four things…

OK, end of year meme, nicked from sharklady’s blog

A. Four jobs you’ve had in your life
1. waiter
2. factory worker (stitching little ‘R’s into Russel Athletic sweatshirts!)
3. Market research observer for Philips
4. solo bassist

B. Four films you could watch over and over
1. the wedding singer
2. so I married an axe murderer
3. bugsy malone
4. muppet’s treasure island

C. Four cities you’ve lived in
1. London
2. Perth
3. Lincoln
4. Berwick on Tweed (er, cities?????)

D. Four Tele programs you love to watch
1. question time
2. never mind the buzzcocks
3. newsnight review
4. family guy

E. Four favourite places you’ve been on holiday
1. Krakow
2. Lake Garda, Italy
3. North Norfolk coast
4. Nashville

F. Four websites you visit daily
1. BassWorld
2. last.fm
3. MySpace
4. Jonatha Brooke forum

G. Four of your all-time favourite restaurants
1. Romna Gate, North London
2. Henderson’s, Edinburgh
3. Mia’s, just outside Reading (best curry I’ve had in years)
4. Ristorante Cascina Capuzza, Desenzano del Garda, Italy

H. Four of your favourite foods
1. just about any veg Curry, but Mia’s Veg balti is pretty remarkable.
2. Fajitas
3. Caprese Salad
4. fresh fruit salad.

I. Four places you’d rather be right now
1. North Norfolk
2. on the banks of Lake Garda
3. Mexico (I’ve never really been but I’d sure like to go… ;o)
4. driving across the US with TSP.

J. Four things you find yourself saying
1. ‘sorry, I forgot’
2. ‘imitate, assimilate, integrate, innovate’
3. ‘anecdotally’ (way of covering myself when presenting loosely observed trends amongst my friends as scientific data)
4. ‘OK, I’ll do it, when I’ve checked my email.’

(and sharklady, note anglicised questions – you’re from here, stop typing like you’re from there!)

sick-watch 2005

Feeling a bit better today – definitely not feeling nauseous. Sleep was long but feverish/sweaty/uncomfortable. Will hopefully get some work done today on the tax thingies and some of the much much overdue gig promo things that I really really need to get done ASAP!

SoundtrackBill Frisell, ‘Ghost Town’.

no sign of a recovery yet…

well, I still feel like shit, aching all over. I’ve slept for a fair chunk of the day, and that’s where I’m going back to now, in the hope that I’ll wake up feeling better tomorrow…

Happy 33rd, me!

not the best start to my birthday…

a little over five hours after I posted the last blog, I was hunched over the loo puking my guts up. TSP was ill at the beginning of last week, and we’re wondering if it might be the same thing. One of the fairly aged felines was also puking this morning, possibly just out of solidarity.

Damn, I’d forgotten how painful the acid burns in your throat can be! That really really hurt. TSP was fabulous, getting me drinks, holding my hair back etc. My very own Florence Nightingale.

Was sick about three times in quick succession, but no more spewing as yet… just feeling achy and fragile.

And the fact that it’s my birthday isn’t really of any consequence – what’s more important is that I need to get on with sorting out my tax this afternoon, and am feeling like crap.

Still TSP did buy me a couple of fabulous DVDs so I can convalesce with those – Team America and Jump London! Yay for the perfect small person!

A taxing day

Spent most of the day sorting out last year’s tax return – finally got round to doing it, and have definitely broken the back of it. Am going to try and get it up to date to now, rather than just last April, so I don’t have this mad panic come this April…

This evening we watched Mona Lisa Smile – a rather disappointing film, given that I’m a sucker for inspirational teacher films (I even found something to like in ‘Music Of The Heart’, which was a pretty awful film all told, but sucked me in nonetheless). This one was just poorly executed – nice idea, doing a female version of Dead Poets Society, and according to the extra features on the DVD, a lot of effort was made to make it accurate, but the relationship between the Julia Roberts Character and the turd that was shagging the students was wholly unrealistic – as if an emancipated woman in the 50s wouldn’t be scandalised by a male teacher sleeping with his students. Total bollocks, which spoiled the rest of the film. Nice idea, but C- must try harder.

Now, what time is it? Ah, 1am, then let me be the first to wish myself a very happy birthday! :o)

end of year top 10s and general out-of-touchness…

Here are two end of year top 10s. Neither of them are mine – the first is the chart of the charts – a compilation of the best of the end of year critics polls. The second is the biggest selling albums of the year –

THE CRITICS’ CHOICE

1 The Arcade Fire: Funeral
2 Gorillaz: Demon Days
3 Kanye West: Late Registration
4 Sufjan Stevens: Illinoise
5 Elbow: Leaders of the Free World
6 Antony & The Johnsons: I Am a Bird Now
7 The White Stripes: Get Behind Me Satan
8 Franz Ferdinand: You Could Have It So Much Better
9 Kaiser Chiefs: Employment
10 MIA: Arular

2005’S TOP SELLING ALBUMS

1 James Blunt: Back to Bedlam
2 Coldplay: X & Y
3 Robbie Williams: Intensive Care
4 Kaiser Chiefs: Employment
5 Westlife: Face to Face
6 Gorillaz: Demon Days
7 KT Tunstall: Eye to the Telescope
8 Eminem: Curtain Call – The Hits
9 Kelly Clarkson: Breakaway
10 Katie Melua: Piece by Piece

So, out of both charts I own one of the albums – KT Tunstall’s ‘Eye To The Telescope’. Rather fabulous it is too. I haven’t even heard any of the others. I’ve heard the singles from a few of them – the Coldplay tracks I’ve heard sound nice, and I’m going to get the Gorillaz album, for sure. Will probably get round to listening to Sufjan Stevens, Arcade Fire and Anthony And The Johnsons at some point (I’ve heard a track from the Anthony… album and quite liked that.)

I’m feeling marvellously out of touch, despite actually having bought two out of the current top 3 UK singles in the last week! Back in the days when I subscribed to Q, I used to tot up at the end of the year how many of their top 50 from the year I had – normally somewhere between 7-10. This year, it’s probably one – KT Tunstall. I don’t think I own another album that’s charted.

My own top 5 of the year is –

Michael Manring – Soliloquy
King’s X – Ogre Tones
Lleuwen Steffan/Huw Warren/Mark Lockheart – God Only Knows
Bill Frisell – East/West
Juliet Turner – Live

Bruce Cockburn – Speechless would be in there but I had all but two of the songs on it before, so it’s not really a ‘new’ album.

So not a particularly hip top 5, but a vibrant one for sure – Michael’s album is his first solo album for 7-8 years, and his first all-solo CD, the finest all solo bass CD ever released by anyone, if you ask me. Kings X’s album is a major return to form, their best for almost a decade. Lleuwen Steffan’s album was a real revelation – I heard it at the vortex being played before a gig, and bought it there and then, and love it to bits. Frisell’s album is him back doing what he does best – playing live with a trio. and Juliet’s live album is long overdue and captures much of the magic of seeing the the lovely Ms Turner live. 5 great albums, for sure, and all of them way better than some load of hackneyed old bollocks by Franz Ferdinand/White Stripes/Kanye West etc. etc. etc. – piss off you dull bastards, come back when you stop making records by comittee/have had drum lessons/write some tunes, respectively. (and no, The Cheat, claiming that you really dig the Kanye West album doesn’t make you seem cool and hip to the laydeez, so stop pretending that was your musical highlight, when really it was hanging out with Randy Stonehill).

Christmas films

no, not the films on the TV – TSP and I always rent a pile of DVDs over Christmas, to catch up on some of the films we’d wanted to see in the year but never got round to going to – I think the last thing we saw at the Cinema was the third Harry Potter film, last christmas!

Anyway, the three films we’ve watched so far are Festival, Wedding Crashers and The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy.

Festival was one I’d wanted to see when I first heard about it – a film set at the Edinburgh festival, so one I thought I’d recognise lots in. Then it won best comedy film at the Comedy Awards last month, so we got it on DVD. It’s a good film. Pretty bleak in places, and the picture in paints of the comedy world at the festival is a grim one – I certainly didn’t encounter anyone who was quite that competitive, obsessed or insane… maybe it’s that the kinds of acts that get booked into the C-Venues venues are a bit closer to the artsy/lovies crowd that are represented in the film by the girl doing the one woman show and the Canadian drama company – their edinburgh certainly looked a little more familiar. Still, it was an enjoyable film.

Wedding Crashers – the plot held no attraction at all, but I do like Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson so assumed it’d be good. And it is! Morally reprehensible, but lots of fun, a fantastic web of deceit and some slapstick moments. Owen Wilson was fab as always. Hollywood nonsense, yes, but very entertaining hollywood nonsense.

And the Hitchhiker’s Guide – the TV series is one of my all-time favourite TV series, perfectly acted and scripted, and all the visualisations have become so iconic for anyone who watched it, that it was going to be tough to see it a) reinterpreted, and b) compressed into the length of the film. That said, it was really well done – the casting was excellent, and the references to the original were really nicely done – the original Marvin appearing in the queue on Vogsphere, the original Arthur Dent giving the ‘away message’ on Magrathia. All in all, a very enjoyable film. And all three make it into my list of favourite films of the year, just by virtue of me having seen so few new films this year!

Happy Christmas!

It’s Christmas Eve, the christmas shopping is done, lots of videos rented to watch over the next couple of days, a Looperlative to play with – we’re all set.

All that’s left is to wish all you lovely bloglings an exceedingly happy christmas. It’s a bit late to say it now, but I really hope you haven’t overspent on pressies and trimmings – as I say every year, the best present you can give your family is a debt-free new year (even if they tell you it’s an X-Box).

Take it easy, enjoy it, enjoy the time you have off from work, think through all the things you have to be grateful for, and chill.

We’re doing absolutely nothing – just me, TSP and the Fairly Aged Felines, relaxin’ eating some cool veggie food (well, me and TSP – I don’t think the cats are going to be wanting sprouts and sweet potato!), watching some festive TV, and enjoying some time off, before getting stuck into last year’s tax accounts early next week…

Tonight we’ll go to midnight mass, and tomorrow we’ll probably go to church in the morning, but other than that it’s lots of slobbing out in front of the TV and a bit of bass playing in between.

And if you’re celebrating something other than Christmas, enjoy it, and please sign into the forum and tell us all about it – I’m not that up on the specifics of most of the other celebrations that take place around this time that the Americans group together as just ‘holidays’.

cheers!

2005 – the year of the blog.

At least, it has been for me. This, believe it or not, is my 507th blog post of the year (not including the ones I’ve posted on myspace, last.fm, big bottom etc.) – out of the total blog count on this version of my blog of 780-something, that makes it my bloggingest year yet by quite some huge margin.

And I’m not done yet! Still got all those end of year blogs and more festive blogging and birthday blogging to come… yay!

Health update…

I feeling much better now, thanks for asking. TSP is still in a bad way – had two days of work, not feeling well at all, back today but still not right… poor thing. And one of the fairly aged felines was being sick today too! Not a good house for such things.

I was almost sick today, when some crazed bint rant into the back of my car! Fortunately it didn’t do any damage (I got her phone number and licence plate number just in case something shows itself later), but it was pain in the arse.

Ah well, it’s christmas. or something.

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