Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Every picture tells a story...or not- in some case a picture shows one's disillusionment

Cleaning my work computer...I found this. I think I did it around Christmas 08 time...not sure- anyway I'd completely forgotten about it. Pretty crappy really, but is testament to how much spare time I had on my hands in the office

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Each to their own Eddie. (RIP Dom Deluise)



As I walked up the steep flight of stairs upon returning to my office from my lunch break, my thoughts turned to the sight I had encountered whilst taking a walk in the nearby surroundings of my place of work. 


It was whilst passing the slew of shabby second hand shops, budget jewellers laden with classless gold adornments and betting shops with Presbyterian Church-like slogans in the window, I walked past the local branch of MacDonalds. Usually the sight of uncontrollable children with cola moustaches and aggressive looking mothers in uniform blue tracksuits and shabby coats greets me, however on this occasion I happened to note that the window seats were occupied by an elderly couple. I noticed nothing but contentment as they ate their food, sitting opposite each other quietly. 


The gentleman was leaning back against his chair and had a slight stoop as he held the remainder of a small child size burger. In the few seconds that it took me to walk past this sight, I saw him take a very small bite and place the unsavoury looking food onto the grease proof paper that I noted he had flattened and then folded in half to make a small plate for himself. After doing this he slowly chewed and dabbed the corners of his mouth with a neatly folded napkin before crossing his arms to continue chewing. The man had a slight and gaunt frame, his thinned hair was snow white, and was brushed back over his shiny dome of a head. The female was chewing slowly also and I noticed she had chosen to acquire a hot beverage to accompany her meal. She too had folded her burger wrapping and was using it as plate of sorts. From the brief opportunity I was given to examine the food on this plate, I am confident in saying she had opted for the 'small cheeseburger'. Unlike her male companion she had decided to keep her coat on and was looking blankly out of the window. 


Trudging back up the office stairs, with my sore knee and winter coat I couldn't shake this image from my mind. Was it an impromptu visit? Was it some form of treat? Or were they regulars? Perhaps they had received some form of bad news?


Whilst pondering this, a colleague caught up with me on the final flight of stairs between the third and the forth floor. We made small talk, with him doing most of the chatting as my mind was elsewhere. As we approached the entrance to our floor, a young and modestly attractive woman wearing black trousers and cream coloured jumper left the door, and held it open for us. I thanked her politely, and she smiled back in return. On the other side of the doors, ensuring she was out of earshot my colleague said:


“Phwoar” and smiled sickly at me. It was inappropriate but not necessarily or particularly offensive, well not to me anyway.

“I wouldn’t mind a go on that, would you?” he said affably.

I shook my head remorsefully. “Each to their own, Eddie, each to their own” and thought more about the elderly couple in MacDonalds.


"It only hurts when I point"


In other news, Dom Deluise (Picture above) star of a many a zany comedy film sadly passed away...

His sterling work, most notably for his performance in Cannonball Run shall not but taken for granted by myself. 


MP3:

G.Love & The Special Sauce Fatman.mp3

Friday, May 01, 2009

Killing fields flat (Birthday Pt 1)


The woman from the Council said that someone would be round between 9am to 5pm when I phoned four days earlier. I reluctantly agreed and had to take the day off and wasn't best pleased as it was my birthday.

The Friday morning the door bell rang out at 8.20am, we were still in bed. Finding a shirt and a pair of shorts I ran down the stairs whilst this impatient son of a bitch kept ringing the bell incessantly . I opened the door to be greeted by a small and unusually sweaty man of about 30 years, with a bucket and wearing a pair of large rubber gloves.

"Mice?" He asked the second the door was open.

"Yeah...sorry I've just woken up, the woman on the phone said it would be between 9 and 5"

"Nah, we start from 8 now"

"Oh..."


He followed me up the stairs and I pointed out the large hole in the skirting that looked like a mouse hole. He explained that he couldn't put any poison on a landing in case it killed someone.


I opened our flat door and he stormed up the stairs, bucket in hand. He turned into our back room and started to fill two little cardboard boxes with holes in either end with little red poison pellets. He placed one by the door and in the far corner after I said where we found mouse evidence. Whilst tending to the latter area he stumbled over my better half's shoe collection and nearly spilled all of his poison.


He then said he'd be visiting flat 2.

Miffed I said that we had also found 'evidence' upstairs. He said, again, that he could only put poison where he'd been told by his office, as the poison could kill someone. My better half, who by now was up and making a cup of tea, reassured him that 'upstairs' merely meant our living room. He rather hurriedly laid one more little box of killer pellets then speedily walked down our stairs stating he had to put poison down in one of the other flats. I followed him, giving my better half a look of disbelief.


I could hear him knock on the door and then state he was coming in.

I caught up with him and he was letting himself into the wrong God damned flat.

"what are you doing?!" I barked in hushed tones "it's this flat!" pointing out Flat 3, with whom I had shared my rodent discovery.

"Nah, it says flat 2 on my paper work"

Before I had the opportunity to call him a dickhead, the door to flat 3 opened and our neighbour stood smiling and thoroughly apologetic for sleeping in, stating that she shouldn't have gone drinking on a school night.


The poison guy walked in and I waited on the landing, he emerged less than a minute later barging past me, stating that he'd be back in 2 weeks. Whilst following him barefoot and still discombobulated from the rude awakening, on my birthday no less, I recommended that he looks in the cellar.

"Is that downstairs?"

I resisted the opportunity again to call him a dick head.


He led the way and I tried to converse with him about mouse traps. He asked me what I used for bait, to which I replied chocolate.

"The little buggers go mad for that stuff." he said smiling before tipping the bucket of poison into two of the corners on our dark and dank cellar before barging past me up the stairs.

He repeated that he or a colleague would be back in two weeks. For what I don't know.

On the way back up the stairs to return to my bed, our neighbour waited for me by her door.

"Is that it?" asked rhetorically.

"I guess so- a waste of time really wasn't it? I could have just put some poison about the flat. He was an odd fellow"

She agreed.

"He wasn't quite the Pied Piper of Hamlin character I had expected- though he did look like a mouse" She said.


I concurred at returned to our killing fields flat.


MP3's:


GANG - Rat Poison.mp3


Ganja Smuggling (Live).mp3



Landlords' Idiot Son (Birthday Part 2)

It wasn't too long before the doorbell rang again. I had been out of bed for only a few minutes cavorting around our home in a pair of ill fitting pants, so once again upon hearing the dulcet chimes of our doorbell I raced around the room looking for some clothes wear in order to answer the door. I wearily trudged down the ill kempt lino covered stairs and was disappointed to see that the caller was in fact our landlords’ idiot son standing on our door step with his familiar look of confusion, concern and worry on his scrawny and feebly bearded rat face. He was wearing a spectacularly awful jumper and his usual shabby grey coat.

He alluded to the fact that the grass on our lawn, if you can call it that, needed cutting and asked if he could plug in the lawn mower into one of our power sockets.
We of course reside in the top floor flat, making this request impossible.

I resisted from calling him a dick head.

He said he would ask another tenant, perhaps one on the ground floor, I concurred and went back to the flat to pass on the good news to my better half who rolled her eyes with frustration upon hearing this news that he was here.

As I pottered around the flat, tidying in readiness of an overnight visit by my brother and his better half, I could hear the sound of the Landlords’ son’s lawnmower try to hack its way through the shin high grass and weeds. From our bedroom window I could observe his extremely poor efforts with the contempt his shoddy work deserved.

No sooner had he started when it started to rain, however to my surprise and much to his credit, the landlord’s son persevered with this long over due task.

I watched him from the bedroom window, on my birthday, for a good twenty five minutes whilst he toiled away in the light rain.
I was transfixed.

He had removed his coat and I noticed that his jumper looked more spectacularly awful from this vantage point and thought about him and his life and how it came to be that here, in this lousy flat, he would be here, in his awful jumper, toiling away. I pitied him.

It was only 10.30 am and I looked out earnestly for the next visitor, the Virgin Media Engineer who had promised to arrive between 9am and 1pm. It was going to be a long morning.
My better half brought me a cup of tea and asked politely why I was staring out of the window.
I couldn’t explain.

MP3:
Gorkys Zygotic Mynci -Mow The Lawn

The Engineer (Birthday Part 3)

The engineer was kind enough to phone me to explain that he was running later than expected and I thanked him for letting me know. He arrived an hour or so after he’d called. I was still sat by the window watching the landlords’ idiot son struggle with the overgrown garden.
I bounced down the stairs in anticipation when I saw his van arrive. The engineer stayed in his van for 5 minutes so I was forced to converse with landlords’ son. He was packing up slowly stating that he would get his father to arrange to get the garden finished.

I looked at the mess he’d made. It looked slightly better than before but it was a poor job to say the least, and he was ill equipped to deal with some of the thicker weeds which remained intact but squashed from the weight of the lawnmower. I reported what the ‘mouse man’ had said and he raised his eyebrows in faux interest whilst stuffing a large bin liner with some of the grass cuttings. Whilst I was wasting my time talking to this imbecile, the Virgin Media Engineer walked up the drive with a cardboard box and tool kit in hand. I recognised him from a previous visit, in fact I was pretty sure it was the guy who originally installed the system, though I couldn’t be sure. I led the way up the stairs.

He insisted on wearing some covers for his shoes before entering our living room. I insisted that he didn’t need to do this, however he was insistent than I; stating that it was his company’s policy.
After covering his footwear, he picked up his tool box and it tipped over onto the floor, spilling dozens of little screw, nails, and other TV repairman type paraphernalia. I helped him clear it up and he looked grateful for the help and also a little discomfited. Some of the screws landed near a box of mouse poison and it was my turn to feel embarrassed.

He had a quick look at the problematic apparatus, and after testing it with a futuristic looking but scratched and beaten up telephone, he whipped out modern looking replacement from the cardboard box he had brought with him, and proceeded to remove the wires from the existing unit. I offered him a cup of tea and he graciously accepted.

My better half was in the kitchen baking scones- she had intended to bake a cake in honour of my birthday, however as I had made one for hers the previous month and it took up far too much energy and time, so I was content with the scones.
I brought him his drink.
I stood arms folded and chatted to him on a number of matters, some related to the faulty equipment and other topics of conversation had nothing to do with it.

The more I thought about it, this wasn’t the chap who installed our system, that bloke talked incessantly about sport, and after spotting one of my guitars, he blabbed on about his friend’s band who played weddings and various working men’s club in the North West. I remember very clearly as he said that his friend’s band were paid £900 for a one hour and a half set of cover versions, whilst I had just played a gig in London in conjunction with the release of our latest single and we were only paid £50, not that I told him this. That gobshite had me talking like I used to when I worked on the building site and various factories; with an over exaggerated Yorkshire accent and swearing and cursing unnecessarily, however with the gentleman currently working hard to ensure I don’t spend the whole God damned bank holiday weekend without television, was quiet and I felt I could be myself.
Soon enough it was working and I resisted calling him a beautiful person.

I must have thanked him several times before waving him off at the door. As he walked down the drive I noticed that he was still wearing the shoe covers and as he got to his van I saw that he’d noticed this and berated himself under his breath.

The landlords’ son was still there packing up his equipment very slowly. He has a skulking and creepy way of walking, let alone the fact that he’s particularly unusual in his appearance.

I asked in a friendly manner if he was heading to the tip with the grass cuttings to which he replied with a non committal ‘yes’.

“Would you mind taking this Christmas tree with you please- it’s been here for ages and I have no idea who’s it was” I asked.

I pointed to the dead Christmas tree. It was approximately four feet high and had shed most of its pines. I had moved it to the side of the porch stairs when I had spent a good 40 minutes in the garden trying to remove the melted wheelie bin from the garden wall in mid January last.
“Oh…I don’t want to uproot it, I don’t know who’s it is” He said with surprising defiance.

I looked at the dead tree, then looked back at him in that stupid jumper and then back at the tree and for the hundredth time, resistant the urge to call him a dick head.
I lifted the tree with my right hand and raised my eyebrows.

“Oh” He said and walked towards me and I handed him the tree. He skulked off down the drive way.

I shook my head and shut the door and trudged up the stairs back to the flat towards the smell of freshly baked scones and mouse poison.

MP3:

Television- Venus

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

False Contentment

After a self imposed hiatus from blogging, I find myself once more hunched over my work PC tapping away speedily on the crumb covered and tea stained keyboard which, rather distractingly I realise I must clean it sooner rather than later. Since my last sporadic enteries in the latter part of 2007 I have been somewhat uninspired and uninterested in pouring my angst, frustration and trivialities out into the public domain, even if these words are seldom read by others. Part of this reluctance to write came from a slightly drunken and unconsidered thought I had as I was laying in bed one night and re-evaluated my existence as a blogger. I decided to tred enthusiastically into the world of music blogging- leaving aside my usual tales of narcissism and foolhardy behaviour for a more interesting subject matter. After only several posts, my enthusiasm waned. What was the point? There are literally hundreds of far superior blogs out there doing a thoroughly decent and more dedicated job than I, and more importantly; it had become too much of a burden to keep it up to date. I felt slightly out of my depth so I quit. Since then I have remained somewhat idle. This lack of interest was partly due to the fact that over the past few months I have found myself in the relatively unusual position of having an abundance of work to do and in the even more unfamiliar arena of contentment, or at least I think it was contentment? Perhaps my malaise had simply reached a tolerable level? Why? I'll try and explain:

These woes commenced almost immediately after Christmas (the time of my last blog entry) upon my return to work after an extended and most pleasant Festive break; the enjoyment of having nearly two weeks away from the office, gorging myself with food and drink and watching a vast array of varying quality television programs was eradicated within a few short minutes of me returning to work. Within a matter of an hour I was close to tears. Within two hours I was close to lobbing my computer out from the window and joyfully skipping out of the office, explaining to my shocked looking colleagues, that I no longer had the desire to remain in the pitiful job, and that I bid them all adieu and have a good life, laughing maniacally at their requests of me to reconsider and at the looks of disbelief as they peer out of the window to see where my computer had landed. Naturally I did no such thing, and instead just bottled up my frustration. Mulling it over it now with the benefit of hindsight, it is clear to me that I made the wrong decision. Granted I would be broke beyond all recognition, as despite the relatively good pay I earn, I struggle financially come the end of each month and embarrassingly in the more desperate of months, it is usually with the fist week! However I would at the very least be a little happier than I am at present. I have of course had one other long term and equally as depressing job, which after over three years of gainful employment I quit on a whim. Of course, I had to give my notice, which was four weeks, rather than ignominiously quitting and walking out with my head held high in an emotional charged moment of clarity. That blessed day I hit the street after handing in my security pass and receiving a few emotional and fond farewells; ranks fairly high in my all time greatest feelings list; sandwiched between scoring and injury time goal for the school football team and that time when having spent my last penny the night before on a pricey drinking spree whilst on a University trip to London, finding 10p and on the street (yes- exactly like Charlie Bucket) and winning £5 on the 'Naughts and Crosses' fruit machine in the Trocadero thus enabling me to buy a sumptuous meal at the Burger King located in Piccadilly Circus and a bus home to my modest student accommodation from Liverpool City centre.

As the office was operating at a snail’s pace I had the time and the inclination to scour the job vacancies pages on all the neighbouring Council’s. This was a fruitless exercise- not surprisingly no one was advertising jobs over the Christmas period. This left me feeling even more disheartened and disillusioned and I left work at the earliest opportunity (3pm) without saying so much as a ‘goodbye’ to any of my colleagues.

This feeling of sheer and utter despair forced my hand somewhat, and a mist the depressive stupor I somehow made a weary trek to an old haunt of mine, the local art and crafts shop and in a desperate attempt to put a halt to the laborious rut I have found myself entrenched in. I purchased several items quickly and hurried out of the shop to start my masterpieces.

I sat at my dining room table still in my work attire of shirt tie and trousers. I had removed my shoes and had since donned my faithful old slippers. I opened the new sketch book and stared blankly at the vastness of white that lay before me. This was no time to be faint hearted I told myself and took a slurp of tea. I decided that a pencil was possibly the best place to start, however it soon occurred to me that of the two pencils that I owned were extremely blunt. I set about looking for a pencil sharpener but to no avail. Un daunted I strode into the kitchen and returned with a medium sized knife and attempted to sharpen my instrument the old fashioned way. Alas, this only exacerbated the situation, so with a heavy heart I decided that I would forgo the use of graphite and instead go straight to the use of my mighty pen.

Removing the pen’s lid seemed more problematic that I had could of imagined, but with a firm twist the struggle ended and I came out victorious. Using an old envelope that had at some point contained a household utility bill, I tested the pen. True to form after some initial stiffness the ink flowed from the tip with grace leaving me somewhat relieved and I graciously thanked my lucky stars. I returned my attentions to the beautifully white, crisp piece of paper and recalled the pleasure I used to experience upon christening a new sketch pad and that in just about every new sketch book I have ever purchased, and there have been many; the first drawing had always been of a high caliber, guaranteed. Suddenly my bleak and pitiful dog’sbody existence ceased. An escape route was in view and all I had to do was produce the first in what would hopefully be a series of high caliber pieces of artwork. I think I banded the term ‘masterpiece’ with no sense of irony on several occasions.
That first day of drawing proved pretty fruitless in terms of finished artwork, but the ball was rolling and I felt invincible!

The next day at work I arrived with a newly found vigor and thought about drawing from most of the day when I was called into my manager’s office. Of course my first emotion upon receiving such a request was panic and my brain quickly went through all of my recent misdemeanors and fuck ups. I entered his office and closed the door behind me. I made small talk about football, which bought me some time- but he soon diverted the conversation back to the office. In a nutshell, he said, I was to be seconded over to another post within our department. I was intrigued, especially as he said that I would be doing the exact same job that I was currently doing only earning what would calculate to be an extra £200 a month until June when my colleague returned from her maternity leave. I was shocked to say the least and after going over the details I left his office feeling thoroughly satisfied with myself. After all my colleague did nothing all day! Not to say that she was lazy,; there was very little work for her to do! This was a win win situation for me and I decreed to my fellow workers that I was leaving early that day- which I promptly did. Instead of getting down to some drawing I decided to celebrate on my own, and continue to celebrate when Lisa arrived back from work, and moved my sketch pad and old faithful pen to one side.

My work continued exactly the same as it had been previously. The work was monotonous and uninspiring and I was sure that I was being asked to do even more tedious task than ever before, but shamefully I suppressed any of the emotions of bitterness and angst that I usually display in these situations and with a genuine smile I set about these tasks.

I lost the ambition therefore to write or even draw. I was relatively content with life. Sure it was depressing at times, but I just thought about the extra funds in my account and all of those CD’s and records I could buy. I considered finally entering into the Council’s lucrative pension scheme and made in roads into buying a house. I even went and looked at some 2nd hand cars!

Sadly, day by day and week by week, this contentment evaporated- but I continued to put a brave face on things. I had ceased looking for alternative employment as the with my wages, not to mention the flexi time and other Council perks was as good, if not better, than other jobs. I even contemplated sticking this job out even though I knew I wasn’t really happy but I was busy at work which kept my mind from wandering to much. I no longer felt as if I was entitled to be doing something better with my life.

Then the other week I was struck down with clarity! I was jolted back into my old happy-that-I’m-unhappy ways. I became me again! What was the catalyst for this spark on ingenuity that had broken down all the walls? Well the source of this inspiration took me by surprise too. I in all seriousness would not have expected it to have stemmed from such a low brow and contrived masterpiece of self awareness. The film of which I speak?

You, Me and Dupree!

Yes- You, Me and Dupree has saved my life! I have found my “ness” again. I am back baby, I AM BACK!!!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Bah Humbug but that's too strong, it is my favourite holiday


So the Christmas period draws ever closer, and today I finally completed
all my Christmas purchases. Huzzzzzar!! In the office, the wind down for the holidays continues (though to be fair it started in October) and I've pretty much been left to my own devices- which means I've just stuffed my face with chocolate and arsed* around with the P.C making a compilation of alternative Christmas tunes for some colleagues and drawing countless pictures of Father Christmas (that's Santa Claus to ye Americanos).

To improve the already relaxed atmosphere here we had a fire alarm too...frigggin sweet! I was so happy I almost puked (though this could have been an result of the copious chocolates I'd devoured during the course of the day) Whilst compiling said CD, it occurred to me that perhaps I had been too hasty in my declaration of love for Jonah Lewie's 'Stop the Cavalry' on my last post. It is, as I'm sure you'll agree a magnificent song, however I had overlooked the aural delights of The Waitresses - 'Christmas Wrapping' which is almost defiantly, probably, kind of, my favourite Xmo tune. Anyhow, I have therefore decided on a whollyoriginal theme for my first Podcast....Christmas! Watch this space! I've also been racking my chocolate addled brain to come up with the usual tiresome list of favourite albums and songs and in a ode to St John of Peel's festive Fifty, I shall be compiling (and perhaps podcasting) a list of my favourite songs and albums shortly...hopefullybefore the New year. (also any recommendations would be welcome)

*The Technical term


MP3

The Waitresses - Christmas Wrapping

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

you scumbag you maggot...

Okay-as St. Noddy of Holder commented once or twice at this time of year:

"Itttttttttt'ssssssss Chrisssssssstttttmasssssssss!"

Well very nearly at least.

I think I may have finally resolved some technical problems and after a self induced hiatus, I shall be re-commencing my blogging duties- and even harbour ambitions to post some Podcasts here (watch this space). Meanwhile, after reading and downloading a plethora of different alternative festive Mp3s, I've noticed that the vast majority have overlooked two of my favourite Chrimbo tunes.

If you'd have asked me two years ago, I would have definitely said The Pouges feat. the late Kirsty McCall was the all time greatest Festive song, however having heard this song 40 plus times already this year I'm a tad fed up with it. Hilariously, BBC Radio 1 (the main culprits for its overplaying) decided that they'd blank out 'faggot' in the classic line 'you scumbag you maggot, you cheap lousy faggot'. Even funnier was the public outcry abut this. It's strange that the thin skinned members of the public who would usually complain at any form of offensive language, chose to campaign to keep this lyric in. Picking and choosing your grievances is possibly more annoying than anything else.

Anyway- bom bom bom bom-bom bom bom bo-bom-bom...

MP3:

Jonah Lewie - Stop The Cavalry

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Hope can be a dangerous thing.


As Morgan Freeman's character Red in The Shawshank Redemption famously stated :

"Hope can be a dangerous thing".

It would have been better if Israel had been hammered by Russia on Saturday rather than build up the Nation's expectations. I suppose I ought to be grateful; we won't have to endure the barrage of football related adverts, the usual all too familiar sound bites from the players and managers, no more faux nationalism, flag waving and the inevitable feeling of either being cheated by a referee or the heartbreaking defeat in a penalty shoot out.

What's the difference between the English FA and Lewis Hamilton?
Hamilton's still got McLaren and he's going to Switzerland.


MP3 hosting still not working :(

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Lazy Bones

Apologies, apologies, apologies- gonna get my finger out of my arse soon...I promise! I have been busy(ish) and alas this 'ere blog has been somewhat neglected. I plan to make amends.

Don't go a changin'!

(I was going to post some toonage, however to confound matters my file hosts have gone weird! So you'll have to bare with me)


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Evidently Chickentown


Above all other TV shows, I love The Sopranos.

Sadly I fluffed up the timer on our DVD recorder so we missed the first of the final 9 episodes which was shown last Sunday whilst we were away in Scotland, taping instead the incredibly unfunny Phone Jacker and Big Brother's Big Mouth. As I'm sure you'll agree these are in no way shape or form a suitable replacement for Big Tony and his merry band of Italian American hoods.

Sadly though, whist in New York I did accidentally learn of a major plot development whilst skipping through the plethora of US TV channels. This has haunted me somewhat and has tainted my enjoyment of, what is in my uninformed opinion; the greatest TV program in TV History...or certainly the greatest US TV series.

I've always been a fan of the music they put into the show too, a large portion of which hail from these shores and come from a variety of lesser known artists. I can recall with head swelling pride when Tony had his first breakdown; James Gandolfini is sat in his customary dressing gown and white vest with tears streaming down his fat face, all the while Stuart Staple's bleak and unmistakable (and utter perfect) voice warbles tenderly on Tindersticks' 'Tiny Tears'.
I can also remember Mogwai's ‘Cody’ being played in another similar moment of emotional high drama; though this is possibly my least favorite Mogwai track ever- but you can’t have everything (this was possibly because when the record ‘Come on Die Young’ was released the idea of Stuart Braithwaite attempting to sing was, in my snobbish mind anyway, an act of heresy)

In the last episode, as Tony is reflecting his relationship with Chris in his physiatrist- Dr. Melfi's office, a bizarre voice started to emanated from our TV set as the credits start.

“Wait a minute...surely not?”

I looked to Lisa who was frowning knowing that she recognised the unmistakably broad Mancunian drawl.

Holy shit! It's John Cooper Clarke's 'Evidently Chickentown'.

We both laughed that an artist as obscure as him could make it onto a show of such a high stature.

I felt as if a friend of mine had 'made it' to the big time and we both hoped that he was significantly financial rewarded for his endeavors.

I'm sure that over the past 9 or so seasons of The Sopranos there has been many, many musical highlights, but surely you can't top a bit of ole Johnny Clarke can you?

MP3's


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

(New) Captain of industry

I awoke this morning in an unusually pleasant frame of mind and a full-to-bursting bladder. The bright sunshine seeped through our bedroom curtains and it felt good to be alive. Awakening early as I did, I decided to make haste, ensuring this peculiar feeling of contentment and enthusiasm was not wasted and good golly Miss Molly- I was in work some twenty minutes early!

My punctuality was noted by some of the more observant fellow shlums and after the rudimentary pleasantries were exchanged with colleagues, I set about getting straight to work choosing to forgo my usual internet surfing. All the outstanding work that had taunted me from my desk for the past few months was irradiated in what can only be described as a Herculean blitz of professionalism. One by one the tower stack of orange files that lay dormant on my pine workstation slowly disappeared. When beverages were offered by some kind hearted souls in the office, I barely made eye contact- only enough to convey my gratitude so resolute was my conviction to bust my hump. After dealing with the conveyancing reports of several proposed acquisitions, hunger pains taunted my focused and determined mind. I chose to ignore these urges, lambasting my weak body for such cravings- assuring my growling stomach that lunch wasn't too far away. I called solicitors and surveyors and was firm and direct with my slew of requests as opposed to my more customary laid back and thoroughly affable approach.

Between manically typing up purchase reports and amending spreadsheets accordingly I reached to my left and grabbed my tea mug without averting my gaze from the numbers and names that I was scrolling through on my computer's monitor, taking giant gulps from my now tepid tea. It wasn't long before my energy levels started to flag. I was pragmatic about this decline; after all I wasn't used to this.

I permitted myself to gaze idly out of the office's window at the beautiful and awe inspiring perfect blue sky before putting my head down and continuing with my tasks. When my phone rang, I answered it in my usual eloquent manner, but continued to crunch the numbers whilst still effectively and professionally dealing with the call.

Soon my shirt's top button was unfastened and my sleeves were rolled up. I felt like a captain of industry. I felt like I could accomplish anything. I felt of use.

I looked at the clock to see if I'd missed my lunch break.

It was 9:20am.

Shit!

I had effectively done all my work for the week and the realisation that the rest of the day would now drag like the proverbial motherfucker. What have I done?!!!!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Knee class blues

I made my knee rehabilitation class debut last Friday morning and I'm fairly proud of the fact that my operation scar is far bigger than anyone else's.

I did have to haul my weary carcass out of bed nearly an hour before I usually have to get up which I wasn't too enamored with. I then had to walk twenty minutes to catch the bus full of over exuberant school kids that takes me near to Broadgreen Hospital, whereupon I have a 10 -15 minute walk to get to physiotherapy department. When I arrived I was already perspiring and slightly red in the face.

Luckily I managed to catch the bus with seconds to spare. Relief!

My joy at catching this bus was short lived was. I walked onto the bus behind the giddy schoolies and I noticed that I only had a tenner on me. I apologised to the driver for not having any better change. He looked at me through his despondent and possibly hung over eyes and seethed:
"I can't change that!"
"(SIGH) What time are you departing?"
"Right now- you better buy some'ink from der shop; I'll pick you up by the traffic lights."

I hobbled off the bus and with my bag weighing me down tried to get to the nearby newsagents as quickly as I could, knowing that the next bus was not for another 30 minutes. Because my bag was heavy my limp was more prominent than usual, and of course I slightly exaggerated it for the benefit of the unhelpful bus driver.

The shop- which is only a stone's throw away from the bus stop- was teeming with school children of a variety of different size and age in a multitude of different coloured uniforms. I fought my way to the counter with a bottle of water and paid and pushed my way back through the kids just as the bus was pulling up at the traffic lights. I paid the driver and thanked him for waiting though this was an insincere display of gratitude, but definitely not one laden with sarcasm. My MP3 player tossed out some tunes at random and included Jarvis' astutely witty 'Fat Children' , which I listened to with a wry smile on my face as I watched the lawless teens run amok on the bus scoffing their McCoys' crisp at 8.15am.

The class was good and I certainly felt the benefits from the knee exercises the two semi-attractive and fake tanned physios had prepared for us.

It was fairly evident from the start that I was the 'new boy' as everyone knew exactly what exercises to do. I looked on with wide eyed envy at the exercises I could only dream of doing i.e. shuttle runs and the trampoline. The vast majority of the fellow post operation classmates were attired fittingly and wouldn't have looked out of place in a gym or running a marathon perhaps. I on the other hand looked as if I hadn't done any exercise since the 1980s. My spurs shorts looked faded and probably showed too much flesh, my GAP hoodie was taken off within five minutes due to the perspiration revealing a cheap (but most adored) Gaudi tourist T-Shirt my folks brought back for me from Barcelona 6 years ago. I had black office socks rolled down my leg as far as I could and I tried my utmost to conceal them within my trainers with little success. The class reminded me of a Police Academy style group of misfits and as I warmed up on the exercise bike I looked around identifying the rich tapestry of character types. There was the loud mouth, the brute, the comic, the pretty boy, the old guy, the wacky one, the quiet one (also the only woman), the hippie, the token chap from an ethnic minority, the arse kisser, the rough neck, the over exuberant and generic extras who just faded into the background. I wondered which I could be considering that most of the positions I am usually associated with were already taken. I figured that I'll just see how it pans out before labelling myself to fill a character void.