, my wife..."

A drunk couple on the train last night. She had a foul mouth and he sounded like a right numpty. Well, truth is they were both numpties. She came out with some nonsense about a German drink and how it "tasted of Nazism". It was quite awkward as they were standing by the doors, right near where we were sitting. He declared "Ladies and Gentlemen, my wife..." and then went back to arguing for a while. Then she came out with another gem when she gestured to me and said "look, a flock of seagulls" and they both found it funny. I think I understood the reference... a bit of a tenuous one if you ask me... but I just felt a bit sorry for her. It must be horrible living like that. As far as my frequent verbal abuse goes, it was right up there with the time I was having lunch on a Sunday with my parents in a Yates and a tubby drunk man in a suit pointed at me and repeatedly said "Adrian Mole!"

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Having thought about it a little more overnight, I've decided that maybe it's best I don't stop paying my rent. However, I reserve the right to remain grumpy.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

I was ever so slightly pissed off to get home from work last night and find that one of my light bulbs was hemorrhaging water all over the carpet. I thought something was wrong. I couldn't believe the amount of water that was coming out of the bulb... I mean, I always knew that these newfangled halogen bulbs were different, but this? This was insane. I had to dig out a bucket. What a depressing thing to have to do in your front room. Naturally, this was at two minutes past six and there was no way to get in contact with the estate agent.

However, today we have been in contact with them, and it seems that they've taken the choice of doing absolutely nothing at all (oh, except fob me off with their rimless spectacle bullshit of course). Can't say it comes as a surprise though, seeing as I've had a considerable amount of hassle since moving in over practically everything... including: the lack of a lock on the back door, the manky carpet that I was promised would be changed but never seemed to be, the leaking shower, the leaking shower again, the gaping hole that had somewhat inexplicably appeared in the ceiling in the time between me viewing the place and moving in, and the rotting corpse of an extractor fan in the bathroom. Of course, it would go without saying that the light fitting that this whole post has been about was also one of the things that my beloved agent had 'fixed' before happily taking my money, again and again. And again.

With this in mind, I took great pleasure in listening to my dad call them up earlier. He's a master of this kind of thing, and I've watched in awe over the years as he's gradually developed from his bullish technique of shouting obscenities over the phone in the early days into something much more subtle, playful and clever. It's great to see how he gains the upper hand and catches them out. For instance when they clearly don't answer his calls from a number that he's already used, so he then uses a different number which gets through straight away. So he questions why it is that he suddenly gets through now that he's calling from a different phone, only to be told that there are six lines in the office and that each one was busy a moment ago. Okay, he says, then asks to speak to the manager, only to be told by the guy on the phone that he's alone in the office... to which my dad says "Oh, so there's not six of you there today?"

I wish I could do that.

Another highlight of his calls was when he described the two bodgers that they've sent to fix things before as "Pinky and Perky". In truth they're more like the Chuckle Brothers.

Seeing as it's now twenty past five on a Saturday and they haven't actually returned a single call we've decided that I should now hold off paying any rent until they get somebody out to at least look at the problem. It's not fair and I'm fairly certain that a steady supply of water coming out of a light bulb is pretty dangerous. Surely this is in their best interests... surely I am in the right here. Appointmoor Estates of Chalkwell are very untrustworthy.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Let some friends down recently. I'd hope they understand why, or understood why, but seeing as I didn't give a single reason they probably didn't. I feel pretty bad when I do it though... when I say I'm gonna be somewhere or that I'm gonna do something but then don't turn up. I shouldn't make arrangements really. I should be banned from any kind of forward planning, in light of the inescapable fact that I am incapable of following things through.

On a more positive note I went to Lidl yesterday.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Mildly embarrassing situation last night in the gents toilets. There was only one cubicle available so I decided that that would be the best cubicle to go into. Once inside I realised that some imbecile had pissed all over the floor rather than into the toilet, presumably as some kind of hilarious joke or something. I dare say it was funny at the time, you knuckleheaded shit. Anyway, disgusting as this kind of thing always is, I could deal with it. After all, I wasn't planning on having a great deal of physical contact with the floor to begin with. I tend to keep any contact I have with the floor strictly through my feet. So, yeah, a minute or so later I leave the cubicle and break into a brisk stride towards the hand basins, when all of a sudden one of the other cubicle doors opens and this guy launches right out in front of me. He didn't even check to see whether the coast was clear. It wasn't. Instinctively I stopped, yet the piss-coated rubber soles of my trainers weren't quite up to the task, and in that terrible moment I realised with horror that I was going down. I was gonna hit the deck. Underneath the urinals and the people standing at them. It was an awful, awful moment.

Luckily the guy who'd stepped out in front of me (&, I feel, caused the whole thing) reached out and grabbed me. Now, I'd never once in my life imagined that there would one day come a time where I'd be thankful to be grabbed by a man in the toilets, but this was certainly that time. I reluctantly said thanks and gave him a little pat on the shoulder then went about the business of washing my hands and getting the fuck out of there. I was well aware of the fact that everybody was watching me... thinking what a drunken idiot I was. It was pretty humiliating. And that's the thing that really annoyed me... that it looked like I practically fell over because I couldn't stand up straight & was absolutely tanked, or whatever... and not because of the fact that I slipped in somebody else's horrible urine because somebody walked right in front of me as I was attempting to get out of the toilets in the quickest possible time. Aaaaaargh.

Three things, pub people... Three things:
  • Don't piss on the floor. It's not funny. You're a twat.
  • Look before you step out of a cubicle.
  • Fuck off.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Back now from a week-long holiday on a narrow boat. It was a pretty good little break… chugging along the Grand Union at 4mph in ridiculous sunglasses and all that stuff. 100 locks, 100 miles… that’s what the man said. I got through three packets of fig rolls - which, I think, is a personal best over that particular timeframe, although it would be quite easy to smash the record should I ever choose to attempt it. I mean, you could probably do a solid 8 to 10 packets a day if you were deadly serious. With a sensible training regime, who knows how far you could go. But I wouldn‘t bother. The only real downside to the week was travelling through Birmingham. Visually it was very interesting - I love looking at those old factories that line the canals, and the way that they’re gradually crumbling away - but it just didn’t feel safe. You feel somehow threatened… what with the hordes of kids gathering on the bridges and hurling abuse (and saliva) at boaters. I think we got something more akin to abuse, but we later met a family who received the full-on saliva from a great height experience. Very nice. I think we saw a total of one other boat on that day, and it was going in the opposite direction.

I devised a new method of feeding ducks which I christened the Breadbomb. I’ll be utilising the Breadbomb from now on, whenever I have the opportunity to do so. It came about as there seem to be so few ducks doing the rounds - at least in comparison to the Norfolk broads - that you find you‘ve stockpiled a shit-load of bread in your hand. You were preparing for an onslaught of ducks but they never came. Eventually I became so frustrated by the lack of ducks that, when I finally found one, I would throw a handful of bread at it. Not to it… at it. I would launch this handful of bread at tremendous speed. Shock and awe. The poor little thing didn’t know what hit it. The breadbomb. Everyone’s a winner with a Breadbomb.

I suppose that’s all really. But here are a few small excerpts from my journal thingy, hot off the press:
  • “I can’t shake the nagging fear that they might be planning on dropping a breezeblock or a trolley. Having said that, there have been no breezeblocks thrown onto our boat. No shopping trolleys either.”
  • “It was the most depressing atmosphere I have ever eaten a bacon sandwich in.”
  • “I instantly recognised that it was a mistake and that, no matter what happened, I needed to get that tool back. The boy momentarily placed it on the ground and I felt a rush of euphoria as I realised that it was my moment to recover it. But I didn’t act on my urge quick enough and, before I knew it, the podgy little tyke had it back in his grasp. I’d blown it. And then I realised… the bicycle! If I stood by the bicycle I’d have some insurance - if the little git tried something clever I’d nick his bike. Whether or not I‘d actually have gone through with it, I don‘t know... Fortunately he too made a mistake, placing the tool on the ground for a second time. I knew there wouldn’t be a third, so I pounced on it. The tool was safely back in my hand. But he wasn’t prepared to give up on it… and so I found myself grappling with a child over a spanner.”
  • “The only pub nearby is a Harvester - which is disappointing in itself.”


It was a good holiday.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Nearly checked up on the spider today. Thought better of it.

Monday, 10 August 2009

As far as I'm aware the massive spider is still inside the hoover. I'd like to think it was dead by now, but the reality is that it's probably been feasting on all the dust & crumbs and become something altogether more terrifying instead. I fear it may have mutated into something resembling a crab. It may have become a crab-like form.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Last night...

It was the biggest spider I have ever seen in my life. There was a struggle. I fluffed two attempts to capture it, and then became a little hysterical. Eventually, after it had evaded the packet of guitar strings I threw at it, and after it dodged the cardboard poster tube I tried to roll over it, I resorted to the hoover. It made sense at the time, but now I realise that it was one of those situations where you solve a problem by creating another. So, even though the spider is no longer able to scuttle around freely, it's now inside my hoover chamber. I can see it in there. I'm too scared to empty it just in case it escapes. I had to tape the nozzle up to make sure that it wouldn't find a way out. I don't know what to do about it. I can never use the hoover again. Frankly I'm not happy with this.

On the subject of spiders; I'm having to dispose of money spiders like there's no tomorrow. They just keep appearing all over the place. I'm using the kitchen roll method - which is a method I devised myself specifically for the task. The kitchen roll method consists of two sheets of kitchen roll, folded over to make one extra strong square, laid in the palm of one hand, and then used to grab the spider. Once you're confident that the spider is in the kitchen roll you can neatly fold it up and deposit it into the bin. You have to make sure that the kitchen roll doesn't unfold itself though. They need to be tucked in tight. One glimpse of escape and they're on it. Generally speaking, I don't mind the money spider though... they are no threat to me. It's just I'd rather they weren't there. An inconvenience. But those nasty, thick, meaty bastards with a bit of bulk to them... they really get me down. There's something inherently evil about them.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Haven't posted one of these for a long time. Thankfully blogger tells you that you've deleted your account but secretly keeps all your posts hidden away somewhere. Somewhere where you can't get to them and then you become all depressed about all those lovely little words you typed being lost forever. Anyway, a lot has changed since the last time I wrote stuff here. The most major thing ~ though not the most exciting in my opinion ~ is that I've moved in to my own place. It's gone ok so far & I've managed to get a grip on all my finances and stuff like that... despite setting up all my direct debits, feeling very pleased with myself, and then realising that I'd given the wrong bank details for every one. I had to phone back each one and explain what a twit I had been, before giving them the right details. I maintain that it was my bank's fault though, as they have never (never!) ever (ever!) sent me a paper statement for my loan account. I mean, I've had this account for the best part of a year, and they've never sent me a statement. Yet, for some reason, they'd sent me one and I picked it up automatically assuming it was my normal account. The thought of checking these details never crossed my mind.

One of the highlights of the place is the fire escape. I mean, I'm talking about a structure so dangerous that you'd be tempted to say you know what, I think I'll take my chances in the fire. Seriously, if the fire doesn't kill you, the fall will. Heh. That being said, I'd rather there was to be no fire at all. I could do without that.

Enough about that though. In other news I caught a particularly virulent strain of swine flu from a particularly virulent strain of sausage roll, and our little musical project has now become a fully-fledged four-piece band thanks to the addition of a phenomenally gifted drummer called James, and a real general of the bass (& a phenomenally gifted guitarist who seems inexplicably happy to let me and Lance take care of shredding duties) called Antony. We've done two rehearsal things now, last night and the previous Thursday. I know I shouldn't go on about this because nobody benefits from it, but it's very exciting... you know, for us to be in a room with these two guys who are so intuitive and autonomous... and to finally have the songs translate from the recordings into something else, something tangible... it's just a complete headfuck. Sorry for that last word, but it kinda feels appropriate. I can't believe how great some of the songs sound, and how they're changing... new sections being improvised, other bits being chopped or re-arranged. So exciting, problem is that I'm wishing the days away now until the next session. The plan is to make it a regular thing ~ maybe once every three weeks or so ~ and then try and play somewhere, to people. I think it can happen.

I've been off work for three weeks now. Not exactly sure when I have to go back. I'm not going to moan about it, but, great as it is, getting six weeks off isn't quiet as brilliant as you'd think it would be. At least it's not for me anyway. I find it hard to fill the days, what with pretty much everybody you know being at work. And so I've been filling my days with a steady diet of Homes Under the Hammer and various other antiques or boot sale-based shows. I hate them, but I can't help it. To be honest, my main grievance isn't with the format, but with Lorne Spicer. She's vile in every way imaginable. My heart sinks when those opening titles end and she toddles out onto the screen. You always hope that it's going to be anybody other than Spicer. I dread to think how she got to where she is. She's just a horrible, horrible (horrible) woman. Homes Under the Hammer though, now that's made of stern stuff.

I'm going on a narrow boat soon.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Befriended two rather unsavoury characters last week whilst in a slightly drunken state. One kept calling me Mr Awesome. I loved it.

I didn't love it so much the next day though. Strange evening.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Typewriter

I finally went and did it today. After years of fantasising about it I finally plucked up the courage and bought a typewriter on eBay. It looks like a real beauty too, in a faux-leather carry case and everything. I kept a close eye on the situation for a few days, checking out the opposition and looking out for any signs of foul play, and then I pounced. With a mere 22 seconds left in the auction, I waded in there with my carefully considered bid of £9 and blew the place wide open.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

The Number 23

I watched The Number 23 yesterday. I'm a big fan of Jim Carrey when he's not in rubber-face mode so, regardless of its universal reputation as being one of the worst films ever made, I was intrigued by it when my brother waved it in front of me along with a couple of others, saying that he had some films that I might be interested in watching. I should really point out that David steadfastly refuses to watch any film that doesn't feature either Jason Statham or some kind of gratuitous car racing nonsense, so you can imagine my surprise when he actually did produce something that I was interested in. So, yeah, I watched it and I thought it was a jolly good romp - and absolutely nowhere near as bad as people would have you believe. In fact I'd even push the boat out and say it was a thoroughly enjoyable romp. A real cinematic romp. No, that's not right... it was a thoroughly enjoyable & thrilling cinematic romp with a twist or two. Or three. Or it could have been four. It was a twisty romp.

In all seriousness I don't get why the film was so badly received... I mean, at worst Carrey puts in a solid performance and it's nothing if not visually accomplished. The whole concept's pretty cool too: Suicide, murder, madness, a dog, a character called 'Fingerling' - Jesus, it's all there! The pieces are in place. My only guess is that it's maybe just a teeny bit bloated, or just way too fiddly & far fetched for most people to deal with... but I'm coming right out and saying it: I dig The Number 23. I think it's a stylish thriller, well written, well executed, and the kind of film that will be treated kindly by the passage of time. So there we are. That's my Jonathan Ross moment over and done with.

Been watching season one of Moving Wallpaper. Brilliant... Great cast, great writing... Shame nobody watched it really. And a shame ITV will probably axe it in favour of another show about Katie Price's huge greasy tit. And her breasts.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

"Three presets - all crap."

Me & dad went to a boot sale today. It was glorious. Although I desperately want to offload loads of my unused electrical and musical bits and bobs - four tracks, mixers, amps, keyboards, guitars, pedals etc - I always find myself drawn towards these type of items. There's something about seeing them sat amongst old paperback books and Shakin' Stevens LP's in a field that I just can't resist. They are like cow pie to my Desperate Dan. I also find myself getting annoyed when I see other people walking around with these kind of items under their arm, having just bought them. For example, today I clocked an old Yamaha four track cassette recorder that I already own (and never use) and then, when I saw a guy later on with it under his arm, it wound me up. I can't explain this type of thing. I guess you either understand or you don't.

I'm also drawn towards typewriters. I want a typewriter but it's got to be right. Maybe I can elaborate on this at a later date. I have my reasons. Back to today... I saw this old electric piano/organ and knew I had to take a gamble on it. It was a clunky thing of a certain age. It was heavenly. The guy wanted £25 for it, which kind of surprised me as I'd just heard him tell somebody he wanted £15 for this awful little Yamaha 10 watt practice amp... and that was one of the shittiest little things you've ever seen. So, based on one of the shittiest little things I'd ever seen, I assumed the keyboard would be around 50 or 60 quid, so I was pretty happy with 25. I would quite happily have taken the gamble on it for 25, but I felt the call inside of me and I knew the time had once again come to haggle. I didn't really think about it, instead I surprised myself by just launching straight into it. I went in with an offer of 15. He came back with an 18. Maybe I should have taken the 18 - after all, that is a whopping 7 pounds haggled - but I held my ground and said "Look, if you'll take fifteen I'll take it off your hands right now". I don't know why I added the "right now" at the end but, as I said, I wasn't thinking. I was in the zone. The haggle zone. This was about me and him. Sure, we were still in the middle of the Dunton boot sale, but we'd been elevated to a new level. Another Level. Some kind of hyper-reality? Maybe. It must have been the inherent threat of violence. I think he looked at me, recognised the loose cannon that I am, and thought "Man, this hard bastard is a tough nut to crack. I don't think he's messing around." So I got it for £15 and managed to get the stand off him as well. Not that I wanted it... but, you know, you might as well.


It's a Crumar roadracer and, by all accounts, it's a terrible piece of kit. Here's a fair selection of comments that I found online:

  1. "Sounds were based on one very gritty clavi type sound but to call it a piano is an insult to anybody who'd ever been near a real piano - I ain't gonna mince my words here - it sounded B*LL*CKS!"
  2. "I can honestly say it never packed up on me - every key sounded that awful dirgey mess without fail."
  3. "I got a better tune banging a pot against a wall than I did out of this thing. There should be clinics with specialist counsellors for people who owned one of these."
  4. "Three presets - all crap."

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Boot Sale Season

I realise I haven't been writing titles for these things since I started again. I've been missing a trick there, as titles are one of life's more pleasant things, and have always been good to me in the past. And so I've made the decision to pull my socks up, pull my finger out, get on up, and get back to adding them.

Boot sale season must nearly be upon us. I'm not sure whether there's an official start date or whether it's just kinda when enough people start to feel a bit broody for them and turning up in fields on weekend mornings that they start to happen. Anyway, I've been thinking a lot about the boot sale recently, so hopefully others will have too and, when the magic number is reached, we can all get out there and get browsing through other people's unwanted shit again. I've always had a penchant for boot sales... I suspect it's a hereditary condition passed down from my grandad, who was never happier than when he was strolling through a field with cash in pocket, the aroma of hot dog drifting on the breeze, inspecting old Cluedo boxes and various bits and pieces that I can only describe as 'shed things' - as they often took the form of small bags of metal hooks or nails, or pocket-sized tool kits, and would always end up finding their place in his shed. It's slightly off-topic but I remember being given a small leather-bound toolkit for Christmas on more than one occasion. Small spanners, a screwdriver and a little socket set. I still use one of them now. Heh, his philosophy seemed so simple to me: If it was an object that had absolutely no right to be in this world, and certainly no use for him whatsoever, he'd buy it. And not only would he buy it, oh no... he'd haggle. He would make a point of haggling. He was a great haggler.

Anyway, I've got a little sidetracked there... getting all nostalgic for my grandad... and that's not really why I sat down to write this. I guess I just wanted to share the somewhat irrational excitement that I feel towards the impending boot sale season. As I was saying, I've always enjoyed them (and for some reason they are embedded in my childhood memories) but I can't recall ever feeling quite so excited by them. Certainly not boot sales of the future. Maybe it's another sign of my advancing age. It'll be heart disease next.

I think it's part to do with an idea I have of setting up a strange stall where I will be selling only mirrors. I've got an abundance of mirrors now. Mirrors have become my work. Admittedly it's terrible work, but it's work all the same. So, yeah, err, the plan is to set up stall and flog them to the masses. Churn them out. I can see a gap in the market... you know, if people want shit, I can give them shit. I'll need to buy a megaphone first though. Gotta go the full distance... 'cause halfway there is never enough*. Heh.

* Hilarious in-joke for the benefit of myself and nobody else. But, hey! they all count...

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Things it's impossible to do (Numbers 1, 2, 3 & 4)

1. Listen to The Gash by the Flaming Lips and not be floored by the line "will the fight for our sanity be the fight of our lives?" - the line itself, the delivery, the music... everything.

2. Not be blown away by Waitin' for a Superman.

3. Think of The Soft Bulletin as anything other than a work of absolute genius.

4. Lick your elbow.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Threw a frisbee around today. Fell over. Broke every bone in my body.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Sadly this post will be the last mention of my accelerator pedal for the time being. I know, I know. It's because it's finally been fixed... with whatever was lurking inside the cable casing having been flushed out with plenty of oil and a good old fashioned bout of thrusting. I was debating whether or not I should write about this... as I know that this particular issue been a real goldmine as far as my blog writing goes. Of course, I can't speak on behalf of anybody else, but I've been absolutely captivated by the whole affair. Riveted even. I've been glued to the screen wondering what I'm going to write next. It's been explosive stuff. Maybe I could have stretched it out for a few more days, really mined that shit for all it's worth. But, hey, I've got to stay true to myself. I've got to keep things real... gotta keep these feet firmly on the ground... and, as they say, all good things must come to an end. So, yeah, I'm sorry to say goodbye to this one. But the upshot is that it's like driving a different car; i.e. really fun. I don't want to keep going on about it, but it really was bugging me and making driving a hassle, so it's great to have it back to its best. Also I don't remember it ever being quite as smooth as it is now, but I could be wrong. Blah blah blah...

I've also sorted out the radio problem. It was a productive morning. We had an old Rover cassette player in the garage that has somehow managed to withstand about five years worth of damp. It's perfect for the job really, and looks so much better than the token CD player that I had hanging there doing nothing. So, all in all, I'm pleased with the car again... I can drive without having to think about the act of driving and I can listen to music of my own choosing. I didn't think that life could be this good. Unfortunately it can only go downhill from here. That's a shame. I guess all I need to do now is get the exhaust sorted and that might just halt my inevitable slide into depression, alcoholism, and, eventually, my premature death at the hands of a pair of giant hands. Hold on a minute. That's it... Maybe the exhaust saga can fill the gaping void that will be left by the accelerator pedal. It's going to be great: It will hit the kind of heights the accelerator pedal affair could never even dream of. Brace yourself.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Two weeks off work now. It's holiday, not disease. Not sure what I'm gonna do for most of it, although I suspect I'll probably waste it. I've come to realise that I'm good at doing that. I've armed myself with a couple of books to keep me going, as well as two mirrors (with the possibility of a further three for free!) and some Cat Stevens. It's going to be wild.

On the 18th I'm going to a wedding reception with some people from work. It's for a guy named Surinder and I'm actually quite looking forward to it. I'm going to be driving, provided the mini can rise to the occasion. At the moment it's causing me grief. The accelerator pedal is still playing up and it's starting to get to me. This afternoon I was almost moved to tears. The car's also in dire need of a stereo... I mean, it has one, but it's just a radio/cd player and it tends to jump every few seconds whenever you put a cd in. This is due to mini's having virtually no suspension, and isn't helped by the fact that it's mounted in an area that's most affected by this lack of suspension. It skips even on the smoothest of road surfaces and it's starting to get to me now. It's such a small thing, listening to music in a car, but it's so essential... and after 8 months of silence I'm becoming desperate. I went through a phase of listening to radio but, other than Chris Evans, it's not very interesting. I prefer to listen to the engine. I find myself being overly critical of everything when I drive now. Changing gears, braking, whatever... I've become too aware of it all. My journey into town this morning was soured by the very first change from 1st into 2nd. There was a slight grind, although it could have been loud enough to be a crunch. I'm not 100%. My plan is to put in a simple cassette player and that will be the end of it. I need music again... I'm fed up of driving with a running commentary. I don't know why I'm writing this. Maybe this is a new low. Well done on reading it though.

I feel I should include some contemporary news, maybe some current affairs, as these entries of mine are always so mundane and generally pointless. If anything, they're becoming more so with each one. So, yeah, that Michelle Obama... saw her on the tv. And this credit crunch... oh man, when will it end? And what about this premier league? It's just so premier at the moment.

Well that's put things into context.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009


Maj for The Apprentice...
not entirely sure why.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Had another breakfast again today. What's happening to me? I'll have bingo wings by the summer.

I briefly went into town with my brother because he was bored and angry after the grand prix (by the way, Jenson Button... brilliant stuff) and on the way back he put the roof down. His car is a big bright yellow BMW and I felt what little dignity I had left drain out of me at exactly the same speed as the roof mechanism did its thing. By the time it had slotted itself safely into its compartment I was left slumped in the passenger seat, looking like an uncomfortable potato and feeling like a prize cockle. I should really have had the foresight to bring my sunglasses to really complete the look.

In other news I'm planning on getting a haircut soon. As much as I like the length it's getting to, there really is an abundance of the stuff at the back and it's giving me grief. I know what I want to get done but my problem is that I can't explain it to a barber. I can't even explain it to myself. As long as they don't cut it short again, I guess that's the most important thing. I hate that. I have a chance to get it done on Tuesday, as we finish at 3 on Tuesdays. Unless there's a faculty meeting of course, in which case I will be trapped there for hours. They go on and on and on, and there's very little, if anything, discussed that has any relevance to my job. You know, that's what we have art dept meetings for, and media meetings... why on Earth there's a whole faculty meeting as well just puzzles me. Anyway, as I was saying, I'll be braving the barber shop sometime soon. Takin' that plunge. Which barber shop I don't yet know... but there will be a barber shop. Somewhere out there there is a barber shop for me. I have to believe that.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

A killer breakfast today. Me & Sonny (aka the Sonnmeister general) popped into town because I wanted to go trawling charity shops for mirrors, but it was too cold & miserable so we just ended up going into Bhs for breakfast. It wasn't a planned thing... and I don't know if it affects the usual Sunday morning arrangement we've got going on. Right now I think it does, as my breakfast was fucking huge. I think another one tomorrow might make my heart burst and I don't want that.

For some reason the girl behind the counter gave me larger portions of everything. I was instantly worried. Don't get me wrong though, I'm not complaining... but I could see that she was gonna struggle getting everything onto the plate. It was mildly embarrassing... I mean, was she aware that she'd been putting too much on and then had to keep it up to save face? This happens to me quite a lot in there actually, and I tend to get either a much better looking plate or much more food on it than whoever's with me does on theirs. I'd like to think it's my irresistible charm and my silky smooth tones that does it, but it's more likely that they see my scrawny little wimp arms and take pity on me. I had at least 30% more than Sonny today. There's really no explanation for all this.

Come on, Jenson!
I'm Not Dead. Nope. Matter of fact I'm still here, still producing the most hideous aural dogshit you've ever heard. I'm all about the angst, baby. I'm troubled. Men do me wrong. And, yes, I have got short hair. Deal with it. What's wrong with you... you never seen a feisty woman before? I'm bulshy. I've got balls. I make my own decisions. I am, quite simply, a twat.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Went to buy the mirror & was disappointed to find out that it's not for sale. What a let down. Why have it in your window display if it's not for sale? Isn't that the whole point of a shop display... you know, the idea that people will look in and see objects that they want to buy? Infuriating. And it was perfect too - exactly what I wanted - and I spent the whole day gradually becoming more and more excited. They might as well have punched me in the stomach while they were at it.

I told the two women in the shop that they'd ruined my week. I was hoping that they'd take pity on me and agree to sell it, but they just didn't give a fuck. Bloody bastards. I might go back in on Saturday with a wad of cash and see if things can be done. I've never seen a mirror like it. Either that or I'll dust off my trusty old striped t-shirt & swag bag and smash my way in.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Caught a glimpse of what looked like the most fantastic mirror in a charity shop on my walk from college to Leigh station. Wish I'd had some money on me at the time 'cause I know just from seeing it hanging in there from 30 metres away that it's perfect. From what I could make out it appeared to have a terribly naff gold frame and an interesting shape. I have to get to the shop before it closes tomorrow... because I need that mirror. I wonder if I can haggle. Is that the done thing is charity shops? I suppose it's morally questionable. Having said that, my sttempts at haggling in the past have resulted in me paying more if anything. I just hope that, 1, it's still there, and, 2, it turns out to be everything that I hope it is... because it's given me a very specific idea. It's funny how these mundane little decisions you make in life can lead to interesting things. Things that you'd otherwise not come across. I think this could be a development!

Monday, 23 March 2009

Made the mistake of bumping into Steve on my way into work this morning. I caught the train to Leigh station and planned on walking the rest of the journey to the college. Anything to avoid a bus. It's quite a straightforward walk that should take about 35 minutes - you go straight up from the seafront onto London Road, and then stay on that road for 20-odd minutes 'til you reach the college - but I decided to take Steve's more scenic route instead. When he said that it was "through the countryside" I just assumed that he meant we'd cut across a couple of fields before joining London Road. I couldn't have been more wrong... the walk took over an hour and seemed to circumnavigate the whole of Essex before popping out just yards away from the college. I was knackered... completely knackered. There was some kind of fluid cascading from my nose and everything. We'd gone through an unfeasibly high number of fields, seen dog-walkers, clambered over the remains of Hadleigh castle and trekked through at least three woods. And even though it resulted in me turning up nearly half an hour late, sweating profusely, and secreting some kind of fluid from my nose, it was a fantastic walk.

Once I got there, work itself was manic. It's exam week for the AS students and they are all trying to get set for their exam but there's no paint ready for them... so I'm rushing - still sweating/panting/secreting - and trying to make everything run smoothly. I was all over the place though; from the moment I arrived I was being approached from all angles by students and staff asking for this and that, when all I wanted to do was sit down for 5 minutes. To make matters worse, I've got this guy doing work experience with me all week, so I'm having to show him how to do things and all that shite. It's a bit of a pain in the arse really. You know, he's a nice enough kid... but I really would have been better off if I could have sorted everything out by myself. Before I left I replenished everything for tomorrow. It's good to be organised... right now my only worry is that we're dangerously low on red acrylic (amongst others) and we've got four more important days to get through. I thought I'd fax an order to our supplier to speed up the process, but didn't pay the extra for the fast delivery, so it definitely won't get here until next week. What an idiot... I was too embarrassed to go back to the finance department and get them to re-process everything... especially as they were doing me a favour in the first place by rushing it through for me. It's like that thing where you say your goodbyes and leave a room successfully before realising you've left something in there & have to go back in. I couldn't do it. Anyway, I'll ration the paint and hide it somewhere. Oh the joys of the technician life.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

There was one other thing that I wanted to immortalise in blog-form...

Bear in mind that me & Sonny are sad and drifting towards middle age, and we have taken to meeting on a Sunday morning in Asda of all places to eat breakfast. I'd recommend it... they have a killer deal going on with the value breakfast & whoever's in charge of cooking those hash browns is an artist. Anyway, one of the items in the value breakfast is either a tinned or a fresh tomato. I don't really do tomatoes, so I asked whether I could swap my tomato for something else. The first time I tried this - a couple of weeks ago - the woman said 'no' and that was that. I think they might've taken pity on me and given me a slice of toast but I'm not sure... and last week I asked again and was allowed to go for a second (incredible) hash brown. Today I tried the old tomato-swap routine again, but this time I was intent on getting some mushrooms. I couldn't believe it though - she said 'no'. I could swap the tomato for another slice of bacon, a sausage, an egg, a hash brown, or more beans, but not for mushrooms. Of course, I went for another hash brown, I'm not an idiot.

I guess my point is that surely mushrooms should be below items like bacon, sausages & the like in terms of importance. Surely they're a lot cheaper for them to produce and everything. I mean, I'm not angry about this or anything... and I'm not going to be losing sleep... it's just that I'm puzzled as to why these mushrooms are so elusive. Why are they forbidden? If anything, it just makes me want them more.
The accelerator cable just snapped in my car. Luckily I wasn't driving at the time, because I almost certainly would have shit myself and ended up either killing someone or being killed, or a mixture of the two. It's a bit of a pain in the arse... means I'll have to train it to work the next couple of days... but I suppose I should be glad that it's at least one (potentially huge) problem avoided. After all, there would have been a fatality.

The peddle had been sticking over the last few days, so that, when I took my foot off the accelerator in order to brake or change gear, it was still slightly engaged and revving. I could drive along at 30 and take my foot off the accelerator without the car slowing down. I had to keep hooking my foot underneath the peddle to pull it back up. It wasn't ideal.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

The little paperback tells me not to go in for a post-mortem, so I won't. Instead I'll write about the trousers I bought today. They're hardcore - my most outlandish pair of trousers yet. But will they turn out to be a success? Hmm, I don't know. I'm not sure exactly how one would go about measuring the success of a pair of trousers. I think they look cool. I guess that's good enough.

I also bought some sunglasses, in the aviator style. I look like a dick wearing them... but then I look like a terminal dick in any pair of sunglasses. It's more that I need them for driving, rather than a fashion thing... as those flappy visor things in my car are physically incapable of blocking light and I was growing a bit weary of having to drive with more of my concentration going into getting my squint right than keeping the car on the road.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Although I let nerves and a crippling lack of confidence get the better of me again today, it's still going to hit me like a tonne of bricks when I get the confirmation tomorrow.

Annoyed, disappointed, frustrated...

All of the above and more.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Was hiding out in the store room and talking to Barry about some of his ideas yesterday... and one of them is so good, so clever, and just so utterly genius that I had to sit down and write a really vague sentence or two about it. I mean... it really is great.

Nothing much happened this week. Although I did have a nice little jolly on Wednesday when I got out of my training session to cover another member of staff on a trip. The irony being that she was unable to go on the trip because she had to attend the training session. Oh yeah, and last night I looked around at all the people in a nightclub and thought that they were horrible. Horrible, horrible people. I had to get out. Horrible maggots. Horrible. Come to think of it, I had one of the worst moments of my life in there. Horrible. Some bloke kept on talking to me and shaking my hand and telling me to get on the dancefloor...he was going on about how he was going to nail some birds and just being an all-round knuckleheaded twat. Why he was telling me all this crap I don't know. I find it had to deal with this kind of macho bullshit. Horrible experience.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

The time that the folks at blogger will have stamped at the end of this will probably be completely different, but I assure you that right now it's 16:06 on Saturday evening and there's some shit tennis on the telly. It's better than the god-awful horse racing on the other channel, but not by much. Anyway, right now I'm trying to waste an hour or two before I can head off to my little studio space to a) have a good sort out, and b) get cracking on something new. Well, I say 'new' but it's actually an idea I had about 9 months ago but never got around to trying out. Maybe because it was crap. I can confirm that it evolved from one of the crappest ideas ever. I actually wasted three weeks of my life producing 24 of them. Very embarrassing. I'm not bothered about the wasting of life though - I've wasted plenty more of that since then - but I just cringe at the thought of the work... and the moment when I suddenly woke up and realised that it was utter, utter wank & that everything was in danger of falling apart. So, the studio; I haven't used it much of late, and today's the day that I grab the wheel again. Not that I'm heading for the a ditch or anything... oh no, no, no... it's 'cause I'm smack-bloody-bang right in the middle of it and I need to get out. The work with Charlie is certainly happening, but it's causing a few problems. Boring stuff really... things that are out of our control what with work and all that. The stuff that we do get done always leaves me with more ideas about how to refine and improve - but then the time's gone, and you have to wait weeks before you can pick up where you left off. And in that time you've picked it over & apart so much in your head that you're sick of it, and you dismiss it as crap. It would be great to have the freedom of an excess of time again... although I must confess that I'm kinda happy to have a job at a time like this... and certainly one that I don't dislike.

16:32 now. It really took me that long to write all that. I want to write even more but I keep on having to stop and go back, removing words, replacing them, adding comma's, then reading through it again and feeling that I have to take them away because it's nothing like what I hear in my head. It's just mess. I need to stop all this editing - it's just too much. I end up removing everything I want to write and only leaving the hollow piss-poor attempts at jokes. God, it's getting depressing in here! (ha, exclamation marks always - ALWAYS!!! - lift the mood.)

Went to buy some wood today from B&Q. Managed to get a lift from my dad as my car's too small for wood. We had to wait ages for the timbre cutter operator to show up because he was on his lunch. Dad seemed to be coping alright at first and, after five minutes or so, I said that it must be a good sandwich he's having. It was a nice little bit of chit-chat. Not really necessary but I thought I'd keep the jovial mood bubbling away. He started to become a little restless when the five minutes turned into ten, so I joked that he must be having two sandwiches... or, even worse, a roll. Dad didn't find this one amusing on any level, even though the delivery was good. Then another bloke turns up and he's huffing and puffing, so my dad starts huffing and puffing too. They're both huffing and puffing together and pressing the little button thing on the counter. As soon as one stopped the other would give it another go. This other guy looks like a bit of a wood man - I imagine he dealt with wood and hammers and things like that quite often... so, naturally, they develop this little bond. Whilst this is happening, two calls go out over the tannoy for the wood cutter guy and eventually he shows up. He looks a little pissed off - after all, his lunch has been rushed. I'm feeling awkward about the whole situation and just ask that the wood be cut into 8 pieces. I thought it was fairly obvious what I wanted and he clearly knew. I knew that he knew exactly what I meant by the way that he gestured the cuts with his hands. But then, as he was cutting, he started asking a load of questions - and quoting measurements. I didn't have a clue what was going on - I was caught totally off-guard by this quickfire quiz that I'd stumbled into. He was a bit of an arse with me. Maybe he thought I was the person with their fingers all over his little button. I felt like saying that I didn't know that I needed a degree in all things wood in order to buy it. Of course, I didn't... and my dad made me feel like a complete idiot by siding with the wood cutting arse and questioning whether "that's what you want" and "if it isn't, then say so" - even though he knew full well that it was what I wanted as we'd spent the last half an hour going on about it. It's funny, that. They recognise their own. The whole thing really annoyed me. Wood cutter guy knew what I wanted right from the start. But he saw his opportunity and he took it, and he did it in such a petty way too... but I knew... I knew exactly what was going on. It was textbook stuff... it was the very same way that I would go about mocking customers when I was at Sainsbury's. I recognised it right away... and there was nothing I could do about it. It was karma. And he had a fucking beard.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

I'm stuck in a moral dilemma... don't know whether to tell the truth about something or to lie through my horrible yellow teeth. I'll ask Barry.

Barry will know what to do.

P.S. All you lowdown and dirty hotties out there: They're not yellow. Or horrible. But Barry will know what to do.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Got my car back today. As you'd imagine, there's nothing on Earth I'd love more than to rant on about what a terrible inconvenience it all was, and how it made the last 10 days a LIVING HELL, but the truth is that it was quite a smooth & painless experience. My car had been booked into a garage after somebody hit me from behind. It's a situation that's proved a fantastic way of meeting middle-aged women.

It took me a couple of days to get used to the hire car. It was a VW Polo & I was shocked to find myself behind the wheel of a car with peddles that responded to pressure, brakes that slowed the car down & steering that seemed to want to get me safely around corners. I couldn't believe it; this is not the kind of thing I'm used to! I stalled it straight away and went into a panic, then I drove home - terrified - at 30mph. The next day when I had to go out and do my little weekly shop I decided to walk because I was shit-scared of the Polo.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Cut myself shaving this morning. Well, maimed myself would probably describe it more accurately, being as it was more like a knife wound than anything else. Whenever this happens it always happens in the same place; an area where I once attempted to do a downward stroke in the fastest time imaginable. Needless to say, it went dreadfully wrong and ended up removing an area of skin about the size of three lentils. An endless stream of blood trickling down my chin. There's always what I'd deem an unnecessary amount of blood involved. Anyway, these days I've given up on the speedy downstrokes & I take extra care in general, but every once in a while it just happens all over again, somewhat inexplicably. I dunno... maybe it's the Bic.

The most embarrassing thing about the whole affair is that my beard-growing capability is laughable. I'm talking Fisher Price here. It's a Fisher Price beard.

Saturday, 28 February 2009

Hello you fuckers!

My name is Adam, I'm getting old, and this will be my blog soon...

'cause there's just never enough pointless wank out there.

Anyway, stay safe & keep on fuckin'.

(Stay safe)
((& keep on fuckin'))