Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Tuesday 28 April 2009

This morning I wake up spluttering. On the news the swine flu coverage is terrifying. Are these two linked?

As I step out into a relatively nice day while walking past the field towards North Station the cows are all at the fence eating the grass there this morning. I am unsure as to just what it is that is drawing them to the edge of the field but they are all looking at me dead in the eye. It is as if they know that they are going to end up inside my belly. These animals are actually pretty gorgeous and majestic but also terrifying with it. With the looks and expressions they give me as their eyes follow me as I walk past them it all feels like the beginning of some kind of horror movie.

Beyond that it is a boring journey into Liverpool Street with the train pulling into the station at 8.07.

I find myself getting depressed and pissed off on the tube this morning. There appears to be no one element responsible for this just a build up of frailties and awaiting admissions.

Things pick up as Nora brings me in a bunch of Hershey chocolates and then the IT guy comes accompanied by croissants (some chocolate) for us all. More food less depression – connection?

Early today Stevo texts me about the band Phoenix and whether I am still up for going to see Deerhunter in Brighton at the end of the month (bank holiday weekend). That weekend has now be realloted to the play offs final in addition to a proposed trip up to Manchester (I have already booked the Friday off). As ever I find myself trapped into an awkward situation. I really cannot see the appeal in Deerhunter though.

I have to concede to being unfocused at work again today, sleepwalking through the day as I embarrassingly struggle/wrestle with the new Sage system.

The big news of the day is how the bank is pissed off with us and despite our working our arses off for the past two months to meet their requirements they still have a real hard on for. What the fuck was the point of them arranging such strict deadlines if our performance in meeting them on time would never suffice? In reality it actually sounds as if the poor relationship between our company and the bank has suddenly become quite personal. All in all it just points to one hell of a set of months ahead of tough work that may not even guarantee the future of the organisation. Precarious.

What the really fucked up thing is is that the bank have handed us with some kind of ultimatum to get an audited set of March 09 accounts in their hands in a month. I have never EVER in thirteen years of accountancy come across a set of audited accounts having such a quick/fast turn around, this is unheard of. This request from the bank is absurd at best and impossible at worst. This is gonna make the next few months suck.

The remainder of the day sails out like the calm before the storm. With such pressures as detailed above this really is not the time to be introducing a new system that I find myself already struggling to find my way around.

Thankfully this evening I have some fun on the cards and with meeting Germaine at the ICA planned for 8.30 this leaves me with a gap to fill so I scour the listings for a movie to go see. My instinct is to opt for either the new Seth Rogen or the new Paul Rudd but then I see a movie called Raiders Of The Lost Ark: The Adaptation listed and I investigate that and discover it is some kind of full-length homemade version of the movie showing for one night only. It comes Lucas and Spielberg approved so I decide to take the once in a lifetime opportunity and see the homemade movie on a big screen.

In the afternoon my boss comes into our office and appears to be bored as he speaks of the benefits of taking an afternoon nap/sleep. We half suspect he has been putting this theory into action. Unfortunately to coincide with this (unrelated) I begin to develop a headache.

Again I find myself ditching kickboxing this week. I feel let down and ripped off by that club. It was supposed to up my self-esteem, push me to become more healthy and active but ultimately it has only served to make me feel worse about myself, to turn into a nuisance and barrier to my world. I have no time to waste on this shitty class smacked in the middle of my week sapping any remaining energy that I have. Oh well.

As the working day ends and the playing one begins I head out towards the West End and at Baker Street I see the Baker Street Midget which is a sure-fire indication that something is playing on my mind at this time.

I actually find myself slightly short of time for getting to Leicester Square to catch the Raiders Of The Lost Ark: The Adaptation movie. As I hit the queue I find myself clockwatching and anxious of the amount of time the people in front of me are taking to book their own tickets.

Leicester Square is freaky to me these days. The last few times I came here were always with my American friend so today I half expect I might be seeing her waddle through the zone. Alas this is not the case.

Finally I get to snag my movie ticket. Upon requesting the guy in the booth says “that will be £17.50” and I almost have a heart attack before realising/accepting that it is for charity.

Staggering upstairs it is into a busy room full of Raiders memorabilia up for auction, quickly it looks like some kind of fundraiser full of people where everybody knows everybody. I begin to feel awkward but the offer of a free margarita helps chill me out but I do turn down the offer of sliced sushi disguised cunningly as snake.

It turns out there is a Q&A to proceedings also which makes meeting up with Germaine on time this evening looking next to impossible. As we enter the screen (one of the more enormous screens) we are handed a small container of blue liquid with absolutely no explanation as to what this might be.

Entering the room I see an empty seat right at the back on an aisle, perfect for a quick exit when necessary later on. I ask the geek sat in the seat next to it if it is free but he does not respond for with any indication of possession or territory I sit down. Immediately I am met with a sarcastic nerdy “help yourself.” Under my breath I utter the word “cunt” as it becomes apparent it was being saved for another nerd after all. However this seat is more perfect than perfect.

Sat in the arm of the seat is a free bag of popcorn and bottle of coke and suddenly the £17.50 doesn’t feel like such a rip off after all.

There is a slight delay in the movie beginning causing my evening to look even more delayed than ever for later on and after a quick introduction from the filmmakers the film begins and the positively baying audience are met with a VHS camcorder quality version of teenage kids re-enacting the original movie scene by scene.

It turns out that this movie was started in 1982 and eventually finished in 1989, which represents a huge amount of dedication perhaps not seen since Mark Borchardt in the amazing American Movie (I always thought the blind passion of Borchardt resembled that of my Gringo Records cohort towards the end of days). To give it an extra edge of credibility Daniel Clowes (the legend that is Daniel Clowes) is apparently working on a screenplay of the making of the movie Son Of Rambow style.

Referring to notes the movie was originally the idea of three friends Chris Strompolos, Eric Zala and Jayson Lamb (with Strompolos playing the role of Indiana Jones) and if production values were ultimately low the entertainment values are very high.

Obviously made on a shoestring budget, although ample in Ed Wood terms, the ingenuity of the young filmmakers was and is DIY gold. As the kids try their best to deliver their lines the scenes around them work as recognisable representations of the original movie. Early on a huge round applause sounds for the scene where Indiana outruns the rolling ball booby trap.

The movie turns out to be great fun. The decision to use a little terrier as a substitute for the troublesome monkey gives birth to many accidental comedic moments, not least the moment the fake Indy grabs the poor dog by the legs and swings him onto his shoulders. The expression of confusion on the poor dog is priceless, easily one of the funniest moments I will see on a big screen this year. This emotion in me is echoed by people in the row next to me unable to stop laughing at the scene/moment.

The absolute highlight of the piece is the re-enacting of the van chase scene that comes late in the movie which is expertly done, not only for a bunch of teenagers but any set of would be filmmakers.

As the movie winds to an end it is funny to see the kid actors change as puberty visibly hits and their voices have changed because the scenes have taken so long to reach to film. It is however slightly worrying/troublesome to consider that I am finding the Marion of the piece Angela Rodriguez a lot more attractive than Karen Allen, which isn’t too healthy considering the probable age of her. That said it was filmed a long time ago and the lady is probably older than me. Phew.

When the movie comes to a close there is rousing applause all around the cinema at a job well done. Having had one eye on the time all evening I quickly hop out before the Q&A, which probably would have been a lot of fun.

Stomping out of Leicester Square, down Trafalgar Square and through to the Mall to the ICA obviously I arrive first before Germaine (she is a girl after all). After a brief wait outside she turns up seemingly really happy to see me.

We step inside the ICA and immediately I am reminded what a lovely venue this place is. On stage are tonight’s support band LET’S WRESTLE and I know good things about these guys.

LET’S WRESTLE appears to be a dirty by design pop noise outfit. The frequent comparisons to The Fall (obvious) does them some kind of dishonour as there is a youthful kind of anger and nonchalance to them that such a comparison does not cover. The songs are catchy and this represents some kind of subtle grunge revival in indie music at the moment, the band even remind me of Teenage Fanclub perhaps during their “The King” phase and definitely at their most fuzzy and loud.

Germaine is less impressed. She doesn’t appear to think they have put much effort into their material and she comments, “they could have least washed their hair.” Dirty hair though, surely that’s what rock music is about?

We head to the bar to pick up/at some drinks. Leffe is on tap and it makes me shrink with memories of overdosing on the stuff in Notting Hill and attempting to chat up Damon Albarn platonically in the process. He was actually a very nice and accommodating person but the evening could only be summed up with the fact that I had to piss on the platform of Harlesden tube station, I ended up throwing up on the floor of the house we were living in leaving the dog to lick up the puke and over the course of the night said dog would give me a black eye while I in the process would throw up around ten times. So no Leffe for me. This might however explain Germaine’s mini strop at the bar when the guy gives her the wrong beer that isn’t Leffe.

MICACHU & THE SHAPES are fantastic. MICACHU has a lot of rugged personality. Whether it is completely sincere in its roughness is perhaps open to debate but her music talent most definitely is not to be questioned. Using an arsenal/array of seemingly shitty instruments MICACHU and her two friends tear through a greasy set of memorable songs mainly taken from her fantastic “Jewellery” album. That said the absence of “Worst Bastard” this evening hits me hard.

MICACHU reminds me a lot of a girl I used to do kickboxing with. She speaks like her and they share very similar mannerisms (womannerisms?) The girl who I used to do kickboxing class with however had arms covered in scars that looked from self harm and this could perhaps be taken as a metaphor for how MICACHU makes her music off the back of broken equipment and instruments that scream of improvisation and ingenuity. Also the songs pack a punch and a kick. When the band tear into “Vulture” there is a true urgency to proceedings and proper hook at the end.

After the set Germaine and I stagger out onto The Mall into the beautiful glowing London evening. This truly is the greatest place on earth. In one direction in the not too far distance is Buckingham Palace and in the other is Trafalgar Square and Nelson’s Column, which this evening stood against dusk looked as staggering as ever.

As we go our separate ways I thank Germaine profusely for the plus one and speed towards my train home to Essex.

When I arrive at Liverpool Street it is to the sad reality that I have missed the 11.30 (the last fast train) by one minute. This is always the way. In a good mood I head upstairs and get a McDonalds and when the train (11.48) pulls out of the station I settle down to watching episode 2 of season 2 of In Treatment (a girl with cancer) before chilling out by listening to “When” by Vincent Gallo which helps me get some brief winks of sleep.

The sad end to the evening is the reality that I get home at 1.30AM with an alarm clock set for 6AM the same day. Four and a half hours sleep does not seem sufficient.

Pissed off I display my dissatisfaction at this by parking really crap, as if drunk, as if I could barely be able to stop my car before ploughing into the front room of a neighbour’s apartment. Rebellion.

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