Monday, July 26, 2004

My DJ Diary for This Week

Friday – Wes (60), Keeley (27) & Matt (21).
The news that I was booked to do a 60th sent shivers down my spine. The last 60th I had done had been a long slow night. They requested a lot of Glenn Millar and although I had quite a lot of tracks by the missing-presumed-dead band leader extrodinare I wasn’t overly familiar with them, apart from the few sampled by Jive Bunny in the early 1990s.
The came the next shock. Oh and they’re combining it with their Grandson’s 21st.
How do you even begin to cover that musical spectrum? 20 year olds and 60 year old in the same room!? Luckily the genteleman who was celebrating his 60th was a young 60. He’d rather listen to Robbie Williams than Little Brown Jug so that helped. After singing his own rendition of Angels the party kicked off and went well. A nice group and an enjoyable night.

Saturday – Jo & Clive’s Wedding.
We’re having a run of really nice couples lately. Though when ‘Riverdance’ was requested I had a moment of panic – sadly it’s a soundtrack I lack from my collection. Like Chandler from friends I too have a flailing legs phobia.
Luckily the sounds of Lou Reed – Satellite of Love & Lola’s Song did the trick and got them dancing. Over all they weren’t big dancers. The dance floor remained filled by only a handful of dedicated gyraters while the remaingin crowd observed. Luckily for me though they were singers. With Livin’ On A Prayer, Summer of 69 and Suspicious Minds the crowd came alive singing along – while not dancing the atmosphere remained positive thanks to the good lyrical vibe!
Another 6/10

So above average but not me at my best. Next week though is a 21st. Roll on Saturday.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Real Surround Sound

Spiderman 2 is a great film. Intelligent in places, pulls the heart-strings in other places and then has big no-brainer action sequences for a bit of eye-candy. A good summer blockbuster. Perhaps I’ll write a full review tomorrow but today I need to get something off my chest partly proving James Blogwell’s theory that a proportion of Blogger’s use the tool to channel their negative thoughts.
I deliberately chose the late show last night to view Peter Parker in action. So why, oh why was 70% of the audience kids? Not just teenagers but, I jest not, 50% under 10 and at least four or five 3-year-olds. Throughout all two hours of Parker’s wrestle with his duel identity there was the sound of a 3 year old mumbling, at one point wailing. WHY! What possible enjoyment is a three year old going to get from Spiderman 2?!!?
"So little Johnny did you get the subtext that Spiderman removing his mask on the train sequence was the directors way of showing that Peter Parker was no longer ashamed of his secret? No? Thought not you were too busy fidgeting."
Then just as MJ meets Peter in the café to talk feelings what happens? A mobile phone goes off thus shattering the connection I had with the film at that point.
It is not on. The late showing should be adults only regardless of a films certificate. It defeats the whole point of a matinee. An usher should stay in the auditorium at all times – as soon as someone’s phone goes then they should be kicked out. It is showing an extreme disrespect for other human beings.
I really, really want to go and see Thunderbirds next week but last night’s experience has put me off.I don’t want to have to wait 6 months for the DVD release but if it means peace and quiet then it’s the way forward.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Avoiding Charity

You may remember last week I mourned the loss of being able to traverse my local city centre without being harassed by a charity collector. Today I discovered the weapon in this battle - a Sony Walkman.

At least once a week I like to take a wander around town and browse the records & games shops. Today I did it while listening to Radio 2 on my walkman. Not once did I get stopped.  As an experiment I tried making eye contact with one of the Charity tykes - normally this is a mortal mistake - today she didn't even attempt a sales pitch.

So there you go folks, minidisks, personal CD players & Walkmen - never leave home without them, It's just a shame this technique doesn't work on cold callers.

Big Brother Views....

So last night saw the event the nation has been waiting 5 years for – sex on Big Brother. After five years what to we get? A fumble under a table.
The thing is this year has really proven than sex is unneeded on Big Brother. It’s the playing of the game that interests me. Like most of the nation I agree that Jay & Victor are pricks of the highest magnitude but they have expertly played the game. I would argue that they are not as clever as they think they are – it’s more like the rest of the house is dumber.
The house politics have been fascinating, the whole Harem Vs Jungle Cats has stood up to the basic premise of Big Brother way better than ever before. However what has been cringeworthy is Bunny boiler Michelle’s relationship with ‘aren’t I intelligent’ Stuart.
Big Brother 2’s relationship of Helen & Paul was endearing. They were watchable. The BB5 version is quite the opposite – it’s sickening. Michelle’s odd shaped head is off putting to begin with but the way she fawns over Stuart is tiring. Her obsession with being the bride showed her at her lowest and made it the first time I had to give up watching. Stuart meanwhile is the most pathetic contestant in history. He’s scared of Michelle’s advances – signalling this is probably his first ever experience with the opposite sex but keeps leading her on. He came in bragging of his intelligence but has failed to display any signs of it. He’s common sense is non-existent and he prefers to play cowboys & Indians. He hasn’t done anything memorable yet, instead he just sits there being very very boring.
This week I feel it is time for Jay to go – it would be great to see a different side to Victor without his co-Jungle Cat. Will Victor fall into line and become more subdued or will he be more outrageous?
Vote Jay, you know it make’s sense!

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Dan & Kerry

The above couple were the clients in tonight’s DJ gig – celebrating their engagement. A lovely couple too. The gig saw a lively atmosphere and again gave me a chance to deviate from my usual party hits canon. Keane, Coldplay & Scissor Sisters were all requested – much to my delight, as were the Streets. I was also able to slip in some great bootlegs and kept the crowd going right until the end. Hopefully I’ll end up Djing the couple’s wedding too!

Saturday, July 17, 2004

A Very Nice Day

Today I did two of my favourite things.  First I took my girlfriend's dogs for a walk in the woods.  It really is underrated you know. 90 minutes of quiet reflection and pondering, rolling thoughts over in your head as you smile at the enjoyment a little cairn terrier and westie are having at just rummaging about in some leaves.
Later on in the evening at work I caught up with an old friend. Someone I hadn't seen for two years.  Expecting awkward silence as we try to remember what we used to talk about I went over to say hello. It was like it was only yesterday since we'd met. We talked for ages as she recounted the last 24 months of life with all the enthusiasm and smiley nature she always used to have.  Sorry to sound like Paul Whitehouse but isn't catching up with old friends, well, brilliant!
Big Brother Bit
Well I'm disappointed in you all.  Okay, it is good that Dan's still in.  It means I'm still on course for a sweepstake victory but I am cross that Ahmed was voted out. Never in history have we had the chance to watch someone have a slow but sure breakdown on TV. You had the chance to vote out Stuart or Shell - the extremely boring ones but oh no, you went for the most interesting.  Yes he was annoying as hell but isn't that the whole point?  Big Brother got evil this year, why can't the viewers?

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Radio Ga Ga

I must be getting old. I have started listening to Radio 2.

The reason though it not the music or playlist but the personality. Radio 1 used to be great in the afternoon with Mark & Lard & Moyles back to back. Then the awful Sarah Cox became the mistress of the afternoon and the even awfuler Colin Murray was wheeled in. (Edith is OK though, seems nice and funny – not smug and annoying like her leprechaun side kick.)

So the afternoons have left me listening to Steve Wright – I can bare him. He’s not the funniest bloke on earth but he plays some great music (a mix of modern eg Streets, Rachel Stevens etc and classic 70s & 80s) and often has good topical debate. Also Mark Radcliffe now has a great nightly show at 10.30pm every evening on Radio 2 with bands like Elbow playing live.

The problem is Scott Mills has now moved into the Radio 1 afternoon slot. What do I do? I like Scott Mills, he’s funny, in an ironic way and has some great items – but I’m used to the laid back style of Steve Wright and the great mix of music he offers.

Luckily the BBC have saved the day. Their excellent listen again feature means I need never miss Moyles on days I lie in or miss Mark Radcliffe on evenings I’m working! It also means I can keep up to date on new music via Radio 1 but also improve my knowledge of classic with Radio 2. A bonus when you’re a DJ!

Sunday, July 11, 2004

So I'm one of the privilaged few that is getting to trial Gmail. Great except I have forgotten my password.


Friday, July 09, 2004

Your Money Or Your Life

The mission was simple. I had to get from one end of town to the other. Sadly there were obstacles in the way – five of them to be precise. Five of the most loathed creatures currently in existence. Charity Beggars.

Corporations like Dogfam and Adopt-A-Child-Or-Die-Foundation can no longer rely on charity shops it seems. Nope rather than let us chose to donate our money they now try and force us to give up our credit card numbers. Why?

“Have you got a few minutes Sir?” is the usual innocent question. ‘NO!’ Is my usual reply.

I’m not an uncharitable bugger. If I have some spare earnings I don’t want I often donate it to charity. Poppy day usually receives a bit of my income around November – just my way of thanking the previous generations for defending my freedom and I regularly support & fund raise for Comic Relief as well as the local Hospice & Air Ambulance. What I do not like is being made to feel like scum because I’m not willing to hand over my credit card details to a student with a clipboard in the middle of the street. Charities should use TV, radio & magazine ads to prove they need our money and to prove it will be spent well – they shouldn’t interrupt your daily routine by stepping in your way and harassing you.

What’s even more annoying is that gullible public members must be stopping and donating because they keep insisting on filling my local town with 10 pale adolescents in bright yellow jackets and I am absolutely sick of it. I’m sorry but the minute I am harassed by one of these Charity Beggars I make a point of finding the charity’s name and vow to never, ever donate to them again. So please unite and free the streets of these annoying people by doing the same!

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

I actually think the dripping overflow has stopped.

Now it's the eeire silence that disturbs my sleep!

And still it leaks…

Luckily the noise of Car Park Catchphrase on the Chris Moyles show is drowning out the noise of the neighbours overflow as I write this weeks Pub Quiz.

Ironically we currently have a plumber in. He’s fixing our shower so that it doesn’t take off two layers of skin every time you want to clean your dirty bits. He’ll also reseal the bath hopefully solving the problem of water getting to the neighbour below. Sadly I just discovered we’re out of milk meaning we currently can’t fulfill the international law of offering a workman a cup of tea. So now I’m house sitting while my girlfriend nips off to Safeways… hopefully returning with some yummy croissants too!

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Drip, Drip, Drip

What a gorgeous sunny day it is today. A day where you want to fling the windows open and breathe in that fresh summer air, sucking in all the pollen and making you sneeze for the next half hour as a result. I have my windows open and a box of tissues on standbye (for the hayfever you dirty-minded things) but this morning there is an evil disturbing this little slice of heaven. Chinese Water Torture. An overflow pipe right outside my window is gushing out enough H20 to revitalise Ethiopia overnight. Today isn’t the first time it has been doing this. The mini-Niagara falls has been present now since Saturday.

It seems this building is falling apart. The people below have complained water is leaking through to their living room from us. I’ve ripped the side of the bath of fearing a leak to find it bone dry, which is great considering the side of the bath was tiled – that’s going to be nice to fix. The washing machine was replumbed 18 months ago and is fine. I’ve traced all water pipes and can find nothing. My best guess is that the sealant on the side of the bath needs replacing, which it will tomorrow.

Perhaps I should return the favour and go the flat above and tell them their overflow is running, although if they haven’t noticed perhaps a 10% off voucher for SpecSavers would be a better idea.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Burberry & Bling, the most Chavvy of things...

There have been a number of times where I’ve commented on Chav culture in this Blog. Interestingly the Times decided to do the same on Saturday running a piece about how Channel 4 is catering for Chav culture where it was once ignored. Wife Swap, Big Brother etc are all ‘Chav TV’ the writer even pointed out similar things that I did about last weeks Wife Swap.

So is it all hype or are Chav’s really taking over the world? Sadly, yes they are. If you don’t know what I’m on about there are a number of websites that explain this social class typified by Burberry, bling and a poor grasp on the English language.

I was thinking about this the other day, perhaps I’m the one at fault? Perhaps I’m the snob? What gives me the right to frown upon people who come from a poorer background than me? It’s not their fault that they live in urban areas, on high-rise council estates with little sense of community. Not their fault their parents brought them up to swear like troopers. But then again it is their fault that, when they’re old enough to make their own decisions, they don’t work hard at school and instead, choose to hang around on street corners and intimidate passers-by.

My conclusion is that I don’t have one. I feel that because I have actually paused to consider why chav are the way they are that makes me different from them. You feel that the whole point of Chavs is that they don’t pause to consider others. But then again could this growing media obsession with chav culture just be a way of avoiding our own failings?

Forget Hot Or Not, find out if you're Chav Or Not!

Thursday, July 01, 2004

The louder you scream, the faster we go!

Monday morning saw me headed down the M4 with one of my best mates to check out Alton Tower’s little sister – Thorpe Park. The park has seen much expansion in the last few years since it was taken over by the Tussauds Group. It used to be a dreary Theme Park. I visited it as an 11 year old and I was bored! Since Tussauds took the reigns two world class coasters have been added as well as a whole host of new ‘flat’ thrill rides. Sadly the park is still quite small and is easily do-able in a few hours but it is set in gorgeous surroundings. Lush greenery and two lakes make it a suprising oasis just a few miles outside of London.

There is one ride there which I personally feels makes the two-hour-or-so-trek down to London justified. Tidal Wave. Go and that only if you don’t mind being damp for the rest of the day. I’ve been on water rides before, but Tidal Wave makes the Thames look dry.

So the verdict? Not quite up to Alton Towers standards but it is catching up. Colossus & Nemesis: Inferno are great coasters and give it another 5 or so years of investment and Thorpe Park could become a fantastic day out. 7/10

BIG BROTHER BIT – Oh dear oh dear. Last night I gasped in amazement as Marco turned into a vile snivelling snide wretch of a man. Obviously bitter about being nominated he started taking side swipes at other contestants until Victor, thankfully, put him in his place. Although it doesn’t effect my sweepstake this week, please, for my sanity – vote Marco out.