Archive for May, 2005
Hopefully the last time I mention “it” – a new episode of Batman and Robinson.
Before the match, in Taksim Square:
A guy in front of me during the penalty shoot-out:
LFC with the trophy:
Normal – ie. non-football – Flip Flop Flying service will resume soon.
Arrived home from Istanbul on Friday night, ready to bore everyone I meet to death with talk of the game. I’ll be putting some photos online next week when the last few days have settled down a bit in my head. But for now, it’s a scorching hot day, so a trip to a lake is in order.
Well, what is there to say? Fuck me, that was the best night ever. A bazillion Liverpool fans wondering what had happened at half time, then coming back for 3-0 down to win it. Just insane Roy of the Rovers stuff. My throat is hoarse from shouting and singing. My feet are knackered, but my heart is pounding big and red, emotionally drained, wandering around Istanbul (which, incidentally, is a brilliant city), moments from the game coming back. Champions League! You’re ‘avin’ a laugh!
So, tomorrow I’ll be flying to Istanbul. After a Saturday of interesting football appetisers, (my home town team, Lincoln City making it to the League Two play-off final; Arsenal sneaking the FA Cup; and at the game Hanni and I went to, Hertha Berlin unable to score against Hannover 96 which means UEFA Cup games next season not Champions League), the big game is on the horizon: AC Milan v Liverpool. The Champions League final. I still can’t believe it. I’ll be there! Fucking brilliant!
Hopefully, I’ll do some blogging from Istanbul. Hopefully, I’ll see some great things there. Hopefully, I’ll cross a bridge and set foot on Asian soil for the first time in my life. Hopefully, I’ll have a massive smile on my face late on Wednesday night after another Luis Garcia wonder-goal wins the European Cup.
Right, I’m gonna start packing me suitcase. I’ll leave you with a photo from yesterday’s game – the good ship Hertha on its way to Europe:
Last night, I went to see The Arcade Fire. I half saw them earlier this year, but had a migraine so I had to leave after a few songs, sniff. Last night, they were, of course, excellent. It’s just, at 5′ 7″ tall, I can never really see much behind all the incredibly tall Germans. (I have no stats to back this up, but Germans just seem taller in general than English people.)
So, what I propose is a height-based system at concerts (smallest at the front, tallest at the back), so that us smaller people don’t spend the whole concert looking at half a bass player’s arm through the tiny gap between two basketball players’ heads. It’d work something like this:
A few blogging-less days there… my head is devoid of anything of great interest to write. It’s mainly focused on one thing: the Champions League final. This time next week my mate Keith and I will be sitting in Ataturk Stadium in Istanbul watching Liverpool (fingers crossed, please please please let it happen) beat AC Milan. Ever since we got the tickets and booked the flights, most other things have slipped out of focus. It’s my first time in Istanbul, so if anyone’s got any tips of places to visit that aren’t on the sight-seeing guides, let me know.
Erm, what else? Nothing really. I tidied and cleaned my office today. I even moved furniture to sweep the dust and dog hair away. Still, no matter how I try, I can’t make the snakepit of cables on the floor into something that Billy won’t trip over. At least I tried, eh? And, yes Mum, I do want a medal.
This afternoon I went to visit the new Monument to the Murdered Jews of Europe.
I occasionally passed by as it was being built, but didn’t really pay too much attention. Nor did I pay much attention when it opened earlier this week. So today, as I was passing by there anyway, I hopped off the train and went to have a good look around.
The first thing to note is I found it very beautiful. I enjoyed being there. There’s something depressing about it, though. Not depressing in the way I thought it’d be (ie thought provoking), but depressing that it seems to have become, within days, just another spot on the Berlin map for visitors to take photos.
Seeing hordes of teenagers on school trips picnicking there, chasing each other around inside the labyrinth of plinths, or having their photos taken in wacky poses while standing on the stones… it just doesn’t seem right.
I felt a bit embarrassed and ashamed taking these photos too. I became just one of many amateur Ansel Adamses finding the perfect jaunty angle to take my snaps. I only took a handful, whereas normally you can’t stop me taking a few hundred photos of anything vaguely nice-looking.
I really like the plinths, though. I think it’s a great idea; it’s just, if I go there again, I’ll go on a cold rainy winter’s day when it won’t feel like a playground. But then, maybe I’m just being a grouchy old sod; maybe kids running around having a laugh and smiling in photos is just as good a memorial for Berlin to have.
Today is the sixth anniversary of Flip Flop Flyin’ going online.
Every year around this time, I tend to sit down, look at what I did in the previous year and decide that it’s all rubbish and next year will be better. I did the same today. But, I wonder if it will be better or just the same. Will it just continue with more Minipops, more Pete and Bob, more this and that..? In a way, I like doing these small things, constantly adding to the moutain of stuff on the site. There is a part of me, though, that wants to sit back, and do something more substantial. Something that’s more than a static-view animation of owls dancing and more and more Minipops. I hope to be able to sit down and plan out something that’ll be 5 minutes or more. Rocky VI or something.
But for today, I’ll be enjoying that I’ve managed to keep something going for longer than any job I’ve ever had, and enjoying the presents I bought myself: a ukulele and a kazoo. Maybe Rocky’s boxing career could be over now and he’s trying to make a career as a busking one man band. I can see it panning out…
I went to to what, when I was 15, I’d have called the cop shop, but since I’m no longer 15, I’ll call it the police station. I got sent up to a room where a bloke asked me the basic info about my attacker and sent me to sit in front of a computer. While I waited for the steam-powered computer to kick in, I admired the comforting posters of various Greek beaches. The computer spluttered into action and there were 862 white males in their twenties, around six feet tall, and of sporty build in front of me.
Is that him? He looks a bit like him… Not him, not him, not him, definitely not him, hmmm, maybe, and so on for about an hour and a half.
I looked at 862 men who weren’t, to the best of my knowledge, my attacker. But I looked at 862 men I dont want to run into on a dark night. 862 men who made me realise how different people look if they put on a pair of glasses. 862 men who left me thinking: people look… weird.
There was one bloke with boogly eyes and a thing on his head, a bit like the things that Usher or 50 Cent would wear under their baseball caps, but this guy’s was made of a sparkly white fishnet material. At that moment, I spluttered out a chuckle.
I did see some look-a-likes in there. Chelsea footballer Frank Lampard, Erasure singer Andy Bell, and fashion bloke Alexander McQueen. And on the train home, as I shiftily watched everyone, I’m sure I saw at least twenty of those chaps travelling in the same carriage as me.
It wasn’t a wasted journey, though. It was an interesting experience, if only for the moment when one of the policemen started half-humming half-singing along to Another Brick In The Wall on the radio.
I got a letter from the polizei yesterday. They want me to go and look at some photos to see if I can identify the fellow who did me over. This fills me with dread. I think I can identify him, I can hold the memory of what he looked like in my head for a few seconds, but I was a bit busy shileding my head from the punches and kicks to notice too much. I’ll go to see the cops tomorrow, so, Fingers crossed, it’ll be like seeing the face of Killer Bob off Twin Peaks and I’ll get it right.
Oh, I’m getting quite annoyed with constantly having something wrong with me. Not annoyed enough to rectify my unhealthy lifestyle, of course. I’ll keep on smoking those deep-fried heroin sandwiches. My ears are still a bit blocked up, the eye’s still blurry and now I’ve got the sniffles. It’s like my whole head is closing up. At least my mouth’s okay and I can still moan about it all. But it’s making me even more cranky than usual.
Today I was half way through some revolving doors at the local shopping centre, and two woman with pushchairs both tried to get into the same segment. Any idiot could see that this wasn’t going to work with the revolving door’s don’t-push-or-touch-or-I’ll-stop-revolving policy, but they went ahead anyway, trying to push their pushchairs around, but constantly nudging the door to a stand still. I could feel my head about to explode with impatience. Which wouldn’t’ve been that bad, cos at least it would’ve cleared up a couple of my piffling ailments.
For, I think, the first time in my life I saw the words “hare lip” in print today. I’d always imagined it to be “hair lip.” It’s odd when things come along that remind you that, like your Mum tells you as you strop off to your bedroom, you don’t know everything.
It is, of course, totally obvious why a cleft lip is also known as a hare lip: it resembles a hare’s lip. But I thought, for some unknown reason, it could be because a taut hair could pull the lip into that shape.
All I need to do now is write a kerrazzee farce about Nazis featuring a bloke called Herr Lip and my world will be complete.
I’ve got an ear problem. I’m a bit of a hypochondriac anyway, but I seem to be a walking medical specimen at the moment. My hearing’s a bit muffled, like when your ears need to pop whilst flying. Anyway, I remembered that this happened a couple of years back and… if… I… can… just… reach… into the back of the cupboard, in the old Clark’s shoe box, there’s some medication I used then that sorted it out. A quick check of the use-by date – nothing written on the bottle itself, and 08/2006 printed on the box, so it must be okay. (Plus it’s always nice to see a cartoon drawing of Fab Paul McCartney on a medication packet.) I put the required ten drops in my ear, made my head horizontal for ten minutes then rinsed it out using a nice rubber teardrop-shaped thing. Now my ear hurts even more, and the tinitus is going crazy like a Pan Sonic concert in my ear canal. That’ll teach me to self-medicate.
I’m doubly buggered, cos I can’t go and see a doctor tomorrow as it is a national holiday here. It’s Ascension Day, the day that Jesus went to Heaven. In Germany the day is called Christi Himmelfahrt, which is a long way of saying ascension (a literal translation – and bear in mind my German is rubbish – is Christ’s Journey To Heaven). Being slightly childish, and being English, I titter to myself every time I hear the words Christi Himmelfahrt. In my mind, there’s Jesus in a Trabant flying through the sky like Sandy and Danny at the end of Grease.
And not only is it Christi Himmelfahrt, it’s Election Day in the UK. For quite boring reasons, I didn’t get the chance to do a postal vote, but I’ve been paying attention; reading stuff, listening to the BBC, etc. I can’t bring myself to want that lying fucker Blair in again; Michael Howard… well, even if he does support the same team as me (and there’s always something un-natural about politicians talking about football), he’s still got the whiff of Satan about him; and cuddly Charles Kennedy’s never gonna win, is he? He’d get my vote if I had one, though, cos I seem to agree with more of the Lib Dem’s policies than those of the other parties. Blah blah blah… is this boring? I sometimes wonder…
I especially wonder about that today (notice how I’m weaving several threads of thought together to make a nice jumper, huh?) because I did a “talk” at a local university. A professor from the Universität der Kunste Berlin lives in the flat beneath mine, and she asked me a couple of weeks ago if I’d go and talk about Minipops etc. to her students. I’ve only done this sort of thing once before, and it went quite well then, but today – partly because of poor planning, partly because my mind was still re-living Luis Garcia’s glorious goal last night – I was rubbish. I must apologise to any of the students that were there. All I seemed to do was mumble like an old man and click things on FFF so they appeared projected on a screen. I did quite enjoy seeing Pete and Bob really big, though. So, yes, sorry German design students. Of course, should YOUR university want me to come and talk, I’d be more than happy to do it cos I love being flattered and made to feel important.
That, you’ll be glad to know, is almost all.
Commiserations to PSV fans.
It’s my bed-time. Good night.
You fucking beauty!
This is the sort of thing that keeps my brain happy: if you take a cut out of “out”, you get “cut”.
Today on Flip Flop Flyin’: the last episode of the much-neglected-by-me Ralf series. I dunno if this is interesting to you, but I kinda see the ending of FFF Boy and the ending of Ralf as significant in what’s happening with FFF. The site is ten days away from its sixth birthday, and, for me, it’s a good thing that these older things have come to an end. There’s plenty of stuff I want to do with the site: different characters and one-off stories, things that are a bit more complex, and maybe not always happy happy joy joy.
As ever, I’m sat here with a thought bubble over my head: If only I had more time to do it all…
Except someone upstairs is hammering away at something, so the thought bubble is growing redder and the words inside it are changing to “will you bloody stop banging!”