Thursday, January 20, 2005

January 12 (Wednesday): Get It Together. Hard times. I awaken at 4AM and for some reason check the MSN beeps. Indeed they were from Tom but instead of asking for another chess match (the big rematch) he is alerting my attention to a news article in The Guardian. I just know it has to be blog related and indeed it is as some guy in Edinburgh has now been sacked by Waterstones for his blog and being in the media first, he obviously gets first claims which somewhat steals my little “local” thunder. Good luck to him though, its not a laughing matter or something that remedies quickly in the aftermath, 15 minutes may not last a lifetime.

My alarm clock goes off at 7AM but I’m really not interested, so I turn it off and roll over back asleep. I eventual re-emerge to the day at around 9AM, catching the arse end of King Of Queens on TV.

In the light of day, with hesitation, I begin looking into the day’s blog dismissal stories and looking at the incriminating blog itself. It is called The Woolamaloo Gazette and pretty harmless really, he has a reason to feel more aggrieved than me but I still don’t think the going to the media option is very productive for either party. The gentleman appears to be a SF geek, akin the Comic Store Guy from the Simpsons, and used the profanity “smegger” when dissing his boss at Waterstones. I sense an apparent lack of sense of humour on their part but being a corporate entity I guess they must be seen to be firm standing and could well be suggested/accused of being made to make an example out of Mr Gordon. It is also kind of ridiculous how Waterstones have taken such a dim view at being referred to as “Bastardstones”, sticks and stones and all that jazz.

I have to say to that I do semi envy all the courage of Mr Gordon and am pretty aggrieved myself that he has been handed the moniker of “first UK Blogger to be dismissed”. I always knew/realised that I could have taken the case to the press, especially after the high profile Queen Of The Sky story, but my old employers had slapped me on the hand and threatened me with apparent litigation, so best leave sleeping dogs lie it seemed. Still my trade off doesn’t really seem to have been very fair, I keep my ex-employer (and its reputation) out of the media and they have kept me out of work.

In the meantime Marceline hops online to point the story out and I’m resigned to going “yup, I saw it”.

Tearing into the day, now obviously bored of not working, being stuck at home suffering from cabin fever, I find myself perusing the internet looking for audience tickets for TV and radio shows. I stop short at applying for tickets for Trisha but I have to tell you, I come pretty (ugly) close.

Justin smacks me up on MSN and we get into some conversation. Today is his birthday, so I guess amongst items he is fishing for birthday wishes. I really hope I’ll be able to make it up for his birthday bash but I don’t think I’ll be up to it (something between Colchester and Leytonstone/London is bound to arose me and cause discomfort).

Finally, there is the dreaded thud at my door: the post arrives. There is a large brown envelope and this is what I have been fearing it seems. However, the enquiry into my dismissal against my ex-employers appears to have been ruled in my favour with “…..on how your job with GLOBOCHEM ended. We have now decided that this doubt no longer applies.” For once in my life, common sense prevails and a huge weight feels as if it has been lifted from me. Today I dodge a real bullet, so no therapy needed today.

Finally I manage to get out the house in order to go get a newspaper to check actually check out the “doocing” article in the Guardian. As I drive over, some insane woman in an SUV cuts me up. And it is one of those silver grey SUVs. Why is it that all cars in the silver grey colour are owned by complete wankers and are utter menaces on the roads, seemingly being the vehicles always causing the accidents? And even worse, when I drive back home after Asda, what seems to be the exact same SUV appears to attempt to cut me up and cause an accident on a roundabout yet again! I look in my mirror and it looks like some cranky professional housewife/mother talking on her mobile phone. That is how it appears. In reality I suspect it may be some kind of assignation attempt, akin to the way Princess Di was bumped off/whacked.

The SUV is a stupid fucking vehicle. It is too big for our roads. And too many women drive them as soccer mums and for school runs/pick ups. The stereotype goes that women cannot park cars, so how are the poor cows expecting to be able to manage a ridiculous off road, Big Foot car?

Back to Asda. I step into Asda and get my newspapers, the NME and some lunch. As I stagger around the store bemused, I see in the distance someone I used to go to school with, the kid in our year that was picked on more than anyone else (and no, I am not seeing my reflection in a mirror). As soon as I see him, I make a quick exit and pretty much hide from him seeing me. I always thought this guy was going to be big in computers, not big in grocery management (if). I should not mock vocations though, how close am I too losing my status and having to take a McJob? That will be the call/decision of Visa.

I get home and look at The Guardian. The Waterstone guy’s article is HUGE. He has made page five and almost has the entire page dedicated to his story. Once more, my former employers should bless for keeping my story out of the press and not really ruining the goodwill of their company (as they weakly claimed in my dismissal notice anyway).

I begin panic writing now, all this heat for blogs means that my “doocing” now hold less weight by the day it seems/feels.

While I’m doing this, Chris pops up on MSN and we find ourselves reminiscing over Christmas.

Today’s St Trinian’s movie is The Pure Hell Of St Trinian’s. It’s on but I don’t really pay any/much attention to it. Again the cast is fantastic (George Cole, Joyce Grenfell, Irene Handl, Sid James, John Le Mesurier and Warren Mitchell) but it is so apparent that these movies are a part of my youth that I will always view with rose tinted glasses.

Instead, now shook with the horror of my potentially missing the boat with the blogger sacking hype, I text a number of my friends asking them if they have seen the Guardian today.

I find, in order to continue with my writing, there are some things that I need to get from my parents (because those disks didn’t work) so I get on the phone and ask Dad if it is all right for me to go over to theirs (again!). Its cool with him but I sense it might not be cool with mum.

Regardless, I leave Colchester at 3.30, stopping by PC World to pick up some rechargeable batteries for my camera. This is daytime PC World then. I watch the girl sit at the checkout with her head on her hand holding it up, she looks as if she is about to fall asleep. I also witness the most insane Dad, wheeling his kids through the checkout hitting home how they have both just spent their month’s pocket money. And the weirdo just keeps going on and on, really labouring the point to his kids (“five pounds is more than I ever got”). Bad Dad. I do my thing within seconds and feel relieved to get out of there.

I speed home to Holland, listening to the Jesus Lizard tape that I just unearthed this week. I had forgotten just how good this stuff is, there is no music in the indie/alternative scene these days that sounds so edgy, tense or dangerous. Independent music to me now seems/appears to be the home of simpering wimps, intellectualising their music way too much, making it utterly boring in the process. How far away are we from All Tomorrows Parties?

I get home to Holland around 4PM where Mum is indeed in a strop. It however seems down to the fact that they have had a removals man discussing their move in their house chewing off Dad’s ear for two hours. He must be seriously casing the place, maybe he should get out of the removal’s industry and into robbing houses or something. An argument between my olds looks imminent.

I almost immediately hit the computer and get going on my thing, praying that my problems with disks so far have been down to disk issues as opposed to file issues. These facts/fears are really boring.

Dinner happens and mum sorts us out with some kind of stew. It makes a break from eating nothing but cereal I guess. From there I watch The Simpsons and then quickly get back into writing and computer work.

While I am doing stuff, Stevo phones up and asks me if I had asked Ben if he wanted to boycott MK Dons on Saturday and go to an AFC Wimbledon game instead. I got the obvious response from, three years down the line, AFC Wimbledon are no longer loved in the way that they were as they slowly/gradually turn into a non-league Man Utd/Arsenal/Chelsea. He mentions coming to a Millwall game this year and I point out that there still is Leeds at home and he goes “yeah, I really want to see some crowd trouble/footy violence this season”. Whoops, I thought he was over all that after getting smacked at football matches a couple of times.

I continue working on the computer, hearing Dad watch my Sopranos DVDs in the front room (the episode where Pussy has to wear a wire in Tony’s house). I plough through old music magazines and come across the Brat Pop-era press for Gringo Records. It all seems like a different era now.

I pack up at 10PM and find myself watching the second episode of Desperate Housewives. Its very watchable if unaccomplished in the process. The women are attractive at varying levels, which gives it eye candy appeal. The voiceover appears to be trying to give it a spookier feel than it all manages.

After that, I watch Celebrity Big Brother with more adventures of Sylvester Stallone’s mum experiencing some text book rejection, followed by Peep Show re-runs (where Mark befriend’s a racist workmate, horribly copying reality for me) before I end up falling asleep watching A Night On The Town, which everyone knows as Adventures In Babysitting. I’m getting used to sleeping on sofas again it seems.

np: Screaming Trees – Halo Of Ashes


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