Sunday, December 19, 2004

November 18 (Thursday): I Love My Job. So, after yesterday’s sticky wicket, I get up for more college/retake courses in King’s Cross today off the back of two and a half hours sleep. I wake up and I am insane, not tired but still wired.

When I reach North Station, I actually bump into Jeremy who we play football with (or used to). He asks me where I was last night (for football) and I tell him “I got the sack”. Man, he didn’t even know. I laugh along with him actually feeling like crying. However I attempt to score one by asking “(ha ha) who played in goal then?” and it was the Chris guy (from the hell night in August), a proper goalie more than likely much better than me. Double fuck. I am absolutely utterly gutted to hear I have already been replaced and SO easily. Such is life.

The ride to London today is pretty swift and eventless, the radio this morning being nothing to write home about. This week, a bit more on the ball, I get to King’s Cross with so much time to spare it hurts. For some reason, today I am unable to find the Thameslink exit, so I come out of the main King’s Cross station entrance/exit to be surrounded by hobos, drug dealers and hookers (and often not exclusive to one vice or other). I run, not walk, away from their clutches and within seconds I am on Pentonville headed to the safety of accountancy. As I wait at a crossing I see a maniac on a pushbike speeding and screaming “look out, no brakes”. The inevitable happens as he ploughs through a commuter and breaks his umbrella, lucky not to have broken Evil Knevil’s neck. I walk away from the screaming, welcome to King’s Cross.

As I head to BPP, I look up and over and there is the Scala. Oh my, I really am on the map here today. Once more I pass The Poor School (home of Kat Slater), tempted to ditch accountancy and take up soap acting but my head wins/rules over my heart as I step inside BPP for a hell session of taxation.

Today when I see Phoebe, she has had a proper chop haircut and I barely recognise her. This is the expensive ladyboy cut I believe. And, all apologies, I don’t really go for it. She’s cool as usual though, cool as in cold but friendly. I tell her all about my adventures in unemployment and she sends over good thoughts with good intentions but I don’t think that will be enough.

I recognise more faces on this course (as opposed to Audit), so I guess more people (obviously) failed this exam than the other, I am not alone. And today’s most memorable recognition turns out to be the guy that looks like Andy Kaufman. This guy sure looks like a character (even if he ain’t one).

Today should be marked as my first day of David Brent-esqe delusions, my blind interpretation that I am actually an entertainer instead of an accountant.

By the time the tutor turns up, I have recognised several more faces, almost half of my original course class from the summer. The tutor is frightening looking, old looking but attempting modern. And with a fierce expression of someone who should not be questioned or crossed. However, she is only following a long streak of very poor tax tutors I have endured.

I really find tax a hard subject but I also feel at the same time that I make a meal out of it. I almost defeat myself from the off when I generally fail to find a good starting point on the tax calculations. The basic set up of these tax questions/exams appear to be general deluge of information thrown into a very lengthy scenario question which then requires systematically breaking down. As one tutor once said “girls tend to be better at this subject as they are able to multitask”.

When breaktime arrives, I am so relieved to get a break from all this donkey. I sit and suddenly notice this amazing looking girl/lady/woman with the most amazing face and expression. Except of course for when our eyes meet/cross and she turns into frowny girl.

Within the first few questions (on inheritance tax) I find myself drifting and not really attempting, there is a lot of uncertainty ahead of me in the coming months and I really can’t concentrate on this stuff today.

Lunch break soon comes around and I find myself once more going to the Italian place for some fantastic spicy chicken. How do they get it to taste so slick and sour?

As I walk back to our class room in the Kings Cross college, I look across the skyline of Kings Cross and see a roof garden on a flat, my idea of heaven, a cosy piece of comfort and solitude above the streets and scum of below.

Late afternoon and I can longer concentrate on studies, one day in of three and it has all gone horribly wrong. I look across at Phoebe and it dawns on me that she could only ever be my Yoko Ono. And then I keep catching myself doubletaking the oriental girl sat behind her who I swear blind that I once saw in a porno film.

At the end of the day, we tackle one last question that the tutor gives us and at the end of our attempts she describes the questions as “impossible” and tells the class that we would never be able to answer. Why the fucking hell did she ask us all to attempt/tackle it for then? Did/does she even research, look at the notes/questions ahead of the class? By the end of the day, I am hyperventilating.

Then there is the bathroom incident (no, me neither).

I ride the train home, reading Hunter S. Thompson in the process and getting dirtiest looks from the dyke looking girl sat opposite me on the train. Upon arriving back in Colchester, I queue for tomorrow’s ticket ahead of time and get behind two of the slowest and slow witted couple of people ever to purchase a train ticket in the history of humanity. However, ahead of me is some real eye candy in the form of a beautiful middle aged woman with the most striking brown eyes I think I have ever seen.

Eventually I actually get home, all in time to do the DJ thing this evening at the Arts Centre. Sadly however I come home to a huge O2 mobile phone bill, the bill has finally topped the £70 mark!!! For some reason, the folks that sponsor Arsenal are now choosing to charge me up the arse for my GPRS usage. Nightmare. Before I leave, Dad hits me on MSN and finally we discuss my eventual demise at Globochem, perhaps/probably the conversation that we should have had earlier in the week before the inevitable happened.

Tonight I have decided to ditch my English class after last week’s red face incident, mainly to take up the opportunity to DJ (and get in free) at the Arts Centre. And to cause some drama and concern (ho ho).

With it being chills, I head over to the Arts Centre, to be there on time to start on time for once. Oh dear, early doors DJing really isn’t very much fun, you’re playing tunes to an empty house and an unappreciative audience. So much for my “I Hate Work” set tonight. I kick off with Tom Waits and move onto LONG Tortoise songs while I wait for some friends to turn up and talk to me (people I can bitch about losing my job to). I chuff myself however when I build up the nerve to play “They Reminisce Over You” by Pete Rock and CL Smooth.

Tonight’s game at the Arts Centre is Sonic Bingo, where people are supposed to go around sticking stickers on people doing certain acts as laid out in/on their bingo card.

The first band tonight are called Ventura Drive. I don’t really understand or get into them at all, in the slight. They appear to be a band dressed up as emo but without any real songs, perhaps caught in slow motion.

During their set Adam (Cats Against The Bomb) and Doug turn up and they report that outside it is actually raining. Oh man, nightmare. It’s great to have reinforcements as I resume DJing, a pretty thankless and lonely job/task in earnest. And I reward him with playing a Cats Against The Bomb track (the awesome AKA Lover). Bored also DJing, during tracks I find myself playing a .wav file over the PA of my old manager at my old firm (Stevo) saying “shut up Jason”. The real winner DJ track of the night however turns out to be Uzi Lover by Chris Morris/Fur-Q which I play immediately after AKA Lover to complete a duet/brace of fire arm loving irony.

Band two tonight are *Teevo. Tonight they are much improved on the last time that I saw them, really reminded me of the great long lost band Mega City Four. That remark could either be taken as a compliment or an insult, depending on a person’s persuasion but I mean good times. And I think the description is much accurate than the really lazy Placebo. Its hard to pinpoint where I think the improvement has come other than the sound is now fuller and somewhat harder/heavier in the process. Their closer still reminds me of the finest moments of Hole however.

Around this point Emma turns up from English class and bumps me, bouncing like a good ‘un and passing on good vibes and comments from my English teacher/tutor (a better teacher than that tax one).

Before the third band come on tonight, some guy from their entourage asks me if I’ll play one of their CDs. I quake at the suggestion but when it turns out to be Faith No More, no facking worries. I mix it with more plays of my old manager going “shut up Jason” and everyone’s a winner.

Around this point, Staff comes over and comments at the low turn out (“I thought this would be the best one”) and it really should not have been when Dead Or American (from Scotland) come onstage and really rip it up. Reminding me of Cat On Form, the band appear to stand (up) for all things US post hardcore, having some physical resemblance to Fugazi not only in their demeanour but also their set up. Musically all band members got involved in proceedings (limelight/vocals) as the band reminded me most of Mission Of Burma, Fugazi, part Girls Against Boys and the revitalised stoner rock of Part Chimp. This band should be huge.

Straight after their set, the Sonic Bingo kicked in as the ring leaders sought out the people with most dots on their attire and about their person. I was pleased/satisfied to have only two dots (both earned for “stood looking bored”) because the people with most dots found themselves battling it out for a prize whilst being interviewed on camcorder. I’m too shy for all that shit.

When I eventually get around to DJing again, I open with Extreme Noise Terror followed by The Blitters. Good picks considering the promoter but also fantastic songs.

By the time Macrocosmica take the stage, it is getting late and unfortunately the venue appears to be starting to empty. I can’t understand this myself, as off the back of only two and a half hours sleep myself, I’m next to passing out. But I really want to see Macrocosmica because (quite) a few years ago I was the biggest fan of their Ad Astra album. Macrocosmica come out the box pounding, tuned down I believe and incredibly hard/loud and all done slowly. The band now really sound like Part Chimp to me after previously sounding lighter, in the area of a Sonic Youth-type band. And with Brendan being ex-Teenage Fanclub and Mogwai, you can understand where he is coming from in wanting a new sound. And he is a very good frontman with plenty of personality often engaging and connecting with the audience/crowd, even to the point that he plays Sonic Bingo with Adam at one point. He also describes one way of playing music as being like “having a rectum but without the jobby” before asking the English audience if they know what “jobby” means (isn’t it Sean Connery’s favourite word?). And his mockney accent/impression back is to die for. The set however turns out to be a real struggle on a hard/long winter Thursday night. The pace rarely steps up and maintains the dense cloud/clout of noise that Part Chimp etc are renowned for producing. And it turns out disappointing that none of the set selection comes from the Ad Astra record that I like so much. By the end of a very very long set, I find myself suffering, having to take a seat but I promise to myself and the band that I will make it through the whole set as a sign/remark of respect. And when it is over, I find myself thankfully, still around (alive) whereas others have gone home.

I end the night trading my DJ disc with the Fur-Q song on with a guy from Dead Or American for one of their CDs. It’s a really good deal, especially when the CD turns out to be really good.

I make my goodbyes and trudge back home, the apparent since long dissolved, and hit my bed for some much need sleep for sanity.

np: Unwound – Corpse Pose


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