Tuesday, 29 May 2012

My Day Off!

Quotation of the day ~ P.G. Wodehouse: The unpleasant, acrid smell of burnt poetry.

Hello, faithful reader.  I was in a crappy mood last week, my last post, on my last day off.  Work had really ground me down, or, should i say, the troglodytes i have to work with were really causing me some serious distress..

I'm feeling better today, though.  I watched a great film this afternoon, i.e., that one there to the right. It's loooong -- nearly three hours!  But worth every minute.

Also, Mr Postman delivered to me today the CD "The Band From Rockall" by Calum & Rory MacDonald of Runrig and guess what? It sounds like a Runrig album.

Fab stuff.

Here's this week's playlist:

Judy Collins -- Bohemian
Steeleye Span -- They Called Her Babylon
Wishbone Ash -- There's The Rub
Van Halen -- 5150
Ofra Haza -- Shirey Teyman
John Mayer -- Born And Raised
Kate Bush -- Never For Ever
This Mortal Coil -- Filigree And Shadow
Wishbone Ash -- No Smoke Without Fire
Van der Graaf Generator -- World Record
Various Artists -- Reefer Madness
Joe Bonamassa -- Driving Towards The Daylight
Scrapper Blackwell -- The Virtuoso Guitar Of Scrapper Blackwell
Saga - Saga
The Byrds -- We Have Ignition
The Miracles -- Going To A-Go-Go
Keane -- Strangeland
Joe Bonamassa -- Driving Towards The Daylight
Chicago -- The Very Best Of Chicago, disc one
Keane -- Strangeland
Joe Bonamassa -- Driving Towards The Daylight
The Faces -- Five Guys Walked Into A Bar (disc one)
Ian Anderson -- Thick As A Brick 2
Dweezil Zappa -- Automatic
Keane -- Perfect Symmetry
Home -- A Pause For A Hoarse Horse

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Oh, And Did I Mention...?

Quotation of the day: Ernest Hemingway ~ The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in shock-proof shit-detector.

1. Poor working conditions (always either too hot or too cold)
2. Stress (i may have mentioned stress)
3. A paycheque that's hardly worth getting out of bed for (i haven't had a raise in five or six years, meanwhile all the bills go up and up)
4. A benefit package that leaves a lot to be desired.  OK, i admit, a lot of restaurants offer no benefits whatever and mine is at least pretty good on dental insurance -- nothing else though!
5. Co-workers whose knuckles are all scraped from walking -- not all of them, obviously, but i have to suffer some real Neanderthals.

Let 'em read this and fire me, i'm too old for this shit.

And just to cheer myself up, here's another pic of my potential fiancee Andreea:

Dream on...

What Blog? Why Blog?

Quotation of the day: C.S. Lewis ~ She's the sort of woman who lives for others - you can tell the others by their hunted expression.

So, why do i do this, anyway, this blog?   Masochism? A desire for immortality via Google?  The egotistical notion that someone might care?

One of my favourite comic strips is "Pearl Before Swine" and here's a recent one:

So maybe it's arrogance?

Or maybe it's just something to do on my rare days off, when i usually get so drunk i can't walk but can still use a keyboard.  Well, yes, a shocking confession, i drink a lot on my day off -- to forget the horrors of my job.  And believe me, it is a nightmare shitshow.

I know i've said many a time that i didn't want to blog about my work -- i've heard too many stories of bloggers and Facebook posters who wrote the truth, were read by their bosses and landed in heaps of trouble and/or were fired.

Do you know what, though?  If they fire me, i don't care -- it would probably be the best thing that could happen.  Because, you see, i don't have the imagination to think of any options for a way out.  Getting fired would force me to find a new job and it would almost certainly better than the one i have now, where i get covered in grease and fat every day and have loadsa stress, a lot of it through the sheer fact that the restaurant i work in is always busy, a lot of it, too from the fact that my kitchen manglers, er, managers, are a couple of arrogant and condescending little tin gods for whom i have nothing but disdain.  I've worked at that bloody restaurant for 22 years and the kitchen manglement has never before been as bad as it is now. (Instance: i get along well with almost everyone who works there, except the kitchen manglers.  It's them, then, and not me.)

Whatever.  So i write this thing as a form of catharsis, to relieve the frustrations.  If they read this and give me the old heave-ho, fine.  It'll be for the best

Monday, 21 May 2012

I'm Engaged! (Or More Likely Not)

Quotation Of The Day ~ P.G. Wodehouse:  Nothing so surely introduces a sour note into a wedding ceremony as the abrupt disappearance of the groom in a cloud of dust.

Astonishing news from someone who has always been lousy at relationships (i.e., me) and in fact a brief preamble would be in order, but first, here's the woman: 

Her name is Andreea Raducan, and she's a well-known gymnast from Romania (so we have a lot in common LOL): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andreea_R%C4%83ducan

Anyway, she recently wrote a memoir entitled "Reversul  medaliei" ("The Other Side Of The Medal" -- a translation into English is coming) and there's a promo video about it and oh, look here it is:

Now, what we have here is what might be called a long story.  I have a very dear friend who lives in Romania, called Magda.  She's very much into gymnastics, and she knows Andreea.  The publishers of Andreea's book, in anticipation of the English translation, asked Magda to provide English subtitles to the official promo video.  Which she did, but she also asked me to check her English (as she lacks a little self-confidence -- unjustified, her English is as good as most of the people i work with).

(The above video, btw, is the original Romanian version, sans Magda's and my exquisite sub-titles.  For legal reasons, until the English version of the book is ready, i can't show it to you.)

Anyway, i looked at the video, changed a few minor things, and happened to remark that i thought that Andreea was one of the most beautiful women i had ever seen in my life and could very well fall madly in love....  A remark that Magda passed on to Andreea :o)  And she (Andreea) replied something along the lines of  "You just married me to a Canadian? When are we having babies?" (Let's just disregard here for a second that i'm not Canadian, i just happen to live here....)

Well, i was shocked initially, doesn't she want to kiss me first?  But, looking at the above photo and video, and at the vast number of millihelens you can measure her attractiveness in (Helen Of Troy had the face that launched a thousand ships -- 1 millihelen is a face that could launch one ship), i think i could without much difficulty at all, do my duty to increase the population of Romania.....

Of course, the worst thing about this is that it's all me, fantasizing in febrile fashion.... The exchange between me and Andreea is fact, but beyond that....

I'll be buying the book nonetheless. In English.

Here's the latest playlist:

Keane -- Strangeland
Various Artists -- The World Of The Small Faces And Beyond
Joan Osborne -- Bring It On Home
Saga -- Silent Knight
Keane -- Strangeland
Joe Bonamassa -- You And Me
Ian Anderson -- Thick As A Brick 2
Players -- Players
Blind Faith -- Blind Faith deluxe edition, disc 2
Birth Control -- Backdoor Possibilities
"Barry Lyndon" (original soundtrack album)
Colin James -- Bad Habits
Joan Osborne -- Bring It On Home
Kathryn Tickell -- Kathryn Tickell & Ensemble Mystical
Memphis Minnie -- Crazy Crying Blues
Elvis Costello -- Armed Forces
Florence & The Machine -- MTV Unplugged
Focus -- Hamburger Concerto
Jon & Vangelis -- Page Of Life
The Jimi Hendrix Experience -- Axis: Bold As Love
Marillion -- Marillion.co.uk
George Harrison -- Early Takes Vol. 1
Keane -- Strangeland
Pete Hammill -- X My Heart
Rory Gallagher -- Calling Card
The Byrds -- The Notorious Byrd Brothers
George Harrison -- Early Takes, Vol. 1
Mike Oldfield -- The Songs Of Distant Earth
Tyrannosaurus Rex -- Prophets Seers and Sages, The Angels Of The Ages
Big Country -- The Best Of Big Country
Runrig -- The Highland Connection

Friday, 18 May 2012

Donna Summer 1948 -- 2012

Quotation of the day: George Bernard Shaw ~ Music is the brandy of the damned

I was immensely saddened to hear of Donna Summer's demise last Thursday, at the age of 63. She was the Queen Of Disco.

Now, i was never really a fan of disco music in the 70's.  So much of it was utter crap. But there were some performers who, ostensibly "disco," transcended the genre.  By which i mean they sang fabulous songs which just happened to have "disco" beats appended, and i'm thinking of groups like The Bee Gees and ABBA and singers like Madonna and Rod Stewart and, yes, Donna Summer.

Donna's voice was a superb instrument, and that's all that mattered.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012


Quotation Of The Day: P.G. Wodehouse ~ A cold hand seemed to clutch at my heart. I felt like a Gadarene swine that had come within a toucher of doing a nose-dive over the precipice.

As my loyal and faithful reader will know, i am a huge fan of the cinema.   I hardly ever actually go to the cinema, though -- my town's only cineplex is far off at the other end of town (an hour's walk) and they cater primarily to a teenage audience anyway.  Moronic movies for morons, basically. (The last time i was at a real theatre was two years ago, when i saw "The Adjustment Bureau."

 (a great film, btw)

So i watch films primarily on DVD and the tragedy is, i have so little time.  (The 21st century tragedy, really.) I haven't watched a film properly (i.e., in one sitting) in probably a couple of weeks, poor me....  The last thing i saw was "Lethal Weapon" and it took me three evenings. 

That preamble over, there are a couple of movies coming out this year that i am really looking forward to.  Part 1 of Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit" is due in December, and this, by one of my favourite directors, Ridley Scott, is released next month:

Friday, 11 May 2012

Latest Acquisitions + Playlist

Quotation og der tag: Craig &  Rita (from www.therock.fm) Craig: The dandelions have been very bad this year, they're growing like weeds.  Rita: They are weeds, Craig.

I've bought some darned good CDs in the past month or so, and here are some of them.


And they say music is dead!  These are all really good albums: music is alive and well. It's the music industry that's going tits up.  Sony, for example, lost 5.7 billion dollars last year and their response was to blame everyone but themselves http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/05/10/sony_results/  (Okay admittedly that wasn't their music division in particular, but it's a sign of the times:  we're crap but it's not our fault!)

Here's the playlist for the past three days:

Richard Thompson -- The Old Kit Bag
Pink Floyd -- Obscured By Clouds
Runrig -- The Big Wheel
Happy Rhodes -- Warpaint
Terje Rypdal, Miroslav Vitous & Jack DeJohnette -- To Be Continued
Bo Diddley -- His Best
Dead Can Dance -- Aion
Seether -- One Cold Night
The Trews -- Hope And Ruin

Rock On!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Ken Stott IS Rebus

Quotation of the day: P.G. Wodehouse ~ Angus McAllister, the head gardener, was a man with a Clydeside accent and a face like a dissipated potato.

As my regular reader will know, i discovered the books of Ian Rankin a couple of years ago -- in particular his novels about Inspector John Rebus of the Lothian And Borders Police -- and have been on an Ian Rankin binge ever since, scooping up every book i can.  I also scooped up the 10 DVDs of the ITV television series. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0867015/

It stars Ken Stott in what the critics called "the role he was born to play."  He's perfect.  Here he is:

and he is exactly what i imagined, from the books, what Rebus would be like.  (In the same way that, for example, Viggo Mortensen is Aragorn and Basil Rathbone is Sherlock Holmes.) The TV episodes are only loosely based on the books, but so what, they're bloody brilliant (even though they leave out, from necessity i s'pose, a lot about the man). 

Time for my dinner now, i'm afraid, so i can't go any further, except to add this week's playlist:

Various Artists -- Nobody Sings Dylan Like Dylan, Vol. 39
Sandy Denny -- A Boxful Of Treasures, disc 2
Genesis -- Foxtrot
Keef Hartley Band -- Halfbreed
Jane Siberry -- Bound By The Beauty
Robert Fripp -- The League Of Gentlemen
Hothouse Flowers -- Home
Be+Bop Deluxe -- Modern Music
Various Artists -- Blues Story #8: Louisiana Blues
Tyrannosaurus Rex -- A Beard Of Stars
Ian Anderson -- Thick As A Brick 2
Rory Gallagher -- Tattoo
Pink Floyd -- Pulse, disc 2
Saga -- Silent Knight
The Who -- Endless Wire (a dreadful CD from a band well past their best-before date)
Judy Collins -- Bohemian
Players -- "Players"
Various Artists -- Paint It, Blue
The Groundhogs -- With John Lee Hooker & John Mayall
Sky -- Sky

Friday, 4 May 2012

War Horse 2

Quotation of the day ~ P.G. Wodehouse: He was sitting at his desk with the glazed stare of one who has been struck in the thorax by a thunderbolt.

(Love P.G. Wodehouse.)

Speaking of writers, though, i'd never heard of Michael Morpurgo until two weeks ago, and learned that it was he who had written the novel "War Horse" (upon which the stage play & Spielberg film were based). http://www.michaelmorpurgo.com/  He's written many, many books, and here's a picture of the gentleman: 

What a nice looking man.

His books seem to be primarily aimed at a younger audience, but so what, so are J.K. Rowling's (and let's not mention "Alice In Wonderland').  (Message from Cate: I told you not to mention "Alice In Wonderland"!)  And so i hied me down to my favourite local bookshop, Fanfare Books (92 Ontario Street, Stratford) (Hey, Bob, does this mention of your shop entitle me to a discount?  Thought not....) and picked up a paperback copy of "War Horse."

I started reading it this morning and am loving it so far but why do i have the feeling i'm about to have my heart broken again...?

And here's the playlist for the last three days (cos i know you care):

Various Artists -- Nobody Sings Dylan Like Dylan, Vol. 39
Sandy Denny -- A Boxful Of Treasures, disc 2
Genesis -- Foxtrot
Keef Hartley Band -- Halfbreed
Jane Siberry -- Bound By The Beauty
Robert Fripp -- The League Of Gentlemen
Hothouse Flowers -- Home
Be+Bop Deluxe -- Modern Music
Various Artists -- Blues Story #8: Louisiana Blues

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

The Unproductive Life -- Exposed!

Quotation of the day: P.G. Wodehouse ~ She has about as much brain as a retarded billiard ball

Yes, a day off, at last, and it's going to be a good 'un.  For one thing it's not freezing cold here at Spriggs Central: it's a relatively tropical 14 degrees C.  So i only have one sweater on, instead of the usual five....

And how, i hear you ask, having i been spending this unwonted leisure time?

Glad you asked!  I had a beer 'n' clamato juice for breakfast, scrubbed Cate's litterbox and then....

Do you recall the film "Source Code"?  A great movie!

In the film, the control centre is called "Beleaguered Castle," and i just learnt that this is also the name of a variant of the card game Patience, or, as it's more commonly known, Solitaire.

So, just out of curiosity, i downloaded the game (from http://www.freewareshareware.net/download/BeleagueredCastleSolitaire.exe) and have played it a few times and it's fun.

And that's been my morning.

Time for lunch!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

I'm Not Paranoid, There Really IS A Conspiracy....

Quotation Of The Day: Ian Rankin ~ The freeway system around Los Angeles was like a joke God was playing on the human brain.

And so, after my refreshing and corroborative week off, i have just worked eight days straight.  Those eight days included two 5 a.m. starts and those are brutal, they're like my penance for the sins of a previous life.  And i'm bewildered, or at least bemused, too.  I keep thinking that, in a normal week, i'm supposed to work five-and-a-half shifts.  The half shift never seems to happen, though....  I think i had one in January, one in March....

All recuperative benefits of the week off are now up the spout, and, because i've spent so much time at the beanery i have screwed up two major projects and will now be filing my 2011 tax return a day late, grrr...

Well, i do have one major consolation, and here 'tis:

Nothing much else to write about today....

Here's last week's playlist:

The Dixie Chicks -- Wide Open Spaces
My Chemical Romance -- The Black Parade
Blue Light Rain -- Jazz Is Dead
Jane Siberry -- Meschach Dreams Back
Ofra Haza -- Shirey Teyman
Cilla Fisher & Artie Tresize -- Cilla And Artie
 Milla Jovovich -- The Divine Comedy
 Coldplay -- A Rush Of Blood To The Head
Happy Rhodes -- Ecto
Kirsty MacColl -- Titanic Days
 Seether -- Karma And Effect
The Keef Hartley Band -- Halfbreed
 Ian Anderson -- Thick As A Brick 2
Rob Hyman -- Largo
 Humble Pie -- Performance; Rockin'The Fillmore
Max Webster -- The Best Of Max Webster
 Runrig -- The Cutter And The Clan
 The Albion Dance Band -- The Prospect Before Us
The Beatles -- Rubber Soul
 Big Wreck -- Albatross
  Brand X -- Product