Wednesday, 30 April 2008
“Nan, Nan, who’s that?”
“That’s Mr T.”
“You know, Mr T - ‘I pity the fool, I pity the fool, I pity the fool, I pity the fool’“
She affected an accent, so each ‘I pity the fool’ became ‘Ah pity tha fooo,’ and used a gruff Mr T voice, getting deeper and louder each time.
The smaller kid clung to Nan throughout.
Monday, 28 April 2008
Tracy and I met after work. We had a pint in Odd (Kate was working), and then went to Cup to see the Lucy and the Caterpillar's single launch show. Everybody was dead trendy, Woody would have felt like a sore thumb again, I reckon. There were three acts.
Josh Weller had ridiculous hair, but some quite good songs.
Petty Thief was excellent. Some things reminded me of Dylan, or of Badly Drawn Boy. I'd definitely go and see him again. I'm sure - from his accent - that he's from round here.
Lucy and the Caterpillar were oddly disappointing. Musically, her band were more than competent, and Lucy has an amazing voice - Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music in one breath, Regina Spector in another - but there's something about the scope of her songs that lacks ambition. With her talent - not only can she sing and play, but she can really perform (Rachael Kichenside take note!) - she has a lot of potential, but the subjects of her songs - wanting to be a bumblebee; beans on toast; being best friends with a handmade doll - was better suited to a nursery school than to a gig for grown-ups. Structurally, again, they were overly simple - verse, chorus, verse, chorus, "thank you," giggle. Is a middle eight be too much to ask? She was punching far below her weight, in my opinion.
Lucy and the Caterpillar are not amongst my army of loyal readers, but if they were, I'd offer this advice: ditch the milk teeth, and put some snarl and some sexiness into your music - especially your words. Give us something in the words to get us thinking and reacting. The music can stay more or less the same, but there is no need to fear being psychologically sophisticated. The example I'd give of how that might work is the opening line of Venus as a Boy by Bjork.
His wicked sense of humour, suggests exciting sex.
From here on, it's clearly a song by an adult, for adults. If Lucy and the C can make that kind of developmental step too, I'd be very happy. Maybe Lucy needs to get in with a bad crowd? I want to send her If You're Feeling Sinister and The Boy With The Arab Strap and Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like A Peasant to show her that you can be twee and adult simulataneously.
Tracy had some interesting opinions on the draft of the Fun Things To Do For Free project, and its context. I'll have a think about what she said.
Sunday, 27 April 2008
I had my first go at conservation volunteering today. In the morning we erected a fence around a bank in the lake at Chorlton Water Park. The fence was designed to keep waterfowl from eating the plants we put in. The roots of the plants will make the bank more resistant to erosion.
In the afternoon we thinned (non-native) Norway Maple saplings from a patch of woodland so that the indigenous flora could thrive, and planted bluebells. The group is made up of some nice people, and I had a brilliant time. Five hours on volunteering doesn't sound like much, but the satisfaction that I got out of it was reassuring - I'm making the right move, I can tell.
Pepe came round for some help with what we've dubbed testa merda - the shit test - a fiendishly difficult listening paper for his non-native English Speaker examination. It's bitchingly tough! Even Louise, who speaks several languages, thought it was hard. Once we'd nailed testa merda, we went on to some tasks for the speaking exam, in which Pepe gives a few short talks / speeches about various parts of his life. We talked about his home village, Montecalvo, and about his twenty-two years of naval service. He told me about his trip to South America, about his time in the Med after 9-11, about boats he'd sailed on and women that he'd known. It was fascinating. Five hours flew by.
Ten hours of work on a Sunday wore me out. In a good way.
Saturday, 26 April 2008
Friday, 25 April 2008
1 - What rhymes with 'plinth?'
2 - I think that the plinth that Abel Heywood is leaning on must be a structural feature. The marble statues in Albert Square all have them (Albert has a cape which serves a similar function, I think) but the bronze statues don't.
Thursday, 24 April 2008
It can be found at www.fttdff.blogspot.com
It's upside down, just like a regular blog, but the sidebar should make it pretty easy to navigate - there'll only be ten posts, if all goes to plan.
Wednesday, 23 April 2008
Tuesday, 22 April 2008
Sunday, 20 April 2008
The Olive Press, Withington
Unicorn Grocery, Chorlton
The Marble Beer House, Chorlton
The Polar Bar, Chorlton
The Railway, West Didsbury
I ate at three of those places. I drank beer at three of them. I drank a G&T at another of them. Clare came to all but one of them. The best one was The Marble Beer House.
Saturday, 19 April 2008
Friday, 18 April 2008
I met a beautiful girl called Helen, who works near me, and is also studying for a Masters in textiles. She was articulate, intelligent, and very indie. But I clammed up, and didn’t know what to say. When the band started, she edged away, and I didn’t see her again that evening. I want to have a look for her on Facebook, but I got the vibe that she wouldn’t be that interested.
Maybe I’m not indie enough to appeal to the kind of girl that I fancy. Maybe I should buy some new shoes. Brown shoes.
Thursday, 17 April 2008
I felt confused, and a little angry. The impression I got was that if I hadn’t have handed in my notice, then the job wouldn’t have been redesigned. I felt I’d been mismanaged, as the changes that were made, if needed, should have been spotted and acted upon before now. I felt undervalued, in that I wasn’t asked about the proposed changes, even though they were to a job that I was doing. I felt really angry that they’d waited until I’d said I was leaving before they set about addressing how shit my job is. I felt even angrier that they’ve made it quite a good job. I feel like I’d planned to leave a party, and, as I’d put my coat on, the music started to get better. I feel like I’d planned to break up with an imaginary girlfriend, only for her to appear at the door that day looking drop dead gorgeous.
I was subjected to a barrage of bodily noises during that meeting, and it really distracted me. On one side of me, there was a guy with a gurgling tummy and a consistent accompanying refrain of “Excuse me,” or “Pardon me.” I didn’t particularly mind, except that every word that the gurgler said in the meeting was in response to his rumbling gut. Lunchtime meetings suck. One the other side of me, one of the attendees made it her business to communicate her agreement with the speaker with a loud “MMMmmmm!” or a “Yes, yes,” or a slow groan. The more she agreed, the more often she groaned. The more often she groaned, the more sexual it sounded, like an office-based When Harry Met Sally. It was gross, and it really put me off. I’m glad I’m leaving.
I quite like some of the work that my job involves, but I don’t like my working conditions, which I express by saying, “I don’t like my job.” Even though the work of my job is going to change, my working conditions won’t. So I’m still getting out as soon as I can.
The imaginary girlfriend still gets the boot too.
Wednesday, 16 April 2008
Tuesday, 15 April 2008
Monday, 14 April 2008
My current job has a labelling-is-nine-tenths-of-the-law system of fridge security. It isn’t secure. My small team buy milk in larger bottles than anybody else, which seems to encourage theft. “They won’t notice, stealing some won’t hurt.” Paranoia, guilt and shame are the tools with which we intend to fight this theft. Oh, and Sharpie markers.
Sunday, 13 April 2008
Paul, Eileen and I went to Southport to take some photos. Organised fun was preferred, as always, so we set ourselves a challenge. Take two photos each that pertain to the following subjects:
*"Help" meaning "assist" or "assistance," rather than "Shit! Help me!"
** "Wind" as in "the wind blows" not "wind-up wristwatch."
Here are my twelve snaps.
Saturday, 12 April 2008
Thursday, 10 April 2008
10.31 USERNAME: Yorick: So are we playing mafia or what?
10.31 USERNAME: Vertice: I was once pretty close to someone called Yorick
10.31 USERNAME: Yorick: Here we go…
10.31 USERNAME: JDSpeeder: I knew him well
10.31 USERNAME: jman: I knew him well
10.31 USERNAME: Yorick: You knew him well
10.32 USERNAME: Vertice: He was a transvestite
10.32 USERNAME: Yorick: --- wtf?
10.33 USERNAME: Vertice: A lass
10.32 USERNAME: Yorick: fnarrr!
Wednesday, 9 April 2008
Today I got an email from the head of the interview panel asking me if I was still interested in the role. Ten weeks down the line, and out of nowhere an offer of a new job. What a massive surprise, and what a welcome one too. I'm meeting someone from that team tomorrow to have an informal chat about the role, but I'm 95% certain that I'm going to take it.
I feel really excited - especially as the field I'd be moving into is much more closely related to the environmental side of things, which is where I'd like to end up in the near future.
Tuesday, 8 April 2008
Thom and his flatmate Owen support different football teams. To ensure that cordial relations between them persist after their teams have played each another, they’ve informally agreed a non-aggression pact. Only the supporter of the losing team can initiate a conversation about the match. It’s a mature and diplomatic arrangement, by which I’m very impressed. Owen didn’t come to the birthday party, a mature and diplomatic decision on his part.
Monday, 7 April 2008
I felt upset.
I met Clare for six pints straight after work this evening. We went to the Briton’s Protection and Solomon Grundy’s, and the beer was soothing. Clare said that she thought Pip valued my friendship more than that, and that Pip was handling it in the wrong way. This is because Clare always supports me because of our history – we lived together for eighteen months two years ago. She’s doesn’t toil to read my feelings. She thought she should explain that we could always hang out.
I felt better.
Sunday, 6 April 2008
Saturday, 5 April 2008
I want a hole in the wall that I can fill up with secrets.
1. I found my hole in the wall, up by the Peveril of the Peak.
2. It's stupid and unfair for me to be angry about the incident above. I've known for three months that the person I've got a crush on isn't available - in fact, she's got a boyfriend, and she's really happy with him. I'm far too cowardly to seek out a new target for my affection - it's so much easier to put energy into something that's never going to come off than to invest in something that might fail, because at least I know the outcome of running down the dead end. I wasn't being toyed with, I was being given an gentle reminder by my crush that she isn't really that into me and I should be grateful for the delicacy of the message, rather than angry at its content. Why have an unreachable dream? Because at least I know how it'll turn out.
Tonight I went out to a bar with a group of people that I've wanted to befriend for an age. Collectively, they are or were bar staff from my local. One of them is someone I've had a big old crush on for quite a long time. Maybe it was because I was the only bloke in the group (poor me, surrounded by twelve glamorous young women), maybe it was because I was the only sober one amongst drunks (I have a driving lesson in the morning), maybe it was because they were dressed to the nines heading for a burlesque night and I looked like some mid nineties dogshit indie band bass player in my tracksuit top, check shirt, jeans and trainers - but as I left I knew that I would never be part of that world. I never could. As I said goodnight, it hit me.
Our dreams are worth nothing unless we dare to chase them.
But what is the value of chasing something that can't be caught? When should I dare to let go of an impossible dream?
Friday, 4 April 2008
Thursday, 3 April 2008
Is the sculptor:
a) trying to suggest Rolls and Royce didn't always see eye to eye
b) making an artistic point by subverting the concept of the looker and the look, a la Lacan
Answers on a postcard please.
Wednesday, 2 April 2008
- find out what types of employment opportunities exist in my sector, and of those which appeal to me, and discovering the specific requirements and person specifications of those jobs
- look into relevant local volunteering opportunities in the sector
- look into appropriate courses and other training that are relevant to those jobs
- save money to pay for the cost of courses and other associated expenditure
- devote time to volunteering, researching and studying around the subject
- specifically, save enough to learn to drive, and to get a car, and to cover other associated costs
- driving, which is vital
- GIS, (through work, if possible)
- environmental science level 1 or 2 OU course or courses
- through volunteering / short courses, job specific skills (eg dry stone walling)
4 Job Search
- this remains the loosest area of the plan, which makes sense because it should be fluid and open-ended until I’ve got a specific idea of what I want to do
I’d recommend Learn Direct to anybody. The number is 0800 100 900. I feel invigorated, enthused and excited about changing jobs. Feeling like I’m going somewhere makes every drab day at my desk more bearable.
Tuesday, 1 April 2008
I was directed towards an awesome slideshow of animals found in the Antarctic by the wonderful Boing Boing site. I especially like the starfish, whose crenulated edges remind me of some of the dumplings at the New Hong Kong, my favourite Friday dim sum diner.
This isn’t an April Fool’s gag either.