Saturday, November 26


While America gives thanks to a bunch of fundamentalist Christians for growing corn from seeds they stole from the natives, everyone else is 'getting their Christmas on'.

So it's time for me to open the top drawer, and pull out a range of zinger lines for this year's Christmas Card messages.

And to think, in about 10 days time, I'll receive a card with a photo of some friend's kids. This is only acceptable if the infant and friends have gone full nativity. That's right, I want donkey's, sheep, myrrh and wise men, not just "Happy Holidays from the lastnames", in Zapf Pissing Chancery.

Sad Day

Anne just decided (26 years too late) that The Cult are not very good.

That's not freaking me out.

What's freaking me out is that I disagreed with her, which given my previous track record of disliking such shoe-gazing goth tosh is quite odd.

This is the equivalent of Nelson Mandela saying, "You know, you were right, I'm better off in prison".

It's just like that.

I'll try to make a Sisters of Mercy/Martin Luther King Jr analogy later.

Thursday, November 17

Thought of the day

I was catching up on the Zooey Deschanel comedy vehicle New Girl last night.

It featured a scene where the characters tried to thaw a turkey in a tumble dryer.

"That's genuinely funny", I exclaimed.

Anne, who never misses an opportunity to put down Deschanel ironically replied, "Quirky and adorkable".

I contended it was just funny, not 'trying too hard' funny.

10 seconds later ... as I digested the idea of using household appliances incorrectly ... I said to Anne,

"What would happen if you pissed into a Brita?

Would it magically filter the piss into drinking water?"

"Probably not", Anne deadpanned.

And with that I continued to enjoy Zooey's comic stylings.

Tuesday, November 15

Ticking all the boxes

I ran across this video short today on the Zara website.

It has so many of my pet peeves that I felt like they made the damn clip just to annoy me.

Twee ukelele, twatish Brit, media wander glasses, ugly/not ugly beardy hipster, over elaborate coffee pot, intellectual yet obscure art books, unexceptional placement of fresh herbs, fruits and flowers, meaningless bollocks about contemporary art, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

And that's just the first 2 minutes, upon which I got bored and hit pause. It appears I'd used up all of my contempt!!

I was on the Zara website because I'm trying to replace a jacket I lost at the gym last week.

Yesterday I left my step counter there.

Stay tuned to see what I lose during my next visit to the gym.

It will not be 2 lbs, I guarantee you that.

Monday, November 14

Back on the Road

I've booked a trip to Alabama for January as part of my all 50 states visited craziness.

I was startled and delighted to chat with a co-worker last week who has visited 49 out of 50, so I figured it was time to get back in the saddle again and pony across the country.

In choosing Northern Alabama I was swayed by 2 awesome prospective visits.

The first one is Muscle Shoals & Florence, home of the famous Sound Studio and the birthplace of W.C Handy.

The second is the chance to visit the home of Helen Keller.

Stay tuned, fans of R&B and blind people.

Sunday, November 13

One Way or Another. Please.

I started watching Mesrine last night, the two part (duology?) set of movies starring Vincent Cassel as the famous French criminal Jacques Mesrine.

I wish my French was good enough to watch without subtitles. Then again, I wish I could watch an Almodóvar movie in Spanish.

Although as a side note I watched a clip this week from Yugoslav director Dušan Makavejev featuring a cat sat on a woman's naked arse and that needed no subtitles.

Back to French movies. Aside from the obvious "they're speaking French", I feel you can usually spot a movie based on the pacing of the audio. There appears to be so much more silence. But maybe that's just the view of someone waiting for the next subtitle to appear. Perhaps you could plonk a little Jean-Pierre in front of a Michael Bay movie and he'd make the same stupid generalization?

Anyway, I started this post because of subtitles.

The first part of Mesrine is excellent, and although it requires concentration to follow subtitles for 90 minutes at the end of the movie I couldn't wait to watch Part 2.

4 descending notes on a tuba please.

The 2nd movie was dubbed. And dubbed by some extra from a British soap opera. How can you dub Vincent Cassel with some Bob Hoskins impersonator?

To make matters worse, the subtitles option is still available, but the words don't match the dub. They turned a modern classic into some 2nd rate version of The Sweeney.

Zut a-fucking-lors.

Saturday, November 12

Well intentioned stupidity

Delicacy required here ...

I was in a suburban town today where to commemorate Veteran's Day the locals have stuck large handwritten signs on every lamp-post. On each sign is a different name of a serviceman/woman killed in action since Memorial Day, along with their rank, company, and home state/country. Someone also added a flag of the state/country.

It's a great idea to remind us all that armed forces personnel are still being killed everyday.

But it also means that every driver in the town is reading a long handwritten sign every 100 yards instead of paying attention to the road.

If people were capable of following a narrative every 100 yards, while safely driving a vehicle then there would be books or magazine articles on every telegraph pole. But there isn't. Because it's stupid and dangerous.

I doubt the self-righteous defense of "I was reading the Veteran's Day signs" will cut it when you plead your case for running over a pedestrian.

I could have wrote little kiddie. But I showed restraint.

Tuesday, November 8


I grew up in a predominantly white area. I'd say Christian, but let's be honest, despite the hundreds of old churches, the UK is as secular as it gets.

At about age 6, a group of kids from Pakistan arrived, and they became good friends throughout my schooldays. Consequently I had a passing knowledge of Ramadan, and a little bit of Muslim culture.

There were no Jewish kids where I grew up. And I never learned to spot a Jewish name. For example, I must have been in my twenties before I realized that Steven Spielberg was jewish. I then presumed Bruce Springsteen was Jewish, until I learned to spell his name correctly.

My therapist is Jewish (strange, I know). And when he's not helping me sort out that final 1% of perfection I crave, he will often remind me of people who are Jewish. Last week for no good reason we started to talk about Vidal Sassoon. He's a Jew you know.

At the weekend we attended a party, and sat next to great couple from Marblehead. "She's a lawyer, and I work in PR", said the husband as he introduced themselves as "The Bergensteins" (slightly changed for anonymity)

The next 2 hours were a fun filled time of good stories and, with the benefit of hindsight, verbal, visual, social and behavioral cues to their Jewishness.

I didn't spot one single cue. Finally they mentioned their son's Bar Mitzvah, and it all slipped into place like the end of The Usual Suspects.

Am I the only one?

I was watching some TV last night when Boston's favorite furniture seller/crack head ran one of his commercials.

You know the schtick "I'll beat anyone on price and I'll throw in an extra piece of shit you didn't know you needed."

Anyhow. This thing shows up. A fake fireplace and TV stand combo.


Thursday, November 3

"Asses are here to stay, man"

Sir Mix-a-Lot
VH1, November 3, 2011