Sunday, November 29, 2009

Catch up styles!

Okay, so...

1) I quit my job!


2) We went on a mini tour to Manchester and Sheffield.

1) I QUIT!
I talked to my awesome bar manager Tamas on Wednesday afternoon, and told him I wouldn't be coming back after Christmas. He said that was fine, and he could understand where I was coming from, but I would be sorely missed.

I then talked to Adam, head-of-lighting-and-also-the-bar-for-some-reason, who I've had run-ins with before. I wasn't going to talk to him about it, but Tamas told him so he came to 'chat' with me. Basically he thought it was really drastic to go from working all the time to not working at all - he offered me less shifts next year, if I want them. Then he asked me to explain why I wanted to leave, and seemed really unsatisfied with my answer of 'because I'm tired all the time and everyone is rude to me'. He said if I decided I wanted to be honest with him, I should let him know at a later date.

What the...? If he doesn't understand that being treated like dirt on a daily basis makes for an unpleasant work environment, then it's no wonder he can't keep good staff.

Anyway, enough of that unpleasantness - I'm free as of the 21st of December!

2) I TOUR!
After a mix up with hire cars, we ended up crammed into a station wagon instead of the van that we'd originally booked. Oh well, at least the radio worked.

We picked Andy up in Cambridge, then got to Manchester, found the venue and loaded in. It was an absolutely beautiful room in a place called The Deaf Institute, with lots of really interesting wallpaper and nice skylights.

The headlining band were a bit late, so we ate some food while we waited for them to come and soundcheck. They turned out to be really nice dudes, just a two piece with drums and looped guitars and vocals. And their band name was Friendship, which is a pretty cool name.

We played a good set, although there weren't that many people there. The people at the venue were really nice, they paid us ahead of time and even organised accommodation for us!

So there's this lady, Bernie, who has been putting up touring bands in her house for about six years now. She's got a huge basement filled with various mattresses and sofa beds, and she charges ten pounds a night per person. It was really really nice, and Bernie herself was lovely. We arrived at her house at about midnight and she was up waiting for us. She offered us drinks and let us play some awesome records from her enormous collection. All this and she had a friendly pet cat, too.

In the morning she had to go to work, but she laid out a whole breakfasty feast for us and Friendship, who also ended up staying there.

It was such a great experience. We were all pretty blown away by her hospitality, it's just not what you expect from... well, people. I'm not expressing myself very well, but I was really inspired by her generosity, she has kind of changed the way I think.

So after that lovely breakfast we went to pick up the gear from the venue, then drove to Sheffield. We got stuck in some pretty bad traffic on the way, but made it eventually.

The venue in Sheffield was about as different as could be from the beautiful Deaf Institute. It was basically a rehearsal room in a warehouse, really scummy and dirty. And oh my gosh it was freezingly cold.

On the plus side, we had some awesome curry for dinner, and played a good show. It was messy and kind of a shambles, but sometimes that really works for us. There was a really underground vibe about the whole night, lots of uni students and arty types drinking from three litre plastic bottles of Tesco own brand cider. Nice.

We drove straight back to Walthamstow after the gig, as Joe had lessons to teach all day Saturday. It's always nice to sleep in your own bed. Even nicer to wake up, eat breakfast and then go back to bed and watch movies all day. Yay for winter!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Small pleasures...

1. Ross found a good avocado at Lidl, which means that our nachos will be improved tenfold!

2. I knocked a clay pot off the top of a fridge at work today, but then I caught it one handed! And the chef saw it and congratulated me!

3. I am totally going to quit my stupid job tomorrow. I have to give notice, so I'll still work up until Christmas, but I'm not going back next year. I feel relieved.

4. Ross bought me a pretty scarf.

Okay, so my head might be the tiniest bit weird in this photo. So what?

Also, Ross mentioned that I should point out that this is the scarf in question. I'm not just posting weird photos of my head. 

And bonus points for corner-Ross.

5. We have borrowed so many DVDs off of Joe and Maja: Flight of the Conchords, Black Books, Planet Earth. Awesome.

There are many little things that make me happy. Big things, too, but that's all for now.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Cave art, karaoke and ARGH - tonsils!

  So there is some cool art in the gallery at my work at the moment. I worked the opening party on Thursday night, then had a look at the exhibition on Friday.

I think I love art that you can walk through... K and I once went to an exhibition in Melbourne that had a cardboard maze, this weird cave thing is on a smaller scale.


You walk in and there's all these hand made clay faces on the walls, they all look kind of shocked and excited and talkative.


I really enjoyed it, and it was a lovely end to my week. I didn't have enough time to look at everything else properly, but this sculpture cave alone made me pretty happy.

On Friday night we went to karaoke for Daisy's birthday - I didn't take any photos, but I'm sure you can picture how awesome it was. There were lots of her work friends there, they were pretty nice people. We sang heaps, danced more and then went to a gay bar (as you do). Twas a lovely evening.

Last week at work was a bit killer. Did I mention Hajni, the awesome girl at work who had tonsilitis? I ended up covering a bunch of her shifts, but then she was 'better' and on antibiotics, so she came back to work...
She worked the day shift on Thursday, then when I came in at three for the party, she looked pretty awful - all fevery and sore throated. Turns out she had a temperature of 39, went straight from work to hospital and has now returned to Hungary to have her tonsils taken out.

This sucks on the levels of 'oh my gosh, poor little Hajni', and also 'oh no, this means it's just me until Christmas'. The new girl has just quit, she's working one more week and then leaving. She wasn't especially awesome, but it's always easier having someone else there, even if I have to prod her into doing anything useful.
So we now have two new trial girls and I'm hoping they're the kind of people who don't mind actually working while they're at work. It seems to be a rarer quality than I thought...

Anyway, it's only about five weeks til Christmas, I can stick it out til then. I'll go visit the clay faces in the gallery when I need cheering up!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Are you bored?

Hey so there is a Sigur Ros documentary thing that you can watch for free on Pitchfork - for this week only! Although I'm not sure when the week officially started, so check it out quickly if you want to...

Among other things, it features a conversation with an Icelandic man who makes marimbas from stuff he finds in nature. You know, like rocks and bits of 100-year-old rhubarb. Ross got incredibly excited about it - guess what we're doing over Christmas?

What else is there? Work is crappity crap at the moment, I'm back into the same mindset I was pre-Christmas last year - a neverending mantra of "Stick it out til the holidays, then you can quit if you want." Although on really bad days it becomes "Heck, I've never quit in a huff before, maybe that would be an interesting experience!"

In other (better) news, our housemate Daisy is having her birthday party this Friday at our favouritest karaoke place (okay, the onliest one we've been to) - Lucky Voice! I think it's going to be great, I have even booked the whole day off so I can sleep in and spend the day getting ready.

Also, Ross says hi! We're going to watch the Dark Crystal and eat some olives and pickles and maybe cry during the sad parts. Ross will probably not cry, but we just decided that it would be okay if he did. He does a scary Skeksis impression that you should see sometime.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Hey, so I have been looking through all the photos on the computer quite a bit lately; I found some awesome weird band related ones. Wanna see?

Maybe you've seen this one before - we used it heaps for promo for the last album. I really like it, but I guess it looks a little bit morbid. I don't think Mum is a fan...

However, to make that first photo, we had to get a bunch of these ones first:

We got all messy, then flailed around in front of a white wall for half an hour. Good times.

And the mess? The mess was a mixture of tomato sauce and vegemite. It smelled pretty awful, and was sticky but hilarious.

Luckily we managed to get organised beforehand the next time round!

Brainstorming for band shots for a street press cover: "Hmm, it'd be awesome if the photos linked in with the album art somehow... Let's see... Maybe a kind of tribal vibe... "
"Some black paint... AND GOLD LEAF!"

Again, partial nudity? Heck yeah.
I remember it was COLD that night, though, so it was a little uncomfortable spending a few hours outside posing in the overgrown ivy at Steve's house. The plus side of discomfort: had the best shower ever when I got home!

(The sad part of the story is the epilogue, where our label tells us the photos are a neat idea, but completely and utterly unusable for anything. Ever.)

We're going to need some new shots soon, although I don't know if anything could beat this one taken after the show the other night:

That reminds me, I started writing so I could tell you about the halloween show! (I was going to include that awesome pretentious looking apostrophe - hallowe'en. I think it's pretty standard over here, but see above re: pretentious looking.)

So once we got to Hackney, we realised that the warehouses were pretty lacking in street numbers.  Luckily we found an awesome party almost straight away - there was a stage, and some amazing over-the-top decorations. We talked to some nice dudes in cool costumes, loaded in all our gear and got excited.

Unfortunately, it wasn't the party we were supposed to play at. Oops. We found out when we asked about the drum kit we were supposed to borrow, which they obviously didn't have. One of the nice dudes said we could come back after we played our other show - we didn't end up taking him up on the offer, but it was a friendly gesture.

Our show was at a warehouse that seemed to be a sharehouse - as we were loading in there was a girl in a dressing gown headed to the bathroom, and later they had a big group dinner as we tried to soundcheck. Slightly awkward.
It was a fun show, though. There were quite a few people there, but none of them were industry folks, so we were free to just play a crazy loud set. Quite a few of our friends came down, and we all had a great time!

For future reference: pumpkin carving + warehouse party + awesome friends = rad halloween!

And finally, just a nice photo that I don't think I've shared yet. I love these guys.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Well, it's still the second over here...

Argh, it's another timely post fail! My last in the series of ladies who are awesome and have birthdays should have been written yesterday - so that it made sense in Australia, too.

Sorry Vicki - but happy birthday for yesterday!

So Vicki is my mother-in-law (hee hee, that still sounds weird!), and she is kind of amazing.

No wait, scratch the 'kind of'. She is a completely amazing lady that I have really come to look up to. She is incredibly independent and pretty strong willed (in an awesome, and for me, enviable way).
She is creative and hard working, and has made some positively brave decisions in her life.

And on top of this, she has managed to raise four awesome humans.

I guess I can be stupidly shy sometimes, so I still feel like I need to get to know her better - lucky we all have the rest of our lives to be family. Most of what I do know about Vicki comes from listening to Ross talk about her - and when he does, it definitely says a lot about both of them.

His voice is filled with so much respect and love for his mum, pride at what she has achieved and gratitude for everything she does for him. And unlike some people (me, for example) he's not afraid to say these things out loud.

So here's the summary: there's this man that I love, and Vicki made him who he is. I love her lots, too.

P.S. Most of the lovely photos I've been using have come from Vicki's sister Kerry and her fantastical camera skills... Nice, hey?