Sunday, April 30, 2006

Rolling Stone hospitalized

Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones was admitted to hospital on Saturday after falling from a tree earlier this week while on holiday in Fiji, says the BBC.

Reports that it was an "ugly tree" and that Richards hit every branch on the way down are entirely unfounded.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

London Eye: quick update

Went on the London Eye.

Didn't shit my pants.

Which is good news.

But fuck me, how we queued.

Which, in case you're wondering, is bad news.

Still didn’t get that haircut...

So this is how it looked first thing this morning. Nice, no? That's some serious fucking bedhead! And those are the eyes of someone who spends too long at a computer. Take heed, folks.

Short and sweet

So, our weekend guests arrived, and we picked them up from Stansted airport. That's, like, a 4-hour round trip right there. Fun! Although, on the bright side, it gave Wife and me a much-needed break from our computer screens.

By the time we got back home it was 5.45pm. So we sat around a little while, have a chat over some coffee, give 'em the Grand Tour of the house (it's their first time here; y'know how it is), do a bit of shopping for dinner, eat dinner, and then Wife and I go back to work, finishing at just before 1am.

Then this morning, at 6am, Cat, who's totally fucked off with having to share his house with two strangers, starts miaowing outside their bedroom door, which is usually our bedroom but we gave it up for the guests cos it's bigger than the spare room. See how fucking nice we are? Selfless and shit. And Cat, as some of you might remember [click here if you don't], likes to observe the nesting pigeons from our bedroom window. So he's really pissed that he can't get his ringside seat. In the meantime, of course, his miaows have woken us up, but not them. Oblivious!

So we're gonna put in a couple of hours work before showing them some of the sights of London taaahn. Might go on that London Eye thing. Wife and I have never been on it. But I'm scared of heights. Watch this space...


Friday, April 28, 2006

Good news

Well, it seems that my present plans are going to succeed. It said so inside the fortune cookie I just ate.

Froggin’ marvellous, innit?

I love this picture, which I have nicked lifted robbed borrowed from Drowned In Sound. And it seems they got it from, anyway.

That Cherie Booth Blair has never looked fitter. Hold on, that's not her... Some fucking wag has switched her head with that of Crazy Frog (a-ring ding ding), and I hardly even noticed.

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No, it's not the meaning of life; it's my number of hits. Seems that passing that first thousand is something of a milestone, so just spreading the word, y'know.

On a different note, I feel a bit bad about moaning about our imminent guests yesterday. To be fair, we had said they could come when they asked a few weeks back. But we just didn't know we were going to be quite so busy. So it's partly our fault.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Absolutely VARBulous, innit?

I checked my VARB Rank today. 2.67. You're havin' a fuckin' bubble bath, ain't ya? I think it's some kind of VARB malfunction. They've probably got one of those old meters that only goes up to 10. What they need is one that goes up to 11. That'll sort it. 2.67. Pah!

V for visitors

Poplear people that we are (that's poplear in the way that Bush says nucular), Wife and I have yet more visitors descending upon us tomorrow. This time for a long weekend, arriving Friday afternoon and leaving Tuesday morning. Now, don't get me wrong. We're not crotchety whiny fucks who don't like having guests. We have lots of (well, perhaps not lots, but several) very good friends who we are only too happy to socialize with and accommodate. But sometimes the timing is just so so bad.

I really thought that the long weekend would give us some time to get on top of our workload without interruptions from those 9-to-5, Monday-to-Friday types phoning and e-mailing every five minutes as if I've got nothing better to do with my time than talk to them. But no. It's all gone bollocks-up. And we were, to paraphrase Chris Moltisanti from The Sopranos, just a cunt hair away from being on top of things.

Still, what's done is done, and it'll be nice to see them. And they might even bring us some gastronomic goodies (they're coming from Italy). But if you happen to see the four of us pounding the streets of London and Canterbury gabbling on in a mix of English and Italian, don't forget to say hi. If I look confused by your greeting, then it's probably not me you're speaking to. And if I don't get round to blogging much over the weekend, that's why...


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

“Don’t call us, we’ll call you”

As kiss-offs go, this one is pretty fucking lame, as used by Faye Dunaway (how the mighty have fallen) at the end of each episode of The Starlet. I mean it's not up there with the Trump's "You're fired", is it? Alan Sugar was wise indeed not to try and invent his own catchphrase for the UK version. Especially given how shit he is at inventing anything at all.

And here's a not-at-all gratuitous shot of Vivica (I'm "A") Fox – after all, she's a panellist on the show. That strange scream you just heard? That's me with a frying pan wrapped around my head just after Wife sees this post. Not saying I'm pussy-whipped, but I am in so much trouble.

Skin news... kind of

Shelley Jackson has updated her Skin website, and there's a progress update, too. That means we're getting somewhere.

Readers from way back may recall that I have already had my word tattooed.

But Jackson says she is still looking for candidates, and it's still not too late to apply, so if you are looking to get an interesting tattoo, check out the guidelines on her site.

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Me, politics, and my life

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I don't really "do" politics. I therefore don't really like to blog about it. However, looking back over my posts from the past few days, I see there is more politics in there than I would have imagined. The trouble is, they make it so damn easy to mock them. I mean, really, it's like fucking open season out there at the moment: thousands of pounds spent on haircuts and make-up, releasing prisoners who should have been deported, and now the deputy prime minister is banging his secretary. What can a boy do...?

But, I have been inundated with e-mails. "My dearest * (asterisk)," they write. "Won't you regale us with more tales of your personal life? Won't you light up our lives with more of your reviews? We especially love the ones of films by foreign directors. And we want more pictures of you, rather than pictures of politicians what you have nicked from the intraweb thingy."

Well, readers, I'm sad to say there's not much news forthcoming on the home front right now. Wife and I are currently working almost every waking hour, and we haven't had time to watch any foreign films or listen to new music in a while. We did, however, sit down at the weekend to watch Bullet Boy – y'know, that British film with Asher D out of the So Solid Crew. Here's my review. Not bad. Bit inevitable. Not exactly Boyz N the Hood, but a passable British effort.

As for pictures of me: well, I've been looking into this Half Nekkid Thursday thing. So maybe... just maybe.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

That’s a big “oops”

Directly responsible, by his own admission, for the release (over the course of seven years) of 1,023 foreign prisoners who should have been considered for deportation – including murderers, rapists, and paedophiles – UK Home Secretary Charles Clarke has denied that he is set to resign. "I certainly don't think I have a duty to the public to go," he said. "I have a duty to sort this out." [Source: BBC News]

Sky News reports Clarke as saying: "We simply didn't make the proper arrangements for identifying and considering removal in line with the growth of numbers that were there. That is a failure of the Home Office and its agencies for which I take responsibility."

Tell you what, Charles, never mind your "eye off the ball" platitudes and your "deeply regrettable" bullshit – just sort it out, and then fuck off, you jug-eared cunt.

What’s for lunch?

Well, I can tell you what I had today. Just click here.

The next Patrick Duffy

No, I'm not talking about the new Dallas movie, I'm talking about Patrick Duffy in The Man From Atlantis. Oh, how I remember rushing home from Sunday School to watch that. But I'm going off on a tangent.

The other day, FourDinners requested readers list their heroes in his comments box. Bollocks – when I put up my list I forgot to include David Blaine. The Blainester is apparently going to live underwater for a week, according to the BBC. Now there's a cunt hero for you.

Pop quiz: Green Day

Topic of conversation round at ours the other night: which member of Green Day would you most like to be friends with?

Wife asked me. I said Mike Dirnt. She agreed.

Howard’s made up

There are so many reasons why this is wrong, and there are so many words that come to mind: sad, ridiculous, disturbing, outrageous. Delete as appropriate (although I don't think any are actually inappropriate); or maybe even come up with some of your own.

This is, of course, the news that opposition leader Michael Howard spent £3,600 (US$6,400) on make-up during last year's election campaign. I can't bring myself to post a picture of this man, because he's such a fetid cunt, but if you really want the full story with a pic, click here.

Of course, this wasn't the only abuse of public funds perpetrated at that time. Cherie's (ahem) hairdressing bill caused a stir last week. But somehow this is just... I don't know... even more desperate?

Monday, April 24, 2006

Is the Internet broken, too?

I also love this e-mail that I got from Blogger Support just at the exact same time as Blogger started working again this evening, about 6.30pm UK time:

Thanks for reporting this problem. BlogSpot publishing is currently
broken, but we are working on getting it back to normal as soon as
possible. Please see our Blogger Status page for further updates:

I'm particularly fond of the bit that goes: "BlogSpot publishing is currently broken". Genius. Is that some sort of technical term, then? Fuck me.

Oh, and by the way, when I checked the status page there was fuck all on there about it, which is why I sent you an e-mail.

There Asda be a catch

I love this story, reported in full at the Sky News website.

Supermarket chain Asda (part of the Wal-Mart group and, therefore, big Bush sponsors) is allowing its staff to take unpaid leave during the soccer World Cup finals so they can watch the matches, either at home or in Germany.

Asda is a big-ass concern, though, and it couldn't afford for all of its 150,000 staff members to take time off for the footie, so requests are being handled on a first-come-first-served basis. Those who don't take time off will be allowed the opportunity to switch shifts with colleagues.

See, Republicans have hearts, too. Makes you all warm and gooey inside, doesn't it?

Wise words

"It's Monday morning," Wife told me, just after she'd battled with the London Underground, "and everyone's a bit spasticated." What more can I say?

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Masquerading as a classic?

On the subject of masks (in my previous post), last night Wife and I sat down to watch Eyes Wide Shut again, just to see if it was as shit as we remembered. We didn't rent it or anything; it was on telly.

Well, it was as shit as we remembered it – in fact, I think it was even shitter – so we turned off after a couple of ad breaks. I mean, it's really shit – and I like Kubrick films generally. (By the way, don't ad breaks just fucking murder anything you're trying to watch on TV? Drives me insane.)

The other reason that we thought we might suddenly like the film (well, I did, because I'm "simple folk") is that when we were in Venice last month (aahhh, Venice), we went into the mask shop that provided the masks for the masquerade-ball scenes. And the mask I'm wearing in my profile pic is from that self-same shop. Wow!

The eye of the beholder

This is Cristina Scabbia (yeah, nice name), lead singer with rock band Lacuna Coil.

She gets a lot of column inches (and, more obviously, photographs) in rock mag Kerrang!. Indeed, so often are pictures of her used to illustrate articles about her otherwise male band, that some fans are getting a bit whingey. "There are other members in the band, y'know," they write.

Cristina, seemingly, is one of the most attractive women in rock.

Below is a picture of her boyfriend, James Root, of Slipknot fame.

"Some people say love is blind. I think that's just a bit short-sighted."

St George’s Day

I don't like that England's own patron saint's day seems to have negative, racist connotations, much like the notion of "Englishness" rather than "Britishness" and/or having a shaven head.

And while I never celebrate St George's Day, just as I never celebrate St Patrick's Day, St David's Day, or St Andrew's Day, I like to at least recognize its existence, rather than sweep it under the carpet like the black sheep of the UK's patron-saint family.

So, without further ado, Happy St George's Day to one and all.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Nicole Kidman a bigger man than Silvio Berlusconi

Nicole Kidman has congratulated Tom Cruise on the birth of Suri.

Meanwhile, Silvio Berlusconi still hasn't congratulated Romano Prodi on winning the Italian election, saying there are "irregularities" to be sorted out. At least the media-mogul politician slowly appears to be recognizing that his days are numbered. He added: "We are the moral victors."

However, George Bush did finally call Prodi, several days after most other world leaders. "See you at G8," he said during the call, which he made from Air Force One. Tosser.

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Now that’s what I call politics

I don't normally buy a daily paper. Most of the news I pick up comes directly from Wife, who then tells me where I might find it online so I can read for myself. Or I watch the TV news headlines or click on English Ranter a couple of times a day.

Today, though, I bought the guardian (all in lower-case letters, cos that's the way they like it), largely for the free Super Size Me DVD. Again, this is not something I do often, cos free DVDs are usually completely devoid of extras, are in the wrong aspect ratio, etc etc. But to be honest, as much as I liked this film, and as much as I liked Morgan Spurlock's TV show 30 Days, and as much as I loved his book Don't Eat This Book, I couldn't see myself actually buying the disc at full price.

So I get my paper home and take it out of all the plastic that they wrap it in (so much wastage...) and there's a big banner at the top advertising the fact that there's a free DVD. And on the bottom right there's a small red box that seems to continue the theme, saying "Everything McDonald's does is questionable. See back page." (Or something like that.)

Intrigued (who wouldn't be?), I turn to the back page. There in all its splendour is a full-page ad for McDonald's. "If you have any questions, feel free to ask, and we'll give you a straight answer," it tells us. (Again, I'm paraphrasing slightly cos the paper's downstairs.)

I guess they couldn't possibly give away a free "anti-McDonald's" film and present a full-page interview with the guy who wrote Fast Food Nation without offering McD's its chance to counter the "attack".

Heaven forbid!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Snip, snip

Would you pay £275 (US$490) a day for a personal hairdresser? PM Tony Bliar's wife did for a whole month during last year's election campaign.

Worth every one of our taxpayer's pennies, too, don'cha think?

Berlusconi a “sore loser”, says FT

No shit, Sherlock. You didn't think Silvio would give up without a fight, did you? Ah, now there's a man with dignity. Minchia!

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“Old people” dig music, daddy-o

There's an interesting story on the BBC news site today. Under the wonderful headline "Music-loving mums rock CD sales" the article tells us how "older people" – i.e., those in their 40s – are buying more music than their teenage children. And within the article we are treated to pictures of Neil Sedaka and Barry Manilow.

Now, hold on for just one doggone minute here, please. I'm four years away from 40. Wife a little closer (I hope she covered her eyes at that bit). And we buy a goodly amount of music. But the latest stuff we have bought includes the likes of Alkaline Trio, Bright Eyes, Funeral For A Friend, Aimee Mann, My Chemical Romance, and Trivium. We're not parents, but we are still almost in the age range that the article is talking about. And frankly I don't see our tastes changing so much that we'll start buying Neil cunting Sedaka CDs within the next five years.

(At this point, I should mention that Wife has a soft spot for Manilow, so we have a couple of his CDs here and we've seen him in concert twice. And she'd love to see him during his current Vegas stint. What can I say? He's a good entertainer.)

Furthermore, on a recent shopping trip – I think the one when I bought Trivium – I saw a "young" lad of about 18 leaving the store pleased as punch with his purchase. And what was it that he'd spent his hard-earned money on? Well, I know because I saw him proudly showing his girlfriend. It was a double pack of Phil Collins CDs. Phil fucking Collins!

It's a fucking good job that "old" cunts like us are out there buying music with balls, cos the young cunts coming up behind us are about to destroy any sort of integrity the music scene ever had.

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Thursday, April 20, 2006

When will it end?

This has been one long-ass day, man. And there's no end in sight. Keep on going, keep on going.

Listening to: Hanx!, by Stiff Little Fingers


That Pete Doherty, eh?

Now, I don't mind a bit of Libertines. First album's good. Second a bit less good.

But fair's fair: if any other cunt had been arrested twice, carrying, on one occasion, "0.406g of heroin, 0.776g of crack cocaine, 0.332g of cannabis resin, and 5.94g of cannabis", and, on the other occasion, "3.103g of heroin, 3.664g of crack cocaine, and 2.503g of cannabis", they'd probably be looking at some kind of jail term.

Doherty, though, looking all doe-eyed (or should that be stoned?) as usual, gets a two-year "supervision order" and 18 months' rehab. [Source BBC News]

What a fuckin' waster, to borrow a line from one of Pete's own songs. He's probably lost all his mates too, since he nicks stuff from their houses to pay for his drugs.

Listening to: "What A Waster" single, by The Libertines.

Well, y'know, the story got me in the mood for a listen.

100th post!

You know, I've been anticipating this moment for a few days. And I think I've built it up too much in my mind. So the best thing to do is stop thinking about it and start just doing it. I figure once I start typing it'll become something.

But it probably won't. And forever more I'll think, "That hundredth post coulda been a contender. It coulda been something, instead of a bum, which is what it is."

Oh, bollocks. It's all going pear-shaped. And there's this little voice in my head: Get it over with, man! Get it over with and move on with your life, can't you?!

So I'll take a moment to "share". It's taken me about 40 days to get to 100 posts. I've posted every day, I think. Surely I can't keep this sort of output up? The other day I read an entry in a blog. It was the final entry, and the only one that hadn't been deleted. It said that after 18 months and 300 posts it was time to give up. At this rate I'll be at 300 posts by about July. Perhaps I should slow down.

Well, I think that's all for now. I normally get my blogging done first thing in the morning, but I'm feeling uninspired today. I'll come back to it shortly...

I'm a bit cranky, in fact. I guess it's because I worked till midnight last night and I didn't really want to. So I had yet another 12-hour day.

Plus I'm a bit pissed off that I haven't been on 25 Peeps yet. It's almost three weeks since I submitted my pic. And frankly I think the whole 25peeps thing is already yesterday's news, no?

Anyway, the picture at the top of this post is the one I submitted, so if you see it there anytime, don't forget to click it.

Signing off for now...

Cranky Ass-terisk

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A sad day for comedy

It is with great regret that I have to bring this up on my blog. It is, indeed, a sad day for comedy, specifically American comedy. The great Jon Stewart (above) of The Daily Show will have to find a new object of ridicule because White House spokesman Scott McLellan (below) has resigned.

It is a sad day for us all, in fact. Because McLellan was surely the funniest thing about the Bush administration. His squirming under pressure and inability to answer any questions put to him in press conferences were second to none. Well, all right, second to Bush's squirming under pressure and inability to answer any questions put to him in press conferences.

Arrivederci, au revoir, and goodbye.


will always love crack. Oh I will always love crack.

In this picture, we see the one-time darling of the music industry Whitney Houston removing all her platinum records from her wall in order to sell them for crack cocaine.

Look at the way she's smiling maniacally at the thought of her next fix. It really is very sad.

Apparently she's back in rehab. I wish her joy and happiness, but above all this, I wish her love (and crack).

80 years of really awful clothes

Happy birthday, Ma'am. Well done on getting to 80.

You know what you ought to do? You should invite 99 other 80-year-olds from around the Commonwealth to come and have a nice lunch with you at The Palace. And for an extra-special twist, they should all have the exact same birthday as you, Ma'am. Oh, you have done that? What a simply wonderful idea.

What's that? You're not really 80 till Friday, but you didn't want to spoil your actual birthday by hanging out with a bunch of dribbling old fucking commoners? Quite right, too, Ma'am.

A hundred 80-year-olds... Can you imagine how much fun it would be to work as a waiter at that shindig?

Tuck in, Tom

So Tom and Katie had their baby. Suri, meaning "red rose" in Persian and "princess" in Hebrew.

And Tom didn't eat the placenta, because he was just joking. Geddit? That was one funny fuckin' joke, short-ass. ROTFFLMCAOAYSJTYC.

It has not been revealed whether Katie kept her mouth shut throughout, like a good birthing mother should.

You can read the full story virtually anywhere, but my source of choice was The Hindustan Times.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Time for a coffee break

It's one of those seemingly interminable days today. Admittedly I got to my desk a little earlier than usual, so by now it's already feeling like 6pm when it's really only just gone 5. Added to that, I am (slowly, oh so slowly) drawing to the end of a slightly uninspiring chunk of work.

So I've grabbed a coffee and put Hours by Funeral For A Friend on the old iTunes. Wife swears by it, so I'll give it a go. The first song just sounds a little too much like stuff from the first My Chemical Romance album, though. Not that there's anything wrong with that, to borrow a Seinfeld phrase; just it'd be nice if it sounded a bit more original.

Still, I'm gonna leave it playing and get on with my work. I don't usually work with music playing, but it's not so bad if it's music that I'm not very familiar with. It prevents me from singing along and therefore losing concentration on the job at hand!

Wish me luck, I'm going back in.


I don’t get it

Can someone please, please explain to me: what do things like BlogExplosion and BlogMad actually do?

I saw their logos on a bunch of sites and looked into it a bit. But I just don't get it.

Sure, you can increase your blog traffic by being in these directories, but beyond that...? What is the collecting of points all about? Or the "you can use your points to play games" thing?

I signed up for BlogExplosion because it looked easier to do so than the sign-up for BlogMad, but I'm confused!

Seriously, if you know, please share the knowledge. Thanks.

At the risk of sounding like a moron...

... I don't really "do" news and politics much.

Not just in the blogging sense, but in general. Sure I watch the news once, maybe twice, a day. And yes, I pay some attention when things are being said that might affect me or mine directly. And, of course, there are certain stories that shock me as much as they shock the next person.

But for all that, there is one current news-cum-politics story that really doesn't seem to be getting the attention it deserves. Not even English Ranter has set his sights on this one yet, and I can't figure out why.

It's the story of the Chinese government sanctioning the demolition of the homes of thousands of its people in order to make way for more expensive, modern, greater-capacity buildings. I think this is really quite appalling.

Surely it's at times like these that someone should step in and say, "Yo, China, enough already"? Or at the very least threaten to take away the 2008 Olympics, which seems to be the reason for all of this in the first place.

Prison Break

I know I keep going on about it, but Prison Break is great fun!

Okay, so it's not like it's a great story; it's not as though it's particularly gritty, realistic, or feasible; it's not that you don't know (or at least think you know) where it's going to end.

But it's just good, Saturday-morning-serial, whatever the TV equivalent of "page-turning" is, entertainment.

Yeah, it's not Oz, which is the obvious comparison. It's not Oz by a long way, not least because no one says fuck or cunt, and there aren't multiple violent murders and rapes in every episode. No, it ain't Oz. But it does have its own Certificate 12 or PG-13 kind of charm.

And I'm not usually one for these "let's see how long we can string this shit out" kind of shows. Lost? Yeah, you lost me at about episode 6. And 24? I just can't get past the first episode in any given season. But I do like my Monday night dose of Prison Break.

Monday, April 17, 2006

The UK’s “favourite lyric”

So, according to a VH1 survey, and as reported by the BBC, the words "One life, with each other, sisters, brothers", from the U2 track "One", are the nation's favourite lyric.

Surely the fuck not, I thought to myself. This needs a little further investigation.

The truth is that it's the lyric most voted for by 13,000 Brits from a selection of 100 lines. Now we're getting a little closer to the truth. And what are the other choices?, I wondered, because if U2 is no.1 and Coldplay no.5 (I shit you not!), then the choice must be fucking horrendous.

And it is. Please, I urge you, if you are reading this now, click this link and see for yourself. It is the biggest sack of shit I've seen in many a while that purports to represent the art of lyric writing.

Sure, there are a few choices by artists well known for their lyrical prowess. Morrissey springs to mind, although I'm not a fan; Weller; Costello.

But come on – 50 Cent? Damien "O, I'm a cunt" Rice; Kylie fucking Minogue; Missy Elliott? Do me a favour!

Movie fun

It's been a while since we received the two Dekalog discs from LoveFilm, and with the exception of episode 4 (details here), we have not found the willpower to watch any of the other four episodes that have been languishing beside the DVD player and wasting our subscription fee.

Until last night, that is. There's something about working all day every day of Easter weekend, and entertaining four unexpected guests including two children, and putting up with screaming lunatic neighbours that makes you think, "You know, perhaps now is a good time to watch Thou shalt not kill."

So, well fed on a humungous portion of Wife's penne fiorentina, and with a glass and a half of wine in me belly, we set the disc a-spinnin'.

Well, cunt me with a cunting stick. I can be as much of a movie snob as the next cunt, and I like some pretty arcane, esoteric, poncey shit, but those fuckers who rate this series must be off their fucking heads. It's like some cunt told them, "This is a masterpiece," and they all fell for it like the suckers they are. Thou shalt not fucking snooze, more like.

For me, this episode was considerably less interesting than episode 4; Wife, conversely, preferred this, and indeed she stayed awake throughout. She also reminded me that we did well not to watch the extended cinema version, A Short Film About Killing – not fucking short enough, Krzysztof, you cunt.

Anyway, that's it – the whole fucking lot is going in the post today. And if I never see another cunting Kieslowski film again, it'll be too fucking soon.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

World news: USA

Celeb-gossip site E! Online has revealed that a new season of Rock Star will go ahead, following the success of last summer's must-watch train-wreck TV show Rock Star: INXS.

The point of last year's hit show was to find a new singer to front shitty Australian "rock" band INXS. Winner JD Fortune was obviously their man from the get-go. It had something to do with the fact he was always dribbling all over the aging "music" makers, sticking his hand down the backs of their trousers and fiddling around, and looking for new and inventive ways of sliding his tongue into their flies without getting it caught on the zipper.

The new show's remit is slightly less fun, as they look for a new frontperson for an as-yet-unformed "supergroup", which will include drummer Tommy Lee.

Übercool (but crazy-beard-sporting) Dave Navarro (pictured above) returns to host, as does drippy Brooke Something-or-other. Guest critics will include Moby and ridiculous, parody-of-himself, hat-wearing-motherfucker Slash.

World news: Italy

Pope Benedict XVI gave his first Easter message as pontiff on Easter Sunday, which was also his 79th birthday.

The only reason to include this story was because I like his two funny nicknames.

In the UK he is known as "God's Rottweiler", while in Italy they call him "PapaRatzi" (papa meaning pope; Ratzi an abbreviation of his surname, RatzenburgerhofmeisterHitlerjugendmarktplatzenzellerungerstraße).


World news: Russia

Italian news website has great pics from the pig olympics held in Moscow. This is one of the shots; how cute is that little fella?

Wife has gone all Babe on me again and feels bad about the bacon in the fridge...


The morning after...

Well – they came, they ate, they left us exhausted. And I'm quite certain that Cat didn't sleep a wink. He woke me at some time with a 2 in it to hump my arm. I think he needed to know that there was some semblance of normality somewhere in the house. (Whaddya mean, cats humping their owner's arms isn't normal?!)

And now they've gone. But they'll be back. The old "left my coat in the closet" routine. Ding ding, seconds out, round 2.

Happy Easter, anyhoo.


Saturday, April 15, 2006

Unexpected guests. And Conan

Just as my guilty pleasure, American Idol, was drawing to a close last night, the phone rang. It was to ask whether we could put up a family of family members (if you get my drift) for Saturday night – i.e., we had just under 24 hours' notice. Of course we said yes. But it's a bit of an embarrassing situation, since I'd just cancelled my own father's visit for next weekend because Wife and I are totally snowed under with work.

Truth be told, though, it is a different sort of visit altogether, in that this evening's visitors will be arriving at 8pm. We'll eat, catch up with all the latest news over some wine and/or beer (Mmmm... beer), then off to bed. And they'll probably be on their way quite early in the morning.

But, of course, it meant we had to give the house more of a clean and tidy than we'd planned to this weekend (which was none). Starting immediately after I put down the phone. From about 9.30 until 10.45pm Wife and I cleaned, washed up, tidied, and put stuff away. It ain't great, and it ain't over, but it's a start.

And then, totally exhausted, we sat down to Conan. After a shitty day, there is nothing quite like a particularly good episode of Conan to put a smile back on your face. Conan O'Brien, that is, not the Barbarian. And last night's was good. The monologue was good, the preamble was good, and the guests were (mostly) good. Only exception...

Musical guest Pink. Now I like Pink as much as the next person – i.e., not that much – but I simply don't understand why Conan chose to interview her at such length after her performance. Most musical guests get no talk time at all, with the odd exception: The White Stripes, for example, were quite amusing when their turn came; and U2 had an entire show all to themselves (Christ knows why, washed-up fucks that they are).

But at least these artists are recognized as having some sort of merit by some people. Pink... who rates her? And to make matters worse, she just giggled her way through the whole fucking thing. Stupid girl.

Still, just got to say: CONAN RULES!


Newsman chickens out of crucifixion

Scottish computer-nerd-all-groweds-up-into-"journalist" Dominik Diamond signed up to be one of seven people due to be crucified in the Philippines on Good Friday as a sign of their Christian faith. And also so it could be recorded for a British TV show, provisionally titled Crucify Me.

But, after snatching that seventh spot from some Filippino true believer, Diamond, cunt that he is, decided instead just to kneel down and pray.

What a fucking tosser.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Duh! or Puzo inspiration?

Further to my post "Mafia boss found; guess where" on 11 April, I had a thought as I lay awake in bed last night. I guess Corleone wouldn't be the first place I'd have looked 43 years ago, since Corleone had yet to be made famous in the Godfather book of 1969 or movie of 1972.

So my extremely witty (and perhaps rather obvious) comment turns out to be a bit dumb. Oops.

Who knows, maybe it was this very harbouring of a Mafia capo (allegedly) that inspired the Puzo subplot of Michael hiding out in the same town.

Hanks for the memories:
Tom in good-taste shocker!

Given the type of movie roles that Tom Hanks plays, I never would have figured him to have much taste in films. But it seems the safe, sensible, competent one does indeed have a more interesting side to him. He has recently revealed his top five favourite movies of all time. They are:

2001: A Space Odyssey;
The Godfather;
Boogie Nights.

Pretty good going, Tom. I guess you and I have more in common that I ever thought possible. And I, for one, am quite looking forward to seeing you in The Da Vinci Code.

The full story is at the bottom of this IMDb page.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

It can’t only be me...

What is it with these weird recurring hairs that grow in isolation in strange places on one's body? I have one that keeps popping up in the middle of a tattoo at the top of my spine. It grows white, and yet I have no other grey or white hairs anywhere.

It's kind of like a pet now; once I realize it's there, I'm happy for it to stay there and grow for as long as it can. (What sort of freaky cunt does that?!)

But the longer it gets, the weaker it gets. Some kind of Samson-totally-in-reverse thing going on there. And eventually I have to face the fact that its days are numbered. Alternatively, it gets ridiculously long and Wife says, "I've really got to pluck this now." And I love a good pluck.

It's not just me, is it? (The hairs, not the plucking.)

[I was going to post a pic of the hair, but suddenly I'm panicking cos it seems to have disappeared. I must have stroked it too hard.]


The Easter slowdown/rush [delete as applicable]

Slow day for blogging. Rush day for work.

Despite having been sat at my computer since about 8 o'clock this morning, I've been too darn busy to write anything. It's a sad state of affairs: couple of days out of their offices and the world goes mad, needing everything yesterday. I can't wait to see what it's like down the supermarket this evening...

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Carry on screaming

The Electric Cinema in west London has set up "Electric Scream!" – a film-screening slot to which parents can take their children that are under one year old, so they don't need a babysitter. Obviously those of us without children would avoid this like the plague; although I suspect we wouldn't be allowed in anyway, thank the Lord.

Incidentally, Wife and I went to see Brokeback Mountain a couple of months back. Now that she and I are in our mid- to late 30s, the joy of cinema-going has become tarnished somewhat. We rarely get the pleasant viewing experience that we expect for the fucking ludicrous sums of money we have to part with to go to "the pictures". (Indeed, it's usually to cheaper to buy the import DVD, and you probably get to see the film sooner too). But Brokeback was a horse of a different colour in that the viewing experience seemed fine... until we got to a quiet, moody section around halfway through. And then we heard the quiet gurgling of a child.

"Was ist das?", we would have exclaimed if we were German. Lo and behold, there in the row behind us and about 10ft away was a baby in a pushchair sitting beside its parents. And it continued to gurgle and make baby noises all the way through the remainder of the increasingly quiet and moody film.

So, being the kindhearted types that we are, we protested vociferously to the management, asking how it was possible that a babe-in-arms can get in to a 15-rated movie, and detailing how it ruined our movie-going experience on Wife's birthday (which it was).

And this is the true and riveting story of how we got some free tickets to a future screening of our choice.


Elvis vs. Metallica

So I finally got around to listening to the free CD full of Elvis cover versions that was mounted on the front of this month's Mojo [yuck!] magazine.

Well, let this be a lesson to us all: it was free because it was shite. I got about halfway through before Wife demanded it be turned off so she could listen to something she wanted while cooking. Fair-enough call, and I was only too happy to oblige. I would have turned it off myself were it not for the fact that my hands were busy in the washing-up bowl. No dishwashers for us; I like the old skool, punk rock way of cleaning my cutlery and crockery!

So, it was with a little bit of jadement (good word; just made it up) in my heart that I reached for the other free CD in my collection this month. This one came with Kerrang! mag and is a re-rendering of Metallica's "classic" Master of Puppets album, with each track performed by a band that is new-ish.

I pick K! up once in a while anyway, and I was particularly intrigued by this concept. I don't know much Metallica apart from the stuff they play on the Kerrang! and Scuzz TV channels and what was on the great documentary film Metallica: Some Kind of Monster. Trivium are on there, and I'd already bought their album and it's pretty good. And Funeral For A Friend are on there, and Wife is currently digging them. So what the heck, right?

And it's pretty good. Again, I haven't got through the whole disc yet; this time, though, because the songs are so damn long and full of (perhaps slightly overindulgent) guitar solos. But so far, so good. Only downside to this story is that by buying this mag and CD I feel I'm giving money to Metallica and, hence, that cunt of a lead singer who goes off and shoots bears in Russia. Asshole.

So, free CDs – here's what I've learned: some are a load of fucking wank; some are cool. But even the cool ones might mean money goes into the hands of people you don't like.

Either way, it's a bit fucked up. Perhaps, as with lunches, there's really no such thing as a free CD.


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Quiz time

Me or Randy?

Answers on a postcard please...

(I still haven't had that haircut.)

Mafia boss found; guess where

The capo dei capi of the Mafia (allegedly) has been arrested by Italian police. He has been on the run for 43 years.

Where did they find him? In the small Sicilian town of Corleone, made famous by the Godfather movies. Now, maybe I'm oversimplifying here, but isn't that the first place you'd look?

Two birds, one bush

No, not Siamese twins. And yes, it may be a mixed metaphor, but what the hell.

Today, I had a surprise. The missing package referenced in my post Royal Mail "service" turned up at my door. The postie said: "It was uncalled for." I was too sleepy to wittily retort that it was "totally fucking called for, dude" and instead grunted, "Uh?" He explained that they didn't pick it up from the sorting office – i.e., the intended recipient, my sister, who swears black and blue that no card was put through her door. And I believe her.

Thing is, I also received my compensation cheque later in the morning. I'll send that back, honest man (mug) that I am, but only once I'm happy the parcel has got there tomorrow. I'm trying Special Delivery this time, and my sis has assured me she'll be there all morning...

Monday, April 10, 2006

How do you like yer eggs?

Wife used to say "unfertilized", and that suited me, since kids are evil. But now she says "poached". Never been much of an egg eater, Wife – thought she was allergic cos they made her sleepy – but she's gone mad fer 'em of late. Only poached, mind you.

Vive La France!

Well done to the French. People power wins out, and Chirac has vetoed the proposed youth-employment laws (click here).

Now the Italians should follow suit, rather than just moping about and accepting their fate.

Must Love Dogs vs. Flightplan

No contest.

Must Love Dogs was exactly what I thought it would be: a John Cusack rom-com with canines. You know where this story is going from the first time you see the DVD case. And that's exactly where it goes, over the course of around 90 minutes. Quite funny. Better than most recent efforts of the genre. (Not that I watch many rom-coms.)

Flightplan: fucking shit. Full "review" (such as it is) can be found by clicking here.

Now I’ve gorn an’ dunnit

I told someone I have a blog. Apart from me and Wife, no one knew until last night. It felt like a dirty secret.

My friend, let's call her Laura, reacted pretty much in the same way I would expect any of my friends to. First, "Why?" And then, especially because she knows how much I go on about my workload, “I thought you were busy. How have you got time to be writing a blog?"

The first question is difficult to answer, and I don't think I did so particularly well, but it kind of all fell into place (in my head, at least) with the second answer. It's precisely because I'm so busy that I started this dang fool's errand. I am currently sitting at my Mac for around 12 hours a day, working, so I figure I can afford two or three 20-minute breaks to scribble some shit online.

I don't think that makes it any easier for anyone to understand if they haven't kept a blog or read any. And to be honest, when I first heard of blogs, I thought, "Why?" But then in – I guess late 2004 – Wife started telling me about a blog she was reading: Bloghdad, about an Italian journalist type who went to Baghdad. While there he kept this blog. Right up until the time he disappeared, never to be seen or heard from again. I've never read it – my Italian is not that great – but Wife says it's really well written. It was this that first made me think maybe there is more to this phenomenon than meets the eye.

All the same, I just want to write about inane crap.

Valentino Rossi in BNP shock!

Well, not really, but it sounded like a good title. Wife had a slip of the tongue when she was telling me about – wait for it – "motorcycley racists".

I dunno. Maybe you had to be there.

Speaking of being there, I've been to his home town, y'know.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

“NHS” – a poem

I can’t fucking stand, man.
I can’t get up.
I’ve been cut open,
fixed and stitched,
and now you want my bed.
But can’t you give
my blood the time
to reach my fucking head?

I’m yellow, dude – take a look,
let me rest a while.
See the way the pain
has painted my demented smile.

The bed is mine, I’m staying put –
It’s no more than I deserve.
I just hope and pray I’m out of here
before the food is served.

Can you believe this got rejected from a poetry-writing contest?
All rights reserved and all that stuff


Taking the good with the bad

The good: Went out for Sunday lunch. We deserved a break from work. Yummy it was, too: roast beef with all the trimmings.

The bad: Had to miss Family Fortunes.

Polling day

The Italians go to the polls today.

Will they see the light and "sack Berlusconi", as The Economist put it on its front page? Sadly, I doubt it. For all the moaning that Italians do about Berlusconi, they seem to really love him. He's like the J.R. Ewing of Italian politics – except, as far as I know, no one has ever shot him.

In some Italian circles he's commonly known as "the evil dwarf".

Trouble is, this evil dwarf wields a shitload of power.

It makes me proud to know that Tony Blair is such a good friend to Berlusconi and Bush. The unholy trinity. Let's hope Italy can succeed where the UK and the States have failed.

For more on this and other Italy issues, including the struggles young Italians have been facing for the past few years with their country's equivalent of the employment laws currently causing uproar in France, see Beppe Grillo's blog.

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Talking movies

Still haven't got around to watching any more of the Dekalog films. Just can't bring ourselves to do it. So last night we rented Flightplan, which seems to be the populist choice of the moment. And it made for a good companion piece to Red Eye, which we watched last week.

Well, I'm not going to bore any potential reader with plot synopsis or a review here, largely because I can't be bothered to bore myself by writing them. Suffice to say, the movie sucked. What a surprise, huh? A big, overhyped blockbuster being shite – never saw that coming. Red Eye was infinitely superior (but we're still not talking a classic here – let's not get nuts).

Still, I have high hopes for the Flightplan payoff. You see, I chose this movie, so Wife got to choose one too. That's what coupley couples do. Bring on Must Love Dogs.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Royal Mail “service”

It's been annoying me for a couple of weeks, and now, just as my compensation payment looms, I feel no less aggrieved and will herewith vent my spleen.

While in Venice last month, being the fucking nice uncle that I am, I bought my two nephews and niece a Venetian mask each. Wife and I spent a not-inconsiderable amount of time in a tourist-oriented but nonetheless media-praised mask-maker's shop and chose three masks that we thought the kids would like.

Given the first paragraph of this post, you undoubtedly know where I'm going with this...

On our return to the UK, we boxed them up nicely, all well padded with bubble wrap and newspaper, and sent them on their merry way to... well, as it turns out, nowhere. They're lost – more than likely never to be seen again. Either that or they'll turn up in about 40 years' time, since that's not entirely uncommon.

And it's not the money. They cost just €15 each, and I should get back virtually all of that in compensation. It's the postal-system reliability factor. And the fact that they're gone, with no record of their ever having existed, like Kaiser Soze.

It's really fucking irritating. I can't even express how annoyed I am. You know, you make an effort – a selfless gesture – and you might just as well have not bothered.

Yeah, yeah – other countries have worse postal systems, it's true. But at least the unfortunate inhabitants of those lands already have their eyes open to the fact. We have "royal mail" – you know, it's royal, so it must be really fucking good. Turns out, like most things British, it's just a bit shit.

Something for the weekend, sir?

Actual conversation in bed this morning.

Wife: You've got randy hair.

Me: What do you mean? My hair wants to have sex with you?

Wife: No, your hair looks like Randy's, off My Name Is Earl.

Time for that haircut, methinks.

Well, whaddya know?

Turns out American Idol was not quite the train wreck I'd feared. Indeed, I was more familiar with this week's Country songs than I was with last week's "songs from the past six years". I never saw that coming.

But the new Red Hot Chili Peppers single and video are fucking atrocious. The name of the track gave the game away anyway: "Dani California". I mean, how lame a song title is that?

Yet, seemingly not content with making a shit song and coming up with a tedious premise for the clip, they figured bad taste was also required and so included a scene in which Kiedis dresses up like Kurt Cobain in the MTV Unplugged show. Good work, Tony K. You must be really proud.

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Friday, April 07, 2006

It’s Idol night again

Yippee! Friday rolls around once more, and that means American Idol, the show I love to hate.

Bad news, though: tonight's Country night. And the reviews we've seen from the States (where the show airs three nights earlier) are not good.

It's a dilemma. I love to watch (oo er, missus), but when you know it's gonna be shit, it kinda takes the edge off. That, and we already know who gets voted off.

Probably record and watch later, whizzing through the worst bits. (Note to self: set aside 17 minutes to watch 90 mins of TV time.)


New addition!

I put a Parental Advisory label on. Just in case I feel the urge, as I often do, to write "cunt" or "motherfucker" or something else that could be deemed offensive.

At last count there were seven "cunts" on this page, not including Chris Martin and me.

So, kids, you'd best not read on. There might be all kinds of rude shit on here.

Tell you what...

Not much time to post today, but Catchphrase is a fucking shit programme, isn't it? It's one of those shows that you forget all about, and then suddenly it's there on Challenge TV at lunchtime while you're eating your poached eggs and ham on toast.

And they've got rid of that creepy old Irish fella that used to do it (Roy Walker, I think), and now it's a creepy young English fella.

But as crap as the show is, it's top-notch entertainment compared to the eponymous board game. Holy fuck.

I’m in pain, part 2

Well, not pain as such. Not like Dannii Minogue (remember her?) coursing through your brain.

Yesterday I opened a new toothbrush. "Medium" it said on the packet. But fuck me if it hasn't cut my gums to buggery. "Medium" my arse.

I’m in pain, part 1

Skimming through the music channels this morning over breakfast, I finally alighted on Dannii Minogue (remember her?) singing "This Is It".

Now, ordinarily I would not inflict such inanity upon myself and Wife at such an early hour, but I was drawn in by the premise of a "then-and-now" comparison. First single v. latest release, I guess.

Oh, it was bad. But almost worth it for a topless cameo appearance by that bloke from Nip/Tuck, Julian McManamanamanaman, or whatever his name is. Very funny. (Amazingly, they were married at one time! Who'd've thunk?)

Trouble is, now I'm in pain because that damn song has been on my mind all morn.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Mojo dickheads

Went shopping at Sainsbury's and – against my better judgment – bought a copy of the latest Mojo magazine, mainly cos it had an Elvis covers CD on the front. Also cos it had "the 100 best albums released since Mojo was launched 15 years ago". I'm a sucker for those dumb lists.

Anyway, Elliott Smith's Either/Or had a pretty respectable showing, at number 24.

I read the review, being quite familiar with the record: Smith is probably Wife's fave artist. And yes, she liked him before his death. We even saw him play in London...

I couldn't help myself from blurting out what those Mojo cocks had written, what they had called Elliott, presumably thinking it was a cunting compliment.

"I didn't hear that," said Wife.

"I'll never repeat it," said I.

"Never say it again," she reiterated.

I won't. Not even here.

Did you know...? The word "mojo" is foreign; it means "tossers who are hung up on the '60s".

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Got a spare 20 mill?

Someone paid £20.5 million for this painting by JMW Turner. Must say, I've never been a big fan of his work: bit grey and dull for my tastes. But not even his crazy muddy stylings can destroy beautiful Venice.

“Feed me!”

When Cat comes calling, I'd best be ready to just drop everything and feed him. Or prepare to have my balls well and truly busted.

Granted, I shouldn't complain, and – like all "parents" say – I wouldn't be without him. But, boy, can he whine. I mean, he can be one miaowy motherfucker!

All he wants is attention. He's slept from 8am to 5pm. He wants some love. Which either means he wants some food, or he wants to play "throw me something to chase", or he wants to get horny with my arm. None of which I can give him while desperately trying to finish my day's workload (which ain't never gonna happen, by the way).

But he's cute as all hell when he sits on my desk with his arms folded, then blinks at me with love.

Can't you just feel your fucking heart melting, you hard-ass?


Gettin’ religion

Listening to: The Holy Bible, by Manic Street Preachers.

This truly fantastic album was proper underappreciated in its day, but – and this even amazes me, despite my once being a massive fan (I saw the last gig Richie played, y'know?) – it's been named Best Album of All Time by viewers of BBC TV show Newsnight. Well, it was a few months ago, actually, but I only found out a couple of weeks back, being out of the Manics loop these days, and all.

Strange but true.

And it still sounds great.


iPod fun!

Record Collector magazine apparently issues to certain musical celebs the iPod Shuffle Challenge, in which the chosen one sets his/her iPod to Shuffle mode then reveals what the first 10 or 20 (depends on the celeb I guess) songs played are. (They do ask for honest answers!)

Since I'm not a celeb, I thought I'd best not hang around waiting for RC to ask me. Here's mine. As a PS, Wife and I share the iPod; therefore, a (W) shows which tracks are hers.

1. "All She's Got", Sum 41
2. "December", Weezer (W)
3. "Guys Like Me", Aimee Mann
4. "Liberté", Charles Trenet (W)
5. "Bo Diddley", Buddy Holly
6. "Unnecessary Trouble", Hard-Fi (neither of us accepts responsibility)
7. "Down So Long", Jewel (W)
8. "Peggy Sue", Buddy Holly
9. "At Night", The Cure
10. "Un Rien Me Fait", Charles Trenet (W)

Anyway, if anyone out there is reading this, why not leave your first ten as a comment? Cheers.

Ah, the British government...

Don't you just love 'em?

All of a sudden, now that bird flu has hit our shores, it seems it's not that big a threat after all.

When it was in France, shit, it was FUCKING MAYHEM. Panic everyone, PANIIIIICCCC!

Now if someone reports a dead swan that could have bird flu and it has been there for a couple of days with other birds pecking at its corpse, as well as cats and dogs having a go at it, the boys and girls at DEFRA decide it's perfectly fine to wait 12 hours before getting off their arses and collecting it.

Fucking marvellous. Give yourselves a big pat on the back.


Goodbye Pitney, Gene,
Though I never knew you at all...

See what I did there? I took a classic song about a dead woman and "cleverly" "adapted" it to fit a new circumstance.

Elton, Bernie: Give me a call if you want to collaborate further. It's got to be better than "Goodbye England's Rose" or however it went. You know, we can do something like:

It seems to me, you lived your life
Just a little too far from Tulsa.
Why din'cha relocate?
Why din'cha move there?

Go on, you know it makes sense.

In a strange twist of "weird shit" or "fate", the drummer from The Wonder Stuff died in a motorbike accident, too (Goodbye Wonder Stuff sticksman, anyone? Elton?). Marc Almond had a near-death motorbike accident a couple of years ago, and he did a song with Gene Pitney. Coincidence? I think not.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Here we go again

There is a horrible trend emerging in the UK. It started just before Christmas 2005 and seems to be continuing apace. It is our inability, as a nation, to care properly for the animals in our zoos, wildlife parks, and the like. Arguably they shouldn't be caged in the first place, so the least we can do is look after them when they are.

The latest victim of this kind of "accidental negligence" (as I like to call it) is eight-year-old giraffe Kwaheri, who suffocated, seemingly as a result of an allergic reaction to the sedative used to calm him down.

Giraffes have been particularly badly hit, in fact. A couple of months back, two died in a fire at a zoo – a one-week-old and its mother. If memory serves, one of the survivors of that fire died a few days later, too.

And, of course, the list of shame begins with Toga, the baby penguin that was kidnapped from a zoo just before Christmas.

Question: where the fuck are the security cameras?

Daylight robbery

So, tickets to see Madonna in concert are going for £160 each, are they?

But doesn't she just mime for 20 minutes?

That'll be money well spent then.

I predict a riot

Wife’s currently enjoying Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About. It makes her laugh.

Do I love Pammy?

Wife seems to think that the only possible reason for my enjoying the new Pamela Anderson show Stacked must be that either (a) I love Pammy or (b) I love her breastesses.

Now, bosoms are good, obviously, and I’m not just referring to Pam’s. I mean, what straight man, with hand on heart, can say, “Tits? Nah, they’re overrated”? And they are an integral part of Stacked; I mean the title tells you that much.

Additionally, Pam seems nice – you know, when she’s on chat shows and the like. She comes across like a nice gal. But I don’t think I’m in love with her. At least not consciously.

Although, she does like men with lots of tattoos, so maybe there’s some mileage there.

Don’t tell Wife, but I think it’s Pammy who loves me, not the other way around.

And the show isn't wholly unfunny.

“The Hardest Part”

There are a few bands that really ought not to exist, and chief among them is probably Coldplay.

Their new video is astonishing. Shot to look like a cheap, videotaped, US TV show (a bit like that horrifying Westlife/Mariah Carey video for their cover of a Phil Collins song a few years ago), this new Coldplay clip has the band playing their latest slice of drivel on a stage adjacent to a spooky-looking act that can only be described as “a bloke who throws his rickety old gran around the stage”.

Now as if that weren’t bad enough, Chris Martin sings the word “mouth” at some point in the song, which apparently he shouldn’t. Wife exclaimed at this point: “Ugh, don’t say ‘mouth’!”

“Why?” I asked.

“It’s just wrong coming from him.”

Then the aforementioned frontman proceeds to dance on the spot clapping the heels of his hands together like a mong.

Anyway, Chris Martin of Coldplay, you want to know what I think is the hardest part? Listening to anything you have ever written, recorded, and/or released.

(Although, I must go on record and say that I think you’re quite funny when you’re being interviewed. It’s just your songs that are fucking shite.)

Parents and kids

Are all parents deaf, or just lying idiots? You understand, of course, that I can only go by conclusions drawn from my immediate neighbours...

First, women seem to lose about half their brain cells while pregnant. The other half seem to go about the time the sprog is popped out.

Second, they tell you: “Oh, he/she hardly ever cries”, and yet you can hear them doing just that at all hours of the day and night.

So I don’t know what else to think.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Did someone say “coglione”?

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And on the subject of Roswell...

Who, in the name of all that is holy, is going to see Alien Autopsy with Ant & Dec? Even more shocking is that the movie co-stars Bill Pullman and Harry Dean Stanton.

Fuck me.

Is this what the British film industry has come to? How the fuck do people find the money to make this sort of shit?

Eamonn feckin’ Holmes

What twat decided that Eamonn Holmes was fit for anything other than breakfast telly?

I mean, firstly putting him on that kids’ spelling bee show – The Hard Spell, is it? I bet that thick fuck can’t even spell his own name. Seems a somewhat inappropriate host, wouldn’t you think?

Then he moved to Sky News, seemingly as some sort of star newscaster – a secret weapon against the BBC’s “war on shit news programmes”.

But he’s also bagged a new role as part of his move to Sky – that of investigative journalist. Don’t make me laugh! What the fuck is he going to investigate?! Well, here’s a hint to the sort of talent Sky thinks it has on its hands: his first show is the Roswell video hoax.

Here’s something for you to investigate, Holmes: which Irish no-talent is laughing all the way to the fucking bank?

Monday, April 03, 2006

Tonight’s telly

It’s my favourite night on t’box, Monday is. We have America’s Next Top Model, which is surely one of the most train-wreck must-watch shows on TV. Unfortunately now the cute NYC dyke has gone it won’t be half as much fun. That and the fact that we already know who wins cos we accidentally saw it on a blog. Fucking blogs – I hate ’em.

And then it’s Prison Break – a whole hour of Lincoln Burrows moping around with a furrowed brow. Fuck’s sake, you’re only on Death Row for a crime you didn’t commit, dude. Lighten up. And his genius brother with phone numbers and a map of the prison tattooed on his body and cunningly disguised as some Gothicky artwork. Did someone say “bullshit” at the back? Well, I like it.


Is it wrong to call P.O.D. “pro-life cunts”?

That's what Wife called them this morning when they came on the Scuzz music channel. “Ugh, I haven’t got time for these pro-life cunts,” she exclaimed, before switching over. Wife is funny.

“How do you know they’re pro-life?” I enquired, not for one minute doubting that they were cunts.

“Everyone knows.”

So I suppose I do, too, now.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

“If it’s up there...”

What could be better than watching Family Fortunes reruns while eating your Sunday lunch? Frankly, nothing – at least that’s what Wife and I think. It’s great to see how stupid our nation really was ten years ago, or however old these shows are.

Today’s spot of brilliance – and I’m not trying to get all literary-snobbish or anything – came with the request to “name a Shakespeare play with a person’s name in the title”.

Macbeth and Romeo & Juliet came up quite quickly, but that wasn’t enough for dear old Les. Nope, he needed another two answers. And that’s when it all went a bit rotten in the state of Denmark...

A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, offered Jules, defending her choice by saying, “Summer’s a girl’s name.” Big fat X for you, thickie.

“No, I can’t think of one. My mind’s gone blank,” was the reply of the next family member. I suspect, in fact, her mind was always blank. XX

Still, that was probably better than the next attempt: The Tempest. “Oh no, that’s not a man’s name.”

XXX, and over to the other family for their “chance to steal”. Oh, if they only had a brain.

The Taming of the Shrew offered the first, because “a shrew is an animal”. Yes it is. But it’s not a person’s name, you dummy.

“Orrick” was the next possibility they came up with, and then “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”. I kid you not. What the fuck are these people on?

In their defence the two men on the team suggested Richard III and Othello, before settling on the former. X

The missing two answers were Othello, as suggested but discarded by team captain David, and Hamlet. Ouch, and she was so near with “Orrick”.

Fuck the crows! ... “I’ll give you the money meself.”

And on that subject, this caused tears to run down my face. Wife said I looked really sad. I was just in so much pain.

Listening to: Hypnotize, by System Of A Down. What else goes so perfectly with Family Fortunes?

Button F1 drama

Probably an old gag but topical now. Seriously, though, that guy behind Button must’ve thought, “Fuck, it’s getting hot around here!”

Starry, starry name

I changed my name a bit: I added the word asterisk in brackets. Don't know why really. I think I thought perhaps just a symbol was a bit pretentious. Not like * (asterisk), that’s not pretentious at all. I might change it again later.


No, not the ogling-at-women type of birdwatching...

Cat is going mad this morning, craning his neck to see the birds nesting at the top of our house. I got down to his eye level, and sure enough he has a cracking view of a pigeon, looking all shiny grey and resplendent in the 8am sunlight.

If you ask me, pigeons get a bad rap. I know the ones in the middle of big cities are a bit grotty looking – and even then you’ve got to feel sorry for the ones that have missing feet – but once you get to smaller towns and villages, they really are just as magnificent as any other bird you care to mention. Except for magpies, of course, which are just plain evil.


Saturday, April 01, 2006

“Next Blog”

If you keep hitting the “Next Blog” button at the top right of lots of pages, it’s scary how many Christian sites you come across... Is this the new way of spreading God’s word?

And don’t you just hate it when that button isn’t positioned there? It really breaks the flow of continuous pressing.


I don't know why not, but I didn't really think anything of it when Wife suggested, a little while ago, we "queue" all ten parts of Dekalog from LoveFilm. The reason alarm bells should have rung is because I remember her telling me years ago how much she hated one of Kieslowski's Trois couleurs films (Blue?). I said okay and we added them to our list. I've never seen any of the Polish director's work and felt there was perhaps a gap in my film education. That, plus I'll watch virtually any movie you put in front of me, so keen am I to drench myself in film.

The first of the discs arrived a few days ago (episodes 4 & 5), and episodes 6, 7, & 8 dropped through the letterbox yesterday. "Right then," we thought. "Best get on with it."

Each of the short films in the Dekalog is around 55 minutes long and is inspired by one of the Ten Commandments. We started with episode 4, the earliest we had at our disposal: "Honour thy father and thy mother".

I kind of liked it, I think. It's likely to be one of those films that stays with you, lurking somewhere in the back of your head (and not just because of the terrible late '80s hairstyles and clothing). The theme is an interesting one (and I'm oversimplifying here just to get to the crux of the matter): it's essentially about a father and daughter who discover that he is not, in fact, her father. The discussions about sexuality and jealousy and the notion that they might actually want to get dirrty with each other are powerful and just a little disturbing.

(As an aside, it reminded me of a friend of my family from waaaay back, who ended up having an affair and running off with his stepdaughter. Everyone who knew them thought it was disgusting. And sure, there's a breach of trust... but they're not blood-related. Tricky, no?)

Still, this is exactly the sort of thing that I assume this series of films seeks to address with each episode. I enjoy movies that challenge social conventions, and I kind of look forward to seeing some of the others.

Wife less so. Fifty-five minutes wasn't quite short enough to keep her awake. And now she's suggested we take the remaining films off our queue. Which is what she probably would have done had I reminded her they were by the same director as Trois couleurs in the first place.

Terrible music. And Buddy Holly.

So, as is our semi-usual routine, Wife and I watched American Idol last night. And the music was worse than ever. The show’s “theme” this week was “the 21st century”, so the cuntestants had to choose songs that had been released in the past six years. Well, what a shower of shit. I kid you not, there was not one song that I had ever heard before in my life – not one; Wife fared slightly better (if you can call it better), saying she had heard one of them before. And in addition to that, I think I had only heard of one of the acts that had originally recorded these songs, Creed. [In fact, Wife has just reminded me, a couple of days after I originally posted this, that there were also songs by Beyoncé and Christina Aguilera. Of course, I am familiar with these gals, but not with the particular tracks performed on the show. My bad.]

Now, I fail to see how it is possible that these people have not heard better songs released in the past six years. And if Kellie Pickler really thinks “Suds in the Bathtub”, or whatever it’s called, is so great, then I feel terribly, terribly sorry for her.

The thing is, I hold my hand up here, I’m hung up on the ’80s, man. That is, most of the music I listen to now is stuff I was listening to during my formative years. And most of the new music I discover is actually via Wife. It was she who introduced me to Elliott Smith and Bright Eyes – probably two of the greatest singer/songwriters to emerge in the last 20 years, American or otherwise. (And I don’t mean singer/songwriters in the bastardized sense of James Blunt, KT Tunstall, Jason Mraz, and Katie Melua, all of whom seem to think that playing a guitar means you can write something of substance. Wankers.) Both Smith and Bright Eyes have released albums full of incredible songs in the past six years. Where is the music of this calibre of artist on Idol? Their music is adaptable, too, as is any great song: it is not restrained by its musical style because it is not entirely about the music, it’s about the words. Remember when music had words that meant something?

And yet, these poor kids on Idol, like much of America, probably don’t know these artists even exist(ed). These are the sorts of artist that are undoubtedly bigger outside of their own home country.

Of course, it goes without saying, in that Groucho Marx way, they’re too good for Idol anyway.

As a post script to this post, how can it be that on the “Fifties”-themed show last week, the two worst performances of the evening were the two Buddy Holly songs? I mean, they really butchered his tracks, “Not Fade Away” and “Oh Boy!” And yet here is an American rock ’n’ roll legend. Ah, I see a pattern emerging: Buddy Holly, too, was totally unappreciated in the United States during his lifetime – indeed, until the mid-1970s. He had been all but forgotten after his brief fling with stardom at the tail end of the ’50s. Guess they can’t see the talent under their noses in the States, and all the while they keep lining the pockets of shit-mongers like Garth Brooks, Celine Dion, Mariah Carey....

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