The Book of Job

Never explain through malice what can be adequately explained by incompetence.

In my last job I was a video archivist. I was told it would be on a series of rolling 13 week contracts, eventually - maybe - becoming permanant. I was not told that these 'rolling' contracts might not be contigous. Thus I have been unemployed for 3 months, with the 'possibility' of employment recommencing. This, presumably, is not a way to ensure staff loyalty.

When I signed on at the jobcentre, I was immidiately classified as 'disabled' - on account of my less-than-perfect distance vision - and thus sent to the head of the queue for a course. I've never been 'disabled' before, but it seems to be easier to pay to send me on a course, than to pay to get me spectacles.

The company that runs the course are waiting for the jobcentre to send them some paperwork to confirm that I am ready to start the course. Meanwhile, the jobcentre is waiting for the company to tell them 'officially' that I am on their waiting list to begin. While waiting, I have completed the major parts of the course.

Even though the paperwork for my enrollments on parts 1 and 2 of the course are held up, the paperwork for my enrollment on part 3 is not. I am due to begin part three on Thursday, but I cannot do so, because I first need to attend an interview at the jobcentre to confirm that I have completed parts 1 and 2 (even though I haven't officially started them yet). I did have a previous date for that appointment, but did not attend because the jobcentre neglected to inform me of the fact.

The course is on 'how to become self employed'. It may yet prove useful, as my previous employer have, after 3 months, sent me a P45. They have yet to decide whether or not my old job still exists.

The twin's first song

It's 03:30, and I have a song. More or less. It will undoubtedly go through some more changes, and some lines are really filler, but these are the lyrics as they stand:


On a train
In the night
Travel to
To the one
One who says
Says they need
Need a friend
But really want to say they love

Have you ever said goodbye
And found that your eyes couldn't cry?
Have you ever knocked on the door
Of someone you don't
You don't love anymore?

On a train
Going home
Want to sleep
To forget
When I tried
To explain
All he said
I never want to see you

Have you ever said goodbye
And found that your eyes couldn't cry?
Have you ever put down in song
After the feeling
After the feeling has gone?

Standing still
In the cold
Feeling calm
Feeling strange
Thinking back
Didn't fight
Didn't shout
Feel like finding a lover for the


This song grew out of the one which was 'too personal'. It's obviously inspired by M, and still based on notes I made at the time. Tomorrow, I'll (hopefully) come up with a basic backing, and record a demo version.

Provided that is, that I'm awake. Right now, I don't feel like sleeping, though I ought to. I'm going to get a drink, watch a DivX, and probably come back upstairs to bed within 45 minutes.


I promised to write a song by Tuesday for the 'twins' project. I now have two half finished songs. The first is inspired (perhaps too much) by 'Later Tonight' by the Pet Shop Boys. The second comes from the song notes I made on the train when going to see M for the last time, and coming back. It's not bad, but it's too personal.

I've spent most of the day (a) messing around synthesising drum sounds and (b) trying to research physical modelling technology to make real-sounding drums. The latter is just too advanced - it's PHd level, and my knowledge of DSP and mathematics is rusty to say the least. However, I've come up with some promising synthetic drum sounds, to sit behind this song, if I manage to write it.


I am a hair trigger. Something happens to make me happy, and I can be happy for hours. Something happens that is frustrating or annyoing, and I'll be down in the dumps for hours, until something happens to reverse the mood.

Having jettisoned M, I felt cheerful for the almost whole day afterwards. Realising that I'll probably be delayed to chat with Kam on IRC tomorrow night, I'm depressed. There seems to be no middle ground.

Occupying most of my thoughts is the 'K Twins' musical project, which is still in it's infancy. This is the one thing I really care about at the moment.

Things to see, people to do

There's so many things I need to do. Right now, I need to take shower, and resume painting the cellar walls. In the next few days, I need to get some new clothes, and a new bicycle. I need to write some new music, and rewrite some of my old music. I need to clear up the bedroom, housekeep this computer, and burn some backup CDs.

Tomorrow is a band practice, followed by a band viewing of a chinese film - probably Farewell, My Concubine - accompanied by chinese food. Next week there's an interview about how I'm supposedly setting up as a sole trader, and there may be news about whether I'll get my old job back, assuming it still exists.

I need to find a boyfriend. Or just some more friends. I need to set up the gym and lose some more weight.

There is no passion in any of these. It's the like the one thing I really need is something to make all these things meaningful.

Music from the Fool of Love

I finished the backing for the live performance of '12 Monkeys' on October 16th. On impulse, I recorded a vocal track over it - singing the lyrics instead of speaking them as in the original. Kam likes the effect, but isn't sure he can sing like that live with me at the event.

Added to the new backing for 'Under the Wagon' and the old backings I have found for 'Texas' and 'Let It Be', this means the only track I need to recreate from scratch is 'The Puppet's Dream'. Though I'd like to recreate/improve the old backings anyway.

For some reason, I'm feeling happy today. Elevated. Maybe M was hanging over my mind more than I thought.

I dropped by the DooleyDrums site ( to find the free samples are no longer free, but there are a lot more of them. As the price was 3.99USD and I had 14UKP sitting doing nothing in my paypal account, I actually paid for access. Another impulse.

For some months now, I've been toying with the idea of putting together a sample collection of more exotic drum hits than are found in Dooley or NS. Jembi's, Congas, chinese drums, and the like. I know some people who have these drums - it's a matter of ingratiating myself with them enough so they'll let me record the sounds.

A bigger ending

Meeting M was even more painful than anticipated.

He let me use his shower and shaving facilities, and I took the opportunity to try to reshave my head, as he likes the shaven look. It was not a success because my week's growth of stubble was too long for the razors to cut properly, so the result was uneven with some bleeding.

He served mushroom soup, cumberland pie, boiled vegetables and potatoes fried in goose fat. His cooking was as excellent as before, and I washed it down with too much white wine, making me somewhat drunk.

Sitting on his sofa, he said he wanted me as a friend, on whatever occasions - rare or frequent - I was available. Lying in bed together, he finally said what I'd suspected from the beginning - he wanted me as a lover.

His previous kindness made it very difficult to explain again why I thought that was a bad idea. It had nothing to do with him, and everything to do with me. I couldn't cope with a relationship, because I was still recovering from the end of a very intense recent relationship, and because my life in general was uncertain.

This was broadly true. I didn't tell him I also found him rather dull - kind, helpful, generous, but not a terribly interesting person to be around. In any case, everything I said seemed to make no impression on him. Or conversely, everything he said solidified my conviction that the whole relationship was wrong.

I really didn't want to hurt M. If I'd thought the relationship could be made to work, or could be wound down painlessly in stages, I'd have stayed. In the end, I just said "I can't do it", and he took his arms from around me, and stared into space.

I tried to soften the blow for maybe another ten minutes, talking to him as I got dressed about how he was a good man and it was my messed-up mind that was to blame, but it made no impact on him. He just lay there, as though impatient for me to leave.

At the bedroom door, I asked if there was anything he wanted to say. He said, "Just go".

On the train home I made notes for a possible song about our relationship that never was. At 23:15 I recieved a text message from M: I never want to see or hear from you again. Perhaps this was M wanting to have the dramatic last word. If so, he's welcome to it.

Back in Portsmouth, I walked to my usual cruising area, more because I felt like a walk than sex. I had some brief sex with the one man who was there - he liked to kiss, but his mouth tasted strongly of tabacco.

Back home, I drank 4 large cups of tea, and watched the first half of the Dr Who adventure The Sun Makers on DivX.

I feel two emotions. Guilt that I have hurt M, and relief that it is over.

A small reprise

I thought M would forget about me, but this morning he sent me some text messages. I phoned him, and foolishly agreed to visit him to discuss our situation face to face.

M likes me. He cares about me. He wants my friendship, though I don't understand why. How do I tell him that I quite enjoy being with him, but don't regard him with great warmth. He's a comfortable man to be around, not an exciting one. He offers kindness, companionship, and good sex. Wheras what I want is solitude.

M was meant to be a stopgap - a brief affair that would help me get over D. But M wants it to be longer and deeper than a brief affair, and I still cry sometimes when I remember my time with D. I'm not very good at endings.

Synopsis of 'Terminal'

An idea for a short story:

In a country called Terminal, the government rules with a brutal police force, and relentless propaganda. The propaganda concerns it's neverending war with Alia, a country to the north. The media is full of stories of Terminalian military victories, and the danger of Ailan spies.

Every day, spies are found and convicted. The population are constantly reminded to be watchful of 'deviancy', 'skepticism', 'strange beliefs', 'unpatriotism' and signs that anyone - a stranger or a friend - might be an Alian spy.

One man comes to see the absurdity of this paranoia. He doubts the media, the government, and the purpose of the war. He see police brutality, corruption, the rewriting of history, lies everywhere, and the constant fear that everyone lives in. Not the fear of Alia, but the fear that they will be accused of being spies.

Having decided that everything he has been taught about Terminal and Alia is false, he begins to see Alia as everything Terminal is not - free and democratic, with good unfrightened people reading unbiased newspapers, secure in their jobs, and secure they won't be sent for interrogation or re-education.

He makes contact with an underground reistance group, and buys his way out of Terminal, bound for Alia. When he arives in the other country, he sees how different the scenery is. But then, he picks up a newspaper.

The headlines tell of military victories made by the country he is now in - Terminal - against the hated enemy - Alia. Posters on the wall warn of Alian spies. The people are terrified more of their own government than attack from Terminal.

Two countries, whose war is so symetrical, they even share a common name, and refer to the other in the same way.

Strangelove, Strangelife

Only got about 45 minutes with Kam in IRC tonight. Time enough. He's feeling a bit more motivated (and even optimistic). He may come over to see me and my home town this weekend, or the one after.

I am a member of the SWP. The Socialist Workers Party. An organisation of a few thousand revolutionary marxists, in the tradition of Trotsky, as continued by Tony Cliff. The two hours prior to talking with Kam were spent in a room (and later a pub) with 12 others in the same organisation.

We made plans to leaflet an upcomming mulicultural event for 'Unite Against Fascism', which campaigns against the BNP, and is (unfortunately) dominated and largely run by the SWP. We also discussed the upcoming fortnightly local 'Marxist Forum', which is an event for internal education and debate. My assigned task within the local SWP branch is to organise these forums.

I care more for the theory of marxism than the practice, more for music than either, and more for my friend than any of these. I didn't discover my mind till I was 10. It took me another two decades to discover my heart.

Kam The Apathetic

I've thrown together a submission for the coverfight. In my head it began as a funky piece with cutup/scratch beats, but it mutated into a noisefest with deranged shouting. The original was by 'His Name Is Dan The Apathetic'.

I'm still worried about Kamakura. He seeme to be getting more and more paralysed with background problems. I'm a lot more motivated to help him than to solve my own problems, which is unfortunate, because the only help I can offer him is companionship.

The song's lyrics are too appropriate. All about sitting and staring at the wall, unable to find motivation.

We are the sum of our departures

The first draft of the 'official' list of influences for The K Twins (I think that's the name I prefer) is:

Pink Floyd
Art of Noise
Pet Shop Boys (Please, Actually, Introspective, Behavior)
Emerson, Lake and Palmer
The Beatles (Sargent Pepper)
David Bowie (Alladin Sane, Diamond Dogs, Heroes, Low)

Others possibilities are:
Talking Heads
The Human League

A small beginning

Kamakura and I are, more or less, now a band. Most likely called 'The K Brothers' (or maybe 'The K Twins'). We spent last night on IRC coming up with a list of influences on our sound, with Goldfrapp at the top of the list.

I don't know if Kam realises how good it feels to talk with him over IRC. Probably he does. He and I are both going through bad patches, professionally and emotionally. We help each other out somewhat on an emotional level, but I wish I could help him in more concrete ways.

A small ending

I've broken up with M by email. I asked him not to call me, which was unfair of me. I just can't cope with a relationship like that at the moment. The choice was between him feeling hurt and me feeling guilty now, and us both being hurt more later. Somehow knowing this doesn't make it feel alright, what I did.

He's just sent me a text message. "Angry and insulted at the email that u have sent". I tried to call him but he seems to have blocked me on his phone. Perhaps he just wanted to have the last word. Fair enough.

This is the email I sent him:
I can't go through with this, Martin. With any of it.

You're a nice man, and I like you. But the turmoil inmy head is too much.

Please don't try to call me. Move on.

I'm really sorry Martin. Never meant to hurt you. But if I stayed, we would both get hurt. You probably don'tunderstand this now, but you will.

22nd August 2004

I spent most of this afternoon with members of the band I'm involved with, practicing. The band are called 'The Strict Machines', and my involvement is as recording engineer, producer, and occasionally vocalist and keyboardist.

As I was there as audiance and advisor, not performer, I took the opportunity to rip a dozen CDs belonging to Paul, the rhythm guitarist and band founder. Paul is the one who introduced me to the music of Goldfrapp, whose second album 'Black Cherry' I have ripped and put up on my FTP site for Kamakura ( Kam is a musician I met on 'SongFight!' (, which is a loose community of songwriters and musicians in nominal friendly competition. Although I'm leaving SongFight! for a few months because the attitude of some other members upsets me, Kam and I plan to record an EP together, inspired by Goldfrapp's work.

In the evening, I chaired the fortnightly marxist forum, which was on 'Pride and Prejudice: Whatever Happened to Gay Liberation?'.


I never know how to begin a story. Every story seems to begin partway through itself, and partway through a lot of other stories.

I'm seeing a man called M. The reason I'm seeing him is I thought some dates and sex with men might help me get over D. D is a man I loved desperately, but could not have. He is also the best friend I could wish for. M is a kind man, but dull. He is helping me set up as a self-employed computer consultant.

That paragraph is true, but each clause needs several paragraphs of backstory to set it in context.

Aphorism: If your life is simple enough to explain, you don't have one.

EDIT: This blog started life as a series of philosophical ramblings, but after four posts mutated into a diary recording my day-to-day life and thoughts. I have deleted the early philosophical posts. (25/07/2006)