Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category
I should have foreseen the course of the evening when I boarded the Jubilee Line tube train. “The Jubilee Line is now closed between Finchley Road and Waterloo. Passengers are advised to use the Bakerloo Line to Waterloo or find other transport alternatives.” The walk from the Bakerloo to the Jubilee platforms in Waterloo Station is roughly the same as from Waterloo to Southwark (my destination on the Jubilee Line).
We eat at this Italian place near Waterloo Station when attending things near Jackie’s job. Our plates arrived and Jackie’s cannelloni looked okay but it had too much cheese (“Italian food for the English palate” she later remarked). A lovely plate of risotto was placed in front of me. “This isn’t mine.”
“Yes, is yours.”
We were under the clock for the start of the show. “I’ll take it but it’s not what I ordered.” Without asking what it was that I HAD ordered she took both plates away then returned, apologetically, in a couple of minutes with my arrabbiata. Okay, I guess, but this place really shines when there is a set menu on offer.
The metaphor stalked us to the television studio and feasted on our carcasses the rest of the night. Jackie had a migraine earlier and was about 2/3 full of codeine; I developed one about an hour into taping.
We have been trying to get tickets for a taping of HIGNFY since October 2001 when we were in Amsterdam for my post-doc interview and the Amsterdam Marathon. That episode featured Rich Hall and before we returned to the States, we saw another that had our current MP and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, and both times we laughed as though we had eaten hallucinogenic mushrooms a couple of hours before the airing — odd coincidence, that.
Tonight’s show was chaired by Patrick Stewart and, as always, featured team captains Ian Hislop and Paul Merton. Richard Osman and Angela Eagle (who staged an unsuccessful coup against Jeremy Corbyn, last year) were supposed to be their respective team mates but Eagle, as is her wont, panicked in the face of overwhelming opposition of her own making and bolted from the fight. She was replaced by the game but supremely unsatisfying Camilla Long.
It took 3½ hours to do the ½ show (plus a few retakes because Stewart seemed addled and was unable to read the prompter nor even respond as though sober). Ian and Paul also seemed a bit slow but Osman was almost up to the task.
It’s fun to watch how these shows are made, though. With any luck, we’ll get in again in fewer than 15 years this time.
Everyone should send a letter or, since everyone reads them if they pass through their hands, a postcard like this one to
President Stephen Bannon
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500
A) this seems to be the sort of thing that gets under Trump’s skin and might cause him to have a stroke if it happens enough, and
B) see A).
Links to terminology:
Cottaging (also, this video from Monkey Dust)
Santorum (if the link ever fails, Google search “frothy” and “Santorum”)
FBs (hint, NOT FaceBook or First Baptist, unless it is)
Drunken Bunny Liqueurs
I’ve watched every Presidential Inauguration since 1973 but this time around I joined a few thousand like-minded individuals down at the US Embassy. More diverse than the Socialist rallies I more frequently frequent, it was also attended by many more Americans than usual.
Good talks, throughout, but I don’t really think the chants lead to contemplation either by observers or the chanters themselves; still, the spontaneous eruption of, “lock him up! Lock him up! Lock him up!” made me smile.
I went down empty-handed knowing there would be plenty of placards to pick up on the way (I grabbed a No To Racism one half down from the Marlborough Head); the homemade ones were best, though. A personal favourite was “Make America Read Again.”
The promise was to stage resistance Trump when he comes to visit. “We’ll grind London to a halt.”
Oh, and Lily Allen staged an impromptu concert.
“I’m going to build a great buzz and Mexico is going to pay for it,” Jackie declared unconvincingly last night. She works what are termed, here, “unsocial hours” so her lunchtime is 4 pm and today that is 1 hour before the officer that carries the Football discretely shifts across the Inaugural Stage from the side of President Obama to that orange guy. For lunch, she is having tequila today. I hope the bar doesn’t have a tele.
I, on the other hand, am just now boarding a bus bound from Oxford to Baker Street then walking the few blocks down to Grosvenor Square to join an Inauguration themed rally in front of the US Embassy. Should be fun. Do join us, there will probably be a chance to watch the riot squads of the Metropolitan Police in action. The old joke about the bear applies to my hope for large numbers turning out:
When the Met comes at you is it better to run or to offer Passive Resistance?
Oh, mate, we should run.
Do you really think you can outrun them?
No, I only have to outrun you lot.
When I think Trump and Tequila, this is the picture that comes to mind:
British betting shops are ready to cover your Trump related wagers. At Ladbrokes, we have:
The troubling one on that list is 2025 OR LATER…. Well, not as troubling as 2017 ever becoming an option in the first place.
The selection at Paddy Power is:
I have a lousy gambling record so I don’t want to read too much into this, but those seem like pretty good odds for the Wee-wee Tape coming out (yes, he puts the ‘P’ in POTUS). And, if I understand the semantics of this slate of bets then he has slightly better odds of Splitting With His Soft Core Porn Star Wife than he has of Not Getting Inaugurated In The Next 24 Hours. I keep saying, ill-advised though it is to do so out loud, that America really needs a patriot with good aim to step up (maybe a Secret Service Agent with inoperable cancer?) and get me that 20:1 payoff.
Stanhope’s ghoulish Celebrity Death Pool (fantasy football for the obituary obsessives) seems to have tapped into that same stream of consciousness. The leading ‘picks’ as of yesterday were the easy to justify Charlie Manson and George HW Bush. Number 3? You don’t get that many votes from people expecting a fatal hairspray incident:
One of the problems with sharing strong opinions with the world is that someone who has some affiliation with the object of your passion may take the opinion as an affront. It would probably sting less if the editorial commentary was delivered with a bit less smarmy tone, but the very few people who read this would be disappointed if it wasn’t there (especially in response to something like this). Among the small readership, I usually get publicans and other business proprietors/proprietresses for an entry or two after they find out that their venue has appeared here. Believe me, my opinion holds no more sway here than it does at work (where the fuckers should actually listen to me).
So, if I gave the Tap Social a bad review it might actually be better for them than what I am about to lay down more concisely than that cryptic lead paragraph. Better still are the ones about places that made so little impression on me that I just make shit up. I can’t do that here. The house is flawless. Go there the next time they are open and you’ll probably make regular stops from then on (check the website…they are open tonight, and then again on the 27th and 28th of January 2017 with future dates pending).
Now, it’s not a pub, per se … yet. It doesn’t even have regular opening days, much less regular opening hours. It is so open-plan that the warehouse blends into the 1000 liter brewery (yeah, it is a microbrewery, as well), and those are only distinguishable from the pubby area by a large carpet rolled out in front of the rudimentary bar.
Their product is especially grand, too. I was met at the door by the Head Brewer who enthusiastically described the set-up and the core beers that were on offer. I got a flight of one-third pints (only the single pint, total, as this was roughly the mid-point of a 7½ mile run and I needed to get back to check on something in the lab before heading home) that included the oatmeal stout and the two sour ales — I would recommend all of them but do the Bleeding Heart Numbskull last as it overpowers everything in its path.
Numbers, or so, listed in bold and underlined.
Everyone has shit to talk about 2016, and so do I; but, I’ll minimise that, here. I finally sprang for two new pair of running shoes to replace the pair, featured in the photos here, that I picked up in Chattanooga in September 2015 and subsequently added 2253 running miles on before retiring them last weekend (with walking, as these were my usual day-to-day shoes, these had much closer to 4000 miles on them).
Over the Christmas break, we watched a shitload of TV and a bunch of really cheery movies (highly recommended of these are the drama Martha Marcy Mae Marlene and the documentary The Coming War With China. To recover from those you might want to find Twenty Feet From Fame. But, we also caught a bunch of shit tele and some old stuff. In keeping with the theme of the year, we downloaded a collection of the Tonight Show (with Johnny Carson) and spent the entirety of each show playing the middle-age white person version of Jew-Not-A-Jew (aka the straight person’s version of Queer-Not-A-Queer) by pointing at each corpse we spotted on screen and saying, “DEAD.” “Bob Hope. DEAD.” “Joan Rivers! DEAD.” “Gary Shandling, DEAD.” (By the way, that’s Not A Jew, Jew, and a little of both).
So, instead of the multitude of other celebrity deaths everyone is banging on about, here are the 17 I noticed but did not eulogise (and some of whom you may have missed):
17 January: Blowfly, 76
2 February: Bob Elliott, 92
16 February: Boutros Boutros-Ghali, 93
6 March: Merle Haggard, 79
3 June: Muhammad Ali, 74
17 June: Fred Tomlinson, 88
22 August: Toots Thielemans, 94
29 August: Gene Wilder, 83
8 September: The Lady Chablis, 59
16 September: Edward Albee, 88
30 September: Hanoi Hannah, 87
18 October: Phil Chess, 95
2 November: Dolores Klosowski, 93, American baseball player (Milwaukee Chicks)
7 November: Leonard Cohen, 82
25 November: Ron Glass, 71
22 December: Miruts Yifter, 72
25 December: George Michael, 53
In a similar vein, here are the other numbers of my year…
Obits actually in the blog: 16
Swindon’s Stagecoach Bus Depot in Old Town
Robert Ford, Madman Mayor of Toronto
Atlanta/Fulton County Stadium and Turner Field in apparent murder-suicide
The jihadi sparrow
The villages of Longford and Harmondsworth
America, the not so great pre-Trump version
New Years Honours of Note: 1 (for the name): Mr Fabulous Flournoy, (MBE)
Mileage (running): 1589.8, quite the slack year — the least in two decades of keeping track
Pub write-ups 1 January thru 30 June: 38
Pub write-ups 1 July thru 31 December (we moved house 28 July): 216 (254 for the year)
Recipes, such as they are, published here: 5
Brunswick Stew and BBQ Sauce
Malted Milk Ball Hot Toddy
Chicken Breasts done as if for Pakoras
International trips: Except for returning from Cork, technically a 2015 trip, 1 (Bremen)
Marathons: 1 (Wales Marathon)
Other races: 0, but a few planned for 2017
Weight (high): 169 lbs (12 stone 1 pound, Winter drinking weight)
Weight (low): 150 (10 stone 10 pounds, at the Marathon)