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w/e 9 September 2018

One problem with writing weeknotes at the weekend is my frequent desire to avoid the computer, with all of its work-related and work-esque nagging, at the weekend. So here we are, Monday morning.

I haven’t bought much music for a bit but this week I bought the Meet Me By the Viaduct EP by Corporationpop, given it had been sitting in my Bandcamp basket for a few weeks.

Photo of a stack of papers

This week I spent another couple of days scanning more papers so I could throw them away. I ended up with a 20cm pile of papers, which is a satisfying cuboid of matter. Now I have space in the filing cabinet to hide some of the other matter I can’t decide what to do with.

The most ridiculous part of the process was when I ended up scanning in work-related receipts from 15 years ago. “I probably don’t need them but I may as well scan them,” I thought. However, some of them were originally plain-text emails that I’d printed out to file with all the physical paper receipts from that year. So I was scanning in, and making PDFs of, print-outs of plain-text emails, which I’d also, at the time, kept .txt file versions of. It seemed quicker not to think too much about it and simply plough on.

I went to the cinema twice this week. First, to see Distant Voices, Still Lives, one of those films I’ve read a lot about in Sight & Sound over the years but never seen. It was good. The “stageyness” of many of the scenes seemed odd at first — not only are some of them artificially composed for the camera, but a lot of the dialogue seems kind of… stilted? recited? I’m not even sure how intentional that is. But, yes, it was good, a sequence of jumbled fragments of memory that make a whole thing. I’m running out of words.

And we saw Leave No Trace which came out earlier in the year and which I nearly missed; we caught it at the Prince Charles. I loved it. I very much enjoy fairly slow, thoughtful films set in parts of the US that feature in movies less often than the big cities. Like director Debra Granik’s Winter’s Bone, or Kelly Reichart’s Old Joy, Wendy and Lucy and Certain Women. Great stuff.

I had to make a phone call to a large American governmental entity this week and the sound of those phone calls is something unique. Both the recorded voice while you’re holding, and the sound of the understandably bored but officious person who you end up speaking to. They’re voices with such different qualities to most American voices we hear on TV etc.

Maybe it’s also something to do with the medium — being right there in your ear, intimate and personal and yet tinny and distant. The experience always transports me back to living in Houston, the only period when I’ve had to frequently deal with American organisations over the phone. It always makes me unaccountably nervous, a similar feeling of low-level terror as when approaching US border control at an airport.

I think that’s all for last week. This cold from ten days ago is refusing to give me back full control of my nose. May we all succeed in seeing off our irritants, viral or otherwise, this week.

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