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.