Discombobulatory ramblings

Movable Type galley. Galera con tipos móviles.
Photo by Xosé Castro
I don’t know if I can say that I am completely suffering from writers block right now…writers malais possibly, writers half a job definitely…the problem I have is that I have ideas…see things, hear things that would normally dump me in front of my PC for a decent writing session.  Now, having ideas is not a bad thing, and definitely suggests that I am not blocked..but therein lies the trouble.  I can’t seem to get a cohesive post together about any of them…or when I do, it becomes a couple of paragraphs and consigned to the draft posts cold storage…never to return.

With that in mind, I thought I would just throw a few things in a post, lest these things never see the light of day at all

Oil Paintings
Today I saw, what can only be described as, the inspiration for every witch every artistically rendered.  Proper, proper ugly…hooked nose, sunken eyes…warts on the face, the whole shebang.  If you visited her house in the evening and she had one of those green facemasks on, that they always show in the movies, you would scream your bleedin’ head off…and possibly set fire to her.

Now, those of you that no me would probably say that I am not exactly Johnny Depp myself..followed by a series of bleeding heart “someone for everyone” and “beauty is in the eyes of the beerholder” nonsense..but seriously, proper ugly…I saw one guy actually stop eating his lunch after she smiled at him** Mothers and Fathers were shuffling their kids off to one side (in fairness, not out of fear of the childs trauma…more out of fear of kids propensity for pointing out things that parents DO NOT want pointing out).

Now, I am not suggesting that she should never leave the house again (unless she wants to), all I am doing is pointing out the wide range of technological advances that have been made in the home delivery arena…nothing more.

Football fans
Are rarely as bad as you think (at least not these days).  Some time ago, I took Zak and Brandon to a Liverpool match here in Germany.  It was only a friendly, so I didn’t really anticipate a full house, especially in the travelling Kop.  I was pleasantly surprised (and a little apprehensive) to see a full visitors section of over 700 fellow reds.

The kids were in awe, and having a great time…and when we went a goal down, a particularly hardened and haggard (old) fan, started chanting some rather abusive anti-german slogans.  He was all on his own, and immediately told to shut it by the rest of the fans.  Other fans took it in turns putting Zak and Brandon on their shoulders and making sure that they had room to stand etc..it was amazing, a proper family atmosphere.

There were a couple of stand-out moments though…bearing in mind that Liverpool fielded a team of people who weren’t even going to feature in the coming season, and in some cases…ever again.  Firstly, as I said..it was a sell out…but it was also a sell out for the home fans too…and it would appear that they were there to see us, the LFC fans.

LFC fans always sign You’ll Never Walk Alone both before the kick off and just before the game ends.  We were a couple lines into it when I realised that the whole stadium was silent, apart from us lot singing.  I thought it was a little strange, but carried on regardless..as you do.  When we finished..their fans gave us a standing ovation…it was bloody mental.  The second stand-out moment can be put down to the cultural differences between fans from different nations.  In the UK, stadium announcers announce the squad one by one.  Each name is read out in full and the crowd cheer or boo respectively (depending on which team you follow).  In Germany, the stadium announcer announces the first name of each player…and the crowd chant their last name.

So, in a perfect world in England…it goes something like this:

Announcer:  Number 9, Fernando TORRES

In Germany, this would be:
Announcer:  Number 9, Fernando
Crowd:  TORRES!!

At this particular match, therefore, it went something like this:

Announcer:  Number 9, Fernando
Crowd:  YEAHWOOPRARGONA…uh, hey what the TORRES..RES

I love football me

Why do fools….
…irritate me so much?  I can’t quite pinpoint the moment where my intolerance outgrew my tolerance.  I guess it could be age and I am just on the wonderful route to being a grumpy old man..which isn’t too bad as I hear that it means that I get a country for myself***.  I think I am still holding onto some vestiges of my previous easygoing nature, but more and more I find myself hitting rant mode (as anyone reading this blog recently will no doubt have noticed).  It could be something little like repeatedly pressing the open door button on the train whilst it is still moving, only to then not press it at all when, wait for it, THE GREEN LIGHT COMES ON TO TELL YOU TO!.  Maybe I have just reached an age where I expect a certain level of intelligence from the people around me, or maybe I am just a miserable git who expects everything to happen how I would do it…but is that so wrong – I mean, my ways clearly work….mostly :-P

It isn’t like I am really asking for much.  A little courtesy…some of my seat being available to me and not taken up by YOU with the giant paper to, no doubt, show your importance to the rest of the train.  Papers are sooo last decade anyway..you should at least be annoying everyone with incessant, psuedo-important, phonecalls and constant checking of the latest jokes important work related emails from your colleagues.  Or the smokers that insist on sparking up on the platforms in the No Smoking train stations, and worse than that….in the trains themselves.

The rocket scientists smoking dope on the street…not even remotely covering it up.  The police that check my ID for 40 minutes when doing a random bar check…and try to stop me going outside for a smoke…even though they HAVE MY ID.  Or worse, the guy that was playing with a knife right in front of the police officers when he was told that he couldn’t go in the bar until they had finished, and on top of that decides to try and engage CW in conversation as if we were with him….moron.

What about the ridiculous contract situation with, well, pretty much anything over here.  Forget to cancel a few months before and it automatically renews for a year (or two) with no method of cancelling except paying in full.  The way that you are supposed to be greatful for being allowed to pay for their service.  The ability to freeze your accounts for a ?10 bill….fortunately not something I have dealt with.

I could go on and on…and I am speaking from a position of loving the country that I am in :-)

You have to be Joker’ing…

I read a while ago that Batman fans feel that Heath Ledgers portrayal of the Dark Knights arch nemesis was so good, that they want to retire the character and not allow any more Joker related storylines for any future movies.

Now, forgetting the fact that the Joker is arguably the best villain in the Batman story arcs, meaning that stopping useage of the character would effectively kill the Batman series…Penguin anyone?  No..you liked him, ok, what about Mr Freeze?  Need I say more?  Still, I said we would forget that though.  So my opinion is this, Heath Ledger was a great Joker…a superb Joker in a great film…but the definitive Joker?  I don’t think so…and I genuinely believe that the discussion wouldn’t have even arisen if he hadn’t died.  I actually thought that Jack Nicholson was at least as good as Ledger in the role…but all of them, including any that may come in the future, pale into insignificance when compared to Cesar Romero…the quintessential Joker if you will.  This man played the original Joker on the Batman TV show..alongside, may I say, probably the finest Batman ever portrayed.  You want “Faithful to the comic books”?..these guys even had the Zapp, Kerpow, Zing, Splats that were daubed all over comics of the time.  Gen-I-Arse I tellsya.  Can’t beat it…

There were others, but some of them were deleted and others were…well…shite.


** Ok, ok…that would be me….but still!!
*** Sorry, couldn’t resist

Steal the thunder…

Kevin Smith

Writer, director and occasional Silent Bob actor Kevin Smith said it best during his “An evening with Kevin Smith” DVD.   He refers to using “Steal the thunder” humour, where he will put himself down about his weight etc, which leaves nothing for people to hit you with.

I have followed the same mantra for many years now and it works.   I think a lot of people would assume it would be depressing, but honestly it isn’t.   It is pretty bloody funny to watch people flounder for a comedy put down when you have just used the best material available on yourself.

You may have noticed this particular style elsewhere in this blog, it’s something I personally find funny, especially watching people flounder.   You can also steal the thunder following an insult.   Now just to explain, I am pretty good in an argument and have been known to fire off some snappy comebacks in my time.   Usually when you catch people off-guard with a comeback, they result to the most base defence….the personal insult.

Being of the larger persuasion (I didn’t take much persuading though, truth be told), it is no surprise where their poorly developed intellect takes these morons in the search for a retort to the snappy comeback:

Me: Some snappy quip
Idiot: Shut the fuck up you fat bastard

See…classy huh, right up there with the best of them really…

Me: Oh dear god, the fat comeback.   Shit, I didn’t see that coming, I hadn’t prepared….it could only really get worse if you spot the cleverly concealed fact about my hair loss..and my tendency to look like the bastard love child of Uncle Fester and a shaved panda.   Oh no, not the panda comment.   You sir have cut me to my very quip, I am mortally wounded, my intellect bows and scrapes at the feet of a master of witty repartee, a mind the speed of a whippet and the generally aquired wiseness of the longest living owl.   I apologise and beg you, please do not waste your god given talents of intellectual prowess on me, a mere imbecile who is not worthy to walk past you, let alone enter into discourse with you.
Idiot: …..

See?   Fun isn’t it.   I wouldn’t mind, but that actually happened.   Same as when someone called a friend of mine (who has alopecia and is therefore completely hairless) bald.   I think I replied with something along the lines of “3 cheers for Captain Obvious, don’t tell me, for your next feat of put down prowess you will call me fat?   Am I right?   Do I win a prize?”

How I don’t end up in more fights is beyond me…really…I can’t stop it.   I guess it isn’t so bad over here, if a German insults me, I probably have no idea how to respond.

Must learn more German

I think I am losing my edge.   I have to say though, my favourite two comebacks are directly attributable to Marc (He of Hop Pole Fame).

#2 – We were in a nightclub when an absolute stunner walked past me.   I couldn’t help myself, I just kind of…well gawked really.   She turned to me and said “What are you fucking looking at?” (no kidding, she was a classy one…).   Without batting an eyelid, Marc leant in and said sweetly “Don’t worry love, he thought you were attractive, but he was quite obviously mistaken..”

#1 – We were at Anfield, watching our beloved Liverpool play Aston Villa, and the Villa fans were chanting over and over that one of our recent signings was inclined to entertain Mrs Palm and her 5 lovely daughters on occasion.   If I recall it went something like “Heskey is a wanker, Heskey is a wanker…na naaa na na”, or something equally well thought out and intimidating.   When there was a break in play, the Villa fans had just finished with their eloquent prose and the ground was particularly quiet.   Marc stands up, in the middle of the stand we were sat in and replied….at the top of his lungs, “He’d rather be a wanker than a bruuuuuummy”.   Marc is now revered as an Anfield legend.

Sometimes you just have to fight fire with fire…

No internet….aaaargh

Gale Sondergard TV ShotSo right now (according to my ISP), I have until Wednesday to wait until my net gets reconnected.

Quite frankly it is killing me at the moment. No blog to bore you senseless with, no pr0n to surf for (just kidding mum)..

No updates to my (perfectly legally acquired) TV show collection. I am just glad that I pre-empted it and downloaded a number of shows in advance. It is fair to say that they are saving my sanity.

I have been left feeling a little helpless with the server too, getting hacked again and having someone setup a torent site and leech boatloads of my bandwidth was not fun. Especially as I couldn’t patch the server to fix it as….I am not on the bloody net at home.

Hackers. Are. Bastards.

It was a little fun, while I was able to watch him use his SQL Injection to create a user, then a database, then an FTP account – and have me behind him a few seconds later deleting them. Still, I would rather be in a position to fix the hole…..roll on Wednesday.

Ahh, geeks and their fun.

I have to say, it is pretty good living over a pub. Not as loud as everyone thinks and today I got to saunter down a flight of stairs to watch my beloved Liverpool put one over Blackburn. Good times.

Spoke with my ex landlord today, he was heading to see the old apartment as the witch that took it over, who told me the place looked fantastic, wrote a huge letter of how shit it was the second that I headed to the UK.

He has called me since, and conveniently, it got painted today….before he arrived…so he was unable to check if the painting that had been done already was ok or not….so I get a lovely chunk removed from my deposit. Un. Be. Lievable.

I am pretty pissed off as I was sending the returned deposit back to the UK for Sarah and the kids. They will still get money, they just will have to wait a while now.

AND she took all my booze that I left in the fridge by mistake


Hopefully will be completely back from Wednesday, where I will restart my mission to get arrested whilst taking inappropriate photos of people……..

I am currently….

…happy – There is no other word for it right now.

Lets look at the contributing factors:

  1. Liverpool won last night, which means we* are in the Quarter Finals of the Champions League
  2. I managed to replace my fire damaged cooker extractor fan unit for â??25
  3. I have the blog bug**
  4. I have confirmed that I have an apartment to go into when I leave the one I am in
  5. Said apartment will save me shitloads of cash a month
  6. And will have Sky TV fed in by the landlord
  7. I have had 2 random phone call approaches about jobs in the last 2 weeks (ego massage anyone?)
  8. I stunned my boss into speechlessness (is that a word) with an improvement plan he never saw coming
  9. I sent my kids 2 giant Kinder Surprise easter eggs
  10. I am really enjoying my conversations with Sarah

Not bad really, especially the Sarah thing.    As you probably gathered from  my first post, I still care deeply for her.   So I am very happy that I can still make her laugh, and she is still doing the same for me.

What does that mean?   No idea, probably nothing.   But it is nice and it contributes to me being happy right now.   Of course, I have to head to work in a few minutes, so that could all change very shortly…

Just to talk about number 2 for a second (hahhah I said number 2), a few months ago I was cooking one of my favourite German junk foods, Fleischkase.   For those of you with German language skills, this literally translates to “Meat Cheese”.   If that sounds disgusting to you, you are probably a normal and well adjusted individual.   However, it tastes….well…..genius, if I am honest.

Anyway, the best way to cook “Meat Cheese” is in a frying pan with a little oil and serve with loads of pimmel  (sic) and then the junk condiment of your choice.   I prefer what is referred to here as Rot/Weiss (Ketchup/Mayo).   So there I am, heating up the pan with a little oil and the phone rings.   I answer the phone (as most of you would have done..don’t judge me), but then do I

  1. Go back into the kitchen and either turn down or at the very least monitor the hot oil in pan situation.   Or
  2. Go and sit on the sofa and have a 30 minute conversation

Tick tick tick  – We are going to have to hurry you……

For those of you that picked #1, you clearly don’t know me very well.   I opted for a well thought out sofa chat, whilst leaving an open frying pan with hot oil to catch fire.

I didn’t notice this fire until after the conversation, by which point the kitchen was entirely black.

Suffice to say, I am quite lucky to still be here and more lucky that the apartment is.

Meat Cheese flambe anyone?

* Yes I, like all men, feel the need to describe my favourite football team as if I am one of the players…or more accurately, owners
** Possibly contagious, but as yet unproven to be terminal (time and upcoming posts will tell though)