samedi 2 juin 2007

Pageant Of The Bizarre

On Thursday night I received an amazing present from my boyfriend. The first part was just a pile of wires and cables (are they the same thing?) but the second was a portable sound card (io2), a multi-headphone stereo amp, two headphones and the loan of a little vintage piano with some buttons that can be linked up to downloadable synthesisers meaning you can play many different sounds with these buttons. The sound card has two inputs for microphones/ guitars, is connected by USB and no other electricity supply (ultra light) and comes with a cubase starter kit. It has one output for headphones but with the multi-headphone amp connected I can use up to four different headphones, all with controllable volume, this means I can silently (apart from the actual sound of our voices or whatever sound we're recording) create music with friends, all hearing the same beats in our ears. This perhaps only sounds exciting to me, but all this means I can start making my DIY music, and that is a good thing indeed.

Yesterday afternoon after work I started to move my furniture round in my flat to make space for my new toys and it should have been filmed, I marched my heavy and impractical ikea sofa on it's hind legs from one corner to the other and back again, moving the bed, table and desk with it each time, it took me 4 or 5 different positions to find the right one, and I was very tired after and sure that I had failed as a human being. I feel better today- and am having a little obsession with the song by zero 7 that shares this post's title.

I love the feeling of Saturday morning, I love the coffee that wakes me up, for once not to go and be someone else for the day, but to spend the start of two days of being an individual and free being. I realise in writing that that I shouldn't be working in a job that makes me feel like that, but to be honest (and I want to be that), it's as good as I make it, and it has a lot more opportunity for freedom than most other jobs that I would be capable of doing without putting all my energies into it. I do want to create my perfect job, life, and I will get there. I feel like I'm going in the right direction.

I'm going to put things on the wall today.

jeudi 31 mai 2007

Too much coffee

Despite drinking decaf this afternoon I fear I have over-stepped the caffeine mark today. Symptoms include shaky hands and light edginess. Otherwise, today has been much better than the last two days. Bla bla bla, I'm boring myself. I am listening to the latest zero 7 album, 'The Garden'- a good selection of featuring artists. On Tuesday night it was 'la fete des voisins', a national day I think, which involves what was in my building a rather awkward affair, with tables and quiches but rescued by a few bottles of fizzy wine and two young guys that I am pleased to discover live on the floor below me. This means that despite my faux pas a month after moving in, I might be forgiven by at least some of my neighbours. The faux pas involved my sisters sleeping so deeply after my 1 euro a beer party on a boat that when my other two friends who were supposed to be staying in my flat returned at 3 in the morning on a Sunday, they didn't hear the doorbell or the unrestrained banging that followed for a whole 15 minutes before one of them stumbled the two metres from bed to door. It is fair to say that my neighbours were somewhat perturbed by this incident. This was made apparent by two hand written letters kindly placed in my letter box the next day, one which was fairly reasonable from two different neighbours on my floor, and one which a little more excessive from a man that lives on the floor below me (not either of the young guys I met on Tuesday) and claimed to have already started a petition to get me expelled from the building. I was a little worried and so I asked my obliging boyfriend to help me write a letter (so, yeh, he wrote it) and I copied it out by hand, scanned in on the computer and printed 30 or so copies and put one in every letter box for the people in my part of the building. The response was mainly positive, one letter, the concierge who told me it had been accepted by 'the neighbours' (this means the oldies who complain to him) and finally the little old man who lives opposite who told me that he had not read such good french for years and he would keep it close to his heart! I, of course, do not speak the way this letter was written and would be uncapable of writing such a thing, hence my prevailing fear of any conversation with anyone in my building. Which I am pleased to say I overcame on Tuesday with the help of a little fizzy wine and quiche.

Coffee. Don't do it, it'll turn you into me tonight. Reading this back I am appalled at how boring it is and how detached I feel from everything I just wrote, but deleting it would feel even less honest.

Ah well, there are more important things to care about. Goodnight

dimanche 27 mai 2007

orange diamonds

I think it is raining, when it rains the raindrops drop in the top of the straw fencing on my balcony and plays me a song, my own personal panpipes. I think I'm feeling something more right now. I'm feeling a little more real, but even in writing that I feel it ebb away, I'll wait until I'm there. I'm thinking a lot about coloured patterns at the moment, orange diamonds with zig zags, I want to find a medium that feels immediate and strong enough to real play with colour.

jeudi 10 mai 2007

Le pont

What a rigmarole (don't know how to spell this word) of fun logging in was. Inventing alternative passwords when really I should have spotted the double K in co.ukk. I am eating marmite on toast (and already wanting more) and drinking a cup of tea with milk in it- very english indeed. I did 'le pont' and took Monday off so I could use the Tuesday bank holiday to make a four day weekend and upped sticks to Montpellier. It was wonderful- I met a lot of people, had a lot of conversations and got sunburnt. I danced under a palm tree in a garden where every other Sunday for an annual fee of 3 euros there are concerts and djs to enjoy and rugs to dance barefoot on and tables made of recycled stuff to sit at.

Of course, this Sunday was no ordinary Sunday, it was results day. What a farce. Judging from the 8'o'clock news last night you would be forgiven for mistaking the footage of Sarko's private jet landing back in Paris from his over publicised two and a half day vacance in Malta for Paris Hilton or someone along those lines, just a shame Sarko won't be serving time on the wrong side of the bars anytime soon. Anyway, the outcome was expected and there are positive things to come and take from it (please see future entry, oh the optimist).

Lessons since I got back have been good. A la cool. Still feeling the rolling rhythm of a weekend in the sun. One that involved hiring a bike, riding it to the beach along a raised river path, riding it back against the will of the wind and to the benefit of my thighs. The discovery that the verb used by car burners when they burn cars is 'voter'. Ah, and the distant memories of wholewheat crepes and good red wine linger on.

Tonight I saw an excellent group play, for the third time, made me feel so alive and full of desire to make music. Now is a time of inspiration and ideas and more marmite toast. Goodnight

jeudi 3 mai 2007

A country of contradictions

Are the french aware of their socialist legacy that is about to be swept away from under their feet? Last night's debate was heated, and it seems incredible to me that a strong woman with clear and logical intentions, who doesn't pretend to know everything or intend to decide for everyone, can be so easily dismissed with a little machism and easy rhetoric. I am trying to get over the desire to scream wake up, this is an unseen opportunity, a country respected by so many yet resistant to the wide screen bright light reality of the west could become the country that represents real modernity- eco-friendly living, happy, healthy people, who work but not so much that they have to drink their weight in beer each night in the pub to forget it. How is it that a country that nearly has this opportunity to be a leader not a follower is going to let it slip past them and fucking french etiquette (j'en ai marre) means I can't say a thing. So nearly socialist yet so uptight at once. Globalisation is happening, it will happen whatever government they chose, but it can happen in a better way. Dreams are not just wishy washy tit tat. Being passionate is important, especially when it comes to our future. I hope it's not the case, but I fear it is, that this country is residing itself to something grey when it could be so bright.

mardi 1 mai 2007

i was born a unicorn

I don't really know what I want to write. Just some words. I don't really know what I feel at the moment. I've lost myself before but right now everything feels peaceful but I've forgotten something important. It's hard to find more words. I will try to let my fingers go where they want to on the keyboard and see whether they shed any light. I am drinking a beer it is a big bottle and it is chilled. I am listening to a song by antony and the johnsons, that last fm has chosen for me. I keep finding myself with my hands in my lap when they should be on the keyboard. How can the mysteries discover themselves if I won't comply. It is sigur ros now. The sun in setting over Monmatre- the buildings opposite my balcony are reflecting the day light but it is fading. It is bank holiday. I went to a 'vide-greniers' (attic sale) in Montreuil a little village in the east of Paris spread of over 10 roads, it was called 'le vide-greniers de la revolution' because the main road is called 'rue de la revolution'. People feeling sunny and the people who live in this little haven seeming pleased they do. I went separate ways with my boyfriend as we left the metro, we seem to have arguments that appear out of nowhere and leave me feeling cheated of my happiness. I don't like to argue but apparently I provoke it with my clumsy french far too often. I often leave him hoping to find some big answer in my private reflections but i get no clarity, all I know is that I hate this part of our relationship, I know I shouldn't let him talk to me like he does sometimes, but aside from that, I love our relationship, him, our space together. Loving something that is sometimes bad makes me feel blind but denying it is pointless- I love him. Is there any point where that isn't enough a reason to be with someone? How do you leave someone you love just because you think perhaps you should?

Now, it is sonic youth. The light has faded a little, as if the sun is calling it home. Hands once again found, looking guilty, not on the keyboard. Obviously they are back now as they are typing these words. I think this blog is just for me. I don't to write about practical things, but so much thought is needed to establish a life, even a little one. How to earn enough money to pay for this months rent? Trying to work full time but stuck in a job where if the hours are low I can't do anything else with my day. Travelling around on the metro visiting people in their offices of whatever they do, talking to them in english and concentrating on them. It's not bad but I need to pay this months rent and I think I have 2 weeks maximum to not send my cheque on time to work out how to have the money in my bank. I'm optimistic. Perhaps un peu trop. Beer. James Lekman is singing some folk and some words. Noteably: the funky chicken. Now there are beats, this is The Unicorns with their hit track 'i was born a unicorn'.

The elections are in full swing. It is entertaining. 'We're the unicorns and we're people too'. I think I'm going to count my chickens and leave it there. Feel like I want to say thanks.

samedi 28 avril 2007

La Marché de la Faim

It is Saturday afternoon. I have just been to see 'La Marché de la Faim' (We Feed the World) at the cinema on the quai d'Ourcq. Did I mention I live in Paris? Anyway, it was interesting although certain vocabulary was a little too advanced or specific for me to fully capture. Shocking images of cruelly cute newly hatched chicks, yellow, fluffy and lost being mass handled by factory arms and conveyer belts as they start their very short life. Scary interview with the CEO of Nestlé who described as 'extreme' the idea of some crazed individuals that water should be a human right. The resigned smiles of a Brazilian family who are starving because the government will only allow them to grow soya grains, which when it rains and the crops can be harvested they will gain a little money for, from the government, but otherwise, remains a crop they cannot eat or use. The mountains of two day old discarded loaves of bread in Vienna that amounts to enough bread to feed the second biggest city in Austria, but obviously doesn't.

I don't think the answer is to be utopic, imagining that one morning we could wake up and share out the food evenly, and forget about money. Nor, do I think that it is acceptable that we allow Nestlé and other companies who do not take their role seriously to hold the top economic spot. There must be a way out of this confused over production and this devasting famine, a way where companies have to behave as responsibly and as respectably as a citizen of a community.

Like every voter in an election our power as a consumer is not negliable, and the booming market for 'ethically friendly' products shows that people want to do something. But, with every box and tin claiming to help someone, how do we know who to trust? I think it's time for big restructuring of obligatory guildlines for companies to follow so that they either shape up or ship out (or don't as the case may be).