Drink up

What effect does alchohol have? It's a muscle relaxant, breakdown products inhibit higher cognitive functions including the formation of new memories, and it depletes glucose. That's more or less it.

What are it's alleged other effects? Turning shy people into gregarious people, making people lose control of all emotional control, creating violent impulses while removing the ability to resist them.

Did you punch someone last night? Don't worry, it wasn't you, it was the alchohol. Did a friend spend the entire night insulting you? Just forget it, he doesn't believe anything he said, it was the drink talking. Did your libido override all conditioning? Were you deluded that all your jokes were hilarious? Did you metamorphose into a shameless exhibitionist? Drink has all these effects. Apparantly.

Alchohol, it seems, can completely change your personality. It can make you do things, like an evil spirit possessing you. It is both a highly psychoactive drug with a neverending list of effects, and a malevalent force with a conciousness of it's own.

No. Alchohol is the great excuse. People who become violent under the influence are those raised with violence, those who cry into their beer are depressed before they drink it, and the stupid, hurtful, hateful things your best friend said to you, he genuinely believes.

Happy? Oh I remember that.

Right. SFUK was a great success, H is happy going out with me, I've signed up for an Open University science course, I have a new bicycle, I think I'm finally over D, the band I'm (sort of) in have a gig lined up, my muscles are growing slowly in the gym, and I'm happy.

Now I just need to write some music, stop worrying about H, do the dratted OU course, avoid crashing the bike, not fall hopelessly in love again, learn to play guitar, do the cardio exercise properly, and somehow not get depressed again.


H likes to go out and do interesting things on dates. Concerts, theatre, movies. I am a man without an interesting life, in a town that offers little excitement.

I like him very much. I want him to stay with me, but I'm afraid that he'll get bored - with me, and my home town. What can I do? Except scrape around local theatres and music venues, hoping to find a steady stream of things he'll want to do and see with me.

I've been looking for a job, so I can pay for these things. Money would mean I could take him out like he needs, and even find a place of my own, where we could go afterwards.

It doesn't seem like much to ask.

Songfight UK Live 2004

I'm back from the gig. 20 musicians comprising 5 bands and a few friends, playing for 20 minutes each.

I met up with Nick beforehand - It was great to see each other again. I'd forgotten how much I missed his company. We met the other bands at the studio - Johnny Cashpoint (who was also the compare), Masters of Grip, and Pompeii (incorporating Mother Funker). Nick and I were the one man bands - Kamakura and, of course, Kapitano.

Johnny Cashpoint played first, a kind of camp electric folk.

Then Kamakura, who was especially nervous but played piano and guitar with skill under his singing.

I was number three, requiring the least onstage preparation with just a CD of backing tracks that I'd put together to sing over. I overacted a bit, was occasionally off key, and had to improvise some lyrics when I forgot them.

The Masters of Grip were straight ahead well performed rock.

The set list was alphabetical, but the order worked with Pompeii rocking out at the end. Doggeral lyrics, excellent unpretentious musicianship, and a lot of energy.

We'd each written a song specially for the event, and voted for the one we liked best - JC won.

Then, after the obligatory jam where we all improvised together for half an hour, most went home. JC, his boyfriend Des, two members of Masters of Grip, Nick and myself went to JC's flat for tea, pizza and a long chat about music.

Nick couldn't stay overnight, which made me feel sad. I slept over in JC's spare bedroom, and in the morning taked with JC and Steve from MoG about epistemology and genetic determinism.

Three of us filmed the gig, and there's a loose agreement to edit together a video from the footage. I've played back my own footage, and I look hideous on stage. Just fat and lumpy. I didn't realise it was that bad.

Oh Mr Darcy!

Four days since the last entry. And I was promising myself to update more often.

I went out with H on Wednesday. I wasn't feeling on top form intellectually, so wasn't able to make the conversation very meaningful or original, but being with him was pleasant. We saw a film - 'Pride and Prejudice'. It's a British-Indian film, based loosely on Jane Austin's book, telling of the loves and marriages of three Indian sisters. The central sister is at first incensed by, then falls for, the handsome but undiplomatic American Mr Darcy.

It was all good fun, with pseudo-bollywood musical numbers and some right-on satire, and H enjoyed it immensely. Walking back, he suggested I follow him into teaching as a profession, which would probably entail getting some more A-Level's this year, and teacher training next year. It's a possibility.

We weren't able to go to his room, but it felt good to hug him goodbye outside the place where he's staying. It's odd how I've had so much so much meaningless sex in the last 15 years, but when I'm in a relationship - with D or H - it's just satisfying to be together, hold hands, talk and hug.

One odd coincidence. I knew Gareth was doing teacher training, but I didn't realise he'd be in the same class as H. H says he hasn't made any friends here apart from me yet, and while in a way I'd quite like to keep him for myself, I hope he finds good company, including Gareth.

We'll meet again on Tuesday, for another film, and more of everything else.

PS. I need a place to be private and comfortable with H, which means a place of my own, which means moving out (again) from my parents, which means (somehow) getting a decent job. Or, failing, that, a half-decent job.

A date and a gig

I haven't updated in the last few days because everything is in transition.

H and I spent the day together on Saturday, and it was great. The spark between us is still there. I still find him stimulating, attractive, and pleasant to be with. And miraculously he feels the same about me.

I'm happy to sit, talk, watch a video and cuddle indoors, but H likes to go out. He likes to visit venues, eat in resteraunts, and see new things on a date - which is a problem in this town. Portsmouth is supposed to be a tourist attraction; It just doesn't have much attraction or many tourists. However, we managed.

This won't be an easy relationship. We're both short of money, he's a busy man, his health is quite precarious, and there's emotional baggage to deal with on both sides. It won't be easy, but it's worth it. We're trying to take it slow and careful.

One thing. H is getting over a relationship with someone he can't have, but cares for very deeply. I still care for D, though I no longer think about him all the time. I can understand what H is thinking and feeling. Neither of us will ever be completely out of love with these people.

At the end of the day, we just a sat and hugged for maybe half an hour. No groping, few words, and a few tears at the end. It felt magical.

We're meeting in the next few days, but it's not certain when.

Elsewhere in my life, my first 'proper' gig is less than a week away. Travel and accommodation arrangements are - of course - being made at the last moment. Anna doesn't want to come up to London to see me perform (I didn't think she would), so I'll ask Gareth.

I would have asked H, but he's got a ticket for the fabulous Scissor Sisters on that day! I'm pleased he's a fan too, and a little envious.

The Book of Job, Chapter 2

The university need someone to teach four lessons in basic photoshop use - one hour per week. Usually this wouldn't be a problem, but as of this month, three new dictates come into force:

(1) There are to be no part time workers. All existing part timers have been sacked.
(2) There can be no new employees. Any new tasks or jobs are to be farmed out to existing employees.
(3) Support must not do any teaching at all.

One of the smaller upshots of this is that no one can teach the introductory photoshop course, because none of the existing staff have both the time and the right to do so.

Mark S is persuading the course leader to bend the rules and employ me for four hours over a month. Mark is quite good at making managerial types understand the blindingly obvious. I'm grateful that he's trying on my behalf, because I could use the work, and because I'm not nearly so patient with idiots.

Joy and worry

I seem to have a boyfriend. He's not completely out, so I'll call him H.

H is highly intelligent and well read - we spent hours talking philosophy, science and culture. He's also gentle, attractive, traveled, personable and all the other things I didn't dare hope for.

One half of me can't quite believe a man like H would be interested in me, and the other half is afraid he won't stay interested. We've both had experience of relationships that built too high or too fast, leading to obsession or burnout. So, we're taking it slow and cautious.

I could very easily just fall for him head over heels, if I let myself.