Friday, August 18, 2006

like a monkey with a miniture cymbal

It's been another successful week of doing nothing, but eventful nonetheless.
Most significantly, Lisa decided not to go into work on Monday and Tuesday with the old faithful excuse of having the trots. Of course she was fine but decided that she'd prefer to sit in bed watching such TV abominations as 'Trisha' and other shows of that ilk, whilst slurping coffee from her inexcusably large coffee mug that she loves so. Naturally, I wasn't impressed that I had to go to work whilst she stayed at home, especially knowing full well that at some point she'd get another hair brained scheme that would result in getting me further into debt. Having recently acquired tickets for pretty much every single gig that is coming to town, I shouldn't have been as surprised as I was when she called me at work to exclaim excitingly that she'd located a website that was selling tickets to this year's Carling Leeds Festival. There would be no use in me trying to worm my way out of this I thought, so in keeping with my passive idiom, I went with the flow like a twig on the shoulders of a mighty stream.

This will be my 5th (and a quarter) Leeds festival, plus two Reading Festivals, a V- Festival and Benacissism- so I've become well experienced in these matters. Every year I note with a heavy heart that the other revelers seem to get younger and more stupid. No doubt in several years from now, I shall have evolved into one of those Bergahaus clad oldies, sat on a camping stool on the fringes of one of the smaller stages, sipping tea and thumbing my way through a paperback whilst some miserablist band chunters their way through their set. Should my life pan out this way, I wouldn't become too despondent providing that I had people go with- the life of a Festival "loner" is not a good one me thinks.

I’ve been quite busy on this for me ole mucca Luke’s band Lanterns:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I've also been on GIS MAP Information Services Training in The Liver Building yesterday- only the second training course I've been on since becoming a local Government employee. As you can imagine - it was every bit as dull as it sounded, although many of the issues covered will no doubt provide great assistance in my day-to-day working practice (seriously!). Of course, as is the way with these things I was once more surrounded by the usual type of dullards who took it all far too seriously, notably three pleasant enough folks from Liverpool City Council (well; not technically Liverpool Council anymore- I learned this in an excruciatingly boring exchange during our thirty minute dinner break) plus Sally from our office.

There was two large middle aged women, and sat in between them was a skinny chap – who I’m guessing was in his late thirties and probably lived with his mum. They started immediately with the small talk when I arrived- discussing at length the Krypton Factor style elevators the building had. It wasn’t long before the conversation got more inane and we were soon discussing glasses. One of the two women- who appearance was quite bizarre announced that the ridiculously small spectacles she was wearing, only cost £1. I looked to Sally who had just arrived, with a look of polite and subtle astonishment. “I must get my eyes tested” she followed. Her female colleague who’d stated several times she didn’t have a clue with computers, reliably told her that it was the computer that was ruining her eyesight. “NO- IT’S THE EFFING £1 GLASSES YOU PURCHASED FROM HOME & BARGAIN THAT’S RUING YOUR EYES YOU FRZZY HAIRED WEIRDO” I screamed with venom in my head- and smiled politely. I joined in the conversation adding that my eyes deteriorated when I started to do my school work on my Commodore Amiga. Granted it wasn’t helped that I used a 14” reconditioned TV as a monitor which was usually only several centimeters away from my eye lids. The skinny bloke, then started to go on about his love for his Amiga, at which point I slumped in my chaior and gave up on the pretence that I was interested in what he was talking about.

The girl giving the training was pleasant enough too I suppose. She was about my age (late twenties) with ginger hair, an odd mole on her slightly flaky skinned face and a surprisingly capital pair of knockers , but this didn't stop her from getting on my wick. Firstly, I was led to believe that Tea & Coffee (which in my book also means the provision of biscuits or small cakes) was to be made available throughout the day. After 15 minutes of dull introductions etc, a large metallic flask was finally brought into the small training room along with a number of mugs by a overly happy office junior (Oh youth! I thought- when I am required to provided a meeting with beverage I look as grumpy as I can be and always chunter under my breathe "don't mention it" when I'm not thanked appropriately for my endeavors- which is more often than not).
I noted immediately the lack of biscuits but decided to be professional about it and not let it affect my day. When the trainer finally stopped reading aloud from her manual we were at last offered a drink.
"Great" I thought, noting that it was nearly 10.30 am- back in my good ole office I would usually have consumed 3 cups of varying quality tea in this time. Alas, to my astonishment and disappointment, the rest of the group all declined a hot drink. I felt awkward and didn't answer her – choosing to give her a look of sadness that I've been trying out at home in front of the mirror should an occasion such as this arise. "Would you like a drink?" She asked in a very negative manner. A bottled it - and said "No it's alright- I'll struggle on"- which was greeted with a vague titter.
I sulked a little bit, ruing my missed opportunity and naturally blaming myself! All those hours stood in front of the mirror practicing the sad puppy dog look where wasted…wasted I tell thee!
As the training continued, I noted that the trainer was sipping continually from a bottle of water. This annoyed me greatly. "I'm dying of thirst here" the echoy voice in my head screamed at her. I also noted with a degree of contempt that she was drinking from one of those bottles which had a sports cap as opposed to the traditional screw top. Not really her fault I guess, but I dislike them intently. They’re difficult to drink from and I find the spectacle of someone chugging liquid down from one of these containers most vulgar.

The training continued slowly, but I was still distracted by my thirst. Eventually close to 11.30ish we were once more given the opportunity to have a break/drink but cleverly given the option of "working through it" so we could finish earlier. "Fantastic" she wants to be home in time to watch Big Brother's little Brother and because of this I was to suffer the indignity of dehydration. I decided to make my opinion known.

Once more when this offer was made the room's occupants shook their heads and politely declined. I leaned back on my chair and asked nicely if I could have cup of tea but insisted that we continued to work- surely we can listen to her drone on whilst having a drink. After all it's hardly multitasking is it? After an hour of rolling my eyes every time she put that sport's capped bottle of Highlands Mineral Water to her slightly flaky lips I wasn't going to adopt a policy of appeasement when it came to refreshments- after all training/away days are similar to staying in a Hotel. Grab as much freebies whilst you can.

She continued talking to the group whilst she struggled to open the flask. After a minute of struggling (whereupon I noticed that she had gone red with embarrassment- he he!) I was horrified to learn that the flask did not contain tea; rather it was full of hot water. Our beloved trainer had to make me the tea in front of the group whilst still babbling on about ‘rasters’, 'vectors' and ' polygons'. Instead of passing me the cup so I could make the tea to how I like it- she ragged the tea bag around in the cup for a few seconds, squeezed the shit out of it and added the tiniest splash of milk to the cup. I tried hard to look grateful but inside I was seething. Quelle Surprise- the tea tasted like dishwater.

The meeting slowly trudged on until 1pm when we were allowed out lunch. "Ha Ha- this is what I came for!" I said to the group in jest- yet once again my hopes were dashed when I saw the pitiful display of food that was on offer. My fantasies of Onion Bargies, Samosa's, Sausage Rolls, chicken wings Etc were extinguished fast. A tray of generically obscure flavored butties, a handful of tortilla chips was the savory choices on offer. The desert options consisted of a fruit kebab and a mini muffin. Oh joy!
As a bit of a fussy eater, I loathe the generic corporate butties that turn up at nearly every business shindig I drag my carcass along to. The only two food groups I cannot eat are (as you may know) Mayonnaise/eggs and fish, and usually every little triangular sandwich contains on or both of these culinary no-nos. I reluctantly nibbled a small cheese and pickle (although I don't really like pickle) sandwich and ate my allocated bun and fruit kebab. I was starving! I was also in dire need of the toilet- and as with everything else this too proved problematic. Apparently the visitor’s pass we'd been given wouldn't give us entry to the toilets "what the...?!". Our trainer said she'd try and find us a suitable pass. Thankfully the bloke from Liverpool Council had a toilet pass "I made sure I got one when I arrived...funny tummy!" he said giving me a look of discomfort.
"Thanks for sharing that” I mumbled as I dashed out of the room.

The training slowly trudged on after an even more boring 30 minute lunch break- in which I held f the most bland and boring exchanges with the other schlums there (Council politics). Eventually lunch was over and it was just a matter of keeping awake until 4.45pm, which I thankfully managed.

Anyway, tonight should be interesting as I plan to do the monthly shop at Asda all on my own. I’m actually pretty nervous as no doubt Lisa will want to see a schedule of everything I bought…and of course I’m pretty sure I’m going to miss something important like bog roll or bread. I’m starting the psyche myself up for the task- I shall of course inform of the results sometime in the future.

In the meantime please find some random musical choices:

Jose Gonzalez’s career took off when he covered this song- but that’s no reason not to like it. It’s everything that Jose’s version isn’t…
The Knife -Heartbeats

Childhood nostalgia- best song in the Jim Henderson masterpiece ‘Labyrinth’
David Bowie- Magic Dance

One of the few occasions where the cover (Nirvana) is better than the original…erm here’s the original.
The Vaselines- Son of a Gun

I love this song (sigh of contentment) – undoubtedly one of indie rocks finest moments:
Sebadoh- The Freed Pig

I love this band and finally got to see them out in Texas at last years SXSW- also I stood behind the their bass player whilst queuing to try and get in to see Stephen Malkamus/Laura Cantrell/Dead meadow/Lou Barlow gig the next day. I made a fumbled attempt of a conversation which went badly. Great song though…

Radar Bros.- On the Line


McParty said...

What babe?

Matt said...

The babe with the power...