Posts Tagged ‘Music’

Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be.

At work some coffin-dodging bastard has switched to Gold. Allegedly all the best songs from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. Actually all rock ‘n’ roll, and a few pop songs from the latter decades. Apparently there was no hippy era, no punk, no new wave British heavy metal, no gothic. Just saccharin 60’s and the odd inoffensive mainstream pop song.

Which brings me to my point, spleen vented.

They have played Cindy Lauper’s ‘Girl’s Just Wanna Have Fun’ a few times. Each time I hear it I feel a bittersweet pain.

I am suffused with a nostalgic melancholy for a loss I can’t quite pinpoint.

It’s not the song, which I like in an off-hand way. It’s not exactly the time in my life when it was in the charts.

I  have been thinking about it. O.K., so I was getting drunk but I was still working full time and my standard of living, due to the above, was considerably poorer than now.

It seems to be some sort of product of the milieu, the zeitgeist and my own age of innocence.

Girls just want to have fun.

We were young, all the fun was new and thrilling (not the dependencies they would become) life was innocent and hopeful, and we were all just kids. Trying to live the dream of the day, which was to be totally ‘right-on’, (which later became ‘Politically Correct’ and a stick with which to beat the dream to death.)

You weren’t a man, woman, black, white, atheist, Muslim, whatever, you were all people, and it could all work out.

I’m getting choked up looking back on that.

‘So young, so dumb’, as a later songstress would say.

Sorry about that, I was trying to capture a feeling and explain it. Wendy objects strongly to me writing it, so if it was too much…, well, tough tits, we ain’t in the 80’s no more!

…..And, we’re back in the room. Senior moment over with.

What has been happening with your quest for a driving job? I hear you cry. Potentially good news, at last!

For months every job I’ve seen is either advertised as ‘must have extensive previous experience’ or it turns out to be a prerequisite when I have applied.

Out of nowhere, like the proverbial bus, three come along at once that state ‘previous experience preferred, but not essential’.

Woo-hoo!

I’ve applied for two of them, (the third was 20-50 hours, I need to be sure of more than 20 hours).

One of them is for a car transporter driver. Not great in many ways, I’d have to take a pay cut on my basic, might be away from home for a week at a time, and it’s at Ellsmere Port (about 25 miles away, so petrol money would be more). However, when I rang them (turns out it’s an agency fielding the contract) they said that the jobs were full at the mo, ring them back every fortnight on a Friday and they would get me in. No experience necessary as two weeks training given!

That will do me!

Gotta go, boss says it’s bed time.

Buck.

Just musing.

Hi! I’ve just noticed that I’ve had 1,000 views of my blog! I’m a celebrity!

However, this will be my 103rd post, so I’m an unknown. 🙁

If you don’t follow me on Twitter let me tell you I’m loving my Kung Fu class. I’ve got my kit and I’m not afraid to pose in it!

It’s a pity the Beth couldn’t keep it up, it’s really spiffy. Don’t know that she’d have loved the last class though, swapping punches so your arm collides in defence/attack with your partner’s. It soon starts hurting and doesn’t stop!

Grin and bear it, it’s good for practice and it toughens you up.

I’m aching still though. And I’ve got bloody friction burns on my arse from all the sit ups! Again! All good though.

My sax lesson has had a positive turn around as well. When I went this week I had a few of the things that I have been struggling with come together. Then he turned the page to a new chapter and it was a checkpoint. Instead of learning something new it is three set pieces supposed to consolidate your learning to date.

As usual sax-sensei Pete pointed me at the new stuff and told me to have a go. It was for a complete change, a lot easier than the previous exercises. I didn’t do it perfectly, but for a first time, sight reading as I went along, it wasn’t too shabby.

I was quite pleased with myself, then he told me that the pieces were from a grade 4 exam! (Or level 4, I forget.)

The point being, these are pieces on which the student would train for months before an exam and I did a reasonable attempt first time out of the bag!

Not trying to blow my own trumpet here (if anything, my own sax) just saying how surprised and delighted I was.

Then he said now we’re at chapter 17 you can move on to ‘100 best tunes book’ or some such. Learning by playing songs, some of which I will already know, rather than by bending my mind around hideous exercises. If you recall, that was what I said I was going to leave my lessons to do in my last blog. So that it going swimmingly.

Here is something I found that seemed to be begging for the title ‘Ships Of The Desert’

Also on the pictures front, here is that Sisters of Mercy/ Merciful Release logo that I want as a tattoo

Groovy, or what?

Perhaps you have to love the band.

I’m currently enjoying a long weekend. I was off Thursday, in Friday, now off Saturday, Sunday and Monday! Bloody lovely.

On the subject of work, I have been moaning lately about being sent into the freezer all of the time. The place at which I work has the contract picking and delivering to the Iceland stores, so it’s not too unexpected that I would work in the freezer now and then. In point of fact I’ve been in there that often that I don’t even mind it that much.

However, what does piss me off is all the other pickers from grocery getting out of doing it by bringing in a sick note. This means the few of us who haven’t got a medical exclusion are always being sent in, whilst the others laugh at us. Everyone knows the job is for Iceland, that part of your job is working in the freezer and that most of the sick notes are bullshit, but nothing was being done about it.

Apparently if you are not fit to do your job that is reasonable grounds for dismissal, yet the company let it slide.

Anyway, because of it, I was in the freezer all but three days out of six weeks.

In the end I’d had enough. I went storming into the office and had about four different managers, up and down the chain of command, over it. (When I said I’d been moaning about it above, I meant at home and on t’internet, I’d just gotten on with it at work.)

They said that there was a review of the sick note situation coming up and the people who were laughing at me would be laughing on the other sides of their faces! And for once it looks like they may have been telling the truth!

The union rep said yesterday that they were going to refer all the sickies to the company medical review people and if they were found to be medically incapable of working in the freezer they would be given four weeks notice! HAH!

Yes, I am gloating.

They’ve all been keen enough to take the piss out of me and let me do the dirty work for them. As I said to one of the managers, I don’t want special treatment, I just want fair treatment.

There are an awful lot of sphincter’s twitching at work now. There is about to be the biggest incidence of miraculous recovery since the bible stories!

On the down side to this week, I’ve tried to register with the driving agencies around town and they don’t want to know!

Bugger.

If I haven’t escaped before, I’ll risk taking a temporary job in August. That will give me a few months experience.

Still, overall, it’s been a good week.

Later

Buck.

White Xmas my arse!

What larks! Snow, ice, and Rage Against The Machine.

I seem to be getting sent into the freezer every shift now, hopefully just until the xmas rush is over. On Sunday it was miserable in there, I was on a bit of a downer. 2-10 on a Sunday, in the freezer. Glum was I.

Then I got home and Wendy told me that Rage had beaten Simon Cowell’s karaoke clone to the xmas number 1! I was buzzing! What Yuletide frolics we shall have. Best xmas No 1EVER!

That was definitely the best 99p I’ve ever spent.

Bill Bailey was triumphant on Twitter that night. A success for real music, he thought. As he so rightly said "Hey Cowell, F+++ you I won’t do what you tell me!"

Might be an anthem for me next year, "Killing in the name."

Then there was the snow. All very pretty until it freezes over night. Then you have the mard-arse want-to-live-for-ever types who think that a slightly damp road means you should do 6mph (literally. For about three miles through town.) That was later though, in the morning I ran Wendy to church, then on the way home hit the brakes too hard.

Not so much fun. Locked up (obviously) lost all control, and started sliding towards that open roadworks you see.

Shit, shit, shit, shit!

And that will be another new bumper, please.

Wendy was so much less than pleased.

When I got home I spotted this, which has to be the most optimistic bit of clothes hanging in the history of laundry:

That amused me. It’s not a brilliant quality photo’, but you can see the sitting snow, and it was actually snowing at the time. Respect!

I think I have already mentioned (was it on here or on Twitter?) that after me telling one of the bosses (after he asked how my driving was going) that ‘it isn’t they are fucking me over’ the next day a senior manager pulled me up and said that they were still on about getting me on the road with the warehouse-to-wheels scheme, but at the moment they had a desperate shortage of pickers and a surfeit of drivers. Come the new year…

Yeah, right. When they hand me the keys I’ll start to believe them. Still now I’ve stopped pestering them over it, there was no reason for him to start me off again. There are no jobs out there, I’m trapped until well into the new year.

It’s a possibility, but if I see another job I will be applying for it.

Also in the news, yesterday the neighbourhood urchins were pelting the front room windows and car with snow/ice balls. Wendy told them to stop, as did I, so they went behind a garden fence and carried on.

I lost my rag.

Not this time.

I stormed over to the offending wretch’s house and banged on. The dad is bloody huge. He would be the same size as every bugger else lay down with broken legs (4lb’s pressure, applied to a not-bent knee joint).

He wasn’t in so I went to the other kids’ house, ready to take it as far as necessary. He however brought his brood to heel.

I know, I know, massive over-reaction.

Plus side, I’m motivated to return to my martial arts just as soon as possible.

Anywho, merry non-denominational winter holiday to one and all!

Killing in the name of…

Buck.

Kicking back (is Lily Allen the new Bowie?)

Ah, sweet days off. Done loads of jobs today, all of them rewarding, a few of them fun.

I trimmed my box hedge around the grassy knoll. Apparently that’s the last trim I can give it this year as it has to have time for any new growth to toughen off before the first frosts. It doesn’t look that much different, a bit tidier, but the main thing is in trimming the top branches it will make the growth below fill out. It’s so nearly there now. This time next year I will have to go around with my spirit level and level it all off (it strikes me now, too late, that is how I should have gone at it in the first place!).

Also I trimmed all the grass with the same shears as the box. I had one of those strimmer jobbies but I couldn’t get the hang of it. I was chopping out lumps of earth and butchering plants left right and centre. So I sweat and it takes ages, but the majority of my plants survive.

As today was actually summery I stripped all the covers off the sofa and gave them a wash, and did the bedding. Yes I really am that sad. I get bored very easily and even jobs that aren’t fun, once done, can be fulfilling. If nothing else they save Wendy having to do them and that’s got to count for something. Not that she showed any signs of actually doing them herself mind, but in principle she might one day have considered doing them.

I did the shopping and got a new ‘phone this morning. Obviously the devious postman seized on that window of opportunity to claim he’d been around with a parcel. Left a note saying I can collect it from the main office in town in twenty one hours! How big is his walk? (Round, in non-posty talk) No wonder these posties are all minted if they are out for twenty one hours a day! Damn the Royal Mail!

My new ‘phone has a camera! No film in it mind, to borrow from the excruciating Rob Brydon in Gavin and Stacey. I had some mad idea that that was what I needed to make my life complete, apparently not. It’s just another bloody mobile and you get a thousand texts pestering you about all the things you should be doing to be down with the kids. I don’t even know any gullible schoolgirls! (Topical joke, don’t put me on the register!)

I’ve been on 2-10 this week so today was my first chance to go to TKD, bloody hell what a lesson! It was so hard that at the end, when we were doing spinning back kicks my pony- tail was so soaked in sweat it was whipping me in the face and spraying sweat everywhere. Unpleasant for all concerned.

Good lesson though, showed me what I need to concentrate on (they have a name for the bit I’m poor at, it’s called Taekwondo).

My life isn’t the sad completion of to-do lists, as it would appear above, but that will have to wait until tomorrow, Wendy has to be up for work and is waiting for me to stop typing.

later,

Buck.

OK, it’s later. As I was saying before the Wendster put her foot down, my life is not all about ticking boxes as ‘done’, it also includes…, well,…, thinking of new boxes to tick for one thing. Which is another worry.

I was reading a rather interesting article the other day on this Buddha-for-Dummies website (http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/index.htm   if you’re interested) where it was saying about levels of being human, (just to give you the gist, it’s not how it was intended to be understood.) one of which was a greedy materialistic one. Being an internet based study site it gave the example of PC hardware, saying you spend all of your time looking for a shiny new piece of kit, get it, then as soon as the novelty has worn off you are looking for the next piece of kit. Soon you haven’t even got it out of the shrink-wrap before you are wanting your next fix. It was saying that it is a self-perpetuating hunger for the acquisition of  goods, not the goods themselves.

Guilty as charged. That stupid ‘phone is a case in point. For what do I need a mobile? I don’t like calling people, can not see the joy of text, and am really put out if someone contacts me. Yet because my old ‘phone had a knackered screen (that made reading the very infrequent text I received difficult) I had to have a shiny new one with a camera. I’ve taken a few snaps to try it out and don’t know what to do with them. When am I ever going to say "I really wish I had my ‘phone camera right now."

Never, that’s when. Yet still I crave my next consumer fix. Currently I have set up an eBay sniper programme to bid on my behalf at the last second (well, six seconds before the end of bidding) on a pair of boots and a brilliant push-bike. It is a bargain, and ideal for what I want and need. But will it continue to be so when (if) I own it?

Buddha was a wise geezer.

The other state that applied to me was one of anger. You find everything everyone says or does makes you angry. Hmm, I can’t express it either as well or as succinctly as the website so here is the paragraph:

The hell realm is characterised by acute aggression. We build a wall of anger between ourselves and our experience. Everything irritates us, even the most innocuous, and innocent statement drives us mad with anger. The heat of our anger is reflected back on us and sends us into a frenzy to escape from our torture, which in turn causes us to fight even harder and get even angrier. The whole thing builds on itself until we don’t even know if we’re fighting with someone else or ourselves. We are so busy fighting that we can’t find an alternative to fighting; the possibility of alternative never even occurs to us.

For anyone who’s not seen me shouting at the inane tripe on the telly that is me to a T.

These are just our attempts to impose control on an arbitrary and constantly changing universe. We expect constance and fool ourselves into believing we can control things, the first I would suggest, is an attempt at a control mechanism, the second is the reaction to constantly finding you can’t control anything.

To overcome it all Buddha says you just have to realise it’s but an illusion. You can, apparently, be free from it all by accepting you own nothing and control nothing.

Who can change their nature, or more over, who wants to? Am I scared of what I would lose? Nothing, I’m sure Buddha would say, as in truth I have nothing.

I need to get to a temple and find a path I can follow.

At the moment it’s all "video meliora proboque,deteriora sequor", which, as we all know, translates as "I see the best and approve, I follow the worst".

Right, enough of my spiritual malaise, on to something a tad more controversial. The Lilster. I can’t help feeling there has been a widespread condemnation and patronisation of  young miss Allen. The view of the radio DJ’s is that she is a light-weight. A superficial flibbertigibbet who’s songs are just audio fluff.

I would like to present the contention that she is the new David Bowie.

Discuss.

OK, her work is pop, and is, at first glance, all cheerful, chirpy cockney. But take a minute to consider the artfulness of the superficiality. Not since the Bowster declared "my heart’s in the basement, my weekend’s at an all time low", has shallowness been so  self-aware and used so incisively. The list of examples is comprehensive, and I’m not familiar with any but the most frequently aired of her songs.

To whit; when she was banging on about the perception of success and the route to fame, she references a song in which some bint is ‘Dissing’ *cringes*  her chap for showing off the diamonds on his Rolex, asking how many Africans had to die to get them. All serious and up it’s own backside. Lily turns it on it’s head, adopts the callow perspective, and says she wants diamonds, though she’s heard people die trying to find them. She is adopting a chav persona, in my opinion, for the sake of her songs. She couldn’t write them, and they certainly wouldn’t be as clever, if she was as simple as she presents. From the same song, she says she’s not a saint, nor a sinner, but everything’s cool as long as she’s getting thinner! Sublime. Side-steps morality and replaces it with yoof culture’s definition of what is important to a woman. I use the word ‘culture’ with full awareness of the oxymoron-ic nature of it’s juxtaposition with ‘yoof’!

On which note, the getting slimmer, I have lost three pounds, so everything is indeed cool.

Let the kicking commence.

Buck.

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