Thursday, September 29, 2005

Caught in the act

Yesterday, Juju, my dog, walked through the studio with the top of the swing-bin stuck on her head.

She's got a food obsession like only a labrador can. She can hear a crisp packet being opened at 50 metres. It's going to be her downfall. In the past she has run over a busy road to get to some bread that someone dropped. She once got a cereal box stuck on her head. She breaks into her sack of dog food and eats until she's bursting, then she lies with her belly in the air and farts all night, moaning to be let in the garden cause her belly aches and she needs a poo.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Bad film alert!

'Milwaukee, Minnesota' is one of the worst films I've seen in a long time. As soon as it started I didn't like it. The characters are rubbish and really unlikeable. The acting is tired and predictable. There's nothing to keep the plot going. It's rubbish!

It's one saving grace is that it's a great remedy to help insomniacs fall asleep. I fell into a lovely kip halfway through this film.

I woke up half an hour later and it was still rubbish so I turned it off. What a rip! Can't believe I paid £3.50 to rent this crap.

Friday, September 23, 2005

DVD fever

I haven't had a DVD for very long. I'm always a bit late at catching up with the latest thing. I've only just started renting DVDs so they're still a bit of a novelty for me.

I rented out Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy last night. Watched it, went through all the extra features, deleted scenes, Marvin's Hangman game and the short making-of film. Then I started on the film with commentary and before I realised it I'd watched the whole film again listening to four people talk over the top of it. Then this morning, instead of coming to work, I watched the long making-of on the second disk.

There are only a few times I've watched a film twice in a row:

The first was Ferris Bueler's Day Off - my favourite film ever. I finished watching it, rewound the video to the start and just wanted to see the Ferrari-outside-the-school bit and ended up watching the whole thing again. All the time thinking, "I really must go to bed. I really must go to bed".

The next was on a flight back from LA when they showed Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. All the films were on rotation and once I'd finished that one there was nothing else I was interested in. So I watched it again.

I had to stop myself watching all of the other commentary version of Hitchhiker's this morning - one with different commentators!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Love Poem

This morning I got a CD of my favourite author, Richard Brautigan, reading stories and poems from his work. What a find! I've always wanted to know what he sounds like. He sounds really nerdy. Great.

I haven't listened to it all yet but there's a great recording of his 'Love Poem' spoken, one by one, by some of his friends and his daughter. To get the effect of this, copy and paste this poem into Simple Text on a Mac and go to 'speak selection' then try again with all the different voices.

Love Poem

It's so nice
to wake up in the morning
all alone
and not have to tell somebody
you love them
when you don't love them
any more.

Copyright Richard Brautigan.


I'm going round to my ex's tonight to go through our old photos. It was my idea but I'm beginning to regret it now! It's been over two years since we split up and we've finally managed to attain a friendship of sorts. But I know it's just going to get all the old feelings going again and I'm a sentimental fool at the best of times. I get nostalgic for yesterday.

I've got a five year gap in my photo collection. Even though I did a photography National Diploma I never took any photos when we were together, I don't think I even had a camera. It's like I've got a big chunk of my life missing. I haven't got any photos of my ex. Not even one for the dartboard.

So tonight I'm going round to finish off the split. She got the coffee table. I got the dog and the vacuum cleaner. Let's hope we can share the photos ammicably.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Just sitting around doing nothing

I was sitting at home last night thinking:

I wish I could just sit around and not have to worry about going to work tomorrow and just read my books and stay up late and get up late in the morning and lounge around and make myself a big breakfast and maybe go for a walk with the dog if I felt like it and come back when I wanted to and then do some more reading. I would go back to work at some point. Just not yet.

My fantasy seemed really naughty and subversive.

But then I realised I'd just invented the holiday.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

We met at the cinema

We met at the cinema. I had seen her there a few times before so I knew we shared the same tast in films. Epic, Eastern dramas full of martial arts and forbidden love affairs, sweeping widescreen scenery and mythical, magical characters.

Once, she sat in my favourite chair. Yes, I have a favourite chair! If I've got nothing better to do I enjoy going to this particular cinema by myself. It's the kind of place where you don't look like a complete loner if you go there by yourself. It shows films that you might want to go and see by yourself. It's also got one section, at the back of the theatre, near the fire exit, where there are two seats in a row rather than four or ten. You can sit there by yourself and pretty much guarantee that nobody will sit next to you. So this is my favourite seat for lone-viewing.

So, there she was, sat in my favourite chair. The cinema was getting busy but I couldn't sit next to her in the row made of two seats. That would have been too much. So I sat in the row in front of her.

And could I concentrate on the film? All the way through I was trying to grow a pair of eyes in the back of my head that could see if she was watching me.

The film, from what I could gather, was a very romantic one where the girl's lover has to die to show his love for her. Everyone came out of the cinema feeling uplifted and wistful. In front of the box office outside, couples kissed dramatically, their hair blowing in front of their eyes. Groups of lads stood around and laughed, pretending it hadn't affected them. But I knew.

The girl walked out and I followed her for a while. She was quite short with short hair. I like girls with short hair. I think it makes them look French. She had a friendly face; petite and simple features. There was just something about her. I went my own way and as I forked off down another street I caught her glance over at me just before the street buildings blocked my view.

It was really windy that night and I felt like I had stepped into the film. Empty tin cans rattled down dark alleys. I put a dramatic, ponderous expression on my face and paused while the camera closed in on my eyes. A long shot followed me over the railway bridge. As I made my way up the street the camera panned along and I disappeared then reappeared, disappeared then reappeared under the harsh city street lights.

The next time I visited the cinema I went into the bar there to get a drink before the film started. She was there standing at the bar! She turned and watched me walk to the bar. She recognised me and smiled.
"Hi," she said. Her cheeks dimpled when she spoke.
"Hi," I answered.
"What are you here to see?" she asked.
"I'm here to see you!" I said. Would she slap me across the face or turn in disgust?
She laughed. Dimples.
"Sorry," I said, "I've seen you here a few times haven't I? What did you think of that last martial arts epic?"
"Ooh, I felt all romantic and windswept after that!" she said.
"Me too!" I laughed.

Me too. These are words that mean so much at the start of a relationship. Me too. Each me too is like a woolen stitch in a big comfy cardigan that's being knitted in time for Winter. It doesn't matter how small the me too is, it still holds the cardigan together.
"I like cornflakes."
"Me too!"
"I prefer radio to television."
"Me too!"
"I sometimes bath instead of shower."
"Me too!"

"Well," she said, "this film looks good."
"Yeah, I've been looking forward to this for a while."

We sat down and talked about film. She was animated when she talked and she bobbed up and down in her seat when she got excited about a film that she remembered. Her dark eyes sparkled in the dim bar light.

A bell rang loudly to tell us the film was about to start.
"Shall we sit together?" she asked as we stood up from the table.
"Yeah, that'd be great"
"There's a couple of seats at the back, near the fire exit, where I always sit," she said. "They're my favourite."
"Me too!" I said.

Me too.

And, for that night at least, the two cinema seats at the back of the theatre, near the fire exit, were both taken.

Christmas come early!

Christmas came early for me this morning when I got a package of books that I'd ordered from Canongate.

I can't do links or photos at the moment so you'll just have to use your initiative!

My favourite author is Richard Brautigan. I think he's great. I'd been re-reading his books lately and so I decided to get "You Can't Catch Death" which was written by his daughter Ianthe Brautigan. It's her way of trying to come to terms with her father's suicide. Should be really interesting.

I also got three books on a three for two offer on the Canongate website:

"The Flood" by David Maine - the hardback version which has got the best book jacket design I've ever seen!
"Anthropology" by Dan Rhodes. I went to a reading by another favourite author, Jim Dodge, and Dan Rhodes gave a reading too. He's a Brighton author and was really funny. Quite a dry humour.
"One Pill Makes You Smaller" by Lisa Dierbeck. Cause it just sounds good!

And then I got the free book of the month which was "Children of Albion Rovers" which is a book of short stories by various Scottish authors. I probably won't read this though. I love getting a free book but I never get round to reading it. Even though it looks really good. I'm just stupid!

One of the hardest film titles to pronounce ever

Went to see 'Me & Your & Everyone We Know' last night. Enjoyed it. It's quite a quirky little film and deals with some unexpected subjects.

But everytime I tried to get someone to come to the pictures with me I had to say the name of the film and it just came out kind of slurred on my tongue. I tried to text a friend to come and see it but gave up halfway through trying to find the second ampersand.

There's another word that comes out slurred: 'Ampersand'. I was going through pages of corrections on the phone yesterday and every time my client came up against an ampersand she just gave up halfway through: "Can you change that 'and' to an ampersaahr...?". But then the same client made a garble noise instead of a sentence yesterday and expected me to know what it meant. She said: "Yes, make that change. Whatever. Garbalabalabalabala."

Anyway 'the film' was good. But the lead character was a bit annoying. And it's funny because the lead character is played by the director and it's obviously an autobiographical film. So did she give herself an slightly annoying character to play or is she just slightly annoying? Her acting wasn't that good either. It's still a good film though. Very watchable. Go see it!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

We met on the internet

We met on the internet,
Or should it be "through the net"?
Or "via the world wide web"?
She eventually fell through the net.

It wasn't love at first sight -
It was on the internet -
And there was no raging storm
The day we met. A bit torrent maybe.

And though our eyes couldn't meet
Across the dancefloor,
For there was none, just a screen,
And our fingers touched nothing but keyboard,

And though she could have been he,
Lesbian, psychopathic,
Homocidal or ugly,
(We hadn't swapped photos at this point in),

And though this type of meeting
Had happened to me before
Without success, (she was short
And dumpy and conversation ran out),

And though I should have steered clear
And though the odds were stacked up
And through the net she became
I knew that something was there.

Our emails became lengthy
Over the weeks and then months.
Musical tastes were discussed
Which led us to a flesh and blood meeting.

A gig. A bottle of rum.
Two tents which turned into one.
A whole weekend in the sun.
A million first dates rolled into one.

And though we'd only just met,
(Apart from the months online),
I knew a month down the line
We'd still be in each other's arms at night.

And though we lived miles apart -
Opposite ends of the land -
The phone line and internet
Kept us together until the weekends

When we would get together,
Trying each end of the land,
Trying each side of the bed,
Until some compromise had to be reached

In the form of a shared flat
Where we could see each other
In just under a minute
Rather than in just under two weeks time.

But distance had pulled my strings
And rum and sun had fooled me
And the internet stung me.
She eventually fell through the net.

The 'We met' Song

We met
In the fading light of a Monday
On the bus journey ride to the old town
Where the jazz band were playing a ragtime
To the parasolled day-trippers there
We sat on the wall drinking red wine
Out of cups that she bought from the pound shop
And the lanterns that swung from the branches
Lit up the night

And we talked
Of the places we'd been and the places where we ought to go
And we laughed
When we talked of how we'd only met just an hour ago


She said
That she knew of a place by the harbour
That opened 'til late in the morning
So we slowly walked out of the old square
As the bells of the clock tower rang out
And the seagulls that fed in the harbour
Flew over our heads in the darkness
And the fishermen sat on their boxes
'Til late in the night

And we talked
Of the old flames that burned us, the things that they'd said and we'd done
And we laughed
About things that we said that we'd never get into again


We sat
At a table in Fisherman's Cottage
And ordered the dish of the day
While the waiter supplied us with starters
We watched as the tide turned away
And the tables around us they emptied
And the kitchen staff shouted for dishes
We ordered two coffees to take out
And stayed up all night

And we talked
Of the night that we'd spent and the feelings we'd better not say
And we laughed
As the night that we'd spent was now turning to another day


We said
Goodbye in the harbour that morning
As we kissed by the calm of the water
I walked back to town through the quiet streets
And wandered back down to the square
Where the parasol tables were empty
And the jazz band were playing no more
The seagulls were picking up litter
Dropped in the night


Monday, September 12, 2005

Notebook fever

My obsession with buying webspace has also manifested itself in buying notebooks. I'm just mad about them!

I finally finished one notebook the other week. It was a big A4 hardbacked one that lasted two years. I filled it with my crap: magazine cutouts, stickers, half-written songs etc. But mostly it got filled with my angst-ridden feelings about girls. When I split up with someone recently, the first thing I did was go to my notebook and scribbled down about five pages worth of my head.

I made myself another notebook out of half-used printer paper but it's really annoying because every other page can only be used for sticking things on because it's already got something printed on it. Some random characters where the printer's gone wrong or a wine label that I've designed.

So I went out at the weekend to buy another A4 notebook. And while I was doing that I found these really small hardbacked, spiral-bound notebooks and I just had to buy one!

I'm reading Richard Brautigan's 'An Unfortunate Woman' at the moment which he wrote in the 166 pages of a loose-leaf notebook, filling the pages until he ran out of space. And I wanted to do the same. So I got the idea to fill the small notebook with short stories all starting with the words "We met". I actually did some writing too! And I really enjoyed it. I'll post some of the stories soon.

But I've still got other notebooks! I've now got:

1. An A4 hardbacked notebook - finished
2. A tiny hardbacked, spiral-bound notebook - half finished
3. A new A4 hardbacked, spiral-bound notebook - empty
4. An A5 hardbacked notebook - started, from both ends, with a huge gap in the middle
5. An A5 hardbacked, spiral-bound, lined recycled notebook - half-empty, I bought this in Leeds to occupy myself on the train ride home
6. A home-made recycled A4 notebook - a quarter full

And I just went to the post office and looked all through the notebooks to try and find an un-ruled one. Luckily, I didn't.