Thursday, November 30, 2006

Wondering

What is it about being in a band that makes you immediately attractive to other people?

I've got a thing for women that play bass, I have no idea why. It's just hot.

Also, women that can sing. Blokes with great voices are still greatly appreciated, but when a female sings (and perhaps plays guitar) I'm just transfixed.

Get me an all-girl band (Or the Corrs) and I'm happy. Unless their music sucks.


**Update**

Even more pics, I've got my arse in gear this week it seems.

The piss-up the night before the Canada Day piss-up (here) and a party in Loughborough (here).

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

"On Monday, I woke up..."

It's another "Here's what I did on the weekend" post folks, I'm extremely chilled out at the moment and haven't got a single thing to whinge about.

Friday night was very good fun indeed. The Copes hosted what turned out to be a cracking Thanksgiving dinner at their place. Chris' carving of the Turkey was a little off - large, American sized portions of meat were being torn off but I wasn't one to complain as I was going to thoroughly enjoy eating it. The rest of the food was equally outstanding, so outstanding that I couldn't actually fit in any of the dessert. I got to meet a couple of other bloggers too, so that was all grand stuff. A big Thank-you goes out to all that attended and of course to both Copes for doing such a great job! I caught the train back to Central Cardiff with one of the other Thanks-givers (?), who mentioned that he was going to an engagement party nearby - I joined in and proceeded to get well oiled. I didn't know anyone else at the party (bar one girl I used to go to school with) so left to find my mates in town, they were warming up for the rugby in the morning.

The Saturday was the last of our Autumn Internationals, we took on the mighty New Zealand in what turned out to be a bit of a shit game (on our part). Lots of great things happened the rest of the day though, and I've put the day into collage format because I can't be arsed to type it all out.


We had an absolutely fantastic time though! The Kiwis were, as expected, great fun to be around. As a country they have a knowledge and a passion for rugby that only Wales can rival and that makes our two little nations get on very well indeed. We met a bunch of apprehensive-looking Kiwis in our favourite rugby bar at about 1pm, and straight away hit it off with them. We chatted, sang and laughed the whole day then went along to the game - where I met a whole other bunch - and did the same. We met them for lunch the next day and did it some more, although there was less singing as we were all pretty haggard. They didn't have a single bad word to say about their short experience of Wales and that made us extremely proud indeed!

Sunday, other than lunch with the Kiwis was very chilled out, and that's how it's remained since.

Last night I had planned to go and see Brakes, who Mair had recommended, but as gig-time rolled around I realised I just didn't want to stop relaxing.

Saturday coming - I'm off for a blonk-meet. Monica has details on this post. Are you coming too?

Oh yeah, I've put some more pics up over on the old photo-site. Here is a party I went to and here is us on a trip around Mid-Wales. Lovely.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Toot Toot da Hoot.

Why is it so frikkin hard to write anything on here this week?

And why can't I figure out how to transfer this blonk onto Beta Blonker? I like the word 'beta' following the names of as many programs on my computer as possible. It sounds like you're at the cutting edge and exploring new territory. I might change my name to 'Curly, Beta' - yeah, I like that.

I wrote a song the other day, but reading it back made me mad. I ripped it up and chucked it at the bin, I missed the bin and that just wound me up even more. I think my batteries are running low. There's been a serious lack of energy over the last few weeks - I haven't been eating my weetabix, obviously.

Last weekend I was in Oxford for a birthday party - It was pretty good fun. I was given a tour around Oxford in the dark - that was hugely enjoyable. We saw the venetian arch in the dark, and a couple of the colleges in the dark, it's a different way of looking at things I guess... I've also seen the Sydney Opera house, the Calgary tower, Big Ben, Edinburgh Castle, Trinity College Dublin, Latvias Freedom Monument and several British cathedrals in the dark too. I'm only cultural at night it seems.

Here are some Vodka jelly-babies and some vodka jelly left over from the party, tuck in but mind you don't get sticky fingers.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Wish you hadn't asked?

On Sunday evening, I was asked “How was your weekend?”, my response?

Friday, I was tired then I was annoyed, after that I was happy again but soon got tired and slept.

Saturday, I started off happy, then I was very happy. Tiredness crept in and I was about average again. Then I was very happy once more, but later on got bored. I cheered up quickly, was happy before getting confused, levelled out, then went to sleep.

Sunday, started off being pretty tired. Was happy, then sat around on train platforms for 3 hours longer than I had intended the trip to take – so was angry. Then I laughed and as a result, felt relaxed. I’m still relaxed now, but pretty tired

Thanks for that” replied my friend.

"No worries, I'm going to bed now"

Friday, November 17, 2006

Busy Busy

With a lack of anything to really say today, I'll carry on anyway.

On Tuesday I went to see Juliette Lewis & The Licks with landlord James. You may remember Juliette from films such as 'From Dusk til Dawn', 'Natural Born Killers' or 'Old School', you may not. Anyhow, she's also in a band who are touring everywhere at the moment. Juliette was fanstastic, extremely entertaining, she had a cracking voice and a brilliant stage presence - The Licks however, didn't have any of that. The music wasn't that interesting, bar one or two songs. It was almost like watching people pretending to be in band, doing all the moves and singing the songs as though they had just read a manual on 'How to be a rockstar'. The only energy emitting from the stage was Ms.Lewis leaping around the stage in her spandex 3/4 length pants. What a sight.

Juliette Lewis - Entertaining, The Licks - Not so much.

I've not not any gigs lined up for the next month or so... I'm really digging the Models right now. But they're not in the UK and there are no signs to show they will be anytime soon. Is there anyone you know of I should go and check out? They have to be playing in Cardiff, I can't be arsed to travel...

Tonight, there is the little matter of Wales' next international. Canada are in town and we're hopefully going to give them a good kicking, if we don't then there'll be trouble. Theres a small army of us going down so that should make it pretty fun.

Our flippin' fast winger, Mark Jones, last ran circles around Canadians in 2003. He's on fire at the moment so I fully expect him to do it again.

Tomorrow - I'm off to Oxford for the weekend, how lovely! Shitty weather though, will mean that we'll be forced to stay inside. Not the best really, but it happens.

I used to slate my old housemate, (acutally 'mate' shouldn't be used in this situation) Fatkid, for eating too much cheese. Gold-brick size chunks of Cheddar would disappear in a far too rapid fashion. Whilst eating nowhere near the same amount of cheese as he did, I'm eating a bit too much. On Sunday I went for a walk with housemate Audrey around Cardiff, everywhere we went seemed to have a cheese-tasting stall. Brilliant!! We sampled plenty of interesting flavours, bought big chunks of it and discussed the tastes for literally minutes. Yesterday I went shopping in Tescos and bought a big chunk of Camembert - for the sole reason that I was worried we were 'running low'.

Went out last night again, Thursday has become a massive student night in the Walkabout in the centre of town. I rolled in about 3am so I'm feeeling a little pooped today. It was a little bit of a surreal night, there was lots of ear-licking in our group and at one point I was asked to talk dirty to a group of four girls while they sat drinking round the table. I obliged, of course, but at one point I even made myself blush. I'll try and avoid that in the future...

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Giver, not a taker

As Christmas begins to rear its head again, most of us are probably thinking about what gifts to buy our family and friends, perhaps you’ll even purchase a gift for the postman? The streets of Cardiff are getting busier, more women with pushchairs are getting in the way and the street performers appear where there were none earlier on in the year – especially those ones that paint themselves silver and stand still until you steal money from right in front of them. Like many of us, I’m not a fan of all this Christmas-in-November malarkey, in fact I’m not hugely impressed by Christmas at all, but that’s another matter. What bothers me about Christmas, birthdays or any other ‘major’ celebrations, are presents - specifically ones that I’m receiving.

I enjoy buying gifts for people and I love seeing the smiles on peoples faces when they get them. Christmas is such a great time because people get free stuff, for free! What a great concept! However, when my turn comes around to unwrap a present, I’m just not comfortable at all. Most of the time, I’ll blush a ridiculous amount and bashfully give my thanks but on occasions it gets so bad I’ll just go to pieces and fumble every word I utter (Wow, a Fresh Prince lyric..! How good!). It’s just plain odd, I’m not a word-fumbler normally, unless I’m hungover (and today I’m extremely hungover – loving it today!), but that’s due to the maximum effort my brain is putting into concentrating on not staring at that hot blonde on the other side of the road while you’re speaking to me.

I’ve pretty much figured out the Christmas side of things, I don’t often communicate with any of my family other than Mam, Dad and siblings. I just can’t accept a gift from a random relative that I’ve not seen for a number of years, who barely knows who I am. I’m happy with everything I’ve got at the momemt, I don’t particularly want for anything – this of course means that the majority of Christmas/birthday presents are going to be un-wanted or just not relevant to who I am or what I do. It’s a shame really!

Still, I’ve got to go out and brave the insanity of Christmas shopping sometime before the big day. I might just get everything from the corner store near my house this year, two litre bottles of pop, 99p pizzas, rizzlas, manky cheese and porn mags – something for everyone!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Magic Numbers

Mystery phone numbers, along with mystery names entered in my phone - not completely uncommon.

Pacific Islands
game was great fun yesterday - although I was unsuccessful in getting an Islander to give me their shirt. What an opportunity missed. What a great bunch of people though, the Fijians, Tongans and Samoans are just so bloody nice. I was also pretty surprised to see my sister siiting about four rows in front of us in the stadium, a bit random.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Look for Me (I'll be Around)

**Disclaimer: This post isn't going to be funny, informative or in any way clever. It's just what happened on one weekend in Wales**


True to form, the Autumn Internationals have kicked off with an almighty weekend. I don't know how they manage to do it, the only thing I ever have planned is to watch 80mins of Wales playing rugby - the rest of the time is there to be filled with whatever comes along, somehow one hell of a lot happens on an International weekend.

As I was wandering around aimlessly in the sunshine on Wedenseday afternoon, I noticed a few fly-posters stuck up with a bunch of names I didn't recognise. I dismissed the upcoming gigs in favour of the sandwich I was eating, but as I turned away - one name caught my eye, Neko Case. I knew that Neko was part of Canadian supergroup, The New Pornographers, and that's about it. I rather like the 'Twin Cinema' album, so I thought I'd give her a whirl on Friday. I took along my new housemates, repeatedly telling them that I really didn't know what the gig was going to sound like - I'm just going along to find out. They seemed quite happy so that was all good! Neko came on at about 8:30pm - and started belting out a song without even introducing herself. Her voice was absolutely mind-blowing! I've only once been to one other gig where the singer has such a powerful (and note-perfect) voice, that was Radioheads' Thom Yorke. Neko effortlessly sang and played guitar for the next hour or so, impressing me further with each track. After the set, I managed to have a quick chat to her, then secured a couple of signed albums. I was absolutely star-struck - despite not really knowing who she was until that day. She's just released a new album, go get it if you like your Country music a little alternative.

Saturday brought with it a pretty banging headache, but that didn't stop me from getting up at 8:30am and pretty much running to my friends house to tuck into a beer. The usual match-day anarchy started with our traditional fried breakfast to line the stomach - after that, events sped up a little...

12am - Singing in the pub, drinking obscene amounts of beer and laughing a lot. There were a small number of Aussies in town compared to the ocean of Red jerseys.

2pm - Those of us lucky enough to get tickets moseyed over to the stadium in time for a 2:30pm kick off, the city was literally crackling with excitement. I found my seat here:-


Rest of the day
(which seemed to only take an hour?!) :-

The match was a classic - The classy Aussies put 17 points on us before I'd even blinked, I thought we were in for another drubbing. As time wore on though, Wales clawed their way back. There wasn't much in it at the break - the stadium was in fine voice, the renditions of 'Ar hyd Y nos' rang round. We were getting plied with beer of course so the last few (twenty?) minutes of the match got a little hazy. Just when we thought we were going to come away with the spoils, Chris Latham spoiled the party with an impressive try along the wing, pretty much levelling the points. We came back through a James Hook penalty goal to bring the scores equal at 29-29. The game could have gone either way, the final whistle went and all 75'000 people went silent. No-one cheered, it was the weirdest ending to a game I'd ever been to. Three years ago, we would have been over the moon with a draw against the two-time World Champions. I sat there in shock repeating myself like a mad-man "We could have won, we could have won...". An Aussie bloke snapped me out of it "Fuck it, lets all get drunk and cheer on the Kiwis tomorrow", a small round of applause went up and we all got up and headed back to the pub. At 5:30pm I was with my mates, by 6pm I had disappeared - I thought I was with everyone all night but Text messages, photos and flashbacks I've had since show otherwise. I'd been to about five different places on my own, I was sat with a big bunch of Aussies for most of the evening having the time of my life!

Sunday was a little different. We watch the Kiwis defeat England in record-breaking fashion, quite frankly shitting ourselves at the prospect of playing them in three weeks time. After the game, the boys I was with went home but I wasn't in a Sunday evening mood. I headed out to the pub to meet some more friends. We ended up in the Buffalo bar. After chatting to a make-up artist, we somehow ended up with make-up on. A couple of random girls thought that I needed a bit more lipstick while another decided that eye-liner should be put on to "bring out my eyes"... We looked like a right couple of idiots. A photo was taken at some point, but it's not been mailed to me just yet. All I have are these:-

In a kebab shop, about 1:30am Monday.
(This is how people SHOULD look in kebab shops, Léonie)

Monday morning, just before work. Eyeliner doesn't come off easily, I've found. My work-mates found it amusing, I didn't.


** Update **

And If I thought my time in Cardiff couldn't get any better, I had a few beers with Chris Cope last night. It was very funny, Cope has covered the highlights of our conversation over at his place. I was going to write a post about it but I don't think I could cover much more than the man himself has already covered. Don't let the fact that this tagged onto the bottom of a non-related post let you think that the meeting was anything less of a magical experience, because it was one.

Monday, November 06, 2006

For now...

What a ridiculously good weekend that was! How was yours?!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Into November

Things have settled down a bit here, finally. I say settled down, but it's more of a brief respite.

On Sunday I moved into my new place, I'm sharing a house with three people that I didn't know until I actually shifted all my stuff into the house. I'd met one about two weeks ago and the other two were introduced to me on the day I moved in. I'm extremely chuffed with my new housemates, my new job and my new room (from which I can just about see the Millennium Stadium).

My life has been jam-packed solid with social events again. I'm getting fatter and my wallet is getting thinner - always a good sign! The last two Monday nights have seen cheap vodka & Red Bulls consumed in Cardiffs' Tiger Tiger club, followed by an incredibly restless sleep as the Taurine forces my eyes open wide and my legs to buzz with energy despite me no longer being on the dancefloor. Tuesday is cheap night in the local, enough said. Wednesdays have been chilled out affairs and the weekend of course starts on Thursdays.

The rugby season is in full swing again, the Scarlets have been doing extremely well. We've only lost two out of a total of nine games, which puts us second in the Celtic league and top of our pool in the European Cup. Last night, the Ospreys made history by being the first Welsh region to beat Australia. This Saturday, the Autumn Internationals kick off - Wales play Australia here in Cardiff. The match will be the focal point of this weekend and I for one cannot wait! I've managed to get tickets for all of the games - My Cardiff lifestyle won't have kicked off in earnest until I'm in one of the pubs next to the stadium at 11am on Saturday, ticket in one hand and a beer in the other.

Living in Cardiff has also brought about the opportunity to achieve my literally several-month-long ambition of meeting Minnesotan/Texan and Welsh media darling, Chris Cope. I'm looking forward to a beer with him.

One massive downside to Cardiff though is the sheer number of people on the street selling the Big Issue, giving you Metros, Saving the children, saving the whales, saving the world or just interviewing you for your views on the latest big political move that everyone will forget about in two months time. They've got the majority of walking routes into the city centre marked, they all wear bright-coloured bibs, but still have the ability to blend into the background until you're about four feet away and by then, it's too late - they've made eye contact with you. The worst by FAR are the Save the Environment people, they do actually jump out at you armed with an umbrella in one hand, a clipboard in the other and a big, stupid grin on their faces. They're best dismissed with a short, sharp "Sorry mate" and then a slight head-turn in the opposite direction as you walk past. They usually say something as you walk off, something along the lines of "Well DON'T talk to me then", "You didn't know what I was going to ask you..." or my personal favourite - the girls' shameless attempt to flirt with you to reel you in, "Nice bum!" one yelled - I'll react differently depending on my mood:-

Good Mood - The silent treatment.

Average mood - The finger, but without turning my head to see if they acknowledge it.

Bad mood - A glare and a shake of the head. Followed by the finger.

Really bad mood - "Are you aware how fucking annoying you are? Piss the fuck off"

I never stop to chat though, I'll probably grow to like them and end up signing away my money to ensure I don't make them feel bad. I'm sure they're collecting for a good cause but I'll donate money to charity in my own time, I don't want to be hassled on the street. Other cities have these people on their streets but it just seems to be magnified in Cardiff - I haven't figured out the reason yet.