Monday, October 12, 2009

Day 211: What happened there?

Today's soundtrack:  Randy Newman - Lonely at the Top:  The Best of Randy Newman

So where did Sunday go?  It's now Monday, and I can't remember a single constructive thing I did on yesterday.  Must have achieved something, surely?  No?

I guess we all have days like that occasionally.  And I bet they are usually Sundays, too.

But you must have done something with the day, Paul - it can't have been completely empty?

Well, no, it wasn't.  I read for a while - the music mags have been piling up for a few days and I finally got round to finishing this month's Word, the one with Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips on the cover.  Now there'sa Marmite band if ever there was one - those who love the group really evangelicise them, whilst those who hate the group do so with a passion.  There seems to be very little middle ground, as evidenced by a big debate on the Word blog this week.

Me?  Not my cup of tea at all I'm afraid.  I like the idea of the Flaming Lips, but I can't get past Wayne Coyne's terrible singing voice.  Thin, reedy, out of tune more often than in - no redeeming features at all, I'm afraid.  Now don't get me wrong, I do like singers who can't sing - I give you Bernard Sumner, Mark E Smith, Neil Young, Ian Dury, Joe Strummer for starters - but it just doesn't work with the Flaming Lips, whose material is crying out for a singer who can actually sing.

I also dabbled with Skype as well, and - I think - got it working reasonably well on computer and netbook (although I'm struggling with the microphone levels on the netbook) - might come in handy if I'm working away for a stretch.

Speaking of which, the other important thing I did was to get myself prepared for the long drive down to Staines, to scope out the contract work that *might* come my way shortly.  It would definitely help, but I need to be sure that I'm not cutting my nose of to spite my face from an insurance perspective, and in the context of any permanent work (are you listening, Preston?) that might come my way.

More on Staines tomorrow!

Oh, and we ate, of course.  Scrambled eggs with smoked salmon on toast for lunch, and Aussie steak combos for tea.  Very nice too, but not hugely complicated - and I'm sure you've had the recipes before too.

So all in all, not that unproductive a day really I suppose.

Some Randy Newman on the soundtrack as I type.  Randy's another one with possibly not the strongest voice around, but his loose, sardonic delivery fits his material perfectly.  Randy's one of the greats - hugely underrated, very intelligent - and if anyone tells you that Americans don't get irony, point them in the direction of Randy's material.

Lonely at the Top is as good an introduction to Newman's work as you could ask for - definitely a good leaping off point for anyone wishing to explore further.

Here's 'Political Science' - as relevant to American foreign policy today as it was in 1972?  You decide...

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