Sunday, February 29, 2004

OK, very brief and not very satisfying blog for the record...

Just had the longest chat with J about life, the world, everything. OK, well, it wasn't the longest ever chat, but it was pretty long. And we talked mainly about relationships and stuff (so maybe it was just about one aspect of life and not everything in the universe after all!). Anyhow, it makes a change from the teeth crunching usual battering Archive talk.... More later. Bed now.

Vassillis Tsabrolopoulous' 'Akroasis' is shockingly good. Started working on my first painting for over two years now. It was definitely a good accompaniment.

Choir gig at the FMH went pretty well today. :)

BTW - my first M-O talk on Thursday went OK, too, despite freezing momentarily and admitting to my audience of kindly, thoughtful and enlightened librarians that I was hugely nervous! All the talk of blogs was rather appropriate, too...

Computer still broken. :(

(Thanks, Z! XX)

Friday, February 27, 2004

Mass-Observing from Z's room

This morning around 8.30 there was a minor car crash just outside our house. Three cars had piled into one another. I'm not sure whose fault it was but the front of the car in the middle seemed to have got it the worst. Anthropologically interesting to watch and gague the reactions of all three parties as they emerged from their cars. Car passenger from the car at the back (male) clambered out sensibly armed with pen and paper to swap phone numbers whilst the driver pulled into the kerb, and driver from the car in the middle (male) emerged ready to talk. Male and female from car in front (slightly dented at the back) had driven on a good 100m before pulling into the pavement, waited for a short while, then emerged from their vehicle, looking angrily expectantly towards the other two parties busily engaged with number swapping. After a short time of using a mobile phone and shouting at each other, they walk hastily uphill towards the other drivers and start aggressively shouting at the other two. Marvellous. Who needs TV?

No one has knocked on the door of the massage parlour as of yet. My name is Michael Paine. And I am a nosey neighbour.

This is what you usually say to someone when they are choking. Or what I have been saying to myself lately as I have felt a great urge to stuff myself with junk food and not stop. Forget the porridge, pass the chocolate. And lots of it.

My Poorly Computer
My computer is broken (hence sitting in Z's room blogging). The poor thing is poorly. On Wednesday night before leaving home for choir rehearsal it decided it wanted to make rattle and crunch sound effects and then freeze. Since then it hasn't wanted to play. A said "it sounds like the boot sector is corrputed because a drive head crashed on the disk..." To us non-geek-speakers, it provided little comfort. But now, thanks to A, I know what I need to do. Here's step one:

"Modify the WinBootDir entry in the Msdos.sys file to point to the correct location of the Windows folder"

That's as far as I have got after a few hours last night and three hours this morning........ siiiiiiiigggggggghhhhhhhh! :(

Flook, Komedia, Wednesday 25th February 2004

amazing amazing amazing Amazing AMAZING.

How could you not have a crush on all of them?!! Better than Boyzone.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

My Convenient Neighbourhood

The road I live on is incredibly convenient. There is the old workhouse General Hospital (where the respiratory clinic lies at the top of a building with no lifts), a post office, a greasy spoon cafe, good video rental shop, primary school, palmists, pharmacy, the Girl Guide shop, a hairdresser, electrical goods shop and a vacuum cleaner specialist: all cater for one's everyday needs. And I also found out a couple of days ago that we have our very own massage parlour, too. Apparently, Tina, a twenty-year-old from Sweden is one of the " very friendly and experienced" masseuses waiting to meet me. And everyone else. I feel so lucky.

Joan Baez, Dark Chords on a Big Guitar
Oumou Sangare, Moussolou
This evening: Flook! at the Komedia.

Saturday, February 21, 2004

The past week has been luxurious:

Personal post this week has been magnificent! Latest Songlines with the usual freebie CD, Natalie Merchant CD from Amazon, postcards from P (the usual perfected handwriting) and HS, and today a present and postcard from L (Manu Chao's Esperanza)... Fantastic.

Had the most dripping off the wall dazzlingly handsome man come round to the house to explain the local recycling scheme on Tuesday. Housemates and I bundled onto the sofa with glee.

Good evening with old friends L, H, J, and J and sister E, A, M, L, J and M at the pub for a meal and a drink. Seeing old friends always happily reminds me that I'm loved. ; )

Saw Six Feet Under for the first time ever at W's on Thursday. And now I want to see more. Bit of a bugger when one doesn't have a television...

Yesterday had an interesting game of badminton with B playing with our left hands and generally being very lazy. Didn't even push out a bead of sweat... Then in the evening went to a gorgeous restaurant with J's family: the pristine plates had sauces drawn on them.

Tonight: Oumou Sangare at the Dome thanks to D.

A lazy, happy life for me! : ) Hooray.

Oh, and this morning was the first hospital radio training session. Rule no 1: don't mention death. Or pain. Or hot cross buns.

Natalie Merchant, 'Motherland'

Random Thought: Isn't it annoying that laundry day always seems to creep up so quietly and suddenly?? Lack of pants is most irritating... : -P

Monday, February 16, 2004

After a long, emotional, anxious morning which ended in smiles and cheers of relief I spent the afternoon tangled up in ethernet cable and duck tape hanging from the ceiling... And now all four members of this household have broadband access and the prospect of not speaking to one another and just using msn messenger to communicate is weirdly exciting... I think the next few months will be difficult: I shall have to tear myself away from downloading all those much wanted Britney Spears tracks...


See you on messenger...

Sunday, February 15, 2004

A good week. At work I flit between feeling super energised and happy exhausted: I feel so lucky to be doing a job I love it makes me want to cry. Great, exciting meetings with D and M on Thursday: all is beginning to take shape - fundraising, promoting, teaching, email discussion list starting..... the M-O development plan develops! It's great to feel challenged and also well supported. And to have my own office......... I'm covered in jam!

Uncut Nonesuch Sampler (I need to hear more David Byrne and Victor Krauss!)
Recent CD comps from EB (really good: makes me realise I need to broaden my taste of melancholic experimental drawl to include more hip hop (ignoring the misogyny) and more happy rock bounce. Z and A's comments on hearing the CD in my room: "Is this your music??!")
Bill Evans Trio, Explorations (1961) (one from the top of P's dustpile; I like it I like it I like it. I love the postcards, too!)
Beth Gibbons and Rustin Man, Out of Season (2002)

K-Pax (2001)
I love Kevin Spacey so much it hurts. What a wonderful actor. Most enjoyable. And I think I need to see more films with Jeff Bridges. Interesting choice by A.
The End of the Affair (1999)
Classic Graham Greene Catholic struggle. I think this one will churn away at the back of my mind for a while - it was that kind of film. Ah - that reminds me of what J before receiving holy communion at Christmas mass to her sister: "I may as well go and stretch my legs and have a snack"... Controversial. I think it would make a good theme for a song.

Monday, February 09, 2004

Why am I so crap at hemming trousers??! Not only does it take me hours whilst dangerously pulling the needle far over my shoulder and stabbing any passer by in the eye, but I can't even get the length right in the first place. You know that look: sit on a chair, cross your legs, show off half your shin and your crap socks. Mmmmm: nice.

Saw H & B today; B is growing up to be such a gorgeous, charismatic child! I think her motto should be, "Every day in every way I am getting cuter and cuter..." Ahhh!

Day four in my new job tomorrow. : D

Saturday, February 07, 2004

What a week! First week in my new job: I think the words to sum up what I think so far is that it's dauntingly wonderful. A good end to the week was meeting the M-OA trustees at their meeting and having a champagne lunch together! How very civilised! I love my job so much already it hurts.

Badminton was good as usual. Still flail about like a fool.

Last night after having arrived too late for the gig I was due to go to (see, I ended up dancing all night in the FF Club. It's been a long time since I've enjoyed going to a club. Having beer spilt on you, your feet trodden on by stilletto heels, people knocking into you and shouting in your ear to say mundane things... perfect! I didn't care - I was too busy dancing like a real nerd (I dance like a nerd) with flailing arms and disjointed movements. I will never be a flamenco dancer. : )

BTW - after having pledged to take care of my CD purchasing habits this year due to financial constraint, and having spent January holding myself back in serene monk-like fashion (that's a lie - I had been torturing myself by walking into record shops and putting things back in pain), I was given a hefty Amazon voucher from my last place of work (!). Amazing how easy it is to spend a wodge of cash on the internet without blinking. And Amazon know it - every time I clicked to buy something, another CD would pop up as a kind of 'suggestion', and I would fall for that, too. Damn psychic computers. Anyhow, I eagerly await my stack of CDs: Flook, 'Flatfish', Vassillis Tsabrolopoulous' 'Akroasis', Ralph Towner's 'Anthem', Natalie Merchant, 'Motherland' and Faultline's 'Your love means everything'. Not to mention the second hand copy of 'Britain by Mass-Observation'... Oh, the danger.

Music this week:
Brian Eno, Music for Films III (perfect for hemming trousers to)
Oh, Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack
Flook, Rubai (still obsessed by this album...)

Nowhere in Africa (Nirgendwo in Afrika) (2001), dir. Caroline Link (German film set in WWII about a Jewish family who move from Germany to Kenya: bloody brilliant)

Tuesday 3rd February: Esbjörn Svensson Trio, Brighton Dome

EST play like a Kandinsky painting: large swathes of colour, successions of rainbows and smattering rain. Exciting to watch, and a marvel to hear. They play with passion, intensity, playfulness and sensitivity, each of them are a rare breed of musician. Esbjorn himself is reminiscent of Keith Jarrett in his playing with his nasal whinings and bent over body, feeding off the keys. I can't decide whether he has traces of Jarrett's arrogance or whether it was part of the Swedish send of humour to introduce yourself in order to get a round of applause: "And on this Yamaha, Esbjörn Svensson!". Not that one particularly cares; as with Jarrett, all is forgiven because the man makes you cry when he plays. Esbjorn makes the piano an instrument of delight by reaching inside it and banging on the strings, adjusting parts of the keyboard, using an electronic box, making strange sound effects. Wonderous. And bass player Dan Berglund playing like a rock guitarist with his bow and mucking about with his box, inteacting with the colourful tonal playing of drummer Magnus Öström, all is mesmerising. EST together create a colourful mix of rock, jazz, R&B, classical music without you realising it. Simply marvellous.

Sunday, February 01, 2004

Woooooo! Sang at an open mike again last Thursday!
Badders lesson on Friday again; I have been aching all weekend...
Hospital radio induction yesterday: most revealing as well as exciting.
Adventure, holiday feelings, tea and sticky toffee pudding.

Music this week:
NP comp Say What You Mean (Nonesuch sampler) (oh yes)
Goldfrapp, Felt Mountain
Nick Drake, Five Leaves Left
Ben Harper, Fight for your Mind (this album never ceases to amaze and move me)
Gotan Project, La Revancha del Tango (they were better and more exciting live)

Gigs next week: EST, Brighton Dome