Thursday, September 30, 2004

I Just Can't Be Happy Today

No-one likes us, we don't care!Posted by Hello

How Millwall can be out of that tournament, I don't know. Totally outplayed the Hungarian champions over two legs, but go down 4-2 on aggregate. The 3-1 scoreline tonight was nowhere near a reflection of the game, but, I suppose if you cannot put the ball in the back of the net, you suffer the consequences. The young Scottish winger Sweeney came on in the second half and should have grabbed a couple of goals, but couldn't quite connect properly. Oh well, out little European adventure was fun, even if all to brief!
I watched the game in my local, which I have never seen so busy, packed to the gunwales with south London's finest. My particular favourite song, was late on and with our League Cup game at home to Liverpool on the horizon, one wag sang, to the tune of You'll Never Walk Alone:

"Sign on. Sign on.
With a pen in your hand
Cos you'll never get a job
You'll never get a job."

I love Millwall and I love their fans.

I get home to hear that the anti-democratic, monarch-loving team from Govan get through on penalties against the mighty Maritimo (who they?) of Portugal - but no doubt they sang songs of how all social classes should unite in a show of solidarity and struggle against the evils of our society? I sit holding my breath.

No complaints with the Celtic score on Wednesday night, however. Once again, specifically in the first half, we were at the receiving end of a football masterclass a la the game against Barcelona a few weeks ago. That it wasn't at least 4-0 to the Italians at half-time was a miracle. We used our best European tactics in the second half - muscling the opposition off the ball and sticking the boot it - but that did nothing to hide the fact that Celtic cannot compete against decent foreign opposition.

Some may remember my comments re the screechin banshee from that game. Well, she was there again.
I was accompanied this time by a Hibees' fan, who stated, with apologies to modern sensibilities: "Someone should kill that Weedgie bitch - her fucking screamin' is like a drill going straight through yer brain." After challenging his sexism and his anti-west coastisms, I heartily agreed with said comments. I could do nothing but agree with the bloke who responded to her ultra-falsetto shouts at the third Miland goal of "Ah fuckin knew it. Ah pure fuckin knew it, by the way" with the riposte: "Then why the fuck did ye no stay in the fuckin hoose, hen?"
She nips the heid so badly that I am considering not watching the next Celtic game. I cannot stress enough how bad her screaming is and there are no comparisons that can be used to show how bad she is - she is a unique nightmare of an animal.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Days Like These Keep Me Warm

Richmond Fontaine - good ol' boys. Posted by Hello

What a stupendous few days I've just had. First was a fantastic trip to the cinema to watch Feux Rouges (Red Lights) - a very classy French suspense thriller. An unlikely scenario ensued, but that didn't spoil what was an excellent film.

That was followed last night by a game of footie - we let the firm down as we went down to a team from pricewaterhousecoopers. The score was an unembarrassing 7-5 to the opposition, but we can certainly play a lot better than we did and my passing was atrocious, although I don't think I deserved the crack on the shin I received just before the final whistle. We're taking on a team of solicitors next week and hopefully an improvement will be seen.

Then it was down to the Borderline (one of my favourite musical haunts, by the way) and a guest list entrance to a sold out show from Richmond Fontaine. They were totally awesome and their set was among the best I had seen in years. And, while I am prone to exaggerations at times, I do not exaggerate this time. They were simply stunning. Although they are usually bracketed in with the alt country crowd, their sometime three chord thrashes and rockier moments suggest a lot more than gentle country music, even though they do the latter to perfection also. And, as for the singer's voice, well, it would bring tears to a glass eye.

Then, almost immediately after the set was finished, they were there in the bar to chat to whoever wanted to chat to them. They really are nice blokes! A visit to Barsoles for late night drinkies and then it was home to bed. What a perfect evening.

Check out the Fontain's website, with particular reference to the bass player's diary, in the section called along the lines of Outta My Head, or something like that. I particularly like his homage to the Clash on a post entitled Sandanista.

The boy has just come in from school with two of his buddies and they all seem to be in a right good mood. I fear the boy's mood will change later when The Hoops get humped by Milan, but I dearly hope I am wrong.

I suppose I'll have to visit the pub to watch it - three nights out in a row, some people could be forgiven for thinking I have a vibrant social and cultural life!

P.S. Message for Ayrshire folk, Richmond Fontaine are playing at the Darvel music festival on Friday night - go, you will not be disappointed!!!

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Fly The Flag

Got up at 8 - unheard of for Reidski on a Sunday morning, by the way! Met up with the squad. Drove the boy and some team-mates to the venue of what was going to the be their first victory of the season. Was handed a flag and told to be a linesman - sorry, that should be assistant referee. Watched the boy's team get humped 3-1. Had a thoroughly enjoyable time. and can't wait til next week.

The point about kids' footie - or any other sport for that matter -is that those taking part should enjoy it. And there's no doubt that the boy and his mates do enjoy it. And so do the parents - or those who turn up do. There were only a couple of us there to cheer them on this morning. Talking to another player's parent in my local boozer this afternoon about this one, we came up with the conclusion that our lot are a typical inner-city team, with all the social baggage that comes with that. That's not a bad thing, just a fact.

The guy that runs the team is a local hero to me. He gives up so much time and energy to helping out a bunch of kids who he has no ties to and moulds them in to something they might never have been in the first place.

Anyway, Kris Boyd, he's good, isn't he?

Where Boys Fear To Tread

He's good. He's very good. Posted by Hello

A mate put me on to US writer Michael Parenti this week. I'm ashamed to say that I had never heard of him before. Try this one for starters.

A good quote from him: "Here at home and throughout the world people are fighting back against the forces of wealth, privilege, and militarism -- some because they have no choice, others because they would choose no other course but the one that leads to peace and justice."

I've had a strange week or so.

First, I had what can only be described as an extraordinary weekend in Scotland. I initially had a great time at a family birthday party for one of the world's great human beings - then it was a couple of days of sheer hedonism.

There were many highlights involved, but one involved getting a text message from 'er indoors saying that the boy had received man of the match award for his performance in his first ever organised footie match. We'll skip past the part where his team got beat 3-2 after being 2-0 up at half-time.

This came in the middle of a brilliant two-day stay at chez tnr, descriptions of which are not for public consumption - not forgetting a big thank you to the man himself for picking me up on the Friday night (you owe me one, tnr). If you ever get the chance to savour this household's goulash and dumplings, followed by meringue, then you are certainly privileged - I certainly thought I was.

That's all a week ago - but there really is not much to say about the subsequent days. Other than to say, no alcohol was drunk for the most part.

I'm taking the boy to his game tomorrow, when I may be required to run the line or even be referee. Reports to follow.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Something's Gone Wrong Again

Gabba Gabba Hey Posted by Hello

So Johnny is the latest to go. Not the greatest human being on the planet, by any means - his view that Ronnie Raygun being the greatest president in his life proof of that one. Nevertheless, he contributed to one of the most sublime albums in history. Few have surpassed it and even fewer will in the future.

Fox hunting. Who really gives a flying fuck one way or the other? That our democratic institutions have given so much time over the last seven years or so debating this matter is an issue in itself. A non-issue in class terms, a non-issue in socio-economic terms and certainly a non-issue when it comes to the most important questions of the day. Why oh fucking why are our elected politicians even discussing it? In saying that, a small part of me - and it really was a very very small part - wanted the police to wade in to those protesters outside the Palace of Westminster yesterday. Firstly, cos the thought of them doing any damage to one the of the most beautifual architectural constructions in the world angered me. But, also, cos I hate the thought of any group of whatever political hue coming in to fuck up my city. Come and visit and demonstrate by all means, but don't fuck with us, okay, you townsfolk and villagers! And don't get tanked up on cider when you take us on, either!
On more important matters, I went from here to here to watch the travesty of Millwall getting only a 1-1 draw from the mighty Ferencvaros of Hungary. The 26-times champions of their country could only manage one shot on goal, which, unfortunately, went in, while the Lions were looking comfortable throughout.
I fear that Ferencvaros will be a different team in the second leg.
On a happy note, I'm off to the frozen north for a weekend in the homeland. It's definitely going to be fun, it's definitely going to be drunken and it's definitely going to be headaches on the three subsequent mornings. But who cares????

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Picture This

The familiar scene of Ronaldinho waltzing past our defence. Posted by Hello

Spending my day off looking after the boy - who is now bouncing back to full health, by the way - working out how to put images on my site. It looks as if I've learned successfully.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Alright, Here This

Titles of recent posts:

Knockin Em Back - Paul Westerburg, former Replacements singer who has brought out some phenomenal solo stuff - particularly Come Feel Me Tremble, which this track comes from. I don't know why my record collection doesn't include any Replacements. I must rectify that one.

Beginning to See the Light - you know, of course, that it is the Velvet Underground, one of the greatest bands ever.

Under the Influence - Eminem, a great wordsmith, lyricist and entertainer.

Suspended from Class - Camera Obscura (Glasgow has produced some superb fey guitar bands over the years, but this lot are definitely one of the best. Met the male singer at a gig in London when they supported the Trashcan Sinatras and thought he was a very nice young man indeed. On record and live, they are brilliant).

Groovy Times - great Clash track. B-side of I Fought the Law, if I'm not mistaken.

Party Til You Puke - anyone remember Andrew WK. He was the guy who, while his music was certainly half decent, found some sort of NME-style fame by always bashing his head in to the extent that he was covered in blood at every gig - strange but true. This is a great song and a great title.

And the title of this post? We're talking Three MCs and One Dj. We're talking three of the greatest musicians ever to come out of Brooklyn, NY. And, if it wasn't for their misguided and stupid "pro-Tibet" bullshit, I might like them on a political level, also.

Postcript: Tibet has always been part of China and why anyone would think anything different is beyond me. Further, what was the Dalai Lama in Tibet other than a slave-owning feudalist ruler, anyway?

Wide Open Space

The title of this one refers to Celtic Park tonight whenever Barca had the ball. To say that we were beaten would be an understatement. Not to say that we didn't play excellently for a 15-minute period, with Sutton's goal coming in the middle of that period.
But, overall, what a masterclass we were subject to. To be only 1-0 down at half-time felt like the greatest victory we have ever achieved such was Barca's dominance. It was an absolutely one-sided mismatch.
At least we saved face a bit in the second period, but 3-1 was certainly not a flattering scoreline for Barcelona.
I watched it in one of my locals that always has Celtic games on the big screen - no matter what other games are on the box. There was a good crowd in tonight and they took the defeat well - except for a right screechy wummin who wouldn't stop screechin.
My dismay at the defeat was offset somewhat by the fact that the boy is now well into recovery mode following a horrific bug which saw him projectile vomit throughout last night and in the early part of today.
His intake over the last 24 hours has consisted of a piece of toast, a packet of crisps and a few glasses of Lucozade.
The poor wee thing - it looks as if I may have to take the day off tomorrow to look after him.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Get a Grip on Yourself

This from the Press's infantile, it's purile and it's not clever, but it is a little bit funny.

Name change for Little Dicker chapel
The pastor of Little Dicker chapel has changed its name because too many "depraved" minds found it funny.
Pictures of men - many of them exposing themselves - outside the chapel have been winging around the internet and between camera phones.
Pastor Terry Brinkley has decided to rename it the Golden Cross Chapel after the East Sussex hamlet where it's based, reports the Daily Telegraph.
He says so many jokers were flocking to have their picture taken outside the chapel that they were clogging the narrow local lanes.
Mr Brinkley said: "We thought it better to change the sign's wording to Golden Cross Chapel in order to reduce the incidents of both private and commercial vehicles visiting the site to take lewd photographs."
The chapel, which opened in 1813, was originally known as Dicker Independent Chapel but, in 1838, a much bigger chapel was built two miles away at Lower Dicker.
The original one at Golden Cross then became known as Little Dicker Chapel.
One resident said: "It is playground humour, but it always brought a smile to my face as I drove past."

Friday, September 10, 2004

Knockin em Back

I love the Germans - read this.

The weather's about to turn in our lovely city. I think I'll mark the occasion by having my fourth bottle of San Miguel since I came home from work about two hours ago. I'm simply taking the sound advice of the German minister.
Heard a weird bit of gossip about an old friend and colleague last night.
This guy used to be a serial shagger and went out with some gorgeous looking women. Then he came out the closet and admitted his true sexuality. Then he went off to work in far-off foreign climes - that was about three years ago. Now it transpires that not only is he back in the closet, but he's married with a child.
I'm not quite sure how to react to this one yet...but, as long as he's happy...

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Beginning To See The Light (?)

Here are three not wholly unrelated pieces of news from the last week or so.
I haven't edited them whatsover, other than put in the numbers at the beginning of each article.
On this issue, history is already absolving some of us, but I know that's still not important for the imperialists of various ideologies who supported political, military and cultural invasion of Yugoslavia.

1. Another case of mass deception?
By LAWRENCE MARTIN (Toronto Globe & Mail)
Thursday, September 2, 2004
Where are the bodies? Was the other big war of the last decade, Kosovo in 1999, triggered by bogus allegations as well? Another case of mass deception?
In Iraq, it's the missing mass weapons of destruction. In Kosovo, it's the missing mass graves.
In alleged ethnic cleansing exercises by Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic, as many as 100,000 to 200,000 civilians were said to have gone missing or been killed in Kosovo, many of them buried in mass graves. Members of a Canadian forensic team to the Serbian province have come forward to label the numbers nonsense. No mass graves, they say, and, on both the Albanian and Serb sides, only a few thousand dead. A mockery of the numbers used to justify the war.
In The Hague this week, the war-crimes tribunal reopened with Mr. Milosevic's calling the genocide charges against him a lie and a treacherous distortion of history. He may well be the treacherous distorter. If his Serb armies weren't guilty as charged in Kosovo, there was his past record of bloodshed to consider. As someone wrote, Kosovo for Mr. Milosevic was like tax evasion for Al Capone: something they could nail him on.
But that doesn't excuse going to war on the basis of flim-flam. The Kosovo story has etchings of Iraq all over it. The United States (the Democrats this time) and Britain (Tony Blair again) demonize an enemy with fraudulent accusations. They play the gullible media, Canada's included, like a violin.
The latest person to debunk the genocide numbers is retired Vancouver homicide detective Brian Honeybourn, a member of the forensic team. He told The Ottawa Citizen this week that his nine-member group found mainly single graves, with a couple of exceptions being one of 20 bodies and another 11. He wonders how genocide charges against Mr. Milosevic can stand up. "It seems as though The Hague is beginning to panic."
Garth Pritchard, a Canadian filmmaker, accompanied the forensic team to Kosovo. "This was a massacre that never happened." He joined mission leader Brian Strongman in lambasting Canadian Louise Arbour, the special prosecutor for the tribunal that brought the charges against Mr. Milosevic. Ms. Arbour, now the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, was used as a pawn by war-hungry Washington and London, they said. "I was standing there when the forensic teams were telling Louise Arbour there were no 200,000 bodies and she didn't want to know," Mr. Pritchard told the Citizen.
Ms. Arbour's career path lit up after her war-crimes work. She was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada, then to her UN post.
The findings, or non-findings, of the Canadian forensic team are consistent with those of other teams of experts sent over since the war ended. At the time of the conflict, James Bissett, a former Canadian ambassador to Yugoslavia, and Lewis MacKenzie, a major-general with a wealth of experience in the Balkan theatre, took issue with the tales being spun. But they, as well as some voices in the media, were drowned out by the drumbeat of war. U.S. defence secretary William Cohen was alleging that as many as 100,000 Albanian Kosovars had gone missing. Mr. Blair, in a preview of his comportment on Iraq, was crying horror upon horror. President Bill Clinton wanted to shift the focus off his domestic problems -- Monica Lewinsky etc. -- and was gung-ho for a NATO invasion.
Looking back a couple of years after the conflict, defence minister Art Eggleton acknowledged that the propaganda coming out of the Pentagon was extraordinary. But the Chrétien Liberals, on close terms with the Clinton Democrats, weren't about to buck the White House on Kosovo, as they would on Iraq. The allies were all on board for an attack, making it extremely unlikely that Canada would be the odd one out.
But having everybody in the wagon doesn't excuse what happened. If the forensic teams' stories are correct, the missing dead in Kosovo is indeed a scandal comparable to the absence of WMD in Iraq. In a five-year period, political leaders twice duped their populations into going to war.

2. BELGRADE (AP) - A former student group that led the popular uprising against Slobodan Milosevic’s autocratic regime closed a chapter in its colorful history yesterday by joining a pro-Western opposition party. At a signing ceremony in Belgrade, members and officials of the group known as Otpor, or Resistance, formally became part of Serbia’s reform-minded Democratic Party. "This is not just the end of one chapter but a new beginning," said Nenad Konstantinovic, an Otpor official. (Associated Press)

3. (The Times - UK)
Belgrade: Ljilana Colic, the Serbian Education Minister, has ordered schools to stop teaching the theory of evolution to children this year, and to resume teaching it in future only if it shares equal billing with creationism. Nikola Tucic, a biology lecturer at Belgrade University, called the ruling a disaster.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Under The Influence

The boy didn't seem that bothered when I came in tonight all happy about England drawing 2-2 with Austria. I think it was a mixture of "dad's an arsehole", "dad's drunk" and, more importantly, "I'm trying to watch Grease" which made him not care that his national team didn't do as well as they should have done.
I have just had a brilliant drinking day.
Woke up late morning and then watched the news and the lunchtime footie stuff, then done a tiny bit of shopping which salved the conscience a bit, then.....
pub pub pub pub pub. Watched Ireland canter to their win over Cyprus, then it was Wales against Azarbeijan and then, ha ha ha, England holding on for a point against Austria. I really couldn't help but applaud when the Austrian goals went in - one, they were cracking goals, but, two, they were against England. I have been in this beautiful and loving country for 18 years now, but I cannot get rid of that bitter and twisted chip on my shoulder. The boy even called me a "hun" today after he asked me who I would want to win if Rangers ever played England. "No question" says I, and then explained why. That didn't go down well with the boy (who is, it must be said, English).
Getting back to more important matters, I'm waiting for some liberal lefty arsehole to dare say something about the Chechens' right to use whatever means they have at their disposal.
At that point, faces will be punched and blood will spill.
Chechnya has never been a nation, full stop. The very idea that it should be a separate independent "state" on the basis that the majority of people living there are muslims is a bit like advocating self-determination for a protestant republic of Govan. Yes, fucking bonkers.
No doubt the SWP or some (or all) of their bonkers' allies will come up with some (not so) well-thought-out reason why we should support these fuckers.
Fuck 'em.
Before I leave you all...........I want you people out there to come up with the name of the bands/singers of the titles of the posts I publish on this bloggy thing. Sooo, you cannot put a comment on here until you make a guess, okay?

Friday, September 03, 2004

Is It In My Head?

So off I go to get endoscopy and ... piece of f'n piss. It helped that that person shoving camera and surprisingly thick cable down my throath told me beforehand that, although she was still a trainee and not fully qualified, she had done this "82 times", asked me if I wanted her more experienced colleague to carry out the procedure. I scoffed at the suggestion and mutterred something about shitting myself whoever done it. But she was nice and the nurse, who, literally, held my hand and head during the whole process, was even better, made it all okay.
At the end of it all I thought: "Well, is that it?"
In saying that, though, it was well weird and I did wretch a couple of times and found it well uncomfortable when they pumped air directly into my stomach - but fuck all really. And no sore throat afterwards either.
Anyway, as I suspected, they found nothing. The possibility/probability is that my throat muscles are not working properly and that my GP will have to prescribe something to sort that out - i.e. a muscle relaxant.
As for tonight - was I the only one thinking that anything lower than an 8-0 loss would be a good result? What a performance. On any other night, Stevie Crawford would have had a hat trick. 1-0 to us at half-time seemed like we were hard done by - until, of course, we realised we had been playing Spain.
Not just on this performance, but there is no way that we can get a better manager than Berti Vogts. I'm so happy that he has stayed this long. I will always remember seeing him in the press conference after the game when we held Germany to a 1-1 draw at Hampden (just a matter of months before they got themselves to the World Cup Final) and I don't think I had ever in my life seen a more proud man.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Suspended From Class

Me and 'er indoors have just finished watching the third series of Six Feet Under - it gets better and better and better and no more said.
But, anyway, the boy started secondary school this week. It's a kind of get the new kids in kind of start as they new intake went in yesterday and today and then return with all the rest of the students on Monday.
Sooo, what happened on the boy's first day? He only got sent out of one of the classes! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!
He claims that he could see the IT teacher about to start the lesson and panicked because he (the boy) realised that he had left his pencil case along with coat about three yards away. So, up got the boy to fetch said pencil case and teacher ordered his removal from class "until you sort yourself out."
The boy, unfortunately, thought that was amusing because the teacher "didn't realise that that meant it was good cos I missed about 15 minutes of a boring class."
Stern talk followed by parent and the boy now realises that teacher is, quite rightly, putting a marker down that no-one fucks about in his class. The boy also says that the teacher was also quite good cos he had chat with him and, at the end, said that he didn't quite realise that the boy was only trying to make sure that he had all his equipment at the ready. So, all's well that ends well.
The big point is, he loves his new school. And his mater and pater are, obviously, dead proud of the boy, seeing him beginning the next stage of his journey in life. I, of course, have already seen him reach higher nirvana by the very fact that he just about hit the ceiling when Thompson scored his thunderbolt last Sunday, but that's not important right now.
I got back to work today, but only for today, cos I'm off tomorrow and have to go visit hospital on Friday.
My intention tomorrow is to take the boy and his mate off for a day into town and do some of those touristy things that Londoners usually take for granted but would really like to visit, but we'll have to wait to see if that actually happens.
Friday's another kettle of fish altogether.
I'll be visiting the local hospital to get a camera shoved down my throat - not sure if I'm going to like that somehow! But you never know.