Something for the Weakened

Archive for October, 2008

Counting Down

October 31st, 2008 by

Okay, enough people have challenged (or should that be ‘agreed to join’?) me in the novelistic challenge that I mentioned in the previous post and begins in a skant few hours. If you have joined up, I’ve registered as theweakened and there’s apparently some vague befriending, social networking aspect to the whole thing, so feel free to add me as a writing pal. I was very drunk when I put my name down, so am yet to work out how their website works, though I’m sure it’s fairly simple. Careful readers of this site have already read the first scene and a half, which might be a bit of a cheat, but what are they gonna do? Ha! Good luck to all other participants and apologies if things get a bit quiet around here, though I might just start posting extracts of the work in progress as November continues. See you soon. Byeee.

A Challenge

October 28th, 2008 by

I know that there’s next to no chance of me actually managing it, but this concept has intrigued me enough that I just might have a go. Any other takers? If I feel like I’m racing against someone it might force me to forge ahead. I could probably do without having a life for a month or so too…

Shoo, go on, shoo!

October 28th, 2008 by

My last good pair of shoes developed some serious holes a couple of weeks ago. I keep meaning to get some new ones, especially with autumn rain becoming increasingly imminent. So I went shopping today and came away with the new Squarepusher album. Yay! It’s the first time I’ve been excited enough to pay full price for a new album on the day of it’s release for years I should think. And it’s really good too, in an utterly barmy, complete left turn kind of a way. I’m sure there are other better reviews out there in ‘tinternetland and were I to try one I’d just come across as the slobbering fanboy that I am. But it really is very good. So what of the shoes? Doubt I can afford them now, but I can wait until next month. Bit of trench foot never hurt anyone did it? Did it? Well why wasn’t I told. Bloody ‘ell, always the last one to know. Tsk.

Sometimes it’s bits of tomato

October 27th, 2008 by

When brushing my teeth, I keep thinking I’m spitting out blood. Then I remember that my new toothpaste has red stripes in it. Curse you Aquafresh.

Oh, I don’t know. Just don’t hassle me, alright?

October 23rd, 2008 by

Bit grumpy today and can’t really think of much to waffle about. Looking at the little hit counter I have hidden behind the screens here, it seems that fewer people are stopping by since I started writing again. Sigh. Oh well, tell your friends if you have any. And now a word from our sponsors.

Now that was a corporation. Bah. Where did it all go wrong?

Not Sure

October 21st, 2008 by

I’m not sure why I so loathe the smell of deodorant. Sprayed onto myself in small doses, I can abide it, though (unlike the public at large) I would be far happier with the musty pong of my own perspiration. But when it’s used by someone else for any length of time, no matter how short, I find myself gagging at the stench. It matters not what flavour, brand or taste it might claim to be, my reaction inevitably involves some retching. If there is some deep psychological scarring here, I’m uncertain as to the cause. Granted, I spent much of my early adolesence eschewing artificial odours of any kind, but when enough people had told me how much I stank, I finally buckled and started masking my own feculence. It could be genetic – my father has a similair reaction to the smell of vinegar (only in a coughing and spluttering sort of a way), which I think, cruelly led to my using more than was necessary whenever in his presence. Still quite fond of a soggy chip to this day. Anyway, the moral of this seems to be do not spray deodorant anywhere near me or I will most likely vomit in your armpit. Consider yourselves warned.

Beyond Our Ken

October 19th, 2008 by

A sort of follow up to my Perkins post of a couple of days ago. Another death that occurred during the site’s down time was that of Ken Campbell. Campbell was an odd character and much of his work divides my own opinion: couldn’t stand Erasmus Microman as a nipper, quite enjoyed his regular appearances in In Sickness & In Health but absolutely loved a one page article on Pidgin English he wrote for the Fortean Times. Even from that tiny snapshot of what first comes to my mind shows the bizarre diversity of the man’s output. Twenty-four hour adaptations of The Illuminatus Trilogy, myriad cameos throughout thirty years of British televisual comedy, several properly witty scientific documentaries, those eyebrows, his fairly absurd appearance in The Secret Policeman’s Ball, really, I’ll stop here. The reason I bring Ken up is that I nearly met him once. It was at a talk being given by the late, great Robert Anton Wilson and father of neuro-linguistic programming Richard Bandler. After Bandler had spoken, there was an intermission and I decamped to the bar with a chum I had managed to drag along to the event. He later told me that his main memory of that intermission was seeing some bloke in tight trousers flexing his buttocks, which he understandably found quite unsettling. My main memory is spying Mr. Campbell in person, chattering away at a thousand words a minute to, what I presume, was a friend of his. Animated, disshevelled and beaming, it’s the way I think I shall remember him. Wish I’d gone and said hello, but I was far too timid back then and, if I’m honest, I didn’t remember his name until I was half way home. The world’s less of an odd place without him, which I bemoan. Now, if I can just convince my local theatre that he’s not going to play there at the end of the month…

Driving the yout’ away

October 17th, 2008 by

The students are back around town in force, looking younger than ever because they are, the swine. Spotted one youthful fashionista t’other day, wearing his hipper than thou big NHS spec’s, his hair gelled up into a perfect ‘just fell out of bed look’, as he strutted around as if he’d just plopped out of the back door of coolness. Thankfully this was completely undermined by the fact that this level of styling simply left him looking like Greg Proops. Which amused me. Bet he wouldn’t even know who Greg Proops was. Tsk, youth of today, etc.

Postscript – I really wanted to call this post ‘Fuck you, you Greg Proops smelling motherfucker, motherfucker’ but concluded that it spoilt the twist slightly. Really liked the title though, so felt I had to share.

Plinkety Plonk

October 16th, 2008 by

So I recently started trying to teach myself to play the piano. A fullsize electric’s been placed in my hands for six months by a chum that’s nicked off to do some baby sitting in Iceland (yes, yes, poor timing, weather and frozen supermarket jokes have been done to death now), so now I’m trying to wrangle it do my bidding. Which, unsurprisingly, is proving a little tricky. It’s the first time that I’ve been behind a keyboard that doesn’t start with qwerty in near enough a decade.

That was back when I had my guest shouting role in a band that went through so many names I’m not going to list any of them. Never built up much of a following. Can’t think why. Anyhoo, my role grew as time went on, to the point of my eventually tinkling the ivories on a couple of tracks. My memory may be fooling me, but I think I may have even done it on stage on one occasion (ha ha, and played the . . . no, I’m not even going to bother). It was mainly simple block chords on a song penned by Neill (with two Ls), possibly with Toylor, can’t really remember how much the pair actually collaborated. It was in A anyway, though not owning a copy, I’m yet to play the whole thing using ear memory. Maybe it’ll come one day.

During the same era I was also taught the opening to Love Me Two Times by Jimmy & The Doors, that I’m quite pleased to say I can still play with the same level of stuttering ineptness. Never really got past the first four bars back then with someone showing me where my fingers should be going, so imagine that that too is some way off becoming part of me repertoire.

But things are actually improving. My receiving the equipment fortunately coincided with The Grauniad giving away some free ‘teach yourself to play piana’ pamflets, which were generally donated to me by a housemate. I’ve just about got to the end of lesson three, which has got me to do something I was completely unable to do previously – use both of my hands simultaneously! Granted, it’s basic basic stuff that any four year old with two weeks training could manage, but I’m still reasonably chuffed with myself. The next stage I suppose, is to begin composing the first Manlathe album. But that’s a long way off yet. Unless I just start working out the length of the drones . . .

Flex of my tears

October 16th, 2008 by

Well, it’s been a little while now, hasn’t it my little chickadees. There were a few things I’d hoped to post while the elastic was snapped that were time specific, but would seem hopelessly late if I were to put them up now. The only one of these that springs to mind which I have strong enough feelings that I feel should be expressed this long after the fact is a few words on the passing of Geoffrey Perkins. There was a reasonable amount of coverage relating to the tragic accident that ended his life, so I shan’t go into any of that. Nor will I just paste up his CV – extraordinary though it was – as there are far more comprehensive guides out there in internet land. I would guess that my first experience of him was actually as a performer, unusual I suppose as producer was the role he will always be best remembered for. I had no idea that KYTV was a spin off from a radio series (radio comedy was a mystery to me in those prepubescent days), but in those halcyon days of decent television comedy that show shone out as one of my favourites. Hardly revolutionary, often going for fairly easy laughs, but from me they got laughs. Out loud. Which, despite the amount of funny stuff I watched back then, I hardly ever did. Occasionally a wry smile would pass my lips, but actual involuntary guffawing was a definite rarity. Later I of course heard Hitchiker’s, watched Ted, Image, Enfield and all of the others. And when Geoffrey’s name appeared in the credits, I would always get a warm feeling. Of course I’d never met him, never seen him in the street, but, unlike all the other producers, directors or what have you, I had a face for the name. And I knew it was someone who could make me laugh. See you on the other side Mr. P.