Saturday, 27 September 2008

Book one - now available as two books...

And the first package of year two of my OU course has turned up.

The preparation booklet is nice and small, and I'll read that later in the week. There are two DVDs and three CDs are no problem. There is a study guide book, advising which areas you should work on each week - which would have been handy last year. The workbook is about the size of three of last years (and to be honest - it covers the same time spell). The 600 page study book is so big, they've split it into two books. But still called them both "Book 1". On top of that there's a 400 page methods book. And I almost forgot the 80 page booklet about the software you need for the course. Yes, it's big and heavy and daunting and fuck it, it's exciting.

The accompanying letter also told me not to worry if there didn't seem to be enough - the rest arrives in January. Phew, I was kind of thiking 1200 pages of material might not be enough.

I also never told you lot (I need to come up with a name for you guys out there reading this - habiteers sounds good) that I had the score for my last assignment through - and it was 80%. Go me.

League Cup fourth round: Arsenal v Wigan Athletic

The only thing I've ever used the league cup for is going to grounds I've yet to see. So far this decade, I've had the treats of:
* Belle Vue (Doncaster Rovers) - where we played shit, and lost, in possibly the coldest weather I've ever experienced in my life. My nipples were still tougher than bullets a week later.
* Meadow Lane (Notts County) - where we got held up in two major traffic jams, missed all the early goals, and from the second we walked in, both teams played shit. And we lost.
* Highbury (Arsenal) - where we played shit, but because they played their third string in the days before they had a first class youth team, it was against shit like Graham Barrett, Paolo Vernazza, Rhys Weston and Stuart Taylor.

And by capitulating against Wigan (where we played well for a whole hour, rather than our usual 20 minutes) on Wednesday, we miss out on our first ever trip to Ashburton Grove. Another reason why Jim Magilton's a tosser and should go. (He's not always a tosser - that picture there is of him strangling Andreas Möller)

And in less than four hours time, we're playing Crystal Palace at home on Sky. Now, I won't say that all Ipswich-Palace games are atrocious, but the good ones tend to happen at Selhurst Park. Unless you happen to think nine-man Palace winning 2-0 at Portman Road is likely to be exciting.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

'King El

Yes - I did write most of this last month, but I finally got round to finishing it. I don't know how often I'll review stuff, whether it will be new or old, or even if I'll do it again, but I just thought I'd throw this out there.

The Wedding Present released their seventh studio album, El Rey recently. As a huge Weddoes fan, this can only be a good thing, right? It's produced by Steve Albini, the man who produced Seamonsters, my favourire Wedding Present album, which again, can only be a good thing, right?

Well, maybe not. It's another step (almost a final one) towards the lo-fi sound of Yo La Tengo, which has been creeping into Gedge's most recent outputs, as well as the hints shown in Saturnalia, the last album before the TWP hiatus. As someone who likes Yo La Tengo and lo-fi, again, that can't be a bad thing, can it?

Well, maybe in this case. Now don't get me wrong, I've always enjoyed Gedge's vocals. I don't think you can love the Weddoes - and Cinerama - as much as I do, if you don't. The problem is, that his voice just doesn't seem to fit the music on El Rey. This is most apparent on the final track*, Swingers, when Terry de Castro's vocals enable it to become the highlight of the album. Unfortunately, at first listen, the rest of the album does come under the incorrect TWP cliche of "all the songs sound the same".

*Unless you downloaded it from iTunes, where a cover of Take That's Back For Good is the final track.

There's no smoke without fire.

Okay, so I fell of the fag wagon. Well, not so much fell, more stumbled. Slowly. It does leave me wondering how I ever managed to smoke 20-30 a day mind. They make my head hurt for starters. Any more than two a day, and I start buzzing. I had four yesterday. I'd clearly be useless if it ever came to crack. That said, where a small packet of tobacco used to last me 2-3 days, I've had the same one open for nine, and I'm halfway through. In some ways, I'm punishing myself by smoking the rest, because I'm really not enjoying them. Not the taste or the sensation. I used to love smoking as well.

And there we go. One thing I decided I wouldn't do, was talk about the old habit. But then I was going to update the new habit a little more often.