no-one understands me

i've written before about asking difficult questions to people who work in shops, haven't i? like asking the pharmacist if whitening toothpaste cleans your teeth better than normal toothpaste, or if it just covers them in white. and they never get what i mean. it that instance, i was given a rough guide to the different whitening toothpastes they sold.

today, i happened to glance at a packet of instant hot chocolate. well lordy, what excellent grilly random conversation fodder.

it 'contains a source of milk'.

now there are two ways to interpret this. either it contains something that your body metabolises into milk, or it containts a live female mammal.

i pointed the offending line out to the chef, who was now behind the till.

"well, that'll be the whey powder or something" he said.
"but the only thing that is a source of milk is a cow, "i responded narrow-mindedly.
"well, it's just like 'may contain traces of nuts, isn't it?" he conjectured.

no. it isn't like that at all.


i feel slightly ashamed of myself for being less than honest over the last week or so, because i aimed to be very honest indeed. i chickened out pretty fast. basically, amanda and i both realised that it wasn't going anywhere. i was seriously considering setting up an anonymous emo blog so that i can say what i really want to in public, but being anonymous is hardly being any more honest, so i don't see much point. but i still had a lovely weekend, hanging out with the lovely jos and ians of the world, as well as new-in-town joy-monster debbie and playing dead rising. blood red shoes were fun, as were the brilliant but slightly familiar post-rock band on before them (whose name i forget).

i felt a bit mopey on friday (all 'speedway' when i should have felt 'the more you ignore me, the closer i get') which turns what should be the apex of my life so far - having a song (albeit a remix of someone else's track) offered to release on an actual album - into a bit of a damp squib. i'm not sure of the details yet, but quetis parabis, 'no friends - dj gallowslutt rebludgeon' will be included on a compilation for a 'relaxed' leicester-based record label.

then there was this weekend, which started with debbie again and a meal at bella italia - a chain with shit service, but undeniably tasty scran - and then out to see the boby mcgees at their gig at the pleasure unit. what a bucketshop venue the pleasure unit is; a simple dark room, band-stand in one corner, bar in the other, and enough well-rehearsed bands in the area to ensure a steady flow of entertainment. and be it novelty ukelayle songs or nasty noisecore, it's all just entertainment of one form or another, except for people who can't stand to be in the same room as a noisecore band. i can't wait to be in a band.

saturday and sunday were spent doing family things - fressing and shlepping. my room is now full of me and spacious and i love it, so come around for a jam everyobe.


a maths puzzle

a bus journey costs 1.50 pounds in paid for in cash, but only 80 pence if paid for with an oyster card. grilly only has 20p on his oyster card, but has a pound in his pocket.
will the bus driver let grilly get on?

no. grilly has to walk home.


so that was last weekend... monday was another nice evening out with amanda, although i feel a little doubt creeping into the interest - how could i love a girl who thinks that the mars volta are as good as at the drive-in?
(reader's voice: "'koff grilly, if at the drive in were still going they'd be well shit now". grilly: yes. evidently)
but yes, i was amazed by notting hill, london is a truly strange place. i will blog it proper when i understand it.

last night i saw ephel duath, who felt a little sparse; when they had the trombone player alongside, filling in for melodic vocals, rhythm guitar, and trumpet, the sound was much more wholesome. i wonder if they were slightly short on energy too... and some impro could be nice, although i respect davide's choice of such completely deliberate yet chaotic notes. i've got to learn the scale that he writes in. i'm sure it's some kind of meta-scale, where the note is determined by some alien factor. i wanted a stage invasion, it nearly happened. sadly the encore was the first song again - the material must be quite intensive to learn (no count-ins, the whole set, whic given the largo they were using is truly remarkable).

today i started working at the ealing pct again, but upstairs now, not the dungeonous post room. i've started to appreciate the zen of temping again; it's lame and a bad idea and as equally valid as doing anything else.

and then tonight it was big gril's birthday party in a private kareoke booth. tremendous fun but expensive, or, expensive but tremendous fun. it really felt like culture, but also a piss-take of japanese culture, which is a piss-take of life anyway. the only experiance i can relate it to is renting a sheesha pipe in a cafe. the space reminded me of so many things; hell, gay dungeons, crypto-fascism.

i really feel like i ought to have a real diary again.


thanks, i'll be here all night

did you here that rupert murdoch has rodent spread on his toast?

yeah, apparently he loves his mice paste!

a new england

i don't feel that different, but obviously something has changed; last night was a safe three pints. the first reneged on my decision to not drink lager - it was a shit pint of stella, which is saying something. but then we were in an o'neills (have you noticed thta o'neills don't even bother to give their pubs different names, like wehtherspoons do?) but i realy needed a pint and they had nothing else. also it wasn't me that ultimately made the decision to have stella ANYWAY, after that i had but two pints, both shoreditch stout, at the foundary. we - the girls, luke, ed's emma, and i, while a bunch of psychologist hen-nighters broke into our conversations, tricked us into saying things and then pretended to take offence. it was 'king bizzare. never, ever, ever, answer a woman who's asked you 'how old do you think i am?'. RUN.
we were kicked out gone 11, and i didn't drink the rest of the night, spending money on pies and cake instead. this is the new regime, and i motherfucking like it. i went home at one from the fifth place of the night (o'niells, foundary, prague, mother, jam), knowing i should go before i actually needed to. and i didn't get back til nearly three so that was a good idea. the night bus was full before we'd finished going through oxford circus, and many people looked pretty upset about it. plenty of people were upset on the bus too, not least the driver, it was pure school bus atmosphere, with him refusing to drive on until some persons got off, or marching upstairs to collect from a fare dodger.

i always arrange to do too many things. i always let people down, like on friday, arranging to see zabrinski in cardiff and not doing. it seemed so doable a few months ago. i probably won't go to the bobby mcgee's turds night tomorrow, despite having planned going at the first opportunity for ages. it's not good to let let people down; should i not make as many plans, or should i go to all the things i say i will?

i bumped into kev yesterday. i used to share a room in durham with him, and there seemed to be no connection there at all. i told him to google me, was as far as exchanging contact details went. but he said he was meeting up with wee dave later, which i did find interesting; but how do you ask for someone elses phone number without obviously not wanting the person you're speaking to's? it's not that we had a falling out - it's just that seperated from our connection, there was nothing there at all. he's in marketing now.

you should have seen the look on jo's face when i started playing 'banging in the nails' to her. i've never seen anyone so shocked.


how's it going?

so amanda and i arrange to meet in a busy pub about 8. three hours of conversations and three pints later, and we're evicted into the noisy night. goodbyes lead to hugs; she kissed first. i can't remember what order things happened in after that; cheek, mouth, hands, tongue... i walked her the 20 metres to the tube, and we had a long, serious, parting kiss. it felt kind of brazen being so public; i should remember, as much as i deninied being drunk to ed, i'm really a two pint man, and i didn't get any dinner.

i floated home in a cloud of glee. couldn't sleep, but what little i did was dreams (the gorky's lyric is so true; 'if i walk you home then it's understood, i'll dream of you', and is going on the mixtape). i've been through the usual emotions; wonderment, thinking 'you should be here' at night, self doubt.

but now the thought keeps me warm. it's sick really isn't it.

amanda, if you're reading - please don't scroll down.

but yes, hopefully things will go as well with other band members, and ian will forgive me for being a dick to him.
so yes, i've been working in this post room for ealing pct. it's not exactly bringing home the smoked tofu - the hours are short and shit - but it's a proverbial foot in the door with a new temp agency.


i am a quivering wreck of a man

'do you want to go head to head?' he drawled into my ear.

against thee wickedly. i took him down, 4-1.

'good game,' he said.
'yeah, i enjoyed that,' i replied, not entirely comfortable with the intimacy, but satisfied with some decent kills.

in disgust with myself, i lunged over for the power button on the x-box and removed the live headset.

now i see why (my step-brother) sam lives online.

i would not say i was good at doom, but partly because of my brother's fat pipe, i didn't lose to anyone. other people seemed to miss more than me. sometmies you do something right and you've no idea how, but over time you brain has simply re-programmed itself to do things like shooting imps and people better. you can't help it. but learning how to learn is a wierd concept. damn homonculi.

this leads me onto, bizarrely, a rather vague idea which keep slipping away from me - how the brain can re-program itself through nothibng more than thought. this i sentirely possible - well is uppose it's neuro-linguistic programming. it just blows my mind though - i'm sure i thought away my headache the other night. according to my mind hacks book, muscles get stronger just by thinking about using them too, suggesting some of that strength is in the efficiency of the neural pathways. the take home lesson is - playing air guitar makes you a better guitarist.

now i've got to burn off some cds, get changed and eat, and then get to the pub for 8 to meet a potential drummer. hats off to the zebras (or something).





i've set up a soulmates profile. the profile isn't quite right yet - i've name dropped laverne (by which i of course mean laverne ten years ago. that might not be obvious to an x-fm listening londoner) and diana/artemis (goddess of moon and magic - that's my scene. goddess of the hunt and a perpetual virgin - that's not exactly what i meant [though i do like the woods]). during the development of the profile i really questioned whether i did actually want a girlfriend. i'm still usually completely cynical about the whole thing. but my cynicism is often tested and found wanting.

i was listening to a simian mobile disco mixtape and some of it made me feel very uncomfortable - not annoyed, but unpleasant. it was deep electronic music, and i realised it was making me feel somewhat like having sex. strange that music can do that to a person while they're sat at home in front of the computer, and i've never really noticed it. but my response was clearly not the correct one - the music was created to be enjoyed - and this underlies my cynicism.

and then someone said to me today: "she quite likes you, you know." 'eek', i thought. and 'ooh'. and also 'fuck'. this probably came about because of my relaxed state of mind when talking to women, including obviously attractive ones, which originates from this romantic apathy (or worse than apathy, perhaps even 'disparagement') of mine. in fact i was also partly surprised, i thought i'd bored the bejaysus out of her going on about my 'moses was a warlord' theory (i think i was probably fairly drunk at that point of the saturday party).

but what does that even mean these days, 'she quite likes you'? depends on context and intonation, i suppose. it could be any one of the seven kinds of love. it could be the sweet, lip-knibbling, trickle of a bourgeoning, ultimately fulfilling, relationship - if she's willing to bear with me for the sixth months it would take to sort my head out. if i were to have a lover, she'd have to double as a guide, and i'm sorry to be pessimistic but who could be bothered with that? certainly no-one i've met so far, and it's not something i feel like advertising on the internet.
apart from here, of course.


spot the difference

what's the difference between someone who believes that women are under-represented in society, and excessive humidity in the air?

one's a feminist, the other's a fine mist!


well i guess i better write my blog or something

where was i?

so the last week and a bit has been... interesting. the landing outside the flat smells of artificial strawberry flavour. i'll com back to that later.

somethimes i wonder if i'm absolutely pathological about environmental stuff.. not leaving things switched on, buying the ethical thing above the thing i really want, and that. and then i realise that i'm probably actually quite reasonable and every one else should pull their socks up a bit to make me look less monomanic, and also so i don't lapse theough self-doubt.

so there i was, packing up my life into bxes and cleaning the flat, but forgetting about the grill pan and having to throw my carefully maintained collection of paper and card away because i knew my dad wouldn't recycle it and i didn't have time, dammit. i spent my last night in manchester with rufus his friend (actually his ex) emma and a couple of other lads, one of whom in fact seemed to quite like me. we chatted over the lack of an alternative gay scene in manchester, and his alt drag queen persona. he was really nice. i don't know; i'm not as anti-gay as i was; i'm certainly not anti-cock. of course there's more to a man than cock. but i wasn't about to start experimnenting; even though last nights are a good time to experiment, they're also a good time to do what you do well. so it came to pass that i shared with emma an absolutely perfectly comfortable intimation; some holding and a single kiss as she went to her taxi. 'good for the ratings' as they say. the next night i sat in with iona while her parents went out to the opening of the new hilton across the road from dimitri's. we practiced piano - not nearly long enough, i thought - and watched telly, and luckily caught half of the leeds piano competition (thanks bbc four). yes they do make funny faces when they play, but to be honest, you can't comment until you're that good can you? and maybe they're only that good *because* they make theose faces.

so friday came and i launched on the train to peterborough. i changed at doncaster, and there was andy on the same train!* he got out his laptop and played me the rough mix of the acoustic doom-core song we recorded, which still needs some work, maybe more guitars? peterborough of course was the station where andy and i seperated after our now legendary italian trip (when he was threatening to get off at cambridge and tracking down his ex), so pulling in there again was a magical experience. unfortunately it was pissing down and the bridge had warnings not to damage it because of the asbestos, which says so much about peterborough. luke pulled up and took us to his thankfully not peterborough town, which i can't remember the name of but wasn't far away. we bought drinks and nibbles and irn bru (very important) from the shop and went for a nice night in/out. some hilarious moments in various bars full of beautiful sixth formers who only wanted gum. went back and watched la haine; everyone went to bed half way through, and i stopped wastching at the point when it looked like it was going a bit goodfellas. i started playing grand theft auto san andreas, but i couldn't get into the whole blaxploitation. the whole eating and haifcuts thing was so stupid. then i fell asleep.

in the morning, imogen was there like an unexpected butterfly, as was lego star wars. getting to my brother's flat took all day and was not really worth the effort, for anyone but me. hooray for bhajis, samosas, and nuts in services stations. did i mention my new late night invention - the onion bhaji kebab? the kebab shop man will know exactly how to make this, they just never have. it's delicious and sesame seed free.

leaving luke's car at ealing, we tubed it over to bethnal green feeling less than human. we fed, then at jo's andy and luke sorted themselves out with a sleep while i went the opposite way with a shower. the party didn't start as much as evolve. ian's ipod, imbued with mythical proportions by friends of mine, was quite good. there was meant to be a lawrence of arabia theme, but this was entirely so that the four girls who had the kit could belly dance, while all the men sat around smoking a sheesha and clapping. of course it wasn't this divided, and the girls were all to happy to adorn us blokes with jingly things, me a little too much. people thought i looked rediculous and kept complaining my nipples were showing, but it wasn't my fault; because i don't care how i look, if someone dresses me up in head scarf and jingly bra while i'm playing guitar i'm not going to do anything about it. perhaps i was more drunk than i gave myself credit for, but my guitar playing and dancing were pretty well under my control. jingly things really make you dance in time with the music because of the enhanced feed-back from your movements, so in someways it was more restrictive. later in the evening dancing became harder, by that point i probably was drunk. but 'animation' should not be evidence of drink. i started using andy's ipod to queue up songs - unexpected crowd pleasers like 65daysofstatic's 'radio protector', and er, encouraged by andy, some dj gallow slutt remixes and klein bottle fish tank, which went down really well, and no-one knew it was me. it took purple milk before somone changed it, which is fair enough.

the morning after i promised to take my brother out for lunch and then didn't, for which i felt terrible and would have bought some flowers to say sorry but it seemed such a pathetic gesture (nothing says 'i'm kind of maybe a bit sorry a little' like sainsbury's flowers, plus the queue was obscene).

so since then, i've been dotting around a little, signing up at agencies, exploring, setting my computer to go through the telly (largely so i can listen to my music), and buying new shoe laces and a belt. i'm reading stalingrad, masters of doom (about romero and carmack), and teach yourself: zen. every morning i do my stretches, improvise epic post-rock on uke (the sort you can only do when no-one's watching), have a coffee, write a list and act on it. i missed a dynamite opportunity to make myself look great - when the person in 'directions' (a rather tacky little office) said 'so you seem to go for the longer contracts', i should have said, 'no, they were all month contracts, but they kept me on because i was very good', which is true. then asked what classification of degree i got.

i'm in a good headspace, and i don't really know how it happened, or how to maintain it. i just need to use it.

*(don't believe me for a fucking second that this was a co-incidence, i engineered the whole thing)