Sunday, February 20, 2005


Here's some fun: A guy that makes paintings from stranger's abandoned photos, purchased from the developer.

I feel ambivalent about this. On the one hand: if the people who took the pictures cared very much about them, perhaps they should have picked them up from the developer instead of leaving them on the racks for any old Tom, Dick or Tarquin to pick up. On the other: well-to-do educated guy rips off scraps of the little people's lives, taking them for profit and glory.

Nothing new there, I s'pose.

Lush and thick with impasto and containing within their ranks an image of a fat tourist, they (do not look like but) made me think of Jenny Saville. This is from back when I made one of my spasmodic attempts to get an art A-level. I remember posters from "Strategy (South Face/Front Face/North Face)"--you know, the one the Manics used for the cover of The Holy Bible--were put up in the halls outside the classroom. I remember marvelling at them, loving them, loving this rejection, this still rebellion. I remember these two girls off my course laughing at them with their sleeves in their painted mouths--you know how teenage girls laugh--tittering because hey, look, a fat girl, naked. God, if you looked like that you wouldn't pose for a painting, would you? Teeheeheeheehee.

I remember how badly I wanted to get a bunch of centrefolds, the most banal, vacuous airbrushed smut I could find, sneak round while there were no other people there and staple them over the paintings. Watch the laughing girls freak out. Well, this is what you wanted, isn't it? This is beauty, this is the sort of person who's supposed to get naked, right?

Sometimes I wish I'd been the kind of person who did that kind of thing. Sometimes I hate that I'm the kind of person who'd think of it.


Something I like: Taking objects that are similar and lining them up in rows. I like doing that. I do it with coins and things. I used to like boxes of decorated noteletts or greetings cards, the ones where all the pictures are identical. It satisfies me in a basic kind of way. It's the kind of behaviour I try to supress, because it's unintelligible to most people and witnessing unitelligible behaviour in others is disturbing. I may have finally found a sneaky way to engage in it...and even get paid. Woohoo!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

I'm having a bad day.

Not an awful day, not a terrible day, just bad. Most of the badness was cumulative badness from the last few months; you see, I've been trying to pay my electricity bill.

So back in the mists of time, I get my leccy bill. How to pay it? Aha, I think. I shall take this bill to my bank. Surely I can pay my bill at the bank.

So I take the bill along, ask if it's possible to pay it. No problem, says the guy. He does guy in bank stuff for a few minutes, then turns back to me and says, "that's that!" Only, y'know, in Spanish.

So I think fine, all done and dusted. Until a month or so later when I get a reminder. Scowl, scowl, check bank-book, oh bugger, the money never came out. Go back to bank. Same thing happens. Get shouthy reminder letter in post, grr we're cutting off your electricity on the 22nd! Back to bank. This time I am told that the bank cannot help me as the name on the bill is not my name (this is despite having asked leccy co. to change the name when I moved in). Phone up electricity co. I am to try the post-office. Go to the post-office. No, I cannot pay the bill there as the name on the bill is not my name; I am to try the electricity co. office. Go to electricity co. office. Cannot pay bill at that office; I am to go to a different office which is now shut for the day as it only opens in the morning.

Today: Go to the other office. Cannot pay bill at that office. Explain that I can't pay it at the bank because the name is wrong. Am informed that they can't change the name until the bill is paid. "Try the post-office." Explain that the post-office won't let me pay it there, either. All such concerns are brushed aside by snooty electricity co. staff. Go to post-office. Post office is now shut. Crawl weeping back to flat convinced that I have fallen into a Franz Kafka novel. Sulk until P.O. reopens, seek out staff member who looks least arsey, present bill PAY BILL YES YES YES THANK YOU JESUS.

And this guy came to check our butane sitch and changed the tubes over and charged us loads of money and when I tried to use the oven the new tube melted and filled the kitchen up with butane and I've got a cold and I broke a glass and BLARRRGH.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Mordant Carnival in "actually finishing something" shock

Help me out here. I have a month left on my course and I'm not behind on anything. I have no overdue paperwork, I don't suck at some crucial aspect, and worst of all I--God, I can hardly choke out the words--I've been being...punctual. I've even been told that I might be in danger of getting a job at the end of it. Obviously this is a strange and unnatural state of affairs which must be corrected forthwith.

Option 1) Not studying.

This probably the worst option. The course is almost entirely practical. Since I'm on a building site, there's little to do except build stuff. The only theoretical aspect is some stuff on calculating surface areas which unfortunately I already know.

Option 2) Get really really drunk every night.

Age has taken its toll on my alcohol tolerance, and a crippling hangover at least two or three days a week would help to reduce my attendance and ensure that any work I did do was suitably crap. However, I just can't muster the enthusiasm that I once had for getting unspeakably wasted midweek. I fear I lack the proper motivation.

Option 3) Assault a staff member.

I have identified at least one staff member with the required degree of wankitude. However, he's way taller than me and has access to pointier tools.

Christ, I may actually be going to pass something. I feel...sullied.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Reasons to be cheerful

Some guys are doing some kind of building work on my building. I can here drilling, shouting and bits of wall dropping off. I'm afraid to look. Stressed?

Stress is stupid. I mean, yeah, it's a positive force blah blah blah in some ways but if you can't immediately do anything about the stresstastic situation then it's just a pain in the bum. Stress should happen in a pop-up window that you can close again easily, with options and tickboxes. Mira...


You have (3) stressy things happening.

You can resolve (0) of these stressy things at the present moment.


(_) Lie awake until stupid o'clock going biscuits
(_) Think about it in the morning
(_) Ommmmmm
(_) Cinema
(_) BEER
(_) Faceknives
(_) Remind me again in (_) weeks

(_) OK (_) CANCEL

The thing that bugs me most about stress is not the stress itself. What bugs me is the attendant general inability to get one's head in the goddamn game. Studying? Thinking about lunch. Eating? Thinking about jobs. Apllying for jobs? Thinking about the electricity bill. Paying the electricity bill? Thinking about a computer game. Playing a computer game? Thinking about studying. Give. Me. Back. My. HEAD.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Hmmm... updates... yeah, that might be an idea.

Well, I've had stuff on my mind--nothing new, just the same old shit I've been dealing with for the last couple of years, only, y'know, moreso. Boring to live through, boringer to read about.

I have started those free Castillian lessons and I'm doing well. The tiling/decorating/plastering course is going great; I'm really into it. On Thursday I stripped all the tiles I'd stuck on my little pretend bathroom off, which was oddly satisfying: chiselling them away from the wall with a hearty SMASH as they hit the floor, getting a wheelbarrow-load together and then carting them across to the skips. The skips are massive, twice as big as the kind you see outside people's houses, with a walkway of planks leading up between them. Because the planks are steep and a barrowload of tiles and dry cement is heavy, the only way to get as far as the top is to start with a good run-up--you have to show the incline who's boss. Man, I was sore the next day! Fun, though.

Today I start working in earnest. I'm doing my masterpiece, another pretend room which must be tidied-up and tiled extra-spiffily coz we're being graded on it. Hey, I was thinking the other day--wonder if there's a market for a magic- and kink-aware handyperson?

Thursday, February 03, 2005


1) Tiling going well.
2) Random paranoia in overdrive.
3) Probably going to get free Castillian lessons.
4) I <3 Fridgemagnet.