Much as I loathe so-called "Reality TV", Big Brother and its ilk, I have to confess that I have been watching some of this current series of I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. But how can I not watch it, when a true legend is involved - Mr John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten. And it turns out he's proving to be the hit of the series. I think he's taken a lot of people aback because they were just expecting this anarchic oaf and he's proving himself to be both witty and intelligent - which is something that anyone who has read his autobiography, Rotten: No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs would already know.
And don't you just love this picture of him in the party hat?
posted by G L Wilson 11:39 am
Thursday, January 29, 2004
Right. I've decided to stick around, for a while at least anyway. When I came home from Wales I was struck by horrible feelings of doom, depression, general low spirits and a sense of self-loathing. Some of this was to do with being 40, and some was to do with the fact that I just don't seem to be losing weight, despite all my efforts. The way I was feeling was that there was no way that "Gina" was ever going to come back, so why go on with the pretence?
I feel so furious that I'd lost so much weight this time last year, only to have put it all on again following my illness. Life certainly does suck at times.
And if I do bring "Gina" back - which would be a major miracle in itself - then what? I can't see me ever going out again on the TV/TG scene. Most my friends on that scene have now moved on (so many seem to go the transsexual route, as if that's the next logical step - no offence meant, but I do find the trend worrying). Also - the last time that "Gina" was out and about was now over a year ago. Which is the longest time that she's ever been away (if that makes sense).
So yeah, I'm still thinking about stuff, mulling over things, and so forth. I won't put this blog on hiatus just yet because there are still plenty of things I want to write about.
posted by G L Wilson 3:03 pm
Wednesday, January 28, 2004
I've been back home for a couple of days now, but haven't written anything until now because I have been seriously thinking about putting this blog on hiatus.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:10 am
Thursday, January 22, 2004
It's the end of the working week for me - and it's been a particularly stressful week at that too! Tonight I should have been busy packing my bags and getting stuff together for the weekend, but as per usual I have found myself easily distracted by things.
So, just a short entry from me today. Off to Wales first thing in the morning.
Wish me a happy birthday for Sunday!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 11:02 pm
Wednesday, January 21, 2004
Led Zeppelin III
Today's CD nostalgia trip was the album Led Zeppelin III. This band have often been cited as the first heavy metal act, but listening to this it's mainly blues-based tunes, with a little bit of traditional folk thrown in for good measure. I think there are more acoustic guitars on here than electric, plus banjo and mandolin. And then much of the electric guitar is played slide-style. Not really heavy metal fare, is it?
The riffmungous first track "The Immigrant Song" is probably the heaviest on offer here. Years back when I was a little kid, my Dad had this album (I believe he bought it on a whim after hearing it played in a record shop) and "The Immigrant Song" was the one that he loved to play, whacking up the volume for full effect. Actually, listening to the CD now, I remember well all the songs on the first half of the album, but am not very familiar with the second half. I can only assume that my Dad didn't play side two of the record very often. Perhaps he didn't like it. Often, he would just play "The Immigrant Song", then take the record off and put something else on.
Another song on this album that brings back memories for me is "Gallow's Pole" which is based on a traditional folk song. When I was in one of my bands, about 15 years ago or so, we used to play a variant of this song called "The Prickle Holly Bush". We had some weird arrangement with two of us playing acoustic guitar, but with each of us guitarists playing different chords from one another that somehow blended together to give another chord. Or something. I remember Paul came up with the arrangement, and he gave me some scribbled chord names on a piece of paper and said "Play this". I didn't understand the technicalities of it. To be honest, it was all a bit too folky for me, and I always preferred playing electric guitar. Anyway, that acoustic guitar is gone now, it's in Heaven... No, sorry, my mistake, I mean it's in Devon. I sold it to a woman in Exeter.
One of the best things about the record was the cover artwork. The cover was great - it was a collage of all sorts of mad images - flying machines, butterfiles, flowers, animals, zeppelins, etc - and in the front there were little round holes, and inside the front part of the cover - it was a gatefold sleeve - there was this disc with thousands of other images on it - and you'd turn this disc and different images would appear in the round windows on the front. It kept me amused for hours!
However, on the CD release the cover is a big disappointment. There is no interactivity to it. No disc to turn. You would have thought they'd have been more inventive with the packaging and tried to recreate the original LP cover in miniature. I wonder if there's a Japanese edition with a faithfully recreated sleeve?
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:40 pm
Transvestism in Britain
From Tom Baker's narration on Monday night's episode of Little Britain:
Transvestism in Britain is as popular now as it has ever been. Indeed, right now as I sit here I am wearing a lovely dress, which used to be my father's.
(or words to that effect... I was paraphrasing).
posted by Gina Snowdoll 1:04 pm
Tuesday, January 20, 2004
Big Hugs to Tamsin
I'm sending all my love and best wishes to Tamsin who goes in for her operation today. (Yes, THAT operation). See you soon, sis!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 11:32 am
The Cult and Japanese Monsters
This morning I have been listening to "Love" by The Cult (containing the big hit "She Sells Sanctuary", that coinicidentally was one of the songs in the Intros round on Never Mind The Buzzcocks last night). It's another nostalgia buy, along with yesterday's "Parallel Lines" by Blondie, that I bought from the AMazon sale at a fiver for each CD.
I used to love this Cult album many moons ago (almost half a lifetime ago!). More recently I had "She Sells Sanctuary" as a bonus track on a CD single, but it was a really lifeless mix. This CD of the album, however, is fab. I like re-discovering old favourites!
This morning I received a parcel from Hong Kong with some very nice Hong Kong stamps with tigers on them. (Does anyone out there collect stamps?) Inside were two japanese Godzilla DVDs which I shall enjoy watching later. There are subtitles available in English, but to be truthful, it wouldn't really matter if there weren't! After all, this is Godzilla we're talking about.
You see, I like my trashy movies to be VERY trashy. Not just the run of the mill Hollywood trash (i.e. 99% of the movies that come out of America) or the British film industry's hopeless "Love Actually" type bollocks. No, what I want is giant monsters fighting, and I don't care if they are really guys dressed in costumes in a studio set of a miniaturised Tokyo - that all adds to the fun of it - and it beats computer generated graphics any day. (Please don't mention the Hollywood version of Godzilla - that doesn't count!!!!)
posted by Gina Snowdoll 11:24 am
Monday, January 19, 2004
The last song on U2's "Under A Blood Red Sky"
So, anyway, I managed to persuade my Mum that taking me to Center Parcs (stupid spelling) for my birthday next weekend was a Bad Move. I think my parents were actually quite relieved, as it would have been very expensive.
Instead, what we're doing is that I am taking Friday and Monday off and making it a long weekend, and will meet my parents in Cardiff on Friday, where we'll go and have lunch somewhere, then in the evening we'll go back to their house in Pembrokeshire. On Saturday, my sister, her husband and the sprogs will come down from Cheshire and we'll do lunch again and assorted other stuff. Not sure what the plan for Sunday is yet (which is my actual birthday), but should be able to take it easy as I don't have to go home until Monday.
Sounds like a good plan to me. So, no big party or anything, but I wouldn't really want that (and who would I invite anyway?).
The people at work are under strict instructions NOT to try to "surprise" me with a cake, etc etc. I hate all that nonsense and find it acutely embarrassing.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 4:28 pm
*sigh* ... Oh well, my Guitarz weblog didn't even get nominated for The Bloggies. I don't know why I thought we were in with a chance really, as it's the same old names and blog in-crowd as usual. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...
posted by Gina Snowdoll 4:21 pm
This morning I've been listening to another classic from 1979: Blondie's "Parallel Lines" album. I've no idea why it's taken me so long to get this on CD. When I was a kid I saved up my pocket money in a jar, so I could afford to go out and buy this album. I got it in a department store in Croydon in the end - they had the cheapest price I could find - £3.29 I think it was if I remember rightly.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 11:12 am
Sunday, January 18, 2004
Weekend in brief
Saturday. Lunch at Gino's, with Jenny and Gillian. Sales. Bought sporty stuff for gym. Collapsed in heap. Telly.
Sunday. Marx Brothers. Gym. Jacques Tati's "Playtime". Tony Blair on The Simpsons (again). Tuna steak. Sold two guitars on eBay.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 10:39 pm
Friday, January 16, 2004
Radio 3 to air 'silent symphony': "Despite having no notes to play, the musicians would tune up and then turn pages of the score after each of the three "movements" specified by the composer."
Now, that's a tad silly, isn't it?
posted by Gina Snowdoll 1:18 pm
Slumber, Weekend and Recording
I don't know what happened to me last night, but that had to be the heaviest sleep I've had in a very long while. I was virtually unconscious. I think I got up and sleepwalked downstairs at one point to feed the cat, but otherwise it was zonked-out city.
Another dull day at work - at least it didn't rain this morning though - and I'm sure there'll be plenty more of that, just in case we'd forgotten what it was like. Tonight I've got another session at the gym so that will most likely wipe me out, and all I've got planned for the weekend is lunch tomorrow with Gillian and Jenny. Oh, and gym again on Sunday.
I really ought to get to grips with that music software on my PC, as someone has asked me if I'd like to submit a track for a compilation CD. Oh, I so much preferred good old fashioned tape-recorders; I knew where I was with a tape-recorder. How am I supposed to get to grips with a complicated piece of software that doesn't even have a bloody manual?
Oh well... I paid for it, I may as well give it another go.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:55 pm
Thursday, January 15, 2004
Quick - turn the telly off - NOW!
The naffest adverts: Oh come on! Surely, nothing was worse than that ad for DFS sofas that was on extremely heavy rotation over the Christmas and New Year period. Arrggggggghhhhhh! Now I've got the bloody thing in my brain again.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 3:47 pm
By the way, does anyone remember the 80s band, Dalek I Love You? I had a cassette of theirs - it was a bit strange - lots of 80s stylee sampling and so forth. Wish I could find that again, as now I'm curious all over again as to what it sounded like.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 3:43 pm
Wednesday, January 14, 2004
Another total knackering session at the gym tonight. I hope this is doing me some good! Mind, I've been feeling a little unwell this week; I've been feeling very headachey and constantly tired. So, not going to write any more tonight. Sorry 'bout that.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 10:10 pm
Tuesday, January 13, 2004
I'm feeling unaccountably tired at the moment; I'm having to make a major effort to stay awake most of the time.
Last night I had a one-to-one session with one of the instructors at the gym. He basically was making sure I was doing all the exercises correctly, and then was recommending different weights on the different pieces of equipment. On one or two of these we increased the weights I was working with, but on others we actually decreased them, which seems a bit weird to me. I think the main problem I was having was that I had been doing some of the exercises too quickly, and then breaking for too long before my next set. It seems the idea is to take each exercise really steady, then wait for only 30 seconds and then get on with the next set before your body has totally relaxed.
I have to admit it was the most punishing session I've been to yet. I hope I'm going to start losing some weight soon!
I'll be going again tomorrow and on Friday after work. I am being really committed to this exercise regime - I think I deserve to see the fruits of my labours sometime in the not too distant future. Don't I?
posted by Gina Snowdoll 6:39 pm
Sunday, January 11, 2004
With talk on the forecasts of "extreme weather" possibly leading to "structural damage" I decided that it was best to batten down the hatches and lie low today.
I had a really good night's sleep, mainly with thanks to the fact that for some reason known only to himself, the cat was on his best behaviour for once. When I woke in the morning, he was curled up on my bed, as good as gold (as my old Nana used to say).
So, I didn't do much today. Watched a couple of Marx Brothers films, which I enjoyed greatly. (I bought a stack of Marx Brothers VHS videos at a car boot sale a while back - 10 quid for the lot. They were U.S. format NTSC tapes and presumably whoever had bought them was unable to play them. Luckily for me, my VCR can manage them, no probs.)
Tamsin phoned in the evening asking if I wanted to go to Punk Aid in Great Yarmouth in the last week of March. The Damned are playing, plus Teasing LuLu, and The Beat and ... oh, I forget who else, but it sounds like a good plan to me!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 10:40 pm
Saturday, January 10, 2004
You know all these vile Pop Stars, Pop Idol, Fame Academy type programmes that have been littering our screens for far too long already? Well such programming has caught on abroad (us Brits causing unrest throughout the world again!) and this week in France the No.1 record in the charts is by a bunch of Kids from their own "Star Academy" TV show.
It's a little ditty from the mid 1980s called "Wot" by a guy called Captain Sensible.
So funny to think of a bunch of French plastic pop stars singing that! Apparently they sing it in English too. I wonder if they understand the lyrics, and 80s references such as "Well hello Adam / Where you been? / I said a'stand aside 'cause I'm feelin' mean / I've had a gutful of you and I'm feelin' bad / 'Cause you're an ugly old pirate and ain't I glad."
Ha! The joke's on them. I'm sure Captain will spend the royalties wisely.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 8:07 pm
Friday, January 09, 2004
I see that once again it's time for the annual weblog awards known as The Bloggies. Vote for me if you like, but I don't think this blog was really that good in 2003. My writing suffered as a direct result of my being on medication following my breakdown.
However, you would all be doing me a great favour if you went along and voted for my other blog - the Guitar Blog. Whereas this blog suffered when I was ill, the Guitar Blog positively flourished. I think I found it a lot easier to round up news stories and write comments about guitars and guitarists than to talk about myself.
The Guitar Blog has been going since October 2002 and it gets a fairly reasonable number of hits, although most of these are from Google and other search engine results. It'd be nice to get the blog out there, on the map, and to encourage a few more regular visitors and links from within the - dare I say it - blogging community itself.
C'mon - the guitar is the most popular musical instrument in the world. Loads of you out there play guitar, and loads more people enjoying listening to it.
So, please pop along and VOTE for the Guitar Blog - http://guitarz.blogspot.com - in the "Best weblog about music" category - or in whatever other applicable categories that you see fit. Please vote now before voting finishes on 12th January!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 1:27 pm
These guitars are being offered for sale on eBay in the UK. Sorry, but I cannot accept bids from outside of the UK, not unless you are prepared to arrange collection yourself and are fully aware of the costs involved.
I've just made myself a hair appointment for Saturday as it's driving me mad. I've been trying to grow my hair since last summer, but now it is really getting annoying. I have too much hair at the front and in my eyes. I look like the Kings of Leon. Only messier.
I don't want the hairdresser to cut my hair short. I just want her to reduce the volume of hair and to find some way of getting it out of my eyes without turning my hair into a mullet (shudder).
I hate my hair, it's straight and thick at the same time. It's also very stubborn and refuses to be styled or combed or brushed into any particular shape that I might think desirous. I hate it!!!
I wish I had wavy hair. The only waves I've got are at the very ends where it bizarrely curls upwards again. Karen was saying the other day that it made me look like a dutch girl. (I couldn't see it myself, but there you go, her mind must work in a weird way).
posted by Gina Snowdoll 3:36 pm
...no one liked the David Bowie / Zippy Stardust gag yesterday? Streuth! Not one comment, not even a groan. I was going to post an animated GIF of a tumbleweed tumbling along, but if you lot are going to be apathetic then I can't be arsed with any of that either!
I should really have posted that gag today, for today it is David Bowie's 57th Birthday. Bloody hell! I hope I look that good when I reach his age!
I finally got around to plugging in the Flying V guitar last night. For those who are interested please see here on my Guitar Blog.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 1:49 pm
Wednesday, January 07, 2004
I've just heard...
...that David Bowie has bought the rights to the cult kids TV programme, Rainbow, featuring:
I watched "Wonder Boys" last night, which I'd taped from the telly on Sunday night (I think it was). I'd read the book by Michael Chabon years ago (he also wrote the utterly splendid "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay" which is in my personal Top 10 of favourite books), but was somewhat alarmed when I learned that they were making a film of it, and was even more alarmed that Michael Douglas was the lead in it.
However, the film was fab and stuck very close to the original book (but wasn't there also an incident with a snake in the book? Or am I inventing that?), and what's more Michael Douglas was quite good in it. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Oh, and the transvestite character Antoinette looked good too.
This morning the Gibson Flying V was delivered at work. I was a little worried when I opened the case because the first thing that happened was that a little chip of mahogany fell out onto the floor.
"Shite!", I thought, "it's been damaged." However, a quick inspection showed me that the guitar was completely undamaged, so I can only assume that the wood chip must have come loose from the cavity inside the guitar and fallen out through one of the holes surrounding the pickups.
It's so frustrating having this guitar here in the office as it's sitting there tempting me and I am unable to try it out here. Anyway, this is the kind of guitar that you can't play sitting down, or at least without a strap.
I'll have to have a good session with it tonight. It should have been my going to the gym after work night, but I'm going to move that to tomorrow instead.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:58 pm
Monday, January 05, 2004
All the gigs - 2003
Phew, this little lot makes me feel exhaused just by reading them. Did I really go to so many gigs last year?
I wonder if I'll do as many this year? I doubt it somehow. It'd be hard work to try to beat that lot. Mind, having said that, I have got my Kraftwerk week lined up in March!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 1:34 pm
Cheeky young whippersnapper of an animal! The cat kept me up all night, with his constant to-ing and fro-ing, and continual scratching on the carpet outside my room. And - each time - as soon as I braved the cold night air by getting out of bed to go pick him up, he'd skip aside and run downstairs. The blighter.
Guess what he's doing now? Yup - that's right - he'd curled up asleep alongside me. Every now and then I wake him up to give him a taste of his own medicine, but it doesn't seem to bother him, and he can fall back asleep easily enough, unlike me.
This morning when it became apparent that I was just going to be lying wide awake in bed, I brought my duvet downstairs to the sofa, made some coffee (decaffeinated) and toast, and watched a video of The Marx Brothers' "A Night in Casablanca". The following, from the sleeve of the video, I found amusing:
...When this 1946 film began production, Warner Bros. threatened suit, saying the title infringed upon the studio's famed Casablanca. Groucho fired back: "You probably have the rights to use the name Warner, but what about Brothers? Professionally, we were brothers before you were."
Oh, and I've decided that I will get the Flying V. Looking forward to it!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 4:45 pm
Saturday, January 03, 2004
Pressies and stuff
I actually came back from Wales with quite a good hoarde of pressies after this Christmas. I actually had presents from the kids, which must be a first. I also had one or two bizarre ones, such as the outsize t-shirt that my great aunt gave me. It features a mushy design with a puppy dog wearing a santa's hat; I think it was from a charity shop, so I suppose I ought really to applaud my aunt for at least getting me something where the money goes to a worthwhile cause. And I can always wear the t-shirt, around the house and stuff. So long as no-one sees me!
And I'm getting a bit worried about the way in which my own sister perceives me. Yet again, she has given me a children's book, "Lyra's Oxford" by Philip Pullman. Not really sure why she thinks I might like that, other than the fact that I live near - and work in - Oxford. Or does she think I'm a bit simple? The other year she gave me one of Terry Pratchett's children's books ("The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents", although admittedly it was quite good), and another time I had a Magic Roundabout Dougal book for a birthday present.
Mum and Dad gave me the The Pythons autobiography by The Pythons, which it turns out, isn't going to be a very good book for taking to work to read on the train because it is bloody massive! It's like a tombstone! It's tricky enough reading it in bed with that great thing resting on your chest.
Such talk of presents and the like brings me to the subject of my forthcoming birthday later this month. Could I just say that this is going to be one of those scary landmark birthdays? (Oh alright, if you insist, it's going to be my 40th. Depressing, innit?)
Anyway, my Mum has been on at me for ages to do something "major" to celebrate this particular milestone that I'd rather not even have to think about. Apparently all the family (i.e. my Mum and Dad, and my sister and her family) want to meet up with me to celebrate. There had been talk of them all coming here, and everyone going out for a nice meal. However, today Mum phones up and says that she thinks that for my birthday they're going to take me to Centre Parks for a day.
Errrrrrmmm... Centre Parks (or don't they spell it cutesty style, a la Center Parcs?). I think not. That's hardly me at all - all those water sports, etc. I can't imagine myself being able to participate in anything there.
Anyway, today I've been thinking that I might get myself a present and be done with everyone else's stupid suggestions. There's this really good deal that I've seen on a Gibson Flying V guitar, and I'd so love to have such a quality classic guitar, although have told myself that if I do buy it I'm going to have to sell four of my other guitars to justify its purchase. Anyway, I have only a day to make up my mind. So, shall I buy it or not? (Believe me, it IS a bargain).
posted by Gina Snowdoll 8:37 pm
Thursday, January 01, 2004
Well, here we are in 2004
Last night it was dead noisy in this neighbourhood. The arsehole next door but one was setting off fireworks all night which terrified the cat, who was too scared to go outside and who ended up weeing in the corner of the bathroom.
Some other neighbours took to dancing in the street in the pissing rain to the distorted sounds of shite disco music coming from the 4x4 belonging to the big fat baldy bastard across the road. They also took some of the woman over the road's lawn ornaments and rearranged them on top of her car. She was out there this morning taking photos - I don't know if she saw the funny side or if she was accumulating evidence against her neighbours.
Today is cold and grey, and I'm intending on just staying in and watching a few videos. Have just finished watching Jacques Tati's "Mon Oncle", and I think I'm going to have "The Time Machine" (the original one, of course!) next.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 2:04 pm