gibbon-arsed ramblings of a hopeless underachiever

Monday, December 27, 2004

So that was Christmas  

And what have I done?

It's a bit sad when you don't have much family left but you don't want to spend Christmas with them. Well, actually, I would have liked to spend Christmas with them, but after last year's experience with the Hallowed Cunts, coupled with the fact I had to work a 12-hour shift that ended in the middle of Christmas Eve, I really wasn't up to schlepping over to Hometown for more kitchen sink drama. So I was more than delighted when the super R&A invited me round to theirs this year. A pleasant morning at my place with the cat, opening some presents and watching crap TV, then round to Chez R&A for Quorn roast and a mound of vegetables and roast potatoes. I was practically sobbing with the effort of it all by the end of the meal but, after we struggled to stay awake through some more telly, we still managed to cram a sticky sponge in. Fnar.

I did write a longer piece, about what Christmas was like when I was younger, but Blogger went mad and swallowed it. I think it's a sign... That was then, this is now. I had a nice Christmas. I'm really looking forward to the new year - a couple of projects that I've been wanting to get on with for ages look like they might be happening. Things still aren't wonderful inside my head, but everything outside is looking ok, so I'm counting on that helping.

Meanwhile, today I are be mostly unpacking my room. Yes, I moved in September. No, I haven't unpacked yet. No, I didn't get it finished. There's always tomorrow, my friends. Unless, of course, there isn't.

posted by bandhag | 12/27/2004 02:22:00 AM

Monday, December 13, 2004

And then I go and spoil it all, by doing something stupid like  

watch documentaries.

I don't "do" politics on here much, on account of how there are others who are more knowledgeable and better at it than what I am, but by God I need a rant, so those who don't wish to read pinko commie diatribes, please look away now.

First, the Dispatches programme "Living with the Refugees", about people fleeing Darfur. It was depressing and infuriating in equal measures - the story ended "well", with the family that the reporter was staying with finally getting into a refugee camp after over a month with no official registration and, therefore, no food other than the scraps that other refugees gave them. There was, however, no getting away from the fact that this was just one family among thousands. Thousands who weren't being accompanied by a tv journalist with a satellite phone and the ability to contact quite senior UN officials about their case... I'm saddened by the fact that, as I was discussing with my sister the other night, Band Aid 20 seems to have turned into nothing more than a photo opportunity, and a chance for people to bitch about not being invited (why weren't they invited? Why wasn't it just "everyone who's available"?)/moan about only being in the chorus, or gloat about what lines they got to sing. The money raised is going to help those in Darfur. Buy it, even though it'll mean having to accept the fact that the song is a pile of shit to prop up over-inflated pop egos. Better still, make a donation to some other charity that's collecting for them (Oxfam, UNHCR, Unicef, etc)

Then a documentary about the miners' strike. Scargill was a bit of a twat. If he'd only held the ballot, blah blah blah... But frankly, it doesn't seem like he was fully aware of what he was up against. I've often found myself repeating the words a politics teacher once told us, that the basic difference between the political left and the political right is that the left believe that people (by which I mean the general populus, rather than the people in power) are inherently good, and that it is bad leadership/rules of society/corruption that can make them bad, whereas the right believe that people are inherently bad and that only rules, punishment and (usually material) incentives can make them good. Scargill underestimated Thatcher because, believing that people are inherently good, he really believed that they would succeed. He failed to realise that she would let miners starve, she would turn the police into her private army against them and she had been stockpiling enough coal to keep the country running for two years if that was what it took. Two years. She was prepared to sit back and let it happen for TWO. YEARS.

And it sickened me. Watching those scenes of police merrily setting about men dressed in t-shirts, with their truncheons ("He knocked me to the floor and just kept hitting me with it until it broke," one man recalled). Hearing how the (reportedly) especially vicious Met officers who'd been shipped up in their thousands to be Maggie's army against the miners were paid two-and-a-half to three times their salary for the duration ("Afterward, I bought a flat, a new sports car...." and on and on, boasted one ex-PC of the money he'd made), while miners and their families were relying on soup kitchens. Vile.

When the miners' wives were describing how the Met would encircle them, and then make the circle tighter and tighter so that the women were getting crushed inside it, it reminded me of friends' accounts of the Anti-Nazi League march that ended in a riot back in the 90's - they said the exact same thing, that the police cornered them, pushed them until people were getting seriously crushed and hurt and their only option was to try to break through the police line - at which point they'd be soundly truncheoned for their trouble.

And that fucking bitch Thatcher, had it all planned out. She'd not just been ready for it, she'd not just let it happen, she'd orchestrated it. Thatcher wanted there to be trouble. She didn't mind if a few pictures of policemen smacking troublemakers about went out on the evening news, so long as there were plenty of ones of those gobby Northerners kicking Her Majesty's Finest back, which would (along with the length of the strike and the refusal by either side to negotiate) inevitably weaken public support for the strikers. Which it did. She was perfectly happy about the fact that students, radical feminists and the gay community all came out in support of the strikers - it just strengthened the argument (which still lingers) that the only people who protest about things are "The usual leftie troublemakers and social miscreants". Except of course when the issue is something really important like our "constitutional right" to destroy farmlands in the name of tearing a fox apart, but let's not even go there... It served her purpose for the strike to go on for months and months, especially as she knew about the secret coal pile and, therefore, that she could hold out longer than they could. She wanted to destroy trade unions, and getting the miners to go back to the (soon to be closed) pits with their tails between their legs was a resounding victory as far as she was concerned.

I think it's a waste of time to hate people. I don't even genuinely dislike many, though I might joke about it. And I know what bad karma it is to say this, but that woman is a waste of a human life. I vote for a national holiday and the biggest party the world has ever seen when the megalomaniac old bitch dies. She's all for the idea of the free market and each individual reaping the rewards for his own work, regardless of others, isn't she? Well I for one will be dancing on her grave and hoping that wherever she is, she's getting everything that's coming to her.

And breathe.

Sorry. That's a little better, though. I might actually be able to sleep now.

Until next time, comrades. Keep the faith.

posted by bandhag | 12/13/2004 07:03:00 AM

A tale of two mood swings  

A two-parter, because I can't really write the second bit of this in with the first bit, because the first bits all flimsy and nice. And the second bit...erm...aint.

Ah, what a smashing weekend. After a bit of a false start, involving me sleeping through an extremely insistent alarm for over an hour (ah, my neighbours must heart me, big style), I rushed off to London's Posh Notting Hill(TM) for an afternoon at RoTA at the arts cafe, watching the rather splendid Charlottefield, Reigns and Cove. Charlottefield and Cove were both on top form as usual. Reigns were interesting - I understood why many people were sitting down during their set, as it was so mellow it did induce the tendency to zone out a bit every now and again. But all in all, a great gig and over too quickly (missing nearly two hours of it might not have helped, mind...)

I've missed RoTA, we haven't been for a while but it's free (FREE, I tells ya!), opposite an MVE, for all your Saturday afternoon vinyl junkie needs, and ends at a time early enough to leave you free to go to another gig, should the mood take you.

Or, like our shifty bunch of chancers, to take off to Pizza Express for an unofficial Silver Rocket (plus friends) Christmas meal. Including half a bottle of house red each. On top of the several bottles of two quid beer from the arts cafe, it shapped up to be a very merry night indeed. Only downside was that there was mould on my pudding. It was almost lucky, because I'd had one tiny spoonful and decided I didn't like it, before I noticed the little black dots, so I got a massive piece of tiramisu and profuse apologies instead. Gee, I'm just so fucking Pollyanna, n'est ce pas?

Then today, R&A took me to Lakeside with them for Christmas shopping. A was the only person who bought any Christmas presents. R and myself bought clothes. Yes, for ourselves. What? Christmas shopping's not the same without that essential ingredient of last-minute panic.

So, up until late this evening, a very happy me. tra la la

posted by bandhag | 12/13/2004 06:01:00 AM

Monday, December 06, 2004

Hugging - the new weapon of choice  

I have never seen a Woody Allen film.

This is mostly because I've been put off by every clip I've ever seen of them in those "Greatest Films Ever" programmes and such, which mostly seem to feature Mr A bleating on and on interminably, worrying about just everything under the sun, doubting himself, working on a PhD in paranoia and self-doubt. I don't even hear what he's saying. In my head, the scene invariably just turns into him doing an impression of Professor Frink from the Simpsons

"Oy vey, with the ow and the existentialist angst and the worrying about the things with the love and the stuff and the fretting and so on"

Imagine, then, the horror I feel when my life begins to resemble a Woody Allen film. Or one of these clips, anyway.

Sometimes, I become Woody Allen.

Albeit a Woody Allen who knows nothing about my own films and is (thankfully) without stepchildren to fuck. Marry, sorry. Fall in love with and marry. Yes. Perfectly normal.

As just one "for instance" of this Woody Allen Syndrome (others involving people who read this drivel and which I therefore am too ashamed to go into - so you can just imagine how ridiculous they are), I give you: The Hug Incident.

As regular readers might remember, I like hugging a good deal. I vote YES on Proposition Hug. However, I do not get it a good deal. My circle of friends doesn't really hug. My friends who hug other people every time they greet, don't hug me. I don't know why. I think it's just one of those things that in each different relationship, you either do or you don't. There's a window - I'd say maybe the first three or four times you meet someone, where you either start to hug them as part of the greeting/parting thing, or you don't. And if you hug them within that window of the first few times, then you tend to hug them every (or most) time/s you greet or part. And if you don't, then... well, generally, you don't start. Except on special occasions, like funerals, dumpings, extreme drunkenness and abuse of Class A's.

The Incident took place after a night out. Veh good bands, good dancing moozik, lovely people and for once I had decided not to get steaming drunk. I actually counted my drinks, would you believe, and stopped after I'd reached my limit.

So when A Certain Someone was leaving, I was relatively sober. Which made an interesting change. He came over to say he was leaving and then suddenly, he was spreading his arms for a hug, and leaning towards me.

"Shiiiiit. Yay! Fuck. Yay! There's no precedent here. I don't remember him hugging me before. Shit. Oh my God. Think, woman - maybe he does this every time and you're usually too pissed to remember. Why tonight? He's not really spoken to me as much as usual tonight. WHY ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT THIS NOW?! How do I smell? What if he can tell I fancy him? What if I hug him in a fancying way? What is an appropriate hug to say 'This is a platonic friend hug. Unless, of course, you fancy me. In which case it's a hug of promise' Oh shut the fuck up and at least TRY to act normal, for fuck's sake, you loopy bitch. Hug him back. Tee hee. SHIT!"

said my brain in that split second.

And despite all that thinking, despite being acutely aware of how important it was that I gave good hug, I blew it.

I hugged him too hard.

It was a perfectly normal hug to start with. Just a gentle, normal hug. For just under an appropriately blase "See ya, then" amount of time. So I thought I'd give him a slightly tighter squeeze at the end. Only I'm convinced I squeezed too hard. And for just a whisker of time too long. I think I heard him say "Oh, ok!" in a little surprised voice. Realising, a fraction of a second too late, that I was in danger of overegging the hug pudding and cementing my place as his nutty stalker ("Oh clap fucking hands. Way to play it cool and normal, you fucking FREAK") I eased off and began to let go but he didn't, immediately. Probably because he thought I wanted some monster bear hug because I'd just attempted to crack his ribs in response to his friendly "See you later, then" hug.

Then the hug ended, I said goodbye to his friend (no hug - more fear: I know the guy equally well. Was the non-hugging with him my fault, in which case I must've made it look even more obvious that I practically salivate every time his friend is in close proximity. Or his choice because he was afraid I might rupture an internal organ with my WWF-style "moves") and then they left. And I have been wracked with angst ever since. My nonchalant "Ok, so this might be the first time we've hugged but it's not like it means anything, does it? Unless of course you want it to" hug had turned into a "Like, OHMYGOD, you're touching me! I must consume you through the method of osmosis because I LUUURVE you and I'm so NEEEEDY!" hug. I am officially The Place Where Hugs Come to Die.

As an added bonus, I "entertained" my friends with this psychosis for most of two days. And the frightening part is, I only mentioned out loud about 1 in every 1000 of the times the phrase "Oh God, WHY did I hug him so hard?!" popped into my head. And I haven't even started in on the "Was that the first time he's hugged me? Why has he started hugging me? What could this mean?" thread with them. Because I enjoy actually having friends, you see. It's different here. You can read this and laugh at me, or you can go somewhere else and read someone else's work that doesn't resemble a 14-year old's livejournal. Or that does, if that's your bag. Either way, it won't result in you feeling the need to push me out of a first floor window in order to make me shut the hell up.


Of course, I did say I was going to stop talking about people I fancy on this blog. And I have. This happened years ago.

Yes. Years.

I need more sleep.

And some sex.

And to stop wondering why people don't hug me. I think that question has been fully answered.

And to stop obsessing about someone I fancy but can't have (ahh, all the better to distract me from obsessing about the person I love but can't be with, my dears).

Now if you'll excuse me, I think Soon-Yi is making a brisket for dinner. Please God let her have stuffed it with valium.

posted by bandhag | 12/06/2004 03:56:00 AM

And she I said...and then HE said...  

Since so many of you have written more on this blog than I have during the past couple of weeks, I thought it was only right I answered you. So here goes, then:

Happy Birthday, Banders. X

Ta. And hello, stranger!

Hurrah - she's back. With bf

"With bf"?! Grrrrr...I could break you y'know, boy. Break you like a fortune cookie.

Hey, girl. Happy birthday! Congrats on th enew baby. I am getting a new one (acoustic for myself at Christmas. I'll get a ticket and we can play. I'll be rhythm, you be lead.
Dyna Girl about we both do rhythm and get some really cool effects pedals to play with?!

AND...great gift. Can I have your friends on loan thru Dec.?
Dyna Girl

Sure, why not. They're probably bored of me by now anyways...

oh goodness, what kinda guitar did you get?????? have you named it yet? you must!

Not any famous brand of geetar... Looks a little like a BC Rich Warlock, though! I do have my eye on a gorgeous silver Gretsch as well (possible spendthriftiness occurring due to the new job... And yes, it has a name. Satan's Sugarcube. On account of how it's glittery and white and looks like a goth guitar. And stuff.

Belated 'appy returns, Bandhag!

I'm starting to like this "turning 30" business - it's like being at the end of a marathon and being pleased to see your mates cross the finishing line...
Inspector Sands

Hmmm. Much as I want to join you in the marathon thing, I can't shake that niggling worry about what time the sprint starts. The sprint in which the contestants are my tits, my face and my arse, and the finish line is my knees...

Oy. Women should start a revolution and make being 30-something the sexiest, coolest thing since Britney Spears.
Happy Birthday!

Miel! You're back! Maybe we should start working on some slogans for that revolution. To plagiarise (or bastardise, depending on how you look at it) Shellac, how about "The 30-Something Woman: she knows her way around a cock".

I really am worried that it took me four seconds to understand the other acronym.

Don't be - I'm an obtuse cunt at the best of times.

happy birthday!
its not so bad is it? you didn't instantly turn grey, you didn't suddenly chnage your body shape, you didn't suddenly feel old?
na you'll do that when you turn 31!
lou lou

You mean next year I turn into an elephant?! Cool!

So now yer 30, whenever mates ask you do the pub your first concern will be whether you'll be able to get a seat.

See below...

Worried about a seat now she's 30? My criteria for a good pub for the last, ooh, 12 years are (in order of importance):
1. Somewhere to sit
2. Must sell strongbow (Blackthorn strictly no good as substitute)
3. Not too smoky
4. Crap jukebox to play with (DJ impulse, we can't help ourselves), or they are playing old Billy Holiday records.
5. Very dark

This is why the Phoenix is my favourite ever pub.

But anyway - am I an old man or what?

Yes, you are an old man, Albert, and calling yourself Rachel isn't fooling anyone. Still, I love you anyway you old rascal, even when you do pip me to the post on my own blog and make me look like a big fat copyist for agreeing with you. Which I do, of course. Readers - our gang likes old man pubs. We like somewhere to sit down. We like music in the background. Cheap as fuck is alright sometimes, but you can keep yer soulless beer warehouses. Give us a bag of nuts and room to sit and we are happy, happy bunnies. Better still, put Daphne and Celeste on the jukebox so R and I can upset the staff and horrify the boys by putting it on. Mwahaha.

Rachel, I'm on the verge of asking to marry you here....
Inspector Sands

Oi! There will be no proposing on this blog unless it's to the author, goddit?!

Ah that's sweet but lucky you didn't as alas I am the R out of R&A (or is it A&R) that Ms Bandhag ocasionally refers to. And I think the A in qustion would probably request me to decline (not to mention what The Law would have to say about it). But maybe you should come down the Phoenix one night, or at least tell me what other pubs you have found that meet the above criteria!

Oh yeah - that's what I meant. "There will be no proposing on this blog unless it's to the author....'s friends who are NOT married." Yes. That's it.

While I'm here: Oy, Bandhag, get blooging every day again. If you don't keep writing I might have to start using the computer for boring stuff like homework (or god forbid writing in my own blog) instead of reading about our exploits in a more interesting way that what I tells 'em.


I'm trying, I'm trying. This whole "having a proper job" nonsense is sucking all the good out of me, maaaan.

Of course I meant "blogging" instead of "blooging" there. New keyboard, haven't got the hang of it yet..

Uh huh. Workman/tools ;-) xx

posted by bandhag | 12/06/2004 03:02:00 AM

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Things. Short things.  

Because I should be in bed.

Because I'm going to a gig before work tonight.

Shellac, thanks for asking.

We saw them last night too. They. RULED.

Electralane did not. (or is it Electrelane? I'd google but...meh.)

We also saw Neil.

He is lovely and was lucky to escape with what looked like a very comfy coat indeed.

Last week R, A and I went to the Time Out-sponsored cheapy Paperchase night. R and I messed our lady bits over the pretty stationery and (mostly to upset M, who loathes Christmas decorations with a passion) I bought a hot pink Christmas tree plus mirrorballs to decorate it.

I also bought a notepad. All the better for taking notes to start a fanzine with, my dear. Ha. My aching sides. More on Mein Angst at being the perennial nobody in my crowd of friends/acquaintances at a later date. Your hooks are tentered, I'm sure.

We saw I Heart Huckabees. It was veh good, especially if you're a fan of films like Being John Malkovich.

It is World AIDS Day. Buying and wearing a ribbon is The Very Least you could do. That said... where the fuck do you buy them in London? Didn't see any poppies on sale until November 12th...

Right. Anyway. Madness setting in now. Bedtime.

Next time: I will respond to all yer luvverly messages in my comments box.

Tee hee. Box.

posted by bandhag | 12/01/2004 09:09:00 AM
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