Thursday, December 20, 2012

Number 96

Do You Ocelot?

We walked out of the Vic on Tuesday night even. We'd come second in the quiz (God knows how, but...) got our investment back and the beer was reasonably fresh. On current form there this was a result, especially as we're not quite sure where we got three of our points from... But, still, missus, never you mind that! The next day (last night) we went down the Lamp and were faced with a wall of people. The place was as packed as a wassname's doo-dah; I had to park the car in Hunstantin; and there wasn't what I'd call their usually fabulous beer selection. We couldn't find anywhere to sit; my back was hurting me and the girls had taken to going to the toilet every 10 minutes just so they could have a sit down.

On the quiz side, I was gobsmacked to discover that Bolivia was the largest producer of brazil nuts in the world, especially as I reasoned, with quite superb authoritativeness, why Bolivia could not possibly be the world's largest producer of brazil nuts (and is that Brazil or brazil?). Who can say? Probably someone who knows betterer than wot I do.

Still, we went into the final round one point in front and the music round wasn't bad... Except, the bonus question, the one worth 5 points and the thing that would clinch it for us if we got it right, was just out of our grasp. The bonus question was who had the original hit with Christmas Rapping? We sat there, all knowing the answer, but all unable to drag it kicking and screaming from the pits of our minds; plus my bladder was doing its own kind of singing at me. Now that I'm older, my bladder isn't quite a Jupiter sized as it once was and this proved to be a good thing as I trundled off to the toilets. Two chaps already ensconced there were discussing it - the bonus question - not the size of my bladder and one turns to the other and says, "Was it The Waitresses?" And I saw an illumination of halogen bulbs go off in my head. I rushed back downstairs (after finishing my wazz and giving it a needed shake) and told the rest of the team my fantastically deduced answer. There was cheering and much backslapping, and then Roger turned to me and said, "You heard someone say it in the bogs, didn't you?"

Rumbled. But none of us gave a shit. I'm usually as deaf as a post any how. Besides, we won £73. I think some Australians would say something like "Fucking Bonza" at that result.

Boiled Turkey Porridge

I am now on holiday, or 'oliday as I sometimes like to say, especially when I'm strutting my stuff down some East End street (which has never actually happened as far as I can remember). This time last year I was already suffering from the chest problems that have dogged me for a year. I have a cough at the moment, but, you know something, without tempting fate too much, it doesn't feel like it's going to fuck me up. It, I reckon, feels like the kind of cough someone who doesn't smoke might get.

Still, enough of that. I'm going to be imbibing over Christmas. I imbibed last night (and the night before) and I intend to imbibe later on; then tomorrow I will imbibe some more. Whether I will imbibe after that really depends on whether or not there's still a planet left; but as I'm pretty sure that the Mayans, had they still ruled the Americas, would have just nipped down the local calendar shop and bought a new one.

Just to clear one thing up; a Mayan year is not 144,000 and something days long; if that was the case no one would ever have a birthday; would they? How old are you? I'm 0. Bloody hell, so am I.

George Osborne Has Testicles

Apparently, we don't really like giving to charity. Makes you wonder how much money would be raised if we did. Also apparently, because you can never trust these Internet sources half the time, if the chancellor (a name they gave Hitler remember) was to actually stop tax dodging, the poor wouldn't have to be penalised. Instead he targets a percentage of the population who need all the help they can get while rubbing the bellies (and no doubt fiddling with their private parts) of big corporations who probably wouldn't notice a quid or two missing from their caves stuffed full of wonga.

What I can't understand is why the Libdems are such a bunch of craven wankers and how come so many people still think the Tories are looking after their best interests. THEY. ARE. NOT! They look after theirs and their own, you wouldn't get shit sprayed on you (unless they could make money from it).

Bilbo Tandoori

So I joined Twitter and did exactly what I kinda thought I would do. Nothing. I replied to some tweets, but generally viewed it with some suspicion and generally can't be arsed with it yet. I realise that it has similarities to Tumblr, which I do enjoy - but only because it acts as a kind of general library for me to showcase the photos that the wife (in general) takes. I've just about posted all of my good photos up there now; everything else tends to be her work.

I've taken an interest in photography (in my usual - don't read the handbook just rush in like a fool way) and like my problems with modern art, I sort of have a problem with some photography. This time it has nothing to do with minimalism or naivety or having no talent; I actually find photographs of stuff I'd baulk at if they were artwork quite good (even if that sentence probably could have done with being restructured). It's about people who earn a living taking photos who, I don't believe, are as good at it as the wife is (or, in some cases, me, even).

I've been looking at photo accounts on Tumblr, Flickr and anything else with an 'E' missing, and especially ones who have the audacity to call themselves professional photographers and I just thought, you know, if I was in the middle of Papua New Guinea with some kind of bird of paradise in front of me I think I'd take some good photos. Or if there was some Kate Moss like model with her tits out, I could take just as good a photo, even in black and white (in fact, probably more so in black and white). Naturally I'm generalising; people I know who are professional photographers will probably tell me I'm talking out of my arse. I have been on photo-shoots and there is a lot going on... But, you know, if I was in paradise or standing in front of beautiful people, with a camera...


I am firmly in F. Frankie has been fun; French Teen Idol strange; FSOL has been kind of nostalgic; Fleet Foxes has been quite apt and I've boogey-rocked to Faith No More. There's been Florence and her Machine; the bizarre Freur (all Doot-Doot and Underworld before they became Underworld) and some Funkadelic. All in all, F is a good the most concentrated fun so far (and I have to recommend Everything Last Winter by Fields - it was great in 2006 when I got it and it's still great now) and I've yet to dump anything; but...

There's the stuff that I'm circling around; the stuff that is there and probably hasn't been played since I did it or in some cases not at all. Ben Folds - I like him, but the two albums I have probably haven't been near my now-no-longer-even-remotely-new-MP3-playing-ghetto-blaster and then there's The Flaming Lips, which is causing me something of my first real dilemma.

The Soft Bulletin is one of the best 100 albums of all time. it is a work of genius and I will fight any one who disagrees with me (as long as I can beat them). Yoshimi versus the Pink Robots had its moments and a couple of other albums have been... okay. I have DVDs of this band I've never looked at; I saw them once (with Martin Shipp) and it was one of the best gigs I've ever seen, but I saw them a year or two later with Roger and it was pretty much a meh gig. I have 8 - EIGHT - CDs of their work in front of me; the newest one and a host of stuff going back in time to their earliest, quite punky, stuff. I'm not convinced I'm ever going to play any of these ever (or again) and I can only put it down to this collector's mentality; this anally-retentive male trait of thinking that having everything by something will some how make my life more fulfilling.

I expect it won't be the first real dichotomy I face during this AtoZ odyssey.

Jingoistic Custard

I don't know if people have been noticing how disgruntled I get, but I've had a lot of smoke blown up my arse since I got that bollicking for doing a good job. I don't think it's been strategically put there because the people doing it have been pretty disparate and I have been ... lifted ... by it. I am confident that I am actually pretty good at what I do, if I get the opportunity to do it and if there was something that borders on a regret in my life, then it's a two-parter (because I don't do things by halves). The first part is I wish I'd gone into youth work sooner and the second part is that I wish I'd got some kind of qualification to back up my ability. But, of course, one wouldn't happen because the other didn't happen until much later in my life than I could have expected (or something like that).

I got just three Christmas cards from work; one from the boss, one from our counsellor and one from a student who said in it that she holds me responsible for her still being in school (in a nice, non-threatening way) and she thanked me for being there for her when she didn't think anyone cared. This has happened a few times over the last ten years or so so I figure I must be quite good at this intervention business (hey, send out figures are down by 20% since I've been given the job of sweeping up the stragglers).

The thing is, the area where I think I'd be best placed doesn't exist in this county any longer and if there is any ghost of it left it offers paltry money and no security. I am, of course, talking about Youth Work. My boss at the YOT told me the day we parted company that I was one of the best youth workers he'd ever worked with and it was said with a tinge of sadness because the skills I had were not economically viable at the new Austere YOT and we both knew that Northants County Council abolished youth workers about 7 years ago, figuring kids could work it out for themselves.

One Nation Under a Pooh

  • I am an irrational football fan. I know this.
  • I wore a chilli tie to celebrate Christmas.
  • Every decade since the invention of good music has had its moments, some of them have been good.
  • It's raining. Apparently it's going to rain a lot in the next week. If Anglia Water Authority so much as mentions the D word in the next 25 years I am going to pay someone to kidnap their executives' children and keep them locked in damp cells until their feet web.
  • John Dies at the End is going to be a load of shit, isn't it?

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