Naked Blog

More famous than Susan Boyle!


Friday, October 31, 2003

UPPER RESP INF

Off work today. Doesn't happen often. Full of the cold, as we say here. Yeucch.

Hate phoning in sick. Gives me anxiety.

Only justification? That by taking one off you might save several more.



Maybe possibly probably gonna be on the radio again. This week next week sometime ever. Hushty hush. All will be revealed nearer the time, as NB suddenly starts telling you stuff you know already.

But don't be alarmed, my chickadees. It'll be for one day only. And I would never discard you, my loyal readers, for the tens of thousands who might accrue.



Watched Evolution. Nice to see Duchovny doing something other than Mulder. God, he must have got bored with all that hair dye. "Mulder, he's got my weapon!" There was just a touch of gun-fetishism about X-Files that I didn't like. Lipstick and Luger.

Watched Wendigo. Genuinely scary, esp in the middle of the night if you live alone and you're literally feverish. Good but flawed, most commentators seem to agree.

Slinking off to die now. If not, I'll be back. Vote below for Tory Leader. So far the muscles from Brussels is walking home! Final count on Sunday. I've heard Michael Howard is shitting himself about the Zed factor!


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Thursday, October 30, 2003

IT'S LEADER-MANIA!

Voting is brisk in our Tory Leadership contest. Forget last century's candidates such as Michael Howard! It's 2003 for heaven's sake - the dinosaurs vanished ages ago. Take a look at the stunning list of candidates below and place your cross now on the sidebar. You can't deny the breadth of choice and volume of experience we're offering you.

Already voted? Thank you. And now you may waste a little time playing Mah Jongg Solitaire. It's so oriental. Terribly Tao te Ching.

See if you can beat my personal best of 4030.


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Wednesday, October 29, 2003

WHO WILL BE THE NEXT TORY LEADER?

Will it be...

Zed, a mother of three and a down-to-earth handbag wielding "hands on" candidate. From her home in Brussels and with an extensive knowledge of French swear words Zed is ideally placed to take us right into the heart of Europe. Refers to the French as "frogs" so would go down well with the Thatcherites. Sometimes gets drunk and falls over.

Nigel, father of three and another strong family contender. Has a great turn of phrase and should be a stunner at the dispatch box. Due to present employment difficulties will be able to take up his duties almost immediately. Needs a job quick.

Quickos, the only non-human candidate for what many call an inhuman Party. Although technically a puppet, Quickos has shown himself to be no pushover, and has inherited from his father a concern for matters ecological. Currently in India doing his Masters in Therapeutic Ayurveda.

Mike. Bringing up the rear we have your token gay. But what a token! At the last count owning three homes, two Agas, one Princess Diana Memorial Garden and one fabulously rich partner to pay for them all, Mike is constantly to be seen swanning around in Country Life, Homes and Gardens, Network Nottingham and so on. Your traditional candidate with a twist. Has cottaged.

Vote Now! Candidates (and everyone else) feel free to deliver more message in the comment box below!


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Tuesday, October 28, 2003

VILLAGE PEOPLE

Went to The Village yesterday to see my pal Babs the chef and to pick up the gorgeous Zed's lovely prize from her blog contest. (Good news! She's put her critics behind her and is continuing the contest next week, after a brief hiatus.) Sometimes it's good to stop and test the water. Anybody who doesn't want to be in it has to email her. It's an opt-out situation. You've got to be in it to win it, of course.

So what was my prize? Am I allowed to say? I'd better wait for Zed's permission, lest her other prizewinners only got a selection box or a month's subscription to Hello magazine.



Dean was there, and the good-enough-to-eat Brian, who's growing a raccoon thing over the top of his head. (It's so rarely I find a gay man attractive in that way.) Bets were on as to what colour he would have it. Red's a bit last month these days, and I'm noticing Ice-pole blue is making something of a comeback.

But - if the truth be really known... raccoon strips are a bit Jurassic now, aren't they? Isn't the hairdo du jour a double pony tail, a la Beckham? (Just because I'm on a diet doesn't mean I can't look at the menu, you know!)


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RETRO CHIC

To Bar Java then, having accepted that it was dark, but that didn't necessarily mean I would get mugged at the first corner. Sensibly choosing Coburg Street over the river bank, I peeped down riverwards to see a bunch of men and women in their twenties smoking what I could only assume were joints. Just as well I was safely on the street then, in case that reefer madness got hold of them, and they stole my lovely prize.

Talking of drugs, I've just finished watching Soderbergh's Traffic. Mixed views. Although it was brilliantly executed, the whole point of the thing was the contrast between the supply of cocaine via Tijuana, and its use by rich kids in Washington.

This is hardly startling.

Although this website comes to you from Leith not Tijuana, here in Recreational Central we're not exactly innocent of these ideas. Whilst it would be wrong to say that everyone in Leith is concerned in the distribution and supply of controlled substances, a more accurate figure might be every second person. Trainspotting was not wrong.

Beautifully made movie nonetheless, even if the story was a bit Tellytubby, and Michael Douglas unnecessary. But then isn't he always?


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ANY PORT IN A STORM

Well, after sitting with Steven the owner of Bar Java whilst he read all the fab things I've written about his pub (he offered me lots of free drink: other publicans feel free to imitate), it was time for the emotional bolthole of the Port o Leith Bar. The pub where everyone knows your shame.

"They're trying to make that place into CC's," I said to Robin, nodding towards Bar Java. "I know," he said. "It's all those giant screens. I hate them."



There's an idea about in many gay businesses that their customers are incapable of independent thought. That unless provided with a continuous supply of Kylie, Madonna and Freddy hoovering in a skirt they'll fuck off and spend their pink pounds elsewhere.

This is a mistake, especially in Leith, where the queens who own a pound or two quite often have a degree or two to go with them. And might be more than happy with a touch of Almodovar.

We played bridge then, one of my favourite games. It was Mary and me versus Cad and Tony the Hat. Edith seems to have been banned. Cad and Tony won, but not before I'd called Tony a black bitch. (I'm almost 57 and have never called anyone a black bitch in my life before.) It's out of my system now. And Tony can feel free to call me a fat poof in perpetuity. What goes around comes around.

Mary can get tickets for MTV next month. We're planning on getting soundbites from the stars for use as jingles in Leith FM 87.7 next summer. "Hi. I'm Eminem and this is Peter Russell on Leith FM."

I can just see it.


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Monday, October 27, 2003

MEAN TIME

It's 8.30 am on Monday, the day is sunny, the trees are hanging almost pregnant with saffron leaf-fall, and God is in His garden. Today will be good. The going is good.

"So How are you my dear?" I hear you asking. "What have you been up to lately? There's been something of a News blackout these last few weeks, hasn't there? I do hope it's nothing serious like your leg dropping off."

No, no! Nothing serious at all. It's just - if you remember - I said about three weeks ago I was taking a Sabbatical from my usual faces and places. From friends and pubs. So - without the familiar cast and locations, what on earth can I delight you with?



Looking after No 1 hasn't been much of a chore at all. Walking the city streets, but Edinburgh rather than Leith for a change. Lunching in new and (not really) exciting places, reading, watching DVDs and much solitude. Much solitude. Day after day of hardly speaking. Well, you can't abandon all your friends and expect a whole new set to materialise from nowhere now can you? Nor would I want to. That wasn't the point.

Sandra my personal manager was down for a funeral the week before last. It was of Matthew, the month-old son of Bernd and Shelley. I didn't go. Much love to the bereaved parents nevertheless, and also to Matthew himself. I hope his brief life had lots of happiness.



Now might be the time to share a few of my death thoughts with you. People grade dying according to the person's age. If they're over 70, they regard it as no tragedy at all. "He had a good innings."

In midlife they'll do a lot more hand-wringing, saying, "He had a good twenty years ahead of him."

But the main horror is reserved for the death of a child. "Oh he had all his life ahead of him!" they'll wail and cry. Or, "She'd hardly lived."

This is wrong thinking. For the following reason.

Every life is complete in itself. It is 100 percent of that person's existence, be it one year or one hundred years. Not a percent more; not a percent less. The person who dies at ten has the same experience of life being complete as one who dies at 100. Furthermore, it's often, but not always, the case that childhood is genuinely the happiest time of your life. (If you don't believe me, think back to the ways puberty and adolescence really fucked your head up. After that comes adulthood which is even worse.)

And the more the years go on, the more the infirmity builds up. I see it every day in my bingo... the old ladies leading what seems to be a mere existence, yet who am I to judge?

So it could be said - a case can easily be made - that rather than being the ultimate tragedy, dying young might in many cases be a blessing. You enjoy the good, and get to skip the bad.

The bereaved weep only for themselves. But who can really blame them?



Right. Now it's not even half past nine, and the day's still sunny. That's quite enough death for today. I've got an itchy red patch with spotty heads on it below my left shoulder blade. About the size of three pound coins. This could be...
  • reaction to Persil liquigel with aloe vera
  • reaction to Comfort fabric deodoriser
  • reaction to my antibiotic gum implant
  • reaction to fcuk deodorising body spray (eau de fcuk No. 2) I'm not making it up!
  • work-related stress
  • serious illness leading quite quickly to death. Or maybe slow and lingering so I can bore you all to tears about it here.
  • But no! I've got twenty years ahead of me. Oh yes - you ain't getting rid of me that easily! Have a lovely Monday now that Summer Time's finito.


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    Cathode Rays

    Great night on telly last night. Matrix. Blair Witch Project. Repossessed.

    Must confess to being a huge BWP fan. The first time I saw it was at home, alone, and almost shitting myself. Then when it finished like that I got confused, and it was hours later, during the night, that the ending gelled for me and I woke with a Eureka moment.

    Plus the shorter, more chunky dude (not Josh) is quite easy on the eyes.

    Highly recommended, but not the sequel which is rubbish. Cheapo movies work sometimes, but not every time.


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    Sunday, October 26, 2003

    Being John Malkovich

    Yummy! How did they ever get it into Hollywood production? "Well, Hymie - it's about a portal into a guy's head." "Get outta here! Next!"

    I have a friend almost exactly like Maxine. (Brilliantly played by Catherine Keener, whom I hadn't seen before.) But they're all played brilliantly. What a work!

    PS: I know this is naughty, as most of you don't live here, but anyone who does suffer that fate care to speculate as to the woman I'm thinking of?


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    No Comment

    I've said it before, and doubtless will again. (Repetition is a privilege of the elderly.) Don't you just hate it when you spend ten minutes writing a thoughtful comment to someone's interesting point, and only after you get a page full of MySQL nonsense (does anybody actually care about MySQL?) do you notice that the comments are enetation and, as often, fucked? Hopefully no such problem ever here at NB, thanks to Wordwrap Web Development. (aka Tony my IT manager)


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    Race against time

    Our throwaway remarks about Juke Box Jury, and especially a mention of 50's music pundit Steve Race, have brought out your reminiscences of things like My Music, Robin Ray, Name That Tune, Forces Favourites and so on. Maybe autumn is the time for looking back and spring forward.


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    Saturday, October 25, 2003

    CH-CH-CH-CHANGES....

    ...at work, from today. Why do I have a bad feeling about this? Why is it that on the (very) odd occasion I have a legitimate complaint, it's turned round as if to become my fault?

    Nesta vipers. But there's no, "Et tu, Brute!" there. Everyone's a Brutus now, you see.

    My back feels like a dartboard. But not from darts but daggers.

    Update Tea-time: All has gone swimmingly. My boss has much wisdom. That's why he's in charge of millions of pounds a year, and I am not. Do not tinkle like jade or clatter like stone chimes.

    High Noon

    Today's the last day for many months with noon at 1pm. From tomorrow it reverts to its proper, astronomical position of 12. Which means it appears to get darker a whole hour earlier.

    Which means I have to get my act together and get out of the house much sooner. Life on hold til January. Much love to all SAD sufferers, especially Lyle, who was so kind and helpful to me.

    Michty me. I'm sure I was put on this planet to suffer. It's a sair fecht.


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    Friday, October 24, 2003

    UNDER THE SUN

    So Liza and David are no more. An ex-couple. There was a fabulous quote on yesterday's ITN News which ran something like this... "She (Minnelli) has had four marriages, and this one is probably the least catastrophic. The first was the worst, when her bisexual husband was caught in bed with mother Judy Garland's husband. Events like that hardly strengthen a marriage". Brilliant. You couldn't make it up.



    Me, I remember Liza's British TV debut, on Juke Box Jury. (BBC) Don't remember the exact panel that day, but it would be on the lines of Pete Murray, Steve Race and Lonnie Donegan. The chairman was always David Jacobs. And Judy was in the studio audience for that show. At school the next day we all decided Liza was as nutty as her mother.

    But Juke Box Jury wasn't the BBC's first incursion into Yoof. What was?


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    SO WHY BLOG?

    Best enjoyed after yesterday's post and reference.

    The author of the piece Why I Fucking Hate Weblogs misses one very important point. In calling almost every weblogger a headcase of one sort or another he (I'm going to assume the masculine. Look at all the fucking swearing.) he omits to even consider one possibility. The idea that people do weblogging simply because they enjoy it.

    Not exactly rocket science when you put it like that, now is it?



    Me, I write because I love to write. There's no need to explain that any further. At different times of my life I've loved chess. And bridge. And cycling. Now my main hobby is doing this. What's the big deal, o sweary Indiana student?

    Readers are a bonus. And no - I probably wouldn't be as interested in writing in privacy. But in terms of my online writing, as opposed to newspaper stuff, in the years from 1997 to 2001 you could count the readers on one hand. Real life friends, who owned computers and were interested enough to read my splutterings. Sometimes we read each other!

    Then I discovered Blogger, via a Guardian article... (the one that featured Bradlands, if you recall), and really quite quickly things began to change.

    What were the main changes? I would say Blogroll (or link list, as it was then) and Comments. The moment you add interactivity to your page then diary as simple diary has gone for ever. But still I love it. Moved with the changes. Blogrolled with the blog.

    Blog on.


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    Thursday, October 23, 2003

    test


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    WHAT KIND OF LOSER ARE YOU?

    No, it's not a poll, although there's a quiz attached. Today's post comes with a mental health warning. Bear in mind that the article I'm pointing you to is merely one person's opinion about weblogs and webloggers. S/he takes no hostages and doesn't pull his/her punches.

    This, from a student at Indiana State University, is the most devastating critique yet of our little pastime. Forget the Guardian and its faint praise: here's the nitty gritty.
    Excerpt: "Can you picture these weblog entries, individually or as a whole, being presented at a microphone in front of a crowd of people? Of course not. Why? Because what they have to say is FUCKING STUPID and nobody in the real world would give a flying fuck."
    Are you...
  • A reverse voyeur (with a serious personal attention debt)
  • An Exhibitionist. These people are genuinely out there trying to wiggle their junk in everyone's faces
  • A Self-Important Moron. These people honestly believe that they have 'listeners' who actually care what they think
  • An Obsessive-Delusional Ranter. These people can't turn it off. They fixate on everything and NEED to talk about it.
  • A Town Crier. This person uses weblogs to announce things. Typically, the Town Crier archetype doesn't really use weblogs for anything other than to let the void know about important events in his or her life.
  • A Tragically Geek. They live in front of a monitor, they follow the weblogs of friends and write their own weblogs because they realize their friends will read theirs too, friends typically known by aliases like 'warzd00d' or 'Ph33rFr33k'.
  • And don't forget the Ego Stroker, the Crossover Poster, the Aspiring Writer and the Pedant!
  • The strange thing is though, I would bet the anonymous writer a fiver to a brick shithouse that by being featured on this and now doubtless other weblogs, his (genuinely worthwhile) views will reach an awful lot more people than had they been left to fester on indiana.edu student pages.

    I'm composing something of a rebuttal right now, while I drink my Rombout's coffee. Oh, and I'd probably class myself part Reverse Voyeur, and part Self-Important Moron. What about you? Hehe.

    Remember: what this person thinks is of no importance whatsoever. His/her views, however strongly and at times eloquently put (despite the swearing), are of no more validity than your own.

    Blog on!

    I'm indebted to Brian of Shadowfoot, an excellent NZ blog and site, for this link. (Please don't say antipodes. It isn't. That's a myth put about by schoolteachers too lazy to check for themselves.)


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    Wednesday, October 22, 2003

    NEW POLL - WILL I OR WON'T I? (Enter, that is.)

    Thanks for all your votes in the last poll on the Guardian Blog Competition (results below), but now it's time to move on to the nitty gritty. What proportion of NB readers actually plan on entering?

    "Christ on a bike, is anyone entering?" Scary Alistair wrote somewhere recently, and my new poll to your right (or left, if you're in the Southern hemisphere) is an attempt to find out. Suss the lie of the land, as it were.

    Now where shall I put my own little cross? Eenie, meenie, miney... Eureka! I've got it!!



    Thanks For Voting!

    Voting has slowed to a trickle in Guardian Competition Poll Number One, in which you kindly told me all I need to know. My doubts were over the newspaper splitting their entrants (and winners) into categories, and my question was, "do you agree?"

    Here are the results, from the more than 50 who voted...
    "Do you think The Guardian were correct to split their Blog Awards 2003 into five categories?"
  • Don't care 37%
  • No 35%
  • Yes 15%
  • Don't qualify 13%
  • This result is what we statisticians call bi-modal, not to be confused with bisexual which means shag anything with a pulse. (Jest kidding... all my bicurious readers!)

    The two surprising features are the size of the Don't care vote, and also the Yes vote, a category where I expected none at all, judging from the comments around blogland. Could it be, I ask myself, could it be that those eight voters work for The Guardian? They all read NB, you know. Where do you think they get those great articles from?



    No let up in the weather

    How do they get so much water into the sky? Beats me. Yesterday I found a small gap, a wee lacuna in the downpour and trolled along to the local Blockbuster to indulge my new DVD habit at a more reasonable price.

    Question: What does DVD stand for? (And I'll give you a clue: it isn't what you might think!)

    "Sorry sir, we've had to delete you because of the Data Protection Act," the helpful if slightly queeny man behind the counter said. "No problem, sonny," I said. "Just sign me up again."

    They've got a new layout now, where the DVD boxes are immediately beside the VHS ones. (VHS is an old-fashioned technology favoured by the poor.) But what a selection! It was absolute shite. Maybe Blockbuster isn't quite my (sophisticated) thang. I eventually chose some Nicole Kidman haunted house creation, partly so I could fantatsise about her being shagged by Tom Cruise. Is that called turning straight?


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    Tuesday, October 21, 2003

    STAIR RODS

    It's raining cats and dogs. Coming down in stair rods. Stotting off the ground. I can even hear droplets hitting the ceiling from the leaky roof.

    Thank God I don't smoke, is all I can say, or I'd have been forced to venture out for supplies. Foodwise there was almost nothing in the fridge, just half a pizza and some sliced ham as far past its sell-by as I am.

    But beggars can't be choosers, so I bundled the lot onto a plate and zapped it in the microwave till the cheese was boiling and the ham quite blackened round the edges.

    Kill Bacteria Volume One. And for dessert it was jam straight out the jar, as the bread's all finished.

    Dolce vita? I'll give you dolce fucking vita. Come on... dry up. Enough is enough, you've made your point. You own the damn water supply.

    This should keep the leaves on the trees a few more days at least. They're looking absolutely stunning at the moment.


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    COUCH POTATO

    Watched David Blaine coming out of his stupid box yesterday. Sorry - I just don't believe he hasn't eaten for 44 days, with him still having plump cheeks like that. As Graham Norton sagely said later, if he's lost four stones during this "feat" then he certainly hid his fifteen-stone frame very well before he went in.

    Pointless drivel. Big Brother in 3D. "I love you. I love you all," he kept saying to the crowd - not realising that 99 percent had turned up hoping he would die, or at least do something dramatic.

    Rubbish DVD's

    Wow! There are loads of them in HMV! I was saddened by They Live! a quite pointless exercise by John Carpenter, which starred Meg Foster - her of the alien eyes. Sad to see one who's done such great stuff scratting around in the Recycle Bin.

    Right now I'm part way through The Hollow Man, another straight to video concoction starring the once-youthful Kevin Bacon. Ditto applies.

    Whatever happened to Kevin Dillon, btw? And big bro Matt?

    Today I'm thinking of lunching and taking in Kill Bill Volume One. All tickets are three quid on Tuesdays.

    Oh, and talking of value (for my local readers), Caffe Ristorante at George IV Bridge is not only non-smoking throughout, but all cakes and pastries are half price after 3pm! Go on... indulge yourself in that tempting but wickedly expensive strawberry tart! I did!


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    OFF HIS HEAD

    That's me on the left.My dentist now thinks I'm barking mad. There I was, lying back and opened wide, whilst simultaneously trying to explain how his gum implant had fixed up my prostate.

    You can see in this specially-drawn picture where the little plug went. "What is it, anyway?" I demanded. "Is it augmentin?"

    "No," he replied. "Chlorhexidine gluconate." (Readers both home and away might have come across this as a particularly horrible-tasting mouthwash. Corsodyl.)

    "Well - it's not topical; it's definitely systemic," I pressed on, feeling I was losing the advantage, not to say my mind. "After two hours I could sense it all over my body." Still he looked at me strangely, but I'm so used to that. That's why I take refuge in writing to you here.

    "It's a medical breakthrough!" I concluded then, modestly. "And I've let you in on it." Game, set and match.

    Oh, and my gums had only made modest progress. Next he wants to scale the tooth under the gum, which is a minor operation. Wonder what that might fix up in the process. My brain could certainly do with a bit of a re-boot.


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    Monday, October 20, 2003

    GUM AND BUM

    (Been dying to write that one for at least a week!)

    Oh - first the great sandwich competition! I asked you all to come up with a name for a corned beef and ham sandwich. What's the big deal, I hear you ask. Well, those two meats come from different creatures, now don't they? Different classes even. Aren't pigs ungulates or summat? And cows something to do with cloven hoofs? (Note: hoofs not hooves. Roofs not rooves.)

    Where's sarah when you need her?

    Anyway hoof was in the winning reply, from Darren, who suggested hoof and trotter Well done, Darren, and a plate of lovely sandwiches is winging its way Richmondwards.

    Bum and gum?

    Just remembered my dentist's appointment in an hour's time. How laid-back is that? In which he'll be checking the antibiotic pellet he inserted beside Upper Right Four.

    In a medical breakthrough which has startled even this hardened roue, that little item has not only fixed up me gum (a bit) but totally cured my enlarged prostate gland. (See diagram somewhere below... not for the squeamish.)

    Seeks good home

    Any UK resident want to adopt an adorable glove puppet from Belgium? This is so Quickos can enter the Guardian comp in all five categories.

    Adopt Quickos now.

    Quickos loves a hand up his bottom.

    Staying in Belgium

    The gorgeous zed has got herself all worked up about hostile comments to her recent blog popularity contests. Get over there and show some comment-love.

    And finally, before I open wide...

    Vote in my sidebar poll. It's neck and neck between "categories are wrong" and "don't care about categories". Which is interesting in its own right. Make a (slight) difference and vote!


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    Sunday, October 19, 2003

    RAINY DAY SUNDAY

    Knackered. Cream crackered. Donald Ducked.

    Saturdays are daein ma heid in at work. Too busy. Too old. You know you're becoming unwell when you give your work even one single thought outside of hours. That might be a shock to some of you, but mark my words. It's time for a serious discussion. I might be able to wangle it on change of duties rather than voluntary downsizing. (Yes - it is possible to go down even further!)

    BREAKFAST WITH FROST

    Nice to see young Oliver Letwin, the Shadow Home Secretary, calling the numbers there this morning - fresh from his mention here on Thursday. Oh yes - Naked Blog is the one they all read for inspiration!

    But I'm convinced he wears a wig. You can always tell when they raise their eyebrows and the hairline doesn't move. Maybe I'll do a Google on Oliver Letwin wig. Or maybe I won't. Or maybe that will bring traffic here. How cool would that be?



    Tony Benn, the most Socialist person in the universe, was on the show also, extolling the wonders of Concorde - the world's most expensive mode of travel. (Ship cruises don't count, if you think about it.) I'm afraid my overriding vision of Concorde is from Paris, with flames gushing out the back. Everyone on board perished.

    ENTER, DON'T ENTER, WHATEVER

    Indebted to Meg of Me-ish for that title. It's fun reading around the newer sites and seeing the shock outrage horror at the Guardian British Blog Awards. Ee bah gum it meks me feel owld.

    Let's get a few things straight. The Guardian have been very good to this weblog, which they feature here and here. OK, maybe being in a shortlist of 20-odds out of a 300 entry isn't exactly a Nobel Prize, but still it felt OK at the time. And the carefully chosen title of my organ means that if they're gonna click on any one, this pornflick will be among them. Sex sells.

    So please, please don't go rubbishing that newspaper, and its generous prizes. Especially don't do it on my site.



    Enter, don't enter, whatever. Last year there was so much navel-gazing over the competition, especially from one now quite prominent site, that someone somewhere made a badge saying Enter. Don't enter. Shut Up.

    How we laughed.

    But I digress. This year I would certainly have taken my chance amongst the youngsters were it not for one thing which I'm checking out on my sidebar poll - the new categories. At the moment there's nothing in the voting between "NO TO CATEGORIES" and "DON'T CARE".

    It's just that out of the five of them offered, the first four, design, specialist, photography and under 18 will exclude almost everyone. Everyone I consider a blogger worth reading, at least. As I said already, if I want snaps I'll look in a snap album. If I wanted teens I'd offer myself for electronic tagging.

    So this leaves only best written, and frankly this one hasn't a hope in hell. Yes, the content is at times original and interesting, but there's no attempt at fine writing. No time. No interest in revising. Next!

    Oh if I were doing a Julie Burchill - once a week - it would be up there with Shakespeare's finest, but at the rate I churn it out, that's more time than I wish to offer. Free at point of reading. Would often benefit from judicious editing.



    JUDGE NOT

    To run the best written judges past you again...

    Alistair Coleman, last year's winner
    Dan Gillmor, blogger and technology correspondent of Mercury News
    Bruce Sterling, blogger and author
    Neil McIntosh, deputy editor, Guardian Online
    Emily Bell, editor-in-chief, Guardian Unlimited

    What a dream team!

    And yet, and yet...

    Me I would like to choose my own judges. (Self-important little bitch that I am.) Anthony Burgess is no more, so what about Julie Burchill, Suzanne Moore, Jon Ronson and Matthew Parris? Yay! Two chicks, a straight guy and a poof. Does it for me. (No offence, Alistair :)

    It's rainy. Set in for a week. Then the clocks go back. My bingo is giving everyone a free quartz clock next Saturday. It also features a thermometer and (rather bizarrely) a hygrometer. With these you can check if you're still alive.


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    Friday, October 17, 2003

    FRIDAY'S POLL

    In view of the anticipated brouhaha over the Guardian British Blog Awards 2003 (post below), here is your chance to make your presence felt!

    Read, digest, think and vote on the sidebar! It could make a difference - next time at least!


    And you say? (7)   Link to this


    Thursday, October 16, 2003

    UNLIMITED FUN

    Yes, it's here again... the Guardian British Blog Awards 2003. But this time I truly feel it's time to hang up my mouse.

    Por qua? I hear you ask, knowing - as I hope you do - that last year we were one of the 24 shortlisted.

    Well, I can tell you. They've split it into categories, not one of which this blog fits in, if you'll excuse the terminating preposition.




    Here are the categories... (and - knowing The Guardian - my bets for the eventual winners)
  • Best design
    Winner: Justin is a 17 y/o geek who never goes out, and masturbates endlessly over thoughts of Kylie Minogue. But in his brief periods of detumescence he can code like a God. Justin thinks colour is spelled color, and centre as center. He has no friends, and not one interesting word to write. Seriously creepy, despite having quite an enormous penis.

  • Best specialist
    Winner: Margaret is a Michael Moore-alike, and a trainee journalist angling for an internship on the Grauny. She has two cats, both neutered, and is studying Reiki two nights a week. She gets seriously turned on by foxhunting, although she realises how harmful this will be to her career as a liberal journalist. Margaret holds something of a passion for Oliver Letwin.

  • Best use of photography
    Winner: Reuben is 23 and he's a geek with a digital zoom, an eye for a pretty shot, and an enviable mastery of Photoshop. He's often to be seen up and down Leith Walk wearing wraparound bugeye shades and a cammo t-shirt. But sadly Reuben can't spell for toffee either, and he thinks Terry Pratchett is something to do with Shakespeare.

  • Best under 18
    Winner: Shevaun is a 15 y/o girl abused by her stepfather, who takes refuge in the anonymity of cyberspace. Winning this award leads to her being taken into care however, where she rapidly learns how to work the streets and smoke crack. In her early thirties she has a remarkable recovery in which she finds the Lord Jesus Christ and sets up a home for youngsters like herself. In much later years she finds herself beatified by an ailing Pontiff.

  • And best written
    Winner: Morgana has prose to die for but she has nothing whatever to say. No-one's every heard of her, but on the basis of this award she gets a tasty book advance. Morgana quickly goes downhill with all this attention; she meets a plumber with herpes and cocaine, and the book never gets past Chapter Four.
  • You couldn't make it up.



    Plus - being serious again for a moment - I really don't want to put Scary Alistair in the invidious position of having to choose amongst his fellow bloggers. It's just not right. Times have changed, and we already know where the gongs should go.

    There are two categories we might have stood a chance in, and they are "best over-55" and "most creative use of neurosis". But who the hell cares about the old and the mad? Yoof - that's all that matters these days.

    Footnote:

    But it's not just this weblog which will suffer from the categorisation. Take a look at my blogroll here. Many would say that it represents - by informal agreement - amongst the best of British blogging. Others might vary a little, but there are many sites there which turn up just about everywhere.

    And now try and place those leading weblogs into the Guardian's categories. Tricky, ain't it?? Quickos might just make it as specialist, but he's a glove puppet in Brussels.

    And finally...

    This has to be said. When the 2002 Awards came out there was vehement oppostion from Tom and Meg. We fought viciously over this.

    But only now have I come to understand what you both meant then.

    There is no way the Guardian judges can evaluate the totality of the contribution. All they can snapshot is the present moment. Which is nothing at all. Nada.

    And never once - even as we flung angry words about - did I deny your great works. I see things more clearly now, and I was wrong.


    And you say? (34)   Link to this



    STY AND BYRE

    Is it disgusting to put sliced ham and corned beef in the same sandwich? It's just that I've got loads of both and they'll be going off soon. What could you call it? Honk and moo? (I'm thinking of the ubiquitous surf and turf.)

    Could it take over from Crayfish and Rocket?


    And you say? (6)   Link to this



    ON THE THIRD DAY

    OK then, here's the deal. At last I've got a morning to share with you, mas o menos, so I'm able to tackle that backlog of topics. I'll start that in about half an hour. While I'm doing those, feel free to add any more you feel like.

    I know this has dragged on a bit this week, but there've been certain things happening irl which have intruded into the only true reality, which is of course you. Although I'll be writing them "as live", I know you might suspect there are some I've "prepared earlier". This is not the case. Why would I lie to you? That I am a blogstar there is no doubt.

    You know, I'm feeling particularly butch right now, as I unaccustomedly pressed the on/off button on my computer, and it didn't come out again. Jammed. Had to take off the back cover and the front panel. Awesome. Then I changed the oil and checked the battery.

    Here are the topics...

    please write about space waitresses...er..flight attendants.
    (e) (w) [Tue 14 Oct 20:57 BST] Sissy SpaceChik
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    What would you do if you were a woman for an hour?
    (e) (w) [Tue 14 Oct 21:08 BST] Green Fairy
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Introspection - a good thing?
    (e) (w) [Wed 15 Oct 10:33 BST] robin
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    "Did Wetherspoons kick you out for swearing?"
    (e) (w) [Wed 15 Oct 10:47 BST] sarah
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Is the use of 750,000 of public money to bring the MTV awards to Leith justified?

    (Please include a form to write to our MP at the end of your piece)
    [Wed 15 Oct 10:51 BST] El Tony

    Dusty or Cilla?
    (e) (w) [Wed 15 Oct 12:56 BST] Nigel
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hamsters
    (e) (w) [Thu 16 Oct 07:00 BST] Anji


    And you say? (15)   Link to this


    Wednesday, October 15, 2003

    PIC n MIX Reloaded

    Yesterday's "live writing" stint was such fun that I've decided to redux it today. Topics, please. The results are in yesterday's comment box.

    We've already handled with considerable aplomb (and I don't just say that myself),
  • Belgium (snigger) by Zed
  • The Shallowness of Yuppie Culture, by pogo
  • Celebrities, why they matter, by Gert
  • Headmasters/headmistresses by Zed
  • Why does every generation blame the one before, by Alan
  • Why did Scott Walker vanish after Scott 4, and so on, by PBQ
  • Market forces and prostitution, by Lyle
    and finally...
  • Paint drying from an existentialist perspective, by Ale-fan
  • I've already got topics from Sissy SpaceChik and Green Fairy, which I'll be starting in about 10 mins.

    More please... (this is fun)
    Previous suggesters feel free to have another go.

    Shock Update Sorry folks: it ain't gonna be live this am, due to a sudden invitation to Breakfast at Tiffany's Wetherspoons.

    Ah well. But real life has its place. Back later, my chickadees!


    And you say? (8)   Link to this


    Tuesday, October 14, 2003

    PIC n MIX!

    Interactive week here on Naked Blog takes a different turn today.

    Today it's you pick a topic and then I write two hundred words about it. Guaranteed.

    Right then... what's stopping you... ?

    (Oh, and in case you missed yesterday's problem page, and there's something dark and dangerous you just have to share with me in confidence, then just pop it in yesterday's problem box a couple of posts below.) Michty me! I'm gonna have to start charging 50p service facility!


    And you say? (24)   Link to this


    Monday, October 13, 2003

    MOONLIGHTING #5

    And hi. It's getting nice and familiar now, chatting to you in my evening hours, which of course for so many of your across da water are in the middle of the day!

    Our agony aunt service was clearly hugely successful, and I totalled no less than five anxious readers wanting - nay begging for - my attentions to their needs. Sarah, Lyle, Zed, Poodle and Pongy Pogo. Now who has won the in-depth personal interview??

    We'll be doing more agony services from time to time, as the facility catches on. I believe there's a national paper offers something called Dear Deirdre which is very popular, and some day I'll tell you about Marje Proops in the Daily Mirror - one of the very first media gay icons, at the time of Round The Horne.



    PINK NEWS

    (This is a wholly new feature on this weblog - and might not last very long, to be honest. The ducklings can do it far better.)

    Popped into Bar Java tonight, to be greeted by Neil the barman and Steve the owner. "Why weren't you at our Pink Night on Wednesday?" they chorused.

    "Oh darlings," I replied, grateful that they'd remembered who I was. "Oh darlings - it's because I'm too old. The last thing your twinky-dinky queenlings want is a realtime reminder of what might lie ahead of them!"



    "Nonsense!" they both said then. "Pay by Switch and take some cashback! It's only fifty pence service charge!" "That's fabulous!" I thought, vaguely pinkly.

    "Come and see my new beergarden," said Steve - after I'd mentioned my boundbreaking weblog and he'd stroked my arm. "Don't patronise me!" I said at the armstroke. "My mentions are not for buying!"

    The beergarden looked OK. He's putting a perspex roof on it, and they're gonna get a huge TV screen built in, playing Bette and Joan from Dusk til Dawn. I think he's kinda loaded, to be honest, especially with the plasma TV screens that have turned up all over the place. "They only last seven years," Neil the barman said, "and then the plasma turns to jelly." Must be all that MTV, I thought.



    "What do you think of Alastair and Ian at The Village?" I asked Steve then. "What you're doing is exactly what they would have loved to have done."

    "It all depends on the area," Steve said. "And here we get on really well with Mary and [somebody or other] from Nobles. (Two adjoining pubs.) "I feel we've got to do this for the local gay community - of every age."

    I supped my Guinness. Time passed. And we shall see.


    And you say? (5)   Link to this



    AGONY AUNT

    Because I've spent so much of my long life as a tragedy queen I uniquely qualify for a post as agony aunt. Don't you think? And being a gay man, I can of course see the woman's point of view also. Well - maybe not entirely. But I can learn as I go on. And about confused bisexuals I know every thing in the universe there is to know.

    So - pop your problem in the comment box or email, and I'll make it worse do my best to help. (By all means disguise your true identity.) The most interesting problem will lead to a celebrity interview here on my best-selling Naked Blog.

    Right then...


    And you say? (13)   Link to this


    Sunday, October 12, 2003

    MATINS

    It's funny how sequential cascades sometimes happen. In the last two weeks - completely by chance -
  • I was unexpectedly given a DVD player
  • Then chose - from the entire HMV shop - a Tarantino 3-pack (Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown)
  • Immediately became a late-onset Jackie Brown fan (along with several commenters here)
  • Finally, Tarantino's next film, Kill Bill: Volume One gets released here in the UK.
  • All in two weeks! (For me, not for Mr Tarantino!)

    KB:V1, as I'm sure it'll soon be named, appears to be the third big thing in cinema this year, after Matrix Reloaded and Terminator 3, although I suspect that latter was principally aimed at ten-year-olds.

    Kill Bill: Volume1 bittorrent download is available on suprnova.org (Click Movies, then click Action) And I'm sure you all know that downloading copyrighted material is illegal.



    The best article I've yet read on Tarantino is this September piece by Sean O'Hagan.
    "Eleven years ago, when his first film, the low-budget, resolutely brutal Reservoir Dogs, was released, Tarantino's merging of ultra-violent action and ultra-hip dialogue, both of which seemed loaded with references to other films, was groundbreaking. It signalled the arrival of a new kind of emphatically American auteur, whose geekish fixation with the minutiae of popular culture was offset by an equally in-depth knowledge of both European and Eastern cinema." Read more...
    It's a great piece.

    Cathode Rays

    Staying with film, it was very warming to see the rapturous acclaim Clint Eastwood received on Michael Parkinson last night. Lovely also to see one of the medium's greats chatting away to Ben Elton, someone he probably and deservedly had not previously heard of. (Compare and contrast the maggoty Ewan McGregor recently who demanded a stage to himself.)

    Frost Report on Racism

    Well, it wasn't really - it was meant to be about football, and an interview with someone called Sol Campbell, a gentleman new to my cathode ray tube. I ditched the sound after the first sentence, to concentrate on the visual and allow my thoughts free rein. (Code for "boring as fuck".)

    What wasn't boring though was Frostie extending his white hand to grasp the equally black one of his interviewee. Only rarely does Sir David do this... certainly not to any of his other guests this morning nor indeed most other mornings. So we have to ask, was this very prominent handshake because Mr Campbell was
    (a) black, or
    (b) a footballer?
    Sol Campbell is a bit of a stunna, btw, if a bit King Kong-ish.

    Erred and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep

    Staying with Frost, it was nice to see an Archbishop from Argentina defending Christianity from those Anglican sodomites in New Hampshire, USA. Begone! he said, with the might of the Southern Cone (how quaint!) behind him. Get you to the bathhouse in the sky - where the angels play nothing but Madonna and Kylie on their harps.

    And it was refreshing to hear the world's greatest faith stated so simply and clearly. That God created the world and that redemption from sin will only be found through the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    I've said it here before, and I'll say it again as often as I feel like it... there is no place for homosexuals in Christianity. It is a religion of the married. (Or at least celibate.)

    But is that really so much of a loss?


    And you say? (7)   Link to this


    Friday, October 10, 2003

    MOONLIGHTING #4

    Friday evening. Unusually off work due to some shift swapping, all this really means is I'll be able to see Friends, W & G, etc without taping. I did notice how full the pubs were in the early evening, probably after-work drinkies.

    "All alone am I..." Brenda Lee, the first Helen Shapiro, somewhere around 1963. Same hair and voice. Same side of the Red Sea, for all I know. (Sob)

    Some pictures and a thousand words

    Three late items for you today...

  • Lyle comes out of the closet as a heterosexual - right in the closing hours of his guest blogging spot on diva. Great piece, very moving, but how dramatic! (And if this is his way of attracting the straight vote...)

  • Noodle comes out of the closet and shows you himself and his family. Quite some surprise there also!

  • No sooner is the ink dry on our Jackie Brown and Tarantino week then what does the dude do but bring out a new movie! Kill Bill: Vol. 1 Mark Kermode wrote about the whole QT ouevre in The Scotsman today, (requires registration and it's all too tedious) but he's discussing it on Newsnight Review tonight.

    I had to abandon the Independent review, because they started spoiling it in the second paragraph. Suffice to say everyone's saying it's not as good as PF. Is the poor guy never to live that one down? Guardian review.


  • And you say? (4)   Link to this



    GOOD NEWS ON THE PROSTATE FRONT!

    Nice ass!!Regular readers of my organ will know we've been having some minor health upset lately.

    Bit of bleeding in the gum, and also a bit of discomfort in that pesky but important back passage! (Nothing you couldn't cure with a pair of pliers and some chemotherapy.)

    So you could have knocked me dahn wiv a fevver guv when the antibiotic treatment for the gum has fixed up me prostate as well! Talk about two birds with one stone.

    Maybe I'm gonna live a bit longer! Now today it's a sunny day, if windy, and I'm going out to celebrate. I know we have a cavalier attitude to Mr Reaper in these parts, (gallows humour) but it's still nice to know your suspected carcinoma was just a wee infection.

    Life is good. God is good. Thanks for the great love shining out of this screen from so many of you.

    Your task today is to tell an old lady - any old lady - how nice she looks. Don't argue. Just do it. Say Peter sent you. She'll understand.



    And finally...

    Much love to one reader and his wife who's having a serious operation today. I've got a good feeling about it all.


    And you say? (20)   Link to this


    Thursday, October 09, 2003

    HI HO

    Off to work today - unaccustomed for Thursday - and as ever, looking forward to it. This is what being "assistant caller" is all about... slotting in when the main man has holidays or whatever. Once upon a time that main man was me, then I left to try to better myself, but it didn't happen.

    Cathode Rays

    Watched the repeat of A Life On Air, about David Attenborough, the BBC's leading wildlife presenter. Oh, they were all saying how fabulous he is, but I disagree.

    I accuse Attenborough and the BBC of systematically, for half a century, broadcasting a limited and incomplete picture of animal sexuality. Animals don't just "play mummies and daddies". The reality is much more complex, as only now we're being allowed to learn. Roman Catholic doctrine should stay in Rome where it belongs.

    Also, only a patriarchal relic would describe a group of sea lions as a "bull with a harem of 100 females". You could equally validly say, "a large community of females who tolerate a male about the place".

    Screen Gems

    Totally into Jackie Brown. It's by far the best thing I've seen so far on DVD so far. (On an admittedly short list!) Pam Grier is outstanding. Tarantino too gives great interview. I didn't realise he specialised in reviving flagging careers. "I walked into this restaurant and Robert Forster was sitting there, and I just gave him the part." (Laughs, a little embarrassed.)

    They say he's an ego-maniac. They also say it's only due to his power and influence that a high-profile Hollywood movie could be made with a middle-aged black woman (Grier) as the star. He talks about A-list, B-list, C-list and people not even on the list! Apparently these lists actually, physically, exist in Los Angeles.

    Payback Time

    It's neck and neck over at My Boyfriend Is A Twat! (Home of the gorgeous Zed.) In gratitude for the many, many years of delight I've brought to you here on the cyberwaves, you should get over there and vote for Naked Blog now. Lyle is young: his day is yet to come. Me, I'm in danger of slipping off the bottom of the C-list like Miss Grier. I need a Quentin and a hairdo.

    And finally...

    In my (totally tongue-in-cheek, although there have been soundings from the Conservative Party Conference about item #2) election manifesto yesterday, I was saying a few unkind things about the unemployed (gas them and their children), teachers (make them do real jobs for a year) and the over-fifties (withhold those vital operations.)

    Well - you could have knocked me down with a feather when who should pop into my comment box but an unemployed, almost-fifty teacher! Anji - I salute you. You can be in my next movie.


    And you say? (12)   Link to this


    Wednesday, October 08, 2003

    MOONLIGHTING #3

    Many people have asked me my views on Herr Schwarzenegger's victory in the California Gubernatorial Election.

    Das weiss Ich nicht.

    They said on BBC news that he's liberal on abortion, gays and guns. How nice to be sandwiched between two such lovely things.

    And does being "liberal on guns" mean that he gives them out liberally, or takes them in with gusto?

    They also said on BBC news that the effect will be felt all the way to the White House. Well of course it will. If Michael Moore succeeds in his plot to have Oprah run for President, then the USA will be transformed beyond Mr Disney's wildest dream - a Mickey Mouse country at last.

    You couldn't make it up.

    Jackie Brown (Tarantino)

    Just finished this on DVD, and confess I haven't a clue. Maybe the two-disc set of extra features will explain just WTF's going on in that dress shop.

    Pam Grier is a star of course. She should be a gay icon. Maybe she already is - I get behind with these matters. But the main star of the movie is in fact her hair.

    They kid on at the beginning that it's a film about guns - but it ain't. It's all down to conditioner, dewd. A hair movie if ever I saw one.

    Pink Night at Java

    Yes, it's true. We've arrived. Every Wednesday (until they get sick of it) there's a knees-up night for Leith's gay and lesbian community at Bar Java in Constitution Street - just next door to the much more manly Port o Leith. It's probably going on right now - I can almost hear Madge and Kylie drifting over the Links.

    But anyway, in I trolled at tea time - just for a wee look about, ye ken - and oh the looks of horror I got that I might stay and be too old for their twinkies!! What a laugh!

    Do gays and lesbians actually have a community? Or even one each? I very much doubt it. But if so - am I a patriarch yet? A Grande Dame de la Rue??


    And you say? (8)   Link to this



    CALIFORNIA ELECTION

    Oh dear. That madwoman in Belgium has pitted Naked Blog against D4D this week. I knew it had to come, but in this - as in life - you don't get to pick your opponent.

    Vote Peter. Make My Day.

    If elected I promise to...
  • Put more cops on the street (hawking their tight little asses to make a living like they do in Greece!)
  • Gas the unemployed - and their obnoxious children! Pass the savings on to the workers!!
  • End expensive, time-wasting operations on the over fifties. (Let's face it - they've had their lives already.) Give them lots of morphine so they die happy and their kids inherit the lot!!
  • Close down the schools and make the teachers do real jobs for a year, after which they'll have a tiny idea how the world works!!
  • National Maximum Wage! More than twenty quid an hour is sheer greed!!
  • Oh I could go on all day...
  • Vote Peter! Vote Naked Blog! I'll be back!!


    And you say? (17)   Link to this



    THE THINGS THEY SAY #37





    And you say? (2)   Link to this


    Tuesday, October 07, 2003

    MOONLIGHTING #2

    Another day's holiday from my usual pursuits, and I'm loving it! I skipped the cinema plans, but maybe I'll go to the Seniors' Club tomorrow. It's The Last Castle, starring Robert Redford (very senior) and James Gandolfini. The sheet advertises it as a 15 rating, which seems a bit pointless as you have to be over 50 to join the Seniors' Club to start with.

    I'm quite excited. The last club I joined was homosexuality in 1965. That was more exciting, definitely.



    Today I chose Bar Sirius in Dock Place for my lunch of Chicken Caesar Salad. The Caesar part was delicious, but the chicken was a bit flavourless for six pounds fifty I thought. I would have expected free-range at least, rather than blobs of deathly white, damp, anonymous flesh. Don't know about you, but I quite like the chicken to be warm, although not hot.

    Still reading Michael Moore. Now he's finished demolishing the Bush election and the entire Bush administration and he's moved on to white people in general. They're by far the most dangerous in America, he says. Blacks don't get a look in, but they get all the bad publicity. He goes further and claims it's a deliberate updating of the slavery and apartheid of old. Blunt discrimination wouldn't work now, so they do it subtly. Oh, and they always have a black person at reception. But s/he's the only black working there.

    Strange to speak to almost no-one from one day to the next. But I can feel so much relief from the tension. Drinking much less too. This will go on until it stops.


    And you say? (4)   Link to this



    QUALIFIED SUCCESS

    .... was yesterday, in that I achieved 95 percent of my goal of not seeing anyone I know, or going to any very familiar places.

    Today it's sunny again, so I'm tempted uptown. (But that really is soul-destroyingly anonymous. At least here in Leith there's more than a passing chance that you'll see people more than once. (Which - of course - eventually becomes the problem.)

    Plus I got to meet two new queens - Peter the co-owner of Bar Java, and Neil the barman, who took over from the lovely Rena for the evening shift. Neil is a big bingo fan, so we had lots to chat about. He adored Eyes Down.



    I made Rena a blog, but I think she was a bit concerned about privacy issues. So far she's only written one sentence, and I even suggested half of that myself. So I won't be telling you her URL here without permission.

    Big Straight Al, her beloved, is having a few blogproblems right now - as various women in his life write about him in their weblogs, and the others read all about it. It's like the News of The World, but free. Naturally, passing on such scandal and gossip would be beneath the stature of Naked Blog. Plus BSA is somewhat large and powerful.



    Gwen, once my young fan and admirer, now breaks one of the golden rules of blogging with this paragraph about moi...
    "Has anyone else noticed how self-pitying some people can be? Pull yourselves together for fuck sake. Its boring and you sound fucking sad! I'm not talking about you MAGNIFICAT!"
    How touching, sweetness. Maybe we'll chat again when you've completed one or two more posts than the four you've managed so far. I been at it for more years than that, honey. Tsk.

    Digital VD

    Went into a leading chain and bought a Tarantino triple-pack (Dogs, Pulp and Brown) for 24.99 I think it was. Matrix for a very affordable 6.99, and Signs - which I watched last night - for 9.99.

    Again, with Signs, the disc was better than the movie. When the commentary and the "making of" are more fascinating than the product (which was even inferior to Taken) then you know we're talking turkey. Plus the Culkin family have lost their casting cred by now, I would have thought. Unlike the Phoenixes, but at least River had the good grace to die, leaving Joaquin to co-star in this one. Tasty. You wouldn't know if he was gonna fuck you or murder you.

    Stupid White Men

    Michael Moore too gets in on the "making of" bandwagon with a special "outside of USA" edition of Stupid White Men. There in the introduction he bewails having his extremely anti-Bush book accepted and printed, but then immediately withdrawn. Guess what day it started printing? Yes that's right - September 10, 2001. After that, no-one would touch it.

    Fascinating book, which were I American would give me the absolute terrors. In fact, it gives me the terrors anyway. How Moore has escaped assassination this long quite amazes me.


    And you say? (2)   Link to this


    Monday, October 06, 2003

    MOONLIGHTING

    Hi, NB-fans. This one's coming to you at eight in the evening, in an attempt to time-shift my morning blog.

    I must break free of the routine...
  • blog to you lovely readers till midday
  • lunch, drink and chat to (real) people all afternoon
  • watch actors on TV till midnight
  • sleep soundly and repeat until death or dementia.
  • (But why let that latter stop me?) Tellytubbies are huge with the elderly, and so far as I know no-one's blogged them at all.



    Today wasn't too bad. Hung about the Ocean Terminal mall for several hours until security were tailing me in case I was a terrorist or danger to children. Drank three pints of Guinness. Had lunch of fish and chips garnished with some sea-weedy leaves and a spoonful of tinned vegetable salad. Texted Barbara just because she deserved an explanation. Read Stupid White Men. Bought a few DVDs. Drank in Bar Java, which broke my intention of not speaking to anyone I knew. But it was only Rena and Big Straight Al.

    Yes, Day 1 of my new life was OK. Plus I got my antibiotic gum implant.

    Tomorrow I might put some rubbish out and buy a radio. But tomorrow also it's three pounds for all films at Ster Century Cinema... back in the Ocean Terminal. (I'm thinking that Mexico thing.) And on Wednesday it's Seniors' Club! Two pounds only for your movie and a free cup of tea!

    Peter loves getting old!


    And you say? (8)   Link to this



    MENTAL DENTAL

    In just over an hour I'll be the proud owner of an antibiotic pellet in my gum. Makes me sound like a lactating cow, I've decided. Whether or not this will be sufficient to save Upper Right Four, as it's known in the trade, is anyone's guess.

    Frankly my dears, I don't give a damn. My prostate is of more concern, although after a certain dimly-remembered procedure last night it's feeling a little better today.



    Too much information

    Sex for the man in his sixties is a quizzical thing. Your natural instinct is just to forget all about the messy biz, as all such thoughts have long since stopped. But your pipes and tubes don't seem to be prepared to let you.

    I know... I know... it's making you cross your legs even as you read this. Well - be aware, in a decade or two you'll be doing more than just reading about it.

    So you enter the bizarre world of "hygienic masturbation" I think they call it. Quite gross. I'll stop there. That's more than enough for today.

    "Auld age disnae come itsel'" Scottish saying, much touted in bingo halls. (Old age doesn't come alone.)


    And you say? (7)   Link to this



    SANITY CLAUSE

    I'd hoped my three days at work would bring some relief but sadly not. Looks like there's an outbreak of mass hysteria going on. It's a living dead movie, but without any life component.
    Colleague: I'm sick of having to do this and...
    Me: Not interested. Could I have fish, chips and beans, please?
    Or...
    Me to customer aged circa 65: (pleasantly) Good evening young man!
    Smart-arsed younger colleague to the same customer: Good evening young man (snigger).
    Me to smart-arsed younger colleague: (sotto voce) You do that again and I'll smash yer fucking face in, pal.
    Him: I thought it was funny.
    Me: Get yer own fucking patter.
    And the beat goes on. In a bingo, no-one can hear you scream. You fight your own corner. You trust no-one but yourself. The management are there to make money, not provide counselling for the overly sensitive.

    They should include a year in a bingo for anyone planning on entering a "soft" profession. After that you'd eat em alive.



    But more prosaically, I'm half-expecting a call to the General Manager's office some time soon - for a discussion on how I'm becoming difficult to work with. That my staff relations leave something to be desired.

    "It's not me - it's them!" I'll scream at him. "I'm the only sane one here!! They're all plotting to unhinge me!!!"

    Laugh? I nearly started.


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    Sunday, October 05, 2003

    MOORE'S ALMANAC

    Most British readers of my august blog will have devoured these already, but for Michael Moore-fans (and detractors) elsewhere, they've certainly been giving him lots of column inches in The Guardian recently.

    Here. Here. Here. Here. And here. And that's all in just the previous two days! Would he get that much coverage in his own country, we have to ask ourselves. But then the Grauny loves a friendly (or not so) dig at the US.



    Naked Blog used to be quite big in the USA also, from New York to Alaska. But as Britblogs and especially Fagblogs developed we seemed to lose sight of the bigger picture. Got subsumed to a mess of Kylie. Now I think I can number probably three American readers. Maybe four. Which out of 500 million isn't really such a huge success.

    So resist! I say to you today. Resist the pink forces of drab conformity which would have you running from River Island to Next via Gap all the time. Be done with them, put them behind you and visit instead your local charity shops. Maybe pick up a Nicole Fahri.



    Watched Will and Grace last night, first time for ages. They've now totally abandoned any attempt at integration, and the entire episode was a Will and Grace story alternating with a completely separate Jack and Karen. (Which was, by definition, vastly superior.) Why that Messing woman got the Emmy, when Mullally was overlooked, quite defeats me. Maybe it was for skills in making her character so boring.

    A Winter's Tale

    Naked Blog is a microcosm of my life, in which it constantly attracts people and then discards them. Or, more technically accurate, they discard NB.

    This means that many of you reading this won't have the slightest clue that in winter I tend to go totally nuts. Seasonal Affective Disorder. "Oh, but I thought you were disordered already," I hear you think. "Honey - you ain't seen nuthin yet, I can fairly reply.

    This winter bodes badly. It's the first without my good friend Stuart who left for another town this year. His father died, and after the sympathetic hearing of an entire community he went to Fife to live with his widowed mother. My own father died the same week, but nobody gave a shit about me. "My father died," I would say. "That's dreadful," they would reply. "How's Stuart?"

    You couldn't make it up. Don't miss a forthcoming episode entitled "Life without Dad and Stuart."

    And I need a small vacation...

    In the absence of anything resembling a proper holiday this year, and in the presence of what appears to be an impending emotional catastrophe, I've decided to take some time off from the people I see and the places I usually go to. How long it'll last, I've no idea - maybe a fortnight. Luvya all to bits, natch. But tata for now. Please don't phone.


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    Friday, October 03, 2003

    ALL THIS TENSION EXTENSION

    Is driving me crazy. Not coping. Going down the tubes bigtime baby, aren't I? Surrounded by vampires. Suck. Suck. Suck. Hanging off me like leeches. Hang. Suck. Hang. You know what I feel like? Like a sardine in a tin, but the only neurotic one. All the rest are happy in tomato sauce bliss.

    Can't stand closeness, you see. Physical or emotional. I'd rather be a fish finger than a sardine. Cold, rigid, but at least you're loose in the box. Rattle about a bit.

    Yesterday I was so fucking surrounded I had to flee the bar. Retreat to a table en solo. Mary the landlady noticed and sat with me till I calmed down a bit. My apologies to Stewart. It's not you - it's me. Pubs are meant for clamour, for loudness, for closeness. I should try a seminary instead.

    Labour Party Conference

    Hah! That fooled ya, now didn't it? Here is the news, read by Moira. Tony Blair is certainly the best PM there's been in my 56 odd years. I've checked with others of my vintage and they agree. So long as he's fit to do the job, then that is the job he should do.

    Gordon Brown's personal ambition is of no consequence whatever. It was my personal ambition to be Bette Davis or Dusty Springfield. But I ended up a fat old queen. He should be happy to be a fat old Chancellor, on considerably more money than moi.

    Have you noticed how Moira's nose is almost as wide as her mouth? That's why her vowels sound so funny. Or is that racism?

    Hi Ho

    Back to work today and I can't wait. It's a sad thing when a bingo hall offers more sanity than your life. Maybe four days a week of idleness is too much for my devillish hands. Got a haircut this week, at least, and went to the dentist. Must sort out my Council Tax next week. And see the doctor about my prostate. I'm convinced it's got cancer in it. O I don't care. Lived too long already. Bring on the morphine!!

    A Blog a Day

    Kudos to my pal Gwen, who started her blog on Wednesday. It's with those 20six people, where you can't comment unless you're signed up with them. How exclusive is that, btw? Young Gwen was one of my radio colleagues on Leith FM. Russell in the morning, and Drive Time with Gwen. She was tons better than me.

    And oh! What's this? I'm in her blog today. Now ain't that jest sweet!?!


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    Thursday, October 02, 2003

    NO SMOKING ZONE

    Thanks for all your comment and support yesterday about the evil weed! Glad to see that non-smoking is the new smoking. Some of you asked about Allen Carr, the high priest of quitting. His book's on sale here. That's the one which did it for me. But he's more than a book, he's a global industry! You can (allegedly) stop smoking online here! (Important note: although I would entrust Mr Carr with any aspect of stopping smoking, the only product I can personally endorse is the book, Easyway to Stop Smoking.)

    Another Allen Carr fan is Gordon Mackay, who wrote about him recently but I can't find the archive.



    Autumn is not my favourite season, to put it mildly! Me, I'm a spring and summer man. So from time to time between now and January there might be gripes and moans turning up here on NB. But be assured that when I stamp and scream at the world this is not aimed at you, dear reader I've never met, but rather at the aquarium I call my life. Those brave souls who put up with me, and me with them. It gets it off yer chest :)


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    COME UP AND SEE ME

    Pissed off. Sick of other people's problems. Sick of having no-one to tell my own to. Fed up to here with rude bar staff and blaring music. People who come and sit beside you and then smoke cigarettes. Assholes who think I have the slightest interest in who they're shagging today, yesterday or three fucking centuries ago. (Which is about when I last partook myself.)

    People probably think I'm cold, arrogant and aloof, and maybe they're right. But it wasn't always so. Young, I was as keen to have friends as anybody else. But when all you ever get back is rejection and hurt then you quite quickly build up your carapace. A tortoise shell to peep from and deride. Pretend.



    You stop relating and commence performing - the performance that will last you all of your life. But inside there remains that little boy, real not fake, so desperate to like and be liked. But decade by decade he shrivels away from lack of watering.

    Till that day comes when you know you've reached the end, and you recall it all and ask yourself, "What have I achieved in all these years?" And the answer comes ringing back, echoing in the massive void you call your life, "Why, nothing at all. What ever did you expect to achieve? Just who do you think you are?"

    There's nothing left. You've taken every thing.


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    Wednesday, October 01, 2003

    WELL DONE, MATE

    I know I don't talk about it much these days, as there's nothing worse than an ex-smoker, but it's 89 days since last I smoked a cigarette.

    This is a quarter of a year - almost to the hour. And I've just noticed it's a rough fit with the natural seasons. (Autumn equinox just over a week ago.)

    So in those bleak dark days of December, when all the worst bits of my life both then and now obsess my mind, well at least I'll be able to say, "Half a fucking year free of cigs!"

    What sort of ex-smoker are you?

    Me, I'm the strong, silent type. About half of my friends still smoke. I think of them as pre-stoppers - inasmuch as I hope they stop soon. So I never mention my recent (but total) conversion. The only time tobacco even crops up is if their foul smoke is going into my face. I just can't believe I spent almost fifty years doing that myself. How many people must my cigs have pissed off?

    But there are other sorts. Preachers. Revolutionaries, like the late Spike Milligan - forever writing to the press demanding the "illegalisation" of tobacco. Well - Spikeybabe still died, didn't he?

    Allen Carr himself waxes in his paradigm-shifting book about the suspicious legality and dubious morality of a society which sells cigarettes. Once again, Scotland might lead the way in US-style banning. Me, I can't wait to enjoy a pint in a smokeless pub. My friends would quit pretty quick then!

    So, well done me - and here's to the rest of my (hopefully long) life!


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    FREEDOM OF INFORMATION

    Any of you parent types (gawd bless yer) know of any 10 y/o - friendly sites for copying school homework from research? It's for Babs' son. He has to write about Germany. She said he's had five weeks to do it, but he's left it till the last minute. I said doesn't that rather make him a normal human being.

    We managed to find Hutchinson's encyclopaedia online, but the reading age is way above 10.


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    DIE LEMMA

    I worry about my dentist. Once a fine figure of a man, these days he looks increasingly frail. Yesterday he forgot the name of the treatment I was to get - and his eye sockets are starting to look prominent.

    But enough of him. I have to get an antibiotic implant in my gum. Otherwise I might lose the tooth. But I might lose the tooth anyway - it's wobbly and gets recurring infection. And this is a far from certain treatment.



    Regular readers will know that here at Naked Mansions we just don't do antibiotics. They are the invention of the devil himself. OK - it I were about to lose an arm or a leg to gangrene I might take one. Or my life to meningitis or pneumonia.

    But sore throat - or swollen gum? Not on your nelly. The last antibiotic to slip down my throat was fifteen years ago, to treat a boil beside my nose. (For readers in other lands I should say that a boil is a sebaceous infection of a pore or follicle.) Lots of pus and redness. Lots of potential scarring. I'm sure they have them where you are.

    So I took the Augmentin tablets and have had tinnitus ever since. And I've still got the scar anyway. Doctors make you worse.



    So he sent me to a specialist, didn't he. Basal cell carcinoma, the specialist said. Gonna cut it out. Nothing of the sort, I said back. And more than a decade later, guess who was right? Surgeons gotta eat, you know. If they don't slice they starve - and their children might have to go to state schools.

    So what do I do? Take the antibiotic implant and risk losing the enormity of my immune system, lovingly cultivated in fifteen years of filth? Or not take the implant and almost certainly lose the tooth? And don't forget my job. All the thickth's thicthty thicks.

    We're talking Solomon here. Tholomon.


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