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Monday, March 1st, 2004
6:58 pm - work
My manager came back today after a 2 week break, I wish I could say it was nice toi see him, but it wasn't. I'm supposed to have some grand plan for the kid's section for World Book Day, but I don't. I wasn't even aware I had to have one, not good when your boss is staring at you wanting a better answer. Shit, I thought it'd be ok to just have lot's of books and put them out nice and pretty, isn't that enough? Guess not, now I've got to make something up. Shit.

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Wednesday, February 18th, 2004
7:57 pm - 4 wheels and 1 cock
Cars. Fucking cars. No wait, drivers. Fucking drivers. I don't drive, I don't want to and don't plan to, there's too many resource wasting, atmosphere polluting, life threatening cars out here and I don't want to own one of them. But it's the drivers that really piss me off. I cycle, this means I'm considered (if I'm considered at all) to be somewhat of a annoyance. It's a pretty safe bet that on my journey to work a driver will try to kill me. That's right, kill me. 'Cos I'm on a bike, a FUCKING BIKE, not an armoured tank. When a driver cuts me up or swings open the car door with out looking when they've pulled into the side of the road they are risking my life. Cars, you'll find, are just a bit bigger, heavier and faster than your average bicycle, this doesn't mean cyclists should get off the fucking road and get out of the fucking way, it means drivers should pay some fucking attention. Lately I've been getting annoyed at how many drivers view traffic lights as some sort of vague guide rather than strict rules, the amount of drivers that see the lights change to orange and see this is the signal to speed up because they don't want to have to stop for the 30 seconds or so pedestrians are given to cross the road is amazing. No matter how far away that car is, orange light, rev up and fly over the zebra crossing as the lights changed to red.... you fuckers. I love to see traffic wardens hand out tickets, fucking love it. There's these things called double yellow lines, even a non-driver such as myself has heard of them, if you park a car on them it's illegal (no matter where those lines are, it may seem unfair, but if those lines are there, you can't park there), it really is. How many ignorant stupid fuckers park illegally and then get angry because they've been given a ticket? It's pathetic to hear some self righteous arsehole driver whine 'cos they got the ticket they fucking deserved.
And there's a special circle of hell reserved for people who drive and use their mobile phones. Guess what, I hate mobile phones, I'm sure I'll go into it in more detail in an other post, but for now let me just say that people who drive whilst talking to someone on the phone should die, preferably by driving directly into someone else driving and talking onto the phone, if they manage to take out some idiot complaining about their parking ticket then even better.

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Sunday, February 15th, 2004
8:24 pm - caffine
the eagle eyed reader may have picked up on my caffine dependance. I can't deny it, it's a problem, on an average day I can get through about 10 cups of coffee, but on a really good day I can double that thanks to my very big cup. Recently I changed to decaf as the only viable way of cutting down my caffine intake, it's not an ideal solution, I've always though decaf coffee was an utterly pointless invention, but in the end it's the only way for me to beat this thing! The thing is, it's working, I mean I still drink a lot of coffee, tho' not as much, 'cos it's just not as nice but I'm certainly getting better sleep. What I'm wondering is if it's possible to make a similar version of sweets? I've got a bit of a sweet tooth and it kinda get's in the way of my desire to be fit and healthy, but what if someone invented sweets that tasted more or less like sweets with out the capacity for making you a lard arsed fatty? I'd buy it, infact I'd like to see a similar thing for all food, why the hell should I have to rely on my own pathetic will power when someone can use some sort of weird alchemy with who knows what kind of side effects?
Anyway, after a Friday of moping Saturday turned out to be quite lovely as my wife and I had an evening off and spent it having a valentine's day meal at a very nice veggie restaurant called Squeak, hurrah for us.

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Friday, February 13th, 2004
3:44 pm - There is no fucking good news
as Iggy Pop said in Hardware. No updates for ages, what have i been up to? Well, I visited by sister in cak (is there a proper spelling for cak, cac, cack, etc) Halifax. Haven't seen here for over a year, which is my fault really and was a bit nervous about visiting as I wondered if we'd get on okay or if it would be like meeting an old friend you hadn't seen for ages and realised you had nothing in common. It was okay, not fantastic, but nice and hopefully I'll see her more often now.
It's been a weird old couple of weeks, I'm getting antsy again and need to move. I've lived in Nottingham for over 2 years now and can't say I've ever cared for it, I've spent most of the time complaining about my job and I feel like I should actually do something.... but I've no idea what. My wife's starting to feel a bit antsy too, her job's starting to get her down and apart from a few friends neither of us feels any real attachment to where we live. The most annoying thing is that in all the time we've known each other we've rarely had 'quality time'. Let me explain. I work in a shop, this means that I often work weekends, my wife works with people with learning disabilities, she has to work some very odd hours because staff need to be there 24/7. In a given week she may work 2 late shifts, which means getting in at about 9-30 or 10pm, she'll also probably work a 'normal' shift which will mean getting up at 5am and gettting home at 3-ish. On top of this once a week she'll do an 'on call' shift, this involves going to work on a late shift, sleeping (or trying at least) over at work and then doing a 'normal' shift. Finally she'll also have to do a few 'waking nights' a month, which is exactly what it sounds like, leave work at about 9pm, get home at about 7am the next day. This makes her very tired, not least because it's a pretty demanding job, but also because that shifts seem entirely random meaning she can't get into a regular sleep pattern. See if you can imagine how often we actually get the same day off or even have an evening off together. Hardly fucking ever! When we do get a day off we ususally have to do the food shopping (spending a very large amount and having to fill a taxi with bags because we don't know when we next might get to the supermarket) or some other mundane task that requires the 2 of us. If we have to visit or be visited by family it means we aren't seeing each other properly. My wife's brother can't be arsed to visit us but will happily tell his sister on Christmas day that if she doesn't visit then her 2 year old nephew won't ever remember her. Even going out with friends requires both of us checking our availability....... AAAAAARGH! After 7 years of this, it's finally getting us down. When I was single I don't recall waking up alone being as desperately depressing as it feels now. But what to do? We'd love to just pack everything up an go away and live in some hut in the middle of nowhere and start all over afresh, but have don't have the money to do it.
It really is time for a change of some sort, other than setting up www.sponsoracouple.com I don't really know what that change could be.
Sorry for the self pitying whining, it's one of the least pleasant symptoms of being clinically cheesed off. I'll talk about films, comics and dopey shit in the next post, promise.

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Tuesday, February 3rd, 2004
5:31 pm - My computer hates me
The sodding thing's stopped me updating twice now. I've decided to not bother putting in the updates it wouldn't let me post, just to be mysterious. Now you'll just have to ponder over the possible amazing things that I've been up to over the last few days.
Off to see Mighty Wind tomorrow, sooo looking forward to it, can I use the phrase 'laugh riot'? Does it make me seem like a nerd?
After a complete lack of interest in book reading for the last few months I've finally started reading again, My Loose Thread by Dennis Cooper, which is not exactly light reading but was compelling (and disturbing) and now I've started reading Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, which seems pretty good so far. Now I can look intelectual on the bus as I read my book instead of looking like a geek as I read a comic.

current music: The Cramps - How Far Can Too Far Go?

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Friday, January 30th, 2004
6:03 pm - I have seen horror
and it is Garth Marenghi's Dark Place. Already a classic in my house.
The programme itself is brilliant, the conceit that it's a show that was originally made in the 80's allows it to fully capture everything lame and cool about dopey old tv shows and films, but the true touch of genius is Marenghi himself. Okay, it's obviously a spoof (although I shake my head a laugh at the memory of some people not realising Knowing Me Knowing You was a spoof), but it's so believably accurate that it goes beyond that (Alan Partridge does the same I guess) Thursday Channel4 10-30, watch it.... I dare you!!!!!

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Monday, January 26th, 2004
11:01 pm - My friends, you bow before no one
I decided to watch Witness tonight, it's been a few years since I last saw it and I needed a Harrison Ford fix. It's still an amazing film, but now it has a new wrinkle, in the shape of Viggo Mortensen who looks very young and pretty durn good.

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3:16 pm - inevitably this is called, Small World
So, I've known Danny for a few years, we worked together for about 2 years at a book shop in London, I left London a couple of years ago and moved to Nottingham. Once in Notts, I ended up working in another bookshop and became friends with Sam. Here's where it gets odd. Danny had a good friend called James who I never met. Sam had a good friend called James, who I never met. It's the same James. Sam even met Danny a few months back, but it wasn't until a few days ago that we realised.
Freaky.
Now, I seem to be losing my eyesight but gaining a headache, I think I'll lie down.

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Saturday, January 24th, 2004
11:27 pm - I rule
I get in, check my emails and turn around as my wife turns on the tv, the screen shows a dark strret and a bright light, there's some 'crunchy' sound fx,'Poltergiest', I say, Poltergiest it is.

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Friday, January 23rd, 2004
5:33 pm - who cares about celebrities!
Well, a lot of people it seems. I just checked my email and was delighted to recieve an advert for Zoo magazine, a new weekly mag aimed at men. I'd read about it a couple of weeks ago and was thrilled. Just what the world needs, I thought, a new Heat style mag aimed at men. How cool it'll be to see semi naked young girls in porn-a-like poses on a weekly magazine displayed in a prominent position in my family newsagents. According to the 'brain's' behind this new mag, it'll be not so much Heat, more like 'on heat', see, he's smart and funny.
Honestly, who buys this shit? Oh yeah, lotsa people. I hate men's magazines, I hate Heat and the bad knock offs and I hate celebs who happily splay themselves in suggestive poses on the covers of mags whilst inside they explain how they suffer, want to be understood and moan about the lack of respect they get, please stand up Jordan, Robbies Williams, etc, stand up and fuck off..... ahem, sorry about that, normal service will resume as soon as possible.

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Tuesday, January 20th, 2004
10:13 pm - hello stranger
well, the beard's gone. About a month's worth of facial hair is now clogging the plug hole. Now I need a hair cut and I'l be beautiful..... looking forward to Katy's comment now:)

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Sunday, January 18th, 2004
1:37 pm - films & hair
watched Death to Smoochy last night and I insist everyone watches it. Why was this film ignored? Ed Norton playing an insanely cheerful right on children's show ... thing (think Barny) whilst all the other kid's show folk are crack addict, alcholic, insane loons, is worth the price of admission alone.
I also just found out that Bottlerocket is getting a UK dvd release which is cool, should help me wait for The Life Aquatic.
I'm very beardy at the moment, I've no idea if I like, I mean, I do, otherwise I wouldn't have it, but it's weird, I love beards but only on other people, when I grow one I keep changing my mind. Still, I've not shaved in over 3 weeks and as I have fairly fast growing facial hair that makes me already kinda bushy. Also it's got grey in the chin which I think is kinda cool. I'm thinking about getting a trimmer, but if I don't keep the beard it's a waste of money. Oh lord when will this torment end!?
Still, I'm going to see Daniel Kitson tonight and he has a beard, so that means something, in a sort of kismet type way.

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Wednesday, January 14th, 2004
10:26 pm - My So Called Life
A guy at work has them on tape and he's loaned them to me, how happy am I!
Saw two swans today and yesterday some kind of bird I've not seen before but it looked incredible, kind of like a Heron or something Iguess, but as I know nothing about these things I could be taling nonsense, it might have been a pigeon walking the dog for all I know.

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Sunday, January 11th, 2004
3:23 pm - I hate what I like... or something like that
A few days ago I let a bunch of people that I was going to quit drawing my present ongoing strip. Oh it felt good. Not to have to think about it (and it this point more time has been spent thinking(worrying) about it than actually doing it) ever again will be such a weight off my mind. I still have to do a few other comic strips for a couple of people but after that.... FREEDOM! Oh yes, I can do what I want, spend time learning to draw again, sketching whatever takes my fancy, I can't wait.
I can't say I was thrilled at the response to my earthshattering news, one person was upset, a guy who has been pretty surpportive of my work, other than that only three people commented and not one othe actually commented on the strip and it's untimely demise. Funnily enought not only was I expecting this kind of response I was glad of it, it confirms my suspicions, I was wasting my time being involved with these people.
I've just had a look at the trailer for the latesat (yawn) adaptation of a Marvel comic, The Punisher was a pretty reprehensible comic from back in the day, it was revamped a few years ago by 'hot' writer Garth Ennis who kept all that was inherently bad about it whilst adding a few more offensive wrinkles. Think Deathwish and you're still probably thinking of a better story. Thank the lord Daniel Clowes (creator of Ghostworld) is working on Art School Confidential, if it's anywhere near as good as the short story it'll be amazing.

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Wednesday, January 7th, 2004
11:36 pm - flims
I'm a big film fan, but with one thing and another I've not been getting to the cinema much lately. Managed to drag myself out to see American Spendor (hell, I loved the comics), what a fucking great film. Go see it.

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Sunday, January 4th, 2004
3:32 pm - oh the humanity
Back to work tomorrow, which makes Christmas/New Year well and truly over, the decorations have been down for a few days now, the presents have been put away and my (very) brief holiday is almost over.
I think I'll change my approach to this blog, it's not really working, for a start the tone is miserable without actually being revealing and I just don't see the point in that. There's a blog I occassionally visit to cheer myself up, it by this guy I met years and years ago back when I first got involved in 'small press comics' and it really is unintentionally hillarious. Constant self important moanings about people who've had the temerity to annoy him (simply by excisting as far as I can tell), regular outpouring of his 'pain' and 'suffering' interspersed with the dull statistics of his drinking habit which consists of the odd drink my Grandma would have enjoyed. All in all I'm always left with the impression of some sad egotystical little twerp who's in love with the idea of being difficult/moody. Oh how I laugh at this loser. Except I'm not sure my postings are that different from his. Bugger. Of course it doesn't help that I've tried to post daily and done it when I'm bored shitless. The complete lack of an interesting life is a sticking point too.
So, slightly less postings (probably) and hopefully more interesting ones (possibly), that way I don't have to worry that some twat has found my blog and is using it to cheer him/herself up by imagining what a dick I am.

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12:11 am - bye Liam
Just come back from a friend's leaving do. It's sad to see him go, but I think for the best, it's good for him and other people. Anyway, it got me thinking about the way we effect people's lives, about making changes in our own lives and all that kind of thing. I'm not going to post my thought's as I'm not really sure what they are, it's just those vague ideas at the back of your mind that aren't quite given form, kind of like your brain thinking without your permission.
The only thing I have come up with is that whether you're a cool guy or a complete twat, you will have an effect on someone, but you shouldn't let that knowledge effect what you do or how you behave.
Like a bad sitcom or soap opera, life has presented me with an situation that is some sort of refection on my own issues. When this kind of thing happens on tv, it's laughable, when it happens in real life maybe it's time to take notice. It's also time for bed. Night night.

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Friday, January 2nd, 2004
3:30 pm - pity the struggling artist
Just read a blog from someone saying how good the Jools Holland New year thing was. Bollocks. It was a load of shite. I'm not going to back that up with arguments and observations, but I will say that the ever youthful Lulu does infact look like her plastic face has been too close to the fire. She scares me.
Washing up's done, house is pretty tidy and I got up reasonably early, did a few sit ups and stuff and had a shower. I'm atempting to draw a comic that is bringing me no enjoyment but still has to be done - the fact that I wrote does not help at all, it crap. What a mistake, I came up with a character I quite liked, put him in a situation I thought was interested and the strip started appearing in a friend's comic; sometime during drawing the second part I completely lost interest with what was essentially a one joke idea and held no personal expression for me whatsoever. Oops. Now I'm struggling with the third part, don't know what else to write, seeing as I had the bright idea of making it up as I went along because I thought it would be interesting, exciting and keep the whole thing fresh. The strips already been absent from the comic for the last 2 issues and after the next issue my friend is putting the comic on hold whilst he does other things. Like I said, I'm struggling, what had started out as a funny silly thing has become a bit of a grind, it's not going to completed in it's current venue and I've got other things I should be doing. To add to this it's already been announced that the strip will appear in the upcoming comic. This is not how I wanted to start the new year, except, it's only a continuation of the last year so you still have to deal with the bad decisions the last year you made. Last year me was a wanker and this year me doesn't want to have much to do with him. Obviously the only thing to do is to soldier on with the comic strip and see how it goes. Once I've got my old obligations out of the way I'm going to think very carefully before aquiring new ones.

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Thursday, January 1st, 2004
2:29 pm - Happy New Year
The first day of the New year, I know lot's of people don't view it as a big deal, but I like the idea of putting all the crap of the last year behind me and focusing on the positive promises that a new start can offer.
Here's some of the New Years resolutions I'm going to try and keep (I don't belive it's always possible to keep NYR's, but figure that as long as you keep trying, no matter how many times you might slip, then by the end of the year you might find that even if you haven't lost 10 stone, or given up smoking, you might have lost 4 and you might smoke a lot less, and that's an improvement at least, right?)

1) Be fitter/healthier. I'm not in bad shape, but I'd really like to be in great shape. Although I could do with losing some fat, I probably could do with putting a bit of weight on. If I've done good, this time next year I should weigh 13.5 to 14 stone, with very little fat.

2) Be more organised, have some self control. This actually covers a lot, but I guess the important bits are, getting to bed and getting up at a decent time, not being a slob around the house, could do with dressing a bit better too.

3) Doing more artwork. I guess this is part of the last one, but it's important enough to have be on it's own. I've got to do more drawing, studying type drawing and portfolio drawing. I also need to try and get illustration work, no more wating time on dopey comic stuff that's never going to go anywhere for people who don't appreciate it. On a related theme, I'd also like to start writing again.

4) Shut up! I talk too much, and it's usually complete drivel. I'd also like to stop wasting time on people I don't particularly like and worrying about what they think of me. Being a better friend (and husband) wouldn't go amiss either.

5) Get out the house. I'm a bit of a shut in. I don't want to go clubbing or anything, but going out for a meal, bowling, cinema every now and then wouldn't hurt.

6) Find a better job - or at least stop beating myself up about how crap my present one is.

7) Read better stuff. I do waste my time with crap comics and ther occassional ropey book. It's not bad now and then, but it does get out of hand. I'd also like to get rid of a lot of the crap I've bought. I really need to exercise my tired old flabby brain.

That'll do it for now. Nothing amazing, but all pretty important to me.
No swans today as I don't have to go to work, but I did have a walk in the local park with my wife and watched the deer. Deer, swans, it's like I live in some beautiful area. Don't be fooled. It's a grim crappy city, that's why I love seeing the odd bit of wild life, even seeing squirrels climbing in the trees outside our house is mesmerising. I'm so looking forward to the day when we leave cities behind and move somewhere more rural, the lake District would be cool.

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Monday, December 29th, 2003
6:30 pm - New Year
I'm becoming obsessed with swans. Cycling past them to and from work is a really calming experience and I've started getting worried if I don't see one.
The Christmas temps at work are starting to find out if they are being kept on or not. It reminds me of when I started (a whole two (and a bit) years ago), I was so worried about not being kept full time. I think it only took 6 months for me to wish I could get another job. This got me thinking about how much I want to leave. It's not a bad job really, and certainly one of the best one's that I've ever had, but I just don't like it any more, I'm sick of the work, the place and most of the people. A lot of it's my own problem I think, I'm making it worse by thinking about it all the time. Also I have the added frustration of wanting to be an illustrator, this means that I have to look for jobs that are never advertised and have to find spare time to draw so I actually have new stuff to show (and to help me improve) This can be really tiring, a bit heartbreaking and very difficult. Time spent at my job is time spent not drawing.
What's really staring to worry me now is that I'm becoming (who knows, maybe I 'became' ages ago) a bit of a joke, always taking about leaving and spending far too much time complaining.
Another worry is that I've become one of those people who constantly live in the future, always dreaming of the day when they have this, or have done that, all the while their life is passing them by.
So, I reckon one of my New Years resolutions is going to be about trying to enjoy the present a bit more, as well as looking for a new job. I'm a big fan of resolutions, New Year or not. I might post my resolutions up here, it might make me work harder to keep them.

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