Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Me vs All Builders, Everywhere, For All Time

Right. You'll forgive me if I sound annoyed, but there is a man drilling holes into concrete directly over my head. This is loud, prevents me being able to answer any of the million phone calls I'm getting today, and occasionally causes plaster to drop from the ceiling, which doesn't improve the flavour of my coffee, despite what they might think upstairs. Gah.

Hmm. It's ok now. They've stopped. Only to take up frantic hammering. And bear-wrestling, to judge by the thudding and roaring. If only I had an inquisitive nature, I'd go upstairs and find out what they are actually doing. Instead, I'm going to sit here and waste my time and your time. My guess as to what they're actually doing upstairs is that they're botching something. Possibly quite badly. With uneven surfaces.

Friday, August 26, 2005


I'm up to 'Echoboy' now, thanks for asking.

Today, I feel like the King of Cool. I'm in the office on my own, and I've brought in my little 4 1/2" black & white telly, and I'm sat watching the cricket. No need for the over by over commentary on the Guardian, thank you very much.

Saw Nick Cave at Ally Pally last night, which was absolutely great, again. Probably among the top two gigs I've seen, and seeing as the other one in contention is Nick Cave at Brixton Academy last year, the boy's doing ok. The band came out and played very heavily and were just amazing. And there's not many fortysomething christians who can say that. Sadly, I wasn't able to add to the Nick Cave teatowel I bought at the last gig. The Nick Cave kitchenware range seems to have stalled somewhat.

Alexandra Palace itself was interesting. I've not been to a gig there before, but the place has been done up in a tribute to a shopping centre's homage to what a palace would look like. Very odd.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

File That Son-of-a-Bitch

Just to keep you up to date with what's happening in my exciting life. I'm an administrator by profession, but I've now turned this passion to my home life. I'm currently reorganising my CD collection. Radically. I've decided to get rid of all the plastic cases, and compact them all into a specially bought chest, which has hanging file dividers with dinky CD files in. Currently, two days into the project, I've made slow progress through A, B and C, and as I left it last night, I was hovering around the DJ Shadow mark. If anyone wants plastic cases, cd trays (both black placcy and the highly sought-after unbroken transparent trays), or the more esoteric cases available such as double/triple cds, slim jewel cases, a couple of natty orange semi-transparent trays, etc., you're more than welcome to them. Let me know. Also, I've got some (lots) CD towers that I no longer have any use for. Let me know also.

My life is so exciting that I took to wondering about Joe Pasquale. Presumably, having had a reasonable degree of success in his life - his VHS of the Live & Squeaky tour having grossed in excess of £1 million, Wikipedia informs me - he's in a position to employ other people. In fact, he owns a production company, so would have to. What manner of person, though, would be able to take him seriously as a boss? Could his voice ever convey the seriousness of intent, the nasty hard-edged quality that is needed to inspire loyalty and fear? Can you imagine him sacking someone? His face incandescent with rage as he rants away, only audible to bats, about unprofessionalism and how you owe him for all the trust he's put in you and is this how you repay him, you worthless nothing, you'll never work in this town again? I got so into this flight of fancy I nearly mis-filed a Leonard Cohen CD.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

On Being Gaffer-Taped to a Chair

I just need clarification over a point of etiquette:

When one of your housemates has you gaffer-taped to a chair, and then eventually you manage to free yourself, is it legitimate to complain that you're now in pain, have ripped all the hair off your arms and have broken blood vessels from getting free? Or was I just being sensitive?

Also at the weekend I went on some dodgems at the glamourously named Alexandra Palace Boating Lake Car Park Funfair, to which one whizzed around banging into bloodthirsty seven year-olds to the mournful strains of Hank Williams' 'I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry', the saddest song ever recorded. This didn't stop me ramming people, though.

Also went on the boating lake itself in a dilapidated rowing boat, where we chased ducks, avoided a family about to kick off in a pedalo, and listlessly circled until some undesirables and their dogs had left. Good old Alexandra Palace.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Keyring Dinky Things

I've come in for criticism from some quarters recently for mentioning sports recently. I'll try and keep this one free of such references.

I'm also mocked for the amount of gadgets I carry round on my keyring (a Swiss army knife and usb flash drive dongle - if you don't know what one is, you probably don't need one, but here's an explanation). Well, actually, I'm mainly mocked because every time I go through an airport I forget to take it off and have to hand it over to the Men in Grey. Every time. And then buy a new one. Also last time I also had a pair of scissors with me, which although about as dangerous as a biro, I had to hand over.. Anyway, it's all worth it for the sheer pleasure of being able to cut things that need cutting as and when I please, and being able to screw screws (either flathead or phillips) with great inefficiency. And I can't tell you the number of times that the ability to tweeze things with the tweezers has come in useful. OK, it's none, but you never know.

The usb dongle has also been useful to have on my person at all times on precisely one occasion, when my workmate needed to transfer a file to a laptop which didn't have a floppy drive and she needed to do it now. Averting this one nerdmergency has justified me in carrying my little geek gadgets around from here to eternity. I'm just wondering what else I could add to the collection to make me even more secure when out on the dangerous streets of N8, which are fraught with hazards, data transferral issues and screws that need tightening.

Friday, August 12, 2005


Just to get the general tone of how I'm feeling about work at the moment, yesterday I sent an email that finished:

worryingly indicitive of the institution's general problem of the right hand not knowing what the left hand's doing, or even that the left hand exists, while the right foot is actually doing all the work, unbeknownst to the hands.
Anyway, time for me to go back to the cricket.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Cricket, Football, Stupids

I'm going to be ploughing a somewhat narrow furrow here, but, for those of you who have an interest in cricket, football, and laughing at stupid people, take a look at the Gruaniad's over-by-over analysis of the 3rd Test, where people have taken it upon themselves to relate (possibly apocryphal) anecdotes attesting to Jason McAteer's famed stupidity. You can find it here, and the McAteerisms start around the 58th over, with England 210-2 (Vaughan 103, Bell 18).

Feel free to also use the over-by-over analysis to enjoy the cricket. It's by far the best way to watch it when your office doesn't have a television, like mine doesn't. They were interviewed forningly in the Londonist, which is itself enjoyable more generally. Howzat?

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Fantasy Football

I've just signed up to do fantasy football leauge, against my better judgement. Not that my better judgement ever gets its way. It's not as good as my best judgement, nor as instant as my good judgement, so I tend to ignore it. Normally I just flip a coin to decide what I do. Anyway, fantasy football is against my better judgement because I don't actually know that much about football, or at least not as much as people who know who the West Ham reserve youth team goalkeeper's girlfriend is. Also, my interest wains very easily. I've now got to do this for a whole season. Well, unless I just stop and let my team drift slowly to the bottom. Unless it was already at the bottom, which is a definite possibility.

Also I don't know how I'm supposed to get the respect of my eleven highly paid and superbly gifted footballers, what with my background of university administration and tennis.

Anyone who wants to compete with me should let me know, and I'll see if you can join Allen's League of Allen.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Have You Ever Put a Banana in a Croissant?

I saw a middle-aged man, pushing a buggy, surrounded by small children, all of whom were horrifyingly probably born in the Nineties. The late Nineties at that. One of them pipes up, 'I'm SO hungry.' The Greggs bags swing from the buggy, and the man asks, 'Have you ever put a banana in a croissant?', with much of the vocal delivery of a presenter on Playbus. I'm torn by this: do I revel in the innuendo, or do I stand and wonder what this would taste like?

Greggs has sold out of croissants by the time I get there.

I've been telling a lot of people that I've been woken up by builders recently. What I really should say though is that I've been woken by the sound of builders. It's not as though I've been roused from sleep by an offer of a cup of tea by a sweaty man in overalls while his workmate opens the curtains to let the light in and turns on Radio Four.

I'm not sure whether this would be more pleasant than being woken by various loud drills and diggers and trucks and shouting, though.
I was watching Curb Your Enthusiasm last night, and I thought I'd share this with you. They are in a car on a long journey.

Larry: "I dunno. D'ya think we really needed Alaska and Hawaii? Ah, they gotta ruin everything. They ruined the continental United States. Ruined it! We have a beautiful Pacific coast, Atlantic coast; that's the United States. You don't need more states. We're not the British Empire. What, they're trying to turn us into the British Empire. [pause] What is Puerto Rico, anyway?"
Sheryl: "Larry, please. I am trying to drive."