i've had my first nosebleed of the season.
it's thursday and i've not blogged the weekend, meaning i still think of it as the start of the week.
i met up with rufus on friday night, for his workmate's leaving do, and ended up sitting at a table with four (out of eight) people who didn't like gorky's zygotic mynci. one, a well-pierced lass, said they were 'shit in a good way' and quoted 'my patio's on fire' in welsh (despite the fact that this line is sung in english!). another, rufus himself, hated gorky's on the basis of only 'peanut dispenser', and has been in turmoil since i put a song on a mix for him without giving him the tracklisting, and he really liked it. but there we were. we went for falafel at the now legendary 'falafel restaurant humous' in rusholme (best value food in town?) and then rufus went home, to my disappointment, as i'd been looking forward to a friday night out. so i went back to the flat and settled in.
i turned on the cathode ray, with the intention of playing thief:deadly shadows or sw:kotor (having absolutely no desire to finish halo). kotor put me off with it's incessant desire for comitment, and impossibilty (having finished it on easy [wuss], i cranked it up to difficult and found the task rediculous, since my team had been raised on the simplest of enemies, they were weak, poorly evolved little cretins, struck down by lowliest of kath hounds), and while i played thief for a while, again on maximum difficulty, it was nothing compared to the bewilderment of playing it for the first time. although i can now appreciate it for what it is, which perhaps i couldn't before, i can't forget the layout of the levels, the patrol routes, the locations of the special loot, so it's like playing it on auto-pilot. and the free-roaming city sections, inbetween the levels, still don't do it for me; they just seem to get in the way. so i went out and bought a bottle of port. when i came back, and switched on the wireless again, it plopped onto bbc four, and with it, a documentary on stiff records which was just starting.
i must have watched 15 hours of bbc four since that moment. so let's see..
the stiff season ran for two nights - the two part documentary itself, archive documentaries on shane mcgowan and madness, two full shows of archive clips of the bands, a tragi-comic documentary about a band from southend who sang in american accents touring scotland (which was surely the inspiration for 'bad news tour'), and the full 'son of stiff' world tour movie, featuring some more great bands and ten pole tudor. edward tudor pole is such a cam whore.
the whole experience was like a tour through my step-dad's record collection, and contained many life-changing experiences, most of which i can't remember. one i do was the video for jocko homo. people have devoed on at me before, and, although some of their stuff has left me cold, now i know why. it absolutely blew me away. i'm in turmoil about costumes, concepts, and pretension, but i think that's a post i'll have to write another day.
saturday i had a lovely day in town - buying nice things, good guitar strings, phonogram and mini-comics, blank cds, (the wrong) cases and the street fighter 2' box from maplin ("plugs straight into your tv! just like you remember it!"). so i've played that quite a lot, and i tell ya, it's quite a craic. only trouble is the megadrive controllers. yes, it's the mega drive version, with the dodgy colours and sound, but it makes up for it with 11 stars of speed. it came with ghosts 'n' goblins sorry, ghouls 'n' ghosts - on the side, which was handy, because that's good fun and quite hard too.
on sunday, inspired in part by the mj hibbett song 'breaks in the journey' (the new album's really rather good - a little too positive for my tastes, but a great counter balance to the stuff i write. i don't think he liked the cd i sent him as a swap though) i went off to heaton park (after trying to take cd cases back to maplin and getting a veggie breakfast at cafe pop) - europe's largest municipal park, only 3 miles north of the city centre, with a metro stop right outside. why had i never been here before? i went up with my hoftstadter, wandered the slopes, the trees and the animal centre (the alpacas were so zen.. does a dog have buddha nature? mu) and generally had a lovely time. a person needs to be able to enjoy simply doing nothing, and also being alone. although i think i was generally quite wistful the whole time; and i may have climbed trees if there were people to do it with. is it less fun alone? or is it just nice to have a friend around to help you up and down?
so then, later and still alone, i went out to the whitworth pub for an acoustic night, semi-open mic (like the best) part-run by a couple i met at the green man (they got a mention then, too) who vaguely remembered me. i played.. er.. purple milk (ukelayle), rain on your sunroof, grey eyes, love, and new boyfriend (part one) as well as telling 'french bovaphile' and 'swans' jokes. i went down ok. got some applause. the lady asked for my phone number, but i'm not sure if that's a 'don't call us, we'll call you' thing.
on monday, i went to cafe muse, as in, the cafe in the museum, for a bowl of the normally nice soup. 'sweet potato and pesto', the board said. that sounds disgusting, i thought. and it was. so i sent it back, because i'm ok, and it wasn't going to be a fuss; if i wanted a bowl of shit soup, i'd go to the uni cafeteria where it's a third of the price. obviously, there's not much they can do with a soup - all the other soup's going to be exactly the same, so they gave me a refund and i bought an egg sandwich, which was pretty rubbish too, but by that point you can't really complain because it's just an egg sandwich (if you're in manchester, by the way, go to the exhibition of wildlife photos in the museum. it's great, but it would be even better if they didn't have a big stuffed fox in the middle but seriously, check out that link because that guy knows his birds). the next day was even worse. i went to the usually excellent eastern restaurant 'umami' for their lunch deal. there was a note on the lunch menu - 'vegetarian dishes may contain shrimp paste, fish oil or egg'. i asked if either of the options did, and the waiter said they were definitely vegetarian, but given their definition, that didn't really fill me with any more confidence. i think it was the spring rolls, which were cold in the middle. aw shit, i thought, i can't be bothered sending it back today. i'll just eat it, because i'm ok. the next day i woke up with the shits, and left work at lunch time because it wasn't going anywhere. and when i got home, where i largely played sf2' and g&g and listened to random and grandaddy and slept, i had a nosebleed. but i did complete sf2' with balrog, which is something i've always meant to do.
so lots more bbc four this week, too - turning on the telly to see daniel barenboim giving lang lang tips on how to play beethoven was beautiful. plus charlie brooker's screen wipe usa (slightly fanzine-y), broken news (the day today for rolling news and channel surfing - good stuff, but too maybe too realistic, where the day today is like what the news is like now) and never mind the full stops, which is the worst show ever, worse even than lionel fanthorpe's religion quiz show (which i, of course, loved). never mind the full stops is clearly based on a tv go home idea, 'don't pass the past participle - grammar-based quiz show with a vaguely rightwing hue'. you have to see this program, it beggars belief. and it was going so well for bbc four.
look, i really hope you appreciate me doing this. and that includes you (points to self in thirty years).
oh yeah, and more videos (including ones of my solo set) are upon youtube now. have fun with them.