Saturday, October 23, 2010

Saturday 23 October 2010

Saturday 23 October 2010

Unsurprisingly after being awakened in the early hours and thus experiencing disrupted/interrupted sleep I rise in grumpy fashion, the bad mood of a bear with a sore head.

With a big day ahead of me not long after getting up I pull myself together and head out to Asda as per the necessity of my routine.  Will my life forever resemble this?

As I exit the building still angered by the actions of my neighbours waking me up last night I decide to repeat the gesture and royally slam the front door of our building as I leave.  This is no subtle slam, I put in effort and sense the building shaking in much the same fashion they perform daily, indeed just a few hours ago.

Stepping into my car as I look up at the Trash Humpers’ bedroom window I spot it is lined with pillows.  Until recently these fuckers have had said window open despite the cold climate.  They appear to be truly insane.

From here I stomp around Asda with my continued bad mood and eventually I get done with my shopping which resembles the usual shower of the Saturday newspapers, meat, yoghurts, cheap fizzy caffeine drinks and a little French bread for a treat.  Pathetic.

When I pull back into Hollytree Court my heart sinks as I put my key in the door and attempt to enter my own building my external key does not work.  I quickly check to see that I am using the right key as I turn it a few more times and soon it becomes obvious the safety latch has been pulled down on the door from the inside.  Some fucker has locked me out.

Briefly I kick at the door but these things are built/made to stand.  Also unfortunately with my nice neighbour out at work I am only left with the option to either buzz either 14 Hollytree Court or 15 Hollytree Court or take the more direct route of letting myself in.

In my mind I’ve had this moment planned for months now ever since they locked me out the first time.  That time I think they were just being thick/dense but this time it feels personal and on purpose.  Promptly I turn around with my shopping and open the boot of my car where I pull out a golf club that I stole from Butt Road many moons ago.  Without hesitation I take the club and ram it into the clouded glass of our entry door.

The club smashes through far easier than I imagined it would.  It is now ten years since I smashed the window at Action Park and this is a rare treat for me, I feel like Tony Soprano or something.  Briefly I attempt to put my hand through the door but the breakage isn’t enough.  I have to smash through the window a second time.  By now it is becoming a tad like The Shining which makes the gesture no less exciting.  This is officially the Kristallmorgen.

This time the hole is big enough to get my hand through and with that I pull down the safety latch that has indeed been pulled down and open the door.  Why would somebody do that, pull the latch down?  From here I return to the boot of my car where I throw the golf club back in and pick up my shopping and head to my own front door half bracing myself for a face to show itself and ask what is up.

No such faces emerge.

Once inside my flat I am fuming but also exhilarated.  That was cool.  As I unload my shopping and put on the radio to the returning Danny Baker on Radio Five I notice there is blood on my shopping my bags.  I look at the base of my right hand and I have slashed it.  Immediately I stick on a plaster but it fails to effectively stem the tide of seeping blood.  I didn’t realise I had gashed my hand so hard.  I respond by attaching another plaster.

With this I resume listening to Danny Baker for a while as I have some breakfast and endeavour to calm down.  Why do these things occur?  Why did these awful people (Caroline Geary and co) move into 15 Hollytree Court?  Why was it fated?

On Danny Baker his guests are Jan Molby and John Landis, two voices that would ordinarily fuel me with joy.

At this point having had enough I decide to text Stu Constantine, the owner of 15 Hollytree Court, the apartment that the Trash Humpers are probably currently trashing.  I send the message “Stu.  Seriously this Sky proposal is nothing in comparison to what those people in your flat are getting up to”.  It is a very depressing message to be having to send.

Before long I am exiting my flat and the building, heading towards London and would/should have been my day of fun.  As I step past the broken glass of the front door it is fairly dramatic in fashion.

As I pull out onto Layer Road I spot a police car passing in the opposite direction.  Have they been called to our building?  Did I just commit a crime?  The crime of breaking and entering into my own building?  Suddenly I become very paranoid and very concerned.  Am I going to be paying for my actions soon at a near future date?  Thank god I am escaping up to London today.  People appear to be normal up there.

I end up catching the 10AM train out of Colchester.  Not long into the journey I find myself already losing bars on my now retiring iPhone and so with this I begin my day with battery angst on top of everything else disturbing me.

This morning my journey is soundtracked by the KODE9 AND THE SPACEAPE album Memories Of The Future followed by Nostalgialator by MIKE LADD.  These are surprisingly effective chill out records.

As ever displaying a lack of confidence in the capabilities of National Express East Anglia I overcompensate in travelling up to London on a weekend and eventually arrive ridiculously early avoiding a latest NEXD.

Thus continues a big day.

Once stepping out at Liverpool Street I wrestle with huddling masses and manage to get a Central Line tube across to Tottenham Court Road where I emerge into/onto a glorious autumn day in London.

By now I am listening to the latest episode of WTF podcast which features Marc Maron interviewing Sarah Silverman who comes over as resoundingly nice and normal much against her perceived persona.

Stepping up Charing Cross Road I pop into Foyles in search of books by Jonathan Ames.  Frustratingly the one I want is not there.  With this I cross into Blackwell bookshop where, while looking through the movie books, my iPhone rings and it is Stu (Day 70).  No doubt this is regarding the broken front door window.  Fuck that noise, I just ignore the bad vibrations.

From here soon I am collecting my ticket for today’s London Film Festival movie, which is a documentary, called BOXING GYM.  With ticket in hand and time to kill I decide to take a peak at what is going on at Trafalgar Square this Saturday and disappointingly for the first time in ages it is nothing.

On the way I decide to get a coffee but with the St Martins Lane Starbucks looking rammed I wind up in CaffĂ© Nero getting a frappe.  This could turn out to be a mistake on a day such as this.

Eventually after my little wander I step into the Vue and take my seat where the woman behind has her coat draped over the back of it.  I stand over it with a disgusted expression before she quickly moves it offering the most unconvincing of apologies.  What kind of background does a person need to have in order to hold such a sense of entitlement?

BOXING GYM by Frederick Wiseman turns out to be a great piece of work.  With no real narrative or even a voiceover to guide proceedings this is just pure footage of a grimey boxing gym in Texas (Lord’s Gym).  As a result you can almost taste the dirt on the wall, feel every inch of wear on the equipment and see every inch of duct tape that has been used to hold things together.  However it is the personalities of the people involved that exudes the real character of the place and the positive affect it has on the individual and the community.

The film reminds me of why I once enjoyed doing kickboxing, of the manner in which I would physically push as I was buoyed on by team spirit.  I feel exhausted watching the film as the clientele ranges from a “could have been a contender” pro down to kids trying to either avoid trouble or learning how to stick/stand up for themselves.  At the centre of things is the guy running the show Richard Lord, an ageing and experienced individual with something of a mystical take on proceedings who has an awareness and answer for most people’s situations and the traits of a true leader.  This is a role he undertakes and performs with little in the way of tangible reward (certainly not financial it would appear) which only serves to enhance his stature.  Such people are genuine pillars.

An hour and a half later it comes to a close after serving to justify its place in the grand scheme of things while being an enterprise that might otherwise be viewed negatively.  At the end the film receives a deserved round of applause.

From here I exit onto Leicester Square with the time at only 2PM and another two hours to kill before the DARREN ARONOFSKY event.

Predictably I wind up in Fopp where I buy more shit that I barely want that I don’t need.  In the end this equates to Sir Henry At Rawlinson End on DVD and a William Burroughs book.

Once done here I casually walk down to the South Bank taking the usual predictable but picture-esqe route wrestling with tourists but ultimately its worth it for the view I get from the Golden Jubilee Bridge.  The landscape and surroundings once more look amazing today.

By now I already have severe battery angst and with nothing else to do I step into the Southbank Centre where I buy a pint of Kronenbourg and take a seat.

So is this is what middle class families with children in London do at the weekend for leisure?  Seems so as there are so many people with kids here.  It’s nauseating.

Myself I sit and mull over my actions from this morning.  This situation is hanging over me like a bad cloud.  Thanks for ruining my big day Trash Humpers, especially you Caroline Geary.  You’re already well on your way to wrecking and ruining my home life why not extend it to my social life.

It is perhaps through my expression of disdain caused by this thought process that I begin to feel conspicuous as I sit uncomfortably with my head occasionally in my hands.

Thankfully soon time moves towards 4PM where I step across into the BFI and take my seat for the DARREN ARONOFSKY screen talk collecting a set of notes on the way.

Even though I find myself sat far back I get a good view of proceedings as ARONOFSKY comes over as a really interesting and likeable guy who is pleasingly self depreciating having gone through the Hollywood wringer.

While he gets warmed up and into the interview ARONOFSKY doesn’t appear to quite know how the audience is made up today as he looks out into crowd and asks curiously “what, are you guys mostly filmmakers?” much to everyone’s amusement.  He speaks with a sharp New York accent.  To be honest this isn’t surprising but it is awesome.

Naturally the first part of the talk is regarding Black Swan which is the movie that opened this year’s festival.  He goes over the various issues (obstacles) he has experienced in bringing the movie into existence (funding etc).  It would appear that Natalie Portman does not possess the clout to carry a movie in Hollywood.

From here discussion moves onto his career, naturally beginning with Pi.  At this point a clip is shown on the screen behind which looks amazing and crisp on a silver screen even if it does cause ARONOFSKY to unnecessarily recoil in embarrassment.

Moving on the talk moves to Requiem For A Dream and recollections of the performance from Ellen Burstyn coupled with deserved giggles regarding Jared Leto’s rock career.  Again this section comes coupled with a clip, this time of Burstyn chewing up the scenery with an incredible performance putting all else on view in the shade.  It all serves to remind what a nasty and uncomfortable film experience Requiem is.

After this the career of ARONOFSKY took something of a wobble as he begins to discuss The Fountain and how it all eventually panned out.  I have to concede I have never bothered with this movie as it all sounds frightfully budget after originally being conceived as an incredibly ambitious piece of work.  Surprisingly and thankfully he does not sound bitter about the experience, instead wiser for having been through the experience.  In the end he says that he is pretty fond of the version that eventually was made and how it now has a small dedicated and passionate following.  When the clip gets shown out of context it makes it look batshit crazy somewhat justifying why I have never gone anywhere the movie in the past.

Finally it all arrives at The Wrestler.  This is the exciting stuff for me, easily my favourite ARONOFSKY movie.  On a personal level I love this movie due to both my genuine affection for professional wrestling and the fact that I once featured an interview in No Pictures with a wrestler that went on to appear in this film.

With this ARONOFSKY spills the beans on the movie and tells of how he originally spoke to both Sylvester Stallone and Nicolas Cage about starring the movie, sharing anecdotes that make everyone shine in the process, especially Nicolas Cage who appears to have been super gracious in his acceptance of Mickey Rourke taking on the lead role instead of him in the movie.

Eventually the questions get thrown out to the audience where they include “why did Brad Pitt pull out of The Fountain?”  Personally I would have thought the answer to that obvious.  Myself, inside I itch to ask a question about wrestling but I’m just too shy when it comes to such things.  Then soon afterwards a very good event comes to an end.

By this stage the time is 5.30PM and I still have two hours until the event at the Southbank later on.  To kill the time I decide to head to Tate Modern to check out the Ai Weiwei sunflower seed exhibition.

As I walk along the Thames the day frustratingly begins to grey over and inevitably begins raining.  These days I do not tend to wander far from Waterloo on the South Bank and as I edge towards Southwark with the rain continuing to pelt on me it feels as if there are influences conspiring against me.  This is haunted territory for me now, a concrete reminder of my American friend.  By now I have had to put on my hoodie as suddenly this all feels like penance for my actions earlier today.

Before long I find myself becoming very drenched as slowly the sight of the Tate Modern emerges in the distance representing refuge.  Finally when I step into the building it still holds the excitement of my last visit here this time last year.  And invariably I think back to the first I time I visited here on the failed date with Phoebe back in 2004.

Soon I find the sunflower seeds of Ai Weiwei which proves a truly vast display/exhibition taking up a huge amount of space.  Initially I view it from the balcony of the turbine hall and it is a truly impressive looking feat.  With this I notice that people are on the edge of the piece doing things with the sunflower seeds, almost strangely caressing them.  With this I have to investigate these fiends.

When I get down for a closer look there are certain people shaping seeds into words while others continue to pick at them fascinated by the feel and texture.  Myself, I just want to take one.

There are signs dotting about the exhibition saying that people are not to take any but it is just too tempting.  In the end after looking around and seeing who is watching I subtly pick up a sunflower seed and discover that I am suddenly unable to put it back down.  With this I head out of the Tate Modern experiencing a shoplifters rush in the process, very ready to start running should art security attempt to accost me (that or a citizens arrest).

In the end I easily make it outside without hassle.  Here’s hoping that I just collected myself a new good luck charm.

Now back outside it is still raining and generally miserable with it.  On the whole it fits my overriding memories and recollections of this area now, of bad dates with cold females.  On cue I become morose.

That said today this feels like an essential walk, a gesture made to exhume ghosts.  It does not work.  By this point I reach The Globe and the walk is becoming pleasant but then my recollections hit me recalling that grotty night with Mindy where I got drunk at the bar there.  Then I spot the big, warped building that is the NHS Direct offices and the night my efforts almost felt good enough but ultimately fell short.  What is wrong with me?

Now it feels weird and miserable to be here.  Sure the rain and gloom are not helping things but additionally it now beats with a sense of failure and defeat.  As I say, there are ghosts here.

Before long I am passing through Borough Market which in turn reminds me of my one date with Sharon Robinson.  That was pretty car crash too.  Really, why the fuck did I come here today?

As I pass through the market people are now packing up.  The time is now much later than I thought, later than I realised these people worked to.  It’s a hard life.

With now less than half an hour to the spoken word event at the Southbank Centre (Purcell Room) I decide to get the tube back to Waterloo only to discover that the lines out of London Bridge are not necessarily working.  Briefly I flap at this information but somehow still manage to get a Jubilee Line to Waterloo.  What were they going on about?

Once back at Waterloo with a maintaining sense of defeat I head to the McDonalds where I hope some food will sort my headache out.  It is quite a solitary thing to be doing to eat a McDonalds on your own at Waterloo station on an early Saturday evening.  With this I sit facing the glass wall where I get a distorted reflection of myself that is not strictly pleasant.

At this point a strange thing happens when halfway through my filling McDonalds Meal Deal a McWorker comments to me “that’s a good shop”.  At first I think she is sarcastically addressing my smashed iPhone but then I realise she is talking about my Fopp bag.  With a stunned reaction I quickly muster “there’s always bargains there”.  Why are people suddenly speaking to me?  It is unnerving.

Before long I finish up and I genuinely feel better for having eaten.  From here I head straight to the Southbank Centre where I sought refuge from the rain.  And once inside I grab a hot drink and take a seat as I avoid my iPhone suffering from battery angst instead picking up the Hunter S. Thompson biography by William McKeen I have bought today which I already own anyway.

The Southbank Centre appears quiet tonight.  Maybe the rain has frightened the world away.  And on that note eventually the doors open to the Purcell Room and I step in.

Tonight’s event is entitled SOMETHING I SAID? running with the description “A Festival Weekend Of Playful And Provoking Spoken Word” put on by Tilt in association with the Southbank Centre.  And with that eventually the doors of the Purcell Room open and I step in being handed a mysterious envelope on the way in.

The first act of the night is KODE9 AND THE SPACEAPE.  So this is dubstep and I am finally beginning to understand it.  Of course without doubt I am too fucking old to be listening to it.

KODE9 is a heavy proposition spewing out bass that shakes the foundations of the Southbank.  That’ll be the dub then.  All in all it’s an impressive construct.

As the mad professor KODE9 makes technology resemble a small earthquake, THE SPACEAPE spits in the style of Tricky, seemingly mumbling in a manner that Giggs has made acceptable.  In earnest this is more to do with the sound setup and the not necessarily ideal confines of the Purcell Room.  Regardless it’s a great set that moves me in my uncomfortable seat.

Following arrives STACY MAKISHI who turns out to be a Hawaiian spoken word and performance artist.  She is so charming delivering whimsical observations and statistics in a style that reminds me of David Sedaris.

Despite being sugary in stature and appearance there is something distinctly dark about her as she begins talking about her mother’s death.  The piece is called “Around The World In A Lunar Day” and gradually builds to a conclusion that has MAKISHI blowing up a balloon until the inevitable conclusion of it combusting and exploding.  As it reaches the pivotal point it is sweet to watch her hold her ear and cower in anticipation.

Then it goes bang.

At this point she instructs us all to open the envelopes we were earlier handed and blow up the balloon held within.  As the lights come up she encourages us to continue inflating and explode our balloons as a gesture of releasing all our stresses, all our woes.  Collectively we struggle to echo MAKISHI but have fun trying.  Quite frankly I love her set.

With this we arrive at interval as I mooch to the toilet and then mooch back to my seat.  Life in the fast lane.

When the night resumes it is with SALENA GODDEN owning the stage in a pair of amazing gold boots spitting out various flowing and expertly crafted rhymes.  This is a ballsy woman from south London now feasting on recognition.  Her attitude is infectious as she ploughs through material recently aired on the BBC amongst other places.

She comes over as a true leader, almost a trailblazer that draws the listener into something very positive.  And when at the urge she urges us for more applause so that she can do another poem (an encore) we are pleased to comply.

Finally MIKE LADD takes to the stage exuding the air of being a suave motherfucker the right side of Vincent Gallo.  With him is JUICE ALEEM which equates to something of a performance by THE INFESTICONS.

LADD opens with an acapella track having declared they only have thirty minutes to squeeze everything in.  And with that playful intensity erupts as soon the beats emerge as he stabs at his tools, his minimal setup with maximum sonic.

Initially LADD controls the scene making choice selections from his computerised catalogue casually bounding across the stage as his delivery is spotless.

As the set grows so the beats build as JUICE ALEEM gets more involved before the brief but brilliant set heads towards a huge climax with everyone in my row bouncing and the people sat behind shouting along to the chorus call and response style.  We get elevated.

When it all comes to a close LADD and ALEEM are unable to find their way off the stage so instead they exit through the audience shaking the hand of anyone and everyone in the vicinity.  And as I exit I shake LADD’S hand and tell him “that was awesome” for which he thanks me.

From here I make the long nervous trudge home where I am fearful of what awaits back at our building where the window was smashed.

When I eventually get home there is no sign of repercussion.  The glass has been swept up but the gesture remains.

Now back I step inside and soon put a heavy day to bed.  Epic.

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