Monday, October 30, 2006


Probably for the best, but I pulled out of doing Hitler at the weekend- by which I mean dressing as him for a recent Halloween party of course. I also pulled out of doing a priest- but that's another story.

On a sad note, I watched the final ever episode of Arrested Development last night. The Season Finale included many obvious and subtle messages about saving the series (S.O.B – Save out Bluths) and was reportedly culled mid season, hence the odd self referential ending.

Once more we see the cut throat world of American TV killing one of its finest ever creations due to ratings, or lack of.

It was sad to watch- especially the lack of G.O.B's bad ass -black (though accidentally bleached white) puppet Franklin.

I've got the last three episodes of Curb… to watch this week too. A sad week indeed

Friday, October 27, 2006

Rockin' it with the kids

More often than not, I stop and wonder how i got myself into this career vortex that I am currently drowning in. (After much discussion I am aware you can't technically drown in a vortex- thanks Gareth)
Today, more than most days I am constantly questioning the very nature of my administrative role within this department and with it, the nature of my being.

If it wasn't for the effects of a few too many Guinness's last night's pub quiz, I'm quite sure that I would be more despondent.
Sadly, today ranks pretty darn high on my list of crappy days. I have been 'working' on a spreadsheet for several weeks and today, I'm double checking it- cross referencing it with another database. It goes without saying that it is dull, dreary and boring.

Aside from the sheer unhappiness my working life brings me, my social life has never been so good.
I've already seen Lambchop last Tuesday and tonight I'm off to see The Young Knives. No doubt there shall be a stark contrast between these two acts, most notably - the audience...for today I shall be rockin' it with the kids!
I have promised myself that I won't be stood at the back with a look of disinterest thinking to myself "you know what? They're nowhere near as good as The Fall" which is what happens quite often at gigs. Boy o' boy I love The Fall.

Anyway, on Saturday i shall be attending a Halloween Party, which sadly requires some form of fancy dress. Obviously being a grouchy s-o-b, fancy dress isn't really my thing, but in keeping with the spirit of the times, I shall be wearing some form of "costume". When the idea was first put to me, I immediately thought that I could go as a priest. After all, it wouldn't exactly be a hard task- chose one of my many black shirts and stick a bit of white card under the collar, and Bob's your uncle. Sadly, have divulged this information to some of my chums, and each on of their reactions has been less than enthusiastic.
"What's scary about a Priest?"

Firstly, this responses shows a lack of knowledge a) of the catholic men of the cloth and b) the history of horror films.
Lisa in a optimistic bid to try and encourage a suitably scary look purchased me a large green monster glove fro the Pound Shop. I tried to be polite when she gave it to me, but the crappyness of it made this extremely difficult. I politely suggested that not too many Priests have large green oversized hands, and that if they did then surely they would have two.

Since the response has been poor to my proposed disguise, I have been forced to think of a suitable alternative which I very much doubt I have the moxy to wear. Again, it's not going to be difficult for me to get the necessary regalia in order to pull off this transformation, it is more of a moral question, after all, with the exception of some hell raising Royals, who turns up to a small house party dressed as Hitler? This would require a shave for starters. I could go as an Administrator, as after all my job/career is pretty terrifying when you think about it- but clever costumes never impress.

I wonder if I could go as Heather McCartney....

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I was a 'floater'

So further to my reasoning that in a previous life I must have been Jewish-I've encountered a fatal flaw in this theory- Jews don't believe in re-incarnation (well as far as I'm aware). This is going to make it a tad difficult to fully embrace my newly discovered faith. It also raises many unanswerable questions on the teachings of my Catholic upbringing, as like the Jews – we don't believe in re-incarnation either.

Thusly, had I been re-incarnated then perhaps there's more to the Buddhism lark than just shaving you head and being a pacifist. Perhaps I should investigate this way of life a little further? Perhaps, rather than being a Jew in a former life, I was in fact adopted? Or perhaps there's a little Jewish blood in the family? David Cross did that whole "once a Jew, always a Jew" stand up routine- perhaps this is the case. Alas, the fundamental flaw in this theological theory is that despite the Jewish mannerisms, the whole 'gingerness' and Celtic look I was born with lead me to believe that perhaps the same could be said for Catholicism? "once a Catholic, always a Catholic?" The mere fact that I feel pangs of guilt writing in a jocular manner on the subject, leads me to believe that this must be true.

Perhaps a 'super religion' must be considered?

It's all a far cry from my day's at Harrogate Rossett High School, where after being educated in a severe Catholic way (is there any other way?) during my Primary School days, I crossed the threshold like a young Mo Johnston, and decided to join the aforementioned heathen educational establishment. Surprisingly, because only two of us went from this Primary School, we were constantly asked questions along the lines of :

"Are you a Bible basher?"


"but you're a Christian"

"Yeah- I'm a catholic actually"

"then you ARE a Bible basher"


"because you're a Christian"

"You're Christian too you know"

"F*** off! I'm C of E"

And that was the R.E teacher! Thank God (literally) that I hadn't discovered my Jewish roots then! Oye!

Anyhow, aside from my Jewishness queries, the reason for this faith led blog is not to offend anyone , rather to explain that I completed a job application form the other day in an admin role for a school in Southport. Ace! Better money and it's only term time! Huzzzah I thought- I could do the the xtra time to work on my SC3 project (more on this in the future) Anyway, I only spotted the advert an hour before the deadline- so I completed it at break neck speed. I thought it best to give the school a phone call to see if it would be okay fro me to send it by e-mail. I had a short chat, and used my extra special refined telephone voice, that never fails to impress. They said it would be fine.

I double-double-double (okay treble) checked the application so that my usual grammatical and spelling errors were non evident, and e-mailed it over.

Half and hour passed, and I received an e-mail stating:

Thank you for your application which I will print off for the headteacher's

attention. However, you have completed the wrong application. As a

Catholic school we must use the Catholic Education Service application form

which I attach for your information.

Please do not go to the trouble of re-doing your application. If you were

to be successful in your application we would ask you to complete the

correct form for our records.

I checked the intranet where I spotted the application and there was no such 'Catholic Application Form' there. They were kind enough to enclose a Catholic Application form, which I checked and it was EXACTLY the same, with the exception of some religious motif letter head.

This was nearly two weeks ago, and I now feel that they have tossed my application away due to my un Catholic ness. They probably saw that the school I went to was not R.C. and noted that I hadn't used my confirmation name. They then no doubt assumed from my phone call that due to my Jewish sounding voice that I was 'floater'- you know those poor kids who were brought up by parents of different faiths, and in order to stop any controversy was brought up a bit of both in order to avoid any conflict. So I have been shunned by my own kind- persecuted for not being Catholic (despite actually being catholic) – My God I've never felt so Jewish!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Moxy & Madness

My reign of terror and crime as a Mersey Rail passenger came to a sticky end yesterday when I was caught not having a valid ticket. I adopted a "it's a fair cop" type attitude and provided the gentleman with as much information as he required, stuffed the £20 penalty notice in my pocket and bit him fair thee well. I wasn't bothered as I hadn't paid a penny for three weeks saving myself £45. It was an inevitability that I'd get caught, and getting off the train and spotting the ticket collectors I felt like the mayor of Hiroshima- I could see it coming but little I could do about it.

I've been caught a few times previously, but not since the bleak autumn of 1999 when I was caught- tried to lie my way out of it giving a false name, false address, panicked when they phoned up to check my address, lied some more, tried to run, got caught (ripping my all time favourite coat*), 'fessed up, brought out my switch card, was accused of stealing someone else's bank card (as it had my name on it not the false one I had provided) paid the meagre £10 fine and proceed to avoid public transport of any kind for nearly two months for fear of reprisal. At the time I was devastated, but on reflection I needn't have been seeing I had not paid my daily £3 fare for nearly three months- so I was certainly still in the 'plus'. Obviously living in this city has hardened me in a way I'm not particularly proud about.

I once saw a late night film starring James Coburn, the name of which escapes me, romanticising the train hopping life in the depression era America. I enjoyed this film immensely and in one of many Walter Mitty moments I imagined myself as of these noble hobos of the rail. God I need to get out more, other wise I'll soon be trying to replicate one of my all time favourite films :'Cool Hand Luke' and in all honesty I don't think I'd be very good at being a member of the chain gang in the deep south as my complexion wouldn't handle the heat- plus I don't like eggs.

*my "tele-tubbie coat" – a fleece jacket with a pointy hood. On the very first day I wore it I felt chuffing marvellous, until two drunken local types, proceeded to follow me down Renshaw Street laughing a me calling me a Tele Tubby. Paralysed with fear I kept my hood up and walked on at break neck speed, thoroughly dejected and demoralised. Further to the effect of becoming a city dweller, should this have occurred today I would like to think that I would have confronted the two men in question. Sadly I have progressed to confronting people but unable to follow it up. A good example was last weekend when I confronted 15 or so drunken Rugby League fans on the late night train from Manchester when they were making really sleazy and derogatory remarks about a friend of mine and what they'd like to "do" with her arse.

"Come on guys, we can fucking hear you!" I shouted over in an caustic and loud voice- giving them a unsavoury and surly stare. I instantly thought "uh oh". I averted my gaze and tried to make small talk with my friends. A moment later I felt a tap on my shoulder and the main pervert/culprit/knuckle dragger wanted to shake my hand for "having the balls to defend her"…at least that's what I think he said, I couldn't hear anything except the violent pounding of my heart, but it was certainly words to that effect. Had this been the great railroads of the depression era America, he would have said "I like your moxy kid" which would have been much cooler, sadly thus far in my life no one has said that to me, then offered me a job like I've seen in so many films.

I then spent the next twenty minutes plotting a quick exit should they decide to kill me. Essentially, I've become quicker to shoot my mouth off at the wrong people. Hardly progress I agree- regression if anything. As a rambunctious youth (okay- I was a smart alec), I did have a habit of not being able to keep my mouth shut, this was beaten out of my by the plethora of older kids whom I had conflicts with. I know I'm rambling here, but the worst occasion was when I was 14 on the top tennis courts at school when our football had escaped from one of the many holes in the fence. The ball had stooped by the feet of a kid in the fifth year, who ignored our requests to kick the ball back and proceeded to boot it on to the first year block's roof. I shouted some abuse at him, and to my surprise he slowly walked over to us, flicking his fag away whist doing so.


"Did you say that?" he sneered.

Another moment to do myself proud…"no it was him" I said pointing to our year group's whipping boy, Fryer. He walked over to him and preceded to twat him hard about his head until he fell to the floor. As the twenty or so of us watched silently- no one having the guts to step in. I felt guilty as hell, but as he walked away sparking up another cigarette, Fryer got to his feet and gingerly carried himself off to the school matron with his bloody nose, limping badly, I realised that could have been me and that was a blessed relief.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

“Oh great, another instrument”

I have recently acquired myself a ukulele for the princely sum of £25 and so smitten with it am I, that I have recently incurred the wrath of Lisa by strumming it at any given opportunity.

On Saturday, I was sent to town to purchase some new threads as the money I recently accrued from a loan was burning a hole in my already hole ridden pockets. I dislike buying new clothes, as I am particularly picky about what I wear. Yes, I appreciate this may not seem possible if you take into account the shoddy garments I don but it's something of an ordeal for me, so after purchasing a couple of shirts and the obligatory visit to Probe Records (whereupon I purchased the new Bonnie Prince Billy and Beirut L.Ps) I found myself enticed at the idea of adding another feather to my musical bow (or should that be another string to my hat) and I was soon bounding home like a school girl, uke in hand.

Lisa wasn't impressed, and it was as if I'd spent money on magic beans.

"Oh great, another instrument" she wearily exclaimed.

Perhaps I'd set my self up for this fall, as I had walked though our flat's door bursting with joy and something hidden behind my back. Lisa's initial thought was that I had bought her a present, but she should have known better really.

In the past, Lisa showed great compassion and understanding whilst I was engulfed in a grip of a mild obsession with buying cheap (and mostly rubbish) Casio keyboards, after all she enjoyed the pleasure of pressing random buttons and laughing and the resulting cacophony of sounds that ensued. My brief flirtation with playing the harmonica was not tolerated at all (understandably so) and of course my constant guitar playing was always relegated to the spare room. Eventually she did lighten up to the idea and described it as "cute". Still it has been threatened that she would hide from me it to give her some peace, so I must tread with caution and have my wits about me. Perhaps the wearing of my new shirts will have some positive impact on this delicate situation.

Back to the more trivial and banal- I have once more been enraged by the total lack of consideration and common sense displayed by them's chaps at Mersey rail. Firstly I missed my train by seconds as I decided to purchase a ticket as opposed to my rebellious recent streak of sneaking on without paying. What does honesty cost? £2.65 and being late for work. Lisa and I then waited in the fine drizzle until the next train arrived some 15 minutes later. Unbelievably, despite the 8.30 train being the busiest of the day, they only provided 3 carriages and the train was jammed packet before its door had open for us. When the guard stuck his head out of the window, I asked "Is there any room on the roof?"

"yeah we've got a luggage rack" he retorted.

We stood looking at the open doors with the other 70-80 commuters on the platform. There was little to no space.

"There's another train in fifteen minutes" he yelled to the masses.

"Balls to this" I said to Lisa and plunged myeslf into the mass of bodies and squeezed in…just. When the doors shut, I was unable to move at all, except to slightly move my neck to I could talk to Lisa. At the next stop, Brunswick, the doors opened and the commuters took one look and burst in to laughter. A tannoy announcement proclaimed that "due to severe overcrowding –please do not board this train." This was ignored by several plucky commuters and I was thrust further back in to the sea of sweaty office attired bodies. I did see one noble act as a man told his lady friend to "go on without me darling- I'll get the next train" I thought this beautiful until the said lady proceeded to stand on my foot for the duration of the journey until we arrived at Central station.

All of this had a resonance of de ja vu, and reading a previous blog entry from 12th Oct last year

I seemed to be in a most unsavoury frame of mind regarding the state of the public transport system then. Having said that, last year I wasn't the proud owner of a ukulele as I am now- so things have improved somewhat.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Alas Gerry broke my Lada mug. He feels sufficiantly guilty and I feel sufficiantly sad.

My dad got it for me one Xmo years ago-I now require something to numb this pain.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Reluctantly pluck for the water.

My brain and body appear to be working in conjunction for the first time in an age and with my newly acquired aerodynamic hair cut I have been quite the effervensant professional much to every one's surprise, though my usual razor sharp wit and sarcasm has taken a momentary hiatus as a result- a small price for commerce me thinks.

I've even become helpful, and suggested tedious tasks I could embark upon, much to my colleagues and superiors' delight. The fog is lifting my thinks- winter is on its way…hosanna!!

So it was time for my quarterly haircut.

The usual place and once more I booked and appointment with my pretty but slightly dim hairdresser Holly, and this time I felt more relaxed than ever. The usual politeness in declining other peoples' hospitality lay dead on the floor amongst the cocktail of different hair cuttings beneath my shoes. This time when I was asked if I wanted drink, I declared that a "lager" would be most favourable and to my astonishment she smiled and said "no problem." This was a moral victory for sure, as despite frequenting this peroxide, homosexual laden establishment at least 8 times now, I have only be offered a beer once- which I cherished way too much than I ought to. Since that fateful time, my only offerance was: "would you like a drink?" and being slightly embarrassed that a 16 year old man/boy had just washed my hair (still too proud to admit that his feminine fingers worked small miracles on my tired scalp) I tended to nervously ask what drinks are on offer despite being fully aware that a small, stubby bottle of Asda's own continental lager was sat waiting for me in their fridge. The usual crap reply would be "water, tea or coffee?" to which I would reluctantly pluck for the water.

My previous encounter saw me brave newer territories (which turned out to be a deciding factor in my newly found confidence) as being given the aforementioned list of beverages I asked curiously "what cold drinks do you have?" thinking this a more polite- if not indirect approach to being offered a beer. My response:

"We've got orange?"

Anyway, this time as I watched some chap quaffing a glass of wine, I figured "what the hell" and decided to push the boat out.

As I strutted out of their premises I stopped by as many shop windows to ensure that the 'do' still look sensational. I rode on the train with a new sense of purpose and confidence. I enjoyed the attention from the female commuters. I felt like Arthur Fonzarelli. Upon striding into the flat, I found my better half in the bedroom surrounded my reports, writing at break neck speed and looking stressed and full of woe. "aha- she looking vulnerable, she's already on the bed- and I look like a new man…a sexier man" I thought. I checked my hair in the mirror one last time and stood opposite her for a minute until her eyes caught mine.

"I thought you said you were getting your hair cut- it looks exactly the same" she said sincerely.

Still- at least for those twenty something minutes I felt great.