Monday, 29 July 2013

A horrid dream

Last night I had a really horrid dream. On the front of the newspaper was an article about the death of a friend I haven't seen in a while, but that I really care about. The article noted the cause as heart failure, but the way it was written implied a more specifically and purposefully self inflicted cause. I woke, upset and, obviously still half asleep and convinced by the vividness of my dream, checked news and social media. My friend is not dead. On falling back asleep my dream continued, though on a more obviously dream like thread. The death was some kind of sleight of hand, designed to enable some kinds of crazy time travelling scheme to save someone else for something. My friend would die and yet live infinitely in some kind of bizarre temporal loop. I told you it got more dream like. Despite their obvious good health, and the obviously dreamer substance of the second dream, I have a curious melancholy about me this morning, unable as I am to prevent myself from feeling the impact of a loss that never happened.

I hope everyone is okay today.

Friday, 26 July 2013

City girls seem to find out early

The child, as an avoidance technique for eating her dinner, has just swung her arms around me exclaiming "I love you and you're my girl!" I didn't know girls learn to be quite so manipulative so soon...

Yeah. She's ace. Totally melted. But she still has to eat her dinner.

Chalaque in the Park

A nice lazy Sunday. On a Saturday. On Saturday there was a really nice event in Whalley Range, put on by Nick Mitchell (Golden Lab Records, Chalaque), held at the community park on Range Road. I'm afraid this won't be much of a post, nearly a week has past, but I thought it would be a nice thing to take Miss Kittencat along to, and Cattenberg and Cattenberg's mummy being in agreement, we all traipsed along for a lovely afternoon. Kittencat made her own way there, as she wanted to show Cattenberg's mummy the swimming pool in Manchester with the elephant slides first. I made my way over with a picnic, swift diversion to deliver a thank you/happy new house bottle of vodka that's been sat around since I didn't make it to a housewarming party a few weeks ago. Kittencat has decided that Nick is her friend, and showed him her picnic and explained to him how to put down a picnic blanket. After his guitar set, really beautiful, and played through two microscopic practice amps, loud enough for the park, quiet enough not annoy the neighbours, she told me all about how he was "playing bery good music on his buitar." Some nice folks were met, and some already met nice folks were there, including the lovely Mister G R Kelly, and the beautifully ginger Mister Martin Warm Widow. I've said it before, and it remains true, all the best people are ginger. (This was true before the birth of Kittencat, and it's even more true now.) Apparently the new Warm Widow album is about done, apart from a small amount of tweaking in a technical manner that after a week I can't for the life of me remember what it entails. Kittencat had a marvellous time. She danced, and clambered all over longs and carvings, and during a fairly quiet set she wandered to the front, pulled her cardigan over her head, flapped her arms whilst twirling enthusiastically and shouting "I'm being a bird" over and over again. It seemed like some folks were more amused than others, and being as it was getting around about bedtime this seemed an appropriate point to scarper back to Cat Lady Towers. Really lovely afternoon.

On Saturday I am going to become a woman.

Yes, that's right Saturday is the day where I become a woman. For on Saturday, finally, at the age of 32 years (and six months), I am going to buy a drill. My drilling virginity shall be lost the day after, with the construction of my shed, followed by a test run of the barbecue. Barbecue is awesome. It's got two layers and you can use it as a smoker or a steamer as well as a barbecue. Okay, so the garden is still a bit of a heap, but I'm working on that. Yes, definitely, slowly, turning into a growed up human bean.

It's been a bit of a week. As already established in previous postings, Cattenberg's new lodgings were supposed to be ready last week. And as has also already been established, they weren't. There has been some escalation surrounding this throughout the week, although initially this consisted of largely impotent emails sent, and sent, and sent. The landlord was entirely unavailable for contact both from the agency and from Cattenberg, and after lots of frustrated emails between Cattenberg and the agency, and advice garnered from all corners (friends, family, Shelter, CAB, intertubes, cups on strings, messages in bottles, lovely articles about contract law) boiling point was reached on Wednesday. Cattenberg and I decided that the best course of action would be to remove any boxes already taken to the flat, then go to the agency in person and erm, set me on them. Thankfully in this instance Cattenberg's faith in me was not misplaced, and shortly after the beginning of the meeting, with me being helpful and friendly as pie, the agency were offering to cancel the tenancy agreement, obviously realising that the property and landlord would cause them problems well into the foreseeable. It is really was a beautiful thing. The agency started to propose that in view of absent landlord that they would finish at least the minimum works. I started listing minimum works, as well as significant structural issues, lack of external rain water drainage, existing issues around damp and roof leaks, and areas where poor planning (e.g. wet room in attic on wooden floors without angled drainage) will result in rapid and significant deterioration of condition of property. Suddenly the agents happily cancelled the let. Obviously eggs can't be counted until the money is refunded to Cattenberg. But yeah, result!

Anyway, all of this means that Cattenberg is, alas, back to square one with the flat hunting. But at least a lucky escape has been had. It also means that until Cattenberg has a permanent new address, his stuff is largely piled in my spare room, meaning I can't quite finish transforming Cat Lady Towers into girl house. But soon. Soon is soon enough.

Life has been cracking on a pace for the Catladies of Cat Lady Towers. Woodcat, the elder, has largely got the house sorted (spare room aside), while Kittencat, the younger, constantly tries to undo the Woodcat's efforts. Kittencat is enamoured with spending all available time in the garden/wilderness. The Woodcat would like to do this to, though the pollen count this year is creating havoc with my asthma. So we have been dividing our time between the house and the garden. We were going to go out today, but the unmoving and extricating of Cattenberg from the flat means we're a little behind in what we need to do. That said, we did have a marvellous afternoon in Woodcat's mummy's garden yesterday, playing with KC's cousins and racing around with water pistols and footballs, and KC diligently and carefully pouring water on the step in my mum's garden, explaining as she did so that she was "making a cat wee". My child's brain is a curious place.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Friday was supposed to be moving day

Catternberg's new flat was supposed to be ready and available on Thursday. He duly went to pick up the keys, and the agency let him know that the oven wasn't fitted yet, but with a sigh and an "Oh darn, a few days of takeaways, how traumatic", Cattenberg took the keys and went off to show Mummy Cattenberg his new house. And this is where things went awry. Not just the oven was missing. The kitchen hasn't finished being fitted, absolutely no furniture or white goods are present, plug sockets are still hanging loose from the walls, the bathroom isn't finished, and the water is off. You can't exactly move in without things being fit for the water to be turned on... No curtains, or even curtain track anywhere, which again would be manageable in the living room, but not in the bedroom. In short, it's nowhere near ready, no one present doing any work, and the landlord unavailable on the phone.

So yesterday was not moving day. But it was Chris Corsano and Mick Flower day! Flower Corsano Duo were playing at the Robin Hood in Cragg Vale, with support from the Sophie Cooper Band. Sophie Cooper Band consisted of Sophie Cooper, twitter pal Joincey and potter extraordinaire Pascal. They weren't tweeting and sculpting live on stage, though that may have been an interesting proposition. No, Pascal on drums, Joincey on guitar. I'm not going to say much, save that they were good - Nick, one of my car passengers for the evening, said that he's heard them be better, and I would certainly say that although I enjoyed them immensely, I strongly suspect that he's right. I felt that there was something missing, that they had much more. Hope to see that much more soon. Apparently the soundcheck went somewhat askew, and such things can make a major impact on the success of an evening. Here's Sophie Cooper's soundcloud.

Swift pint (of water for me) in the shrubbery (best beer garden ever, basically four picnic tables in a bush) then Messrs Corsano and Flower, doing what they do best, blowing people's minds. Mick Flower playing shahi baaja (Japanese banjo) to Corsano's drums, this was incredible. Both guys working intuitively with each other, building to the point you can bear it no longer before easing off momentarily before taking you straight back there. Corsano is mesmeric to watch. With sweat flooding from his face, he maintains with incredible stamina not just physical, but creative focus and concentration through a long set. The energy, precision and joy of the performance doesn't wane throughout, despite playing an exhausting looking set in a hot crowded room. It was immense, and I was grinning like a fool throughout the entire performance. Bloody awesome.

Suddenly it had become night. Joincey and Pascal were also risking my driving on the way back to Manchester, so their kit made its way to the boot of my car, drinks were had, and Suicide followed by Simon and Garfunkel soundtracked the drive home. A great night, with great people.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Yesterday I was just a little bit envious

Yesterday Kittencat and I did something unspeakable. We went on a playdate. We've never been those people. I don't like people who have children as a rule, and Kittencat does not people just because they are children. So we shun those who we are supposed to like because of such categories, and only seek out those who interest us. A few weeks ago I went to a craft thing at Common, and got talking to some awesome women, one of who has a daughter 9 months older than KC, and yesterday we visited them for said playdate. KC and "the little gurl", as KC keeps referring to her, seemed to get on well, and I got a coffee in the middle of the day with a grown up who is an intelligent woman who just happens to have children. KC and I stayed for a lovely lunch of cheese toasties, and this is where I got the brief case of green eyed monster transformation. Her husband popped home for lunch and to take the "little gurl" to nursery, and I observed for about half an hour a beautiful example of a family. A couple who mesh well, who talk to each other, listen to each other, and don't dismiss the other in favour of the children, yet still manage to give their children attention and care. A couple who actually live together, not just in the same space. A couple who have combined and condensed their possessions into their existence as a couple. An actual, real, there in the reality in front of me couple. Envy. Melancholy. But it also made me smile, because it was beautiful. I wish I was better at life, but people who are good at it make me happy.

You know darling, in life you just have to accept that not everything is going to go your way

Castle's mother. I love wise, trite fiction.

Hay fever eyes, watching Castle, sorting boot sale stuff, kid at nursery. Morning will soon be over. Would that I had all day...

So they made a Green Lantern film, and they made it with Ryan Reynolds instead of Nathan Fillion. Madness.

Nearly completely through the season of Castle. It's highly addictive pulp. With Nathan Fillion. I never saw the Nathan Fillion thing before, but I think I do now... Nathan Fillion is hot.

I'm tired. In a never sleep again kind of way. My mind is on everything and nothing.

Late night cups of coffee and unexplained sadness.

Maybe I should switch to decaff.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Like magnets pushing apart

Is how Cattenberg and I decided is a good way to characterise why we don't work. Rather than the opposite ends of magnets, we are similarly polarised, and that is why we are fantastic friends and parents, but cannot be.

Truth is, we're both quite awesome. But we are both inherently similar, and this causes problems. Both of us are pretty laid back. A good trait. But when you combine two people quite so laid back, nothing ever gets done. Each enables the inertia of the other. In small doses I like the version of Woodcat that can happily waste an hour, a day, a week in idleness. In the long run she is not who I want to be. On my own, or in the company of those who challenge me, I will achieve, albeit intermittently, I will create, even more intermittently, and I will read voraciously. Occasionally I'll exercise. I'll eat well, most of the time, save when I hate myself, and then chocolate ice cream is my weapon of choice. But in the company of someone quite so very much like me I slide into perpetual inactivity, nightly TV marathons and massive pizza consumption. I get sluggish, I don't create, I don't do. I sound like I'm trying to excuse blame here. I'm not. But I am self aware enough to realise that it takes a certain type of special someone, someone almost unbelievably similar to myself, for all these characteristics to become quite so dominant. And Cattenberg is the same. He used to write. He used to go and stand on a stage and crack jokes. Some of them were funny and everything. Now he eats pizza and doesn't write. Somehow we, by feeling so comfortable around each others similarity to our respective selves, became the versions of ourselves that we find abhorrent, uncomfortable.

I hope that Cattenberg meets someone who challenges him. And if I ever get around to that sort of thing, I'd need someone who challenges me too. Creatively, actively, someone who is determined, passionate about their interests and engaged in their life. People who hold onto themselves and their creativity. People who will let a day slide. Because letting a day slide is awesome. But not three years. Because three years is terrifying. A promise to myself, and advice to Cattenberg, let's never date people so much like ourselves ever again.

Late night cups of tea

I accidentally went to sleep early, before waking up at midnight. The obvious thing to do seemed to get up, make a cup of tea and watch copious amounts of Castle. I never saw the Nathan Fillion thing before, but now I think I understand.

Today, or rather yesterday, has been spent knitting, watching Castle, driving 100 miles, being fed, and playing with Kittencat in Cattenberg's dad's back garden. It's exceptionally nice to be on good terms with the ex in-laws.

Time for more Castle and another cup of tea.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Cattenberg, pavement hero

It was a bit of a surprise to see Cattenberg this morning. Turns out he left for home around 1-1:30 in the morning, and then found himself in the role of hero/caller of police to a damsel in distress, sat on the pavement covered in a recently applied beating from some bastard purporting to be her boyfriend. He might be male, but that dude ain't no friend. Cattenberg waited with her until the police arrived. I hope life changes for her.

I think Cattenberg is having a good night

It's 2am, and Cattenberg isn't home. I'm hazarding a guess that he's made alternative arrangements for the night. I'm turning in to find my ginger little bed hog snoring and lying diagonally across the entirety of my bed. Who knew such a tiny person could take up so much room?

Swimming in boxes

There are cardboard boxes all over the place. Some of the lovely boys at university have lent me their moving boxes so I can pack up Cattenberg's things and generally get on with making stuff ready for the move in the next couple of weeks. So I'm spending the evening packing Cattenberg's things, while he is out with a lady. Oddly this seems like a perfectly acceptable division of labour.

Kittencat and I have had an awesome day today. She was at nursery this morning, so I used the opportunity to pack up some of her old things for a baby boot sale in just over a week. She asked me about the things, and likes the idea that we take the things, give them to people with smaller babies and in turn they give us pennies for her money box. She likes pennies for her money box. This afternoon we went to get boxes from the boys at university, then came home and played at swimming, which involved a lot of rolling around on different areas of the floor, designated as different areas of the pool, makeshifting ribbons into the paper bracelets you get at the aquatic centre, and clutching plastic toys, "swimsuits", to our chests. It really has been a lovely day, post bath we had a great play, mostly involving her clambering up my back shouting "I'm climbing the steps!" before tumbling over my shoulder excitedly yelling "I'm going down the slide!"

I think my brief spurt of going out more regularly may be on the wane, but it's not such a bit problem. Life is pretty good, and I can still go out, just in an organised, very very pre-arranged way. But ultimately, if I never went out again it wouldn't be the end of the world. She's pretty darn awesome. We have fun.

And my DVD collection is pretty darn awesome.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Once there was a monster called Pattern

Kittencat was telling stories on her way to sleep tonight.

Once there was a monster called Pattern. He tried to go for a little walk and it was very easy so he tried to go for a longer walk but it was too hard and then he died

She corrected herself, tried instead of died, but at that point I was laughing too much to remember more than the gist of the story. Pattern the monster does a bit more walking, and some running, and did the shopping and visited Grandma. Pattern's day sounds remarkably similar to Kittencat's. Save for the unfortunate incident after the long walk...

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Done and Dusted

Soon it will be done. Done, dusted, back to civilised. It's about time, Cattenberg and I have done remarkably well to live together for so long given the circumstances, but I think patience is waning on both our parts, and we're both looking forward to having our own separate spaces. Luckily this is not too far away, Cattenberg's new lease starts in a couple of weeks. I'm trying to help pack up Cattenberg, and make the place all nice and homey for myself and for Kittencat, but there's a lot to do, and I possibly quit the happy green pills far too soon. Stressed as a stressed thing and it's all going to shit. Kinda. It's not so bad. Except when it is. You know what I mean. You've been there.

War is a drug

I'm watching The Hurt Locker on Film 4. And then I reckon if I'm still awake I might watch The Running Man also. I have copies of both these films, and have seen both of them recently, but this is no reason not to immerse myself in the oblivion of such a good combination of films, and ignore everything around me.

Curiously, possibly entirely rationally, I feel like if I don't seek some form of oblivion the only other option would be to weep my eyes out of my freaking skull. So I am ensuring solitude and seeking oblivion.

The crux of a conversation with Corky

Corky is allowed to tease me when I get drunk and kiss boys, but he generally doesn't tease me so much as light heartedly find out my intentions. Since Cattenberg and I formalised our previously unacknowledged but long long standing separation in March, I have slightly merrily (drunkenly) kissed two boys, one at Sounds and one since then, and I think Corky was curious to see whether any of these things was an interesting thing. The truth is that these days for me kissing is fun, but someone would have to be pretty darn interesting to me for it to go beyond that. And I've only really had any kind of inkling of that once in the last three years, as Cattenberg knows, and I possibly too much informationed when I candidly told Corky also, that it was not for Cattenberg. That said, it wouldn't be worth finding out if it would be a possibility, mostly because I've no cause to suspect any real mutuality in such a crush. And that's all it was/is. Never been one to get madly het up about these things, what you can't have is not worth much of your time. But nor is there any point in following up something where there isn't anything to follow up, whether it's through lack of spark, excessive youth, being in very different places in life, or generally the fact that life isn't currently madly geared up to that sort of thing, and asking someone to respect that they would have to stay on the periphery of my life unless they became important enough not to be is a pretty big ask.

So kissing pretty boys is probably something I'll do occasionally. But it's unlikely that there'll be anything to tell.

Monday, 1 July 2013

More films I watched recently

Django Unchained - I missed this at the cinema, which is kind of gutting. It's blooming ace. I'll be over watching it for a while, as I have no reason not to watch it at least once a week for the forseeable...

Gleaming the Cube - 80's CLASSIC. Cheesy, Christian Slater, skateboarding, high speed chase with a pizza hut van, yup, this film has got all of that in spades.

Iron Man - need to see the third one, so I'm rewatching 1 and 2. It's great fun, you know that.

The Machinist - Amazing film. And shit Christian Bale was thin. He could have played a successful game of hide and seek with nought but a lamp post for cover.

Inception - I enjoyed this, though the supposedly ambiguous ending isn't really ambiguous. Once the spinny thing starts to wobble, it's going to fall...

Black Swan - Okay, I tried to watch this. And then she started peeling the skin off her hands and I couldn't. I've heard its really good, but I'm a little too squeamish for the ripping of fingernails and skin.

Road House - "That gal's got entirely too many brains to have an ass like that". Great film.

Commando - I'm having a bit of a nostalgia-athon for Schwarzenegger et al right now. And Commando is amazing. I'd forgotten how turned on Bennett gets by the offer of the knife fight, but this is just good old kicking bad guy ass at its finest.

The Running Man - see Commando, but with dudes dressed up as Christmas trees with cattle prods, and unnecessary spandex.

Rollerball - James Caan. And Sam from Quincy!

Don't disturb my friend, he's dead tired

I think this weekend half near killed me, so instead of heading to St Margaret's Church for Dirar Kalash and Lovely Honkey on Sunday night, I watched Commando, and erred on the side of a nearly early night. Friday night was my friend Paddington's birthday and the Dots and Loops party at Kraak. It was lovely to see Paddington, and hopefully I shall see him much more regularly from here on in. Corky, Timbretone and I left somewhere around 10-10:30pm to go over to Dots and Loops, and on the way we intended to go and drop in at Port Street to see some friends. We arrived at just before 11, but Port Street didn't like the cut of our respective jibs, and said that they weren't letting any more people in, despite being half empty and an hour to go until closing. Another of Corky and Timbretone's friends was in the same boat, having just arrived he was also left bereft on the pavement. In our (my?) merry state, this seemed an unfortunate state of events, so we dragged him along too. Plank! were awesome. Yeah, all in it was an excellent night. Left sometime after 3am, jovially talked to a lady wearing a skirt that didn't really cover sea level in the street, with the successful aim of seeming excessively pissed so as to discretely check that the three men flanking her in slightly predatory looking style were in fact people she knew, before getting chips, walking back to my car parked round the corner from where the Boardwalk used to be, driving home and being all at once slightly relieved and disappointed to find Kittencat happy and asleep in her own bed, not sprawled all over mine.

 Saturday was The Pharcyde at NQ Live, formerly Moho! and also formerly smelling very strongly of stale beer and piss. I'm thankful that the refurb seems to have got rid of the smell, and left basically a big room with a big bar. It's really not a bad space, though even fairly simply done it's a little shiny for my tastes. The Pharcyde were amazing. AMAZING. And although I didn't partake myself, I miss the smell of weed at hip-hop gigs, not least for the slightly more mellow, less elbowing me in the head, effect it has on the crowd. After playing through Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde, they performed a load of classics, as they put it the music that got them into hip-hop in the first place. The whole set was so exciting. They put such a lot in, they were paying real attention to the crowd, there was an after party at Night and Day (although I was a little too tired from getting up at 7am on 2hours sleep to be bothered going), and they seemed genuinely to be having fun, and to be excited to be doing what they were doing. I saw Wu Tang a few years ago when I was massively massively pregnant, and although the Academy is a very different venue, and they're very different groups of artists, the attitude brought and the experience as a whole could not have been more different. Wu Tang were seriously late, and when they came on they couldn't be fucked and gave a lack lustre blah of a performance. This on the other hand was positively joyful, and it seemed to be mutual to those on the stage as well as off. Despite being exhausted, this was an absolute privilege and pleasure to present for.

Yeah, my weekend was AWESOME. Hope yours was too.