"Can I Have Your Autograph, He Said To The Fat Blond Actress..."

I am inclined to disagree with autographs for a number of reasons. The main one being I don't really know what to do with them once I have them. They are a little pointless. A scribble barely representing any letter form, let alone a name. ("Sign and print please" is what I will ask in future). I adore hand writing, I really do. It is unique to the individual. In fact when my grandad died the thing I wanted most of all to treasure was a piece of his handwriting. There is something personal there, something that can be emulated but will never be the same. The idea of someone putting a pen to a piece of paper and writing out whatever is in their mind. A document of a moment of thought. I am not talking about signatures. They are something different. They are something that suggests identity, a piece of evidence that we are indeed who we say we are. And so the autograph is a sort of proof that you met someone. A sort of back up file for the memory. (There is a similar point to be made about photographs, photographs are taken in the place of a memory that you didn't actually experience because you were busy taking a photograph, but I love photographs so I can't stay mad at them.) It differs from a piece of hand writing, it is much more banal and repetitive. It has no meaning. And after you have met with your idol you become euphoric, but it wears off, and then you need something to remind, some proof it happens. You look to that back up file, that peice of paper and you smile momentarily, but then there is something unsatisfying about it.
The first autograph I ever received was in my teens, a signed autograph of Brian May, Queen guitarist, my then hero. This was a good autograph to have because it has a point... it was proof to me, at that age, that things don't just happen, you have to alter things however you can to make things happen. In this case I wrote a letter and received a small token in return. Today I am almost positive that the letter did not actually reach Brian, but his fan office had a stack of fan letters and a stack of these photos that they were sending out, like a factory line. It is convincing though, you can make out the form of the letters, there is definitely a B there a sort of M and a Y. Yes time and effort has been put into the writing out of this signature, yet you have to question whether or not he has seen that letter, because if so much time and effort has gone into the writing of his name why not bother to write out the fans name. It is a factory line! Back then, through my naivety I was more than elated to see the envelope was hand written, clearly a personal touch from the man himself. My name and address written by the hand I was so inspired by (that has got to be the cheesiest thing ever written, but it is generally how I feel about the hand writing of those I admire...)
Another autograph I have, I do not know why I have, I am not that bothered about having and do not have a damn clue what to do with is that of Bryan Adams. I am not a fan of Bryan Adams yet I have his autograph in a program of a charity event I attended. At least here effort has been made, you can make out my name, but less effort was put into his own (sign and print please). What am I supposed to do with that? I cannot throw out this programme as it has the autograph of Bryan Adams in it, but at the same time I cannot do anything with it. If I were my mum, I may have framed it... but I am not.

By now I am quite aware the reason I have Bryan Adam's autograph, and perhaps the reason that Autographs exist, is because when there is a celebrity near by (regardless who) I go a little bit funny. I simply have to go over and stare. Then what? Well I have to say something... What? I dunno, anything. My hand will automatically reach into my pocket/bag, find something that either represents the event I have just attended or at least resembles a piece of paper, and say "Excuse me, would you mind?" They are more an excuse to harass famous people than a keep sake. Even then that isn't enough for me, I want to harass them more. If I stand around long enough they will definitely think, hey, she has determination, I want to befriend her. I find myself either saying something dumb or loitering around until they leave... (Adam and Joe did a great 'text the nation' based around embarrassing things you have said to celebrities. STEPHEN!... Just Coming... ooh feels good to get a bit of Stephenage into the blog!)
(for all you know a child may have scribbled this one.
In fact it was scrawled by the hand of Lou Reed (blue)
and Laurie Andreson (pink) two greats!)
Another point to make on this subject, missed opportunities. One purpose of getting an autograph could be to sell it. You stand to make a bit of cash depending on the caliber of Celebrity. I very much disagree with the purchasing of autographs, it make everything extra pointless. If you have not met the celebrity for that autograph, what is the significance of owning it? It's only possible meaning could be you are a crazy! If you have a mass reproduced LP of the Lou Reed classic 'Transformer' it is worth nothing, a fiver tops. Get that signed, you have a fortune, a small fortune, you will probably make it into three figures on ebay. So then, Mandi, (yes me) if you plan on spending £15 on watching Lou Reed at the intimate venue of the Palace theater, where his only escape is through the stage door, why not take that Velvet Underground, White Light/White Heat LP, you so treasure (but haven't played for so long as you cannot be bothered to set up the turn table, besides I have it in MP3 format so why should I), get it signed and earn yourself a little money. Or you know, you could at least keep it on show then. That would be fairly cool, White Light/White Heat signed, leaning up againest you bedroom wall. A real talking point. You could tell everyone that enquirers about it how, when you received that autograph Lou Reed grunted at you. No, instead fluff it, pull out the crumpled up, dog eared flyer! That isn't even worthy of a frame.

(the black corner is due to placing straightening irons onto it by accident)
The same happened with Mick Rock. I met him at a workshop the Urbis was running. (A photography masterclass. Everyone turned up with professional SLRs, me, who at that point had no idea about anything photography, turned up with the smallest most useless point and click. It was great! We went out, took pictures, returned so that Mr Rock could give everyone a lovely group crit. My turn, he didn't say too much, when I got up to leave, he grabbed hold of my arm and said "At least you are trying." All I could think was that hand has most definitely touched David Bowie, who, as a consequence, has just touched me!) I could have spent £30 on any one of Mick Rock's books, they were all there in the Urbis shop, beside the man himself, all there, just buy one, sell it, make yourself a lovely profit. Everyone else was doing it. In fact people were buying four books, having him sign the lot. Ebay... Or the postcards I had just bought, have him sign one of them... No. Get your ticket out love, have him sign that instead. Then leave it out on your desk, burn it with straightning irons, tac it to your wall, let the sun bleach it a bit before deciding, it is best out of direct sunlight. It finally resides in my purse folded, near death! But at least if i feel like showing off I can pull it out. I just don't know what to do with autographs once I have got them.

The thing I like is the touching aspect of it. To have someone who works with their hands touch you or something you now own, is a privilege. To have someone speak to you who regularly inspires through their voice, is an honour. So to have someone you admire, who plays an instrument and writes down lyrics of beauty, touch that damn flyer and scribble out, very clumsily and half heatedly, an autograph... that has to mean something right? Perhaps. It is great to own such objects but they are all end up pretty vacuous. The only significance they have is a moment in time, and more often than not, that too is brief and meaningless.

How I met Lou Reed (and his wife Laurie Anderson)...

Imagine this, one evening you are dancing in your friends living room to 'White Light/White Heat,' the next you are face to face with Lou Reed. Well that is exactly what happened to me.
Friday 17th July, I am graduating. My name is called and I make my way onto the stage. I was determined, straight face, thinking elegance, thinking of not falling. Then the unexpected happened. No, I didn't fall. I expected it a little, off one or two, I was thinking Eddie will cheer, Lucy will cheer, but (I didn't look, I kept my eyes forward, focused, not falling over) it was a much louder cheer. Completely not feeble, a powerful heart felt cheer, for little me! So naturally I could not help but grin. Slight at first, then as the cheer grew so did my smile, teeth on show and all. Now I am considering changing the direction of my career... again... to one that involves a cheer after everything I do. Whenever involved in applause for others I cannot help but feel good, despite the claps being for someone else, it is probably something to do with unity, whatever it is it just makes me feel good. I can't remember the last time I was actually applauded, perhaps primary school plays, or I was the prop person for a play in high school - did I get an applause then? It feels good anyway...
So celebrations continue into the evening. There are perhaps 15-20 of us, 5 bottles of champagne, one large bottle of gin, one small bottle of gin, one large bottle of brandy, one small bottle of brandy, one bottle of wine, a few bottles of beer, ginger beer, lemonade, Jake's living room, Lucy Vann's iPod, a dock, and a few spare beds. Now that sounds like a party to me! And it was. Another perfect night spent with beautiful people. By the morning all that is left are eight graduates, slow moving bodies, contemplating breakfast, and one bottle of Champagne. Moet. The expensive one. We start our graduate lives with a champagne breakfast... followed by a Trof breakfast, followed by a slow, sad journey home and recovery.Saturday 18th July. Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson. I half knew what to expect. Not the norm. It is going to be arty, that I am sure, beyond that, nothing.
The evening was pure poetry in that some of it went completely over my head, most of it was absolutely sublime, a beautiful experience. And that's what it was, an experience. It wasn't oh look there's Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson, dancing, singing, cheering. This is the theater have some respect! Yes there is Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson, and what they want us to do is listen. Sometimes it was difficult. The second song, I have no idea what it was but it sounded as if it had been made up on the spot and lasted over ten minutes. An experimental throw back to the Velvet Underground, very difficult to comprehend. I tried to listen to it, make sense of it but all I could think was he is too old for this and at that point I decided that I was in for a long night. Then it ended and in it's place was Laurie Anderson's voice, singing out beautifully, "Sometimes I feel so happy" to an unfamiliar tune. I knew instantly and perked up. "Pale Blue Eyes." It just re-emphasizes the point of this evening was about listening. The idea of (most of) Lou Reed's work is to listen. The beauty is not necessarily (although occasionally does lie) in the music but in the words. Music purely drives it, adding to the mood, sometimes adding a catchy riff, but mostly in the background. This is why live Reed songs sound so different to studio Reed songs. Actually I am positive Lou Reed would disagree with this but this is how I listen to his work. The fact that the music can change but the power of the song can still remain strong, well that is down to the words and the manner in which they are sang.
Laurie was absolutely astounding. Thought provoking. She sang humorous, satirical songs ("Only an Expert") and made great use of her famous vocoder. She also told stories. Dark stories with a point (I wanted to scream out, "Oh my God, she is doing something that I want to do! It is possible!" only she was confidently, and brilliantly speaking her words out, and on occasion without the mask of her vocoder. She is a very captivating speaker. And she is very intelligent, I want to be intelligent.) It was before one such tale, the one that I was most inspired by, that I leaned over to Andrew, (I was there with Andrew, not particularly his bag but he does like the velvets, so I dragged him along), "Are you enjoying it?" "It's alright, it's not really my thing though, you know what I'm like." I informed him that he wasn't listening properly, that he had to listen to get it, he informed me that his attention span is that of a goldfish. Listen anyway.

"The more we tell a story, the more we forget it,"

The frailty of memory, told in a beautiful story. I was hooked, she is a new favourite. Unfortunately, we literally had the worst seats in the house. As high up and as far back as you could get. People leaving, toilets, bar, dissatisfied, too arty, unexpected. Floor boards creaked about the old theater, doors slammed directly behind and to the right of us. Very distracting and incredibly annoying. No leg space, sore bottoms, dead foot. A very difficult situation to enjoy yourself in, but I did. The final song, a beautiful but unfamiliar rendition of "I'll Be Your Mirror," one of the most stunning songs ever written. I watch through tear filled eyes. Perfect. The broken sound of Lou Reeds voice supported by the competence of Laurie's. A great sound that you would not expect to work but did throughout the night, and will last for months to come within me. Lou looked up to the audience not once. When he rose and received his cheer his arms were raised but I observed, through my 50p binoculars, that his frown did not lift. No smile cracked. But I know, I know because of the way I felt when I was cheered and applauded, because of the way he lingered on stage after Laurie and Sarth Calhoun (master of all things synthesizer) left the stage. I know because with both arms raised to the air, stood absorbing the ovation, that inside, he had to be smiling. Lou Reed was full of joy! Don't deny it you rotter I know you were!
On the way out we were interviewed by 6 music, our quotes did not appear in the article, which is a little bit of a disappointing, and inconclusive read (perhaps because it has to speak from the majority opinion from those attending instead of personal experience). Then, to avoid the queues at the car park, Andrew and I headed over to the Green Room for a quick drink.
On the way back we noticed a fuss around the stage doors of the Palace. "Oh look at that Andrew, they are waiting for Lou and Laurie." "Do you want to wait?" "Nah," We go into Sainsburys and buy curly chips for supper. When we emerge, there are camera flashes outside the stage doors. He must be out there. We veer closer. He is, there he is, that's Lou Reed. There in person. I could touch him, I could, wait I will, I will touch him. Actually on second thoughts don't touch him, just get his autograph or something... I pull out the crumpled flyer from the evening. My legs begin to shake uncontrollably. I hand him my flyer. He signs it with a blue sharpie, says nothing, hands the flyer to Laurie, she signs it with a pink one. Oh hell this is the only moment I will ever have with Lou, say something. I once read somewhere that when trying to start up a conversation for the first time with someone, it is not important what you say, as long as you say something. Even though I was not looking for an ice breaker here, I knew that something had to be said, regret something rather than nothing. What else could I say? The first thing that popped into my head was a massive geeky "I'm your biggest fan" style, with a slightly unhinged look about me (is that my natural look?), "It is a massive honour to meet both of you, thank you!" and the autographs were handed back to me. Laurie, through a gracious smile, said "Thank you." Lou sort of turned and mumbled something that resembled a grunt. It was truly awesome. Lou Reed grunted at me! Now in retrospect a better cooler thing to say may have been something like, with shoulders thrown back, arms held wide and loose, looking sultry "Hey man, tonight was great, give me a hug." Or at least tonight was amazing, thank you. But as time slips past me, one thing I have learned about myself is that I will always think of a better thing to say when it is too late, and I will end up regretting most of the things that I actually say, and cringe on it for a few days until I realise, the moment has gone and I am the only one dwelling on it. Besides, through the lips that sang White Light/White Heat, I'm Waiting for the Man, Pale Blue Eyes, Perfect Day, Kicks, Street Hassle, Oh so many more, came a grunt, directed at me! Brilliant!
I quickly took a picture of him and Laurie, it was too dark. Turn on the flash, "No Flash!" He spoke, but by then it was to late, the flash had been triggered, the photo had been stored in my camera, and the memory was forever with me. The memory that is to degrade the more that I force myself to remember it in order to tell this story.
(Lou Reed, the cat in the glasses - inside he is smiling!)

They say you should never meet your heroes. That you will only ever be disappointed, but I say this, meet them, but know what to expect. If you want to meet Lou Reed, the best you can ever hope for is a grunt and I got one!

The Devil Makes Work For Idle Hands...

Thank God for youtube....
(Not so many words today I have work to do)

Darkness/Light/Darkness - Jan Svankmajer
I have spent most of the morning procrastinating, the internet is a terrible thing. But how can you stay mad at such technology when holds such glorious nuggets.

At first I thought this was going to be a gathering of the senses. It turns into something much more profound. A fascinating creation... Man... It is amusing to see him built but there is a sinister shift. A now what? He becomes trapped, isolated, scared. It could be solipsism, nothing can be known outside the self. The room representative of the mind (to become trapped in ones own mind.) Or it could be the confusion of the unknown out side of life. In the end we are left in the dark...

George Harvey Bone...

For me it is all about the character. Real or fictional. Something in the air surrounding a person that pulls me in, then something in the way they behave holds me there. If you interest me or intrigue me I am forever yours and you will forever be within me. I will forever be tied to you by an undetectable string. I will give the string slack from time to time but I will be back. Congratulations if I am your friend and/or am perpetually bugging you, you have succeeded. Your character is a fascinating one! I guess I should appologise to everyone else, or should they appologise to me. That isn't important. For me it is good to be classed as a 'creative' as I am surrounded by beautiful, interesting people (or should that be was...) Being tied to people like this is not always an advantage but lets just say I am kept on my toes and things tend to remain interesting. (or should that be used to remain... I am still adjusting to Warrington.) It is easier in reality, face to face. A person sometimes doesn't need to speak and you can become attracted to them (by attracted I do sort of refer to physically, but on more of a sort of chemical or perhaps even spiritual level, one that arouses intrigue and mans natural curiosity.) They can stand casually, unaware of their effect. That has happened, is happening, and will continue to happen to me. I remember the first day of university in '06, I was drawn to two people, these two are naturally very good friends of mine now, perhaps because I perpetually bugged them, but more likely due to the air surrounding and attracting us. Perhaps this is how friendship works. But I am getting carried away. I love the people that I am tied to, even the ones I hate... I wanted to talk about fiction. With fiction it is harder, there is no air, it is all written down...

Over the last couple of weeks of University I became completely drawn into the life and obsessions of one George Harvey Bone. If you amazon this name you will find that some cretin chef has stolen it. (Although "Cooking with Booze" does link to aspects of Bone's life, or at least the booze does.) The book is "Hangover Square," by Patrick Hamilton. I would like to place into this blog all the pages with their bottom corners folded over, my way of marking of a page that contains a passage that I have particularly enjoyed or been inspired by, but I would spoil some truly beautiful moments of the book. George has his quirks. He is consumed by obsession and love for Netta, a woman happy to lead him on, use him, we could all see it written before us, but what chance did George have. Love had already swung at him, he was on the floor letting it kick at him over and over. And I could relate to many moments like this.
His 'dead moments', moments described as a "Click" and then "Watching a movie with no sound," moments where he had blacked out with no recollection of anything that happened in these periods. George is still there somewhere, still a part of the world, but the world is no longer a part of him. These 'dead moments' are pretty representative of his reality, even outside of them George is detached, isolated and living in his own separate world, a world dictated by Netta. There are many cultural references to Hitler and his early rise, when Britain was truly captivated, obsessed by him. Netta adores Hitler (as did the majority of the country) George however, knew he was trouble, a matter of time before war begun. Symbolically the book ends with the beginning of the war and a dramatic end to Bone's personal war.
Love, even when it goes no further than obsession is a battle. Once you let your guard down the attack begins. This was true for Bone. I could relate to him on many levels, perhaps we all could. I urge you to read it. Hell, if you ask nicely I will lend you this book. It has gained a firm place as one of my favorites. But how? It is true that this book is a great read (if my recommendation isn't good enough check out the amazon stars...) but there is not a lot that happens regarding story line. You keep the pages turning because of the character, because you feel for him, you have felt like him, you want him to get out, you feel as he does, you enter (sorry let me correct that...) I entered the final part of this book, (not wanting to it finish, not wanting to bid farewell to old Bone) chanting his name, routing for him. Because of the character not the story. And that is true of many books I have read (and films I have watched). Therefore it also occurs where I enjoy the idea of a book, it's story, that I do not fall in love with it. Because the characters are scumbags or dull or I am unable to connect. (Most of) My favorites are favorites because I tied an undetectable string from myself to George Harvey Bone, to Winston Smith, to Raskolnikov, to Alex, to Yossarian, to Miller, to Josef K, to Burroughs.
Wow I seem to be holding onto a lot of string here! I hope I effect people in a similar way.
This passage is a favorite from early on, it is amusing and quite familiar. The ability to link his obsession to anything...

"Leaders to scandalise, Citizens to terrorise, Enemies to nuetralise..."

Today and yesterday I have been feeling more than a little smug. Not any old smug. Jessica Fletcher smug. This is because I have been observant over the last year, and I have been curious over the last year. It all accumulated yesterday, a whole years worth of curiosity and observations, of collecting information, storing it in the filing cabinet of my mind and flicking through it from time to time. Oh it is all too good to be true! I knew I had it in me to be a great detective. Mandi Goodier BA Hons P.I., lettraset onto the frosted glass panel of a great brown door; 1st floor of a lone brownstone in DUMBO, over looking Manhattan; sniffing out scum in the air; talking like I have a bad hangover and have smoked fifty cigarettes simultaneously- because that is how I roll; bitter at being kicked off the police force for corruption (I was framed damn it!); hiding in the shadows; invisible; my lone friend a note book (wait a minute...) Yes, yes that is my life now.

I am a police detective. I have been on his case for years, I knew he was a scumbag, a low life, a down right rotten weasel, a dog, a snake, a shark, yes he was all the animals alright. All the bad points of all the animals, I just had to prove it. All it took was that final jigsaw piece, the ultimate lego brick, for Mr. Chips to remove the last mask from the screen. It is removed and now the whole scene makes sense. And I got it! I got him! He is going down for life! (No policing work has taken place over the last year, the crime I uncovered was not actually a crime, no one is going down. No one is any other animal than a human being. But that is how I felt.)

A secret is uncovered and you are all itching to know. Well... Sorry it is a secret. I must protect the identity of its owner. But feel proud of my sleuthing skills. Know that the world is a better place with my watchful eye. And if you have a secret (deep hushed rumbling voice full of peril) Be afraid... be very afraid. Or just be a little more careful where you leave your clues in future.

I have to thank for such a great discovery: my over active imagination, the devil (making work for idle hands), the internet, boredom, the dole office, the current economic climate, having way too much time on my hands, the author/s of all those great 'Mystery Kids' books I was hooked to when I was a child, my friends in manchester for encouraging and helping develop my imagination, (my friends really are something!) Fate, chance, opportunity and a few clues 'accidently' left lying around. Oh and Blogs!
(It is a shame that no one is actually paying for this case...Or cares that much...)
Here are some quotes from a casual observer of my new found talent...
"You are amazing,"
"I can't believe you figured that out,"
"You're a genius,"
"You are a detective supreme,"
"It all makes sense,"

New career path ahead? It is appealing, and all shadows, noir, trilby hats and macks, wiskey and cigarettes, pretty stylish, a little bit sexy, but after reading New York Trilogy, it is far too risky a game...
House arrest is not living and sending me more than a little nuts!

("Ize of the World", I love how that song builds up to 1.45 in. It is a yes moment in music!)

The Reading Room...

Watch out Manchester! Manchester book collective.... coming soon...

Lately I have been, breaking glass in your room again..."

My sister and I were always keen on a good old horror film. Throughout Stephen King season on channel 4, when I was a lot younger, my sister would tape the films, whilst I was in bed and we would watch them together the next day. The only film she would not allow me to watch was IT. I have still never seen it but think I would find it much easier to watch now that I know Tim Curry plays 'it'. The point of this thread is not really linked to Stephen king at all. It is just a nice way to get around to talking about Candyman. Candyman being, when I was in primary school, my favorite childhood film. Yes I know. I watched it again for the first time in years a couple of months ago. Yes, horrific stuff. Well, this post doesn't have a great deal to do with that film either. But growing up there were two things that stuck in my mind about that film. Firstly the deep brown rumble of the Candyman's voice when he appears to Helen for the first time. The tone, bass and melody as it vibrated through the living room and rattled my eardrums. "He-len. He-e-e-len." Secondly the sound track. Always filling me simultaneously with joy and fear, a thrill, an anticipation of excitement, a playful tingle at the base of my spine. A tune is a difficult thing to put across on a computer screen. (When I was younger, had no great ability on any kind of instrument, no tape recorder, I would write down song lyrics accompanied with a whole lot of: doooo-duh-do-du-du-dooo scrawlings. They were my musical notes, supposed to conjure up some kind of recollection of melody and tempo!) Thankfully this is the internet. Also, thankfully, I am now reaching my point. The greatest modern day composer. Whose soundscapes regularly fill cinema screens. Whose music evokes all kinds of vivid emotion. His tunes haunt me constantly. I am never surprised when I stick out the closing credits of a film (merely to see who wrote the beautiful music (when I worked at the Odeon this was a particular perk to the job, when clearing out screens I would listen to some great closing tracks and would discover some fantastic musicians) that his name should appear so frequently. Philip Glass. Oh beauty. Oh divine. Over and over. This one's for Philip Glass. A modern day composer that I hope stands the test of time! Beauty beauty beauty.

I personally cannot recall a more terrifying soundtrack. This is Candyman's opening:

This is the tune that I have carried with me since childhood.

Most of my Youtube inspiration revolves around Sesame street for some reason. This is a cool Philip Glass thing I found entitled 'Geometry of Circles'

There is much much much more Philip Glass out there, check him on spotify. Sit in a darkened room with your eyes closed and await the visions and emotion it evokes.

Final note. Do not listen to too much of that Candyman stuff when in a darkened room with nothing but the glow of a computer screen for company. It gets pretty creepy actually.

Don't forget to look... www.mandigoodier.co.uk

I want to be a genius...

Great innovators, musical composers, visionaries, boundary pushers, literaries, mathematicians, artists, philosophers, lunatics.
What defines the genius?
Genius is something that is happens within a person. Something that is bursting to get out by whatever means. It is something that must happen regardless of situation or circumstance. Then it takes something extra, once it is starts to heat up, just before it boils, it takes mental stamina and motivation, talent, knowledge, concentration and intelligence. To become a genius you must struggle with genius. You can not sell out, give up nor can you let it evaporate. It is worked at and the it is kept at a perfect temperature. To be genius you have to think differently to everybody else. Originality, is key. But how do you become an original? How do you become a genius? It is a mental illness, an obsession. Genius IS madness.

Is a genius defined by it's audience? for example I would not class George Best as a genius but many would. I would be tempted class David Bowie as a genius millions wouldn't. Then there is that controversial observer 100 living genius list, where clearly the west is dominating the genius scales. I would like to debate whether genius is common enough for there to be more than say fifty geniuses (or a much smaller number even) alive at one particular moment of time. Perhaps the term genius is used too loosely, perhaps regulations on the word need to become tighter, so tight that it is almost taboo. That way when you use it it will truly have the desired effect. As it stands there is no scientific basis for genius. Nothing can offically define genius beyond individual interpretation, which means for anyone to be classed as a living one can be highly controversial. Perhaps no one can become a genius until they have stood the test of time (possible exception of scientists). It is the likes of Homer, Socrates, Plato, Dante, Milton, Shakespeare, Goethe, (incidentally, discovered the correct pronunciation. Quite suprising (because I would never have guessed.) Is in fact (not entirely easy to pronounce at all with a British tongue, especially my screwed up one! But at least sounds a little like) Ger-tuh) Dostoevsky, Kafka, Orwell, Einstein, Darwin, Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, that spring to our mind rapidly because they are all very much standing that test of time. (How many of these can be linked to mental illness/human struggle? Autism, isolation, loss of hearing (to a musician this is torture) tourettes, OCD)But I am always a fan of the underdog, the genius vanished into obscurity. The one that was racing through my mind when I realised that I will never have the vision, the muse, nor the mental illness to become a genius. Nikola Tesla. I will list interesting points: experienced intense visions that would blind him momentarily, similar to syesthesia I guess, obsession around the number three, multiples of three, OCD, for a time would not touch anyone unless he was wearing white gloves, celibate, GENIUS! He could create a lasting supply of energy without need for fossil fuels, he created wireless technology, he had plans (but no funding due to a right bastard of an investor) to supply the whole world with wireless electricity for free (hence the no funding - money being the great oppressor of the world!)and much much much much much more. All before the turn of the 20th century. Genius right? Unless you have seen/read The Prestige my guess is you have never heard of him. He did much more on top of that too. I am currently in the process of searching for more geniuses slowly vanishing into obscurity, just about as difficult as it sounds!
The closest I get to visions surrounded by light come from the glow of my mac's screen. Hmm.
You never know...

'A man possesses talent. Genius possesses a man,'

The Week The World Hated Me, Loved Me, Then Went Back To Hating Me...

Tricked By The Slyest Hobbo In the Northwest...
It is best to relax and prepare for such a big important night. It is degree show day. Everything I have done in the last three years has been building to this. To tonight. To the biggest night of my life so far. But now, it is two, I am hungry, I am distracted. My mind is disturbed and getting the better of me. I am finding it difficult to relax, everything has me on edge. I sit alone in Oklahoma Café. Traditional lemonade and a book. I can’t read. I am too distracted so I write onto the back of old receipts found at the bottom of my bag, (I need a new pad.) Here’s the jist:
“Would you rather.... regret having done something or regret never doing it.” Highly unoriginal and perhaps an obvious answer, but in fact sometimes the answer is not as clear as you would like. (You could say as cloudy as the lemonade I was drinking if you are into similes, but I’m not really that into similes.) The element of personality that restrains the you you would like to be. So the question becomes necessary if not a little dull. I end up rephrasing it:
“Would you rather... live one moment then die for an eternity or fantasize about living that moment and remain in a constant state of mere contentment, what if forever buried into your mind.” And right now I am unsure which is best, and I ponder over a jacket potato filled with cheese and beans. It feels like desire is gently and slowly brushing past my arm looking into my eyes and grinning at me suggestively. If I do not have the courage to grab opportunity before it passes then how often will that moment replay behind my eyelids? How long will it take for the regret to gnaw deep into my bones. Live or die. Fight or fly. Confront or starve. Every element of my life is filled with uncertainty and I am letting it disturb me. I need distracting from all this distraction. It is degree show night after all. I finish my potato and pick up my book, it is best to remain distracted. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? My mind drifts quickly as I make a note to myself... almost out of books, almost out of money. My options here are to either do a book swap with friends, hassle other people to donate books to me or stop saving up those goddamn points on my Waterstones card. I could probably get two free books with those points. My mind continues to wonder, I can’t focus. I consider leaving. A tramp approaches the table. I smell him before I see him. He is slightly overweight and eastern european. I am at in the remotest corner of the café half hidden behind a column. Out of sight, out of mind. He smiles and dumps a screwed up issue of the big issue onto the table. What kind of idiot does he take me for. I know he is not one of those reputable official big issue sellers. No. I have been had by one of these fuckers a few years ago and it won’t happen again. (Me and Andrew, alone outside the Oyster Bar, engaged in a kiss, or apparently not engaged as the “Big Issue Seller” felt it appropriate to interrupt us with a tap on the shoulder. “No,” “Oh pleeeeease, two quid,” the cover said one. Eventually we give him the money to make him go away. He asks for the magazine back to sell onto someone else. Erm what?) The Big Issue is laying on the table. He points at it a few times and repeats it’s name. No. It is best to remain firm and assertive in such situations. But he didn’t leave. He was there for what felt like ten minutes but was more likely two. I try to remain calm and unflustered. He will go. Just wait. Finally an opportunity rises. He offers me his hand and a smug shit eating grin. The smell of this guy is intensely heated, four weeks worth of with no ventilation, trash. I decide that it is my best option, he will go if I shake his hand and I can wash the garbage smell off afterwards. I shake it. Then he takes my hand to his lips and lays a big, sleazy and grotesque wet one right there. Smug shit eating grin and my hand is withdrawn with rapid velocity. He then pats my head, picks up his big issue and leaves. And that was that. I knew straight away. I have had my hand kissed on many occasions by strange men, (weirdly enough this phenomena was at its most frequent when I worked at the Odeon, and mostly by scallys) but this was different. Far less flattering. And I knew. My distraction and and disturbance turned into visible distress and despondence. And straight away I knew. I had been cursed! This was always going to happen. Bad karma. The Degree Show. The desire. It was all irrelevant now. I had been cursed and my life is to deteriorate starting from now. I can see myself grabbing at the seams. The last three years and now a curse. Bloody brilliant. My hands are to my face, tapping and pinching at that place on the bridge of my nose, the place I always touch when distressed. Then the regret I was contemplating earlier on filled me. A curse. Why me, now, today? I am plainly agitated by the whole event. I begin to wonder if anyone saw what had just happened. Groups of people sat around, laughing, chatting, oblivious. I inhale. Calm down. It is over now anyway. Whatever happens, happens. So is life. I look to my phone for the time, I wish to be home by three thirty. Where is my phone anyway? It was in my pocket, but my trousers are tight. I cannot sit with my phone in the pocket of these really tight trousers, I would have took it out and placed it on the... table. Mother Fucker. Then I knew. I knew instantly. It was not a gypsy curse, it was daylight robbery! I was tricked by the slyest tramp in Manchester. My phone had been on the table beneath the Big Issue.
“Did you see him? Did you see him?” I ask the employees. No one had. It was all my imagination. My memory playing a nasty trick. I’m just being judgmental. No. It all happened. My phone is missing, that is the proof that it did in fact happen. My new phone is too fancy.
I bet the bastard gets more phone calls than me anyway.

(Post degree show note: Libby had her phone nicked by the same tramp:
Libby: “I’ve lost my phone, I think it has been stolen.”
Me (As a joke): “You didn’t bump into any non-english speaking tramps trying to sell you an outdated Big Issue by any chance.”
Libby: “Erm Yeh I did actually. He’s took it hasn’t he?”
Me: “Erm, shit, yeh. Fuckers got mine too!”)

Last Night of Magic... (I Love You Too World!)
Less than an hour to shower, dress and leave. Screw it. The worst has happened. I am pretty sure the worst has happened. I have a shower and wash the tramp off my hand, the water was cold. Typical. What more? I was shaking when I arrived at the degree show. I didn’t stop trembling until my second wine or maybe it was when my mum arrived and gave me a reassuring hug and a sympathy smile.

Regret. Down every path there are new choices to make. New directions to take. Down every path a new regret is forged and an alternative life is neglected. That day I regretted the decision I made to eat alone. But I did. As a result a whole new path for the evening was created and from a multitude of options, possibility and alternative regrets. All these choices entangle, intersect and continue to grow. If life was to be drawn out the illustrator would never stop. If it was a piece of art it would be progressive. If it could be replicated by another life form it would be a tree. I would be found at the tip of one of its branches. The tip is in a constant state of adaption. All other branches being alternative lives I could be living, the seeds that fall from them being all the other lives I touch or could have touched. Or maybe I am an animal that starts at the bottom of the tree taking the many different branches as opportunities to reach the trees peak. Right now, I am at the branch containing the degree show. Desire is not in short supply tonight. It is everywhere. Lust is in the eyes and the mouth of every person I see. Desire is a strange one. Rules do not apply. Morals are set aside. (the limerent). Sexuality, age, style, single, married, race, wealth, religion, status. Nothing is sacred. You do not choose desire, it chooses you. It is nature. (And so I'm finding it hard not to look.) It is all well and good being happy, contented, the luckiest bastard on the planet. When the heavy chin of desire rests upon your shoulder, it is difficult to shrug off. You will never feel so insignificant, so unlucky, so forsaken, so doomed, unless you embrace it. Unless you take it. Who here would be desiring me? I know at least one, he is beside me. Maybe two. There is the possibility of a third. I feel confident tonight. I feel lucky tonight. The worst has happened. Now am surrounded by the people I love so dearly. They are everywhere. The heat is just bearable, it’s fuel is lust. Lust here is as potent as people. Lust for everything, education, love, friendship, careers, him, her, alcohol, living, lust for life. We are all hungry for something. If not a person then a way of living, a style, anything. No one is escaping this.

Introducing parents to tutors is like parents evening only with out that anxious dread felt in the pit of the stomach. In its place is warmth. They speak about me encouragingly. It is difficult to comprehend, but it is happening so I accept it. Tonight I am a none stop tour guide. I am the story of the slyest tramp in Manchester:
“I had my phone robbed by a tramp today!”
“What did he attack you?”
“No the bastard tricked me!”
“Oh, so do you not watch ‘The Real Hustle’?”
Evidently not, screw you.

The family of the 21st century has nothing to do with blood. It is all about acceptance, friendship, motivation, love, desire and lust. I have found a home. It is the people around me tonight. We continue our evening. The most important people to me in the world at that moment, friends, tutors, (actually a few of those people were missing...Lucy was looking after pregnant goat and preforming some kind of pagan sounding ceremony involving a feather hat for a dead chicken. Mack and John, who knows what happened to them...) All at Sandbar and it feels like home. Outside there is a car park, a DJ and a BBQ. The inevitable happens. Party in the car park. We give up on the overcrowded bar as our source of booze and resort to the off license across the street. We dance. We cheer. We reveal our bear bums. We play big face little face. We develop big body little body. We conga with the tramps (none of them had seen my phone). We take Sue and Hitch onto Deaf institute. We dance some more. We hug. We kiss. We love. We take group photos. We desire. We lust. We are ready to take on the world.

The greatest night that ever happened in the history of the world.

And six days later I get that first I was after! Now I have nothing left to prove to anyone. We return to Sandbar. And that is the full stop to the course.

(Almost) A Fathers Worst Nightmare...

We continue celebrations all week up until that final tuesday, doom day. The day we all leave each other. But celebrations come first. It is now exactly a week since the tramp tricked me out of my phone, and one day after I received first class honors in Design and Art Direction. We choose to celebrate in Fallowfield (the original and best) Trof. It is Hat Club. (A spin off from Hot club. Ben/Max (DJs) are also developing Hit Club, Hip Club, Hop Club, and Hack Club) I start walking down. It takes me about ten minutes. I live the furthest out of Fallowfield so have a tendency to either walk alone or pick people up along the way. I call Lucy Vann. She is not ready so I walk towards Brailsford road to meet her. She lives about five minutes walk away. I pass a boy walking in the opposite direction. He is Asian, shaved head, looks about 16-18, wearing a white t-shirt, he looks at me strange, I assume it is because I am playing with my new phone, trying to choose some music to listen to. Stooges. Perfect. I am in the mood for loud music and alcohol as I had been melancholy all day. No more uni, soon to say bye to friends, and I am not at glastonbury. This is indeed a sad time. It is 10 o clock. It is still light. 1969 is playing quite loudly, but only I can hear it. I cross the Kingsway road and head through the underpass that links Kingsway to Brailsford. I pass two people. One man is walking his dog another rides past me in the opposite direction on a bike. I emerge on Brailsford. The top end is pretty deserted, there its the back of a car garage to the right and some kind of strange water maintenance point to the left. A bit of unused wasteland and then houses. “Another year for me and you, another year with nothing to do...” Cue a disjointed, unnerving and occasionally out of key guitar solo. At which point I feel a squeeze at my ass. But a little bit lower and more in between the legs. (I know.) First thought - that has to be someone I know and they have misjudged the positioning of their hand slightly. I look behind me quickly. Asian, shaved head, looks about 16-18, wearing a white t-shirt, he looks at me strange. He has turned around. He has been following me. Shit. I want to punch him. My fist is clenched I think about punching him, but I don’t. What if that was to provoke something worse. I am still by that bit of waste land. I quicken my pace. Matt and Simon live less than thirty seconds away from where I am standing, I will speed walk to their house. Hell I will run. No walk, show that he isn’t intimidating you. But he is. I speed up. He is still following me. What is going to happen. What does he want? My phone? Rape? Oh Christ, I can’t even remember which one is Matt’s house. But I am close enough now. I think his door is red. Or is it brown. Or browny red. Is it that one? Shit. Stooges grow more chaotic. (“1969 Baaaay-by”.) I keep subtly glancing behind me. He is still following. Now he is starting to run at me, I break into a little run. At least I am now close enough to Matt’s that if I shout for him and Simon they will come out. They will save me. Nothing too bad will happen. Should I just knock on a random door... Then I feel a sharp pain to my ass. He hits my right cheek with full strength. I then automatically turn to him and scream “FUCK OFF”. And he did. He turned and ran. The whole thing lasts less than a minute. I quickly walk to Lucy’s house and hold back tears until I get there. I had never felt more vulnerable as a woman. I lose faith in mankind. I run through everything that had happened in my mind. I realise that it had all happened because of a small decision I had made as I left the house. I had two options to get to Brailsford. Turn left or right. If I had turned right I would have gone the slightly quicker but more dangerous looking route, down a long alley. An alley that so many of my friends tell me not to walk down. That night I didn’t, I turned left. The safer route. Past a couple of take outs and down a main road. If I had turned right, down the alley, I would never of crossed that boys path. He would never have seen me to follow me. I would have made an eventless journey to Lucy’s. That day I regretted not turning right. I usually always turn right. But I was lucky I guess. Something far worse could have happened. I have no anxieties about the event. It was pretty shocking though. I think that kid was a little messed up about something.

As for me and the World... We are on speaking terms again!
Don't forget to google me...

Google Me...

I have a website now, which means if you do google me, you will find my lovely new online portfolio. I am still in the middle of uploading some stuff (a few things I wish to re photograph this week) but there is enough on there to keep you entertained. So have a look.
You could google me or alternatively you could click on the link below (or if you wish to be awkward copy and paste this: www.mandigoodier.co.uk into your address bar.)

Come to our exhibition would ya!

"The Reading Room"
Me and the Vann have been invited to exhibit our lovely books with some other lovely books belonging to two photography students. It is part of the 'Not Part Of...' festival and it is at the castle hotel, on oldham street which is in the northern quarter, on thursday (9th july). See you there then!

Not much chance of survival...

I am unable to get over Arcade Fire. Probably the most beautiful band in the world. Here they are performing in a lift. Note their resourcefulness. And so continues my love affair with Canadian Supergroups....

Give me a new album damn it! I may also be a little bit in love with Win.

"Here Comes My Chinese Rug..."

When optimism and fear collide you enter into a very messy situation. I got that first I was working so hard to achieve. I was filled with every single emotion. I am an emotional time bomb in such situations. And for the first time in my life, I did it for myself. Granted there were certain people around me that I was trying to impress, but I earned that grade for myself. I now have gained +10 self belief. Great. Here comes the fear bit. I have a years worth of void to fill, I plan to do this positively with jobs, self initiated work, night classes and a goal of getting something published in a magazine. It will be done.

I have said goodbye to the first city I ever loved, I have said goodbye to an environment that felt more like home than my home. I have found a new piece of who I am, a person I am more secure in and people that were willing to embrace me (that was a great embrace by the way!) There has been drama, things I haven't yet wrote about, mostly surrounding the houses I have lived in. I hated the anxiety such events caused, I yearned for a moment of peace, a moment where everyone could simultaneously be content with life, a moment where insecurity was thrown out and it was believed when words of encouragement were flying around us. Now, I will have to rely on Eastenders for my drama. Old habits die hard...(TV is bound to come back into my life, I may take up bbc4 and box sets. Any recommendations?) And then there are the people. Many people that I am sure I will see again, many that I probably won't. Then there are the other people. The people who I don't necessarily want to see again but will have to, and those fantastic people I have met and fell in love with and will never again see. It is the latter I shed a tear for more than anyone or anything else. Everything else will be filled with new experiences, adventure, meeting up in old haunts, finding new places, seeing new sights, arms slung open wide to the world, acceptance and a great embrace to all that it has to throw at me. Then a tear for all it has taken away. These holes will not be filled, the best I can hope for there are chance encounters, a vague hope that these amazing people wish to stay in contact with me, and an extra yearning for success at something. Success with out selling out (said with all the naivety of a fresh graduate!) and a moment of pride from such people as the words fall through their lips, "I know her. I must get in touch."

Good bye Manchester and all my favorite people.
And Thank you to everyone who made life there good.
You know who you are...