Thursday, 31 October 2013

A small moment of ranting about other peoples parenting

I generally prefer to keep my opinion of other people's parenting quiet(ish), save for when they are causing psychological or physical damage to their child. But this morning really hacked me off.

A short highly judgemental parent rant about the thoughtlessness of roughly half of the parents at my daughters nursery:

It is Halloween, and yes, the children are interested in dressing up. That said, when I arrived this morning half of the kids at nursery, already too hot in ridiculous acrylic skeleton costumes, were stripping themselves down to vest and knickers and unable to change into their ordinary clothes because their parents hadn't put a change in their bags. This left some of them quite upset, and, although the nursery has some spare clothes, is quite frankly unreasonable of parents not to foresee the inevitability of their child's discomfort and the likelihood that they would be much happier with their regular clothes on, and a costume in their bag to change in and out of as the mood takes them.


For fucks sake.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013


Pretty month a whole month has gone by in a flash. Well a series of small flashes. And lots of moping. And some gigs. And some sleeping. All of that.

Obviously the start of the month got off to a bad start. I'm pretty sure I blogged that, and I think that adding details would be unnecessary. Suffice to say the incident has been resolved to my satisfaction, and allows me to continue viewing the people I know and mind about as people I know and mind about, instead of getting hung up on their actions. People often say actions speak louder than words. Souls speak louder than both. Looking someone in the eye, irrelevant of what is said, allows for understanding in a way that words and actions never will. And now all is fine and dandy. So kids, if people offend you, or you offend them, man up and speak to each other, as honestly and openly as you can. You don't have to tell them everything. Just talk. Mean what you say, even if you can't say exactly what you mean. Often that can fix everything in a way that time and distance never can.

Enough of that. On with the rest of the month. I went to see Metal Rouge at Kraak on the 7th, which was pretty awesome, and Acid Mothers Temple on the 10th. Acid Mothers was absolutely freaking brilliant, not least because I'm slightly convinced they arrange where they stand on stage based on who looks the most like a wizard. The weekend of the 19th and 20th was the Carefully Planned festival around the Northern Quarter. A few good bands were listed, but I was only really bothered about seeing Warm Widow, and maybe Plank!, on the Saturday, and Big Joan on the Sunday. But line ups change, Warm Widow couldn't play because of a drumming limb injury, and Big Joan moved into a Saturday night spot. I need to take a moment here to say just how good Big Joan are. Seriously AMAZING. Loud and raucous and mental and amazing. Good times were had with beers with lovely people, and eventually ended up with Martin Warm Widow and I colonising Danny's kettle while records were played, fun was had, and members of Big Joan gradually fell asleep to raging death metal at around 4am, followed by me driving Mr Warm Widow home, and getting at least two hours sleep before my Kittencat awoke.

Wednesday 23rd was Mark Eitzel. I'm surprised I was the only person I knew there, but it was one hell of a show. The support band were still on when I got there, they were good if you like that sort of thing, kind of generic folk pop complete with hand knits and a violin. Not really my bag, maybe some one elses. They weren't bad, definitely tuneful and all of that, but not for me. I'd tell you who they were, but I can't remember, and the details will probably be on the Hey! Manchester site around about here. The combination of this, and the overwhelming stench of feet present in Soup Kitchen on that particular evening made me nearly leave without ever hearing Mr Eitzel, but I'm glad I stayed. Few people can transcend the smell of feet, but he just about manages it, aided by my having found a spot where the smell was diluted by the air con. So yes Mark Eitzel, you transcend the smell of feet. What can I say? You are a beautiful, talented man, everybody knows it. And now we know you have the power to overcome evil smells as well with your singing prowess.

Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th was the Mantis festival. I've never managed to get down before, but this time I got to all three concerts, and there was some pretty inspired challenging stuff. The auditory potential of 48 channels is awe inspiring, and some pretty amazing soundscapes and auditory experiences result. I will say that some of the pieces better than others, and I think some of the pieces possibly needed a little more daring. Some I need a better understanding of the underlining concepts of what was intended in order to appreciate how much I like them. Three moments arguably stood out for me, Brona Martin's piece A bit closer to home...... which created a beautiful spacial landscape mirroring ocassional aural narrative beautifully, Pareidolia I by Patrick Dunn and performed by Marij van Gorkom (I think that's the piece I mean, she played about six, I think this was fourth?), and Gavin Osborne's Mechanical Air with a hypergraphic score by Michael Mayhew, this last piece beautifully executed with flute and electronics, and the distortion of the aspect of the planet looking like a human skull pleased me immensely. Or at least it did if I'm remembering the order of this right. I think those visuals and that piece line up - then again, I heard and saw a lot of amazing things this weekend. My friend Danny Saul had a piece (Rise) on the Sunday also, I must confess to having a huge list of questions before I'm going to know exactly how much I liked it. Some pieces meld or challenge you instinctively, and some have a helpful and pithy little description in the programme which you look at a few days later and say "Ah yes, so what I was getting was what they were going for after all", containing as they do one or two emotive rather than music techy words which confuse and bewilder me in terms of aim. I will say the arrangement was awesome. But overall, and this may have been the intention, it left me with a curious sensation of being utterly alone and abstract from my surroundings, from the rest of the world. There was a numbness reminiscent of those times when you walk alone in a crowd, hearing but not hearing, seeing but not seeing, nearly getting run over by something or another because in your absenteeism from the world you saw the car but it didn't occur to you not to cross. Warning sounds barely register, barely penetrate your consciousness. You hear as if underwater, sounds all sounding the same, distances blurring in their indistinguishable one volumed noise. As you can see, I have questions. Because if that was the aim, I fucking loved it, and it would make the stand out list into four, not three. If not, well, there are points that a few tweaks would have changed the entire experience into one that felt absolutely alive and engaged in EVERYTHING.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

"One of the virtues of not being puritanical about sex is not feeling embarrassed afterwards. You should look into that."

Having a Firefly moment.

It's good to know how people see you.

Life confuses me. People confuse me. Late night drunk texts express disdain, you find out exactly how some people see you. And you find yourself thinking less of them, despite knowing that they aren't actually as much of a douche as they're being. And generally people can be quite douchy, when we have stuff going on we fuck up, I know this, I am pretty darn forgiving about most people doing most things. I know we all behave like dicks at times, and as a rule I judge everyone I know on who they are, not what they do. But there comes a time when knowing who someone is is not enough to excuse their behaviour. The way people behave towards you is a display of how they perceive you, and ultimately, who they are becomes irrelevant. The message with the shitty excuse for an apology the morning after doesn't remove the illumination of knowing how someone sees you. And for that I should say thank you, it's good to know how people see you.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Breaking Bad is over

And it was truly awesome. It really was. I can't write about it, because I know too many people who haven't seen some/all of it. But hell. I reckon I might watch it all right through again sometime next year. But for now the difficulty lies in trying to decide whether to work all the way through The Sopranos from the beginning, or go for something new (to me) and watch It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia... And while I wrote that, I decided. "You know, I love you guys, but sometimes you're not that cool. Try to be cool." - Yeah, I'm going to like this.

So in follow up to the last post

I only want to be friends. Whether you like me in that way or not. Whether I like you in that way or not. Friends. That's it. We good? Awesome.

Sometimes it takes those who know you less well to tell you how fragile, and how strong, you are.

There's been a lot of reflection the past few weeks. Cattenberg's move was finally completely completed a week and a half ago, and the start of term promptly began, leaving no real time for straightening life out before it became too busy to. I will confess that this leaves me feeling less organised and more bewildered than I wanted, the original plan was that the summer would be a time of rebuilding, for both of us, our separate lives in our separate homes. I don't blame Cattenberg for this, the multitude of failed moves were hardly his fault, and it's rare to have such a prolonged run of bad luck with potential landlords. Nonetheless, there are things that should be that are not, and I am only just in the process of making this right. This leaves me very much feeling like I'm still on the back foot, but this will not be for much longer, but probably doesn't help to minimise a level of fragility I didn't know was currently present, but has made itself highly visible in the past couple of weeks.

I'm also reminded of a conversation a few weeks ago, with a friend who berated me for saying I'm not much of a catch, telling me that the only thing that would make me not so is in saying that about myself. So I should probably clarify. I like my face. I like who I am. My face, like myself, is not perfect, but it looks like me. I can be pretty interesting, if you like that sort of thing, and I can be humorous, albeit infrequently, and not uncommonly in poor taste. My foot spends most of it's time in my mouth, but I'd say that that's a really good way of finding out who your proper friends are. I'm a pessimistic optimist, in that I generally plan for the worst case scenario in order to always be pleasantly surprised. The things I do and give to people generally aren't done with an ulterior motive. I appreciate good art, and bad art, and I have an excellent wall of books in my living room. Saying "I'm not much of a catch" is not really about my own personal feelings about me. Me is good. It's more a defence mechanism that's become a habit I guess. I'm not interested in seeking a relationship, and putting myself down, and outlining the minutiae of life with a child rather than the more interesting facets of my being is a really good way of making boys run away. And yet again, this is not about the idea of me being scared of the idea of a relationship, or intimacy, or anything else, it's just that I don't want one for the sake of it. If I like someone and they like me, great. Let's hang out, see what happens, find out if it's interesting. But there has been no mutual like. One way, or the other, but not both, together, at the same time. And this brings me to a serious point. If it's not going to happen, either because I've already told you it's not, or because you don't actually like me and are just drunk and lonely and are suddenly reminded that Woodcat is indeed a girl, don't kiss me. Seriously. Don't kiss me. This is a very serious point. I have always been a fairly tactile creature, and generally speaking, if a boy kisses me, and in that instant I want to and I have no reason not to, I will kiss them back. It doesn't necessarily mean anything to me, other than a nice moment, and I will happily continue being friends with them, with such a thing not having changed anything. So if you like me, or if I like you, or if it's just a tactile moment, I'm unlikely to be the one with the massive brake saying "hang on a moment." That said, if I'm not interested, I can categorically say it will not go any further. I have no problem with kissing you, and still being your friend. I have no problem still being your friend even if it does go further, and turns out to be a mistake, on either your part or mine. But this is where it gets messy, and why I am saying don't kiss me. Any time this happens, any time an interest has expressed by a boy in recent months through whatever motives, subsequently their friendship is removed. Of course this is never admitted to, "of course we're still friends". And yet the change in the wind states otherwise. Some more noticeably than others, going swiftly from speaking nearly every day to "I'm washing my hair" when a beer is suggested, others were more part of a circle of friends, and so the absence can be denied more convincingly. When I was talking to my friend about my lack of catchness and this particular phenomenon, he said some boys have some weird guilt thing about this kind of thing, and that's why they behave like this. I have no such guilt. Just because someone turns out not to be interesting to you in that one facet did not mean that you weren't attracted to them at all, it just means that ultimately you were only attracted to them enough to be friends. And if you carry on talking to people, and keep these things open, people generally get back to normal with you very quickly. This I know from experience on both sides of the fence, and have some excellent friendships that began as misguided more than that's. And friends, old and new, are necessary and valuable to me, especially at the moment. I'm more likely to pine over the loss of your friendship than I am about ten seconds of saliva. So don't kiss me. And if you do, don't make such a big fucking deal about it.