Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Kiss, tipple and torture 

Andorra was not quite 'Ibiza on Ice', but it sometimes felt like hell had frozen over.

This photo taken on Big Brother eviction night.
One long kiss goodbye, one black eye and an accusation of ignorance. Fairly mild in the end.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The Flood 

To those who were in Cardiff last Saturday.

Fear not.

Those of you who urinated; indulging in “wild pissing” to relieve bladders full of cheap beer.
Those of you who spat.
Your retch and puke.
The drool of the Irish men over our fine Valley girls
Your tears for the Grand Slam – the fabric of Welsh society restored after being torn apart by Thatcher?
Your tears because your boyfriend doesn't love you any more, or because your best friend snogged the boy you fancied
Your Snot.
Dribble from your sloppy snogging
Cigarette filters saturated - brown and yellow with tar and spit
Beer spilled, dribbled, sprayed and erupted
Deposits in condoms for the lucky ones, without the brewer's droop
Dead skin, dandruff shaken loose by jubilation
The droplets expelled as you snored
The cubes of vegetable that fell out of your pasties
The slivers of dodgy meat that that was shaved into, and slipped from your kebabs
The crushed chips
The discarded gherkins from MCD's burgers
Your gassy burps
Your Jalfrezied farts
The crushed empty beer cans
Your songs, chants and your hugs
Your joy and inebriation.

Your stench, your excess, your ecstasy, your embarrassment.
All your discarded DNA has been washed away.

The Flood has come and cleansed the city.

What my council tax dollars can't sweep away, God will.

(Unless you dropped your gum on the floor. It's still there speckling our pavements.)

Yesterday the sun was shining.
I picnicked in the park with my sweetheart.
We drank smoothies and played bouls until our bladders were full, then marched to the closest pub to use their toilet facilities and sit in the beer garden drinking syrupy Pepsi.
We walked back into town and bought knickers and socks from the British Home Stores, magazines from W.H.Smiths (where I dreamt of having a job with a waiting room and me in charge of a large monthly allowance to buy magazines for it. “Modern Painters” and “Small Holders Monthly” caught my eye. I'd inspire the bored customers, maybe just one would think outside and beyond their pointless life; then my own would be worthwhile).

Then I left her at the station to catch a train.

On the way home I passed a field full of cows lying on their backs with their legs in the air. Knowing something about animal behaviour and their close affinity with the climate, I sought out the farmer and commented to him “Looks like rain is coming”.
He sighed, “I bloody well hope so, maybe it will wash all those dead cows out of my field”

And rain it did.

Actually I've been away for a week, so it may have been pissing down for days, I wouldn't have known.

In Andorra last week I overused the word “Numpty” and learned the word “Honkey”. I was under the impression that “Honkey” was a derogatory term for people from Hong Kong but it turn out to be African American slang, a derogatory term for a white person. I think then I'm safe to use it as a replacement for numpty. (“you stupid honkey”, “what's up honkey?”, “there are far too many honkeys here for my liking”)

Steve tells me there is a Happy Mondays lyric: “I might be a honkey, but I'm hung like a donkey”

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Thursday, March 17, 2005

I'd say he looked like John Cusack, if I could remember who the hell John Cusack was 

Six months ago I was tasked to create a mix tape for my girlfriend who was embarking on a three month road trip to Turkey and back through Eastern Europe - well I offered to create one.

I had once sat through about about a third of the film 'High Fidelity' - which I believe to be an adaptation of a book by some English twat who is more in touch with his feminine side than he is with say, the side of him that wishes to cultivate an allotment, beat up gypsies and have a wank every morning before he gets up. The film's main character, played by John Cusack (an American Hugh Grant?), muses, philosophises and generally faffs about creating the perfect mix tape for a girl he wishes to impress. He worries and minces about, worried about the flow, the pace, the vibe; how should it start, climax and end? (I guess this is how a real DJ would plan his set for maximum audiance satisfaction) I think John ends up opening with something like 'Holiday' by Madonna, builds up from that and climaxes with 'I Have Confidence In Me' from the Sound Of Music and winds down to close with 'The Lord's Prayer' performed by Lord Cliff Richard.

Anyway, faced with the true scope of what I'd promised to create; I myself mused, philosophised and generally faffed. Not about the content of the tape - that would be a simple task, and probably any old crap will do - but about the whole idea of creating a mix tape for someone else in the first place. Should I actually be doing this? What would my choice of songs say about me? What am I saying to the person I'm creating this for? Am I displaying too much of my personality, trying to project it upon them? Am I trying to embody my limited understanding of their own personality? This is who I am, or this is who I think you are? Or am I just taking the piss? Or will there be some compultion to 'like' or appreciate the songs? How will it be received, and will there be any repercussions?

That took me about two days to get over. Then I finally got on with it. I worried not about flow or pace, I think the track listing looked something like this:

Bang Bang (My baby shot me down) - Nancy Sinatra (From Kill Bill soundtrack - I knew she liked this one)
Slaughterhouse - not sure of artist (From Wild at Heart soundtrack)
Suicide Journalist - Chris Morris
Kathleen - Tindersticks
Walking Barefoot - Ash (good Cool Britannia tune)
A-team theme (they were traveling in a mini bus)
Sparky's Magic Piano - some children's audio book
Mr. Blue Sky - ELO (I'd heard the two 'songs played back to back on Radio 2 late one night to show the 'electronic synth' link. Also Sparky's Magic Piano includes some of Rachmaninoff's prelude in C# minor - a piece who's spectre had been hanging over me for years (see a future post))
Myfanwy - Bryn Terfel
Chiwawa (Coca Cola Remix) - DJ Bobo
Waltz #2 - Elliott Smith
Are you lonesome tonight (laughing outtake) - Elvis
Apache - Incredible Bongo Band
Love Theme From Spartacus Zero 7 remix - Terry Callier
Moon River (Extended Version) - Morrissey
Christmas Shoes - New Song
Is That All There Is - Peggy Lee (debated with the PJ Harvey version)
Great Gig In The Sky (Trance Remix) - Orb / Pink Floyd
Sheela-Na-Gig - PJ Harvey
Don't Stop Moving - S Club 7
S Club Party - S Club 6
The Moldau - Smetana
Slow Life - Super Furry Animals
Are You My Woman (Tell Me So) - The Chi-Lites
Soldier Girl - The Polyphonic Spree
Tightrope - Stone Roses (Greatest car sing along song IMHO)
Truth and Rights - Zero 7

In the future there will be computer programs that will take this list and spew out the perfect track ordering. Also, it may be a good idea for a quiz - given a list of songs, put them in the best order?

So how did it turn out?
Well months afterwards I had the impression that she had not even listened to it. This annoyed me slightly and added weight to my argument that it would have been better not to embark upon such an exercise in the first place.
Last week I came out and asked her. Yes she had listened to it lots, "some of the songs were great and some were crap".

Perfect, this is just what I had wanted.

more on mix tapes

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Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Flag burning 

Of late my greatest achievment, leading to possibly the greatest satisfaction I've felt in recent memory; comes from populating a clothes-horse to it's absolute limit. No hanging area left free, every item of damp clothing given maximum airation (taking account of it's size, shape and absorbency, and prioritising based upon need to be hung uncrumpled and the relative duration until it would next need to be worn). Upon seeing the pile of washed clothes and the clothes-horse, most would say it could not be done. Yet I managed it and it felt amazing.

Faced with a picture like this (in it's context), my feeble desire to symbolically burn a flag in the next 6 months seems rather shallow and pointless (although technicaly this is just a effigy of a flag).

Racheal Corrie died two years ago this week, and I guess is one of my heros. Here is some information and her last emails.

Faced with something like this, I've scrapped the flag burning off my list and replaced it with:
"Hang more wet clothes on one clothes-horse than should physically be possible, and get someone else to apprechiate just what you've archived... then set fire to them (the clothes that is, not the someone)"

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Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Guess the story 

In today's South Wales Echo (Cardiff's local rag) is a story beginning:

"Depressed gun enthusiast, Martin Davies, 51 ..."

Yea, he shot himself.

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