Today December 22nd was our fourth wedding anniversary where we met for takeaway sushi after eight because I left to swim before Olivia arose and returned after she had already left for her Portuguese lesson. She arrived back here just in time to see the last half of West Ham – Spurs in the Carabao Cup, the second half of that game and the exciting Liverpool – Leicester penalty shoot out that Liverpool won. Wedding anniversaries are weird because often people who are married have been together a substantial amount of time before they got married (just a year and a half for us but that still makes it five and a half years and not four). It seems odd to celebrate your 25th wedding anniversary as if it’s a landmark event when you’ve been together for 32 years. I digress but if you think watching the quarter-final of the Carabao Cup with a takeaway isn’t the perfect celebration, well, I tried to get the Russian ballet to move The Nutcracker to today but although they were willing and the prima ballerina tried her best to change the date it wasn’t to be so we had to go yesterday. Humans are obsessed with the right date and coming first, the day after or second place is just not acceptable.
The Brix Smith & Marty Willson-Piper Lost Angeles album has been given a new release date for the 28th of January for the vinyl and CD but it is now available on digital streaming services. Talking about yourself in the third person is weird but whenever I say Brix and my album or Brix et moi or the album I made with Brix Smith, it doesn’t seem to present the album properly so forgive me for that. We also have another review with Vive Le Rock for your reading pleasure:
Swim today was great because I had my own Layne Staley but that’s the last swim until after Christmas and only two days between Christmas and New Year. Also, the gym is closed for renovation but my hands are also closed for renovation so that’s not really a problem. Yesterday it hurt to press a plug into the wall and using the nail clippers I felt a twinge up into my wrist. Everything takes a long time to heal these days, months for what seems like something minor.
I got the tracking number for the missing package from Michel in France. Olivia was at her Portuguese lesson so I went to the post office all by myself. As usual, there were twenty humans in there and all I could think of was, please don’t let me get the horrible man when my number comes up. So I took two numbers and thought about what I might do if I was sent to his window. As I was waiting an old woman came and sat close to where I was standing. (Was she old? Was she older?) I noticed she had her number in her hand, it was 287, I had 284 and 285. I was anxiously watching the numbers tick over and yep, my number came up and I was being sent to the evil, fire-breathing nasty beast’s window. So, I put my plan into action, I quickly gave my number to the woman next to me saying, go take this and you’ll be three people sooner at the window. She accepted the ticket, but the impatient, awful, cynical monster at window 5, clicked the next number 285 that was mine! Nooooooo! The woman arrived at the window as the woman on window 1 clicked for number 286, one past my number…I ran to her window beating the person who actually had number 286 and explained what the drooling, murderous, slimy ass behind window 5 had done with his impatient clicking. Of course, I also had to explain to a woman who barely spoke English and at first, she had no idea what I was talking about, eventually, she got it. I asked her would she prefer if I spoke to her in Spanish or French but she stuck with English. Then I had to explain that we hadn’t got our package and had been told yesterday by the ugly, aggressive, tyrant at window 5 that we needed the tracking number to trace it. She studied the paperwork for a few minutes and then told me that the package had not been sent via the post office, it was an independent delivery. Back to square one and all that exposure to the hopeless, inefficient, unfriendly, death zombie was for nothing.
Music today has been the polarising Alice in Chains in acoustic mode with their amazing 7-track acoustic EP Jar of Flies (1994). It’s about mood, Layne Staley’s unbelievable voice and the darkest brooding harmonies that in their transfer from grunge metal to a blend of acoustic and electric tones and occasional strings, work perfectly well in quieter surroundings. Staley lived in a dark place and died of a heroin overdose at the age of 35 in 2002. The band carried on without him with guitarist Jerry Cantrell as the main songwriter occasionally singing but ultimately replacing him with William DuVall. Mike Inez had replaced original bassist Mike Starr who also died of a prescription drug overdose in 2011 at age 44. The drummer is Sean Kinney, whose dad was a cop, I imagine there were some interesting conversations in the family home as he co-founded Alice in Chains.