Archive for September, 2011

It’s not that urgent wanting some attention. Our teenage dreams are surely worth a mention. It’s not that easy so it will be heard. A lot less time but a lot more care. So here’s more songs about chocolate and girls.

September 25, 2011

The Undertones there, one of John Peel’s favourite bands and there is a book but soon, hopefully,…….. and a curiously apposite song given that this week I started at my new school and jolly fine it was too. The nervousness and excitement that I have felt for the last twenty years or so receded into a state of being accepted by my new chums and teachers; some of my chums have already done four years at the school and all seem to have received honourable mentions or something similar.

I’ve got to learn how to use the Blackboard (without chalk….my cookies need enabled. For years I have lived without doing this, but now….) and I’ve already done the real studenty thing of changing my mind about one of the modules after I’d signed up for it.

I arrived in Paisley via the canal. Train. (I once had this title for a book called There Are No Ships on the Paisley Canal. The latest working title for the book which doesn’t exist is something to do with the Potato Collector’s Widow. From Crieff)

And I was not the first to arrive in the Assembly Hall. I had been well warned. And friend and colleague, the gorgeous W*, I will not be adding mystic to your list of considerable attributes 😀 Several others (including e) predicted I would see the same thing. 😉 (Skippy I may have to be careful with this school analogy at times)

*That is brilliant news. The Clio is being fired up even as we speak. (*a roadie speaks*)

Incidentally, the corridor outside the Assembly Hall would be brilliant for growing tomatoes and peppers and exotic herbs.

But no. All went well. A big thanks to the prefects who showed me where everything was, but to the lady prefect with the v. large bosom, I was looking at your name sticker. Honest. And my picture has been taken. And I have an ID card. And Gosh………..I have still to investigate student discount. And cancelling my Council Tax.

Can I also say a big thanks to a first year under grad  called N*****e who I seemed to ‘hook up with’ (Rainforestriverman…it happens…I don’t know how or why) on the way out. She very kindly accompanied me back to the railway station and clued me in on some other stuff as well. Greggs’s basically.

And then the journey home. Now I’ve tried to re-assure some of my new teachers that basically, the blog’s about me. Basically. And some amazingly patient people. E is for exasperation and T is for tenacity…twenty-four to go.

It’s about, for example, what happens to me on the way home…on the train.

So the train was just about to reach Hillington and it stopped. The anno said, ‘Due to an incident on the line the train may be delayed, etc…….’ and then the conductor walked up and down, telling ppl, that a woman had attempted suicide but, apparently she was okay and we should be going soon. Then he walked back up and down going, ‘Except we can’t find her so we’re not sure.’ And everyone leaps to the window to see the driver peering over the edge of the bridge overlooking Hillington Road. And everyone – not me – is txting ppl. Who do you txt at a time like this? Jeremy Kyle’s researchers?

It hadn’t happened at Glasgow Central. It had been that squeal of brakes. Our train.

Anyway, no confused woman walking up and down trying to find a bathroom as recommended by Colin and Justin, the gay decorators, and the train moves on…….

And just to prove I am no Goody Two Shoes, I think I was the only one to look at the front of the engine to see if there was any blood. (Incidentally, is it true that bleach removes all traces of DNA as exclusively revealed on Crimewatch the other night?)

 Could be useful but maybe not as useful as a site called which does exactly what it says.

And finally, another useful piece of information came in the form of a newspaper report which says that on average we (?) get a hangover twice a month. So who’s getting my share? Of hangovers. Have you seen Facebook on a Sunday morning? Suffice to say that the report goes on to say that hangover cures such as fizzy drinks and coffee may ‘exacerbate the symptoms’.

I wish I’d known that five years ago. But I do miss hangovers. Seriously. I hate waking up knowing that’s the best I’m going to feel all day.  There is this myth that ppl like me are supposed to throw off the covers looking ahead to the glorious dawn. But some days I do wake up with a headache. It feels good

Cya, keep(ing) it safe and fluffy, and still wearing that badge? Yes. I did. It’s an ice-breaker, innit?

Johnt850,the epitome of a ladies man with matching socks with the days of the week on them…….to be sure.

So I’ve had lots of good wishes over the last few days, including a brill Moonpig card…..someone knows me soooooooooooo well……and various messages of support including actual conversations. I won’t let you down. Promise. Cross my heart and hope to die, terrapins tickle me if I lie.

One of the most encouraging conversations was down Byres Road with a music radio producer called Stewart. Amongst other things, we talked about my recent conversion to ‘house’ music, which is of my own making and not through someone else’s influence. At one point, as we discussed Roland 303s, the importance of Kraftwerk, the book written in German that I use as my basic bible and all sorts of things, I realised I can take on board fresh thinking. In detail.  😀

Up yours Wal-Mart! No. No reason.

Therefore the next track is an obvious choice and it’s a house classic. If you get a chance listen to some of the others in the right-hand sidebar. Next week a Youtube vid of Spiders on Drugs and a cat on acid.

The lights shine off, the lights shine on Making our faces many colours Everyone is moving Like waves make an ocean on and on Everybody singing. Yes, this is happiness happening

September 18, 2011

Less experienced listeners may never have heard of General Charles de Gaulle, who was the leader of the allied French forces during World War II. When questioned why he had a military hat with Greek letters around the base, he replied, ‘It’d look pretty stupid with French ones.’

His wife was not well known for her grasp of English. When asked what she wanted most out of life, she replied, ‘A penis.’ At which point, her husband stepped in and corrected her pronounciation and said, ‘I think my dear, you mean happiness.’

And if you ever want to get a real laff at a Karaoke night, sing Ken Dodd’s Number 1 hit, ‘Happiness’ with Mrs de Gaulle’s pronounciation. ‘I thank the Lord that I’ve been blessed……’

And the opening track was Happiness from the Happy Hardcore Hipster, Hixxy.

So, as the impending enrolment impends, I’m in hap, hap, happy mood, but yet mildly terrified. It’s not meeting people that worries me. I am sure that, come the end of the day, everyone will know who Johnt850 is. For me, it’ll be like when I soberly enter a group of alcohol drinkers. I won’t hang back. That’s what gives sobriety a bad name. Hanging back. Apologising.

(Actually, in a strange way, it’s a release. It’s much more fun chatting up women, say, when you’re not drunk. You can say to someone’s mum, ‘Never!…..I thought you were her sister’ and sound as if you mean it. Instant interest. 😀  I’ll move on)

Probably the only time I’m not truly me are family occasions, when I’m surrounded by much more experienced ppl, (or ppl with different experiences) and I’m lost for things to talk about. Altho’ I’d like to say a big thanks to KT’s bro’ (also a student at UWS (Paisley) but different subject) for his instant appreciation of me. I asked where best I should use my student discount; he said ‘clubbing’.

So secure in the knowledge I will be an uncontrollable gusher (‘everything in working order’) both before and after enrolment, I’d like to say a few thanks (this weekend’s a kinda villa-lowpoint):

For example to e’s mate, Alison who seemed totally unperturbed by the fact that whilst she was chatting to e I had wandered off with AJ. I am getting soooooooooooooo well known in that softplay centre. But can I stress that I honestly did think that was the ventilation system? The staff were very understanding.

To L frae Troon for the v. helpful discussion re highlighter pens, but I’m not sure that size does matter. (Boy, did I check the spelling in that sentence after this week’s opener) Oh, and ask one of your colleagues about the concept of the Brazilian Blow Dry.

Incidentally, W, I found the last one of that pack of polo mints – shows how long it is since I wore that jacket. (OMG! What will I wear? I have nothing studenty. I might grow my hair long, tho’.)

And a long awaited outpatient appointment has come in that has nothing to do with my alcoholism or cancer. I may now cancel my audition for Embarrassing Bodies.

And can I stress that that £3m ‘street value’ find of cocaine and heroin (helluva lot of speedballs) was in a flat not that far way from here and, yes, there was a stabbing in the ASDA Car Park a couple of weeks ago, and yes, the granddad who I mentioned a few weeks ago who dealt from his grandchild’s buggy also had a huge stash of weaponry when his house was raided, and there is a crackdown in the area. But, no, I have other ideas for my research project.

And I’ll need to watch my spending…..just that one final purchase, Son Brian, that helped me with. Altho’ I do have a separate stash of money set aside for ‘entertainment’….some ppl keep theirs in a ****** sock (it’s a password on my computer)……I keep mine in a Calvin Klein wallet.

And well done to Jayne and her pals for walking the West Highland Way and thanks for the Good Luck card….and it doesn’t bother me that they’re married if it doesn’t bothe…..there’s the door-bell. Probably saved by it.

And to my happy Partick Thistle supporting mates….four-nil and there’s more to University life than freshers…….there’s, eh, eh, eh……..I’ll let you know a week on Friday.

And finally, to the families of the Welsh miners, my thoughts genuinely were with you last week. I may not speak that highly of my hometown of Peterhead, a fishing port, but I can still share that sense of waiting for news, occasionally, as a Harbour Office clerk (summer job), being the harbinger of that news, and attending the funerals. On one occasion I even had to check a cargo manifest of six recovered bodies against the actual bodies. Some things you don’t forget.

Cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge? Polishing it up, even as we speak.

Johnt850, who will obviously have nothing to talk about next week.

So, in a recent conversation with friend and colleague the gorgeous W, I was reminded of an interview that James Blount gave. When asked whether he (Blount), as a military officer, had killed anyone, he said, ‘No. I always got someone else to do it.  Corporal, shoot that man.’

I was commenting on how messy my garden, and some of the neighbours’ were, following the mild storms of earlier in the week (I used to play ‘chicken’ on the North Harbour wall of Peterhead Fishing Harbour during real gale force winds) and how I wanted to get a man in. I was told, in no uncertain terms, by W, to get out there and sort it for myself. So I did. I know that voice.

The next day, the gardener came. He only rang once.

I’m playing this closing number for a number of reasons, including a re-assuring mega-thanks to someone BUT if it reaches you like it leaves me, watch the guy lip-synching to the guitar.

I learned all I know by the age of nine But I could better myself if I could only find some kind of kick Something I ain’t had Some new kind of buzz I wanna go hog mad

September 11, 2011

And it’s true. For me nothing has really replaced alcohol and, indeed, anything else that may have been part of my lifestyle at that time. And I was talking with a good friend during the week about asking a woman out and it’s always been about asking her out for a drink and, somehow, the idea of ‘catching up over a coffee’ still isn’t quite the same.

Apart from that consideration, the rest of my pre-university planning is going okay, thanks.

But I would like to say a mega thanks to Missie K for re-introducing me to a pleasure I had long forgotten – the university library – altho’ the one we visited was much more open plan than the old Glasgow University Library, which I seem to remember going to. Once. It had no late licence.

This one had push button closed shelving, the type of shelving that more experienced people might associate with shelves full of archives and a steering wheel at the end in which people get trapped in middle class dramas and die slowly and painfully or is my imagination too feral/viral/virile?

Y’see, I always thought an off-duty fireman was every woman’s fantasy but having seen pics of a bog standard fireman’s calendar during the week, I am considering bringing out a January to December calendar of me as a semi-naked pescetarian, recovered alcoholic. July will have me with a couple of large pollocks.

It’s an Alaskan fish. 

And friend and colleague, the gorgeous W, has finished with Brad Pitt (I may need to re-write that, Skippy, before the Hollywood gossip columns read this blog, ‘cos they do) and she had some really amazing stories but they must remain confidential. I was told these stories in a very private setting. Strathclyde Country Park.

I really must find a better place to park my car than the gay cottagers’ car park. So I would like to thank W and her smashing dog for staying with me whilst I changed my shoes and socks there. Yes. Those are new socks. Yes. The toes are colour co-ordinated. But, (ha!) you did not see the fact they also have the days of the week on them and that I was wearing Sunday’s socks on a Wednesday. I am that kind of rebel!

(Can I stress that ‘changing shoes and socks’ in a gay car park is not a euphemism? I did look at the Urban Dictionary to check. I had, however, considered ‘Walking the Dog’ as the opening lyric but also checked. Those of you of a nervous disposition, should NOT, I repeat, NOT, look at that reference in the Urban Dictionary. Will the other 99.9% please put me on the Taskbar and I’ll go and have a coffee? Alone.

I also checked out AC/DC for possible use in a future blog. Wasn’t quite what I expected)

And on the subject of music, recent openers have come from top deejay, Andrew Weatherall…..wonder if he’s good enough for Velvet Elvis,  Glasgow’s top spot in the West End.

Can I also stress that the gay guys of Strathclyde Park are not into BDSM and/or are very honest? We left the dog’s lead on the bonnet of one of the cars and it was still there when we got back two and a half hours later…..or is my imagination too feral/viral/virile?

And it says that you can fry quorn bacon rashers on the back of the packet. It ain’t rocket salad. Actually, better in a frying pan….not fry it ‘on the back of the packet’. I wonder how Paisley is for pescetarians. It’s got this amazing small street, Shuttle Street (weavers’ cottages), which is like the sleazy end of Sauchiehall Street, and there slap bang in the middle, is Anabelle Goldie’s office.

And finally, whilst accepting that all of my personae may be just  too experienced for a shop like Hollister, I was soooooooooooo disappointed the other day to be in Primark. There was no queue at the Cash and Wrap but I just couldn’t find anything to buy. It was one of those days. You get ‘em.

Cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge? It never ventured out into the car park, tbh.

JohnT850, who once recorded a two hour radio programme about Strathclyde Park with Jimmie Macgregor and Jimmy Mack, but never ever knew about its mass appeal. Next week, the Watersports Centre.

So Son Brian is now a Chartered Accountant and 25 and there are other significances to the date 12th September for me and the t850 family. Apart from the day we had to break into my mum’s house cos she’d collapsed, it means I’ve been clean and clear for four years nine months, which is jolly frightening considering the Post Grad in Drink’n’Drugs I start in two weeks’ time.  My stomach churns and a drowsy numbness…….

I’ve been doing some academic reading and I dwell at bits and think that was me. The detox hallucination chapter is good. I’m not sure that people believe me when I say I fought off the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse that Sunday afternoon. All I know is it cost me, ultimately, £100 to get cleaners in to tidy up the mess.

I may dream, what seems to other people, impossible dreams but they’re sober ones. In my mind they are achievable. I am alive to dream them.

Oh, and my waist size is almost back to 30”……..32” required an extra tightening notch in my belt. No. No euphemism. Anything’s possible. I like the sound of this diet, tho’. It’s Brian Butterfield’s.

Dealers keep dealin’, Thieves keep thievin’, Whores keep whorin’, Junkies keep scorin’, Trade is on the meat rack, Strip joints full of hunchbacks, Bitches keep bitchin’, Clap keeps itchin’.

September 4, 2011

So those lyrics mean that I was at Scotland v the Czech Republic and my father would have found it very difficult to understand that being a song at a Scotland football match.  But, hey, I was with Son Brian and it was a good day celebrating UEFA’s Day of Respect and Fair Play for football around the world. Except for that m******f******g Czech diver, Jan Rezek, in the last minute! It was soooooo f**k**g obvious, Ref!

You, Rezek, let down Vaclav Havel and the whole of the Velvet Revolution of 1989. Which is not the most successful football chant I have ever started.

But I find it jolly interesting that Primal Scream (they sang the opener) have been invited to perform their Ecstacy influenced album Screamadelica at the Edinburgh New Year Celebrations.  I find their acceptance into mainline Scottish life amazing.

Actually it was one of those days when the less said about the game, the better, altho’ it did get off to a good start with alcohol (Son Brian) and fruit juice (jt850) being partaken in Waxy O’Connors and there are still areas in that bar that I do not know exist. Or maybe did and just can’t remember.

Another pre-match drink in the Clockwork Micro-Brewery was knocked on the head (it’s ok…my son does not take after me) by the queue waiting to get in but a big thanks to the promo ladies from Paddy Power who, as well as handing out flyers advertising a free matched bet, were also offering free cheeseburgers. When I explained that I don’t eat meat, the tall blonde one said, ‘Well, just eat the cheese then.’

But it’s been a strange week. For a number of reasons, I tried to chill out and switch off. I can’t. I exist on an edge of insecurity and uncertainty. I am too wired for sound even ‘sober and substance free’. I do too much caffeiene and caffeiene based drinks (That’s not how you spell it, is it?) AND I have too much ‘house’ music pumping through my various sound systems. (The size of my semi varies) I am converted to a sound that I wished I’d discovered a wee while back and it did lead to one of my highlights of the week.

I was cruising the strip (aka the Maryhill Road) in my boyracer (which attracts so many scratches, scrapes and dings that I may have to employ a man to buy T-Cut and apply it for me) when I was stopped at the lights.

The album I’m playing is, like, Clubland Extreme Hardcore, a pretty average selection of Happy Hardcore with a very strong bassline and Roland drum machine reverb, and with the window open, man, like, cos I want to attract attention. I became aware of thumping on the passenger side. In rhythm.  And thumping their fists in the air. It was the local Shiskine Drive Possee. They liked my music selection, man.

I was tempted to pull into the side and have a wee street party, but common sense (aka the lunchtime lollipop lady) prevailed. I drove on. Happy that I was accepted.  

Hey, I’m over 21. I can get into Karbon but would I want to?

Elsewhere, friend and colleague, the gorgeous W has finished her acting stint. For the time being. And I’ve still to catch up on the goss. However, I thought she’d really made the big time the other day when I was in Debenham’s (I like to embarrass the female beauty assistants into giving me free samples for my ‘lady’ friends) and I heard the tannoy anno, ‘Good morning, Gorgeous’. It turned to be an alarm call for a beauty treatment on offer. I found out on ejection.

Where, where, where….?’ I cried……. But to no avail.

And AJ’s mum, e, really tricked me. Into going into Ian Mellis, cheesemonger, and asking if they sold ice cream. Not in Great Western Road they don’t, I found out on ejection. The treat came later when I accompanied them to a Softplay Centre in Maryhill. Always better to go into these places with a child, I find. That way, no ejection. Not this week, anyway.

I’ve never ever been thrown out of places early. I’ve never ever suffered from Premature Ejection.

And finally, my thanks to the Vampire Slayer for a really educational session this week. I learned a lot. About lots of things. I worry should anyone ever eavesdrop. And, yes, I do have this habit of talking to good looking women whom I do not, initially, know. It was her muffin, I noticed.

Cya, keep(ing) fun and still wearing that badge? Yes, eagle-eyed L frae Troon I was. Under the Scotland scarf. Honest.

Johnt850, now sleeping ‘til about 7. I think it was an empathetic thang.

So, it’s generally acknowledged by everyone including music journos, serious sociologists and the band themselves that Ecstacy played a big part in Screamadelica; everyone that is except the Sunday Mail, who today merely made a passing reference to the band as ‘wild party animals’ in the ‘drug fuelled ‘90s’.

Y’see, what concerns me is how the bad reporting of that time reflects our attitudes towards drug use these days.

It’s the word ‘recreational’ that intrigues me. Obvioulsy I’m going to make the point that the majority of Scotland fans were drinking recreationally (apart from the drunk sitting behind me) and that the only addict my son came into contact with was me.

But it was Strathclyde Police’s recent use of the word that I found really interesting. The reason for their Prime Ministerially acknowledged success in dealing with gang violence as opposed to the English forces was the fact that the Unit set up to deal with gangs realised they were dealing with ‘recreational violence’……it was not a way of life.

What am I going to offer as a research project? No. No idea.

This final piece of music is to demonstrate that no matter how successful a piece of music is in highlighting certain brands, some of us will never ever be able to participate in the product.

Alba gu bráth!