Friday, December 09, 2005

sympathy for the breville.

Well another week ‘flies’ past. It’s friggin’ Friday at last. My head hurts, my throat is killing me and I’m bleedin’ hungry. Not good. No point in going on about it as I never get any sympathy from Lisa, I could have my head severed and she would still say that men exaggerate their illness. This, I believe, is one of the biggest fallacies in our society, I mean do you ever hear me moan when I’m on my period?

Been trĂªs busy finishing off the Tshirt three designs as the deadline was yesterday (see new design to the left). I thought my whole god damned head was going to explode. I did it though, however I received an email this morning saying that the deadline had been extended until 31st December! Bugger.

This weekend is mostly going to be spend doing nothing, except organising the above advertised party, although I still haven’t bought a single Christmas pressie and it is getting nigh that I started to at the very least contemplate wait I’m actually going to get people.
I’m going home now to have my regular and blissful kip on the train. Twice this week some do-gooders have woken me up, worried that I may have slept past my stop. In these circumstances I refrained from my usual self defence mechanism of sarcasm and spite as their intentions were good- just it better not happen again tonight!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Pizza Lust

At last a little bit of quiet time here at work to update this rather ill kempt blog.
Once again, many things of worth occurred at the weekend, most significantly it was Eve-e-o’s birthday celebration on the Friday night. We ventured forth into the realms of the unknown by attending an ‘indie night’ and Liverpool’s Masque. It was good, and at £1.30 a pint and £1 shots it was pretty darned inexpensive too. Not having attended this form of night out in a while, I was a little surprised that the usual indie classics weren’t played….what? no Nivana? Of course music has changed. It seems that the Strokes have a lot to answer for a the current crop of downstroke-Newyork-esque-punk-disco bands that seem to be enchanting the NME crowd; and the amount of bands donning that image is getting ludicrous too and no doubt something will change this-I hope.

Also another oddity was having a total stranger talk to me about life and music. His opener was “do you like Rory Gallagher?” as he believed I looked like him?! As this was an utterly surreal experience, I wasn’t exactly my usual effervescent self but this young Irish buck continued unabated saying he liked my image (what?!) and asking what music I liked. Without wanting to engage him in conversation too much I struggled to answer just stating I liked Dino jr and Smog. His response was –and this is the God’s honest truth; “wow, Dinosaur Jr?- they’re ‘proper’ underground indie aren’t they” Unsurprisingly he said he was in a “cool band” and said they were playing soon. I feigned interest and said I had to go. Predictively; everyone said I was being chatted up, much to their amusement, and as flattering as this sounded, it wasn’t like that-but it was odd conversation and weirded me out for a bit. I also spat my dummy out on the way home ‘cause I wanted a Pizza and acted like a tit. (cringe)

I’ve also been quite busy trying to come up with a design of a Nationwide competition for a T Shirt design, working under the brief of “Birds in the City”. Having designed several T-shirts for Cranebuilders I figured I could have a stab at it. Thus far, it’s proving harder than I thought, but the designs above are work in progress. I have pinched some of these designs from my aborted ‘Lanterns’ poster- which although it is not cheating as it’s my design anyway, but has made me feel a little cheap (no pun intended).

Xmo update: Lisa and I have also put up the Xmo Deco’s, and it is as gloriously tacky as I had wished for!
Anyway, as I’ve promised myself to keeps these blogs short, so I won’t mention the last two episodes of Arrested Development on Sunday, Medium and Ghost Squad last night, the fact that I spent nearly half an hour reading out ridiculous names from the Liverpool Echo’s Beautiful Baby contest (2,000 pictures of kids from 6 moths to 36 months old)- I’ll reel of a list for tomorrow- hilarious and worrying at the same time!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

why not Malcolm or Doris?

"I'm a monster!!!!!!!"

Ah Thursday- my favourite week day. The penultimate day of my working week, I can sit behind this desk shaped prison pondering upon last nights episode of ‘Lost’. Despite it being a great episode, and finally an insight into Hurley’s past a few things bothered me;

Firstly- there was a terrible conversation between Hurley and his mother when he was on route to surprise her with a new house. He said that she deserved something good to happen, then proceeded to list the terrible mishaps that befound (is that a word?) his nearest and dearest, clearly a lousy way of explaining to the audience just how many bizarre things that have occured without the producers being forced to film it. It annoyed me as it cheapened his ‘flashback’ sequence. These are usually the best bits for me as I like a good story, hence why The Godfather II is better than Godfather I, and why I love Quentin Tarrantino and Robert Rodrigez’s work. Also for second to none flashbacks check out ‘The Adventures of Baron Munchousen” which is a fine, fine film.

Secondly, and more infuriatingly we were forced to endure the world’s worst Australian accent when Hurley flies out to Australia in an attempt to find out the meaning of that spooky number sequence. It was closer to Dick Van Dyke’s Cockney accent in Mary Poppins than to an Australian accent.

I still think the show is bloomin’ great none the less. I do like to point out the many failures in the show’s continuity but I feel that I should stop being a pedant and let it go, however these two errors annoyed me/made me laugh in contempt.

Speaking of contempt, I actually saw a guy on the train reading a Daily Mail, tutting and shaking his head as he read. I found it hard to stop myself from mocking him, but the usual fear of being a crass buffoon and not wanting to hurt his feelings stopped me.

Anyhow, I figured that after yesterday’s fun listing *sigh* the “soundtrack of our lives” (Damn you Whiley) I should really do a more honest listing of things that are getting on my tits, and perhaps I should update this yearly. So without further ado, please find below my top 20 vexes of 2005. (It was origionally aonly a top ten but I got carried away)

James Blunt- ‘nuff said

People who have E4 or Sky and think they are way superior to the likes of me by saying they watched ‘Lost’ last Sunday. So what? You still have a week to wait between each episode, it’s just that you watch it on a Sunday- so what would you have to look forward to on a Wednesday night?

Mersey Rail. Please check most of my other entries for a detailed description of why they must be destroyed.

Harry Bleedin’ Potter. Okay, if you’ve got kids or are a kid, then great read and watch away (sorry Mum) but if you’re an adult, what are you buying the friggin’ book for? An why oh why do you have to read it on the train? I saw this in the summer when the newest book came out and proving my point a woman (sorry to say it usually is the ladies) sat opposite was moving her lips whilst she read, and used a train ticket to show what line she was one….AGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!! People are always responding that “at least people are reading now” – this is not true. It’s like a Drug addict drinking excessive quantities of neat vodka and people saying “at least he’s not taking drugs” . Nonsense. Get a life and read/watch a proper book/film.

Despite the latest edition of the Starwars films being really good (except the “nooooooooo!” part at the end) why are oober geeks continuing to rant and rave about how poor the newer-pre-equals were. Simple answer- you’re none 8 anymore- get over it…I did (eventually)

Crap Graphitti. For the love of God which can’t these little asbo brats getting some imagination? A rude drawing, or even just a drawing of anything would be better than the current crop of ‘hayley luvs Jason’ type markings that haunt my local bus stops. I don’t actually mind graphitti, I just wish it was a little more original.

The continuation of kids being given crap-made up names by their’ “I wanted to call my child something different” parents. The problem is that they’re not original. I don’t want to provide any examples in case I insult any of my friends and dare I say it family- but if you want to call them something different why not Malcolm or Doris? I don’t hear of any kinds being called that anymore.

Ah the old faithful- people who don’t say please or thank you when you hold a door open for them, let their car pass etc.

People who wear sunglasses when it’s not sunny and/or people who wear scarves with T shirts, especially those who wear them indoors, cretins.

High Heeled shoes that make that awful clacking noise on the pavement.

Sven Goran Eriksson’s selection policy.

Disney’s Winnie the Pooh. What is the attraction is this sickly sweet drawings being plastered on everything? Have any of these people ever read the books or are even aware of E.H. Shepard’s original drawings? Whilst on the subject, why has Winnie the Pooh got an American accent? In this city is bad enough that girls go to the shops in their PJs, but 8 times out of ten it will be a Winnie the Pooh pyjamas

That Disneyland Paris Advert …”It’s Magical…” When the Dad whispers to his wife that hilariously he couldn’t sleep either due to the excitement , and their annoying spawn says “we heard that”, would you not be worried that your children could possibly hear everything that goes on in that room. Sod the holiday mate, pay for some soundproofing in your bedroom.

Houses that put up their Xmo decorations in September!!!!!

“at the end of the day” ….aggggg! Thankfully this annoying phrase was so overused during the last BB series I have noticed its use on the wain, but at the end of the day it’s just tomorrow.

16. My eternally crap hair.

Idiots who start a sentence “I’m not being racist but…” –Yes you are, just because you say that doesn’t disclaim you from the remarks you are about to utter.

The word “MOREISH” – my alternative for this word; “Addictish” has failed to set the world alight

Middle Lane Drivers. Wake up call – if your not over taking anything move into the inside lane. People who continue to drive on the outside lane are just as bad. Hang your heads in shame.

The killing of Jim Fenner in Badgirls…why?! Best TV Bastard ever.

The TV reception in our flat is appalling. The stress of sitting down to watch something and having to manoeuvre our Judderal Bank style antenna is getting too much for me.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

festivus yes, bagels no!

So Xmo is looming around the corner and the 'Xmo fear' is taking hold of the Nation. Too many people seemed to have bought their pressies already, whilst I don't have a bleedin' clue what to get a anyone and I haven't even made any attempts to start this arduous process. I still don't really know what I'm going to be doing over the Xmo weekend, as both Lisa and I decided upon spending the festivities together for the first time in eight years and we're going to be driving around like loons from on family member to the next.

Without sounding like a sour puss; Xmo is really losing its appeal. I have often retorted that it should be like the Olympics or the World Cup, and only come around once ever four years. As they say, "its for kids". Being the old romantic I'm thinking of impregnating Lisa in order to make it more interesting.

Xmo does have its positive sides:

TV Specials
Alcohol indulgence

Mince pies?

By the way, incase you hadn’t worked it out Xmo is on part Xmas (sic) and one part Chrimbo. I am seriously considering starting my own day in honour of George’s dad in Seinfeld who invented/celebrated Festivus (see above photo). Any suggestions about this alt Christmas please lemme know. (thus far it ivolves saying “Abi Titmus, festive mexmo” to people and dressing as scuffily as possible in homage to its creator…moi.

Anyway, our office is already gearing itself up for Xmo, and pleasantly Gerry has sent everyone the following email:


Now then, Now then, boys and girls, ladles and Jellyspoons (to be read in your best Jimmy Saville accent)
It’s that time of year again, when we celebrate the birth of Santa and all his little reindeers, Dancer and Prancer, Donner and Blitzen,….er…Rudloph and…er , well if you want to know the names of the others, go and read your Bible!!
Yes, it’s the season where beauty really is in the eye of Noddy Holder
As we gird our loins to deck the halls, and especially in Bob Longs case, dream of a White Christmas, I thought it might be a bit of festive fun if we all submitted our all time top ten favourite singles to see if we can come up with a HMR Playlist.
If everybody submits their top ten to me by end of play on the 9th December I will download them and put them in a format of your choosing either MP3, WMA or on a C.D. for the luddites(Matt) Mr Cannon you may need to submit your list a little earlier as I will probably need to search for the sheet music!!
The only caveats are that the songs must have appeared in the singles charts in either this country or the U.S. of A.

Happy choosing nosepickers!!


Now this has proved far funnier than I had expected as my boss included Gary Glitter in his top 10!

Obviously, I wanted to make sure that I make my choices wisely. I plumed for the 'personal' approach- dare I say it a Soundtrack to my life (the most over used phrase ever thanks to Jo Whiley) so here she goes:

‘God only knows’ – The Beach Boys…The best song ever! Yeah!

‘Everything’s Ruined’- Faith No More…first gig aged 15 and my first pair of sideburns.

‘Cut Your Hair’ – Pavement…ahhh, the sweet summer of 94’-failing my A Levels and not giving a toss.

‘Dinosaur Act’ – Low…bedsit depression, hating my crappy- office- dog’s body job, my finacial situation and wishing the band would take me away from it all- thank God those days are over… wait a minute…d’oh!L

‘Spanish Dance Troupe’ – Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci…. Working on a building site full of the joys of life in the summer of 99’,cultivating my first beard, which I promptly burned off during a moment of carelessness involving diesel and a lit match.

‘Into my arms’ – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds…. student halls depression living on cheese toasties and out of date seabrook ready salted crisps.

‘On a Rope’- Rocket from the Crypt…. Apparently if you had a Rocket from the Crypt logo tattoo you could get into any of their gigs across the world for free! A mate and I seriously contemplated getting one- however cowardice saved me!

‘My Baby Just Cares for me’ – Nina Simone…I used to wish I was a plastiscene cat too-I also very nearly crashed my car playing an imaginary piano whilst listening to this out in the Yorkshire Dales one more than one occasion.

‘Freak Scene’ – Dinosaur Jr …a song for parties and all occasions- well most occasions being a variety of salubrious dens of inequity in student land with spotty long hair kids sporting beanie hats and Doc Martin Boots.

‘Run to the Hills’ – Iron Maiden – I owe my Adonis type upper body physique and the various beer stains on the carpets of many a house to playing ‘air drums’ to this song’s chorus.

Please note: The two tracks missed off tres narrowly were The Proclaimers '10,000 miles' and 'The Freed Pig' by Sebadoh, the latter I'm sure was never actually released as a single.

Whilst doing this list at work we discovered that everyone has a ‘guilty pleasure’ song- a poor song, but you can’t help but love it anyway. Eg John peel loved Sheena Easton’s ‘9 to 5’ I think sometime in the new year I shall set a poll of the guilty pleasure songs

I shall of course be doing the obligatory Blog top ten albums/singles/films etc of the year a bit later in the month and of course Jimmy Carr will be presenting it.

One a different note; I once again proved myself to be of worth with yet another excellent home made chicken soup last night. Its the third one I've made in the last four weeks and they have steadily improved. Domestic bliss is once again aided by my culinary expertise.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

HA HA! I'm the magician and he's the assistant!

It's funny really, that the last weekend was most enjoyable and yet I was in no particular rush to write down and share with the world my thoughts on it. Yet today, the red mist came back and I was once again stuck in Call Centre hell and I foind myself at the beginning of yet another Matt vs World style rant. From my post on the 15th November last- you could tell that I was impressed that someone at the Halifax had managed to resolve my “little problem”. I neglected to mention there, that I had also paid my late Credit Card bill and set up a standing order. Alas, despite apologising to me and making me feel so soothed that it almost felt as if K.T. Turnstall had popped around to the flat to sing a couple of her bittersweet ballads whilst enjoying those oaty choc biscuits I discovered last week (don’t ask- a long story- “find a happy song”), she had failed to process this payment. Aggg.

So I suffered the humiliation of the Credit Card Company calling me at work to say that I was in arrears, taking a sardonic and smarmy tone that I resented with immediate effect. Of course I protested my innocence and explained that the funds should have arrived and upon calling my bank to rectify this, I was told that no such payment had been made- I was apologised to in a nice way-but it wasn’t the same.

Anyway, I had to call the credit card company back to pay, only to be put through to Capital One new Deli Branch where upon I was told that I couldn’t pay as I didn’t have my Capital One card to hand “But I’m returning your call! Damn it!” I did, I’m afraid to say, lose my rag with the poor chap who was unlucky enough to answer my call.

Anyway, the weekend was cool and Mr. Scruff was much more enjoyable than I thought. Granted I would have rather gone to see Wolf Parade with Dead meadow in Manchester on the Saturday instead, however a severe lack of funds prevented this.

Sadly though, (well I don’t think it’s sad) but my soon-to-be-axed favourite TV show; Arrested Development returned after a week’s absence on Sunday night with a double helping to provide the weekend’s highlight. I hadn’t genuinely laughed out loud with such verousity for an age. The mere memory of Tobias rendering himself unconscious whilst attempting a Mary Poppins umbrella parachute manoeuvre/Gob’s (pronounced Jobe much to my embarrassment when I spotted the correct spelling in a TV guide and excitedly told Lisa I had spotted a typo) offensive-Jive talking puppet is still making me chuckle as I write this.

Even now it has soothed my woes.

He he.

“Suddenly I see…”

Friday, November 25, 2005

we love Norway too!

Long time no see.

A whole God damned week since this ramshackle and ill kempt Blog was updated, but what a week it was:

I’ll start with last Thursday night, where Lisa and I popped along to see The Chalets at the Barfly here in Liverpool. It was a particularly odd occasion as neither of us had heard anything by them and would normally have no interest of watching, however Lisa received a mysterious voicemail message on the Tuesday, informing here that she had won tickets to go and see them courtesy of the Liverpool Echo. Woot! Alas Lisa had not entered this competition. Upon investigation it was discovered that it was some mistake however the prize still was there should she want it.

Being the miserable git that I am I had little to no interest in attending this, especially after looking up the details of the show via the internet and learning that there was two local support band also. Despite claims that I love undiscovered music and having being put in the position of a generic local support band on many, many occasions, I have, in all honesty; seen way too many. Especially when I read upon one of the two band’s -We See Foxes’s website that they’re influenced by The Doors and the Verve. This is usually a clear indication that I won’t like them, as you seriously wouldn’t believe how many bands of poor caliber also claim these bands to be influences. Anyhow, to cut this tediously long winded reportage down; we went, much to my discontent.

When we arrived my headache from that night’s rehearsal was still thumping and the rather large black cloud which had loomed over my head for most of the evening, was very much still there. I was ‘effing freezing too. After getting a drink the second of the two support bands took the stage; Mustard Club, and within a few sweet minutes my mood had drastically improved and I my face muscles hurt as I couldn’t prevent myself from smiling like a goon. At that specific time and at that exact place it was exactly what I needed and their sweet harmonies washed over me like a cool shower on a hot day. I tried to evaluate what exactly it was that appealed to me, as on the surface they wouldn’t look or even sound like someone I would enjoy. They looked a little daft, the bass player resembled Mick Ronson, the drummer had the worst paisley shirt ever and had a Madonna-like headpiece/microphone, the lyrics weren’t great and the singer kinda’ resembled Ian Curtis. They also tried to get the lack luster crowd to clap as if they were playing Wembley, and they did a cover of ‘Go Your Own Way’ by Fleetwood Mac, played with zero irony. But it was really good. The melodies were great, the songs were good, the singer’s vocals were really beautiful and they all looked like they were having the time of their life. Imagine a Teengae Fanclub type vibe whereupon you can’t help yourself swaying from side to side with a sloppy grin.
I have since checked out their qwebsite only to unsure of my mental state at the time-but I shall endeavour to keep my ear to the ground as when they did play the aforementioned Lyndsey Buckingham song, I genuinely had a lump in my throat (“you can go your own way-e-ay”). Chuffin’ marvelous!!!!! (Spod note: there is also a punk version of the song played on ‘Clerks’ which I shall now spend the rest of the day trying to find via the internet) Anyway, the Chalets were okay, a little too cutesy-poo for me, somewhere between Bucks Fizz and the B52s and plus that had to follow Mustard Club! Highlight of their set was an member of the crowd shouting “I love Norway” and one of the two vocalists replying with such sincerity with her lovely Southern Irish accent “ahhhh, we love Norway too!”. We then went home satisfied and watched the disappointing first episode of the new Russ Abbott, sorry the Little Britain series. A much better review can be found (with pics) here

Friday, not a great deal of excitement except 8pm Channel 4 “Ray the next time someone asks you if you’re a God you say YES!” …yes bleedin’ Ghostbusters was on! Yeah!

Saturday, I continue the posting of Council letters I started on Friday night (see above photo I took with my phone-who'd of thought Bootle on a Fri night would look so serene? ) and managed to get them done in time to get home, get showered and charged, suited and booted to frequent Jocasta’s gaff for her 30th. Yes sir, I wore my best suit and only shoes having since recovered them from the clutches of Arnold Clarke. T’was a grand night though. A quick drink and present exchange and we shot off to The Monro
in town for our evening of seclusion and posh fodder. There was I think , about eighteen of us and I’d say that pretty much everyone there left there satisfied with their quail/pheasant/steak/tuna/ etc. Worth noting though if you have the fear of mayo as I do, don’t go for the quail starter ( I had to ask for a separate plate to fish off the meat which wasn’t touching the dressing-what a coward). Everyone, or nearly everyone was dressed to impress. Steve wore a suite and a tie! A shiny white tie that drew everyone’s eye away from his un-ironed shirt. Anyway, a rather splendid night was had by all, after the Tea Factory and the customary drink back at someone’s gaff it was home and bed for about 3am.

Sunday was bloody cold and I watched TV all day nearly lost the tip of one of my fingers trying to clean a CD- long a silly story I shan’t bother you with.

Monday- crappola! Work-dull Rehearsal –okay.

Tues- Drive to Leeds to play in front of 500 people (or maybe more) at the Leeds University supporting the rather excellent and thoroughly nice guys Elbow. It was proper good. The nicest crew ever, great crowd, played well, and Elbow rocked the joint,. Ahhhh all that hard work finally paid off for us. Met Mr. Vollar (and his mum who was going to see Elbow anyway) too which is always a joy (please check his band’s- the excellent The Lanterns site: I snuck him backstage so we could watch the gig from a bird’s eye prime position. In my opinion all gigs should be viewed like this!

Wed- After getting to bed at 2.30am I wasn’t exactly full of the joys of Spring. Eventually tore myself away from the bed and drove the van back , then off to work. I was over an hour late and I left a 3pm too as I felt like death. It was also Jk and JK’s birthday (Kane and Jelly) and Lisa, rather foolishly entrusted me to acquire their card as she had chosen their presents. Put it this way, I don’t think she will again. Mistakenly thinking they would find it funny now, I got two similar cards, both with picture of snarling dogs on the front and similar quotes on each both making reference to the dogs biting someone. Unfortunately, Jk and JK had a dog recently- a staff terrier they saved from the RSPCA who after nursing it back to health over several month devoured another dog whilst they took it for its first trip to the park –whilst they had it on its lead!. They no longer have this pooch. So the cards were in poor taste and despite Lisa trying to disclaim it saying I’m just stoopid (which of course I must be) they tried very hard to see the funny side- but inevitably they didn’t and their looks was a mix of embarrassment and upset. Yes, I am an insensitive jerk.
Today- well life couldn’t be better. The office resemble s the Marie Celeste and I have time to write this. Tomorrow Mr. Scruff and the continuing CPO debacle at work!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

On Echo Beach….

Being someone who takes particular umbrage with people whom are short or snappy with me for no reason, my mood today is nose-diving drastically.

This is a real shame especially if you consider that I arrived at the office in a fine mood., mostly due the improv comedy routine provided by the Mersey Rail conductor over the tannoy system on route to work this morning. Yet now I sit once again, stooped over this damned computer with a sharp pain in my head caused directly from the frequent rolling of my eyes.

It does appear that amongst all the other lowly and menial jobs I reluctantly do, I am now, much to my displeasure; the photocopier Tsar. Despite nearly everyone in the office having a Masters or at the very least a degree of some sort, no one can understand how it works, and the moment anything puzzles them with it I am summoned forthwith.

Anyway, the mere thought of describing yet another crappy day is making me feel worse.

I didn’t always used to be like this you know.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

I do like women apologising to me

"We will respond by being firm, by being fair and by being faithful to the values of France," ‘Black’ Jacque Chirac

I don’t want to sound like Jeremy Clarkson; but which part of the above statement do you find the most absurd? In light of the recent civil unrest in France and considering it’s he and his Government that are to blame, not to mention his extremely insensitive treatment of the Muslim School Girls it seems a particularly amusing thing for him to say and has made me laugh out loud or (sigh) lol (I hate that) and shake my head like a Daily Express/Mail reader.

Anyhow, I’ve actually been too busy with work to write until now, which in itself is a rarity and although I usually relish a heavier workload, I feel as if I have been working for the Council too damned long, as I seem to be getting lazier. I don’t want to further my disgust with life, so on a positive note; after speaking to my bank today and being politely informed that ALL my correspondence had been forwarded to the Harrogate branch (what about the God damned email!- see last Friday’s entry) all those late fines and the £15 and month interest the bastards take off me seems to have been wisely spent on some customer service training, as Heather – the advisor I spoke to was extremely helpful and apologetic (I do like women apologising to me- though a rarely get the opportunity to experience it) and it appeased me…. greatly, so it’s not all bad after all.

I very much enjoyed the ‘John Peel’s’ record box last night on channel 4, although it seem that every time these posthumous programmes about him appear on our TVs, Elton Bleedin’ John is always there saying the guy was a visionary. If he was Elton darling, I doubt he would have ever helped your career! But I was rather glad to see Mark . E Smith included in the programme and to see him be relatively well behaved. I especially liked Billy Bragg’s comments regarding MES, advising to stay as far away from him as possible.

Digressing slightly; I was once actually asked to drive him (Mark. E. Smith not John Peel alas) from London to his home in Prestwich, Manchester when The Fall and ourselves played in adjoining venues in Islington. I politely declined as I had just been involved in a row with a toothless car park attendant and wasn’t in a particularly charitable mood. Many different people have since told me that I had made a very wise choice. It would have been interesting though and I probably would have ended up ditching him in a Service station on the M6 or more likely the M1 (I doubt I would have made it to the M6). I did think about regaling him this anecdote when we supported The Fall last December but soon thought better of it once we saw him bollock his band during the sound check for not having their amps near enough to the front of the stage – tres frightening!

No rehearsal tonight so I’m gonna’ cook a chicken with Yorkshire Puds, veg and roast spuds. I canna’ wait!

Monday, November 14, 2005

I steal a kiss from you, in the supermarket, I walk you down the isle, you fill my basket

Once again the Monday morning blues has its bony fingers around my neck and it is squeezing hard.

That’s the problem with having a good weekend; the feeling of bottomless despondency always precedes it, generally ensuring that those 8 or so hours I sit behind my desk feels like a stint in a hell hole. I have helpfully depicted a picture of Tony Hancock in the masterpiece ‘The Rebel’ as a way of visualising my utter contempt I harbour about this soul destroying job. …I'm only a few days away from his ‘red mist’scence. Should you have been unfortunate enough not to have seen this: Hancock plays an officer worker in the soulless world of the corporate state who dreams of being free to indulge his artistic creativity. Unfortunately he has no talent, but - refusing to let this stop him - he decides to abandon his life and run away to Paris in pursuit of his dream.

The weekend produced a most unexpected pleasure and firmly raised the bar on the domestic bliss front. After a flying visit to Lisa’s grandparents on Saturday afternoon for Lisa’s Grandma’s birthday, we suggested to one another that perhaps the rare opportunity of having the possession of a hire car we should put it to practical use and do a “big shop”

Usually we only pop into the local crappy Tesco and Sommerfield, but relying on Shank’s Pony to get about, it of course means the amount we can acquire is limited, so at 7.30pm on a Saturday night we proceeded to spend over an hour shopping in the monstrous-sized Asda supermarket, whereupon we spent a whopping £93.03 on food! I arrived back at the flat with a stinking headache but a vide variety of food. Exciting stuff eh?

As I am possibly the most un-decisive person in Christendom (“erm, I’m not too sure; okay I’ll have a marsbar, no wait a boost please. No sorry I’ll have a twix-I mean Mars bar, err just give a twirl instead…sorry”), it has not put up the restraints on what we can eat do to the crazy variety of grub we have piled in our cupboards and fridge, but it’s better that trying to concoct a meal using wheatabix, chorizo, rice and courgette that is ‘on the turn’. This with the winning combination of a new oven has made life pretty darned good.

On a culinary note: a superb-io lasagne-io made by my good self –io on Friday in honour for Sweet Jo-Nathan and Eve’s appearance. My own special recipe and homemade pasta-the first time since we’ve moved to the new abode and I’m happy to report that I’ve still got *it*.

So work eh? I have stepped up the search for new employment but don’t except to bother actually applying for any for a while as they make me feel ‘wrong’. I guess it’s the bare face lies that you have to tell that makes me feel ill at ease? “…yes I see myself in this job for the next twenty years as I have always dreamed about becoming a dog’s body in a shmucky little office surrounded by lazy gits and overpaid pen pushers who will get me to do every boring, little job they can’t be arsed to do..”

Only a slight digression- whist searching the net for pic of Tony Hancock I discovered a startling fact that he had an affair with John le Mesurier’s (Sergeant Wilson from Dad’s army) wife and later in his life and before TH committed suicide, John Le Mesurier had attempted to do himself in also.

Anyway, if you’re bored check this site out:

Very funny.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

utter, utter feeling of hopelessness and despondency

Having worked in a call centre for over 3 years, I fully appreciate that the customer service advisors whom work in these centres don't exactly have the run of the green. I remember that distinct and utter, utter feeling of hopelessness and despondency that one has to endure, endless call after call of idiotic frustrated moody folks, who needlessly take out their rage and unhappiness at life on you- and now two years on from leaving the hell hole known as Abbey national general insurance services Ltd I found myself on the other side of the counter.

Nothing, and I truly mean nothing can give you a headache and tight chest than the lengthy pedantic, churlish and the down right infuriating experience of speaking to a call centre. Now, I am not an unreasonable man, however Halifax Bank have really got me seething today.

I discovered today that once again I have cracked my bank card, so I embarked upon the usually simple procedure of re-ordering a new one via the other wise relatively helpful Halifax Customer Service Centre. You see, I am somewhat of an expert when it comes to re-ordering new bank cards and canceling direct debits. I do these on a embarrassingly far too frequent basis. My last card was sent to me in May, and was issue number 22 so the ordering of the last one was still fresh in my mind.

Anyway, I was told on the phone that they would send my card out to my local sodding Harrogate, where II haven't lived for 9 years! Hmmmm, this didn’t sound right to me. Last May when I eventually changed my address at the bank (some 3 months after moving) I was told as a precautionary measure they would send any new card etc to my local branch nearest to my work, in Liverpool! This seemed a good idea, as on a far too frequent basis the front door to our flats is left open for any light fingered hoodlum to make haste with my details.

When I was in the branch adjusting these details I suggested that I could change my local branch as they still had it noted in H'gate, but they reliably informed me they wouldn't need to and they will duly arrange for the pick up here Liverpool. I left the branch that day feeling unusually satisfied with the service I had been provided with.

So I really shouldn't have been so incensed when the shmuck I was speaking to today advised me that I was wrong and that all correspondence has been instructed to be sent to H'gate. Quite reasonably, I suggested that they just send it to my home address, but I was once again shot down by the smug Scottish dick head, whose condescending response was to retort to me that "I would have to do that at the branch"

So I can't get my card sent to my flat or my local branch. What they are going to do is send an email (oh please) to the Harrogate Branch and ask them to forward it to the Bootle branch, who in turn will have to contact me to let me know that it has arrived, I then need to ensure that I can infact leave this pit-of-despair office to retrieve it, only ensuring that I can take a 2 hour lunch as the queues in this branch resemble Alton towers on a 1/2 price Chav weekend bank holiday special.

So it looks like I'm screwed.

If, by chance my poor writing stylee has not manged to convey the anger I feel right now; then try to picture Steve Martin's character -Neil Page in 'Planes, Trains and Automobiles' when he returns to the rent-a-car office after being left in the middle of F@*%ing nowhere, with keys to a car that isn't F@*%ing there and you’re half way there.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

hole in the sole

“You only have one body, abuse it.
You only have one mind, use it.
And if you have a plot….lose it!”
Jeggsy Dodd.

Okay, enough of the crap-olla form me about getting to work; more important grievances are literally a foot. Yesterday, to my horror, I realised that I have left my minging work shoes in the rent-a-van I used to get to Preston last Friday. I have since been wearing a pair of brown suede puma trainers; as they are the closest thing I have to office friendly footwear. Alas, it is chucking it down and these trainers, whilst office friendly, have a hole in the sole and indeed they are letting in water. I also have the shameless duty of going to retrieve these shoes from Arnold Clarke Van Rental. This wouldn’t be too embarrassing under normal circumstances, but these shoes are in a bad way, and questions will no doubt be raised behind my back by the workers at this depot as to why I would bother coming back to retrieve them. Answer: I’m skint and despite their shabby appearance; I genuinely like those shoes. I’ve had them two years and they only cost me £15! They deserve a better send off than that.

Everything aside from this little matter is fine and dandy, with the exception of Spurs being robbed of a perfectly valid goal last night. I was however, equally amused and perturbed to learn that the Ian Beale of the music world – Mike Love, is suing his cousin and former band mate Brian Wilson for the erroneous use of the beach boys’ songs (cha?). Having over recent years accrued many books on Brain Wilson and the Beach Boys, I have found little to suggest that Mike Love is a decent human being. Without wanting to go into too much detail and risk legal action against myself from the ginger bearded one; but three simple facts ought to make you realise what a tool he is.
Firstly, he continues to tour using the name ‘The Beach Boys’ when in fact just he and Bruce Johnson- who was drafted in to fill in for Wilson whist he recorded and wrote Pet Sounds are the only ‘original’ members left/ Secondly, he is a Republican who with the mis-guided new Beach Boys performed at George. W. Bush’s inauguration. Thirdly, he had very little to do with the Beach Boys’ sound on their latter, and better albums hence why Brian Wilson worked with Tony Asher and Van Dyke Parkes to help write lyrics. Jealous Mike? Funny that no one has ever called him a genius?

Brain- perhaps you should cover Lou Barlow’s ode to hating ex-band members “The Freed Pig” –wouldn’t it be nice?

Anyway, those helpful chaps at Bitchfork…sorry Pitchfork are the ones who have reported this story:

“God only knows why the uber-rich doth tiff like this, but Beach Boy Mike Love is suing his cousin, living pop legend and erstwhile Beach Boy Brian Wilson, alleging Wilson violated Love's sole ownership of the Beach Boys moniker in promoting last year's lost magnum opus SMiLE. Wouldn't it be nice if these chaps could just revel in their millions and get along?
According to the Associated Press, Love is perturbed that Wilson "shamelessly misappropriated Mike Love's songs, likeness and the Beach Boys trademark, as well as the 'Smile' album itself". Ostensibly. In reality he's likely a green-eyed mongrel lusting after a cut of the SMiLE profitz, considering that record debuted in the Billboard top twenty and achieved monumental critical acclaim (including a whopping 9.0 from that Pitchfork e-rag). Meanwhile, "Kokomo" continues to mercilessly accost innocent elevator patrons worldwide.
The Daily Mail in which 2.6 million copies of a Beach Boys compilation CD were given away. Ergo, Love's lawsuit seeks damages for "millions of dollars in illicit profits" plus one million dollars to put toward international advertising. Love has previously sued Wilson over songwriting credits. Quoth that hyper-prolific and ace-witted reporter known only as AP, "Love's lawyer hopes the lawsuit won't mar [his & Wilson's] good vibrations." At which we chuckle, heartily.
We'll leave it to you, fair reader, to determine the heroes and villains in this debacle.
Love's legal waylaying seems particularly dubious in light of Brian Wilson's recent money-laundering schemes, which have included making personal phone calls to folks who donated $100 or more to Hurricane Katrina relief and releasing a benefit single, ultimately raising some $210,000 for hurricane victims. Wilson's Scrooge-like avarice culminated last month when he issued What I Really Want For Christmas, a collection of new Wilsonian renditions of thirteen holiday classics plus two originals: the title track and "Christmasy". Nothing says Christmasy like treating your kin to some yuletide litigation.”

we can smell our own!

Okay, first thing’s first; apologies for the deplorable description of my recent ailment as noted in my first paragraph on my last thrilling instalment. I was still in shock and felt the need to share with the world. As I haven’t really had any spots since I was about 17; and having never had one ‘down there’ before I was still in awe. Should you need a comparison think Ross in an early Friends episode “ohh I’ve angered it” –scary, painful yet humorous to others.

I’m not really sure where to begin after this weekend’s adventures as it all appears to be a distant memory after the turmoil suffered by me and fellow commuters this morning. Yes, once again the numbskulls at Mersey rail have fuelled the wrath within, causing my lateness for work by an hour. I’ll really try to keep it brief but I feel duty bound to convey my utter contempt for the suckers who have persistently ignored my suggestions by providing the trains with three more additional carriages (as I have done several times in the past 12 months). Anyway, when the train arrived this morning; only ten out of the one hundred or so commuters could get on to the train as once again (see above photo for proof), Mersey Rail only provided three carriages. This meant having to wait for the next train; which of course was late; which of course then cancelled in Central Station; which of course meant waiting an eon; which of course meant they advise to embark upon the Kirkby train but get off at Sandhills as they were running a rail replacement service. Thankfully Jim O’Rourke’s ‘Half Way to a Three Way’ ep on my CD player kept me reasonably calm.

I then arrive at work to find that Dave is off sick. I really needed his help in order to complete this IT task that I’ve been doing for the last 4 weeks, and needs to be sorted by tomorrow. The annoying thing is that when he calls in sick, he never does; it’s always his wife. For some reason this always installs in me an element of doubt that his illness is valid- and I should know, we can smell our own!

So the weekend then: Friday- Preston to indulge in some rock n’ roll type shenanigans. Great little venue, run by some fine fellows and many a fine punter; with the addition of two cool support acts; Nice Peter (amusing American comedy singer ) and Down Dime (Dinsoaur Jr/Bob Mould/Weddoes inspired indie rock from Leeds, ). It was a great night, and not too many times can we get heckled by a drunk (he’d repeatedly shouted F*%k off throughout the night) and in response Tom told him to shut up and proceeded to call him a c---. Highly amusing.

Saturday: tres exciting! Afternoon White Russians in the flat whilst playing Lisa my collection of theme tunes I recently downloaded all sixty five. It became apparent that perhaps not everyone watched as much TV as me when they were growing up. Then bonfire festivities in Sefton Park. A good as ever; lots of “oooh and ahhhhs” all around. Touching moment when the 10,00 crowd sang the words to ‘Yellow Submarine’ whilst it feebly blared out of the PA systems. Lisa and I then stayed on Lark Lane and ended up in the Light of Bengal on Aigburth Road. This the finest Indian restaurant in Merseyside and it was the first time we’d been there since we’d moved into our penthouse. I had the hottest curry I’ve ever had-buttered chicken with chanu rice. Now I enjoy the spicier meals on the menu, however this melted some of my fillings-great!

Sunday was all about cooking a chicken and enjoying a bevvie in Penny Lane Wine Bar whilst we inadvertently funding terrorist activities by purchasing some pirate DVDs from these Chinese gentleman-Wallace and Gromit and Saw 2.

I then watched with annoyance (for a change) the top-selling artists this century in the UK on C4 last night. How depressing. It reminded me of two important facts that I had overlooked recently; i) I hate U2 and ii) how annoying Edith Bowman is, such retorts as : “Jack White is the reincarnation of Jimi Hendrix” did her no favours…c’mon woman! Even Jo –this is the most important record made in the last ten years-Whiley wouldn’t stoop so low.

Anyway, I’m no doubt going to have to stay at work late tonight to make up for the hour I missed this morning- again, thank you Mersey Rail.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Godspeed Bony Squirrel!

Aside from the disturbing discovery last night that I have a boil/spot on my ass, which when I attempted to squeeze it whilst showering left my in the worst pain imaginable (thankfully the pain has since subsided) life is good.

We rehearse tonight for Friday's gig which will be the first time we've played together since our London gig two weeks ago. I can imagine it being a tad stressful and we'll be terribly rusty, but the gig itself should be fun and has been well publicised It'll be is the last gig we have booked before the Elbow support slot on 22nd November. We've also got another stint in the studio to carry on the recording process which we started in September, which as you'd imagine has got me quite excited; especially after hearing the results of the last recordings.

Anyhow, Bony Squirrel seems to have taken my cheese and salad sandwich (no mayo and no onion) for a walk, so I'm just going have to plow on with my work until arrival back in the office... Godspeed Bony Squirrel!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

all wasps are bastards!

Strange goings on were a foot last night in chez Matt’s last night and I’m pretty damned sure we have had a ghost wasp or two living in our kitchen. Last Sunday, Lisa and I had a run in with the wasp that resides in our kitchen: it went for me whilst I was taking the hot Yorkshire pudding tray from the oven in preparation for adding the batter. I’m sure you will all appreciate that this is a extremely delicate operation trying not to spill the hot oil- especially if your kitchen is the size of ours-shoe box size. Anyway, this black and yellow son-of-a-bitch buzzed around me for a bit, then taunted us by returning to its lair, which we discovered to be a small hole on the top of our fridge. After inspecting this hole with a rolled up copy of Lisa’s Take a Break magazine, the bugger had disappeared, presumably into wasp city which must be located in the ‘innards’ of the fridge freezer and we hadn’t heard from it since. That was until last night. Whilst making myself a cuppa’ it darted out into the landing light and was doing that weird throbbing thing that wasps do. At this juncture I should note that I am not scared of wasps particularly, however I am not especially fond of them either. I also as a general rule don’t like killing things and the moths and spiders that somehow feel the necessity to habit our abode are usually well treated by myself and released back to the ‘wild’ i.e. lobbed out of the window. Wasps though are the general exception to this rule. Firstly because Mr. MacNally- a Primary School Teacher of mine- killed one in class and assured us that God didn’t mind us killing wasps and I have always held this disclaimer in the highest regards. Also my mother always warned me in my childhood, that when it’s getting cold Wasps are angry and therefore more likely to attack, again I have trusted this information, plus it is scientifically proven that all wasps are bastards! So in November, in the coldest flat in England and living in the fridge this must be the mother of wasps. I then spent the next 20 minutes forming a plot to kill it. This idea was to basically hit it as hard as I could with a newspaper. It took me 15 minutes to pluck up the courage attempt a strike, which I did like a little girl and proceeded to run down the stairs in case I missed and it wanted to go out in a blaze of glory. Upon my return to the battle ground the wasp had gone. I wasn’t sure if it was alive and waiting for me, so I proceeded with caution. I assumed, after looking around for its corpse; that perhaps it was in the newspaper that I courageously bashed it with. So I bravely stood on the newspaper for about ten minutes to ensure that should it be there it was definitely a gonner. Upon cowardly checking said newspaper I was alarmed to see there was nothing. It was then that I saw it on the kitchen lampshade looking at me. At this point I felt as though I should make an attempt to remove it in a more humane manner and fetched a glass and piece of card. Alas, our lampshade in the kitchen in made of paper and spherical so this was impossible. After ten minutes of wrestling with my guilty conscious, I once again took a swipe for it and missed by millimetres, yet the wasp remained where it was. This was surely an indication it wasn’t in good shape. Ha! Advantage Matt. I then took a second swing for it and then again ran out of the kitchen in to the spare room squealing like a pig. Upon inspection of the kitchen it had disappeared an after a lengthy investigation I decided to retreat to the front room shutting all the doors in the process. Lisa was less than impressed and wanted to see it’s body, I told her that I was spent and proceeded to cower on the sofa. After several hours passed, I decided to put the kettle on. Whilst filling the kettle nervously, I saw the poor fallen creature lying in the washing up bowl, floating amongst the suds of the pan that I had lazily left there to soak. I spooned its brave little body out and after examining it noticed that I must have done some damage to its tail (spilled guts gave it away) so I put it into the bin, before celebrating the fact it was no more. Now this is the really weird part. On route to bed, I decided to get a glass of water when I noticed floating in the other pan in the sink a dead wasp! This freaked me out bigstyle and I spent the next ten minutes going through the bin looking for the ex-wasp’s carcass but to no avail. Upon inspecting the second body there was no spillage of guts so it must have been a different wasp. Lisa’s reaction was to ask me repeatedly if I definitely put it in the bin, which of course I did. I took the wasp from its watery grave and threw it out of the window as a precautionary measure. Lesson learned the hard way. Mr MacNally you’re going to hell.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Wouse of Hax

I shall for once, actually keep this posting relatively short as:

a) I'm not in a bad mood.

b) Mersey Rail haven't got my blood boiling (despite there not being enough space on this morning's train to breathe out!)

c) I did not feel incensed by the televisual bilge last night.

d) Work is okay(ish)

These four points are the cornerstone's of my rage, which of course is the fuel for this here Blog.

I could go into a long an arduous rant about the Sefton Park Lantern Parade last night, however it did little to inspire me. I could also go into details about the film both Lisa and I watched last night- 'House of Wax' but the faults in this film are far too apparent and I needn't go into too much detail. Basically it isn't very good, but if is worth watching if, like me; you would enjoy the prospect of seeing Paris Hilton meeting a gruesome and bloody death. To avoid any disappointment this happens about an hour into the film. Sorry if this spoils any of the tension thus ruining any enjoyment you may get from the film (if indeed you are a simpleton) but do yourself a favour; don't watch it.

I have exhaustively tried to find a picture of Paris's death on the internet but to no avail, I then drew a ‘artist’s impression of the event however, the use of the office’s scanner was beyond my limitations so you’ll have to use your imagination. Searching the internet for such pictures meant I reluctantly spent most of my lunch looking at pictures of Paris ‘Bleedin’ Hilton which has left me feeling nauseous

ALCOHOL makes an ideal substitute for happiness.

Yes, once again I am struggling amidst the strangle hold of yet another Monday morning, although it's worthy of noting I am actually feeling pretty good today- the urge to kill has subsided due to the pleasant weekend just gone.

Firstly, with the season of autumn well and truly underway, it was time for my quarterly haircut. After my last two pleasurable experiences at the hands of those kind ladies at Voodoo, I once again ponced it up. This time however it appears I have become a little savvier regarding the process; I actually found myself relaxed when the young female assistant washed my hair rather than my usual freak out. Also after learning from many different sources that the drinks they offer are actually free, I immediately replied in the affirmative when asked if I would like a beer. I still felt like a fish out of water there (or a robot by the river) but enjoying a wee continental lager whilst making small talk with the hairdresser made it allll riiggght.

Saturday evening as is traditional around Halloween I went along with the posse to see Tim Burton's 'Corpse Bride' at the Fact. Erm it was okay, but it's always good to go see a flick at the Fact- they let you bring your pint into the theatre! I'm not some sort of beer dependant booze hound, however a good ale will make pretty much anything allll riiggght.

Sunday, Lisa and I enjoyed a walk down to Allerton for a cheeky pint at Penny lane Wine Bar after hiring a few 'scary' films. We also cooked Roast Beef and Yorkshire Puddings with the new oven. It was a beaut!

Lisa and I also made the Halloween Lantern as shown above, for the ambience whilst we watched 'The Grudge'. Granted Lisa did most of the work: purchasing it, hollowing it out, cutting out the face, whilst I continued my rigorous ISS Pro Evolution 5 training whilst enjoying a drink- oh and I lit the candle and took the photo! The Grudge was a good film, although it was yet another remake of a Japanese horror, which whilst I can safely say I haven't seen- I'm quite sure would be better- as these things usually are. Anyway, I wasn't really scared whilst watching it, even with the spooky latern, as alas; I was stuffed from eating our mighty roast. Lisa on the other hand cowered behind her hands and shrieked like a sheik throughout.

I was also the crazy, topsy-turvey time of year, when like the simple dimwits we Brits are; we turn the clocks back an hour. Okay I appreciate that “during the war..” and all that it was an necessity, but come one! I’m now not going to see any sunlight when I leave work until March….thanks. I have no window in this crappy office, which make things bad enough, and I now think I’m developing Ricketts. This time of year does always bring to mind a sort of tradition that used to take place when a ole’ friend from school; Nicola would invite us to her birthday bash in Manchester. They were usually dreary affairs whereupon I would get drunk too fast, then from 2am wait for people to go so I could crash out on the sofa. After the last shindig and the infamous Oven Cleaner Cocktail incident, to which I’m sure I’ve done irreparable damage to my liver and stomach; we were strangely never invited back. Ah those were the days- bringing a 24 pack of Skol and just helping myself to anyone’s Stella which, aside from the Oven cleaner made everything allll riiggght.

Anyhow, the Sefton Park Lantern parade beckons tonight which ought to be fun.

Friday, October 28, 2005

kudos Jon, kudos!

The morning after the afternoon before.

I awoke this morning tres sleepy due to a later night than usual and a modicum of insomnia, with the reality that every one at work would have probably read my churlish email already and discussed it heartily prior to my arrival at the office. I would like to pretend that I wasn’t nervous as I dragged my wearily and useless body down Stanley Road with only the upbeat lyrical wisdom of Buck 65 on my CD player to keep my spirits up.

Alas, the first words spoken to me were “good morning Cinders” from Tom- the Project manger and 2nd in command here. This was not a good start, yet I somehow managed not to tell him to F*** off! I just gave him a really angry look- the dead eyes into the back of his head. Tom unfortunately is one of, if the worst offenders when it comes to leaving cups of coffee around the office. Up until now I have neglected to mention this fact to him as a) he is my superior, b) he does work damned hard and is usually first in at 7am and last to go at 6pm and c) I didn’t want to look like a whiney shmuck, which is certainly how I feel today.

Anyhow, aside from this ghastly business getting on my nerves, once again I have split my work trousers whilst disposing of a large quantity of used maps from work (don’t ask!). Please note the word ‘again’ as it is now becoming a far too regular event. By this I didn’t mean I have split this particular pair on more than one occasion, rather I go through an vast amount of kecks. At least when my jeans ware thin in my crotch (sorry for this unpleasantness) they are barely noticeable. I now am going to have to humble myself by either attempting to repair them myself, something which I haven’t exactly been successful at in the past. I could alternatively just wait until I can afford some new ones, which by my current estimations will be 15th November. My mum tried to repair my last ones on one of my visits and I could hardly post them to her…or could I?

Anyway, aside from my threadbare clothing, the new cooker will be christened tonight, wooot! At present it remains unused as Lisa and I enjoyed the hospitality of Sweet Jonny and Eve last night. The best roast chicken meal I think I’ve ever had kudos Jon, kudos! Friday evening awaits me- and I shall as ever, bring you up to speed with the fascinating details of my life.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Only Smarties have the answers and angry shambles

Huzzzargh and Praise Be!! The flat has finally been fitted with a brand spanking new cooker, which now means that Lisa and I can have use of an oven. Wooooo!

Yes, since our arrival in February, we have only had use of a lousy grill and three gas hobs. The oven has been a constant scourge to our domestic bliss. Firstly, it only ever worked on FULL. Secondly, it didn’t even work fully on full, rather it sporadically used to lose its flame and cooking something as simple as a frozen Pizza would turn into an angry shambles. We have got by thanks to our -well mostly my-creative imagination, but only having the use of the hobs does have its limitations; namely I’m sick of Paella, pasta, rice, stir fry’s, pork chops, curry, jambalaya. We have exhausted the sauce and generic carbohydrate meal somewhat- I want things flesh!
Granted Lisa’s chicken and wine stuffed Aubergines were a gastronomic delight, but every once in a while, one just fancies oven chips and a frozen pie.

Anyway, I was forced to take leave this morning to wait our amusing frustratingly eccentric landlords. There’s not enough time in the day (or specifically this day) to go into the rudimentaries of the quirks of Mr. & Mrs. Flynn. Suffice to say they’re a bit odd. The Flynn’s arrived on time but the cooker arrived nearly an hour and a half later than promised, I endured a lengthy and complicated conversation with Mr. Flynn regarding the whacking great big hole we have on the floor by our front door. I also got to investigate our cellar too for the first time-it was like a scene from ‘Seven’ minus the mutilated corpses.

So all systems are on go on the domestic bliss and a fuller menu is now available!

Alas though, work is like a repetitive kick to my gonads. I think I’ve devoted enough space on this humble Blog to my dissatisfaction of working in this office. It appears though, that things have taken a turn for the worse. I have now stooped to new levels of pedanticness as the sight when I arrived at work of our messy kitchen turned my usual mild mannered persona into a clumsy Larry David esque loser. Please see below the message I sent to my department including our director, Managers, friends etc…

Dear all,

Gentle Reminder to all

Sorry to sound churlish and pedantic (moi?) however, as the kitchen is part of our office, it up to everyone to maintain it is kept tidy- therefore there shouldn't be any reason why dirty cups/plates are just left in the sink and on the worktops or on your desk overnight.

Moreover, can everyone please ensure that if the dishwasher is full of clean cups etc, that the cuttlery is put away in the appropriate cupboard. It isn't a big job and can be done in the time it takes for the kettle to boil.

At present the staff member who seems to do this every morning (who shall remain anonymus) is getting rather peeved! Especially when other staff members are taking clean cups out the dishwasher for making drinks yet leaving the rest for someone else to put away. (The same can be applied to the staff member who removes your dirty cups from your desk every evening.)

The Conference Room is also part of the office, and again; will you please ensure your cup(s) and the cup(s) of any visitors are removed once you have finished your meeting.

Once again; humblest apologies if this sounds churlish and I do fully appreciate the irony of the team's suffiest member reminding you of this, however, in the interest of the team's harmacy and well being, your co-operation would be greatly appreciated in this matter.

Many thanks.


PS - Witty and sarcastic replies will not be appreciated (again I appreciate the irony in this statement)

Of course I have calmed down, and since returned to my duty of binding 100, 60 page documents, I feel tomorrow I’ll just keep my head down- alternatively I could just stick my head in my new oven.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Hawthorne Effect - Ode to Mr. Benson

Yesterday was our annual work ‘away day’. Suffice to say the only reason I attend these pedantic and usually utterly pointless sessions is:

I get to laugh at seeing my colleague wearing their ‘casual’ clothes.

I get to eat lots.

I don’t have to spend the duration of my day glued to this freakin’ computer.

Yesterday was no different, although it was more enjoyable than I had first anticipated as a) Whilst doodling I invented several promising cartoon characters- I shall post these once I have able to gain access to the office scanner b) the food buffet was Indian and c) I didn’t start to nod off until 3ish. In my humble estimations that’s pretty darned good going.

Of course upon my return to the flat, my evening was blighted by the piss poor television schedule. A series of phone calls when I arrived home scuppered my plans of developing my ISS Soccer Pro Evolution 5 skills further much to my annoyance and soon my general apathy took over whilst I watched with scorn and much resentment ITV’s ‘Britain’s Youngest Drinkers” which they clogged the schedule up with for a whopping 1 and a half hours. Chavs and Vikki Pollards in much abundance.

Whilst it was indeed sad that today’s youth enjoy drinking hideous alcoholic concoctions such as WKD is doesn’t really seem a whole lot different from when I was a lad- except that it appeared easier to get served in a pub when I was a rambunctious under age drinker (God Bless you Frank’s Bar). Its only endearing quality was one of the ‘kids’ was called Staci. No ‘y’ or ‘ie’ –crap modern adaptations of names amuse and annoy me greatly in equal measure.

What appeared to be sadder was the fact that you have a group pf 14 year old smashed out of their tiny little minds, whist a film crew obviously encourage their actions by filming them and no doubt provoking them. I hear the hallowed words from my old Sociology teacher, Mr. Benson “…The hawthorn effect” echoing through my tiny little mind. I’m sure he would be proud of this reference, after our last encounter on the day of my A Level results whereupon he just shook his head slowly in mild disgust and contempt after discovering that after two years of his tutorage and hard work, I could only muster a grade U. (I have included a photo of his look-a –like Bob Carrolgies in his honour)

Where did ITV discover these little tear ways? Did they follow a trail of empty cider bottles through the local park? Or put up an advert in the local Off Licence? Anyway- it did nothing to kerb my newly discovered medical condition- TV Tourettes. Rather than a usual tirade of sarcastic comments regarding the bilge Lisa and I watch- I have now inexplicably found myself barking random insults and the hallowed goggle-box. I am on a steady road to ruin and predict within a few short years I shall no doubt evolve into a Father Jack Hackitt type crank. The slovenliness of my appearance too is a cause for concern. Perhaps a shave is in order?

Monday, October 24, 2005

“Too much milk and honey…”

Yet another splendid Monday morning rears its ugly head. To keep it short- I got soaked again this morning, I sit here at work with crap ‘rain hair’ (as opposed to my regular crap hair) and my trousers are damp around their seat…well damper (is that a word?) than unusual.

The weekend went as quick as ever and was enjoyed by myself to the max. As per my last post, Friday was a work night out and went considerably better than I had expected it to, the small amount of work conversation mostly involved the slagging off of colleagues- at last a conversation I could join in with. Little of worth for me note down here, though it confirmed some less than dignified traits to my personality, which I had been in denial about for some time. Firstly, I appear to be tight with my money. A shock to me, I had always thought of myself as a generous soul, happy to spend it way too readily. Yet after a meal on Friday my true Yorkshire colours were all too clear to see. I’ll attempt to explain:

Firstly, there were eleven of us out enjoying the meal and all 11 of us chose from the very reasonable and tasty set menu - £9.50 for two courses or £11.50 for three courses. Anyhow, I just had the starter and main and only drank one glass of wine. When the bill arrived, it was decided for me that we should all pay equal at £21 each. Now at the this juncture I wish it to be noted that nearly everyone else had a desert or coffee or both and everyone else was knocking back the beers and wine, so everyone was remarking how cheap it was, yet I was the only one who seemed miffed. I half jokingly mentioned that it seemed a tad unfair and it was then insisted that I only pay £15. This, although meant well, meant that everyone else would have to pay more. I couldn’t live with myself and had to argue to make sure that they accepted my other £6, which made me feel even worse. After 10 minutes of polite arguing they reluctantly accepted much to my embarrassment.

We then hit the first bar and a kitty was started up. I suggested £10 and about four of us entered, yet the remainder of the group only chipped in £5 ( I only discovered this an hour or so later) Some of the people who chipped in weren’t drink so that’s fair enough, but the other cheeky sods had at least 3 drinks from it? Now happily on my way to being tanked upon Guinness and Staropramen I thought “sod it”.

As fate would have it, most people left at around 11ish just, leaving me with three other surprised colleagues and £45 of the remaining of the kitty- which paid for several more drinks my taxi and (this is my second alarming self discovery) pizza. Yes despite going out for a meal only four hours earlier I devoured another great Pizza creation from Santa Lucia.

So, for the record; I am a tight fisted miser who is a walking dustbin when it comes to food. My entire team was in shock when I told them of my ‘snack’ and gave me that look like “hey, you’ve got a problem”. I half expecting an intervention when I’m eating my lunch “step away from the sandwich…”

Anyway- to improve my spending issues and fitness levels I spent £50 on records (including the King Cresote album –excellent- will mention in detail no next ramble) and actually got a smile from the usually ultra grumpy Probe Records staff. Perhaps they only approve vinyl sales? I also got a bizarre 12” called “do they know it’s Halloween” featuring members from pretty much every American indie band you can think of. Also Lisa and I purchased a PS2 and I have now no reason to leave the flat.

Friday, October 21, 2005

ode to my bladder

Another day- yet another raging row with one of the sub serviant numbskulls/minions whom are in the employment of Mersyrail.

This time I shall spare you the details, but I would like it noted that it wasn’t me who lost his temper this time; I was as cool as a cucumber. Granted I did loose it afterwards when explaining my tales of woe to Lisa, who automatically assumed I lost my rag and had the sarcasm turned up to max. I protested my innocence too much and an argument ensued whilst I washed the dishes, which only this moment has occurred to me that we do in abundance. Maybe I should wear marigolds? Note to self – stop being a moody twat.

Anyway, it’s been a busy old time of late. Bloc Party on Monday was a nice way to spend a usually drab Monday night. They were okay- not great, but okay. Without wishing to sound like the indie snob I know I can be. Granted, I did spend pretty much spent the duration of the show bustin’ for a slash which impaired my enjoyment somewhat . “why didn’t you just go for a piss then?” I hear you cry- and you’d have a valid point my friend, but suffice to say that after much deliberation I decided that it would be easier to use some Jedi mind trick to convince myself that I didn’t need to go. Obviously I’m no Jedi, hence why I was in extreme discomfort throughout the gig.

It also alarmed me that at 28, I could have possibly been the oldest person there. I’ve now become that bearded grumpy looking guy with his arms folded, sternly holding his pint of Guinness who can be overheard stating that “they’re good- but not as good as The Fall”

Besides the okay gig and the excellent wee immediately preceding it, I was also in the nation’s capital on Tuesday. I can’t really be bothered to go into any details regarding this, but it was good. Some chum’s attended the gig; Mark and Al. Mark, was a friend from Harrogate –then Glasgow and had only recently moved to the big city, and Al was a friend from my Art Foundation and Degree course. The journey back, however, was hellish and I didn’t get back to Liverpool until 4am as it was raining cats and dogs for the journey’s entirety, making life tres difficile. Anyway, this sleep deprivation caused severe grumpiness; hence the lack of patience with aforementioned Mersey rail pedants.

I’m not exactly sure what excitement this weekend will have installed for me, but it is the bi-annual office night out tonight. I’m not exactly looking foreword to it, as conversation usually turns to work within a matter of minutes, but at the very least I reckon if it’s crap, I can make my excuses and be home for 10ish. We’ll see.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Isn't it a lovely day....

Morning all,

I have decided to put myself in a sunnier disposition for the forthcoming week, and hence forth this menagerie of grumpy and surly comments made in the direction of pretty much anyone I have recently encountered shall be no more! I shall explain further:

Firstly, to kick things off- I made it to work on time this morning. Hozannna in the highest and huzzzuargh! Walking to the station this morning I did feel by blood pressure rises slightly as I came to the point where the usual queue of miserable bodies could first be seen- and would you Adam and Eve it, there was no queue as such.

Secondly, I did have a rather pleasant weekend. Nothing spectacular, but nevertheless I did enjoy myself. Jas and his wife; Red Sonia made a rare appearance from the Historic City of Coventry round at J & E’s house on Saturday night. I also finally acquired a new guitar! More on that later

I’m also chuffed as the Mighty Spurs walloped Everton. As our office is primarily occupied by Evertonians it has made this morning most pleasant.

It’s the Bloc Party tonight- which should be good, though it will be something if it is half as good as the Fall-(ah) gig last week.
On a less optimistic note, I going to London tomorrow and won’t be arriving home until 3am ish on Wednesday then in at work for the usual time. To be honest, I sincerely doubt these positivities can continue. Only time will tell.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Give me sunshine....

I woke up this morning full of the joys of Spring. The birds were singing, and the sun was shining. The otherwise usually loud and crass and noisome builders and bin men in the street had a smile on their lips and a skip in their step. It is also John Peel Day too. Although it is going to be a day tinged with sadness at his untimely passing, it is also a day to celebrate his accomplishments and to give thanks, as such, to his contributions etc.
Alas, as per so ,many other mornings, the bastards at Mersey Rail pissed on my bonfire from a great height. Yes, once again I developed a Herbert Lom (Chief Inspector from Pink Panther) style twitch in my eye caused by the stresses and strains of what should be simple journey to work.

To my extreme disappointment, we arrived at the station only to find an Alton Towers style queue. Being a pedant I counted the number of bodies that stood between us and getting to work on time ….31! Alas, I couldn’t tell if it was because the usual culprits were paying by card as the queue was too long, which given my mood was probably a good thing –for my on safety

To compound matters after purchasing my ticket –the train was long gone by this point I was asked by what appeared to be a Mersey Rail Guard if I wouldn’t mind answering some questions for survey. Being the helpful sort I kindly obliged. The conversation went something like this:

Guard: “How did you get here this morning?”

Me: (un-sarcastically) “I walked.”

Guard: “Where are you going?”

Me: (again un-sarcastically) “Bank Hall”

Guard: “What is the purpose of your journey-work?”

Me: “Well if I still have a job. This will be the third time this week I’ve been late for work due to these bleedin’ queues!”

Guard: “Nothing to do with me I don’t work for Mersey Rail”

Me: “I know it’s not you fault but it’s ridiculous though-look at it (pointing to massive remaining queue a full 5 minutes after trains had left)

Guard “ Like I said it’s nothing to do with me. I don’t work for Mersey Rail

Me (Getting angrier) “ I appreciate that, but it’s really annoying that no does anything about it- it’s the same everyday”

Guard: “There’s no point complaining to me, like I said, I don’t work for Mersey Rail”

Me “I know you don’t work for Mersey rail- you’ve said it three times. It doesn’t mean that I can’t air my complaint…..”
At this point I just walked (well stormed really) away down the stairs as I could see that he clearly didn’t give a rat’s arse about it.

Lisa joined me on the platform shortly afterwards laughing at me and my outburst. She was inclined to agree with me though, and the fact that this fella was wearing a coat which had Mersey Rail written on it, and ID badge with Mersey Rail written on it and was with a colleague in the same attire, one would assume he would work for the freakin’ Mersey Rail.

Anyhow, his colleague followed me down to the platform to his credit with a contact card for someone at Mersey Rail to air my grievances and said his colleague wasn’t aware he had these cards on him. Lisa thankfully took the card as I just muttered something about it being no point. My point: If he did know about these cards he wouldn’t have passed the buck and washed his hand’s with my complaint?? Hardly. Also if they didn’t work for Mersey Rail why would he be carrying Mersey rail Cards? It’s a

I’ll no doubt get in touch, but it’s probably best to wait until the huge f***ing rain cloud looming over my head goes as there is a distinct possibility I could make matters worse.

Should you, dear reader, read about some true life ‘Falling Down’ incident in Liverpool concerning an angry tosspot Council Worker who lost his rag and brandished a machine gun to the F***wits at Mersey Rail one raining winter’s morning in Aigburth- then please believe me that I was provoked.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

lazy Wednesday afternoon

It’s not all work, work, work you know. In fact it’s more like work, arse about, make some tea, get annoyed, go on the internet, do a little more work then piss off home.

Well that’s what it can often be like. At present, I have the motivation of a sloth, and for those who aren’t in the know; this is the laziest creature on God’s green earth I could think of. Although, to appease any pedants out there such as myself, it is purely a metaphoric reference as I’m sure there is a plethora of lazier and more idle animals than the sloth, my point is I am in no frame of mind to be working. My aspirations lie elsewhere.

The shoebox of an office I work in is almost deserted. Fat Karen is on holiday with some losers with whom she idly chats away to via the Internet night and day. I can only imagine what a rag tag bunch of nerds and sad sacks they are. Would a normal person lock themselves away nightly to flirt with some fat star trek fan the other side of the country? Upon meeting for the first time realising that he doesn’t have a six pack and neatly chizzled jaw, rather a comb over and paunch. Overall though, it has made little to no difference to this office’s balance of power as she rarely puts in an appearance in the office, especially since the Council adopted an Non-Smoking policy during working hours. Rather that wait for her lunch break like my other more considerate colleagues – she find any excuse to disappear, pack of Mayfair in hand, only to reappear some 45 minutes later.

Yes, as you can probably tell from my ramblings, she annoys me greatly. I do fully appreciate that most of the time; the human being cannot be arsed to do much work, but since I’ve worked here I have struggled greatly to fully understand what she actually does, and how she can justify ‘working from home’! I also struggle to fathom, how despite her leaving work at 3pm every day she gains enough flexi time to take a day off once a fortnight! There is some cooking of books that would make the current labour administration look like a misdemeanour. I should really doff my cap to her for her blatant abuse of the flexi time system.

Anyhow, it wetter than wet outside, which is the only thing keeping me here still as I haven’t fully dried off from this mornings drenching despite the office being as hot as an oven. When did coats stop being made waterproof? My shower proof jacket that I procured during the V Festival 2004 did nothing to shield off the elements.

Aside from the rudimentaries of the office politics here, life is good. I have reasoned that perhaps it is better to have a job with absolutely no responsibilities except to make sure there is enough paper in the photocopier, and not to have to work weekends is far better than working like an ass. Word to the wise regarding the current television schedule: if you haven’t seen it previously ‘Medium’ was on last night. A great show starring the fab Patricia Arquette. Not as scary as the previous few episode, but endearing enough for me to mention of this humble, and lengthy rant.

Should go really- must pretend to be working as the head honchos have returned to the ranch!


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Latex labotomy

So I managed to make the train on time this morning- zoot alores! Another minor triumph for my bad self-granted I got it by the skin of my teeth but never the less I arrived at work on time for the first time in over a week.

A fairly clumsy and obvious point to make I appreciate-but the mornings are getting awful dark now and my general appearance is certainly suffering from getting dressed in the dark.

I woke up in a fairly unpleasant mood (again) my dreams were haunted by the mind numbing-spirit crushing television experience that I endured last night… ‘Age Swap’. I was more disappointed with myself more than anything else. Lisa happily watched it whilst I annoyed her greatly by venting spleen (not literally of course) at this shocking 60 minutes of TV trash- it was alleged by her that I was getting far too aggressive and wound up over it, but in my defence I was merely pointing out the shortcomings of the programme and the reality television genre as a whole.

Anyway, the premise of the show was that Julie Goodyear and Peter Andre were disguised as a 30 something Goth and old priest respectively, and the cameras followed them around conning people with their Ant & Dec style ridiculous latex masks to the viewers’ pleasure. Clearly anyone whom would believe that anyone resembling Hoggle from ‘The Labyrinth’ (see photo) behaving in an absurd manner whilst a TV crew film them sincerely deserves to beaten hard. For chrissake! I could and should have picked up one of the three books I have on the go, or perhaps listened to the radio in the bedroom, yet for some perverse reason I watched all 60 minutes of it! What is happening to me?

Anyway, it has made my stomach churning job a little better to handle knowing that I don’t have to film and or edit these shows or that I am that stupid or desperate enough to believe that Peter Andre in a latex mask is in fact a 80 year old! With the horrors of this still fresh in my mid- I inadvertently tried to rip the face of someone in the train queue this morning believing it to be a Z lister in disguising trying to get a cheap laugh at my expense. Alas, it was actually a elderly gentleman with a cancerous nose and had only just left hospital after a mild stroke. Oh well – best to be safe than sorry…

Monday, October 10, 2005

“I played a gig in Cardiff last week and had a run in with the Welsh Mafia; They made me an offer I couldn't understand...”

John Cooper Clarke

So yet another dreary week at work commences with the usual queue and disgruntled mutterings under my breathe aimed towards the fellow commuters, whom decide that for one reason or another they want a return ticket to town and pay by switch/credit card. That coupled with the huge influx of new commuters who drive from their nice leafy suburban homes on the outskirts of the city; only to use and overcrowd my only freakin' means of getting to work as a way of avoiding paying a couple of pounds for parking! Why should I get so perturbed by this? Well- yet again, I arrived at the station in plenty of time only to queue like a twat and miss my train (again). The poor fellow in his grotty little booth looks exasperated as he tries to make sure everyone gets their ticket on time. There is one superhero of the ticket selling, who’s name escapes me (I don’t know how-I never knew it in the first place) and he rather cleverly pre- prints the tickets! Genius! This way he has only to take the money. I don’t think that a chap with his superior common sense will be working for Mersey Rail for too much longer though.

Of course, you would think it would to be quite reasonable for me to board the train without having first purchased my £2.55 ticket. Alas, the once a month clamp down on “ticket dodgers” means you are treated to a SS type grilling at your chosen destination when you can’t produce a valid ticket. For those whom know me well enough know of my getting-caught-without-a-ticket tale of woe from my youth. Suffice to say I don’t want to go back to that dark place….

Anyhow- in summation of this weekend’s festivities went to see the Fall supported by the most excellent John Cooper Clarke. To be brief –it was great, but a rather large consumption of booze has left me with little to no memory of the night. My usual delayed hangover was somewhat stunted though this time with a carefully timed pint in Liverpool as I took Luke to the station. Good to see the old boy-though on our much too infrequent rendezvous my poor, poor liver cries in pain –as if a thousand voices had cried out in terror, only to be followed by silence….

Common theme running through my head today- I need a new job- I need a new job- I need a new job- I need a new job- I need a new job- I need a new job- I need a new job- I need a new job- I need a new job- I need a new job- I need a new job- I need a new job. I’m 29 in May and I still hold the position of a dog’s body. Anyone who knows of anyone who is looking to hire a sarcastic, scruffy, pedantic, smart alec, cheap, hardworking and untalented schmuck to work for them- please forward on their details to me. .

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

John peel Tribute

As you will undoubtedly know already, next week will be the first John Peel day, and in order to pay homage and show appreciation, two of John’s favourite bands of late to hail from Liverpool; Cranebuilders and Ella Guru will be playing a show on the 13th October at Liverpool’s Las Vegas Bar (opposite Lime Street Station) as part of the John Peel Day festivities.

Of course there are events being held across the city/country and all of them would be no doubt fitting in tribute to John’s accomplishments, but should you have made no plans as of yet on what you plan to do to celebrate this event, then why not come along and show your support. There will be a very small door charge –aprox £3 but all proceeds will be going to charity.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


Yes I am truly a stoopid git.I have just spent the best part of an hour attempting to attach some kind of witty picture to this ever so sparse blog only to find a) it is extremley simple and b) I don't have any pictures saved on this computer-well any pictures that I can post! By this I don't mean anything rude, like oooh naughty me I have filthy pictures that would shock even my girlfriend's mother-I mean at present I just have very drab photos saved on this computer used for incredibly dull presentations that I am required to edit. Yes my job IS that dull.

No doubt no one will read this as I haven't told any one that I have set a blog space up- should you have stumbled across this page by chance "welcome! and hello blah blah blah" please pop by in a few weeks to see if I have in fact bothered to write anything further, or if in fact I have forgotten that I've signed up for this crap.

I'm sure that I will have this space filled with high brow musings and useful facts to keep you blog losers happy- but until then this is about as much as I can muster from my work space.

Anyhoo, this is Captain matt from the good ship I'm bored sensless signing out


1st message- bound to screw it up!