Categorised For Ease Of Reading
It’s raining. Because I live in a mobile home (it’s a caravan), I am constantly aware of the rain pounding away at the walls and roof of my fragile dwelling. RAIN. I’M SOME RAIN, PAUL. I AM HERE. LISTEN TO ME. I AM LOUD. YOU CAN’T GO FOR A RUN TODAY BECAUSE OF ME no bother rain I probably wouldn’t have anyway WELL I’M STILL HERE AND THERE’S NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT BUT LISTEN TO ME RAIN MYSELF DOWN AROUND YOUR “HOUSE”. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
Despite myself, I’ve been consistently losing weight at a better pace than I ever did when I was consciously trying to. Pro tip – don’t try and lose weight and LOSE WEIGHT! Eat kebabs! Eat Double-Caramel Chunky Kit-Kats! Don’t go for daily walks listening to the Steve Austin Show anymore!
I attribute this achievement to the rigours of work and relatively sensible eating. Now, there’s a vague term. What is Relatively Sensible Eating? It exists, for me, as an alternative to the type of eating I did for the entirety of my last week off work, when I consumed a record amount of XTreme Chewits, Irn Bru and Big Tastys. During that week, I gained a little weight, owing to how I sat around reading comics all week eating junk food. Since then, I’ve lost the same and more besides by NOT eating like a crazy child and getting a decent amount of built-in exercise running up and down stairs and lifting things at work.
It’s sort of happened by accident. I’m worried about it to an extent though, because I kinda-hate my job. Another vague term. Basically, the problem I have with it is that I don’t feel I’m making enough money for a recent graduate (harsh but true) and I’m also miffed by the fact I’m not making any more money than other people who work much easier jobs for the same company. Also, I’m legally not allowed to badmouth the company by name because my old RE teacher’s wife made me sign a form saying I wouldn’t. Can’t wait to see what happens once I’ve left though, eh? The balance to this is that when I’m there, for the most part it’s OK. I like most of the people I work with every day enough to be my honest-to-goodness goofy self around, and, y’know, exercise happens. Thing is, when I’m not there, I hate the thought of it. I call this South Park Syndrome. I hate the idea of watching South Park, basically ever, but when I’m watching it I can enjoy it well and even have many great memories of classic lines and scenes.
Also, people aren’t treated well where I work, and while I can handle myself (and, regrettably, have had to) I feel sorry for some of the others who get shit all over because, I dunno, a thing wasn’t facing the way it was supposed to. My workplace has a reputation for a high turnover which sort of casts a shadow on the longterm staff of being frustrated and turning that into aggression to be directed elsewhere, and we’re generally considered replaceable. Realising this puts a lot of stuff into perspective, because the idea presents itself then that the higher-ups don’t need to be nice to their staff because they’re content to just get new staff. No-one is valued. I’m sick of working places where no-one is valued, because I work with some great people and fuck, if they worked for me they’d know I didn’t want them to leave.
Worst of all, though, and this is a shoot, brother, is Heart FM, a radio station with a very limited playlist and a bunch of has-been and never-were 90s mainstay DJs with a fundamental station-wide misunderstanding of the function and dynamics of radio broadcasting, including a competition that cannot be won, an ignorance of the majority of songs that are placed high in the charts at any time and no appreciation of the fact that tracks like the Boo Radleys’ “Wake Up Boo” and Black Eyed Peas’ insultingly bad “I Gotta Feeling” are designed to be played a certain times of the day/week. There is no rule that ‘a good song is a good song’ when it comes to radio, and Heart FM’s programmers ought to realise this. Ten hours of that per workday (also, I work ten-hour shifts exclusively – what happened to 9-5 that they had to start it two hours early?) isn’t good for the mood, man.
Further to my weight loss discussion of earlier, I must mention that the mango and mineola smoothie I’ve just concocted was basically ruined by one component just not tasting right. Seeing as the oranges just sort of mushed apart in my hands when I was peeling them, I’m inclined to lay the blame with them and with MCGUIGAN’S TODAY’S EXTRA IN DONAGHMORE, NORTHERN IRELAND for selling me shoddy produce with no sell-by.
DRUMS AND THE DOG
What else? It’s stopped raining. Scooter is fed up and asleep at my feet. I’ve left the door open so that she can go out if she wants to, but that ain’t happening. I’m considering heading down to 2di Studios (shameless plug) this afternoon for some drumming, even though it’s really far away and the process of setting the kit up usually kills my enthusiasm for playing. I miss drumming so much. I can’t believe that for ten months I played drums every day in the comfort of my own home and that I haven’t got that anymore. Such a shame. Talk about taking something for granted.
TEN NIGHTS OF THE BEAST
There’s a Batman trade on ebay closing in 30 minutes that I’ve wanted for months and at a reasonable price too. Seeing as likely be here for another thirty minutes, I’ll let you know how that goes.
DREAM THEATER – BREAKING THE FOURTH WALL LIVE AT THE BOSTON OPERA HOUSE
Dream Theater’s new Blu-Ray is pretty cool. It’s not all-the-way cool, but that’s per my own standards. See, I was ecstatic at how their last disc (released only a year ago) featured their then-latest album played entirely. I love seeing bands support their new material, especially when it’s as good as on my favourite DT album, A Dramatic Turn Of Events. This new disc has about half of the new album (including the songs that need to be played live), but the rest of the disc is devoted to unearthing some rarely played tracks from Awake and Scenes From A Memory, enjoying 20- and 15-year anniversaries respectively. Thing is, I’m not a big fan of the wandery nature of side 2 of Awake, so that doesn’t really appeal to me, although the version of “The Mirror/Lie” that they run through is really electric and all involved from band to crowd knows it. The tracks from SFaM are welcome, but ultimately I’d still have preferred more from last year’s Dream Theater, just to see more of Mike Mangini playing Mike Mangini drum tracks. Also, the orchestra and choir that perform on a number of the songs add very little to the mix. Maybe it sounds better in 5.1, I dunno.
On that point, it seems like DT are trailing behind Rush now in terms of things they include with their home-video releases. DT’s last disc, Live At Luna Park, had a bonus of them hanging out at dinner which is a direct lift from something Rush did for Beyond The Lighted Stage, and Rush’s last disc (also from last year) featured an orchestra too. Just a thought.
I’m headed to Belfast tomorrow for a wedding fair – well, to leave Deborah at the wedding fair which I am not going to – and I’m toying with the idea of buying those Akira comics I mentioned at the start of last month’s Get (Into) What You Paid For Challenge. Oddly, I don’t really fancy spending the money, but I’m also aware that those books are gonna go some day and I want it to be to me that they go.
STUFF I’M DIGGING RECENTLY
Starbucks’ Frappucinos – Vanilla. The store-bought ones. Can’t remember last time I was actually in Starbucks.
Lee and Herring. Been listening to Fist Of Fun and Lionel Nimrod quite a bit (as I often do when Platnuming games) and I really enjoy nearly everything these two do, especially as aided by Armando Iannucci and Rebecca Front. Some of their running jokes/catchphrases are so subtle that it takes forever to identify them, like how Stewart Lee will often say “sorry, I didn’t think” in sketches with the cadence of an scolded child or the “ah, but…” that became much more prominent in the TV version of Fist Of Fun. The extras on that show are really interesting, because they document the duo’s slow realisation that they could have had a lot more success with running the stuff that was good in one episode in every episode, like all good sketch shows do. Apparently they’re in the process now of buying the distribution rights to This Morning With Richard Not Judy at the moment like they did with Fist, and they can count on my purchase once that comes to light for sure.
Awesome! I got that Batman book for £5.19 with a 7-seconds-left bid. That’s a saving of about £15 less than what it usually sells for. Also, does that mean the other person bid £5.18, seeing as I put a max bid of £20 on? Who knows. Anyway, I’m away. If you stuck with this massive block of words, many thanks! I’m away to do…something, hopefully.