Archive for October, 2002

Halloween! \m/,

October 31, 2002

Bill was being a bit odd this morning, kinda pacey and jumpy. He had to go to his sister’s house to pick up an air compressor so that he could work on some Halloween costumes for himself and Kati that afternoon. (Planned on going as Beans and something or other, don’t ask me! Freaks!) Wasn’t sure if he wanted me to accompany him or not, but I jumped into the shower and went for the trip anyway. Odd.

Had a really nice drive, Bill also stopped off at another Mall to take me to the Sanrio shop. Hoorah for Hello Kitty!

Picked up a sandwich from Grant Central and lounged about watching American Beauty while Vile lost it trying to get the Halloween Costumes together. *giggle*

The problem was that he had to spray paint a design onto some foam costumes but the air gun he bought didn’t have the right nozzle to attach to his sister’s compressor. AGH!

We headed down to the StarBar to have one last ditch attempt at getting Bill sorted out with working equipment. Everything was frantic down there, everyone was running around involved in many hurried last minute preparations for the evening’s activities.

Saw the Haunted House still being created across the road at the 9 Lives Saloon. A huge Godzilla was being given the UV paint treatment. Looked like he needed to see a dentist quite urgently.

Managed to arrange to borrow a different air gun for an hour and raced back to the house so Vile could have another bash at creativity. No go though, he had to give up and call it a day. Heh, he was quite concerned as to what Kati was going to say when she got back from work.

Returned the borrowed stuff, and took a mosey around Junkman’s Daughter in Little 5 Points. Got Kati some bones to go with her reserve Halloween costume (cave woman) so she could make a necklace, tie them in her hair or something. Came back and arranged our pumpkins on the front lawn with some tombstones and spooky flashing eyes. Set out some Halloween candy in a bowl by the doorstep and then popped across the road to get a friend’s dog so that he could play with Loretta and Quince and not get spooked by being alone in the house if any trick or treaters came around.

However, while we were gone Kati arrived home just before a pack of kids descended on the house. She opened the door to find the kids nabbing all the sweets that they could carry, and was unable to stop Loretta and Quince racing off into the street in search of some gnawing.

Bill’s winning warty pumpkin from last night, I actually chose his pumpkin for him, so it’s all credit to me really!

Bill and I returned to find mayhem, screaming kids, excited doggys and abandoned candy all over the place. *giggle*

Gus went happily off to play with Bill’s dogs and Bill and I sat out on the front porch drinking and waiting to see if any other kids showed up. Bill dug out an executioner’s hood and axe and waved it around while trying to figure out what to wear himself that evening.

We had a couple more visits from trick or treaters. Disappointed in the lack of costumes though. Hee, one car drove up and two kids emerged and came up to us. They didn’t look too dressed up, except one seemed to have
a wig on. Bill asked the kid what he was dressed as. The response came with a grin – “”a gangsta!””

Got changed to go out into my (not very) scary pink butterfly costume and Bill ended up as a caveman to Kati’s cavewoman, and then we headed out.

Very odd arriving for a night out at a bar at the time we’d usually be getting kicked out in England!

Got to the StarBar, got our wrist bands there, then headed over to the 9 Lives Saloon to see Gargantua play when diaster struck. No one had warned me I’d need ID to get into any bar in the States! AGH! Bill had to drive me back to the house to pick up my Drivers License. Felt very silly. Sorry Bill!

By the time we got back there was no parking anywhere it seemed and we had to cruise around for ages before we managed to find a spot. Walked back to the bar arm in arm and to be honest didn’t mind too much that we had missed some of the night. Had a nice time anyway.

Finally got let into the 9 Lives Saloon and we had a mosey around the spooky house where we were indeed “attacked by giant Japanese monsters in a 3-D haunted jungle.” It was kinda cool, and such a transformation from what I’d seen earlier in the day. 3D glasses were provided to complete the effect. I took my coat off and was most impressed by all my uv chaos clamouring for attention in there too.

Did actually make it back in time to see Gargantua, then raced back over the road to watch Greasepaint perform afterwards.

Got dragged into the StarBar photo booth by Bill. Yay!

Bill made me stand right at the very front and I almost managed to set the stage alight by accident, ooops! Had a great time and ended up with a Greasepaint lollipop and a balloon animal. The clowns weren’t as scary as Vile had made out, but then maybe I just couldn’t understand half of what they were saying?! It was great.

Shame Red couldn’t make it, we had a fantastic night.

Returned home, Kati crashed and Bill and I sat and watched another movie. Though I can’t remember what on earth it was now! Sat out on the porch and chilled til early morning.

And so ended my first proper celebration of Halloween.


October 31, 2002

Pumpkin King

October 30, 2002

UGH! Woke up at 6.40am, which is the exact time my alarm goes off in England. Hideous!

Had to do lots of errands with Vile today. Got to drive around in Kati’s Cabrio and just hang out with him while he raced about attempting to deal with a huge list of things in preparation for Halloween.

Got to see all the really exciting sights in Atlanta! Must have visited most of the art and craft stores, went to the farmer’s market, tattoo parlour, comicbook shop, Target (ooooh!! an escalator for shopping trolleys! wow!) etc etc!

Bill even took me on a special trip to visit a real genuine American Mall! *squeal!* We shared a Pepsi and he dragged me into the Apple Store at the Lenox Mall. (very nice btw, had to drag him back out again though) While we were wandering through in Mall dazed state this guy came up trying to sell one of those spidery head massage products. Pestered Bill til he agreed to try it out, at which point Bill almost jumped out of his skin when it got placed on his head. We ran away quickly and escaped.

Dropped by the tattoo parlour and Bill introduced me to a few of the guys. They were chilling out eating but looked like they were all hyped over Halloween and busy making giant scary creatures or something.

Had quesadilla for lunch at yet another strip mall type place. Got totally confused when I was asked if I wanted chips with it. Said no, as I was expecting him to be talking about chips, not tortillas.

After lunch the sun had come out and it was a really nice day, put the top down on the car. yay! Went to source some pumpkins for the pumpkin carving party that evening. Found a couple of stalls set up on the side of the road. Most odd.

Bill went all intense picking out pumpkins, it’s a serious business it seems. So cute! Matched his hair too. Awwww.

Picked up some alcohol from the Farmer’s Market, that’s an odd place. Stalls upon stalls selling produce from all over the world. The ceiling is festooned with flags of every nation.

Back at the house we watched Detroit Rock City and hung for a bit until it was time to go out to a Pumpkin Carving Party.

At which point tiredness totally hit and I was somewhat useless. Had fun attempting to carve my first pumpkin though, wasn’t really sure what I was doing and made a nice mess. Tried to do a scary evil owl pumpkin but was running out of time so Bill ended up helping my finish it. Kati did a Hello Kitty pumpkin.

All the pumpkins were then lit and assembled outside and judging took place. Mine made it through a fair few rounds before it succumbed and got put out. Not too bad. Screamed lots in support of Bill’s, okay I was bias but it was fab, and he ended up crowned Pumpkin King. Yay! Good job too, he’s so competitive, would probably have been unbearable and would have grouched all year if he’d lost. Very sweet though.

Perked up a bit when we got back to the house.

Oh and Kati made me a great cheese toasty because I hadn’t been able to eat anything at the party. I barely recognised what any of the food was and a lot seemed nutty, or I didn’t know and had to play safe. It had never occurred to me how accustomed you get to being able to recognise the food you eat! You’d have thought party food in England wouldn’t be that much different to the States, wrong! It might still be cake and nibbles but I had no idea what it was.

Stayed up late with Bill and watched Scrapheap Challenge after Kati retired to bed. Watched the dogs romp too.

ETA2 -5.00 hrs

October 29, 2002

Have arrived in Atlanta.

too tired but very bouncy – wheee!


ETA2 = ZERO Whooooo!!!

October 29, 2002

Drove to the airport with plenty of time to spare only to find that the flight was delayed. I pretty much read Ham On Rye before even getting on the plane. Eventually boarded and discovered that applying for a nut-free meal really worked in my favour. The airline had to seat me so that noone in my vicinity would be eating nuts either, which meant I got a window seat and extra legroom! yay!

When I visited Red Penguin that first time in Paris, I was tremendously scared and nervous, but strangely I didn’t feel the same about visiting Vile. Despite the fact that I was going to be staying with him.

Flight was okay, the films on offer sucked and they seemed to be mainly showing repeats of The Avengers (tv series) and Friends, so finished reading Ham On Rye and got a fair way through Fay.

Landed and entered Atlanta airport hell. It’s so confusing! Immigration – baggage collection I – customs – recheck baggage – train – baggage collection II. Seemed to take forever and I was always worried I was queuing in the wrong place all the time.

Was quite amusing though as I felt I was in an episode of Sesame Street, because of the accents, but mainly because airport staff kept repeating the same things over and over to different people to check that you understood.

Finally stepped off the train and entered the terminal building. Spotted Bill immediately, couldn’t miss him! He waded over and it was so good to see him.

Ran off quickly to collect my bag as I spotted it rotating around the carousel, was very confused that baggage collection was so open and next to the exits. Anyone could have grabbed and walked off with my possesions.

Was all of a whirl when Vile walked us over to his beamer. So glad to have made it to Atlanta and hyped from my journey.

Got bad news when Bill told me that Red couldn’t make it after all. Silly bird!

Didn’t see a great deal of Atlanta on the way to Bill’s house. It was quite foggy. Kept freaking slightly as he undertook cars, except that he wasn’t, we were just on the other side of the road. That took a bit of getting used to. Very weird to be sat in the “driver’s” seat with no steering wheel.

Arrived at his house and it was just so great! Just as I had imagined but somehow better. Was highly amused by the US flag hanging outside, even though I had seen it in pictures.

Met Loretta and Quince immediately as they proceded to maul and gnaw me.

Kati was home. Thought she ws lovely, made me very welcome. We sat and got acquainted for a little while then I freshened up and they took me out for pizza at Grant Central.

Bill and I ordered a medium veggie pizza to share, good grief it was huge! We didn’t even vaguely finish it and thus was introduced to the concept of a real doggy bag for the first time.

After feasting we then did a brief visit to the Star Bar. Sat downstairs and had a drink. Everything was feeling pretty strange by this point.

Went back to the house and Vile determined to keep me up in an effort to curtail jet lag. He insisted that I watch Raising Arizona. Kati ended up going to bed and Bill and I stayed up late, watched the film and gossiped.

Yet another gig review

October 25, 2002

Despite getting in early in the morning so I could leave at 5 and get home with plenty of time to chill and get ready to go out to the gig, I managed to stay late and gave work an extra 40 minutes of my time. Thanks go to Vile who PMed me to say “What are you still doing at work? Go home!” and made me realise with a sudden lurch that I had been reading the time on my computer and during the day it must have chugged as it was about an hour out. AGH!

Raced home, freshened up, tarted up.

Felt like a change and on a whim pulled out my old pair of stiletto Dredd boots from underneath their layer of dust. (The ones Nick also borrowed one time, heh) Decided that the tongue and the top buckles were a bit too much and reminded me of gothdom so discarded them and folded the tongue down into the boot and made a much cuter pair of spiky boots. I haven’t worn them in ages and I had forgotten how much fun they are, and how empowering a stiletto can be. Weird how I felt taller in those than I do when wearing my platform trainers. Slapped on some makeup and tottered off in the direction of the bus stop.

Radio One Sound Advice Showcase @ Life Cafe, MCR

Not having been there before I spotted the Life Cafe by the number of bouncers on the door. They were trying to ensure that all entrants to the bar were on the guestlist but as the list didn’t seem to be in any particular order they were having a spot of bother.
I spotted my name on one of the many bits of paper just as Rachel appeared at the door to ensure I wasn’t having any hassle getting in. Thanks girl!

Milled about and chatted for a while, got briefly introduced to Bynatone and received a The Obsession pin badge to wear with pride. Went up to get a drink and got confused by the poncy bar staff who seemed to think that they were in Cocktail and insisted on throwing glasses around regardless as to whether you were having a Sex on the Beach or a beer. They also had a habit of serving two people at once, which was just odd because at first I thought, oh, he can’t be bothered with my order and has gone to serve someone else instead, grrr! Though, later in the evening when I went to get a drink the guy who served me to give me more change back than I should have had, he winked and grinned at me as he handed me the coins. Weird.

Falkland Hill Yaks
started the evening off and for most of their set I stayed seated and watched their little heads bobbing up and down frantically on the wall of monitors above the bar. (Which showed the live recording of the gig, except for one, which bizarrely appeared to be the Fashion Channel). Decided to wander over to see the band, got to one side of the room and spotted everyone else over the other side. As I was too polite (and a touch embarrassed) to walk beneath the tv camera filming the event I went back around the bar and walked around to the other side. Got there just as the band finished and left the stage. doh!

At which point the DJ followed the set by playing “Jolene” – class!

are an Electroclash duo who play searing computer music. They were quite blinding, very much like Add (N) to X, but were in the wrong context really. Nick tried to round up the troops to stand on the dance floor to support them but only partially succeeded.

The Obsession
Technical problems occurred when the guys couldn’t hear anything through the monitors and Paddy, usually the nice quiet one of the four, got so wound up he thrashed through the last track standing on the drum kit, towering over Rob, and ended by throwing his bass to the floor in frustration.
Was very strange watching them play with the guys duplicated on a huge video screen above the stage.
Tried my best to get some decent photos but I think I failed.
Rob played the set from behind a large pair of sunglasses, apparently wanting to be invisible, when the set was over, I blinked and he was gone.

were described by Nick as “like us, but better” I thought they had the same dirty 70s NY punk wall of noise emphasis, and a similar energetic frontman, but the songs The Obsession write are just more interesting. They were very hairy, and I’m referring here to both their music and physiognomy. One notable descriptive comment in respect to the mutton-chopped singer was “he’s a comedy farmer who’s been drinking his own sheep dip”
I guess that:
if (The Obsession == “The Ramones”){
Moco = “The Stooges”);

Halfway through the set I wandered over to drunkenly say hi to Rob who was sat all on his ownsome, and watch the rest of the gig via the video walls. A couple of guys approached and told me that they loved me. I was later informed that I had “pulled” the two of drug dealers! eeps!

By this time it was gone midnight and I had to hastily depart, grab a taxi and make my way homeward.

Had a really good night.

Tuesday gig @ Night and Day \m/,

October 25, 2002

Wrote this the other day, forgot to post:

Prised myself away from the Net to brave the cold and misery that is Mancunian weather to traipse into town to meet Rebecca, Ruairi and Matt, and see Nick play down in the Northern Quarter.

Gave in and wore my recently acquired pink trousers that I had been saving for my trip to Atlanta. Convinced myself that this was okay because they are lovely and padded and therefore probably too warm to wear in Atlanta anyway, whereas in the icy gloom that is Manchester they are a godsend, and very cool to boot. However, my opinion soon changed when I went to jump onto a bus, the driver stared at my legs, reached forward and felt my thighs! He then apologised and explained he wanted to see what fabric they were made from because he thought I was wearing waders!! ARGH! Not at all happy.

Managed to make it into town and went to get some money out of the cashpoint only to discover that I am really stupid and had left my cards at home. I had a tenner on me, that was all. Pants! Luckily I’d got Nick to stick my name on the door and managed to get in without paying the entrance fiver.

Went to get myself a drink. The girl who served me stared at me for a little while then asked if I was Kay. Apparently we had met at Costa Coffee some years back when Mary worked there with her. She enquired as to how Mary was as she had lost contact, and I found myself having to explain that I’d also lost touch with her after her boyfriend died taking a short cut home from the pub via a railway line (He tripped and fell onto the live track) and Mary withdrew and refused to talk to anyone. Felt very awkward.


The Tenderfoot
were up first and to be honest I was only aware of them as a bland, dull, monotonous drone in the background. There was no passion, no life and if the music couldn’t be bothered well I certainly couldn’t be either.

The Obsession
Did good, it wasn’t the best gig I have seen them play but even going through the motions they weren’t terrible. Nick was noticeably not his usual self, I mean, shock! – he kept his top on! (Though some would say that that is a good thing.)

Argument Midbar
Not a band but a stupid altercation with Matt.

British Sea Power
Hyped up as rising stars with a supposed promising future ahead British Sea Power headed the bill. The band certainly looked individual as they meaningfully stepped out onto a stage seemingly disguised as a small forest with stuffed owls perched atop amps. Wearing quasi-military uniforms reminiscent of 2nd World War Naval Officers, the drummer played from behind a tree, the bassist was adorned with branches on his head and the keyboard-player wore a tin hat and second world war radio microphone. I half expected live seagulls to swoop in. All had glazed acid-fried expressions that reminded me very much of Pengie’s Halloween photos, except less goofy. But that’s as about as entertaining as it got. Still, they have a cool name.

Ruairi accused me of turning into an indie something. Now what was it? chick? nope, too cute for Ruairi and not rude enough, whore? tart? letch? Anyhow, fended him off by summoning the Gawds of RAWK and he ran off screaming. yay!


Had exactly one pound left so took the bus home, ended up almost having to carry silly drunk boy home and put him to bed. Ate noodles, set the alarm for an ungodly hour and jumped into bed.

Nick said he’d get me on the guestlist for Thursday night too, (Radio One event, invite only apparently) so will do it all again then.


October 25, 2002

What do you get when you take the circumference of a pumpkin
and divide it by its diameter?

Pumpkin Pi

earthquake swarms

October 23, 2002

The tremors continue and the Quakes Could Last For Years

clown on the loose

October 23, 2002

A giant inflatable clown is on the loose in South Wales, apparently he’s lost and ambling somewhere around the country having become detached from the roof of a McDonalds. People are requested to keep an eye out for him, but advised to approach with caution as he is believed to be armed with a giant squirty flower.