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Archive for the ‘Blah blah’ Category

Sitcom idea

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Written by Craig

July 23rd, 2015 at 2:57 pm

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah

London teams

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An update to last year’s GIF to include the 2015-16 season.


Not an infographic, rather an animation that uses data.

Basically, since the 1958-59 season, English football has had four top tiers. Prior to that, there were the first two divisions and two third divisions: a north division, and a south division. Since that season, of the 92 teams in those four divisions, between 11 and 14 of them have always been London-based teams.

This animation uses the places of those teams within the four tiers and the colours of those teams to create an animation. The longer a team is in a specific division, the closer to the edge of the circle that team is.


Written by Craig

June 3rd, 2015 at 1:00 pm

Rolf and the Queen

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It’s difficult to watch any clip of Rolf Harris these days without the knowledge of his crimes kinda filtering what you are seeing. But, even if we try to ignore that, it’s pretty clear here that he is a bit of a dick.

This thing from 2006, when he did a portrait of the Queen is interesting. I’m not a monarchist in any way, but my feelings towards the royal family have changed over the years. I don’t really dislike the Queen or Prince Charles so much these days. Regardless of how I feel about their jobs, they do come across as relatively nice people, I think.

And next to Rolf Harris, the Queen comes across very very well indeed. Obviously this is edited, so we can’t be 100% sure of the events, but he spends an awful lot of time talking about himself.

And, bloody hell, his painting is awful.

Written by Craig

May 21st, 2015 at 9:31 am

Posted in Blah blah

Yellow bumps

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This guy went into space. On his own. In a cute little space ship, a totally kawaii space ship. This guy–I can’t remember his name, but it was really normal, like Phil Bates or something–lifted the helmet visor. As soon as he did this, small yellow bumps quickly broke out all over his head. Hundreds of different-sized, yellow-as-egg-yolk hemispheres, slightly furry, like mould. He opened his mouth to scream, but the yellow bumps spread into his mouth, onto his tongue, down his throat, into his lungs. Moments later he was dead. The ship circled Earth for a day or so, then re-entered the atmosphere and crashed in a forest in Poland. The yellow bumps killed a man walking his dog in the forest. The yellow bumps killed a farmer. The yellow bumps killed the farmer’s brother and the farmer’s son. The yellow bumps killed all the men in the farmer’s village, then all the men in the farmer’s voivodeship. People in bordering countries started to worry. Only men were dying. Of course, women were shocked, sad, concerned for their loved ones, but, y’know, it was only men that were dying. Some people took selfies holding yellow round things next to their faces, pulling a “I’m dying” face. It was a meme on the Internet. There were reports that men could survive being exposed to small amounts of yellow bumps. But it was too late for me. Maybe some men survived, maybe not. I didn’t.

Written by Craig

May 21st, 2015 at 7:54 am

Posted in Blah blah,Stories


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I often wake up with a song in my head. Pretty much every day. Most days in fact. Probably not alone in that.

It’s not like I skip out of a bed with a song in my heart. Quite the opposite. I get out of bed feeling grumpy. I put water in the kettle, turn the kettle on, then go to bathroom, always wonder why I don’t just go wee first cos the filling of the kettle does make me wanna go a bit too much. It takes a while to get myself feeling normal. I look out of the window at the people working at the taco stand on the other side of the street, preparing some stuff for the early morning diners. If it’s a clear day, I’ll have a look to see if there’s any smoke coming out of the top of Popocatépetl, the volcano on the outskirts of the city. Part of that process of waking up is to do my “daily tasks.” This is a folder on my computer desktop. In it are some files that I update every morning.

I make a note of how long I sleep. I’ve been doing since September 2006.
Since January 2008, I’ve noted ever time I’ve been to a live sporting event.
I keep track of the baseball caps I wear every day, which I’ve been doing since May 2009.
I write down every creative thing I do (drawings, writing, whatever) every day. I’m on my third year of doing that.

And for the last six months, I’ve been keeping a note of the song that’s in my head when I wake up. There’s been a lot of Swifty recently. Here they are:

20/11/14: Brenda – The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
21/11/14: Each One Dub – Augustus Pablo
22/11/14: King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown – Augustus Pablo
23/11/14: No Scrubs – TLC
24/11/14: King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown – Augustus Pablo
25/11/14: Either Way – Wilco
26/11/14: Your Song – Elton John

27/11/14: He’s On the Phone – Saint Etienne
28/11/14: Skin & Bones – The Sundays
29/11/14: He’s On the Phone – Saint Etienne
30/11/14: A Certain Someone – The Sundays
1/12/14: Hobart Paving – Saint Etienne
2/12/14: Hello It’s Me – Todd Rundgren
3/12/14: Hobart Paving – Saint Etienne

4/12/14: Skin & Bones – The Sundays
5/12/14: Paradise – Coldplay
6/12/14: Princess of China – Coldplay
7/12/14: Hurts Like Heaven – Coldplay
8/12/14: none
9/12/14: Cubic – 808 State
10/12/14: Peg – Steely Dan

11/12/14: Block Rockin’ Beats – The Chemical Brothers
12/12/14: none
13/12/14: none
14/12/14: You Stole the Sun from My Heart – Manic Street Preachers
15/12/14: none
16/12/14: Sunshine of Your Love – Cream
17/12/14: La Tristessa Durera – Manic Street Preachers

18/12/14: The Littlest Birds – The Be Good Tanyas
19/12/14: Motorcycle Emptiness – Manic Street Preachers
20/12/14: Adagio for Strings – Samuel Barber
21/12/14: Power – Kanye West
22/12/14: Merry Christmas Everyone – Shakin’ Stevens
23/12/14: All I Want for Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey
24/12/14: Overload – Sugababes

25/12/14: Santa Claus is Coming to Town – Bruce Springsteen
26/12/14: Old Ned – Ron Grainer
27/12/14: Crazy – Gnarls Barkley
28/12/14: I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day – Wizzard
29/12/14: Don’t Stop Movin’ – S Club 7
30/12/14: 4st 7lb – Manic Street Preachers
31/12/14: Feel It – The Tamperer feat. Maya

1/1/15: Que Nadie Sepa Mi Sufrir – La Sonora Dinamita
2/1/15: It’s My Life – No Doubt
3/1/15: Flash Delirium – MGMT
4/1/15: Let it Bleed – The Rolling Stones
5/1/15: It’s Working – MGMT
6/1/15: Someone’s Missing – MGMT
7/1/15: Here Comes the Summer – The Undertones

8/1/15: Wednesday Week – The Undertones
9/1/15: Flash Delirium – MGMT
10/1/15: It’s Working – MGMT
11/1/15: Flash Delirium – MGMT
12/1/15: Song for Dan Treacy – MGMT
13/1/15: Siberian Breaks – MGMT
14/1/15: Song for Dan Treacy – MGMT

15/1/15: Siberian Breaks – MGMT
16/1/15: Flash Delirium – MGMT
17/1/15: Flash Delirium – MGMT
18/1/15: It’s Working – MGMT
19/1/15: Have a Day/Celebratory – The Polyphonic Spree
20/1/15: Boom Clap – Charli XCX
21/1/15: Baby Love – Petite Meller

22/1/15: Have a Day/Celebratory – The Polyphonic Spree
23/1/15: Baby Love – Petite Meller
24/1/15: Don’t Leave Me This Way – The Communards
25/1/15: I Fink U Freeky – Die Antwoord
26/1/15: Die Roboter – Kraftwerk
27/1/15: Baby Love – Petite Meller
28/1/15: Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke

29/1/15: Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jepsen
30/1/15: Everything is Awesome – Tegan and Sara
31/1/15: Ohm Sweet Ohm – Kraftwerk
1/2/15: The Life of Riley – The Lightning Seeds
2/2/15: Como Te Voy A Olvidar – Los Angeles Azules
3/2/15: Shake it Off -Taylor Swift
4/2/15: All About That Bass – Meghan Trainor

5/2/15: Baby Love – Petite Meller
6/2/15: Push the Button – Sugababes
7/2/15: Baby Love – Petite Meller
8/2/15: Baby Love – Petite Meller
9/2/15: Baby Love – Petite Meller
10/2/15: Party in the USA – Miley Cyrus
11/2/15: Siberian Breaks – MGMT

12/2/15: Thank U – Alanis Morissette
13/2/15: Crazy in Love – Beyoncé
14/2/15: Lazy Sunday – The Small Faces
15/2/15: Diamonds From Sierra Leone – Kanye West
16/2/15: SexyBack – Justin Timberlake
17/2/15: Float On – Modest Mouse
18/2/15: I Don’t Want to Talk About It – Everything but the Girl

19/2/15: Breakout – Swing Out Sister
20/2/15: Something About You – Level 42
21/2/15: A Horse with No Name – America
22/2/15: Wannabe – The Spice Girls
23/2/15: Vision of Love – Mariah Carey
24/2/15: Shake it Off -Taylor Swift
25/2/15: Shake it Off -Taylor Swift

26/2/15: Afuera – Caifanes
27/2/15: Don’t Cha – The Pussycat Dolls
28/2/15: Starlight – Muse
1/3/15: Stand by Me – Oasis
2/3/15: Anaconda – Nicki Minaj
3/3/15: Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jepsen
4/3/15: I Really Like You – Carly Rae Jepsen

5/3/15: Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jepsen
6/3/15: Four Five Seconds – Rihanna, Kanye West, and Paul McCartney
7/3/15: Happy – Pharrell Williams
8/3/15: I Really Like You – Carly Rae Jepsen
9/3/15: Paradise – Coldplay
10/3/15: Booty Call – All Saints
11/3/15: All About That Bass – Meghan Trainor

12/3/15: Flash Delirium – MGMT
13/3/15: Shake it Off -Taylor Swift
14/3/15: Echoes – Pink Floyd
15/3/15: Leuchtturm – Nena
16/3/15: Shake it Off -Taylor Swift
17/3/15: All About That Bass – Meghan Trainor
18/3/15: Alone Again Naturally – Gilbert O’Sullivan

19/3/15: Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jepsen
20/3/15: I’ll Be There – The Jackson Five
21/3/15: Anaconda – Nicki Minaj
22/3/15: Anaconda – Nicki Minaj
23/3/15: Anaconda – Nicki Minaj
24/3/15: Shake it Off -Taylor Swift
25/3/15: Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep – Middle of the Road

26/3/15: Sitting Up Straight – Supergrass
27/3/15: Man I Feel Like a Woman – Shania Twain
28/3/15: Rich Girl – Hall & Oates
29/3/15: Shake it Off -Taylor Swift
30/3/15: Victoria – The Kinks
31/3/15: Do Nothing – The Specials
1/4/15: Stupid Marriage – The Specials

2/4/15: Zion’s Blood – The Upsetters
3/4/15: Ring of Fire – Johnny Cash
4/4/15: So Macho – Sinitta
5/4/15: Funky Town – Lipps Inc
6/4/15: Go Out – Blur
7/4/15: We Like to Party! – Vengaboys
8/4/15: Dead End Street – The Kinks

9/4/15: My Girl – Madness
10/4/15: A Stalawatt Version – King Tubby
11/4/15: Sweat – Inner Circle
12/4/15: Doctor Zhivago – Tommy McCook & the Skatalites
13/4/15: Enjoy Yourself – The Specials
14/4/15: I Really Like You – Carly Rae Jepsen
15/4/15: Doesn’t Make it Alright – The Specials

16/4/15: Enjoy Yourself – The Specials
17/4/15: Enjoy Yourself – The Specials
18/4/15: Architect – C Duncan
19/4/15: Best Days – Blur
20/4/15: Shake it Off -Taylor Swift
21/4/15: Doesn’t Make it Alright – The Specials
22/4/15: Renegade – The Rebs

23/4/15: Under the Pressure – The War on Drugs
24/4/15: El Tango de Roxanne – Ewan McGregor
25/4/15: Roadkill – Pulp
26/4/15: Bump N Grind – R. Kelly
27/4/15: Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke
28/4/15: Crazy – Gnarls Barkley
29/4/15: Shake it Off -Taylor Swift

30/4/15: Parklife – Blur
1/5/15: Himno Nacional de Mexico
2/5/15: Como Te Voy Olvida – Los Angeles Azules
3/5/15: Baby One More Time – Britney Spears
4/5/15: You Oughta Know – Alanis Morissette
5/5/15: Go Out – Blur
6/5/15: Style – Taylor Swift

7/5/15: Style – Taylor Swift
8/5/15: Red Eyes – The War on Drugs
9/5/15: Blank Slate – Taylor Swift
10/5/15: Bad Blood – Taylor Swift
11/5/15: Out of the Woods – Taylor Swift
12/5/15: Shake it Off -Taylor Swift
13/5/15: All You Had To Do Was Stay – Taylor Swift

14/5/15: Wildest Dreams – Taylor Swift
15/5/15: How You Get The Girl – Taylor Swift
16/5/15: Out of the Woods – Taylor Swift
17/5/15: All You Had To Do Was Stay – Taylor Swift
18/5/15: I Wish You Would – Taylor Swift
19/5/15: Blank Slate – Taylor Swift

Written by Craig

May 19th, 2015 at 7:12 am

Posted in Blah blah,Music

Felix Hernandez, 2012-15

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Written by Craig

May 17th, 2015 at 2:09 pm

Posted in Baseball,Blah blah

Stamp design

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I took it upon myself to design a stamp for the Mexican postal service, one of the most useless entities on the planet. I am convinced that somewhere near their sorting office, after sorting out the packages they want to steal, they dump the rest in a big hole in the ground. Obviously, there are bigger problems in Mexico, but the postal service is one of the things I hate the most. And even in this digital age, not having a reliable postal service does make me feel a little detached from the rest of the world; friends in Europe for example.

Written by Craig

May 17th, 2015 at 2:04 pm

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah


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Written by Craig

May 17th, 2015 at 2:01 pm

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah

Make up your mind

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Spell it right, or spell it wrong, Davenport.

Written by Craig

May 17th, 2015 at 1:42 pm

Posted in Blah blah

Amending a proposed Canadian flag

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On this page, there’s a bunch of pictures of proposed Canadian flags before they chose their current, gorgeous, flag.

This was one of them:

It’s kinda bonkers that that was a proposal. Bonkers, but splendid.

But whenever I see that flag, I can’t help but see it as a close of some sort of face. Kinda like this:

Written by Craig

May 17th, 2015 at 1:41 pm

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah


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Found a cat today! I was stood staring out of the window with my morning coffee, and saw a small cat just walking on the street, basically showing interest and following anyone who showed some friendliness. Back and forth. People on their way to work who paused, but ultimately went about their days. So I went out, crouched down a few metres away and did that “hey cat” squeaky-kissy noise and he ran over to me. So I brought him/her home. Then went and made some FOUND CAT posters. He/she is adorable! It’s so tempting to go out and rip the posters down, but, somewhere in my neighbourhood, somebody is missing their cat. He/she is really friendly and clean, so obviously he/she is loved. Until he/she finds his/her proper home, though, he/she is more than welcome to sit on my desk while I work.

Written by Craig

April 23rd, 2015 at 12:52 pm

Posted in Blah blah


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Tonight, on telly in the United States, the latest in TransBorder Art’s video series premieres.
It’s called Tenderness, and as well as lots of talented people, one of my pieces is in there.

The people involved:
Allan Bailey
Maria Bamford
Jibz Cameron & Hedia Maron
Ben Fain
Michelle Grabner & Brad Killam & David Robbins
Abbey Montymom
Craig Robinson

Friday, April 10 & Saturday April 11at 8:30 p.m., EST (and broadcast randomly afterwards) on:
Time Warner 56 / Cablevision 69 / RCN 84 /
Verizon FiOS 44 / BPN Channel 3 (online: bricartsmedia.org/bpn)
*BRIC Brooklyn Public Network cablecasts in
all five boroughs exclusively on Verizon FiOS cable

If you don’t even OWN a TV, you can watch it on the Internet (phew!) on TransBorder Art’s Vimeo page:

On a personal note, I’d like to say a quick thanks to Alex Jovanovich for asking me to be involved, and to Graciela Cassel for turning a crappy animated GIF into something telly-worthy.

Written by Craig

April 10th, 2015 at 12:15 pm

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah


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Gutting fury hubs fun Gifford dying gadgets FBI chai duo drub dry CDs khaki OCR luff Joyce Joffre jig set oh cd ooh Holmes she Dow food

I started typing until an autocorrect option appeared then hit space.

Bored. So bored.

Written by Craig

February 18th, 2015 at 9:25 am

Posted in Blah blah

There was an old woman

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Written by Craig

February 8th, 2015 at 2:57 pm

Posted in Blah blah


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Two photos taken in my mate’s bathroom, before I started drinking and several hours later. A little bit shocking (for myself) to be honest.

Written by Craig

February 8th, 2015 at 2:55 pm

Posted in Blah blah

The Man-Machine

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Written by Craig

February 8th, 2015 at 2:49 pm

Posted in Blah blah,Music

Jack Daniel’s

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Written by Craig

February 8th, 2015 at 2:42 pm

Posted in Blah blah

Best of 2014

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I’m a little bit obsessed with making sure I am not lazy. I feel lazy a lot. But, in 2013, I decided to make a list. Nothing strange there, really, but I made a list last year, and I made the list again this year. I did 747 creative things in 2013. This year, I have done 781 things up to and including the 27th of December. How I define “creative things” is simple. It could be a drawing for a sketch to something detailed and time-consuming. I treat those things equally. Likewise, I include blog posts that are unique pieces, so the 17 daily posts about being on holiday in Belize count as 17 creative things. I am happy that I did more stuff than last year, but mostly, I am happy I did more than 365 things.

Before I began keeping note, I hoped that would do at least one thing a day, and, anyone with the barest of maths skills will see that I’ve done way more than that: 2.05 things a day in 2013, 2.16 things per day to date in 2014. But, of course, I can’t just be happy with that. Now my stupid brain is thinking I’m placing too much emphasis on doing a LOT. Maybe I should concentrate on quality, not quantity.

My career, such as it is, is going nowhere. Treading water. Bulls need to be taken by the horns and I need to do better stuff, more substantial stuff. That was something that really hit home when I had the exhibition in London in April. It was fun and humbling and everything to see people looking at my stuff on a wall, but, it was pure vanity, ultimately. The exhibition lost money. I hardly sold anything and it cost me a lot of money to prepare it and get to London and spend three weeks there. I hate that I think of that experience as a failure, but I do.

It’s been an odd year. I moved out of my last apartment before Xmas 2013 because I lived with cunts and the realisation that they were cunts came about very quickly. I realised on a Tuesday, and I’d moved out on the Sunday. I spent a lot of time in London on two trips. And my love for Mexico goes up and down daily. I have a tendency to let things get to me. I had an idea for a book which I spent a bunch of time working on, but I’ve totally abandoned the idea. Not gonna happen.

Looking back through those 781 things from 2014, there’s not a huge amount I’m particularly happy with. I need to do better. I’m not getting any younger and I need to do better so that drawing can keep on paying for my food and rent. Which brings me to look back at what I think is the best, my best, my favourite ten things of 2014. More than anything, it’s nice to remind myself that, despite all the nail-biting, I am quite good at this sometimes. So feel free to click away to another Web site right now, the rest of the post is all blah blah. Thanks for looking at my stuff this year. Happy new year.

In no particularly order…:

Miley Cyrus
Vueling Flight 7823
Girl Scout Heron

The first three things that I really like are drawings done with the Paper app on my iPad. I’ve not used it so much recently because it keeps crashing on my ancient first generation iPad. It was an app I enjoyed. It freed up my drawing a lot, made things a lot sketchier. I really like the Miley drawing, simply because it was done when I had nothing in my head and finished less than a minute later. The drawing of the aeroplane makes me giggle, and the Girl Scout Heron drawing, whilst not a particularly good drawing (I shouldn’t’ve given him a neck, the beard should be covering it completely), still amuses me.

Glanford Park

I’ve spent the last decade enjoying beautiful baseball stadiums. Modern and old. Even crappy baseball stadiums are pretty cool. I wanted to draw something that was the complete opposite. An ugly, purely functional stadium. And when I think of such places, Scunthorpe United’s ground Glanford Park is the one that jumps into my head.

“¿Tacos, Güero?”

2014 was, I think, the first year since 2005 that baseball wasn’t entirely what I wanted to do stuff about. I’ve done a lot less infographics in general this year, and specifically less baseball-related infographics. But, for a big chunk of the year, I contributed to the now-defunct NotGraphs blog, which was a part of the not-defunct FanGraphs. For that site, I mostly did drawings and a bit of writing here or there. It was fun. There’s an archive of my stuff here. My favourite thing for NotGraphs was a bunch of drawings of vendors at my local baseball stadium in Mexico City. (And should you be a fan of NotGraphs, several of the contributors, including me occasionally, still do similar stuff at Banknotes Industries.)

I Wanna Dance with Somebody

Next up is a story I thought of in 2013 in a taxi. I’m a big fan of airdancers, the flappy things that are hooked up to a fan and dance in front of car dealerships and the like. So I did a children’s story about an airdancer in Mexico City called I Wanna Dance with Somebody.

Lionel Messi

I find getting a likeness of people quite difficult. I don’t have the patience for it. But this one came together really quickly. Once I realised Lionel Messi’s eyes could just be dots, it all fell into place. Plus, I enjoyed drawing the kit and boots. I did a lot of football drawings this year, but this was the best, I think.


Bandstand is simple infographic idea. I like it because of its simplicity. And the fact that I can keep on adding to it forever and ever.


This is a companion to the Mexico City drawing I did in 2013. I wanted to show the Mexico City one at the exhibition in London, so felt it might be nice to do a London version to go with it. You can see it full-size here. The nicest part of this, though, for me, was that I was contacted about doing a slightly altered version for the cover of Time Out in London. This was quite the honour, a wee personal triumph. Being a provincial boy, London was always the coolest place, and whenever I visited, one of the first things I would do would be to buy a copy of Time Out. Here’s the version that was on that cover.


The main reason that this site existed beyond a year or two was Minipops. I am under no illusions about that. These simple, silly, pixelly drawings of famous people became popular back in 1999, and stayed relatively popular for quite a while. It was pretty cool. But, after a while, I became frustrated just doing more and more and more of them. And along the way, kinda lost the love to draw any pixel stuff. I still did it, but mostly that was because I couldn’t be arsed to learn how to use Adobe Illustrator. But this last year, I’ve started to enjoy pixels again. And this drawing is the best thing I did this year, I think. I enjoy that I stuck with it and created something that by my standards was pretty epic. The more I drew, the more I wanted to draw. But I was also glad that it had a natural end point. The drawing outgrew the title, but I’m still happy that I called it Flower.

And that is, self-indulgently, that. Thanks again for visiting, commenting, sending emails, etc. It really is appreciated. Onwards and upwards, hopefully, in 2015.

Written by Craig

December 28th, 2014 at 1:29 pm


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This photo is a couple of months old. I was awake early, and the volcano on the outskirts of Mexico City was cough up smoke, so I went up to the roof and had a proper look.

Written by Craig

December 15th, 2014 at 1:47 pm

Posted in Blah blah

Cruz Azul

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When I moved to Mexico City, I picked a team. There are three football teams in the city: Club América, Pumas, and Cruz Azul, all of whom play in the top division, the Liga MX. I looked at a map. Even though I’d seen América and Pumas play at their stadiums (Estadio Azteca and Estadio Olímpico, respectively) when I visited on holiday in 2008, I plumped for Cruz Azul, who were the closest team to where I was living at the time (and has been at all subsequent apartments). Pretty much everyone I know supports América or Pumas, but, that was fine. I liked the idea of supporting my most local team. It would also be disingenuous to pretend that I didn’t enjoy the idea of supporting the smallest team in the city, too. The fact that nobody I know supports Cruz Azul, though, made me a lot less inclined to go to the stadium. Until 2014. My girlfriend and I were looking for an apartment, and eventually found one just a block away from Estadio Azul, Cruz Azul’s stadium. My girlfriend is a Pumas fan. This new apartment was way better for my footballing interests than hers.

We are coming to the end of the regular season in Mexico. Well, it’s more complicated than that. I’ll explain. The 2014-15 season, as with previous seasons since the mid-nineties, is split in two. Before Christmas, there’s the Torneo apertura (opening tournament). This consists of each team playing every other team once, at home or away. After New Year, there’s the Torneo clausura (closing tournament). Same format here, just with teams playing the corresponding home or away fixture. After each of these tournaments, there’s a liguilla (little league). The liguilla is an eight team playoff. Essentially, quarter finals onwards. It’s a rubbish, overly complicated format for a season intended to make things more interesting. For me, Mr Logical Brain, it diminishes the achievement of being a champion if you can finish 8th over half a season, win a few playoff games and be the kings.

Anyway, last Saturday was the last home game for Cruz Azul in the Torneo apertura. After three seasons of not bothering to go to games, living around the corner has changed things drastically. Including cup games, I went to nine of eleven Cruz Azul home games. (I missed one when I was in Belize, and I missed one earlier in the season when I had food poisoning and really could not be too far from my own bathroom.) It’s been fun going to games. And it’s been fun to just go and buy a ticket from the stadium ticket office on the day of the game. Really, it’s the first time that I’ve regularly gone to see “my” football team since Lincoln City’s 1987-88 season.

It’s a relatively small stadium. 35,000 capacity, compared to Estadio Azteca (105,000) and Estadio Olímpico (69,000). Estadio Azul is interesting. Maybe not as pretty as Olímpico, or as impressive as Azteca, but I like that the pitch is below ground level. When you enter the stadium, you are at the front of top level of seating. From a living point of view, it means that the view from my window isn’t blocked by a big stadium, as Estadio Azul is about the same height as my third floor (fourth floor in American English) apartment.

It’s pretty cheap, too. Ignoring the cheapest section behind the goal where the hardcore fans go, you can get a ticket for 65 pesos (£3.02, €3.84, US$4.79). Unless–unless–it’s a local derby against América or Pumas. Then, the club puts the prices up. Well, that happens in England too, some games are more attractive, thus more expensive, than others. Here, though, with the Ticketmaster fee, that 65 peso ticket jumps to 423 pesos. About 650% of the normal price. Last Saturday was a local derby. Cruz Azul v. Pumas. What should be a game where the stadium is rammed full is a game where the stadium is half empty because of the price hike. It was a game with implications, too. The winner would more or less*eliminate any chance of the other team progressing to the liguilla.

I like being at Estadio Azul. I like that on match day, my street starts to fill up with stalls selling merchandise. I like that the street gets busier and busier as kickoff gets closer. I like hearing the hardcore fans, the porras, chanting and banging drums as they walk to the stadium. And I, of course, like being able to leave the apartment fifteen minutes before the game starts. There’s a far greater mix of men and women at Cruz Azul games than I’ve ever seen at games in Europe, and a mix of fans, too. Being the capital city, there are always fans of the opposing teams scattered around, even more so for local derbies. In my section up in the “cheap” seats, I’d say that about 30% of the fans were Pumas fans. Some of them alone, some of them mixed-team couples. Girlfriend and I would’ve been one of those mixed-team couples had she not had other plans.

As you enter the stadium, you are frisked. No belts allowed. That’s another benefit of living close: not having to traverse the city constantly tugging up my jeans. The Pumas section at one end of the ground was pretty much full early on. The Cruz Azul end of the ground not so much. Apparently, there had been some clashes with police outside the ground, which I assume accounts for that. The crappy PA played music. “Everybody Get Up” by 5ive. The cheerleaders (like yer proper NFL style cheerleaders) walked around the perimeter of the field to mucho whistling.

The breeze blew the smell of Domino’s pizza around. The vendors touted their wares. Like at baseball games, they bring beer and soft drinks and snacks to you. As game time approached, the big inflatables around the edge of the field were deflated. I kind of enjoy seeing those before the game. Four inflatable bottles (Tecate, Gatorade, Mexicola (a, er, Mexican cola), and Boing (a fruity drink)), and a couple of inflatable cement bags. Cruz Azul, you see, is sponsored and named after a cement company of the same name.

The match itself wasn’t so great for Cruz Azul fans. It reminded me of last season’s Liverpool v. Chelsea game (albeit at a much lower quality level). The home team looked by far the most dangerous, with the visitors content to defend (well) and hope to nick a goal. And Pumas did nick a goal, with the help of some awful linesmanship. A ball went out of play for a corner or goal kick (not sure who touched the ball last) but the Pumas player kicked it back onside, and from that, they scored. Cruz Azul continued pressing to equalise, but the Pumas keeper was having a great game. After a Cruz Azul player was sent off with half an hour to go, they continued attacking, but it was obvious that nothing was gonna happen, and in injury time, Cruz Azul got caught out in defence and there you go, the Battle of the Mediocre Mexico City Teams ended 2-0. The other Mexico City team, Club América, are top of the league and looking really strong. Considering how they’ve performed, they really should win the liguilla.

There’s one more away game left, but Cruz Azul need to win and for four teams to all not win to make it into the liguilla. But, they don’t deserve to be there. They’ve lost six of sixteen games, and not won a single away game all season. But, I’m looking forward to the Torneo clausura starting up again in January, and getting back to the stadium every other Saturday. It’s nice to be a regular.

Written by Craig

November 12th, 2014 at 10:42 am

Posted in Blah blah,Sports