Monday, February 27, 2006

Food review - Monster Mash, Glasgow

I went here tonight after a recommendation from a workmate. Monster Mash is a cafe-type restuarant in the studenty Byres Road/Hillhead area of Glasgow. It has a sort of Beano theme to it. The menu features bangers n mash, macaroni cheese, chocolate ice cream and milk shakes. It's a belle and sebastian fans wet dream.

The decor is modern but cheezy. Old cafe style tables, tomato shaped ketchup bottles and brown sauce. You can buy sherbert dips and expensive bottled beer. Copies of the beano are lying about just in case you want to relive your childhood. It's family friendly too (there was a big family on the opposite table) but thankfully there were no screaming brats.

The food was good. I went for bangers and mash. The sausages were of good quality and were well cooked. They weren't cheap at £7 but I didn't feel ripped off. The mustard flavoured mash was tasty and the onion gravy was class. My pal liked his ice cream.

I'll go back. I'd take a girl there (if she had a sense of humour). Not glitzy but cozy.


Saturday, February 25, 2006

Man-flu: a simple cold

I'm suffering. I've had a pretty heavy cold for the past 8 or 9 days and I just can't shift it. My sinuses feel like they are fit to burst and my left ear is blocked. I should really take some time off work but I have one of those jobs where you really can't go sick. It doesn't look good. I've been trying to prop myself up with decongestants, paracetamol and ibuprofen.

Still, I've had an OK week. Work has been busy as usual but I've managed to do some fun stuff. I met up with some folk I went to uni with on thursday night. Had couple of pints and talked crap. Other people were more drunk than me. It was cool.

Bought a couple of DVDs. Finally saw the aristocrats which was OK but not as good as I hoped. It's a documentary about comedians telling an offensive joke. They all tell the joke in their own way, trying to shock each other. The different tellings are like jazz riffing. It's OK but not great. It features a couple of minutes of the South Park kids which I liked. I've written about this film on this thread before so look back if you are interested.

Also watched the Wedding Crashers which was OK and the Longest Yard which was cool. Both brainless but I regard that as good.

My exam-passed present to myself arrived from america. It is very geeky, a piece of original, hand drawn comic book art from a famous, top-selling comic book. It looks good. I might take a photo and post it if I can make it look good enough. I have to get it framed. I know this is a totally useless indulgence but you only live once and it will look great on my wall (if I ever get a wall to call my own).


Sunday, February 19, 2006

Gone to the dogs....

To celebrate passing my big work exam and also to celebrate a friends birthday I went to the dog racing at Shawfield Stadium in Glasgow tonight. I have been once before (about 7 years ago) and it's always a good night. Last time I made a profit of £100 and tonight I made a profit of £40. I only bet £2.50 on 12 races and I walked away with £70 in my pockets. I have a formula. My friends had varying degrees of luck. The guy whose birthday it was didn't win a single race.

The gambling is not the only attraction of the night. It is an anthropological experience. I get to see a side of life that I don't often see. Arthur Daly is alive and well in the south side of Glasgow. Much 'bling' was on display. Some neds were wearing their best shell suits. I'll go back some time I guess.

Afterwards we went into town to the 13th note. I had to buy a couple of rounds with my winnings. There was a DJ playing some good tunes. The highlight for me was Got the time by Anthrax which was my favourite song when I was 12. The bar staff were a bit arsey when they kicked everyone out at closing time. Angry vegans.

This might have been coloured by the fact that I have been dying of a cold all night. Industrial doses of paracetamol, ibuprofen and sudafed have not really helped. I hope it has gone before I go back to work on Monday.

On the way home our taxi took us through Fernhill. As usual neds could be seen kicking the shit out of each other beside the shops. They should build a police station there. I feel sorry for anyone who has to live there.

Anyway, still buzzing about passing my exam. I've bought myself a wee present to celebrate (something that costs the same as resitting the exam). I might post a picture when it arrives.


Friday, February 17, 2006

Passed part one!!!!

I've just passed what is meant to be the worst exam I ever have to sit.

First time.

I am very happy.

Funky, indeed.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Because I know I won't get any valentine's cards.....

I really hate valentine's day. It's just a con. I must declare right now that I don't have a girlfriend at the moment so my comments are obviously tinged with bitterness. I won't be getting any cards and I won't be sending any.

Basically, it's a day designed to make you spend money (like christmas). It's a day about being in love which makes everyone who is not 'in love' feel inadequate. If you're not in love it's a day to hide.

I have searched the internet to find out a bit about the origins of valentine's day. Apparently it was created by the Catholic church as a way to integrate a pagan fertility rite into christianity. The pagan god Lupercus was replaced with the christian martyr St. Valentine.

The first recorded Valentine's card was sent in the 14th century. Over the years the sending of Valentine's card became more and more widespread. Many were banned by the US post office in the late 19th century for obscenity. In the past century the practice of sending Valentine's cards has become epidemic. Now, you can't escape them and if you don't have a partner you feel a bit inadequate. If you do have a partner you feel obliged to spend lots of money on stuff that you don't really need.

So what's my point? I'm lonely and bitter and not in love. Well, yes, but more than that. Is Valentine's day really that special? Shouldn't you have your own special day to tell your partner you love them? An anniversary, a birthday or just at random. Why do you need a reason? Why not just be spontaneous?

If I have a girlfriend next year I'll probably delete this post.


Reference -

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The decline of western civilisation AKA the bus to work

I live in a nice part of the city and I work in a less nice area. I get the bus to work because somehow I've never learned how to drive. Getting the bus is good for the environment but it isn't always fun.

Today was the worst day yet. There are some school kids who get this bus who are total bastards. In the six months since August I have seen them spout racist abuse and spit at people of different racial origins. I have seen them pick on one wee fat kid constantly. I have seen them throw newspapers and other missiles at random passengers ( that one pissed me off so much that I shouted at one of them a few months back - I felt sorry for the fat kid).

On at least four occasions they have kicked out the upstairs windows forcing the bus to stop its journey. The police have been on the bus twice to book them. No effect.

The morning riot kicked off at around 8:30 today. The bus company had set an ambush. Three inspectors were either following in a car or waiting at a prearranged stop. This shit is as regular as clockwork. The inspectors came on and kicked off the two main scumbags.

That wasn't the end of it. The bus continued down the road and got stuck in traffic. The kids ran down the middle of the (busy) road and pulled open the emergency exit. The driver stopped the bus and entered into a standoff. He refused to move the bus until the kids got off. This went on for some time.

As I have a job, I got of the bus to catch a taxi. Some people from my work did the same thing. The bus started going again when we were 200 metres down the road. The bus stopped to let us back on. Unfortunately the little bastards got back on. Then the trouble really started.

The driver got out of his seat and the lead teenage scumbag basically started a fight with him. A 15 year old boy started a fight with a 50 year old man. Society has crumbled. The driver eventually got the little shit off the bus. The air was filled with threats of violence and recrimination.

One of the secretarial staff at my work, a lady in her mid-40s, was slightly 'jostled' in the fight. Luckily she seemed to be ok afterwards. She phoned the school to complain about these kids. I was able to tell her the name of the main kid involved. I've been sitting on that bus watching this shit for 6 months. I've got a good memory.

So, what will happen? I'm cynical. I think the bus driver will be suspended and the little shit will get off scot-free. This will be sad.

What should happen? I'm not sure. Some intervention is required. The police should at the least interview that kid. The troublemakers should be banned from the bus. Social services or the childrens panel should be involved. If that kid keeps acting this way he will end up in jail or worse.

Why does this happen? Social deprivation and a lack of positive role models. These kids look around and see no future. In this part of the city you find a lot of gangs, a lot of IV drug addicts and a lot of alcoholics. Probably a lot of domestic abuse. Certainly a lot of unemployment. Society is fucked.

But on the bright side, at least we aren't being bombed by America.


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Vanity publishing

The last two posts are pure vanity publishing. I used to like drawing but I'm not very good at it. I've been playing with the digital camera I got for christmas and I've worked out how to get pictures from it onto the internet.



Old picture from 1998


Monday, February 06, 2006

Death by cartoon

The world is fucked up.

On the one side you have Western culture not understanding muslim culture. Publishing an offensive cartoon about a very holy muslim figure was not a good move. It shows a lack of respect. You shouldn't take the piss out of something you don't understand.

On the other side you have burning buildings, dead people, riots and more death threats. While the cartoons were not the best idea in the world they are not a good reason for people to die.

That's life.


Wednesday, February 01, 2006

A serious topic

For various reasons I thought I would go all serious for a few minutes. I want to write about a difficult topic. Mental illness.

Mental illness is common. About 1 in 3 people will have a mental health problem at some point in their life. These problems range from mild to severe. There is a chance that someone you know and love will have a mental health problem at some time.

If that happens, what do you do? How do you deal with it? Can you help?

Think about it for a second.

If you don't have an answer you could try this link

It might give you some help. I hope you are never in that situation because it is difficult.

Remember, you can always get help.


update - december 2010

I've notice that this page is visited a lot. The link above may not work. Try one of the following links