Thursday, May 26, 2005

Questions & Answers *

Blogworld, as I'm sure you know, is full of questionnaires and lists. I found this survey-thingy here, who found it here, so thanks to those two lovely bloggers. You can only read this one, though, if you have a look at every picture and story that I provide a link for, okay?? And, before you ask, I've done this cos I had nothing better to do.

1. Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 18, find line 4. Write down what it says.
"Tom, scowling, opening his mouth, closed it without having said anything,
cleared his throat, put the scowl off his face, and spoke with a husky sort of

That's Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon, which 'er indoors has just finished.

2. Stretch your left arm out as far as you can. What do you touch first?
Letter from the boy's school announcing the theatre club's trip to see Twelfth Night at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre next month.

3. What is the last thing you watched on TV?
A very quick glimpse of the breakfast news this morning, but, before that, Desperate Housewives on E4+1 last night.

4. WITHOUT LOOKING, guess what time it is?

5. Now look at the clock, what is the actual time?

6. With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?
The Raincoats doing that stunning cover version of Lola.

7. When did you last step outside? what were you doing?
This morning at 7.17am to go to work.

8. Before you came to this website, what did you look at?
A music download site to see if F the CC (the only track from Steve Earle's The Revolution Starts Now that I don't have) was available - it wasn't (shit).

9. What are you wearing?
Grey socks, blue tracksuit trousers, red adidas t-shirt - yes, I'm this.

10. Did you dream last night?

11. When did you last laugh?
At work today when relating a telephone conversation with someone who had been complaining about conferences targeted at and for gay and lesbian people, black people and women and saying that "white, male heterosexuals are an oppressed minority" and that there are few conferences for this section of society.

12. What is on the walls of the room you are in?
A couple of paintings done by the mater of 'er indoors, a very nice mirror, a brilliant portrait of the boy painted by one of my siblings, some strange but nice Indian prints and various pictures of the boy in various stages of his life (favourite being one of him when he was 1, lying on bed looking at camera with ace smile on his face).

13. Seen anything weird lately?
This going down here in the middle of the day in the middle of the street in front of everyone walking past.

14. What do you think of this quiz?
It's okay.

15. What is the last film you saw?
At the cinema: Downfall.
On the telly: I think it was the absolutely awful and embarrassing Gangs of New York.

16. If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy first?
Pint of this and this.

17. Tell me something about you that I don't know?
I was in therapy for a year.

18. If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt or politics, what would you do?
Reintroduce this to the menu at Ibrox stadium. I'm informed that this particular item was removed from the menu in the executive suite's restaurant cos its named after a pope!

19. Do you like to dance?
No, always hated doing this - but known to do it in my y0unger days when in this state.

20. George Bush: is he a power-crazy nutcase or some one who is finally doing something that has needed to be done for years?
Don't know about power-crazy, but, yes, I do think of him as a nutcase, but not necessarily because of his politics, more about his religious beliefs. And he is doing no different from any of his predecessors have done over the last 90 years or so.

21. Imagine your first child is a girl, what do you call her?
The girl

22. Imagine your first child is a boy, what do you call him?
The boy

23.Would you ever consider living abroad?
No, although, having lived here for the first 23 of my life, but, now, living here for the last 17 years, I am kind of abroad anyway.

* Biffy Clyro - really must buy some of this band's music. In fact, I think I'll do it tomorrow - well, it is pay day.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The Time Has Come *

Whoopeee! Since our UEFA Cup experiences of two years ago, we've played dreadful football - long ball to Hartson, then two things happen; 1. Hartson gets free kick, from which we score or; 2. Hartson gives away a free kick. The days of Agathe powering down the wing or Petrov powering through the centre of the field are well past us now. It's time to rebuild and me thinks that Strachan could just be the man to do so. As for O'Neill? Thanks for some great memories, but your job is well and truly done for us. Now, go and look after the missus!

*Christy Moore

Sunday, May 22, 2005


Just came back from the pub having watched the footie (note, Ardeelee, footie means soccer) and, while I'd maybe have liked to have said I was stunned, I'm not. The simple reason being that today's drubbing from the 'Well was coming for some time. We have been dreadful in recent weeks - slogged it against Hearts, slogged it against Aberdeen and Hibs. On the whole, I don't exaggerate when I say that I think our team is the worst since the Liam Brady days. Yes, they are all quality players - or, to be more precise, HAVE BEEN quality players. And O'Neil's tactics today were a disgrace - assuming, of course, that the players followed advice which must have gone along the lines of: "Right lads, our strength over recent seasons has been our forward play and our huge weakness has been at the back, so.....get a goal and forget about attacking and just let our very aged and slow defenders handle the young nippy opposition." What a fucking wanker!
I'm angry, very angry indeed. Not at Rangers, not at Motherwell and not, as some moronic Celtic fans might be, at refereee Hugh Dallas. I'm only angry at Celtic. We were dreadful today, we have been dreadful for some weeks and, in fact, we have been dreadful all season. Story over!
So, I come home and what do I do to cheer me up? The only thing that cheers me up when I'm pissed off - and, in fact the only thing which I put on when I'm on a high: Never Mind The Bollocks, from which the title of this post comes.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Petty Theft *

Having got on the broadband bandwagon recently, 'er indoors and me decided that the time was right to start finally downloading music. I have just made my first disc and, for some reason, chose Japanese indie/electronic/avant-garde/folk/rock guitar maestro Cornelius's Point as my first download. The first attempt didn't go well as neither of us knew what a m4a file was and downloaded the whole album in that format before finding out that, although it plays on the spanking new, hi-tec computer, our CD player and personal CD player are not quite technologically up to date for this and no sounds came out. So, it was back to the drawing board tonight to download it on mp3 format and, hey presto, it's on the CD as I write and sounding stonking - and includes a wonderful version of Brazil.
Saw him and his band play at the Royal Festival Hall a couple of years back (I think it was on the Robert Wyatt Meltdown line-up) and I was highly impressed. You lot out there should definitely check him out. If I'm not mistaken, I think he also produces, so you may see his name on the inside covers of some of your albums.

* Skip Wilkins & Jill Allen - who they you ask? I don't know!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

London Calling

There I was, minding my own business, quenching my thirst after a session in the gym by having a pint on my own as usual (Messalina had left to catch her train out to the sticks by this time) and who should walk into the pub but Darren from Inveresk Street. Well, blow me down with a feather, didn't expect that to happen. Ah, I can hear you ask: "If you have never met him before, how did you know it was him?" Easy, being an avid reader of Perspective, I recognised him from this straightaway. Just screw your eyes up a bit and there's no mistaking that hairy face.
Anyway, it transpired that Darren was in the big city to see his old/new friend Kara, who writes about stuff here, who was in town from across the Atlantic in New York to see her old/new friend Darren. A heartwarming tale to be said about this, but I'll just leave it there for now.
So, had an extremely pleasant couple of pints with Darren and, as he has already commented on his blogthang, jokes, fitba and lefty stuff were the subjects of our evening.
Hope we can do that again! And, hopefully, others can join in next time. Whaddya say?

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Words From The Front *

I'm sure I've mentioned on more than one occasion my total admiration for the works of US crime writer George Pelecanos as his work - much like, among others, his fellow American novelists Elmore Leonard and James Ellroy, plus the Scottish author Ian Rankin - which goes far beyond a simple genre and enters the realms of classic contemporary fiction.
Like the others mentioned, it is no straightforward crime committed, cops look for criminal, cops find criminal and cops either jail or shoot criminal for Pelecanos. For starters, each of his books has a superb soundtrack, whether 60s and 70s soul or punk and new wave, music is a major player in his writing - much like, now I think of it, as Ian Banks namedrops some great bands and sound in his novels. Add to the music, Pelecanos has class, economics, race and political corruption in large dollops.
The book I've just finished, Right As Rain, comes up trumps as usual. It's the first of the Strange and Quinn quartet (and is the ninth of his that I have read) and proves a real pacy, racy read. I give you the following section as a taster (both participants are former police officers, now private detectives, who are on the trail of drug dealers):
"'First thing I would do,' said Strange. 'First thing, I'd legalize drugs. Take away what they're all fightin over, cause in itself it's got no meaning anyway. It's like those MacGuffins they're always talkin about in those Alfred Hitchcock movies - just somethin to move the drama along. Legalization, it works in some of those European countries, right? You don't see this kind of crime over there. The repeal of prohibition, it stopped a lot of the same kind of things we got goin on right here, didn't it?'
'Okay. What's the other thing?'
'Make handguns illegal, nationwide. After a moratorium and a grace period, mandatory sentences for anyone caught in possession of a handgun. A pistol ain't good for nothin but killing other human beings, man.'
'You're not the first person who's thought of those things. So why isn't anyone talking about it for real?'
'Cause you put all those politicians down on the Hill in one room and you can't find one set of nuts swingin between the legs of any of em. Even the ones who know what's got to be done, they realize that comin out in favour of drug legalization and handgun illegalization will kill their careers. And the rest of them are in the pockets of the gun lobby. Meantime, nearly half the black men in this city have either been incarcerated or are in jail now.'
'You tellin me it's a black thing?'
'I'm tellin you it's a money thing. We got two separate societies in this country, and the gap between the haves and the have-nots is gettin wider every day. And the really frustratin thing is...'
'No-one cares,' said Quinn.
'Not exactly. You got mentors, community activists, church groups out here, they're tryin, man, believe me. But it's not enough. More to the point, some people care, but most people care about the wrong things. Look, why does a dumb-ass, racist disc jockey make the front page and the leadoff on the TV news for weeks, when the murder of teenage black children gets buried in the back of the Metro section every day? Why do my own people write columns year after year in the Washington Post complainin that black actors don't get nominated for any Academy Awards, when they should be writin every goddamn day about the fucked-up schools in this city, got no supplies, leaking roofs, and fifteen-year-old textbooks. You got kids walkin to school in this city afraid for their lives, and once they get there they got one security guard lookin after five hundred children. How many bodyguards you think the mayor's got, huh?'
'I don't know, Derek. You askin me?'
'I'm makin a point....'"

Pure dynamite!

*Tom Verlaine

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Democracy *

I have no hesitation in going along to the polling station today and placing my vote for the Labour Party for two very simple reasons.
One, they are the best and most progressive party on offer, either to me locally or to the country as a whole (by country, I mean England, of course - I cannot speak for Wales, Scotland, or any other country for that matter).
Two, the organised working class is still with Labour and I do not presume to be superior to the trade union movement.
I have to say, though, that I have hardly been overly-enthused about the election and will not be whooping with joy when the result comes in.
At least I get to enjoy myself tonight when I take myself off to the Astoria to see The Dears.

* The magnificent Leonard Cohen

Sunday, May 01, 2005

This Is For The Poor *

A wonderful and merry May Day to one and all. This is the day when we not only celebrate our past labour victories but one in which we demand our rights. And, here in Britain, we, or some of us, demand the repeal of ALL the old Tory and now new Labour, anti-union laws. The unions certainly do need governed, but this is and should be done by their own rule books.
SOLIDARITY forever sisters and brothers! And thanks to the Sydney branch of the Communist Party of Australia for the graphic.

* The Others - a song which sparked a really annoying, irritating and embarrasing article in the Guardian guide last weekend (or was it the previous week?). I may revisit this issue at a later date, if I can be bothered. Posted by Hello