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4 month absence over

So it's been about 4 months since I last wrote here. I stopped writing out of laziness to begin with, then after a short while I was going to pick it back up again but my wrist started bugging me again. I fucked it up in my mid teens from overdoing the guitar practice with barre chords and the like. A couple of years after that I did a similar thing to my ring finger from rehearsing a song over a whole weekend. It's been reasonably ok for the last couple of years but using my computer for two whole days brought it all back, plus some extras pains to go with it, so I took a break.

Anyway, pretty much everyone knows now but me and Melle split up a couple of months ago. There were a few problems that always came back during arguments, and we had a big talk just a few days after we had one of the best days together for a long time. I gave things a lot of thought and concluded that I didn't love her as much as I thought I did, at least I didn't truely love her. I did doubt this after a while and we were talking about things afterwards, with me trying to work out if I'd made a huge mistake but I then found out she always loved Dan more than she loved me. It took her a long time to even admit this to herself, let alone me, and of course I was pissed off for a) being made to feel like a cunt for apparently wasting 7 months of Melle's life, and b) because it ended up feeling like she'd wasted my 7 months after this revelation. As pissed of as I was though (and I do still feel some anger) it did make it easier to decide whether we should still give it ago (as amazingly she wanted us to), despite even later declaring to me that she isn't with Dan purely because he doesn't want her back. In short, I'm glad it's over for whatever reason because things were just never pure, and I'm happy to be single again. Sure I missed her for a little while but it's amazing how all those feeling can disappear once you've had one last no strings shag.

Well now I've moved on I've been chatting to a few people online as it's hard to meet people in person when you don't go out much more than when you're playing gigs, and when you do you only drink water to save money. Having said that, I've been talking to an older woman from Sheffield who came to one of our Rutherfords gigs. We got on really well that night, shared some passionate kisses and are most definitely meeting up again (this Saturday in fact) which I'm really looking forward to. Over the last month or two I've seen Jojo a few times as well - we're both single so why the hell not. It's good because there are no feelings creeping up from either of us as you might expect from an ex girlfriend, just a mutual want and need.

Speaking of Jojo we both went to see The Dark knight last night in Mansfield too, and fuck is it good! I got tired of the Batman movies years ago, then Batman begins came along and after hearing it was much better I took notice, bought it on the cheap and my faith was fully restored. The Dark knight though, for me, tops anything in the series by a mile. It's in a league of it's own for me, no doubt due to Nolan directing. Can't really go much wrong with that guy (Memento, The Prestige, Insomnia) and he's gotta be up there with Tarantino and Smith for me now. For the first time I remember I've watched a movie and immediately want to see the whole thing again instead of waiting weeks / months for a second viewing. It's not too over the top (bar a couple of scenes which I can forgive) and it's got more of a cop / gangster feel to it (Miami vice and Heat spring to mind) which puts it truly in a league of it's own. Sorry for this, but I fuckin loved it!

In other news I've been gigging a hell of a lot with The Rutherfords, and a little with Mantus too. The Rutherfords finished the tour last week around the midlands, some dates with Dead in the queue, others fell into place around that. If I'm honest though a couple of the dates really weren't worth it if you ask me considering the amount of cash we had to fork out to get there (car hire / petrol) and there weren't many at those gigs who weren't in bands. The last two gig we had to pull out of as well due to Lee's illness, but still it was a fun experience.

It'd been a while since Mantus had played until last week too and I forgot how much I enjoyed taking the frontman role. I put more into those two more shows than most gigs we've played in the past and we got a lot of great feedback from both gigs. One of them was a battle of the bands competition too, which we won on the judges vote. Let's see how we do in the final in a couple of weeks! I did also get some second hand feedback too about my vocals - some people who saw us think my vocals aren't quite strong enough, so I need to work on strengthening my screams. Anyone have the movie the zen of screaming? I'd love to see it if you do. This prompted Thew, Mark and myself to talk about bringing some gang vocals into Mantus and Mark has been working on it at home. It'll be interesting to hear how that turns out, but it's definitely something I want, to have us all vocalize in some parts. Thew also told us he was thinking of jacking it in which would have been a damn shame cus he's a fuckin great guy and a brilliant drummer. I guess it was a really good thing we went down well during the gigs last week as those are what changed his mind.

Oh yeah, I had 3 job interviews last week too. Bar staff at The Royal in Derby, cashier in Totesport in Nottingham and Data entry in Alfreton. I haven't heard back from any yet but I was told by the end of this week for a couple of them. I'll be very surprised if i don't get the Tote position, and I can be shop manager within a year if I get that because I've already done it before. Just give me the job so I can fuckin move!

On that note, I'm gonna leave - my hand hurts!

28th March - The last 2 1/2 weeks

So I haven't been updating because my computer has been pretty fucked lately. I don't remember if I wrote this already, but I got a virus by clicking a link sent over an msn message box, so now my computer's slow as hell, some pages barely load at all, I can't do shit like upload photos or music to web pages and everything stops working altogether after 2-3 hours every time. How lame! So I'm trying not to use it unless I feel I need to.

So what have I been up to? Well me and Melle had things to talk about on the last entry day, and we sorted things out. Everything is coolio between us right now and we've reached a new level of understanding. I guess bad times ultimately lead to a stronger relationship if things work out, as they did. Although we're only seeing each other 1 or 2 days per week lately we're diggin our time together and making the most of it. Heh, writing this is making me miss her all the more right now haha.

The job search has continued recently, and I had a job interview 2 weeks ago for a relief library assistant. I quite like the idea of working in a library since my interest in literature has increased, but it wasn't to be. I looked the part (trimmed by beard for the occasion) and I could see I was giving the answers that the 3 interviewers wanted to hear. I even noticed a couple of impressed reactions. But I faultered on just one thing - I was unaware of the services offered for the disabled. That's it! All I could think of was stuff like access ramps, and I mentioned that there are braille books, but my mind didn't work. What bugs me was it's something I could learn in 5 minutes, I just hadn't thought of this before because...well I don't really know anyone who is disabled. I would think someone would be employed based on their intelligence and their attitude towards work, along with how they would deal with difficult customers and other challenging situations. I covered those points VERY well in my interview, but I faultered on something I can learn in 5 minutes. Bah, I'll take the lesson for next time. I guess I should have prepared some answers in advance instead of winging it, but never mind.

Gig wise, I've played the following gigs with The Rutherfords:

13th March - The Q bar, Nottingham with Apple go miles (I think) and some other band

We sucked! We really did, and we played for 45 minutes or so too. Firstly the room was an odd setup, as the entrance was to the right of us, with another area to the left, and very little room in front of us. So there was a row of people seated on a sofa in front of us, with everyone else to the side. I wasn't comfortable at all. Lee managed to snap 2 bass strings...yes TWO! Talk about bad luck. I didn't play partucularly well and didn't enjoy it at all with the bass pedal moving away from me all the time. I wore earplugs for the first time which made things quiet, so it may have sounded worse to me than the others, but I know we sucked by our standards. Doesn't help that we hadn't played together (rehearsals included) for maybe 3 weeks too. Despite all that, everyone I've spoken to since except for Melle said we sounded good, and the guys from the band ASBO Peepshow liked us, gave us their demo too, but we really should have been better.

14th March - PJ's Snooker club, Ripley with Abacination, Elmo must die & Hudson

We were back on form, playing much better than the night before. First band on as The Frontline had pulled out, but we didn't mind at all, we know all the bands there and it's not a crowd we particularly have to impress (most people were there for the social scene rather than watching bands), apart from our mates who have mostly seen us before. I sorted out the PA so there few a couple of technical glitches but all was well. Was great seeing Hudson too as I haven't seen Ricky since Christmas. Such a great bloke, and a great band! Was sweet talking to Dan too about Metal. We even got payed £30 for this and got a couple of free drinks. We're playing here again in May, and I am with Mantus in April.

27th March - Junktion 7, Nottingham with Richard Bacchus & the luckiest girls, The Dangerfields & In Isolation

We were questioning whether we should have accepted playing this gig at all last night. We were chuffed to be on the bill, and it was our first time at Junktion 7 as The Rutherfords, but we had to get 20 people tonight as the promoter asked. We've heard he can be a cunt, so was worried about being blacklisted and ripped to pieces. As it turns out, we got at least a dozen people there (would have got a load more but typically there was a party tonight that many of our 'fans' were at) and Jaimz Riot seemed cool enough with us. That's the business side out of the way - we played really fucking well too. Definitely among our best gigs, and we really seem to have a habit of stepping up our game when it counts. I messed up the beat on a couple of the newer songs because of thinking too much, but people didn't seem to bothered. The cover of Denis by Blondie went down really well, and there was quite abit of wooping over certain other parts.

Best of all was Richard Bacchus liked us alot and was "Kissing Glyn's arse" according to Jo B. They got into a conversation about how The Ramones downstroked all their chords and it seems we won him over by replicating that. I know it doesn't sound difficult downstroking every chord, but you try playing along to a Ramones live album and doing it. It takes ALOT to build up the strength to do it. I certainly can't for as long as Glyn and The Ramones can. Richard B also told us about how he was sat with Didi Ramone when he quit the band, and despite complimenting us more than once the Dangerfields seemed a little disappointed to my amusement upon learning we named our band after Wimpy Rutherford - they have a history with The Queers. Great night though, all the bands were fab at what they do. AND...Rich Bacchus said he'd give us a gig if we're ever in the states.

We haven't gigged with Mantus lately,l but we do have a couple of slots in April now. I'd gotten quite concerned about us having no gigs for months but a couple of mates have sorted us out. I also decided to Book Blood Divided & Datora in Derby as part of their tour - gonna make it into a mini all-dayer. We're playing Godless festival in Stoke too!

I learned a couple of days ago that Mark had been talking to the singer in his other band, who apparently was very impressed when he saw us before, whenever that was. According to him we're known to be a really good band, with "everyone" singing our praise. I just wish these people would attend our gigs. What I really can't wait to get finished is the recording, which is slowly getting there. Got half of the bass tracks finished now, with hopefully the rest being finished this Sunday. I have a couple of tracks to get vocals down to as well, then we can try getting some reviews sorted. Same goes for The Rutherfords.

There goes the highlights of my last 2 and half weeks. Got a gig this Sunday with The Rutherfords again and seeing Every time I die next week at the Rescue rooms. Hopefully Derren Brown in Derby too. Can't fuckin wait!

10th March

Didn't get up until 3.30pm as I didn't get to sleep until 5am last night and I've lost quite abit lately already. I feel refreshed when I finally do wake though, and even more so after my first shower in 3 days. Dirty? Maybe so, but I've just been such a bum the last few days haha. And if I'm not going out or seeing anyone...fuck it, I'll stew in my own filth. Beside, it makes me feel extra fresh today as it's been a long time coming, which is just what I need as I've had a lot on my mind since last night.

I get a sausage roll for breakfast downstairs and make some tea, and Mum enters the kitchen. She's asking me (with some disgust) if I can shave my beard off. Apparently one of my beard hairs was found in a dish earlier, which she finds very off-putting. I would too, but I think asking me to shave it off is a bit extreme. I have decided to trim it this week as it turns out for my job interview, but it ain't leaving yet. Probably some day, but when I think about it I can't help but wonder if I'll still appear to be me with other people. There's many people who don't know the clean shaven me now, so I'd find it strange.

I find out later in the evening the reason for my Mums bad mood today, which is half the reason she sounded disgusted about the beard hair and why she's been shouting at Lucy quite a bit today. Her ex Ian was supposed to be taking her on holiday to Tunisia this Wednesday for a week, but she's no longer going. According to my sister Lucy, there's were a number of reasons given, such as Mum hasn't had a jab she should get first. But the most likely was the last given, that Ian is ashamed to be with my Mum because of her clothing. I know my Mum isn't the most fashionable of women, but she worries all the time about money. She's afraid to spend anything because she's bad with numbers and always believes that money will run out and she'll lose the house, so please forgive her for not having the most expensive of clothing. Shallow cunt!

Once I'm upstairs I realize my computer virus isn't any better, although both yesterday and today it seems to be absent only after the computer has been on for a few hours, and when I use firefox instead of explorer. I reckon I'll have to wipe the hard drive again (like last year), either that or install and pay for a virus remover which might not work for all I know. I back up all my data anyway while reading The Unbearable Lightness of being and tidying up. I also have a bash on the drums, much better than my short burst yesterday, which was my first time on them in a week or two.

Me and Melle have arranged for her to come up here tomorrow too. I was pondering on going to see Datora play in Derby, but there's things me and Melle need to talk about. We didn't really get that quality time together last time, being at her friends house party, so she's coming up. I've also been giving some thought as to what bands to book for a Mantus gig or two. I asked Razorwire if they want a gig in Nottingham, and gave some thought about other bands. Also asked Dan Peach if we could play Godless festival in Stoke this year, as he's seen us before and liked us. We really need to fuckin gigs!
 

9th March - Bad news

Got some pretty shit news today that could bring up some trust issues. I ain't gonna elaborate though.

As for what I did today, not a lot. The internet wasn’t working all day, until 3am in the morning, I think it’s because I unplugged the router and re-plugged it again, to talk to Melle without interference. Went on Myspace and updated my journal after 3am. Had a little jam on the guitar and drums earlier too. In the day I watched Jersey girl plus the extras, Whose line is it anyway?, Two pints, clerks: the first cut and read some of Milan Kundera’s The unbearable lightness of being. It's odd how I cry more when watching flicks now than I have done before. In fact I never cried to anything on TV until the last year or so. I've seen Jersey girl a bunch of times, a very much under-rated film and today was the only time it brought tears to my eyes, in multiple scenes. This was before I'd received some bad news, I was just pissed at my internet connection not working. 

I'm turning into a big sap.

8th March - post thoughts

Got woken up by Jo at Glyn’s place at 11am. She made some toast and tea, and we watched some TV (joined by Glyn) before leaving at 12pm. I wind up spending most of today online. My computer’s infected with some virus so everything takes a lot longer to get done than it should do, so I defrag the computer too which helps a little. During my online shenanigans I get in touch with a few promoters to try and get The Rutherfords some more gigs, and also fuck up the Myspace page with a mix-up using the html. Lee sorts it out though thank god. I wanted to head down to Nottingham tonight for Mark’s birthday outing but being so skint I skip it. He calls me though and mentions his friend wants Mantus to play at his house warming up in Manchester this June. Apparently he’s living with 10 other people, their back garden is a field and all the equipment will be there. Sounds killer!

Lucy comes up crying pretty late on because she’s been arguing with Mum over a pretty simple misunderstanding. Luckily I’ve drawn some board money out for Mum, so I give her that and ask if there’s anything that needs doing as housework, as this is the stem of their argument. Turns out there’s nothing to be done and I say my piece, and for once there’s no shouting match, just agreement – amazing!

I call Melle a while later and we talk, and she seems to be fairly ok with me now. We talk a little bit about our fallout last night, and although I’m not fully forgiven I think things will be alright in a day or two.

I post this bulletin on Myspace later which is related to a conversation I had today:

 


"Someone I know believes in spirituality and that people can get in touch with spirits through mediums, ouija bords, etc. I'm skeptical with things like that, but I have an open mind and don't rule out the possibility of it being genuine.

This person tells me regularly of things that have happened, you know, personal experiences. This person was quite disappointed when i took part recently and didn't believe there was anything spiritual happening at all. On the other hand, if I talk about reasons I think it is not genuine, this person asks me to stop talking about it because we disagree.

Here's my question...does it seem odd to anyone else that this person thinks it's "disrespectful" for me to voice my opinions, even though I listen to theirs? And is it not ignorant to enthusiastically talk about these beliefs that said person believes in, then refuse to listen to anything I have to say which is contradictory to them?

I just can't get over the idea of only listening to one side of a debate / argument / opinion, as oppose to taking on all the information and forming an opinion from that. From ALL of the information.

Any thoughts please, hit reply.

/ Greg" 

 

I guess I just needed some other opinion with no bias involved, which is why I said no names or specifically what was done. Got a few responses, all saying they agree with me and I have every right to voice my opinion pretty much. One person who responded implied that she does believe in things like this herself, yet still said, amongst other things “Everyone at the end of the day is entitled to what they believe in....a true believer as much as you are a true sceptic will respect your belief and will not get upset by nor question it.”

 

Rant over.

7th March - My first Ouija experience

Get up at 10am, drink tea, have breakfast, burn a Rutherfords demo off and scan in my contacts list from Workbook 6 from last night. The bus is late so I end up 15 minutes late for my appointment with my Industry advisor, but he’s cool with it. We talk about what I need to be doing in the next two weeks, which is to finish recording with both bands and get in touch with a shit load of people, be it promoters, artist managers, publishers or webzines. I leave and decide to treat myself to a (disappointing) MacDonald’s, edit and print the Rutherfords biography (taking on Lee’s input) and stick it in an envelope. Head over to the bus station and go over to Ripley with the intention of dropping off our demo / Biog to the promoter of Ripley music festival directly, but I then realize I’m not actually passing his place on the bus. That means it’s a half hour walk to his place from Ripley, so I have a change of heart an decide to head home. I’ll stick it in the post 2nd class once I find out how many stamps I need, and I’m sure a few days won’t make any difference.

I’m only home for an hour or so, during which time I eat, check Myspace and call Melle to arrange going over to her end tonight. I’ll only be there for two hours if I’m coming home tonight, with nearly four hours traveling there and back, but I probably won’t see her until Tuesday so I ignore the fact that I’m drained. I have to admit I got a little cranky on the way over through tiredness, an unknown pain on the lower part of my body, itchy eyes and a constant pain in my left ear. I’m starting to fear I’ll get an infection in my second ear now after the right one has finally cleared up.

Being cranky already I’m naturally rather quiet when we’re round at Melle’s friends house. I was further annoyed that Melle didn’t bother coming to meet me, despite me still being unfamiliar with the area, particularly when I traveled all the way to Nottingham to meet her when we started dating, to get on the bus with her to mine. There’s an easily spotted shop too to act as a reference point, and I was to manage finding her place for the first time on my own, with no company. Still, I’m pretty tolerable of a lot of things so it wasn’t worth bringing up. I find the place ok anyhow and there’s Melle, her friend and friends partner, plus another couple who I haven’t met before, later joined by a Shrek look-alike (apparently). We spent the whole evening here until I left at 10.40 as I’d arranged to crash at Glyn’s in Nottingham for the night, getting a ride home with Jo tomorrow. As nice as it was to meet these people, some for the first time, I didn’t really want to be there the whole evening. Nothing against them, but I’d come down to spend time with Melle as it’d be a few days after today until we see each other again. If I’d been around for longer, I’m sure I’d have been very happy spending so much time here, but just an hour with Melle alone was all I wanted. Still, I’m pretty tolerable of a lot of things so I didn’t bring it up as I don’t want to wreck a good party.

Having said all that, I instantly liked Adam, the guy part of the couple that I hadn’t met yet. We winded up having a pretty great discussion about spirituality, the concept of alien life forms, religion, psychics and psychology, with us being on pretty much the same wavelength. The topics were brought up because we’d been using a ouija board before that point, so while the girls were upstairs (I think Melle’s friend, who was the host of the party and owned the ouija board, was pretty upset and needed consoling) me and Adam naturally shared our thoughts. Those thoughts are basically those of a skeptic with regards to this activity, and with my first experience of using a ouija board, it’d be putting it mildly to say my belief hasn’t been strengthened at all. I’d say I’m even more of a skeptic now if I’m honest.

Now I’m a pretty open minded bloke. I’m not a religious guy at all, I’m an agnostic. I really don’t know what to believe for sure, but there is a part of me that does believe that something happens after our death, unlike the viewpoint of an atheist. So I’m open to the idea of the possibility of something unexplainable happening during the use of a ouija board, but I’m not convinced at the moment. On the other hand, I’m absolutely convinced that there are cases (personally I think a very high percentage of the cases) where whoever is using a ouija board will move the glass themselves without realizing they are doing it. I’m sorry to all of the believers, but I’m absolutely convinced that the second scenario is what happened last night. I can list several reasons why I think this…and ok, I will:

 

  • Janes’s (The host, I’ve changed her name because I don’t wanna cause any shit) finger had a change in colour when she had it on the moving glass, implying to me that there’s enough pressure being submitted to move the glass herself, rather than lightly resting her finger.
  • The glass barely moved at all when Jane wasn’t touching the glass, regardless of who else was making the physical contact, or how many of them were. One of those people has done it here before when it was just her and Jane, yet tonight it didn’t happen.
  • When the glass did move without Jane’s contact, it didn’t spell out anything that could be called a sentence or anything meaningful.
  • The above point could be debated by some people because Jane was reading the words that were spelt out loud, regardless of who had contact, herself included. These words were often only half-spelled, something that not only I picked up on. So when it did move a little without her contact, Jane was saying things that weren’t actually spelt.
  • Linked to that is Jane apparently being able to do this without the glass at all. Watching this, I could see her eyes darting around the board as if the glass was there, and reading what she saw. Of course, nothing physical could be seen and it looked nothing more like her making these words up herself, believing they were the spirits.
  • There was no great revelation or information revealed to surprise anyone. Everything revealed was what Jane already knew, thought, suspected, or felt. Even if that was just a part of her.
  • Jane only uses a ouija board when she’s been drinking. Of course, drinking makes people more comfortable with saying what they think, suspect or believe, and a drunk is less likely to question anything.
  • Jane kept saying “Do something to show Greg that this is real”. She later said a few times to the other skeptic that she doesn’t care if he believes her or not. Kinda hypocritical to me.
  • This spirit apparently said he liked me because I believed the whole predicament. I’d already made my mind up that it was Jane who controlled everything, so wouldn’t the spirit know this?
  • The other skeptic in the group told Jane to ask the spirit how much smack he gave him the last time he saw him. Of course, this wasn’t answered.
  • When words were spelt out, there were times when Jane said the word when there was nothing remotely like that word spelt out at all. One instance was when she read the word ‘that’, but I am 100% sure the letters spelt were T.S. She wasn’t reading what the glass spelt, she was reading what came into her mind.
  • The other skeptic spotted that a B was selected instead of A, and X instead of Y (may have been the other way around, I’m not sure). This was when the glass was moving really slowly as Jane wasn’t touching it, so it was clear that he was right. Jane of course said it was in fact the other letter, when no part of the glass was over it at all. I don’t believe for a second that the others watching didn’t notice this too.
  • Jane insisted she had the board a particular way around. If this was genuinely a spirit I wouldn’t have thought that would have mattered.
  • The other skeptic had been light-heartedly taking the piss, nothing too severe though in my opinion, just saying what he observed. Jane got pissed at him after a while, saying it was actually the spirit that was pissed. Now the whole time Jane made contact with this glass, it moved very fast, which is why there were so many times a word was misspelled but I was never totally sure, apart from the one time I mentioned. When Jane said to the piss-taker “I swear it’s not me doing this, you’re really pissing him (the spirit) off now”, and other stuff to that effect, I observed the glass moved a lot slower and spelt no particular words, often not going as close to letters as it had done before. When she’d finished her short outburst, the glass again picked up speed and spelt words more clearly, because Jane was focusing on this again. Surely if a spirit was moving the glass, there would have been no change in pace and would have still moved to particular letters.

Now for things that happened which told me that there may be some truth about the spirit moving the glass….nothing, nata, zilch! And I almost feel bad saying that. The only one thing that comes close is when Jane had her finger on the glass and it was no longer moving, and the glass flew a few inches from her. I wasn’t looking though, and I doubt anyone else was focusing on the glass at that point. So I can only presume she’d involuntarily flicked her wrist during whatever it was she was saying. Not too hard to believe I don’t think, considering so many people move body parts when they talk without realizing how much they do it. Still, I almost felt kinda bad. At least if I or someone else felt just a little something, or if the lights flickered out, or any other number of things that I hear can happen indeed happened, I’d be able to say “yeah maybe that was something genuine. I’d like to try again to see what happens next time”. But no, I can’t believe that nothing more than the subconscious was present during this session, and most likely other sessions in the household. And believe me, I was kinda looking forward to seeing something strange happen, just something that could raise my excitement a little and have me wondering “surely there has to be more to just a mortal life”. And come on, it’d be great to actually believe that there is some kind of afterlife, a comfort for when we’re all facing death, so why would I be so against the idea of a spirit coming though?

Despite everything said above that further encourages my skepticism (not cynicism, lets be clear) I do still have an open mind about an afterlife and about spirits contacting us mere, naive mortals. But while that’s an uncertainty to me, the notion of people subconsciously moving the glass without realizing they are doing so most definitely is a certainty. Maybe both things happen, but I know one of those scenarios takes place, which is what happened last night in my opinion.

The really sad thing is that Jane clearly has troubles with her fella, who I’ll call Bob. I know nothing about their troubles, except for Jane saying “I’ve been putting up with this for 15 months now, and I’ve had enough”, with further talk of getting rid of her fella, and expressing how she deserves better, to the echo of her female friends. I don’t really wanna know right now what the problems are, and I’m totally unbiased here as I barely know either of them. But last nights event certainly didn’t help things, and it seems to me like they made it worse. Jane’s opinion was that this spirit was saying Bob isn’t good enough for her, and the spirit was threatening to either kill or harm Bob in some way, with Jane saying “I’ll burn the board if you talk about that”. My opinion, with the belief that Jane was saying things from her own conscious or subconscious, is that she herself thinks Bob isn’t good enough for her (or at least some part of her) and that part of her would like to harm him. I’m sure she wouldn’t do anything serious to him, as we’ve all said “I’ll kill him / her” at some point in anger, exaggerating our feelings. But I heard Jane talk about him not being good enough for her only an hour before, if that, and how she’s put up with stuff for long enough. This was when Bob had nipped out for 20 minutes (I think), so they clearly have issues that they haven’t resolved, and I presume they haven’t talked about all of their problems with utter honesty. I later saw that Bob doesn’t believe in ouija boards, at all by the sound of it. I may be wrong, but I got the impression his mind isn’t open at all. So it wasn’t difficult for me to see that when the spirit said that Bob wasn’t good for Jane, with him sat right there, he took it as Jane saying that herself. Spirit or no spirit, I heard for myself that she thinks this herself without the use of a ouija board. That’s when we all stopped using the board and Jane needed consoling by the other girls.

I realize I’m writing about someone else in quite some detail in this entry, but I’m including it to reflect on my beliefs. If I look back on this years from now, my belief will either be re-enforced, or I’ll be thinking how naïve I am now, depending on what I see in the future. But it seems to me like Jane believes in this in the same way a fundamentalist might believe in Christianity or any other religion. I know that if I’d have pointed out one of the many things I listed above, which I was tempted to so many times (in a polite and respectful way of course), that Jane wouldn’t stop to think for just a second of a logical reason she may be investing her beliefs in something totally false. I really wanted to ask her why she doesn’t use it when she’s sober, or why she thinks it’s not working tonight, or why she says words that clearly haven’t been spelt, and many other points. She believes it so much though that there really would be no point, plus I just don’t like to offend nice people. I even didn’t want to touch the glass at all because I was fairly sure (open-minded enough to wonder if it would move with me touching it, and not Jane) that nothing significant would happen. Her later saying “Do something to prove to Greg that it’s real” tells me that I had good reason for not wanting to touch it. I really saw desperation in her face and heard it in her voice at times because of us skeptics in the room, and I'm amazed that she wasn't alone in choosing to see anything that supported her belief, whilst dismissing anything that refuted it. I can at least understand it from her as she's apparently in touch with an ex, but for the other girls who believe it to have so much bias like Jane herself baffles me. Biased opinions are so powerful but for all the wrong reasons, and I'm positive that if I'd have secretly installed a clear camera to show the whole board at all times, those occasions where the interpreted words were clearly not spelled out would be proven on camera. Yet I'm sure there would be some way this information would be brushed aside somehow.  I guess to paraphrase a line from Kevin Smith in his film dogma, “Mankind gets it all wrong by taking a good idea and building a belief structure on it. It’s better to have an idea, changing a belief is trickier. People do radical things for it”.

 

That’s enough of my rant about my view on peoples perceptions of the unknown. Once it’s time to leave Melle walks with me to the Nottingham bus, and I know she’s annoyed at me for some reason, not related to tonight. She is, and we briefly say our piece before I leave. All the way to Glyn’s I have so many thoughts going round in my head to do with the disagreement, tonights activities, deeper issues between me and Melle and philosophical ideas. So much so that it doesn’t seem long at all before I get to Glyn’s. I eat some chips on the way over, and we talk for a while, about their recent holiday in Prague mainly, then watch Silent hill, a film we’ve all seen before.

We turn in at 1.30am, but I lay there until 3.15am, unable to sleep despite feeling incredibly tired and the heaviness of my eyelids. There are just too many thoughts going around in my head for the whole time, and again, it really doesn’t feel like I’d been lay there for an hour and a fourty-five minutes. I turn on the lights and read the rest of My boring-ass life by Kevin Smith, with the final chapter being about his time in Die hard 4.0, a film I’m yet to see. Thankfully it’s calmed me down, and although it takes some effort I manage to keep my mind off what was keeping me awake. I even have to resort to singing Rutherfords songs in my head to my amusement. It’s nearly 5am when I manage to get to sleep.

6th March - Good turn, bad turn

Dammit! I overlay by a good couple of hours or so. Turns out I tried setting my alarm last night (I remember doing it clearly) but I must’ve failed to hit ‘Yes’ when asked if I’m sure. Oh well, I still manage to do what I absolutely must do, I just need to get a move on and I can’t do any of the music workbooks for the job centre. So I hurry up with some limited Myspace stuff, a quick shower, get my gear sorted and eat before heading to Alfreton to print my covering letter and CV for Haze, an alternative clothes shop in Derby.

Once done I nip in  shop while waiting for the bus, and get stopped by a guy in his late fifties, saying “Are you heading for the stairway to heaven?”. He’s a drummer, and seeing my Guitar he made that comment, which resulted in us having a little chat about music. I tell him I play for Mantus and he says he’ll keep a look out for us. Half a minute later I get to the bus stop, and a guy in his forties says “I’ll ask the question first…how long have you been playing the violin?” I think he was trying to be funny. Another five minute chat ensues, although he seems to want to talk rather than listen, and doesn’t answer when I ask what he plays. He just gives little nods and changes the subject…odd. I kinda like the whole thing about being stopped to chat because a common interest is shared, I’d just never do it with other people because I think it’s often seen as strange to want to talk to a complete stranger if you’re not in a social setting such as a pub.

This bus is about 15 minutes late, like the one earlier, so I’m pushing it to get into Derby on time. I need to hand in my job application today I’m told, and I’m relieved when I see that the shop is still open. Annoyingly, I get to the counter and I’m told that they’ve stopped taking applications. It’s really fucking annoying as I was in here a few days ago and told that handing in my CV today was fine. Seeing as I’m in derby for a gig anyway, I didn’t make a special trip for this earlier in the week, and now I’ve lost out on the opportunity because of some stupid sales assistant who has no idea what’s happening. Thanks! It’s a shame because I was in a rather good mood up until that point. I have very little time left to get Wayne his present, but I manage to stumble across Green Wing: series 2, which I know he likes so I pick it up for him. While in the shop I get a phone call from the Derby council offering me a job interview next week as a relief library assistant. This perks my mood up a bit, and I head over to the Vic.

Tonight should have been an easy gig, and in truth it was. It just seemed pretty worthless. Satnam’s Tash opened the set, who were pretty good at what they do. It was clear that nearly everyone was here to see them though, with almost all of the punters leaving before we played our set. This machine dropped out, so in attendance for us was a fairly miserable 5 people – 2 promoters / band members from Knives of death, a friend of Marks by the name of Boff, a bloke in a wheelchair and someone called John Hanson who only caught the last 2 songs, but liked what he heard. It really was one of those gigs that you dread as a band, the prospect of playing to a barely empty room. On the plus side, the promoters asked us if we’d be interested in playing an all-dayer they’re planning, and this John Hanson told me he’s looking for bands to play an all-dayer in Crewe, I just need to find him on Facebook somehow.

Me, Mark and Boff are in a big rush to catch the bus having to miss the headlining band, and I run for the bus to watch it drive off. We’re stranded in Derby and stand outside for half an hour discussing what to do and talking about some hilarious things that Mark has done in the past. We head to Mama Jane’s, get our grub on, fail to find an open pub other than the Walkabout (which we refuse to enter) and decide to head home. It costs me £7.80, but at least I can get my music workbooks done for tomorrow morning. After putting the work off all week, I manage to blitz through it all and finish up collecting contacts at about 4.30am.

5th March - Pettiness alert

Woke up beside Melle at about 11.30am, and we stay in bed until gone 2pm. As we’re getting up we get into a friendly debate about a daft subject, and this escalates into something more serious. It’s music related, involving how we hear something on a song, and I know I am right. I can comfortably work songs out by ear, I got a distinction in Aural perception at college, and I used to play what we were discussing years ago, so I really do know I’m right. Apparently I took this too far. I wasn’t trying to embarrass or offend Melle, I naively thought I’d point out how I heard it and she’d say “Oh yeah, I hear it now” and I’d have felt kinda proud that I can help develop someone’s ear. Instead I’m told I took it too far and I was in the doghouse. After a few hours of talking and what not, we made up, and Melle ended up staying until much later today than she originally intended. We didn’t do much, just chilled out like a happy (ish) couple should.

Once Melle headed home I got some food and got online. I have a lot of work to get done now for Friday morning. I need to answer a load of questions about recording techniques, something I know little about so research needs to be done online. I also need to look for various contacts for both of my bands, from promoters and managers to labels and publishers. I get most of the recording chapter finished with some frustration, then I remember I want to submit The Rutherfords to play Ripley music festival this year. We need to write some sort of biography, so I end up knocking a draft of that up until it’s gone 4am.

4th March - little to remember

I wrote this 4 days after the events took place, so there's little to write as my memory has gone. And I didn't do much anyway.


Get up later than intended. Attempt to look for music contacts as part of my new deal for musicians course, but as the master of procrastination I somehow manage to do pretty much fuck-all until tea time, when Melle gets into Leabrooks. I meet her, we go to the chippy for her (I’ve eaten 2 hours before) and walk up to mine. We talk downstairs and go upstairs. Talk more, do stuff, talk more, do more stuff. She sleeps early while I eat and watch TV downstairs as I ain’t tired, then read a load of My Boring-ass life before joining Melle in bed. We talk for a good while as Melle’s a little refreshed, then finally get to sleep pretty late.

March 3rd - Mr. Procrastination returns

Didn’t get up until about 1.45pm, and I’m annoyed at myself because I realize that I could have got up earlier to record some Mantus vocals while the house is empty. I tend not to record any vocals of my own if people are in, partly because I know people won’t appreciate me shouting lyrics, but mainly because I don’t particularly like singing in front of people unless it’s on stage, fully-rehearsed. I instead head downstairs for some tea and do my usual morning internet stuff. Get some breakfast half an hour later then come upstairs and look through my new deal for musicians workbook that I have to complete by this Friday, as well as updating the Diary for that.

The workbook I’m on is to do with promoting, and pretty much just involves looking up potential contacts for my band in the future, such as labels, managers, promoters, publishers, etc. Naturally I need the internet to find people, so I sign up to the free subscription on the www.musicweek.com website. I get very distracted with carrying out this research though and don’t get as far as I intend, constantly flicking between this and Myspace, amongst other things.

I get a shout at around tea-time from Lucy – her and Mum are going to Derby, presumably to buy Wayne a birthday present, so I’m happy that I’ll be able to record some vocals after all. Wayne comes in half way through the session, but I deal with it and just carry on. I only record It won’t be long as I realize by voice has changed by the time I’ve gone through it a couple of times and re-recorded particular sections, but I think I have everything I need. Recording today was the first time I’ve used something to stop the popping that naturally occurs when saying B’s, P’s, etc. It’s much more clear than past attempts with little distortion, and with the compression and equalization on it sounds pretty decent. All I need to do is put the best vocal takes into the same track now.

I get some dinner after that, watching T.V as I do and wash up what pots are there. After that I feel like playing some Pro evolution soccer 5, but an intended one or two games turns into five of them. By this time I attempt to research contacts again, but again get distracted. It doesn’t help having Lucy playing on my keyboard behind me either, and although she has the headphones in it’s still distracting. Before I know it 10.40pm has rolled around and I realize I’m missing Curb your enthusiasm, so I rush down to watch that, grab some sarnies and head back upstairs to play more PES, do some Myspace stuff and watch some porn. During the time I played PES Mark called me about the SpeedTheory gig – apparently he played the whole gig in standard tuning instead of drop D! It’s a tad annoying but I’m actually not all that bothered by it. I got some feedback by some honest mates on the night, and while it wasn’t our best performance, we’re told it was good all the same. I also say it’d be worth him changing his very old bass strings as the intonation could be out, which would be useful to record with. I intended on tidying my room to save the job tomorrow, but I’m now so tired I go to sleep at 4am.