Monday, 26 December 2011

Christ Mass

You know that mood you get in when every little thing pisses you off? I'm experiencing it just now. Every little click, every little breath, every little scrunch just makes you want to physically attack someone with a small wooden statue of a duck. I was in Glasgow today for a brief spell, and even though I generally talk about the city in a positive light, today I could not be bothered with crowds of idiots. Many thought it was a great idea to cart around their screaming, semi-aborted placenta accompaniments in car sized prams through the narrowest aisle in the shop. I persevered and got a pair of trainers that didn't have the soles hanging off.

The film that made me drink raw eggs.
Thanks a lot for that, Sly.
It's officially one year (and one day) since I started this blog. Strong sense of deja vu here, typing in the same spot I did a year ago, once again quaking under the monster that lies within my stomach (although a year ago it was my Christmas dinner, today I just need a shit quite badly). Although I'm at my parents, I was at friend's house for the festive celebrations this year. I didn't come down partly because of work, but I probably could have spent it with the family if I'd really tried. But I've being doing almost exactly the same thing for 18 years, so the change was most welcome. Because my brain had been wired to be used to a certain few things, there were a lot of times where it didn't feel like Christmas. Instead of fidgeting about in anticipation of present opening I was busy the whole day. We watched a few films, wasted time on the silly xbox kinnect and had a really nice walk on the beach with my friend's dogs. Time was also dedicated to peeling vegetables, washing vegetables, chopping vegetables, eating vegetables and watching a vegetable ('Rocky' was on after Christmas dinner). Looking back at my first blog post (I didn't have a fucking clue what I was doing, bless) but I sure enjoyed doing it, and because I abandoned a lot of tradition this year I may as well continue with a tradition of my own creation - reviewing my Christmas dinner (out of 10 this time, the superior method of reviewing).

Ham - 8/10 (although the host was a vegetarian, he was kind enough to let the rest of us chew a warm pig corpse in front of him. The glaze we made was nice. Better than Turkey).
Ricotta looks amazing. But it's
actually as bland as fuck.
Cranberry Sauce - 7/10 (completely homemade and rather good, but I ate far too much and went off it)
Spinach and Ricotta pastry thing - 6/10 (Helped the host make it when I was drunk. Interesting but not my cup of tea)
Some fried parsnip thing with seasoning - 9/10 (oh wow mmm fuck mmmmm fucking yum)
Vinegar-ey potato wedge things - 9/10 (mm oh yeah fucking taste mmm)
Roasted vegetables - (Vegetables. Roasted. Not much to say about that.  ¯\(°_o)/¯ )
Mashed potato, mashed turnip - 8/10 (Or 'neeps and tatties'. Pretty ace because I made it).
Cinnamon Waffles - 6.5/10 (Spent a while making these. Not too bad. Not particularly amazing though)

And the result of all this preparation, eating, and merrymaking? Not a blog post, that's for sugar*. But I'm glad I didn't touch a computer in that time. Going onto facebook now, I can clearly see the damage I avoided.  A cesspool of statuses bragging about the useless and uninspired shite people got for Christmas. I didn't get a whole lot this year, gift or money-wise, but I really can't complain. Not once was my enjoyment interrupted yesterday by the lack of gifts or family. My friend Adriene looked at me with wide-eyed shock when I suggested that I might not be spending the 25th with my parents and brother. Every time Adriene does this, I tend to get a bit worried too. But my theory now is little more than this: fuck tradition. Every so often I get lulled into a routine. And when you step outside that dull little routine life can be that little bit more interesting. I suppose that's me being selfish again. But there will be time for the feelings of others later.

I'm soooo tired at the moment, so I guarantee bad mistakes in this post. Hope you all had a lovely christmas.

What I'm currently listening to > \Blur - The Great Escape/

* Meant to say 'sure' but there was an error between brain and fingers. I thought I'd keep the mistake though. It might catch on. Just remember where it all started.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, 16 December 2011

A crusade only of the brave

Watching this kind of film - a great way
to let off some steam. Hahaha!
Kudos to you if you actually got that.

Back in the library my dear readers. I've barely been away from this place over the past week and a bit, chipping away at essays and making announcements about sexually transmitted infections people have when strangers leave their facebook profile left open. There is also no doubt any more about whether or not someone will give me a job. I am now officially employed by the home and leisure section in ASDA (for the yanks that read this, ASDA is a part of Wal-Mart, I think it's essentially the same shop except the only guns we sell are water pistols), working nights. It drains my soul, but the pay is good and the people are nice. I've heard many painful stories about working with customers in retail, but I unfortunately don't have any such tales to tell due to my working hours (between 10pm and 6am) and the section I work in. I only ever see a handful of drunks per night, staggering in to buy a cheap Arnold Schwarzenegger DVD. Or the occasional parent who woke up in the middle of the night in a blind panic, hellbent on ensuring that their spawn had a Christmas present sorted at 1.25 in the morning on the 9th of December. Interestingly enough though, the store I work in sells more alcohol per square foot than any other Wal-Mart owned* store in the world. To say the least, that says a lot about the area that I live and work in.

Ever heard of Primus? Green Naugahyde was their 7th studio album, and it's been one of my favourite albums of the year so far. It's nice to see a band that is still making fantastic releases when they've been around since the eighties. Although never coming particularly high in the charts, the band have popped up in popular culture from time to time, making appearances in guitar hero and Tony Hawk game soundtracks, and composing the South Park Theme. There's something very unique about Primus and their sound. People hopelessly trying to fit them into a genre have simply sighed, given up, and fixed an 'Alernative Rock' sticker onto the band's forehead. Imitation is near impossible, mostly due to the impressive musicianship Primus displays. Very, very few bassists can play Les Claypool's incredibly precise and fast string slapping, let alone imitate it and manage the feat of singing over it. The band's sense of humour is also a unique part of Primus, and a very odd one at that to say the least. You don't even need to listen to them to discover this, with song titles such as 'Pork Chop's little ditty', 'Professor Nutbutter's House of Treats' and 'Last Salmon Man'. Here's a list of their albums and my personal rating

The band's 'in person apearance' didn't go
down too well with the fans

Frizzle Fry - 7/10
Sailing the Seven Seas of Cheese - 8/10
Pork Soda - 6/10
Tales from the Punchbowl - 6/10
Brown Album - 9/10
Antipop - 8/10
Green Naugahyde - 8/10

For a band with three members that uses little more than a bass, vocals, a guitar and drums the majority of the time, the sound varies so intensely between each album. Frizzle Fry and Green Naugahyde have a heavy brand of funk and post-punk flavours, Sailing the Seven Seas of Cheese and the Brown Album have a tight, pop friendly sound, while Pork Soda and Tales from the Punchbowl are full of hazy jams with a dark sense of humour and menace.

This guy is admittedly a little creepy. But he has a bike
replacing his hands. A bike. Where his hands should be.

Guaranteed for every album, however is Claypool acting like every stereotypical circus ringmaster you've ever heard of - standing outside the tent with a toothy grin, encouraging all to roll up and witness the wonders of a Primus release. His eccentric personality perfectly compliments the often silly lyrics, slipping between a nasally whine and a "C'mere boy" type of southern accent. It's hard to comment on the other members due to the fact there have been almost too many to count - constantly leaving and rejoining. I am, however, very pleased to see the return of Jay Lane, one of the original Primus drummers. His funk inspired style was a huge part of the early Primus sound I was particularly fond of, and his reinduction was almost entirely responsible for Claypool's renewed interest in the band.

And this time you are left with no excuse for not at least trying out the band, I've compiled a small selection of some of my favourite Primus tracks for you to listen to right here. Bear in mind that it's a zip file so you'll need winrar or something like that to open it. Have fun!

That's all my coursework done for the Christmas holidays, so I'll try and update this more often. I'd like to get a post in before Christmas actually, but if not then I'll be celebrating a year of this blog on the 25th.

What I'm currently listening to > \Primus - Frizzle Fry (just realised that the opening track mentions Christmas, so you actually have no excuse now)/

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Money for Nothing

There's a high possibility that I'm employed now, and I'm saying that as a glass half empty kind of person. Can't say for sure yet, but after successfully passing one stage of the recruitment process for a local supermarket I've been invited back for a 'chat'/informal interview in a couple of days. So unless I accidentally vomit on my potential employers face I think I'm good. A couple of days ago it was HIV/AIDS awareness day. I have never had HIV before. I have, however, had a blastoise before, so I thought it would be more appropriate to celebrate a bizarre facebook event called 'blastoise awareness day' that was attended by 747 people. A truly noble cause to make the youth of today appreciate the original 150 pokemon. I really shouldn't leave these blogs so late, because I've completely forgotten what I've done this week.

Employment looks good. It might change my social life to nil, but I'm a little bit of a hermit anyway so that doesn't matter too much. It will be quite odd having money to spend. Over the past few months I've become very good at saving money. The problem is that I had to learn these little tip and tricks myself. There are plenty of money saving advice websites out there, but none of them seem to realise quite how bad my situation was. It wasn't rally drastic enough. So may I present the hesitant calamari's no holes barred top 5 ways to save money. If you are also poor, feel free to take advantage. If not, then it's always fun to laugh at other's peoples misfortune.

5. - If they say it's 'complimentary' or free, then exploit the shit out of it.
In big supermarkets there are quite often little counters that offer free samples. At busy times, you can get away with taking a few of the things, walking around the supermarket again, and helping yourself. These people see hundreds of people every day, they aren't going to be too bothered about your greed (most of the time). If you are desperate for tissues/toilet paper, public toilets often leave extra rolls lying about, and if the worst comes to the worst, McDonald's and Burger King have napkins readily available. Need to find a wedding/birthday venue? Some places charge hundreds for this sort of thing, others do it for free. Look around a little, you'll be surprised at what you can find.

4. - Lying to public transport workers.
You need a bus, but you don't quite have enough cash to get to where you want to go. No problem. Say your destination is 5 minutes away, when in actual fact it's at the other side of town. The driver doesn't really enough time to stomp out of his seat and order you out. Trains are a little different, saying as how they actually employ someone to watch out for cheap bastards like me. In that case, there's always the toilets. This, however relies on there being no ticket barriers at the station. And hey, jumping over them is an option, but that's not strictly legal territory.

3. - Supermarket bins are your new best friend.
There used to be talking bins at my old school, like these
scary bastards. I'd imagine they'd get pretty hostile if
you took anything from them.
This sounds awful, but you may thank me when you find a fully wrapped chocolate gateau that is still within it's sell-by date. Seriously, supermarkets have to throw out a lot of good food that gets completely wasted if you don't pick up on it. This is something you need to be pretty careful with though. Not just because those in law enforcement and those working at the supermarket don't take kindly to it, but because you could quite easily aim for that can of peaches and find your fingers coated in mouldy HP sauce and toenails.

2. - Don't stray from the magazine rack
Again, this one requires a large supermarket. That magazine may be a good read, but they can usually cost around £5. Stopping to browse them may prevent you from reading in a comfortable area, but it saves a fair bit. Also, libraries. That's what they are for. What difference does it make if you buy a book, really?

1. - Food isn't that expensive. Seriously, it isn't.
Perfect if you can't afford to shell out fo-
arrrggh fuck not a goddamned egg pun
Maybe you don't want to go raking around in bins, or maybe there isn't that great a selection. But Chinese takeaways charge ridiculous amounts for stuff you can buy in supermarkets for half the price. And going further, you can half the price further for making the stuff in jars by yourself. And it (usually) tastes nicer. Eggs are absolutely fantastic for you. You could spend hours finding out the benefits they produce. And when bought in bulk they are ridiculously cheap. Check the reduced section often, take advantage of special offers, and don't be scared to try the value range, more often than not the quality is still great.

I do hope this has been somewhat helpful, because I've avoided an essay to type this.

What I'm currently listening to > \Animal Collective - Feels/

Thanks for reading.