Shimura Curves

Friday, July 29, 2005

Cafe Paradiso

Tempted to start with: Look Ma! Ah'm Bloggin'. (I feel that Kate may be surprised to see a post from me.)

Today is the first day I feel I have been able to just stop. I have finally moved. I have finished the job application. I have finished my short term work contract. I celebrated space and my new living arrangements with a bacon sandwich in the cafe over the road. It's perfect. It has spindly chairs and a sweet Cypriot owner and milkshakes and halloumi on the menu. I feel the Paradise Cafe (real name!) and I have begun a beautiful friendship.

Afternoon practise tomorrow - no Pink Wine. However will we do it sober?

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


Not much to say recently, really. The world seems like a tense and adversarial hellhole lately. Even my online time is wasted being bated by trolls and bullies. Why do I let it get to me? I mean, honestly, what have I really got to fear from some bitter old man whose only pleasure is derived from making others as unhappy as he makes himself?

Because it's a way of personalising and crystallising the fear and the tension around me. Even the interweb - especially the interweb - is not safe.

For the first few weeks, I slipped into fantasy. Captain Anderson, the Napoleonic Wars (recognising the danger was so much simpler then - The French!) and Regency Manners. Even that grows harder now, that clicking off and clicking out of the real world is not so easy. I feel preoccupied all the time, have trouble even concentrating on a book.

Singing is the only time it ever really shuts down. And we will be singing tomorrow - it's been a long time, and I am looking forward to it.

Until then, here's another photo of Jared Harris, not as Captain Anderson, but still in a nautical hammock. Giga-ROWR.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Rare Band Related Post

Ha ha!

For the first time in, well, ever, Miss AMP remembered that we were rehearsing tonight, and I forgot!

Guess I have just had other things on my mind.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Small Pleasures

Two things made me smile today:

1) I solved a wickedly difficult problem in Crystal Reports. I want to do the butt dance around the office.

2) Captain Anderson from To The Ends Of The Earth. My god, he's HOTT!!!

This Will Heal, Given Time

I haven't updated my blog in a while. I look at it, and read that last post, and any other whinging or complaining just seems to trivial in comparison. This has put a bit of perspective on my usual emotional cr*p. But perhaps too much perspective.

Today on the bus, I had a fragment of a song stuck in my head. I was thinking about 9/11, about surviving that, about surviving the loss and the fear, and counselling for PTSD and how after a couple of years and some therapy, I was able to stop crying every time a plane went overhead.

The phrase "I know that this will heal, given time..." kept going through my head, and I couldn't place it. I knew it so well, it seemed burned into my mind, the hesitant tone of voice, the orchestral swell of horns at the end. But a total blank. I wanted to ask on ILM if anyone could identify it, and trying to describe it, I thought "Fey male singing, shoegazery music... total Kate music..."

And a minute later, I realised it was Spiritualized, Broken Heart.

I couldn't listen to music for weeks after 9/11. But that was one of the first records I played.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


|_1z D@p1y|\|, I miss you. I'm writing about you here because I don't know what else to do. Not knowing is the worst feeling. I can't imagine how Rob, how your sister, how your family must be feeling.

I just feel a sick hollow thud inside me every time I read your name in the paper, every time someone mentions you on the internet board we met through. In the pub last night, we were discussing a conversation I'd once had... and suddenly I remembered it had taken place in your kitchen and conversation just... stopped. I mentioned the new Ravonettes single, and how I played it the last time I DJ'ed, and then started crying because I remembered it was you that requested it.

I am forcing myself to talk about you in the present tense, even though we all fear the worst.

When I had a cancer scare last year, the day before my biopsy, you took me out to dinner, and you gave me a can of "Longevity" brand condensed milk. This is stupid, but I've kept it ever since - I got it out again on Thursday night, just to stare at it, hold it, and think of your kindness. You made me the most amazing cake for my birthday. You always twist my arm to get another pint, or another bottle of Blossom Hill down the pub, even when I'm too broke to reciprocate. You're always up for our urban rambles, even when we walk too fast for you.

Not knowing is the worst part, suspended between hope and grief, not knowing what to think, how to feel, utterly powerless. I am thinking of you. It's all I can do.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Defiant Dancing

Ned Raggett has posted a Review and Photos of the Brixton Windmill gig last night.

(You may need to page down to the bottom to find it.)

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Panic On The Streets Of London

No one seems to know what's going on. Conflicting reports of power surges and terrorist attacks and bombs.

Frances and AMP are out of the country. Anna has checked in on ILX.

I'm scared, panic attacks, full blown physical symptoms, can't concentrate, heartrate raised, shallow breaths. Most of my friends have checked in, but I can't stop getting those 911 flashbacks - the sirens, the helicopters, fear of having to sleep in the office like I slept in the airport and who won't come home this time?

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Sorbet Sex

Lunchtime now and I've still not got my laptop hooked up. Sigh.

Rehearsal last night was very workmanlike, trying to get a lot done very quickly, divvying up the lead vocal chores. It wasn't until I tried to sing some of the songs that I realised how completely Anna had made them her own - we were trying to sing like Anna, rather than the demos. Which was hard, because Anna is a fabulous and glamourous frontperson while we are just kind of nerdy musos. (don't hit me, Frances!)

Frances was floating on a cloud of sorbet sex and I was still in grunting computer geek mode, and it's hard not to be jealous when I can't even *remember* what a naked man looks like. I'm even considering paying for a matchmaker Introductions Agency to filtre out Emotional Fuckwits the way that my Headhunter Employment Agent found me a job that was well-suited to me.

But the best part of the evening is always the bit where Frances starts digging madly through her records and CDs, saying "oh, that song reminds me a bit of this..." and then schitzophrenically starts tossing around fragments of the most wonderful music I've ever heard. It's so refreshing to know someone like that, like an amazing resource, a file system of musical knowledge combined with the sheer enthusiasm that makes you want to like it, too.

So many times when you read the music press - yes, even ILM, especially ILM - it seems like people trying to beat you over the head with their musical knowledge, some locker room super-wang showdown of obscurantist knowledge. It doesn't make you want to go out and listen to things, it makes you want to hide away in the corner with your bubblegum records and never admit to your ignorance again.

But what really recaptures my musical spirit of adventurism, rekindles my love of music, is Frances digging through piles of CDs going "Kevin Blechdom! You'll like that! Final Fantasty! You'll like this! Some French Krautrock band with drawings of psychedelic space-cats on their cover, what do you think about that?"

I think I love it.

Blast From The Past

A 3-year old thread on ILM about Women In Electronic Music brought up these nuggets:

From Me:

Here's an odd reason that will probably be shouted down (by myself) due to sexism. The very nature of dance music/electronics is the idea of one geek, alone in the bedroom twiddling knobs. (or up in a DJ booth twiddling knobs.) Geeks - women in the minority. Knobs - OK, I've just been looking at Barely Legal Teen Boys so I'm gonna steer clear of that one. But the way that women approach music is a communal thing, women often prefer to write in partnership, so the solo bedroom twiddling thing is not the preferred option. I'm too full of sugar to hone this into a fully formed opinion right now, but does anyone else know what I'm getting at?

It's just the way that I've seen women work when they create music, from having worked with so many of them...

From Anna:

Making electronic music is often a lonely and anti-social process, no other band members, much less interaction with your audience. It's not just that it puts off a lot of women, but is does seem to attract a particular kind of boy (yes, boy, not man)

Supreme irony that the two of us would end up in an electronic band several years later.

But it does kind of bring up something that came up in therapy (oh god, how Woody Allen did that sound) the other day. About why Being In A Band was so important to me. The sense of belonging, of having a community, people who are on my side, we're all in it together, etc. etc. etc. That's the thing I'm so afraid of losing. Which is also ironic because my fear and paranoia is generating the hostility which is threatening it. From Woody Allen to Yoda in one blog post. That's enough.

Back to my SQL. I've finally got given a laptop today! Who knows when they will actually hook it up...

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Edge of Chaos

There was a documentary last night on the BBC about baby elephants! Specifically a reserve in Africa where people look after orphaned baby elephants. It was just about the cutest thing I've seen in a long time. (Apart from the 9 year old pooh sticks shark at Morden Hall, but that's another story.)

My job is settling down to a chaotic pattern of sorts. The hours remain long and the tasks remain difficult, but at least it's challenging and I'm not bored. They even let me out early yesterday to go to my shrink. The shrinkage seems to be working in some small way, as I've managed to stop two major potential outbursts of rage before they had a chance to form. At work, at least. My personal life, at least, I'm kind of avoiding.

This is where I have a good angsty moan... I'm just feeling a bit isolated and abandonned. Before I had a Proper Job, I used to spend a lot of time and effort chasing and rounding up my friends and organising activities for us to do. I just don't have the time and energy to do this at the moment. However, you really can tell who your Real Friends are, blah blah blah. Your Real Friends are the ones who, when you are busy and stop organising, will take up the slack and come after you.

So I'm extremely grateful to my friends for taking the time to email/text/call/drag me out to the pub.

I'm getting The Fear about the gig on Sunday, that no one will be there. Anna has to work at T In The Park, so we will be one woman down. My Lollies/IRL friends are going to Chopper and Sande's wedding. (Bless, I wish I could be there.) ILX friends, I fear, will be burned out from 3 solid days of RUIN topped off by Trig Brother. (Why did I say I would play?) There will be no one there but Ned. Ah well, it will be a special private show for Ned, then.

Anyway, as usual, my lunch hour was too short and someone wants something (despite the fact I'm not even on the new network yet)... argh.

Rehearsal tonight, though. Should be fun.