Thursday, 23 July 2009

Everyday I Sing The Blues

It’s quite bad

You can tell it’s quite bad because I’m listening to B.B.

I only really listen to B.B. when things are quite bad.

Now if I were listening to Joy Division THEN we’d be in serious trouble – but as it is I’m riding with the King towards the far distant horizon that is a horse called hometime.

But today I’ve got the gentle sounds of Lucille (B.B.’s guitar) to make me feel a bit less rubbish: because there’s nothing like the sound of a man whose been miserable now for going on 70 or 80 years and done pretty well out of it to make you feel like you’re in a better place. Plus the man sure can play the blues and there ain’t no other colour without the blues.

This week I’ve been on the bus four days out of five and will be more than a little relieved to wake up tomorrow and haul my bike out of the shed. It’s been one of those weeks where I’ve had Things To Do each and every night.

Tuesday was the Depressing Reality Check from the woman at the Chamber of Commerce (Government body set up to give advice and support to new businesses), followed by yet another bus journey across town which took me past the music shop where I was supposed to spend my millions when I finally win the lottery/get published/sell my paintings for shed loads of money (delete as applicable) has closed down.

Somehow I doubt that my occasional five-yearly trips to buy new strings were sufficient to keep them going: but it was one of those places that was run by Enthusiasts (note the capital letter) who hate anyone who has less knowledge than they do (see the film High Fidelity if you haven’t experienced this in person) and was set up so that you immediately felt like you couldn’t go any further than the counter without someone doing a Townsend on your head with a worn out Stratocaster. What with this and the local artists shops both having closed in the last twelve months I will have to go elsewhere to be patronised in future.

Wednesday (yesterday) was Toastmasters and I’m still really enjoying that, even if it does mean that work on my latest painting got no further forward (I now switch between this and my Old Fogies Art Group). I narrowly avoided the tidal wave of fun during the “Table Topics” (talking with no prior knowledge) when someone else with the same name stood up instead – I know: what are the chances of two of us being called Hungry Pixie? Weird!

Sometimes the endless clapping, evaluations and timings of absolutely everything does get a little wearing, but its worth it for the long haul.

S’cuse me a second coz Robert Cray is with B.B. right now, so a tiny diversion as I tell you that the first time I heard Cray play was when I was working in theatre (see the story about my involvement with Godspell) – we had this truly awful play about an Asylum starring a very faded film star who was mostly famous for drinking her own pee – it was so bad that we had to turn down one of the sound effects in the second half because it was waking the audience up. The only good thing about it was that the Director had a tape of Robert Cray for the intervals, so I would just sit back and listen to that ole blues guitar and yet more songs about playing around and feeling bad about having done so.


Tonight is my last night of Bus Purgatory for this week as I’m off to see Mad Penguin Lady after work for a one-on-one art session, following which I’m going to show my face at Deaf Club (there are two rules about Deaf Club: 1 – you don’t talk about Deaf Club 2 – aw you know where this is going) and see my mate R before he goes on holiday.

R is profoundly deaf and an annoyingly talented artist – does all these pictures of superheroes just straight from his head. These days he’s about the only Deaf person I can understand when I sign, but that’s just fine with me because his impersonations of Deaf versions of famous films are nothing short of hilarious (you haven’t lived until you’ve experienced Deaf Alien – in space no one can see you sign)

But in the mean time I’ve been cheering myself up by ringing around all the Funeral Directors and trying to get a gig as a Celebrant (so far i've steered away from using my abandoned slogan: putting the Fun into Funerals) – so far I’ve rung 8 or 10 and only set up one interview: but it’s not as bad as it sounds, coz most simply were too busy to speak right now.

Still, as we all got pulled into a meeting last week and got told that as from October we are well and truly shafted, the wheels do need to start turning.

And going back to the shop thing – I can’t help feeling a bit robbed now, because when I go into the big superstore with wall to wall hobby stuff I can never find anyone who knows a thing about it and I can’t help feeling that this is where the small shops have got it wrong – by not focussing on the one thing that might have kept them in business.

And just exactly where am I supposed to go when I do win big so that I can point at the wall and just say ‘I’ll have one of each please?’

Life just ain’t fair sometimes.


English Rider said...

If I didn't have years of "real life" retail experience to take the shine off the dream I'd suggest that you open your own store. (Just shoot yourself would be more valuable advice)
By the way, if you do win big, you don't shop anymore - you have "people" for that!

Argent said...

Aaah, the old music-shop intimidation, I remember it well. You go in and ask to see a guitar and the 18-year-old kid gets it down for you, plays a blistering solo on it then hands it to you so you can embarrass yourself with your 3 chords or extrememly rubbish version of Stairway to Heaven. I hate trying out instruments in music shops!!!

Roxanne said...

pixie man - yes i've been AWOL. working hard to go on holidays, on holidays, working hard to catch up from holidays, and even better - writing for a writing deadline. but i wanted to drop in and say hello. and lucky me - i got one of my favorite entries - the kind where i get to touch pieces of your universe and get a glimpse into your life ... with your philosophy and outlook imprinted into a rolling prose adventure. all i can say is - i can't wait until you start doing funerals - as can you imagine the creativity it will inspire. strange observation i know, but you'll get it, since you get me.

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

English - i too have worked in a shop. It's an episode of my life i chose to forget

Argent - do you think they still play "stairway"? Usually metallica riffs round by me!

Roxanne - thanks for visiting, good to hear from you! I know exactly what you are getting at - and strangely this is why i think i will be good at it!

Harry 'aka' Mojo said...

My god!..I have been in those same shops!..Lovely Read!
Thanks for posting :-)

Anonymous said...

I seen "High Fidelity". I remember thinking it was super funny, but not much else though.

Go back to "Putting the Fun in Funerals"! That is just hilarious.

I've been told about Joy Division multiple times in the past couple of weeks. I'll have to check them out.

Lydia said...

What does "shafted" mean? Are you all losing your jobs in October? Yikes.

Truly, anyone reading this particular post would know without question that you are a renaissance man.

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

harry - they are clearly universal these shops!

Samurai - High Fidelity is very funny because it's very true. You'll either love or loathe Joy Division: there's no inbetween.

Lydia - yes 'shafted' means in trouble...