Wednesday, 2 January 2019

The Tinder Diaries

I’ve steered clear of Dating Sites for my entire life and always held a particular distain for the King Of The Dating Sites: Tinder. I’d called it a meat market, a horrendously shallow, simplistic, binary decision making cesspit. But after my burning car wreck of an attempt at a love life through 2018, I decided to take the plunge. I know there’s bumble and other things now (I only found out about that through Tinder) and I feel like the kid that signed up to MySpace 2 weeks before Facebook took off, I’m late to the game, I’m aware.

Also another caveat before I go any further, I know I’m not a conventionally attractive bloke. Most of the time I dress like a Lumberjack or Bruce Springsteen, my hair’s on its way out and underneath my eyes are a pair of bags so baggy because of all the fucking shit and drama they’re carrying. My personality does a lot of heavy lifting for my face, I’m not Photo Atrractive. It’s cool. Nonetheless I fired off into the abyss and decided to go swiping.

So the Tinder app got installed on the weekend of my birthday. Went to London with Mum and Dad to visit some friends. Dad his mate and I went to Wembley to watch the Football, 1-0 Spurs 91st minute, Christian Eriksen. The scenes. Got mighty pissed and decided to see who was about. In a drunken stupor the little red tinder icon ended up on my iPad homescreen.

Back at the hotel. Swipe swipe swipe. You’ve run out of swipes! The fuck? Suddenly this Dating App has turned into some strange Candy Crush lives type scenario and then all these in app purchases were available. I went to bed that night and thought nothing of it. Middle of the night, PING PING PING, the little red flame icon had woken me up in the night to tell me that I had all these likes and I should swipe to try to get a match. But I was out of lives! It started telling me to do Gold or Premium or some other package that all just sounded like an Overwatch Loot Box but instead you get more chances to try to find a mate who could someday be your life partner and bear your children.

So, yes, woke up in the night, saw the aforementioned anonymous likes, bought the Tinder Gold Package which apparently gets me unlimited likes, 5 super likes per day, the opportunity to see who likes me, all for one whole month (plus 2 new limited edition outfits, an extra level, and an mp3 copy of the soundtrack).

The women that liked me were decent! I matched a few back and sent some fairly innocuous exploratory messages. I was slightly tired and did a super like on a girl that I didn’t super like because I didn’t know what all the buttons at the bottom did, she matched me back eerily quickly seeing as it was 3am, managed to style out a conversation that petered out fairly rapidly because she was boring as fuck. But lovely and very polite. But dull as a post.

So yeah I’ve realised a few things. When you apply a video-game style loot box mechanic to a Dating site it’s like fucking cake for me, like catnip, like caffeine. So I went balls deep in Tinder.

I matched with a girl I already knew, I super liked her because I legit do super like her. We chatted a lot. I enjoy speaking to her, she has her own opportunities and stuff right now and she should follow her heart and go see the world again.

I realise I have a thing for Vets, like people who fix animals. They also all seem to be really pretty and people who look after other people or animals are fucking saintly souls who should be adored. I have a good few vet matches and animal chat is the fucking best.

I’ve notoriously always been shit at moving from chat into a physical date and that’s proving to be the case again here, I don’t take the plunge, I should be more assertive. But I’m not, but I will be. 2019 I’m going to start saying ‘yes’ again.

It’s given my confidence a bit of a boost though, a little spring in my step some days when I’ve absolutely needed it. The £20 I spent for a month of engaging with people in a fun and quirky setting was well worth it. I’ve stuck more in the bandit in an hour. I don’t see myself renewing the gold package though, I don’t need Dating on an industrial scale. I don’t need to see everyone that likes me. I’d prefer to go fishing with a rod, and not with a trawler. Nonetheless it’s nice to be ‘liked’ sometimes, and you never know, just one ‘like’ starts a conversation. Conversations are good for people.

Thx for reading.

Thursday, 2 August 2018

“Don’t” as a describing word.

Don’t give too much of yourself.
Dont’t send more than one message at a time.
Don’t tell them how you really feel.
Don’t overanalyse.
Don’t force it.
Don’t tell yr friends or family about it until you’re in a relationship.
Don’t admit yr upset.
Don’t obsess.
Don’t show signs of weakness.
Don’t talk about yr flaws.
Don’t admit to feelings.
Don’t stress it.

Just Don’t.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Not for me, for you.

I know you’re scared. I read between the lines.
You’re scared you’ve made a decision that you can’t reverse.
You’re scared you’ve given too much away,
You’re scared that you were fooled, hoodwinked, deceived.
I know because I’ve been there.
I’ve walked in those shoes,
Carried that cross,
Lived that life.

And it’s fucking terrifying.
And I just want the best for you,
Not necessarily what’s best for me.

I know you’re confused, I can see it in your words.
Confused how things changed so fast,
How it went from 100 down to 0,
Confused why you’re spoken to like that.
I know because I’ve heard those phrases,
Walked those halls,
Suffered that fate.

And I hate to see you like this.
And I wish you’d let it all out,
For you, and not for me.

But I want you to know,
That it’s not too late.
To go back to the soft days,
When your messages would shake slumber from my eyes,
And paint wide grins across my tired face,
And send us off into the day happy.
Not necessarily for me, but for us.

There is still some time.
To go back.

Friday, 22 June 2018

Green Circles

Every half an hour, every day, you’re online. Green circles next to a tiny picture of your pretty face.

And I wonder who you’re talking to, because it certainly isn’t me.

Last online 3m ago.

And my message is still unread. Like a piece of junk mail piled up behind a door in an empty house. A cheque left uncashed. Old clothes still with their tags.

And I tried. I HAVE TRIED to be chill. To let it all wash over me. But today I’m sick and all I want is to hear from you.

I tried.
I tried.
I tried
I cried.
I tried.
I tried.
I’m tired.

Tonight, I feel like I’m worth more.

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Silver’s For Second Place.

Don’t think I haven’t noticed. Silver’s for second place. The place on the podium is lower. The glory just out of reach. I won’t be a fallback. A failsafe. Someone to talk to when everyone else is quiet. A guaranteed reply when the other guy is elsewhere. I’m not that guy, I won’t be, I’m sorry.

Don’t think I haven’t seen the tags, the comments, the cute little yellow smiley faces late at night. I’m no mug. I’ve shared a heart before and life is too busy to be the other guy. I’m not sharing anymore.

You see, I’ve always been attracted to the human condition. The people with problems, the ones I think I can save, the broken ones. As if I can press my hands against the wounds, talk you round, bring you back to me. But the truth is I can’t. As much as I try I just can’t.

But what I would do! I’d punch glass into paste,  pour oil into my eyes, offer myself to the vultures to pick my bones and return me to nature, the only thing I can truly rely on. I’d put my hands into the fire, crawl through the wire, smash my feet into a thousand pieces and drag myself to you. I’d bleed myself paper dry, and boil the blood into a perfect ruby to wear around your beautiful neck.

But through all this, he’s still there. He fills your nights with conversation while I collapse from exhaustion, sleeping fitfully in these boiling hot sheets. And he probably had your heart before I ever did, if I ever did.

If we dusted your heart for fingerprints we’d only find his.

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Bodies In Flight - A Short.

The last sip tasted like shit, the empty bottle reflecting the screen of the old knackered TV set pumping 24 hour sales programmes into the room. It had been 14 hours since the crash, 12 hours since he learned the terrible truth of what had happened to her. Axis reached down next to his bed, a mass of pillows and blankets, with their linen half on half off, crumbs and tobacco and bottle caps were strewn across his mattress, the sheet hanging off the end of the bed, long overdue a wash, and grabbed another bottle. “Why the fuck not?”  he said to no-one. The crack of the seal on the new whiskey bottle made his spine shudder, and with a long deliberate sip he collapsed into the pile of pillows, and then the tears came again.

Interstate 54 was a long stretch of road, the sort of nondescript asphalt snake that meanders through countryside with not much to look at, a trunk road that takes excitable holidaymakers to the coast and exhausted lorry drivers between major towns. Nothing to see, just mike after mile of dual lane boredom. The show that night was wild, a sell out crowd and the most insane after party where Axis and the rest of the band were treated like conquering heroes. There were girls and booze everywhere, but he had her with him, Flora, his first love, his everything. It had been hard maintaining their 8 year relationship since the band took off, and recently he’d begun to drive separately from the rest of the band in his own car, so he could take her with him. She’d work merch and playfully flirt with the bar staff to get herself free drinks. Spending more time together had strengthened them again, they were back on track.

Shuffling around in the glove box she found their CD, a long broken-up band that played catchy indie love songs, which she had gifted him on their third date. The songs told stories of happiness and new love and they used to sit and listen to it together on long nights of drinking and smoking, her head on his chest, wordless. He thought it was perfect. He took his eyes off the road for a brief moment to put the CD into the player.

All he remembers is the blood. So fucking much blood. Glass shards in his hair and beard. He looked over and she was gone. He knew she was gone. He grabbed her wrist and prayed for a pulse. Nothing. The car was up a bank in a hedge and he clambered out. Then the blue lights came. Far too late.

The whiskey haze numbed any physical pain but he couldn’t get rid of the sting. He cleared his throat and begun to sing their song, he opened the pot and fumbled clumsily with drunken hands, pouring the little white tablets into his hand. He looked to the sky and said “Don’t go without me, I’m right behind you”. And then, nothing. Bodies in Flight.

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Album Review: Frank Turner - Be More Kind

Hi All, sorry for the brief hiatus in output, gave myself a week off to get absolutely wrecked after payday, and although I like a drink while I write the states I’ve been in this week I wouldn’t get any sort of quality content down. Anyway I’m going back in with a long form review of the brand new Frank Turner album, ‘Be More Kind’. Franks’s been generous enough to pre release most of the songs so I’ve had a chance to run up the play count on a good few of these, but some are brand new to my ears today. Either way I’ve done 5 full playthoughs today and I’ll be going through each song in turn giving my thoughts on each track. Hope you enjoy.

1. Don’t Worry
Frank has always loved an epic opening track for all of his records and this one is no different. A slow paced, positive song with an amazing clap backbeat that sets the pace for the whole song, a really uplifting middle part with a great piano tune turns into a singalong clapalong end section built for live shows. The message conveyed within speaks of dusting yourself off and being optimistic, that other people feel weird too and we’re all in it together. A statement of intent for the rest of the record indeed.

2. 1933
Never one to shy away from a political statement or acerbic social commentary, this tune is Frank at his most forthright and ummm... frank (sorry). A punky, spiky tune, with a great chugging bass part that reminds me of something off Green Day’s seminal Dookie album. Frank goes in hard on the current ignorant ‘them vs us’ mentality prevalent in the Country. Elements of brexit, left and right wing politics and “outside it’s 1933 so I’m hitting the bar” show a dissastisfaction for the horrible rivalry politics, division and selfishness of the current regime. Frank said he was going to inject more politics into this album, and he doesn’t pull any punches here. A fantastic tune with an important message.

3. Little Changes
A tune about collectively making small steps towards improvement of ourselves and our world, this could be turned into the fucking national anthem at the moment and the Country would benefit from it. A call to arms for everyone to just be a little bit better, together. Plus it’s got a ‘whoa-oh-oh-oh’ part which always sells me. So far so good for the whole record, the flow is good and the songs are catchy.

4. Be More Kind 
The album’s title track is a strong reminder of the compassion of humanity and remembering the three simple words (not four simple words that was a different Frank record). An uplifting track that offers a calming vibe, where everyone should just try to be kind and how much better that would make our lives. It’s something that I’ve tried to practice a lot more lately, focusing on the things I love rather than raging against the things you hate or can’t change. I swear to god, just try it.

5. Make America Great Again
Not going to dwell on this one for too long as I’ve already done a review of it on here. Americans are fantastic. The President is not. “Let’s Make America Great Again, by making racists ashamed again.” Fuckin’ A.

6. Going Nowhere.
A jangly Americana riff accompanied by a staggered drumbeat start a plodding song, purposely downbeat to not overpower Frank’s vocal about having someone sticking together with a friend/partner through thick and thin and not going anywhere. There’s one of those ‘you tried to do this but then you got the opposite thing’ verse similar to that of ‘Ironic’ by Alanis Morrissette, but there’s no soaring chorus just another solemn promise to be there “I’m going nowhere”.

7. Brave Face
Frank starts with a spitting punk solo vocal, bringing in the rest of the Sleeping Souls gradually into a full band rocky chorus with yet more positivity and uplifting messages. Frank has really decided to go positive over the past few albums since ‘Tape Deck Heart’, having read his book a few times I am pleased he’s managed to try and pull away from the darkness. This song is about Frank helping someone through a dark time, and with inspirational tunes like this he could probably help a good few more.

8. There She Is
Frank’s first overt ‘Love’ song on the record. Taking in themes of romance, forgiveness and luck, it discusses really pertinent subjects to me at the moment. The only song I’ve not listened to on every playthough as I’m not about that at the moment and it’s far too close to home. Nonetheless a great song and I’m sure I’l come back to it one day.

9. 21st Century Survival Blues
Another surging social commentary about the state of the world and getting away from it all, believing in people and not taking anything for granted. Frank talks about stripping away the things on the news and the internet and focusing on the things you really need, in the case of this song it’s ‘you’, which would assume to be partner (or potential one). By no means the high water mark of the album, but still a solid tune.

10. Blackout
A song about a power cut that goes metaphorically deep and talks about two people who are afraid of the ‘darkness’ assumed to be both literal and metaphorical. A weaving high tone lead guitar line gets the whole band involved in the first single from the album. I’d say it’s the most radio friendly track on the record designed to get ears onto the record. Not the most lyrically deep but some great comparisons about being afraid of the lights going out and also the actual ‘darkness’ of depression and mental health.

11. Common Ground
On first listen the only thing I could do was imagine this as a Get Cape song. The snappy dancy backbeat reminds me of Sam Get Cape’s first record. The song tackles subjects of forgiveness and understanding. Frank’s really pushing the positivity on this album and it’s really refreshing. Give this one a listen on a sunny day, it’s incredibly uplifting.

12. The Lifeboat
Ah, just when I started talking about it being a positive album, we get a trademark downbeat reflective Frank track. The first half of the song talks of loss and disappointment, before building into a song about getting through it. Rising above it, soaring violins accompany the last verse and chorus building into a positive ending, ah Frank you nearly had me there! Thinking you were going to do a sad song!

13. Get It Right
Just one man and his guitar, the way he started his career, our favourite Winchester son at his very rawest, at his very best. Frank does the singalong song so fucking well, reminiscent of some of his early songs, with great potential for screaming back at the stage with all your friends. “Badadada-da-da let’s try to get it right” gang vocal complements the last chorus and is a really incredibly good ending to the record.

Overall I’d say that some of the tracks on this record are going straight into my top 10 Frank songs. I’d say Make America Great Again and  Don’t Worry are the two that would make it in. But the whole album is fantastic, a great standard throughout, with various styles and influences from Frank’s 6 previous albums and thousands of shows all present and honed to perfection. Frank’s come a long way since he put his foot through the ceiling of Flicks while crowdsurfing with Million Dead. He deserves everything he’s getting at the moment and the hardest working man in rock seems to be much happier these days and I’m glad he’s using his platform for positive purposes. I’m giving the album an 8.5 but I’ll probably up it once I’ve listened to it a couple more times. Hope you’ve enjoyed the read. Thx, Craig.

The Tinder Diaries

I’ve steered clear of Dating Sites for my entire life and always held a particular distain for the King Of The Dating Sites: Tinder. I’d cal...