Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I must be mad

Thought I'd give blogging another shot.

I've been really busy of late and allowed the blog to just fade away which I shouldn't have.

Anyway I've got myself unpaid work on a national (Scottish) newspaper so I'm now feeling rather published.

It's great but it'd be even better if I was being paid for it.

For now here's a little video to entertain you,

It worries me how believable this is.

(Lincoln is voiced by none other than Hulk Hogan)

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Giving in to Scottish sterotypes.

It's Saturday night. I'm hungry, waiting for my Chinese takeaway to arrive. The doorbell rings and I answer, happy to see that it's the delivery driver with my food.

A large moth flies out of my purse as I open it.

How the hell did it get in there?

...That mocking feeling is not going away.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Red Flag Day.

I walk through the torrential rain, looking more like I've been for a fully clothed swim than to the local shops. An ice cream van drives past, splashing me in a wave of puddle water. The van cheerily playing 'I do like to be beside the sea side' on it's loudspeaker.

I think...

Someone, somewhere, is mocking me.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Samhain Spooks

Happy Halloween everyone!

So it's that time of year again, the night when the veil between our world and the next is at it's thinnest and the spooky things come out to play. Or at least in my street it's the night when the kids come knocking on my door looking for sweeties.

I must say I've had a few experiences with things that go bump in the night. My best friend's childhood home was definitely haunted.* There were at least two ghosts that enjoyed making life interesting for her family and their visitors. The first was actually in my best friends room, the second downstairs on the ground floor of the building.

She and her family had lived (and died) in this house for generations. A huge town house of at least 200 years in age they had revamped it so that they could run a business from the ground floor, with family bedrooms situated on the second level and the living room and kitchen on the third floor. My friend stayed in an apartment sized room in the attic, in what would have been the servant quarters.

It started off quietly at first, noises in her room, like someone coughing or rummaging through her things. Then the lights would turn themselves on and off. To sort the problem her parents had the place re-wired to no avail. Things would get moved about when there was no one there to have moved them and would go missing only to turn up again in plain sight.

Her stereo was the strangest thing. It would turn on by itself. It was an old stereo and we just assumed it had gone a bit wonky. She got a new top of the range three CD changer to replace it. Suddenly it upped a level. The stereo would turn itself on, play a track from one CD, switch to another CD play a couple of songs from the middle of an album and then move on to the next disk. It seemed to have favourite songs, ones that it would play more than any others, Sigur Ros was particularly popular. There is no technical explanation for what happened, not a power surge - nothing. Once it played when it wasn't even plugged in. It could get really annoying (especially when it started blasting at full volume in the middle of the night) but if you asked it politely to stop playing it would, but shouting at it never worked. She obviously had a ghost that believed in manners. It could be decidedly unsettling, yet in all the years that she lived there we never once felt afraid up in that room.

Downstairs was a different matter.

There were cold spots downstairs. A tall, thin man dressed in black was spotted regularly, even by people who were the strictest non believers. One friend- an atheist- was so scared by what he had encountered there that he refused to go downstairs alone.
One night after returning from the cinema (sober I might add), my friend waited for me by the front door as I ran to use the bathroom along the hall. As I walked back towards her I suddenly stopped dead in my tracks. I had become ice cold, but not from a draft. The only way to describe it is that I became cold from the inside out. Colder than I have ever felt in my life. I could feel and hear someone breathing on my shoulder. I bolted. Reached my friend and spun around, wondering if her older brother was playing a trick on me, but there was no one there. She had seen nothing, but said that I had stopped deadly still for about 2 seconds, almost like a cat that has it's hackles raised, and then ran faster than she'd ever seen me move in her life.

To this day I refuse to be in that hallway with the lights out.

So, do any of you have any spooky experiences to share on All Hallows Eve?

*I know what you are thinking, and no, I'm not mental.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Taking Back The Idiot Box.

Last month the TV series 'Studio Sixty On The Sunset Strip' aired for the first time in the US.

It depicts the 'behind the scenes' production of a live late night comedy show in a similar vein to Saturday Night Live. Created and written by Aaron Sorkin, the man who brought the West Wing to our screens, it boasts an excellent cast, lavish production and sharp dialogue. What could go wrong? A lot. According to some reviews I have read.

It has repeatedly been lambasted as; too pleased with itself, too clever for its own good, self indulgent rubbish et cetera, et cetera. This is discounting the furor it has caused in the right wing religious press. I would post a link to that, however I can't bring myself to connect my blog in any way to those fundamentalist bigots. Needless to say L. Brent Bozell III, the head of the Conservative Communications Center has been having his say.

So why has it been so poorly received by so many in the liberal media? It shares so many of the defining characteristics that made The West Wing so successful. The dialogue is generally superb, (even I will admit that there have been a couple of lines that clunked) the acting is top notch, provided by a dream cast. The characters are believable and multi-layered. The direction, lighting and camera work is faultless.

What is really rubbing people up the wrong way is the fact that Sorkin is attempting to bestow a similar level of importance and idealism onto television as he did with politics in West Wing.

This is what people have a problem with. My question is, why should they?

There has been a fair amount of talk about television in the blogging world of late. Is it relevant? Do people even watch television in the traditional manner anymore? Does television matter?

Television IS important. It is vitally important, even in this digital age when news is readily available online. The reason for this is because even though all this digital news, comment and debate is available to people, so few actually seek it out. Television is still the main route to the masses.

It is the main source of education available today, yet we are being fed a menu of lobotomised rubbish.

So what is wrong with wanting Television to be of a high quality and of a certain level of intelligence? As a friend said to me recently after watching an episode of West Wing, "In the age of reality TV it is refreshing to watch a programme that you know was written by people much smarter than yourself."

This is not always the case, TV need not be 'high-brow', or even 'mid-brow' to be enjoyable, and I will readily admit to enjoying the occasional reality show (not Big Brother I hasten to add). However, why shouldn't we have more television that doesn't insult our collective intelligence?

Why shouldn't we ask for it, or at least allow a television writer such as Sorkin to speak out on our behalf?

I don't know a soul who doesn't wish that the President of The United States was more like Martin Sheen's Josiah Bartlet, so why shouldn't we wish that television was more like 'Studio Sixty'? Why do we buy the ideal in a programme about politics, but not in entertainment?

Here's an edited excerpt from the speech made by a disgruntled 'producer' at the start of the Studio Sixty Pilot...

"This show used to be cutting edge political and social satire, but it's gotten lobotomized by a candy-ass broadcast network hell-bent on doing nothing that might challenge their audience.

There's always been a struggle between art and commerce, but now I'm telling you art is getting is ass kicked, and it's making us mean, and it's making us bitchy, and it's making us cheap punks and that's not who we are."

So why don't we give the people who want to provide us with quality entertainment a chance, and get off their backs? I think that we should let them be clever, for our own good.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


The wanderer has returned.

Actually I've not wandered very far, the aforementioned bump to the knee (falling out a car whilst stone cold sober) turned into something more serious and I may have cracked some cartilage.

So I've been hobbling about feeling sorry for myself.

Also on a driving lesson update, I can now turn corners and go around a round-about. Woohoo.

I'm annoyed at myself for letting my blogging fall to the wayside of late and I fully intend to blog at least once every couple of days in future. No more lax blogging allowed.

More from me tomorrow, hopefully it will be slightly more coherent than this ramble.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Newsflash: 51 School Children Mown Down By Crazed Learner Driver

I'm about to go for my first driving lesson.
The world's gone mad, letting someone as disaster prone as I am behind the wheels of a car.
God help us all, especially the other road users.
My aim is to not kill anybody, especially my instructor.
Or school children.
I really hope that the poor sod teaching me knows what he's getting himself in for.
Cars don't like me, I got my foot caught on the seatbelt getting out of my brother's car last night and fell out face first. I now have a grazed knee that is a lovely shade of purple from the bruising and a sore ankle. Never let it be said that I am graceful.
I'll report back in an hour if I survive, if not look out for headlines like the one above.

UPDATE: The lesson is over and no one is dead (that I know of).
I am counting this as a huge personal victory.
I can now drive in a straight line. Hurrah!
I really should have learned to drive back when I was 17 and fearless.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Caught in A Rainstorm

Coming back to the city. That I never quite leave.

Picture you be the ocean. Picture me coughing into my sleeve.

Like a snake eating snake you confuse me. Who's killer. Who's captive. Who's free.

In a city that kills by constriction. Throw your streets around me and squeeze.

And draw down the stars. Draw down the stars.

What's in your heart?*

I love Glasgow, even when it's raining.

* Lyrics from Tom McRae's Draw Down The Stars.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Hopping on the bandwagon.

According to this site (as originally brought to my attention by the lovely Jools) I look like...

So from left to right we have Natalie Wood, she who slept with Elvis and then died in suspicious circumstances involving Christopher Walken.

Then Sophie Marceau, the hottie in Braveheart and French charm ambassador to East Asia.

Helena Christansen, supermodel.

Emily Browning, actress most famous for her role as Violet Baudelaire in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Halle Berry, star of Catwoman, X-Men or more importantly in my book, The Last Boy Scout.

And finally Christie Brinkley, supermodel and ex-wife of Billy Joel. Interestingly she can now be found as a spokesperson, alongside the mighty Chuck Norris on infomercials for a "Total Gym" Fitness program.

Really though I think the thing has been rather kind, I *wish* I looked like any of those ladies!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Mad as a balloon you say?

A couple of weeks ago I went out for some drinks with friends who in turn brought some of their own friends along. I spent a pleasant evening chatting and drinking with everyone.

Yesterday I was talking to my friend. He told me that one of the guys I had been talking to that night had mentioned me. I asked what he had said. The response...

He said that you're "pretty but completely bonkers".

What a brilliant contumely compliment!

So my little blogarinos... what's the best compliment and worst insult you've recieved?