Archive for April, 2010

She’s not a girl who misses much, Do-do-do, oh yeah She’s well acquainted With the torch of a velvet hand Like a lizard on a window pane…..Mother Superior jump the gun

April 23, 2010

The Breeders there with one of their best known, and a band I’m getting back into. Man. I was going to play Frankie Miller’s Bottle of Whiskey (sic) – somehow I seem to have a preview download if such a thing exists but it is available from 3rd May – but I do worry that sometimes my ‘in your face’ approach to coping with alkohol belittles the efforts of those who cope by different means. 

Y’see I was out last week with new folk, knew some of the people, had good time and somebody said the next day, ‘you were on fire, jt850.’ So sometimes I worry that I give the wrong impression but yet it’s the right impression but some people might see it as wrong. I don’t do stereotypes. I don’t apologise when I’ve nothing to apologise for. Sorry. 😦

The other thing is, if I do a strange txt (tick), message (tick), mail (tick), call (tick) or conversation (tick) I can’t plead drunkenness or highness from the night before. Frighteningly, I am sober and theoretically in control. But, hey, the sight of a well turned ankle……..and no, she hasn’t been in touch, since you ask. 😦

I’m not really sure where that came from. Sorry.

Altho’ I did find a note from a ‘to-do’ list of years ago which said, ‘bring in glue from garage and have big glue day.’ Now that did worry me. I don’t remember ever having a garage. Serioulsy.

But I do agree with the Vampire Slayer. ‘Save water. Drink champagne.’ I would if I could but I can’t. But I still owe you and Missie K a couple of bottles. And nice Icelandic gag, bestest friend Caitlin. Not that I understood it. Hope your gran had good birthday, btw.

But I need to concentrate more. Take myself more serioulsy. lol. hahahahaha…….meh, but…….

For example I was at a Social Media seminar at Glasgow California University the other day and whereas any normal businessman (eh?) might have taken proper notes and ‘made good first contact with Gill from GCU Marketing’, I asked her how her couscous was and she said that her boyfriend had put too much chilli in it. 

(I get my genes from my illegitimate grandmother on that side of the family. I am so proud of her. No. No reason)

Marketing. That’s the word. I need to sell myself more (Again? No. Not that sort of selling self) Need to take expert advice. I know. People selling cosmetics on the concourse of Queen Street Station. One in particular. Yes. That one.

Long magenta hair, pleasant face, ‘trips’ about, dressed in black. Has cleavage. Will travel. Will certainly go far. She comes up to me and asks, ‘Do you use cosmetics?’ Has smile playing on her moist, magenta lips. I reply;

‘Well I do use a facial scrub and my current male moisturiser is an advanced SPF 15 with organic cocoa butter and jojoba oil but it is paraben free.’* But she’s gone. Was it something I said?

*Many people ask why I feel I owe so much to gd frnd Clr. Obvioulsy, I reply, the importance of good facial preparation for men,…..and you thought something else?……. shame. 😉 Most of my hair products, for example, are tea tree oil based. Hence the good looks.

And I work out. Honest. I don’t go to a gym but most folk know I power walk a lot in the local graveyard with MP3 at full blast. Very embarrassing when you walk past a funeral and it’s the chorus of The Enemy’s Technodanceaphobic. But, dear listener, I do several sets of sit-ups and press-ups and stuff each day. I do. Shirtless, I am hunkier than Mark Wahlberg.

But that’s enough about me. Let’s talk about Planet Holyrood. It’s back. On frequency and can I say well done to the blogmeister for his efforts and, no, I wasn’t doing anything at 5.42 am anyway. For those of you who don’t know it, it’s a radical websitey look at Scottish politics written by a lot of new exciting young talent – and me. I can do exciting.

Jaymi writes for it, you know. (And some fellas). Anyway, take a look. Might still be the odd teething problem, but in a week when the Sun’s subs allow pages 9 and 19 to be almost exactly the same on Thursday morning, perfection takes time.

So, whilst we’re in Hyper Link City (Wham Bam, Thank You Mam), let’s just say General Election nights may never be the same again – check out

It’s really weird ‘cos I, along with others, am writing about an event still two weeks away but it has to be ready to run just after the polls close a week on Thursday. Anyway, link in. 

However, convolutingly linking Jaymi, Bowie and I suspect, Missie K, (L frae Troon, the guest list is going in a similar direction to the last one for an event at t850 Towers. We should meet to discuss your needs) can I also mention that next year, 2011, is the fortieth anniversary of the Old Grey Whistle Test. I mentioned it recently to someone slightly less than my 42 years who said, ‘Yes, Mr t850, we love it. We watch it regularly on Channel YouTube if you want to. This lady’s not for Tubing.’

(A prize if you understand that little reference)

Annie Nightingale breathed on me once in a BBC canteen. The rest of the day was total oblivion. But nice total oblivion. Aaaaah. Happy daze.

And finally, just to reiterate, clrly good facial preparation is important. My shaving gel is tee tree and mint. Worth a quick sniff. Eh, bien.

Oh, and I meant to mention being a voyeur at a screenwriting thing this week and the lesbian who turned up for a different event but joined in anyway. Maybe, next week. Is it really just 6.27 am? Damn you blogmeister. Amy Pond doesn’t like you anyway. It’s me………… :P. Oh, and that’s a programme proposal done as well.

cya and keep(ing) it fun

John(what’s he got that I haven’t?)t850 but, hey, taps heed, indeed

Some people, btw, kindly, pointed out to me the piece in the papers which suggested that continual poor weather conditions contributed to the possibility of prostate cancer. To be honest we’re not sure what causes it altho’ it is now in my genes. Sorry, Son Brian.

With me it was lifestyle. I wasn’t always the clean cut college tutor, shirt and tie and a perfect time keeping record (I worked more than my contracted hours. Just not always at the times I was supposed to. But I never let a student down, and still won’t, even tho’ I’m no longer clean cut or a tutor) 

I’ve done a lot of interesting things in my life (many post-marriage I stress) so, as the alkohol seeped out post cold-turkey Sunday, the cancer saw its chance and leapt in. But, hey, the bastard was caught……just in time. So far, so good. 🙂

take all the courage you have left, wasted on fixing all the problems that you made in your own head but it was not your fault but mine and it was your heart on the line….I really f**ked it up this time, didn’t I?

April 17, 2010

Sometimes I choose the music at the start of the week and then I haven’t a bloody clue why it’s there. I mean there’s no message there, is there? Pfft.

(Goes to open mic fader, only to discover….Shit!……carries on as if nothing had happened)

And that was Mumford & Sons which some television people have only just discovered but like Elbow and The Black Eyed Peas, this blog has been playing them for a long time (thanks Heather C). Why no Green Day or White Stripes, TV package makers? 😦

Right the anger and angst have subsided, cos it’s been a really good week, and I’ve been in touch with millions of people and there’s only one way I can do this. So, sorry if it’s boring but some people have been worried about me….some haven’t. (Chill, jt, chill)

So, thanks to;

the folk from the screenwriters’ group to whom I took my screenplay to workshop but Eddie Harrison (IMDb him) was guest and I was terrified so I kept the screenplay hidden, but the Leith people were lovely and I now know where you all drink, and I’ll be back;

Linda, for encouraging me;

The Vampire Slayer and Missie K (aka the Grand Council minus Ms Parfery) for the big meet on Tuesday. The minutes read as follows….. ‘jt850 deserves to have his shins kicked…there will be an event soon at t850 Towers with loads of cupcakes (L!)……..reactolite lenses are good…….if jt ever returns to alkohol he will be knee capped……..’she didn’t, did she? (yeugh)’;

a telly production company for having so much confidence in a broadcast idea they gave me a cash advance;

to for returning, hopefully as you read this;

those nice people at the Comedy Unit who address me as ‘Dear Writer of Jokes’ and asked for some more funny stuff about the news and how it’s really covered. Facts not fairytales – you heard it here first;

Paul G, who, when I asked for suggestions for a happy book, came up with Wonderland Avenue: Tales of Glamour and Excess (good choice) and to gd frnd clr, for the original happy book, American Psycho;

Jaymi for suggesting googling ‘Find Chuck Norris’ and then pressing the ‘I’m feeling lucky’ button. You need to know Chuck;

the blogmeister for inviting me to his thirtieth birthday party in town and all his pals from Multi Media Journalism plus Dougie who thought I looked shorter than my profile pic suggested, and blogmeister…that is your wife? Nice boots, btw;

the gorgeous Adelle who, has a website called which is the bestest website ever about well, theatre in Scotland really, has sung solo at the King’s Theatre in Glasgow and has a handbag like the Tardis……didn’t get much of a chance to speak really, did we?; 

Gill D who I met on the subway afterwards but who didn’t recognise me at first ‘cos of my ‘hippy hair’ (I saw Hair twice many years ago in Glasgow and Aberdeen) Aye. Weans do grow up, Gill, but we don’t. Maybe it was the pills we popped……eh, vitamins we took;

hairdresser Sandra who had, in fact, phoned me a few days previously to suggest an appontment. Doesn’t every hairdresser do that? (And it’s looking so good, so far);  

the Herald Diary for publishing all those jokes (?) about alkoholics. One of the jokes (?) was based solely on an empty Cointreau bottle being left in a lane in middle class Dunblane. (Eh?) I tell lots of alkie gags against myself but at least they’re funny. Next week  – The Herald Diary; Kids with Down’s Syndrome? Funnily enough, the mother of that child had a good chat with Frankie B after the gig but that wasn’t reported; 

e, whose son is now called 15 pounds and for not explaining who I am to other mums (maybe I could be hired out?…what’s that TV prog called? Hang? But you need more than four channels to appreciate the reference);

Son Brian for letting me know each week what country he’s in and worrying me that he and I have some of the same female Facebook friends, but, hey, I like D as well;

the Jung Wan for her thoughts about my moving on;

Rhona McL and really sound guy David S for reminding  me what fun the Glasgow Garden Festival was to broadcast from (I’d forgotten the giant rabbit on stilts had a ukelele);

whoever provided the drinks cabinet, and drinks, at the GGF; 

the gorgeous Adelle……. No. No reason :D;

Ali, who I hadn’t seen in years but she has the most amazing smile and is currently working on Location, Location, Location with Phil Spencer and Kirsten Alley. See. Told you I didn’t watch it;

the citizens of a certain town in the West of Scotland the other day for answering my questions about where the nuclear waste dump is and not realising I was there as a freelance televison researcher but, student journos, it is not to be recommended as a living…..just in case; 

whoever it was that paid £1,180.10 into one of my bank accounts this week, and £97.50 and £40 into another (I should maybe keep a note of these things);

all those to whom I’ve confirmed deadlines and made promises ‘cos if you don’t keep ’em, your name is mud, creatively, and opportunities are missed;

Partick Thistle – promotion contenders………Damn, and it was all going so well up that point – and I didn’t make it today ‘cos of deadline things.

Angst Alert? Ach, no, not really. I think what happened recently worried a lot more people than just me, which is an amazingly humbling experience. I have many real friends and they enjoy my company and seem to gain something from it (cupcake dealers) and I buy my round. I’ve got a weird brain. I think, even before the alkoholic gap year, alcohol played a calming influence. But I’ve done a lot of thinking his week and a lot of things are back in context. I understand a lot more about people but I am young (42) and the blogmeister is catching up.

The big thing is I am honest and open. I lost a lot of deviousness and mendacity in the ‘drying out’ ward at Gartnavel (but not my hedonism). It also means I talk openly and honestly about lots of things and many people find this too challenging (even accusing), despite what they say. I don’t need to be fraudulent about either the alkohol or cancer but I’m happy to help those who do. Actually, I’m just happy to help. Kinda stupid ain’t it? Mind you feedback is always good. Mumford & Sons haven’t recorded that track yet.

cya and keep(ing) it fun


Now is Adelle on Facebook? I didn’t want to ask. Maybe my son knows.

Hard to thrill, nothin’ really moves me any more, I’m hard to thrill, nothin’ really moves me any more There ain’t nothin’ you can show me that I ain’t seen before

April 10, 2010

Not strictly true, obvioulsy, but you know what it’s like. You hear something appropriate early in the week, write it down and then you find a discarded e-mail from two years ago (gulp, sob, gulp) and then it suddenly seems sooooooo inappropriate. No. No reason. 😦

So you just go to an album that everyone has on their shelves and end up playing JJ Cale and Eric Clapton and the album The Road to Escondido. Cool, eh?

So only one topic of discussion on everyone’s lips this week.

I enjoyed the first episode of the new Doctor Who more than I expected. If you ignore the monster stuff there is some serioulsy good writing there and some of the opening scenes between the Doctor and young Amy were amazing. It’s the notion of waiting for someone to come back into your life that was interesting. Et moi aussi, mais je peux attendre, clrmnt, seule cinq annees et (then) je suis mort. J’ai une autre idee. Encore une fois.

It’s a rolling five years. Son Brian has latched on to the notion. He likes what I’ve done to the house, but I didn’t like the way he wandered round going, ‘So in five years and two weeks I can put this on the market?’

And in four years, eleven months and three weeks, I’m going to hide two dead fish in this house. Why two, jt? ‘Cos he’ll find one, that’s why. That’s why some practising alkies have three bottles on the go.

Quick word on Karen Gillan? Fine. Acted the one look on her face dead good. Alright looking. I just happen to be lucky in that I know a lot of better looking women of similar age, even those who haven’t seen me for some time. Trust me. I am so hot, I am a two bar fire in a student flat. 😀

Speaking of which, there is to be a meeting of The Great Council this week, but a day later than first intended. Some of those self same women are very difficult to tie down. The cold shower was running as I wrote that.

(This blog will remain a General Election free area btw. Apart from anything else, I have been advised by those who know these things that there will be a shortage of good material come the next General Election in September. And in June, Buck Pal will announce a royal wedding which will take place in November. But I will say the SNP’s Bob Doris buys his round in the pub)

Quick word on Martina Navratilova? Disappointment….at the way her story has been portrayed. I can’t find her using the words ‘battling’ or ‘suffering’ in any of her interviews on the subject of her cancer;

‘I am lucky this (cancer) started in the last year. If it had started before I would have been in deep trouble…….but it is just in one breast and it will be okay.’ Keep it fun, M, keep it fun. So far, so good.

Someone I know was recently told he had prostate cancer. Gleason score? 6/10. There seems to be ample time to decide on treatments available. My Gleason score was 8/10. I was very quickly told I had only two options and we know why I chose the one I did; and it worked. So far, so good. So any doubts, get it checked.

Some woman, Martina, eh? I know I woul….what? You’re kidding? You’ll be telling me next Ricky Martin’s gay. 😉

But can I say that I met a female friend this week also coming through the breast cancer experience (whose husband also reads this) so, unidentified female friend, looking hot…as hot as ….you can guess. (Oh, and easy mistake to make btw. ‘An item’? hahahahahaha…..but I’d love to have heard the explanation)

And on the womanly front, some of you may know (The Vampire Slayer certainly does) that I registered with an online dating service, but never got round to paying the registration fee. It’s not as weird as it sounds. All you get is a profile pic or outline. You can’t make contact unless you pay the fee.

You actually learn a lot more from a Facebook profile. But that does sound weird. So we’ll move swiftly on.

No. The reason I mention it is because with one recent profile pic I was also offered five years’ warranty or three years’ servicing. I had to look several times before I realised it was an advert for a car company. Toyota. Now that is weird, serioulsy sick.

Why didn’t I register? Maybe because I recognised somebody. Albeit unwittingly. But every daughter has a mum.

Moving on……..

To L frae Troon can I just say ‘cupcakes’? And to Jaymi can I just say ‘buttered rolls’? Oh, and fish fingers in custard.

(Y’know, once upon a time David Dimbleby read out aloud the words I wrote. Now? 😦 )

And finally, can I say thanks to those who were asking after me following the ‘flakey’ of a couple of weeks ago? I coped, and I note that in my diary for this coming week, I seem to be visiting at least three City Centre bars in as many days. It’s  kinda high risk, but I sleep easier at night.

But some questions remain. Like how, in an edition of How I Met Your Mother the other night, did I know which of the Canadian slang for various sexual positions was real slang and what was made up? (‘Sticky flapjacks’ is actual real slang, for example. Now why do flapjacks ring a bell in the history of this blog?)

And why is there a note lying on the floor downstairs that says ‘Lesbian Bondage Fiasco’? Where did that come from? Except it wasn’t actually written in italics.

cya and keep(ing) it fun. I obvioulsy am.


Which kinda reminds me. Tiger Woods. Interesting to see him back and I hope he behaves himself. No. Not the philandering, but actually on the golf course where his spitting, swearing, throwing golf clubs and refusing to sign autographs (I blame indulgent parents, but then I would) has got to stop. He’s not the only pro golfer who behaves like that.

But if you want to know what a sex addiction group is really like, then read Choke by the amazing Chuck Palahnuik. It’s weird. (I’ve got as many books by him as I have albums by Green Day). And this week I’ve been reading Crime by Irvine Welsh which is one of the most disturbing books I’ve ever read.

Maybe that explains a lot. Maybe I should read happy books. Any suggestions? Hand me down my latest Edgar Keret please. 

Lee Westwood’s probably the nicest pro golfer I’ve met in recent years. Wonder what he reads. His musical genre of choice? Aqua-crunk. Mine too.

Get the musicians ready Get them good and hot Good and hot, woo Stand and deliver Give them everything you’ve got You got my number*

April 3, 2010

Fanny. But not as raunchy as I remember them. And please nobody look at the ‘recently added’ page of my iTunes cos it’s only The Runaways and Fanny at the moment. But music only. No pix. Rock chicks with guitars. Doncha’?

Yes. I’m back and my thanks to all those who took the time and trouble to make contact after last week and my ‘flakey’. It happened like everything else in the blog; exactly as told. So serious ta. Fun, it has been kept.

Except, gd frnd Clr, there’s a new kid on the block for to write my obit (he’s almost 30, 12 years younger than me). You haven’t forgotten, have you?

So let’s just do holiday prattle. Oh, hang on a second. The asterisk.

*C’est toujoirs ton appel mais plus tot que plus tard serait bon. Plait? 😦

Naw, a weird, but not gay, week. Can I stress, btw, I am not homophobic? I like my house. (I was telling Kenny the Shed Pimp about my new carpets and he said, ‘I know. I’ve read all about them.’ Sometimes I forget. Son Brian, the carpet inspector, likes them)

But it was bad weather, especially the really bad night, but I know for a fact that the Vampire Slayer and Missie K were out in the cold and wet. I can only imagine what they were wearing. (pauses) Hey, I worry, okay. There’s a meeting of the Great Council coming up soon, lunchtime meet, and I want them to be fit……just in case.

The date is scrawled on my arm. Most ppl use a pen. I happened to have a half-eaten plastic stirrer in my hand at the time. Unfortunate. 

Incidentally, I’d like to apologise to Jaymi for something said over breakfast this morning (regular listeners know who I’m talking about). Beckett ain’t that boring. Honest.

And a quick word about the new Doctor Who assistant, since we’re in this area…….to those who know what I’m talking about, I’ll stick with my original choice.  😀 Both have nice knees tho’.

Altho’ I note Karen Gillan describes her biggest influence in her long and distinguished career as a college lecturer (ho and hum) and ‘It’s really weird kissing Matt (Smith). I see him as an older brother.’ Those who have been appointed honorary sisters of mine in recent years (at least five of you) may wish to forget that last line. On the other hand…….

And to top teen angst queen, Lindsay C, and her top tip, ‘It really is okay to be yourself.’ No, it’s not.

Trust me, L, it’s a helluva lot more trouble than it’s worth. Ppl don’t want that. It’s tooooooooooooo challenging. Believe me.

Let’s move on. Some ppl may worry about the direction of this week’s blog. I don’t. I have been eating Vietnamese Whirls all day and I feel sick.

(‘I got ham, but I’m not a hamster.’….Bill Bailey in the stylee of The Killers)

So Merry Christmas to Radio Six’s Craig Charles’s Funk and Soul Show‘s Christmas Party down in Manchester this weekend. Thanks for the invite, Nick, but I had to go to Airdrie. (eh?) Death to the Diamonds. But we got off the train at Drumgelloch, didn’t get attacked there or back and got beat nil two.

And kinda related, some radio and TV ideas are in the creative maelstrom that is the Demus kitchen, and kinda even furtherly related, can I recommend the new clothes shop in Byres Road, We Love To Boogie, especially for the cupcakes they sell in the coffee bar bit. No. No reason.

(‘I haven’t had a good slag for ages’ …….Johnt850)

Except maybe that’s the problem. I have given up bothering about me. However, I do shave, shower, etc……I am, it has been suggested, uber-sensitive on behalf of other people – even if it is said by a former Miss Scotland. I do try to look out for/mentor/challenge people when I should ignore the fact that others paid to do that are not doing it and I should play down the almost arrogance I have in saying I’m a non-practising alkoholic. I should use apologetic words like I’m a recovering alkie and be applauded for my braveness.

I just don’t have that first alkoholic drink. Large Hadron Collider Science it ain’t. So from now on it’s Me! Me! Me! 

And finally, I mentioned to some folk the ad that appeared in the Herald for a trainee journalist. I didn’t get around to everyone. Sorry. Anyway, is this not something your lecturers and tutors should be doing? Also it asked for ‘shorthand skills’ and I’m not sure if these are being kept up to date by everyone.

But can I make one thing clear, in case some of my recent more creative comments have been mis-interpreted? I just don’t think University should be about preparing you for specific jobs and careers, not at under-graduate level anyway. I think it should be about opening up your minds to all sorts of things, and new subjects. The trick is to keep the minds open.

After all, look where it’s got me. (Damn and blast, I was doing so well up until then!)

cya and defo Keep(ing) It Fun


Except, almost as a direct consequence of the radio doc, I’ve been asked to take part in a Q & A panel at a major health conference later this month about long term patients getting their voices heard. It’ll be weird cos it is possible that I will have to tell 250 top Scottish health professionals about being an alkoholic with cancer (so far, so good as in currently sorted) and how I’ve been received, good and bad, by various people.

Ironic. Whilst I’d still like to talk about the making of the doc to students – (oke, I’ll do it unpaid and in many ways more relevant than a Radio 1 prod talking to UWS students; just not as sexy, but bald I ain’t) – others see a greater benefit from it.

The conference is called It’s All About Me, except it’s about other people as well, and my fellow panellist is someone called Clare (diff spelling) who will just so put me to shame. I know her. I will look such a fraud. Albeit unwittingly. She has different areas of concern (he said politely).

But in the land of the open minded, I love the fact that I told one of the organisers about the existence of the Vampire Slayer, and this organiser looked at me and said, ‘I haven’t seen any vampires for a long time. Please pass on my thanks.’

Suddenly, it’s all been worth it…..,almost. Plait? Juste une fois? (he whinged)