Friday, September 21, 2007

21/09/07 Chilly Isn't It?

I went to see "True North" yesterday...
The story concerns a Scottish Fishing crew, struggling financially, who decide to make extra cash by transporting a group of Chinese "Illegals" to the Scottish mainland.
A decent enough film, but a relentlessly bleak cinematic experience.
There's not much of a "feelgood factor" associated with this's more of a
"feel-like-jumping-off-a-tall-building factor".
In terms of film comparison, "True North" makes "Deliverance" look like "Carry On Camping".
Probably not the best "first date" movie you could choose.
Also, I found some of the latter plot twists a tad implausible.
Have I sold this to you enough? Go see!
The couple of gigs I had this week at The Stand went really well.
I got a lot of nice audience feedback after the show, and Tommy, the Stand supremo, was positive about my act and said he particularly liked my "ring tone" joke.
I was on a bit of a high and quickly downed 4 pints, and was then pissed as a fart due to my current low alcohol tolerance level.
Embarassingly I thought I'd lost my mobile phone.
Rosie from The Stand helped me turn the dressing room upside down looking for it.
We gave up in the end, but as I walked out I found that the phone was actually in my jacket pocket.
(it was in a pocket on the arm which I thought was a different pocket when I put the phone in it, as it was lying on the settee)
If I'd been sober I would probably have just shut the fuck up and shuffled red-faced out of the building ;but being pissed, I said "Oh here it is!", and had to profusely apologise for being such an idiotic twat.

But anyway, no top politician has facial hair anymore do they?
Can you name me one current prominent politician who sports a tache or a beard?
I don't think I can.
This leads me to suspect that Robin Cook's death should possibly be investigated, as he may have refused a command from Downing Street to shave the beard off.
Does this tie in with the trend of trying to look younger than you actually are?
I'd say that a presidential candidate in America with a beard would have as much chance of winning as one quoted as saying that "they didn't believe in God".

Sunday, September 16, 2007

16/09/07 Northern Rock

These are tough times for Northern Rock as all their account holders have panicked and are queueing up to withdraw their funds.
Hopefully, one of their directors who is due to be going off on his honeymoon will save the day and use his holiday funds to pay off all the worried clients.
I hope he has more luck than James Stewart in the film, and can persuade some people to take slightly less than they originally asked for, and be happy with enough to get by with until the situation calms down.
It always annoyed me that one particularly big miserable bastard wouldn't accept receiving a slightly reduced payout, even though it came from his friend, George Bailey's honeymoon cash. Some people....really...I don't know.
But don't get me wrong, there is nothing funny about people worrying about the security of their life savings, and I wouldn't seek to make light of it.
Mind you, I walked past the Northern Rock branch in Edinburgh yesterday, and there was a massive queue of people.
I was slightly tempted to walk in to the office then run out a couple of minutes later down the length of the queue shouting "There's no money left...!!!!it's all gone..! it's finished! finished! do you hear me? FINISHED..!!!!"
But that would have been in poor taste and highly irresponsible.
btw I'm on at The Stand in Edinburgh tonight and tomorrow night in case anyone wants to break into my flat.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

13/06/07 Sacre Bleu!

So anyway, I jokingly said before we started to watch last night's France v Scotland match that "I would have a drink" if Scotland won...
So that's the end of my alcohol abstinence run...
I lasted 18 days altogether, and can now proudly take my place on the pantheon with
those who have abstained from alcohol in the 14-21 day bracket.
Unlike Louis Armstrong,I don't want to blow my own trumpet, but I still regard this as one of the outstanding achievements of my life, and have demonstrated to myself that I have extraordinary willpower. Yes, I know this is shite, but I'm in a jolly mood today.
Thankfully, I didn't say that I'd also have a cigarette if Scotland won...
The joyous nature of the evening was clouded slightly by my decision to briefly switch from Sky Sports 1 to Sky Sports 2 to check the score in the Czech Republic v Republic of Ireland game...
There was an injury stoppage in the Scotland game, so this seemed a reasonable course of action...
I also had a rather large wager that the Czechs would win, and wanted to monitor my investment...
I won, but it was at a heavy price...
I turned back to the Scotland game and we were shocked to see that the graphic in the top left hand corner of the screen was informing us that Scotland were leading one nil...
My delight at this news was tempered by the realisation that as a consequence of my inappropriate channel hopping, we had missed witnessing live possibly the most iconic, glorious fucking goal in the history of Scottish football.
My friend Grahame gave me a look of withering exasperated disappointment which he retained for the rest of the match...(and probably the rest of 2007 I suspect)
It was an expression I was very familiar with on various teachers' faces throughout my schooldays.
That it was all down to the evil of gambling makes this an important moral lesson which you should all take heed of.
Mind you, I could claim some credit for Scotland scoring that goal as I had obviously tempted fate by switching the channel thus giving God an absolute sitter of an opportunity to punish me for last week's cheery endorsement of "The God Delusion" book.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

06/09/07 Life In The Betty Ford Clinic

So that's 12 days now off the booze and fags...stand up and applaud!
I've had a few congratulatory emails, although I can't help feeling there is an unmistakable trace of sarcasm present in them all...
Some people are just so darn difficult to impress!
Anyway, yesterday I was up Ben Lomond (the mountain)...
It was a nice day, but the top half of the mountain had been under cloud cover all day, and everyone I met coming down said it wasn't really worth going to the summit as there was no view, and it was pretty miserable up there.
I debated whether to go or not, but in the end thought I might as well, as psychologically it would be good for my (temporary) healthy lifestyle if I made it to the top.
Just as I arrived at the top, the sun broke through and all the cloud lifted.
I was the only person at the summit at the time. (it's usually like Piccadilly Circus up there)
It was probably the most amazing experience I've ever had in the Scottish the view of Loch Lomond appeared out of the mist, and there were lots of little rainbows scattered all along the horizon.
Absolutely awe inspiring.
I'd just finished reading "The God Delusion", and felt a lot of resonance from the book as I surveyed the view.
There's a great quote by Douglas Adams at the start of the book ;
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?"
I'm pretty much with Dawkins on all his arguments, but I can't quite bring myself to
become a card carrying "Atheist" (obviously I am frightened that God would dispprove of this).
Actually, for me, the most astonishing revelation in the book was reading that Swiss women only got the vote in 1971 !!
(Dawkings was describing how we evolve in terms of attitudes and politics, whereas religious fundamentalism is immoveable)
1971...!!! I found that a stunning statistic!
Also, I am not feeling sheepish any more about slagging off the comedian who ruined a
show I was at.
He is a twat and I let him off lightly, (see what I mean about the mood swings).

Today I went to see Lady Chatterley (the film).
Pretty good, although possibly an hour too long, and I found it slightly disconcerting that the gamekeeper (the lover) bore a disarming resemblance to football manager Sam Allardyce.

Monday, September 03, 2007

03/09/07 Slightly Chilled Turkey

So that's 9 days now without a drink or a cigarette. Yes, be impressed.
I'm fairly confident that this is the longest elapsed time that I have ever gone without alcohol since I first gained possession of my "drinking license".
I've never been a heavy drinker, but have taken it in moderation like prescribed medication consistently throughout my adult life.
The instructions on the never ending bottle of booze prescribed by my GP (on my 18th birthday ofcourse) would be "take between 6 and 10 units 3 times a week, but allow more for birthdays, deaths, anniversaries, Christenings, work leaving dos, holidays, Christmas, New Year, International Football Tournaments, "The Fringe", meals out, miscellaneous celebrations etc etc".
It is interesting what getting on the wagon does to you.
I've been having quite odd mood swings in the past week and at times have felt slightly spaced out. All this "clarity" is a little difficult to get your head round.
There's obviously nicotine withdrawal symptons in the mix as well, but I've experienced them many, many times before and am very familiar with them.
The alcohol ones are different.
I have so much more energy though in this is definitely tempting to make a bold statement and say I'm off it completely...
In all likelihood that isn't going to happen, but I'm curious to test myself and see how long I can go with this sobriety caper.

I was shocked in a good way watching Rangers last home European tie on televison a couple of weeks ago.
It was the first time I can ever remember watching a Rangers match on TV where periodically the crowd haven't been heard singing all the usual sectarian shite we are so familiar with around these parts.
It really does look as though it has been nipped in the bud (for home matches anyway).
I, like many others, probably never thought they'd see the day when this would happen. It's a small step on the way to Scotland becoming a more civilised nation.

It did get me thinking though.
I wonder if secret "Singeasy" bars are springing up in dingy basements in Glasgow where diehards can go and sing the old songs to their hearts content.
There'd be a combination lock on the door for "regulars only" (password 1-6-9-0), and prominent QCs would likely be on hand with a tuning fork to start off the songs.
Perhaps as a repressed minority they will take their case to the "European Court Of Human Rights", campaigning for the right to sing "The Sash" in a public.

I've been feeling a little sheepish of late after letting rip on an Internet comedy forum.
During the Fringe I was at a comedy show and my enjoyment of the gig was hugely spoilt by someone sitting near me talking all through the show.
I later discovered that the offender was in fact a stand-up comedian himself.
This made me even more mad about the whole incident.
He'd posted a link to his myspace page on a forum (I immediately recognised him) and said he was looking for "feedback" for his Blog.
With hindsight, a bit of withering sarcasm would have been a much more advisable course of action to pursue on the comedy forum.
However, I decided to wade in on the attack with a sustained barrage of heavy artillery, and I reckon, probably shocked a substantial section of the UK Comedy Community with the extreme level of my vitriol.
I am now likely known as "that angry, aggressive Scottish comedian".
People meeting me will perhaps now expect a "Gerry Sadowitz" type persona, and will be surprised at how dull and mild-mannered I am in real life.
I think I'll stay clear of these forums...
I feel slightly soiled by the whole episode....
Still, no such things as bad publicity is there?
(I've always believed this saying to be absolute shite)