words


Friday night and clearing off a few of the tabs, thought I’d follow Austin Kleon’s plan for sharing a few items.

Lizzo – Juice!

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Just as we have found means of generating useful energy that are better and less damaging than coal, so we need to find means of generating human wellbeing that are better and less damaging than capitalism.

George Monbiot drops the adjectives associated with capitalism, identifying it as the dead and overpriced racist milkshake duck it is.

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Epic Beard Men – Pistol Dave

Elegaic masculinity! Kind of goes with Slots by Dan Panosian, which I just read in the trade collection, from Knaresborough Library.

 

 

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Whatever happens with Leeds United football club this season – ups, and downs, expected – Elland Road, nay, Yorkshire, has become a better place for the presence of Marcelo Bielsa.

Can I ask how you lift yourself, Marcelo? Do you take yourself away from this intense feeling for a while and do something different to lift your spirits?

I think when you receive a blow, to ignore the consequences is not the right path. Pain has a natural process for disappearing and if you want to force this process or hide it, it is meaningless.

 

Not your average football manager!

 

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Austin Kleon, portable routines and “sharing something small every day” (what prompted this).

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Doing a lot of rethinking on the record collection, having read through a New Yorker article on Ralph Ellison, a man and his records (…can’t take it with you man…)

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You can take this with you… the wonderful Ali Spagnola, the song that doesn’t end (works best on phones)

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Easter holidays. Springtime associations of refreshment, rebirth.

Despite an overarching theme of annual rejuvenation – green shoots of recovery and all that – over the Easter weekend the negative implications of return and revisitation sat squat upon the mantelpiece. A chocolate figurine of Cthulhu, glowering.

With a dismal sense of familiarity, I found myself struggling through a four day festival of booze triggers. Classic sweet and sour British combinations of hot weather, no work to endure, personal and social stresses kicking about half-resolved and shoulder-barging good vibes aside, football matches not even remotely going one’s way…

The perfect half-empty cup for topping up with a little something to Set You On and See You Through.

The weather was kind of awesome. In particular, I was jonesing for iced cider – “Two pints of cider. Ice in the cider.” Ah, crisp freshness! The sun meandering into that golden hour glow, refracting through the glasses, the mellow clink and fizz of fresh cubes dropped in.

Then of course a turn to paschal red wine for sorrow and mournful contemplation as the weekend pressed on, and a heaviness accumulated in the air, suggesting rain and thunder were needed if not quite imminent.

It wasn’t just the football. For me, considering the combination of contributory factors, there’d been a fair bit of build up. It was bound to take a week or so of not having work to take one’s mind off things to filter through. Family things… and I need to get a new job, so there’s all sorts of associated existential angst, and blah, blah, blah – how about a beer?

Because that was another element that recurred, a familiar odour in among the cocoa wafts and barbecue scents and fresh mowed grass, generating instant recall. The little voice questioning what business I had in not drinking, in denying the urge to fest and to commiserate with such a true and tested companion.

Savour the solace! Trust it. Let it soothe and slake your thirst. Let it slip down and softly caress away those cares and strifes…

Kind of Kaa in The Jungle Book? Only I was on to it, so the voice modulated into sounding more like Sylvester the cat, thuth lothing itth efficathy.

So, no. Every excuse I was making for myself to have at it and recommence boozing was allowed to express itself, then given a polite yet firm nod of acknowledgement before being shooed away.

I mean, yes, I seemed to have eaten my weight in sugary treats… but even that ebbed over Monday, as with a final baleful glance ever-waiting dread Cthulhu slunk off in search of someone else to pester, leaving a trail of chocolatey footprints.

What has risen may sink, and what has sunk may rise.

Today I made it to 72 days off boozing, anyway. A number of cosmic significance! Re-set.

Had a productive night despite “not feeling it” in any sort of sense. By the end of that process, managed to have actually achieved something, even though I didn’t really feel like I had, but I had.

O mind, what slipp’ry fuckery is this
with which thou dost my daily chores attend?
Surely thou couldst thy chunterings abate,
if only for a bless’d second’s respite;
turn from thy dull and prating rattle
to modes melodious, soothing and becalmed,
not these inconstant-yet-constant alarms,
that squeak, and chide, and taunt, and offer nought
but discord and doubt, when thou couldst assure
with but one word of self-love, cheer or praise?

– Anon., At the Sign of The Doubtful Salmon, c.1609

 

 

More shipshape verb than shipshape noun though.

Not feeling fit for much but crossword clue allusions to the state of things.

Arrived at the joinery department tonight to place top on table. Discovered that this would entail, in the TV chef manner, that I first make my table top.

While my initial reaction was that as tasks go, this took the biscuit, I quickly warmed to the idea.

Three sections of timber, cut to roughly the dimensions required, needed to be joined up.

“Biscuits,” said the instructor.

“Biscuits,” I agreed with a nod, mouthing “Biscuits?” through an imagined fourth wall.

Equipment needed here would include a biscuit jointer, which is a tool used to cut crescent-shaped slots in the sides of the timber. Simple and satisfying to use!

You then liberally apply glue (we use Cascamite, a strong powdered resin wood adhesive), and insert the ‘biscuits’, which are dry ovals of compressed wood. These expand when they come into contact with the glue and form a strong bond between the pieces.

The gluing was also satisfying… slathering it on, squidging the sections together, then lining them up and clamping.

You can just about make out the marking up: a pair of diagonal lines forming a V across the sections removes any possibility of sticking them together the wrong way round.

Then I practised dovetail joints… but I’ll save those for a later occasion.

Next week: Random Orbital Sander (either another tool or a Stereolab track). Meanwhile, perhaps a biscuit. Rewards!

 

 

 

Among the benefits of having a clear head in the evening is the freeing up of synapses that would otherwise be closed down. Engagement circuits, the ones governing (self)care, the bits that get irate, unhappy, the ones that get over-excited. It is also, longer term, the bits that cover amusement and enjoyment as well; all blissfully fuzzed over and turned down, ‘dark’ setting, less brightness.

With the absence of the dampener of alcohol, all of those come back on, which can be both boon and bane. I find myself spending hours trying to get the same kind of levelling off from reading… content, input, til I find the click.

Current status: a modest 10 tabs open, one of which is WordPress, where I’m typing this. I follow a lot of newsletters, all of which link to stuff I find interesting for different reasons.

So, keeping the head busy, but there’s always more content. Input…

Probably room to improve the filtration here too!

Trying to get things written here and all there is is this overriding desire to read about the football match there just was, and the football matches there are left. Two days after the game and it’s all there is.

When Leeds were struggling in mid-table, hobbling along, it was easier to not give a toss, somehow. I mean, every game still wrenched and elated, but there seemed less consequence.

The possibility – the suggestion – of success is exhausting.

 

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