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Beautiful Freak
The journal of Ishmael the furry gorilla.
Imogen Heap Gig: 11/10/06 The Dome, Brighton

This was a first class gig from start to finish.  If you don't know her music then check out her Myspace Page for a sample.  Also check out her website Here.
The first support was a solitary chap on his laptop called Pixelh8 - he was extremely creative, having composed all his music from the innerds of old gaming consoles from NES to Gameboy to Vtech to an old Atari2600.  It reminded me very much of the kind of in-game music you'd get on those consoles and it was really enjoyable, not sure if I'd want to buy any to listen to at home but as a support act he was very good.
The second support, Nemo, were excellent performers.  Great guitar sounds and whilst not completely original (in fact quite retro sounding) it was very well done with superb vocals from a very enthusiastic lead singer.  They went on to join Imogen in some of her set which was great.  Nemo I will definitely look to buy their album.
Imogen came on at just after 9pm and in spite of recovering from a sore throat gave a magnificent performance.  She had some very impressive equipment on stage with her that she used with great skill to create her unique sound.  Her parrot machines as she called them were used to create extremely impressive sound layering and all totally live - only some of the samples were pre-recorded.
I'm still digesting the whole evening it was that impressive.
I know one thing for certain and that is that the next time she comes to Brighton I'll be there like a shot. :)

New Job: week 1

I was rather nervous on Monday morning but found that I calmed down fairly quickly once I got there.  My boss, Geoff, seems really nice, as does the rest of the office staff.  There was a hiccup however in that when I went to use the toilet I found I was unable to fit through the door, in spite of the fact I'd visited a couple of times before to check it out.  Let me explain something about this toilet to you.  The mens room consists of a single room with 2 basins and a toilet in it's own little lockable cubicle.  The 2 times I'd been before I'd just looked at the cubicle rather than actually go through the door which struck me as weird, but then I realised why I never bothered: on the wall next to the bog was one of those pull down grab rails specifically put there for use by a wheelchair-user.  I think I'd just made an assumption in my head that the presence of the rail indicated that a wheelchair could get into the cubicle - foolish I know given my background but there you go. LOL  Anyway, the work Geoff gave me to do was to document their current website which I could do from home.  Today was therefore my second day into the office and I was expecting nothing to have changed since Monday.  I was shocked to discover that they'd taken half of the partition wall away in the toilet and put a proper lock on the external door rendering it totally usable.  This kind of made me feel a bit guilty considering I turned up at 12.45 for a meeting at 3pm but I figure they could have called me to tell me it had been done so that guilt didn't last long.  Tomorrow I go in a little later than I should because I have a home visit from a physio at 9am to teach my personal care assistant some exercises that can help me clear the secretions from my chest.

Other News

Actually it's been a bit of a funny week for things running smoothly.  I had the day off on Wednesday to attend a follow-up hospital appointment after the spell of pneumonia back in August.  I arrived there to Brighton General which is a grotesque set of buildings built on a hill - it really does resemble The House on Haunted Hill!!  Anyway, I get there to find the lift to floor 1 is out of order so I end up having to use the lift in the adjacent building and using the adjoining walkway to reach the respiratory outpatients area.  Then I'm told I need a follow up chest x-ray but of course the lift is fucked and guess what, the x-ray department is in the basement!  LOL 
So the long and short of it is that I have to wait for an appointment to be sent to me so I can go have an x-ray and they can check it out.
Never mind, these things all go to make life varied and interesting. :D

Take care my furry friends and sleep well.

Current Mood: sleepy Good but
Current Music: Imogen Heap - Speeding Cars

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This week has proved once more to be a curious one, but in a good way.

As a backdrop there is a cold that I've had since the end of last week which has started to trickle down to my chest. But being the new pre-emptive kind of fur that I am now I went to the doc today and he's given me some antibiotics to stop it dead in its tracks.

The remainder has been marked by the demise of one thing and the beginning of something else - but isn't that just the way the cycle of life is on this planet?

To the part that has ended I say: "Everything that has a beginning has an end" and sure enough I've seen the writing on the wall for a good few weeks now, and so it came as no great surprise to me that once I pushed for a resolution then the one I expected didn't hesitate in revealing itself. I'm not upset or perturbed by it at all because I'd made this choice a long time ago if truth be known, I just needed to act on it, which is what I've now done. I don't regret the time I devoted to this, in fact just the opposite, I think this has been a huge catalyst for change for me. People change, circumstances change, the world changes, and we have to do what we see fit at the time. If you're reading this then let me say something: I wish you well, and although you may not have thought very highly of me I certainly introduced you to some kick-ass music. :) I'll miss your correspondence but I need to move on now, so take care and stay lucky.

The 'beginning' part is that of a job I've been offered to start next week from Monday. This was the one I had an interview for I mentioned a couple of posts ago and will involve re-working the website of that training and recruitment company. I'm nervous, but then who wouldn't be, right? But I'm also excited by it because it'll mean learning new skills, particularly in using PHP and MySQL to make database-driven websites, vitally important of course in commercial websites. The job is a placement for 2 months and therefore is unpaid but they have said there is a strong possibility of something more permanent and paid at the end of it, which would be fantastic.

Two years ago if you'd asked me what I'd be doing now never in my wildest imaginings would I describe the above. 
Maybe the best things do come from nowhere ...

Current Mood: happy happy
Current Music: Guillemots - Made Up Lovesong #43

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It's been a funny old week really. I had an interview last week for a work placement with a training and recruitment company (http://www.rewards-trc.co.uk) to possibly work within their IT department (which apparently consists of about 2 people) to update their web site and make it more efficient at targeting the information at the right people. The interview itself was great, and I had moral support from Claire, who works for Kennedy-Scott, the organisation who've been helping me with the job-hunting. I was a little twitchy to begin with but I felt that I calmed down after about 10 minutes and Claire later mentioned to me that she thought I'd come across well. It's now just a question of waiting for them to get back to me which I know won't be until next week at the earliest because the main man is away until then. So for that reason it's felt a bit of bleh! kind of week, compared to the previous one where I was all fired up about the interview. To be honest though, even if nothing comes of it then it will still have been good experience, especially with the interview. And besides, Claire and the guys at KS won't just stop helping me, they'll carry on until something is sorted.

I keep thinking that I really would like to try and arrange to go to at least one London furmeet before the end of the year, but I suppose I shouldn't try to do too much too soon. I guess it would be less traumatic/difficult for me if I was going with a friend or something but never mind - small steps and all that.

Anyway, I don't know what prompted me to write this at such a late hour but I realise now that I'm totally knackered and need some sleep.

Oh, before I go, I just got a text from a very close friend who is a council member of the Hand Of Progress guild I've recently joined in World of Warcraft saying that my character Eadwyn has been promoted from probationer to full member!! How cool is that!! Hehe! I know for a fact that my mate Richard has put in a good word for me so thanks for that mate! :)
Actually the people in that guild who I've played with so far seem a really nice bunch. They were doing AQ40 this evening but I couldn't because of other committments which was a shame cos I love that place, it's one of the instances they have yet to totally master. I don't know if they managed it this evening but the last time we went there we were struggling to bring down Battleguard Sartura. I've put my name down for Sunday's visit to AQ40 so I guess I'll see then.

Night night all! :)

Current Mood: blah blah
Current Music: Muse - Starlight

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Bought tickets to see 2 gigs last week which I'm really pleased about and looking forward to immensely.
The first one I bought is for the Guillemots, a band I got to like after hearing "Made Up Love Song #43" on the Jo Whiley show on BBC Radio 1 last year. I loved it from the first moment I heard it and downloaded it from Napster along with several other tracks (Cats Eyes, Over The Stairs) which feature on an EP called "From The Cliffs". They were recently nominated for the Mercury Prize but alas the winners were the Arctic Monkeys, who were actually well deserving of the accolade. The Guillemots have an album out at the mo called "Through The Window Pane" and I would urge anyone who likes colourful lyricism coupled to some great musical arrangements involving everything from sax to double bass to go out and buy it immediately!

The second gig is for Imogen Heap who I first heard as part of the band Frou Frou who produced an awesome track called Let Go which featured on the soundtrack to a fantastic film: Garden State. See the film, buy her album or download it - it's all great!

Oh yeah, the Guillemots gig is Sunday 29 October at The Corn Exchange, Brighton, and Imogen Heap is appearing at The Dome, Brighton, on Wednesday 11 October. For those who might want to see these bands elsewhere then check out their respective sites.

In other news I'm feeling a lot better. I've stopped with the anti-depressants and I'm having a break from therapy for a while to see how I get on. When I look back on the last 20 or so months I can't quite believe I've made it through to the other side. There have been times when it seemed interminable but now I can't believe where the time has gone. If my recent close shave has taught me anything then it's that I need to take advantage of the time I have remaining, however long that may be. Next August I'll be 40 (yeah, I know, I can hear your gasps and sharp intakes of breath :D ) and I'm determined that from now to then this year will NOT be anything like that previous twelve months. I know at the end of my last post I promised something deep and meaningful and I promise you I haven't forgotten. I just wanted to post something relatively easy-going before I post yet more turgid ramblings and kitchen sink philosophies! LOL

This gorilla is now going to hang up the phone and go hit the sack and dream of ... well, the possibilities are endless aren't they! :D

Take care all.

Current Mood: good happy
Current Music: Guillemots - Trains To Brazil

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Had a nice little ride in an ambulance last Saturday (5th Aug) night at 11pm after failing to be able to secure a taxi to take me to A & E at the Sussex County Hospital.
Reason: severe difficultly breathing, fever, high heart rate, etc etc.
Anyway, it turns out I had Pneumonia, the infection having started to move to my bloodstream (hence the fever).
Thankfully I was discharged yesterday afternoon after a very tiring, exhausting, draining 6 days. I'm feeling a great deal better than I did but still not 100%, still tired and weak but I guess that's to be expected. My lungs still feel a little tender and I'm still on antibiotics until next Tuesday, but on the whole I'd say I'm doing very well indeed. Even the doctors were impressed as they said they were very worried at a certain stage they might have had to give me a tracheotomy and put me on a ventilator. Thankfully it didn't come to that. :)

You'd imagine that this whole episode would depress me but if anything it's given me a certain amount of clarity about things. Although as far as my head goes I'm feeling a lot better in that department too.
Anyway, I'll put up some more thoughts on this soon.

Bye for now

PS I recently saw 'V for vendetta' on DVD and I have to say I thought it was fantastic: great acting, great screenplay, very stylish, very recommended.

Current Mood: contemplative contemplative

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It's been a turbulent and difficult journey this past few months which is why I haven't updated this for so long. It gets to the situation where all I'd be doing is moaning about how depressed I am etc etc. I know that's what I'm doing now but I just thought I'd make a record of it so that I can look back on it in the future in disbelief at how bad I got - at least I hope that'll be the case.
I have no motivation to do anything and if it weren't for the fact that I'm reliant on one of my carers to help me out of bed each morning then I think I'd just have stayed there the entire time. Everything is such a fucking effort and it seems useless looking forward to anything because it seems to be the pattern with me that it always ends in disappointment.
Over the last few months I've had a chest infection that doesn't seem to want to shift in spite of 2 courses of antibiotics. I found a lump on my right testicle and eventually went to the doctor who has referred me to a Urologist, but he's certain it's just a cyst or a blocked tube - I think I'll feel happier about that once I've seen the specialist - it's just I know that doctors, especially GPs, are not infallible and so once I see the scan then I'll be able to forget about it. I mean 4 members of my family have had cancer, 3 of whom died because of it, so I guess I can be forgiven for being a little paranoid.
My sleep is interrupted all the time because of bad dreams and coughing so I'm constantly playing catch-up with it.
I guess it's a good job I'm still seeing my therapist because without that I think I'd go completely insane.
I'm sorry to all of you who's LJs I should have read but haven't - I guess I'm not much use to anyone in this state. I haven't been keeping up with any of the message boards I usually look at - see what I mean about motivation?
Anyway, I'll leave it there I think - hopefully things will get better and I'll feel more sociable soon.

Take care all you lovely furry peoples.

Current Mood: depressed depressed - still!!!!!
Current Music: The Smiths - How Soon Is Now

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I've not been online much over the last week for the main reason a member of my family came to stay. She's my aunt (my mothers sister) who lives in Cambridge.  The other reason is that my internet was out all of last weekend and didn't get fixed until the Monday when my aunt arrived.

It was great to see her and spend time with her. Actually she's really into films so we watched a whole lot of DVDs while she was here. And they are:
Irreversible - a fantastic French film that's brutal in the extreme - those of you who are squeamish or faint-hearted should NOT rent this movie - think A Clockwork Orange made contemporary and 10x more shocking - if you can stand the violence then it's a very cleverly constructed film
Brotherhood of the Wolf - a great French film that's a medieval action adventure - well worth the effort.
Once Upon A Time In The Midlands - a funny British film that's actually quite sweet.
The Cabinet of Dr Caligari - a german film made in 1920 I believe - interesting because of the fact you can see how influential it's been to the horror genre, along with Nosferatu of course.
Syriana - saw this at the cinema actually - extremely good, recommended.

Anyway, I've got a lot of catching up to do on various message boards so I shall bid thee a fond farewell and go and surf.
Bon chance mes amis! :)

Current Mood: lethargic lethargic
Current Music: Queens Of The Stone Age - No One Knows

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I bought 3 CDs this week:

Eels - Live At Town Hall
British Sea Power - Open Season
Death Cab For Cutie - The John Byrd EP
Travis - Singles

The live Eels CD is just excellent - the performance had real strings which gives their songs a different feel and I think works really well.  The Travis CD I've been meaning to get for a while - I like most of the tracks on it, my favourites being Side and Writing To Reach You.  The Death Cab For Cutie EP I got because I love the band and wanted to hear what they sound like live and I have to say I was not disappointed.  The British Sea Power CD is great - I'd heard most of the tracks through Napster and liked them which is why I bought the album.

That's it for the mo I guess, apart from mentioning I was back to my usual Thursday appointment with my therapist yesterday, which was a relief as I think I was starting to miss it badly.

Current Mood: awake awake
Current Music: British Sea Power - Like A Honeycomb

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I've just watched a really interesting film on DVD called Primer - it's a low budget sci-fi affair about time travel and it's consequences. You can read about ion the IMDB link but for anyone who liked films like Donnie Darko, Pi, Memento, and Cypher (which I did, by the way) then I'd wholeheartedly recommend it.
Just thought I'd let all you peeps out in wonderland know about a great piece of film-making. :)

Goodnight all.

Current Mood: thoughtful thoughtful
Current Music: Eels - Hey Man (Now You're Really Living)

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The sub-heading for that article reads:

"Greenland ice cap breaking up at twice the rate it was five years ago, says scientist Bush tried to gag"

Click HERE to read the article.

It still amazes me that there are those who deny what is staring them in the face - this is definitely a case of the elephant in the room. Denial can be a powerful thing, especially when it's promoted by country leaders. The article suggests that the melting of the Greenland ice mass will reach the tipping point within 10 years after which there will be no stopping it. Who knows for sure what the effect of all that melting cold water will have on local climates in it's path. It's been suggested that the gulf stream which ensures the UK and western Europe has a temperate climate will fail thus plunging those of us who live here into winters of Arctic temperatures.

For the last 20 years I have been harping on to anyone who'll listen that we are an integral part of an ecology that we are systematically dismantling. I'm somewhat saddened to say that not very much has changed in that time. Certainly there have been things like recycling and the Kyoto accord that may have slowed down the process a little but we are a long way from acting like the house we live in is on fire. It's time to wake up to the fact that some saviour will not come from the skies, or outer space or wherever it is they're supposed to come from to tell us how to live sustainably. Technology won't provide the answers whilst it's being developed by people who are driven by economics. Economics and sustainability can go together but in order to do so it requires an alteration in the way we think about the world - that is to stop treating it like it's ours to do with as we please. Because it's the very world we are destroying that allows us to live here in the first place.

In a speech that the author, Daniel Quinn, gave to the University of Texas Health Science Centre at Houston on March 7, 2002 he said:
"During your lifetime, the people of our culture are going to figure out
how to live sustainably on this planet--or they're not. Either way,
it's certainly going to be extraordinary. If they figure out how to
live sustainably here, then humanity will be able to see something it
can't see right now: a future that extends into the indefinite future.
If they don't figure this out, then I'm afraid the human race
is going to take its place among the species that we're driving into
extinction here every day--as many as 200--every day."

The speech is called "The New Rennaissance" and can be read by clicking on the link in the title.
I have to agree with him completely - the next 30 years will be extraordinary ... one way or another.

Current Mood: melancholy melancholy

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