Sunday, 11 April 2010

Today in the Gardens

She was reading an art newspaper. She was perusing a contemporary art brochure. She was intent yet infinitely nonchalant. She was ancient and shriveled. I sat beside her a while. I wanted to hold her. Eventually she got up and walked away, extremely unsteady on her feet. She looked as if she was at least 90. It was early afternoon. I feel as if I could love her.

Complete Strangeness of y Disgust with the News

"Our thoughts are with the family of the victim, who will be supported by a trained family liaison officer at this most difficult time.

In an interview with the Metro newspaper, Mr Cameron said: "I think this is just an absolutely appalling way to behave. If Gordon Brown has a moral compass he should get it out and have a good look at it and apologise to these people straight away."

Scouting For Girls held on to top spot in the singles chart. Skip related content
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The band's single - This Ain't A Love Song - reigned supreme for the second week running, despite a spike in sales of OMG, by Usher and Will I Am.

London rapper Plan B held on to third spot - his highest ever chart finish - with She Said as Lady Gaga's Telephone slipped two places to No 4.

Pass Out, the former No 1 by Tinie Tempah, held on to fifth spot ahead of Timbaland's Carry Out, featuring Justin Timberlake.

Hot, by Inna, came in at seven ahead of Rihanna's Rude Boy, Justin Bieber's Baby and Cheryl Cole's Parachute.

In the album chart, Lady Gaga was given more reason to celebrate as The Fame soared to No 1 at the expense of Brother, by Boyzone.

Justin Bieber's My World, Sunny Side Up by Paolo Nutini and Lungs by Florence and the Machine completed the top five.

Plans to have the Pope arrested when he visits the UK will succeed because he is not a head of state, a solicitor has said. Skip related content
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Have your say: Crime

Atheist authors Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens proposed the action against the Pontiff for his handling of child abuse scandals in the Catholic church.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Notes on TV

Older woman - cardigan - pained expression - vast, sparse room - beech? walnut? stain wardrobe - man with glasses, neat haircut, neat fitting coat - officious, fastidious air - Bald man and younger man - wearing sweaters - serious conversation - beer bottle - green - grey sweater - clenched jaw - 4 MONTHS LATER - pale blue door - woman with head close to door - Man in suit and tie - sudden car crash - cut to office interior - woman in vertical striped shirt - bookcase blurred in background - grey cardigan conceal nice breast of cordial, demure woman - older man wears brown woolen sweater, pale blue shirt, spectacles - seems agitated - younger woman sympathetic - Oh fuck his earlobe is fucking huge - all floppy & shit
Interior of bar - sexy women talking - Interior of room - woman removes lop balm from inside boot
People in a room - wearing suits - being all serious and shit - impassioned argument - Punch! Retaliation! Brawl - woman on street on phone - Cut to woman emerging from subway on phone
Old man w/ black beret & white beard sat at table upon which is a green ashtray - neat fastidious man enters - followed by a vaguely threatening looking dude
Briefcase full of money
Dude with bust lip on phone at the airport - studies photograph of attractive woman - selfsame woman walks past - 4 MONTHS LATER - blue - car - investigating interior of car - washed out, bright - slightly grainy (this will be the defining TV aesthetic of 2010) - roll credits...

The Comfortable Yen for the Infinitely Unattainable

Jonathan Marks, lazy, timid, pessimistic, quietly hopeful, approached the cafe. He hoped she would be there. He walked past the window, glimpsing into the dim interior to check. She was there. He realised this at the last moment as he walked past. He continued walking for a moment then paused, counted to 20, and then walked back and went inside. Goddamn he hoped she hadn't seen him peering in a second ago.
He ordered white coffee (last time he had ordered just a cup of coffee and she had brought it to him black and he had been too shy to request milk or sugar). Sit in or takeaway she wanted to know. Sit in. She told him to sit down, she would bring it over. Exact same ritual as before.
He sat near a couple drinking wine and eating salads. They were of different nationalities from each other and were conversing in english as a common language, or so it seemed. Actually the guy may have been Scottish.
Here came the coffee. He thanked her and smiled warmly and she smiled back.
There was a wee biscuit with the coffee this time. A wee caramalised biscuit in a cellophane wrapper. Jonathan turned it over in his hand and then pocketed it. He would consume it later. He briefly considered gifting it to the waitress and then quickly recognised the inanity and absurdity inherent in such an act.
He sipped on his coffee. It tasted good. Even without sugar. He glanced about but couldn't see where it was kept. He was reluctant to go and seek it; too self-conscious.
Christ, what a pitiful state of affairs. A man of 26, too timid to assert himself. Too pessimistic to long for anything other than what was safely impossible to acquire.
Things could be helluva worse though. That was the thing, despite his caution, negativity, acute bouts of despair he was by and large a cheerful and enthusiastic sort of a fellow.

The cafe was almost deserted. He finished his coffee and returned the mug and saucer to the counter. The waitress was adding two scoops of ice cream to two large glasses of Coca Cola. He stood waiting at the counter to pay her his £1.95 for the coffee.

Outside it had darkened suddenly and the streets were damp from a brief shower that had occurred unnoticed by Jonathan whilst he was in the cafe.
He walked briskly, feeling the caffeine surge through him, feeling acutely thrilled and enthused by life.


She brought me my coffee and I was too shy to ask for milk or sugar. I had been somewhat discombobulated when I ordered, so...
It's fine, I'll acquire a taste for black, unsweetened coffee I decided.

Second time I went I had the sagacity to order white coffee. Normally I just order coffee and wait for them to check how I want it. A bit too passive of an approach, especially in the city.
So I got milk this time. Still no sign of sugar anywhere. Ach well it's very tasty coffee anyway. Do me good to cut down on sugar. A pure caffeine fix is what's required here.
Instant coffee tastes helluva bitter without sugar. But this tasty gourmet shit, ah man. A taste to be savoured.
My waitress wore blue jeans and red Converse sneakers and I glanced at her ass as she walked past, I have to admit. She had spectacles on as well on this second visit. Not sure what I think about them. They emphasise how short her hair is I think (shorter than I normally prefer). I still like her and plan to return to the cafe.
Today the office closed early and I almost went along for a coffee but decided against it. Two days in a row would definitely be veering into some sort of unhealthy territory.

I am in my grandfather's conservatory. I can see a squirrel darting across the grass. Birds cheep, distant sound of my brother listening to bad rap music in the adjacent room.

Her hair isn't that short, just shorter than what I normally prefer. I didn't find her as attractive on the second visit I have to admit. But I still like her, still plan to return. Mid-week or perhaps Friday night. The best time to go is early evening when it is deserted, lunchtime crowd long vacated, evening drinkers yet to arrive.

She seems to be eastern European although for some reason I don't think she is Polish.

The squirrel is ascending a branch which wavers in the breeze. I hear my grandfather in the hallway. He is going to go for a walk. My mother is exasperated. I hear my father chuckling nervously.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

The Sonic Youth of Uphall

It was at that particular stretch of woodland where the feral youths tended to lurk and as I approached that night I sensed they would be there. I could hear them. Tex ran on ahead carrying his red frisbee in his mouth.
They had bottles of pear cider and cans of super lager. One of them wondered if Tex would like some super lager.
What does your hat say one of them wanted to know. Sonic Youth, I told him. We're the Sonic Youth of Uphall he explained in reply. I gave him an amiable thumbs up.
They're not often so friendly. They must have been at that pleasant brink of inebriation where one tends to have more of an amiable disposition.
We passed thru, me and Tex. I wasn't too discombobulated. Then we had to go back because Tex had left his frisbee.
Dog walk finished? they wanted to know. No, he left his frisbee, I explained. Go get it, I told Tex.
Once when I was drunk I talked some shit to a feral youth on the streets of Broxburn. He threatened to stab me. I decided not to find out if his threat was genuine.
Today I went to a cafe where I like this waitress. She has realised that I like her. It's acutely thrilling.
At the cafe I went to the john and took a fantastic shit. Visible vapours of steam were emerging from this blackened turd. I crouched to scrutinise it. I imagined it blocking up the toilet and then the waitress, at the end of her shift, having to come and unblock it. Possibly with her bare hands.
I don't know why I imagined this.
I'd like to end this post with a couple of shout-outs. I'd like to give a shout out to my man Rorie, the Krave addict. Also my man Stephen chilling up in Dundee. And my man David, let's hook up soon for some more jams, bro. I'm seriously contemplating buying an alto sax and shit.
That's all for now, later dudes.

Saturday, 3 April 2010


Chapter One

April O'Neil applauded unenthusiastically as Rick Moranis triumphantly landed a kickflip over the overturned shopping trolley. He had only fucking been trying it for half an hour. They were outside Livingston Shopping Centre, beside Safeways supermarket. It was a mild afternoon towards the end of autumn.
Egon Spengler was hanging out too. He had happened by 15 minutes ago and was now crouched against the glass facade of Safeways with April, watching Rick. He had an observable erection.
Rick wore grey slacks, a blue cardigan and black Vans Half Cab sneakers with an ollie hole in the right one (he rode goofy).
"Let's head down the skatepark, ya doss cunts," drawled Rick.

At the skatepark they found Peter Venkemann sauntering around. He was at that brink of inebriation where he was still coherent yet overly cocksure and given to erratic, unsociable behaviour.
"THE CORRIDORS OF ECTOPLASM!" he roared in a New York nasal whine upon seeing Rick, April and Egon.
"Shut it, ya doss fanny," retorted Rick. Egon snickered nervously.

Heat: they all yearned to return to the womb. Venkemann had found an alternative; whisky induced stupefaction. Within the next five years Egon Spengler would find an alternative; black tar heroin. Rick Moranis was given to abstract poetics and all manner of surreal rapping, April O'Neil to compulsive promiscuity.

April O'Neil was a whore. Her pimp was a cadaverous black man named Winston Zeddemore. He had pimped her for over 15 years, since she was 14. He had been sure to sample the product many times over the years to ensure it was still up to scratch. He estimated that she had another five years left on the game. Then he would turn her loose, return her to the windy streets, to a life of inevitable drug dependency and self-mutilation.

Later that afternoon Rick, April, Peter and Egon caught a bus out to Edinburgh Airport. They had spontaneously decided to go on vacation to Chicago, USA. Fuck, they didn't even know if there were any direct flights or how much it would cost. But they didn't give a fuck. They were given to spontaneity of the most inane, decadent variety.

The afternoon had turned overcast by the time the bus trundled up to the wasteland at the outskirts of the airport.
They stepped off the bus and the driver disembarked with them, seemingly to take a smoke break.
"Where do we go now?" Rick asked the driver in a feeble voice, grinning sadly. The driver grimaced as he took a powerful draw on his cig. He (the driver) pointed silently towards the outline of a distant building, a look of supreme disdain clouding his dim, cadaverous features.
They trundled en masse to the airport, the bus driver inexplicably joining them (just kidding).
They had the collective deameanour of bored teenagers. The sky was suddenly beginning to darken. Then it lightened, returning to a pale grey hue as they neared the terminal building.
Outside the airport, beside the automatic sliding door, a shrill middle aged woman was hysterically berating a stoic looking older man in a wheelchair. The doors slid open and shut open and shut due to the continued proximity of the wheelchair.

Inside the terminal building they found themselves in a nearly deserted cafe. Dull clattering sounds of dishes being cleared away. It was roughly 5pm. A special meditative ambience settled over the terminal building. It seemed all flights had arrived or departed some time ago. The airport bore the spectre of frenzied transit, now everything settled into peaceful grey skies, runway dust, distant echo of wind voices.

Kim Gordon of the rock band Sonic Youth sat in the airport cafe sipping black coffee. She wore black shades. She looked somehow different. Rick Moranis shuffled up to her and asked for her autograph in a pitiful, simpering voice. She pretended not to hear him.

Undeterred by this spectacle, Pete Venkemann approached her table and proffered a copy of SYR5 for her to sign. He held out a black marker pen. She took the pen, signed the record sleeve and then tossed it onto the floor. Pete bent down to retrieve it, his mannerisms those of a furtive dog. An aloof teenage girl standing nearby wearing shades snickered caustically. Kim remained infinitely glacial.

Egon Spengler shuffled up to Kim's table, his hands in his pockets. His overly rigid stance betrayed the true anxiety behind his nonchalant posturing.
"How do ye coax such glacial abstractions out of ye guitar?" he asked in a casual, husky voice. Kim continued to silently gaze straight ahead. Egon retained his blase demeanour as he shuffled slowly away again.

The sun was setting over the observation deck. Egon, Rick, Pete and April stood watching the planes depart and land. Kim Gordon had joined them but remained mute and indifferent. April O'Neil had unfastened the top three buttons of her blouse. Her brassiere was almost visible, a fact all three men had separately noted. Egon Spengler was harbouring a fierce, pulsating erection. Pete Venkemann farted but the sound was obscured by the roar of an airplane taking off.

Chapter Two

Raymond Stanz was absorbed in a solitary game of Subbuteo in his garage. He moved from one side of the table to the other, flicking the plastic players to and fro. It was mid-summer 1994, approximately three months before April, Pete, Rick and Egon's encounter with Kim Gordon at Edinburgh airport.
Ray looked decidedly boyish in his shorts, t-shirt and Vans sneakers. He looked like a fag is what he looked like. He had the surly temperament of an impatient, ineffectual pederast. His man tits jiggled as he danced to and fro from either side of the table.
Enter Pete Venkemann.
"Yo bitch," said Pete.
"Hey." Ray barely acknowledged Pete, still engaged as he was in the Subbuteo. By the way if you don't know what Subbuteo is, fucking Google it.
Pete wasn't really here to see Ray. They were both aware of that. Ostensibly he was, but that was mere pretext. He was here to see Ray's luscious sister Janine. Janine and Pete watched the same avant-garde sitcom everyday. It was entitled The Corridors of Ectoplasm. It was set in the autumn of 1992. It was about the distance between desire/longing and the reflection of amber streetlight in shallow puddles. It was a cult hit. Crude, boyish 25 year olds with asymmetrical haircuts and unnecessary spectacles discussed it in reverent, girlish voices.
Pete and Janine would often watch it together side by side on the couch, an achingly unbridgeable gulf between them.
Onscreen, Marco the humourless Spaniard was engaged in an impassioned rant to a dog sleeping on a leather couch. The dog was snoring. Marco had a pained, pious expression on his face.
Pete dozed off for a while. When he awoke, a shriveled spectral woman with red eyes was speaking onscreen.
"Her ectoplasm will hold a special place in our hearts."
He felt as if she were addressing him directly.
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