Friday, October 08, 2010

Friday 8 October 2010

 Friday 8 October 2010

I wake up around 8.20AM.  Twelve hours ago proceedings were just coming to a close and half a day later I am still feeling it.

Today is welcome time off.  Of late I appear to have been pushing things too hard and pressing through too many obstacles put in my way.  My environment is not necessarily a heavy one and in the grand scheme of things they are healthy but regardless it still takes its toll and makes me sleepy.

Having barely awakened into proceedings I stagger into watching the Frasier repeat on Channel Four, which today is an infamous episode with Amanda Donohoe.

Once up and moving I then find myself watching the first episode of An Idiot Abroad with some reservation but in the end it turns out to be incredibly funny as whether Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant have modified their styles and behaviour (especially Merchant), Karl Pilkington remains something of a hero to curmudgeon and even though his gestures and comments are exaggerated they still do come from an area of sentiment that is spot on.  He is in the classic British grumpy old man mould, which can be a very funny thing to be.  I wonder what my American friend makes of it.  Her and The Teeth.

From here I properly pull myself together with view to heading up to London for the KERMODE AND MAYO recording in East Finchley this afternoon.  In the end being on the drag I find myself rushing to get to the station, even burning up an SUV at the Crouch Street/Balkerne Hill turn off.  A few seconds later though it flies past me at the roundabout nearing the station.  He gets the last laugh.

Beyond this I get manage to get parked up relatively comfortably as I aim towards catching the 10.49AM train to Liverpool Street.  It is at this point things turn pear shaped as the latest NEXD occurs as the expected incoming train dies at Manningtree due to a points failure.  One day somebody will explain to me just what points actually are.

Eventually I board the 11.17AM along with two other trains worth of Colchester people.  Immediately it becomes evident that this journey is going to suck.  Obviously I get subjected to a plate crowder.  Strangely though as I attempt to mellow out by listening to an old Teenage Fanclub live set from 1992 when it reaches “Everything Flows” and the inevitable/eventual wailing conclusion this actually drives the woman away from sitting next to me.  Go figure.  Everything flows, everyone wins.

Slowly the train gradually trundles into London (including an always annoying stop at Romford) and when I finally arrive into Liverpool Street the time is 12.15PM.  From here I head straight to Moorgate before taking (enduring) the long arduous ride up to East Finchley.  It’s a long way north.

Later as we pass through Camden and head further towards North London there is the distinct odour of BO attached to the journey which appears to be the Asian dude sat opposite with his arms spread out wide.  How come people with BO can never smell themselves?

Finally and thankfully the train gets to East Finchley just before 1PM.  With a little help from my iPhone I quickly discover the Phoenix Cinema where Racton and Eleanor are already waiting.  Beyond a quick step past a man with a clipboard a few minutes later I am in the refuge of friends.  It is at around this point that I realise I have not eaten for more than 24 hours.  This is a bad scene.  Predictably before long I find myself sat flagging slumped on the stairway of the Phoenix as various busy BBC Radio Five types buzz about.  Am I still up from the Amyl?  To get me through I buy some overpriced Japanese rice crackers from the flash concessions counter in the lobby.  This is living.

After some laboured conversation, where I suspect I am making little sense, eventually the BBC begin letting people into the cinema just as it turns out that we have not got the correct tickets.  Thankfully Eleanor saves the day via a forceful conversation with the clipboard guy.

Very soon turning up early to join the queue pays off royally as we manage to snag second row seats in full view of proceedings.  Immediately there is a sense and feeling of rare absolute victory.  As we sit patiently we watch as various Radio Five types frantically bounce about prepping for go time at 2PM.

Every now and then we catch glimpse of KERMODE AND MAYO and it all feels very exciting.  In person MARK KERMODE cuts a very cool and stylish shadow whereas SIMON MAYO really does look old and nerdish now.  Didn’t females all fancy him back in the day when he was a star on Radio One?

From the off their prep is almost as funny as the actual show itself as they begin bickering immediately, not least when MAYO gets the “Madonna headset” while KERMODE gets lumbered with the set featuring a huge yellow bobble.  He pretty much looks prepped to call jumbo jets into an airport.  Then to further antagonise things MAYO insists on taking a quick Twitter photo of KERMODE in front of the audience (which in every possibility we might ghost into).  The fun never stops.

With minutes to go before the show begins it gets announced that Aaron Sorkin (of The West Wing and now The Social Network fame) is the main guest today but unfortunately due to recent government paranoia of terrorist attacks on transport Guillermo Del Toro has chickened out of travelling to the UK and thus won’t be appearing, much to the chagrin of KERMODE who in customary fashion tells it like it is.

With this 2PM arrives and the show begins rolling.  Anyone that has ever heard the show pretty knows what to expect: basically a movie expert reviewing the week’s releases while being casually undermined by the DJ which often results in comedic clash.  It’s a golden relationship.

As ever the show begins with the customary introduction and menu of proceedings before launching into the rundown of the box office top ten complete with live comments from begrudging audience members brought up onstage.  Looking at the top ten it worries me slightly that I have seen only one movie in the list and worse it is the awful The Other Guys which is for some reason sat at number one.

In the end they manage to get about halfway through the chart before Aaron Sorkin arrives.  Today he is pushing The Social Network, the movie about Facebook that he has written the script for, and almost immediately I am sold by his enthusiasm when previously I had been dubious.  How interesting could a movie about Facebook possibly be?  Well, by all accounts very as Sorkin describes about the creator (Mark Zuckerberg) has in effect changed the manner in which the world now interacts while remaining something of an antisocial person himself, being part of a new breed of nerdy intellects that are spiteful and bear grudges.

Being a busy man Sorkin swiftly does his bit and soon exits to much applause and appreciation.  He definitely manages to do his job and sell the movie to us all.

Today the main movie being reviewed by KERMODE is Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (and not “Wall Street 2” as common sense would suggest and it actually is).  With his review KERMODE seems reluctant to suggest that Oliver Stone has gone soft but resigned to it anyway.

Eventually the show ends with KERMODE surprisingly championing Zac Efron and his new movie Charlie St Cloud when surely, as the trailer suggests, it is a truly awful and pointless movie.  In the end however he makes Restrepo his film of the week and before long we have reached 4PM and the two-hour show has flown by.

With this we spew out onto the sunny streets of East Finchley on a surprisingly gorgeous Friday afternoon in October.  In theory the world is our oyster but in reality I think we’d all be happy to head straight home.  That said we do have a thirst (and I a hunger) so we head to The Bald Faced Stag where they go to the Monday night movie pub quiz.  It’s a cool pub; very swank and much nicer than anything you tend to get central.

I would imagine that I am very frustrating today as perhaps still hopped up from last night I go back to spaced out mode in the middle of conversation.  We sit in the pub and scrape off some conversation but equally I am looking off into the distance, which suggests that my head/mind is elsewhere and that is where my body wants to be.

After one drink we head back to the tube passing the French market on the way where the others take major glee in buying fancy cheese.  By now I am very hungry and a trip to Asda once back in Colchester becomes necessity and my goal.

Ultimately I find myself on the 6PM Norwich train home (formerly the “Sarah train”), which pretty much equates to a normal Friday ride home for me.  When I eventually get back to Colchester I indeed head straight to Asda where I know a tray of Chinese chicken wings await me.

Asda on a Friday night intimidates me.  Personally I like the store when it is next to empty and subsequently this has come to be a luxury I have become used to and reliant on.  On a Friday night however it is filled with couples in their dead end routine while elsewhere exuberant pleasure seekers stock up on cheap booze and plastic confidence while being quick to judge people such as me.

Eventually I get home with my life intact and into a Friday set to recovery.

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