Very little in the way of intellectual activity went on this past fortnight. I bought a new bag. I take a bag to work every day as it adds another layer of self-importance to my fragile persona. Occupying the middle ground between receptacle and to-do list, it is home to the likes of an umbrella, iPad, wallet, notebook, discarded receipts, lists, hair ‘products’ of varying vintages, spare headphones, but not a lot else of any import.
Went to see my friends Clint and Heather play a set as their band Toulouse Wolfe. For what is (often accurately) described as a soulless and homogeneous town, Milton Keynes has a reasonable local music scene, and it was the sort of gig where you listen to friends’ excellent music and bump into old faces you haven’t seen since the 1980s. Both of which make me happy.
Read good articles on: the making of a classic Simpsons episode, writing palindromes, the way Google Translate actually works, Noel Gallagher (who I quite enjoy as an interviewee), and yet more literature on the best drink in the world.
I was saddled with the first-world problem of receiving an iPad from work. I toyed with the idea of keeping the one I originally bought at home and the new one at work, but have ultimately decided that with the advent of iCloud and whatnot that is just a waste of the device. Instead, I’ll sell the original and make desperately poor buying decisions with the proceeds.
I’m watching Arrested Development through for the fifth or sixth time, and still marvelling at the intricacy of the writing, particularly the foreshadowing of events to come. The mentions of “dipping into the Kitty”, for example, several episodes before her introduction, or Buster’s declaration that he wouldn’t know what to do if he lost a hand. Of course, the writers could have looked back at previous scripts and decided to develop plot points and characters based on previous dialogue, but I doubt it.
Had my last Dominos pizza for what I hope is a very long time. I’ve resurrected my interest in making what is a fairly authentic dough (well, compared to the steamed bread you get delivered on the back of a motorcycle) and have made a batch that I can keep in the fridge and break lumps off when the desire strikes over the next few days.
Speaking of pizza, I go for a Friday lunch at Pizza Express every so often with some workmates. Yesterday’s choice—Gorgonzola, leeks, artichokes, pancetta, rosemary and chill oil—was great. Called Da Morire, which I suppose means something like ‘to die for’. Here’s a similar pizza (as an Englishman I choose not to use the word ‘pie’) I made tonight.
With the help of Peter Florence (of Hay Festival fame), I’ve semi-unintentionally cemented Cerys Matthews’s place in modern Welsh cultural history. The fact Cerys retweeted my tweets and got her fans to vote means it is essentially a one-horse race. I doubt Robert Owen has enough of a Twitter presence to redress the balance.
Enjoyed myself watching The Muppets. A fine story, great cast and some excellent musical numbers, although it feels a bit like Bret McKenzie might have had ‘Are You A Man or A Muppet’ on the shelf for a while—it feels very Flight of the Conchords—rather than it being an original commission for the film. Not that that matters in the slightest though.
Saw Kurt Vile at KOKO. Eschewing the support acts in favour of a few catchup beers with my friend Paul1, we arrived as Sonic Boom was being booed off stage, which was more than a touch bizarre. While that article paints the crowd in ridiculous terms (‘mostly teenaged trendies’? I’m closer to forty than teenaged, and was far from the only one), booing off an act that had presumably been hand-picked by the guy they’ve paid good money to see comes across as very odd.
I fell asleep on the train on the way back from the gig—thankfully, it was only for a few minutes. The last time I did this I woke in Wolverhampton, a town some 90 miles north of Milton Keynes, with no way of getting home until the next morning. I never again wish to sleep on a metal bench with only Wolverhampton Gazettes as covers.
Found a use for Foursquare! I’m not using it in any social way, instead checking into restaurants, gig venues and the like, and using ifttt to log them to Google Calendar. In theory, the next time I wonder aloud “When was the last time I was in place x?”, I can find the answer, as well as what I saw or ate while I was there.
Realised that the years-old Macbook I’m writing this on is way past its prime. Fortunately, due to my employer, I qualify for Apple’s education discount (around 12%), but it’s still a chunk of change for a new Macbook Pro. That I don’t have enough hard drive space for Apple’s most recent OS X security update is alarming, though.
Had an impromptu evening making Bloody Bronxes in order to use up a batch of blood oranges that had been hanging around for a few days. Delicious.
Now, onto more cocktails.
I’ve known him for more than ten years, and he decided that night to tell me I’d been mispronouncing his surname all that time. Caton: it’s not Catton, it’s Cayton. Man alive. ↩